Arnold Rowland's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)

(Rowland was standing on Houston, In front of the Records building.)


Mr. SPECTER - All right; proceed to tell us what you saw and heard at about that time?
Mr. ROWLAND - We were discussing, as I stated, the different security precautions, I mean it was a very important person who was coming and we were aware of the policemen around everywhere, and especially in positions where they would be able to watch crowds. We talked momentarily of the incidents with Mr. Stevenson, and the one before that with Mr. Johnson, and this being in mind we were more or less security conscious. We looked and at that time I noticed on the sixth floor of the building that there was a man back from the window, not hanging out the window.
He was standing and holding a rifle, This appeared to me to be a fairly high-powered rifle because of the scope and the relative proportion of the scope to the rifle, you can tell about what type of rifle it is. You can tell it isn't a .22, you know, and we thought momentarily that maybe we should tell someone but then the thought came to us that it is a security agent.
We had seen in the movies before where they have security men up in windows and places like that with rifles to watch the crowds, and we brushed it aside as that, at that time, and thought nothing else about it until after the event happened.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, by referring to the photograph on this Commission Exhibit No. 356, will you point to the window where you observed this man?
Mr. ROWLAND - This was very odd. There were this picture was not taken immediately after that, I don't think, because there were several windows, there are pairs of windows, and there were several pairs where both windows were open fully and in each pair there was one or more persons hanging out the window.
Yet this was on the west corner of the building, the sixth floor, the first floor--second floor down from the top, the first was the arched, the larger windows, not the arch, but the larger windows, and this was the only pair of windows where both windows were completely open and no one was hanging out the windows, or next to the window.
It was this pair of windows here at that time.
Mr. SPECTER - All right.
Will you mark that pair of windows with a circle?
(Witness marking.)
Mr. SPECTER - What is your best recollection as to how far each of those windows were open?
Mr. ROWLAND - To the fullest extent that they could be opened.
Mr. SPECTER - What extent would that be?
Mr. ROWLAND - Being as I looked half frame windows, that would be halfway of the entire length of the window.
Mr. SPECTER - Is that the approximate status of those windows depicted here in Exhibit 356?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - In which of those double windows did you see the man and rifle?
Mr. ROWLAND - It was through the window to my right.
Mr. SPECTER - Draw an arrow right into that window with the same black pencil please.
(Witness marking.)
Mr. SPECTER - How much, if any, or all of that rifle could you see?
Mr. ROWLAND - All of it.
Mr. SPECTER - You could see from the base of the stock down to the tip of the end of the rifle?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - The barrel of the rifle?

(later testimony)

Mr. SPECTER - Can you describe the rifle with any more particularity than you already have?
Mr. ROWLAND - No. In proportion to the scope it appeared to me to be a .30-odd size 6, a deer rifle with a fairly large or powerful scope.
Mr. SPECTER - When you say, .30-odd-6, exactly what did you mean by that?
Mr. ROWLAND - That is a rifle that is used quite frequently for deer hunting. It is an import.
Mr. SPECTER - Do you own any rifles?
Mr. ROWLAND - No; my stepfather does.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you ever gone hunting deer with such a rifle?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes; I have.
Mr. SPECTER - And is that a .30-odd-6 rifle that you have hunted deer with?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Is that a popular size of rifle in the Dallas, Tex., area?
Mr. ROWLAND - I don't know about Dallas. I do know in Oregon it is one of the most popular for deer hunting.
Mr. SPECTER - Was the rifle which you observed similar to, or perhaps identical with, .30-odd rifles which you have seen before?
Mr. ROWLAND - The best I could tell it was of that size.

(later testimony)

Mr. SPECTER - Describe, as best you can, the appearance of the individual whom you saw?
Mr. ROWLAND - He was rather slender in proportion to his size. I couldn't tell for sure whether he was tall and maybe, you know heavy, say 200 pounds, but tall whether he would be and slender or whether he was medium and slender, but in proportion to his size his build was slender.

Mr. SPECTER - Could you give us an estimate on his height?
Mr. ROWLAND - No; I couldn't. That is why I said I can't state what height he would be. He was just slender in build in proportion with his width. This is something I find myself doing all the time, comparing things in perspective.
Mr. SPECTER - Was he a white man or a Negro or what?
Mr. ROWLAND - Seemed, well, I can't state definitely from my position because it was more or less not fully light or bright in the room. He appeared to be fair complexioned, not fair, but light complexioned, but dark hair.

Mr. SPECTER - What race was he then?
Mr. ROWLAND - I would say either a light Latin or a Caucasian.
Mr. SPECTER - And were you able to observe any characteristics of his hair?
Mr. ROWLAND - No; except that it was dark, probably black.
Mr. SPECTER - Were you able to observe whether he had a full head of hair or any characteristic as to quantity of hair?
Mr. ROWLAND - It didn't appear as if he had a receding hairline but I know he didn't have it hanging on his shoulders. Probably a close cut from--you know it appeared to me it was either well-combed or close cut.
Mr. SPECTER - What, if anything, did you observe as to the clothes he was wearing?
Mr. ROWLAND - He had on a light shirt, a very light-colored shirt, white or a light blue or a color such as that. This was open at the collar. I think it was unbuttoned about halfway, and then he had a regular T-shirt, a polo shirt under this, at least this is what it appeared to be. He had on dark slacks or blue jeans, I couldn't tell from that I didn't see but a small portion.
Mr. SPECTER - You say you only saw a small portion of what?
Mr. ROWLAND - Of his pants from his waist down.

(later testimony)

Mr. SPECTER - Were you able to form any opinion as to the age of that man?
Mr. ROWLAND - This is again just my estimation. He was--I think I remember telling my wife that he appeared in his early thirties. This could be obscured because of the distance, I mean.
Mr. SPECTER - Were you able to form any opinion as to the weight of the man in addition to the line of proportion which you have already described?
Mr. ROWLAND - I would say about 140 to 150 pounds.
Representative FORD - When did you tell your wife you thought he was in his thirties?
Mr. ROWLAND - Right after I noticed the man, I brought him to my wife's attention, and she was looking at something else at that time, we looked at that, and when we both looked back she wanted to see also, and he was gone from our vision.
Representative FORD - So she never saw him?
Mr. ROWLAND - My wife never saw him.
Representative FORD - Did you say at that time how old he was or how old you thought he was?
Mr. ROWLAND - I think I remarked to my wife that he appeared in his thirties, early thirties.

(later testimony)

Representative FORD - After you and your wife looked up and saw that there was no one in the window, did you ever again look at the window?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes; I did, constantly.
Representative FORD - And as you looked at the window subsequently did you ever see anything else in the window?
Mr. ROWLAND - No; not in that window, and I looked back every few seconds, 30 seconds, maybe twice a minute, occasionally trying to find him so I could point him out to my wife.
Something I would like to note is that the window that I have been told the shots were actually fired from, I did not see that, there was someone hanging out that window at that time.
Representative FORD - At what time was that?
Mr. ROWLAND - At the time I saw the man in the other window, I saw this man hanging out the window first. It was a colored man, I think.
Representative FORD - Is this the same window where you saw the man standing with the rifle?
Mr. ROWLAND - No; this was the one on the east end of the building, the one that they said the shots were fired from.
Representative FORD - I am not clear on this now. The window that you saw the man that you describe was on what end of the building?
Mr. ROWLAND - The west, southwest corner.
Representative FORD - And the man you saw hanging out from the window was at what corner?
Mr. ROWLAND - The east, southeast corner.
Representative FORD - Southeast corner. On the same floor?
Mr. ROWLAND - On the same floor.
Representative FORD - When did you notice him?
Mr. ROWLAND - This was before I noticed the other man with the rifle.
Representative FORD - I see. This was before you saw the man in the window with the rifle?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes. My wife and I were both looking and making remarks that the people were hanging out the windows I think the majority of them were colored people, some of them were hanging out the windows to their waist, such as this. We made several remarks to this fact, and then she started watching the colored boy, and I continued to look, and then I saw the man with the rifle.
Representative FORD - After 12:22 or thereabouts you indicated you periodically looked back at the window in the southwest corner where you had seen the man with the rifle What happened as the motorcade came along?
Mr. ROWLAND - As the motorcade came along, there was quite a bit of excitement. I didn't look back from then. I was very interested in trying to see the President myself. I had seen him twice before but I was interested in seeing him again.
Representative FORD - Did you notice a sedan come by with any officials in it at the outset of the motorcade?
Mr. ROWLAND - The first car in the motorcade was, I think it was, a white- or cream-colored Ford. This appeared to be full of detectives or such as this; rather husky men, large men. I think there were four in this car.

Representative FORD - Was this an open or a closed car?
Mr. ROWLAND - This was a sedan, the doors were closed.
Representative FORD - What was the next car you noticed?
Mr. ROWLAND - The next car was the President's car.
Representative FORD - Did you notice again or did you look again during this period of time at the School Depository Building?
Mr. ROWLAND - No. From where we were standing the motorcade came down Main, and when it turned on Houston we watched the motorcade, my wife remarked at Jackie's clothing, Mrs. Kennedy, and we made a few remarks of her clothing and how she looked, her appearance in general, and we also discussed--we didn't immediately recognize Governor Connally and his wife being in the car, we were trying to figure out who that as.
Then the motorcade turned on Elm and was obscured from our vision by a crowd, and we were discussing the clothing of Mrs. Kennedy at that time. My wife likes clothes.
Representative FORD - You never again, after the motorcade once came into your view, looked back at the School Depository Building?
Mr. ROWLAND - I did after the shots were fired.
Mr. SPECTER - Had you finished telling us all about the conversation between you and your wife concerning this man?
Mr. ROWLAND - To the best of my recollection, yes.
Mr. SPECTER - All right.
You have described seeing someone in another window hanging out. Would you draw a circle and put an "A" beside the window where you say you saw someone hanging out. That is on Exhibit No. 356.
(Witness marking.)
Mr. SPECTER - At about what time was it that you observed someone hanging out of the window that you have marked as window "A"?
Mr. ROWLAND - Again about 12:15 just before I noticed the other man.
Mr. SPECTER - You have marked the double window there. Would you draw the arrow in the red pencil indicating specifically which window it was.
(Witness marking.)
Mr. SPECTER - Will you describe with as much particularity as you can what that man looked like?
Mr. ROWLAND - It seemed to me an elderly Negro, that is about all. I didn't pay very much attention to him.

(later testimony)
Mr. ROWLAND - I understand the question.
Let me see, the exact time I do not remember, but the man, the colored man, was in that window until the procession reached Commerce I mean Main, and Ervay. I was looking back quite often, as I stated.
Mr. SPECTER - How do you fix the time that he was there until the procession reached the intersection of Commerce and Ervay?
Mr. ROWLAND - The police motorcycle was almost in front of me with the speaker on very loud, giving the relative position about every 15 or 20 seconds of the motorcade, and this is how I was able to note that.
Mr. SPECTER - Were you observing the window which you marked "A" at the time he departed?
Mr. ROWLAND - No, I didn't. I just know, I was looking at the crowd around. and then I glanced back up again, and neither did I see the man with the rifle nor did I see him. The colored man went away.
Mr. SPECTER - How long was that after you first noticed the colored man in the window "A"?
Mr. ROWLAND - Fifteen minutes.
Mr. SPECTER - Had you looked back at window "A" at any time during that 15 minute interval?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Had you seen anybody in window "A" during that time?
Mr. ROWLAND - The colored man was that--
Mr. SPECTER - So how many times did you notice him altogether?
Mr. ROWLAND - Several. I think I looked back about two, maybe three times a minute, an average. I was, you know, trying to find the man with the rifle to point him out to my wife. I noticed the colored man in that window. I looked at practically every window in the building but I didn't look at anything with the detail to see what I was looking for.
Mr. SPECTER - Over how long a time span did you observe the Negro man to be in the window marked "A"?
Mr. ROWLAND - He was there before I noticed the man with the rifle and approximately 12:30 or when the motorcade was at Main and Ervay he was gone when I looked back and I had looked up there about 30 seconds before or a minute before.
Mr. SPECTER - How long after you heard the motorcade was at Main and Ervay did the motorcade pass by where you were?
Mr. ROWLAND - Another 5 minutes.
Mr. SPECTER - So that you observed this colored man on the window you have marked "A" within 5 minutes prior to the time the motorcade passed in front of you?
Mr. ROWLAND - Approximately 5 minutes prior to the time the motorcade came, he wasn't there. About 30 seconds or a minute prior to that time he was there.

(later testimony)

Mr. SPECTER - Will you now relate what occurred as the Presidential motorcade passed by you?
Mr. ROWLAND - Well, the car turned the corner at Houston and Main. Everyone was rushing, pressing the cars, trying to get closer. There were quite a few people, you know, trying to run alongside of the car such as this; officers were trying to prevent this. The car turned--we had more or less a long period of time that they were within our sight considering some of the other people.
The car went down Houston, again turned on Elm, and it was proceeding down Elm when we heard the first of the reports. This I passed off as a backfire, so did practically everyone in the area because gobs of people, when I say gobs, I mean almost everyone in the vicinity, started laughing that couldn't see the motorcade. The motorcade was obscured from our vision by the crowd.
Mr. SPECTER - What would the occasion be for laughter on the sound of a backfire?
Mr. ROWLAND - I don't know. A lot of people laughed. I don't know. But a lot of people laughed, chuckled, such as this. Then approximately 5 seconds, 5 or 6 seconds, the second report was heard, 2 seconds the third report. After the second report, I knew what it was, and--
Mr. SPECTER - What was it?
Mr. ROWLAND - I knew that it was a gun firing.
Mr. SPECTER - How did you know that?
Mr. ROWLAND - I have been around guns quite a bit in my lifetime.
Mr. SPECTER - Was the sound of the fire different from the first and second sounds you described?
Mr. ROWLAND - No, that is just it. It did not sound as though there was any return fire in that sense.
Mr. SPECTER - What do you mean by return fire?
Mr. ROWLAND - That anyone fired back. You know, anyone in the procession such as our detectives or Secret Service men fired back at anything else. It gave the report of a rifle which most of the Secret Service men don't carry in a holster although I am sure they had some in the cars but the following two shots were the same report being of the same intensity, I state, because from a different position I know that the same rifle is not going to make the same sound in two different positions especially in a position such as it was, because of the ricocheting of sound and echo effects.

(later testimony)
Mr. SPECTER - Can you describe the second sound by comparison with the first sound which you have described as being similar to a backfire?
Mr. ROWLAND - The second to my recollection was identical or as closely as could be.
Mr. SPECTER - How about the third shot?
Mr. ROWLAND - The same.
Mr. SPECTER - Sounded the same to you?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you have any impression or reaction as to the point of origin when you heard the first noise?
Mr. ROWLAND - Well, I began looking, I didn't look at the building mainly, and as practically any of' the police officers that were there then will tell you, the echo effect was such that it sounded like it came from the railroad yards. That is where I looked, that is where all the policemen, everyone, converged on the railroads.
Mr. SPECTER - When you say railroad yards, what area are you referring to? Identify it on Commission Exhibit No. 354, for example?
Mr. ROWLAND - In this area in here.
Now most of the officers converged on this area--
Mr. SPECTER - When you say "in here,". I will get a black pencil here and see if we can draw a circle around the area where you have described the echo effect?
Mr. ROWLAND - The echo effect felt as though it came from this general vicinity.
Mr. SPECTER - Mark that with the letter "C" in the center of your circle.
(Witness marking.)
Mr. SPECTER - Now, as to the second shot, did you have any impression as to the point of origin or source?
Mr. ROWLAND - The same point or very close to it.
Mr. SPECTER - And how about the third shot?
Mr. ROWLAND - Very close to the same position.
Mr. SPECTER - Where did you look, if you recall, after you heard the first shot, in what direction?
Mr. ROWLAND - We were standing here at position "B." At the sound of the second report, I proceeded across the street. My wife was very anxious to find out what was going on. I proceeded to cross the street like this.

Mr. SPECTER - Indicating you were--she was pulling you ahead?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes. She was very anxious to find out what was going on.
Mr. SPECTER - That was at the sound of the second report?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes, it was.
Mr. SPECTER - And will you mark with this black pencil, with the letter "D," where you went to, as she pulled you across the street?
Mr. ROWLAND - We crossed the street in this area, proceeded down the sidewalk, around here, there was quite a bit of crowd, people were running.
Mr. SPECTER - Where were you at the time that you heard the second report?
Mr. ROWLAND - At the second report we were approximately at the curb, out from the curb, we were off the sidewalk.
Mr. SPECTER - At point "V"?
Mr. ROWLAND - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - How about the third shot, where were you then?
Mr. ROWLAND - At the third shot I was in this vicinity halfway to where we crossed the street to the end of the block.
Mr. SPECTER - Would you indicate with the letter "D" where you were at the time of the third shot?
(Witness marking.)
Mr. SPECTER - Where did you look when you heard the third report?
Mr. ROWLAND - Well, we were trying to actually see the President's car, that is what my wife was trying to do, and then I decided I might as well give in to her.
Mr. SPECTER - After the shots occurred, did you ever look back at the Texas School Book Depository Building?
Mr. ROWLAND - No; I did not. In fact, I went over toward the scene of the railroad yards myself.

(later testimony)
Mr. SPECTER - Are there any other parts of the affidavit which vary from your current recollection?
Mr. ROWLAND - The actual time between the reports I would say now, after having had time to consider the 6 seconds between the first and second report and two between the second and third. It is very fast for a bolt-loading rifle.
Mr. SPECTER - Do you recall whether or not the statement is accurate in that you told the police officials at that time that there was a time span of 8 seconds between the first and second shots and a time span of 3 seconds between the second and third shots?

(later testimony)

Mr. SPECTER - Mr. Rowland, a couple of other questions.
Are you able to give us any other type of a description of the Negro gentleman whom you observed in the window we marked "A" with respect to height, weight, age?
Mr. ROWLAND - He was very thin, an elderly gentleman, bald or practically bald, very thin hair if he wasn't bald. Had on a plaid shirt. I think it was red and green, very bright color, that is why I remember it.
Mr. SPECTER - Can you give us an estimate as to age?
Mr. ROWLAND - Fifty; possibly 55 or 60.
Mr. SPECTER - Can you give us an estimate as to height?
Mr. ROWLAND - 5'8", 5'10", in that neighborhood. He was very slender, very thin.
Mr. SPECTER - Can you give us a more definite description as to complexion?
Mr. ROWLAND - Very dark or fairly dark, not real dark compared to some Negroes, but fairly dark. Seemed like his face was either--I can't recall detail but it was either very wrinkled or marked in some way.

Posner - While Rowland places a man with a rifle on the sixth floor that matches Oswald's description, he puts him on the wrong side of the building. His timing and location of the shots does not match Posner's theory.

Harris - Rowland's timing is very good for Harris. The location of the shots is also a problem for Harris, and the fact that he described the shots as sounding the same is also a problem.


Barbara Rowland's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)

(Rowland was standing on Houston, In front of the Records building.)

Mr. BELIN - All right, you said you noticed a man across the street fainted. Anything else that you and your husband noticed?
Mrs. ROWLAND - Well, my husband and I were talking about Mr. Stevenson's visit and the way people had acted, and we were talking about security measures, and he said he saw a man on the sixth floor of the School Book Depository Building, and when I looked up there I didn't see the man, because I didn't know exactly what window he was talking about at first.
And when I found out which window it was, the man had apparently stepped back, because I didn't see him.
Mr. BELIN - Which window was it?
Mrs. ROWLAND - It was the far left hand window.
Mr. BELIN - As you face the building?
Mrs. ROWLAND - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - It would be the window on the south side of the building?
Mrs. ROWLAND - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Would it be on the eastern part of the south side or the western part of the south side?
Mrs. ROWLAND - West.
Mr. BELIN - Would it be the farthermost west window?
Mrs. ROWLAND - Yes; the farthermost west pair of windows.
Mr. BELIN - The farthermost west pair of windows. What did your husband say to you?
Mrs. ROWLAND - Well, we assumed it was a Secret Service man.
Mr. BELIN - But what did he say, if you remember?
Mrs. ROWLAND - He told me that he saw a man there who looked like he was holding a rifle, and that it must be a security man guarding the motorcade.

(later testimony)

Mr. BELIN - All right, now, will you please tell us what happened as the motorcade went by?
Mrs. ROWLAND - Well, Mrs. Kennedy was wearing a blue - I mean a pink or maybe a rose - it was either pink or rose dress or suit, I couldn't say, because she was sitting. She had had a pink hat or rose, the same shade as her dress.
And I remember noticing that the president's hair was sort of red, that is all. They were facing mainly toward the other side of the street and waiving, and as the turned the corner we heard a shot, and I didn't recognize it as being a shot. I just heard a sound, and I thought it might be a firecracker.
And the people started laughing at first, and then we heard two more shots, and they were closer than the first and the second, and that is all.
Mr. BELIN - How many shots did you hear all told?
Mrs. ROWLAND - Three.
Mr. BELIN - When you said you heard two more shots that were closer than the first and second, what did you mean?
Mrs. ROWLAND - I meant that the second and the third were closer together than the first and second.
Mr. BELIN - Mrs. Rowland, did you have any idea where the shots came from or the sound?
Mrs. ROWLAND - Well, the people generally ran towards the railroad tracks behind the School Book Depository Building, and so I naturally assumed they came from there, because that is where all the policemen and everyone was going, and I couldn't tell where the sounds came from.

Posner and Harris - Mrs. Rowland verifies that her husband told her about the man with the rifle at the time of the shooting. Her timing is better for Harris than Posner.


Mrs. Donald Baker's (AKA Virgie Rachley) Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)

(Mrs. Baker was standing on the north curb of Elm, in front of the Depository)

Mr. LIEBELER - Tell me what you saw?
Mrs. BAKER - Well, after he passed us, then we heard a noise and I thought it was firecrackers, because I saw a shot or something hit the pavement.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you heard that immediately after the first noise; is that right?
Mrs. BAKER - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Could you tell or did you have any idea where the noise came from when you first heard it?
Mrs. BAKER - No; I thought there were some boys standing down there where he was - where the President's car was.
Mr. LIEBELER - Down farther on the street, you mean?
Mrs. BAKER - Yes; close to the underpass.
Mr. LIEBELER - Had the Presidents car already passed you at the time you heard the first noise?
Mrs. BAKER - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you tell me approximately how far down the street it had gone when you heard the first shot?
Mrs. BAKER - I don't know exactly - I could still see the back of the car - I can't judge distance so I really couldn't tell you.
Mr. LIEBELER - It hadn't gone out of sight in your opinion?
Mrs. BAKER - No; sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - Could you still see the President?
Mrs. BAKER - Not too well.
Mr. LIEBELER - There is a gradual curve on Elm Street and the car had already started slightly into the curve by the time it had gone by you?
Mrs. BAKER - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You say you saw something hit the street after you heard the first shot; is that right?
Mrs. BAKER - Yes.

(Later Testimony)
Mrs. BAKER - There is a sign there.
Mr. LIEBELER - And then there is another sign farther on down there.
Mrs. BAKER - This was a big sign here and there was a small one here.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you think it was approximately near the first sign?
Mrs. BAKER - As I can remember, it was.
Mr. LIEBELER - As you went down Elm Street that you saw this thing hit the street - what did it look like when you saw it?
Mrs. BAKER - Well, as I said, I thought it was a firecracker. It looked just like you could see the sparks from it and I just thought it was a firecracker and I was thinking that there was somebody was fixing to get in a lot of trouble and we thought the kids or whoever threw it were down below or standing near the underpass or back up here by the sign.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would they have been as far down as the underpass or somewhere near the sign to have thrown a firecracker in the street?
Mrs. BAKER - It was near the signs.
Mr. LIEBELER - How close to the curb on Elm Street was this thing you saw hit; do you remember? It could have been on the curb side - near the curb side away from the Texas School Book Depository Building on the opposite side of the street; is that right?
Mrs. BAKER - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - How close to the opposite curb do you think it was?
Mrs. BAKER - It was approximately in the middle of the lane - I couldn't be quite sure, but I thought it was the middle or somewhere along in there, I could even be wrong about that but I could have sworn it that day.
Mr. LIEBELER - You thought it was sort of toward the middle of the lane?
Mrs. BAKER - Toward the middle of the lane.
Mr. LIEBELER - Of the left-hand lane going toward the underpass; is that correct?
Mrs. BAKER - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where was the thing that you saw hit the street in relation to the President's car? I mean, was it in front of the car, behind his car, by the side of his car or was it close to the car?
Mrs. BAKER - I thought it was - well - behind it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember whether it hit toward the left-hand side or the right-hand side of the President's car, or was it just immediately behind it? If you can remember it that closely, all right.
Mrs. BAKER - I can't remember it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you actually see the President get hit by any bullets?
Mrs. BAKER - No. sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - How many shots did you hear?
Mrs. BAKER - Three.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you first become aware that they were shots?
Mrs. BAKER - With the second shot.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have any idea where they were coming from?
Mrs. BAKER - Well, the way it sounded - it sounded like it was coming from - there was a railroad track that runs behind the building - there directly behind the building and around, so I guess it would be by the underpass, the triple underpass, and there is a railroad track that runs back out there and there was a train that looked like a circus train as well as I can remember now, back there, and we all ran to the plaza - the little thing there I guess you call it a plaza - back behind there - this other girl and I almost ran back over there and looked and we didn't see anything.

(Later Testimony)

Mr. LIEBELER - The FBI report indicates that after the second shot you began to smell gun smoke; is that correct?
Mrs. BAKER - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Could you tell me where it was coming from?
Mrs. BAKER - No, sir.

Posner - Mrs. Bakers testimony is part of Posner's basis for the first shot miss, but the positioning of the object hitting the pavement, in conjunction with her placing it behind the limo would seem to indicate the shot was later than Posner claims. She also thought the shots came from a different location.

Harris - Harris has the same location problem as Posner, and Mrs. Baker is not specific on the timing.


Ronald Fischer's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)

(Fischer was standing on the Southwest corner of Houston and Elm.)

Mr. FISCHER - Which would have been the first time we could have seen any of the cars because of the building - about 10 or 15 seconds before the first car came around the corner, Bob punched me and said, "look at that guy there in the window." And he made some remark - said "he looks like he's uncomfortable" - or something.
And I looked up and I watched the man for, oh, I'd say, 10 or 15 seconds. It was until the first car came around the corner of Houston and Main. And, then when that car did come around the corner, I took my attention off of the man in the window and started watching the parade. The man held my attention for 10 or 15 seconds, because he appeared uncomfortable for one, and, secondly, he wasn't watching - uh - he didn't look like he was watching for the parade. He looked like he was looking down toward the Trinity River and the triple underpass down at the end - toward the end of Elm Street. And - uh - all the time I watched him, he never moved hi head, he never - he never moved anything. Just was there transfixed.
Mr. BELIN - In what window did you see the man?
Mr. FISCHER - It was the corner window on Houston Street facing Elm, in the fifth or sixth floor.
Mr. BELIN - On what side of the - first of all, what building was this you saw him in?
Mr. FISCHER - The Texas School Book Depository Building.
Mr. BELIN - And what side of the building would the window have been in?
Mr. FISCHER - It would have been - well, as you're looking toward the front of the building, it would have been to your right.
Mr. BELIN - Well the building itself has four sides - a north, east, south and a west side - the entire sides of the building. Would this have been the north, south, east, or west side of the building?
Mr. FISCHER - It would have been the south side - the entrance.
Mr. BELIN - All right. Now, on that south side of the building - now, was it the center part of the south side, the east part of the south side, or the west part of the south side?
Mr. FISCHER - The east part of the south side.
Mr. BELIN - All right. Now with reference to the east corner of the south side there, would it have been the first window next to that corner, the second, the third, or the fourth - or what?
Mr. FISCHER - First window.
Mr. BELIN - From the east corner of the south side?
Mr. FISCHER - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Do you remember anything about the man? Could you describe his appearance at all? First of all, how much of him could you see?
Mr. FISCHER - I could see from about the middle of his chest past the top of his head.
Mr. BELIN - All right.
Mr. FISCHER - He was in the - as you are looking toward that window, he was in the lower right portion of the window. He seemed to be sitting a little forward.
And he had - he had on an open neck shirt, but it could have been a sport shirt or T-shirt. It was light in color; probably white, I couldn't tell whether it had long sleeves or whether it was a short-sleeved shirt, but it was open-neck and light in color.
Uh - he had a slender face and neck - uh - and he had a light complexion - he was a white man. And he looked 22 or 24 years old.
Mr. BELIN - Do you remember anything about the color of his hair?
Mr. FISCHER - His hair seemed to be - uh - neither light nor dark; possibly a light - well, possibly a - well, it was brown was what it was; but as to whether it was light or dark, I can't say.
Mr. BELIN - Did he have a thick head of hair or did he have a receding hair line - or couldn't you tell?
Mr. FISCHER - I couldn't tell. He couldn't have had very long hair, because his hair didn't seem to take up much space - of what I could see of his head. His hair must have been short and not long.
Mr. BELIN - Well, did you see a full view of his face or more of a profile of it, or what was it?
Mr. FISCHER - I saw him at an angle but, at the same time, I could see - I believe I could see the tip of his right cheek as he looked to my left.
(Later testimony)
Mr. BELIN - Could you see his hands?
Mr. FISCHER - No.
Mr. BELIN - Could you see whether or not he was holding anything?
Mr. FISCHER - No; I couldn't see.
Mr. BELIN - Could you see any other objects in the window?
Mr. FISCHER - There were boxes and cases stacked all the way from the bottom to the top and from the left to the right behind him. It looked - uh -it's possible that there weren't any cases directly behind him because I couldn't see because of him. but - uh - all the rest of the window - portion behind the window - there were boxes. It looked like there was space for a man to walk through there between the window and the boxes. But there were boxes in the window, or close to the window there.
Mr. BELIN - Could you see any other people in any other windows that you remember?
Mr. FISCHER - I couldn't see any other people in the windows. I don't remember seeing any others.
(later testimony)
Mr. BELIN - All right. Then what happened?
Mr. FISCHER - Well as I looked around to watch these other cars, I heard a shot. At first I thought it was a firecracker. And -uh - everybody got quiet. There was no yelling or anything. Everything seemed to get real still. And -uh -the second shot rang out, and then everybody - from where I was standing - everybody started to scatter. And -uh - then the third shot.
At first I thought there were four, but as I think about it more there must have been just three.
Mr. BELIN - At first, you thought there were four shots?
Mr. FISCHER - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Now, you said the first one you thought was a firecracker?
Mr. FISCHER - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - What about the second one? Did you think that was a firecracker, too?
Mr. FISCHER - No. When the second shot rang out. It was too much like the first to be a firecracker. I have heard high-powered rifles fire before. The - uh -first shot fooled me, I think, because of the sound bouncing off the buildings. But the second shot was too much like the first and it was too loud - both shots were too loud to be a firecracker. And I knew it was a shot.
Mr. BELIN - Have you had any experience with high-powered rifles before?
Mr. FISCHER - Very little; but I have shot several.
Mr. BELIN - What about the third shot? Did you think that was a firecracker or what?
Mr. FISCHER - No; I knew it was a shot too. I knew someone was shooting at something. Uh - it didn't - it still didn't dawn on me that anyone would try to shoot at the President, but I knew that somebody was shooting at something. I didn't know whether it was a real pistol or a real rifle - but I knew somebody was shooting a firearm.
Mr. BELIN - Where did the shots appear to be coming from?
Mr. FISCHER - They appeared to be coming from just west of the School Book Depository Building. There were some railroad tracks and there were some railroad cars back in there.
Mr. BELIN - And they appeared to be coming from those railroad cars?
Mr. FISCHER - Well that area somewhere. From where I was standing, I couldn't see the cars themselves until I had run across the street and up the hill.
Mr. BELIN - The shots seemed how far apart?
Mr. FISCHER - That's hard to say. I've been thinking about that. And - uh - I'd guess - 3 to 4 seconds.
Mr. BELIN - Was that between the first and the second or between the second and the third?
Mr. FISCHER - Between both. As far as I can remember the shots were evenly spaced.
Mr. BELIN - Is there anything else about the shots that you remember?
Mr. FISCHER - No - only that they were very loud.
(later testimony)
Mr. BELIN - And, later, did some policeman bring out a picture of an individual and ask you to try and identify him?
Mr. FISCHER - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Did they tell you whose picture it was?
Mr. FISCHER - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Whose picture did they say it was?
Mr. FISCHER - Well they actually showed me two pictures - one of Lee Harvey Oswald, and One of Jack Ruby.
Mr. BELIN - All right. What did you say?
Mr. FISCHER - I told them that could have been the man.
Mr. BELIN - Now, which one did you say could have been the man?
Mr. FISCHER - Lee Harvey Oswald. That could have been the man that I saw in the window of the school Book Depository building, but that I was not sure. It's possible that a man fit the general description that I gave - but I can't say for sure.
Mr. BELIN - Was there anything different - do you remember the picture? - between the picture you saw and the man you saw in the window?
Mr. FISCHER - Yes; one thing - and that is in the picture he looked like he hadn't shaved in several days at least. And - uh - I don't know whether at that distance, looking at him from the street in the School Book Depository Building - if I could have been able to - If I could have seen that. I think if he had been unshaven in the window, it would have made his complexion appear - well - rather dark; but I remember his complexion was light; that is unless he had just a light beard

Posner - Fischer's only discrepancy with Posner is the location of the shots. His timing is good, and he certainly places someone in the snipers nest who matches Oswald's description just before the shooting.

Harris - Fischer's testimony is inconsistent with Harris's theory.


Robert Edwards' Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)

(Edwards was standing on the Southwest corner of Houston and Elm.)


Mr. BELIN - Did you look around at all?
Mr. EDWARDS - Certainly.
Mr. BELIN - Did you ever take a look at the south side of the Texas School Book Depository Building? That would be facing - you would be looking at the south side of the building?
Mr. EDWARDS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Did you ever look at that at all?
Mr. EDWARDS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - Before the motorcade came by?
Mr. EDWARDS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - What did you see?
Mr. EDWARDS - Nothing of importance except maybe one individual who was up there in the corner room of the sixth floor which was crowded in among boxes.
Mr. BELIN - You say the sixth floor?
Mr. EDWARDS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - what portion of the sixth floor as you looked at the building to your right or to your left?
Mr. EDWARDS - To my right.
Mr. BELIN - How near the corner?
Mr. EDWARDS - The corner window.
Mr. BELIN - The corner window there?
Mr. EDWARDS - Right.
Mr. BELIN - Could you describe the individual at all? Was he a white man or a Negro?
Mr. EDWARDS - White man.
Mr. BELIN - Tall or short, if you know?
Mr. EDWARDS - I couldn't say.
Mr. BELIN - Did he have anything in his hands that you could see?
Mr. EDWARDS - No.
Mr. BELIN - Could you see his hands?
Mr. EDWARDS - I don't remember.
Mr. BELIN - What kind of clothes did he have on?
Mr. EDWARDS - Light colored shirt, short sleeve and open neck.
Mr. BELIN - How much of him could you see? Shoulder up, waist up, knees up, or what?
Mr. EDWARDS - From the waist on. From the abdomen or stomach up.
Mr. BELIN - Was the man fat, thin, or average size?
Mr. EDWARDS - Oh, about average. Possibly thin.
Mr. BELIN - Could you tell whether he was light skinned or medium skin or what, if you could tell?
Mr. EDWARDS - No.
Mr. BELIN - Was the sun shining in or not, if you know?
Mr. EDWARDS - Don't know.
Mr. BELIN - Was the sun out that day?
Mr. EDWARDS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - What color hair did the man have?
Mr. EDWARDS - Light brown.
Mr. BELIN - Light brown hair?
Mr. EDWARDS - That is what I would say; yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN - Did you see any other people on the sixth floor?
Mr. EDWARDS - No.
Mr. BELIN - Did you notice whether or not there were any, or just did you look and see any?
Mr. EDWARDS - I noticed that there - I just didn't see any.
Mr. BELIN - What about the next floor above? Did you see any people on the floor above?
Mr. EDWARDS - No.
Mr. BELIN - What about on any floors below? See any people on the fifth floor?
Mr. EDWARDS - No.
Mr. BELIN - Fourth floor?
Mr. EDWARDS - No.
Mr. BELIN - Third floor?
Mr. EDWARDS - Possibly.
Mr. BELIN - Second floor?
Mr. EDWARDS - I believe so.
Mr. BELIN - First floor?
Mr. EDWARDS - I don't know.

(later testimony)

Mr. BELIN - Do you know whether the hair of the man was short, average, or long on the man you saw in the window that day?
Mr. EDWARDS - Don't know.
Mr. BELIN - Now what conversation did you and Ronald Fischer have about this man, if anything? Do you remember what he said?
Mr. EDWARDS - I made a statement to Ronny that I wondered who he was hiding from since he was up there crowded in among the boxes, in a joking manner.
Mr. BELIN - You mean you said it in a joking manner?
Mr. EDWARDS - Yes.
Mr. BELIN - What did Fischer say to you?
Mr. EDWARDS - I don't recall what he said, but I know that we said a few things. It wasn't of any importance at the time. And we looked up at him, both of us.
Mr. BELIN - How long did you look at him?
Mr. EDWARDS - Just a few seconds.
Mr. BELIN - Then what took your attention away, if any, or did you just start looking somewhere else?
Mr. EDWARDS - Started looking somewhere else.
Mr. BELIN - How long after that did the motorcade come by?
Mr. EDWARDS - Thirty seconds or a minute.
Mr. BELIN - Anything else that you can remember that you or Ronald Fischer said?
Mr. EDWARDS - No.
Mr. BELIN - Anything else you can think of that might be relevant at all?
Mr. EDWARDS - No.
Mr. BELIN - How many shots did you hear, if you remember?
Mr. EDWARDS - Well, I heard one more than was fired I believe.
Mr. BELIN - You mean you said on the affidavit you heard four shots?
Mr. EDWARDS - I still right now don't know how many was fired. If I said four, then I though I heard four.
Mr. BELIN - If you said four, you mean the affidavit - maybe we better introduce it into the record as Edward's Deposition Exhibit A. Where do you think the shots came from?
Mr. EDWARDS - I have no idea.
Mr. BELIN - In the affidavit you stated that the shots seemed to come from the building there. Did you really say that or not?
Mr. EDWARDS - No; I didn't say that.
Mr. BELIN - All right, anything else you can think of?
Mr. EDWARDS - No.

Posner and Harris - Edward's testimony is not clear enough to support or contradict either theory


More testimony