Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Witnesses of shot from Grassy Knoll...
Evidence of Shots from the Front
About 40 witnesses to the assassination of President Kennedy claimed either to have heard gunshots from the infamous grassy knoll in the northwest corner of Dealey Plaza, or to have seen smoke or smelled gunpowder in that area.
Interviewing the Dealey Plaza Witnesses
Several of these witnesses were interviewed by newspaper, radio and television reporters immediately after the assassination. The interviews were influential in generating doubt about the lone–gunman theory. Many other interviews have been carried out in the years since the assassination, almost all of them by private researchers.
Examination of photographs and home movies suggests that there were perhaps as many as 600 people in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination. Official interviews or statements exist for around 200 of these witnesses. Because the Warren Commission did no investigation of its own, almost all of the witnesses who testified before the Commission were chosen from those who had already made official statements. The other 400 or so, including many of the spectators nearest to the president, were never interviewed officially at all. Few of these missing witnesses were identified, even when the authorities had been informed of their existence (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.15, pp.525f).
In many cases, the witnesses appear not to have been asked about the origin of the shots. Of those who were asked, probably a small majority claimed that the shots came from the general direction of the Texas School Book Depository. A handful of people claimed to have heard shots from both directions. Many had no opinion.
Status of the Dealey Plaza Witness Evidence
Most of the evidence quoted below falls into four categories:
contemporaneous reports by journalists who were in Dealey Plaza;
statements to the police or sheriff’s deputies within hours of the assassination;
statements to the FBI, mostly within a few days of the assassination;
and interviews by the Warren Commission’s staff attorneys several months after the assassination.
None of the official evidence became publicly available until the Warren Commission’s Hearings and Exhibits were issued in November 1964. Some of it was not published at all, but was placed in the National Archives, and was only discovered at a later date. Access to the evidence was not helped by the fact that the witnesses’ statements and testimony were scattered throughout many of the 26 volumes of the Hearings and Exhibits, none of which contained an index.
There are some curiosities within the evidence:
Emmett Hudson, the only man identified out of the three standing on the steps leading up to the fence on the grassy knoll, claimed that all the shots came from the general direction of the TSBD (see Warren Commission Hearings, vol.7, p.560 and p.564; his earliest statements, however, are ambiguous).
Buell Wesley Frazier, Billy Lovelady and Otis Williams, three men who were standing on the front steps of the TSBD, directly underneath the supposed sniper’s nest, claimed that all the shots came from the general direction of the knoll.
Charles Brehm, who had an excellent view of the assassination, either changed his mind or was misquoted. He was reported in the Dallas Times Herald on the evening of 22 November as thinking that “the shots came from in front of or beside the President.” The FBI two days later stated that “it seemed quite apparent to him that the shots came from one or two buildings back at the corner of Elm and Houston Streets” (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.22, p.837).
Arnold Rowland thought the shots had come from the knoll, despite already having seen a man in the southwest window of the sixth floor of the TSBD, holding a gun (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.2, pp.171–3).
Kenneth O’Donnell and David Powers nominated the TSBD in their testimony, but believed in private that shots had come from the knoll.
Witnesses to Shots from the Grassy Knoll
Here is a list, in alphabetical order by surname, and no doubt incomplete, of those witnesses to President Kennedy’s assassination who claimed that one or more shots came from the general direction of the grassy knoll:
Read the rest here: