tv Reel America A CBS News Inquiry The Warren Report Part 3 CSPAN November 25, 2018 4:00pm-4:53pm EST
the program interviews friends and associates of jack ruby, who shot and killed oswald during a live television broadcast and ends with a report on new orleans district attorney jim garrison's conspiracy theories, which later became the basis of the oliver stone film jfk. for two nights, we have been looking for answers to questions concerning the assassination of john f. kennedy. we asked, did lee harvey oswald take a rifle to the book depository building? our answer was yes. he was in the building on the sixth floor. was oswald's rifle fired from the building? yes. how many shots were fired? three.
how fast could his rifle be fired? fast enough. what was the time span of the shots? as large as the warren commission reported, the assassin had more time, not less. we concluded sunday night that the lee harvey oswald fired three shots at the motorcade. we look into the question of conspiracy. were there others also firing? we interviewed eyewitnesses. we tested our own investigation the critical single bullet theory and found one bullet might have wounded both men. captain james humes, who conducted the autopsy on the president, broke a three and a half year silence to say he has been examined and stands firm at the shots came from behind.
governor connolly's recollections conform with our reconstruction. we concluded there was no second gunman. tonight, we look further into the question of conspiracy. was oswald alone or was he the agent of others? the work of a twisted man seeking a place in history. were there dark forces behind him? continuing to seek an answer leads us to a second murder. oswald was taken into custody in a movie theater at 1:50 p.m. he was first charged with the murder of jd tippit.
could oswald made his way to tippet's murder? mr. rather: >> to solve the killing, it is vital to reconstruct his actions from the moment of assassination to the moment. for the first time, we have been able to follow oswald's movements from the sixth floor. he went to the opposite corner of the sixth floor. he set the rifle down between stacks and discovered the elevator cannot go up. oswald turned to the stairs and went down four flights to the second floor.
he was next seen at 12:31, a minute and half after the third shot, a policeman at gunpoint stopped oswald. the depository superintendent told the officer that oswald was employed and he was released. he crossed the second floor to this office and went down the front stairs and continued to the front door before police sealed off the building. mr. cronkite: here is how the warren commission reconstructed movements after he left the depository. he walked several blocks down m street, took a bus on murphy. the bus became entangled in a traffic jam caused by the assassination. oswald got off of the bus, walked two blocks, then turned on buckley. the commission believes he walked back to his apartment, picked up a revolver and a
jacket, and set off on foot. >> attention all squads. the suspect in the shooting is reported to be a white man, 30, slender build -- >> dallas police radio broadcast a description of the suspect 15 minutes after shots were fired. they asked officers to be on the lookout for a white man, slender, 165 pounds, in his early 30's. how do police get the description on the air in 15 minutes? critics have questioned both the source of the description and the speed with which it was sent out. the commission admitted the source -- its guess was that it came from an eyewitness. critics doubt that brennan had a good enough view of the window to arrive at a conclusion. they doubt he passed information on to secret service within 10 minutes. at 1:15 p.m., 45 minutes later, the commission says officer tippit stopped oswald. he was shot down.
did oswald have time to get there in time for the fatal encounter? >> following the warren commission's movement found 45 minutes was ample time. >> the answer is yes. he could have made his way there. a cbs news inquiry, the warren report continues. here again is walter cronkite. mr. cronkite: why was the officer off of his normal beat? some believe there was a conspiracy involving the dallas police force that maintained at the meeting between oswald and j.d. tippit was not an accident. j.d. tippit was looking for oswald or vice versa. j.d. tippit should not have been where he was, should not have been alone.
eddie barker talked to a police radio dispatcher. >> officer jackson, a lot of critics of the warren report, have made a thing of the fact that officer j.d. tippit was not in his district when he was killed. could you tell us why he was out of his district? >> i have heard this several times since the incident occurred. he was where he was because i assigned him to be where he was in the oak cliff area. we immediately dispatched every available unit to the underpass where the shots were reported to have come from. if there was an emergency, such as an armed robbery or a major accident, to come up. there would not be anybody in close proximity to answer the call. since jd was the outermost unit, -- i had two units, maybe seven. >> you got down to the time when j.d. tippit is dead. what transpired to that. >> i asked him, once again, what
his location was sometime later and to determine that he was not in the oakland area and he said he was at lancaster and eight, on the east side of oak cliff in the main business district. i asked a few minutes later to ask him his location so i can keep track of everyone. he did not answer. >> when did you realize he was dead? >> we received a call from a citizen through a telephone and the call sheet came to me. there was a disturbance on the 400 block of east 10th. i had called and he did not answer. almost immediately, a citizen came in on police radio and said, send help, an officer was shot. knowing that he was the only one who should've been there, my reaction was to call 78. he did not answer so we asked
the citizen to look at the number on the side of the car. this is the equipment number that determined which patrol car was to be on each assigned district. they said it was number 10. since i have worked with jd in this particular car, i determined to myself with him not answering that this was officer j.d. tippit. mr. cronkite: the answer to this question as he had been sent to oak cliff by the police dispatcher. opponents of the warren report maintained that j.d. tippit was shot not by oswald, but by others. who j.d. tippit?
we talked to two witnesses on the scene of the murder. first a man at the wheel of the truck across the street from a scene. >> as i was driving down the street, i saw a car. he was talking to the man who was by the car. the policeman got out of the car and walked past the windshield of the car where a lined up over the hood of the car. the other man shot him. he was reaching for his gun. not in a big hurry to get out. the man turns to the car and took a couple steps and as he turned to walk away, he was unloading his gun. he took the shells in his hand and as he took off, hew threw them in the bushes. he just threw them in the bushes. he stopped and looked back at me. i do not know if he figured he would let me know or not out to kill everybody or whoever gets in his way.
i gave him enough time to get around the house. i jumped out of the truck and ran over. i saw the officer was dead. i got in the car -- i do not know why i called on the radio. i figured that was the fastest way i can help the officer out. >> hello, police operators? we have a shooting out here. >> where are you at? >> what location are you? >> somebody shot a police officer. 42nd street. police car number 10. >> thank you. >> remain off the radio now. >> did several other people come up later?
>> immediately afterwards, mr. calloway came up and said, let's go get him, or something. then his cab pulled up. he went over and took the officer's gun out of his hand. callaway went after him. callaway took off. >> i was standing on the front porch of the used car lot i work in. i heard shooting. i heard five shots. a came from the direction behind a lot on 10th street. i came running up to the side and up the sidewalk and i looked up the street and saw a man on the corner.
i saw he had a gun in his hand. he continued across the street, coming in this direction. he got right across main, 30 yards or less, i called to him to ask him, hey, man, what the hell is going on? i did not know who he was. he looked in my direction. i almost said something to him. i cannot make out what he said. he had his hand in a raised pistol position and he started walking. i ran to the corner of 10th and
patton and when i got there, i saw a squad car parked on the curb. when i walked in front of the car, the policeman was lying in front of it. >> what about the expended shells? >> >> they were looking for evidence and taking fingerprints and what have you. i walked over and picked them up and put them in a bag. as i was walking back, i picked up a stick. i figured they might need them. mr. cronkite: they were positively identified as being fired in oswald's direction. only one of the four bullets removed from j.d. tippit's body could be identified with a revolver by ballistics identification experts. >> in the examination of the projectile, the test and evidence projectiles were not easily matched because of the certain mechanical problem with the weapon.
the barrel was oversized for the ammunition used. this was a weapon originally intended for british use and was imported into america. this means the bullet, instead of touching on all surfaces going down the barrel, it actually wobbles as a goes there. the consequence is that it is difficult to have it strike the same places every time as a goes through the barrel. the match on the projectile was difficult. i found on the driving hinge, there were certain groups of lines which i could match on one bullet. i was not able to identify the others, although, there was nothing to exclude them in class characteristics. all of them could have been fired in that particular weapon. one of the bullets
that killed j.d. tippit was fired from oswald's revolver. the other three could have been. callaway went to the police station and made a positive identification of oswald in a lineup. benavides did not do so. eddie barker asked if he was sure oswald of the shooting. >> is there any doubt that oswald was the man that you saw shoot j.d. tippit? >> no doubt at all. i could say how we come to his hair, the clothes he wore. if he had a scar on his face, i
could tell you about it. >> despite the problem of the ballistic evidence, did lee harvey oswald shoot j.d. tippit? the answer is yes. a theory is that j.d. tippit knew oswald. the theory that the two men knew each other has ended in failure. there is nothing in circumstances surrounding the death that suggests any kind of conspiracy. mrs. tippit says neither she nor her husband new oswald. officer jackson was among one of j.d. tippit's closest friend. teddy barker put the question to him. >> do you have reason to believe j.d. tippit knew lee harvey oswald? >> i do not believe there is any possible connection at all. i do not think he knew lee. mr. rather: >> 35 minutes after the murder, oswald was captured in the texas theater. a shoe clerk had spotted him in the doorway and watched always looked into the theater.
in the next 48 hours, confusion. an army of newsmen into the dallas police building. oswald paraded through the halls. police chief said repeatedly that he expected to prove oswald guilty, although he maintained he was not. no record was made of his interrogations. sunday, november 24, a mob scene continued as oswald was brought into the basement of the building for transport to jail. in full sight of millions of television viewers, a man named jack ruby searches through the crowd and shoots oswald dead. why? a fateful meeting of minds, or a twisted conspiracy? why did ruby kill oswald? ♪
this is the world of jack ruby. female flesh. watered drinks. ruby operated sleazy nightclubs. in the free and easy atmosphere, ruby entertained off-duty officers, often carrying sandwiches to the police building for on-duty friends. these are some of the people jack ruby had in his world. his roommate, a competing nightclub owner. two of his girls. >> why do you think jack ruby shot lee harvey oswald? >> it was spur of the moment. he wanted to make himself look like a big man. he thought it would make him above everybody else and people
would thank him for it. the people would come around and want to meet him and know him, this is the man who shot the man who shot the president. >> why do you think jack shot oswald? >> oh, i think -- it was mostly an impulsive act. jack, i believe, that people were saying that they ought to kill him. in my opinion, jack thought this would bring him a sensational amount of business and he would really be a hero. >> why do you think jack shot oswald? >> i think he came down there to see what was going on and when he saw the sneer on oswald's face, that was all it took to snap jack. the way oswald's mouth was curled up, you could see in the picture. when he saw that look was when he decided to shoot him. i think he did it because he thought it was a service to his country and his way of thinking. that was the way he thought. >> i do not believe jack ruby took secrets to his grave.
i have lived with him for too long. i am certain he told the truth up until his death. i will never be convinced otherwise. there is nothing he hid. the public knew everything he ever said or heard. mr. cronkite: jack ruby was convicted of the murder of oswald. the conviction was reversed by an appeals court which held that an alleged confession should not have been admitted. ruby died six months ago of cancer, maintaining that he was no conspirator and killed oswald out of anger and a desire to shield jacqueline kennedy from an ordeal of the trial.
dallas police alerted the press that oswald would be moved to county jail shortly after 10:00 a.m. on november 24. ruby was sending a money order to a stripper from a western union office across from the courthouse at 11:17 a.m. anyone premeditating murder in the basement would have already been there. it was probably the activity around the courthouse which caught ruby's eye as he left the office. ruby was carrying a pistol and money. he was accustomed to wandering in and out of the police building. the murder appears to have been not a conspiracy, but an impulse. meaningless violence born of meaningless violence. the most recent, most spectacular development in oswald case involves the cia. it involves the district attorney of new orleans, a man they call the jolly green giant.
it involves bribery charges, and an outline of a conspiracy. it accounts for the national upsurge of suspicion concerning the conclusion of the warren report. it raises a new question. was the assassination plotted in new orleans? mike wallace reports. >> the new orleans district attorney quietly began an investigation of the assassination last fall. he picked up where the warren commission left off. warren investigators questioned a number of people in new orleans after the assassination and failed to implicate any. the more garrison went over old ground, the more fascinated he became with the possibility that
a plot to kill jfk began in new orleans. by the time his investigation broke four months ago, he seemed confident that he could make a case that he had solved the assassination. >> i would not make arrests and have convictions afterwards if i did not know we had solved the assassination of president kennedy beyond a shadow of a doubt. i cannot imagine people would think i would guess and say something like that. no question about it. we know what cities were involved, how it was done. we know the key individuals involved. we are in the process of developing evidence now. i made that clear. >> he shocked new orleans by arresting clay shaw, a former director of the new orleans international trademark.
the charge was that shaw conspired with two other men to plot the assassination of the president. garrison said shawn knew an eccentric former airline pilot pilot who was found dead a week before garrison planned to arrest him. incidentally, the coroner said he died of natural causes. garrison calls it a suicide. shawn knew lee harvey oswald. they met one night in the summer of 1963 and plotted the death of kennedy. clay shaw said it was fantastic. >> i am innocent. i have not conspired with anyone at any time or anyplace to
murder our late and esteemed president jfk or any individual. i have the highest respect and admiration for mr. kennedy. the charges filed against me have no foundation. i have not been apprised of the basis of these judges and assume that in due course, i will be faced with the information and afforded an opportunity to prove my innocence. i did not know oswald. >> a preliminary hearing was held two weeks after his arrest. a surprised mystery witness. rousseau held to this story that he himself had been present when shaw and all is walled plot of the kennedy assassination. he read transcripts of what went on at such. sessions he suggested that the performance at the hearing was a product of posthypnotic suggestion. clay shaw was ordered to be held for trial. various news organizations have reported serious charges against jim garrison and his staff alleging bribery, intimidation, and manufacturing evidence. newsweek magazine said garrison's office tried to bribe a former friend of david ferry. the man was offered $3000 to supply testimony that would shore up a conspiracy charge against all. garrison released an affidavit. it said that no one working for garrison had ever asked him to tell anything but the truth.
subsequently, police investigated the charge and said that garrison's men had been falsely accused. that was the beginning. three more bribery accusations came to light, two involving louisiana prison inmates. rewards were offered in return for false testimony to implicate clay shaw. we will hear garrison's comments on the charges later. meanwhile, garrison has gone on to include jack ruby in the conspiracy involving shaw and lee harvey oswald. garrison says jack ruby's unlisted telephone number in 1963 appears in a code in a
address book belonging to both shaw and oswald. both books know the dallas po box number 11906. ruby's unlisted phone number. garrison furnished a formula for converting the numbers. louisiana senator faced the nation a few days later and explained how the code worked. >> you take the t and the o and use the telephone dial. p gives you seven. o gives you six. you get 13. you take 19106. you work on abc def. you put a comes ahead of the and then d behind c. you reconstruct the numbers and subtract 1300, which you got from the beginning. that gives you ruby's telephone number. >> a businessman named lee odom had the dallas po box for a while. he said he did not know how the
number got in oswald's address book, but he mentioned all when he went to new orleans looking for a place to hold a bullfight. >> but i got to new orleans i was late. i wanted -- it was my first trip to new orleans. that is one i met mr. shot. i was drinking at the bar and he was sitting next to me and i got talking to him about the bullfight. he said he thought it would go over good in new orleans and be introduced each other and he was in the real estate business and said he might be able to help me. the next day, we had lunch together and try to find a place to have a bullfight. we made some phone calls . i never heard from him after that. >> the number does appear in oswald's address book. no one knows when he made the entry. garrison had expanded the scope
shaw but tolook at look at the cia as well. -castroeves that anti guerrillas killed kennedy. he discussed proof that they were there at dealy plaza in dallas. we have found the men behind the grassy knoll before they dropped out of sight. there were five of them. they are not quite out of sight. in other been located photographs. they are not distinct enough that you can make an identification from their faces. >> this is one of the photographs garrison is talking about.
those figures at the bottom of the page could be the men that he sees.believe cc -- if there are men up there behind the wall, they cannot be seen. i asked garrison if he would sort it all out. if you could summarize his investigation and put it in perspective. >> i do not like the sound couric, but this is not possible to talk about the new orleans details without talking about the case. i will not ruin the case by a casual comment. >> you said you had solved the investigation. who is your main witness? >> there are others.
the major part of our case was circumstantial. in anyt want to touch way on the case against the defendant but we knew months before that the key people involved. there was no basis for moving at that time. >> you say that oswald did not kill kennedy. who did kill him? knew the names of the individuals behind the grassy you., i would not tell there is no question about the fact that they were there. there is no question about the motive. and a course of time we will have the names. 'se reason for officer tippit murder was so that they got rid of the decoy in the case.
in order to get rid of him so that he would not later described the people involved in this, they had a clever plan. that policenown officers react violently to the murder of police officers. tippit arrived there, he was murdered. he was pointed to in the back of a movie theater where he had been told to wait. it was very clear that he would be killed. bluecoat.led a but the dallas police had too much humanity. they did not kill him.
then notification got to the police about a suspicious man in the theater. had mores police humanity than the planners had in mind. this was the first point at which the plan did not work. he was not killed. he was arrested. if he stayed alive long enough he would name names and talk about this thing that he had been drawn into. it was necessary to kill him. >> that is where jack ruby comes into the picture? >> that this right. >> we are not going to try the case right here on television. to some say you have tried bribe, hypnotize, and drug witnesses in order to prove your case. i understand the latest news
is that we offered an ounce of heroin and three months vacation. this is part of our incentive program for convicts. we also have six weeks in the bahamas and we give them some lsd to get there. this attitude of skepticism on the part of the press is an astonishing thing to me. they have a problem with my office. we have no political appointments. most of our men are selected by recommendations. we have a highly professional office. one of the best in the country. so they are reduced to making up these fictions. we have not intimidated the witness since i came in office. why don't you give your information, if it is valid, to the federal government? now that everything is out in the open, the cia could hardly stand in your way again?
why don't you take this information that you happen cooperate with the government? i could take my files and throw them in the river. it would be the same result. >> they don't want any resolution? >> it is kind of obvious. where do you think the pressure is coming from? it is coming from washington. there are people in washington who do not want the truth of the kennedy assassination to come out. >> where are they? >> i think they are in the justice department and the cia. >> you are asking questions but you do not have answers. you have a theory. your statement is incorrect.
we have more than a theory. we have conversations about the assassination. we have money passed. we have individuals involved in the planning. we can make the case completely. i cannot make any more comments about the case but to say that anyone who thinks it is just a theory will be awfully surprised when it comes to trial. shaw used theys bertrand. nbc said that the two men are different.
mr. cronkite: garrison's problems multiplied yesterday. his chief aide abruptly resigned. ed was questioned by bill rea in new orleans. ?> why did he resign i was very unsatisfied with the way the investigation was being conducted. i saw no reason for the investigation. i decided that the job of an investigator was to find the truth. i found the truth. and it led to my resignation. >> what is the truth? >> mr. shaw should never have been arrested. >> why did you decide to see
robert kennedy? kennedyt to senator because he was the brother of the late president kennedy. i wanted to tell him that we could shed no light on the death of his brother. and not to be hoping for such. after i told him that, he appeared to be rather disgusted to think someone was exploiting his brother's death by bringing it up over and over again and doing what has been done in this investigation. there has been talk of allegations of wrongdoing, coercion, bribery on the part of certain investigators. to your knowledge, are these allegations true? >> things have happened in the
district attorney's office that will warn an investigation by a federal grand jury. >> would you say these methods are illegal? >> illegal and unethical. ? >> can you give us any specifics? >> i would rather keep that for the grand jury. >> who does this involve? >> more than two people. >> did mr. garrison have knowledge of these activities? >> of course he did. he ordered it. >> why did he feel it was necessary to order such activities? >> that i cannot explain. i am not a psychiatrist. >> mr. garrison has said the cia has attended to block his investigation? >> the purpose of bringing the
cia in an is this. as he put it. they cannot afford to answer. he can say what he dam well pleases about that agency and they will never reply. is cronkite: mr. garrison the only critic who has been in a position to act on his beliefs. --has brought shawl to court shaw. until that case is tried, can we cannot go deep into the evidence . mr. garrison's public statements, however, are fair targets. until the trial, his promises remain just that it cannot be tested. but the whole atmosphere of his investigation and the charges made doe been men --
not inspire confidence. perhaps he will finally show that there was a lunatic fringe and dark and devious conspiracy. so far he has not shown that. the events surrounding the assassination we have now examined to the best of our ability. on sunday night, we considered whether oswald had shots the president. we concluded that he had. last night we asked if there was more than one assassin. we concluded there was not. theret we have asked if was a conspiracy perhaps involving tippit, ruby, or others. our answer here cannot be as firm as are other answers, in part because of the difficulty cited in the warned report of proving that something did not happen. we cannot to because say what garrison will produce
in that new orleans courtroom. but with the evidence on hand, we can find no convincing indication of a conspiracy. if we put those three conclusions together, they seem to tell just one story. lee harvey oswald, alone and for reasons all his own, shot and killed president kennedy. --is too much to risk suspects that the critics of the warned report will be happy with his conclusion. mark lane, for example, the most vocal of all critics, has a theory of his own. can you give us briefly your theory of what happened? the car was here when the first shot was fired. the first shot hit the president
in the back of the shoulder. hit thend bullet president in the throat. two more bullets were fired. and causedthe curb some concrete to scatter and strike a spectator. another bullet struck governor connolly in the back. fired andllet was struck the president and the head. it drove a portion of his goal ull.ward -- his sk these were the result of a conspiracy. mr. cronkite: and even more elaborate report is given by a former fbi agent. >> what happens there was that
the motorcade, the shots came the the rear from either book depository or from the courthouse. and there were shots from the grassy knoll. this is triangulation. there is no escape from it if properly executed. weren'tthe massive head that blew apart the president's head came from the grassy knoll. was one which was used by paramilitary groups. that reaction is very consistent with this kind of weapon. he is struck and his head does not go back, it goes back and this way. also that the escape was
very simple. using a revolver, the shells did not eject. they do not even need to bother to pick up the shells. they can put their gun under their coat. it is so simple it probably happened that way. mr. cronkite: in the light of what we have exposed over the past three evenings it is difficult to take such versions seriously. but there are those who do so. that is their privilege. are on task is not over. we must ask if the warren commission did all it could. whether another commission might cast new light on the assassination. we must ask if there were fundamental or profound human reasons for this disbelieve around the warren report.
we will deal with those matters tomorrow night and the last part of this inquiry. this is a moment to pause and sum up what we have learned. band, you were in dealy plaza on the day of the assassination. you have been back many times since.- what does the oswald i view of the assassination site? it was an easy shot. it did not take an expert shot to do what the warren commission says was done from there. you have been right in the vortex of this thing since the moment of the assassination. what about the people of dallas themselves? do they agree with the warned
port?t -- warren re i think the percentage of those who have doubts would be the same as across the country. there are certainly some doubters. newsroom ando our have a lot of questions but they do not bring answers. mr. cronkite: that is the problem we all have. let me ask you these questions. are you contented with the basic finding of the warren commission? i am contented. evidence is overwhelming that oswald fired and probably killed kennedy alone. the not content with findings on oswald's possible connections to certain government agencies like the cia. anm not convinced that at earlier time, unconnected with
the assassination, that he might have had more connections and we have been told about are shown. i am not totally convinced about the single bullet theory. i would have liked more questioning of marina oswald. but to the basic conclusion, i agree. >> i agree. it is too bad that oswald did not have his day in court. but i felt on that night's he was the one who shots the president. and nothing has come to light since then to change my opinion. it is difficult to be totally content. thatxperience teaches us in a complex human event that is examined scrupulously well reveal inconsistencies and gaps in our knowledge. only in fiction do we fall -- loose and tied.
real life is not that's tidy. hisedy came under fire on boat in the pacific. he was injured. and foundm many miles refuge on an island. he crossed undetected through enemy waters as enemy planes hovered overhead. he survived to become president. the account of his survival was full of improbabilities and unknowns. so was the account of his death. account of your life, or mind, or any one of us. the events in dealy plaza, the report of the warren commission is probably as close as we could come to the truth. yet of the warren commission had
acted otherwise, if other government agencies had done differently then, would we be even closer to the truth? tomorrow we will consider not the assassination but the work of the commission that was appointed to study it. for the first time, a member of that commission will publicly discuss its work and its findings. members of the staff and one of its biggest critics will be heard. ask, although we might not be able to answer, to last questions. should america believe the warned report? could america believe the warren report? good night. this has been the third of a series, a cbs news inquiries, the warren report. the fourth part will appear tomorrow night at the same time.
>> this is a four-part series from june of 1967 examining controversies over the findings of the warren commission. next, the fourth and final episode. it includes interviews with commission members, lee harvey oswald's mother, critics, and arlen specter, who argues for the single bullet theory. it also explores the roots of this trust in government. good evening. for the past three nights we have been examining