tv 1964 CBS Special on the Warren Commission Report CSPAN September 27, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EDT
>> each week, "reel america" brings you archival films that help to tell the story of the 20th century. on about a week after president november 29, 1963, kennedy was assassinated, president johnson established a commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the day headed by the chief justice earl warren. it released its final report on set temper 24th, 1964 and concluded that lee harvey oswald had acted alone in killing the president. up next, a cbs special report from the day the report was released to the public. it includes interviews with those who knew oswald best
including his wife and mother as well as those who witnessed the assassination and the aftermath on the streets of dallas. ♪ >> you're watching an official reenactment of the murder of president john f. kennedy filmed from the window where the alleged assassins crouched and are the telescopic sight of his rifle. this is a cbs news extra. " november 22 and the warren report. ." here is walter cronkite. >> november 22, president john kennedy was shot to death in full view of hundreds of spectators watching him in a dallas, texas, motorcade. 48 hours later, lee harvey oswald was killed by jack ruby in full view of millions of americans watching television.
this bizarre sequence of double killings raised great questions. who actually fired the shots that killed kennedy? why did ruby shoot oswald? was there a conspiracy? was it a russian plot? a cuban plot? were right-wingers involved? -- lyndon johnson ordered these questions answered. he appointed a commission of seven prominent americans to investigate the whole affair. he drafted supreme court justice earl warren as chairman. they took testimony from hundreds of witnesses and brought forth the document close to 1000 pages. after 10 months. the report is signed by earl warren, chief justice of the united states. richard b russell, senator from georgia. john sherman senator from cooper kentucky, representative from louisiana.
, held boggs. gerald r ford, a representative from michigan. allen w dulles, ex head of the cia. john j mccloy, diplomat and presidential advisor. president johnson received the report on thursday. he specified that it be made public today. beginning at 630 a.m., cbs news will reveal the substance of that report. during this two-hour broadcast, there will be no commercial announcements. months ago long before the , commission finished its work, cbs news set out to interview the key witnesses who appeared before the commission. those officially involved in the warren commission's investigation, the fbi, secret service agents declined to talk before our cameras. the dozens of ordinary men and women whose lives have become deeply involved with the story of the present status told us -- of the president death told us basically the same stories
they told the commission. among these witnesses the wife, , the mother, the best friend, the boarding house keeper, the police chief, the boss, the fellow workers, the girls who took the picture, the governor, the rifle range manager, the bus driver, the cab driver, the woman who saw a policeman shot, the clerk to spotted the suspect, the officer who captured lee harvey ours walled -- lee harvey oswald. the assassination was a mystery story on a grand scale. on the scene covering the events of those dark days was cbs news correspondent dan rather. >> during the last five months, cbs has been filming interviews with witnesses.
all of these people were principal witnesses for the commission. the interviews were conducted by eddie barker. he was in the scene reporter for radio and television during his days. the story is that of two men whose past came 270 feet apart on a friday afternoon last november. one man was president kennedy halfway through a triumphant tour of texas. he had decided against the advice of some texas friends. who thought he might not get a warm welcome. the texas trip had gone well and there had been enthusiastic crowds in san antonio, houston, and fort worth. even in dallas. where political feeling ran strongly against mr. candidate, the magic of his name and the prestige of his office brought out a huge, warm crowd. among the crowd was a man named oswald, a man who stood a little apart from society. he served in the marines and then suddenly gone to russia, defected, and then changed his mind. with financial assistance, he
returned with a russian wife. he had trouble getting a job and got involved in a movement in new orleans. last november, he was working in dallas in a building beneath which the presidential motorcade was to pass. what was his background? few people really knew. among those called for the commission's testimony on the subject were his wife, mother. ruth paine, in whose home marina oswald first, with and her tilden state. first, with eddie barker, the mother. >> he was a happy go lucky young son. had a dog and a bicycle. he belonged to the y. he loved to play monopoly. he used to go swimming. he knew any and everything to know about animals. he was often in the zoo.
he was picked up in the bronx zoo playing hooky from school. i consider that normal also. many boys do this. it is sad that lee was deprived of his father. he was born two months after his father had expired. we must understand that lee had two brothers. so he was not raised with just a woman alone. >> misses oswald, how old was lee when he went into the marine corps? >> he was 17 years old. he enlisted on his birthday. >> why do you think your son went to russia? >> i think my son was sent to russia. lee knew russian fluently. he found an application and on the application, it stated, i speak and write russian.
>> where did he learn this? >> while in the marines. he was only out three days when he went to russia. so lee had to learn this in the marines. >> what did you think about your son marrying a russian girl? >> to me, a russian girl, any foreign girl, a negro, any human being lives and breathes just like i do. no difference to me that he married a russian girl. i believe that lee was told to marry the russian girl. he probably loved her. he knew her six weeks when he married her. i think he had orders from the state department to marry the russian girl. >> you feel your son was an agent of the cia? >> yes.
i have so much correspondence with the state department, plus the letters that lee wrote to me from russia. they indicate that he was an agent of our government, definitely. >> did he every intimate that he was an agent of the government? >> he would not tell a mother that he was working for the government. he might think that i would give the secret away. when you are in cia or any undercover agent, you are secretive about it. >> her opinions about her son and his career are the same she said she expressed to the commission. the two most important questions she raises -- what was he doing in russia? was he an agent of the united states or the soviet government? other interesting and vital
questions involved in this matter of his relations with our government. in order to leave russia, he borrowed four hundred $35 from the state department to get a new passport. he repaid it in full. in june of last year, also applied for a passport to various countries of europe, including russia. he received that passport in just one day. for more testimony from how did he get one so fast? for more testimony from now witnesses who appeared before the commission and were interviewed later by cbs news, here is dan rather. >> lee harvey oswald lived last november in a dallas boarding house under an assumed name. his family lived in a dallas suburb in the home of their best friend. mrs. ruth paine. what did she think of the oswald? >> in the spring, i thought he
did not care. all i knew about him was that he wanted her to be sent back to the soviet union. she did not want to go. it was knowing this that i let her to invite her to stay with me. feeling inhospitable to not offer her an alternative. when she did not want to go back. i thought very ill of him that he was wanting to send her back. >> did he ever appear to be irrational? how would you describe him? >> i would say he never appeared to be irrational, no. i thought of him as an unhappy person, a person dissatisfied with the life he was leading and with the society he was in. i think he had been just as
dissatisfied in russia. as he was here. >> the rifle he used in the assassination of the president was stored in your garage. is this correct? >> i judge so. from what has happened since. i did not know he had a gun. i would not have wanted him to keep it here if i had known. >> the rifle was italian. it was bought under an assumed name. it cost him $19.95. his wife had good reason to remove it. -- to remember it. >> he would come into the house. 1130 p.m.. he was so pale, nervous. i asked him [indiscernible]
i asked him what happened. he said i tried to work -- i tried to shoot a coworker. i asked to the general worker was and he told me he was fascist i asked if he had wife and i estimate they had a i asked if he had wife and children. he said no, he is single. he said it does not make her difference. wrong or right? he told me if hitler was before -- was shot before the war, this was better for most people. >> did you ever see the rifle? >> yes. >> did you see the pistol? >> yes. >> where did he keep the pistol?
>> in his room. he did not like it if i cleaned his room. he did not want to me to see everything he had in his room. he keep it closed. >> in the spring of 1963, he signed his membership card in the fair play for cuba committee. with an alias. this was an new orleans. where he had found a job and to where he had moved marina. he spent hours passing out pamphlets on new orleans streets for the fairplay committee. he lost his job and in september, she drove the family back to dallas. >> i thought of him as a dissenter and they pamphlet passer, a person not contented with society nor himself. i think he felt he was not noticed or given sufficient
credit. i think he felt he was not noticed or given sufficient credit. his wife complained of him having an overblown opinion of himself. i think you did. it was not a particularly capable person. he certainly had very little training. he was not able to get jobs that interested him. he was lucky indeed to get any job. he argued with his wife. i never saw him violent with her. he was here a guest and recognized that fact. he was polite to me at all times. i could see that he cared about marina a great deal. human she was his only contact of real value to him. he was by himself for a great deal. he did not try to make friends, but he valued his closeness with marina and knew she was a good wife.
>> during the last weeks of his life, oswald lived in this house a few miles from downtown dallas. the housekeeper, mrs. robert, recalled him well. >> what did he say when he came in? >> he wanted to see the room that i had for rent. i showed him the only one that was for rent. >> what did he say when he came in? >> he wanted to see the room that i had for rent. i showed him the only one that was for rent. he wanted to be closer to his work. he did not have the job. he got it that day in went to work the next morning. >> did he pay his rent on time? >> yes. except for once.
that was on armistice day. he came back down and set out have a long weekend which was on tuesday and paid his rent. he always paid on mondays. >> what did you talk to him about when he paid the rent? >> i would take it and say thank you. he would turn and walk off and never say nothing. you could not get a good grunt out of him. >> those stories raised some more questions. with which the warren commission report will deal. did he own the rifle and pistol used in the double murders? did he try to kill retired general walker? oswald got a job in the texas school depository on the corner of elm and houston streets. there are been published report supposing that he may have been planted in that building by conspirators who wanted him there. where he could fire at the president or to get others in positions to do so. but these witnesses told another version of how one why oswald was employed.
mrs. payne who knew oswald needed the job, mrs. william a randall, who knew where he might get one from roy truly at the u.s. book depository. >> did you help him obtain the job he had at the texas school book depository? >> it came about through a coincidence. i was having coffee with a neighbor and marina was there also. lee spent a week unsuccessfully looking for a job in dallas. this is a monday. my neighbor and i were talking about the difficulty, how hard it was for him. he could not drive and could not get to a good many jobs. the third neighbor who was there suggested there might be an opening at the school book depository. >> i did not know there was a job opening, and since my brother had gotten work there, i thought there might be another job there. >> when we called, i told him about the possibility.
he applied the next day and was accepted. >> he came down and filled out an application. i interviewed him. he seemed to be well mannered, quiet, and intelligent young fella. he stated to me and put on his application that he had been serving in the marines and had an honorable discharge and was in good physical shape and had been in no trouble. he did the job. he needed the job area needed to go to work and support his family. i told him after talking with them that we had some temporary -- with him that we had some temporary work. i said i would try him on it if he would care to go to work in
the warehouse. >> how did oswald come to be in a position where he could shoot the president? that question is bound up with the much larger one concerning a possible conspiracy by others to have oswald or to help them perform the deed. the warren report will answer. >> lee harvey oswald was known to the fbi in dallas. one agent had visited marina a few weeks before the assassination. according to one explanation, the check from the fbi was considered a routine one, not connected with the approaching trip of the president. but was information passed on by the fbi to the secret service? only the commission report can answer that. was fbi information was given to dallas police? >> had the dallas police department ever heard of lee harvey oswald? >> we did not have any information on this man.
in our criminal intelligence file and that's normally where it would've been. it would have been in our subversive file as we are to it. >> dallas police intelligence officer -- captain don gone away. >> the first time i heard the namely harvey oswald was on the afternoon of the 22nd of november. >> why weren't the dallas police warned about oswald? did the fbi and secret service exchange information about him? the report must answer these questions and go on to the larger subject of the process of protecting the president during his texas trip, it including the rules and roles of local police and secret service. which has always had the primary duty of guarding presidents and the fbi. their roles and missions in relation to what happened in dallas are expected to result in recommendations for changes in the way presidents are protected. since he lived in dallas not far from his job, and his family
live 15 miles away, oswald used to ride out to the pain home on friday nights with a fellow worker. wesley fraser. he usually stayed there during the weekend. and returned to the book depository with fraser on monday mornings but one week in november, his routine changed. >> he come to me on the thursday and asked me if he could ride with me that afternoon. why are you going home this afternoon? he replied that he wanted to go home and pick up some curtain rods. where he could put some curtains up in his apartment. i said very well and i said will you be going home with me tomorrow? he said no. he said he would not be going home with me on the >> he told 22nd. you he wanted to pick up some curtain rods and this is on thursday morning? >> yes. >> at that time, he told you he would not write home with you friday night? >> right. >> why would oswald want to go
to irving on thursday? what did he have in the parcel on friday? on the evening of november 21, president kennedy arrived at the texas hotel in fort worth where he was to spend the night before continuing on to dallas and austin the next morning. he was with his wife and lee oswald washe was with his wife and children in irving. the next day was november 22. few americans would ever forget where they were and what they were doing that day. when the commission started to reconstruct the black friday in dallas, these are the key witnesses. police chief curry, texas governor connally, three of them in the book depository, all three of them would be watching from the fifth floor as this dramatic picture later showed. howard brennan was standing
across from the depository. he saw the fatal shot fired from the sixth floor window. the two young women who wanted a snapshot of the president. and got one exactly when the shooting started. police officer james foster was on guard at the railroad overpass. and the voices of dallas policeman. every time a radio message went between the squad cars and headquarters, it was tape recorded. lee harvey oswald was driven from suburban irving to downtown dallas by his coworker wesley frazier. they talked about the rain and they talked about babies. oswald had a package of what he as oswald and frazier drove and said was curtain rods. talked, president kennedy was talking at a breakfast in fort worth. >> i was a man who accompanied mrs. kennedy to paris. i am getting somewhat that same sensation as i travel around texas. [applause]
[laughter] >> i will put it on in the white house on monday. if you have a chance to come up, you will see it there. [applause] >> from fort worth, the kennedys flew to dallas. with them was governor connally. the story he told the warren commission he repeated to eddie barker. >> how about the plane trip over from ft. worth to dallas? were you with the president? >> i was with the president from the time he arrived in san antonio. on the i traveled in the car 21st with him at all times. we flew over from ft. worth with him. he was jubilant about the reception he had. this was the third stop we had made. we were all eagerly awaiting the arrival in dallas.
muchd not talk about it because it is not a very long flight from dallas to fort worth. >> almost half of the president in this entry have been targets for would-be assassins. to president kennedy, this was a risk that had to be taken. he loved to mingle and crowds. it seemed to give them new spirit and sustenance. he got a president should see and be seen by the people. it did not want the risk to force him into a closed unprotected automobile and since the rain had stopped, there was no other reason for using one. kennedy sat on the backseat of an open convertible. the connelly's were in the middle. >> we received as warm of a reception as as in any city in this state. it was really wonderful. just as we turned, down by the courthouse nelly turned around , and said to the president, she was so impressed by the reception. she said, you can't say that dallas does not love you, too.
he said, i think that is apparent. >> everything is in good shape. traffic is moving well. a good crowd along the edges. >> we were five minutes away from the trademark. >> i noticed this one man on the sixth floor of the texas bookstore by himself. he left the window up a couple of times in the course of 7, 8, 10 minutes. >> the time was almost 12:30 p.m. the motorcade would turn and turn again at the book depository.
there are three of the employees were watching from the fifth lore and oswald was one floor above it in behind a stack of cartons. across the street was a low concrete wall. there, mr. brennan was sitting and he would see the president clearly and see the book depository. having made the turn, the motorcade was going down elm street. here, two young women waited with their cameras. they would have their picture seconds after the president passed. from there, the motorcade went below the railroad overpass. james foster had already checked the identity of the men working on the overpass. the motorcade made first turn. >> the president was getting close. it would not be too long before i would get to see him. when he turned down houston street, i saw him and he seemed to be very happy. he was enjoying the applause.
and the cheers that the people were giving him. the motorcade got to elm and started to the overpass. he was waving to the people. occasionally, he would push his hair back. thatnly common with death were made about the president was that his tan was good. >> i made the remark that, that is a beautiful car. a set i sure would like to have something like that. >> just about that time. we heard the sirens and everything began to pick up and everyone was so excited. as they came down the motorcade , came down the slope, we all got caught up in the thrill that we would see the president. i stepped out into the street and took the camera and aimed it, focused it. i stood there and i looked through it for quite a few
seconds. i followed it for so many seconds. i did take the picture. >> just as the shutter snapped, there was a shot. this is what she found in her polaroid camera. >> i heard the shot. i immediately thought it was a rifle shot. i have hunted a great deal in my life and i thought it was a rifle shot. why? i don't know. i immediately thought an assassination attempt. it was the only thing crossed my mind. a fear swept through me and i immediately thought of him. i was sitting on the jump seat in this seven passenger car in front of him. i turned thinking the shot had
come from back over my right shoulder. i turned and looked in that direction. to see if i can see where the shot came from, a desire to see him, to see if he was all right. i turned and i saw nothing but a tremendous crowd of people. i saw nothing unusual, nothing out of the way. people also had startled looks on their faces. they were turning and looking and i did not catch him in the corner of my eye. i was in the process of turning to my left to look back over my left shoulder to see if i could see him in the backseat and that is when i felt the impact of the bullet that hit me. there was no great pain.
associated with the bullet that hit me. notwithstanding that when it's my shoulder and it came out my chest, right there. i felt someone had hit me in the back with the doubled up fist. it was an impact rather than any sort of the searing pain. it more or less knocked me over, at least enough to where i looked down and i was covered with blood. i thought i had been fatally hit. as i recall, i said, my god, they will kill us all. no thought in my mind as to what this was. i did not hear the second shot. i understand there is some questions in the minds of the experts about whether or not we could have both been hit by the same bullet. that was the first billet. i don't happen to believe it.
i heard the first shot. i recognized it for what i thought it was. i had time to turn, to try to see what happened. i was in the process of turning again before i felt the impact of a bullet. obviously, if the bullet that hit me hit me before i could hear it i was never conscious of , the sound of the second bullet. i never heard the second bullet. after i said, my god, they will kill us all, i did not know that they had hit the president. i have not seen him. -- i had not seen him. he had not said a word. >> we heard a second shot. i saw the people start to fall on the ground. >> it seemed so untrue. someone said they are shooting at the president. the other fellow said, someone has been shot. >> this was not firecrackers.
it was shots. >> i fell on the ground and told my friend, those are shots. get down. some people were falling to the ground. and they were pushing their children and covering them. >> i told them the shot came from the building above us. eventually, they agreed with me. one of the guys said i believe you are right. i said i know i am right because i could hear the rifle. -- the ejection of the rifle. >> i noticed he had some debris on his head. >> it was caused by some kind of loud sound to make it fall down to my head.
that is when we decided it came from the sixth floor. the only floor above us was the sixth floor. >> i looked back in the rearview mirror and i could see there was some commotion in the president's car. about that time, i could see that it was speeding up. >> about that time, nellie pulled me down. i had turned again in reaction to the bullet, she pulled me over into her lap and put her head down on top of mind. -- on top of mine and she kept talking to me and saying, you're going to be all right, you're going to be all right. i never lost consciousness and i was lying there and i heard the third shot. this all happened in a matter of seconds. i heard the third shot very distinctly. i heard it hit.
i assumed it hit the president. it obviously did. >> i looked directly across and up. possibility of a 45 degree angle and this man, same man i saw prior to the president's arrival, was in the window and taking aim for his last shot. after he fired the last shot, he did not seem to be in a great rush. he seemed to pause for a moment to see for sure he accomplished his purpose is and he brought the gun back to an upright position as though he was satisfied.
>> his arms flew up and is air kind of jumped. >> it just exploded. i did not see it hit him but i heard it hit. if you have done any firing even at 200 or 300 yards, when you fire a rifle at a deer, the sound of that shell. it makes a different sound. when either hits the target word didn't. obviously, the third bullet hit something. it was obvious after that because the evidence was splattered all over the car and all over my clothing. and all over nellie. no question about what had happened. my eyes were open. i was conscious and i saw the two secret service men in the front seat. i heard what they said. >> what did they say? >> between the second and third roy kellerman between the second
and third shot, between the time i was hit and between the time of the third shot, both the driver and roy were looking back into the backseat to see what had happened. this happened in a matter of seconds. they both had a look of almost consternation on their face. roy turned around on a radio communication, and said, get out of the line or something to the driver. get out of the line. or words to that effect. and then he said, get us to a hospital quick. over the radio. >> some people was hollering. the police seemed like they were confused because they were running in the wrong direction. they were running for the railroad track. >> officer foster, was there any doubt about the direction from which the shots came? >> no, sir, there wasn't.
no doubt the shots were coming toward the back of the motorcade. >> the secret service man asked me for a description. i gave him a description of a man in his early 30's wearing khaki colored clothing, 170 pounds. >> one of my motorcycle officers rode up beside me and i asked him what had occurred. was anybody hit? he said, yes, i'm sure they were. i got on the radio and told my dispatcher to notify the hospital that we were in route to standby for an emergency.
>> all emergency equipment [indiscernible] keep all of the traffic off to the emergency entrance to the hospital and all emergency equipment off of the industrial parkway. >> we immediately pulled out of the caravan and began picking up speed. >> the car never stopped. about this time, i lost consciousness. i was not conscious on the ride to the hospital, which is only about six or seven minutes. >> information as to what happened? >> i do not know. the president was involved. possibility that six or seven more people might've been shot. 10-4, 1240. do they have a suspect? >> no, they do not have the suspect. >> i came to again. apparently the braking action of
the car brought me back to consciousness. nellie later told me, of course, that we had a wild ride. we were traveling at a high rate of speed down the freeway to the hospital. it was a time of unbelievable tragedy. so many things go through your mind at that moment. i think it is impossible to relate at any future time all the things you thought. i know i thought -- i rather assumed without knowing that the president had been fatally wounded. i rather assumed that i had been.
constantly, going through my mind, thoughts of nellie and the children, of what she had done. it is difficult to try to explain all the things you wonder about, all of the things you concern yourself with at a time like that. >> i lit some candles and marina asked me if that was the way of praying and i said it was. although even then i felt he was mortally wounded.
and then we heard that he was dead. marina said to me, what a terrible thing this is for jacqueline kennedy and for the children. they have to grow up without a father. >> i thought about the children. and jackie. my intuition told me, it's like this happened with me. my children with no father. >> when you saw this, you put yourself in her place.
>> in her position. >> did you ever have a thought at this time that maybe lee had killed the president? >> somebody from lee's work -- i think, maybe this was lee. my head went down because i thought maybe this was lee. i went to the garage and i noticed the rifle. it was there and i thought it wasn't him. >> marina oswald -- which he kept his rifle was indeed in the garage for the rifle was not. >> it took under six seconds to assassinate the president of the united states. took the warren commission 10
months to measure those seconds bit by bit. much of the commissions work centered on the question, was it really oswald who fired the rifle? even if he owned the rifle, even if you went home to get it, did he fire the weapon at the president? exactly how many shots were fired and did they all come from the school book building? the police say the rifle was on the sixth floor window. , the window behind the president but some witnesses believe they heard shots from in front. there was a bullet nick in the windshield of the limousine. parkland hospital doctors were quoted as saying they thought of just one bullet entered mr. kennedy's neck from the front. >> studiously and scientifically, the warren commission tried to answer these questions and set the fact from rumor and there he. the commission tries to answer these questions. this is a film made for the commission in december, a reconstruction of the crime at the scene of the crime.
in this film, and for the film, investigators sat in a car exactly where the president and the governor sat. it was driven over the same route at the same speed. in the window where lee harvey oswald was said to have been, i cameraman waited. for a moment, a tree is in the way. now must be when the first shot was fired. at exactly this investigators point, halted a car. chalk was used to mark the spots where the bullet struck. every possible shot from the window was measured exactly. fbi, secret service, and military experts applied their years of training and experience. in measuring those chalk spots. again and again, the bullet
angles were measured. the chalk spots were read on. -- were redone. earl warren went to dallas himself in june and went to the window and he looked through the rifle site. all this mattered because if there were any shots from the overpass, if there were more than three shots, oswald would've had to had an accomplice. where did the bullets come from? how many were there? these questions of direction and number of bullets are matched in importance by the whole matter of speed and firing. could also fire a rifle fast -- could oswald fire a old action rifle fast enough to hit moving targets in a few seconds? could anyone operate a rifle in such a fashion?
these matters have been widely discussed the world over for 10 months and the warren commission had the best ballistic experts in the country. we will have their conclusions a little later. the experts can check in measure but eddie barker talked to two men who told the commission they actually saw oswald with a rifle in his hands. they are malcolm price, supervisor of a sports rifle range. and garland slack who practice there. mr. price is examining another italian rifle, same make and model. cbs news had this rifle brought out to the range. >> when was the first time you saw lee harvey oswald out here at the range? >> the first day we were opened here and he came in about closing time. he question that he be allowed
to fire his rifle and he was looking for someone to set the scope for him. he was quite talkative to me. >> did you set it? >> yes i did. he was quite talkative to me. we were discussing his rifle and his telescope. as far as being an out right conversationalist, he kept to himself. except for one time and he was shooting next to a fellow. by the name of garland slack. >> when we were shooting the targets, and i was working on a gun that i was building, someone else kept shooting my target. that happened about three times.
i told him i was paying two bits for targets and someone is shooting holes in them. we got to looking for what was and it was this fellow that turned out to be oswald. >> what did you say to oswald? >> i kidded him like anyone else. you don't just make a man mad and stand there with a high-powered rifle. you have to approach and easy and not knowing the kind of guy he was, i probably would not have known everything. i made a remark. he was not going to get a prize or when a turkey by shooting some else's target. >> what did he say to you? >> he never said anything to me. he did not say he was sorry. and kept doing what he was doing. >> he was shooting rapidfire.
how rapidfire was he shooting? >> he was shooting six times in seven or eight or nine seconds. it is very possible to fire the gun at a rapid pace. it's very possible to fire the gun at a rapid pace. as quick as you can work it, it is easy to fire anything with it. it is fed by a clip. it takes a lot of practice. you have to be good as a snapshot. you have to build the rifle and then aim it. >> oswald had considerable rifle training in the marines, he was rated a good, not excellent shot. he price and mr. slack said
was practicing fast firing before the assassination. the question for the report, could he have fired three shots in about five seconds? dan rather continues. >> as the police and investigators for the warren commission reconstruct the story oswald fired his rifle from the , sixth floor of the school book depository building. a few minutes later, he was stopped by an armed policeman and identified by his own boss of the second-floor and the other side of the building. the policeman's name was marion baker. >> i heard those shots. they seem like they were high and directly ahead of me. i have tried to figure out where they came from and the building i had in mind was directly ahead of me. that was the texas book depository building. as i entered the building, i asked some of the people where the stairs or elevator was.
there was a man who spoke up and said he was a building manager and you would show me. >> i realized he did not know the layout of the building. just a matter of seconds, they took the third shot and we ran across the floor, stop at the elevators. >> we could not get the service elevator working and he said, we can use the stairs. he went up the stairs. >> we went to the second-floor and the officer looked in the snack bar -- adjacent to our office. >> i looked off to my right through a doorway and saw an image of a man walking away. through that doorway. when i got to the doorway, i hollered at him and asked him to
come back. >> the officer may have had a gun in his hand. he threw the gun towards the middle of oswald and he looked a little startled. which i thought was natural. >> i asked him if the man worked for them. he said yes, he works for me, and i know him. at that time, the man never did say anything. i turned around and went up the stairs to the third floor. >> officer baker, as you think back to november 22, would you hazard a guess as to the time you heard the shots, the time it
took you to get into the building and the time when you first saw lee harvey oswald? >> from the time i heard those shots and i ran into the building and entered the lobby and made it up to the second-floor, i would say about two minutes. that would be pretty close. >> in your testimony before the commission, was this reenacted, this timing? would you tell me how you did it? >> we went back to what i did that particular day and we tried to get to the spot where i thought i first heard the shots. from there, we did everything,
reenacted the whole situation, the entrance into the building, the talk we had between the building manager and myself. we tried to get to the service elevator. we went up the stairs. and i believe that where does that was somewhere around 1.5 minutes. >> as you recall, does that seem like a reasonable length of time for him to been able to do those things? >> he could have done it if he had been awful fast and preplanned it. the ceilings are low on each floor and the stairways to not have too many steps. >> could he have left the window, hit in rifle, crossed the room, and got down four flights of stairs?
could anyone do that? the warren commission considers this one of the most important questions it had to answer. patrolman baker reenacted his movements. those movements for timed again and again. >> zero seconds shooting begins, , the stopwatch starts. a secret serviceman starts across the room. moves quickly along the rows of schoolbooks. he has to go all the way to the opposite corner of the building. he gets to the opposite corner of the building and he hides the rifle. then downstairs, down four
flights, to the snack room, remember, this is where the assassin had been at this window. >> he would've had to rise to go across this, the sixth floor, to hide the rifle in those boxes in the far corner and then to go downstairs, down four flights of stairs to where the lunchroom 30, one minute, one minute all the difference between innocence and guilt, between a case closed in an unknown assassin still at large. governmentlice and agents traced that route, chief justice warren and some other commission members did it for themselves. a printed report will reveal their conclusions on this all-important point. the final warren commission report has been printed. news men have had their copies all weekend and a half hour from now, the findings will be released to the public. we will report them to you at
that time. meanwhile, cbs news will continue with the stories of key witnesses who testified before the warren commission including the cab driver who took oswald home, the woman who sought the but first, station identification. this is the cbs television network. in the last hour, cbs news has brought to you the story of the kennedy assassination as told by witnesses who appeared before the warren commission. the official stories are detailed in the printed report, which will be released in a half hour from now. the stories the witnesses have told cbs news are, in essence, the same that they told the commission. through the witnesses, we have followed kennedy from the corner to hisand houston street
death at parkland hospital. now we will follow another man from that same dallas corner to the same hospital and his own death. his name, lee harvey oswald. dan rather reports. >> this is the way the police reconstructed oswald's movements. oswald walked past the company's main office on the second floor, the same floor where he had just been questioned. it walked across to a larger stairway and took them down to elm street. now began to chase. the people involved were cecil, a bus driver, who was going west on almond. and jim, a taxi driver, waiting for a pickup at the greyhound station. a waitress, helen. she was on her way to work. and ted calloway was a used car dealer. the time was about 12:32 or slightly later. the warren commission would
establish the exact time. the police had not yet sealed off the book depository building. there was lack of knowledge as to where the shots came from. oswald was able to walk out by simply walking out. he started along elm street on this route. at beale street, he got on a bus. of the president involved. i do not know the seriousness of it. the officers are now surrounding and searching the building, the book depository on the corner of elm. >> where did this happen? >> [indiscernible] at the triple underpass. >> traffic has come to a standstill, which is almost even with griffin street here. that is when someone came up and knocked on the door of the bus, although there is no bus stop. he knocked on the door and i opened the door and a man got on
the bus. he paid his fare. i would not be positive, but i think he set down on the second seat on the right-hand side. traffic had come to a standstill, traffic was stopped and there was a lady sitting behind me here, who was trying to catch a 1:00 train. she asked me if i would give her a transfer, and she decided she would walk to the station, which is seven or eight blocks from here. i gave her a transfer, and she got off. at the same time, the gentleman that i picked up back at murphy street back here, he got up and came up and got him a transfer and got off at the same time. those were the only two transfers that i put out coming through town.
through which later they identified, police identified the transfer as the one that they got on oswald when he was arrested. >> do they have the suspect? >> no, they do not have the suspect. containing the block? >> yes, we are trying to seal off the building until it can be surged. -- searched. >> by this time, most of dallas and the united states knew about the tragedy that had struck the motorcade and had begun to fear how great a tragedy it was. oswald entered a cab. >> he just looked like an ordinary workingman. wearing work clothes, brown shirt. he said he wanted to go to north beckley. i come on the way we are going now and i turned right on the
signal light onto jackson street. i come off here to austin street, turn left on this light to austin, to the wood. >> what did you talk to him about as you came around? >> i did not talk very much. i did not know the president was shot at that time. the police were running around this end of town and making a lot of noise, so all i said to him was, i wonder what all the commotion is on this end of town? he did not answer me. so, i did not say anymore to him. i figured he was a person that did not want to talk, he had something else on his mind. >> what time did you log the fact that this man got in your cab? >> sometime between 12:15 and 12:45. it is always approximate time.
>> you say that when he got in back at the bus station, you started to cross here, about how long did it take you to make this drop? >> well, approximately somewhere between six and a half and eight minutes. >> when you went to the warren commission, what were they more interested in than anything else? any particular area of your testimony? >> yes, sir, in the time element, in what i put on my sheet. they wanted to know why approximated my time, next line -- and i explained to them that i put my trips down as every 15 minutes, four for an hour. you can put it down exactly to a minute because he would have to stop in traffic or be writing while you are moving and that is dangerous. so i just approximate mine, it runs on 15 minutes. he lived right here on this block. >> 1018. >> he didn't say anything about getting out?
>> no, but he looked at it as we passed. when we got here, he said this will do fine. the cars were parked like this, i passed the last car and pulled over to the curb. which was the intersection of dealey and north beckley. >> did you tell him how much the fare was? sir, i didn't. he looked at the meter, sought he gave me a dollar. $.95. he walked away, and i went around my business. >> oswald went for blocks past his boardinghouse. now he began walking back. dallas police have began broadcasting a description of their suspect. >> attention all squads. attention all squads. the suspect at the shooting is an unknown white male approximately 30. ,slender build. he could be armed with what is
thought to be a .30 caliber rifle. no further description at this time. >> i was watching "as the world turns," it comes on from 12:30 until 1:00. it had been on a few minutes and then there was a special bulletin. >> there is a bulletin from cbs news. in dallas, texas, three shots were fired at president kennedy's motorcade in downtown dallas. the first reports say that president kennedy has been seriously wounded. >> i was listening, i had the television on and i was listening to find out what happened to president kennedy as he came in. it must have been after 1:00, because he common. the television was on the blink that way. he came in. he was not running, he was on a fast walk.
>> when he came in that day, you were trying to fix the television set, did you say anything to him about the president being shot or not? >> no, sir. i just said, you sure are in a hurry. he did not answer me. when he came out, he was walking fast. i was still listening about president kennedy. >> oswald left the boardinghouse and started walking southeast. where he was going, nobody knows. >> the intermission we have received indicates that it did came from the fourth floor of that building. >> [indiscernible] information that the governor was hit, but we do not have any information as to the extent of his injuries. >> the information we have received indicates that it did come from the fourth floor of that building.
for your information, and this bookstore company down here, we found an empty rifle, and it looked like a man had been there for some time. we are checking it out right now. >> at 10th and patton, she saw oswald approach. >> this man was walking on the sidewalk at 10th street. a police car was driving very slow down 10th street. >> and what happened? >> well, the man kept walking, just like i say, with his hands down and his head. i did not care. this police car kept coming on and coming on. finally, he stopped, and the man stopped. the policeman said to come over to the car or talk to them, i do not know, but he went. >> was he on the driver side or the other side? >> the other side. >> did he stick his head in the window? >> yes, sir.
he put his hands on the window and he leaned in like this. do you remember about this man? was he a big man or a small man? >> no, he was short. >> was he still standing there when officer tippet got out of the police car? >> he took his head out of the window, put his hands back down to his side, and stepped back to -- two steps. the policeman calmly opened the door and stepped out. me, i did not pay attention. he just talks friendly. the policeman walked to the drivers side and this man shot him in the wink of an eye. just bang, bang, bang. >> this man who shot the officer, what did he do? did he move back, did he run? >> no, he did not break out and
run fast. he walked fast towards me, and then he seen me and then he'd done like this. i put my hands up on my face. i could not scream, i could not move. what could i have done? >> did he say anything at all to you? >> he did not. i tell you, i closed my eyes. my hands right there. i stayed there for a few minutes. i check to see if he was there, coming after me, or what. i moved my fingers, he was trotting off. it was not even out of sight. -- he was not even out of sight. he saw me go to the policeman. he could have killed me too. i knew i had to get help for this man. and i knew that police cars had radios in them. i did what i could to get help for this man, i tried.
>> we have a report that not -- that an officer has been involved in a shooting in the 400 block of 10th. >> around the corner, ted calloway was tending to business at his used-car lot. >> well, i was quite upset and excited over the shooting of the president. i was just standing on the front porch of our used-car lot office. i heard some shooting, what sounded to me like five shots from the back of my office in the direction of 10th straight over here. as soon as i heard the shooting, i come running off the porch. i looked up the street, towards -- that is 10th street right there. i could see this man running across the sidewalk in the back of a taxicab.
the other side is patton street, right here. >> where was he holding this gun when you saw him? >> i did not notice the gun until he was on the other side of the street and running in this direction. >> when he came down here, you say you stopped where? in front of the house? >> yes, sir. about 45 feet away. i could see clearly that he had this pistol, in what we in the marine corps would call the race raised pistol position. he was not on a dead run, but i would say he was at a fast trot, he was very pale, deathly white. i said, man, what the hell is going on? he almost stopped, and sensibly -- said something to me that i could not understand, and, faced in my direction, still with the pistol in this position, and then continued on down
jefferson at a good fast trot. i mean, not on jefferson, down patton. >> where did you go? >> i ran down towards patton and 10th street. when i rounded the corner, i could see a squad car there. by this time, two or three or four women had gathered around, and i saw the officer laying in the street. i could tell by looking at him that he was dead. he was laying on his pistol. he had drawn his pistol, the strap on his holster was unsnapped, and i imagine he had drawn his pistol while he was falling, because he was laying on it under his left side. i took the pistol from under him and laid it on top of the hood of the squad car, and then i ran to the squad car and called on the radio and tell them an officer had been shot. they said that someone else had already reported it, so you need to stay off the air. >> a witness to the murder, a witness to the murderer's
flight. this is what mrs. markham and mr. calloway say they are. does the warren commission believe them? and what of the other questions raised? when oz weld left the boarding house, where was he heading? why did the policeman stopped them, or was it oswald that stopped the police officer? was it really oswald that shot him, and if so, why? >> after the shooting, oswald remained free. but he remained hunted. what happened to him next, the war in commission and --warren commission and cbs news learned from the two people most in -- and involved in hunting oswald down. one was a clerk in a shoe store, johnny brewer. the other was a policeman. oswald had taken off down a side street and down a back alley. he knew the hunters were closing in. police cars, seemingly, were everywhere.
>> notified -- we have an officer involved in a shooting at 10th and patton. we do not have the extent yet. >> can i help you? >> [indiscernible] report to heinz, the 1500 block. >> what code? >> code one. >> 10-4. >> what was the first time you saw lee harvey oswald? >> friday, he walked into the lobby of my store. >> how far in did he walk? >> about where those 10 issues are right there, about five feet from the door. >> what made you suspicious of this man that walked into the lobby? >> right after the president had been shot, they broadcast a description on the radio of this man, about five foot eight, 5'9", 150 pounds. this oswald matched the description.
just a few minutes before he walked in the lobby, on the radio, they had a bulletin that an officer had been shot here in oak cliff. he matched the description, he looked scared just standing there. >> you were standing there? >> i was standing right here behind the counter, listening to the radio. what did he do? >> he was looking at the shoes. >> were there a lot of police cars in the area? >> there were a lot of police cars, there were cars coming up jefferson street. they made a u-turn in my back down jefferson, and when they did, oswald turned and walked up to the theater. when he went out of the lobby and toward the theater, i walked to the sidewalk and watched them him go in. then i walked up to the cashier if she had sold a ticket to this man, the brown sports shirt, the description.
she called the police, i went to the back exit and waited there until the police came. >> the suspect, i believe we have them in the texas theater now. >> 10-4. >> what happened when the police came? >> just before the police got there, they turned the house lights on in the theater. i looked out of the curtain and saw oswald. he stood up and walked through the aisle there, and then turned around and sat back down almost where he had been sitting. i heard the noise outside, and opened the door. the police grabbed me and asked me what i was doing there, and i told them. they asked if the man was doing -- still in the theater. i said yes. they asked me to point him out,
so i did. three other policeman and myself walked out, i pointed to him. the officer was the first one to him. he approached him. oswald stood up. >> i entered the theater from the curtains on the west side of the screen. >> johnny brewer from the shoe store and a couple of other officers were on the stage. he had pointed the rear direction of the theater and said that that was the man that we were looking for, sitting at the rear of the theater alone. i spotted the man that he was talking about. >> did you have your gun drawn? >> no, i did not. as i walked up to the aisle, oswald was sitting in the rear. from the second seat rear. this seat right here. >> what happened then? >> let me use my pistol, we will go through it a little bit. i will make sure that it is empty so we do not have an
accident. he had it tucked in his belt on the right side. >> like this? >> yes. he had his shirt open. that will suffice. >> a brown sports shirt? >> yes, sir. he was sitting in the seat with his hands in his lap. i said, get on your feet, and he stood up immediately. >> did he say anything? >> as he brought his hands up to eye level, he said, it is all over now. at that time, i was reaching this way, in his hand went to the pistol, and my hand grabbed the pistol in this manner. he hit me with the left hand to the nose, and when he did, i came back and hit him like this. he snapped the pistol, i turned the pistol around and got my handle the button came around -- i got my hand on the butt,
and it came around like this. >> officer mcdonald, i always heard that the gun lee harvey oswald had in his hand miss fired. is that correct? >> it did not actually misfire. i will show you the position that i have it in, the fleshy part of my hand between the thumb and forefinger was between the hammer and the firing pin and hit the skin, and then struck the primer, which slowed reaction down -- skin and then -- got between?in >> yes. consequently, the shell did not go off. i believe that saved my life. >> you ever seen him before? >> never in my life. >> here, the flight of lee harvey oswald was ending.
>> the suspect involved in the shooting at the texas theater. >> have there been any developments? >> the suspect that shot the officer, is there any connection was shooting the president? >> at this time, my understanding is that he is the same person. he is in custody. >> the police came up to the house on the afternoon of the 22nd and asked if they could search. i said that lee harvey oswald -- they said that lee harvey oswald was in their custody for shooting an officer. i said that most of his things were in the garage and i went to show them the things. they asked to be had any guns, and i said i thought not. i translated the question to marina, who said that she had seen the butt end of a rifle in a blanket role she indicated on the floor about two weeks back. she had known that he had a gun. when they picked up the blanket roll, it was empty. >> when you went to the police
station, and you were asked to identify this man in a lineup, how did you identify him? >> i wanted to be sure, so i looked him over, i looked at all of them. but that man, i knew it was that man, because i cannot keep my eyes off of him. and i kept looking at him. i had him turned to the side. then back. and then i knew it was him, because of the way that he looked. >> yes, sir, i saw him that night in the police lineup. the asked me to go to police headquarters and i identified him in the lineup as the man i saw a running with the pistol in his hand. >> did you have any trouble identifying him in the lineup? >> none whatsoever. >> did he look as pale as that night? >> no, sir. he didn't. but he was the type of individual that went to see
them, you never forget him. that?t you say >> something special about him under these circumstances. i had no trouble at all picking him out of the lineup. >> i positively know nothing about the situation here. i would like to have legal representation. well, i was questioned by a judge, but i protested that i was not allowed legal representation during that very short and sweet hearing. i really do not know what the situation is about, no one has told me anything except that i am accused of murdering a policeman. i know nothing more than that. i do request someone to come forward to give me legal
assistance. >> did you kill the president? >> no, i have not been charged with that, and no one has said that to me yet. the first i heard of it was when the newspaper reporters in the hall asked me that question. >> you have been -- >> sir? >> you have been -- [indiscernible] >> the turmoil in the lineup room had long before been taken over in the police station corners. everyone was there to see oswald wanting to see the rifle. a police officer brought the rifle out. foreign-made, the press was told. newspapers were asking questions, cameramen were feeding pictures. and one interested bystander was just looking on that friday night. his name, jack ruby.
chicago-born ruby was a dallas nightclub owner. he had a beer joint downtown were girls did striptease dancers on stage. he did not belong in the police station. especially at a time like this. what then, was he doing there? did he know oswald? two more questions for the warren commission to answer. we have seen oswald lee exhibited and harried by reporters. this led to another question. how was oswald treated in jail? was he given all his civil rights? in dallas, eddie barker asked that of the man most responsible, the police chief. >> was lee harvey oswald granted all of his civil rights during his confinement in the city jail? >> yes, sir, i believe that he
was. we did have some calls from outsiders as to whether or not he was being accorded his civil rights. and we contacted the head of the dallas bar association, at that time it was lewis nichols. and he -- well i believe that he , was one of those that called and said that they had at some inquiries. we invited him to come down and talk to lee harvey oswald. >> he did not appear to be scared. he did not appear to be fearful. he seemed to know, as far as i could tell, that i some point if he wanted a lawyer he could get one. if you can observe a man in jail as to whether he was scared or not, he did not appear to be scared to me. maybe i was more scared than he was, being there. in any event, he was quite calm, and he discussed his problems. when i concluded my interview
with him and satisfied myself that no one was mistreating him and that he had not asked for a lawyer and could get one if he wanted to, as i was leaving, he reclined back on his bunk and lay back down with his hands behind his head. and that was the last i saw of it. >> unfortunately, oswald's need for a lawyer soon ended. questions for the war in commission to answer in just a few moments. oswald, asy, sunday, required by texas law, was being transferred from city to county jail. the man who showed up friday evening showed up again.
>> this is the basement floor of the dallas city hall. floor -- he has been shot. oswald has been shot. afteris now 15 seconds 630 p.m. eastern daylight time, sunday, september 27. as of this moment, the report of the warren commission is public record. for the next half hour, we will search it for answers. first, answers to the great overwriting question -- who f. kennedy? the overwhelming answer some a lee harvey oswald. did he act alone or was he part of the conspiracy? the commission found that he acted alone. the commission was obliged to
answer a host of other questions, those posed earlier this program, as well as those raised by the commission itself and the course of its investigation. could it be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the weapons used in the murder of president kennedy and officer tippett were owned by oswald? oswalds evidence that owned a rifle. the purchase slip was in his handwriting. oswald's palm print was found on the surface of the gun. equally detailed evidence linked gun that killed officer tippet. why did he break his routine and go home on thursday night? the commission answer -- he went home to get the rifle secreted in the garage. he had an hour to do it.
found it wasssion that rifle disassembled that he carried into the book repository building friday morning. the shots, all of the shots came from the texas school repository, says the report. it cites evidence like that of hank norman earlier in this program. >> i was looking out the window, and the first shot was fired. i didn't think much of it. it kind of shook the building a little bit. it was that powerful. as the second shot was fired, i the people. they were all falling on the ground. i told her, that shot came from this building. then i heard the third shot. one got to him and said, man, i believe you are right. i said, i know it did. i could also hear the halls of the cartridges hitting the floor, the rejection of the rifle, whatever it was. first thing we thought is we had
better get out from here. i know i did not want to be involved in anything like that. i didn't have anything like that on my mind. you know? >> according to the commission report, the experiment with the shells and rifle was repeated for members of the commission. all seven of the commissioners clearly heard the shells dropped to the floor. painstaking second by second reconstruction of the assassination and analysis shows unmistakably the commission says that all of the bullets came from that window. "the cumulative evidence of eyewitness, firearms, and ballistic experts and medical authorities demonstrated the above and fired from behind president kennedy and governor colony, more particularly from the sixth floor window of the texas school book depository building ."the building."
and the commission cites a wealth of evidence, including an eyewitness, putting lee harvey oswald in that window. >> i looked directly across and up. the possibility of a 45 degree angle. and this man, the same man i had seen prior to the president's arrival, was in the window and taking aim for his last shot. after he fired the last or the third shot, he didn't seem to be in a rush, hurry. he seemed to pause for a moment to see if for sure he had accomplished his purpose and he brought the gun back to rest in an upright position, as though he was satisfied. >> the commission believes that oswald probably fired three shots. but that only two struck home .
empty shells were found at the window. all fired from the rifle linked to oswald. one bullet and two bullet fragments were found, and these two were fired by that rifle. the commission is not sure which of these three missed, but believes the first one to take effect struck resident kennedy in the back of the neck, passed through the throat, and when completely through governor connally's upper body and wrist. it was the next hit which caught the president at the back of the skull and caused the massive fatal brain damage. the commission notes governor connally's insistence that he was hit by a separate bullet. >> i hate to put myself in a position of arguing with ballistics experts and so forth, but i know a little something about firearms and something about velocity of bullets and the speed of sound as compared to it. i know when i hear a shot and i have time to turn and react, and not only turn one direction but attempt to turn in another
direction before i feel the impact, i know that bullet was not in transit that long. nobody will convince me otherwise. >> but commission finds the evidence against the governor's theory strong. exhaustive tests and testimony have convinced the commission that oswald had time to get a off three shots with his bold action rifle and was marksman enough to hit the president twice at that range using a telescopic sight. but the commission discards the testimony of malcolm price who said they saw oswald practicing at a rifle range. oswald was in mexico. that would clear up another puzzling question. mr. price said oswald reached the range by car. according to ruth painful testimony he had not learned to , drive. there were many witnesses whose testimony was investigated and rejected by the commissioner.
-- by the commission. now the report carefully reconstructs oswald's moves. the sameat much picture we saw before in the cbs news program. reenactments proved that the report says that oswald did have time, just enough time, to fire the shots, secret the rifle and get down to the second floor cafeteria. >> as we approach the second floor, he continued on around towards the third floor. i kind of looked through the doorway and saw an image of a man walking away through that doorway. when i got to the doorway, i hollered at him and asked him to come back. so, as he approached me, this building manager, later i found out his name. i turned around and asked them -- him if the man works for him and if he knew him.
he said, yes, he works for me. and i know him. at that time, the man never did say anything. i never did say anything further to him. i turned around and went upstairs to the third floor. >> this man that you saw later turned out to be lee harvey oswald? >> he did. >> an official reenactment show that oswald could have gone from the window to the lunchroom in one minute and 14 seconds. the report goes on "the minimum time required by patrolman baker to park his motorcycle and reach the lunchroom was within three seconds of the time needed to walk from the southeast corner of the sixth floor down to the stairway to the lunchroom." the time actually required for baker to reach the second floor on november 22 was probably longer than in the test runs. the building itself, the commission reports, was not sealed off until seven minutes after the assassination. oswald had time to get out. the report finds no time
discrepancy. also, the commission says oswald had time enough to get to his boarding house by bus, taxi and foot. where was he going when he left the boarding house? the commission does not know. but it does say "his general description was similar to the one broadcast over the police radio and the policeman tippit did stop oswald, not the other way around. did oswald shoot tippit? definitely, the commission found. nine eyewitnesses placed oswald at the scene of the crime. two saw him commit the murder. >> this man came over to the police car. folded his hands like this. leaned over in the car. stayed there just a few minutes. he got back. put his hands down. about two steps back.
and this policeman calmly opened the car door. he calmly crawled out of this car. and started around in front of the car. whether he had a gun, i do not remember that, in his hands. just as he got in with the front wheel, this man shot him. >> this footnote. the commission is satisfied that it was lee harvey oswald who tried to kill general edwin walker on the night of april 10, 1963. we come now to the second overriding question the warren commission must answer. was there a conspiracy against the life of john f. kennedy? on page 21 it is stated, "the commission has found no evidence that either lee harvey oswald or jack ruby was part of any
conspiracy, domestic or foreign, to assassinate president kennedy." the commission also notes, "because of the difficulty of proving negatives to a certainty, the possibility of others being possibly involved with either oswald or ruby cannot be established categorically." thereays the report, "if is any such evidence, it has been beyond the reach of any sources of the united states and is not come to the attention of the commission." one of those questions which might've indicated a plot. the commission considers them all. the curious circumstance of oswald having a job in a building over the parade route. he got that job after the president's dallas trip was announced but before the motorcade route was decided. in fact before it was decided where the president would be
going in that motorcade. now, the report examines oswald's trip to russia, his attempt to start a fair play for cuba committee. these were manifestations of oswald's warped and dissatisfied personality. "the commission has found no evidence to show that oswald was employed, persuaded or encouraged by any foreign government to assassinate president kennedy, and despite marguerite oswald's testimony, there was nothing to support the speculation that oswald was an agent, employee or informant of the fbi or the cia or any other governmental agency." where then did oswald get the money to pay back the state department? the commission made a detailed study of oswald's income. it says he lived frugally. had nothing but coffee for breakfast and he could have saved that amount of money. what about the passport he got in a single day? the warren report says this is routine. oswald was handled routinely.
as for learning russian in the marine corps, the commission says he did this entirely on his own. now we come to a part of the story that i remember vividly. the questions -- why was ruby at the jail on friday night? did ruby know oswald? the warren commission exhaustively probed reports that they had seen each other before the incident. in all but a few instances where the commission was able to trace the claim to its source, the person responsible for the report either denied making it or admitted that he had no basis for making the original allegations. those few instances were probably simple cases of mistaken identification. the other question? what was ruby doing at the jail friday? it leads to a far bigger one. why did ruby kill oswald? that question is not specifically answered in this report. but answers that are here are those that emerge from the commission's reconstruction of ruby's weekend.
so, let's reconstruct that weekend. thursday night, jack ruby's activities are normal. he visits to nightclubs. he bounces a noisy patron. friday, he is at the office of the "dallas morning news." placing his weekend advertising when the assassination story rakes. ruby appears, according to one witness, shaken. there is a dazed expression in his eyes, according to this witness. he decides to close his clubs. the commission does not accept a report that jack ruby was he -- seen at parkland hospital shortly after the president was brought in. now ruby begins a tangled today series of local and long-distance calls -- relatives and acquaintances to discuss the assassination. a sister describes him as completely unnerved and crying. on friday night, jack ruby attends a memorial service at a synagogue and he later shows up at police headquarters and participates in the press conference questioning of oswald. later, according to the report, ruby wanders around dallas he is
-- talking to acquaintances about the assassination. he is incensed by friday's newspaper ad attacking the president and by a billboard that says impeach earl warren. ruby says, "this is the work of thejohn birch society or communist party or both." ineffectual detective work, trying to track down the source of the newspaper ad. the commission says this ad was the work of some independent right-wingers who had big plans for infiltrating the far right movements and taken them over for their own profit. on saturday, jack ruby watches a rabbi eulogizing the late president on television. then he visits the scene of the murder. he boasts to a friend, that he has been acting like a reporter. saturday night, jack ruby is depressed again. he criticizes two other nightclub owners for staying open after the assassination. ruby says, "i got to do something about this." though it is unclear whether he
means the competition or the killing. saturday morning, jack ruby's testimony to the warren commission says "i saw a letter to caroline. two columns. about a 16-inch area. someone who had written a letter to caroline. a most heartbreaking letter." and continuing to quote his testimony, "i don't remember the contents. alongside that letter on the same sheet of paper was a comment that i don't know that -- how it was stated, that mrs. kennedy may have come back for the trial of lee harvey oswald. the feeling came within me that someone owed this debt to our beloved president to say for the of comingr the ordeal back." from jack ruby. later that morning, ruby killed lee harvey oswald. what happened to lee harvey oswald in jail says the worn -- says the warren commission,
all available evidence indicates that oswald wasnot subjected to any physical hardship during the interrogation sessions or any other time when he was in custody. the commission finds that oswald's bruised eye were the result of that scuffle with officer mcdonald. the commission does indict the dallas police for -- and the press for creating the bedlam that existed in the dallas jail during oswald's last two days. and that leads to the next great question. who is responsible for the murder of lee harvey oswald? jack ruby did it. the commission points out that millions of people saw him do it on television. but how was he able to do it in the midst of a crowd of police in the very basement of police headquarters? once again, the commission assigned the blame to the police department and to the press. by press, the commission includes radio and television. first, responsibility for oswald 's safety during the transfer
was never clearly assigned. the result? confusion. again, "the failure of the police to remove oswald secretly or to control the crowd in the basement at the time of the transfer were the major causes of the security breakdown which led to oswald's death." then the report goes on to add that the commission believes that the news media, as well as police authorities who failed to impose conditions in keeping with the orderly process of justice, must share responsibility for the failure of law enforcement which occurred in connection with the death of oswald. police chief curry failed to restrain the newsmen. and the newsmen failed to restrain themselves. reporters, according to the commission report, displayed a regrettable lack of self-discipline, disobeying police orders, shouting questions at oswald, and constantly pursuing public officials. the report concludes the promulgation of a code of professional conduct governing all members of the news media would be welcomed evidence of the lesson of dallas. >> if you had to go through this
again, what would you do differently? >> well, that is a difficult question for me to try to answer. i can very definitely say this, that i am afraid that i would be criticized again, but probably it would be from the news media because i would not let them inside the city hall. >> that combination of journalistic insistence and indulgence, according -- spareport, sponsored wns the confusion and many of the discrepancies that have led to this story. -- that have plagued this story. the police reported hearsay items and unverified leads. further investigation proved many of these to be incorrect. some examples? a deputy constable who never handled the rifle called it a mauser.
the press and the district attorney were saying mauser the rest of the day. on the sixth floor of the book depository, the police found chicken bones and said oswald had been eating them. he had not. in oswald's room, they said they found a map with the route marked. that map was marked with places that oswald may have applied for jobs. the district attorney told us oswald had caught a taxi cab driver and gone to oak cliff. a transcriber misunderstood and said that he had found a man named darrell click. the press may also be partly responsible for the persistent rumor that there was a second assassin shooting from the railroad overpass. two reporters said they had seen a bullet hole through the windshield of the presidential automobile. the warren commission says it
was not a hole but a nick caused by a piece of bullet striking inside of the windshield. fbi found lead on the inside only. now, what about the doctor at parkland hospital was the president was wounded in the front? the doctor told the commission and the newspaper report agrees that the doctor said only that the bullet could have entered from the front. but because of the present condition and their haste, the doctors never turned him over. never saw the similar wound where the bullet entered from the back. there were two witnesses who saw the rifle being fired from the book depository. no witnesses who saw any rifle anywhere else. the commission report goes on to add that on the overpass where 13 railroad men and two policemen and all of them say there were no shots from that overpass. the impression from the shots of the overpass may have been the result of an echo. >> one final question of conspiracy.
the fbi knew of oswald's dubious background, knew he was in dallas, but the dallas police were not warned. >> had the dallas police department ever heard of lee harvey oswald? >> absolutely -- we did not have any information on this man in our criminal intelligence file. that is normally where he would have been. in our subversive file, as we refer to it. >> the dallas police were not warned, the commission found, because the secret service was not warned. and secret service was not warned because of insufficient liaison among the federal law enforcement agencies. one of the three great flaws which the warren commission believes contributed to the death of president kennedy. in the commission's words, "ther e was insufficient coordination of information between the secret service and other federal agencies necessarily concerned with presidential protection. although the fbi in the normal execution of its responsibility had secured considerable information about lee harvey
oswald, it took an unduly restrictive view of its role prior to the assassination." coordinatedully treatment of the oswald case, the report goes on, by the fbi might well have resulted in bringing oswald's activities to the attention of the secret service. the criteria and procedures of the secret service designed to identify and protect against persons considered threats to the president were not adequate prior to the assassination. continuing -- in effect the secret service largely relied on other state agencies to supply the information necessary for it to fulfill its preventive this possibility. in some respects, the commission says, advance preparation for the president trip were deficient. it lists failure by the secret service to spell out responsibilities of local police and others. inadequate secret service
procedures for spotting an assassin in the building and poor seating arrangements in the presidential car. but the commission adds, within these limitations, the agents most immediately responsible for the president's reacted probably at the time. the commission warned presidents can never be protected from every potential threat. so says the commission. lee harvey oswald shot president kennedy, but apparently not as part of a conspiracy. then why? the answer, the commission suggests, is largely psychological. "the commission could not make any definitive determination of oswald's motives. it has endeavored to isolate factors which contribute it to his character and which might've influenced his decision to assassinate president kennedy. these factors were his deep-rooted resentment of all authority which was expressed in a hostility toward every society in which he lived. his inability to enter into
meaningful relationships with people and a continuous pattern of rejecting his environment in favor of new surroundings. his urge to try to find a place in history, and his despair at times over failures and his various undertakings. his capacity for violence as evidenced by his attempt to kill general walker. his avowed commitment to marxism and communism, as he understood the terms and developed his own interpretation of them. this was expressed by his antagonism towards the united states, by his defection to the soviet union, by his family to be reconciled with life and the -- in the united states, even after his disenchantment with the soviet union, and by his efforts, though frustrated to go , to cuba." and it concludes," each of these contributed to his capacity to risk all in cruel and irresponsible actions." two further impressions are inescapable for even a casual reading of the commission report. first, oswald was a liar. during a few hours between his arrest and his death, he was
repeatedly interrogated. the commission report reveals that he lied on important matters of substance. he lied about his rifle, his revolver his movements, the , documents found on his person. second, no investigation could have been more painstaking than that carried out by this commission. every resource of criminology was called into play -- ballistics tests, analysis of the guns themselves, handwriting analysis, the blanket in which the rifle was wrapped, the photographs linking oswald to the crime. warren wasd -- earl not too dignified to race down the stairs at the deposit building matching his time against oswald's. we find confronting each other the liar, this factor on the one hand and seven distinct americans on the other. we must be careful that we do not say too much.
oswald was never tried for any crime, and perhaps, therefore there will be questions of substance and detail raised by amateur detectives, professional skeptics and perhaps syria students as well. could not commission give lee harvey oswald his day in court. suspects are not tried by seven distinctive americans. their cases are heard under law by 12 citizens. if it had not been for jack ruby's revolver, 12 citizens would've heard the evidence, would have heard oswald if he had chosen to speak. that jury would have represented our judgments, our conscience, and in the end, would have spoken for us. now we do not have that reliance. we must depend upon our own judgments and look into our own consciences. the warren commission cannot do that for us. we are the jury in america, and -- all of us, in america and throughout the world. monday, 1963, lee harvey
>> this program has been produced by cbs news which has sole responsibility for his content and editing. >> this weekend on the c-span networks -- tonight at 8 p.m. eastern, a national town hall on historic impact of voting. "q&a," sally00 on quinn. at 10 p.m. on afterwards, matt riggle on technology and its impact on society. and the brooklyn book festival sunday at 1 p.m.. on american history tv on c-span3, author jonathan white on the union army and lincoln's 1864 reelection.
and an exploration of first ladies' fashion. find our program schedule at www.c-span.org. let us know what you think about the programs. call us. e-mail us. or send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. supreme court chief justice earl warren handed a report on the president's commission on the of president kennedy. the commissioner is pictured here with president johnson and general counsel jay leno lee renken, concluded that lee harvey also walled acted alone -- a lee harvey oswald acted alone.