Next | ToC | Prev

Chapter 5

The Assassination of John Kennedy

      The assassination of President Kennedy can be considered one of a series of acts by the Power Control Group to regain the control they had lost when Nixon was defeated in 1960 and Kennedy threatened their existence. The evidence pointing toward intelligence involvement and the use of a variety of intelligence techniques in the assassination is substantial. Until and unless an investigation is conducted by a group with power and money equivalent to that of the Power Control Group, with the power to issue subpoenas and to protect witnesses, it will be very difficult to draw a completely accurate picture of the conspiracy to assassinate JFK.
      As a substitute, this chapter is a "probable reconstruction" -- a scenario -- about who killed John F. Kennedy. Unlike the Warren Commission Report (another scenario), this report does not contain any physically impossible events, such as those connected with Commission Exhibit 399, the so-called "magic bullet."
      This scenario is based on (1) evidence gathered between 1968 and 1975 by the Committee to Investigate Assassinations, Washington, D.C. and (2) evidence gathered between 1962 and 1975 by the author.
      The purpose of this scenario is as a starting point for study and verification by researchers, by Congressional Committees, and by their members and staffs. This should be considered as a beginning hypothesis and scenario in contrast to the Warren and Rockefeller Commission scenarios.
      The best evidence available indicates the following events occurred in the summer and fall of 1963 and culminated in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The basic evidence has been summarized in various articles published in Computers and People (formerly Computers and Automation) since May 1970.[1] This can be considered as a guideline scenario which adheres to and explains all of the known factual evidence.

How It Began

      The conspiracy to assassinate John Kennedy began in a series of discussions held in New Orleans in the summer of 1963. The men in the discussions were extremely angry that Kennedy had stopped plans and preparations for another invasion of Cuba (scheduled for the latter part of 1963.) One of the instigators was David Ferrie, a CIA contract agent who had been training pilots in Guatemala for the invasion. Meetings held in Ferrie's apartment in New Orleans were attended by Clay Shaw, William Seymour and several Cubans. Plans for assassinating President Kennedy developed out of those early meetings. Others whose support was sought by the group included Guy Banister, Major L. M. Bloomfield, Loran Hall, Lawrence Howard, Sergio Arcacha Smith and Carlos Prio Socarras.

Oswald's Role

      During this period in the summer of 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald was working for Guy Banister on some anti-Castro projects and used the Communist cover of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Oswald attended some of the meetings where JFK's assassination was discussed.
      Oswald either approached the FBI or they approached him in the later summer of 1963, and he began to tell the FBI about the plans of the group to assassinate JFK. Oswald had been a secret informant for the FBI since mid-1962.

Mexico City

      In September, the group moved the scene of their planning to Mexico City. There they solicited the assistance of Guy Gabaldin, a CIA agent. Meetings were held in the apartment of Gabaldin, attended by Shaw, Ferrie, Seymour, Gabaldin and Oswald on at least three occasions. Others were brought into the conspiracy at this point. These included John Howard Bowen (alias Albert Osborne), Ronald Augustinovich, Mary Hope, Emilio Santana, Harry Dean, Richard Case Nagell, and "Frenchy" (an adventurer who had been working with Seymour, Santana, Ferrie, Howard and others on the Cuban invasion projects in the Florida Keys). Fred Lee Crisman, Jim Hicks and Jim Braden (alias Eugene Hale Brading) were also recruited at this point.

Oswald, the Patsy

      Oswald continued to inform on the group to the FBI in Dallas. In mid- to late September the assassination group decided to make Oswald the patsy in the murder. They had discussed the need for a patsy in the earliest meetings in New Orleans. Billy Seymour, who resembled Oswald, was selected to use Oswald's name and to plant evidence in New Orleans, Dallas and Mexico, which could later be used to frame him. In addition, another man under CIA surveillance in Mexico City also used Oswald's name in a probable attempt to make it appear that Oswald was headed for Cuba. His name may have been Johnny Mitchell Deveraux. His picture appears in the Warren Commission Volumes as CE 237.

Financial Support

      The team needed financial support for the assassination. They received it from Carlos Prio Socarras in Miami, who brought more than 50 million dollars out of Cuba. They also received money from Banister, and from three Texas millionaires who hated Kennedy: Sid Richardson, Clint Murchison, and Jean DeMenil (of the Schlumberger Co.). The Murchison-Richardson contribution also included soliciting the assistance of high-level men in the Dallas police force. They were powerful members of the Dallas Citizens Council that controlled the city at that time.

Plans for Three Cities

      The group in Mexico City planned to assassinate JFK in Miami, Chicago or Dallas, using different gunmen in each case. The Miami plan failed because the Secret Service found out about it in advance and kept JFK out of the open. The Chicago plan backfired when JFK cancelled his plans to attend the Army-Navy game at Soldiers Field in early November. The group set up two assassination teams for Dallas. One was in Dealey Plaza; the second was near the International Trade Mart where JFK's luncheon speech was to be delivered.

CIA Support

      The best evidence of CIA (Deputy-Director of Plans) involvement is the fact that the majority of the known participants were contract agents or direct agents of the CIA. In Mexico City, the meetings were held in the apartment of Guy Gabaldin, a CIA (DDP) agent, working for the Mexico City station chief. Others attending the meetings who were CIA (DDP) contract or direct agents included Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, Albert Osborne, Harry Dean, Richard Case Nagell, Ronald Augustinovich, William Seymour, Emilio Santana and Fred Lee Crisman. It is likely (but not yet provable by direct evidence) that the group sought and obtained from the acting or permanent CIA station chief in Mexico, assistance or approval to go ahead with assassination plans. Tad Szulc claims that a CIA source can prove that E. Howard Hunt was acting station chief in Mexico City at the time of the Gabaldin apartment meetings (August and September 1963). Hunt has denied under oath before the Rockefeller Commission that he was in Mexico.
      In 1967 Richard Helms told a group of CIA officials, including Victor Marchetti, that both Clay Shaw and David Ferrie were CIA (DDP) contract agents and that Shaw had to be given CIA protection and assistance in his New Orleans trial. This is a strong indication that Hunt and Helms gave "turn of the head" approval to the Shaw-Ferrie assassination plan as a minimum form of support.


      The assassination group, having failed in Miami and Chicago, moved an operational team into Dallas during the second week in November of 1963. Shaw, Ferrie, Gabaldin and other high-level plotters travelled in other directions, establishing alibis as planned. On November 22, Gabaldin was in Mexico City, Shaw was in San Francisco, and Ferrie was in New Orleans. The team moving into Dallas included Albert Osborne, William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Frenchy, Fred Crisman, Jim Hicks, Jim Braden, and a new recruit from Los Angeles, Jack Lawrence. There was also a back-up rifle team of Cubans to be used at a location near the International Trade Mart in the event something went wrong at Dealey Plaza.

Where the Teams Stayed

      The teams stayed at two locations in Dallas for two weeks. One was a rooming house run by a woman named Tammie True. During this period final preparations for the assassination in Dealey Plaza were made. These included the collecting of and planting of evidence used to frame Oswald, the recruiting of the Dallas police participants, and the plans for the escape of the team members by car and by train. The riflemen selected were William Seymour in the Depository Building, Jack Lawrence and Frenchy on the grassy knoll, and Emilio Santana in the Dal Tex building. Jim Hicks was set up as radio coordinator and a man with each of the riflemen had a two-way radio. They were Jim Braden, Dal Tex; Fred Crisman, knoll; unidentified American (tall tramp), knoll; and a man in the TSBD Building. Osborne was in overall charge of the Dallas teams, but he did not go to Dealey Plaza. A fifth gunman, known to researchers as the umbrella man, was stationed on the street with an umbrella weapon furnished by the CIA. He was accompanied by another Cuban acting as a radio man.

Framing Oswald

      The people involved in framing Oswald included Seymour (who used his identity), someone who posed for two pictures holding a rifle, a photographer who took the pictures and someone who superimposed Oswald's head on the two negatives. Also, someone who took Oswald's rifle from his garage and his pistol from his room, taking several bullets and shells with the pistol, fired three shells and one bullet through the rifle, and planted the rifle and rifle shells on the sixth floor of the TSBD and a rifle bullet at Parkland Hospital. The pistol shells were given to William Seymour for planting later on. The photographers also planted photos of General Walker's house and driveway to implicate Oswald in the Walker shooting.

Dallas Policemen Involved

      The policemen involved were J. D. Tippit, who was to drive two of the assassins, Seymour and his radio man, away in his police car; Bill Alexander; Jerry Hill; Sergeant McDonald; Lieutenant Montgomery; Lieutenant Johnson; and Lieutenant Batchelor, who escorted Jack Ruby into the jail to murder Oswald.
      McDonald was assigned to kill Oswald upon his arrest in the Texas Theatre. Jerry Hill was involved in that event as well as in the planting of evidence against Oswald in the TSBD Building. Montgomery and Johnson were involved in planting the paper bag as evidence against Oswald. Alexander and Batchelor were primarily responsible for making sure that Jack Ruby assassinated Oswald and that he didn't talk about it afterward. Alexander was present on every occasion when Ruby was questioned or interviewed in the jail, in spite of Ruby's efforts to have him removed.

Other Persons Involved in Framing Oswald

      Also involved in framing Oswald were Marina Oswald; her lawyer, James Martin; and someone in the Dallas police force. She was talked into three points of false testimony: she said she took the two fake photos of Oswald with a camera she claimed was his. She fabricated, or was handed, the false story about Oswald's attempt to shoot General Walker and taking two pictures of Walker's house with the same camera. (Oswald did neither.) She told a false story about a falling out she and Oswald supposedly had and exaggerated his mean treatment of their children. There are good indications that these moves were made by the CIA operatives in the group who threatened to send Marina back to Russia. (Marina's uncle was a high-level officer in the KGB.)

Dealey Plaza

      On the day of the assassination four men with rifles, accompanied by their radio men and several other team members, moved into Dealey Plaza. Seymour and a radio man entered the TSBD Building through the freight entrance and worked their way to the roof. Santana and Braden went into the Dal Tex building through the freight entrance on Houston St. and up a back staircase to the second floor. Lawrence, Frenchy, Crisman and the tall tramp took up two positions on the grassy knoll. Lawrence was inside the westernmost cupola after parking his car in the parking lot behind the knoll. Frenchy, Crisman and the tall tramp were near the fence. Jim Hicks was in the Adolphus Hotel a few blocks away, testing the two-way radio communication with the four radio men, until he proceeded to the Plaza and mingled with a large crowd (near the corner of Houston and Elm Streets). The umbrella man stood near the Stemmons Freeway sign on Elm Street accompanied by his radio man.
      The other team members stationed themselves in the crowd (along Elm Street). After the shots were fired, they circulated through the crowd in front of the TSBD on Elm Street, on the grassy knoll, and behind the TSBD Building, identifying themselves as Secret Service agents and asking witnesses and officials questions to find out whether the assassins had been detected. There are clear photos of one of these men. One other man was at the corner of the wall on the grassy knoll.

The Shots

      Upon a visual and oral signal from the man at the wall and upon a radio command from Hicks, the team fired its first round of shots. Crisman received the command from Hicks and caused Frenchy to fire a shot from a position behind the fence on the knoll, about twenty feet west of the corner of the fence. This shot missed. The umbrella man fired a shot using his small-bore umbrella gun. When this shot struck JFK in the throat, the dart paralyzed JFK and later presented by Commander Humes to the FBI.[2] The shot was fired at Zapruder frame 189: JFK was behind a large oak tree, hidden from the sixth floor window of the TSBD Building. On command from Braden, Emilio Santana fired his first shot two seconds later from the second floor window of the Dal Tex building at Z 225 after JFK came out from behind the sign in Zapruder's film. The shot struck JFK in the back about 5 3/4" down from the collar line, penetrated to a depth of about two inches and stopped. The bullet fell out of JFK's back somewhere in or at the Parkland Hospital, or perhaps travelled down inside the body of the President, and was never recovered.
      William Seymour fired his shot from the west end of the TSBD Building upon command from his radio man between Z 230 and Z 237, after Santana's shot. He used a Mauser rifle with no telescopic sight. While he was aiming at JFK, he fired high and to the right, hitting John Connally in the back. The bullet travelled through Connally's chest and then entered his left thigh. The bullet fell out of his thigh in or near Parkland Hospital and was never recovered. Governor Connally's wrist was not hit at that time.
      Jack Lawrence did not fire a shot in the first round because from his cupola position he did not have a clear shot.
      Hicks gave a second radio command for another round of shots as JFK passed the Stemmons Freeway sign.
      Emilio Santana fired his second shot between Z 265 and Z 275. The bullet narrowly missed JFK, passed over the top of his head and over the top of the limousine's windshield. It travelled on to strike the south curb of Main Street, breaking off a piece of concrete which flew up and hit James Tague. The bullet either disintegrated or flew into the area beyond the overpass. It was not found.
      William Seymour may have fired a second shot which may have struck JFK in the upper right part of his head at Z 312. That bullet disintegrated.
      Upon command from his radio man, Jack Lawrence fired his first shot from a pedestal on the west side of the south entrance to the western cupola on the grassy knoll. The shot may have hit Connally's wrist.
      Frenchy fired the fatal shot through the trees from his position behind the fence.
      The Lawrence shot or possibly the second Seymour shot produced a bullet fragment that passed through Connally's right wrist at Z 313. At that time his wrist was elevated and nearly directly in front of JFK's head, in such a position that Connally's right palm was facing JFK as the governor fell into his wife's arms. The fragment entered the front of his wrist and exited from the back.

Oswald's Actions

      Lee Harvey Oswald started November 22, 1963 with the knowledge that there might be an attempt on JFK's life during the day. He had reported this possibility to the FBI in his informer's role five days earlier; he undoubtedly thought the FBI and Secret Service would be protecting the President. His communications with the assassination team had prepared him to meet with them in the Texas Theatre if anything happened that day. There is also a possibility he received a telephone call immediately after the shots, telling him to go to the theatre.
      He had gone to his and Marina's rooms in Irving to pick up curtain rods for his bare windows in his Oak Cliff room. He carried the curtain rods in a paper bag on his way to work that morning with Wesley Frazier. He worked on the sixth floor of the TSBD as well as on the other floors that morning. He helped a crew of men lay a new floor on the sixth floor, move a large number of book cartons and school supplies over to the eastern side of the floor, including some cartons near the southeastern window that faced Elm Street.
      Oswald went to the first floor of the building at approximately 12:15 p.m. and returned to the second floor lunchroom just before 12:30. He was drinking a coke there at 12:31 when Officer Baker and Mr. Truly, the building manager, encountered him while rushing up the stairs from the first floor. At the sight of Baker's gun drawn and seeing the commotion outside, he no doubt realized what had happened.[3] He immediately left the building via the freight platform entrance on the northeast side and travelled to his rooming house via bus and taxi. He picked up his pistol there and went directly to the Texas Theater where he met two of the assassination team and was sitting with them in the theatre when the police arrived. One of these men may have been William Seymour.
      The Dallas police members of the team planned to shoot Oswald in the theatre while arresting him. When he was arrested he did not realize at first that he had been framed. When this began to become clear to him on Saturday, November 23, he remained confident that the FBI would get him out of the situation. After all, he worked for them!

Jack Ruby

      Jack Ruby, in addition to his Mafia involvements and other criminal activities, was also running guns to Cuba and carrying payoff money to other anti-Castro groups on behalf of various CIA-backed projects. His involvement in the assassination of JFK appears to have been minor, even though he knew about it in advance. In his night club Ruby met on several occasions with Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, and William Seymour.
      The group decided to assassinate Oswald in jail after the police failed to kill him in the Texas Theatre. Alexander made arrangements to have Batchelor escort Ruby into the jail when it was known Oswald was being moved. They arranged an audible signal (an auto horn) to let Batchelor and Ruby know when Oswald was coming down an elevator into the garage. They came down an elevator opposite the one carrying Oswald.
      Clay Shaw gave Ruby his instructions to shoot Oswald through Breck Wall. Shaw telephoned Wall from San Francisco and Wall called Ruby. He was told it was an official CIA-sponsored act, in the best interests of the United States, and that he would be out of jail in a few days after his capture.

Planted Evidence

      The planting of the evidence against Oswald first began with William Seymour, who used Oswald's identity during September and October, 1963. Next, the faked photographs of Oswald were created. Two of the team members used a camera of their own to take the two pictures of General Walker's house and the two shots of one of the men supposedly in Oswald's back yard. They planted the pictures in Oswald's garage. Next, they stole Oswald's rifle from the garage prior to November 22, fired several shots from it, and preserved three shells, one bullet, and several bullet fragments.
      They planted the rifle, the three shells, the bullet (399) and the bullet fragments in the TSBD, the hospital and the JFK limousine on November 22. They also took Oswald's pistol at some time prior to November 22, fired several shots from it and saved the shells. William Seymour, after shooting policeman Tippit, ran away in such a manner as to attract attention, throwing the shells from Oswald's gun into the air as he ran so that witnesses would see them. (The shells matched Oswald's pistol. None of the bullets matched.)
      All of the work with Oswald's rifle, pistol, and the fake photos was probably done at the same time. The rifle, pistol and Communist newspapers had to be available together for the backyard photos. The faking of the photographs, the firing of rifle and pistol, the retrieval of the shells from rifle and pistol and of bullet 399 and the bullet fragments from the rifle all required enough time that the event occurred well in advance of the assassination.

Escape Plans

      As mentioned before, plans were made for the team to escape by car, train, and airplane. Evidence shows:

  1. A white car was parked straddling a log barrier behind the western cupola on the grassy knoll. It left that spot one minute after the shots were fired and drove eastward on the Elm Street extension in front of the TSBD.

  2. A white station wagon driving west on Elm Street stopped at the foot of the grassy knoll at 12:40 p.m., ten minutes after the shots were fired. It picked up a man who looked like Oswald and drove under the triple overpass.

  3. A railroad train carrying three "tramps" began to leave the freight train area west and north of the TSBD at around one o'clock, thirty minutes after the shots. The train was under the tower control of Lee Bowers and was stopped by him. The tramps were arrested.

  4. A police car stopped in front of Oswald's rooming house and honked twice around 1:10 p.m.

  5. Policeman Tippit's patrol car was far out of position in the Oak Cliff area near Ruby and Oswald's rooming houses. Tippit was shot by two men, one of whom was Billy Seymour.

  6. A small airplane was sitting at the Redbird Airport, a location in the same direction as Oak Cliff, a little further out from Dealey Plaza. Its engines were running. It was ready for takeoff at 1 p.m.

  7. David Ferrie went to Houston, Texas on the afternoon of November 22, driving at high speed through bad thunderstorms to get there. He was positioned at a pay telephone at an ice skating rink near the Houston airport, until receiving a phone call there. After that he returned to New Orleans.

Escape Routes

      These escape plans were modified after the assassination. It became unnecessary for any of the Dealey Plaza participants to escape by airplane. The framing of Oswald and the failure of the Secret Service or FBI to detect any of the escaping gunmen or their assistants permitted these changes. One of the men in the Dealey Plaza -- probably pretending to be a Secret Service agent -- reported an "all clear" situation to Shaw in San Francisco. Shaw notified Ferrie that they didn't need an airplane to escape with while Ferrie was waiting in Houston. Ferrie changed his plans and drove back to New Orleans.
      The gunmen who did escape followed these routes: Jack Lawrence got into his car parked behind the cupola and either drove or was driven back to his cover job location at the automobile agency. He left almost immediately afterward and travelled to North Carolina. Frenchy ran back to the freight car area and climbed into one of the box cars sitting on a siding northwest of the TSBD. He was arrested at 1 p.m. by Officers Harkness, Bass and Wise, but was released by Sheriff Elkins later in the afternoon. Santana walked out the back entrance of the Dal Tex building and may have joined Seymour in a white station wagon on Elm Street at 12:40 p.m. Seymour left the roof of the TSBD via a back stairway, exited from the freight entrance in the rear of the building, and walked on Houston Street past the Elm Street extension. He walked down the grassy knoll to Elm Street where he was picked up at 12:40 p.m. by the white station wagon.
      The other Dealey Plaza participants, Crisman, a tall tramp, Braden and Hicks escaped by various means. Braden was arrested and released. Hicks drove home. Crisman and the tall tramp followed Frenchy's route into the box cars.

Tippit Shooting

      David Belin of the Warren and Rockefeller Commission is fond of saying, "Lee Harvey Oswald killed policeman Tippit. Since the case against Oswald for the Tippit slaying is so strong, it follows that Oswald also shot the President." The case against Oswald in the Tippit murder is as weak as the case against him in the JFK assassination. The most important evidence showing that Seymour and another one of the assassination team shot Tippit is the fact that six witnesses, ignored by the Warren Commission, saw two men shoot Tippit. One of them resembled Oswald. They ran away from the scene in opposite directions. Seymour ran toward the Texas Theater, throwing the planted shells up in the air so that witnesses would see and recover them. (This act would convince most people that Oswald did not shoot Tippit.) The other assassin ran in the opposite direction. There is some indication that Seymour entered the theater in a manner to draw attention and then left before the Oswald arrest. While the shells recovered were found to match Oswald's pistol, none of the bullets recovered from Tippit's body matched.

Comments and Congressional Actions Needed

      The above scenario comes much closer to explaining what happened to John Kennedy than either the Warren Commission Report or the Rockefeller Commission report. It matches the known evidence from the two prime sources, the Warren Commission files in the National Archives, and the evidence produced by the Garrison investigation (most of which was turned over the the Committee to Investigate Assassinations, Washington, D.C.).
      However, without subpoena power, and with extremely limited resources, no group of citizens such as the Committee or Mark Lane's Citizens Commission can determine the ultimate truth about the assassination.
      Only a properly constituted Congressional committee or group with resources and subpoena power, and with the power and courage to combat the Power Control Group involved in the assassination and its cover-up, whoever they may be, can reach the truth.
      This chapter has been prepared as a guideline for such a committee, rather than as the ultimate solution.
      It should be utilized in conjunction with two other documents already submitted to the four Congressional groups interested in the case. The groups are:

  1. The Senate;

  2. The House Special Committee on Intelligence;

  3. Thomas Downing, Representative from Virginia, who introduced House Resolution 498 to reopen the JFK assassination investigation;

  4. Henry Gonzalez, Representative from Texas, who introduced House Resolution 204 to reopen the assassination inquiries on John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and George Wallace.

The Two Documents

  1. "Recommendations for the Senate and House Committee's Investigations of Illegal and Subversive Domestic Activities of the CIA and FBI", memorandum by Richard E. Sprague (submitted to them).

  2. "The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: the Involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Plans and the Cover-Up", by Richard E. Sprague, in People and the Pursuit of Truth, May, 1975.

Dramatis Personae


  1. For a complete listing of articles on political assassinations in the United States, published in Computers and People (formerly Computers and Automation), see the issues of People and the Pursuit of Truth, May 1975, p. 6, and June, 1975, p. 5, published by Berkeley Enterprises, Inc., 815 Washington St., Newtonville, Mass. 02160.

  2. 1978 Los Angeles Free Press - Special Report No 1, page 16, copy of receipt given to Commander James J. Humes MC, USN "for Missile removed on this date (Nov. 22, 1963)," signed by Francis X. O'Neill, Jr., James W. Sibert, FBI Agents.

    Also Postmortem, by Harold Weisberg, page 266, the missile receipt.

  3. As mentioned earlier, it is also possible that one of the team called him from a telephone inside the TSBD.

Next | ToC | Prev

back to JFK | ratville times | rat haus | Index | Search