"Was anyone here aware of the existence of a Dr. Pepper soda machine in the Depository's first-floor lunch ("Domino") room on 11/22/63?" -- DVP

Soda Pop Machine Follow-Up:

I'll go ahead and confirm/answer my own above-asked question regarding
a first-floor soda machine in the TSBD.

Vince Bugliosi, as usual, is 100% correct. A Dr. Pepper machine was
located on the first floor.* A Coke machine was in the 2nd-Floor lunchroom.
So there were definitely TWO soda machines in the TSBD on 11/22/63.

* I first learned about the discovery of the first-floor Dr. Pepper machine via
this pre-release review of Bugliosi's book, written by Thomas Mallon.

The first-floor soda machine wasn't located inside the so-called
"Domino Room" itself. Instead, it was situated near the stairway in
the northwest corner of the first floor.

I don't think I've ever heard the common-sense argument made by Vince
Bugliosi being made by anyone else. I certainly didn't think of it.
I.E., Oswald's preferred beverage was available on the first floor;
therefore, why the need to go UPSTAIRS to the 2nd Floor to get a soft
drink there (which is what he told police at one point after his arrest)?

And the Dr. Pepper machine was positively in working order on
November 22nd, too. How do we know? Because Bonnie Ray Williams
testified he bought a Dr. Pepper from the "Dr. Pepper machine"
just before he went up to the sixth floor to eat his lunch [at 3 H 169].
(The empty Dr. Pepper bottle was left on the 6th Floor by Williams as
well [see photo below].)

I think some of the confusion surrounding the soda-pop machines
comes from the witness testimony given by the TSBD employees.
Virtually all of them testified that they went "up to the second floor"
to buy their soft drinks ("Cokes") on 11/22. Billy Lovelady said that
he did that [6 H 338]...and he said he came back down to the
first floor after getting his "Coke".

Wesley Frazier testified in some detail about "soft drinks" [and he
also mentions a "Dr. Pepper machine", at 2 H 221]. But his testimony,
too, is rather murky about there being ANY pop machine on the FIRST
floor at all. In fact, to hear Frazier tell it, the employees had to go to
the SECOND-floor lunchroom to get "different types of soft drinks".

But when searching through the witness testimony, I hit soda-pop
paydirt with the testimony of James Jarman. Jarman's Warren
Commission testimony [at 3 H 201] verifies, beyond all doubt, that
a "Dr. Pepper machine" was located on the FIRST FLOOR of the Book
Depository on the day of President Kennedy's assassination. Let's
have a look:

JOSEPH BALL (WC) -- "You say you wandered around, you mean on the
first floor?"

JAMES JARMAN, JR. -- "On the first floor."

MR. BALL -- "Were you with anybody when you were at the window? Did
you talk to anybody?"

MR. JARMAN -- "No; I did not."

MR. BALL -- "Were you with anybody when you were walking around
finishing your sandwich?"

MR. JARMAN -- "No; I wasn't, I was trying to get through so I could
get out on the street."

MR. BALL -- "Did you see Lee Oswald?"

MR. JARMAN -- "No; I didn't."

MR. BALL -- "After his arrest, he stated to a police officer that he
had had lunch with you. Did you have lunch with him?"

MR. JARMAN -- "No, sir; I didn't."

MR. BALL -- "When you finished your sandwich and your bottle of pop,
what did you do?"

MR. JARMAN -- "I throwed [sic] the paper that I had the sandwich in in
the box over close to the telephone and I took the pop bottle and put
it in the case over by the Dr. Pepper machine."



>>> "I have never seen a Dr. Pepper machine in the TSBD." <<<


And I'm actually rather embarrassed that I, myself, couldn't figure
out something so EASY to figure out via the witness testimony of
James Jarman.

Jarman's testimony is crystal-clear regarding what floor the "Dr.
Pepper" machine (not "Coke") was on -- it was the FIRST FLOOR. Unless
we want to believe the silly notion that Jarman ate his sandwich and
drank his soda pop on the FIRST floor (while "walking around" on that
floor)...then he went upstairs to the second floor to toss away his
trash and place the empty bottle in a case next to the soft-drink
machine that Jarman refers to specifically as a "Dr. Pepper machine".

That scenario, of course, is just goofy. Jarman was on the first floor
the whole time. Reviewing that testimony again proves it:

MR. BALL -- "You say you wandered around, you mean on the first

MR. JARMAN -- "On the first floor."


MR. BALL -- "When you finished your sandwich and your bottle of pop,
what did you do?"

MR. JARMAN -- "I throwed [sic] the paper that I had the sandwich in in
the box over close to the telephone and I took the pop bottle and put
it in the case over by the Dr. Pepper machine."


I'm not saying the "soda pop" thing is DEFINITIVE proof of Oswald's
guilt. It's just one additional small piece of the "mosaic" (per Vincent
Bugliosi's oft-used parlance) surrounding Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt.

Sure, Oswald might have had a craving for a "Coca-Cola" on November 22,
even though his drink of preference (per his acquaintances) was Dr. Pepper.

Buell Wesley Frazier testified to the fact that he had observed Oswald
(in days prior to November 22) purchase drinks out of the "Dr. Pepper"
machine. So we know for a fact, via Frazier's testimony, that Oswald
was certainly aware of the Dr. Pepper machine being on the first floor.
So CTers certainly can't use some silly theory about LHO possibly not
knowing the machine was even there.

"I never have seen him [Lee Oswald] eat lunch. I have seen him go
to the Doctor Pepper machine by the refrigerator and get a Doctor
Pepper." -- Wesley Frazier

So, if Oswald were innocent of shooting at JFK on 11/22/63, a common-
sense question that needs to be asked is -- Why does Oswald (per his
alibi given to the DPD after his arrest) choose the EXACT MINUTES THE
OF THE BUILDING to go from the first floor to the second floor to
purchase a soft drink from the Coke machine....even though a working
soft-drink machine is right there on the first floor for him to use (and
one that has his apparently-favorite drink available, Dr. Pepper)?

Oswald is not the slightest bit interested in watching the President
drive by the front door of his workplace. Anybody wonder why? And this
disinterest is AFTER he garners information from fellow employees
earlier in the day regarding the President's motorcade. So we know
that Lee, even if innocent of the shooting, KNEW of the President's
impending parade.

Another question I've also wondered about recently is this --- Why
would Oswald buy his soft drink at the time he did (approx. 12:32 PM)?
That is to say, why wouldn't he have ALREADY purchased his beverage
BEFORE he began eating his lunch?

If we're to believe certain CTers (who, in turn, treat Carolyn
Arnold's "I Saw Oswald" account as the Gospel), then Oswald had been
seated in the lunchroom at about 12:15 PM. (And I think that'd be on
the SECOND floor, not the first, which differs with Oswald's own
account given to police.)

So, if LHO is sitting down eating his lunch (on the first or the
second floor, take your pick) at around 12:15, it seems logical he
would have bought his drink well before 12:32. Who eats lunch
dry...then buys a soft drink for dessert?

Yes, I realize that Oswald could have possibly bought a SECOND drink
that day. And since there's no witnesses to verify the number of
beverages Oswald bought on Nov. 22nd, it's a stalemate on this point.
I guess I could add here that Oswald was a super-tightwad, and perhaps
he wouldn't want to spend another whole dime on a second beverage.
(Remember, a whopping 5-cent tip was given by LHO to cab driver Whaley
that same day. Yes, Oz-man was a thrifty SOB.) ~wink~

But the key points re. the "soft drink" business are:

1.) If he's innocent, Oswald waits until a very strange time indeed to
go get a Coke....the precise moments when JFK is passing the building.

2.) And Oswald, if innocent, bypasses the first-floor Dr. Pepper
machine to go up one flight and buy a Coke.



>>> "Are you saying Oswald was on the first floor getting his "drink" before the Baker/Truly encounter?" <<<


Come now, my good man. Of course I'm not saying any such thing.

I'm saying just EXACTLY what Vince Bugliosi will undoubtedly be saying
in his book....to wit:

1.) Lee Harvey Oswald was on the 6th Floor at 12:30 PM and he shot and
killed JFK (alone) from the Sniper's Nest in the southeast corner of
the building.

2.) Oswald then scurried down the back stairs after stashing his rifle
in the northwest corner (while wiping off as many fingerprints as he
could with his brown shirt, a shirt he likely was not wearing when he
pulled the trigger; and that's how the fairly-"fresh" brownish shirt
fibers could have embedded themselves onto the rifle, while Oswald was
wiping off prints as he went from the SN to the stairs).**

3.) Oswald peels off the stairs at Floor #2, and ducks into the
lunchroom. (It's possible he heard Baker & Truly coming up the stairs
from the first floor.)

4.) Baker and Truly encounter Oswald (with NO soft drink at all) in the
lunchroom. Baker's gun is shoved almost right up against LHO's belly
("almost touching" Oswald's body, per Roy Truly). Oswald doesn't say a
word to the gun-wielding Officer Baker (which, if LHO is innocent, is
mighty strange, IMO).

5.) Oswald, after his encounter with B&T, purchases a Coke from the
Coca-Cola machine on the second floor, and then works his way through
the 2nd-Floor offices. He mumbles something to Mrs. Robert A. Reid
after Reid says to LHO "the President has been shot". And again, there's
no surprised reaction at all by LHO. He doesn't ask, "What the heck
happened?" or "How could this have happened?" or something along
similar lines.

He's totally unconcerned...and that's because he doesn't NEED to ask
questions, because Oswald HIMSELF knows what happened out on Elm
Street, because he himself was responsible for causing it.

6.) Oswald, after his arrest, tells police (on at least one occasion)
that he had lunch with "Junior" on the first floor of the Depository
when the President was killed. And in elaborating on this "first-
floor" alibi, he says he went up to the second floor to get a Coke,
and then he encountered Baker & Truly (which he did not deny, and
obviously he knew he couldn't deny that meeting).

** The "shirt" theory is mine, but I have a feeling VB might possibly
say something along those same lines as well [in his JFK book
"Reclaiming History"]; hence the reason why witnesses saw Oswald in
"light" clothing (in his white T-shirt only). The brown shirt was
probably by his feet in the Sniper's Nest when Oswald was seen by
witnesses. Baker testified that Oswald's brown "jacket" (he thought
the shirt resembled a "jacket") was "hanging out"...i.e., untucked.

MARRION BAKER -- "I assume it was a jacket, it was hanging out.
Now, I was looking at his face and I wasn't really paying any attention.
After Mr. Truly said he knew him, so I didn't pay any attention to him,
so I just turned and went on." [3 H 257]

Now, since Jarman's and Williams' WC testimony verifies beyond any
doubt that there was a Dr. Pepper machine (in working order on 11/22)
on the FIRST floor, it begs the obvious question re. Oswald's alibi --
Why does he need to travel to the 2nd Floor for a soft drink when a
pop machine was right there on the first floor, which is where he said
he was when JFK was shot at 12:30?

I also have a feeling that Mr. Bugliosi has probably doubled (and
maybe tripled) his verification of the existence of that first-floor
soda machine too.

IOW, he hasn't JUST relied (as I have done) on the WC testimony of the
TSBD witnesses, esp. Jarman. Vince has probably talked with some of
those TSBD employees himself and asked them point-blank: Was there a
second soda machine in the TSBD when you worked there in Nov. 1963?



[Below are excerpts from Vincent Bugliosi's book....]

"Indeed there was a Coca-Cola machine in the [second-floor lunch]
room. But to my knowledge, there is no direct reference in the
assassination literature to a SECOND soft drink machine in the Book
Depository Building.


Neither [Bonnie Ray] Williams nor [Wesley] Frazier expressly
said what floor this [second soda] machine was on. .... Through a few
phone calls I was able to reach Wesley Frazier, whom I hadn't talked
to since 1986, when he testified for me at the London trial. Still
living in Dallas, he told me that "there was a Dr. Pepper machine on
the first floor." Where, specifically, was it? [Frazier:] "It was
located by the double freight elevator near the back of the


And indeed, I subsequently found proof of the existence of the
machine, with the words "Dr. Pepper" near the top front of it, in an
FBI photo taken for the Warren Commission of the northwest corner of
the first floor, and it is located right next to the refrigerator.


So we see that apart from all the conclusive evidence that
Oswald shot Kennedy from the sniper's nest, and therefore HAD to have
descended from there to the second floor, his story about going UP to
the second floor to get a Coke doesn't even make sense.

Why go up to the second floor to get a drink for your lunch
when there's a soft drink machine on the first floor, the floor you
say you are already on, particularly when the apparent drink of your
choice [Dr. Pepper by all accounts] is on this first floor, not the
second floor?


There is yet another reason why Oswald's statement that he was
on the first floor eating lunch at the time of the shooting makes no
sense at all. If he had been, once he heard the shots and the
screaming and all the commotion outside, if he were innocent, what is
the likelihood that he would have proceeded to go, as he claims, up to
the second floor to get himself a Coke? How could any sensible person
believe a story like that?"
-- Vincent T. Bugliosi; Pages 957-958
of "Reclaiming History"


By way of Vince Bugliosi's masterpiece, "Reclaiming History", I've
been directed to the forgotten-about Dr. Pepper machine on the 1st
Floor of the TSBD. Sure enough a picture exists of it, and Vince found
it...after he talked to Wes Frazier in 2004 to confirm from Wesley
that there was, indeed, a soft-drink machine on Floor #1, in the
northwest corner, near the back stairway.

Vince's book and source note led me to "Warren Commission Document
No. 496; Photo 7" (which apparently nobody has EVER looked at before;
I certainly hadn't).

It's absolutely incredible how many different documents and pictures
there are connected to this case that I'm guessing very few people
have ever seen. Mary Ferrell's site has every one of them available
online too.

The CD496 document comes from a kind of a "booklet/album" of FBI
photos of the TSBD. Fascinating, rarely-seen stuff in there too (like
this Dr. Pepper "find"). It's akin to Commission Exhibit No. 875, which
is a similar type of "album", only CE875 is one put together by the
Secret Service.

Here is CD496 (Photo 7):



>>> "Did you ever crave a Coke rather than a Dr. Pepper?" <<<


At the exact moment a President was passing by my front doorstep, you
mean? Did I ever crave one so badly at such a significant time in
Dealey Plaza history that I would choose that precise moment when the
President was driving by to go to the second floor to purchase a
beverage (even when a drink machine, with my favorite flavor, was
handier on the first floor)?

Is that what you mean, Peter?

Under those above-defined conditions, my answer would have to
be....No. I'm afraid I've never craved a Coca-Cola quite THAT much.
(But, then again, I'm more of a Pepsi-Cola kind of guy myself.) ;)

In addition, allow me to add this footnote to the "Oswald Had To Get
That Coke NOW" debate.....

Via the pro-conspiracy scenario that assumes the following things:

1.) Oswald was innocent of shooting JFK.


2.) Oswald was on the first floor of the TSBD at exactly 12:30 PM when
President Kennedy was shot.

.....We would also have to pretty much believe (even though this
timeline of events is, admittedly, very tight) that it wasn't until
several seconds AFTER the President had been shot when Lee Harvey
decided he wanted to go to the second floor to get that soft drink.

It stands to reason, since Marrion Baker and Roy Truly EACH said that
Oswald had "nothing" in his hands, that Oswald had not yet purchased
his drink by 12:31:30 (approx.).***

*** A CTer's mileage will, of course, vary on this point. But the WC
record is quite clear in this regard; and that record indicates (via
two witnesses) that Oswald had probably not purchased his drink by the
time the lunchroom encounter took place approx. 90 seconds after the
assassination. ....

DAVID BELIN -- "Was he carrying anything in his hands?"

MARRION BAKER -- "He had nothing at that time."



BELIN -- "Could you see whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald had anything
in either hand?"

ROY TRULY -- "I noticed nothing in either hand."

BELIN -- "Did you see both of his hands?"

TRULY -- "I am sure I did. I could be wrong, but I am almost sure I


ALLEN DULLES -- "Did he have a Coke?"

TRULY -- "No, sir."

DULLES -- "No drink?"

TRULY -- "No drink at all."



So, via the "LHO Didn't Shoot JFK" scenario, either Oswald was walking
slower than Grandma Moses when he began his short one-flight journey
from the first floor to the second floor....or he probably didn't
start that brief excursion until AFTER the President had already been

And he might have also seen some degree of the mass confusion that
erupted just after 12:30. Now, per this fairy tale version of events
I'm simulating here, we can never know for certain WHERE exactly on
the first floor Oswald was when somebody else shot JFK. Was he really
INSIDE the "Domino" room? Or elsewhere on the first floor? Near the
entrance maybe...within earshot of the bedlam outside? Could he have
heard the gunshots himself?

In any event, per this unsupportable CT scenario of LHO being
innocent, it would seem to me that Oswald--even a few seconds AFTER
the shooting had taken place--STILL HAD THAT BURNING DESIRE TO GO TO

And if he's a "patsy" via such a scenario (as some conspiracists
believe)....I'd then ask: Was he trying to set HIMSELF up by getting
NEARER to the 6th-Floor Sniper's Nest when he decided to climb up one
additional floor, when he could have stayed put on the first
floor...or, better still, get the hell out of Dodge before the cops
started showing up?

Or, was he just a freaking idiot who didn't know which way was up...or

Or, maybe he was really the killer of John F. Kennedy....and he just
invented the whole alibi of being on the first floor at 12:30 and
going to the second floor to buy a Coke at a most unusual time indeed.

I'll choose that latter option, thank you.

But, apparently many conspiracists think that November 22, 1963, was just another humdrum, event-free day in the dull life of Lee Harvey Oswald.


The President is coming right by his working establishment (Lee
doesn't give a damn)....the President gets shot right outside the TSBD
(Oswald couldn't care less)....cops are running all over the place
(~yawn~; who cares; means nothing to Oswald)....bedlam ensues (so Lee
Harvey wants to leave this scene of action within three minutes of its

Meh! Who needs all that excitement, says Oswald. I'd rather go home,
get a gun, and then catch that great Van Heflin flick I've been
wanting to see so badly.

And before I sneak into the movie theater without paying for the cheap
ticket, I'll make sure I act a little "funny" and "scared" outside of
Johnny Brewer's shoe shoppe.

Oh, yes, I'll also kill a policeman on Tenth Street before I stroll on
over to the Texas Theater to watch Mr. Heflin.

Yes, indeed, it would appear that 11/22/63 was just another average,
ordinary Friday in the life of 24-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald.



>>> "The mystery is figuring out who is giving false statements about Oswald and this ["Coke"] encounter." <<<


IMO, these "Coke" reports are probably a product of people MERGING
different pieces of evidence together...when such evidence shouldn't
be "merged".

E.G., People after the shooting hear that Oswald had a Coke on the
second floor within a couple of minutes of the assassination. They
probably don't know the EXACT timeline of the buying of that Coke by
Oswald. And somehow "Coke" and "Baker/Truly" get merged together and,
voila, suddenly people are reporting that "Baker saw LHO with a Coke".

But the Warren Commission record is very clear (and backed up by two
witnesses, both Baker and Truly)....neither man saw anything in Oswald's
hands on the 2nd Floor.


>>> "If Truly didn't see any drink, then he would not be giving an account of him having one." <<<


And just when did Truly EVER give an account of Oswald having one when
Truly saw LHO at 12:31 on 11/22/63?


>>> "You make some statements concerning this [9/23/64 Baker/Burnett/Coke] document that I find interesting. Do you have a copy of the handwriting evaluation conducted on who wrote this document?" <<<




>>> "Was it done by the FBI, SS or Postal Inspectors who do official examinations of this type or by an outside agency?" <<<


I haven't the foggiest. I can't even see any logical reason as to why
the FBI would need such a document...one day prior to the WCR being
released. Weird, I'll readily admit. But conspiratorial? How? Somebody
will need to explain that part...especially since that 9/23/64
document obviously wasn't going to be a part of the "official Warren
Report" record at all.

[JUNE 2010 EDIT -- I have since discovered that my above statement is inaccurate. Officer Baker's 9/23/64 affidavit is included as an official Warren Commission exhibit, CE3076, linked HERE.

And, incredibly, CE3076 is even referenced in the Warren Report itself,
on Page 857 (Source Note #42). (A second printing of the WCR perhaps??)


That same affidavit/statement of Marrion Baker's, in an easier-to-read form,
is also available in Warren Commission Document No. CD1526.

Quite a bit more discussion on this matter can be found HERE.]


>>> "When was this done and why?" <<<


The handwriting evaluation, you mean?

My answer -- beats me.

What makes you think there even WAS any official "handwriting
evaluation" done concerning this document? There probably wasn't.


>>> "Your comments indicate that the author of the document is in question and it was written by Burnett...[DVP wrote] 'Which it so obviously was (the handwriting indicates that, without doubt).' [/DVP Off] ... Why is it so obvious?" <<<


I've slightly revised my opinion on "It Was Obviously Burnett's
Writing". I still think it is probably Burnett's...but I can't prove
that 100%. But it's positively NOT Marrion L. Baker's handwriting.
THAT is obvious. It is to me anyway...unless Baker was good at
possessing two entirely different writing styles. [See the 9/23/64
document in question below.] .....


>>> "Why would Burnett even mention a coke if it was not what Baker had said?" <<<


Like I said in an earlier post..."merged" evidence that shouldn't be
merged at all. By the time that document was written (09/23/64), it
was surely common knowledge at the Dallas FBI offices that Lee Oswald
was carrying a Coke bottle in the TSBD at some point just after
President Kennedy's assassination.

Perhaps Burnett, like other people who I think have done the same bit
of incorrect "merging", thought that Baker did see LHO with a Coke,
and wrote it down as such (and he got the floor number wrong too
remember...strange, indeed, if Baker was sitting right there beside
him...and stranger still is the question of WHY Baker couldn't pick up
a pen and write the whole damn thing himself if he was right there).


>>> "Who or what is his source for this ["Coke" thing] if not Baker?" <<<


"Merging". (IMHO.)


>>> "If the consideration of having a "coke" is not part of the official record, why would Burnett add a false consideration to the encounter?" <<<


Again -- "Merging".


>>> "Burnett would not write out the encounter on his own, it would not be Baker's statement if he did." <<<


Yeah, the whole thing is just odd, I admit. I have no firm answer for
it. Maybe Vince B. will. Maybe Agent Burnett is still alive and has
talked with Bugliosi to clear it up. Or maybe Officer Bobby Hargis can
clear it up. Hargis is listed as a witness on the document. And his
name appears to have been signed by the same person who wrote the
whole thing and who also signed Burnett's name too...probably Burnett,


>>> "Why was this September 23, 1964 document even needed if Baker had already testified and made his official statements?" <<<


Indeed. I've asked that very same question myself....right here.

[Also see this January 2010 discussion, in which the probable reason for the September 1964 Baker & Truly statements is revealed by Jean Davison.]


>>> "Is there another Baker document that mentions Oswald with a "coke" or a drink of some sort?" <<<


Not that I know of.




Even if LHO had a Coke in his hands during his encounter with Baker
and Truly, that fact would--in no way--exonerate Oswald for the murder
of President Kennedy. It would only tighten the already-tight
"lunchroom timeline" a little more.

Oswald could have bought that drink after running down the stairs from
the 6th Floor and then encountered B&T. I don't think he did buy the
Coke before the meeting (and the WC evidence backs up that
belief)....all I'm saying is that it's possible he could have bought
the Coke earlier.

It wouldn't have taken more than 10-15 extra seconds to buy that
drink. And all the timelines are only "best estimates" anyway.

Plus -- We don't have the slightest idea how fast (or slow) Oswald was
coming down those back stairs. No one knows that but Lee Harvey
Oswald. And Oswald, unfortunately, wasn't kind enough to tell us those

The Coke/Dr. Pepper thing isn't definitive in any way, as I've said
previously as well. But the definitive proof (via Vincent Bugliosi's
thorough research and the testimony of Depository employee James
Jarman) of a "Dr. Pepper machine" being located on the very same floor
that Oswald used as a 12:30 alibi only tends to make Lee Oswald's
alibi about travelling to the second floor to buy a soft drink just
that much more suspicious...and specious.

David Von Pein
May 2007
June 2007
June 2010