"LEE HARVEY OSWALD
(Beginning at lunchtime on November 22, 1963;
all times approximate)
11:45-11:50 AM (Friday, Nov. 22, 1963) -- Bill Shelley sees Lee Harvey
Oswald downstairs on the first floor. ....
MR. BALL -- "On November 22, 1963, the day the President was shot,
when is the last time you saw Oswald?"
MR. SHELLEY -- "It was 10 or 15 minutes before 12."
MR. BALL -- "Where?"
MR. SHELLEY -- "On the first floor over near the telephone."
11:50-11:54 AM -- Oswald goes from the first floor to the sixth floor.
Just a few minutes after getting to the sixth floor, the four other
men who are on the 6th Floor break for lunch and race the two freight
elevators downstairs. Oswald remains on the sixth floor.
11:55 AM -- Charles Givens comes back up to the sixth floor to
retrieve his jacket and cigarettes. He sees Oswald, with clipboard in
hand, on the east end of the floor. Per Givens' testimony, it's during
this "cigarette trip" back up to the sixth floor when Oswald asks
Givens to close the elevator gate and to send the elevator back up to
him. This differs in chronology from the other witnesses who said they
heard Oswald requesting the elevator during the "racing" of the
elevators downstairs...i.e., BEFORE Givens went back up by himself.
In any event, it's fairly certain that (at some point just prior to
12:00) Oswald did ask for an elevator to be returned back up to him on
the sixth floor.
It's very likely that no one inside the Book Depository Building saw
Lee Oswald after approx. 11:55 AM on November 22nd, until LHO was next
seen by Marrion Baker at approx. 12:31-12:32 PM on the second floor.
Carolyn Arnold has stated her belief that she saw Oswald in the
lunchroom, eating his lunch, at either 12:15 PM or about 12:25 PM
(over the years, she apparently has used both of those time
Now, such an "Oswald sighting" by Arnold at either of those times
still would not give Oswald an alibi for the exact time of the
assassination (12:30). But, it would be hard to believe that LHO would
have been downstairs, casually eating his lunch, just a few minutes
before dashing upstairs to murder the President.
But other witness testimony tends to debunk Carolyn Arnold's "I Saw
LHO In The Lunchroom" account. And, in my view, there's just too much
evidence (overall) that concretely puts Oswald on the 6th Floor during
the approximate timeframe when Arnold claimed he was in the lunchroom.
11:55 AM-12:05 PM (estimated) -- Oswald has the whole sixth floor to
himself. This is just prior to Bonnie Ray Williams coming back up to
the 6th Floor to eat his lunch. It's my belief that Lee Oswald, during
this (approx.) 10-minute time period around noon or shortly after,
probably went to the west end of the sixth floor (where he had his
rifle hidden in the brown bag).
Oswald unwraps the rifle at the west end of the sixth floor and
assembles the rifle at the west end (hence, Arnold Rowland sees a
white man with a rifle at the west end of the building at approx. this
time, maybe a little later, 12:15 or so, but keep in mind the
approximation of all times).
It's quite possible, IMO, that Oswald initially was considering using
the WEST-end window as his shooting window. But, for one reason or
another, he decided that a window on the EAST end of the sixth floor
would better serve his purposes.
Perhaps he was mentally factoring in the angles and trajectories in
his head, and possibly realized that an east-end perch would be a
better one, especially since the Secret Service agents would all have
their backs to him when he began firing, if he decided to wait until
after the cars had turned the Elm/Houston corner....which, IMO, Oswald
definitely had in his mind to do, due to the pre-arranged way the
rifle-rest boxes were constructed (i.e., in a "Rifle Always Pointing
It's also possible that, as Oswald mulled over potential shooting
locations, he realized that a goodly number of boxes were already down
on the east end of the 6th Floor, which would make constructing a
makeshift "Nest" all the easier for him.
Now, I cannot fully explain why Oswald wanted to take the empty paper
bag WITH HIM to the east end from the west end via this scenario I'm
laying out here....but I've got to assume (naturally) that he DID do
just that after assembling the rifle on the west end.
Perhaps--just perhaps--Oswald had it in his mind that he would be able
to re-insert the weapon back into that bag and, just maybe, get the
incriminating rifle out of the building the same way he smuggled it
in--in the brown paper package that supposedly contained those never-
found "curtain rods".
Yes, that last part is fairly weak...I'll admit that. I don't much
like that idea either. For, Oswald would surely have known that he
wouldn't have the time (or want to take time) to dismantle the rifle
AFTER shooting at the President.
But, then too, who can know what crazy thoughts might be swimming
through the head of a person who is contemplating murdering a U.S.
President from his very own place of employment? That's a difficult
type of mind to thoroughly probe and to figure out....indeed. Wouldn't
you all agree?
12:00-12:05 PM -- Oswald (with his rifle and the paper bag) moves to
the east end of the sixth floor, where Oswald works on constructing
his Sniper's Nest. Now, some of these boxes might have been pretty
close to the SN window already...which, as I mentioned, could have
been a partial factor in Oswald choosing that southeast corner window
to begin with. So, perhaps the building of the "Nest" wasn't as
difficult or as time-consuming as some people seem to think it had to
be. [RELATED POST]
I really have no idea how long it would have taken Oswald to create
his makeshift Sniper's Nest of book cartons. And nobody else knows for
sure either. This is one of the several "unknowables" surrounding this
But the sum total of "Oswald Was There" evidence tells me that Lee
Oswald (alone) DID construct that Sniper's Nest at some point prior to
Bonnie Ray Williams arriving back up on that sixth floor (or, at least
Oz had ENOUGH of the Nest constructed so that he was able to hide
behind a wall of partially-constructed boxes during Williams' brief 5-
to-12-minute stay up on that floor).
12:05-12:15 PM (estimated) -- Oswald can hear Bonnie Ray Williams in
the middle portion of the sixth floor, near the south windows, as
Williams eats his lunch. I think, therefore, it's logical to assume
that Oswald would have been trying to remain extra quiet as he hides
within his "Nest" of boxes (whether the Nest is totally complete or
not, we cannot know; but we do know that some boxes in that southeast
corner are prohibiting Williams from seeing deep into that
"Well, at the time I couldn't see too much of the sixth floor, because
the books at the time were stacked so high. I could see only in the
path that I was standing--as I remember, I could not possibly see
anything to the east side of the building." -- Bonnie Ray Williams
But Oswald's rifle was probably already completely assembled when
Williams was on the sixth floor....so there's no need for any noise to
be coming from the metal parts in this "rifle" regard.
And I think it's logical to assume that Oswald was probably getting a
tad anxious, waiting for his prey to turn from Main to Houston...and,
at the same time, wondering if he'll have to abandon his murder
attempt due to Williams' pesky presence on the very same 6th Floor. So
Oswald quietly moves to the window and looks out a couple of times
(per Brennan), but without his rifle in his hands....the rifle is no
doubt resting at Oswald's feet in the SN.
Re: Howard Brennan -- I'm going to have to take issue with Mr.
Brennan's account of seeing Oswald sitting "sideways on the window
sill", however. I'm just doubting that was even physically possible,
given the arrangement of book cartons IN the window itself. And it
doesn't seem likely that Oswald would want to sit up on the sill
anyhow, thereby making himself even MORE visible to anyone outside.
However, as a footnote to my last comments, it's possible (but not
provable by any means) that Oswald had not yet placed the rifle-rest
boxes in the window at the time Brennan said he saw the man (later
IDed by Brennan as Lee Oswald) sitting "sideways on the window sill".
Perhaps Oswald, as alluded to previously, was interrupted (by
Williams' presence) during the construction of his Sniper's Nest (the
timeline was, indeed, a fairly-tight one, granted, between Givens
seeing Oswald at approx. 11:55 and Williams arriving back on the 6th
Floor a very few minutes later...with Williams seeing nobody at all on
the entire sixth floor).
So, Brennan could very well be correct re. the "sideways on the sill"
observation. But I'm going to exercise my proverbial "grain of salt"
option when considering the accuracy of such a "sideways on the sill"
12:10-12:15 PM (estimated) -- Bonnie Ray Williams finishes his
"chicken-on-the-bone" sandwich [3 H 169] (~LOL~) and his Dr. Pepper
soft drink and vacates the sixth floor (after Williams heard some activity
on the 5th Floor below him). Williams takes an elevator down one flight
to join two other employees on the fifth floor to watch the motorcade.
Lee Oswald now is alone, once again, on the Texas School Book
Depository's sixth floor. He has approximately 15 minutes to wait
until the President will come into his view on the street below him.
During these last few minutes prior to 12:30 PM, it's possible that
Oswald puts some finishing touches on his Sniper's Nest....and/or his
Regarding the 5th-Floor witnesses (Harold Norman, James Jarman, and
Bonnie Ray Williams), and what they heard.....
Norman stated positively that he heard three rifle shots being fired
from directly above him. And he told Vincent Bugliosi in 1986 that he
heard precisely three "hulls" (shells) hitting the floor as the
shooting was taking place above him....
BUGLIOSI -- "And by 'hulls', you mean cartridge casings?"
NORMAN -- "Cartridges."
BUGLIOSI -- "How many did you hear falling to the floor?"
NORMAN -- "Three."
Now, as far as the 5th-Floor witnesses not specifically hearing any
footsteps from the assassin upstairs just before and just after the
assassination -- I'd ask: What difference does that really make?
Obviously, SOMEBODY was up on that 6th Floor, in that Sniper's Nest,
firing a gun (be it Lee Harvey Oswald or somebody else....SOME HUMAN
BEING WITH TWO FEET was up there with a gun).
So the conspiracy theorists who think it's odd to have Norman, Jarman,
and Williams not hearing the footsteps of Oswald just prior to and
just after 12:30 on November 22nd are not thinking the situation
Because somebody was located in that southeast corner of the 6th Floor
at 12:30 (and, naturally, just a little bit PRIOR to 12:30 too)....so
if it wasn't Lee Oswald doing the shooting, then the CTers have to
wonder why the "real killer's" footsteps were not heard by N,J,&W
either. It turns out to be a moot argument from anyone's particular
Lee Oswald is able to perform his deadly deed at 12:30, as he fires
three of his four bullets from his 6th-Floor SN window, killing JFK
with shot #3. I'm guessing that Oswald, too, like the rest of the
world, was very surprised indeed that he had actually been able to
pull off this task in total secrecy from his workplace (not counting
Mr. Brennan outside the building). I'm doubting LHO thought he'd
REALLY get a golden chance to do it.
But, unfortunately, he was given that chance when Williams vacated the
sixth floor....and Oswald was aided further, as it turns out, when no
other employees decided they would use the SIXTH floor as a parade-
watching perch that Friday.
12:30:30 PM -- Lee Harvey Oswald's task is completed. He pauses at the
window for just a moment (per Brennan's account), and then disappears
from Brennan's view.
Oswald, in his haste, leaves the three traceable rifle shells and the
brown paper sack in the Sniper's Nest. He hustles (with rifle in hand,
and with one remaining bullet chambered in his Carcano, if needed) to
the northwest corner of the sixth floor.
It's my personal belief that Oswald (during this trip to the NW
corner) was wiping as many fingerprints off of his Mannlicher-Carcano
rifle as he could in the time allowed. He was very likely (IMO) using
the brown shirt in which he was arrested to perform this print-wiping
Oswald gets to the northwest corner of the building without being seen
by anyone. He notices that neither of the two freight elevators is on
his floor. So he's forced to take the nearby stairs in that NW corner
of the building.
He stashes his rifle between some boxes very close to the stairway.
It's possible that Oswald had PRE-ARRANGED this rifle-stowing location
prior to the assassination. We can never know this for sure, of
course. But I think it's possible.*
* = However, I'll add here my own confusion re. Oswald's seemingly
willy-nilly attitude toward the evidence he was leaving
behind....because, as you'll recall a little bit ago, I postulated
that Oswald might have been of the initial opinion that he'd be able
to slip the rifle (somehow, some way) back into the paper bag and
perhaps get it out of the building in such a manner.
But if he had PRE-arranged a rifle-stashing location near the stairs,
that would mean he probably wasn't thinking of removing the rifle from
the 6th Floor at all. Who can know for sure? No one can. Perhaps
Oswald was thinking along BOTH of those lines.
Here's a possibility to consider as well (re: the rifle) -- If Oswald
had never been given the chance to shoot at the President (and IMO
it's VERY likely that Oswald was thinking that he might very well NOT
have this perfect opportunity to carry out the shooting), it's quite
possible, indeed, that Oswald would have made BOTH of the previously-
mentioned rifle-hiding provisions -- e.g., pre-arranging a place on
the NW side to hide the rifle from view AND having a potential need
for that brown paper bag once again (even after 12:30, given the
possibility he might never fire the weapon at all).
Via the last option, it's likely Oswald would probably still not want
to waltz out the front door of the Depository carrying a fully-
assembled Carcano rifle in full view of many people. (It could look
kinda bad, in a "Maybe That Guy Is Up To No Good With That Rifle The
Same Day The President Has Passed By This Building" sort of fashion.)
So, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that Oswald
could have planned out BOTH of those rifle-stashing options on
Granted, in the option where Oswald doesn't fire the gun at all, he
COULD have simply left the bag on the WEST side of the building....and
then casually retrieved it after 12:30. (In such a situation, of
course, no shots would have been fired, and nobody would be rushing
into the building searching desperately for a gunman; hence, Oswald
would not need to be in a really big hurry to gather up the bag.)
Continuing on with Oswald's post-shooting movements:
12:31-12:32 PM -- Oswald travels quickly down to the second floor of
the TSBD via the back stairway. (It's possible that the reason he
ducked off at Floor #2 is because he heard the footsteps of the
approaching Roy Truly and Marrion Baker.)
Oswald is then stopped at gunpoint in the 2nd-Floor lunchroom by
Officer M.L. Baker. LHO is then immediately cleared as an employee and
is let go by Baker.
Oswald is calm, silent, and unflustered during his encounter with
Baker (per Baker's testimony). This reaction, IMO, is much more
indicative of GUILT than with INNOCENCE.
If innocent, isn't it quite likely that Oswald would have been a bit
scared, rattled, and probably would have at least said to Baker, "What
the hell is this?! What's going on?! I didn't do anything! Why are you
Oswald, instead, is dead-quiet. Never changing his expression one bit
12:32 PM -- Oswald then buys a soft drink from the soda machine in the
lunchroom, and then strolls casually and unhurriedly toward the stairs
near the 2nd-Floor offices (after having just been cleared as a worker
in the building, thereby probably allowing Oswald to relax a little
bit more at that point in time).
Mrs. Robert A. Reid sees Oswald with a full beverage bottle. She says
to him "The President's been shot". Oswald mumbles something
incoherent and continues toward the front stairs, which lead to the
first-floor TSBD entrance.
12:40 PM -- Oswald boards a bus on Elm Street, east of the TSBD. He
stays on the bus about 4 minutes, gets a transfer from driver Cecil
McWatters, and then exits the bus. Mary Bledsoe positively identifies
Oswald as having been on board McWatters' bus on 11/22/63.
Oswald, in an out-of-character move (given his usual tightfisted
habits), spends 95 cents ($1.00 with the whopping tip given to driver
William Whaley) on a cab ride from the Greyhound bus station to the
general area of his Oak Cliff roominghouse.
Oswald has Whaley take him PAST the roominghouse at 1026 North Beckley
Avenue (probably so that Lee can check to see if any cops are near his
home at the time), with Oswald getting out of Whaley's cab at the
intersection of Neely and Beckley, three blocks beyond his rented
Oswald then backtracks the three blocks and rushes into his
roominghouse at approx. 12:59-1:00 PM.
The housekeeper at the Beckley roominghouse, Earlene Roberts, said
the following in a televised interview/statement made shortly after
"I got word about the President being killed...and he [LHO] come in,
in a hurry. I said 'Ooh, you're in a hurry'. He never parted his
lips....he went to his room, got a short coat to put on, and then he
walked on out to the bus stop....and that's the last I saw of him."
1:14-1:15 PM -- Oswald shoots and kills Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit
on Tenth Street (0.85 of a mile from the roominghouse Oswald just left
a short time earlier).
Multiple witnesses verify it was Lee Harvey Oswald who killed Officer
Tippit. Bullet shells from Oswald's revolver ("to the exclusion") were
recovered by THREE different witnesses at the Tippit murder scene.
THE TIPPIT MURDER AND THE HILARIOUS ATTEMPTS TO DEFEND MR. OSWALD:
Oswald is next seen by Johnny Brewer at approx. 1:35 to 1:40 PM.
Brewer notices Oswald's "funny" and "scared" look as LHO lurks in the
entrance of Brewer's shoe store.
Brewer follows Oswald a short distance up Jefferson Boulevard and
watches as Oswald slips into the Texas Theater (without paying).
Brewer confers with Texas Theater employee Julia Postal about the man
who just entered the theater. Postal calls the police.
The following passage can be found in Julia Postal's WC testimony
"So, well, I called the police, and he wanted to know why I thought it
was their man, and I said, "Well, I didn't know," and he said, "Well,
it fits the description," and I have not---I said I hadn't heard the
description. All I know is, "This man is running from them for some
1:50 PM -- Lee Harvey Oswald is apprehended in the Texas Theater.
Oswald pulls his revolver on Officer McDonald and a wild fight ensues.
While inside the theater, Oswald is heard to say, "It's all over now"
and/or "This is it".
After his arrest, Oswald repeatedly lies to the authorities about
important issues connected to the investigation of the murders of
President Kennedy and Officer Tippit:
The above "Oswald timeline" is not perfect. It has some weaknesses,
yes. The "Rowland" timeline isn't a perfect dead-on match. And the
"Bonnie Ray Williams" timeframe isn't rock-solid either.
But those witnesses were not staring at their watches when they
observed the things they observed and did the things they did on
11/22/63. And I'd say, generally-speaking (give or take a very few
minutes in "real time"), that those witness accounts of the events of
that November day work out pretty close to corroborating the general
"Oswald timeline" I've laid out in this post.
The long and the short of the matter is this --- Just about every last
thing Lee Harvey Oswald did following the assassination of John F.
Kennedy indicates a GUILTY LEE HARVEY OSWALD.
David Von Pein