JEAN DAVISON SAID:
Can anybody tell me when the "drinking a Coke" statement first appeared in the press, and who said it? As I recall, the source is cited in Lifton's Best Evidence and in "The Oswald Affair" by Leo Sauvage, and possibly in Meagher's book, none of which I have handy. Any help would be appreciated.
JOHN CORBETT SAID:
The Warren Commission attributes this to Mrs. Reid who said she saw Oswald in the second floor clerical office with a full bottle of Coke. There has been a claim that Baker and Truly saw Oswald with a Coke when he was encountered. This is probably due to the fact that after interviewing Baker, they prepared a statement for him to sign. He read it and noticed the passage about the Coke and he told them he did not see Oswald with a Coke. They asked him to cross out that passage and intitial the correction. Apparently somebody got their notes mixed up when they interviewed Reid and Baker.
JEAN DAVISON SAID:
I agree that someone may've mistakenly attributed Reid's account to Baker. I'm trying to track down the first appearance of this statement in the local or national press shortly after the assassination. I'd like to find the original newspaper story, if possible. I'm sure I've seen this cited somewhere.
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
The best evidence is that Lee Harvey Oswald had NO SOFT DRINK in his hands at all when he was confronted by Roy Truly and Officer Marrion Baker on 11/22/63.
VIA WARREN COMMISSION VOLUME #3, PAGE 239:
ALLEN DULLES -- "When you and the officer saw Oswald in the luncheon room, did any words pass between you?"
ROY S. TRULY -- "No. The officer said something to the boy."
MR. DULLES -- "I mean between you and Oswald."
MR. TRULY -- "No, sir. Oswald never said a word. Not to me."
MR. DULLES -- "What was he doing?"
MR. TRULY -- "He was just standing there."
MR. DULLES -- "Did he have a Coke?"
MR. TRULY -- "No, sir."
MR. DULLES -- "No drink?"
MR. TRULY -- "No drink at all. Just standing there."
"It's pretty well proven that Oswald must have bought a beverage (Reid sees a full Coke in his hands as he comes from the lunchroom area). It's reasonable to assume, therefore, that Oswald probably didn't just HAPPEN across a discarded full Coke bottle, or that he broke into the vending machine by force and stole the soda without paying (although, yes, he was a cheapskate to rival Jack Benny).
The 'when' question is slightly in doubt....but not much. Truly saw nothing in Oz's hands. And neither did Baker. But, grain of salt required there...because it's possible they just didn't notice anything in his hands in that 10-second encounter.
Doesn't really matter TOO much. Oz still had time to get his Coke before the Baker meeting. Not much time, true. But it was doable...esp. since we have no idea how fast Oz was hoofing it down those stairs at 12:31." -- DVP; April 3, 2007
David Von Pein
March 19, 2009