JFK ASSASSINATION ARGUMENTS
(PART 729)


ROBERT CAPRIO SAID:

...LHO spent a good part of his time on the first floor and NOT the sixth floor as we have been led to believe.


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

What a silly thread this is.

Even if Oswald really did spend most of his time on the first floor in the course of a normal day at the Book Depository, we know beyond all doubt that he WAS on the sixth floor shortly before the assassination on 11/22/63 because Charles Givens places him there at about 11:55 AM. (Not to mention Howard Brennan placing Oswald in the Sniper's Nest window at the time of the assassination itself.)

And the various TSBD employees who raced the elevators downstairs at about 11:45 also ALL verified that Oswald was on an UPPER floor (either the fifth or sixth floor) when the boys were taking the two freight elevators down for lunch.

So you're doing no harm at all to the "Lone Assassin" version of events. And this thread is really doing more harm than good to the CTers' theory about Oswald being innocent, because Lee Oswald's presence on the sixth floor shortly before JFK was killed, coupled with the known fact that NONE of the multiple orders that were on Oswald's clipboard on November 22nd were filled, indicates that his presence on the sixth floor around noontime on 11/22/63 could be considered outside of the "normal" location for him to be located at ANY point in time on ANY given work day in the building, and with a clipboard full of UNFILLED orders, his presence on that sixth floor would most certainly indicate that he was up there for a purpose OTHER than to fulfill his normal duties as an order filler.

Gee, I wonder what that other purpose might have been?


RAY MITCHAM SAID:

You mean the Givens who said nothing about seeing Oswald in his affidavit on the 22nd.

or…

An 11-23-63 FBI report (CD5 p329) on Oswald co-worker Charles Douglas Givens declares:

“On November 22, 1963, Givens worked on the sixth floor of the building until about 11:30 A.M. when he used the elevator to travel to the first floor where he used the restroom at about 11:35 A.M. or 11:40 A.M. Givens then walked around on the first floor until 12 o'clock noon, at which time he walked onto the sidewalk and stood for several minutes...Givens recalls observing Lee working on the fifth floor during the morning filling orders. Lee was standing by the elevator in the building at 11:30 A.M when Givens went to the first floor. When he started down in the elevator, Lee yelled at him to close the gates on the elevator door so that he (Lee) could have the elevator returned to the sixth floor…Givens observed Lee reading a newspaper in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.”

This FBI report expanded on a statement signed by Givens on the day before (24H210). Givens swore:

"I worked on the sixth floor today until about 11:30 A.M. Then I went downstairs and into the bathroom. At twelve o'clock I took my lunch period. I went to the parking lot at Record and Elm Street."

The FBI report on Givens thereby appeared to confirm Oswald's story that he'd come down and had lunch in the domino room, something that seemed unlikely if Oswald had planned on killing the president in 40 minutes and still needed to assemble his rifle.

He changed his story later to say he went upstairs for his cigarettes, and saw Oswald. How convenient.


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

Just because Charles Givens didn't mention seeing Oswald in his affidavit, you think that automatically means he lied in his later statements and during his testimony in front of the Warren Commission?

Silly.

Givens merely didn't mention his brief encounter with Oswald when Givens wrote his affidavit. Such an omission certainly doesn't mean that Givens' sixth-floor encounter with Lee Oswald never happened. Only a conspiracy theorist would possibly believe such a thing.

Plus, we know that there's no good reason for the authorities to start putting words into Givens' mouth about seeing Oswald on the sixth floor, because even WITHOUT Givens' account of seeing LHO on the sixth floor at approximately 11:55 AM, there is still ample witness testimony from other Depository employees who said they saw (and heard) Oswald on an UPPER FLOOR (either the fifth or sixth floor) shortly before noon. Those other employees are Billy Lovelady, Bonnie Ray Williams, and Danny Arce. And even Givens HIMSELF, in the FBI report Ray Mitcham quoted above, talks about hearing Oswald shout down the elevator shaft.

There is some confusion surrounding some of Charles Givens' statements with respect to Oswald asking to have the elevator sent back upstairs to him, which I talk about in this article.

But even if conspiracists wish to toss Charlie Givens under the bus and deem him a totally worthless liar (which many CTers have done), what do they do with Lovelady and Williams and Arce with respect to their individual observations about seeing (and hearing) Lee Oswald on an upper floor of the TSBD shortly before 12:00 noon on 11/22/63?

With those three witnesses saying what they each said, why would the FBI or the Warren Commission (or anyone else) have felt the need to coerce Charlie Givens to tell some wild tale about seeing Oswald in just about the VERY SAME PLACE at just about the VERY SAME TIME that those three other men saw him?

Many CTers think the FBI (and later the Warren Commission) desperately needed a witness on the inside of the TSBD building to place Oswald on the sixth floor to firm up the FBI's and WC's framing of poor innocent Lee Harvey Oswald. Therefore, per CTers, they got the easily-coerced Givens to add a lie to his story about going back up to the sixth floor to get his cigarettes and then seeing Oswald up there.

But if the goal of the FBI and Warren Commission was to shore up their "case" against Oswald, why wouldn't they have made Givens' lies even BETTER? They could have gotten Givens to say he saw Oswald moving boxes in the southeast corner of the sixth floor. Or they could have gotten Givens to say he actually saw Oswald with a long brown package too.

But instead, Givens' "cigarettes and jacket" story pretty much amounts to nothing more than the testimony given by Lovelady, Arce, and Williams -- i.e., Givens sees Oswald on an upper floor without a package, and without a gun. The biggest difference would be that Givens did place a definitive floor number on Oswald's whereabouts--the sixth floor (the Floor Of Death), whereas some of the other witnesses I mentioned were not quite sure whether Oswald was shouting down his request for an elevator from the FIFTH floor or the SIXTH Floor.

But if Givens' "going to get cigarettes" story was nothing but a fabrication invented by the authorities, it amounted to very little more than what other witnesses were also providing (or would very soon be providing to the Warren Commission).

In addition, I'll also add that Charles Givens' 11/22/63 affidavit is one that is very brief. It's a very short statement made voluntarily by Givens within hours of the assassination. Givens uses short, to-the-point sentences, not elaborating on anything at all--not even the shooting. He merely says "I think I heard three shots".

So it's fairly obvious to me when looking at Givens' 11/22 affidavit (which can be seen here) that it wasn't Givens' purpose at that time to go into very much detail about anything that happened on November 22. He was obviouisly making it as short as he could. And just because he did not mention his encounter with Oswald on the sixth floor in that very brief statement, that certainly does not mean such an encounter never took place.

Givens' statement given to the FBI on November 22nd (the FBI report was dated "11/23/63" at the top of the document, however) is another matter for discussion. It's true that Givens didn't say anything about going back up to the sixth floor to get his jacket and cigarettes in that November 22nd interview with two FBI agents. But Givens did mention hearing Oswald shout down to have the elevator sent back up "so that he (LEE) could have the elevator returned to the SIXTH FLOOR" (DVP's emphasis).

So it's fairly clear from that FBI statement that Givens was saying he thought Oswald was on the SIXTH FLOOR and wanted an elevator to be sent back up to the SIXTH floor.

With such detail coming from Charles Givens himself about Oswald being on the SIXTH FLOOR shortly before noon on the day of the assassination, why on Earth would the FBI (or anyone else) feel the need to then coerce Givens to add an additional layer of lies to his story, which would be a fabricated layer of lies that essentially ADDS NOTHING NEW to the story Charlie Givens had already told the two FBI agents who interviewed him on November 22, 1963?

Also....

The conspiracy theorists who think Charles Givens just MADE UP his sixth-floor encounter with Lee Oswald due to the fact that Givens said nothing about such an encounter in his original November 22nd affidavit are going to have to accuse Billy Lovelady of pretty much the very same thing (i.e., leaving out important "I saw Oswald on an upper floor around noontime" information in his affidavit), because in Lovelady's 11/22/63 affidavit, he never says a thing about seeing Oswald.


RAY MITCHAM SAID:

David, when are you going to realise that "before noon" does not equal 12:30 when the shots were fired?


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

Have I ever said it did?

Answer: No, I have not.

But, then too, YOUR argument about how Charles Givens lied about his cigarette trip back up to the sixth floor doesn't place Oswald on the sixth floor at exactly 12:30 either. Givens' "cigarette" testimony only puts Oswald on the sixth floor at around 11:55 AM, thirty-five minutes before the shooting.

Therefore, what's your point?

And why are you scolding me about the "shortly before noon" comments I've made when the statement made by Givens, that YOU think is a great-big lie, ALSO only places Oswald on the sixth floor "shortly before noon". Therefore, it's a wash. Which is why you're being silly regarding Givens' statements, because the part of Charlie Givens' later statement about going back up to the sixth floor to retrieve cigarettes and his jacket doesn't provide any more substantial information than the info he had already provided the FBI in his 11/22/63 statement seen in CD5. And if you think it does, you're wrong.


RAY MITCHAM SAID:

Nobody except Givens (dubiously) said Oswald was on the sixth floor.


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

Dead wrong. Howard Brennan said Oswald was on the sixth floor (3 H 148).

And....

Per the things that the FBI wrote in its report on 11/22/63 (CD5), Charles Givens said that Oswald wanted an elevator sent back up to him on the SIXTH floor.

And....

Bonnie Ray Williams said that Oswald was on either the fifth or sixth floor when LHO yelled down the elevator shaft (3 H 168)....

BONNIE RAY WILLIAMS -- "On the way down I heard Oswald--and I am not sure whether he was on the fifth or the sixth floor. But on the way down Oswald hollered "Guys, how about an elevator?" I don't know whether those are his exact words. But he said something about the elevator. And Charles said, "Come on, boy," just like that. And he said, "Close the gate on the elevator and send the elevator back up." I don't know what happened after that. .... I assume it was the fifth or the sixth. The reason I could not tell whether it was the sixth or the fifth is because I was on the opposite elevator, and if you are not thinking about it it is kind of hard to judge which floor, if you started moving."

So, Williams wasn't sure which floor Oswald was on shortly before 12:00 on November 22. But the SIXTH floor is certainly still in the running as far as Bonnie Ray Williams' testimony is concerned. Throw out his testimony if you want to, but I'm not going to, because Williams positively places Lee Oswald on an upper floor (possibly the SIXTH) a short time before the assassination.

And....

Danny Arce goes into the same "I'm Not Sure" category that Bonnie Ray Williams resides in, because in his Warren Commission testimony (at 6 H 365), Arce said exactly the same thing about the floor numbers that Williams said....

DANNY ARCE -- "That's what I'm not too sure; I believe he [Oswald] was on five or the sixth floor. I am not too sure but we were going down and I believe he was on the fifth; I am not too sure."


ROBERT CAPRIO SAID:

There are witnesses that put him [Oswald] on the first floor eating Dave. We all know that. YOU can't show he was on the sixth floor as the WC claimed. .... He was on the first floor, Dave. The evidence shows this as you can't cite any to place him on the sixth floor at the time of the assassination.


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

I already did -- Brennan (at 3 H 148).

But not having a specific witness who was INSIDE the Book Depository Building saying that they physically saw Lee Oswald on the sixth floor after 12:00 noon on November 22 doesn't surprise me at all -- and it shouldn't surprise anyone else either.

Why?

Because nobody was on the sixth floor between 12:00 and 12:30 that day, except Bonnie Ray Williams, who was up there for just a few minutes to eat his chicken-on-the-bone sandwich lunch (and he said he couldn't see into the southeast corner, because boxes were blocking the view; and Oswald was almost certainly already hiding in the Sniper's Nest when Williams was up there crunching away on his chicken-on-the-bone sandwich).

But other than Williams, all of the other workers who were laying the new plywood flooring on the sixth floor that morning had gone downstairs to eat lunch and/or watch the motorcade prior to 12:00 noon. So why would we expect any of the TSBD employees to see Oswald on the sixth floor past noon?

I'm also wondering what kind of stupid patsy-framing plotters Rob Caprio thinks were in charge of the assassination frame-up on November 22nd? They evidently just allowed Oswald to roam around the FIRST and SECOND floors of the Book Depository, free as a bird, at just about the same time they were trying to frame him on the SIXTH FLOOR for shooting the President.

What a brilliant patsy plan indeed.

And, per some nuts like Ralph Cinque, the plotters even permitted Oswald to go out onto the front steps and get himself photographed by Jim Altgens too. (Oh great! That's now more stuff the goofy plotters have to fake!)


ROBERT CAPRIO SAID:

The fact you are desperate enough to use a man who DID NOT IDENTIFY LHO when he viewed a lineup on November 22, 1963 makes me very happy.

You have confirmed the desperate position you WC defenders are in. Clinging to lifeboats at this point is pretty appropriate.


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

In light of the large amount of evidence that hangs Lee Oswald for not just one murder on 11/22/63--but TWO!--a conspiracy clown like Robert Caprio telling an LNer that he is "desperate" can only elicit laughter. (And lots of it.)


BEN HOLMES SAID:

He [DVP] CANNOT admit that Givens originally reported that Oswald was reading a newspaper downstairs at 11:50.


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

Of course I can "admit" that the 11/22/63 FBI report [CD5] says that Givens said he saw Oswald reading a newspaper on the first floor at about 11:50 AM.

But the crux of Givens' two statements (his November 22 statement to the FBI in CD5 and his Warren Commission testimony when he said he saw Oswald on the sixth floor shortly before noon) is still basically identical -- that "crux" being: Givens is saying (both times) that Lee Oswald was on an upper floor of the TSBD shortly prior to 12:00 noon on November 22 (give or take a few minutes in real time). In both of those statements made by Givens, Oswald is upstairs many minutes PRIOR to the assassination.

Therefore, given the fact that human beings are not human clocks and don't possess a built-in ability to automatically know exactly what time it is when they are observing casual things (like seeing a man in a building at any certain point in time on any particular day), Charles Givens' various statements are essentially the same with respect to Givens' first-hand knowledge of the whereabouts of Lee Harvey Oswald shortly prior to noon on November 22, 1963.

Yes, Givens did tell the FBI agents on 11/22 that he saw Oswald on the first floor reading a paper at about 11:50. I don't deny that fact. And I don't for a minute think the FBI got that part of their report wrong. But in his WC testimony, Givens flatly denied ever saying such a thing:

Mr. BELIN. Did you see him in the domino room at all around anywhere between 11:30 and 12 or 12:30?
Mr. GIVENS. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see him reading the newspaper?
Mr. GIVENS. No; not that day. I did--he generally sit in there every morning. He would come to work and sit in there and read the paper, the next day paper, like if the day was Tuesday, he would read Monday's paper in the morning when he would come to work, but he didn't that morning because he didn't go in the domino room that morning. I didn't see him in the domino room that morning.

[Later...]

Mr. BELIN. Did you ever tell anyone that you saw Lee Oswald reading a newspaper in the domino room around 11:50, 10 minutes to 12 on that morning on November 22nd?
Mr. GIVENS. No, sir.


I do feel, however, that Givens, by the time he testified in front of the Warren Commission, had merely forgotten that he said those things about Oswald to the FBI men.

But the WC wasn't hiding the "11:50" incident from anyone. The Commission published Mr. Belin's question about the incident in WC volume 6 for everybody to read [at 6 H 354].

And Charlie Givens could have answered "Yes" to that question asked by David Belin about Givens seeing Oswald downstairs at 11:50, couldn't he?

Let me guess---Ben Holmes and other conspiracy theorists believe that David Belin had Charles D. Givens wrapped around his little finger when Givens testified in front of the Warren Commission on April 8, 1964, right Ben? So Belin knew what was coming, and maybe Belin even instructed Givens to answer "No" to this question....

"Did you ever tell anyone that you saw Lee Oswald reading a newspaper in the domino room around 11:50, 10 minutes to 12 on that morning on November 22nd?"

Well, if some CTers want to believe that someone told Givens to answer "No" to the above question, I certainly cannot do anything to persuade those CTers to think otherwise. And such CTers also no doubt think that Givens lied through his teeth when he said he went back up to the sixth floor to get his cigarettes and then saw Oswald. (Did David Belin put those words in Givens' mouth too?)

I, however, will remain the naive and gullible little fool who prefers to believe that even though portions of Charles D. Givens' statements and Warren Commission testimony don't fit together perfectly (which I fully discuss here), Mr. Charles Givens nevertheless was not lying through his teeth (and therefore was not coerced by any outside forces to tell an array of lies to the Warren Commission) when he said he saw Lee Harvey Oswald on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building at approximately 11:55 AM CST on November 22, 1963.

If Ben Holmes and other conspiracy theorists want to believe otherwise, well, go right ahead and do so. It's a free country. But I'll also remind everyone of this portion of Charles Givens' WC testimony....

Mr. BELIN. Mr. Givens, we surely appreciate your cooperation in coming down here. Now, you and I didn't talk about this at all until we started taking this deposition, did we?
Mr. GIVENS. No, sir.

[...]

Mr. BELIN. Have I ever met you before?
Mr. GIVENS. I don't believe so. I don't believe I have.



I'll also add this ---

If Charlie Givens did see Lee Oswald in the Domino Room on the first floor at about 11:50 AM (and also allowing for the fact that all times provided by witnesses--Givens included--can really only be looked upon as "approximate" times, which is only common sense), that fact in no way destroys the entire case against Oswald as JFK's assassin.

Oswald, like all of the other order fillers who worked at the Book Depository, could move around freely in the building during the course of any work day, and therefore could have been on the first floor at some point in time before noon and then also have been seen upstairs on the sixth floor just a very few minutes later.

I can easily envision a scenario which has Givens seeing Oswald on the first floor in the Domino Room at some point in time prior to 12:00, with Oswald then going to the fifth or sixth floor a short time later, with Oswald then being in a position on either the fifth floor or the sixth floor (some of the TSBD witnesses were uncertain as to which of those exact floors Oswald was on) to shout down the elevator shaft to the four employees who were racing the two freight elevators downstairs. And then, after the elevator race, Charles Givens goes back up to the sixth floor to get his jacket and cigarettes and encounters Oswald.

The above reconstruction of possible events would blend perfectly with the testimony and FBI statements of all four of the Depository employees who rode the elevators downstairs around lunchtime on November 22--including Charles D. Givens--without a single lie or instance of coercion being necessary whatsoever.

Via the above scenario I just laid out, the only thing that would require any "adjustment" at all would be the time when Givens saw Oswald on the first floor. The time of that event was very likely a little earlier than the 11:50 timestamp placed on it by Givens in his 11/22/63 interview with the FBI.

But, again, such instances of "timestamping" must always be taken with a grain of salt, because it is not reasonable to expect every witness to recall the EXACT time they saw someone or did something. Because that person, at the time of the incident itself, would have had no reason under the sun to stop and say to himself: "Gee, I'd better make a note of the exact time of day that I saw Lee Oswald walking around the building today". Any times given by witnesses, therefore, must always be considered merely estimates and approximations on the part of the witness providing such information.

But some conspiracists seem to want to believe that the timestamps provided by witnesses connected with the JFK and J.D. Tippit murder cases are times that have been proven to be spot-on accurate--right down to the minute. Such a notion, of course, is preposterous. And that goes for Charles Givens' time estimates of when he saw Lee Harvey Oswald in the Depository, and it also applies to the timestamping of the Tippit murder provided by eyewitness Helen Markham as well.

David Von Pein
July 1, 2014
July 2, 2014