(PART 1142)


There was no "roll-call" that resulted in a single missing employee. It's a shame that not all believers can instantly state this for the record.


I've never been sure whether there was or wasn't an actual "roll call" of the TSBD warehouse employees, but in an interview conducted by Gary Mack in June of 2002, Buell Wesley Frazier said there definitely WAS a roll call of the Depository's warehouse employees shortly after the assassination, with names being READ OFF by someone. Here's what Frazier said in 2002:

BUELL WESLEY FRAZIER -- "Mr. Shelley got us together—he and Mr. Truly—and we had a roll call."

GARY MACK -- "And where did this take place?"

FRAZIER -- "Outside Mr. Shelley's office."

MACK -- "Did they actually read off names? Or did they just ask you guys, 'anybody missing'?"

FRAZIER -- "No, they read names off and you had to answer."

MACK -- "Okay. And who was missing?"

FRAZIER -- "The only person missing was Lee Oswald."


To hear the audio of the above 6/21/2002 interview excerpt, CLICK HERE.


The complete two-hour interview with Buell Frazier is here:


I'm not going to bicker about Buell's incorrect memory, Davy, but if Oswald was there at the roll call would that make him any less guilty or innocent?



I tend to think Buell Wesley Frazier's memory was, indeed, "incorrect" about a few of the things he discussed with Gary Mack in that 2002 interview -- particularly Buell's recollection of having seen Lee Oswald walking down Houston Street five to ten minutes after the assassination had taken place. That observation is totally at odds with what Frazier said in his 11/22/63 affidavit.

So, yes, I think it's a good idea to take some of Buell's 39-year-old remembrances with a grain of salt. But, with that caveat in mind, he still did say there definitely was a "roll call" of the TSBD warehouse workers.

Whether Frazier was relying on something that was said by someone else regarding there being an official "roll call", or whether he (in June of 2002) had a firm independent recollection of his own of there being a roll call of the employees, is something I guess we could debate until the cows come home.

We'll probably never really know for sure, because a 39-year-old memory can result in some hazy and strange recollections -- like seeing Oswald out on the street at 12:35 or 12:40 on November 22nd, even though Frazier specifically said this in his first-day affidavit: "I did not see Lee anymore after about 11:00 AM today."

But you'll have to admit that this quote below is rather interesting, don't you think? ....

"They read names off and you had to answer." -- Buell Frazier; 6/21/02

Those words should make at least a few conspiracy theorists stop and wonder: Well, gee, I wonder if there perhaps was a roll call after all.

I know I'm wondering.

But at the same time that "grain of salt" rule must, as I said, be applied to Buell Frazier's memory, because we know that when Frazier said "The only person missing was Lee Oswald", his memory must not be 100% accurate, due to the fact that if such a roll call had occurred on 11/22/63 inside the Depository (during which the warehouse workers "had to answer" after their names were called), another warehouse employee besides just Lee Harvey Oswald would have turned up missing, with that employee being Charles Givens, who would not have had the opportunity to attend any such roll call inside the Depository because he was unable to get back into the building following the assassination.


I unsuccessfully looked for a list of TSBD workers missing after the shooting. Several were not at that roll call and a few others didn't show up for work that day.

Don't you have that list in your well-organized collection, Davy?


Here is Warren Commission Document No. 706, which includes statements from 73 Book Depository employees concerning their whereabouts on November 22, 1963, and what they did right after the shooting....


Here are some relevant passages from Vincent Bugliosi's 2007 book, "Reclaiming History", concerning the topics of the "roll call" and the "missing TSBD employees":

“At the Texas School Book Depository, police officers are conducting a roll call outside of Supervisor Bill Shelley's office, and collecting the names and addresses of the building's employees. Superintendent Roy Truly notices that Oswald isn't among the dozen or so stockroom boys talking to the police. In fact, Truly hasn't seen Oswald since he and Officer Baker ran into him in the second-floor lunchroom right after the shots. That encounter may be the only reason Truly is thinking of him now.

"Have you seen Lee Oswald around lately?" Truly asks Shelley.

"No," Shelley replies.

Truly approaches O.V. Campbell, the Book Depository vice president.

"I have a boy over here missing," Truly says. "I don' t know whether to report it or not."

Truly thinks that another one or two boys are also missing,* but the only one who sticks in his mind is Oswald, if for no other reason than that he had seen Oswald on the second floor of the building (when almost all of his other employees were out on the street) just an hour or so earlier.

Truly calls down to the warehouse personnel office to get Oswald's telephone number, home address, and description from his employment application. He jots it all down, and hangs up. Deputy Chief Lumpkin is a few feet away.

"I've got a boy missing over here," Truly tells him, instinctively focusing in, again, only on Oswald. "I don't know whether it amounts to anything or not."

"Let's go up and tell Captain Fritz," Lumpkin says as the two head upstairs. They find Captain Fritz on the sixth floor at the top of the stairs, standing with a group of officers and reporters. Lumpkin pulls Fritz aside to listen to Truly, who repeats his story and gives him Oswald's address and general description: age twenty-three (he was now twenty-four), five foot nine, about a hundred fifty pounds, light brown hair.

* Actually, only one other of the boys was missing: Charles Douglas Givens
(CE 705, 17 H 419; CE 1974, 23 H 873), who went to the corner of Main and Record (two blocks from the Depository) to watch the motorcade. When he returned to the Depository sometime after 12:40 p.m., police wouldn't let him back inside (7 H 382, 385-386, WCT Roy Sansom Truly; 6 H 355, WCT Charles Douglas Givens).

Givens, who had a prior police record for narcotics violations, was spotted in the crowd an hour later by Dallas police lieutenant Jack Revill, who recognized Givens from his past dealings with him. Givens was subsequently taken to police headquarters, where he was questioned and gave a statement (5 H 35-36, WCT Jack Revill; 6 H 355, WCT Charles Douglas Givens; CE 2003, 24 H 210).


“After the shooting in Dealey Plaza, nearly all of the sixteen warehousemen who worked in the Depository Building returned to the building and were present at a roll call of employees. Only Lee Harvey Oswald and Charles Givens were not present; Givens was located shortly thereafter. So only Oswald left the building and was unaccounted for. Dallas Morning News reporter Kent Biffle, who was inside the Depository Building, wrote in his journal that day, "I listened as the building superintendent [Roy Truly] told detectives about Lee Oswald failing to show up at a roll call. My impression is that there was an earlier roll call that had been inconclusive because several employees were missing. This time, however, all were accounted for but Oswald."**

** For years, conspiracy theorists have attempted to explain away Oswald's fleeing the Book Depository Building by saying he probably "sensed" that he was being set up as a patsy. But when you ask them what evidence they have to support their speculation, or even what evidence they are aware of that may have caused Oswald to believe this, the silence is deafening. A typical example of this defense of Oswald comes from conspiracy theorist Susan Sloate, who writes that "anyone, realizing the President had been shot and that he himself might be blamed for it, would be frightened and insecure," justifying, per Sloate, Oswald "leaving the scene of the crime at the first opportunity and going home to get a revolver, his only means of protecting himself" ("Fourth Decade", January 1995, p.22).

But Ms. Sloate doesn't bother to say why she believes Oswald had this realization. She is apparently opposed to even trying to support her fantasy with some evidence.

In the book "High Treason", the authors nakedly speculate that Oswald "knew he had been set up as the patsy, and so went home," not being nice enough to their readers to say what basis they had for their speculation (Groden and Livingstone, "High Treason", p.153).”


“At the London trial, Wesley Frazier testified that "everyone was present [at the roll call] except Mr. Oswald." (Transcript of "On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald", July 23, 1986, p.38).

Billy Lovelady told the media back in 1964 that "a roll call was taken of the dozen or so men in my work gang. Only Oswald was missing" (New York Herald Tribune, May 24, 1964, p.10).”

-- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 93-94, 958-959, and Page 57 of Endnotes in "Reclaiming History"


Additional sources used by Mr. Bugliosi for the above book excerpts:

3 H 230, WCT Roy Sansom Truly.

Sims Exhibit A, 21 H 512.

3 H 183, WCT Bonnie Ray Williams.

3 H 208, WCT James Jarman Jr.

7 H 59, WCT Gerald Lynn Hill.

12 H 31, WCT Jesse E. Curry.

CD 1245, p.183.

“Sixteen employees, including Oswald”: CE 3131, 26 H 802.

Kent Biffle, “Reporter Recalls the Day Camelot Died in Texas,” Dallas Morning News, April 5, 1981, pp.1AA, 3AA.


As an addendum, I will also print out the following testimony provided on May 14, 1964, by Book Depository Superintendent Roy S. Truly during his second appearance before the Commission (beginning at 7 H 382). This testimony certainly gives the indication that there was no official "roll call" at the Depository on 11/22/63. However, this testimony by Mr. Truly doesn't completely eliminate the possibility that a roll call could have been conducted by William Shelley at some point in time on November 22nd, although you'd think if that had been the case, Truly would have at least been aware of it. ~shrug~ ....

JOSEPH A. BALL -- Now, you recall that in your testimony before the Commission you told them that at some time after the shooting, you advised Captain Fritz of the name of Lee Oswald and his address in Irving?

ROY S. TRULY -- Yes, I did.

MR. BALL -- And in order to place the time of it, was it before or after the rifle had been found on the sixth floor?

MR. TRULY -- I wouldn't know. I think it must have been around the time the rifle was found, because I was not on the sixth floor at that time, but when told--let's go back a few minutes--pardon me--I told Chief Lumpkin a good many minutes after we came down from the roof and he went ahead and gave some orders to two or three policemen surrounding him and then said, "Let's go up and tell Captain Fritz."

MR. BALL -- Now, what did you tell Chief Lumpkin when you came down from the roof of the building?

MR. TRULY -- When I noticed this boy was missing, I told Chief Lumpkin that "We have a man here that's missing." I said, "It may not mean anything, but he isn't here." I first called down to the other warehouse and had Mr. Akin pull the application of the boy so I could get--quickly get his address in Irving and his general description, so I could be more accurate than I would be.

MR. BALL -- Was he the only man missing?

MR. TRULY -- The only one I noticed at that time. Now, I think there was one or two more, possibly Charles Givens, but I had seen him out in front walking up the street just before the firing of the gun.

MR. BALL -- But walking which way?

MR. TRULY -- The last time I saw him, he was walking across Houston Street, east on Elm.

MR. BALL -- Did you make a check of your employees afterwards?

MR. TRULY -- No, no; not complete. No, I just saw the group of the employees over there on the floor and I noticed this boy wasn't with them. With no thought in my mind except that I had seen him a short time before in the building, I noticed he wasn't there.

MR. BALL -- What do you mean "a short time before"?

MR. TRULY -- I would say 10 or 12 minutes.

MR. BALL -- You mean that's when you saw him in the lunchroom?

MR. TRULY -- In the lunchroom.

MR. BALL -- And you noticed he wasn't over there?

MR. TRULY -- Well, I asked Bill Shelley if he had seen him around and he said "No."

MR. BALL -- Now, you told Chief Lumpkin that there was a man missing?

MR. TRULY -- Yes; and he said, "Let's go tell Captain Fritz."


MR. BALL -- Now, you say that you knew that Givens was not there afterwards?

MR. TRULY -- I knew he wasn't there at the time of the shooting because I had seen him walk across the street--up the street.


MR. BALL -- Where is the last place you saw Givens?

MR. TRULY -- The last place I remember seeing Givens was in the middle of the crossing, in the middle of Houston Street.


MR. BALL -- Now, did Givens come back to the building later?

MR. TRULY -- I didn't see him--later on he did.


Also see the Warren Commission testimony of Depository employee Eddie Piper (at 7 H 389), in which Piper talks about a "lineup" of TSBD employees....

JOSEPH A. BALL -- Did you at any time after the shooting miss Lee Oswald—did you notice he wasn't around?

EDDIE PIPER -- No, sir; I didn't notice it until the lineup. You know, I just figured all the people was there.

MR. BALL -- You did notice it at the lineup, did you?

MR. PIPER -- Yes.

MR. BALL -- Tell us about that.

MR. PIPER -- I did notice it in the lineup.

MR. BALL -- What do you mean by the lineup?

MR. PIPER -- I mean, when they lined us all up and told us to give our name and address and just to go home.

MR. BALL -- You say "they"; who do you mean?

MR. PIPER -- The detective—whoever it was.

MR. BALL -- The police?

MR. PIPER -- Yes; they had the building all surrounded. They went to locking the doors back and front and told us to all come up and then go home, and I told him, I says, "I've got to go down in the basement and get my clothes," and he said, "You can go down and get your clothes and come on back up here, but give me your identification and your name and tell us where you are staying," and everybody heard me say that, I guess, and he let us out of the building, one by one, and I went on out the front door.


In the above testimony, however, Eddie Piper was talking about the POLICE conducting that "lineup", not Roy Truly or Bill Shelley of the TSBD staff.

But after reading Piper's testimony, it makes me wonder if perhaps the "lineup" that Piper talked about could be the "roll call" that Frazier and Lovelady remembered. ? ? ?

In any event, that makes THREE separate Depository employees—Frazier, Lovelady, and Piper (plus reporter Kent Biffle)—who each has made reference to some type of "roll call" or "lineup" being conducted in the Book Depository Building before the employees were sent home on 11/22/63.


And here is one last snippet of testimony from Roy Truly (at 3 H 230), which I think is pretty interesting. The conspiracy theorists who think Mr. Truly was part of a plot to frame and railroad Lee Harvey Oswald for JFK's murder must also think Roy was telling one whopper of a lie when he said these words to the Warren Commission: "I don't want to say anything about a boy I don't know anything about. This is a terrible thing." ....

MR. TRULY -- So Captain Fritz left the men he was with and walked over about 8 or 10 feet and said, "What is it, Mr. Truly?," or words to that effect. And I told him about this boy missing and gave him his address and telephone number and general description. And he says, "Thank you, Mr. Truly. We will take care of it." And I went back downstairs in a few minutes. There was a reporter followed me away from that spot, and asked me who Oswald was. I told the reporter, "You must have ears like a bird, or something. I don't want to say anything about a boy I don't know anything about. This is a terrible thing." Or words to that effect. I said, "Don't bother me. Don't mention the name. Let's find something out." So I went back downstairs with Chief Lumpkin.

David Von Pein
June 17-18, 2016
June 18-19, 2016
July 7-8, 2018