Post by donald willis Post by Anthony Marsh Post by donald willis Post by Anthony Marsh Post by donald willis Post by claviger
James T. Tague on the JFK Assassination
He is the author of two books, Truth Withheld and LBJ and the
Kennedy Killing. ... Driving through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas
on that day, Mr. Tague was ..... print evidence on Wallace and a
confession by Loy Factor to three reputable
men .James T. Tague
LBJ and the Kennedy Killing
I spoke with Mr. Tague on the phone some 20 years ago. He was affable and
open... until, I believe, I got to the subject of the patrolman who--he
had testified in '64--was stationed under the underpass and with whom he
then walked & talked. Tague said that he didn't remember him, which could
be. The patrolman was one L.L. Hill, who traveled ahead of the motorcade
across Dallas. He was the one who sent the 12:37 "second window from the
end" transmission. But, for some reason, he was not called to testify,
although Charles Brehm was another of his witnesses....
SHow him to me in a photo taken that day.
Don't think I've seen a photo of him. But he was there....
No one was stationed under the overpass.
And no one was under the
Post by Anthony Marsh
underpass at the time of the shots.
Ambiguous that. From Tague's testimony: "A patrolman who evidently had
Key word: evidently. ASSuMEd, not proven.
Post by donald willis
been stationed under the triple underpass walked up & said, 'What
happened' & I said, 'I don't know'.... And the patrolman said, 'Well, I
saw something fly off back on the street'." (p553)
Patrolman Hill was dispatched to the depository after the shooting. (CE
2645) He had been preceding the motorcade, and you can hear him on the
police radio a couple times before 12:30. You can also hear him
reporting, later, from the Oak Cliff library. And he wound up at the rear
of the Texas Theatre after Tippit's shooting. (CE 2645 again) He was
Do you mean Jerry Hill?
Retired officer recalls Oswald's capture
By PHIL MAGERS | Nov. 21, 2002 at 3:43 PMFollow @upi
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DALLAS, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A retired Dallas policeman who helped capture
Lee Harvey Oswald said Thursday the officers who disarmed the struggling
man in the Texas Theatre didn't realize at the time he was a suspect in
the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Jerry Hill, then a young patrol sergeant, had driven across the Trinity
River to the Oak Cliff section of Dallas to help in the pursuit of a
gunman who had shot and killed Officer J.D. Tippit less than an hour
after Kennedy was shot at 12:30 p.m. in Dealey Plaza.
"We had a suspect that was awfully close to both incidents, the officer
and the president, but at this point we were tracking the fellow that
shot the officer," he said during a nostalgic visit to the cinema where
Oswald was arrested 39 years ago Friday.
Hill, now 73, said it wasn't until they later transported Oswald to the
police station that they learned the former Marine was also a suspect in
the assassination. As it turned out, Oswald had killed Tippit after
fleeing from the Texas School Book Depository where he allegedly shot
Tippit, a 10-year veteran of the Dallas police, was gunned down on an
Oak Cliff street when he stopped Oswald about 1:15 p.m., according to
several witnesses. The gunman then fled into a nearby business area and
took refuge in the darkened theater.
A shoe store manager who had been listening to the radio bulletins saw
Oswald walk by, appearing to hide from passing police cars, and then
quickly sneak into the theater. Police were called.
Hill and another officer first ran to the theater balcony to turn on
some lights as other officers converged on the scene. He kicked open
some fire doors and another officer told the projectionist to turn on
Hill said as he ran downstairs he could hear shouting and when he
entered the seating area he found officers struggling with a man near
the back of the theater.
"I got in the fight and we managed to subdue the prisoner, get a gun
away from him, put him on the floor and handcuff him," he said. "We got
him and started out with him."
Outside on Jefferson Boulevard they encountered an angry crowd of about
"We probably had 200 people there and the officers turned their guns on
the crowd because they were saying, 'let's get him, let's take him away
from them,'" he said. "Our thoughts were we just had to risk our lives
to take a gun from him to arrest him and now we're liable to have to
kill somebody to keep him."
Hill said the officers who arrested Oswald didn't even know the
president was dead until they reached the police station. The city was
in a panic in the aftermath of Kennedy shooting and the president had
died at 1 p.m. at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Hill said he was shocked when Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and
killed Oswald two days later in a hallway of the police station because
it left too many questions unanswered. He believes Oswald was the lone
assassin, discounting the conspiracy theories that persist to this day.
"We did have the evidence to back up our case," he said.
Hill doesn't think either Oswald or Ruby was capable of joining in a
"I think we had two nuts in town at the same time," he said. "One of
them was a nobody who wanted to be a somebody and Jack Ruby was another
The 71-year-old Texas Theatre, nearly destroyed by a five-alarm fire in
1995, is undergoing a renovation and Hill believes it's another sign
that Dallas has come to recognize it must preserve a sad chapter in its
The multi-million dollar renovation will turn the historic cinema and
its Italian Renaissance architecture into a new home for community
theater and musical events. About $1.6 million in government funds has
been awarded for the project and local supporters are trying to raise
another $1.7 million to complete the project by next year.
The sixth floor of the old school book depository, the so-called
"sniper's nest," has been turned into a county-run museum, Dealey Plaza
is a National Historic Site, and city officials said this week they have
more plans to preserve the assassination story.
Dallas' Old City Hall, where Oswald was jailed and later slain by Ruby,
will soon be vacated when the police department moves to new quarters,
and city officials plan to turn Oswald's cell and the hallway where he
was killed into historic sites.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the new museum at Old City Hall,
and renovated Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff would form a triangle of
historic sites surrounding the Kennedy Memorial, which sits in a
downtown plaza honoring the memory of the fallen president.
James Tague: Unintended Victim in Dealey Plaza
By: William M. Goggins
November 22, 1963 is a day James Tague will never forget. Driving
through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas on that day, Mr. Tague was
unexpectedly thrust into one of the most earth shattering, examined and
theorized assassinations in history: the shooting of President John F.
Interestingly, most sources, including Crossfire by Jim Marrs, Case
Closed, Pictures of the Pain and Groden's The Killing of a President
make the mistake of claiming his wound was on Tague's left cheek. In an
interview, Tague himself told the author that it was his right cheek,
and the scratch seen in most photos was entirely unrelated, and a week
old by that time. Most people agree that a stray bullet or fragment of a
stray bullet hit a nearby curb, of which some concrete cut Tague's
cheek. The FBI also proved that it was probably was a bullet which hit
Conjecture and conflicting theories have clouded the true events of what
happened in Dealey Plaza that day. People theorize that Lee Harvey
Oswald was the lone assassin. Others claim there were more shooters
and/or conspirators involved. Like the various conflicting assassination
theories, there are several conflicting theories explaining how Tague
was wounded in Dealey Plaza. An in-depth and unbiased analysis of all of
the possible scenarios involving James Tague being wounded in Dealey
Plaza is one of many requisites for reaching a conclusion about what
actually happened during the assassination of John Kennedy.
Unlike Jean Hill and Mary Moorman, James Tague was not planning to see
Kennedy (Marrs, 60). Tague had planned to drive downtown to meet his
girlfriend (and future wife) for lunch. He was driving east on Commerce
street, the southernmost of the three streets which go under the triple
underpass. Nearing Dealey Plaza, Tague came upon traffic caused by the
presidential motorcade, and was forced to stop his car halfway under the
triple underpass. He soon "got out of his car and stood by the bridge
abutment" (Testimony of James Tague - Warren Commission, 553).
With such a vantage point, Tague was able to view the presidential
motorcade which was traveling west on Elm Street from his right side to
his left. It was at this time the assassination of Kennedy took place.
Once the first shot rang out, Tague claimed he thought someone had lit a
very loud firecracker. "It certainly didn't sound like a rifle shot. It
was a loud cannon-type sound" (Testimony - Warren Commission, 553). In
an interview with the author, Tague explained that it was a "flat
sound", whereas the other two were sharp "cracks" which sounded like a
true rifle shot. In his testimony for the Warren Commission, Tague
claims that he next "turned his head away from the motorcade and, of
course, two more shots" (553). In his testimony, it is somewhat unclear
what Tague did between the first shot and the third shot, after which,
he claims to have then ducked behind the abutment to the triple
underpass for a moment. He claims he next glanced around the abutment
just in time to see the presidential limousine accelerate out of Dealey
Plaza, toward the Stemmons Freeway. He told the author he "did what
anyone would do. I scanned the area to see what was going on" (Interview
with James Tague, 5/6/97).
Tague had been wounded by the time the third shot was fired. He reported
feeling a slight sting which he initially ignored, being "consumed by
what was transpiring in front of him" (Trask, 459). It later became the
focus of attention when Tague mentioned it to Dallas police officer
Buddy Walthers who then noticed blood on his cheek. The most important
issue with Tague's wound is the question of which shot caused it. This
information will have to coincide with a larger scenario of a shot
either missing the presidential limousine or fragmenting after going
through the presidential limousine (particularly through Kennedy's head)
and going on to hit the curb near Tague.
Immediately after the shooting before meeting with Walthers, Tague
claims to next see a motorcycle policeman stop, draw his gun and run up
the embankment (or grassy knoll) toward the railroad tracks after
parking his cycle on the north curb of Elm. This was Clyde Haygood, the
officer reported to be first to the grassy knoll after the shooting.
Like many in Dealey Plaza, Tague moved toward the activity until
reaching Haygood who had by that time, returned to his motorcycle. While
with Haygood, another witness reported to Haygood that a shot had come
from the Texas School Book Depository. Haygood radioed the Dallas Police
dispatcher and asked that the Depository be sealed off, using the code
number "142." While reporting to dispatch, he also mentioned a man
(Tague) who had been wounded by flying concrete (Marrs, 61).
After reporting to dispatch, Haygood and Tague encountered an hysterical
man who was sobbing and said, "his head exploded!" Although James Tague
cannot remember the man's name, Jim Marrs and other assassination
researchers claim it was probably Charles Brehm.
After this exchange, Tague claims some time elapsed before Haygood said
to Tague "Well, I saw something fly off back on the street" (Testimony -
Warren Commission, 553). Soon after this, Tague and Haygood were greeted
by a Dallas Deputy Sheriff. Again, Tague was unable to remember his name
in the testimony he gave to the Warren Commission, but it is apparent
that it was Buddy Walthers, the officer who was looking in the grass for
an indication of a bullet strike (Trask, 459). It was at this time when
attention was drawn to Tague's cheek wound. In Pictures of the Pain,
Walthers repeats what Tague told him: "'Are you looking to see where
some bullets may have struck?' and I said, 'Yes.' He says, 'I was
standing over by the bank here, right there where my car is parked when
those shots happened,' and he said, 'I don't know where they came from
or if they were shots, but something struck me on the face'" (Trask, 460).
After Tague reported that he recalled that something "struck him on the
face" while standing by the triple underpass, Walthers looked up and
said, "Yes; you have blood there on your cheek" (Testimony - Warren
Commission, 553). The two were then headed back to the location where
Tague was wounded. About fifteen feet from the location where Tague had
been standing under the triple underpass, Walthers noticed fresh damage
to the curb, that looked like it was caused by a bullet. In his Warren
Commission testimony, Tague said there was a mark that "quite obviously
(was made by) a bullet, and it was very fresh" (553). "To Walthers, it
was most obvious that the projectile either came from the School Book
Depository or the Dal-Tex Building due to the angle with which it struck
the curb" (Trask, 460). He even stated to another deputy "From the looks
of it, it's probably going to be in the school book building" (Trask, 460).
After spotting the mark, Tague testifies that both he and Walthers
"turned around and looked toward the School Book Depository...We said
maybe this is where they (the shots) came from" (Testimony-Warren
Commission, 553). Later in the questioning, Tague was asked if he had
any idea from where the shots came when he heard them. Tague said "Yes;
I thought they were coming from my left" He further specified by saying
that his first impression was that the shots were coming from (as he
explained) "the monument or whatever it was--" (which was the general
area between the grassy knoll and the Book Depository where Abraham
Zapruder was filming. Tague later explained that his assumption was
based on the heightened activity in the area after the shooting (i.e.
Clyde Haygood et. al. converging in that area toward the railroad
tracks, etc.) When asked what he saw during the shooting, he said he saw
no evidence of someone shooting from the railroad tracks. He claims that
during the shooting to have "looked at the complete area to try to find
out where the disturbance was" before ducking behind the abutment. This
further clarifies what he was doing after the first shot, and before he
ducked behind the abutment.
When presuming Tague's left cheek was wounded in Dealey Plaza, as shown
in the Willie Allen photo, such an important issue would link only the
first shot to Tague's wound. Unfortunately, this theoretical path is a
mistake. Tague claimed to be looking to his left, and up at the grassy
knoll for activity after hearing the first shot. This would obscure the
left side of his face, making it impossible to scratch that side after
he turned, excluding the second and third shots from causing the wound
(if on the left cheek). The many researchers who rely on the Allen photo
make this drastic mistake. It is a mistake because Tague actually was
wounded on the right cheek in Dealey Plaza that day. The scratch on his
left cheek shown in the Allen photo was a week old.
Due to the fact that he was wounded on his right cheek in Dealey Plaza,
any of the three shots could possibly have caused the wound. Therefore,
Tague's claim that it wasn't the first shot that wounded him could be
For the Warren Commission, Tague was asked "Do you think that it is
consistent with what you heard and saw that day, that the shots could
have come from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository?" He
The most important issue regarding James Tague's wound is from which
shot did a bullet or part of a bullet strike the curb, causing his
wound. There have been several theories explaining which bullet caused
the wound to Tague's cheek. The two most common theories involve either
the first or third bullets causing the wound. Although some claim it was
hasty, even the Warren Commission concludes, "The mark on the south curb
of Main Street cannot be identified conclusively with any of the three
shots fired. Under the circumstances it might have come from the bullet
which hit the President's head, or it might have been a product of
fragmentation of the missed shot upon hitting some other object in the
area" (Warren Report, 117.)
The first of the theories which corroborated with the Warren
Commission's conclusion is found in the 1967 book Six Seconds in Dallas
by Josiah Thompson, and is alluded to in the book Crossfire, by Jim
Marrs. When referring to the "copper jacketless" bullet fragment which
hit the curb near Tague, Marrs writes: "The only one that could have
lost such an amount of lead is the final head shot" (Marrs, 63). This
theory suggests that the bullet which caused the fatal wound to
Kennedy's head fragmented and then continued on where it hit the curb
near Tague. Marrs claims this is improbable because the fragment would
have to travel 200 feet after exiting Kennedy's head. There was a
considerable dent in the chrome strip near the front visor of the
limousine, possibly illustrating how much velocity such fragments could
carry (assuming it was caused by such a fragment). Weakening this
theory, further analysis of the angles show that the visor may actually
have been in the way of such a stray fragment anyway.
A second common theory is illustrated in the book Case Closed, by
assassination researcher Gerald Posner. For the sake of background,
Posner believes there were three shots, all of which originated from the
Depository, and all of which were shot by Lee Harvey Oswald from the
sixth floor window. This theory has the first shot at the presidential
limousine being obscured by the branches of a tree. The bullet would
have hit a branch, fragmented, and gone towards the area where Tague was
standing where it hit the curb. This is supported with several pieces of
evidence and testimony. Two relatively large fragments of the bullet
from the head shot were found in the limousine. The odds of having
another sizable fragment travel 200 feet and chip concrete then
decreases. Also, Tague himself claims "he thinks he heard the third shot
after he was hit in the face" (Warren Report, 116). Although he believed
that it was the second shot which caused his wound, it is quite clear
that the second shot had gone through Kennedy and Governor Connally,
ending in Connally's thigh after analysis of film footage shot by
Analysis of the footage of the Zapruder film of the assassination best
correlates with this theory. Posner shows how the first shot (at Z-frame
160) is being deflected by a branch of the oak tree between Oswald and
the limousine. The second shot hit both the President and Governor
Connally just as their limousine emerged into Zapruder's view from
behind a freeway sign. Careful analysis points to the second and third
shots causing all of the wounds to Kennedy and Connally.
It is possible that Tague was hit with the first bullet and didn't
immediately feel the sting because of his assumably shocked state
throughout the situation. It would correlate with his insistence that it
sounded different as well (hitting a tree and concrete near him rather
than landing in the limousine).
After personally interviewing James Tague, he made it aware to me that
he was misquoted in Posner's book. Tague told me that it was not the
first shot that caused his wound. He told the author in an interview
that "something made me jump back behind the abutment, and that's why I
think it was the second one (shot)." Despite Tague's feeling that it was
the second shot which hit him, it appears possible that he merely didn't
feel any pain right away. Tague explained his wound as a "very minor
scratch." It only created a few drops of blood. This supports the idea
that he may not have felt the pain immediately.
Various theories suggest other shooters and other reasons for a missed
shot. Some of them involve a second shooter, as illustrated in the book
Crossfire. This theory posits a second shooter firing a bullet and
missing the limousine, hitting the curb. The bullet would have had to
already had the copper jacket stripped from the bullet in order to
explain the lack of copper found in the curb sample. The question then
arises, "why would one strip off the jacket in the first place?" The
majority of theories such as this seem far more implausible and based in
conjecture more than based in fact.
To illustrate this, Mr. Marrs also incorrectly credits Tague's testimony
to be the compelling force behind the Warren Commission's development of
the single bullet theory (Marrs, 63). This is simply an incorrect
assumption. The development of the single bullet theory is described in
several memoranda written in late April of 1964 by Melvin A. Eisenberg
and Norman Redlich to other members of the President's Commission. These
prove the Commission had developed the theory even before Tague had
given his testimony nearly three months later. Mistakes like this are
found in many theories which are based on quick assumptions and little
to no detailed research of facts.
When asked what overall theory he believes explains how he was wounded,
Tague was very ambiguous and unclear. He did state that he felt there
was more than just one shooter. He also seemed very suspicious of the
government and how the FBI handled him and the pieces of related
evidence around Dealey Plaza. He is amidst writing a book accounting his
place in the Dealey Plaza assassination. He was considering the title
"Wake Up America." It became quite clear that Tague distrusts the
Every theory has its strengths and its weaknesses. Regardless, not one
theory can explain how James Tague's cheek was wounded while completely
discrediting every other theory. It is this characteristic of the issue
of Tague's wound that is illustrative of the entire assassination.
Although one theory is more sound and believable than another, there
seems to be an unending source of criticism from various fronts which
can provide conflicting evidence. His case also showed how a simple
photograph can be misinterpreted, greatly affecting one's theoretical
approach to the assassination. With the sheer number of people
theorizing exactly what happened in Dealey Plaza, consensus will never
be achieved. In light of this, I feel it is important to be able to
examine all of the theories and boil them down to the most plausible and
logical explanation of Kennedy's death. James Tague is a link in the
very long chain of such explanation.
Cited Works and Interviews
Groden, Robert J. The Killing of a President: The Complete Photographic
Record of the JFK Assassination, the Conspiracy, and the Cover-Up.
Viking Studio Books, New York, NY. 1993.
Marrs, Jim. Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. Carroll & Graf
Publishers, Inc. New York, NY 1989.
Posner, Gerald. Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of
JFK. Anchor Books, New York, NY. 1993.
Tague, James T. The Testimony given for the Warren Commission to Mr.
Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
July 23, 1964.
Tague, James T. Personal Interview with the author. February 25, 1997
and May 6, 1997.
Trask, Richard B. Pictures of the Pain: Photography and the
Assassination of President Kennedy. Yeoman Press, Danvers, MA. 1994.
Warren Report. Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination
of President John F. Kennedy. St. Martin's Press, New York, NY. 1964.
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