Post by bigdog Post by claviger
It was the most obvious place for an easy shot on the entire route
and in the very heart of Dallas. The Sheriff department was one
block away with Deputies just standing around watching the
motorcade turn the corner. Just asking for one Deputy to
amble on down the plaza and stand in front of the fence
if nothing else so a drunk doesn't show up and take a
shot with his .22 cal bolt action rifle.
I would dispute that. About ten years ago I drove the route from Love
Field to DP as best as current traffic patterns would allow. There were
any number of possible ambush sites along the route every bit as inviting
as in DP. There's no way anyone could anticipate where a shooting was
going to take place and no reason to believe one location deserved special
attention over all the others.
What the SSA try to avoid when planning a parade route is sharp turns
causing the Limousine to slow down. Do you remember how many 90º
turns like that on your drive from Love Field? There were two 90º turns
in Dealey Plaza and the second was even worse where the Limousine
went too wide and almost hit the curb, as one witnesses described it.
What the SSA didn't like was the heavy Limousine was slow to recover
and get back up to speed. For that reason the passengers were more
vulnerable in Dealey Plaza than any other part of the parade route.
The question is did LHO take his first shot as the Limousine was trying
to regain Parade speed? You have done a good job analyzing why that
shot was an awkward angle. After that shot the Limousine was up to
normal speed of about 12 mph going down Elm Street when two more
shots were fired. One could argue the slow wide acute angle turn from
Houston St actually saved the President and the other two shots on the
part of the street going downhill is where the damage was done.
The Limousine safely negotiated the two 90º turns considered the most
dangerous part on the parade route with no injury to passengers from a
gunshot. What happened next would have been the same even had the
the Limousine come straight down Elm St all the way with no turns. You
have asked the question had the Motorcade gone straight down Main St
to avoid the two sharp turns in Dealey Plaza how much difference would
it make? That is a good question.
After giving that some thought you're correct from distance perspective
not all that much. The angles would be different and the motorcade can
pass by at somewhat higher speed 15-20 mph, but still in a danger zone
of the rifle used in the ambush. That angle would have put the First Lady
more at risk.
The part I will never understand is all the negative publicity that preceded
this trip about City of Dallas being a dangerous environment for a parade
through the crowded downtown area in an open Limousine, why the SSA
did not seem all that worried about it. Some people advised against this
trip to Dallas based on a previous incident that got national press where
Adlai Stevenson was whacked on the head by a lady with a placard and
later someone took a rifle shot at a local politician.
That sobering incident should elevate the safety strategy by all those in
charge of planning this upcoming parade but I see no efforts of a higher
level of security, just business as usual. The sad part it would have been
so easy to spread more resources around Dealey Plaza.
Local authorities were put off by the attitude of SSA and FBI not taking
their advice, but some of that was due to instructions by the President
and his desire to not be surrounded by motorcycles. Instead of being
perturbed, there were a few simple things the local authorities can do
on their own from "an abundance of caution".
Four buildings overlooked Dealey Plaza. (1) The County Jail, then the
(2) County Records Building. Unlikely buildings, one is full of Deputies
and prisoners. The CRB claimed no open windows during the Parade.
The next 2 Buildings were problematic. (3) The Dal-Tex was a perfect
position for a shot down Elm St heading west. (4 ) The TSBD provided
multiple positions to fire at an oncoming parade vehicle and of course
a vehicle moving west toward the Triple Underpass.
Buildings (3) and (4) needed the most attention as a possible security
risk. Two DPD or DCSD officers positioned on the fire escape on the
east side of the TSBD, one high one low, could easily keep the Dal-Tex
That leaves the front side and west side of the TSBD. Six floors six
DPD/DCSD would be a good idea out of an abundance of caution.
Four more security officers, one in front of the North Pergola and
one behind, and two more behind the Picket fence.
Only a dozen volunteers could have secured Dealey Plaza from a
sniper attack. There were 7 departments to request support: DPD,
DCSD, DPS, FBI, ATF, Federal Marshalls, and local US Military Intel.
Retired Peace Officers could volunteer, all licensed to carry permit.
Volunteer observers would be the VFW and Eagle Scouts. This could
have been a marvelous opportunity as a community effort and great
PR for the City of Dallas who went all out to protect the President of
the USA on his visit to Texas.