Post by donald willis Post by John Reagor King Post by John Reagor King
, and we've got Luke
Post by John Reagor King
Mooney saying, plain as day, in his report submitted the day after the
assassination, that he found the shells on the floor and only *then*
leaned out the window, saw Fritz outside the building, and got Fritz's
The minute that I saw the expended shells on the floor, I hung my head out
of the half opened window and signaled to Sheriff Bill Decker and Captain
Will Fritz who were outside the building and advised them to send up the
Crime Lab Officers at once that I had located the area from which the
shots had been fired. At this time, Officers Webstr, Victory, and McCurley
came over to this spot and we guarded this spot until Crime Lab Officers
got upstairs within a matter of a few minutes. We then turned this area
over to Captain Fritz and his officers for processing.
Curious. Fritz, or maybe Alyea, said that the crime lab was not allowed
upstairs until cops & deputies ascertained that the perps were not still
at large up there.
Yes, and they had already ascertained that no "perps" were still in the
building quite a few minutes before Mooney saw the shells on the floor.
And you know this HOW?? Baker did a quick check upstairs soon after the
shooting--so quick he didn't even see the three 5th-floor employees, as he
said to the HSCA, hiding behind the boxes! (They had to tell *him* that
they saw *him*.) Not quite a thorough search!
Insp Sawyer, Sgt. Hill & Patrolman Valentine went to the 5th floor, after
12:50, and found *something*, if no perps: Valentine was left to watch
The timing of other searches is unclear, though the apparent main one, by
Fritz, didn't even start until he got there just before 1pm.
Yes, so look again at my exact words. I wasn't talking about the much
earlier time when Baker was searching the building. Instead I said,
plain as day, that by the time Luke Mooney said he saw the shells, no
one suspected of being a "perp" had been found in the building. And as
I've already said, the natural assumption at first would be that the
"perp" would be someone who was not employed in the building and thus
would be someone that none of the real employees had ever seen before.
Since no such person was found inside the building by the time Luke
Mooney said he found the shells.
Post by donald willis Post by John Reagor King
Reading his own descriptions of everything he did inside the building
before he saw the shells, in both his 11-23 report and his later testimony
to the WC, he obviously was searching various places in the building for
quite a few minutes before he saw the shells. To the WC he admitted that
he had failed to look at his watch to see the exact time when he found the
shells and then called out of the window to Decker and Fritz, but he
estimated that it would have been very near to 1:00 p.m., which would be
thirty minutes after the shots were fired. By then there were obviously
no suspected "perps" found in the building: Oswald had already left the
building, and no one was found in the building who was a complete stranger
to all of the TSBD employees, so it cannot be truthfully said that another
person who even maybe could have been the shooter, if it wasn't Oswald,
was found in the building.
I think Prof. Marsh has already taken up this gauntlet, but do you really
think that it was impossible for *another* TSBD employee to have been a
I suppose it could be admitted that it is not "impossible" in an
absolute sense, but that idea would be extremely difficult to sustain.
One would first have to *specifically* name an employee of the building
other than Oswald and then cite evidence implicating that person. What
evidence would one cite to implicate a different employee of the
building, and which specific employee would that evidence implicate?
Post by donald willis Post by John Reagor King
Since Mooney said he found the shells quite a
few minutes after no "perps" were discovered in the building
As above, no thorough search was done apparently until Fritz got there.
No thorough search was done during the approximately thirty minutes
between when the final shot was fired and the approximate time that Luke
Mooney said he first saw the shells to see if someone who was not known
to be an employee of the building was still inside the building? I'm
not entirely sure I agree with you there, but let's say for the moment
that you're correct. What it still indicates is that the police
themselves, correctly or mistakenly, seemed to believe, by the time Luke
Mooney said he saw the shells, that there was no one in the building who
was not an employee who had already been working in the building prior
to that day, other than the officers themselves, of course. They may
not have literally looked into every single room, every single closet,
etc. by then, but my point was that the officers *themselves* seemed to
be satisfied by then that no such person was inside the building,
whether they were correct in that assumption or premature in that
And in the event it turned out to be true, regardless of whether or not
they had yet done a thorough enough search to prove it irrefutably by
the time Luke Mooney first saw the shells: there indeed, as even the
majority of CTs agree, was no one inside the building who was not
already known to be an employee already working in the building who was
ever both seen and also conclusively identified from the moment Baker
first entered the building to a time long after Mooney found the shells.
Post by donald willis Post by John Reagor King Post by John Reagor King Post by John Reagor King
And the minute I squeezed between these two stacks of boxes, I had to turn
myself sideways to get in there that is when I saw the expended shells and
the boxes that were stacked up looked to be a rest for the weapon. And,
also, there was a slight crease in the top box. Whether the recoil made
the crease or it was placed there before the shots were fired, I don't
know. But, anyway, there was a very slight crease in the box, where the
rifle could have lain--at the same angle that the shots were fired from.
So, at that time, I didn't lay my hands on anything, because I wanted to
save every evidence we could for fingerprints. So I leaned out the window,
the same window from which the shots were fired, looked down, and I saw
Sheriff Bill Decker and Captain Will Fritz standing right on the ground.
Well, so I hollered, or signaled I hollered, I more or less hollered. I
whistled a time or two before I got anybody to see me. And yet they was
all looking that way, too except the sheriff, they wasn't looking up.
And I told him to get the crime lab officers en route, that I had the
location spotted. So I stood guard to see that no one disturbed anything
until Captain Will Fritz approached with his group of officers, city
We have an awful lot of evidence converging on a window that is at or very
near the southeast corner of that building. Several witnesses said they
saw a long, narrow object sticking out of a window at or near that corner
of the building, even if they were inconsistent on which exact window it
was, how far open it was, and which floor it was on. We have three TSBD
employees on the fifth floor, and although one of them, James Jarman, said
his initial impression was that the sounds of the gunfire came from below
and to his left, Bonnie Ray Williams said that although he didn't pay much
attention to the first gunshot, he specifically said the next two gunshots
sounded as if they came from "right in the building." And Harold Norman
was even more specific: he said the gunfire sounded as if it came from the
floor directly above him, near the southeast corner of the sixth floor,
and additionally said he could hear the shells falling on the floor, and
Post by John Reagor King
he was at that moment almost directly below the location
And yet he didn't mention this in any affidavit or interview for over a
week. (Thank you, Barb J.)
Good ole Barb, I wish she was still posting here. I finally got a
chance to talk to her on the phone in 2012 (I think). Great lady.
I've just looked through the entire collection in the City of Dallas
archives and there is no match for any document with Harold Norman's
Do you see Harold Norman's name in that list of documents in any
context? I do not.
I immediately found the affidavits by Jarman and Williams, of course.
But unless you have some information that I don't have yet, it appears to
me that although Jarman and Williams were asked to submit affidavits,
If this is true, did it ever occur to you that maybe the reason why Norman
is not known to have mentioned hearing the shells hitting the floor until
more than a week after the assassination is because the statement he made
more than a week later is his *earliest* *recorded* *statement* about the
No, it hasn't occurred to me. Because the SS affidavit was NOT his first
statement. He talked to the FBI that Tuesday, 11/26, and did not mention
hearing shell sounds from above! Maybe now it occurs to *you* that the
reason he didn't mention falling shells for over a week was that he didn't
hear any such thing, eh?
Ah yes, thank you. If I had ever known about that report before, I had
since forgotten it. I am now looking directly at that document in the
midst of typing this sentence, and here is a link to it:
Now, sure, I suppose it's *possible* that this idea of hearing the
shells hitting the floor above was a fabrication that didn't occur to
Mr. Norman until after November 26, but I'm now going to point out the
obvious problems with using this FBI document to support that idea.
Many years ago I became frustrated with the fact that these FBI reports
are typically summaries of what the witness said, but that in so many
cases the witness is not quoted verbatim in any portion of the document.
This document gives us no indication of the exact words Harold Norman
spoke out loud when being interviewed by Agent Keutzer. Also, look at
how very brief the document is: less than a full page. The document
itself gives us no indication whatsoever as far as how many *other*
things Norman might have said that are simply not mentioned here. Also
the document gives no indication whatsoever as to exactly how many
minutes this interview lasted. It gives the date, and nothing else.
There are various possibilities here, all of which could be considered
equally plausible. For example, Agent Keutzer could have, on that same
day, had other duties to attend to, and only had a few minutes available
to talk with Mr. Norman. There isn't any way to tell whether or not
Norman had completely finished saying everything he intended to say by
the time the interview was concluded.
Now, let's go back to exactly what I said originally. I raised the
question of what, exactly, is Harold Norman's earliest recorded
statement about the shooting, and when that statement dates from. While
I admit I did not use the specific definition that the statement had to
be in the man's own words, written or spoken out loud, if one *now* uses
that definition, then this FBI report does not qualify. This is
*another* person's *summary* of what Harold Norman said, not Norman
himself speaking or writing in his own words. Thus, using that
definition, his earliest recorded statement *in* *his* *own* *exact*
*words* still remains the December 4 statement, handwritten by the man
himself, then typed by another person, but still signed with his
handwritten signature. I do not see Harold Norman's handwritten
signature on this 11-26 FBI report, do you?
Sure, I could admit that it is *possible* that Norman invented the idea
that he heard the shells falling on the floor, when he did not actually
hear any such thing at the time. But this single FBI document hardly
comes anywhere close to *proving* that he was lying. Lack of mention of
this detail in that one document hardly proves that he invented this
story; the most it shows is that that detail simply wasn't mentioned by
Agent Keutzer, and since nowhere did Keutzer quote Mr. Norman verbatim
on any of the claims that *are* mentioned, there could be a variety of
reasons that could be considered to be equally plausible as to why
Keutzer did not mention this detail, such as:
1. Keutzer's time was limited, and perhaps given more time Norman might
have mentioned this particular detail.
2. Norman was on the point of mentioning that he also heard the shells
hitting on the floor when the agent concluded the interview, saying he
had something else to attend to.
3. Norman *did* mention this detail, but Keutzer inadvertently missed
it, perhaps because he wasn't paying attention at that particular
moment, or maybe because someone else entered the room and distracted
him at the same moment that Norman mentioned that he heard the shells
hitting the floor above him.
That is yet another problem with this document. No mention is made of
where this interview took place. No mention is made of whether or not
anyone else was in the room during all or part of the time besides
Keutzer and Norman. We have no possible way of knowing how closely
Keutzer was paying attention to every single sentence that Norman spoke
And even so, look at one detail that still *is* mentioned here:
"He said he thought the shot had been fired from the floor directly
Sure, the *additional* detail of *also* hearing the shells hitting the
floor is entirely absent. But even without that, Agent Keutzer was
still claiming that Norman told him that the shots seemed to come from
the floor directly above.
Once again this is consistent with several witnesses saying that they
saw a long, narrow object sticking out of one of the easternmost windows
of one of the uppermost floors of the building. With three TSBD
employees indisputably present in some of the easternmost windows of the
fifth floor, none of whom were holding such an object at the time, the
long, narrow object cannot be on any floor below the sixth floor.
Post by donald willis Post by John Reagor King
I think the document you are referring to is Norman's
12-4-63 affidavit made, not to the Dallas Police or the Sheriff's
Department, but instead to the Secret Service. That document contains
"Just after the President passed by, I heard a shot and several seconds
later I heard two more shots. I knew that the shots had come from directly
above me, and I could hear the expended cartridges fall to the floor. I
also could hear the bolt action of the rifle. I saw some dust fall from
the ceiling of the fifth floor and I felt sure that whoever had fired the
shots was directly above me."
Donald, could the reason that he didn't mention this for the first time
ever until December 4, at least as far as any statement of his that has
been preserved for posterity, be quite simply that this is his *earliest*
*recorded* *statement* of any type about the shooting? Or can you produce
a statement of his regarding the shooting that can be conclusively dated
to a date prior to December 4?
See above. Never say "ever" again....
I shall decline to follow your advice. In his *earliest* *recorded*
*statement* *in* *his* *own* *words*, no matter whether it was spoken
aloud or written, no matter whether it is an audio recording of him
speaking or is a written transcription of him speaking, or whether or
not it is a statement written by him, he said, plain as day, that "I
could hear the expended cartridges fall to the floor," with the specific
usage of the first person in the sentence itself. The FBI report is
merely a brief summary, written by a different person, of what Norman
supposedly said, and it contains fewer details than his affidavit, and
far fewer details than his WC testimony. None of these documents prove
that he did invent the story of hearing the shells hitting the floor
after the fact, and it is equally true that none of these documents
prove he didn't invent it after the fact. None of these documents prove
anything either way.
But there is so much more evidence beyond Harold Norman alone. Whether
or not Norman "invented" the story of hearing the shells hit the floor
(and I should also mention the additional detail of him also claiming to
have heard "the bolt action of the rifle," in which, there again, very
much unlike Agent Keutzer, I am quoting Mr. Norman's exact handwritten
words verbatim), we *also* have this:
Twelve days before Luke Mooney would have any possible way of knowing
that Harold Norman would write that he had heard shells hitting the
floor above him, Mr. Mooney found three rifle shells in practically the
*exact* *spot* that would have produced exactly those very same sounds
that Norman claimed, twelve days later, that he heard.
And long before Luke Mooney would have any possible way of knowing that
several witnesses would say this, these several witnesses said there was
a long, narrow object sticking out of a window that was at, or very
close to, the exact window below the sill of which Mooney said he first
spotted the shells. Sure, he might have already known that *some* of
these witnesses had said this by the time he spotted the shells, but I
know of no credible evidence that Luke Mooney yet knew what *all* of
these witnesses would say about where that long, narrow object was.
And on 11-22, and 11-26, and 12-4, Benjamin Keutzer, Luke Mooney and
Harold Norman would have had no possible way of knowing in advance how
many witnesses would *eventually* corroborate each other on certain
aspects of the sounds of the gunfire, since nowhere close to all of
those witnesses had yet made their earliest recorded statements *in*
*their* *own* *words* by December 4, 1963. In fact, no human on this
planet would have yet had any possible way of knowing such a thing
anywhere near that early, since everyone had to wait quite a few months
for all such statements, no matter how they were made, whether on
television or in written form, or in interviews in newspapers and
magazines or in the WC volumes of printed testimony to all be published
or otherwise made public. While the WC's report was published in
September, 1963, the additional volumes containing the testimonies of
552 witnesses, including the Dealey Plaza witnesses who by themselves
numbered in the triple-digits, were not published until November, almost
exactly one year after the assassination. And these volumes did not
only contain the 552 actual testimonies before the commission itself.
There were also many of the *written* statements, written by the
witnesses themselves, not just summarized by others. Only after the
publication of those additional volumes could the general public get any
clear idea of what the *majority* of the Dealey Plaza witnesses actually
said, in their own words, about the sounds of the gunfire.
And finally there it was, plain as day: witness after witness after
witness, well over one-hundred of them, in statements made not only to
the WC, and not only in written statements taken at other times, but
also speaking on television during the same twelve months, also being
interviewed by reporters for newspapers and magazines during the same
twelve months, saying exactly the same thing: that while they disagreed
with each other about which direction the shots sounded as if they came
from, the vast majority of them agreed that whatever direction it was,
all the sounds had seemed to come from a single direction.
Isn't it true that during those same twelve months, from November 22,
1963 to November 22, 1964, that fewer than ten witnesses *individually*
claimed to have heard shots from more than one direction? And I'm
talking about in their own words, not paraphrased by someone else
without being quoted verbatim.
So, the earwitnesses came very close to being unanimous: whatever
direction the sounds came from, they all came from a single direction,
regardless of how many or how few shots each witness recalled. Even the
majority of all the witnesses who said they recalled hearing more than
three shots still additionally each named only one direction for every
one of those of shots, whether or not the direction named was the same
direction as was named by other witnesses.
Then we have yet another aspect of this which I have not mentioned
before in this thread, but which have mentioned on many previous
occasions since 2002: what the majority of the witnesses said about the
volume of the gunshots and the apparent distance of the sounds:
While there were indeed some witnesses who said that at least one of the
shots sounded louder or softer than the other shots, or said that at
least one of the shots sounded as if it was closer or farther away than
the other shots, once again the vast majority of these witnesses said
nothing even remotely similar. When one reads all statements ever made
by any of these witnesses in their own words about this specific issue,
the vast majority of them either said nothing at all about any
difference in the sound of each shot, or else very specifically said
that all the shots sounded with approximately equal volume, and/or all
the shots sounded as if they came from about the same distance away,
whatever that distance seemed to be for that particular witness.
When all this evidence is taken together, and one looks specifically for
elements of greatest consistency instead of emphasizing the natural and
normal differences in what this many different people said about the
shooting, it becomes quite obvious that there is a tremendously larger
amount of evidence supporting the idea that all the shots were fired
from a single weapon than supports the idea of multiple weapons. Thus,
according to the *majority* of the evidence, where, exactly, was this
weapon at the time the shots were fired, and what is the most *likely*
candidate for this weapon?
A rifle is a long, narrow object. Several witnesses said they saw just
such a long, narrow object sticking out of one of the easternmost
windows of one of the uppermost floors of a single building. If this
wasn't the single rifle that fired all of the shots, what was it then?
And where else did several different witnesses independently corroborate
each other about any such object? Obviously not any of the windows in
either of the other two buildings that were on the corner of Elm and
Houston. And obviously not anywhere at or near the picket fence on what
later came to be called the "grassy knoll," nor in fact at any *other*
location on the knoll.