Business as usual or meet the lone gunman(UA-66627984-1)

Gus Rose.




Gus Rose was one of the first D.P.D. detectives talking to Oswald, alongside with Richard Stovall after he arrived in City Hall.

In this article in 1998 for D Magazine  he a mentions that a knock at the door interrupted me detective’s ruminations. He opened the door a crack, blocking the suspect’s view. There stood his boss. Capt. Fritz.

“We’ve just come from the book depository.” Fritz said. “We’ve pretty well finished with the investigation at the site. We’ve accounted for all the employees who work there except one. I want you to get some officers to go with you and find the guy who’s missing. He’s a suspect.”

Rose winced. “Well, I would. Captain,” Rose said, “but I’m talking to the guy here that killed Tippit.” If another interrogator stepped in, the process would be set back.

“I’ll have somebody else work that out,” Fritz said. “I want you to find this guy.”

“Well, okay,” Rose said reluctantly. “What’s his name?”

Fritz fished around in the breast pocket of his blue suit and brought out a piece of yellow paper.

“His name is Lee Oswald.”

Whether the above scenario actually happened remains to be seen, since Oswald was not declared missing at that time, the whole scenario was concocted afterwards.

Rose went cold. He turned to look at the suspect, who stared back defiantly. On the table lay the two identification cards. Rose looked down at them. One read “Alec Hiddel.” The other: “Lee Oswald.”

“Captain,” Rose said, “I think we’ve got him right here.”

During the W.C.hearings both Stovall and Rose gave contradictory testimony as to whose name was on the ID inside Oswald’s wallet.

The W.C. testimony of Gus Rose states:
Mr. Rose. There were some people in the office from the Book Depository and we talked to a few of them and then in just a few minutes they brought in Lee Oswald and I talked to him for a few minutes.
Mr. Ball. What did you say to him or did he say to you?
Mr. Rose. Well, the first thing I asked him was what his name was and he told me it was Hidell.
Mr. Ball. Did he tell you it was Hidell?
Mr. Rose. Yes; he did.

Richard Stovall’s W.C. testimony mentions the following before he is sent out by Fritz to search Ruth Paine’s house and her garage alongside with Rose and Adamcik, which seemed to be able to produce many different incriminating things over that short time period.
Mr. BALL. Were you given an assignment as soon as you got down there?
Mr. STOVALL. No, sir; I wasn’t–as soon as I got there. I got there and one of my partners, G. F. Rose, got there about the same time. We were talking to a witness that had seen all the people standing out there–he didn’t actually see anything, so we didn’t even take an affidavit from him because he didn’t see anything. While talking to him, the officers brought Lee Harvey Oswald into the Homicide Bureau and put him into an interrogation room we have there at the bureau. After we finished talking to this witness, we went back there and talked to him briefly.
Mr. BALL. Do you remember what was said to him and what he said to you?
Mr. STOVALL. I don’t recall exactly–I went in and asked him for his identification, asked him who he was and he said his name was Lee Oswald, as well as I remember. Rose and I were both in there at the time. He had his billfold and in it he had the identification of “A. Hidell,” which was on a selective service card, as well as I remember.
Mr. BALL. That’s [spelling] H-i-d-e-l-l, isn’t it?.
Mr. STOVALL. I’m not positive on that–I believe it was [spelling] H-i-d-e-l-l, I’m not sure. And he also had identification of Lee Harvey Oswald, and I believe that was on a Social Security card and at that time Captain Fritz opened the door to the office there and sent Rose and I to go out to this address in Irving at 2515 West Fifth Street in Irving. That was–I don’t know where the Captain got the address, but it was an address where he was supposed to be staying part of the time.

Rose took no notes during Oswald’s chat, but in this article in 1998 for D Magazine he said the following about what Oswald said.

“The suspect had suffered a small red abrasion over his right eye while scuffling with officers at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. But the young man didn’t seem dazed or confused at all. He was angry and arrogant. “I don’t know what I’m doing here,” he said.  

A homicide detective for only three years. Rose would later gain renown as a skilled interrogator. Blocking out the hubbub, he turned his attention to the hostile suspect.
“I don’t own a gun,” the man said. “I didn’t have that gun. They planted that on me when they arrested me.”
“Have you ever owned a gun of your own?” Rose asked evenly.
“No,” he retorted. “I never owned one.”

Rose is also recognised by James Tague as the officer who took down his statement, from Larry Sneed’s “No More Silence” (P.111).

I found out years later by accident that the detective that I gave the statement to in Homicide at police headquarters was Gus Rose. I was listening to the radio one day and they were interviewing him on his retirement from the Dallas Police Department. He was asked if he remembered interviewing Oswald and he said, “Yeah, I remember very distinctly. I was sitting in my office taking a statement from a man that had a minor injury at the time of the assassination.” At that time I hadn’t known his name. In fact I often wondered whatever happened to that statement because it never showed up anywhere later. In any case, while I was in Gus Rose’s office giving him a statement, there was a commotion to our right as Oswald was brought in. Matter of fact, they put him in the office next to the one we were in. Mr. Rose told me, “That’s the guy that shot the policeman over in Oak Cliff.” I said, “I didn’t know there’d been a policeman shot.” He responded, “Yeah, killed him!” That was the extent of the conversation. There was no connection to the President.

Rose then, along with Stovall is being sent out by Fritz, and later that afternoon he arrest Buell Wesley Frazier in a hospital in Irving and then via his house, where they grab Buell’s Enfield 303 and a shotgun. and take him to City Hall.

Gus Rose (No. 1) seen escorting Buell Frazier (No. 2) and Linnie Mae Randle (No. 4) from the Homicide Bureau through the corridor of the 3rd floor of City Hall. ROKC Scans of the Richard E. Sprague Archive at The National Archives. Pix: Jim Murray.


1= Gus Rose, 2= Buell Wesley Frazier, 3=Reverend Campbell, 4= Linnie Mae Randle, 5= Detective Richard Sims, 6=? Photo by Jim Murray-Black Star. ROKC scan of the Richard E. Sprague Archives at NARA.



Gus Rose behind Buell Wesley Frazier. Photo by Jim Murray-Black Star. ROKC scan of the Richard E. Sprague Archives at NARA.


Gus Rose was one of the detectives involved in a later famous case of framing a suspect which became the subject of the documentary, The Thin Blue Line.
Read the following extract from the director Errol Morris’ web page.

Gus Rose walked in. He had a confession there he wanted me to sign. He said that I would sign it. He didn’t give a damn what I said – I would sign this piece of paper he’s got. I told him I couldn’t. You know, “I don’t know what the hell you people expect of me, but there’s no way I could sign that.” He left; he came back in ten minutes, and threw a pistol on the table. Asked me to look at it, which I did. I looked. He asked me to pick it up, I told him “No.” I wouldn’t do that. He threatened me. Again I told him “no.”
He pulled his service revolver on me. We looked at each other for…to me it seemed hours. I do not like looking down the barrel of a pistol. I do not like being threatened. When he finally saw the he would either have to kill me or forget the signature, I guess he forgot the signature because he put his pistol up. He took the pistol on the table, put it up and stormed out.

Gus Rose: I had what I call a casual, friendly conversation with him to start with, to try to size him up, to see what he liked and what he didn’t like. And I found almost immediately that he didn’t have very much conscience, that what…anything he had done it never really bothered him. He had done other things that he told me about that didn’t seem to bother him in the least.

Jackie Johnson: He showed no expression whatsoever. It’s just like he’s sitting here talking about the colour of this wall or the shooting of the police officer. He showed no reaction to any of the questions.

Gus Rose: He, of course, almost overacted his innocence: he protested he hadn’t done anything, couldn’t imagine why we were bringing him in. He didn’t fight or he didn’t resist. He just protested his innocence.

Randall Adams: I, of course, told them what happened that Saturday that I had met this kid. I kept telling them the same thing, the same thing, the same thing…They didn’t want to believe me.

Never once was I allowed a phone call. Never once was an attorney there.


Gus Rose in the Thin Blue Line Documentary. Click to enlarge.

Gus Rose sits in on the Oswald interrogation session with Captain Fritz on Saturday the 23rd. This is after the ‘find’ of the back yard photographs. Read his joint statement with Richard Stovall and John Adamcik and his HSCA testimony on this below.


Here is a very rare video of Gus Rose doing a 90 min. talk on the assassination in 1992. With thanks to Malcolm Blunt.