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

Jesse Curry.

 

Jesse Curry was the Chief of Police in Dallas during the time the assassination happened. He got more than he bargained for that weekend.

Jesse Curry, seen from behind with a bald patch on the left surrounded by the press inside the 3rd floor corridor of the D.P.D. Click pic. to enlarge.

Not only was the Chief talking to the press a lot, he brought the F.B.I. in disrepute by relaying Jim Hosty’s message to Jack Revill earlier that day. That Oswald was known to the F.B.I. and the hotly disputed bit that he was capable of doing it.  Curry’s move  going public about this was not taken kindly by J. Edgar Hoover. hoover called Shanklin and Shanklin called Curry and demanded a retraction, which came, be it in a grovelling way.

Spokane Daily Chronicle Sept 28 1964.

 

The damage was done tho. In his HSCA testimony Jesse Curry makes it clear that while he was Chief of Dallas police no men were invited by the FBI to their academy after the JFK assassination. When Curry resigned, in 1966, Dallas Police was being invited again. This testimony overall shows Curry’s side of the story in great depth.

Curry’s W.C. testimony with regards to Oswald’s interrogations:

Mr. RANKIN – Did you have anything to do with the interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. CURRY – No, sir; I did not. I was in the office once or twice while he was being interrogated but I never asked him any question myself.
Mr. RANKIN – Do you know who did?
Mr. CURRY – Captain Fritz principally interrogated him, I believe.
Mr. RANKIN – Was that his responsibility?
Mr. CURRY – Yes; it was. There were several people in the office. It seems to me we were violating every principle of interrogation, the method by which we had to interrogate.
Mr. RANKIN – Will you explain to the Commission what you mean by that?
Mr. CURRY – Ordinarily an interrogator in interrogating a suspect will have him in a quiet room alone or perhaps with one person there.
Mr. RANKIN – Is that your regular practice?
Mr. CURRY – That is the regular practice.
Mr. RANKIN – Tell us how this was done?
Mr. CURRY – This we had representatives from the Secret Service, we had representatives from the FBI, we had representatives from the Ranger Force, and they were–and then one or two detectives from the homicide bureau. This was, well, it was just against all principles of good interrogation practice.
Mr. RANKIN – By representatives can you tell us how many were from each of these agencies that you describe?
Mr. CURRY – I can’t be sure. I recall I believe two from the FBI, one or two, Inspector Kelley was there from Secret Service, and I believe another one of his men was there. There was one, I recall seeing one man from the Rangers. I don’t recall who he was. I just remember now that there was one. Captain Fritz, and one or two of his detectives–this was in a small office.
Mr. RANKIN – Did you do anything about this when you found out there were so many, did you give any instructions about it?
Mr. CURRY – No; I didn’t. This was an unusual case. In fact, I had received a call from the FBI requesting that they have a representative from there in the hearing room. And we were trying to cooperate with all agencies concerned in this, and I called Captain Fritz and asked him to permit a representative of the FBI to come in.
Mr. DULLES – Who was directing the interrogation, Captain Fritz?
Mr. CURRY – Captain Fritz

Jesse Curry at Parkland hospital.

Jesse Curry states in his book (p. 73) Retired Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry Reveals His Personal JFK Assasssination File by Jesse Curry (1969) The result of the three or four hours of interrogation was completely disappointing. Oswald denied any knowledge of the assassination. He even denied shooting Officer Tippit. The following hours of interrogation were also fruitless. I have always wondered whether or not Captain Fritz could have obtained crucial information from Oswald if he had been allowed to spend two or three hours alone with him under normal interrogative conditions. By 7:00 p.m. on November 22, 1963 we were satisfied that enough evidence had been accumulated to warrant the filing of a charge of murder against Lee Harvey Oswald for the death of Police Officer J. D. Tippit. Shortly after this Oswald was transferred from the Homicide Bureau to the fifth floor of the City Jail. As he came down the hall of the third floor from the Homicide Bureau newsmen were allowed to take photographs. A few words were exchanged as he was rushed into the private jail elevator. When asked about the assassination Oswald commented, “I don’t know where you people get your information. I haven’t committed any acts of violence.”

 In his W.C testimony Curry discusses a few more snippets of Oswald’s interrogation.

Mr. DULLES – Could I ask a question?
What was Oswald’s attitude toward the police? Have you any comment on that?
Mr. CURRY – The only things I heard him say, he was very arrogant. He was very–he had a dislike for authority, it seemed, of anyone. He denied anything you asked him. I heard them ask once or twice if this was his picture or something, he said, “I don’t know what you are talking about. No; it is not my picture,” and this was a picture of him holding a rifle or something. I remember one time they showed him and he denied that being him.
I remember he denied anything knowing anything about a man named Hidell that he had this identification in his pocket or in his notebook, and I believe a postal inspector was in this room at the time, too, and someone asked him about the fact that he had a post office box in the name of Hidell and he didn’t know anything about that. He just didn’t know anything about anything.

Jesse Curry on the far right during Oswald’s pres conference. Curry was the one who broke the conference off.

And when it comes to Oswald’s legal rights, Curry in his WC. testimony says:

Mr. RANKIN – Did it ever come to your attention that he ever asked for or inquired about counsel?
Mr. CURRY – Yes; I heard him say something. I asked if he had had an opportunity to use the phone and Captain Fritz told me they were giving him an opportunity to use the phone.
Mr. RANKIN – What did he say about counsel?
Mr. CURRY – As I recall he said he wanted to try to get in touch with John Abt.
Mr. RANKIN – A-b-t?
Mr. CURRY – A-b-t, I believe an attorney in New York, to handle his case and then if he couldn’t get him he said he wanted to get someone from Civil Liberties Union.
Mr. RANKIN – What did you do about that?
Mr. CURRY – I told them to let him talk to them in an attempt to get his attorney and in an attempt to got some of his relatives so they could arrange for it.
Mr. RANKIN – Will you describe how it was handled for him to be able to talk on the telephone?
Mr. CURRY – We take them from their cells and we have two telephones that they are taken to, and they are put on these telephones and they are locked in, and a guard stands by while they make their calls.
Mr. RANKIN – Is that call secret or is there any listening in on it?
Mr. CURRY – No, sir; it is not supposed to be secret. I mean it is supposed to be secret. It is privileged communication as far as we are concerned, we don’t have a tap on the phone or anything.
Mr. DULLES – Did he use this?
Mr. CURRY – Yes; he did.

Jesse Curry inside City Hall 3rd floor. Click pic to enlarge.

Curry is also asked by the press in the 3rd floor corridor about the ACLU and Oswald’s request for legal representation. Pity no one knew what they had done to the A.C.L.U. the evening before.

 

And there is of course the matter of John J. Abt, the so called lawyer from New York Oswald desired to have and he could not got hold of. and in his W.C. testimony states his view on Abt.

Mr. RANKIN – Did it ever come to your attention that he ever asked for or inquired about counsel?
Mr. CURRY – Yes; I heard him say something. I asked if he had had an opportunity to use the phone and Captain Fritz told me they were giving him an opportunity to use the phone.
Mr. RANKIN – What did he say about counsel?
Mr. CURRY – As I recall he said he wanted to try to get in touch with John Abt.
Mr. RANKIN – A-b-t?
Mr. CURRY – A-b-t, I believe an attorney in New York, to handle his case and then if he couldn’t get him he said he wanted to get someone from Civil Liberties Union.
Mr. RANKIN – What did you do about that?
Mr. CURRY – I told them to let him talk to them in an attempt to get his attorney and in an attempt to get some of his relatives so they could arrange for it.
Mr. RANKIN – Will you describe how it was handled for him to be able to talk on the telephone?
Mr. CURRY – We take them from their cells and we have two telephones that they are taken to, and they are put on these telephones and they are locked in, and a guard stands by while they make their calls.
Mr. RANKIN – Is that call secret or is there any listening in on it?
Mr. CURRY – No, sir; it is not supposed to be secret. I mean it is supposed to be secret. It is privileged communication as far as we are concerned, we don’t have a tap on the phone or anything.
Mr. DULLES – Did he use this?
Mr. CURRY – Yes; he did.

Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry answered reporters’ questions inside the corridor and the second floor lunch room encounter is being discussed as well.

His remarks prove to be very insightful:

At 5:25
Reporter: Could you detail for us what lead you to Oswald?

Chief Curry: Not exactly except uh in the building we uh, when we uh went to the building, why, he was observed in the building at the time but the manager told us that he worked there and the officers passed him on up then because the manager said he was an employee . . .”

At 6:41
Reporter: Did you say chief that a policeman had seen him in the building?

Chief Curry: Yes

Reporter: After the shot was fired?

Chief Curry: Yes

Reporter: uh why didn’t he uh arrest him then?

Chief Curry: Because the manager of the place told us that he was an employee, ‘said he’s alright he’s an employee.”

Reporter: Did he look suspicious to the policeman at this point?

Chief Curry: I imagine the policeman was checking everyone he saw as he went into the building.

At 10:42:
Reporter: And you have the witness who places him there after the time of the shooting.

Chief Curry: My police officer can place him there after the shooting.

Reporter: Your officer wanted to stop him and then was told by the manager that he worked there.

Chief Curry: Yes.

 

Curry s also responsible for breaking up Oswald’s press conference, he signals to Lt. T.L. Baker who signals the detectives by Oswald’s sides to take him away again. You can hear an “ok” twice, that is Curry. Curry had warned the press beforehand to behave and the press conference turned to chaos. If you listen and watch the separate versions of the press conference then you realise how chaotic it actually was.

When it comes to Oswald’s arraignments Curry says the following during his Warren Commission testimony.

  • Jesse Curry in his W.C. testimony on those arraignments, has another case of that particular amnesia:

Mr. RANKIN – Do you know when Lee Harvey Oswald was arraigned?
Mr. CURRY – It was about 1:30 in the morning. That would be on the morning of the 23d, I believe.
Mr. RANKIN – How long did he, how long had he been in your custody then?
Mr. CURRY – About 11 hours. That was on the Tippit; yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN – When you say that he was arraigned the following day early in the morning, did you mean for the Tippit murder or for the assassination?
Mr. CURRY – No; that was for the assassination of the President.
Mr. RANKIN – All right, will you tell us when he was arraigned for the Tippit murder?
Mr. CURRY – I was not present but I believe it was about 7:30.
Mr. RANKIN – That same evening?
Mr. CURRY – Yes; that would be about 5 hours afterwards.
Mr. RANKIN – Do you recall whether he was arrested first for the assassination or for the Tippit murder?
Mr. CURRY – For the Tippit murder. There were some witnesses to this murder and they had observed him as he left the scene, and this was what he was arrested for.
The CHAIRMAN – May I interrupt Just to ask the chief a question?
Chief, on your arraignments does the magistrate advice the petitioner as to his right to counsel?
Mr. CURRY – Yes, sir; he does.
The CHAIRMAN – Does he ask him if he has counsel?
Mr. CURRY – I don’t recall him doing that. I am not customarily present when a person is arraigned.
The CHAIRMAN – You were not present at the arraignment?
Mr. CURRY – I was present when he was arraigned for the assassination of the President. I was not present when he was arraigned for the murder of Tippit.
The CHAIRMAN – I suppose they make a stenographic record of that, do they not?
Mr. CURRY – Yes, sir; I am sure they do.
The CHAIRMAN – That is all I have.
Mr. RANKIN – Chief, our people made an inquiry whether there was a stenographic record. They don’t believe there was any.
Mr. CURRY – I am not sure of that. I know at the time he was arraigned for the assassination of the President I was present there at the time. It was decided that we should, district attorney was there at the city hall. He was there during most of the evening.
Mr. RANKIN – Will you just describe for the Commission what happened during the arraignment for the assassination, who was present, what you saw.
Mr. CURRY – As I recall, I know the Justice of the Peace David Johnston was there. It seemed like Sergeant Warren, but I couldn’t be positive but some of the jail personnel brought him out into the identification bureau.
Mr. RANKIN – How was he taken out? Were there several people around him, what was the security arrangements?
Mr. CURRY – At that time there was only, we were inside the offices of the criminal identification section. He was brought out through a door that opens from the jail into the criminal identification section. There was only about a half dozen of us altogether there, I don’t recall who all was there.
Mr. RANKIN – What do you mean by the criminal identification section. Could you describe what that is?
Mr. CURRY – That is the identification bureau.
Mr. RANKIN – Does that have a room that this meeting occurred in?
Mr. CURRY – It is not a room such as this. It was in the little foyer or lobby, and it is separated from the jail lobby.
Mr. RANKIN – Did the justice of the peace sit or stand or what?
Mr. CURRY – He stood. He stood on one side of the counter and Oswald on the other side of the counter.
Mr. RANKIN – What floor is this on?
Mr. CURRY – The fourth floor.
Mr. RANKIN – That is nearest the place where there are some filing cabinets?
Mr. CURRY – Yes; it is.
Mr. RANKIN – And besides the people that you have described, I assume that you yourself were there as you have said?
Mr. CURRY – Yes; I was.
Mr. RANKIN – Was there anyone else that you recall?
Mr. CURRY – Not that I recall, other than the justice of the peace.
Mr. RANKIN – Will you describe what happened?
Mr. CURRY – Lee Harvey Oswald was brought in and the complaint was read to him, and here again he was very arrogant and he said, “I don’t know what you are talking about. That is the deal, is it,” and such remarks as this, and the Justice of the peace very patiently and courteously explained to him what the procedure was and why it was.
Mr. RANKIN – What did he say about that?
Mr. CURRY – I don’t recall his exact words.
Mr. RANKIN – Just tell us in substance.
Mr. CURRY – He didn’t–as I recall, he didn’t think much of it. He just said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Mr. RANKIN – What did the Justice of the peace say about the procedure and any rights and so forth?
Mr. CURRY – As I recall it, he read to him the fact that he was being charged with the assassination of the President of the United States, John Kennedy on such and such day at such and such time.
Mr. RANKIN – Did he say anything about his right to plead?
Mr. CURRY – I don’t recall, sir.
Mr. RANKIN – Did he say anything about counsel?
Mr. CURRY – I don’t recall whether he did or not.

Mr. RANKIN – What else happened at that time that you recall?
Mr. CURRY – That is about all. After it was read to him, he was taken back to his cell.

Jesse Curry’s book Retired Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry Reveals His Personal JFK Assasssination File by Jesse Curry (1969): Oswald stood with a sullen look on his face as the charges against him were read, in order to inform him that he was charged with the slaying of the President. Oswald’s response was typical. He said, I don’t know what you’re talking about. What’s the idea of this. What are you doing this for.” P.80.

Oswald, at that time, would have been required to be checked out of jail and there is no record of that either!

Curry himself stated that he was not there for the arraignment of the Tippit murder earlier in the evening of the 22nd.  But others were, who had real trouble remembering things as what Oswald said during that time.

On the 23rd at about 6 PM just after H. Louis Nichols, the president of the Dallas Bar Association, Curry gets the press to interview him and he stays there until enough has been said and he makes his way.

After the murder of Oswald by Jack Ruby many people blamed the Dallas Police, so Elgin Crull went on a damage limitation exercise and told the nation that Curry and the D.P.D. had no blame etc etc