The Destruction of Lee Oswald’s Alibi & The Invention of the Second Floor Lunchroom Encounter

The Destruction of Lee Oswald’s Alibi & The Invention of the Second Floor Lunchroom Encounter.

 

I have been investigating the second floor lunchroom encounter for several years now and have offered plenty of evidence that shows that this particular event was a fugezi from the word go. My first paper Anatomy of the Second Floor Lunchroom Encounter which had its first release in 2016 showed a lot of evidence that questioned this so called encounter. Three years later the paper had doubled in size with  a ton more evidence to show this encounter was one of the worst fakes created. This is a new amended chapter which will appear as part of my new Anatomy of the Second Floor Lunchroom Encounter paper. This paper and the other two will be released early June.

In my second paper, I discuss the interrogations of Lee Oswald in depth, but here I will only add the parts in relation to the first floor and the second floor lunch room encounter.

During the first interrogation Will Fritz spoke with Oswald (and have detectives Richard Sims and Elmer Boyd sit in with him). This was a standard tactic for having an extra person or two sit in with the one who did the questioning, this was to support in court what was being said. In the USA there were no tape recorded interrogations until two decades later. Fritz, Boyd and Sims must have been alone with Oswald for 30-45 minutes as FBI agents Hosty and Bookhout did not arrive and joined this interrogation not until 15:15 hrs. No one knows what was said during that period. From this first interrogation with the FBI present are a few notes and reports to look at. The official FBI report that represents the questions and answers of this first interrogation is the joint Bookhout & Hosty report. However this was not made up until the next day Nov 23rd  

James Bookhout and James P Hosty FBI Report Nov 23 1963. Click to enlarge. From Mary Ferrell.

James Bookhout and James P Hosty FBI Report Nov 23 1963. Click to enlarge. From Mary Ferrell.

James Hosty and James Bookhout of the FBI state in their joint November 23 report: “OSWALD stated that he went to lunch at approximately noon and he claimed he ate his lunch on the first floor in the lunchroom; however he went to the second floor where the Coca-Cola machine was located and obtained a bottle of Coca-Cola for his lunch. OSWALD claimed to’ be on the first floor when President JOHN F. KENNEDY passed by his building.” 

This Nov 23rd report:

  1. Does not mention the specific location of Oswald on the first floor at the time of the assassination, which Oswald did tell them (more about that in a mo).
  2. Nor does it mention any encounter involving Oswald, a police officer and Roy Truly.
  3. He got the coke for his lunch not after the assassination!

This was the only official report from that first interrogation issued the day after it had happened. No one of the Dallas police had issued a report and when they did, it was after Oswald’s death.

By James Hosty’s own admission he did take notes during that first interrogation and he was the only one. First in his own notebook. He scribbled partial phrases in his notebook that I am reproducing below.

Notebook notes from James P Hosty of the FBI. From NARA, thanks to Malcolm Blunt. Click to enlarge.

James Hosty claimed he had destroyed these notes, after the report had been typed up and submitted, as per FBI procedure, yet when his book Assignment Oswald was released according to him these notes had ‘re-appeared’ in his desk drawer. A miracle or was Hosty breaking bureau protocol keeping these notes as a souvenir?

In relation to Oswald’s whereabouts the following sticks out: “First floor outside office” which could relate to where Oswald was when the motorcade passed by. And I tend to lean that way, mainly after comparing the notes above with the ones I post a little further below. And also after comparing these with Fritz’s handwritten notes, more about these later on. Also make yourself aware of the so called ‘sectioning’ on these notes. It seems to group unrelated bits together.

But! Once again there is not a mention of any altercation with Marrion Baker nor a mention of Roy Truly.

But then in Feb. 2019 I found a document amongst a set of so called “Hosty files” in Malcolm Blunt’s archive collection. This particular document, written on the back of a sheet of printed affidavit paper of the Dallas police states something that eventually was deep sixed by Hosty and the others only to re-appear when Malcolm Blunt copied the entire set of Hosty papers twenty years ago at the archives in Washington. Through investigating I have found out that Hosty handed these over to the ARRB in 1996. Malcolm himself did not realise he had this bomb shell in his filing cabinet and only when I went through the whole folder to scan it all in for the new D.P.U.K. website did it appear. I decided to publish this document right away at my website’s diary.

James P Hosty Sept 1975. Click to enlarge.

The text that is key to Hosty’s handwritten report is: “O stated he was present for work at the T.S.B.D. on the morning of the 22nd and at noon went to lunch. He went to 2nd floor to get a coca cola to eat with lunch and returned to 1st floor to eat lunch. Then he went outside to watch P. Parade.”  It is safe to say that P. stands for Presidential.

An important element of this paragraph is that he got his coke for his lunch which was before the shots were fired. This aspect is re-confirmed in the joint Hosty/Bookhout report. Again no mention of a lunchroom encounter, Baker and/or Truly.

And then there is the hammer that states that Oswald was outside to watch the Presidential Parade. This lead was swept under the carpet by all those who were present and never repeated again.

Oswald interrogation notes Nov 22 1963. James P Hosty. Thanks to Malcolm Blunt. Click to enlarge.

In Hosty’s book Assignment Oswald he described how he kept on taking notes even after the interrogation. “I headed back to Fritz’s office, where I knew the police were keeping Oswald’s personal belongings. Nothing there, but in the second inner office, which belonged to Lieutenant Walter Potts, I spotted Oswald’s things, which had been removed from his person and from his apartment at the Oak Cliff rooming house. Among the items on Potts’s desk was Oswald’s black address book. I pulled out my pad of blank police affidavit forms and started transcribing the entries in his book, thinking I might find some interesting leads or even some possible co-conspirators”.

 Then if you compare the notebook pages and the handwritten partial draft statement above, something else becomes apparent. They show near identical sections.

James P Hosty interrogation notes and pre-report. Graphic: BK. Click to enlarge.

James Hosty used his notebook notes to compile this draft on D.P.D. affidavit paper, and this also means that the phrase “1st floor entrance office” in Hosty’s notebook notes directly relates to Oswald’s whereabouts as described in the draft on the D.P.D. affidavit paper (the green highlighted areas on both documents). Before the Feb. 2019 find it was assumed that “first floor entrance office” was related to Warren Caster’s visit when he showed Roy Truly and a few others two rifles he had brought in. But closer study of the sections show that inside there are unrelated matters “grouped” together. “First floor entrance office” means first floor entrance of the office.

 

He writes in his book Assignment Oswald, about an exchange, from his memory how the questioning went on during that first interrogation.

Okay now, Lee, you work at the Texas School Book Depository, isn’t that right?

Yeah, that’s right.

When did you start working there?

About October fifteenth

What did you do down there?

I was just a common labourer.

Now, did you have access to all floors of the building?

Of course.

Tell me what was on each of those floors.

The first and second floors have offices. The third and fourth floor are storage. So are the fifth and sixth.

And you were working there today, is that right?

Yep.

Were you there when the president’s motorcade went by?

Yeah.

Where were you when the president went by the book depository?

I was eating my lunch in the first floor lunchroom.

What time was that?

About noon.

Were you ever on the second floor around the time the president was shot?

Well, yeah. I went up there to get a bottle of Coca-Cola from the machine for my lunch.

But where were you when the president actually passed your building?

On the first floor in the lunchroom.

And you left the depository, isn’t that right?

Yeah.

When did you leave?

Well, I figured with all the confusion there wouldn’t be any more work to do that day.

Again Oswald, according to Hosty’s recollections, be it almost 40 years later, Oswald got the coke for his lunch and makes no mention of an encounter with Baker. Hosty also makes mention of the reason why Oswald left work. But what is significant is that the 2nd floor lunch room encounter simply does not exist at that time.

Not for long that is, so get ready for a lil’ twist.

Nat Pinkston.

Unbeknown to James Hosty and James Bookhout, their colleague, Nat Pinkston is busy inside the TSBD shortly after the first interrogation to ‘rectify’ matters so Lee Harvey Oswald becomes the guilty party.

In Sept. 2019 I posted an article called Nat Pinkston and the Snack Room Encounter. This article contained the document I had found that year in Malcolm Blunt’s archive and is to me the first documented evidence of a mentioning of an encounter in the second floor lunchroom. The document is dated L1/22/63 and I am not sure what L1 stands for, but let’s assume it stands for November 22nd. Besides the description of the encounter there is another element that is very interesting and helps with dating this even more precise. The other thing is that Nat Pinkston submitted other reports on Nov 22 using this L1 in the date.

The last two paragraphs relate to the sighting of guns inside the building in front of Roy Truly’s office being observed by Oswald. This particular matter is being recorded during the first interrogation of Oswald by James Hosty in his notes. This of course is being reported to FBI HQ and investigated further, and in this case Pinkston questions Roy Truly about this. So a few hours after this, the second floor lunch room encounter is being ‘created’ as such & written up in this report. This is the closest piece of reporting of creating a 180 and assign blame to Oswald for shooting The President. This document is released before the joint Bookhout-Hosty report. That by itself is a miracle since it was Bookhout & Hosty that were present at the interrogation and Pinkston was not! And he introduces this new accusation that cements Oswald’s guilt of shooting The President. This report runs parallel with the joint Book-Hosty report and it is even released before theirs.

Nat Pinkston’s Nov 22 1963 report. Inserting the second floor lunchroom encounter.
With thanks to Malcolm Blunt.. Click to enlarge.

What follows next is another report from J Doyle Williams and Nat Pinkston on that very same day of Roy Truly. It apparently has been dictated on the 22nd, but is not typed up until the day after. The phrase “they saw no one else in the building at that time” further below in that statement rings hollow, since two black employees (Troy Eugene West and Eddie Piper) were on the first floor, Truly even spoke with Piper! The fourth floor had several women near the staircase within minutes after the shooting looking at the scenes in the railroad yard down below. Also closer inspection of the Darnell film, of the people on the stairs showing that several people made their way up to go inside before Baker & Truly.

FBI Affidavit Roy Truly by J Doyle Williams & Nat A Pinkston. Click to enlarge. From: Mary Ferrell.

FBI agent Kenneth B Jackson interviews Roy Truly again on the 23rd.

FBI Affidavit Roy Truly by Kenneth B Jackson Nov 23 1963. Click to enlarge. Mary Ferrell.

Then you have the joint Hosty and Bookhout report from the 22nd, but not dictated until the 23rd, and it shows that the so called “second floor lunchroom encounter internal communique” has not been passed on to both Hosty & Bookhout as they just create the report that is based on James Hosty’s notes and their collective memory of that interrogation, which once more, does not contain any encounter at all, since Oswald got his coke for his lunch.

So while Hosty and Bookhout create their real report there is already a fake one in play by Nat Pinkston only just after the first interrogation has been finished.

And then Bookhout gets the nod and produces another report on the 24th. Oswald has been shot dead earlier that day and this report contradicts his joint report with James Hosty on a few occasions.

FBI Affidavit James W Bookhout Nov 25 1963. Click to enlarge. From: Mary Ferrell.

In the above solo report by James Bookhout on November 24 (after Oswald was dead) things are turned around a bit, but not for the better.

“Oswald stated that on November 22 1963, at the time of the search of the Texas School Book Depository building by Dallas police officers, he was on the second floor of said building, having just purchased a Coca-Cola from the soft-drink machine, at which time a police officer came into the room with pistol drawn and asked him if he worked there.

Mr. Truly was present and verified that he was an employee and the police officer thereafter left the room and continued through the building. Oswald stated that he took this Coke down to the first floor and stood around and had lunch in the employee’s lunch room. He thereafter went outside and stood around for five or ten minutes with foreman Bill Shelley.”

First, he mentions “at the time of the search of the Texas School Book Depository building by Dallas police officers” while Baker was the only police officer in that building for a fair amount of time (5 mins is reasonable to assume) and that is if Baker went in as fast he said he went; everyone else on the force was busy in the railroad yard. Or this is an indication that Oswald was in the building much later than he has been ‘credited’ for? Like 15 minutes by any chance?

Secondly, Oswald had purchased a coke, which from a timing perspective makes it already ‘interesting’ (getting the correct change out, putting it in the machine and waiting for the bottle to appear and take the cap off). Neither Truly nor Baker saw anything in his hands. Although Baker messed that up with his handwritten report on Sept. 23rd 1964, the day before the W.C. report was issued and it was sent rapido to Washington.

Thirdly, Oswald stood around and had lunch after the shooting, and even stood outside with Bill Shelley for 5/10 minutes after having had his lunch. Shelley who was not seen outside the building after returning from his ‘trip’ with Billy Lovelady and seen much later escorting Garcia and Williams to a police car. So how long was Lee Oswald in that building?  According to this second report, for quite some time, which makes one wonder, how the bus/cab ride transpired, changing his clothes and ‘grabbing his gun’ and walk towards 10th and Patton and blow Tippit away. Nor does this rhyme with the W.C. conclusion that he was gone in 2.5 minutes! This cannot be done at any time from a timing perspective as described by James Bookhout!

This document is used to toe the line with the creation of the second floor lunch room encounter.

So far we have only seen the reports and notes of Hosty and Bookhout of the FBI. James Hosty mentions in his Church Committee testimony that he was the only person taking notes during that very first interrogation. Hosty was called away from any further interrogations whereas Bookhout stayed on until Sunday morning.

  • Will Fritz only made up an official undated and unsigned report weeks after. This report has been seen in various versions. Fritz was not seen taking any notes during that first or any other interrogations. He himself claimed he took no notes, as this wasn’t his style of interrogating someone. He had ample opportunity to call in a camera and/or audio recording equipment since the corridor was filled to the brim with reporters and cameramen. One of the typists inside the Robbery & Homicide office could have assisted him transcribing the session. None of these options were used by him.

In my Anatomy of Lee Harvey Oswald’s Interrogations paper I quote several people regarding the recording of Fritz’s interrogations (pages 9-13). That notes were made by him must have taken everyone by surprise when they came to light thru an anonymous donation to the ARRB in late 1996. These notes were ‘buried’ for more than 33 years! So people had to make do with Fritz’s undated and unsigned statement from Dec. 1963 and his Warren Commission testimony. The handwritten notes are not contemporary, as a matter of fact no one knows when these were made. Some suspect Fritz copied Bookhout’s notes.

Will Fritz outside room 317, Homicide & Robbery Bureau. Click to enlarge.

Fritz’s interrogation notes display a few interesting bits when it comes to Lee Oswald’s location just before, during and just after the assassination. But they have to be considered carefully due to the fact that they were made after the interrogations.

Will Fritz’s Oswald interrogation notes. Page 1. Click to enlarge. From: Mary Ferrell.

On page 1, above, it states:

claims 2nd floor coke when

off came in

Oswald had a coke from the 2nd floor when the officer came in. Came in where? 1st? 2nd? “when off came in” looks inserted at a later time.

More about this in a  minute.

to first floor had lunch

Oswald had lunch on the 1st floor.

out with Bill Shelley in front

Oswald knew Shelley was standing in front of the building. And that is before the shooting, not after! As Shelley had departed almost immediately after the shooting from the TSBD steps. Entering the T.S.B.D. from the west side. And he was not seen again outside until 13:30.

Will Fritz’s Oswald interrogation notes. Page 3. Click to enlarge. From: Mary Ferrell.

On page 3 of the same set of Fritz’s interrogation notes from Nov. 23rd the Domino Room and Oswald’s lunch come into play. Something Fritz never investigated any further, why not?

says two negro came in

one Jr + short negro – ask? for lunch says cheese sandwiches + apple

-Oswald saw Jarman and possibly Norman come in to the Domino room while he had his lunch. Lunch consisted of cheese sandwiches and an apple.

Looking at both these pages one thing becomes evident. That is that a new sentence does not start on a new line, but midway as well, this leaves his notes open to interpretation. A forum post by Sean Murphy explains this with samples.

In his report to Chief Curry from November 23 1963 Fritz says: “We also found that this man had been stopped by Officer M.L. Baker while coming down the stairs. Mr. Baker says that he stopped this man on the third or the fourth floor on the stairway, but as Mr. Truly identified him as one of the employees he was released”. The third or fourth floor refers to Baker’s first statement.

 Fritz’s undated report, in draft mode states: “I asked him what part of the building he was in when the president was shot, and he said that he was having his lunch about that time on the first floor. Mr. Truly had told me that one of the police officers had stopped this man immediately after the shooting near the back stairway, so I asked Oswald where he was when the police officer stopped him. He said he was on the second floor drinking a coca cola when the officer came in.” This just blends it all very nicely together.

Will Fritz‘s typed report from December 23 states: “We also found out that this man had been stopped by officer M.L. Baker while coming down the stairs. Mr. Baker says that he stopped this man on the third or the fourth floor of the stairway, but as Mr. Truly identified the man as one of his employees, he was released. This very same report falsely claims that Oswald’s working area was mostly on the second floor! It would actually be one of the least frequented areas for him actually.

Will Fritz’s typed report from Dec 23rd 1963. From: UNT.

His W.C. testimony:

Mr. BALL. Did you ask him what happened that day; where he had been?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. What did he say?
Mr. FRITZ. Well he told me that he was eating lunch with some of the employees when this happened, and that he saw all the excitement and he didn’t think, I also asked him why he left the building. He said there was so much excitement there then that “I didn’t think there would be any work done that afternoon and we don’t punch a clock and they don’t keep very close time on our work and I just left.”
Mr. BALL. At that time didn’t you know that one of your officers, Baker, had seen Oswald on the second floor?
Mr. FRITZ. They told me about that down at the bookstore; I believe Mr. Truly or someone told me about it, told me they had met him, I think he told me, person who told me about, I believe told me that they met him on the stairway (Fritz has trouble composing himself-BK), but our investigation shows that he actually saw him in a lunch room, a little lunch room where they were eating, and he held his gun on this man and Mr. Truly told him that he worked there, and the officer let him go. (so regardless of an encounter on the stairway Fritz declared it happening inside the lunchroom???-BK)
Mr. BALL. Did you question Oswald about that?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir; I asked him about that and he knew that the officer stopped him all right.
Mr. BALL. Did you ask him what he was doing in the lunch room?
Mr. FRITZ. He said he was having his lunch. He had a cheese sandwich and a Coca-Cola.
Mr. BALL. Did he tell you he was up there to get a Coca-Cola?
Mr. FRITZ. He said he had a Coca-Cola.

Martha Joe Stroud corresponded with the Warren Commission that Fritz was not happy with his deposition and would not sign it unless corrections were applied. Nor would have the original archived as such at NARA. And there seem to be two versions of his statement. I would love to see the difference between the two!

Thanks to Robin Unger. Click to enlarge.

Oswald has gone for lunch and stayed in the Domino Room after he had gotten his Coke from the second floor. Many must have seen him getting his coke, since the ladies from the 2nd floor offices started to have their lunch at about 12:00 in the second floor lunch room, some of whom did not leave to watch the parade until 12:20-12:25.

The Domino Room was in the back at the north eastern end of the building, and the infamous back stairs were not far away and had direct access to them. And as stated above In the Hosty & Bookhout notes and statements he got the coke for his lunch.

The Secret Service was present too, Forrest Sorrels and Thomas J Kelley were there during some of Lee Oswald’s interrogations on the 23rd.

  • Thomas J Kelley is the only one who supplies an interrogation report that actually goes so far as to claim that Oswald explicitly admitted to not having watched the motorcade. In his First interview with LHO he states:

“At this time Captain Fritz showed a Selective Service Card that was taken out of his wallet which bore the name of Alex Hidell. Oswald refused to discuss this after being asked for an explanation of it, both by Fritz and by James Bookhout, the FBI Agent. I asked him if he viewed the parade and he said he had not. I then asked him if he had shot the President and he said he had not. I asked him if he has shot governor Connally and he said he had not”.

Now look at the bottom of the page of the Fritz notes and compare and you see that Fritz may have been a bad record keeper, but I doubt he would have left a jewel of the ‘parade’ question and answer like that out in his notes. Kelley’s bit is suspect as a 3 dollar bill.

Not one word about the parade. And that is because he did not give that answer at all.

Will Fritz’s Oswald interrogation notes. Page 4. Click to enlarge. From: Mary Ferrell.