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

Malcolm Ollie Couch



Part time WFAA TV cameraman Malcolm Couch captured at work on Dallas Love Field while the limo is about to depart.

Couch sat in the back of CAM CAR 3, in the back next to Jimmy Darnell and Bob Jackson.

Malcolm Couch on the right in Cam Car 3

Malcolm Couch on the right in Cam Car 3

He shot film footage of the assassination area immediately after the shooting.  It includes areas of: motorcade on Main Street, the front of the TSBD, the knoll area following the shooting, the crowd gathering on the north side of Elm Street, the centre of the Plaza from the knoll and footage of the knoll taken around 3:00 p.m. that same day.

Important footage  which is not among the records of the Warren Commission, that is even after Malcolm Couch gave his testimony in front of the Warren Commission!

In 2007 Malcolm Couch gave a oral history interview with the 6FM in 2006, in which he describes the moment when the shots ran out and he filmed Baker and saw the rifle barring in the window.

Malcolm Couch’s and James ‘Jimmy’ Darnell’s cameras crossed each other filming on the corner of Elm and Houston and both capturing Marrion Baker’s dash towards the front steps of the TSBD. The Couch film does not swerve as much to the right and show the front steps of the TSBD as the Darnell film does.

Couch and Darnell films overlapping each other. Gif by: Gerda Dunckel

When asked where they were at the time of the 3rd shot Couch would say they were about 50 feet—or maybe 60 feet—from making the left hand turn onto Elm.” (11-22-64 WFAA program A Year Ago Today). Dave Weigman was two cars in front of Couch and Darnell and was about to turn at the time of the third shot.

If you wish to read about Malcolm Couch and his movements it is best to pick up Pictures of the Pain by Richard Trask a very good book that goes in depth about various camera men there that day and Harold Weisberg’s Whitewash III The Photographic Whitewash goes in depth regarding Malcolm Couch’s attendance in front of the Warren Commission and the non-usage of his footage by the Warren Commission, one of its many travesties. Harold Weisberg’s archive has some commentary on Couch’s testimony.

Couch’s film was shown live on WFAA TV that day, as you can see at 35:25 HERE

Our focus, with regards Prayer Man and the TSBD goes to the sequence that shows the corner of Main and Elm St. and shows Marrion Baker’s dash to the front steps of the TSBD.

Check out the video compiled by BlankDogMan below.

Marrion Baker sprinting towards the front entrance of the TSBD, above and below he also captures Bill Shelley and Billy Lovelady going westwards towards the parking lot.

Bill Shelley and Billy Lovelady moving towards the parking west of the TSBD. Gif by: Gerda Dunckel.

Malcolm Couch, said he saw a gun emerge from an upper story of a warehouse commanding an unobstructed view of the presidential car. (AP, Nov 22nd at 13:50 p.m. CST.)

Kingsport Times Nov 22 1963 Malcolm Couch


Couch is recorded in the Seattle Daily Times from Nov. 22nd 1963 as having looked up and seeing a rifle being withdrawn from the fifth or sixth floor. Did he alert the cops? No, nor did Bob Jackson. Why did Couch just stare at or film some of the bystanders down Elm Street at the front of the TSBD and further down and not for one second at the window where he saw the rifle being withdrawn? They rode on until just before the triple underpass from where they walked back towards the TSBD. And then when did he say what he saw to the police or any other alphabet agency? That same evening when the F.B.I. called him. His statement was not taken until the 24th. Strange……

In his FBI report from Nov 27 1963, Malcolm Couch states he notices a rifle being withdrawn after being alerted by Robert Jackson.

Robert Jackson contradicts Couch with what he states what happened during his Warren Commission testimony.

Mr.SPECTER – What did you do next?

Mr. JACKSON – I said “There is the gun,” or it came from that window. I tried to point it out. But by the time the other people looked up, of course, it was gone, and about that time, we were beginning to turn the corner.

Mr. SPECTER – Which corner were you beginning to turn?

Mr. JACKSON – Houston onto Elm.

So the Baker run sequence was shot by Darnell and Couch after they saw the rifle being withdrawn. Later on during the same testimony by Jackson.

Mr. JACKSON – Right here approximately. And as we heard the first shot, I believe it was Tom Dillard from the Dallas News who made some remark as to that sounding like a firecracker, and it could have been somebody else who said that. But someone else did speak up and make that comment and before he actually said the sentence we heard the other two shots. Then we realized or we thought it was gunfire, and then we could not at that point see the President’s car. We were still moving slowly, and after the third shot the second two shots seemed much closer together than the first shot, than they were to the first shot. Then after the last shot, I guess all of us were just looking all around and I just looked straight up ahead of me which would have been looking at the School Book Depository and I noticed two negro men in a window straining to see directly above them, and my eyes followed right on up to the window above them and I saw the rifle, or what looked like a rifle approximately half of weapon, I guess I saw. and just looked at it, it was drawn fairly slowly back into the building, and I saw no one in the window with it. I didn’t even see a form in the window.

Mr. SPECTER – What did you do next?

Mr. JACKSON – I said “There is the gun,” or it came from that window. I tried to point it out. But by the time the other people looked up, of course, it was gone, and about that time, we were beginning to turn the corner.

Mr. SPECTER – Which corner were you beginning to turn?

Mr. JACKSON – Houston onto Elm.


Malcolm Couch’s Warren Commission testimony, with two other photographers was crammed in two hours and their material not looked at, hardly questioned about nor even submitted as evidence.  Let’s wrap this up quickly shall we?

Couch’s Warren Commission testimony shows how eager David Belin is in ascertaining any info regarding the front steps of the TSBD.  In one way this is interesting, but it also shows how ignorant Belin is of the existence of the Darnell , Towner and Martin films, if he had asked Couch once then fair enough but he keeps on going on about it therefore professing his ignorance of the existence of the other films or pretends to be interested in something that he knows that isn’t there in Couch’s film.

Had the Warren Commission called in James Darnell he would have been able to see what he was desperately looking for: the front of the TSBD (but then that would have opened a whole new kettle of fish wouldn’t it?). Furthermore the questioning fails to put any real examination of the film forward either and that is just one of the many negligent investigative ways of the W.C.

Finally David Belin states they are going on the record again, while there is no mention of going off the record in the first place (page 161 of Malcolm Couch’s testimony). It indicates that the testimony was finished but that they just wanted to go over that so called  rifle barrel sticking out again. Strange though that three to four camera men talk about a rifle sticking out and do absolutely nothing about it, except Tom Dillard,  by sticking their cameras up and at least grab something footage-wise, no he records Marrion Baker’s sprint instead, and at no time aimed his camera up, and with no inclination to follow Baker and stays seated (along with Bob Jackson) and kept filming straight ahead, while driving along with a slow speed down Elm St.  Malcolm Couch’s testimony with regards the 6th floor shooter, in the heat of the moment, has to be taken with a large grain of salt.

Jimmy Darnell jumped out of the car at the same time and did not record anything up there either since he was filming along on the grassy south side of Elm St., and only near the triple underpass did they persuaded the driver to let them out. Again that sounds strange as the car was standing still on the corner of Elm and Houston they had ample time to get out. Bob Jackson remained in the car all that time all the way to Parkland Hospital.

It was Tom Dillard who took two stills high up of the TSBD, no one else did. One of Dillard’s pictures was grudgingly accepted by the W.C. only after he insisted it be included as evidence. You’d think the W.C. would jump for joy to place this material into evidence, not so…..

Couch is interviewed in 2003 by the Dallas Morning News.

Couch remembers someone shouting: “Look at the window — there’s the rifle!” By the time the third shot rang out, Couch had spotted about eight inches of the rifle protruding from the sixth-floor window, and being pulled back in. He says he never saw a face, though some witnesses did.

Moments later, Couch and his fellow passengers scrambled out of the car to descend on the madness of Dealey Plaza.

“‘God, don’t let them do this!’ I screamed. ‘They can’t kill the president!’ And I’m running like crazy. In the plaza, it’s mass confusion, total mayhem.” So much so that the events began to feel overwhelm his instincts as a photographer.

“I didn’t film the window,” he said. “It was happening too fast. I did raise my camera to take black and white footage of a policeman pulling his pistol and people falling, which everyone has seen for years. But then I stopped filming. Why? Mercy, goodness, gracious, I don’t know. When I ran back, I didn’t film anything. I guess I was just too dazed to figure out what was going on. So nothing was filmed until I got to Parkland Hospital, where I saw Jackie getting into a hearse. So I filmed the hearse and people crying all over the place.”

For him, the Kennedy assassination continues to be “a devastating marker.” It was, he contends, the opening of a 1960s Pandora’s box, leading to Vietnam and two more assassinations, which claimed the lives of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the president’s brother Robert F. Kennedy, in 1968.

“That little piece of metal sticking out the window started it all,” said Couch, who teaches at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Fort Worth and who believes in the prophecies from the Book of Revelations.

“I count that as the change in America, from that point forward,” he says. “But for me, it cuts even deeper. The Bible speaks of the end of days. So I see it as the beginning piece of the train of the last days.

“And I was there when it happened.”

Malcolm Couch passed away in Feb. 2013.


Couch was interviewed by WFAA as a witness to the assassination.