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

Elmer Lloyd Boyd.


Elmer Boyd who departed the TSBD alongside with Captain Fritz was present at the majority of Oswald’s interrogations (at least six of them), and he goes in fair detail about this during his Warren Commission testimony.

Elmer Boyd (front) and Will Fritz of the DPD leaving the TSBD in the early afternoon of Nov 22 1963. Photo: William Allen/DTH.

Mr. BALL. What did you do when you got there?
Mr. BOYD. Well, we went in and there was a good many people there-I don’t recall who all was there-I know we talked to Lieutenant Baker, and he told us that the man that shot Tippit was in the interrogation room and about 5 minutes or so after we were in the office, we took Lee Harvey Oswald out of there and brought him into Captain Fritz’ office and he talked to him in there.
Mr. BALL. Tell us about what time of day that was?
Mr. BOYD. I believe it was around 2:20 when we took him out in there; yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And who was there in the room with Oswald at that time?
Mr. BOYD. With Oswald at that time?
Mr. BALL. You took Oswald into Fritz’ office about 2:20?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL,. Who was there besides Oswald?
Mr. BOYD. Well, Captain Fritz, and let me see, there was some FBI agents.
Mr. BALLL. Do you remember their names?
Mr. BOYD. I know one came in just shortly thereafter and I remember Mr. Bookhout and Mr. Hosty came in right after we got in there.
Mr. BALL. And who else was there?
Mr. BOYD. Mr. Hall and Mr. Sims: M.G. Hall is our other partner.
Mr. BALL. He’s your other partner?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And Sims was there, and was there a Secret Service man in there?
Mr. BOYD. Let me see-I think there was a Secret Service man there, but I don’t recall-I don’t know what his name was.
Mr. BALL. Do you remember what was said?
Mr. BOYD. Well, I don’t remember exactly what was said.
Mr. BALL. Well, in general, what was the substance of what was said?
Mr. BOYD. Well—-
Mr. BALL. Give me the substance.
Mr. BOYD. Well, I knew Captain Fritz asked him his name.
Mr. BALL. What did he say?
Mr. BOYD. I think he told us his name. I think when he asked him-I’m sure he told him his name because he would talk for a while and then he would quit.
Mr. BALL. Did he ask him where he lived?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir; I think he asked him where he lived.
Mr. BALL. What did he say?
Mr. BOYD. He said he lived over on Beckley.
Mr. BALL. Did he give the address?
Mr. BOYD. I believe that he said, well, I know he gave an address-I know he gave an address but he didn’t say if it was north or south-I remember that-he didn’t say if it was North Beckley or South Beckley and I remember another thing-Mr. Hosty came in and identified him himself, you know, as he came in.
Mr. BALL. What do you mean “identified him”?
Mr. BOYD. He took his identification out of his pocket and put it down there in front of him and told him who he was with.
Mr. BALL. He told Oswald his name and who he was with?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. What else happened?
Mr. BOYD. Well, they participated in the interrogation-Mr. Hosty asked him some questions and he was pretty upset with Mr. Hosty.
Mr. BALL. What do you mean by that, what gave you that impression-what happened?

Mr. BOYD. Well, just by Oswald’s actions, he said he had been to his house two or three times talking to his wife and he didn’t appreciate him coming out there when he wasn’t there.
Mr. BALL. Is that what he said to Hosty?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Anything else?
Mr. BOYD. I don’t recall-I know Mr. Hosty asked him several questions and finally he jumped up and hit the desk, Oswald did, and sat down, and like I say, he was pretty upset.
Mr. BALL. Was he handcuffed at that time?
Mr. BOYD. Yes; I believe he was handcuffed.
Mr. BALI,. Was he handcuffed with his hands behind him?
Mr. BOYD. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. Had his hands been handcuffed behind him before he came into the room?
Mr. BOYD. I couldn’t say if they had or not-they could have been.
Mr. BALL. Do you know whether the handcuffs were changed after he got in the room?
Mr. BOYD. They could have been changed after he got in the room-I’m not certain.
Mr. BALL. Who changed them?
Mr. BOYD. I don’t recall.
Mr. BALL. Now, when Oswald jumped up and struck the desk, he struck the desk with what? With his hand?
Mr. BOYD. With his hands.
Mr. BALL. What did Hosty ask him before that?
Mr. BOYD. He had asked him about a trip to Mexico City?
Mr. BALL. Who did?
Mr. BOYD. Mr. Hosty.
Mr. BALL. What did Oswald say?
Mr. BOYD. He told him he hadn’t been to Mexico City.
Mr. BALL. What else?
Mr. BOYD. I don’t recall just exactly-I think that the words that he used when he was talking to Mr. Hosty was that he had been out there and accosted his wife, I believe that’s the words that he used and like I said, after he talked to him, he said he didn’t appreciate him coming out there to his house.
Mr. BALL. What was it that Hosty said before Oswald got up and struck the desk with his hand-what question did he ask?
Mr. BOYD. I don’t remember what the question was. I know it had something to do with-let me see–I’m not sure if he was still talking to him about his wife or the trip to Mexico City.
Mr. BALL. You remember he did ask him if he took a trip to Mexico?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Oswald said he had not?
Mr. BOYD. He said he had not been to Mexico.
Mr. BALL. And what did Hosty say to that?
Mr. BOYD. He asked him if he denied being to Mexico City-I’ve just forgotten-it wasn’t too awful long before that-I don’t recall just exactly what time that he said—I know it was something recent.
Mr. BALL. What did Oswald say?
Mr. BOYD. He said he had not been there.
Mr. BALL. Do you remember anything else that was said?
Mr. BOYD. No, sir not right offhand-I don’t.
Mr. STERN. Did he ask him anything about Russia?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir; something was asked him-I don’t recall who asked him about that, and he told us about going over to Russia, I believe he was there in 1959, or something like that-about 1959. I’ll tell you, I didn’t keep notes in there because of the fact I was sitting right beside Oswald-right in front of him more or less.
Mr. BALL. Did anybody keep notes?
Mr. BOYD. I saw the FBI man writing-they had a little book-across the table over there.
Mr. BALL. Did you have any microphones in there to record the conversation?
Mr. BOYD. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. Do you as a practice record the interrogations of your prisoners?
Mr. BOYD. No, sir; we don’t.
Mr. BALL. How long did this take–how long was he questioned at this time?
Mr. BOYD. Let me see-we took him down to the first show up right after 4 o’clock, I think I have the exact time here-4 :05 is when we left.
Mr. BALL. Was he in Captain Fritz’ office from the time you took him in there-what time was that?
Mr. BOYD. At 2 :15-2 :20.
Mr. BALL. From 2 :20 until 4 o’clock?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.

A few excerpts:
Mr. BALL. You stayed there, didn’t you?
Mr. BOYD. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And you heard what was said?
Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Tell us what you heard.
Mr. BOYD. Well, I know Mr. Nash asked him a question or two.
Mr. BILL. What were they?
Mr. BOYD. I don’t recall what questions he asked.
Mr. BALL. Who else asked questions?
Mr. BOYD. Captain Fritz talked to him and-let me see-I don’t remember if Mr. Bookhout, it seemed like Mr. Bookhout asked a question or two. I believe all of them asked him something.
Mr. BALL. Do you know what they asked?
Mr. BOYD. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. Do you remember what Oswald said?
Mr. BOYD. Well, let me see-no, sir; I can’t recall what he said; like I say, I didn’t keep notes there because I was sitting right near Oswald.

Elmer Boyd to the right of Lee Oswald at the press conference early on Nov 23rd.

Elmer Boyd to the right of Lee Oswald at the press conference early on Nov 23rd. Click pic to enlarge.


Elmer Boyd (2nd on the right).

Elmer Boyd (2nd on the right) on Nov 23rd. Click pic. to enlarge.


In the HSCA testimony of Elmer Boyd  (thanks to Denis Morissette) things are mixed up, Boyd states: the notes he took (whereas during his W.C. testimony he did not take any notes!)  during the interrogations were transposed into his statement

In Feb 2006 Boyd is interviewed by Stephen Fagin for the Sixth Floor Museum Oral History Collection.

He starts by telling how he started his career at the DPD and managed to join Will Fritz’s Robbery & Homicide.

From roughly 17:30 mins he states.

  • When Will Fritz visits Sheriff Bill Decker in his office, Boyd cals the DPD and speaks to TL Baker and is being told that they have the man who shot Tippit in their office.
  • Boyds sees Kenneth Lyons in there when Fritz tells him and  Richard Sims to bring Oswald into his office.
  • Didn’t know what to think of Oswald, when asked what his first impression was.
  • When Fritz started asking questioning Oswald, Boyd claims that Oswald called himself Hidell (which is not true). It would have been reflected in his notes and report.
  • He wasn’t a dummy by any means. When asked a question he would answer it. It may not have been the right one. He’d talked about his trip to Russia where he met Marina.
  • He talked about everything else, when it got to Tippit or The President “I haven’t shot anybody”.
  • When asked who else was in the room when Oswald was interrogated he states Sims, FBI agents, Secret Service people and he mentions Robert Stewart.
  • He didn’t take notes as he sat right in front of him.
  • He, Sims and Hall according to Boyd were listening in at 75/80% of  the interrogations.
  • Sims was out one time on the 23rd. Replaced by Hank Moore.
  • He remembers James Hosty. He came in and flipped his badge out after which Oswald responded “You don’t have to tell me who you are, I know who you are. You’ve been the one accosting my wife.”  Boyd thinks Hosty got sent off to Jackson Wyoming, but he actually was sent to Kansas.
  • When asked whether that was the only time he got worked up Boyd says that time and when somebody asked him why he shot The President? To which Oswald replied “I haven’t shot anybody”.
  • When asked how he got the cut above his left eye and Oswald replied that “I struck an officer and he struck me back which he should have”.
  • Oswald hit the desk with his handcuffed hands when Hosty’s name became known to him. It was the only time he really saw him upset.
  • Manning Clements of the FBI was interrogating him (between 7-8PM Nov 22nd-BK). Oswald gets taken down for a line-up and after his return Clements starts questioning him again after which Oswald says: “Well I think I have answered enough of your questions. You came in for a short interview, has become rather long. I think have said all I needed to say”.
  • When you asked him a question he’d give you an answer right back. Fact is before Hosty got out he was just about to interrogate Hosty.
  • Boyd says he was present when Hosty came up in the elevator. This is hard to reconcile with the fact that when Hosty came up they; Fritz, Boyd and Sims were already in the room interrogating Oswald. He relays the info from Jack Revill, who allegedly overheard Hosty who knew of Oswald.
  • Oswald was polite to him, he never got upset with him.
  • When asked how Oswald compared to other murder suspects he had interviewed Boyd says “He was cool as he could be. he didn’t really get upset. He was different from most of them. For someone who had just shot The President and an officer he was cool.” 
  • There was no doubt in his mind that he was the person who did it.

Elmer Boyd with Lee Harvey Oswald after his first interrogation. Click pic to enlarge.

  • Boyd is asked about the photograph above and states that he did not know what he was doing. He remembers that Oswald talked about the wound above his left eye and made mention of him not killing anybody. He had not seen this photograph until a couple of years before the interview.
  • He remembers Oswald declaring himself a patsy (which happened at approx 19:40 hrs-BK).
  • When coming out of the office into the hallway Boyd had to work his way through newsmen and even had his hat pushed down by a camera. Reporters were not rude to him. It was chaos.
  • He worked with Sims until 03:30 hrs Sunday morning. This is why he was not present for the last interrogation inside the DPD. He heard of the murder while being with his in laws. He reported straight back at DPD and saw Ruby, whom he knew.
  • Fagin asks him whether Oswald was asked whether he was willing to participate in the press conference or whether he was just taken out there in front of everybody to which Boyd states he cannot remember, but that smile that goes along with him saying it shows there’s more to that than he lets on.
  • When asked about the show-ups, Oswald complained that he wasn’t dressed like the others, Boyd thoughts are that Oswald was not dressed like the others until the last one. He also acknowledges that Oswald complained about the differences when it came to dress between them. When asked whether Oswald’s clothing was more tattered he says that it could have been. He thinks of one of his sleeves might have been torn, which it was.
  • Then the subject of frisking Oswald is brought up, which happened before the very first line-up in front of Helen Markham and Boyd finds five live rounds of 38 ammunition in his pocket. This is after Paul Bentley and Charles Truman Walker had done this already in the car on the way towards City Hall and also when he was dropped off on the third floor! Oswald’s alleged reply after the find was “I just had it there” and Boyd laughs. He mentions also that Sims found the bus ticket in his shirt pocket. Boyd doesn’t know why he wasn’t searched before. “That’s the first thing I do.” The bullets were in his left front pocket.
  • He thinks Oswald gave Richard Sims a ring. About the bracelet he is not really sure at first but thinks he gave that to Sims as well. He can’t remember seeing one. Fagin tells Boyd he spoke to Sims a week earlier and he described it to him.
  • When asked whether he was there when Oswald got fingerprinted he answers that he was there when he got the paraffin test, he places his right palm against his right cheek. He does not mention anything of the palm and fingerprints and instead says that he was not there when Oswald’s mug shot was made and that could be correct since this happened after the press conference and this also happened on the fourth floor.
  • About the paraffin tests he remembers that Pete Barnes and Johnny Hicks and Studebaker were there. He says that Oswald was cooperative “he didn’t object to it”.
  • He escorted Oswald to three line-ups and also dropped him off to his cell, which was padded! It seemed like the middle one of the lot. There were no prisoners close-by his cell. There were some up north.
  • When asked about Oswald’s arraignment for the murder of JFK Boyd mixes things and starts mentioning the Tippit murder arraignment at which David Johnston, Bill Alexander and Will Fritz were present. When asked what Oswald said when he was charged for the Tippit and the JFK murder he said that he never killed anybody.
  • When asked whether Oswald showed any emotion ever at all Boys states “Not really.” No remorse? “No. he just said I haven’t shot anybody.”
  • Boyd was present when the Back Yard Photos were shown to Oswald and he said that it was trick photography and that his head was transposed on to someone else’s body.
  • Boyd did not answer the incoming phone calls, he remembers picking up Julia Postal.
  • Having the press n the hallway was something that hadn’t happened before it was unusual. “I’d never seen anything like it before.”
  • Later on he is asked about taking notes, which he answers that he did two/three days following. He also had mentioned to the WC that he did take notes in his flipbook, but he never has found them back (there’s that smile again…). he had other cases and he did not want to give them his notebook(s).
  •  When asked whether he kept any items as a souvenir he answers with “I might have”. He kept his hat, but not his suit.
  • Then he is asked about Jesse Curry and whether he handled things correctly that weekend. Boyd doesn’t want to criticise Chief Curry, he liked him. He didn’t agree with everything but he did the best he could. He had a lot of pressure.


In the 2013 documentary “Capturing Oswald” Boyd says about Oswald’s interrogations: “He had an answer for everything. It may not be the right answer, but he’d give you an answer, you know.” After Hosty had joined the ‘party’ Boyd says: “He just came down like this and hit the table. And eh, he just quit. He just quit talking to him, he won’t talk to him anymore. I wish that Captain Fritz would have had time to talk to him by himself and one of us with him (which would have usually been the case-B.K.) I think we would have learned a lot more, I really believe that.”


Boyd is interviewed again in 2014 by Stephen Fagin of the 6th Floor Museum.

During this interview he says that Oswald denied shooting anybody. Oswald also stated that he had struck an officer and that he struck him back, which he should have.

At 1:51 the question arises regarding Oswald’s whereabouts during the assassination, and pay careful attention to Boyd’s mannerisms and body language (his hands) once it comes down to discussing this! This is from someone who was present during about half a dozen of these sessions of interrogations and also escorted Lee Oswald inside the building.  The bit where he ought to be forthcoming and he just isn’t. Again amnesia has kicked in……..

At 10:40 Boyd states that the DPD could have found out a lot more if Will Fritz would have had Oswald to himself without the interference of the FBI and the Secret Service. Something many have already made mention of. For the Reid Technique to succeed no doubt.

In an Oral History Interview for the 6FM in 2007 Boyd shuffles around a lot while talking and again says that Oswald would talk about anything except the murders of Tippit and J.F.K.,  Fritz’s notes and who else was there is being discussed. Elmer Boyd himself states that he was there during the interrogations for 75/80% (which would lead one to conclude he would have a much better story to tell than he has been doing all these years), overall Boyd looks extremely nervous while discussing this matter.


This is a very recent interview with Elmer Boyd in Nov 2021.