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

Bill Alexander.



Bill Alexander, full name William F. Alexander was one of Wade’s colourful assistant Dallas District Attorneys, he had fought during W.W.2. in North Africa and carried a pistol during his tenure as an assistant D.A. Alexander, along with James K. Allen, tried most Dallas’ death penalty cases during the 50’s and 60’s.

In Gary Shaw’s Cover Up (p. 119): Asked by newsmen on November 22 if he could tell them anything about suspect Lee Oswald, Alexander snapped, “Yes, he is a Goddamned Communist.” Later that day he was zealously preparing to charge the prisoner with killing the President “as part of an international Communist conspiracy.” This we know had to be cancelled since a phone call from Washington strictly forbade linking Oswald to any conspiracy. The term ‘lone nut’ was deemed more appropriate. In Jack Valenti’s A Very Human President busily scribbled on a notepad, recording Johnson’s every thought. At one point, when the network commentator called Oswald a “confessed communist” and raised the fear of a Russian or Cuban conspiracy, Johnson stiffened up and blurted out “no,” as if ordering the newsman to stop. “We must not have that. It could tear the country apart.” It is also noted that L.B.J. rang Will Fritz and told him that “ There is however no evidence of Johnson actually making the call himself.

In Larry Sneed’s No More Silence, Alexander claims to have been present in the early evening, with Will Fritz, to interrogate Oswald:

As I understand, Oswald had arrived at the City Hall around two o’clock in the afternoon. Early that evening Captain Fritz asked me to come in and talk with Oswald. I don’t know, but if all the people who have claimed to have interviewed Oswald were put in one group, I doubt if the city auditorium would accommodate them. Every son of a bitch wants to claim he interviewed Oswald, but I know this: I know that Captain Fritz and I were alone with Oswald in Captain Fritz’s office the first time that I saw him and Fritz tried to question him.

At that time, Fritz tried to get some information from him and Oswald was not responsive. He would answer a question with a question. Fritz asked him if he had a lawyer or wanted a lawyer, and he said yes, that he wanted John Abt. Well, I’d never heard of John Abt, but I found out after I left the office, through a discreet inquiry, that Abt was a Communist lawyer in New York. Captain Fritz said, “We’ll pay for the phone call if you want to call him.” Oswald didn’t pursue that. So the Captain said, “Well, do you want us to get you a local lawyer?” But he didn’t want a local lawyer. Fritz tried to talk to him about Tippit. “Who’s Tippit?” As I’ve said, he responded to almost every question with a question.

I had some phone calls to make to find out this and that. When I returned, a couple of FBI agents were there. At that time, FBI agents wouldn’t write notes down in front of a suspect. They’d listen until they thought they’d gotten all they could remember, then they’d go outside to write up whatever they heard, then others would come in and out. Throughout these two sessions, Oswald was in command of himself and aware of his surroundings. He seemed intelligent, used good English and expressed himself well. In fact, he almost seemed rehearsed for the questions. He wasn’t giving any meaningful answers. Personally, I don’t think that he would have ever talked. As time wore on, there was always the question of conspiracy and what next?

Bill Alexander outside Room 317, Robbery & Homicide. Pic: Fort Worth Star Telegram

From an article in Nov. 1975 in Texas Monthly:   Although Alexander, known to members of the press as “Old Snake Eyes,” was the main reason Henry Wade got all those death penalties that the leaders of Dallas were convinced would deter crime, he is no longer on the DA’s staff. Shortly after his infamous declaration that Chief Justice Earl Warren didn’t need impeaching, he needed hanging, Alexander resigned to enter private practice.  The remark on Warren was because there were quite a few signs in Texas calling for Warren’s impeachment because of his liberal views and Supreme Court decision regarding police activities and the U.S. Supreme Court was getting hostile to the numerous death sentences imposed by the Texas Courts. Alexander resigned on Sept. 1st 1968.

And……..wait for it:

“I’d like to kick the dog shit out of every Yankee newspaperman, club the f—ers to the ground,” he said. You can still see them, right up to this day, hanging around the Book Depository,” Alexander went on. “Fat-ass Yankees in shorts and cameras getting the roofs of their mouths sunburned.”

When Fritz passed away in 1984, Alexander stated that “He was one of the few intellectually honest police officers I ever met.”

Click pic to enlarge.

Below a set of pages by Ronald Dugger who interviewed Alexander in 1977.

[ The Portal to Texas History.