Tomorrow is the day 53 years ago, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas. Still there are researchers that are analyzing every piece of information they can get ahold of. Thanks to the internet the information seems endless. This year I discovered many new pieces I did not know existed, because my focus has been on Lee Harvey Oswald. Today along that same line I am going to focus on the policeman that Oswald was accused of Killing Officer J.D.Tippit.
The murder of Officer Tippit was the reason the police stormed the theater pulling Oswald out and arresting him… Not much has been written about him as historically he has been seen a bit player in this drama. Now there is more information revealed that indicates he may have a much bigger role in the assassination than first thought. Who is Officer J.D. Tippit?
He started with the Dallas Police Department in 1952. He also had 2 other part time jobs, one at Austin BBQ and another at Stevens Park Theater. He was a family man, married with three children. In the Dallas Police Department, he was car #10, badge #848. Over the years Tippit was accused of being part of the assassination of Kennedy, and others have said he was part of the plot to take out Oswald at the end. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and diligent researchers so much more has been uncovered.
Tippit’s beat #78 was in the Oak Cliffs residential area of Dallas, it is also in the same general area as Oswald’s rooming house. Tippit’s movements that day indicate he started his morning with eggs at the Dobbs House Restaurant, 2 blocks from Oswald’s rooming house, just outside his beat. It is said that Oswald ate there also, though there is no indication of him doing so that day. Tippit frequently went in and out of his beat throughout the day.
As we shall see, there are other reports of him being far from his patrol district on a regular basis. For Tippit to have a coffee break at Dobb’s House at 1221 N. Beckley, it would take a minimum of 15 minutes to get there from his patrol district, about 10-15 minutes for coffee and at least 15 minutes to get back to Tippit’s assigned patrol district. A grand total of about 45 minutes. It defies logic that the Dallas Police Department would authorize a coffee break location that was that far from Tippit’s Patrol District.
A 1966 article in “Ramparts” magazine by researcher, William Turner states that on a recent trip to Dallas, he “uncovered five witnesses to Tippit’s whereabouts the last minutes of his life. There is no indication that the Commission or any police agency was even aware of them. Photographer, A Volkland, and his wife, Lou, both of whom knew Tippit, said that 15 or 20 minutes after the assassination they saw him at a gas station and waved to him. They observed Tippit sitting in his police car at a Gloco gas station in Oak Cliff, watching the cars coming over the Houston Street Viaduct from downtown Dallas. (1)
At approximately 1:10-1:15pm Tippit was driving east on East 10th street. He pulled alongside a man, most believed to be Oswald. The man walked over to Tippit’s car, they exchanged words. Officer Tippit got out of the car, at which time the man thought to be Oswald pulled out a gun and fired five shots in succession. Officer Tippit fell to the ground. Two bullets hit him in the chest, one in the stomach and one in his right temple, one completely missed. He was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospital at 1:25. They arrested Oswald because he was acting suspiciously and he snuck into the Texas Theater without paying. (2)
The next question is, “Was J.D. Tippit the second patsy?” Many believe he was. The President was killed outside of Oswald’s work place and 30 minutes later a police officer killed near his home, this would pave the way to an open and shut case – one that would of course never go to trial.
JD Tippit didn’t know what was coming. He had been ordered to be on the lookout for Oswald. Later his wife, Marie Tippit, would learn this from a fellow policeman, according to author Joseph McBride in the book “Into the Nightmare”. This would actually mean that Tippit looked for Oswald before the Dallas Police arrested him and officially knew who Oswald was. Most likely Oswald wasn’t the only patsy that day. JD Tippit was sacrificed and his wife was financially well taken care of. (3) Officer Tippit had to die that day to lead the people to that Theater and Oswald.
There are a couple of interesting facts, in one account theater ticket taker Warren “Butch” Burroughs said he sold a ticket to Oswald, that he did not sneak in. As I said in a previous blog, another theory is that the killers of Kennedy created a second Oswald, and this patsy would follow a script to make sure Oswald was blamed. The imposter stepped outside Oswald’s rented room at 1:01-04 and Oswald walked into the theatre at 1:00- 07, while Tippit was killed at 1:04-06, there are ample (circumstantial) evidence of three simultaneous scenes a mile apart. His identity is not really important, but besides suggested imposters such as Larry Crawford, Michael Paine, Thomas Masens and others, there was one who looked surprisingly much like Lee Harvey Oswald and who went by the name of Don Norton. (4)
Jim Garrison, District of Attorney of Orleans Parrish, Louisiana and the focal point of Oliver Stone’s “JFK” movie, did not believe Lee Harvey Oswald killed Tippit. He stated in an interview with Playboy, that two men, neither of whom was Oswald, were the real murderers of Tippit; he believed we have one of them identified. The critics of the Warren Report have pointed out that a number of the witnesses could not identify Oswald as the slayer, that several said the murderer was short and squat — Oswald was thin and medium height — and another said that two men were involved. (5)
Garrison was quoted as saying, “I could go on and on recounting similar instances, but there is no doubt that there was indeed a “second Oswald.” Now, the Warren Commission recognized that the individual involved in all these activities could not be Lee Oswald; but they never took the next step and inquired why these incidents of impersonation occurred so systematically prior to the assassination.” (6)
Garrison went on to say that evidence appeared staged, from the scene on the 6th floor of the Book Depository to the cast-off gun cartridges and finally to the theater Oswald snuck into. Oswald did not physically have the time to get from the Book Depository to the area Tippit was shot in. That really supports the theory of a second Oswald, but Garrison goes on to say that the Warren Report found Oswald guilty in spite of the evidence not because of it.
Officer J.D. Tippit’s funeral was held the same day as Oswald’s and President Kennedy’s, November 25, 1963. He won several awards posthumously, Medal of Valor †, Police Medal of Honor †, Police Cross †, Citizens Traffic Commission Award of Heroism †.
- Drenas, Bill, Car #10, Where Are You?, http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/car10.htm
- Groden, Robert J., The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald, New York: Penguin Group,1995
- Westerberg, Staffin H. and Engwall, Pete, Looking at the Tippit Case from A Different Angle, http://assassinationofjfk.net/looking-at-the-tippit-case-from-a-different-angle/
- Jim Garrison: Interview with Playboy 8: The Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit and the “Second” Oswald, http://22november1963.org.uk/jim-garrison-officer-j-d-tippit