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Warren Commission Report: Page 175« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER IV - The Assassin)

Oswald's Jacket

Approximately 15 minutes before the shooting of Tippit, Oswald was seen leaving his roominghouse.595 He was wearing a zipper jacket which he had not been wearing moments before when he had arrived home.596 When Oswald was arrested, he did not have a jacket.597 Shortly after Tippit was slain, policemen found a light-colored zipper jacket along the route taken by the killer as he attempted to escape.598 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1968, p. 164.)


At 1:22 p.m. the Dallas police radio described the man wanted for the murder of Tippit as "a white male about thirty, five foot eight inches, black hair, slender, wearing a white jacket, white shirt and dark slacks." 599 According to Patrolman Poe this description came from Mrs. Markham and Mrs. Barbara Jeanette Davis.600 Mrs. Markham told Poe that the man was a "white male, about 25, about five feet eight, brown hair, medium," and wearing a "white jacket." Mrs. Davis gave Poe the same general description: a "white male in his early twenties, around five foot seven inches or eight inches, about 145 pounds," and wearing a white jacket.


As has been discussed previously, two witnesses, Warren Reynolds and B. M. Patterson, saw the gunman run toward the rear of a gasoline service station on Jefferson Boulevard. Mrs. Mary Brock, the wife of a mechanic who worked at the station, was there at the time and she saw a white male, 5 feet, 10 inches * * * wearing light clothing * * * a light-colored jacket" walk past her at a fast pace with his hands in his pocket. She last saw him in the parking lot directly behind the service station. When interviewed by FBI agents on January 91, 1964, she identified a picture of Oswald as being the same person she saw on November 22. She confirmed this interview by a sworn affidavit.601


At 1:24 p.m., the police radio reported, "The suspect last seen running west on Jefferson from 400 East Jefferson." 602 Police Capt. W. R. Westbrook and several other officers concentrated their search along Jefferson Boulevard.603 Westbrook walked through the parking lot behind the service station 604 and found a light-colored jacket lying under the rear of one of the cars.605 Westbrook identified Commission Exhibit No. 162 as the light-colored jacket which he discovered underneath the automobile.606


This jacket belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald. Marina Oswald stated that her husband owned only two jackets, one blue and the other gray.607 The blue jacket was found in the Texas School Book Depository 608 and was identified by Marina Oswald as her husband's.609 Marina Oswald also identified Commission Exhibit No. 162, the jacket found by Captain Westbrook, as her husband's second jacket.610


The eyewitnesses vary in their identification of the jacket. Mrs. Earlene Roberts, the housekeeper at Oswald's roominghouse and the last person known to have seen him before he reached 10th Street and Patton Avenue, said that she may have seen the gray zipper jacket but

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