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  » Foreword
  » Chapter 1
  » Chapter 2
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  » Chapter 4
  » Chapter 5
  » Chapter 6
  » Chapter 7
  » Chapter 8
  » Appendix I
  » Appendix II
  » Appendix III
  » Appendix IV
  » Appendix V
  » Appendix VI
  » Appendix VII
  » Appendix VIII
  » Appendix IX
  » Appendix X
  » Appendix XI
  » Appendix XII
  » Appendix XIII
  » Appendix XIV
  » Appendix XV
  » Appendix XVI
  » Appendix XVII
  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 180« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER IV - The Assassin)

office.665 When he entered the homicide and robbery bureau office, he saw two detectives standing there with Sgt. Gerald L. Hill, who had driven from the theatre with Oswald.666 Hill testified that Fritz told the detective to get a search warrant, go to an address on Fifth Street in Irving, and pick up a man named Lee Oswald. When Hill asked why Oswald was wanted, Fritz replied, "Well, he was employed down at the Book Depository and he had not been present for a roll call of the employees." 667 Hill said, "Captain, we will save you a trip * * * there he sits." 668


Oswald was questioned intermittently for approximately 12 hours between 2:30 p.m., on November 22, and 11 a.m., on November 24. Throughout this interrogation he denied that- he had anything to do either with the assassination of President Kennedy or the murder of Patrolman Tippit. Captain Fritz of the homicide and robbery bureau did most of the questioning, but he kept no notes and there were no stenographic or 'tape recordings. Representatives of other law enforcement agencies were also present, including the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service. They occasionally participated in the questioning. The reports prepared by those present at these interviews are set forth in appendix XI. A full discussion of Oswald's detention and interrogation is presented in chapter V of this report.

During the evening of November 22, the Dallas Police Department performed paraffin tests on Oswald's hands and right cheek in an apparent effort to determine, by means of a scientific test, whether Oswald had recently fired a weapon. The results were positive for the hands and negative for the right cheek.669 Expert testimony before the Commission was to the effect that the paraffin test was unreliable 670 in determining whether or not a person has fired a rifle or revolver.671 The Commission has, therefore, placed no reliance on the paraffin tests administered by the Dallas police. (See app.. X, pp. 561-562.)
Oswald provided little information during his questioning. Frequently, however, he was confronted with evidence which he could not explain, and he resorted to statements which are known to be lies.672 While Oswald's untrue statements during interrogation were not considered items of positive proof by the Commission, they had probative value in deciding the weight to be given to his denials that he assassinated President Kennedy and killed Patrolman Tippit. Since independent evidence revealed that Oswald repeatedly and blatantly lied to the police, the Commission gave little weight to his denials of guilt.

Denial of Rifle Ownership

From the outset, Oswald denied owning a rifle. On November 23, Fritz confronted Oswald with the evidence that he had purchased a rifle under the fictitious name of "Hidell." Oswald said that this
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