The John F. Kennedy Assassination Homepage


  » Introduction
  » The Report
  » The Hearings


  » Table of Contents
  » Page Index
  » Letter of Transmittal
  » Foreword
  » Chapter 1
  » Chapter 2
  » Chapter 3
  » 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 227« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER V - Detention and Death of Oswald)

reasons could be fabricated. Moreover, because of the large crowd, it was easier for unauthorized persons to slip by those guarding the entrances. Jack Ruby, for one, was able to gain entry to the third-floor corridor on Friday night.191

The third-floor corridor provided the only passageway between the homicide and robbery bureau and the jail elevator. No thought seems to have been given, however, to the possibility of questioning Oswald on some other floor.192 Moreover, Oswald's most extended exposure to the press, at the Friday evening press conference, was unrelated to any phase of the investigation and was motivated primarily by the desire to satisfy the demands of the news media to see the prisoner.193 The risks attendant upon this appearance were emphasized by the presence of unauthorized persons, including Jack Ruby, at the press conference in the basement assembly room.194

Although Oswald was repeatedly exposed to possible assaults on Friday and Saturday, he met his death on Sunday, when police took the most extensive security precautions. The assembly of more than 70 police officers, some of them armed with tear gas, and the contemplated use of an armored truck, appear to have been designed primarily to repel an attempt of a mob to seize the prisoner.195 Chief Curry's own testimony indicated that such a focus resulted not from any appraisal of the varied risks to Oswald's life but came about in response to the telephone threat Sunday morning that a hundred men were going to. attack Oswald.196

A more balanced appraisal would have given thought to protection against. any attack. For example, the acceptance of inadequate press credentials posed a clear avenue for a one-man assault. The likelihood of an unauthorized person obtaining entry by such means is confirmed not alone by the fact that Jack Ruby managed to. get by a guard at one entrance. Several newsmen related that their credentials were not checked as they entered the basement Sunday morning. Seconds before Oswald was shot, the double doors from the hallway next to the jail office afforded a means of entry to the basement without presentation of credentials earlier demanded of newsmen.197

The swarm of newspeople in the basement also substantially limited the ability of the police to detect an unauthorized person once he had entered the basement. 'While Jack Ruby might have been easily spotted if only police officers had been in the basement,198 he remained apparently unnoticed in the crowd of newsmen until he lunged forward toward Oswald. The near-blinding television and motion picture lights which were allowed to shine upon the escort party further increased the difficulty of observing unusual movements in the basement.

Moreover, by making public the plans for the transfer, the police attracted to the city jail many persons who otherwise might not have learned of the move until it had been completed. This group included the onlookers gathered on Commerce Street and a few people on Main Street. Also, continuous television and radio coverage of

« Previous | Next »

Found a Typo?

Click here
Copyright by www.jfk-assassination.comLast Update: Wed, 3 Aug 2016 21:56:36 CET