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Warren Commission Report: Page 252« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VI - Investigation of Possible Conspiracy)

man with the rifle." 75 Craig further testified that Rowland told him that when he first saw the two men, they were walking back and forth in front of the window for several minutes. They were both white men and one of them had a rifle with a scope on it.7° This report by Craig is contradicted by the testimony of both the Rowlands, and by every recorded interview with them conducted by law enforcement agencies after the assassination.


As part of its investigation of Rowland's allegation and of the general question of accomplices at the scene of the assassination, the Commission undertook an investigation of every person employed in the Texas School Book Depository Building. Two employees might possibly fit the general description of an elderly Negro man, bald or balding. These two men were on the first floor of the building during the period before and during the assassination.77 Moreover, all of the employees were asked whether they saw any strangers in the building on the morning of November 22.78 Only one employee saw a stranger whom he described as a feeble individual who had to be helped up the front steps of the building. He went to a public restroom and left the building 5 minutes later, about 40 minutes before the assassination. 79


Rowland's failure to report his story despite several interviews until his appearance before the Commission, the lack of probative corroboration, and the serious doubts about his credibility, have led the Commission to reject the testimony that Rowland saw an elderly balding Negro man in the southeast corner window of the sixth floor of the Depository Building several minutes before the assassination.

Oswald's Escape

The Commission has analyzed Oswald's movements between the time of the assassination and the shooting of Patrolman Tippit to determine whether there is any evidence that Oswald had assistance in his flight from the building. Oswald's activities during this period have been traced through the testimony of seven witnesses and discussed in detail in chapter IV.80 (See Commission Exhibit No. 1119-A, p. 158 and Commission Exhibit No. 1118, p. 150.) Patrolman M. L. Baker and Depository superintendent Roy Truly saw him within 2 minutes of the assassination on the second floor of the building. Mrs. R. A. Reid saw him less than 1 minute later walking through the second-floor offices toward the front of the building. A busdriver, Cecil J. McWatters, and Oswald's former landlady, Mrs. Mary Bledsoe, saw him board a bus at approximately 12:40 p.m., and get off about 4 minutes later. A cabdriver, William W. Whaley, drove Oswald from a cabstand located a few blocks from where Oswald left the bus to a point in Oak Cliff about four blocks from his roominghouse; and Earlene Roberts, the housekeeper at Oswald's roominghouse, saw him enter the roominghouse at about 1 p.m. and leave a few minutes later'. When seen by these seven witnesses Oswald was always alone.
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