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Pick the odd one out

Post by greg parker on Thu 16 Feb 2012, 9:16 am

How the DPD approached each search:

After the initial search by Baker & Truly, the building was eventually surounded by armed oficers, with no one allowed in or out. Inside, they were also armed and ready...

"The place was filled with cops, every kind. Cops were standing side by side either aiming shotguns or rifles at the building or cradling their weapons." - Jim Euell DMN article 11/21/00.

Sergeant Gerald Hill put out the following report over the police radio: "A witness reports that he last was seen in the Abundant Life Temple about the 400 block. We are fixing to go in and shake it down." It is still not clear to me who this witness was...

Prior to Hill arriving, others had gone there in response to his report. I'm not sure that all have been identified. This his how Myers, reported it in With Malice:

"Pandemonium broke loose in Oak Cliff. Patrolman M.N. (Nick) McDonald, Captain W.R. Westbrook, and a group of officers about to check the Abundant Life Temple, scrambled for their cars. Sergeant C.B. Owens and a bevy of officers covering the vacant houses on Jefferson jumped in their squads and sped the few blocks to the library. Officer Thomas A. Hutson was sitting in a squad car at the gas station at Tenth and Beckley, when the call came out."

So this small group of cops were about to search the "church", but were diverted instead to a sighting at another location. No surrounding with weapons drawn... and in the end... not even a search.

But what of Hill? Didn't he say he was going to "shake it down"? Yes, he did say that... but here is how he described to the WC what happened when he got there: "...and was preparing to go in when there were two women who came out and said they were employees inside and had been there all the time. I asked them had they seen anybody enter the church, because we were still looking for possible places for the suspect to hide. And they said nobody passed them, nobody entered the church, but they invited us to check the rest of the doors and windows and go inside if we wanted to."

Now why did Hill say here merely that they were "still looking for possible places for the suspect to hide?" That makes it sound like he was conducted a door-to-door instead of responding to a specific sighting by a witness. Hill was unaware of what was happening over the library... and it is not made clear what backup he had with him. What was it about THIS sighting that made it less potentially dangerous or urgent than the library or the Texas Theater? And why did the ladies come out? Who WERE those ladies? Were they ever interviewed... any statements taken? If the information is out there, I can't find it. All I DO know is that Hill was satified with
what they said, and so once again, the "church" was not searched or surrounded. Hill, having somehow missed the library report, did here of the theater sighting and hightailed it over there.

A young empoyee named Adrian Hamby was arriving for work at the library when he as approached and questioned by who he assumed to be two plainclothes cops (they were later recalled by Officer Marvin Buhk to have been Secret Service Agents). On being satisfied that he was not a suspect, these men explained to Hamby that a police officer had just been shot and killed in the vicinity. They then requested he go in the library and ask the management to lock all the doors and not let anyone inside. As Hamby was running in to carry out this instruction, he was spotted by Officer Walker... who obviously thought he matched the description, and was acting suspiciously by running. He then put out the first report on a library sighting. Although it is not clear to me when this was, it HAD to be after the report on the "church", since that was about to searched because of Hill's report when those men where diverted.

The library report apparently generated far more enthusiasm than the preceding one. Back to Myers to find out what happened there:

Officer Charles T. Walker, who had alerted fellow officers to the library suspect, led a platoon of officers to the west side of the building. They spotted a side entrance to the library basement. The officers drew their weapons in anticipation of checking it out. Just inside the door, young Adrian Hamby was getting curious. "I had gone to the basement door, which was about three steps below ground level, to look out the door," Hamby said. "And when I did, there was about twenty or thirty police officers out there with rifles, pistols - you name it - and they were pointing it at me and told me to come out with my hands up. And I got scared and closed the door." Hamby's nervous reaction sent the police into a frenzy. Now, they were certain they had the killer cornered. The next thing Hamby heard was the sound of an officer's voice barking orders over a megaphone. "They told me if I didn't come out they would open fire," Hamby explained. "You talk about being scared. I thought I was doomed." The side entrance opened and the patrons began filing out, hands high in the air. Officer Walker spotted the young man he had seen run across the lawn and the officers moved in. "They immediately grabbed me and pushed me up against the wall - my legs spread apart - and frisked me," Hamby recalled. "I was so scared."

and later in Myer's narrative...

At the library's west entrance, police bombarded Hamby with questions, demanding to know what he was doing in there. "I just came apart and I started crying and screaming, 'I work here! I work here! I don't understand! I work here!' " Hamby remembered. Detective Marvin A. Buhk, one of the many officers who had responded to the call for help at the library, recalled a "Secret Service man" straightening out the mess Hamby found himself in. In a later report, Detective Buhk wrote, "One of the Secret Service men stated the person who came out of the basement with the others was not the suspect and that he had already talked to him a few minutes previously."

This was how you expect the police to handle the situation, of course. After all, they WERE after a cop killer... not withstanding that this has all the hallmarks of a diversion.

And how did the hero of the Texas Theater handle this particular episode? Let's
have a look at what he told the WC:

Mr. McDonald.
I was stopped by other officers there. They wanted to search a house. So I relieved my partner to go to help the supervisors search this house, in the 400 block of East Jefferson. Then I went around to the alleys, and started cruising the alley in my squad car.
Mr. Ball.
And did you get a call over your radio to go to a certain place?
Mr. McDonald.
Well, there was a report from the dispatcher that a suspect was seen running into the public library at Marsalis and Jefferson.
Mr. Ball.
You went down there?
Mr. McDonald.
Yes, sir. I went directly to Denver Street, which is an alley at that point. It is still designated as Denver Street. I parked the squad car, took my shotgun, and went to the west basement entrance to the public library, and ordered the people in the basement, in the library outside. They came out with their hands up. The boy immediately said that he had just run into the library to tell the people that the President had been shot. He was a much younger person than what was broadcast on description on the radio.

He took his SHOTGUN and ordered everyone out with there hands up!!!

And later, he returns to this...

Mr. Ball.
Now, as you were cruising the alleys, you had gone into the library basement, and gone to cruising the alleys, did you hear something else over the radio that drew your attention to another part.
Mr. McDonald.
Just to report to the public library.
Mr. Ball.
After that. Did you receive a report?
Mr. McDonald.
After I was satisfied that this teenager that had run into the library didn't fit the description, I went back to my squad car, put my shotgun back in the rack. Just as I got into the squad car, it was reported that a suspect was seen running into the Texas Theater, 231 West Jefferson. So I reported to that location Code 3. This is approximately seven blocks from the library, seven blocks west.

So according to McDonald, Hamby didn't even fit the vague description they had!

Whichever reports you feel are more accurate; the earliest ones, or the later ones to the WC... one thing is clear... the way the sighting at the TT was treated was way different to the one at the library.

Or at least the way they testified about it.

No weapons drawn (even though they're after a cop killer)... no ordering everyone out with hands raised. But why was the TT and the "house of worship" treated so differently to the library and the TSBD?

Yet weapons WERE on display at the TT according to some witnesses... and even McDonald INITIALLY told the media he had his pistol drawn as he approached Oswald. And according to Jim Ewell, a shotgun was pointed down at Oswald while he was being pummeled by the cops.

In essence... the TT was possibly played down because they didn't want to get into certain areas of what really happened during the arrest of what at least one or more of them knew at the time was the patsy.

The ALT never got searched at all and the witness who saw him enter "disappears because this was were the real killer was.

The library was a deliberate diversion.

The TSBD was handled almost as you would expect. Two very obvious areas that stick out: Truly volunteering to lead the chase on a presidential assassin and the ALLEGED delay in covering the exits.

Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
The Cold War ran on bullshit.

greg parker

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Location : Orange, NSW, Australia

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