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Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview

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Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Empty Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview

Tue 10 Jan 2023, 10:27 am
Starting at 11:20, Norman says "we (he, Williams and Jarman) had plans of waiting until the mororcade arrived and then going up to the 5th floor to watch." He repeats this from the 12:27 mark and is then asked if they all ate up there. He replies that they did and ads that Bonnie Ray was the one who had the chicken sandwich.

That they all went to the 5th floor together is the consensus they gave in their original statements.

And this indicates it was no accident that they went up at 12:25.

This is from Williams testimony.

Mr. BALL. Why did you go to the sixth floor?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Well, at the time everybody was talking like they was going to watch from the sixth floor. I think Billy Lovelady said he wanted to watch from up there. And also my friend; this Spanish boy, by the name of Danny Arce, we had agreed at first to come back up to the sixth floor. So I thought everybody was going to be on the sixth floor.

He claims that he, Danny Arce and Billy Lovelady had talked about meeting up on the 6th floor to watch. No mention of Jarman or Norman. 

Sorry, but I'm having a hard time imagining Lovelady agreeing to watch the motorcade with Shorty Norman and Danny Arce from the 6th floor. 

This has to be coerced testimony.

Williams agreement was with Norman and Jarman to watch on the 5th floor - and that is exactly what they did.

Alyea was right. The cops moved Williams chicken scraps to the 6th floor allowing Wade to make his claims to the media that the assassin calmly ate his lunch while waiting for the kill shot; a cold, calculating pro. 

They then had to scramble to get Willliams onto the 6th eating that chicken, when the scenario changed from commie conspiracy to Lone Nut actor.
https://emuseum.jfk.org/objects/4507/harold-norman-oral-history?ctx=bf69a30fdada59d68a55ebc9592a3ff66ca46cff&idx=226

Thank you 6FM for being unwittingly useful to the truth.

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Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Empty Re: Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview

Tue 10 Jan 2023, 10:46 am
I'm still listening to it. He later states that they were lined at the front door to leave and that they had to provide ID etc to leave. 

He also says everyone was there except Oswald. I don't doubt that at all. Have always felt that Oswald was released by Truly and Kaminski just prior to everyone else being rounded up.

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Wed 11 Jan 2023, 4:38 am
So they heard the shots immediately above them and were so terrified that they hung around and looked out more windows on the 5th floor. Then they sequestered themselves in the middle of the 1st floor and didn't say a word about the shooter to anyone. (afraid they'd get shot themselves I guess, to give them the benefit of a doubt but I doubt it).

The part where the interviewer references another witness who said they saw Norman talking to the same cop that Brennan was talking to and Norman says no, never happened is suspect. My guess is that at that point Norman said he didn't see nor hear anything suspicious at all.

I'm thinking the shooter story came later when visited by the FBI agent at his home. Perhaps that interview was along the lines of the agent saying, 'Bonnie Ray said there was dust after you boys heard the shots above you. Is that right? (Oswald is long dead by this time) So with wheels spinning he reasons, 'sure that's what happened. No problem. I'll take it to the grave.' The thoughtful pauses and the repeating of his words as he answers the questions show his mind has switched into a different gear at that point in the Oral History interview.

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Wed 11 Jan 2023, 6:52 am
link?

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Wed 11 Jan 2023, 7:14 am
Barto, copy paste this, it's not an active link:
https://emuseum.jfk.org/objects/4507/harold-norman-oral-history?ctx=bf69a30fdada59d68a55ebc9592a3ff66ca46cff&idx=226

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Wed 11 Jan 2023, 11:29 am
Thanks Jake

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Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Empty Re: Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview

Wed 11 Jan 2023, 1:45 pm
Another thing he brings in was the carpentry team - who he eventually adds were not there that day. 

But is that true? He talks about discussing boxing with a tall white dude who headed the outside crew before belately claiming they were not there on the day of the assassination. But if so, why even mention them?

In his WC testimony, he admits we was not part of the floor laying crew but was only up there "shooting the breeze" on Nov 22.

Sounds to me like he was "shooting the breeze" on boxing with the carpenter.

In Jarman's HSCA interview, he talks about those he went outside with. One of the  people he named was someone named "Dana White". 

I know that is the name of the  UFC president (or past president?), but he is too young. He was 9 when the HSCA was doing these interviews. His father was also "Dana White" but he was Boston Irish.

To me, it looks like there was a carpentry team there that day who left at lunch-time, and that the workers were told not to talk about them. Could all be entirely innocent, but it would be nice to know the details just to be sure.

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Thu 12 Jan 2023, 9:36 am
To me, it looks like there was a carpentry team there that day who left at lunch-time


If true, it's a staggering snippet of information which I don't think I've ever seen anywhere before now. I mean the mind boggles if it is true. I mean - to think that contract chippies who could have been in the building on the 6th floor up until lunch break on the day of the assassination......wow!

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Thu 12 Jan 2023, 6:26 pm
Truly's WC testimony would seem to indicate that the work was still being undertaken on the 22nd. Any photographs show piles of plywood, tools etc.?
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Thu 12 Jan 2023, 8:15 pm
From the book The Men On The Sixth Floor.

In 1964, Norman testified in Washington as a Warren Commission witness to the assassination. Mr. Norman had watched the presidential motorcade with two workmates, from the fifth floor, directly under the “sniper’s perch.” This following transcript is from a portion of my interview with him.
“Now, you ate your lunch on the fifth floor, right?” I asked.
“Yeah, we got up there a little before twelve.”
“Why the fifth floor? Why not the sixth floor, or the seventh floor?”
“Well, at first, we were going to do it on the sixth floor, but they were working, they were putting down some flooring, some 3/8” plywood, so there was quite a bit of noise, and they were painting up there too.”
“Was there anyone else up there besides you three?”
“No, just the three of us.”
“Did you see Oswald?”
“I saw him that morning, about ten o’clock, on the first floor. He asked Jarman (James Jarman) and I what we was talking and laughing about. We told him we
were talking about the president, and the motorcade, and he just laughed and walked away.”
“He laughed and walked away?”
“Yeah (laughing) like he didn’t even know what was going on.”
“Did you work with him?”
“Yeah, I worked with him every day. He worked there for about a month, but he pretty much kept to himself.”
“How many people worked with you in the building?”
“I’d say about thirty-five or forty.”
“Were most of them out in front during the passing of the president’s motorcade?”
“Yeah, there were a lot of them down there.”
“But you were by yourselves on the fifth floor.”
“Yeah, just James, (James Jarman) Bonnie Ray, (Bonnie Ray Williams) and me.”
“That was the best place to watch from, wasn’t it?”
“That’s why we went up there.”
“Now you were telling about the construction that was going on up on the sixth floor. Why were they laying down plywood?”
“They were putting it over the hardwood flooring. You see, some of the hardwood was rotting in places; it was in really bad shape.”
“I see. So it was noisy up there you said. What was it that was so noisy? Were there any kind of saws, or machinery, or anything like that?”
“Yeah, they had one of those saws, you know, one of those table saws, but there wasn’t any noise going on during the motorcade, everything was quiet.”
“But you remember seeing a table saw up there? Where was it located?”
“It think it might have been over in the area of the windows by the east end of the building, but I’m not sure.”
“That would be the corner that Oswald shot from?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“Did you help lay down the new flooring?”
“No, we went up there sometimes to move stuff around for the floor construction guys. They didn’t work for the Book Depository, but if our work got slow, we would give them a hand.”
“So there was an outside contractor doing the work on the floors, right?”
“Right. There was a crew of about five or six, maybe up to eight men.”
“Were they only doing work on the sixth floor?”
“At that particular time, I think they were. They were planning on doing something up on the seventh floor after they were finished with the sixth floor.”
“Was the seventh floor empty?”
“Yeah, we just threw junk up there.”
“What did the rear of the building look like?”
“There used to be a loading dock out there. The eighteen wheelers would pull up and we would unload them there.”
“Did the loading dock extend the whole length of the building?”
“I think it did go all the way, they tore that all down a long time ago, when they remodeled the place.”
“Were there steps leading up to the dock?”
“Yeah there were. I think at both ends, but for sure at the Houston Street end.”
“So, to enter the building from the rear, you would have to walk up the stairs to the loading dock first?”
“Right.”
“The loading dock was later removed?”
“Yes, when the building was changed to a museum.”
“Would it have been possible for three strangers, in addition to Oswald, to have gotten up to the sixth floor?”
“Oh sure! All they would have to do is walk up the stairs, or use one of the freight elevators.

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Fri 13 Jan 2023, 2:07 am
“Yeah, they had one of those saws, you know, one of those table saws, but there wasn’t any noise going on during the motorcade, everything was quiet.”


All quiet during the motorcade except of course for the shooting he said he heard. Seems that would have crossed his mind at this point in his narrative. But no, just 'everything was quiet'.

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Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Empty Re: Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview

Sat 14 Jan 2023, 12:35 pm
Jake_Sykes wrote:“Yeah, they had one of those saws, you know, one of those table saws, but there wasn’t any noise going on during the motorcade, everything was quiet.”


All quiet during the motorcade except of course for the shooting he said he heard. Seems that would have crossed his mind at this point in his narrative. But no, just 'everything was quiet'.
The plot thickens.

From Williams' testimony

Mr. WILLIAMS. No, sir. The first time I went there I was hired on at the other warehouse, the lower part of Houston Street.
Mr. BALL. By lower part, do you mean north of the main building?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir. Down further, the big white building.
Mr. BALL. That is sort of a warehouse?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. You went to work there. That is about a block, a block and a half north?
Mr. WILLIAMS. A block and a half.
Mr. BALL. North of the corner of Houston and Elm?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And how long did you work at that place?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Well, I worked there until business began to get slow. I think that was--it was before November. I think it was some time during October. I am not sure.
Mr. BALL. And what did they put you to work at at that time?
Mr. WILLIAMS. They called me up to help lay a floor on the fifth floor, they wanted more boards over it. As I say, business was slow, and they were trying to keep us on without laying us off at the time. So I was using the saw, helping cut wood and lay wood.
Mr. BALL. You were laying a wood floor over the old floor?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. On the fifth floor?
Mr. WILLIAMS. yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And when you finished on the fifth floor, what did you do?
Mr. WILLIAMS. After we finished on the fifth floor, we started to move up to the sixth floor. But at the time we didn't complete the sixth floor. We only completed just a little portion of it.
Mr. BALL. By the time, you are talking about November 22d?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Before November 22d, how long had you been laying floor in the building at Houston and Elm?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Before November 22d, I think we had been working on the fifth floor, I think, about 3 weeks. I think altogether I had been up there just about 4 weeks, I think.
Mr. BALL. And how long had you been on the sixth floor before how long have you been working on the sixth floor before November 22?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Let's see. Before November 22d, I think it might have been 2 days--it might have been 2 days. I would say about 2 days, approximately 2 days.
Mr. BALL. Before you started to lay the floor, did you have to move any cartons?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes; we did.
Mr. BALL. From what part of the sixth floor did you move the cartons?
Mr. WILLIAMS. We moved cartons from, I believe, the west side of the sixth floor to the east side of the sixth floor, because I think there was a vacancy in there.
Mr. BALL. Clear over to the east side?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Were there cartons stacked up between the west side and the east side were there cartons on the floor?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes; there was.
Mr. BALL. After you moved the cartons, then did you start laying the floor?
Mr. WILLIAMS. After we moved the cartons, we started laying the floor. Then we had to move the cartons. As we go we would move cartons to vacate the space, so we could lay the floor.
----------------
He said elsewhere in testimony that he thought business started to slow in October.  Just in time to hire a temp! Although I think Truly tried to counter this by claiming that it stayed a bit busier longer than normal. 

So busy that they had find work for them to save laying them off. An act of charity that they had never shown before (see Givens testimony about being laid off and rehired constantly).

Williams is not a credible witness. He was quite obviously forced to lie about going back up to the 6th floor, so i have no doubt he is lying here, as well. On the other hand, I can see no purpose in Norman lying about a crew coming in to lay the flooring. I mean, did the TSBD just happen to have an electric circular saw on hand? Isn't it more likely that belonged to a crew they bought in? 

Let me add here they the TSBD was over at the Dal-Tex earlier in the year while rebovations were done at 411 including putting in the passenger elevator and doing refits on the floors for the book companies.  The reason stated for the floor laying is that there was oil spillage from food storage by a previous occupant (a canned goods wholsesaler). If that was obvious in October, it would have been just as obvious earlier in the year when they DID have contractors in doing work.

Lastly, who do we know that worked for a flooring company?

Herbert Lee.

The Trinity Flooring Company.  Google maps shows this was only 4.5 miles from the TSBD.The company website shows it does domestic and commercial work.

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Sat 14 Jan 2023, 3:30 pm
Perhaps someone in the flooring crew was involved in the plot. He might have planted the rifle and the shells.

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Sun 15 Jan 2023, 11:32 am
Slightly off topic but interesting just the same.

Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Truly_10Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Image_16

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Sun 15 Jan 2023, 11:41 am
So, Dougherty was gate keeper in the mornings, (had keys to the building) Piper stayed back at nights to lock up (had keys to the building presumably) and the Acme Building maintenance janitorial crew came in at nights (presumably they had a set of keys too)
There is also a night watch service operator The Smith Detective Agency and Night Watch services company who presumably had a set of keys as well.

Cason (President of the TSBD), Campbell (Vice President TSBD), Truly, and Shelley almost certainly would have had keys to a door of the building as well.

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Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Empty Re: Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview

Sun 15 Jan 2023, 1:25 pm
Mick, Truly told the FBI that they moved into the building earlier that year.

From a William Weston article:

"Actually, the move took place a few months before the assassination. According to an FBI report dated November 22, 1963, warehouse manager Roy Truly said, “The Texas School Book Depository has occupied the building at 411 Elm Street for only a few months. Prior to this time, the building was occupied by a wholesale grocery company engaged in supplying restaurants and institutions.”[4] The wholesale grocery company was the John Sexton Company. Two retired Sexton officials told me that they moved out of the building on November 14, 1961, and that it remained vacant for at least a year.[5] Examination of city directories and phone books in the Dallas Public Library shows that the book depository and the publishing companies did not have the 411 Elm Street address until 1963. (Their previous address was 501 Elm Street on the first floor of the Dal-Tex building.)"

Weston cites an FBI interview from Nov 23. I have seen and discussed this dounment in the past, but for whatever reason, I can no longer find it at MFF.
https://www.kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/the-cia-and-the-texas-school-book-depository#_ednref4

While I don't agree with his conclusions that teh TSBD was a front for the CIA, most of his reaserch is verifiable, for example not only does that interview exist, what he says about the city directories is also true.

It may be that the TSBD commenced leasing the building very late in 1961 and spent a year and a half in refitting it for itself and subletting to book publishers. 

But the question remains - if the food wholesalers had left a lot of oil on those top floors, why wasn't it fixed at the same time as the other work was done?

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Sun 15 Jan 2023, 1:48 pm
greg_parker wrote:Mick, Truly told the FBI that they moved into the building earlier that year.

From a William Weston article:

"Actually, the move took place a few months before the assassination. According to an FBI report dated November 22, 1963, warehouse manager Roy Truly said, “The Texas School Book Depository has occupied the building at 411 Elm Street for only a few months. Prior to this time, the building was occupied by a wholesale grocery company engaged in supplying restaurants and institutions.”[4] The wholesale grocery company was the John Sexton Company. Two retired Sexton officials told me that they moved out of the building on November 14, 1961, and that it remained vacant for at least a year.[5] Examination of city directories and phone books in the Dallas Public Library shows that the book depository and the publishing companies did not have the 411 Elm Street address until 1963. (Their previous address was 501 Elm Street on the first floor of the Dal-Tex building.)"

Weston cites an FBI interview from Nov 23. I have seen and discussed this dounment in the past, but for whatever reason, I can no longer find it at MFF.
https://www.kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/the-cia-and-the-texas-school-book-depository#_ednref4

While I don't agree with his conclusions that teh TSBD was a front for the CIA, most of his reaserch is verifiable, for example not only does that interview exist, what he says about the city directories is also true.

It may be that the TSBD commenced leasing the building very late in 1961 and spent a year and a half in refitting it for itself and subletting to book publishers. 

But the question remains - if the food wholesalers had left a lot of oil on those top floors, why wasn't it fixed at the same time as the other work was done?
Some hanky panky going on with timelines and when the Book depository people moved into 411 Elm. At least it seems that way. And didn't Norman? speak of rotting floor boards needing to be replaced - you'd think this would've been done earlier before they moved in. A linear timeline would help. Well for my tiny brain anyway

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Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Empty Re: Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview

Sun 15 Jan 2023, 1:49 pm
Kloydy wrote:Truly's WC testimony would seem to indicate that the work was still being undertaken on the 22nd. Any photographs show piles of plywood, tools etc.?
That seems to have been the universal response - Shelley, Williams, Arce and maybe one or two others were up there laying the flooring - but there is a suggestion in one of Norman's later interviews that they were simply moving the cartons for the carpenters. He also gives mixed messages about whether that carpentry crew was there that day.

Those carpenters along with the cleaners and security guys mentioned by Mick, should have all been thoroughly checked out as part of the original investigation. That they were not, is either gross incompetence at best, or a deliberate act to sabotage in limiting the parameters of the investigation.

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JFK_FNG
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Sun 15 Jan 2023, 1:52 pm
How much do we know about the Smith Detective Agency? The CIA OS was collaborating with at least one detective firm in New Orleans for cover purposes, etc. You’d think they’d have an operational need for the same type of arrangement in Dallas, for screening potential assets, etc.
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Sun 15 Jan 2023, 2:12 pm
JFK_FNG wrote:How much do we know about the Smith Detective Agency? The CIA OS was collaborating with at least one detective firm in New Orleans for cover purposes, etc. You’d think they’d have an operational need for the same type of arrangement in Dallas, for screening potential assets, etc.
I'm more inclined to believe MI or FBI ties. They had internal capacity for their "work". The CIA may have operated in places like NO because it is a port city, which kinda sorta makes sense. Dallas is not coastal. 

Andrew Smith founded Truth Verification and Smith Protective Services in the 1950's.  
https://web.archive.org/web/20010303091016/http://smithprotective.com/history.html

Some interesting links to be found by googling "Truth Verification Services". I think you'll find they specialized in polygraphs and hypnotism. And probably more, but "unofficially".

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Tue 17 Jan 2023, 3:05 am
One thing I was wondering about was that everybody there claimed that they saw no strangers that day in the TSBD. Would not the flooring crew if they were outsiders not be considered strangers?

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Tue 17 Jan 2023, 5:17 am
Excellent point Vinny, but that is only if they had outsiders doing that job.

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Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Empty Re: Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview

Tue 17 Jan 2023, 8:30 am
Vinny wrote:One thing I was wondering about was that everybody there claimed that they saw no strangers that day in the TSBD. Would not the flooring crew if they were outsiders not be considered strangers?
Vinny, the crew had spent quite a bit of time working on the 5th floor prior to starting on the 6th floor - according to Norman at least. And he was so comfortable with them, he would go up just to talk boxing with them. 

I also note that Jarman told the HSCA interviewer that one of the people he left for lunch with was a Dana White. Whoever that was, it wasn't a TSBD employee.

"Strangers" to me would constitute anyone not recognized as belonging in the building that day. 

The floor laying excercize may have been legit, but it has aspects that give cause for concern that it was really a smokescreen. 

I'd also ask about that alleged race down to the 1st floor in two elevators. That episode is as sketchy as all hell, as well, because iy=t comes and goes in different testimonies by different employees.

I would suggest that the real race down (if it happened at all) was between the TSBD employees and the outside crew. How many people could each elevator hold?

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Tue 17 Jan 2023, 9:37 pm
Thanks Greg and Bart. That makes sense.

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Tue 17 Jan 2023, 9:39 pm
Harold Norman 1991 6th floor Oral History interview Scree237

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