Roger Dean Craig was born in Wisconsin in 1934. The family moved to Minnesota but in 1946 Craig ran away from home. He worked as a farm labourer in South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Craig eventually married and settled in Dallas.
Craig worked for the Purex Corporation before joining the Dallas Police Department in 1959. He was named Man of the Year by the sheriff's office in 1960 for his work in aid in helping to capture an international jewel chief. He had a successful career in the DPD and was promoted four times.
Roger Craig was on duty in Dallas on 22nd November, 1963. After hearing the firing at President John F. Kennedy he ran towards the Grassy Knoll where he interviewed witnesses to the shooting. About 15 minutes later he saw a man running from the back door of the Texas School Book Depository down the slope to Elm Street. He then got into a Nash station wagon.
Craig saw the man again in the office of Captain Will Fritz. It was the recently arrested Lee Harvey Oswald. When Craig told his story about the man being picked up by the station wagon, Oswald replied: "That station wagon belongs to Mrs. Paine... Don't try to tie her into this. She had nothing to do with it."
Craig was also with Seymour Weitzman, Will Fritz, Eugene Boone and Luke Mooney when the rifle was found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Craig insisted that the rifle found was a 7.65 Mauser and not a Mannlicher-Carcano.
Craig became unpopular with senior police officers in Dallas when he testified before the Warren Commission. He insisted he had seen Lee Harvey Oswald get into the station wagon 15 minutes after the shooting. This was ignored by Earl Warren and his team because it showed that at least two people were involved in the assassination. Craig, unlike Seymour Weitzman, refused to change his mind about finding a 7.65 Mauser rather than a Mannlicher-Carcano in the Texas School Book Depository. Craig was fired from the police department in 1967 after he was found to have discussed his evidence with a journalist.
In 1967 Craig went to New Orleans and was a prosecution witness at the trial of Clay Shaw. Later that year he was shot at while walking to a car park. The bullet only grazed his head. In 1971 Craig wrote When They Kill A President.
In 1973 a car forced Craig's car off a mountain road. He was badly injured but he survived the accident. In 1974 he surviving another shooting in Waxahachie, Texas. The following year he was seriously wounded when his car engine exploded. Craig told friends that the Mafia had decided to kill him.
Roger Craig was found dead from on 15th May, 1975. It was later decided he had died as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
The Dallas County Court House at 505 Main Street was indeed a unique place to come to hear what was WRONG with John F. Kennedy and his policies as President of these United States.
This building housed the elite troops of the Dallas County Sheriff's Department (of which I was one), who, with blind obedience, followed the orders of their Great White Father: Bill Decker, Sheriff of Dallas County.
From these elite troops came the most bitter verbal attacks on President Kennedy. They spoke very strongly against his policies concerning the Bay of Pigs incident and the Cuban Missile crisis. They seemed to resent very much the fact that President Kennedy was a Catholic. I do not know why this was such a critical issue with many of the deputies but they did seem to hold this against President Kennedy.
The concession stand in the lobby of the court house was the best place to get into a discussion concerning the President. The old man who ran the stand evidenced a particular hatred for President Kennedy. He seemed to go out of his way to drag anyone who came by his stand into a discussion about the President. His name is J. C. Kiser.
He was a little man with a short mustache and glasses that he wore right on the end of his nose. He was a particularly good friend of Sheriff Decker, and he held the concession in the lobby for many years. Like Decker, he was unopposed when his lease came up for renewal. It was common knowledge that Bill Decker made it possible for him to remain there as long as he wished. This sick little man not only had a deep hatred for John F. Kennedy, he also hated the black people, even those who spent their money at his stand. He would often curse them as they walked away after making a purchase from him. He flatly refused to make telephone change for them even though he would be simultaneously making change for a white person.
Thus...we have the atmosphere that was to greet the President of the United States upon his arrival in Dallas. However, things were to get even worse before he arrived.
The battle ground had been picked and the unwelcome mat was out for President Kennedy. Unknown to most of us, the rest of the plan was being completed. The patsy had been chosen and placed in the building across from the court house - where he could not deny his presence after it was all over. This was done with the apparent approval and certainly with the knowledge of our co-workers, the F.B.I., since they later admitted that they knew Lee Harvey Oswald was employed at the School Book Depository Building located on the corner of Elm Street and Houston Street across from the Sheriff's Office.
The security had been arranged by the Secret Service and the Dallas Police - our boys in blue. The final touch was put on by Sheriff James Eric (Bill) Decker. On the morning of November 22, 1963 the patrolmen in the districts which make up the Dallas County Sheriff's Patrol Division were left in the field, ignorant of what was going on in the downtown area, which was just as well. Decker was not going to let them do anything anyway.
On July 17, 1970, I reported for work to find another man doing my job. I was told by this "replacement" that Jim wanted to see me. As I sat in Jim's office I knew what was coming. Jim said, "Roger, you've done a good job but it is time for a change." I asked him for an explanation but all he would say was that it was time for a change and he was sorry!
Bill Decker died in August. The County Commissioners appointed his executive assistant, Clarence Jones, to fill the job until November, when he had to run for election (with the backing of the Democratic Party). For the first time since Decker's reign, the Republicans nominated someone to oppose a Democrat for the office. The man was Jack Revel, former Chief of the Dallas Police Intelligence Division. This meant that the voters had the choice between two evils. Well, Clarence Jones was elected--his campaign signs and posters read, "Elect Clarence Jones - In the Tradition of Bill Decker"! It would be nice if Jack Revel would be upset enough over his loss of the election to make public some information--but this is very wishful thinking indeed.
Meanwhile, I am still out of a job (but still looking). I would like to think that the people of Dallas will change and rise up against the dishonest and irresponsible tyrants who govern in their name--but I do not see it happening in the near future. Dallas is my home but I will always feel like an outsider because I simply will not adjust to the idea that for Dallas, for Texas, for America this must serve as democracy.
David Belin: You saw the President's car, then, turn north on Houston?
Roger Craig: Yes.
David Belin: Then, would you describe what you saw and heard and did?
Roger Craig: Well, there were several other cars that came by and...
David Belin: Did you watch those?
Roger Craig: Some of them we watched...
David Belin: All right. Then what happened?
Roger Craig: Then I heard an explosion.
David Belin: When you heard the explosion, what did you do?
Roger Craig: Well, the first - nothing. I wrestled with my mind. I knew it was a shot but... I didn't want to believe it. But, a few seconds later, I heard another explosion and, this time, I knew it was a shot. And, as I began to run, I heard a third one. I was running toward Houston Street.
David Belin: How many explosions did you hear altogether?
Roger Craig: Three.
David Belin: About how far were these noises apart?
Roger Craig: The first one was about three seconds... 2 or 3 seconds.
David Belin: Two or 3 seconds between the first and the second?
Roger Craig: Well, it was quite a pause between there. It could have been a little longer.
David Belin: And what about between the second and third?
Roger Craig: - Not more than 2 seconds. It was... they were real rapid.
David Belin: All right then what did you do?
Roger Craig: I continued running across Houston Street, across the parkway, across Elm Street and, by this time, the motorcade had went on down Elm Street and I ran up to the railroad yard and... started to look around when the people began to all travel over that way. So, I began moving people back out of the railroad yard.
David Belin: Where did the noises or shots sound to you like they came from?
Roger Craig: It was hard to tell because they had an echo, you know. There was actually two explosions with each one. There was the... the shot and then the echo from it. So, it was hard to tell.
David Belin: Did people tell you, as you ran over there, where they thought the shots came from?
Roger Craig: No; as I reached the railroad yard, I talked to a girl getting her car that... thought they came from the park area on the north side of Elm Street.
David Belin: Did she say why she thought they came from there?
Roger Craig: No; she was standing there and it sounded real loud at that particular point... and she thought that's where they came from.
David Belin: Now, about how many minutes was this after the time that you had turned that young couple over to Lemmy Lewis that you heard this whistle?
Roger Craig: Fourteen or 15 minutes.
David Belin: Was this, you mean, after the shooting?
Roger Craig: After the... from the time I heard the first shot.
David Belin: All right. Your heard someone whistle?
Roger Craig: Yes. So I turned and saw a man start to run down the hill on the north side of Elm Street, running down toward Elm Street.
David Belin: And, about where was he with relation to the School Book Depository Building?
Roger Craig: Directly across that little side street that runs in front of it, He was on the south side of it...
David Belin: And where was he with relation to the west side of the School Book Depository Building?
Roger Craig: Right by the... well, actually, directly in line with the west corner... the southwest corner,
David Belin: He was directly in line with the southwest corner of the building?
Roger Craig: Yes.
David Belin: And he was on the south curve of that street that runs right in front of the building there?
Roger Craig: Yes.
David Belin: And he started to run toward Elm Street as it curves under the underpass?
Roger Craig: Yes ; directly down the grassy portion of the park.
David Belin: All right. And then what did you see happen?
Roger Craig: I saw a light-colored station wagon, driving real slow, coming west on Elm Street from Houston... actually, it was nearly in line with him. And the driver was leaning to his right looking up the hill at the man running down.... And the station wagon stopped almost directly across from me. And... the man continued down the hill and got in the station wagon. And I attempted to cross the street. I wanted to talk to both of them. But the... traffic was so heavy I couldn't get across the street. And hey were gone before I could...
David Belin: Could you describe the man that you saw running down toward the station wagon?
Roger Craig: Oh, he was a white male in his twenties, five nine, five eight, something like that; about 140 to 150; had kind of medium brown sandy hair... you know, it was like it'd been blown... you know, he'd been in the wind or something-- it was all wild-looking; had on blue trousers...
David Belin: What shade of blue? Dark blue, medium or light?
Roger Craig: No; medium, probably; I'd say medium. And, a light tan shirt, as I remember it.
David Belin: Anything else about him?
Roger Craig: No; nothing except that he looked like he was in an awful hurry.
David Belin: What about the man who was driving the car?
Roger Craig: Now, he struck me, at first, as being a colored male. He was very dark and had real dark short hair, and was wearing a thin white-looking jacket, it looked like the short windbreaker type, you know, because it was real thin and had the collar that came out over the shoulder (indicating with hands) like that... just a short jacket.
David Belin: You say that he first struck you that way. Do you now think that he was a Negro?
Roger Craig: Well, I don't... I didn't get a real good look at him. But my first glance at him... I was more interested in the man coming down the hill... but my first glance at him, he struck me as a Negro...
Roger Craig: I drove up to Fritz' office about, oh, after 5... about 5:30 or something like that and talked to Captain Fritz and told him what I had saw. And he took me in his office... I believe it was his office.... it was a little office, and had the suspect setting in a chair behind a desk.... beside the desk. And another gentleman, I didn't know him, he was sitting in another chair to my left as I walked in the office. And Captain Fritz asked me was this the man I saw and I said, "Yes," it was.
David Belin: All right. Will you describe the man you saw in Captain Fritz' office?
Roger Craig: Oh, he was sitting down but he had the same medium brown hair; it was still... well, it was kinda wild looking; he was slender, and what I could tell of him sitting there, he was... short. By that, I mean not myself, I'm five eleven... he was shorter than I was. And fairly light build.
David Belin: Could you see his trousers?
Roger Craig: No; I couldn't see his trousers at all.
David Belin: What about his shirt?
Roger Craig: I believe, as close as I can remember, a T-shirt... a white T-shirt.
David Belin: All right. But you didn't see him in a lineup? You just saw him sitting there?
Roger Craig: No; he was sitting there by himself in a chair... off to one side.
David Belin: All right. Then, what did Captain Fritz say and what did you say and what did the suspect say?
Roger Craig: Captain Fritz then asked.... "What about this station wagon?" And the suspect interrupted him and said, "That station wagon belongs to Mrs. Paine"... I believe is what he said. "Don't try to tie her into this. She had nothing to do with it."
Richard Randolph Carr watched the motorcade from Houston and Commerce streets. Shortly before the shooting, he saw a man wearing a brown sport coat in an upper floor of the Book Depository building. A couple of minutes after the shooting, Carr saw this same man walking very fast heading south on Houston Street. After going around the block, the man entered a grey or green Rambler station wagon. Marvin Robinson was driving his car west on Elm Street about fifteen minutes after the shooting. He saw a man come down the grassy incline and enter a Rambler station wagon, which then drove away.
Mrs. James Forrest was standing in a group of people who had gathered on the incline near the Grassy Knoll. As she was standing, she saw a man suddenly run from the rear of the Depository building, down the incline, and then enter a Rambler station wagon. The man she saw running down and entering the station wagon strongly resembled Lee Harvey Oswald. "If it wasn't Oswald," Mrs. Forrest has declared, "it was his identical twin." The testimony of Walther, Worrel, Carr, Robinson, and Forrest all provide strong substantiation for Roger Craig's story...
Despite this impressive corroboration for Craig's testimony, the Warren Commission chose to reject it. Instead, it accepted the unsubstantiated and contradictory testimony of taxi driver William Whaley. There is no corroboration for Whaley's story. Whaley did tell the commission that when Oswald entered his cab, an elderly lady tried to enter it from the opposite side. Oswald volunteered to let her have the cab, but the lady refused because another taxi was waitingjust behind Whaley's. There is no indication that the commission attempted to locate the other cab.
Suddenly the motorcade approached and President Kennedy was smiling and waving and for a moment I relaxed and fell into the happy mood the President was displaying. The car turned the corner onto Houston Street. I was still looking at the rest of the people in the party. I was soon to be shocked back into reality. The President had passed and was turning west on Elm Street... as if there were no people, no cars, the only thing in my world at that moment was a rifle shot! I bolted toward Houston Street. I was fifteen steps from the corner--before I reached it two more shots had been fired. Telling myself that it wasn't true and at the same time knowing that it was, I continued to run. I ran across Houston Street and beside the pond, which is on the west side of Houston. I pushed a man out of my way and he fell into the pond. I ran down the grass between Main and Elm. People were lying all over the ground. I thought, "My God, they've killed a woman and child," who were lying beside the gutter on the South side of Elm Street. I checked them and they were alright. I saw a Dallas Police Officer run up the grassy knoll and go behind the picket fence near the railroad yards. I followed and behind the fence was complete confusion and hysteria.
I began to question people when I noticed a woman in her early thirties attempting to drive out of the parking lot. She was in a brown 1962 or 1963 Chevrolet. I stopped her, identified myself and placed her under arrest. She told me that she had to leave and I said, "Lady, you're not going anywhere." I turned her over to Deputy Sheriff C. I. (Lummy) Lewis and told him the circumstances of the arrest. Officer Lewis told me that he would take her to Sheriff Decker and take care of her car.
The parking lot behind the picket fence was of little importance to most of the investigators at the scene except that the shots were thought to have come from there.
Let us examine this parking lot. It was leased by Deputy Sheriff B. D. Gossett. He in turn rented parking space by the month to the deputies who worked in the court house, except for official vehicles. I rented one of these spaces from Gossett when I was a dispatcher working days or evenings. I paid Gossett $3.00 per month and was given a key to the lot. Another interesting point is that the lot had an iron bar across the only entrance and exit (which were the same). The bar had a chain and lock on it. The only people having access to it were deputies with keys. Point: how did the woman gain access and, what is more important, who was she and why did she have to leave?
This was to be the beginning of the never-ending cover up. Had I known then what I know now, I would have personally questioned the woman and impounded and searched her car. I had no way of knowing that an officer, with whom I had worked for four years, was capable of losing a thirty year old woman and a three thousand pound automobile. To this day Officer Lewis does not know who she was, where she came from or what happened to her. Strange!
Meanwhile, back at the parking lot, I continued to help the Dallas Officers restore order. When things were somewhat calmer I began to question the people who were standing at the top of the grassy knoll, asking if anyone had seen anything strange or unusual before or during the President's fatal turn onto Elm Street.
Several people indicated to me that they thought the shots came from the area of the grassy knoll or behind the picket fence. My next reliable witness came forward in the form of Mr. Arnold Rowland. Mr. Rowland and his wife were standing at the top of the grassy knoll on the north side of Elm Street. Arnold Rowland began telling me his account of what he saw before the assassination. He said approximately fifteen minutes before President Kennedy arrived he was looking around and something caught his eye. It was a white man standing by the 6th floor window of the Texas School Book Depository Building in the southeast corner, holding a rifle equipped with a telescopic sight and in the southwest corner of the sixth floor was a colored male pacing back and forth. Needless to say, I was astounded by his statement. I asked Mr. Rowland why he had not reported this incident before and he told me that he thought they were secret service agents--an obvious conclusion for a layman. Rowland continued. He told me that he looked back at the sixth floor a few minutes later and the man with the rifle was gone so he dismissed it from his mind.
Roger Dean Craig was an important witness to the JFK assassination, and his testimony is highly indicative of conspiracy. By now his story has been told many times by many different writers. But it appears there are those still attempting to smear Roger Craig's name and discount what he reported seeing on November 22, 1963...
In Case Closed, Gerald Posner dismisses Craig's story as a "tale of a getaway car at Dealey Plaza," though he does not provide any information beyond this fleeting reference. Readers who know little of the JFK case beyond Posner's book might be surprised to learn there is strong evidence to corroborate the former Deputy's "tale."
A photograph turned up a few years after the assassination showing the TSBD about ten minutes after the shooting. The Hertz clock on the roof reads 12:40. That photograph shows what appears to be a Rambler station wagon in the traffic on Elm - lending support Craig's story.
Much stronger, however, is Commission Document 5, which according to author Henry Hurt "was omitted from the twenty-six volumes of Warren Commission exhibits. It finally was discovered years later in documents housed in the National Archives."
Hurt's account of Commission Document 5: "Soon after the shooting, Marvin C. Robinson was driving west along Elm Street in heavy traffic. According to an FBI report dated the next day, just as Robinson crossed the Elm and Houston intersection, he saw a "light-colored Nash station wagon" stop in front of the Book Depository. A white man walked down the grassy incline from the building, got into the Nash, and the car moved off in the direction of Oak Cliff. Robinson was unable to provide any additional information."
There are also the statements of Richard Randolph Carr, a steelworker who also said he saw a Rambler in Dealey Plaza. Carr was on an upper floor of a building that was under construction on November 22. From his position he could see into the sixth floor of the TSBD, where just before the motorcade arrived he saw a stocky man wearing a hat, sportcoat, and glasses. When the shooting stopped Carr descended to ground level, where he again saw the man in the sportcoat. Carr said he followed him for about a block and saw him get into a Nash Rambler driven by a dark-complected man.
Posner also attempts to discredit Craig's testimony of seeing Oswald in Captain Fritz' office after his arrest. Once again a photograph that surfaced a few years later seems to support Craig. It shows the Deputy at police headquarters, where he said he was, as Oswald was being interrogated in Fritz's office. Posner relegates the issue to a footnote, stating, "The picture does not show Craig in the inner office where Oswald was kept, but instead in a separate outer office." This is an extremely weak argument, for that photograph without question places Craig in the vicinity of Oswald--just like he said he was. Like any photo, it shows us one split second in time. It is unlikely Craig sat around twiddling his thumbs. It is entirely possible that Craig was in the inner office, where he said he was, either sometime before or sometime after this photograph was taken.
Furthermore, it must be remembered that none of the interrogation of Oswald was tape recorded, or even written down by a stenographer. Considering the enormity of what had occurred and the enormity of its implications, and also considering the importance of whatever could be learned from Oswald, this is incomprehensible - unless what Oswald had to say was so explosive it was suppressed. I would speculate that if that were the case, Captain Fritz might have more reason to lie than Roger Craig.
The time was approximately 12:40 p.m. I had just turned the Rowlands over to Lummy Lewis when I met E. R. (Buddy) Walthers, a small man with a very arrogant manner. He was, without a doubt, Decker's favorite pupil. He wore dark-rimmed glasses and a small- brimmed hat because effecting them meant that he would resemble Bill Decker. Walthers had worked for the Yellow Cab Company of Dallas before coming to the Sheriff's Office, about a year before I began working there. His termination from the cab company was the result of several shortages of money. He came to the Sheriff's Department as a patrolman but because of his close connection with Justice of the Peace Bill Richburg - one of Decker's closest allies - Buddy soon was promoted to detective. He had absolutely no ability as a law enforcement officer. However, he was fast climbing the ladder of success by lying to Decker and squealing on his fellow officers.
Walthers' ambition was to become Sheriff of Dallas County and he would do anything or anybody to reach that goal. It was very clear Buddy enjoyed more job security with Decker than anyone else did.
Decker carried him for years by breaking a case for him or taking a case which had been broken by another officer and putting Walthers' name on the arrest sheet. Soon after he was promoted to detective he became intimate with such people as W. 0. Bankston, the flamboyant Oldsmobile dealer in Dallas who furnished Decker with a new Fire Engine Red Olds every year and who was arrested several times for Driving while Intoxicated but never served any jail time.
Buddy's acquaintances also included several independent oil operators throughout Texas, several anti-Castro Cubans and many underworld characters - especially women! He was frequently crashing parties which were given by wealthy friends of Decker's - of course while he was on duty. He often became drunk and belligerent at these parties and at one point, when asked to leave, he threatened to pull his gun on the host. This information can be verified by Billy Courson, who was Buddy's partner at that time.
Walthers hit the big time when, in 1961, two Federal Narcotics Agents came to Decker's office with charges that Buddy was growing marijuana in the back yard of his home at 2527 Boyd Street in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. This could be considered conduct unbecoming to a police officer - but not for Buddy! After a secret meeting between the Federal Agents, Decker and Buddy, the matter was dropped and - needless to say - covered up, thus enabling Buddy to continue his career as Decker's Representative of Law and Order in Dallas County.
However, the Dallas Police began receiving complaints that Buddy was shaking down underworld characters for loot taken in several burglaries and selling the stuff himself. After several reports the Dallas Police began to investigate and, finally, obtained a search warrant for Buddy's home. Their big mistake was securing the warrant from Judge Richburg - which was bad enough - but Buddy's wife also worked for Richburg and this made matters worse.
Strangely enough, they did not find anything. However, a few weeks later they were a little more careful and made a surprise visit to Buddy's home, where they indeed recovered such things as toasters, clothing and various items--just as their informers had said. It would seem they had him this time, wouldn't it? But not so. Buddy explained that he had recovered the merchandise from where it had been hidden and had not had time to make a report on them and turn them in to the Property Room! The Dallas Police didn't buy this story but the pressure was again brought to bear by our Protector, Bill Decker, and the Dallas Police were left out in the cold - no charges filed! They were certainly furious but what could they do? If we as citizens cannot fight the Establishment, how can the Establishment fight the Establishment?
It was clear in my mind - and if the people with whom I worked could talk, I am sure they would agree - that Buddy had a powerful hold on Decker. I base this on the fact that Buddy's popularity with Decker greatly increased after the assassination. Buddy was a chronic liar - he was always telling Decker things he thought were happening in the County which he was checking on. Things which he was not doing. He also told Decker that he was in the theater when Oswald was captured and that he, in fact, helped the Dallas Police. This was completely untrue. Buddy never entered the Texas Theater - his partner, Bill Courson, did.
Buddy also told Decker about a family of anti-Castro Cubans living in the Oak Cliff area and said that he was watching them. This part may have been true because we received the same information from the Dallas Police Intelligence Division. But one day Buddy made a visit to the house in Oak Cliff and when the Police and Sheriff's Deputies went to question them a few days later, they were gone. Did Buddy warn them? After all, he was very, very close to Jack Ruby. In fact, every time Buddy was in trouble with one of Jack Ruby's employees - especially Nancy Perrin Rich--Decker would send Buddy to straighten things out and put Nancy in her place - with the help of Judge Richburg. Touching Jack Ruby was a no-no!
There were many other things which made Buddy suspect as a not- so-law abiding lawman, such as the swimming pool he built in his back yard (on his salary?). The concrete was furnished by a local contractor free of charge. Buddy used many pills he carried in the trunk of his unmarked squad car for trading with certain underworld characters--pills for information. I learned from what I consider a reliable source that these pills had been confiscated (although no reports were made nor the pills turned in). Most of those involved in this exchange were women. It would seem that Buddy Walthers could not be terminated from the Sheriff's Department, no matter what.
One incident in 1966 which would have resulted in the firing of any other deputy occurred when Buddy was sent to Nevada to transfer a suspect wanted in Dallas. It seemed Buddy was given a certain amount of travel money which he lost at the gambling table in Las Vegas. Broke and in trouble, Buddy called none other than W. O. Bankston, who wired him enough money to bring his prisoner back to Dallas. Many times I wondered who was REALLY Sheriff but Buddy was about to reach the end of his rope.
In late 1968, when the Clay Shaw trial was being prepared, there was talk of bringing Buddy to New Orleans to testify. Well, that was a blow to the power which ruled Dallas. They could not have this half-wit on the witness stand. When the word reached Dallas, Decker was working on a double-murder which occurred in his county and had a lead on the suspect in January of 1969. The Shaw trial was scheduled for February and Decker sent Buddy and his partner, Alvin Maddox (who was about as efficient as a nutty professor), to a motel on Samuell Boulevard in Dallas to question a Walter Cherry about the killings. Cherry was an escaped convict and a suspect in the double-murder. Decker sent them to talk to Cherry without a warrant. When they entered the room at the motel Buddy was shot dead and Maddox wounded in the foot. Coincidence? Maybe! At any rate Buddy had been silenced. One more point for Dallas!
Back to November 22, 1963. As I have earlier stated, the time was approximately 12:40 p.m. when I ran into Buddy Walthers. The traffic was very heavy as Patrolman Baker (assigned to Elm and Houston Streets) had left his post, allowing the traffic to travel west on Elm Street. As we were scanning the curb I heard a shrill whistle coming from the north side of Elm Street. I turned and saw a white male in his twenties running down the grassy knoll from the direction of the Texas School Book Depository Building. A light green Rambler station wagon was coming slowly west on Elm Street. The driver of the station wagon was a husky looking Latin, with dark wavy hair, wearing a tan wind-breaker type jacket. He was looking up at the man running toward him. He pulled over to the north curb and picked up the man coming down the hill. I tried to cross Elm Street to stop them and find out who they were. The traffic was too heavy and I was unable to reach them. They drove away going west on Elm Street.
In addition to noting that these two men were in an obvious hurry, I realized they were the only ones not running TO the scene. Everyone else was running to see whatever might be seen. The suspect, as I will refer to him, who ran down the grassy knoll was wearing faded blue trousers and a long sleeved work shirt made of some type of grainy material. This will become very important to me later on and very embarrassing to the authorities (F.B.I., Dallas Police and Warren Commission). I thought the incident concerning the two men and the Rambler Station Wagon important enough to bring it to the attention of the authorities at the command post at Elm and Houston.
I ran to the front of the Texas School Book Depository where I asked for anyone involved in the investigation. There was a man standing on the steps of the Book Depository Building and he turned to me and said, "I'm with the Secret Service." This man was about 40 years old, sandy-haired with a distinct cleft in his chin. He was well-dressed in a gray business suit. I was naive enough at the time to believe that the only people there were actually officers--after all, this was the command post. I gave him the information. He showed little interest in the persons leaving. However, he seemed extremely interested in the description of the Rambler. This was the only part of my statement which he wrote down in his little pad he was holding. Point: Mrs. Ruth Paine, the woman Marina Oswald lived with in Irving, Texas, owned a Rambler station wagon, at that time, of this same color.
I learned nothing of this "Secret Service Agent's" identity until December 22, 1967 while we were living in New Orleans. The television was on as I came home from work one night and there on the screen was a picture of this man. I did not know what it was all about until my wife told me that Jim Garrison had charged him with being a part of the assassination plot. I called Jim Garrison then and told him that this was the man I had seen in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Jim then sent one of his investigators to see me with a better picture which I identified. I then learned that this man's name was Edgar Eugene Bradley. It was a relief to me to know his name for I had been bothered by the fact that I had failed to get his name when he had told me he was a Secret Service Agent and I had given him my information. On the night of the assassination when I had come home and discussed the day with my wife I had, of course, told her of this encounter and my failure to get his name.
As I finished talking with the Agent I was confronted by the High Priest of Dallas County Politics, Field Marshal Bill Decker... He called me aside and informed me that the suspect had already left the scene. (How did you know? You had just arrived.) Decker then told me to help them (the police) search the Book Depository Building. Decker turned toward his office across the street, then suddenly stopped, looked at me and said "Somebody better take charge of this investigation." Then he continued walking slowly toward his office, indicating that it was not going to be him.
When I entered the Book Depository Building I was joined by Deputy Sheriffs Eugene Boone and Luke Mooney. We went up the stairs directly to the sixth floor. The room was very dark and a thick layer of dust seemed to cover everything. We went to the south side of the building, since this was the street side and seemed the most logical place to start.
Luke Mooney and I reached the southeast corner at the same time. We immediately found three rifle cartridges laying in such a way that they looked as though they had been carefully and deliberately placed there--in plain sight on the floor to the right of the southeast corner window. Mooney and I examined the cartridges very carefully and remarked how close together they were. The three of them were no more than one inch apart and all were facing in the same direction, a feat very difficult to achieve with a bolt action rifle - or any rifle for that matter. One cartridge drew our particular attention. It was crimped on the end which would have held the slug. It had not been stepped on but merely crimped over on one small portion of the rim. The rest of that end was perfectly round.
Laying on the floor to the left of the same window was a small brown paper lunch bag containing some well cleaned chicken bones. I called across the room and summoned the Dallas Police I.D. man, Lt. Day. When he arrived with his camera Mooney and I left the window and started our search of the rest of the sixth floor.
We were told by Dallas Police to look for a rifle - something I had already concluded might be there since the cartridges found were, apparently, from a rifle. I was nearing the northwest corner of the sixth floor when Deputy Eugene Boone called out, "here it is." I was about eight feet from Boone, who was standing next to a stack of cardboard boxes. The boxes were stacked so that there was no opening between them except at the top. Looking over the top and down the opening I saw a rifle with a telescopic sight laying on the floor with the bolt facing upward. At this time Boone and I were joined by Lt. Day of the Dallas Police Department and Dallas Homicide Captain, Will Fritz. The rifle was retrieved by Lt. Day, who activated the bolt, ejecting one live round of ammunition which fell to the floor.
Lt. Day inspected the rifle briefly, then handed it to Capt. Fritz who had a puzzled look on his face. Seymour Weitzman, a deputy constable, was standing beside me at the time. Weitzman was an expert on weapons. He had been in the sporting goods business for many years and was familiar with all domestic and foreign weapons. Capt. Fritz asked if anyone knew what kind of rifle it was. Weitzman asked to see it. After a close examination (much longer than Fritz or Day's examination) Weitzman declared that it was a 7.65 German Mauser. Fritz agreed with him. Apparently, someone at the Dallas Police Department also loses things but, at least, they are more conscientious. They did replace it - even if the replacement was made in a different country.
At that exact moment an unknown Dallas police officer came running up the stairs and advised Capt. Fritz that a Dallas policeman had been shot in the Oak Cliff area. I instinctively looked at my watch. The time was 1:06 p.m. A token force of uniformed officers was left to keep the sixth floor secure and Fritz, Day, Boone, Mooney, Weitzman and I left the building.
On my way back to the Sheriff's Office I was nearly run down several times by Dallas Police cars racing to the scene of the shooting of a fellow officer. There were more police units at the J. D. Tippit shooting than there were at President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
Tippit had been instructed to patrol the Oak Cliff area along with Dallas Police Unit 87 at 12:45 p.m. by the dispatcher. Unit 87 immediately left Oak Cliff and went to the triple underpass, leaving Tippit alone. Why? At 12:54 p.m., J. D. Tippit, Dallas Police Unit 78, gave his location as Lancaster Blvd., and Eighth St., some ten blocks from the place where he was to be killed. The Dallas dispatcher called Tippit at 1:04 p.m. and received no answer. He continued to call three times and there was still no reply. Comparing this time with the time I received news of the shooting of the police officer at 1:06 p.m., it is fair to assume Tippit was dead or being killed between 1:04 and 1:06 p.m. This is also corroborated by the eye witnesses at the Tippit killing, who said he was shot between 1:05 and 1:08 p.m.
According to Officer Baker, Dallas Police, he talked to Oswald at 12:35 p.m. in the lunch room of the Texas School Book Depository. This would give Oswald 30 minutes or less to finish his coke, leave the building, walk four blocks east on Elm Street, catch a bus and ride it back west in heavy traffic for two blocks, get off the bus and walk two more blocks west and turn south on Lamar Street, walk four blocks and have a conversation with a cab driver and a woman over the use of Whaley's (the cab driver) cab, get into the cab and ride to 500 North Beckley Street, get out and walk to 1026 North Beckley where his (Oswald's) room was located, pick up something (?); and if that is not enough, Earlene Roberts, the housekeeper where Oswald lived, testified that at 1:05 p.m. Oswald was waiting for a bus in front of his rooming house and finally, to make him the fastest man on Earth, he walked to East Tenth Street and Patton Street, several blocks away and killed J. D. Tippit between 1:05 and 1:08 p.m. If he had not been arrested when he was, it is my belief that Earl Warren and his Commission would have had Lee Harvey Oswald eating dinner in Havana!
I was convinced on November 22, 1963, and I am still sure, that the man entering the Rambler station wagon was Lee Harvey Oswald. After entering the Rambler, Oswald and his companion would only have had to drive six blocks west on Elm Street and they would have been on Beckley Avenue and a straight shot to Oswald's rooming house. The Warren Commission could not accept this even though it might have given Oswald time to kill Tippit for having two men involved would have made it a conspiracy!
As to Lee Harvey Oswald shooting J. D. Tippit, let us examine the evidence: Dallas Police Unit 221 (Summers-refer-police radio log) stated on the police radio that he had an "eye ball" witness to the shooting. The suspect was a white male about twenty-seven, five feet, eleven inches, black wavy hair, fair complexioned, (not Oswald) wearing an Eisenhower-type jacket of light color, dark trousers, and a white shirt, apparently armed with a .32 caliber, dark-finish automatic pistol which he had in his right hand. (The jacket strongly resembles that worn by the driver of the station wagon).
Dallas Police Unit 550 Car 2 was driven to the scene of the Tippit murder by Sgt. Gerald Hill. He was accompanied by Bud Owens, Dallas Police Department, and William F. Alexander, Assistant D.A. for Dallas. Unit 550 Car 2 reported over the police radio that the shells at the scene indicated that the suspect was armed with a .38 caliber automatic. 38 automatic shells and 38 revolver shells are distinctly different. (Oswald allegedly had a 38 revolver in his possession when arrested?)
After much confusion in the Oak Cliff area the Dallas Police were finally directed to the Texas Theater where the suspect was reported to be. Several squads arrived at the theater and quickly surrounded it. At the back door was none other than William F. Alexander, Assistant D.A., and several Dallas Police officers with guns drawn. While Dallas Police Officer McDonald and others entered the theater and turned on the lights and the suspect was pointed out to them, they started searching people several rows in front of Oswald, giving him a chance to run if he wanted to - right into the blazing guns of waiting officers!
This man had to be stopped. He was the most dangerous criminal in the history of the world. Here was a man who was able to go from one location to another with the swiftness of Superman, to change his physical characteristics at will and who pumped four automatic slugs into a police officer with a revolver - indeed a master criminal!
During a thorough search of the sixth floor of the School Book Depository a rifle was found. Unhappily for the Warren Commissioners, the four police officers present at the time it was discovered, unanimously identified it as a German 7.65 Mauser. Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone found the rifle following the movement of book boxes by Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney and called Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman to witness his discovery. Another Deputy Sheriff, Roger Craig, was thereabouts and he saw the gun and heard the conversations of the others. The officers had no doubts about their identification and affidavits were drawn up by Boone and Weitzman, who described the weapon in detail, noting the colour of the sling and the scope. Police Captain Will Fritz was also present at the scene and he, also, is claimed to have agreed that the rifle was a 7.65 Mauser. District Attorney Henry M. Wade, in a television interview, referred to the sixth-floor discovery and quoted the weapon as a Mauser, a statement picked up by the press and reported widely. Following the finding of the gun, however, it was collected by Lieutenant. C. Day and taken to Police Headquarters, where it was logged as a 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano, an Italian carbine, bearing the serial number C2766. Mannlicher-Carcano Italian carbine No. C2766, it was claimed, belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald.
Those concerned with the finding of the rifle at the Book Depository and who had written affidavits, Boone and Weitzman, were pressed, under questioning by the Commission, to review their identification of it. The Mannlicher-Carcano, at first glance, looked very much like 7.65 Mauser, it is true. How would they account, though, for a situation in which they had been close enough to describe the colour of the sling and yet had made an error in identifying the rifle itself? After all, the Mannlicher-Carcano bears the legend 'Made in Italy' on the butt, whereas the German gun has the name 'Mauser' stamped on the barrel! Were these officers unable to read? In spite of any argument which might be brought to bear, they both, nonetheless, changed their testimony and conceded they had made a mistake.
Young Roger Craig, who saw and heard all that had gone on in the Book Depository, refused to concede that he had been mistaken, or even that he might have been.
I first saw my testimony in January of 1968 when I looked at the 26 volumes (of the Warren Commission) which belonged to Penn Jones. My alleged statement was included. The following are some of the changes in my testimony:
(1) Arnold Rowland told me that he saw two men on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository 15 minutes before the President arrived: one was a Negro, who was pacing back and forth by the southwest window. The other was a white man in the southeast corner, with a rifle equipped with a scope, and that a few minutes later he looked back and only the white man was there. In the Warren Commission: Both were white, both were pacing in front of the southwest corner and when Rowland looked back, both were gone;
(2) I said the Rambler station wagon was light green. The Warren Commission: Changed to a white station wagon;
(3) I said the driver of the Station Wagon had on a tan jacket. The Warren Commission: A white jacket;
(4) I said the license plates on the Rambler were not the same color as Texas plates. The Warren Commission: Omitted the not--omitted but one word, an important one, so that it appeared that the license plates were the same color as Texas plates;
(5) I said that I got a good look at the driver of the Rambler. The Warren Commission: I did not get a good look at the Rambler. (In Captain Fritz's office) I had said that Fritz had said to Oswald, "This man saw you leave" (indicating me). Oswald said, "I told you people I did." Fritz then said, "Now take it easy, son, we're just trying to find out what happened", and then (to Oswald), "What about the car?" to which Oswald replied, "That station wagon belongs to Mrs. Paine. Don't try to drag her into this." Fritz said car--station wagon was not mentioned by anyone but Oswald. (I had told Fritz over the telephone that I saw a man get into a station wagon, before I went to the Dallas Police Department and I had also described the man. This is when Fritz asked me to come there). Oswald then said, "Everybody will know who I am now;" the Warren Commission: Stated that the last statement by Oswald was made in a dramatic tone. This was not so. The Warren Commission also printed, "NOW everybody will know who I am", transposing the now. Oswald's tone and attitude was one of disappointment. If someone were attempting to conceal his identity as Deputy and he was found out, exposed--his cover blown, his reaction would be dismay and disappointment. This was Oswald's tone and attitude--disappointment at being exposed!
On February 13, 1969 I was summoned to New Orleans to testify in the Clay Shaw trial. On the 14th when I finally took the stand the defense tried very hard to discredit me by saying that I worked in New Orleans and was, in fact, still working in that city under an assumed name. Failing to discredit me, they accomplished the next best thing, the distorted version appeared in newspapers and wire services throughout the country.
When I returned to Dallas on February 16, 1969 I was to realize the full impact of this distorted news story for when I contacted the job possibilities I had before I testified I found all doors closed. On March 4 - after several days of no openings, or being told that I was not qualified, or that they would call me, which they never did - I found a job with Industrial Towel and Uniform Company of Dallas. This was a rental company and they needed men so that all I had to do was pass a polygraph test to prove I was not a thief, which I passed!
My final check from Peakload paid the rent for a month and bought a few groceries but Christmas was coming and I had managed somehow not to let the kids down - up until now. While I was in the hospital Penn Jones brought a letter he had received from Madeline Goddard. She had, apparently, read much on the assassination and sent her best wishes and support to us. Also in the letter was the answer to this Christmas. Madeline had enclosed a check for $100.00.
She did not realize it, I'm sure, but that kept us from throwing my hands up in the air and giving up. The next few weeks were a repetition of earlier days--no jobs, no money, no prospects (there must be a song in there somewhere). Our only means of eating those days was Madeline Goddard's generosity; God bless Madeline and her generous heart.
Penn Jones had a few acres of land in Boyce, Texas, a short distance from Midlothian and he had persuaded us to move into the smaller of two houses on this land. We decided to go so that I could recuperate and regroup my thoughts. By this time, January 24, 1970, I was very depressed and ready to throw in the towel.
Penn and his son, Penn III, moved our belongings into the small three-room house and I must say that the fresh air and freedom from Dallas and its citizens was a welcome change. After a few days I felt better and began exploring our new surroundings. Penn had seventy-eight head of cattle on the place and I was feeding twenty bales of hay to them every morning. As my strength came back I also tackled various small, clean up jobs around the farm. It was the least I could do--the rent was free and Penn paid the light and water bills. We bought what butane we had to buy for heat and cooking. How about this - in 1948 I ran away from home at age 12 and spent the next four years working on farms and ranches in the west and northwest - now twenty-two years later I was back on the farm! There were days, however, when the rain and sleet would keep me inside, only venturing out when I had to (mostly to feed the cows).
The highlight of each day was when the mail man came as we were now corresponding with Madeline Goddard regularly and always looked forward to her letters. I do not know what we would have done if it hadn't been for this wonderful person. If I live to be a hundred, I couldn't repay her!
Roger, Jr., was sixteen now and living with his grandparents in Dallas. Terry and Deanna were going to school in Waxahachie, seven miles away. They had to walk about three quarters of a mile to the school bus stop so in bad weather we would drive them to school. This was no easy job in the 1955 Ford of Penn's, which had seen better days. I certainly do not mean to sound ungrateful - Penn Jones and his wife were wonderful to us - we will always hold them close.
It was April when the larger house on the land in Boyce becamevacant and Penn said that we could move into it. We needed theroom and I would be closer to the stock and the feed for them wasalso in the barn near that house. Living in the bigger house was much easier and it was about this time that Penn decided to try toraise Holstein calves. There were no jobs in this small county and maybe we could make some money on this venture.
On Wednesday, October 27, 1970 I went to downtown Dallas to Jack Revel's campaign headquarters to pick up some campaign signs. The headquarters were not open and I decided to visit a friend who works at a restaurant across the street. While talking with my friend the conversation turned, as it so often does, to the assassination. He and I had discussed this in the past.
During the course of our conversation a man who I had not met before entered into the conversation. He, of course, did not know me (not to my knowledge). I told him that I was from out of town and that I was interested in facts that hadn't been printed and in persons that had known Jack Ruby and Lee Oswald. This man said, "I knew Oswald and Ruby. I can tell you anything you want to know about them."
At this point I became very interested and I told him again that I'd sure like to know first hand what they were like. He said, "I knew Ruby well - I had seen Oswald a couple of times in Ruby's place." I then said, "Well, in Ruby's business--the night club--I imagine a lot of people were seen there." He sort of chuckled and said "Huh... Jack Ruby's business was spelled Mafia." He then said, "I can show you a used car lot where Ruby collected a lot of gambling money over on Ross Avenue" (it was the 4600 block of Ross Avenue). So I offered to drive him over there and he said, "No - do you have your car here?" I did. He said I should follow him, which I did. I parked my car on the same side of the street as the car lot, a short distance down and walked back to his car. I opened the door of his car on the passenger side and he pointed to the car lot and said, "That's where a lot of the money comes in from the gambling operation and Jack picked it up here."
He said, "If you really want to know what's going on in Dallas you have to talk to someone who's been around--and I've been around in those circles." Then he said, "Just leave your car parked there and come with me--I'll show you something that's REALLY interesting." He drove me to 300 1/2 South Ewing in the Oak Cliff area to an apartment that had been a family dwelling and was converted into apartment units. I should mention here that Jack Ruby's address at the time of the assassination was 323 South Ewing.
The apartment at 300 1/2 South Ewing is upstairs and when we walked into the apartment there was a distinct feeling of an unlived-in atmosphere. The furnishings were bare. There was a couch, chair and coffee table--no lamps, no ash trays, nothing on the walls. The man had been smoking so it was odd that there were no ash trays. He said, "How about a cup of coffee?" We went into the kitchen, he opened the cabinet and said, "Oh well, I guess I'm out of coffee." He was also out of everything else as there was nothing in the cabinet.
The arrangement of the apartment was unusual as you had to go through the bedroom to the kitchen, which was very small. The closet door was open in the bedroom. However, there were no clothes in it. At that time I became slightly nervous about the situation.
We went back into the bedroom from the kitchen. While in the bedroom he said, "I want to show you something." He opened the top drawer of the dresser and pulled out a shoulder holster--there was a 32 revolver with a three inch barrel in the shoulder holster. He pulled the 32 out of the holster and said, "what do you think about that?" I remarked that you don't see many 32's with a barrel like that. He put the 32 back in the drawer and went around to the side of the closet which was not visible when you went into the kitchen. At that time he produced two rifles - one was a bolt action which looked like a 30.06, the other was a high power automatic which appeared to be a 257 caliber.
I remarked that they were nice rifles and I would like to have a good deer hunting rifle. He then laid those two on the bed and he said, "You haven't seen anything yet." He then got down on the floor and he pulled 5 more rifles from under the bed. Each of these were equipped with scopes. He then pulled a cardboard box about 13 inches long and 10 inches deep also from under the bed.
The box was closed and on the side was printed "Ammunition - Handle With Care." He then slid the rifles and ammunition back under the bed. I said jokingly, "What are you gonna do--start a war?" He said, "Could be."
At that time he looked at his watch and said "excuse me just a minute, I have to go down to the landlady's apartment and make a phone call--I promised some people I would call them" (there was no telephone in the apartment). He was gone for about ten minutes. During this time I made a mental inventory of the apartment. After he returned he asked me if I was ready to go back to my car. There was a pay phone on the corner from the apartment and I asked him to pull over so that I could call the people who owned the car (I had told him that it was borrowed while I was in Dallas), that I wanted to let them know that the car was okay. From the pay phone I called my wife and gave her the man's name and address and told her of the situation. His name--as he gave me is A.E. Allen, 300 1/2 South Ewing, Dallas, Texas.
Before we went to his apartment, or the apartment, I told him being from out of town that I didn't know much, but that I had heard that Ruby was in the gun running business. He said that Ruby wasn't actually buying and selling weapons. That people in higher positions made the arrangements for the buying and selling of weapons. That Ruby was mainly the go-between for delivering the money and making arrangements for the storage of the weapons until they were shipped out.
During the course of the evening he made the statement several times that, "if you want to stay healthy, don't say anything to anybody in Dallas about the assassination unless you're damn sure you know who you're talking to."
He then said that there were a lot of people in Dallas who were out to "get" him because he knows too much.
One of the strangest things that he did was to drive on East Jefferson to a used car lot and stop. There were two men inside the office and he went in and talked to them. I stayed in the car and could see them through a window of the office. He was in there only a few minutes. His car was a light blue Oldsmobile 66 model. When he came out of the office he got into a gray Olds sitting on the lot and he drove it onto the drive stopping just before he entered the street--he motioned to me--I was watching him. I got out of the blue Olds and he took me back to my car in the gray Olds.
On the way to my car across town, he kept repeating there's a lot more to this (the assassination) than they'll ever know. In taking me to my car he cut across to Ft. Worth Avenue. While driving slowly along he pointed out certain private clubs--saying that he wasn't allowed in one or the other. My first thought was that he was trying to give me the impression that he was knowledgeable about the workings of the Dallas underworld. However, it really seems that he was using a delaying measure - since it took from 10:00 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. to drive me to my car - an ordinary 15 minute drive at that time.
When I got out of his car at mine he said, "I'll call you tomorrow." Earlier in the evening he had implied he was going to give me more information. I had given him a number to reach me by. Needless to say I did not hear from him after the incident that followed!
I had locked my car when I parked it. When I got into it I turned the key over to start the engine. At this point there was a muffled type explosion and then smoke came out the sides of the hood. The hood had a double latch and didn't blow. Fire was coming through the air vents under the dash and a pillow was burning inside the car.
I jumped out of the car and raised the hood. The engine, hoses, firewall and even under the bell housing was all ablaze. Several persons came up and someone called the fire department. A man named Bill Booken was walking by at about the time it happened. The fire department used 2 cans of chemical to extinguish the fire. This was one of the hottest fires I had ever seen. There was no smell of gasoline before or after, there was no back fire as the car had not started and afterwards the gas lines were checked and there were no leaks. There was an air breather on the car and in fact, there was no mechanical reason for the explosion.
This happened at 4625 Ross Avenue. Mr. Booken took me to Anderson's Restaurant at 4909 Ross Avenue where I called my wife and she arranged for my brother Duane to come after me. I didn't know that I had been injured until I felt the warm blood running down my shirt after my brother picked me up. I had lost quite a lot of blood by the time I went to the emergency room. I was there for three hours. A police report was made. I had received 5 puncture type wounds in the chest area. One vein had been severed and had to be tied and stitches taken in the wounds. X-rays were also made. I went to our family physician the following day and had the stitches removed the following Monday. It was never completely determined what hit me. Another close call! The doctor at the emergency room said I was lucky the wounds had not been lower and our family physician said I was lucky the wounds were not in the neck. So . . . I suppose I'm just lucky all the way round!
Former Deputy Sheriff Roger Dean Craig, 39, was found to shot to death at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in his father's home at 10524 Luna Road.
Homicide investigator Robert Garza said a rifle and a note were found near the body. Garza said the wound in Craig's upper right chest apparently was self-inflicted.
Craig had been embroiled in controversy surrounding assassination of President Kennedy.
A deputy at the time of the assassination, Craig said he saw Lee Harvery Oswald running west down Elm Street from the Texas School Book, Depository about 15 minutes after the assassination. He said Oswald then got into a station wagon that had pulled up alongside of him.
He also said he heard the shots fired at the presidential motorcade and that because of their close proximity, the shots had to have been fired from two different rifles.
Craig had recently appeared on radio talk shows expressing his views on assassination and his testimony appears in the Waren Report.
Patrolmen P.L. Anderson and R. W. Wood said Craig's father, Kristel Craig, discovered the body in a back bedroom in their 1-story frame home at 3:30 p.m. The father had talked to the victim 30 minutes earlier, but left the house to work on a lawn mower in the back yard.
Craig said in the note he was sorry for what he has to do, but that he could not stand the pain.
Anderson and Wood said Craig's father told them Craig had been taking pain-killing medication for injuries in a car wreck two years ago and for a gunshot wound in the shoulder in Waxahachie six months ago.
At that time, Craig reported to Waxahachie police a stranger appeared at the door of a house at which Craig was waiting for a woman friend, and shot him with a shotgun when Craig answered a knock at the door.
Craig was under the supervision of Sheriff Bill Decker at the time of the assassination. He left the department shortly after the assassination.
Craig was named Man of the Year by the sheriff's office in 1960 for his work in aid in helping to capture an international jewel chief.
Roger Craig had been named Officer of the Year by the Dallas Traffic Commission and he was promoted four times. He was to receive no further promotion or commendation after his refusal to withdraw his identification of the Mauser and admit to being wrong about his identification of the man who ran from the Depository to be picked up by the Rambler on Elm Street. For this he suffered the most dire consequences. Craig was forbidden to speak to reporters about these things and when, in 1967, he was caught doing so he was fired. Thereafter he spoke of a consciousness of being followed, and was fired at by an unknown assailant. The bullet came uncomfortably close and, in fact, grazed his head. He began receiving threats and, in 1973, his car was run off a mountain road causing him a back injury, the pain from which was to become a permanent feature of his life. On another occasion his car was bombed. His marriage broke up in 1973 as a consequence of the continuing harassment, which did not abate. In 1975 he was shot at and wounded in the shoulder by another unknown gunman. At the age of 39, Roger Craig, suffering from the stress of the constant back pains he endured and the financial pressures he encountered because of finding it difficult to get work, succumbed, they said, and committed suicide. They said.