2015-04-22 06:51:18 UTC
First things first: The shirt worn by the depository shooter on 11/22/63 would not seem to have been Lee Harvey Oswald's arrest shirt. Witness Robert Edwards testified that the shirt was "short sleeve" (v6p203). Oswald's fellow depository worker James Jarman told the FBI that Oswald "usually worked in a white T-shirt" (12/5/63 interview). The man who drove him to the depository on 11/22, Buell Wesley Frazier, testified that Oswald would "just wear a T-shirt the biggest part of the time" (v2p238). The way, then, for Oswald to draw attention to himself on that day would have been to wear sleeves while he worked! And the way for him to leave fibers on a rifle would have been to wear sleeves....
In fact, witness Mrs. R.A. Reid said that Oswald "was dressed in a white T-shirt" when she saw him on the second floor. (11/23/63 affidavit) Saw him seconds after Patrolman Marrion Baker left him in the lunch room, on the other side of the door, in a "light brown jacket" (11/22/63 affidavit). One or both witnesses had to have been mistaken. One or both had to have been in a different place or talking about a different time. (Building supe Roy Truly, who was with Baker, could have broken the tie, but apparently said not a word to anyone about Oswald's clothing.) Initially, Baker thought that he was on the third or fourth floor (as per his affidavit), and ultimately seems to have placed the encounter with Oswald on the ground floor, in his piece in "JFK First Day Evidence"--he says nothing about a second-floor lunchroom (p365). Reid consistently placed her own encounter with Oswald on the second floor. So it seems that it must have been Baker who was talking about a different *place*.
Another depository employee, Bonnie Ray Williams, told the FBI that Oswald was wearing a "greyish looking sport shirt with long sleeves on Nov. 22, 1963" (12/5/63) Shown a "rust brown sport shirt"--the arrest shirt--Williams was "unable to identify this shirt and could not recall ever seeing Oswald either wearing this shirt or a shirt similar in appearance". Williams appears to have been mistaken re one detail--it was apparently a grey *jacket* that he saw, not a shirt. Consider Oswald's ride to the building that day, Buell Wesley Frazier, who testified, "It was a gray, more or less flannel, wool-looking type of jacket that I had seen him wear and that is the type of jacket he had on that morning". Counsel Ball asks him, "It isn't one of these two zipper jackets we have shown (CE 162 and 163)?" Frazier, "No, sir." (V2p238)
So Frazier has Oswald in gray *outside*, and Williams has him in gray *inside*. And Williams doesn't get as good a look as Frazier, so he thinks it was a "sport shirt". Williams apparently didn't have much time to see Oswald in his jacket because the latter wore it only to and from work. Frazier: "Most time I noticed Lee... he put off his shirt and just wear a T-shirt the biggest part of the time.... I had seen him wear [that same gray] jacket several times.... If you are working on outside or something like that you wouldn't go outside with just a plain shirt on."
Which explains why Williams puts Oswald in the gray jacket/shirt, not in a T-shirt. He testifies that he saw Oswald "a little after eight, after I had started working" (v3pp164-5). Soon after, Oswald apparently stows jacket and overshirt in the "dressing room" on the first floor. (Jarman "said that when Oswald worked in a T-shirt, he usually had a regular shirt in the dresssing room" [12/5 interview].) Oswald's jacket-and-T-shirt routine also explains why Williams might not have seen that "brown or tan shirt" which only Mrs. Randle apparently saw, under the jacket, before Oswald and Frazier left for work (v2p250).
In a puzzling passage, Baker seems to be talking about having seen Oswald in two *different* shirts or jackets that day. Asked about CE 150 (the arrest shirt), he testifies, "It seemed to me like that other shirt was a little bit darker than that whenever I saw him in the homicide office there." Counsel Belin asks, "What about when you saw him in the TSBD, does [CE 150] look familiar as anything he was wearing?" Baker: "It seemed to me it was a light-colored brown...." (v3). He further testifies, "[Oswald] did have a brown-type shirt on that was out", when he, Baker, saw him "at the police station"; but "to my recollection, it was a [light] colored jacket" that Baker thought he saw on Oswald at the depository. He keeps coming back to the idea of the jacket. "That other shirt...."
Of course, we've all long since dismissed Baker's reference to the jacket, in his original affidavit. Obviously, he was mistaken. After all, he testified that the light in the depository was "kind of dim". But Baker here echoes Frazier, in reverse: Arriving, in the morning, Oswald removes overshirt and jacket; leaving, in the afternoon, he puts on overshirt and jacket. Baker seems to have had a very clear memory of seeing the "brown-type shirt"--at some distance--at police headquarters; how could he have mistaken a shirt for a jacket, seen up close, at the depository?
A big part of the reason that we dismiss Baker's memory of the jacket is the testimony of one witness, Mrs. Bledsoe. She saw him, on a bus, soon afterwards: "He looks like a maniac.... I didn't look at him.... He looked so bad in his face, and his face was so distorted". (WR p159) Yet, despite her aversion and lively repugnance, she managed to contain herself long enough to spot, she says, the tear in the sleeve at the right elbow of his arrest shirt. Of course, it couldn't have hurt her ability to identify the shirt when "they brought it out to the house and showed it" to her (v6p412).
Baker vs. Bledsoe. Mainly thanks to Bledsoe's testimony, we dismiss Baker. But we also have to dismiss two people on the bus with her--the driver, McWatters, and a passenger, Roy Jones, who both said that Oswald was wearing a jacket (With Malice p281). That would certainly have hurt her ability to identify the shirt with the hole in in.... Yet another witness, cabbie William Whaley, unfortunately proved all but useless re Oswald's clothing, when he testified testified that, when Oswald boarded his cab, "he had on the two jackets with the open shirt". (v2p260) Next to Whaley, Baker seems a model witness....
Oswald told interviewers that he "changed his shirt and trousers" when he went home that afternoon (WR p622). The trousers he left in his dresser, he said, were "gray colored", and Williams said that he saw Oswald in a "gray corduroy pair of pants", earlier (FBI 12/5). However, Oswald said nothing about picking up a jacket there. It was his housekeeper, Mrs. Roberts, who started that story: "At least part of Mrs. Roberts' story seems to have escaped embellishment. Surely, Oswald returned to his room for a few minutes around 1:00pm just as she claimed" (WM p55)
The first two officers to the house--around 3pm--Dets. Senkel and Potts, recounted how they all saw images of Oswald broadcast on TV. Mrs. R identified him as her boarder, O.H. Lee (CE 2003 p245/Senkel and p230/Potts). But she had little to add to that identification. Isn't something missing? Oh, yes, *that*--neither Senkel nor Potts reports hearing anything from her about Oswald returning to her house after the assassination, just a few hours earlier. Slipped her mind. Her whole story was embellishment....
Oswald did not return to his room to pick up a jacket. He did not have to. As Baker stated, he was wearing one when he left the building. ("It seemed to me like he had a light brown jacket on....") The same jacket which Frazier saw him wearing when he drove him to work that morning. The jacket that Frazier maintained was neither CE 162 nor CE 163. The jacket that apparently had to disappear, the better to replace it with CE 162, the jacket found in the parking lot near where Officer Tippit was shot. Oswald's jacket? If so, he wasn't wearing it that day.
Ball: "Have you seen Oswald wear [CE 162}?"
Frazier: "No, sir, I haven't" (v2p238).