The article is an excerpt from the interview that Jim Garrison did with Playboy magazine in October 1967. I really like this excerpt because he addresses the impossibility of Oswald having shot Tippit, and he also goes into the "Second Oswald". Observe how much times have changed because no major media organization would interview someone like Jim Garrison today. It is not politically correct to do so.
Jim Garrison: Interview with Playboy
8: The Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit, and the “Second” Oswald.
8: The Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit, and the “Second” Oswald.
Playboy: Let’s move on to the events that followed the assassination. What reason do you have for believing that Oswald didn’t shoot Officer Tippit?
Garrison: As I said earlier, the evidence we’ve uncovered leads us to suspect that two men, neither of whom was Oswald, were the real murderers of Tippit; we believe we have one of them identified. The critics of the Warren Report have pointed out that a number of the witnesses could not identify Oswald as the slayer, that several said the murderer was short and squat — Oswald was thin and medium height — and another said that two men were involved.
The Warren Commission’s own chronology of Oswald’s movements also fails to allow him sufficient time to reach the scene of Tippit’s murder from the Book Depository Building. The clincher, as far as I’m concerned, is that four cartridges were found at the scene of the slaying. Now, revolvers do not eject cartridges, so when someone is shot, you don’t later find gratuitous cartridges strewn over the sidewalk — unless the murderer deliberately takes the trouble to eject them.
We suspect that cartridges had been previously obtained from Oswald’s .38 revolver and left at the murder site by the real killers as part of the setup to incriminate Oswald. However, somebody slipped up there. Of the four cartridges found at the scene, two were Winchesters and two were Remingtons — but of the four bullets found in Officer Tippit’s body, three were Winchesters and one was a Remington! The last time I looked, the Remington–Peters Manufacturing Company was not in the habit of slipping Winchester bullets into its cartridges, nor was the Winchester–Western Manufacturing Company putting Remington bullets into its cartridges.
I don’t believe that Oswald shot anybody on November 22nd — not the President and not Tippit. If our investigation in this area proves fruitful, I hope we will be able to produce in a court of law the two men who did kill Tippit.
The Tippit Bullets and Oswald’s Revolver
Playboy: How do you explain the fact that the Warren Commission concluded that the bullets in Officer Tippit’s body had all been fired from “the revolver in the possession of Oswald at the time of his arrest, to the exclusion of all other weapons”?
Garrison: The Warren Commission’s conclusion was made in spite of the evidence and not because of it. To determine if Oswald’s gun had fired the bullets, it was necessary to call in a ballistics expert who would be able to tell if the lines and grooves on the bullets had a relation to the barrel of the revolver. The Commission called as its witness FBI ballistics expert Cortlandt Cunningham, and he testified, after an examination of the bullets taken from Tippit’s body, that it was impossible to determine whether or not these bullets had been fired from Oswald’s gun.
Yet, on the basis of this expert testimony, the Warren Commission concluded with a straight face that the bullets were fired not only from Oswald’s gun but “to the exclusion of all other weapons.” They simply chose to ignore the fact that revolvers don’t eject cartridges and that the cartridges left so conveniently on the street didn’t match the bullets in Tippit’s body.
The Impersonation of Lee Harvey Oswald
Playboy: You mentioned earlier that a so–called “second Oswald” had impersonated the real Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination in an attempt to incriminate him. What proof do you have of this?
Garrison: I hesitate to use the words “second Oswald,” because they tend to lend an additional fictional quality to a case that already makes Dr. No and Goldfinger look like auditors’ reports. However, it is true that before the assassination, a calculated effort was made to implicate Oswald in the events to come.
A young man approximating Oswald’s description and using Oswald’s name — we believe we have discovered his identity — engaged in a variety of activities designed to create such a strong impression of Oswald’s instability and culpability in people’s minds that they would recall him as a suspicious character after the President was murdered.
In one instance, a man went to an auto salesroom, gave his name as Lee Oswald, test–drove a car at 80 miles an hour — Oswald couldn’t drive — and, after creating an ineradicable impression on the salesman by his speeding, gratuitously remarked that he might go back to the Soviet Union and was expecting to come into a large sum of money. Parenthetically, the salesman who described this “second Oswald” was subsequently beaten almost to death by unknown assailants outside his showroom. He later fled Dallas and last year was found dead; it was officially declared a suicide.
In another instance, this “second Oswald” visited a shooting range in Dallas and gave a virtuoso demonstration of marksmanship, hitting not only his own bull’s–eye but the bull’s–eyes of neighboring targets as well — thus leaving an unforgettable impression of his skill with a rifle. The real Oswald, of course, was a mediocre shot, and there is no evidence that he had fired a rifle since the day he left the Marines. Consequently, the fact that he couldn’t hit the side of a barn had to be offset, which accounts for the tableau at the rifle range.
I could go on and on recounting similar instances, but there is no doubt that there was indeed a “second Oswald.” Now, the Warren Commission recognized that the individual involved in all these activities could not be Lee Oswald; but they never took the next step and inquired why these incidents of impersonation occurred so systematically prior to the assassination.
As it turned out, of course, the organizers of the conspiracy needn’t have bothered to go to all this trouble of laying a false trail incriminating Oswald. They should have realized, since Oswald was a “self–proclaimed Marxist,” that it wasn’t necessary to produce any additional evidence to convict him in the eyes of the mass media; any other facts would simply be redundant in the face of such a convincing confession of guilt.
The Warren Report’s account of the incident failed to mention the more fundamental, and blatantly obvious, fact that both Kelley and Bookhout reported Oswald’s claim to have been on the first floor very shortly before the assassination, and that Oswald’s claim was corroborated by James Jarman and Harold Norman.
Oswald’s Movements at Lunch Time
The fact that Lee Oswald was on the first floor as close to the assassination as 12:23, and quite possibly later, has drastic consequences for the hypothesis that he was on the sixth floor at 12:30, firing a rifle at President Kennedy.
The Lone Assassin on the Sixth Floor
The Warren Commission never gave any serious thought to the possibility that Oswald either had associates or had played no part in the assassination. Its task was to make a plausible case that Oswald was the lone assassin, in order to help the media to restore public confidence in political institutions, which was dangerously low because of widespread suspicions that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy.
The Commission’s options were limited by the fact that the sixth floor was occupied on the morning of the assassination by order–fillers and by a number of employees who were laying new floorboards. The need for Oswald to have assembled his rifle and his sniper’s nest required him to have been alone on the sixth floor for several minutes. The only realistic opportunity for him to do this was during the lunch break.
Oswald on the First Floor
A lone assassin, even one whose rifle and sniper’s nest were already assembled on the sixth floor, could not plausibly have been hanging around on the first floor just a few minutes before the assassination:
With no way of knowing in advance exactly when the motorcade was arriving, he risked missing his only opportunity for no good reason. Oswald was in the habit of reading the newspapers, and is likely to have seen an article in the Dallas Morning News on 20 November, which stated that the motorcade was scheduled to arrive at the Trade Mart, some five minutes’ drive beyond Elm Street, at 12:30 (CE 1364 [WCHE, vol.22, p.616]). Oswald was still on the first floor no more than two minutes before Kennedy was due to pass by the building. If the motorcade had been early rather than late, the dawdling assassin would have been stranded.
None of the employees on the fourth or fifth floors reported seeing or hearing anyone dash up the stairs immediately before the shooting. James Jarman, Harold Norman and Bonnie Ray Williams used the elevators during this period but did not report anyone else doing.