It started, of course, with the realization that the garage shooter was not Jack Ruby, which was made primarily through photographic analysis- recognizing that the Garage Shooter was too short to be Jack Ruby (who was 5' 8 1/2"); his hair was too long in back and too squared off and clean-shaven at the bottom to be Jack Ruby; and also there is disparity between ears.
Be aware that I am no longer going to use the images of Ruby from the DPD in the Homicide Bureau on 11/22 because the authenticity of those images is now in question. But, we don't need them; the post-arrest images of Ruby on 11/24 suffice.
But, besides that direct evidence, there is also the indirect evidence of: a) the absence of any frontal views of the shooter or any decent views of his face b) the speed by which police removed the shooter and without handcuffing him and making sure he remained under cover, and c) the fact that many cameras shooting from multiple angles could not capture an image of the shooter during the scuffle.
Added to that is the very weighty fact that Jack Ruby could not remember or describe what happened. When asked to, he would only say that it was "all a blur". He remembered getting to the garage and then being pounced upon by police but nothing in-between.
And I'll also point out that the Russian named Maksim Irkuutsk had a lot to do with the discovery, which is to say, he was the first to make it, and his video greatly influenced me.
But, none of that has anything to do with James Bookhout, so how did he get identified?
It started with me reasoning that the shooter had to be someone connected, that he had to be one of them, meaning one of those law enforcement people who were crowding the garage. Who else were they going to trust? Then, it came down to recognizing that Oswald knew the shooter. He glanced at him, and he glanced at him like he was someone he knew.
Oswald didn't have any friends. And this was an environment that was filled with law enforcement people and newsmen. He didn't know any newsmen. So, the shooter had to be a law enforcement man.
My first thought was that it might be Detective Charles Dhority. That's because Dhority had about the right look: he was short; shorter than Oswald; he was stocky; he wore a fedora hat.
But then, I looked into it and found out that Dhority was driving the white unmarked car that Fritz was waving in. Dhority was the one who was going to drive Oswald to the County Jail. The Brinks truck was just a ruse. They were NOT going to put Oswald in it. And actually, they were not going to put Oswald in the car either, but, you know what I mean. They were SUPPOSEDLY going to put Oswald in the car.
So, the Garage Shooter could not have been Dhority. And I didn't know of any other DPD detectives or officers who met the physical description of the Garage Shooter. So, I gave up on them and started looking at the FBI agents.
Surely the most famous FBI agent connected to the JFK case is James Hosty. But, there are lots of images of Hosty, and the Garage Shooter was definitely not him. So, my second consideration among FBI agents was James Bookhout. And when I found out that Bookhout attended most of the Oswald interrogations- more than anyone else except Will Fritz who attended all of them- it heightened my suspicions because it would have enabled Oswald to get to know him.
So, my next step was to find out where Bookhout said he was at the time of the Oswald shooting. And what he said was that he attended the last Oswald interrogation, but only through a glass partition, which is weird. And after that, he said he stayed in Fritz office rather than go down and watch the prisoner transfer. But, he never said why he remained there in Fritz' office and what he had to do there. And then, supposedly, when word arrived that Oswald had been shot, he went down and saw Oswald in the jail office and followed him out to be loaded into the ambulance and driven away. But, upon reading that for the first time, it struck me as a very shaky alibi. So, my already heightened suspicions got heightened further.
And then, it came down to finding an image of James Bookhout to see if he was physically a candidate to be the Garage Shooter. And my heightened suspicions that got heightened further got heightened even further again when I discovered that there were NO images of James Bookhout from the JFK assassinations and no images of him, period. We eventually found some images of him in his school yearbooks, but they all show signs of alteration, and by then, the eagle had already landed, so to speak.
But, at the point that I couldn't find any images of Bookhout, I decided to do a search to see if anybody else had wondered why there are no images of Bookhout. And, it was that search which led me to an Education Forum discussion in which someone else registered the same complaint. Where is there an image of James Bookhout? And somebody responded by saying that if you want to see Bookhout, watch this clip in which you'll see Oswald talking to Bookhout in the hallway before an interrogation.
The clip was one from the film Three Shots That Changed America which was a product of the History Channel. The 20 second clip was put up by Denis Morrissette entitled: Oswald escorted.
And that led me to this image, in which the Bookhout figure talking to Oswald was obviously altered.
I am sure that in 1963 an FBI agent did not have hair growing over his ear. That's fake. Were his eyes really closed? Probably not. And look at this one below, in which he has no facial features at all:
When have you seen that before? You haven't. And finally this direct comparison to the Garage Shooter:
That is what did it for me. That is more than my tolerance for coincidence can stand. As far as I was concerned, this was the watershed moment. This is when I considered it conclusive: that FBI Agent James Bookhout was the Garage Shooter of Lee Harvey Oswald.
But, it didn't end there. From there it went to the Fred Rheinstein 1993 retrospective with the eerie frames of "Ruby" in custody who was obviously not Jack Ruby.
And then, it was the man we refer to as The Wizard who ID'd that guy as James Bookhout by comparing him to his yearbook images.
All in all, it was some great detective work, started by Maksim Irkutsk, then by yours truly, then by the Wizard, and also with help from Larry Rivera. And I'll finish by posting the Wizard's other great discovery: the post-shooting image of James Bookhout in the garage, tailing Oswald's stretcher.
A great find indeed. And at this point, this is way past the threshold of certainty. FBI Agent James Bookhout was the Garage Shooter of Lee Harvey Oswald. And, it now goes down as one of the most important discoveries in the whole JFK assassination saga, right behind Oswald being innocent because he was standing in the doorway at the time of the shots.