That's because it's the only image we have of Bookhout pre-shooting. And it certainly shows how short he was- just the right height to be the Garage Shooter. But, in addition, it shows something that we never knew before, and that is, the rapport that Bookhout had with Oswald. How important is it to know that?
You name one other law enforcement officer that Oswald engaged in friendly conversation with in the hall. You can't. Oswald actually went up to Bookhout and said, "What have you got against (something)?"
Keep in mind that is truly conversational, as in: light conversation. It could NOT pertain to the charges against Oswald. So, what this tells me is that Bookhout engaged in light conversation with Oswald. He probably made a very concerted effort to seem friendly and non-confrontational and nice. And that was probably true from the very start.
Remember that Bookhout attended the first interrogation. Well, he attended most of the interrogations, but they included the first one. But, Fritz was late. They got Oswald to Homicide Bureau by 2:00, but, Fritz didn't get there until after 3. In Fritz' handwritten notes, he wrote down 3:15 as the start of the first interrogation. But, Bookhout got to the PD even before Oswald. So, he was waiting there. So, I'm thinking that Bookhout probably waited for Fritz with Oswald. They probably waited together in Fritz' office. And that's when Bookhout started cultivating his friendly demeanor with Oswald. Keep in mind: it was fake; it was phony. But, it had a purpose: to win Oswald's confidence and trust. And apparently, it was quite successful.
And when Oswald went up to Bookhout in the hallway and made that light, rather carefree remark, "What have you got against so and so?", it had to be a CONTINUATION of the light conversation that was started before. Bookhout must have told Oswald that he didn't care for something or someone, and who knows, maybe it was a pop culture thing, a novelist, a musician, a sports team, who knows? But, after expressing general disapproval of something, Oswald wanted to know more, so he asked Bookhout to say, exactly, what he had against whatever the entity was. I went and listened to it again, several times, and to my ears, it sounds something like Broadway. So: What have you got against Broadway? Now, I'm not say it was that, just that it sounds like that. And perhaps someone else can listen to it and tweak it further to what it actually was. Here's the link:
And let's note also that this was Saturday evening, and Oswald was going to die the next morning. Of course, he doesn't know that, but you would think that at this point, he would pretty freaked out. The Dallas Police were telling the world that the case against him was cinched. Fritz used that word: cinched. They had charged Oswald with the murder of both Tippit and Kennedy, and Oswald knew it. And in interviews with Curry and Fritz, both made it clear that, although Oswald was denying everything, that they didn't believe him and felt that they had enough evidence to convict him. And D.A. Henry Wade said the same thing.
Now, were they communicating something different to Oswald? A different attitude? Because if they were being frank with Oswald about what they were feeling and what they were doing, and what they expected to happen, it seems like he should have been freaking out.
Imagine if you were charged with murdering two men, (and you are innocent, of course) and 30 hours later, you had totally failed to convince police of your innocence. Even though you had been talking to them for hours and hours, pleading your case, they still thought that you did it. Plus, they produced things that you know are phony, such as a paper trail for a rifle you did NOT order, photographs that you supposedly posed for but which you didn't. Plus, talk of you taking a trip to Mexico City that you know you didn't take. It was a nightmare for Oswald to be accused in the first place, but it seems to me that it just went from bad to worse: his predicament. Plus, they still didn't provide him a lawyer when he repeatedly asked for one- even appealing to the world for "legal assistance" at the Midnight Press Conference.
So, for Oswald to come out in that doorway and make a chipper, chuckling, off-hand, light-hearted remark to Bookhout at that late hour, it perplexes the hell out of me.
And if anything he looks pretty happy-go-lucky to me.
So, it makes me wonder if police were presenting the situation differently to him than they were to the world. Were they telling him that they believed him? Maybe he divulged some of his intelligence contacts. Maybe he named names- which never got written down. And maybe they told him that they believed him.
It is my conviction that the very next day, Oswald was working with them- to deceive the world. They must have told him: "We are going to get you out of this, but first we have to fake your death- for your own protection."
And Oswald trusted them and went along with it. But, who did he trust? Specifically, who did he trust? Well, I have a feeling that the one he trusted above all others was Bookhout. Bookhout probably had the best rapport with Oswald of anybody. And frankly: it helped that Bookhout was a small guy. Small guys are generally perceived as less intimidating. (this writer being an exception) Oswald certainly doesn't seem scared of Bookhout in the hallway.
Just think about it: in the 46 hours that Oswald lived from the time of his arrest, his statement to Bookhout in the hallway was the only utterance that Oswald made that was not either a denial of guilt or a complaint of how he was being treated by Dallas PD.