CTKAformerly published Probe Magazine.
Most of the articles on this site first appeared in Probe.
If you would like to submit an article to be considered
for publication on this site, please send mail to us at here.
Jim DiEugenio's Upcoming appearances and radio Interviews:
April 13th, Barnes and Noble, Metro Pointe,
901 B South Coast Drive Ste 150, Costa Mesa,
May 4th, Barnes
and Noble, Orange Town & Country
791 South Main Street Suite 100,
NEW DATE! May 18th, Barnes
and Noble Bookstore in Manhattan Gateway Shopping Center 1800 Rosecrans
Avenue Building B, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310-725-7025, 12-4 PM
October 16-19th Passing the Torch
Conference, at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh
November 21-24, November
in Dallas, at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas
The French Connection, by
Peter Kross Review
by Seamus Coogan
on Lunch with Arlen Specter on January 4, 2012
By Vincent Salandria
1: Review of Peter Janney’s "Mary’s Mosaic"
By Lisa Pease
2: Entering Peter Janney’s World of Fantasy
By James DiEugenio
Awful Grace of God, Religious Terrorism, White Supremacy
and the Unsolved Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Martin Hay
KENNEDY & ME: A Very Good Book With A Few Pages of Trouble
by Vince Palamara
Jim DiEugenio analyzes and summarizes Larry Hancock's
interesting and unique new book Nexus:
The CIA and Political Assassination
Jim DiEugenio reviews the work
of Chris Matthews on the life and death of President Kennedy,
including his latest biography, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive hero".
Reviews of John McAdams' book JFK
Assassination Logic by:
IN DALLAS: LBJ, the Pearl Street Mafia, and the Murder of President
Reviewed by William Davy
a DVD Robert Kennedy documentary produced,
written and directed by Massimo Mazzucco. Reviewed by Jim DiEugenio
Connally Bullet Powerful evidence that Connally was
hit by a bullet from a different assassin, by Robert Harris
those who were in and around Dealey Plaza that
day and those who made a career of the case afterwards.
Joseph Green on the late Manning
Marable's new full scale biography of Malcolm X.
and the Majestic Papers: The History of a Hoax by Seamus
- and -
and the Conspiracy to Kill Kennedy: A Coalescence of InterestsSeamus Coogan
on Joseph Farrell's new book
No Evil: Social Constructivism and the Forensic Evidence in the
by Donald Byron Thomas
Comprehensive Review by David Mantik of
Wikipedia? by JP Mroz and Jim DiEugenio (3 part series)
Sirhan and the RFK Assassination
Part I: The Grand Illusion Part
II: Rubik's Cube by Lisa Pease
is Anton Batey?
CTKA takes a close look at a most curious radio host who is a JFK
denier, Chomskyite, and yet happens to be in league with John McAdams
and David Von Pein. Yep, its all true.
Reviews of Douglas Horne's multi-volume study
of the declassified medical evidence in the JFK case. Reviewed
Jim DiEugenio, David Mantik and Gary Aguilar.
Exclusive excerpts from Mitchell Warriner's long
awaited new book on
the Jim Garrison investigation
Accidental History:The Girl on the Stairs
by Barry Ernest
Reviewed by Joseph E. Green and Jim DiEugenio
At first she thought it was firecrackers. But
when she saw the chaos and the terror on all the faces below, she
knew it was something far worse. She turned from the window and
grabbed the arm of a co-worker.
“Come on.” She whispered. “Let’s find out
what’s going on down there.”
In this split second, her innocence—and that of a nation’s—came
to an end.
e above is how Barry
Ernest begins his interesting and unusual book, The Girl on
the Stairs. The JFK assassination, like any historical event,
had a ripple effect on the history of the country and, indeed, the
world. And while many of these effects were foreseeable—for example,
the expansion of the war in Vietnam—there were an infinite number
of others that were not. Some of the most tragic stories that emerged
in the wake of the assassination concern the deaths of those who became
accidental players by hearing and seeing things they were not supposed
to, and whose documentation began with Penn
Jones in hisÂ Forgive My Grief series. Still others involved
those who were not murdered, but instead were forced into a life of
hiding and jumping at shadows.
Barry Ernest’s book tells two stories. One is about himself: his
journey from being a believer in the Warren Report to that of being a
fierce critic of that now, quite discredited, volume. Therefore he begins
the book at a rather appropriate place and time. In fact, it is actually
beyond appropriate. It is almost symbolic. Barry was a student at Kent
State in 1967. This is the college where the expansion of the Vietnam
War would, in three short years, lead to the infamous shooting of students
by the National Guard and produce one of the most iconic photographs
of that tumultuous era. The first scene of the book is him sitting outside
the cafeteria. A fellow student named Terry approaches and asks him about
a dialogue from a previous class where Barry actually defended the Warren
Report. The student then asks Barry if he had ever seen or heard of the
Zapruder film, and if he had read the entire 26 volumes of the Warren
Commission. Barry said no to each. The student left him a copy of an
interview by Mark
Lane, and said, “Read this.” Barry did—right then
and there. Hours later, in twilight, he then went to a bookstore and
searched for Lane’s book, Rush
to Judgment. This is how the first story—that of personal
discovery and evolution—begins.
And it was through Lane’s book that Barry was introduced to the
heroine of the second story he will tell. That second story is about
the plight of one of these ordinary people who was swept up by events:
Victoria Adams, the notable “girl on the stairs.” She was
an employee who worked in the same building as one Lee Harvey Oswald.
The problem caused by her presence is very simple and easily summarized.
Adams, along with her friend Sandra Styles, stood on the fourth floor
of the Texas School Book Depository at the moment of the murder. She
testified to hearing three shots, which from her vantage point appeared
to be coming from the right of the building (i.e., from the grassy knoll).
She and Styles then ran to the stairs to head down. This was the only
set of stairs that went all the way to the top of the building. Both
she and her friend took them down to the ground floor. She did not see
or hear Oswald. Yet, she should have if he were on the sixth floor traveling
downwards. Which is what the Commission said he did after he shot Kennedy.
This is the first problem, in a nutshell. Why did Adams not see a scrambling
Oswald, flying down the stairs in pursuit of his Coca-Cola? Because of
the Warren Commission’s timeline, we know Oswald had to have gone
down the stairs during this period in order to be accosted in time by
a motorcycle policeman. In addition, as we are later to discover, Adams
also reports seeing Jack Ruby on the corner of Houston and Elm, “questioning
people as though he were a policeman.”
From here the parallel stories broaden out. For Barry began to read
more books critical of the Commission. And he would then compare what
was in these books with the testimony and evidence in the 26 volumes.
Like many people before him, he found something rather disturbing: the
evidence and testimony did not completely back up the summary conclusions
in the Warren Report. The Commission had selectively chosen evidence
to make their case. And they had deliberately tried to discredit witnesses
and testimony that contradicted their guilty verdict about Oswald. And
the witness that they did this to that really kindled Barry’s curiosity
was Victoria Adams. As the author writes at the end of Chapter 1, “What
if she was right?”
Adams did not find the government eager to hear her story. This is why
they badgered her day and night: the FBI, Secret Service, Dallas Police,
and the Sheriff’s Department. And Victoria noticed something discriminatory
about all the attention she was getting: the other witnesses in her office
did not receive it, e.g., Sandy Styles who ran down the stairs with her,
or Elsie Dorman or Dorothy May Garner who watched the motorcade with
The attention didn’t stop. In fact, even when she moved to a different
address these agents followed her. Even though she had left no forwarding
address and her new apartment was not in her name. But they still found
her. They followed her when she went to lunch. They followed her when
she walked around town. When she sent a letter to a friend in San Francisco
describing what she saw and did that day as a witness, the friend never
got the letter. The question they posed was always the same: When did
you run down the stairs after the shooting?
Then, another odd thing happened. When David Belin and the Warren Commission
requested her to testify, it was her alone. Sandra Styles was not with
her. In fact, Barry could find no evidence that the Commission questioned
Styles at all. Further, during her appearance, Belin had handed her a
diagram of the first floor of the Texas School Book Depository, the place
where she and Oswald worked at that time. He asked her to point out where
she saw two other employees (i.e., William Shelley and Billy Lovelady)
when she arrived at the bottom of the stairway. When Barry went to look
up this exhibit in the Commission volumes—Commission Exhibit 496—he
discovered something odd. It was not the document in the testimony. It
was a copy of the application form Oswald filled out for his job at the
Further, although Styles did not testify that day, or at all, both Lovelady
and Shelley did. And as Barry read their testimony it appeared to him
that the Commission was making use of them to discredit Adams. Commission
lawyer Joe Ball made sure he asked Shelley when and if he saw Adams after
the shooting. And when Barry read Lovelady’s testimony his mouth
flew open. Lovelady brought up Adams’ name before Ball did! And
he called her by her nickname, “Vickie.” Barry was puzzled
as to what prompted this spontaneous reference to Adams. Did Lovelady
know in advance that Ball was going to specifically ask about her?
Indeed, when she read her own testimony in the Warren Commission—and
the Commission’s use of it—Adams was startled to find major
discrepancies, including the time interval as to when she started down
the stairs after she heard the shots. This began for her a lifelong burden
of living in the shadows, avoiding any publicity dealing with her testimony
or her treatment at the hands of the Commission. When her employer, publishing
house Scott Foresman, offered her a chance to transfer out of Dallas
to Chicago in 1966, she took it. (p. 35) While there, she actually now
began to read the Warren Report. She now noted what they had done with
Lovelady and Shelley. This stupefied her. Because she did not recall
seeing either man after he and Styles arrived on the first floor. (p.
However, although the book drops in on her from time to time—and
it builds towards Barry’s hunt for her, discovering documents that
bear out her veracity, and interviewing her in a climactic scene—the
principle narrative is the journey of the author himself, who was a teen-ager
at the time of the assassination, and went on to became acquainted with
some of the earliest critics. He and Terry became working partners at
deciphering the fraud of the Warren Report. They would visit each other’s
dorms to discus the latest deception they found in the volumes, e.g.,
how the Commission cut corners and accepted false witnesses to place
Oswald on the sixth floor at the time of the shooting; the dubious way
they reconstructed his movements after he left the Depository; the quality
of the witnesses to the Tippit shooting, etc. These all begin to fuel
doubts in him about his former belief in the Warren Commission.
In fact, Barry became so obsessed with this mystery that he ignored
his studies. He flunked out of Kent State. (p. 33)
Going home to Altoona, Pennsylvania, he could not find the 26 Commission
volumes there. So he began to read the works of the first generation
critics—every one of them. (Read about the first generation critics
in John Kelin’s highly-acclaimed Praise
from a Future Generation. See the first chapter of Kelin’s
He then decided to visit Dallas. There he met a man named Eugene Aldredge.
Aldredge had found a bullet mark on the sidewalk near Elm, which showed
a missed shot. He told the FBI about it, but they ignored it. (p. 37)
He interviewed Roy Truly a manager of the Depository about the incident
right after the shooting where he and policeman Marion Baker encountered
Oswald on the second floor drinking a Coke. (p. 41) And he learned something
odd during their talk: No one other than employees were allowed onto
the sixth floor. (p. 42) But Barry did go to the second floor. Here he
examines the lunchroom area around where Truly and Baker allegedly encountered
Oswald. (p. 43) Here he begins a quite interesting discussion about how
Baker could have seen Oswald through the window of the pneumatic door.
He makes somewhat the same argument that Howard Roffman did in his excellent
book Presumed Guilty. Truly said he saw no one as he proceeded
up the stairs in front of Baker. (ibid) So a question now emerged: “If
that door already was closed as Truly passed in advance of the policeman,
why would Oswald stand stationary behind it until Baker appeared?” (ibid)
For this is how Baker said he noticed Oswald, through the window of the
door. The author comes to the same conclusion that others who had read
Roffman: If one takes Baker at his word, Oswald had to have come up to
the lunchroom from another set of stairs, a one flight stairway from
the first floor for Baker to have seen him as he said he did. This
bolstered Victoria Adams’ story for Barry. He tried to visit her
on this trip but found out she had left for Chicago already. (p. 44)
He then made a visit to Penn Jones In Midlothian, Texas. Jones, who
had two sets, sold him the 26 volumes for $76.00. (p. 39) Penn introduced
him to Roger Craig, and he also became involved with Harold Weisberg
early on. Both Jones and Weisberg immediately see something in him and
venture to tap his skills to assist them; Weisberg as a researcher, Jones
to interview people who would not talk to him because he was too well
known. He also knew David Lifton long before he came onto the scene withÂ Best
Evidence. This is all quite intriguing, although the portraits of
these men are a bit sketchy and lacking in depth. Jones sends Barry to
interview a couple of witnesses. But they seem quite scared and apprehensive.
S, M. Holland agreed to meet with him, but brought two men with him since
he felt had had been abused and taken advantage of in the past. (p. 53)
He talks to Carolyn Walther, a witness who told the FBI she had seen
two men, one with a rifle, in either the fourth or fifth floor southeast
window that day. Yet she had not been called to testify by the Commission.
(p. 54) But she told Barry that she also told the FBI that she had seen
two black men below where the man with a rifle was. This would put the
two men on the sixth floor, since the black employees were on the fifth
floor. She kept this to herself at the time since she thought the two
men were some kind of guards. She said that after the shooting she encountered
an acquaintance, Abraham Zapruder, who told her Kennedy had been shot
from the front and pointed to his forehead. (p. 55)
Barry then visited the scene of policeman J. D. Tippit’s shooting.
Here, he meets a witness that no agent of government had talked to, a
Mrs. Higgins who lived nearby. She offered him some very important information.
She had heard the shots and ran out her front door to see Tippit lying
in the street. Barry asked her what time it was. She said it was 1:06.
He asked her how she recalled that specific time. She said because she
was watching TV and the announcer said it. So she automatically checked
her clock when he said it and he was right. Barry concludes that it was
not possible that Oswald could have traversed the distance from his apartment
to the scene of Tippit’s murder in time to do the shooting. (p.
58) This is when she heard the shots. She also said she got a look at
a man running form the scene with a handgun. When Barry asked her what
he looked like she replied it was definitely not Oswald. (p. 59)
Barry then timed the Commission’s story on how long it would take
Oswald to get to the Texas Theater from 10th and Patton, the
Tippit murder scene. This, the Commission said, took 24 minutes. Yet
it was shorter by a third than Oswald’s walk from his apartment
to 10th and Patton. Yet it took twice as long for Oswald to
traverse? (ibid) The Commission says it took Oswald 24 minutes to walk
that distance. It took Barry ten minutes.
When Barry got back to Pennsylvania he investigated a strange case near
to his home, in Martinsburg. A woman named Margaret Hoover told agents
she had discovered a discarded piece of paper in her back yard. On the
paper were the handwritten words, “Lee Oswald” “Jack
Ruby” “Rubenstein” and “Dallas, Texas”.
The problem was that this discovery occurred not after the assassination
but before. (p. 63) She had a brother who tipped off the FBI to this
event. The woman told the Bureau that she had also found a railroad company
ticket from Miami dated 9/25/63 to Washington. Both papers were found
near where the trash was burned by a resident in her apartment house.
This resident was Dr. Julio Fernandez, a Cuban refuge and a local junior
high teacher. According to the FBI report, she furnished the FBI with
the envelope and ticket stub, but not the scrap of paper with the names.
When Barry tracked this story down, it turned out that Hoover showed
the papers to her daughter and her daughter also recalled the name “Silver
Bell” or “Silver Slipper.” But the FBI got the daughter
to partially retract: she now said she only saw the names of Ruby and
Dallas, and she was not quite sure of even that. When they interviewed
Hernandez, he explained the ticket as being for his son to come north
to see him from Miami. (p. 64)
Barry wrote to Mrs. Hoover. He found out that the FBI had lied: the
woman had given them the paper with the names on it. She also
added that Fernandez had worked in Washington before moving to Pennsylvania.
He had worked for the CIA after escaping Cuba post-Castro. (p. 65)
He and Terry now decided to visit the National Archives to view the
Zapruder film. Like everyone else they were shocked by what it depicted.
But further, they were angered by the fact that the Commission had never
mentioned the backward movement of Kennedy’s head and body, which
was contrary to what would have happened if Oswald had shot the president
from behind. Surely they had seen the film. Why did they ignore it? (p.
It was this event that evaporated any belief Barry maintained in the
Commission. But it did something worse to Terry. The man who had first
instigated Barry’s interest in that blind belief was now sapped
and disgusted. He decided it was the end of the road for him. He gave
up. Barry never heard from his after this trip.
At the National Archives, he located the November 24th FBI
report that Victoria Adams had given. It was remarkably consistent with
her later one on March 23rd. She said that she had immediately
gone down the stairs with Styles after the shooting. And there was no
mention of her seeing Shelley or Lovelady. (p. 75)
Barry did some further digging into her testimony and statements. It
turned out that the Dallas Police questioned her also. This was on February
17th. Way after the FBI and Warren Commission had taken over
control of the case from the DPD. In reading this statement, Barry discovered
that it was this report that inserted Lovelady and Shelley into her story.
It was written by none other than the avuncular, smiling Jim Leavelle.
The man who accompanied Oswald out of police HQ to be killed by Jack
Ruby. (p. 76) But further, Barry noticed that there was no questioning
of the other three women who were watching the motorcade with Adams:
Styles, Elsie Dorman, and Dorothy Garner. He thought this was odd since
they could confirm if Adams left the window quickly, as she said she
Barry also discovered something else that was odd. The FBI did time-reconstructions
to simulate Oswald coming down the stairs. They also did one to simulate
Truly and Baker coming up the stairs. But he could find none that tried
to replicate Adams coming down the stairs. (p. 78) Even though they were
keenly aware of the problem she posed to their verdict about Oswald.
So much so that counselors Joe Ball and David Belin wrote a memo about
this subject that ended: “We should pin down this time sequence
of her running down the stairs.” But Barry could find no evidence
that they did. (p. 79)
At the Archives, Barry met Harold Weisberg. Weisberg asked him to do
some work for him. He thought that people would be more eager to talk
to someone like him, since he had a low profile. So when he visited Dallas
again in August of 1968, he did so. He asked some questions of Sheriff
Bill Decker. One of them was if he had kept any more than the 92 pages
of files he gave to the Commission. Weisberg did not buy that one. That
question ended the interview. (p. 83)
Barry also got the opportunity to meet Roger Craig via Penn Jones. Craig
wanted to meet Barry outside Dallas. And he did at his sister’s
house. Once there Barry asked him about all the secrecy. Craig replied
that his problems began in 1965 when the first essays began to appear
critical of the Commission. Many had his name in them. Then people wanted
to talk to him, but Decker gave him strict orders not to talk to anyone.
Then in July of 1967, Decker fired him. Then, in November of that year,
there was an assassination attempt against him. (p. 93)
Craig went on to repeat the famous story of Oswald getting in a Rambler
station wagon and escaping down Elm Street with a Latin looking fellow
driving. Craig then said he saw Oswald at the station later and Fritz
asked him about the car Craig saw him run off in. Oswald replied that
the car belonged to Mrs. Paine and then exclaimed with disgust, “Everyone
will know who I am now.” (p. 94) When Barry asked him if he was
sure the man he saw entering the car was Oswald, Craig said yes he was.
And he added that the Commission had altered his testimony in 14 separate
instances. (p. 95) Craig added something quite interesting about the
lawyer who examined him, David Belin:
When Belin interrogated me... he would ask me certain questions and,
whenever an important question would come up... he would have to know
the answer beforehand, he would turn off the recorder and instruct
the stenographer to stop taking notes. Then he would ask for the question,
and if the answer satisfied him, he would turn the recorder back on,
instruct the stenographer to start writing again, and he would ask
me the same question, and I would answer it.
However, while the recorder was off, if the answer did not satisfy
him... he would turn the recorder back on and instruct the stenographer
to start writing again and then he would ask me a completely different
He then added that none of these interruptions were noted in the transcript
as entered in the Warren Commission. (p. 95)
On the way back from Craig’s sister’s house, the police
stopped their car. The pretext was that the car had gone through a red
light. When Barry insisted the light was green, the cop came around to
the passenger window and asked him for his ID. Noting he was from out
of state, he asked him what he was doing in Texas. Barry replied that
he was visiting friends. The two policemen then went to the front of
the car out of earshot. They returned and said they would let it go this
time. Craig look relieved. When Barry told the story to Penn Jones, Penn
said that he was lucky Barry was with him. (p. 98)
While in Dallas, Barry visited with newsman Wes Wise. He tells him a
story about Ruby being in Dealey Plaza that Saturday before he shot Oswald.
The reason he gave Wes was he wanted to see the wreath and flowers that
were being laid there for Kennedy. But Wes expected a different reason.
The county jail was nearby, which Oswald was going to be transferred
to. But yet Garret Hallmark, a parking garage attendant said Ruby used
his phone that day before proceeding to Dealey Plaza. He told the man
on the other end that he had information the transfer would take place
on Saturday, that afternoon. Garret got the impression that Ruby was
looking for corroboration for that information. Ruby then said that because
of all the people carrying flowers, the transfer could be delayed. (p.
101) Ruby’s odd Saturday activities were further described by policeman
D. V. Harkness who saw Ruby at the entrance to the county jail that day.
(p. 102) But when Harkness brought this interesting point up, Belin dropped
SOP for the Commission.
On this trip, Barry tried to locate Adams. He searched various residences
and left a message with Roy Truly, but nothing turned up.
Adams had gone to college in California and attained a degree in Business
Administration. She had graduated summa cum laude and gone into real
estate. But one day in the library she came upon a set of Warren Commission
volumes. She began to go over them very carefully this time. She recalled
that a messenger had delivered her testimony to her at work and she was
given the opportunity to make corrections. She did so. But now she saw
they were not entered. (p. 106) She also noted that at the end of her
appearance it said she waived her right to review her testimony. This
was not so. And she noted that her own testimony had her actually talking
to Shelley and Lovelady. But they were not on the first floor when she
got there. (ibid) Further, she did not recall the Shelley/Lovelady stuff
in the copy she had corrected in Dallas.
Barry had enlisted in the Naval Reserve and had been overseas. When
he returned it was after Garrison had lost the Clay Shaw trial. The critics
were now divided against each other, e.g., Jones had accused Weisberg
of being a CIA agent. (p. 128) America was withdrawing from Vietnam after
losing the war. The movie Jaws was about to change Hollywood.
And to top it off, Warren Commissioner Jerry Ford was now president.
To the victors belong the spoils.
Barry went back to college, got married, and had a son. One day he picked
up Belin’s book defending the Warren Commission, November 22,
1963: You are the Jury. In leafing through it he saw that Belin
used the testimony of Lovelady and Shelley to discredit Adams. This is
the way it worked: Shelley and Lovelady had left the building and gone
over to the railway yards about a block away. They then returned and
said they saw Adams on the first floor. If this was accurate then the
likelihood was that Adams came down the stairs later than she said, when
Oswald would have been in the lunchroom already. (p. 129) Belin used
these two men without referring to the fact that Lovelady seemed cued
in advance. In fact, he spent three pages on the matter.
Just when Barry thought the Kennedy case, and Victoria Adams, were now
finis, something happened to change all that. In 1975, Geraldo Rivera
showed the Zapruder film on national television. It caused a minor earthquake
across the land. Now came the inquiries into CIA scandals by Representative
Otis Pike and Senator Frank Church. With the exposure of the CIA–Mafia
plots to kill Castro, and the writing of the Schweiker-Hart report about
how poorly the Warren Commission and FBI performed their duties in the
investigation of President Kennedy’s death, the time was ripe for
a new investigation of the murder. Unfortunately, the House Select Committee
on Assassinations was a disappointment. The author does a nice job briefly
summarizing many of their shortcomings. Barry wrote them about Victoria
Adams and Sandra Styles. He never got anything back. (p. 132)
But now the nation was faced with two verdicts on the JFK case. The
HSCA had concluded, however limply, that the murder was a result of a
conspiracy. But now the critics were even more divided and scattered.
Barry began to think that maybe Terry was right. It was time to quit.
Victoria Adams had moved to Seattle. And she had become a successful
businesswoman who was now listed in Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s
Who in the World. Now she and her husband decided to travel the
country back and forth in a five-wheel trailer. They did that for six
years. (p. 142) She also wrote a newsletter called Principles in Action,
a chronicle of what she saw and heard on her travels. She also wrote
a cookbook called No More than 4 Ingredients. Ironically, she
liked Pennsylvania so much, she and her husband stayed there for several
months, near Harrisburg. Which is where Barry was living in 1991. Then
Oliver Stone’s film JFK came out. This caused the creation
of the Assassination Records Review Board. Â After a visit with Weisberg,
Barry decided to look through some documents. (p. 145) He also began
to read through the HSCA volumes. After reviewing them thoroughly, and
summarizing their major findings for us, he notes that they never found
and reinterviewed Adams. (p. 148)
From here, the book slows down—takes a detour so to speak—as
Barry now looks back at the work of the Warren Commission through the
declassified Executive Sessions. Barry also now reviews some of the newly
declassified medical evidence showing that there was a hole in the back
of Kennedy’s head. He also tried to get in contact with Francis
Adams, one of the Warren Commission senior counsel. Adams worked for
about a month and then left. His duties were assumed totally by Arlen
Specter. It was never clear as to why. And when Lee Rankin, the Commission
executive director, was asked about Adams, he replied he should have
fired him the first day. (p. 171) Further, there was nothing left behind
to explain exactly why he left. Nothing until a quote about leaving showed
up in 1966 that said that he was too busy at his law firm and that he
had a “different concept of the investigation.” (p. 172)
There was no reply to any of Barry’s queries to Adams. But when
he died, Barry wrote his surviving wife. He got a call back form his
daughter Joyce Adams. She first wanted to know if Barry had spoken to ‘Specter.’ She
said the name like the late Jean Hill would intone it. Barry said he
had not. Joyce laughed when she heard about the “too busy at the
law firm” excuse. He would have never joined up if that were the
case. She thought the real reasons was he did not like the way they were
proceeding, “If he didn’t think it was being run properly,
he would be the type to leave.” (p. 173)
Barry then asked if her father had many any notes, or writings or kept
personal papers from his days with the Commission. Joyce quietly said
that he had. They were kept in longhand. Barry asked to review the file.
Joyce said this was in her sister Judith’s possession. She said
she had to talk to her sister first and would get back to him after.
She never did. It is unfortunate that this information was not turned
over to the ARRB, for whatever was in those files would have been very
important to discover.
In the nineties, Barry discovered a document from the Warren Commission
that very much bolstered the Adams testimony. Addressed to Rankin, it
summarized the corrections she wanted in her testimony—the ones
that were not made. But it also helped explain why the Commission never
talked to any of the possible corroborating witnesses who watched the
motorcade with her. In the letter, the very last sentence says “Miss
Garner, Miss Adams’ supervisor, stated this morning that after
Miss Adams went downstairs she (Miss Garner) saw Mr. Truly and the policeman
come up.” (p. 176)
Obviously, if they had come up after, then Adams had left when she said
she did. Barry notes that he felt like someone had punched him in the
gut when he read this. The date of the letter was June 2, 1964. But even
with this in their hands, the Commission went ahead and did all they
could to discredit Adams. They wrote “...she actually came down
the stairs several minutes after Oswald and after Truly and Baker as
well.” (ibid) This was written in spite of the fact they had this
new evidence in their hands saying the opposite. And this is why the
Commission never formally deposed the three corroborating witnesses.
When the author showed this letter from Marcia Joe Stroud, the Dallas
US Attorney, to Weisberg, Harold told him to write a book about Adams.
The author then makes one more try to find Adams or her corroborating
witnesses. He visits Dallas and talks to Gary Mack, who Harold referred
him to. Mack says he cannot help him.
It was not until 2002, when his son convinced him to buy a computer
to type his book, that he found Adams via email. What follows, in Chapters
27 through 29, is a fascinating, long interview with Adams, now aged
61. She goes over her experience that day in full detail: arriving at
work, waiting for the motorcade, running down the stairs, seeing Ruby
in suit and hat talking to people like a reporter, etc. This interview
is really the high point of the book. What it reveals about Leavelle,
the Dallas Police, and David Belin is powerful stuff. Adams concludes
that Oswald could not have been on those stairs. He was not on the sixth
floor at the time of the shooting, he was on a lower floor. (p. 211)
Beginning to master the Internet, Barry then finds Sandra Styles. (p.
217) She confirms Adams. She says the two left the window when Secret
Service agent Clint Hill jumped on the back of the car. (p. 218) And
she said she neither saw nor heard anyone on the stairs on the way down.
And she did not recall Lovelady or Shelley on the ground floor when they
got there either. (p. 219) Styles said the only interview she gave was
to the FBI and it was not in depth or probing.
The book ends on a sad note. Adams died of cancer in 2007 at the rather
young age of 66. We are lucky that Barry found her before she passed.
Return to Main Page
The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK,
and Malcolm X
FLASH! This book is now available on KIndle
for the lowest price ever, of $10.99
New Edition, Updated!
Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and
the Garrison Case by James DiEugenio
Order Now! Amazon.com
The entire collection of
Probe magazine on Disk.
Enemy of the Truth: Myths, Forensics
and the Kennedy Assassination
by Sherry G. Fiester
Forensics can be a complicated subject,
yet Fiester provides the reader with easily understood, accurate, information.
Enemy of the Truth: Myths, Forensics and the Kennedy Assassination is so
comprehensive in its approach, this work should be used in the instruction
of all new crime scene investigators nationwide. William