Monday, November 22, 2021

‘X’ Marks the Spot

58-Years After the Murder of Dallas Patrolman J.D. Tippit
An 'X' on Tenth Street. (Video frame: Dave Ledbetter) 
It’s hard to believe that fifty-eight years have passed since the murder of Dallas Patrolman J.D. Tippit – who was gunned down on an Oak Cliff side street forty-five minutes after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The scene of the Tippit murder itself is hardly recognizable today. When I first visited the location in 1985, the neighborhood looked largely unchanged – a community frozen in time.
Today, only one of the original buildings in the 400 block of East Tenth still stands – a testament to the ever-changing landscape.
Recently, someone placed an “X” (using white tape) on Tenth Street to mark the spot where Tippit was shot dead – a courtesy, I suppose, to the steady stream of tourists that frequent the area.
I don’t know who was responsible for choosing the spot to place the white-X, but unfortunately, the spot is wrong.
The spot where Tippit fell
Back in 1985, you could still see imperfections in the pavement that matched up with the crime scene photographs taken twenty-two-years earlier. By 1996, houses began to disappear, but the driveway Tippit stopped adjacent to was still there. By 1999, the road was resurfaced, sidewalks replaced, and an electrical pole added adjacent to the spot where Tippit stopped (the driveway had been removed).
In 2013, I got the chance to determine the exact location of Tippit’s squad car and the place where he fell for the History Channel documentary, “Oswald: 48 Hours to Live.” I was a technical consultant and on-camera expert for the film.
A replica police car – a vintage 1963 Galaxie 500 Ford sedan, identical to Tippit’s squad car – was brought to the location.
Fig.1 - A replica of Tippit's squad car correctly positioned on Tenth Street for the History Channel's documentary, "Oswald: 48 Hours to Live." (Photo: © 2021 Dale K. Myers. All Rights Reserved) 
Armed with a tape measure, the original Dallas police crime lab investigator’s notes, and photographs taken on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, I measured and positioned the replica car to match Tippit’s final stop and the place where he fell. That location is approximately 20 feet east of where the white-X appears today.
We later rolled the replica car forward four-feet so that the film crew could shoot the re-enactment without being restricted by the curbside electric pole.
Fig.2 - DPD crime lab photo taken on Nov. 22, 1963; and (bottom) a replica of Tippit's squad car on Tenth Street during filming for the History Channel's documentary, "Oswald: 48 Hours to Live." (Photo: (Top) DMARC; (Bottom)© 2021 Dale K. Myers. All Rights Reserved) 
A comparison of frames from a 2021 video taken by Dave Ledbetter and numerous photographs I took during the 2013 History Channel filming show the discrepancy between the white-X and the actual place where Tippit was shot dead.
Fig.3 - Two composite video frames showing the position of the white X on Tenth Street, allegedly marking the spot where Tippit fell. (Video frames: Dave Ledbetter / Composites: Dale K. Myers) 
Fig.4 - Comparison of the position of the X, shown in red (arrow), and a replica of Tippit's squad car positioned for the History Channel. Tippit fell near the left front tire, approximately 20 feet east of the current position of the white X. (© 2021 Dale K. Myers. All Rights Reserved) 
While the landscape continues to change in Oak Cliff, one thing that hasn’t changed is the debate over what’s truth and what’s not in the Kennedy and Tippit murders.
Release the files
Last week, the Dallas Morning News called for the release of all documents on the Kennedy assassination, which once again have been caught up in a bureaucratic sea of red-tape. According to the National Archives, the government holds more than 5 million pages of records, photographs, motions pictures, sound recordings, and artifacts – roughly 2,000 cubic feet of material.
About 16,000 documents (of the 5 million pages already available) have been withheld in full or in part – largely due to legitimate privacy concerns. Some speculate that the withheld material might show that Oswald had a relationship with the intelligence community (something conspiracy theorists have long conjectured), or that Oswald was influenced by pro-Castro Cuban contacts in Mexico City. But nobody familiar with the assassination story or the five-million pages of documents already available expect the final releases to change anything we already know to be true. How could they?
And let’s face it, most people haven’t read a single page of the five-million pages that have been available for the better part of five decades on this subject.
Even the Dallas Morning News acknowledged in their recent editorial that releasing the final 16,000 documents will not put an end to the conspiracy theories. “But it will at least close another chapter of the sordid tale,” they wrote. In short, maybe the buffs will at least shut-up about what the government is holding back.
I doubt it, but I suppose one can dream.
Dream on
Filmmaker Oliver Stone assures us that he already knows who killed JFK (no final document release necessary) and explains it all in a new two-hour documentary, JFK: Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, streaming this month on Showtime.
Apparently, this will not be Stone’s last word on the subject given the fact that a four-hour version and an annotated book-of-the-film are planned for release in early 2022.
I haven’t seen the new documentary, but if even a fraction of John Serba’s review of JFK: Revisited (Stream It of Skip It – is true, my eyes will surely glaze over in the first few minutes. To be honest, I could use a good nap.
Then there is this gem, from Farouk Araie, who opines on the editorial pages of Sowetan Live:
“It's been clearly evident for decades that the American public, and the people of the world, do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK. The belief is well founded. The evidence is on their side. It is the side of truth.
“Despite this fact, television and radio networks and major magazines refuse to publish the truth. The magnitude of this cover-up alone reveals the power and scope of the conspiracy that brought about the death of JFK.”
Good Lord. After fifty-eight years of diligent research by an army of amateur and official investigators, how does such drivel ever see the light of day?
But wait, there’s more. Farouk offers this bit of wisdom:
“The world will never know who the persons were that gave the ‘official’ orders to kill JFK, for those persons are either already dead, close to death, silent in fear of death, or they chose to remain silent until death.” 
Given their overwhelming fears, it’s a wonder the “conspirators” were able to gather enough courage to do anything, let alone, get rid of JFK.
It all comes back to family
In the end, all the debates and self-aggrandizing by would-be “detectives” looking to secure relevancy in a case solved nearly 60 years ago, must be brushed aside to consider the pain and suffering endured by family members of the victims of that tragic day.
The senseless murder of Officer J.D. Tippit, shot to death in broad daylight by Lee Harvey Oswald in his attempt to escape capture, is no different.
In March of this year, Tippit’s long-suffering widow, Marie, died at age 92. J.D.’s youngest sister, Joyce (Tippit) DeBord, also passed away, in August at 88.
They both took with them a lifetime of cherished memories of the husband and brother who many so-called “researchers” accused during their lifetimes and continue to accuse – without one shred of believable evidence – of being a participant in, and/or an accessory to, the murder of President John F. Kennedy.
I got to know Joyce and many other members of J.D. Tippit’s extended family very well over the last twenty-plus years, thanks largely to the late Linda Chaney and her sister, Carol Christopher, both nieces of J.D. Tippit.
It has been my great pleasure to document the Tippit story as they saw it and the truth about J.D.’s last day on Earth in my life work, With Malice: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit (Oak Cliff Press, 2013).
Fifty-eight years on, I can only pray that those who knew and loved him rest in the peace and knowledge that J.D. Tippit’s enduring legacy of bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of maximum danger lives on despite the changing landscape. [END] 


Ruth said...

I watched Oliver Stone's JFK: Revisited last week.A couple of times, actually. In case I missed anything important. I didn't. Not a thing. My opinion? It is garbage. Just like all the other "conspiracy" books and shows out there. After all these years (since 1990, anyway) and all those NARA docs released, Oliver Stone is still clueless. At least the movie JFK had some big Hollywood names in it...

P. S. Is there any way to get a copy of your computer-generated assassination video. It is excellent. Answers so many questions. I'd love to see the whole thing.

Thank you so much for your hard work!

Barry Ryder said...


Learning that the Tippit ‘cross’ is in the wrong place is no big surprise. Although it was probably well-intentioned, it was clearly done by somebody who thought that they knew the facts – but didn’t. This is symptomatic of the vast majority of students of the case. In the immortal words of Alexander Pope, “A little learning is a dangerous thing”. The entire conspiracy movement is suffused with incomplete – and hence erroneous – factoids. It’s also replete with outright lies and pure fantasy, of course.

Tippit’s ‘cross’ isn’t the only misplaced marker commemorating the Dallas murders. According to the late Gary Mack, the cross on Elm Street where JFK was fatally struck is also in the wrong place. He describes this, on film, in the History Channel DVD, ‘The JFK Assassination’. It would seem that the City of Dallas itself is unable to source accurate information on the most infamous crime ever committed within its precincts.

As for Stone’s latest ‘contribution’ well, I haven’t seen it and am in no hurry to do so. The reviews thus far (including Ruth’s above) indicate that he has nothing new to say and is simply trawling for a new generation of conspiracy theorists. The original ‘JFK’ film is now 30 years old and, with his muse, DiEugenio, is seeking to enlist some fresh blood in their joint quest to falsify history.

Stone and Di Eugenio wallow in the freedoms of free-speech for the purposes of self-aggrandizment by maligning the dead. The money that they make also comes in very handy, I would imagine. By accusing the dead they never risk litigation from those that they accuse. That must be a bonus, too. Alex Jones has been trying to falsify history for quite a while now and his disgusting methodology has finally been ensnared by living people who have sought relief in the courts. Jones will soon be ruined. It’s a travesty that Stone and Di Eugenio cannot be held to account in the same way.

Barry Ryder

Dale K. Myers said...

Ruth - Thanks for your comments. The original 2003 ABC-TV special, "Peter Jennings Reporting: The Kennedy Assassination - Beyond Conspiracy," is still available on DVD from

Mark Wellhausen said...

Hello, Dale. Excellent article, as always. What do you think of the new book "Cruising for Conspirators: How a New Orleans DA Prosecuted the Kennedy Assassination as a Sex Crime" by Alecia Long?
Mark Wellhausen
Harrison Township, Michigan

Ruth said...

Thank you!

Dale K. Myers said...

Mark - I haven't read Alicia's book.

Diane said...

Jim Leavelle was advisor on the Oliver Stone movie but, he refused for his name to be added to the credits as it was fiction, in the main.

Barry Ryder said...

@ Diane,

Jim Leavelle was one of many people who Stone approached in the hope of legitimising his film.

The real Perry Russo was rewarded for his dishonest input by appearing in an early scene in which he delivered a couple of lines. He did not appear as himself, though. Stone could find no way to explain or sanitize the drug and hypnosis sessions that Garrison used to implant the ‘assassination party’ story in him. Russo merely portrayed a loud-mouth drunk at the bar.

Beverley Oliver was given a small, non-speaking cameo role.

Stone even sought Gov. John Connally’s seal-of-approval. Connally wrote about the approach in his autobiography:

Before filming began on the movie ‘JFK’, I was visited by the director, Oliver Stone, and two of his assistants. […] He started out by saying he had read many of the available books and found them persuasive, especially one authored by the discredited former New Orleans prosecutor, Jim Garrison. […]
I said,”Well, Oliver it’s your movie and your story. But the general feeling at the time was that Jim Garrison was a publicity seeker and a buffoon […] He was an embarrassment to to the legal profession (which is saying quite a bit there).
He said, almost in disbelief, “You don’t think there was a conspiracy?”
I said, “No, I have never seen any credible evidence of a conspiracy.”
He said, “I think there was, and I think Lyndon Johnson was involved.”
I said, “What evidence do you have to support that claim?”
He said, “It is alluded to in several books.
”I said, “I didn’t ask what you found in books. What evidence do you have?”
“Well”, he said, “most people think there is a conspiracy.”

Connally goes on to offer his opinion of Stone’s LBJ-did-it theory.

“I think the charge is contemptible on the face of it. And even given the liberties taken in the name of art, Oliver Stone should be ashamed.”

Barry Ryder

AJ said...

I honestly laughed my head off when I saw the trailer for the documentary. 20 years later and Stone still thinks the bullet zig zags in mid air. I also recently bought your book Mr. Myers and I'm looking forward to reading it. Happy early Thanksgiving!