When my wife and I moved to Dallas, I told her I was going to solve the JFK Assassination conspiracy. I had become a conspiracy buff watching Oliver Stone’s JFK throughout college.
In our early days in town, we’d head down to Dealey Plaza a couple of times a year. I would take a look up at the 6th floor window, over at the grassy knoll, and never come to any conclusion.
On Saturday, the 45th Anniversary of Dallas’ darkest hour, I had planned to go downtown town and finally come to terms with Lee Harvey Oswald being the lone shooter and acting alone in killing President Kennedy. The trip didn’t go as I planned.
Right before I left home, I came across a timeline of the events on November 22, 1963 at JDTippet.com named after Officer J.D. Tippett who was murdered by Oswald. The site referenced two places I wasn’t familiar with, and a familiar place that I hadn’t visited. These locations were all in Oak Cliff not far from where I live.
The first was 1026 N. Beckley, the rooming house where Oswald was living at the time of the assassination. The second was the site of the murder of Officer Tippett at Tenth and Patton. Then there was the Texas Theater, a place I’ve often passed but never visited.
See a YouTube of my day retracing Oswald’s steps here.
Here’s another good YouTube offering on Tippet’s murder.
I took the steps out of order, choosing to drive through 10th and Patton first. I wasn’t exactly sure where it was but had a general idea. According to the JDTippet site and a call that they have from a recording made on the day of the assassination, Tippett’s car was parked at 404 E. 10th. There were some empty lots, including the one on the southeast corner, but Jefferson was clearly visible from the spot.
Then I went to the corner of Jefferson and Crawford which is where Oswald supposedly took off his jacket and threw it under the car. There’s an old gas station on the North East Corner, but I’m not sure if it’s the same Texaco from this particular event.
From there I went to the Texas Theater. I took some pictures and a video outside and then decided to see if there was anyone inside doing tours for the anniversary. The marquee said that Oliver Stone’s JFK would be featured at the theater that night.
When I went to the door I found that it was open. There was a table set up in the foyer with a popcorn machine and a blue cooler sitting on the floor. I expected to hear some talking and ask if I could roam around. After about a minute of silence I opted for a self guided tour.
Admittedly the silent theater was a little intimidating under the circumstances. What seemed like a little movie house from outside became enormous in the scope of history and solitude. Turning into the lower hall there were a sea of red seats. One chair had a JFK Movie poster taped to the back. Knowing that Oswald was sitting on the third row from the back that day, I recognized it as the seat of infamy.
After snapping a few photos I left, but decided to shoot one more video. In the YouTube above, I walk into the theater as Oswald may have done that fateful day. I couldn’t bring myself to sit in that 5th seat.
I’ll say this before I retire for the evening with my story only half told. After about 5 hours on the case Saturday, I’m moving back towards the conspiracy side.
Why in the world would Oswald be traveling by foot in this part of the city after killing a U.S. President? To get from 1026 N. Beckley to 10th and Patton (I’m getting way ahead of myself in the narrative, but watch the YouTube) takes 15 minutes according to Google. 1026 N. Beckley is where Oswald was rooming and went in after the assassination to get his jacket.
In the JDTippet.com timeline, Oswald leaves his rooming house at 12:59 p.m. and shoots Tippett at 1:14 p.m. No time to spare.
Tuesday – An hour at 1026 North Buckley