Dale Myers’ Misleading Portrait of J.D. Tippit
Dale Myers’ Norman Rockwell portrait of Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit in the Detroit Free Press (November, 2013) may be accurate but is misleading in not presenting all the pertinent facts.
Officer Tippit, whose murder is attributed to the same man alleged to have assassinated President Kennedy less than an hour earlier, was a good cop but not a smart one, and had a peculiar inability to look people squarely in the eyes when talking with them. Now is a time when we have to look into the eyes and square things away to determine the truth and achieve justice, not just get misty eyed over a lost loved one.
Tippit’s usual partner, R. C. Nelson, retired from the Dallas Police, told CBS Miami that Tippit was a “nice, east Texas guy who loved his family and worked hard and did what he was supposed to do, but wasn’t very curious. He liked to write his tickets and go home. He had a bad habit of not looking at you when he was talking to you.”
According to the CBS report, “Nelson said he had actually talked to Officer Tippit before the fateful day in Dallas about his partner’s tendency toward avoiding eye contact with subjects.” Nelson believes that personality querk may have contributed to his death because, “Tippit didn’t secure or guard his pistol and the first shot hit the officer in the temple, suggesting Tippitt was looking away.”
Nelson said he believes that Oswald actually flagged Officer Tippit down because he “can’t imagine Tippit pulling him (Oswald) over and saying ‘come here.’”
It’s certainly true that Tippit is not remembered as he should be and because his murder was not properly investigated allows the allegations of conspiracy to continue, and while they may be painful for family and friends they are not as preposterous as Myers claims.
Among the odd jobs Tippit held to make ends meet was at a barbeque restaurant popular with young people where he struck up an affair with a married and pregnant waitress, thus providing a motive for someone other than Oswald to kill him.
The restaurant Tippit worked was owned by a John Birch Society extremist whose business partner was Ralph Paul, who also happened to be Jack Ruby’s business partner.
While the Tippit family and friends may make the anniversary reflections on the assassination personal, so does every American who was robbed of their democracy that day, when bullets replaced the ballot, truth was lost to government propaganda and those responsible for the crimes never saw justice.
A new book on the murder of Tippit by California journalist Joseph McBride tells us that according to Tippit’s father, Tippit was killed while hunting for Oswald and not just a suspicious person - specifically for Lee Harvey Oswald.
Myers says that: “At 1:15 p.m. on Friday, November 22, 1963, Officer Tippit spotted a suspicious man walking near Tenth and Patton in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. He stopped his squad car and got out to investigate. The man, identified by eyewitnesses as Lee Harvey Oswald, pulled a gun from under his jacket and shot Tippit in the chest and head, killing him instantly.”
What Myers doesn’t tell you are a number of contributing facts and factors that question the identity and role of Lee Harvey Oswald. Myers doesn’t tell you that Oswald was also seen by eyewitnesses at the Top Ten Record shop in Oak Cliff twice that morning, and that Tippit also stopped there shortly after one o’clock, minutes before he was killed, to make a phone call.
Eyewitnesses also placed Oswald at a nearby convenience store purchasing candy and beer and using a Texas drivers licenses as identification when the historic Oswald was at work at the Texas School Book Depository. Which Oswald killed Tippit, the one at work at Dealey Plaza or the one at the record shop and convenience store?
Two eye witnesses at the scene of the murder say there were two men near Tippit when he was killed, one who ran away and the other who left in an old Plymouth.
Shortly thereafter an eyewitness saw Oswald behind the wheel of a 1957 Plymouth, and wrote down the license plate number of the car that was traced to Carl Mather. When the FBI questioned Mrs. Mather, with the Plymouth sitting in driveway, she told them that on the morning of November 22, 1963, her husband had the Plymouth at his place of employment – Collins Radio Company, where he worked on the radios of the Vice President’s airplane. But in the afternoon they went to the home of their good friend and former neighbor J.D. Tippit to pay their respects to his widow.
So the accused presidential assassin and cop killer was seen shortly after murdering J.D. Tippit riding around in the car of a good friend of the murdered victim?
Indeed, as Myers contends, Tippit’s showdown with Oswald had momentous impact on our nation’s history, and continues to haunt us today, as the government records related to Collins Radio Company are still being withheld from the public for reasons of “national security.”
As Myers suggests, historians should consider the consequences for Dallas and the country had Oswald, framed as the patsy, escaped the city, as he wouldn’t have been murdered while in the custody of the Dallas police and would have lived to tell his side of the story.
Tippit should be remembered as the Dallas policeman whose murder is considered the “Rosetta Stone” of the assassination of President Kennedy, a murder that should be properly investigated today so those actually responsible for the murders of John F. Kennedy and J.D. Tippit can be properly and legally identified and some semblance of truth and justice achieved.
Truth, justice and the law are essential ingredients of our form of government that has been corrupted by the murders of Kennedy, Tippit and Oswald, and corruption continues with the failure of the government to come clean and enforce the JFK Act of 1992. Rather than redact, withhold, lose and destroy the relevant records on the assassination, the records should be immediately released so the citizens of this country can make up their own minds as to what happened in Dallas that day.
William E. Kelly, Jr. is the son of a Camden, New Jersey policeman, independent researcher, journalist and historian who blogs about the assassination at http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com.