Kennedy assassination still fascinates

Terrace lawyer visits historic locations in Dallas, Texas

By Ken Anderson

My companions and I hurry down Commerce Street, the wind surprisingly cold for a Canadian expecting warmer weather in Dallas, even in November.

My two women companions are American, but I’m guiding them. I’ve been here before and I know where I’m going.

We reach Houston Street, turn right, cross Main Street and then, like President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade had done 50 years before, turn left at Elm.

We skirt the Texas School Book Depository on our right and join a larger group near the railroad tracks behind it.

Our group works its way through Dealey Plaza, author and tour guide Larry Hancock – bundled in jacket, gloves, and balaclava, the front of it pulled below his chin so he could speak – providing running commentary as to the physical features before us and their relevance as to what happened here five decades before.

The experience now nearly overwhelms. The railroad yard, the Grassy Knoll and picket fence, the Triple Overpass, the concrete pedestal where Abraham Zapruder stood and filmed the horrifying spectacle of President Kennedy’s killing, the concrete manhole cover which was hit by a stray bullet that day, the newly paved over section of Elm Street where the fatal shot occurred.

My mind churns – listening, striving for understanding, storing, observing, emoting. The icy wind is relentless. There is little time for reflection. That will come later.

We board a bus and continue the tour to the rooming house where Lee Harvey Oswald lived part-time in November 1963.

Patricia Hall, the granddaughter of the woman who owned it then, shows us through, including the almost cupboard sized sleeping room of Oswald’s – his bed and shelving unit still there 50 years along.

She says when she was 11, she witnessed Oswald deal with her two squabbling brothers. “He sat them down on the porch and sat between them and said, ‘I want to tell you something and I want you to listen to me. You are brothers and you have to look out for each other, you have to love each other and never do anything that would harm another human being.”

One of our tour guides, a retired police officer, says, “Does that sound like someone who would shoot the President?”

A couple of days earlier at the Adolphus Hotel, I saw James Tague, a tall, heavy set Texan, signing books. I didn’t wait to talk to him. I now wish I had. He died a few months ago.

Tague was the third person injured by the gunfire which erupted in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

It was the fact of Tague’s wounding which forced the Warren Commission to come up with the so called “magic bullet” theory to attempt to explain how Oswald allegedly fired three shots – one of which missed its intended target and wounded Tague – and yet caused three wounds to Kennedy (shoulder blade, throat, head) and four wounds to Texas Governor John Connally (back, chest, wrist and thigh). Connally was a passenger in Kennedy’s vehicle.

Sherry Fiester, a retired forensics expert, says the Warren Commission is wrong and that the fatal shot came from the front, not the back.

Her book, “Enemy of the Truth – Myths, Forensics, and the Kennedy Assassination” looks at the wounds Kennedy and Connally sustained.

It’s a book of ballistics and bullet trajectories, blood spatter, and the knowledge of what happens when a projectile pierces a skull. Perhaps surprisingly, she rules out the shot coming from the Grassy Knoll.

She autographed my copy of her book, “To Ken. Hope this helps with your search for the truth. Sherry.”

Before I start my long trip home, I walk near my sister’s home in the rugged hills on the outskirts of Dallas.

The sun flames as it dips below the horizon, a huge orange and red ball. It closes, in my thinking, in true Texas style, at least this chapter in my search for that truth.

Ken Anderson practises law in Terrace, B.C. He’s been in Dallas several times, including 2013, the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination.





Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A large provincial grant will make cycling and walking safer in Terrace. (File photo)
Large grant to make walking, cycling safer in Terrace

Pathway will connect old Skeena Bridge to the downtown

Design work continues for planned new hospital

Construction contract still in the works

The Terrace municipal council in 1974. Front row, left to right, alderman E.F. Clift, Mayor Gordon Rowland, alderman H.M. Buncombe. Back row, left to right, alderman R.A. Green, alderman M.J.G. Duffus, alderman N. Jacques and alderman C.D. (Dave) Maroney. (City of Terrace photo)
Former Terrace mayor passes away

Gordon Rowland was mayor during the 1970s

Instructor and master artist Dempsey Bob (right) speaks to the crowd at the Terrace Art Gallery about the importance of cultural art on Feb. 7, 2020. Bob is a recipient of a 2021 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts Artistic Achievement Award. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace resident Dempsey Bob wins national art award

Renowned Tahltan-Tlingit master carver one of eight people to receive GGArts Award

Hundreds of Valentine’s Day cards were delivered to Terraceview Lodge residents. (Submitted Photo/Carolyn DeFreitas)
Terraceview Lodge residents receive hundreds of Valentines

The Terrace Public Library delivered 373 Valentines cards to residents

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Most Read