The Intimidation of Dealey Plaza Witnesses


"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong." --Voltaire, French philosopher and writer (1694 - 1778)


The following text is excerpted from the book, Crossfire by Jim Marrs:


Richard Carr, a steelworker who saw a heavyset man on the sixth-floor of the [Texas School Book] Depository minutes before the shooting [of President Kennedy], saw two men run from either inside or from behind the Texas School Book Depository minutes after the assassination.

He claimed the men got into a Nash Rambler station wagon facing north on the west side of Houston Street by the east side of the Depository.  He said the wagon left in such a hurry one of its doors was still open.  He last saw the station wagon speeding north on Houston.

After reaching ground level from the seventh-story vantage point on the courthouse under construction, Carr said he saw the same man he had seen earlier in the Depository window.  Carr said the man was "in an extreme hurry and kept looking over his shoulder" as he walked hurriedly eastward on Commerce Street.

Carr's story was corroborated by that of James R. Worrell, Jr., who told the Warren Commission that seconds after the shooting, he saw a man wearing a sportcoat come out of the rear of the Depository and walk briskly south on Houston (the direction of Carr's location).  Worrell can't be questioned further about what he saw, as he was killed in a motorcycle accident on November 9, 1966 at age twenty-three.


Dealey Plaza


Carr, however, told researchers about his treatment at the hands of the authorities.  In a taped interview, Carr said:

The FBI came to my house--there were two of them--and they said they heard I witnessed the assassination and I said I did.  They told me, "If you didn't see Lee Harvey Oswald up in the School Book Depository with a rifle, you didn't witness it."  I said, "Well, the man I saw on television that they tell me is Lee Harvey Oswald was not in the window of the School Book Depository.  That's not the man."  And [one of the agents] said I better keep my mouth shut.  He did not ask me what I saw, he told me what I saw.

Not long after this encounter with the FBI, Carr's home was raided by more than a dozen Dallas policemen and detectives armed with a search warrant.  Claiming they were looking for "stolen articles," they ransacked Carr's home while holding him and his wife a gunpoint.  Carr and his wife were taken to jail but later released.  The day after the police raid, Carr received an anonymous phone call advising him to "get out of Texas."

Carr finally moved to Montana to avoid harassment, but there he found dynamite in his car on one occasion and was shot at on another.

After testifying in the New Orleans Clay Shaw trial, Carr was attacked by two men in Atlanta.  Although stabbed in the back and left arm, Carr managed to fatally shoot one of his assailants.  After turning himself in, Carr was not indicted by an Atlanta grand jury.

Other witnesses also were later intimidated.  Acquilla Clemmons, who saw two men at the scene of the Tippit slaying, said a man with a gun came to her home and told her to keep quiet.  Ed Hoffman, who saw two men with a rifle behind the picket fence on the Grassy Knoll at the time of the assassination, was warned by an FBI agent not to tell what he saw "or you might get killed."

A relative of Depository superintendent Roy Truly recently told researchers that due to intimidation by federal authorities, Truly was fearful until his death.  Truly's wife, Mildred, still refuses to discuss the assassination--even with family members.

Sandy Speaker, the supervisor of Warren Commission star witness Howard Brennan, would not discuss the assassination until recently, after getting a phone call from his friend and co-worker A. J. Millican.  Speaker said he got a call from Millican early in 1964.  Millican was almost in tears and told him never to talk about the assassination.  Millican said he had just received an anonymous call threatening not only his life, but the lives of his wife and her sister.  He said the caller told him to warn Speaker to keep his mouth shut.

Recently Speaker told this author:

That call really shook me up because Millican was a former boxing champ of the Pacific fleet.  He was a scrapper, a fighter.  But he was obviously scared to death.  And I still don't understand how they got my name because I was never interviewed by the FBI, the Secret Service, the police or anyone.  They must be pretty powerful to have found out about me.

Whispered rumors, anonymous phone calls, and freakish "accidents" combined to create a tangible aura of fear in Dallas in the weeks following the assassination.  Some of that fear still lingers there.

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