By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
All good things must come to an end so part two of Robin Brown’s mesmerizing two part lecture “Remembering JFK” was completed October 22 at the North Central Texas College’s Little Theater.
Brown told the large crowd that Clint Hill, Jacqueline Kennedy’s bodyguard, was the only secret service agent to reach the Kennedy automobile once the shots were fired on that fateful day in Dallas.
“Clint Hill accompanied the other secret service agents at the last minute when Mrs. Kennedy made the last minute decision to accompany the president to Texas,” Brown said.
“After the assassination, Hill continued to be her body guard for one year.”
The remaining secret service agents caught up to the president’s Lincoln at Parkland Hospital. It was normal procedure for all agents assigned to the president to stay with the president no matter what.
Why then, did Brown ask, were there several sightings of men in dark suits supposedly secret service keeping people off of the grassy knoll before and after the motorcade had passed Dealy Plaza and the school book depository?
Several individuals that had positioned themselves on the nearby bridge and behind the infamous picket fence west of the motorcade route were instructed to leave long before the motorcade began.
Prior to the shooting, several eyewitnesses said to have seen two men on the sixth floor, one in a brown sportcoat.
The same man was reported quickly leaving the scene in front of the building just after the fatal shots were fired getting into a green Rambler automobile.
Criminals who were on the sixth floor at the jail next door to the school book depository also saw two men but their testimonies were not investigated by the Warren Commission because they were “not considered credible witnesses.”
The green Rambler automobile was again seen in several areas surrounding the plaza. One witness saw a man in a brown sport coat getting into the car after running out the front door of the depository.
Another witness who saw the Rambler parked on the side of the road just past the bridge prior to the assassination identified Jack Ruby as the driver of the vehicle.
“None of these sightings were investigated by the Warren Commission and numerous mysterious deaths kept many possible witnesses from talking,” said Brown.
Traveling with secret servicemen immediately behind the president were two trusted Kennedy advisors affectionately labeled as Kennedy’s “Irish Mafia.” The two men, David Powers and Kenneth O’Donnell, both heard one thing at the scene and under FBI pressure related something entirely different to the Warren Commission following the assassination.
Powers, special assistant to Kennedy originally said to the commission that he sensed the shooting came from the front and he smelled gun powder.
“The total time between the first and third shots was about 5 or 6 seconds,” Powers subsequently said. “My first impression was that the shots came from the right and overhead, but I also had a fleeting impression that the noise appeared to come from the front in the area of the triple overpass. This may have resulted from my feeling, when I looked forward toward the overpass, that we might have ridden into an ambush.”
Kenneth O'Donnell, advisor to the president who was sitting next to Powers, also supported this view of the assassination that gunfire came from the front.
O'Donnell said, "I told the FBI what I had heard, but they said it couldn't have happened that way and that I must have been imagining things. So I testified the way they wanted me to. I just didn't want to stir up any more pain and trouble for the family."
Brown discussed the departure of lone gunman suspect Lee Harvey Oswald from the school book depository. Oswald was seen minutes after the assassination buying a soft drink on the second floor.
“How did he get down there so quickly from the sixth floor, obviously calm and relaxed,” Brown asked. “Witnesses said that he did not act like a man that had just pulled off the crime of the century.”
Oswald’s capture at the Texas Theater later that afternoon was confusing to one eye witness who saw someone rushed out the rear of the theater in police cars conflicting with the news cast showing Oswald being let out of the front of the theater a short time later.
The subsequent killing of Oswald by Dallas night club owner Jack Ruby two days after the presidential assassination robbed the country of any chance of interrogating Oswald to verify if a conspiracy theory was valid.
Another question involved the casket Kennedy was transported in from Dallas to the Bethesda Naval hospital for the autopsy.
“Why did the president leave in one high priced casket on Air Force One from Dallas and arrive in another poor quality casket at the autopsy,” asked Brown.
So many still unanswered questions left behind regarding the 50 year old mystery that still haunts the country.
The lecture series was recorded, along with the power point visuals, will be available on a two disc series being produced by Ben Willingham of Lost Dog Productions. Numerous people had requested copies of the recording and the product is anticipated to be out by the end of November.
Any questions regarding the availability and purchase of the series can be directed to Kendal Balda at 940 395 3096 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brown’s vintage Lincoln copy of the presidential limousine is still undergoing completed restoration but will also be available for viewing and tours in the near future said Balda.