Will Fritz : Biography

Will Fritz

John Will Fritz was born in Dublin, Texas, in 1895. When he was a child his family moved to Lake Arthur, New Mexico. Fritz later returned to Texas and after taking part in the First World War he joined the Dallas Police Department in January, 1921. He started as a patrolman but after two years he was promoted to the detectives office. In 1932 Fritz became captain of homicide and robbery.

According to his biographer: "Though he was made inspector of detectives in 1935, he voluntarily returned to being a captain in 1944. In 1947 he received the special title of senior captain, and later he reportedly refused the opportunity to become police chief. During his leadership of the homicide and robbery bureau, Fritz gained a reputation as an effective interrogator. In one ten-year period the homicide division reported 98 percent of the murders in Dallas cleared by arrest."

On 22nd November, 1963, Fritz was on duty at the Trade Mart when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He then went to Dealey Plaza and was with Seymour Weitzman, Roger Craig, Eugene Boone and Luke Mooney when the rifle was found on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository.

After Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested Fritz was put in charge of his interrogation. Also present during these interviews was FBI agents, James Hosty and James W. Bookhout. Also there was T.J. Nully and David B. Grant (Secret Service) Robert I. Nash (United States Marshal) and Billy L. Senkel and Fay M. Turner (Dallas Police Department).

Oswald was interrogated for a total of approximately 12 hours between 2:30 p.m. on Friday, November 22, 1963, and 11:15 a. m. on Sunday, November 24, 1963. There were no stenographic or tape recordings of these interviews. Fritz did not get a confession from Oswald but became convinced of his guilt and just before midnight he formally charged him with the president's murder.

Under the direction of Dallas police chief Jesse E. Curry, Fritz helped plan the transfer of Oswald to the county jail and was present when Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby during the move two days later. Fritz refused several times to sell his story regarding the investigation of the murders of John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Will Fritz, who retired on 27th February, 1970, died of cancer on 19th April, 1984.

© , September 1997 - April 2014

Primary Sources

(1) J. W. Fritz, statement (9th June 1964)

Three spent rifle hulls were found under the window in the southeast corner of the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building, Dallas, Texas, on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. When the officers called me to this window, I asked them not to move the shells nor touch them until Lt. Day of the Dallas Police Department could make pictures of the hulls showing where they fell after being ejected from the rifle. After the pictures were made, Detective R. M. Sims of the Homicide Bureau, who was assisting in the search of building, brought the three empty hulls to my office. These were delivered to me in my office at the police headquarters. I kept the hulls in an envelope in my possession and later turned them over to C. N. Dhority of the Homicide Bureau and instructed him to take them to Lt. Day of the Identification Bureau. I told Detective Dhority that after these hulls were checked for prints to leave two of them to be delivered to the FBI and to bring one of them to my office to be used for comparison tests here in the office, as we were trying to find where the cartridges had been bought. When Detective Dhority returned from the Identification Bureau, he returned the one empty hull which I kept in my possession. Several days later, I believe on the night of November 27, Vince Drain of the FBI called me at home about one o'clock in the morning and said that the Commission wanted the other empty hull and a notebook that belonged to Oswald. I came to the office and delivered these things to the FBI. We have Mr. James P. Hosty's receipt for these items in our report.

I don't remember the name Roger Craig, but I do remember a man coming into my outer office and I remember one of my officers calling me outside the door of my private office. I talked to this man for a minute or two, and he started telling me a story about seeing Oswald leaving the building. I don't remember all the things that this man said, but I turned him over to Lt. Baker who talked to him. Lee Harvey Oswald was in my office at this time. I don't remember anything about Lee Harvey Oswald jumping up or making any remarks or gestures to this man or to me at this time, and had I brought this officer into my inner office I feel sure that I would remember it. There were other officers in the inner office at the time, and I have found no one who knows about the remarks that you have asked about.

(2) Will Fritz, interviewed by Joe Ball on behalf of the Warren Commission on 1st April, 1964.

Joe Ball: Was there any conversation you heard that this rifle was a Mauser?

Will Fritz: I heard all kinds of reports about that rifle. They called it most everything.

Joe Ball: Did you hear any conversation right there that day?

Will Fritz: Right at that time?

Joe Ball: Yes

Will Fritz: I just wouldn't be sure because there were so many people talking at the same time, I might have; I am not sure whether I did or not.

Joe Ball: Did you think it was a Mauser?

Will Fritz: No, sir; I knew - you can read on the rifle what it was and you could also see on the cartridge what caliber it was.

Joe Ball: Well, did you ever make any - did you ever say that it was a 7.65 Mauser?

Will Fritz: No, sir; I am sure I did not.

Joe Ball: Or did you think it was such a thing?

Will Fritz: No, sir; I did not. If I did, the Mauser part, I won't be too positive about Mauser because I am not too sure about Mauser rifles myself. But I am certainly sure that I never did give anyone any different caliber than the one that shows on the cartridges.

(3) Matthew Smith, JFK: The Second Plot (1992)

During a thorough search of the sixth floor of the School Book Depository a rifle was found. Unhappily for the Warren Commissioners, the four police officers present at the time it was discovered, unanimously identified it as a German 7.65 Mauser. Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone found the rifle following the movement of book boxes by Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney and called Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman to witness his discovery. Another Deputy Sheriff, Roger Craig, was thereabouts and he saw the gun and heard the conversations of the others. The officers had no doubts about their identification and affidavits were drawn up by Boone and Weitzman, who described the weapon in detail, noting the colour of the sling and the scope. Police Captain Will Fritz was also present at the scene and he, also, is claimed to have agreed that the rifle was a 7.65 Mauser. District Attorney Henry M. Wade, in a television interview, referred to the sixth-floor discovery and quoted the weapon as a Mauser, a statement picked up by the press and reported widely. Following the finding of the gun, however, it was collected by Lieutenant. C. Day and taken to Police Headquarters, where it was logged as a 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano, an Italian carbine, bearing the serial number C2766. Mannlicher-Carcano Italian carbine No. C2766, it was claimed, belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald.

Those concerned with the finding of the rifle at the Book Depository and who had written affidavits, Boone and Weitzman, were pressed, under questioning by the Commission, to review their identification of it. The Mannlicher-Carcano, at first glance, looked very much like 7.65 Mauser, it is true. How would they account, though, for a situation in which they had been close enough to describe the colour of the sling and yet had made an error in identifying the rifle itself? After all, the Mannlicher-Carcano bears the legend 'Made in Italy' on the butt, whereas the German gun has the name 'Mauser' stamped on the barrel! Were these officers unable to read? In spite of any argument which might be brought to bear, they both, nonetheless, changed their testimony and conceded they had made a mistake.

Young Roger Craig, who saw and heard all that had gone on in the Book Depository, refused to concede that he had been mistaken, or even that he might have been.

(4) J. W. Fritz, testimony to the Warren Commission (1964)

We conducted the investigation at the Texas School Book Depository Building on November 22, 1963, immediately after the President was shot and after we had found the location where Lee Harvey Oswald had done the shooting from and left three empty cartridge cases on the floor and the rifle had been found partially hidden under some boxes near the back stairway. These pieces of evidence were protected until the Crime Lab. could get pictures and make a search for fingerprints. After Lt. Day, of the Crime Lab. had finished his work with the rifle, I picked it up and found that it had a cartridge in the chamber, which I ejected. About this time some officer came to me and told me that Mr. Roy S. Truly wanted to see me, as one of his men had left the building. I had talked to Mr. Truly previously and at that time he thought everyone was accounted for who worked in the building. Mr. Truly then came with another officer and told me that a Lee Harvey Oswald had left the building. I asked if he had an address where this man lived, and he told me that he did, that it was in Irving at 2515 W. 5th Street.

I then left the rest of the search of the building with Chief Lumpkin and other officers who were there and told Dets. R. M. Sims and E. L. Boyd to accompany me to the City Hall where we could make a quick check for police record and any other information of value, and we would then go to Irving, Texas, in an effort to apprehend this man. While I was in the building, I was told that Officer J. D. Tippit had been shot in Oak Cliff. Immediately after I reached my office, I asked the officers who had brought in a prisoner from the Tippit shooting who the man was who shot the officer. They told me his name was Lee Harvey Oswald, and I replied that that was our suspect in the President's killing. I instructed the officers to bring this man into the office after talking to the officers for a few minutes in the presence of Officers R. M. Sims and E. L. Boyd of the Homicide Bureau and possibly some Secret Service men. Just as I has started questioning this man, I received a call from Gordon Shanklin, Agent in Charge of the FBI office here in Dallas, who asked me to let him talk to Jim Bookhout, one of his agents. He told Mr. Bookhout that he would like for James P. Hosty to sit in on this interview as he knew about these people and had been investigating them before. I invited Mr. Bookhout and Mr. Hosty in to help with the interview.

After some questions about this man's full name I asked him if he worked for the Texas School Book Depository, and he told me he did. I asked him which floor he worked on, and he said usually on the second floor but sometimes his work took him to all the different floors. I asked him what part of the building he was in at the time the President was shot, and he said that he was having his lunch about that time on the first floor. Mr. Truly had told me that one of the police officers had stopped this man immediately after the shooting somewhere near the back stairway, so I asked Oswald where he was when the police officer stopped him. He said he was on the second floor drinking a coca cola when the officer came in. I asked him why he left the building, and he said there was so much excitement he didn't think there would be any more work done that day, and that as this company wasn't particular about their hours, that they did not punch a clock, and that he thought it would be just as well that he left for the rest of the afternoon. I asked him if he owned a rifle, and he said that he did not. He said that he had seen one at the building a few days ago, and that Mr. Truly and some of the employees were looking at it. I asked him where he went to when he left work, and he told me that he had a room on 1026 North Beckley, that he went over there and changed his trousers and got his pistol and went to the picture show. I asked him why he carried his pistol, and he remarked, "You know how boys do when they have a gun, they just carry it."

Mr. Hosty asked Oswald if he had been in Russia. He told him, "yes, he had been in Russia three years." He asked him if he had written to the Russian Embassy, and he said he had. This man became very upset and arrogant with Agent Hosty when he questioned him and accused him of accosting his wife two different times. When Agent Hosty attempted to talk to this man, he would hit his fist on the desk. I asked Oswald what he meant by accosting his wife when he was talking to Mr. Hosty. He said Mr. Hosty mistreated his wife two different times when he talked with her, practically accosted her. Mr. Hosty also asked Oswald if he had been to Mexico City, which he denied. During this interview he told me that he had gone to school in New York and in Fort Worth, Texas, that after going into the Marines, finished his high school education. I asked him if he won any medals for rifle shooting in the Marines. He said he won the usual medals.

I asked him what his political beliefs were, and he said he had none but that he belonged to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and told me that they had headquarters in New York and that he had been Secretary for this organization in New Orleans when he lived there. He also said that he supports the Castro Revolution. One of the officers had told me that he had rented the room on Beckley under the name of O. F. Lee. I asked him why he did this. He said the landlady did it. She didn't understand his name correctly.

Oswald asked if he was allowed an attorney and I told him he could have any attorney he liked, and that the telephone would be available to him up in the jail and he could call anyone he wished. I believe it was during this interview that he first expressed a desire to talk to Mr. Abt, an attorney in New York. Interviews on this day were interrupted by showups where witnesses identified Oswald positively as the man who killed Officer Tippit, and the time that I would have to talk to another witness or to some of the officers. One of these showups was held at 4:35 p. m. and the next one at 6:30 p.m. and at 7:55 p. m. At 7:05 p. m. I signed a complaint before Bill Alexander of the District Attorney's office, charging Oswald with the Tippit murder. At 7:10 p. m. Oswald was arraigned before Judge Johnston. During the second day interview I asked Oswald about a card that he had in his purse showing that he belonged to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which he admitted was his. I asked him about another identification card in his pocket bearing the name of Alex Hidell. He said he picked up that name in New Orleans while working in the Fair Play for Cuba organization. He said he spoke Russian, that he corresponded with people in Russia, and that he received newspapers from Russia.

I showed the rifle to marine Oswald, and she could not positively identify it, but said that it looked like the rifle that her husband had and that he had been keeping it in the garage at Mrs. Pain's home in Irving. After this, I questioned Oswald further about the rifle, but he denied owning a rifle at all, and said that he did have a small rifle some years past. I asked him if he owned a rifle in Russia, and he said, "You know you can't buy a rifle in Russia, you can only buy shotguns." "I had a shotgun in Russia and hunted some while there." Marina Oswald had told me that she thought her husband might have brought the rifle from new Orleans, which he denied. He told me that he had some things stored in a garage at Mrs. Paine's home in Irving and that he had a few personal effects at his room on Beckley. I instructed the officers to make a thorough search of both of these places....

I noted that in questioning him that he did answer very quickly and I asked him if he had ever been questions before, and he told me that he had. He was questioned one time for a long time by the FBI after he had returned from Russia. He said they used different methods, they tried the hard and soft, and the buddy method and said he was very familiar with interrogation. He reminded me that he did not have to answer any questions at all until he talked to his attorney, and I told him again that the could have an attorney any time he wished. He said he didn't have money to pay for a phone call to Mr. Abt. I told him to call "collect," if he liked, to use the jail phone or that he could have another attorney if he wished. He said he didn't want another attorney, he wanted to talk to this attorney first. I believe he made this call later as he thanked me later during one of our interviews for allowing him the use of the telephone. I explained to him that all prisoners were allowed to use the telephone. I asked him why he waited Mr. Abt, instead of some available attorney. He told me he didn't know Mr. Abt personally but that he was familiar with a case where Mr. Abt defended some people for a violation of the Smith Act, and that if he didn't get Mr. Abt, that he felt sure the American Civil Liberties Union would furnish him a lawyer. He explained to me that this organization helped people who needed attorneys and weren't able to get them.

While in New Orleans, he lived at 4907 Magazine Street and at one time worked for the William Riley Company near that address. When asked about any previous arrests he told me that he had had a little trouble while working with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and had a fight with some anti-Castro people. He also told me of a debate on some radio station in New Orleans where he debated with some anti-Castro people...

At 6:00 p. m. I instructed the officers to bring Oswald back into the office, and in the presence of Jim Bookhout, Homicide officers, and Inspector Kelly, of the Secret Service, I showed Oswald an enlarged picture of him holding a rifle and wearing a pistol. This picture had been enlarged by our Crime Lab from a picture found in the garage at Mrs. Pain's home. He said the picture was not his, that the face was his face, but that this picture had been made by someone superimposing his face, the other part of the picture was not him at all and that he had never seen the picture before. When I told him that the picture was recovered from Mrs. Pain's garage, he said that picture had never been in his possession, and I explained to him that it was an enlargement of the small picture obtained in the search. At that time I showed him the smaller picture. He denied ever seeing that picture and said that he knew all about photography, that he had done a lot of work in photography himself, that the small picture was a reduced picture of the large picture, and had been made by some person unknown to him. He further stated that since he had been photographed here at the City Hall and that people had been taking his picture while being transferred from my office to the jail door that someone had been able to get a picture of his face and that with that, they head made this picture. He told me that he understood photography real well, and that in time, he would be able to show that it was not his picture, and that it had been made by someone else. At this time he said that he did not want to answer any more question and he was returned to the jail about 7:15 p.m.

At 9: 30 on the morning of November 24, I asked that Oswald be brought to the office. At that time I showed him a map of the City of Dallas which had been recovered in the search of his room North Beckley. This map had some markings on it, one of which was bout where the President was shot. He said that the map had nothing to do with the President's shooting and again, as he had done in the previous interview, denied knowing anything of the shooting of the President, or of the shooting of officer Tippit. He said the map had been used to locate buildings where he had gone to talk to people about employment.

During this interview Inspector Kelley asked Oswald about his religious view, and he replied that he didn't agree with all the philosophies on religion. He seemed evasive with inspector Kelley about how he felt about religion, and I asked him if he believed in a Deity. He was evasive and didn't answer this question.

Someone of the Federal officers asked Oswald if he thought Cuba would be better off since the President was assassinated. To this he replied that he felt that since the President was killed that someone else would take his place, perhaps Vice-president Johnson, and that his views would probably be largely the same as those of President Kennedy.

During this interview, Oswald said he was a Marxist. He repeated two or three times, "I am a Marxist, but not a Leninist-Marxist." He told me that the station that he had debated on in New Orleans was the one who carried Bill Stakey's program. He denied again knowing Alex Hidell in New Orleans, and again reiterated his belief in Fair Play for Cuba and what the committee stood for.

After some questions, Chief Jesse E. Curry came to the office and asked me if I was ready for the man to be transferred. I told him we were ready as soon as the security was completed in the basement, where we were to place Oswald in a car to transfer him to the County Jail. I had objected to the cameras obstruction the jail door, and the Chief explained to me that these have been moved, and the people were moved back, and the cameramen were well back in the garage. I told the Chief then that we were ready to go. He told us to go ahead with the prisoner, and that he and Chief Stevenson, who was with him, would meet us at the County Jail.

Oswald's shirt, which he was wearing at the time of arrest, had been removed and sent to the crime lab in Washington with all the other evidence for a comparison test. Oswald said he would like to have a shirt from his clothing that had been brought to the office to war over the T-shirt that he was wearing at the time. We selected the best looking shirt from his things, but he said he would prefer wearing a black Ivy League type shirt, indicating that I might be a litter warmer. We made this change and I asked him if he wouldn't like to wear a hat to more or less camouflage his looks in the car while being transferred as all of the people who had been viewing him had seen him bareheaded. He didn't want to do this. Then Officer J. R. Leavell had cuffed his left hand to Oswald's right hand, then we left the office for the transfer.

Inasmuch as this report was made from rough notes and memory, it is entirely possible that one of these question could be in a separate interview from the one indicated in this report. He was interviewed under the most adverse condition in my office which is 9 feet 6 inches by 14 feet, and has only one front door, which forced us to move this prisoner through hundreds of people each time he was carried from my office to the jail door, some 20 feet, during each of these transfers. The crowd would attempt to jam around him, shouting questions and many continuing slurs. This office is also surrounded by large glass windows, and there were many officers working next to these windows. I have no recorder in this office and was unable to record the interview. I was interrupted many times during these interviews to step from the office to talk to another witness or secure additional information from officers needed for the interrogation.

(5) James Hosty and James W. Bookhout , Federal Bureau of Investigation report on Lee Harvey Oswald (November, 1923)

Lee Harvey Oswald, 1026 North Beckley, Dallas, Texas, was interviewed by Captain Will Fritz of the Homicide Bureau, Dallas Police Department. Special Agents James P. Hosty, Jr. and James W. Bookhout were present during this interview. When the Agents entered the interview room at 3:15 p. m., Captain Fritz had been previously interviewing Lee Harvey Oswald for an undetermined period of time. Both Agents identified themselves to Oswald and advised him they were law enforcement officers and anything he said could be used against him. Oswald at this time adopted a violent attitude toward the FBI and both Agents and made many uncomplimentary remarks about the FBI. Oswald requested that Captain Fritz remove the cuffs from him, it being noted that Oswald was handcuffed with his hands behind him. Captain Fritz had one of his detectives remove the handcuffs and handcuff Oswald with his hands in front of him.

Captain Fritz asked Oswald if he ever owned a rifle and Oswald stated that he had observed a Mr. Truly, a supervisor at the Texas Schoolbook Depository on November 20, 1963, display a rifle to some individuals in his office on the first floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository, but denied ever owning a rifle himself. Oswald stated that he had never been in Mexico except to Tijuana on one occasion. However, he admitted to Captain Fritz to having reside in the Soviet Union for three years where he has many friends and relatives of his wife.

Oswald also admitted that he was the secretary for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans, Louisiana a few months ago. Oswald stated that the Fair Play for Cuba Committee has its headquarters in New York City. Oswald admitted to having received an award for marksmanship while a member of the U. S. Marine Corps. He further admitted that he was living at 1026 N. Beckley in Dallas, Texas, under the name of O. H. Lee. Oswald admitted that he was present in the Texas Schoolbook Depository on November 22, 1963, where he has been employed since October 15, 1963. Oswald stated that as a laborer, he has access to the entire building which has offices on the first and second floors and storage on the third and fourth, as well as the fifth and sixth floors. Oswald stated that he went to lunch at approximately noon and he claimed he ate his lunch on the first floor in the lunchroom; however he went to the second floor where the Coca-Cola machine was located and obtained a bottle of Coca-Cola for his lunch. Oswald claimed to be on the first floor when President John F. Kennedy passed this building.

After hearing what had happened, he said that because of all the confusion there would be no work performed that afternoon so he decided to go home. Oswald stated he then went home by bus and changed his clothes and sent to a move. Oswald admitted to carrying a pistol with him to this move stating he did this because he felt like it, giving no other reason. Oswald further admitted attempting to fight the Dallas police officers who arrested him in this move theater when he received a cut and a bump.

Oswald frantically denied shooting Dallas police officer Tippit or shooting President John F. Kennedy. The interview was concluded at 4:05 p. m. when Oswald was removed for a lineup.

(6) Warren Commission Report (1964)

During the questioning of Oswald on the third floor of the police department, more than 100 representatives of the press, radio, and television were crowded into the hallway through which Oswald had to pass when being taken from his cell to Captain Fritz' office for interrogation. Reporters tried to interview Oswald during these trips. Between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning he appeared in the hallway at least 16 times. The generally confused conditions outside and inside Captain Fritz' office increased the difficulty of police questioning. Advised by the police that he could communicate with an attorney, Oswald made several telephone calls on Saturday in an effort to procure representation of his own choice and discussed the matter with the president of the local bar association, who offered to obtain counsel Oswald declined the offer saying that he would first try to obtain counsel by himself. By Sunday morning he had not yet engaged an attorney.

At 7:10 p.m. on November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was formally advised that he had been charged with the murder of Patrolman J. D. Tippit Several witnesses to the Tippit slaying and to the subsequent flight of the gunman had positively identified Oswald in police lineups. While positive firearm identification evidence was not available at the time, the revolver in Oswald's possession at the time of his arrest was of a type which could have fired the shots that killed Tippit.

The formal charge against Oswald for the assassination of President Kennedy was lodged shortly after 1:30 a.m., on Saturday, November 28. By 10 p.m. of the day of the assassination, the FBI had traced the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository to a mail order house in Chicago which had purchased it from a distributor in New York Approximately 6 hours later the Chicago firm advised that this rifle had been ordered in March 1968 by an A. Hidel for shipment to post office box 2915, in Dallas, Tex., box rented by Oswald. Payment for the rifle was remitted by a money order signed by A. Hidell. By 6:45 p.m. on November 23, the FBI was able to advise the Dallas police that, as a result of handwriting analysis of the documents used to purchase the rifle, it had concluded that the rifle had been ordered by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Throughout Friday and Saturday, the Dallas police released to the public many of the details concerning the alleged evidence against Oswald. Police officials discussed important aspects of the case, usually in the course of impromptu and confused press conferences in the third-floor corridor. Some of the information divulged was erroneous. Efforts by the news media representatives to reconstruct the crime and promptly report details frequently led to erroneous and often conflicting reports. At the urgings of the newsmen, Chief of Police Jesse E. Curry, brought Oswald to a press conference in the police assembly room shortly after midnight of the day Oswald was arrested. The assembly room was crowded with newsmen who had come to Dallas from all over the country. They shouted questions at Oswald and flashed cameras at him. Among this group was a 52-year-old Dallas nightclub operator - Jack Ruby.

On Sunday morning, November 24, arrangements were made for Oswald's transfer from the city jail to the Dallas County jail, about 1 mile away. The news media had been informed on Saturday night that the transfer of Oswald would not take place until after 10 a.m. on Sunday. Earlier on Sunday, between 2:80 and 3 a.m., anonymous telephone calls threatening Oswald's life had been received by the Dallas office of the FBI and by the office of the county sheriff. Never- the less, on Sunday morning, television, radio, and newspaper representatives crowded into the basement to record the transfer. As viewed through television cameras, Oswald would emerge from a door in front of the cameras and proceed to the transfer vehicle. To the right of the cameras was a "down" ramp from Main Street on the north. To the left was an %p" ramp leading to Commerce Street on the south.

The armored truck in which Oswald was to be transferred arrived shortly after 11 a.m. Police officials then decided, however, that an unmarked police car would be preferable for the trip because of its greater speed and maneuverability. At approximately 11:20 a.m. Oswald emerged from the basement jail office flanked by detectives on either side and at his rear. He took a few steps toward the car and was in the glaring light of the television cameras when a man suddenly darted out from an area on the right of the cameras where newsmen had been assembled. The man was carrying a Colt 38 revolver in his right hand and, while millions watched on television, he moved quickly to within a few feet of Oswald and fired one shot into Oswald's abdomen. Oswald groaned with pain as he fell to the ground and quickly lost consciousness. Within 7 minutes Oswald was at Parkland Hospital where, without having regained consciousness, he was pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m.