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The Myth of Oswald at the Texas School Book Depository Doorway.

On November 22nd, 1963, at the time of the Presidential parade, Billy Lovelady, an employee of the Texas School Book Depository, joined others on the steps outside the building to watch the President drive by. This group of workers appeared in a photograph taken by photographer J. W. Altgens at the time the shooting took place. Some have claimed that the photograph actually showed Lee Harvey Oswald rather than Lovelady. This meant if Lee Oswald was on the steps during the shooting then there was no case against him as the assassin.

figure 1. Altgens photo

This issue was looked at by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. They claimed that the man in the photograph was Billy Lovelady and not Oswald.

figure 2. detail of man in doorway

The report issued by the House Select Committee on Assassinations states:

The widely publicized photograph taken by Associated Press photographer James W. Altgens within a few seconds after President Kennedy was first shot shows a spectator who bears a strong physical resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald standing at the west end of the Texas School Book Depository entranceway. Altgens has stated that he took the picture of the presidential limousine, with the Texas School Book Depository entranceway in the background, just after he heard a noise "which sounded like the popping of a firecracker."

This issue has also persisted because of reported discrepancies in connection with the clothing worn by the Altgens figure and Billy Lovelady on November 22, 1963. In media prints of the Altgens photograph, the man appears to be wearing a long-sleeved shirt similar to the one in which Oswald was arrested. According to a memo written by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to the Warren Commission after Lovelady had been interviewed and photographed in 1964 by FBI agents, Lovelady was reported to have been wearing a short-sleeved red and white, vertically striped shirt. Lovelady later explained that when he was interviewed and photographed by the FBI, he had not been told to wear the same shirt he had worn on the day of the assassination and that, in fact, he had been wearing a long-sleeved, plaid shirt when he was standing in the Texas School Book Depository doorway. (HSCA, Vol. VI, p. 287)

figure 3. FBI photo of Billy Lovelady 1964.

figure 4. Lovelady at the Dallas Police Headquarters as Lee Oswald
is brought by after being arrested. Note the bold colors of Lovelady's shirt and the wider pattern.

figure 5. Lee Oswald at the Dallas jail after a scuffle with police at the Texas Theater where his shirt was torn open.
Notice the smaller pattern of the shirt and the more solid coloring.

Where ever Lee Oswald was during the shooting of President Kennedy and Governor Connally, he was not the man shown in the Altgens photo.

    (Billy Nolan Lovelady died in January, 1979, during the HSCA hearings.)


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