Friday, January 27, 2012

JFK: Was Oswald in the doorway, after all?

JFK: Was Oswald in the doorway, after all?

James Fetzer

After publishing "JFK: What we know now that we didn't know then", I encountered the remarkable work of Dr. Ralph Cinque, who had seen something that no one else had noticed in nearly 50 years of study on the assassination of JFK, namely: that, in relation to the long-standing debate over the identity of the man in the doorway in the famous Altgens photograph, usually referred to as "Doorway Man", between Lee Oswald, the accused assassin of JFK, and Billy Lovelady, a co-worker who looked a great deal like him, it is not the FACES in the Altgens that matter, but their SHIRTS! I had noticed that the face of a figure in the Altgens had been obfuscated, which led me to infer that this must be Oswald, but his detailed and painstaking analysis of the differences between the shirt that Doorway Man was wearing and the shirts that Oswald and Lovelady were wearing persuaded me that he was right and that, unless Lovelady was wearing Oswald's shirt, the man in the doorway was Lee.

In the Altgens, you can see (1) the through-and-through hole in the windshield; (2) Doorway Man; (3) the broom-closet window of a uranium mining company that was a CIA asset, from which three shots appear to have been fired; and (4) the open door of the LBJ security detail, suggesting prior knowledge of what was to come. The man to the left of Doorway Man, wearing a fedora, resembles Jack Ruby; while the face and shirt of another figure to DM's left/front (right/front facing him) have been obfuscated or removed. A debate of long-standing has endured over whether DM was Lee Oswald or his co-worker, Billy Lovelady. We believe the face was "tweaked" or even moved to Doorway Man to obfuscate Oswald's presence, but the shirts tell the tale.

For those who review our more extensive study and look at all the evidence, if they scroll down to "Once more, with feeling!", where we have Doorway Man on the left and Lovelady on the right, where above Doorway Man is Oswald, I think anyone can see that the shirt on Doorway Man has been "touched up" but still does not resemble the checkered shirt on Lovelady; and it is obvious that Doorway Man is NOT wearing the striped shirt he (Lovelady) told the FBI he was wearing that day. But it very strongly resembles the shirt on Oswald, which was loose-fitting like Doorway Man and unlike Lovelady in either shirt. Lee tugged at the neck of his shirt, which gave it a "vee" like appearance, which is more visible in some photographs than in others. Lovelady's has no "vee".

Here is a diagrammatic summary of the witness reports that I take to be credible. There are lots of inconsistencies in the record, where some witnesses were intimidated, others had their testimony changed, and still others were never called at all. While we all know that there can be endless debate about exactly who said what when, these are the three that I take to be accurate reports, where I have overlaid the witness reports of his locations on a drawing from Gerald Posner's CASE CLOSED (1992):

We also have the handwritten and typed notes of Detective Will Fritz interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald, which reflect that he told Fritz he was "out with Bill Shelley in front", which I believe for several reasons, including that Lee was working for the FBI as an informant and had a history with ONI and the CIA, where I am inclined to believe that he expected he was going to be exonerated. During his interview, he also told Fritz, when shown one of the backyard photographs, that it was his face on someone else's body. Jim Marrs and I have written about this in "Framing the Patsy: The Case of Lee Harvey Oswald", which appears on Veterans Today with other recent JFK articles of mine.

In addition, in relation to the time line, an excellent, concise post has appeared by Richard Hocking:

Posted Yesterday, 04:14 PM

"From a Timeline perspective, it was possible for Oswald to be on the
front steps at the time of the shooting (as he told Fritz). Carolyn
Arnold's interview with Anthony Summers (1978) places Oswald behind
the double doors at the entrance as late as 12:25. The next sighting
in the testimony is Baker and Truly in the 2nd floor lunch room at
about 12:31:30. That leaves open the possibility that Oswald could
have been on the steps at the time of the shooting and then gone
inside after the shots were fired.

"On a side note, Oswald said he was on the steps with Shelley. That
raises several interesting points:

1. If Oswald was not on the steps, how did he know where Shelley was?
Oswald may have seen him there at 12:25, but that is no guarantee that
Shelley would have stayed there.

2. Oswald is giving Fritz information that can be cross-checked with
another witness. He is now relying on Shelley to provide verification
for his alibi at the time of the shooting. Why would Oswald put
himself in this position unless he thought Shelley would back him up?

If, otoh, Oswald was making up a story, why not say he was behind
everyone on the steps where no one noticed him? That would have
eliminated the possibility of being contradicted by another witness."

Finally, when I learned about the Fritz interrogation notes--which had actually been released by the ARRB back in 1997 but which I had only discovered a few months ago--I took another look at the Altgens and discovered that the face of the man to his left/front (right/front, viewing the photograph) had been obliterated, I inferred that this must have been Oswald. That was my position when Ralph and I came into contact. When, in the course of our exchange, I discovered that THE SHIRT AS WELL AS THE FACE of the other man had been obliterated it was obvious that there had to have been features of the shirt that need to be obscured, which led me to reconsider my position. As he and I began discussing his research on the shirts, I realized that he had noticed something that no one else had noticed before him--that the shirts, not the faces, were the key to resolving the issue.

As we all know, virtually nothing about the assassination can be known with certainty. It is almost always a matter of probabilities and likelihoods. When you put together the timeline with what Lee told Fritz (about being out front with Bill Shelly), given Richard Hocking's observations, especially in light of the obfuscation of the Altgens, the likelihood that he was there is the reason why the had to change the photograph becomes very strong. Why else, after all, would they have bothered with a crowd shot--unless someone was there who should not have been, where the only person who fits that bill is Lee Harvey Oswald. So the key to appraising this situation is to ask, "What is the probability of altering this photo and obfuscating images if Oswald had not been there?" Approximately zero.

The features that Ralph has identified in the style, the lapel, the lay, the fit, and the buttons have convinced me that he is right and that the man in the doorway IS wearing Oswald's shirt. Lovelady, of course, turned out to have a checkered shirt and a vertically striped shirt, both of which were rather distinctive. The complementary argument that I have advanced is that Doorway Man is also NOT wearing Lovelady's checkered shirt, much less his vertically striped shirt, which may have been on Lovelady but cannot have been on Doorway Man. DM's shirt has a rather loose fit and unusual features. Oswald's shirt has a rather loose fit and unusual features. Lovelady's shirt fits snugly and has no unusual features--other than its pattern. So they had to try to make Oswald's shirt look more like Lovelady's, but did so with only limited success, which was how Ralph could detect their differences and fashion his argument. Others may disagree, but he has convinced me.

Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is the editor of Assassination Science (1998), Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000), and The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003).


  1. In the Frontline program "Who Was LHO," there is this exchange:


    1st REPORTER : Did you shoot the President?

    LEE HARVEY OSWALD : I work in that building.

    1st REPORTER : Were you in the building at the time?

    LEE HARVEY OSWALD : Naturally, if I work in that building, yes, sir.

  2. David Von Pein is well-known to students of JFK as a zealous defender of the "lone nut" theory, which has been debunked on virtually every count. Since Fritz notes show that Oswald told him he was "out with Bill Shelley in front", where Fritz was the homicide detective who was interrogating him, we know that the suggestions we are receiving from other sources are less reliable and highly misleading.

    We also know that news stories were being manipulated by the FBI from the beginning, where Connie Kritzberg was astonished to discover that a story that she had submitted about the Parkland Press conference, during which Malcolm Perry, M.D., had described the bullet hole in JFK's throat as an entrance wound--not just once but three times!--had been altered, as she explains in this interview:

    What becomes important in sorting out what happened to JFK is not the enormous quantity of "proof" that supports the "official account" of the assassination but the evidence, like Fritz' notes, that undermine it. For those who want more about this case, my latest public lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been archived at That Pein is here shows their efforts to subvert the truth endure to this day.

    1. You are exactly right. To know a perception error, including a deliberate trick, one must assess things which surround & inform the possible trick, then gauge whether there is enough to rework perception to say the main argument was a trick. --- & In this instance, since Oswald was in or at the TDsB but not specifically at the moment of the first shot, we may note that when he was on the spot with media hounds around him, he would not be subtle about picking his words, & might technically misspeak (hence anything you say can be used against you!). He would not likely emotionally feel the peace to delineate: "Well, I was in front for 2 minutes, then went inside to have a Dr Pepper."

  3. Oswald had multiple opportunities to tell the world that he had an alibi, if he did indeed have one. He gave a press conference in which he might've asked Shelley or anyone else who'd seen him on the steps to come forward and prove his innocence. He also spoke to members of his family and to a Dallas lawyer, none of whom mentioned an alibi.

    More important, we have it from Oswald's own lips that he was not on the steps. I've quoted from a film clip that shows Oswald in the hallway of the police station telling a reporter that he was inside the building at the time. This clip has been shown in several documentaries and is still available online, so far as I know. Oswald himself has refuted this theory.

    1. Nice try jean, but a flippant comment to a reporter as he's being ushered down the hall means nothing. As a FBI informant being set up as a patsy, may make a guy a little tight lipped . I'm sure if Oswald knew he was to be murdered the next day. He certainly would have taken the opportunity to profess his alibi to anyone and everyone, including reporters he passed in the hall.

    2. Jean hit the nail on the came from his own we now also know he never shot anybody and that he was just a patsy...thank you Jean, no idea why no one had spotted this earlier

  4. After reading your article, I'm convinced that the whole Billy lovelady thing ( " Is that Oswald on the steps?"). Was a false lead ,designed to discredit conspiracy researchers (a red herring like the color of his shirt).We know Oswald was wearing a loosely fitting button up shirt with a V-necked tee. Billy Lovelady was wearing a tighter fitting checkered button up shirt with a straight necked tee. The blacked out face is obviously Ruby's, the whited out face is Lovelady's. They then cut & pasted Lovelady's face over Oswalds( we know they can do this;backyard photo ). We must understand they had total control over all photographic evidence pertaining to the assassination .There is no reason to release a photo with two obfuscated faces . Jim Fetzers research has put great doubt on the authenticity of the Zapruder film, the kill shot from the grassy knoll and even the backward and to the left movement of Kennedy .Could this be another easter egg left for researchers to grab onto, only to be left with egg on their faces when Billy Lovelady was trotted out in front of the House assassination committee? " To control the opposition, you must lead it". Good advise, Lenin.

  5. David Von Pein is one of the best at attempting to defend the indefensible, THE WARREN REPORT (1964). A nice test of your JFK IQ is to find how many ways you can refute his multiple assertions. You can find some clues in "Framing the Patsy: The Case of Lee Harvey Oswald" (which I co-authored with Jim Marrs), "Who's telling the truth: Clint Hill or the Zapruder film?", and "JFK: What we know now that we didn't know then", at Veterans Today and elsewhere. See what you can do with this.

  6. Obviously Oswald was on the steps - 2 faces have been covered in the photo.

    Oswald stated to the press that he did not kill anybody and he said to the press I" emphatically deny these charges"

  7. Dear Mr.Fetzer, i think you have done great work, i have read and seen many of your research, but on this subject as beeing Oswald in the doorway (wich i tend to believe is treu) raises one question. If we look at the doormans clothes as beeing a good reference to identify Oswald and use the photo's after his arrest to compare the clothes how can we know what clothes Oswald was wearing before his arrest, because he said he had changed clothes before he went to the theater where he got arrested. He might have worn very different clothes that morning, as he was in the doorway.

    1. Even the Warren Commission concluded that he had not changed his clothing. While I would ordinarily not cite it as a reliable source, in this case, this finding is contrary to its own interests in implicating Oswald in the crime.

      Assertions contrary to interest is a special kind of evidence in courts of law. Because parties would not be expected to admit facts that work against their interest, they deserve to be take seriously as credible.

    2. Fetzer says: Assertions contrary to interest is a special kind of evidence in courts of law. Because parties would not be expected to admit facts that work against their interest, they deserve to be take seriously as credible."

      Ok, great. Then explain why we shouldn't take Oswald's admission, against his own interests, that he was inside the building at the time of the shooting, as serious credible evidence.

      You said this is the kind of evidence that "deserve to be take[n] seriously as evidence."

      Why doesn't this apply to Oswald's admission?

  8. TO Jim Fetzer, dear sir.
    I have watched your video at Youtube JFK getting him to the ambush and was impressed about the huge evidence you collected and arranged in a short video. Congratulations!
    Nevertheless I have some questions to ask you:
    1) Despite nobody reasonable person doubts about a conspiracy to murder JFK, the one man theory LHO seems so unbelievable as a conspiracy involving so many people! It looks like that a hundred people had to be taking place in the conspiracy, as you expose. I think it´s reasonable to conspire in a group of 5-10 people, the secrets remains close and secure, but don´t you think that many people rises the risk to filtration before the murder? Do you have some support for that?
    2) In your video you seem to discard any participation of Clyde Shaw and David Ferrie, as DA Garrison did. At least, Garrison was able to demonstrate there was a conspiracy, but couldn´t involve Clyde Shaw. Any conspiracy requires a leader, a command. Do you think that LBJ was the man on top? Did he decide to go green with the murder?
    3) If so, did he have all the resources and access to information to prepare the conspiracy? Wasn´t he spyed or at least watched by the JFK men?
    4) To prepare such a stage, how much time do you think they needed? months? Was there a shooting range for training? Where? Who raise the funds for this?
    I would like to hear your answer to my questions. Thank you in advance

  9. See Noel Twyman's BLOODY TREASON (1997). On a single page, he lists eight prominent figures who talked about the death of JFK. See "Dealey Plaza Revisited: What happened to JFK?", where I include it. Plus I have extensive discussion of who was responsible in "What happened to JFK--and why it matters today" (UW-Madison, 22 November 2011), which is on YouTube. Lyndon was the pivotal player in the death of his predecessor.

  10. On Clay Shaw, David Ferrie and the New Orleans connections, they were undoubtedly involved. See Judyth Vary Baker, ME & LEE, for example; or even Oliver Stone's "JFK". The location where JFK was to speak was changed to The Trade Mart to justify changing the motorcade route to pass by the TSBD. And the owner of that building was same company where Clay Shaw was a director.

  11. LOL you mention Oliver Stone's, conspiracy theory nutjob, JFK in this post. You no longer have credibility. Relying on facts as a jury would do association with someone who is known to be a bit of a lunatic puts everything you have said into question. If you didn't know OS was a nutjob just Google it. You'll find all the info you need. Not a smart move at all if you are attempting to prove anything on this site.

    1. It's only a MOVIE!!

      Hello!? Hello!!?

      It's only a MOVIE!!!

      Got that? You head case!!!

    2. This is a strange post. Those who have studied the case in detail would agree with me that "JFK" is the most accurate, complete and comprehensive presentation of what actually happened in Dealey Plaza on 22 November 1963 ever presented to the public through the mass media. Nevertheless, he does not haver everything right:

      (1) He assumed that the Zapruder fiilm was authentic, probably at the urging of Robert Groden. See "The JFK War: The Challenging Case of Robert Groden".

      (2) He posits three shooters, when there actually appear to have been at least six. See "What happened to JFK--and why it matters today" (YouTube)

      (3) He believed that the man in the doorway was Billy Lovelady, but it turns out to have been Lee himself. See the many articles I have now published about this on Veterans Today.

    3. Hi Jim!

      Frank here. I must apologize profusely for any misunderstanding, Jim. I agree entirely with all your
      points. Oliver Stone's movie IS " the most accurate, complete and comprehensive presentation of what actually happened in Dealey Plaza on 22 November 1963 ever presented to the public through the mass media." The point that I was trying to make is that in the final analysis Oliver Stone's movie JFK is still ONLY a movie with all the limitations and imperfections that any movie dealing with historical events has. Can you think of any other great American movie based on (an) historical event(s) that has come in for so much flack as Oliver Stone's JFK? Did Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" based on the true story of the Niland Brothers from Tonawanda get as much criticism as Oliver Stone's JFK? "Oh, no! That's not right!!" " "That never happened!!" etc., etc., etc. Perhaps "Saving Private Ryan" is not a great comparison but I hope you get my drift. My own opinion as to why the film JFK is lambasted by so many ill-informed and so-called critics is that this continual abuse that the film JFK receives is politically motivated by those who basically don't want to know what happened on 22 November 1963 and more sinisterly don't want the American people to know what really happened on 22 November 1963. For example, take our "friend" Anonymous above who actually has the gall to attack and denounce you for even mentioning Oliver Stone's movie JFK. Is it getting to the stage now that Oliver Stone's movie JFK is, like the assassination of JFK, also becoming a taboo subject? What does Anonymous expect from a movie on an historical event? Travel-back-in-time video footage that shows you exactly what happened?!!
      Oh, come on, Anonymous!! Gimme a break!! Give us all a break!!

      When I wrote the words "It's only a MOVIE!!!" I wasn't implying that "it's only a movie, forget it! It's just a load of hogwash". No!! I meant the very opposite!! Like you, Jim I think it's a great, great movie and it has done more than any movie in the struggle to discover what exactly happened on 22 November 1963. Far more than any piece of disinformational and disingenuous junk from National Geographic and others of that ilk. I hope this goes some way to explain my position, Jim and to let you know where I am coming from on this. Finally, Jim just to thank you for all your sterling work and research into the assassination of JFK.

      Best regards,


    4. Frank

      If a conspiracy theory had involved the lone bullet would have dismissed it instantly. I have heard dozens of theories about who fired shots and they all (apart from Greer and Jackie) sound infinitely more plausible than CE399 doing what it is said to have done by the WC and still ending up in that condition. This bullet is supposed to have gone through 2 people, a wrist and into a thigh, smashing to bones on its journey. Not only that but it went through 6 unique items of clothing having contact with them at least 10 times....and there is no forensic evidence on it. What proof is there that CE399 actually entered Connally or JFK....or any body at all?

  12. It's obvious that the photo has been manipulated......
    It's clearly Oswald because of the distinctive shirt. The face has been doctored to create confusion. The face is a composite of Oswald and Lovelady but Oswald's face is predominant.There is NO doubt: This IS Lee Harvey Oswald in the TSBD doorway seconds before the first shot is fired. Hey! Maybe the first shot was a signal for LHO to dash up to the TSBD 6th floor and finish the job!!!

    Now, that's what I call shooting!!!

  13. Just a final point, Jim. I should also say that Oliver Stone's movie JFK
    as well as having all the imperfections etc., of a movie has all the strengths, power, force and grace of a movie....too. I forgot to add that.

    You know me, Jim!! It's always the "l'esprit de l'escalier" with me!!

    Okay, Jim. Bye.

    All the VERY best to you!


    1. By the way and finally, Jim. The phrase
      "It' only a movie." is not just something
      I used. The phrase has a certain history in the movie industry. Alfred Hitchcock was famous for using it. Hitchcock made all those scary movies Psycho, The Birds etc., etc. The story goes that Hitchcock would go to a local cinema when one of his scary films was premiering.Totally anonymously in the cinema he'd sit
      behind a young couple. When the really scary part was just over and perhaps the young woman in front was paralytic with fear, Hitchcock would tap her on the shoulder. She'd turn round only to see Afred Hitchcock the director of the movie who'd say to her in that inimitable English accent that Hitchcock had:

      " But my dear, it's only a movie. "

      ...Which, of course, probably made the young
      woman even more petrified than she already was.

      It seems that just as Alfred appeared as himself in many of his movies, he also visited many cinemas and did the " It's only a movie " routine.

      A true story.


  14. It's very plain it's Lovelady in the doorway. The shirt is, bulky, thick, and has the exact pattern that Lovelady wore. Oswald's shirt is thinner and wouldn't bulge like that, and his pattern (if it is the one in the DPD later) was not overt at all like Doorway Man's is. Lovelady's shirt was a hunter's shirt and has fold pockets on each side with buttons. You can clearly see the fold on Lovelady in the other pic. The receding hair loss is compatible with Lovelady only. It's really a no-brainer. Here is a closer look at Lovelady's shirt:

  15. I believe Oswald did not act alone but he was not in the doorway.

    Did Oswald go to his apartment and change the shirt or not?

  16. I believe Oswald did not act alone but he was not in the doorway.

    Did Oswald go to his apartment and change the shirt or not?