From a faithful reader in Dallas:
“On Saturday October 4, the Sixth Floor Museum’s 2014 Living History Series, presented a talk by Pierce Allman, who was the program director at WFAA Radio in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Allman was in Dealey Plaza at the time of JFK’s assassination, and was one of the first media representatives inside the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) after the shooting.
“Allman’s view of JFK’s assassination is expressed in pretty succinct fashion: three shots, one gun, one man. He admitted he did not actually see the gunman, despite standing at the corner of Elm and Houston, or even see the rifle in the sixth floor window. He did see three African-American men leaning out the fifth floor windows and pointing up at the sixth floor window,. He was standing within feet of Howard Brennan, whom we are told by the Warren Commission, is the best witness to Oswald in the window.
“Allman’s claim to fame is his encounter with Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin, inside the TSBD a few minutes after Kennedy was shot and killed.
“Two obvious questions present themselves: How long after the last shot did Allman encounter Oswald?
And, what impression did Oswald like during the encounter, i.e., did he look like he had just killed the leader of the free world, run down from the sixth floor after wiping down and hiding a rifle, been confronted by a pistol packing police officer, and bought a Coca-Cola?
Allman took care of the first question in his talk. He estimated it took three minutes from the last shot to dialing the telephone inside the TSBD. He described his activities after the last shot to the audience but the Secret Service report on his actions is a bit more revealing. Seeing the Newmans fall to the ground, he ran to help them. Newman told Mr. Allman that he and his family were unhurt, but described the President’s head exploding. Allman said he briefly lost it, and began to run, not knowing where, until he regained his composure and remembered he was a newsman and needed to file a report on the biggest story of his life. The TSBD was in front of him, and probably had a telephone. He ran for the door.
In Allman’s mind, Oswald was a cool customer. He had just shot the President. But when Mr. Allman asked Oswald if there was a telephone in the building, here is how Allman described him:
“Oswald was totally calm. How do you do that (kill the President), and stay so calm?” he asked. “He was not in a hurry. Not breathless. Appeared normal.”
I think Allman was asking a very sensible question. How does someone shoot the President of the United States and remain so calm. Well, just maybe that person didn’t shoot anybody. Maybe.