What happened when Oswald was arrested?

Oswald at Texas Theater

Lee Harvey Oswald being arrested at the Texas Theater, November 22, 1963

In a 2013 essay for Time magazine,the late Gary Mack wrote about this photo of Oswald’s. The photo is interesting but the editorial treatment is fascinating

In the essay, Mack writes that the photo shows why so many are unsure about Oswald’s sole guilt. The editors, who wrote the headline for the story, say the photo proves that he’s guilty. Its a familiar JFK phenomenon: the desire to get wish away what is in front of one’s eyes.


  1. Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

    The first officer to approach Oswald inside the TT was Nick McDonald, who stated to WC he ordered Oswald to stand up and Oswald raised both hands yelling out “Well, it is all over now.” However, when McDonald was interviewed by WFAA-TV on the day after the assassination, he said that Oswald yelled “This is it” (See video). Officer Thomas Hutson was asked by WC Counsel David Belin if Oswald said anything. Hutson responded he didn’t. McDonald told CBS Eddie Barker something he hadn´t reported to DPD Chief Jesse Curry: he had prevented Oswald’s gun from firing. The same claim was made by Detective Paul Bentley before reporters on the day after the assassination. McDonald testified that a four-inch scar on his left cheek was made by Oswald’s revolver during the scuffle inside TT, but FBI Agent Robert M. Barrett stated that McDonald told him it was caused by Oswald punching in the face and knocking against the seat. McDonald further claimed he had already disarmed Oswald when officers Ray Hawkins and Charles Walker arrived. They testified that Oswald had pulled the revolver after they arrived. McDonald said he handed the gun to Detective Bob Carroll, who in turn claimed having seen a gun pointing at him and immediately grabbed it and jerked it away from whoever had it. So, what happened then? Curiously, TT patron Jack Davis has stated that Oswald had first sat next to him, but then got up and sat next to another person (See Crossfire, page 353). Greg Parker and other JFK researchers have noted that Oswald had a torn box top with the label “Cox’s Fort Worth” printed on it. Did Oswald enter TT to contact someone?

  2. RonnieWayne says:

    Regarding an innocent man taking a gun into a theater… He had the gun because he realized he had been double crossed or at the minimum his contact or handler had somehow been compromised.
    His facial expression to me looks like he was just punched in the gut or back or at least was having the hand cuffs yanked on hard.
    I can’t judge guilt or innocence based on that.
    As for what happened when he was arrested the official record says he was searched and a wallet was found on the way to DPD HQ. In addition to the one found at the Tippit murder scene, and the one left at the Paine house in Irving that morning. In it were two ID’s, one military with a his picture on it, something the military did not do at the time, with the name of Hidell on it. He refused to answer questions about either ID.
    Then there are reports he was arrested in the balcony and taken out the back door. Two or three witnesses from neighboring businesses in the alley say they saw him taken out the back door and put into a police car.
    This supports the contention of some that there were two Oswalds, one obviously am imposter.

  3. Gary’s comments reflects his personal bias to believe that Oswald killed Tippit, that he tried to fire his gun to kill another cop in the theater and slugged a cop while not resisting arrest.

    More interesting than Oswald the arresting officer Paul Bentley, the DPD polygraph administrator is an interesting fellow and close personal friend of Robert Steel – the ONI investigator San Diego who investigated Oswald twice – after defection and the assassination – and wrote 119 Reports that have subsequently gone missing.

    Bill Kelly

  4. Russ Tarby says:

    coincidentally, Jim MacCammon also shot a memorable photo of Jack Ruby circa 1961, backstage at the Carousel Club, with dancer Tammi True. It is reproduced in the book,”When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963,” on page 173.

  5. Bogman says:

    I do think that all the personality traits people attribute to Oswald as proof he was the lone assassin – self-aggrandizement, arrogance and a love of being in the center of volatile Cold War enemies – could also make him the perfect personality type for intelligence manipulation.

    From the guy who watched “I Led Three Lives” religiously as a kid, spy and counter-spy intrigue would suit him well.

    I always think someone from the intelligence services could’ve have convinced Oswald he was working with Castro’s guys, and Oswald was going to be part of some operation that he may or may not have been legitimately in support of, eg. he was informing to someone regarding the ‘Castro’ plot.

    It seems always that Oswald could easily serve two masters in the Cold War, with no real telling what his true stand was.

    Wilderness of mirrors and all…

  6. Bogman says:

    It’s hilarious the Time editors headline the story with the exact opposite conclusion of the writer. So typical.

    At the same time, I’m not sure I agree with Gary, either. Don’t see how one photo can tell you if Oswald is a lone assassin or not.

    It is clear he’s not happy about being caught, and getting his photo taken.

    The shocked expression on his face seems to say, Game Over. If that means he thinks his cover has been blown, or that he’s guilty of the crime, nobody can say.

  7. Greg Arious says:

    That’s some rather tortured logic by Mack there. Oswald might have been involved in the incident that day, so that would explain his behavior in the the theater. But the picture in no way proves he was the lone assassin he was accused of being. Really lazy “journalism” going on there.

  8. Maroon says:

    Poor JFK. Wish he was wearing his Stetson made of Pittsburgh Steel like LBJ. All would have been well that fateful day….just a lot of harmless ricochets.

  9. Paul Turner says:

    The fact that Gary Mack wrote this is what gets me. He used to be against the lone-nut theory, then he changed hi mind. Something strange about that, I feel.

    • Paul May says:

      Gary had said late in his life “there may have been a conspiracy to kill JFK but I can’t prove it and neither can anybody else”.

      • Paul Turner says:

        Let’s say you’re right, here. To me, Mack’s comments appear to mean “I can’t prove a conspiracy existed, nor can anyone else, so that means Oswald must have done it alone”. We must wonder if that is what Mack was implying. I mean-could Mack prove Oswald did it?

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