In 1963, absolutely no later than forty-five minutes after the Kennedy assassination, prime suspect Lee Harvey Oswald was quietly apprehended on East 10th Street in Oak Cliff by patrolman J. D. Tippit, a thirty-nine year old officer with the Dallas Police Department.
Poor Dump Cop #1 By E and Jackie SpeelWithin hours, he was charged by indictment with the murder of the President. However the Dallas Police struggled to reconstruct the timescale of events.
Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig stated that when he heard the news that Oswald had been arrested, he noted the time was 1:06 p.m. according to his watch. But according to his housekeeper Earlene Roberts, Oswald arrived at his rooming house, at 1026 North Beckley Avenue at 1.00pm, leaving 3 to 4 minutes later. Although Mrs Roberts testified that he was "walking pretty fast", the Police estimation of Oswald's walking speed demonstrated that one of the longer routes to the scene of the arrest took 17 minutes and 45 seconds.
Soon after his capture Oswald encountered reporters in a hallway, declaring "I didn't shoot anyone" and "They're taking me in because of the fact I lived in the Soviet Union. I'm just a patsy!". Matters were further complicated when Officer Tippit filed his report which stated that the man in the hallway was not the man that he had arrested, a testimony backed up by a witness, William W. Scoggins who was sitting in his taxicab nearby.
A World War 2 veteran of the US 17th Airborne Division, Tippit was earning a salary of $5,880 a year as a Dallas police officer and also working two other part-time jobs. But before the year was out he would be forced out of the Dallas Police by an FBI whispering campaign that he was a "Poor Dumb Cop". Yet it would be far more difficult to silence Oswald who was amassing a pile of unpleasantly awkward facts that he would openly shared on his day in court.