Copyright 2015 © Gilbert Jesus. All rights reserved.

If Oswald was speaking honestly, then he clearly revealed his ignorance of the day's events, knowing neither the reason why the crowds were gathering, nor the route of the motorcade.

Some have suggested that Oswald knew the answers to the questions he posed to Jarman, that Oswald was deliberately trying to plant false information to indicate his lack of interest in the motorcade, a good defense that would serve him well if he were later captured.

But there's a problem with that train of thought.

If Oswald was trying to plant false info on Jarman, why did he not later offer this to police as part of the evidence in his favor ? There is NO EVIDENCE that Oswald ever mentioned this early morning meeting with Jarman to police during his interrogation sessions.

As a result of this, there is NO EVIDENCE and thus no basis for asserting that Oswald knew that Kennedy would pass through Dealey Plaza prior to 9:30am on November 22nd. The newspapers, including the one he occasionally read, carried conflicting accounts of the route, varying at the crucial point, the Main to Houston St. turn.

While it is impossible to know if Oswald saw any of those published motorcade routes, his actions indicate a total unawareness of the events surrounding the procession through Dallas.

The Commission never quoted those press reports that did NOT include the Elm St. turn, leaving the impression on the reader that Oswald knew previously that the President would pass directly below him. But whether or not the route included the Elm St. turn is a moot point: even if the motorcade route had taken the President straight down Main St., he still would have been within range of a rifleman in the Book Depository. 

If he knew the President was coming by.

There is evidence that Oswald was totally uninformed and uninterested in the Presidential procession.

Marina Oswald wrote of the night before the assassination:
"...when I told him that Kennedy was coming the next day to Dallas and asked him how I could see him--on television of course--- he answered that he did not know." ( 18 H 638 )

Although the Commission found that the motorcade route was published in the local papers, it failed to prove that Oswald read those accounts. In fact, the testimony indicates that Oswald DID NOT read those accounts. 

Is it possible that Oswald had not seen the motorcade route in the papers ? 

James Jarman, an Oswald co-worker at the Texas School Book Depository, testified that he hadn't heard of a motorcade until the morning of November 22:

Representative FORD. When did you first learn of the President's motorcade route?

Mr. JARMAN. That morning.

Representative FORD. Friday morning, November 22d?

Mr. JARMAN. Yes, sir.

Representative FORD. How did you find out about it?

Mr. JARMAN. The foreman of the employees on the first floor.

Representative FORD. What is his name?

Mr. JARMAN. William Shelley was standing up talking to Mrs. Lee.

Representative FORD. To Mrs. Lee?

Mr. JARMAN. Miss Lee, or Mrs. Lee, I think, and he was discussing to her about the President coming, asked her was she going to stand out there and see him pass.

Representative FORD. About what time Friday morning was this?

Mr. JARMAN. I imagine it would be about--I think it was between 8:30 and 9:00. I am not sure.

Representative FORD. You hadn't read about it in the papers the night before or that morning?

Mr. JARMAN. No, sir.

( 3 H 209-210 )

Jarman testified that he told Oswald between 9:30 and 10:30 on the morning of the assassination that the motorcade was coming by the Book Depository:

Representative FORD. When did you have this conversation with Lee Oswald, where he asked you--you told him that the motorcade was coming by the School Book Depository Building?

Mr. JARMAN. It was some time that morning, between 9:30 and 10:30.

Representative FORD. This was after you heard Mr. Shelley and Miss or Mrs. Lee talk?

Mr. JARMAN. Discuss it---yes.

Representative FORD. Did Oswald ask you, or did you initiate the conversation and tell Oswald of the route?

Mr. JARMAN. He asked me.

Representative FORD. What was his reaction?

Mr. JARMAN. After I had told him the route that the President probably would take, he just said, "Oh, I see" and went back to filling orders.

( ibid. )

Not only did Jarman not see the motorcade route in the paper, but apparently neither did Oswald. Jarman testified that Oswald "asked me did I know which way he ( JFK ) was coming":

Mr. JARMAN. Well, he was standing up in the window and I went to the window also, and he asked me what were the people gathering around on the corner for, and I told him that the President was supposed to pass that morning, and he asked me did I know which way he was coming, and I told him, yes; he probably come down Main and turn on Houston and then back again on Elm. Then he said, "Oh, I see," and that was all.

( 3 H 201 )

Jarman first reported this incident to the Dallas Police on November 23rd, while Oswald was in custody but still alive.

Speculation.--Oswald could not have known the motorcade route before he arrived at work on November 22.
Commission finding.--The motorcade route was published in both Dallas papers on November 19 and was therefore available at least 72 hours before Oswald reported for work on November 22.

( Report, pg. 642 )


One of the necessities of proving premeditation in this case is Oswald's prior knowledge of the motorcade route. If Oswald did not know by Thursday morning that President Kennedy would pass his building, he could not have planned to shoot the President.

The closest the Commission came to proving prior knowledge was to assert that Oswald could have known the motorcade route as early as November 19, when it appeared in the papers.

It never established, however, that Oswald did know the route.

In fact, the evidence suggests just the opposite.

No one reading the Dallas papers could have known the exact route because conflicting accounts were published.

Although both the Dallas Morning News and the Times-Herald carried the release of the motorcade route on the 19th, including the turn onto Elm St. ( 22 H 614 - 615 ), the next day, the Morning News described the motorcade route with no mention of the Elm St. turn. ( 22 H 616 )