Copyright 2015 © Gilbert Jesus. All rights reserved.
Worrell's statement that he had seen "12 inches of barrel sticking out of a window", was consistent with those of other witnesses who saw the barrel. Even more significant is that ALL of the witnesses' descriptions of the length of the barrel eliminated any possibility that the Mannlicher-Carcano was the rifle they saw.
As for Worrell, by the time he testified before the Commission on March 10, 1964, he had only seen 6 inches of the rifle and 2 inches of that was the wooden stock.
So what changed his testimony in those 4 months ?
Worrell testified that on the Wednesday before his appearance before the Commission, he got a phone call from Dallas Secret Service Chief Forrest Sorrels.
Mr. WORRELL. Well, Mr. Sorrels interviewed me when he called me and asked me some questions when he called me up Wednesday night, I guess it was.
Mr. SPECTER. Was that in relationship to your coming here to this Commission hearing?
Mr. WORRELL. Yes.
Mr. SPECTER. What sort of questions did Mr. Sorrels ask you?
Mr. WORRELL. What I saw. And I told him.
( 2 H 199 )
The head of the Dallas branch of the Secret Service had no business contacting a witness just prior to his appearance before the Commission to ask him what he saw. The Secret Service was not the lead investigative agency in the case. The FBI was. And if Sorrels had any questions he felt needed to be asked of the witness, he should have forwarded those questions to the Commission.
If this had been a court case, the case would have been thrown out just on this.
It's called witness tampering. And if the defense ever got wind that the prosecution or any law officer had been trying to influence a witness' testimony, it would have filed a motion with the court for dismissal of the charges. And if I were the prosecutor in the case, I would be furious.
But that didn't bother the Warren Commission. In fact, they never asked Worrell specifically what questions he was asked. They never deposed his mother, who he claimed answered the phone and talked to Sorrels for 15 minutes before he got on. ( 2 H 199 ) They never asked Worrell to explain how 12 inches of barrel on November 23, 1963 had shrunk to 4 inches of barrel and 2 inches of stock in March of 1964.
And they never asked Sorrels a single question about it. Never asked WHY he was interested in the kid's testimony. They completely ignored it.
In addition, the Commission never addressed it in their Report. They just let it go.
He described the rifle he saw to the Commission.
Mr. WORRELL. I saw about 6 inches of the gun, the rifle. It had--well it had a regular long barrel but it had a long stock and you could only see maybe 4 inches of the barrel, and I could see--
Mr. SPECTER. Were you able to observe any of the stock?
Mr. WORRELL. Oh, yes.
Mr. SPECTER. How much of the stock were you able to observe?
Mr. WORRELL. Just very little, just about 2 inches.
Mr. SPECTER. How many inches of the barrel then could you observe protruding beyond the stock?
Mr. WORRELL. About 4 inches, I would say, not very much.
( 2 H 193 )
Pretty convincing, huh ? But how did he know it had a long barrel if he only saw 4 inches of it ?
Because he saw more than 4 inches of it.
On page 19 of Commission Document 5 we find the statement Worrell gave to the FBI the day after the assassination. In it, he told the FBI that he saw 12 inches of the barrel.
James Worrell was a 20 year old who was standing on the corner of Houston St and Elm St, six stories directly below the "sniper's window". During his testimony, he marked his position with an "X" and the position of the window where he saw the rifle with an "Y". It is Commission Exhibit 360. I've colored those in red.
Other witnesses described a barrel too long to be the Depository rifle.
Robert Hill Jackson was a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald who was riding in one of the press cars in the motorcade.
Mr. SPECTER. What is your best estimate of how many inches of the rifle that you observed?
Mr. JACKSON. I saw the barrel and about half--well, I did not see a telescopic sight, but I did see part of the stock, so I guess maybe 8 or 10 inches of the stock maybe. I did see part of the stock, I did not see the sight.
Mr. SPECTER. Eight or ten inches of the stock, and how much of the barrel would you estimate?
Mr. JACKSON. I guess possibly a foot.
( 2 H 161-162 )
Malcolm O. Couch was a part-time television news cameraman with WFAA-TV in Dallas. He was riding in the same press car as Jackson and he described the rifle he saw.
"......Jackson, who was, as I recall, on my right, yelled something like, "Look up in the window! There's the rifle!" And I remember glancing up to a window on the far right, which at the time impressed me as the sixth or seventh floor, and seeing about a foot of a rifle being---the barrel brought into the window. I saw no one in that window---just a quick l-second glance at the barrel."
Mr. BELIN. Did you see any of the stock of the rifle?
Mr. Couch. No.
Mr.BELIN. Did you see anything more than a steel barrel of a rifle?
Mr. COUCH. No.
( 6 H 157 )
Amos Euins was a 15 year old who testified that he saw the barrel sticking out the window and at first thought it was some sort of pipe.
Mr. SPECTER. And how long was the piece of pipe that you saw?
Mr. EUINS. It was sticking out about that much.
Mr. SPECTER. About 14 or 15 inches?
Mr. EUINS. Yes, sir. And then after I seen it sticking out, after awhile, that is when I heard the shot, and everybody started looking around.
Mr. SPECTER. At that time, Amos, did you see anything besides the end of the pipe?
Mr. EUINS. No, sir.
( 2 H 206 )
These witnesses all described a rifle with a barrel of between 12 and 15 inches, two of them testifying that they saw that much barrel without seeing any part of the wooden stock, evidence that the rifle fired from the 6th floor window was NOT the 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano alleged to have been the murder weapon.
Several witnesses claimed to have seen the rifle either just before or during the shooting. Their descriptions of the rifle in the window do not support that rifle being the 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano.
Assassination witness Arnold Rowland stood across the street from the Texas School Book Depository with his wife and claimed to see a man with a rifle in the west corner of the sixth floor at around 12:15 pm.
"....I noticed on the sixth floor of the building that there was a man back from the window, not hanging out the window. He was standing and holding a rifle, This appeared to me to be a fairly high-powered rifle because of the scope and the relative proportion of the scope to the rifle, you can tell about what type of rifle it is. You can tell it isn't a .22, you know, and we thought momentarily that maybe we should tell someone but then the thought came to us that it is a security agent.....this was on the west corner of the building."
( 2 H 169 )
Rowland goes on to describe the rifle he saw.
Mr. SPECTER. Can you describe the rifle with any more particularity than you already have?
Mr. ROWLAND. No. In proportion to the scope it appeared to me to be a .30-odd size 6, a deer rifle with a fairly large or powerful scope.
Mr. SPECTER. When you say, .30-odd-6, exactly what did you mean by that?
Mr. ROWLAND. That is a rifle that is used quite frequently for deer hunting. It is an import.
( 2 H 170 )
He later repeated that "....it looked like a very high-powered rifle." ( 2 H 173 )
Rowland's description was of a rifle that could not have been the Mannlicher-Carcano.
Some spectators at Houston and Elm Streets, however, did see a rifle being fired in the direction of the President's car from the easternmost window of the sixth floor on the south side of the building. Other witnesses saw a rifle in this window immediately after the assassination. ( Warren Report, pg. 61 )
Evidence the Rifle in the Window was NOT a Carcano