Copyright 2015 © Gilbert Jesus. All rights reserved.

Author/researcher Harold Weisberg summed up Whaley as a witness nicely:

The commission failed to show why Whaley would have entered a time of 12:30 in his log for a fare that started at 12:47 or 12:48 as it claimed. If Whaley made entries in his log in 15-minute intervals, and Oswald entered the cab after 12:45, shouldn't THAT be on the log as the starting time ? And what of Whaley's description of his passenger ? Even though the man sat in the front seat, Whaley could not identify either of Oswald's work pants as those the passenger wore. He claimed that the passenger wore BOTH of Oswald's jackets, one over the other, even though one of those jackets was in the Texas School Book Depository at the time of his fare. He went to a live lineup, selected someone other than Oswald, then signed a sworn affidavit without reading it first.


An affidavit that had been altered.


And if that wasn't enough, his passenger left the taxi and walked in the OPPOSITE direction of Oswald's rooming house.

There's another reason why I believe Whaley's passenger wasn't Oswald. If you look at the affidavits listed above, you'll see that in all versions, Whaley's passenger walked in an angle SOUTH on Beckley after exiting the cab, when Oswald's rooming house was NORTH of where Whaley let his passenger out.

Or perhaps the man who rode in his taxi that day was NOT Oswald.

When the participants in the lineups entered the stage, they entered from left to right, with # 4 entering first, then # 3, then # 2 and finally # 1 entering last. This is reflected in the testimony of Dallas Officer Walter Potts' description of lineup # 4 in which Daniel Lujan, who was # 4 in that lineup, entered the stage first:

Lujan went on first, because he would be No. 4. ( 7 H 200 )

So Whaley could not have mistaken # 2 for # 3.

But instead of investigating this conflict further, the Commission contended that Whaley's memory of the lineup simply was in error:

Whaley's memory of the lineup is inaccurate......Whaley said that Oswald was the man under No. 2. Actually Oswald was under No. 3.  ( Report, Chap. 4, pg. 161 )

Whaley never said Oswald was # 2. He said that the man he CHOSE was # 2.

Representative FORD. Did you point him out with your hand?
Mr. WHALEY. No, sir; I did not. They asked me which number he was standing under and he was standing under No. 2.

(  2 H 294 )


Whaley's "inaccurate memory" served to save the Commission the trouble of explaining how William Scoggins, who viewed the same lineup as Whaley did ( 3 H 337 ), testified that Oswald was under # 3.

Mr. BELIN. Did you identify anyone in the lineup?
Mr. SCOGGINS. I identified the one we are talking about, Oswald. I identified him.


( 3 H 334 )

Mr. BELIN. What number man in the lineup did you identify as having seen on November 22?
Mr. SCOGGINS. Number 3.

( 3 H 335 )


So if Oswald was under # 3 and being identified as # 3 by Scoggins, who was under number 2 ?

18 year old David Edmond Knapp was the # 2 man in that lineup ( 7 H 200 ) and Knapp lived in Oak Cliff ( 7 H 201 ) , the exact same section of the city that Whaley claimed he had given the cab ride to.

It's pretty obvious that Scoggins and Whaley chose different men out of the lineup. Whaley gave a sworn statement, which he said he signed, then went down to view the police lineup where he selected # 2. When he came back, he signed a typewritten statement that said that he selected # 3. This created a conflict in the evidence that resulted in the Commission's conclusion that Whaley's memory was "inaccurate" as to who he selected in the lineup and its assurance in spite of evidence to the contrary, that "he chose Oswald".

In this version, Whaley identifies the # 3 man in the lineup and we have the woman coming up to the cab at the Greyhound station. Notice in this version, the grammar is terrible-- the writer writes that the passenger "walked at and ( sic ) angle" rather than "at an angle" as Montgomery wrote. Also, there's no indication who the author was. It's obvious that this version was not written by Montgomery.

The procedure for taking affidavits involved city officers or sheriff's deputies handwriting witness statements, then a typist would type it out and the witness would swear that the information in it was correct.

Commission counsel pressed Whaley over what the HANDWRITTEN affidavit said, Whaley confessed that he hadn't read it:

Mr. BELIN. Now, when you signed it--what I want to know is, before you went down, had they already put on there a statement that the man you saw was the No. 3 man in the lineup?
Mr. WHALEY. I don't remember that. I don't remember whether it said three or two, or what.
Mr. BELIN. Did they have any statements on there before you went down to the lineup?
Mr. WHALEY. I never saw what they had in there. It was all written out by hand. The statement I saw, I think, was this one, and that could be writing. I might not even seen this one yet.

Then he dropped a bomb on the Commission by implying that he was not allowed to read it: 

"I signed my name because they said that is what I said." ( 6 H 431 )

The fact is that the witness' sworn TYPED affidavit IN EVIDENCE was contrary to the witness' sworn testimony and the Dallas Police never gave the witness an opportunity to proofread the typewritten version of his affidavit before signing it.

 Commission Counsel tried to confuse the witness between Numbers 2 & 3 in the lineup :

Mr. BELIN. Do you remember what number he was in the lineup at all?
Mr. WHALEY. There was four of them, sir, and from the right to the left, he was No. 3.
Mr. BELIN. Starting from the right to the left, from his right or your right.
Mr. WHALEY. From your right, sir, which would have been his left. There were numbers above their heads, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Mr. Whaley, what number did you say the man was in the lineup?
Mr. WHALEY. No. 2.
Mr. BELIN. From the right or from your right?
Mr. WHALEY. From my left. 
Mr. BELIN. No. 2?
Mr. WHALEY. They brought out four of them and stood them up there, and he was under No. 2. I mentioned he was the third one that come out. There were four and all handcuffed together.

( 6 H 430 )

Whaley's memory of how the lineup was conducted was without error. The numbers on the stage were numbered from left to right. 

Mr. BROWN. .... numbering, facing the stage from your left to right.
Mr. BELIN. You mean your left, the observers left?
Mr. BROWN. Yes; the observers left to his right.

( 7 H 249 )

If Whaley's TYPEWRITTEN affidavit was copied from THIS handwritten version, why isn't Whaley's alleged selection of # 3 ( Oswald ) on this version ? Why is this version missing the account of the woman who came up to the cab ?

Montgomery testified that he was the one who took the affidavit from Whaley:


Mr. MONTGOMERY. I didn't take an affidavit from him ( Scoggins ) --no, sir; I took one from Mr. Whaley.
Mr. BALL. Now, did you attend a showup?
Mr. MONTGOMERY. No, sir; I didn't attend any showups.
Mr. BALL. You didn't?
Mr. MONTGOMERY. No.
Mr. BALL. But you took an affidavit from Mr. Whaley?
Mr. MONTGOMERY. From Mr. Whaley--yes, sir.

( 7 H 99 )

 
But there is a second handwritten version of Whaley's statement and it doesn't take a handwriting expert to see that this one was not written by Montgomery.

Two different handwritten versions of Whaley's statement

The first one appears to be the actual affidavit taken by Detective L.D. Montgomery.

Whaley's Selection of Oswald from a Police Lineup

On Saturday afternoon 11/23/63, Whaley, along with another cab driver named William Scoggins, viewed a police lineup that included Oswald, two teenagers and a Mexican-American. Whaley testified that he chose the # 2 man in the lineup as his passenger from the Greyhound Bus Station to the 500 block of North Beckley in Oak Cliff. But his affidavit indicated that the man in the lineup he chose was # 3.

 The Commission questioned Mr. Whaley on the discrepancy:

Mr. BELIN. All right. Now in here it says, "The No. 3 man who I now know is Lee Harvey Oswald was the man who I carried from the Greyhound Bus Station* * *" Was this the No. 3 or the No. 2 man?
Mr. WHALEY. I signed that statement before they carried me down to see the lineup. I signed this statement, and then they carried me down to the lineup at 2:30 in the afternoon.

( 6 H 430 )

Whaley then changes his testimony by saying that the police wrote out a HANDWRITTEN statement and in the middle of that statement, he was made to go down to view the lineup. When he came back, he signed a TYPEWRITTEN statement.

Mr. WHALEY. Let me tell you how they fixed this up. They had me in the office saying that. They were writing it out on paper, and they wrote it out on paper, and this officer, Leavelle, I think that is his name, before he finished and before I signed he wanted me to go with him to the lineup, so I went to the lineup, and I come back and he asked me which one it was, which number it was, and I identified the man, and we went back up in the office again, and then they had me sign this. That is as near as I can remember.
( ibid. )


But there's only one thing wrong with Whaley's explanation: if he viewed the lineup mid-statement, there should only be one version of his statement.


As one can see, Commission Exhibit 150 has no stripe. In addition, Whaley testified that he told the FBI that the shirt had a stripe in it, then during his testimony, he says that he "just noticed" the stripe.

Mr. WHALEY. .... I wouldn't be sure of the shirt if it hadn't had that light stripe in it. I just noticed that. ( 2 H 260 )

Commission counsel never established when exactly Mr. Whaley "noticed" the stripe that wasn't there. 

In addition, counsel puts words in the witness' mouth by claiming that the witness identified the rust brown shirt with a gold stripe:

Mr. BALL. Wait a minute, we have got the shirt which you have identified as the rust brown shirt with the gold stripe in it.
Mr. WHALEY. Yes, sir.
( ibid. )

The witness never identified the stripe as being gold. He described the stripe as "silverlike" and "light".

In his affidavit ( below ) , he described the passenger's shirt has being a "dark shirt with white spots of something on it"

What we have in the case of William Whaley is a witness who was caught between what he actually saw and his desire to cooperate with the authorities-- in other words, to tell them what they wanted to hear.

And nowhere was that more evident than in Whaley's selection of Oswald from a police lineup.

After not being able to decide which jacket his passenger had on, Whaley's testimony was that his passenger wore BOTH JACKETS AT ONCE, the blue jacket, Commission Exhibit 163 over the grey jacket, Commission Exhibit 162. Of course, this is ridiculous because Oswald's blue jacket was found in the Texas School Book Depository after the assassination.

At this point, Commission counsel should have recognized that Whaley was a witness without credibility, thanked him for his appearance before the Commission, and excused him from further testimony. There was no need to waste the Commission's time and the taxpayers' money on a witness whose testimony was so outrageous.

But that didn't happen.

With regard to the shirt his passenger was wearing, here is where Whaley shines. He identifies Oswald's rust brown shirt, the shirt he was arrested in ( Commission Exhibit 150 ) , as the shirt his passenger wore. 

Mr BALL. I have some clothing here. Commission Exhibit No. 150, does that look like the shirt?
Mr. WHALEY. That is the shirt, sir, it has my initials on it.
Mr. BALL. In other words, this is the shirt the man had on?
Mr. WHALEY. Yes, sir; that is the same one the FBI man had me identify.
Mr. BALL. This is the shirt the man had on who took your car at Lamar and Jackson?
Mr. WHALEY. As near as I can recollect as I told him. I said that is the shirt he had on because it had a kind of little stripe in it, light-colored stripe. I noticed that.

( 2 H 259 )

Whaley never did identify any of Oswald's pants as the pants worn by his passenger. His testimony was only to the COLOR of the pants, and as we have seen, that changed considerably as his testimony continued.

Keep in mind that Whaley wavered in describing the color of his passenger's pants in spite of the fact that his passenger sat in the FRONT seat of the cab. ( 2 H 256 )

But if Whaley's credibility was lacking in regard to the color of his passenger's pants, his description of his passenger's jacket leaves no doubt that this witness' credibility ends up in the garbage heap.

Mr. BALL. Here is Commission No. 162 which is a gray jacket with zipper.
Mr. WHALEY. I think that is the jacket he had on when he rode with me in the cab.
Mr. BALL. Look something like it? And here is Commission Exhibit No. 163, does this look like anything he had on?
Mr. WHALEY. He had this one on or the other one.
Mr. BALL. That is right.
Mr. WHALEY. That is what I told you I noticed. I told you about the shirt being open, he had on the two jacketswith the open shirt.
Mr. BALL. Wait a minute, we have got the shirt which you have identified as the rust brown shirt with the gold stripe in it.
Mr. WHALEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. You said that a jacket--
Mr. WHALEY. That jacket now it might have been clean, but the jacket he had on looked more the color, you know like a uniform set, but he had this coat here on over that other jacket, I am sure, sir.
Mr. BALL. This is the blue-gray jacket, heavy blue-gray jacket.
Mr. WHALEY. Yes, sir.
( 2 H 260 )

The Commission explained this away by stating in its report that the 12:30 entry was not precise, that Whaley logged in times in 15-minute intervals.

"Whaley testified that he did not keep an accurate time record of his trips but recorded them by the quarter hour.." ( Report, pg. 161 )

But that's not true. Looking at the timesheet one can see numerous entries that were NOT in 15-minute intervals. ( red squares )

The Commission never questioned the witness about his entries of 6:20, 7:50, 8:10, 8:20, 9:40, 10:50, or 3:10, even though it had the above copy of his timesheet. Instead, it used Whaley's lack of " an accurate time record" to have Oswald entering Whaley's cab at 12:47 or 12:48 and leaving it at about 12:54. ( Report, pg. 163 )

The Commission never explained why it's timing sequence for Oswald's entry into the cab was BEYOND the 15-minute interval of 12:30-12:45 nor did it explain how it had Oswald entering the cab at a time AFTER the timesheet had Whaley's 12:30 fare already at his destination and long gone.

 
Whaley's Description of His Passenger

One of the more obvious examples of Whaley's lack of credibility comes in his description of the clothing of the passenger who the Commission claimed was Oswald.

"He was dressed in just ordinary work clothes. It wasn't khaki pants but they were khaki material, blue faded blue color, like a blue uniform made in khaki. Then he had on a brown shirt with a little silverlike stripe on it and he had on some kind of jacket, I didn't notice very close but I think it was a work jacket that almost matched the pants. ( 2 H 255 )

 
But shortly later in his testimony, Whaley changed his mind about the blue faded work pants and identified Commission Exhibit 157, Oswald's light grey pants, as the same color as the pants his passenger wore:

Mr. BALL. Here are two pair of pants, Commission Exhibit No. 157 and Commission Exhibit No. 156. Does it look anything like that?
Mr. WHALEY. I don't think I can identify the pants except they were the same color as that, sir.
Mr. BALL. Which color?
Mr. WHALEY. More like this lighter color, at least they were cleaner or something.
Mr. BALL. That is 157?
Mr. WHALEY. Yes, sir.
( 2 H 259-260 )

Problem with the entry on the cab manifest

An examination of William Whaley's timesheet indicates that the fare the Commission said was Oswald was picked up at the Greyhound Bus station at 12:30 PM, exactly the time that the shots were being fired in Dealey Plaza. How could Oswald be firing his rifle at the motorcade and be in a cab heading home at the same time ?

William Whaley, a taxicab driver, told his employer on Saturday morning, November 23, that he recognized Oswald from a newspaper photograph as a man whom he had driven to the Oak Cliff area the day before. Notified of Whaley's statement, the police brought him to the police station that afternoon. He was taken to the lineup room where, according to Whaley, five young teenagers, all handcuffed together, were displayed with Oswald. He testified that Oswald looked older than the other boys. The police asked him whether he could pick out his passenger from the lineup. Whaley picked Oswald. -- ( Report, Page 161 )

The Cab Ride