Baker, Roy Truly Encounter


The time of the Kennedy assassination is infamously recorded as taken place at 12:30 pm, on Friday, November 22, 1963.  However, the more precise time was 12:30 pm, and 47 seconds (as determined by the House Select Committee on Assassinations), with the duration of it lasting anywhere from 5.6 seconds, to 8.3, depending on whom you talk to.  I myself am going with the Committee’s time of 8.3 seconds, thus putting the assassination ending at 12:30 pm, and 55.3 seconds 1.

Dallas motorcycle patrolman Marion Baker, who was taking part in the motorcade, had just turned onto Houston, from Main, when he heard what he immediately recognized as rifle fire 2.  Then, after hearing two more shots, he raced up to what he believed to be the location of the shots: The intersection of Elm and Houston.

At Elm and Houston were three buildings.  The Texas School Book Depository was at the northwest corner, the Dal-Tex Building was at the northeast corner, and the Dallas County Records Building was at the southeast corner…It was the first two that caught his attention.  He had seen pigeons fly off from their direction (after hearing the shots) 3 4.

Pulling up to the Depository, Baker dismounted his bike, raced up the front steps, and ran inside the building.  In response, building Superintendent Roy Truly, who had been outside himself, quickly followed him.  Baker didn’t enter the building because he saw anything in particular; he just had a haunch.

With Roy Truly in the lead, the two went to the back of the building, and to the location of the elevators.  Finding both stuck on the fifth floor 5 6, and not being able to calling either one down, they then headed to the northwest staircase.

Still in the lead, Roy Truly ascended the staircase to the second floor landing, where he saw no one. Continuing up to the third, he was followed by Baker, who was lagging behind by a few feet 7.

When Baker reached the second floor landing, he caught a glimpse of a man walking away from the interior side of the second floor hallway door (it had a built-in glass window) 8.  This hallway door opened up to a vestibule, which itself had doors leading to offices, restrooms, and a lunchroom 9. When Baker saw this man, he immediately followed.

Inside the vestibule, Baker saw where this man had entered a nearby lunchroom, which was east of, and some 20 feet away.  Reaching the lunchroom entrance himself, he hollered out to the man to come back to him, and he did.  Roy Truly, who had taken stock of the fact that the officer was no longer following him, came back down stairs and found him confronting Oswald.

With gun drawn, and pointing at Oswald, Baker asked Truly if he knew this man: He said yes, he did…that he worked there.  With this, Baker then let him go.

Officially, from this point forward, Oswald bought himself a coke.  I say officially, because Baker made out a report, to the FBI, which said that Oswald already had a coke, when he stopped him. However, when Baker testified beforehand to the Warren Commission, he said just the opposite, and Roy Truly concurred.  Baker would scratch out this part on his report 10.

After buying the coke, Oswald left the Depository all together, at 12:33 pm, via the front entrance. On his way out, he encountered yet another witness to his whereabouts, a Ms. Reid.  It is she, who first officially saw him with a full bottle of coke.

All said; the Warren Commission had two important issues to contend with: How long it took Baker to encounter Oswald, and whether or not Oswald could have made it downstairs in time to encounter Baker!  So on March 20, 1964, they did two sets of re-enactments: One to determine the timing of Baker’s actions, and the other to determine the timing of Oswald’s.  They also did a set of re-enactments to determine when Ms. Reid had her own encounter with Oswald.

The Timing of Baker
Oswald: Did He Do Any Work on the Day of the Assassination?
Dealey Plaza Street Layout Finished extended.png