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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Josiah Thompson on Jim Garrison's Shot from the Sewer

Headline from the front page of the Los Angeles Free Press of Dec 22 - 28, 1967

At the end of 1967, Jim Garrison went public with allegations that JFK was shot from a sewer on Elm Street. Here are my three previous blog posts on this topic:

Jim Garrison sent Stephen Jaffe to Dallas to investigate the possibility of a shot from the sewer on Elm Street.

Garrison is interviewed about the shot from the Sewer.

The actual press releases sent out by Jim Garrison about the shot from the sewer.

The December 22 - 28, 1967 issue of the Los Angeles Free Press covered the shot from the sewer (the front-page headline is above). Here is the entire article:

In the January 5, 1968 issue of the Los Angeles Free Press, there was an article entitled, "Prof. Thompson Defends Garrison."

The article was based on an interview with Thompson and was largely about his book Six Seconds in Dallas. However, he also made a few comments about Jim Garrison.

Thompson also wrote the Los Angeles Free Press, and included a critique of Garrison's sewer shot:

Bonus letter: Sylvia Meagher to Thomas Stamm about Garrison's interview on WFAA:

Martin: You said a moment ago you would show us or tell us where you think that bullet was fired from, that the man was picking up from the grass there. Where do you think it was fired from?

Garrison: Well ... this is going to be the first time I've ever shown this, but we've gotten a little tired of hearing people like Earl Warren and Ramsey Clark, who ought to know better, saying repeatedly, that they've seen nothing new. Well, I'm going to show them something new. I think we just showed something new in this 45 caliber bullet because they've never mentioned it in 26 volumes. Right next to where the President was killed, just a little bit in front of where the President was killed, there is a sewer opening. Underneath Dealey Plaza there is a drainage system. Dealey Plaza used to have a bunch of houses and they were taken down to make the plaza. You have a surface drainage system with pipes through which men can crawl. The small ones are 15 inches wide, and the large ones are 30 inches wide. One of the assassins went, got his, made his exit through the subsurface drainage system. The one who went through the drainage system was the man who killed the President, who fired the 45 from the right by the side of the car and tore the President's head off. Now we went into the sewer one morning early in Dallas, got in in the dark, put the top down and we found a man fits in there very easily, we also found that after shooting from it it's easy to crawl under the street through the 15 inch pipe, when you're in a 30 inch sewer which leads out of Dealey Plaza to another part of the town. Entrance can be gained through two ways to the sewer area. I don't have a picture of the sewer here, but you can take pictures in Dallas. Entrance can be gained directly above the sewer through a manhole.

Martin: Behind the grassy knoll?

Garrison: Well, no, that's another place but it can be entered above it by removing the cover of the manhole. You remember about an hour before there was a truck parked over the pavement which Julia Mercer saw but there can also be entrance behind the picket fence through a 3x3 grating down by the overpass which lifts up, you get in and you crawl through the 15 inch tunnel and you'll end up, there's only room for one man in the manhole but he can stand up in the manhole and when he gets in there he has a clear view of the occupants of a convertible from the chest up. In other [...] we didn't know until we put a man in there in the dark hours of the morning and waited until the sun came up and took photographs that you could see so clearly to the occupants inside the car, but you can.

Martin: All right, when you are inside the vantage point, from inside, where is that in relation to where the man was picking up something from the grassy areas across the street?

Garrison: Well, it's in a cattycorner kind of way. It's opposite, actually this is the proper way. The shooting was not due South it was towards the car as it approached diagonally slightly and if the line continues that's where the bullet ended up with the pieces of the President's head surrounding it. This is the bullet that disappeared as soon as the federal ... got its hands on it. The 45-caliber bullet from a handgun which was fired from the sewer.

Martin: Mr. Garrison, do you believe you have the identity of the person who was in that sewer?

Garrison: I would, I would not be accurate if I said I had the identity of the man in the sewer. We now have a number of names of individuals who apparently were at the operating level. I'd say four but there were so many more that I'd rather not speculate which one was standing where, so in all honesty, I'd have to say the identity of that particular man, no.


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