TESTIMONY OF JAMES J. ROWLEY
Chairman STOKES. Thank you. You may be seated. The Chair recognizes Counsel Leodis Matthews.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Rowley, in 1963 where were you at the time of the John F. Kennedy assassination?
Chief ROWLEY. I was at the Treasury law enforcement training school's graduation luncheon, a restaurant in Washington, D.C. I was summoned to the telephone and was informed by Mr. Behn, who was at that time agent in charge of the White House detail, that the President was shot. I immediately notified Mr. Bob Wallace, who was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, in attendance at the luncheon, of the nature of the telephone call, and both of us immediately proceeded to the East Wing of the White House, where Mr. Behn's office was located.
Mr. MATTHEWS. What did you do in regards to assigning responsibility for the assassination to anyone in the Secret Service?
Chief ROWLEY. I spoke to Paul Paterni, the deputy chief, and asked him who was the nearest inspector to Dallas, Tex., having in mind that time was of the essence. He reported back that Inspector Kelley was just leaving Louisville, Ky. We were able to reach Inspector Kelley at the airport and told him to proceed immediately to Dallas.
Mr. MATTHEWS. At the time you made that assignment to Inspector Kelley, did you give him any specific instructions of what he should do when he reached Dallas?
Chief ROWLEY. I did not speak to him, but I am quite sure that Deputy Chief Paterni did. Paterni told him to take charge of the investigation, which was also my thought at the time we decided to send him there.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Soon after Inspector Kelly arrived in Dallas and began his investigation, you received a communique through the mail, an office report, indicating that there had been a Chicago investigation of some Cubans?
Chief ROWLEY. I did not get that.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Mr. Rowley, let me just call your attention to JFK F-419, a document I believe that I have supplied you earlier.
Chief ROWLEY. Yes.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Have you had occasion to read through that report?
Chief ROWLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. MATTHEWS. That report indicates that you received it shortly after the assassination. It was entitled, "Possible Involvement by
Quentin Pino Machado in a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK." Did you review that report?
Chief ROWLEY. I do not think I reviewed that report. I did not see my initials on it, so therefore I have to assume I did not review it.
Mr. MATTHEWS. 1 also call your attention to JFK F-422, a document which you also have in your possession, entitled, "Chicago Investigation of Cuban Groups Alleged To Be Involved in the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy."
Do you have any recollection of having received and reviewed that report?
Chief ROWLEY. I think my initials are on that report which would indicate that I did read it, but I have no immediate recollection.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Did you receive any report about the agents' performance in Dallas?
Chief ROWLEY. We did receive reports from time to time on Dallas, but which specific report are you referring to?
Mr. MATTHEWS. Well, did you receive a report indicating how the agents had performed at the time that the shooting episode occurred in Dealey Plaza?
Chief ROWLEY. The report indicated that they performed adequately under the circumstances. The action of Agent Clint Hill, that he was attempting to take some action, is indicative of the agent's response.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Did you play any role in supervising the investigation itself?
Chief ROWLEY. No, sir.
Mr. MATTHEWS. I want to call your attention to what has been marked as JFK F-423, "Secret Service Organizational Chart," off to your right. In your opinion, would the Service have been organized in substantially the same manner in November of 1963?
Chief ROWLEY. Yes.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Would Mr. Kelley's position on the chart have indicated that he had authority in the field office to direct that the
agents conduct whatever investigation he felt was necessary?
Chief ROWLEY. Yes, sir, he had that authority.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Did you ever establish any other panel or reviewing board or authority for the Dallas investigation?
Chief ROWLEY. Offhand, I do not recall any review panel, unless you have in mind what I heard this morning, that Mr. Kelly conducted a meeting in which they discussed the intelligence aspect of the Service.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Did that meeting occur in Washington?
Chief ROWLEY. I believe it did. It would have, been at the PRS office.
Mr. MATTHEWS. What was the purpose of that meeting?
Chief ROWLEY. Mr. Kelley described it in this morning's hearing. I was not aware of it at the time. Today is the first time I became aware of the meeting.
Mr. MATTHEWS. At the time of the assassination, had the Secret Service established any procedures for the handling of physical evidence?
Chief ROWLEY. I think basically they handled the physical evidence as they would any other evidence, particularly evidence in the criminal field.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Mr. Kelley mentioned that there was some confusion as to what the scope of the Secret Service investigation was. What authority did the Secret Service have to participate in the investigation?
Chief ROWLEY. We were involved in the investigation in that we had the responsibility of protecting the President. The reason for my dispatching Mr. Kelley to Dallas was to supervise the investigation, to ascertain the facts as quickly as possible.
Mr. MATTHEWS. The Chief of the intelligence branch of the Secret Service testified before this committee that he was removed from his position for what he interpreted as the failure of his mission. Were you responsible for his removal?
Chief ROWLEY. In the course of reorganizing the protective research division itself, and because of the infusions of additional agents into that division to handle and evaluate the many reports from the C/A and FBI that we were receiving at that time which required considerable supervision, we assigned an inspector to supervise the whole operation until the workload became less demanding.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Did you make any effort to close off the Texas-Mexico border?
Chief ROWLEY. My first reaction was to ask the Immigration and Naturalization to close off the border between Texas and Mexico.
Mr. MATTHEWS. And at the time you made that request,, what thoughts did you have as to what should be done?
Chief ROWLEY. At that time, because of the proximity of the border to Dallas, I thought that there might be the possibility of someone escaping via that route.
Mr. MATTHEWS. In your own mind, in discussions with the persons convened on your staff to discuss the Secret Service role in the assassination, were there any thoughts that perhaps a person of international character may have been involved in the assassination?
Chief ROWLEY. There were those thoughts, and that was one of the reasons why I asked Immigration and Naturalization to close the border.
Mr. MATTHEWS. When the Warren Commission was established,
you selected Mr. Kelley to be the liaison person?
Chief ROWLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Why did you make that selection?
Chief ROWLEY. Why? Because it was a natural selection, inasmuch as he was in Dallas to conduct the investigation, and would be familiar with what might be required by the Warren Commission, and therefore would be of great assistance to them.
Mr. MATTHEWS. As Chief of the Secret Service, did you ever make any attempts to meet with the person in charge of the FBI and formulate a strategy for investigation?
Chief ROWLEY. I did meet with Mr. Hoover and, we reaffirmed the longstanding cooperative relationship between our two agencies.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Did you have any input on a strategy of investigation for the Warren Commission?
Chief ROWLEY. I think we did prepare something for the Warren Commission. Specifically I do not recall, but I have in the back of my mind such a report.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Mr. Kelley has already testified to some exhibits I would like to identify for the record which you have a copy of: of JFK F-414, of JFK F-415, of JFK F-416, JFK F-417, and JFK F-418, a series of reports which his testimony has indicated involved the Secret Service investigation of the Cuban plot to assassinate the President.
Were you aware of those reports during the course of the Warren Commission investigation?
Chief ROWLEY. No, I have no recollection of them.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Do you have any recollection of having reviewed those documents?
Chief ROWLEY. No, sir. You mean at that time, or recently?
Mr. MATTHEWS. At the time that the documents were generated.
Chief ROWLEY. No.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Did you work out any agreement as to which files would be supplied to the Warren Commission?
Chief ROWLEY. That was left up to Inspector Kelley, since he was the
one most familiar with what documents. In fact, he was directed to comply with all the requests that were made by the Commission to the Secret Service for reports.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Were there any restraints on his authority to produce reports?
Chief Rowley. There was no restraint on his authority.
Mr. MATTHEWS. Mr. Chairman, at this time I would move for the admission of JFK exhibits F-419 through F-422, and request the chairman's approval to make a subsequent submission.
Chairman STOKES. Without objection they may be entered into the record at this point.
[The information follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT JFK F-419, JFK F-420, JFK F-421, JFK F-422
Mr. MATTHEWS. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES. At this point the Chair will recognize the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Ford, for such time as he may consume, after which the committee will operate under the 5 - minute rule. Mr. Ford.
Mr. FORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Rowley, when you became aware of the assassination, you requested that the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the Texas border be alerted. Could you tell us why?
Chief ROWLEY. I just tried to explain that it was a natural instinct or reaction, if you will, to do that, thinking that there might be some avenue of escape in that direction.
Mr. FORD. Were there any thoughts on your mind at the time that there might be an assassin from a foreign government who would then attempt to escape to Mexico?
Chief ROWLEY. No, not at that time; no, sir.
Mr. FORD. You mentioned a minute ago to the counsel that you met with the Director, Mr. Hoover, and in talking with him, did you ever discuss the line of investigation and the exchange of intelligence?
Chief ROWLEY. That was worked out right after the assassination, Mr. Congressman, but we already had their cooperation to the extent that they were able to provide us with intelligence information prior to that time.
Mr. FORD. You mentioned earlier that you assigned Inspector Thomas Kelley---
Chief ROWLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. Ford [continuing]. To Dallas for the investigation. Again for the record, why did you assign Mr. Kelley, dispatch him to the Dallas-Fort Worth area?
Chief ROWLEY. I assigned Mr. Kelley because he was the nearest inspector to Dallas at that time. As I explained previously since time was of the essence, I wanted to send an inspector as quickly as possible, and Mr. Kelly was the closest one. One of the responsibilities of an inspector is to do precisely what Mr. Kelly did in Dallas, direct the investigation and the activities.
Mr. FORD. Was he there to investigate who may have been involved in the assassination or to review the performance of the Secret Service in connection with the assassination?
Chief ROWLEY. He was there to become involved in the investigation to determine the facts surrounding the assassination.
Mr. FORD. Mr. Rowley, you testified before the Warren Commission June 18 of 1964. At that time in your testimony you were asked by Senator Cooper the following questions, and I quote:
Do you have any information based upon any facts that you know based upon any information given to you by persons who claim to have personal knowledge that there were persons engaged in a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.
And your response was, "I have no such facts, sir."
He then asked you the following additional question, and I quote:
I address the same question as to whether you have any information that the killing of President Kennedy had any connection with any foreign power.
Your response was, and I quote:
I have no such information.
We have heard testimony from Mr. Kelley indicating that there were assassination plots investigated by the Secret Service in early 1963. Were you aware of those investigations at the time of your testimony before the Warren Commission?
Chief ROWLEY. I would have to look at the reports themselves,
Mr. Congressman, to see whether my initials were on them. In the reports that you speak of, it was established that there was not any activity directed against--or of interest to us as it affected the President of the United States.
Mr. FORD. Going back to the first question, you said, "I have no such facts, sir." " The second question you also said, I have no such information."
I am asking now, were you aware of those investigations at the time you appeared before the Warren Commission?
Chief ROWLEY. Well, if I made that statement, then I was not aware of those facts.
Mr. FORD. I would like counsel to give the witness JFK F-416, F417, F-418, and ask the witness whether his initials appear upon the face of these reports.
Chief ROWLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. FORD. Chief Rowley, why did you not call it to the Warren Commission's attention back in 1964 when you appeared before the Commission?
Chief Rowley. This information at the time was handled either by the PRS or through Mr. Kelley, and I can only assume, Mr. Congressman, that these reports were furnished to the Warren Commission.
Mr. FORD. The reports in your hand were reported?
Chief ROWLEY. That is right. It was an ongoing investigation, as I see it, in which case there would be a relationship with the FBI and the CIA, and in the ultimate I would think that the report itself would establish whether or not it affected the safety of the President of the United States.
Mr. FORD. But you had initialed these reports or documents prior to the June 18, 1964 appearance before the Warren Commission; is that correct?
Chief ROWLEY. That is correct, sir. This was a year before the assassination. We are talking about 1962.
Mr. FORD. Thank you very much, Chief Rowley. At this time I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman, and yield back the time.
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Edgar.
Mr. EDGAR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Rowley, were you here this morning when Mr. Kelley was speaking?
Chief Rowley. Yes, sir.
Mr. EDGAR. I had asked him about the process of taking over an investigation such as the assassination of a President of the United States and asked about the investigative plan, whether or not Secret Service would have sat down to put together such a plan.
To your knowledge, was such an investigative plan put together to coordinate the FBI and the Secret Service and other investigative agencies' analysis of the assassination?
Chief ROWLEY. No, sir.
Mr. EDGAR. In your meetings with J. Edgar Hoover, wouldn't it have been logical for you as Chief of the Secret Service and he as head of the FBI to determine what strategy or plan you would have to investigate this death?
Chief ROWLEY. Yes, sir. Your earlier question was that before there was an opportunity for anybody to sit down, the President of the United States directed that the FBI to conduct the investigation and that the Secret Service would cooperate with them in any manner and phase that we could.
Now I did indicate to the Director at such meetings that we would cooperate with them. They had their own strategy as to how they would investigate it.
Mr. EDGAR. But wouldn't it have been appropriate for you as Chief of the Secret Service to say, Mr. Hoover, I understand that the President has designated you as the lead agency in this important investigation, but we have a role to play as well because it was our agents who were attached and assigned to the President for his protection and we have an agent in Dallas by the name of Mr. Kelley and there are others involved who have information. How can we sit down to make sure that the information that we have in our Secret Service files as well as the ongoing and continuing reports that are coming in from our field offices can be analyzed in an appropriate place in your investigative plan? Wouldn't that have made some sense?
Chief ROWLEY. It would have made some sense, but I think it was all developed subsequently by submitting such reports by both agencies to the Warren Commission and eventually evaluated by their legal staff.
Mr. EDGAR. But in hindsight--and I know it is difficult in hindsight-looking at a situation where there was information available to you, at least out of your Chicago office and your Miami office, relative to threats on the President's life in the files of the Secret Service and that information was available to you prior to the death of President Kennedy, shouldn't you have that information with the FBI as well as the Warren Commission?
Chief ROWLEY. I think Mr. Kelley indicated, and if he hadn't, I will say it now, that the FBI was in on that operation as well as the Agency. So we were exchanging information in the entire thing.
I think you will find in the ultimate that we have found that there was no particular jurisdiction on our part, and that there was nothing of interest to us.
Mr. EDGAR. Let me talk about Mr. Kelley's arrival on the scene in Dallas. If you would have put yourself in Mr. Kelley's place, arrived in Dallas and went to the Dallas Police Department, sat in on several interviews with Lee Harvey Oswald yourself, would you have tape recorded that conversation?
Chief ROWLEY. I don't know whether we had tape recorders, but I think you must recognize under the situation at that time that Mr. Kelley was rushed down there and even if he had the funds to rent a tape recorder, I don't think he would have had the time to do so. Furthermore, I don't think that he would have anticipated the type of confusion that he encountered as he described it to you, nobody would have.
Mr. EDGAR. Would you have insisted that word for word, verbatim be taken down by a court reporter?
Chief ROWLEY. If you could obtain one, I suppose you could. But in the confusion, no one had an opportunity to ask questions because in addition to the people that he described there, there were also the press right beyond the perimeter trying to ask questions.
Mr. EDGAR. One of the reasons, Mr. Rowley, that I am pursuing both the investigative plan and the activities of the immediate investigation, it just seems to me that the Secret Service and the FBI and the Dallas Police Department, someone should have had their wits about them enough to say, let's sit down and before we interview and before we go running in 1,000 different directions, let's analyze what we have on our hands, tragic as it is, and make sure that the press is secured, the corridors are secured, the alleged assailant is secured, that the information that we receive from that assailant is taken down for possible use in the investigation.
I don't get that sense from looking at the materials that are available to us. The sense that I get, and maybe you can correct me if I am wrong, is that there were three agencies who felt that they either had some jurisdiction or no jurisdiction, that they had some information or no information, and that they had their agents on the scene but not necessarily talking and coordinating with each other and that no one strongly was in charge from the Federal point of view.
Is that a misreading of what actually took place?
Chief ROWLEY. Captain Fritz was in charge, but whether or not he had the command of the situation, I can't say. But that is all very nice if you can lay it out in advance knowing that there would be an assassination, knowing that you would arrest a certain individual and then be able to take him into custody and then set up the guidelines as you just enumerated.
But here was a situation where they arrested Oswald, took him into the police station, photographers, television cameramen, reporters and all were descending on the police headquarters trying to get to the man, trying to obtain his picture, the reporters trying to listen into the conversation and so forth. This is what Mr. Kelley described to me at the time.
In addition, you had the situation with the Dallas Police Department. The State had the responsibility initially. So that as Tom Kelley indicated this morning, you know, they were the host, so therefore you had to respect their jurisdiction.
To carry this a bit further, the FBI kept after me to try to get our man in charge in Dallas, Vernon Sorrels who was the agent in charge, and had a rapport with the Chief of the Dallas Police Department, to get them to release the rifle so that it could be flown to Washington and for ballistic tests. This is the process that
I had to go through at the time in order to get them to release it. So I give you that for what it is worth that there was confusion
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. EDGAR. I thank the gentleman.
Chairman STOKES. The gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. McKinney.
Mr. McKINNEY. No questions.
Chairman STOKES. The gentleman from Ohio.
Mr. DEVINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am sorry floor business prevented my being here during the key part of Mr. Rowley's testimony. I do want to welcome you here. I know we have pulled you back from retirement at the beach to testify this morning. I am sure it is not a very pleasant experience to have to go through all these things.
You did testify before the Warren Commission, didn't you?
Chief ROWLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. DEVINE. Did you testify before any congressional committees in connection with this matter?
Chief ROWLEY. Yes. In 1976, in February, I testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee chaired by Senator Schweiker.
Mr. DEVINE. Do you as the former head of the Secret Service have any thoughts that you would like to impart to this committee inasmuch as the mandate of the House is that we make recommendations to the Congress in the area of possible legislation as it relates to assassinations?
Do you feel that you would have been in better shape to have your agency handle it better if you had had more laws at your disposal or more funds or did you have the authority you felt was necessary to do what was necessary to protect the President?
Chief ROWLEY. I think within the framework of that period, we didn't have the manpower or the equipment that we would have liked to have had. But I must say that since then we have the manpower and the equipment.
Mr. DEVINE. Have you given it any thought, Mr. Rowley, about whether any further Federal legislation is necessary to make your organization more effective or to make the security of the President more effective?
Chief ROWLEY. Well, in all honesty, Mr. Congressman, since I am retired I haven't given that much thought. I would have to say that my successor, Director Knight, undoubtedly would have some views on that.
I am quite sure that there have been considerable improvements in all phases of the Secret Service in the past 5 years under his leadership.
Mr. DEVINE. That is all. Thank you.
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Ford.
Mr. FORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have one final question. Mr. Rowley, would it be your opinion that the evidence of possible Cuban involvement was never fully investigated by the Secret Service?
Chief ROWLEY. I don't think I could say that, Mr. Congressman. For one thing, we investigated to the extent we could with the cooperation of the information we got from the CIA and the FBI on the individuals that were earlier mentioned.
Then, further, I would not be privy to what the Warren Commission legal staff did in the course of their investigation to establish something like that.
Mr. FORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER. There is just one or two questions.
I am interested really in what current procedures are. Do I understand correctly that they now do actual practice runs on this kind of an emergency if it comes up so that everybody knows in advance just what kind of a game plan they have if something extraordinary happens?
Chief ROWLEY. That is now part of the training, Mr. Congressman. We have out at Beltsville an outdoor range and training facility in which we are able to train the agents under all types of conditions and possibilities.
Now whether they have improved that within the past 5 years, I don't know. But I know when I left we had that kind of training.
Mr. SAWYER. Do they start out with a kind of a premise that such a thing is going to happen on each motorcade so that they are mentally attuned to not being caught unexpected but actually expecting this on each time?
Chief ROWLEY. It has greatly improved by 100 percent. We have alternate routes which are patrolled by our agents and the police. There are communications on different channels so that they don't conflict with the main motorcade. We have men posted on roofs and places that were selected as vulnerable places by the advance agents. We have a certain number of advance agents who are supervised, who are assigned certain particular things such as buildings along the route and the type of traffic that runs through the city, et cetera.
The other factor is that there is constantly a helicopter flying above, checking ahead with communications with all the posts on the roofs to advise them of what they see here so that they can take immediate action.
Mr. SAWYER. As I said to a previous witness, I have been very impressed in watching the Zapruder film, the slowness of the reaction of the agents compared to the reaction of Governor Connally. I think for anyone watching that, it is perfectly obvious that they were not really alertly attuned to the possibility of some catastrophic event like that happening.
I just wonder if there has been some effort to in effect instill an approach that instead of it being the unexpected, it is the expected, and they are just waiting for it to happen which might have increased their reaction time and might have saved the President?
Chief ROWLEY. Well, I think there is an exhibit from the Warren Commission that shows that one of the cars had the door swung open apparently after the first shot in which two agents are attempting to get out at about that time which may not have been in the Zapruder film.
But to bring you up to date, the men are trained in precisely the manner that you have indicated, the response, the reaction, et cetera, and where their position is on the car when an incident of that kind happens.
Chairman STOKES. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. SAWYER. Yes, certainly.
Chairman STOKES. On the point Mr. Rowley just made with reference to the fact that there is an exhibit, during the recess I had discussed with Professor Blakey my concerns and your concerns about this reaction time. At the appropriate time he says he is prepared to show us this particular exhibit which does denote some reaction time which I will ask him to do at the appropriate time afterward.
Mr. SAWYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Well, they were pretty much out of range of being any help to the President in this kind of a circumstance anyway. But the two agents in the car, by just jamming the accelerator on that first shot, might arguably have done some good. Yet it wasn't until the third shot, which I guess spans a time frame of 7 or 8 seconds, which while it might not sound like a long time, is time enough for somebody to run 75 yards if they are a sprinter, they could have wheeled that car, it seems to me, a lot quicker than they reacted.
I recognize that if you are not expecting a thing, it takes you a little while to gather your wits about what is happening. But if your mental attitude is, as I said before, a sprinter on the starting blocks waiting for the gun, if you are attuned to that, your reaction time is much quicker.
Chief ROWLEY. You have to consider the scene, Mr. Congressman. The driver is concerned, and incidentally it was an armored car
which carries considerable weight.
Mr. SAWYER. But with no top.
Chief ROWLEY. No top, no, but it is still heavy in the body. When you are involved in one of those motorcades and there are people shouting and acclaiming the individuals and the motorcycles, you know, at times they slow down and then they have to kick the motor in and it explodes and so forth, these agents have been used to that.
So that when this first or second shot was fired, they assumed, because their concentration in the meantime is on the public and the people there, and they are oblivious to what the noise is that is going on, in other words, it was difficult to distinguish between a backfire and a rifle shot.
So that these things have to be considered when one attempts to evaluate whether there was a reaction in sufficient time or not. Having been through those exercises many times myself, I recognize the problem that they had at that time.
Mr. SAWYER. Well, I am only comparing it to Governor Connally who probably has heard a lot of backfires, too, and he immediately reacted to what he recognized, according to his testimony and quite obviously in the film, as a rifle shot where there was no comparable reaction by the agents for two additional shots.
Anyway, thank you, Mr. Chairman. That is all I have.
Chairman STOKES. The time of the gentleman has expired.
I wonder because of the concern that both Mr. Sawyer and I have had in this area, Professor Blakey, if while Mr. Rowley is still here, you would display that exhibit and comment upon it.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I would ask that the clerk display F-126. This exhibit, Mr. Chairman, has already been entered in the record. It is a photograph taken, according to the best evidence in the record, at approximately the time, according to the acoustics, of
the second shot which would be approximately 1.6 seconds after the first shot.
I wonder if the clerk would use the pointer. You can see the Secret Service agents in the followup car have turned their heads. You can see four Secret Service agents. Two of them have turned their heads and are beginning to look back at the depository.
If you look back at the third car, the white car behind the President's limousine, the doors are opening. The evidence in the record would indicate that it is from that car that Secret Service agents came in an effort to protect Lyndon Johnson, the Vice President, who was following the President's car.
So that if the acoustic evidence is correct, the first shot was fired and apparently missed, and 1.6 seconds later, the approximate time of this photograph, you do have the beginning of reactions by Secret Service agents.
In the followup car they are turning around and in the white car the doors are beginning to open and they are making an effort to come out.
The acoustics evidence indicates there is approximately 5.8 or 5.9 seconds between the second and the third shot, and then if the acoustics evidence is to be believed, there would have been a fourth shot five-tenths of a second later, which would make it approximately 7 seconds from the beginning of the process.
My time on that may be a little off. The record would have to speak for itself. So it is approximately 7 seconds between the first shot and the shot that hit the President and surely killed him.
Chairman STOKES. What about in the Presidential car? Is there any reaction being shown to anyone there?
Mr. BLAKEY. The reaction in the Presidential car in this photograph, if you point at the windshield you can just begin to see the President's hand moving up. At least my inspection of this exhibit does not indicate that there has been any reaction by the Secret Service agents in that car. This is 1.6 seconds after the first shot had been fired.
Chairman STOKES. Thank you.
Would there be any further comment on your part, Mr. Rowley, on the explanation given by Professor Blakey?
Chief ROWLEY. When you talk about the two men on the right side, they are covering their span. The front man is just finishing his span so he will come back and the other fellow behind him is covering his span back that way. The others on the other side are finishing theirs. This is when Mr. Hill started off that running board to catch up to jump on the back pedal of the Presidential vehicle. That was a difficult thing to do, to run around in front of the followup or Secret Service car and then jump on that pedal.
You may have read where Mr. Hill missed the step but was able to cling to the hand guard and to pull himself up. They were about to take off as Mr. Sawyer indicated to get out of the area. And he pulled himself up in time to do that, and having done so he was able to push the First Lady back into her seat.
Chairman STOKES. That would have been standard procedure with reference to those two men. While one scanned the crowd in one way, the other would be doing it in the opposite way?
Chief ROWLEY. That is right.
Chairman STOKES. Thank you. My time has expired.
Mr. EDGAR. Mr. Chairman?
Chairman STOKES. The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Edgar?
Mr. EDGAR. 1 just have one question.
Looking back at the information that you provided to the Warren Commission, was there any evidence or information that for any reason that was related to the situation that the Secret Service did not provide to the Warren Commission?
Chief ROWLEY. Did not provide to the Warren Commission?
Mr. EDGAR. Yes.
Chief ROWLEY. We provided them with everything that we had. We had no reason to withhold anything.
Mr. EDGAR. So to your knowledge every bit of information relating to the assassination that the Secret Service had was provided
to the Warren Commission?
Chief ROWLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. EDGAR. Thank you.
Chairman STOKES. Is there anyone else seeking recognition? Does counsel have anything further?
Mr. MATTHEWS. Yes, Mr. Chairman. During the course of these proceedings we have made reference to what has been identified as JFK F-414 through JFK F-418. Mr. Chairman, these exhibits are now classified secret and are in the process of being declassified. We would ask that they may be made part of the record in the condition that they are now in subject to being declassified. In addition, three additional exhibits, JFK F-450, JFK F-451, and JFK F-452, bear upon the testimony today, and we ask that they be admitted into evidence.
Chairman STOKES. Without objection they may be so ordered. [The information follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-414
Chairman STOKES. Is there anything further?
Mr. MATTHEWS. I have nothing further.
Chairman STOKES. Mr. Rowley, at the conclusion of a witness testimony before this committee the witness is entitled to 5 minutes in which he may explain or comment upon his testimony in any way.
I would like to at this time extend to you 5 minutes for that purpose.
Chief ROWLEY. I am very grateful for the interest shown by the committee and for the opportunity to meet with you in reviewing the assassination and the subsequent investigation.
I have tried to recall facts and activities which took place to the best of my ability. Obviously, time has not helped to make personal recollections clearer and I hope you will understand that certainly my knowledge and recollections are not as precise as they once were.
I would like to add, however, that the investigation of the Warren Commission has been most helpful to the Secret Service and throughout my tenure as Director of the Secret Service, the interest and support and recommendations of the Congress were extremely helpful, and I am certain my successor, Mr. Knight, shares this high regard.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES. Thank you very much, Mr. Rowley. We appreciate your appearing here today and the testimony that you have given to this select committee of the House. With that, you are excused, sir.
Chief ROWLEY. Thank you, sir.