University Archives

Lot 152

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An Archive of Officer Nick McDonald’s Role in Capturing John F. Kennedy’s Assassin

After shooting President John F. Kennedy at 12:30 p.m., on November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald left the Texas School Book Depository before police sealed it off. He rode a city bus for a few blocks then took a taxi to his rooming house. At approximately 1:15 p.m., Dallas Patrolman J. D. Tippit encountered Oswald walking along the street. After exchanging words with Oswald, Tippit got out of his patrol car, and Oswald shot Tippit four times, killing him. A shoe store manager saw Oswald slip into a movie theater without paying and alerted police. Officer Nick McDonald was the first to reach Oswald, who said “Well, it’s all over now,” but pointed his pistol at McDonald and pulled the trigger. The pistol did not fire because the hammer struck McDonald’s hand in the struggle. Oswald punched McDonald, who punched back, disarmed Oswald, and took him into custody.

[JOHN F. KENNEDY.] Archive of sixteen items related to Officer Nick McDonald’s role in capturing Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the murder of a Dallas police officer, ca. 1963-2005. All in very good condition, housed in protective sleeves.

Items and Excerpts
Signed photograph of McDonald in uniform and holding Oswald’s pistol, [dated November 22, 1963, but likely 1990s], 8ʺ x 10ʺ.

Signed tracing of McDonald’s hand, n.d., 8.5ʺ x 10.5ʺ.

Signed card with photograph of McDonald, n.d., 3.5ʺ x 2ʺ.

Copy of Homicide Report for John F. Kennedy, with Oswald listed as having been arrested by Lt. E. L. Cunningham and Officer M. N. McDonald, signed by McDonald. 1 p., 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ.

Typed report to Chief of Police J. E. Curry regarding the “Apprehension of suspect in the Death of the President of the United States and Officer J. D. Tippit,” November 22, 1963. 2 pp., 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ. Signed by McDonald and three other officers.
Minutes later, we received additional information that the suspect was in the Texas Theater. Several officers answered the call, and in the process of checking the occupants of the theater, Officer McDonald approached the center section of the third row from the back. As he started to search another suspect, he observed the arrested party sitting in the third seat. As he approached this suspect, the suspect said, ‘This is it’, and sprang from his seat. Officer McDonald began to grapple with the suspect and the suspect got his hand on a gun that was stuck inside his shirt. As the officer and the suspect wrestled for the gun, the suspect pulled the trigger once and the gun snapped, but did not fire.... after a struggle in which the suspect resisted violently he was disarmed and handcuffed.

The Arrest and Capture of Lee Harvey Oswald,” typescript report by McDonald, signed twice by McDonald, 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ.

The Arrest and Capture of Lee Harvey Oswald,” printed report by McDonald, signed by McDonald, 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ.

A photocopy of “The Man Who Captured Oswald” from Parade Magazine, The Boston Sunday Globe, March 6, 1964. 9 pp., 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ. Signed five times by McDonald with some annotations.

Composite black-and-white photograph of President Kennedy, Oswald, and McDonald, signed by McDonald, 8ʺ x 10ʺ.

Photograph of Kennedy’s casket on a horse-drawn caisson before the U.S. Capitol, November 24, 1963, 6.5ʺ x 8.5ʺ.

Photograph of Oswald in custody at Dallas Police Station, November 23, 1963, 6.75ʺ x 10ʺ.

Photograph of McDonald in uniform, May 12, 1978, signed by McDonald, 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ.

Composite photograph of McDonald with Oswald’s gun, McDonald’s scratch from Oswald, Oswald in custody, and the Texas Theater, signed by McDonald, 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ.

Note of Nick McDonald to Ron Hoskins, on McDonald’s letterhead from Hot Springs, Arkansas, n.d., 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ.

Photocopy of views of Texas Theatre in 1963, 1990, and 1993, signed by McDonald, 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ.

Obituary for Nick McDonald from Associated Press, clipping from unidentified newspaper, January 29, 2005.

Maurice Neal “Nick” McDonald (1928-2005) was born in Arkansas and joined the U.S. Navy. After two years of service, he attended the Arkansas State Teachers College. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in December 1950. He married Sally Lou Plyler in 1951, and they had two daughters. McDonald served with the Air Force in Mississippi and Indiana before being honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in 1954. In 1955, they relocated to Dallas, Texas, where McDonald became a patrolman with the Dallas Police Department. After his arrest of Oswald, he was promoted to the special services bureau and assigned to the Secret Service protection of Oswald’s widow Marina and her two small children. After his wife died in 1976, he married Rose Daisy Brown in 1978. He retired as a sergeant in 1980, after 25 years of service, and moved to Arkansas.

From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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