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Lot 149

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James Leavelle Archive Regarding JFK and Oswald, with Related Items

A group of items related to Dallas Police Department homicide detective, James Leavelle. Included are two Typed Letters Signed "James R. Leavelle." Both measure 8.5" x 11", and were sent from Garland, Texas. The first, dated October 5, 1997, is addressed to a Ms. Lapore. Replying to queries about Kennedy's assassination and conspiracy theories, Leavelle writes in part: "I am glad that you noticed the distance that the shot would have to travel to hit the target. As you know the conspiracy buffs have made quite a thing about the difficulty of such a long shot. When in fact it was not...Yes, in the beginning we had to consider that it might be a conspiracy. Thousands or [sic] investigative hours went into this before we determined that there was no conspiracy...Oswald never admitted to anything. He was getting just what he wanted 'publicity'. That was the reason we decided to move him to the County jail to get him away from all the news media..."

The second, dated March 17, 1998, is addressed to a man named Dave, and discusses Leavelle's recollections of Oswald's murder. It reads in part: "The assassination was a moment in history that any one living at that tie can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing...The question most often asked me is What went through your mind at the time of the shooting in the basement? And if I saw him before the shot was fired? I did see Jack Ruby as he stepped from the crowd and take the two short steps and double action the shot into Oswald. I later timed it with the film from TV Cameras that recorded the event and it took only a fraction over one second for him to step out and fire the shot. You cannot do much in that length of time. As for what went through my mind I knew exactly what was happening. As did Oswald. In a time like that you don't have time to think, you just react. If you have to stop and think you have already lost. With more than 13 years experience in police work. The quick reaction of Mr. Graves on the other side of Oswald kept Ruby from getting off another shot. He was trying...Oswald did act alone when he shot the President and Officer Tippit. We would have been able to prove this had we been able to go to trial...About the only conversation I had with Oswald on Sunday was to say to him 'Lee if any one shoots at you I hope that they are as good a shot as you are: meaning of course that they would hit him and not me. He gave a short laugh and said 'no one is going to shoot at me'..." Leavelle has handwritten at the end of the letter "PS Sorry I cannot afford to send pictures." 

Accompanying the two letters is a photograph of Oswald's right handprint, signed "Best wishes, James R. Leavelle/Dallas Police"; and an AP Newsfeatures photograph of Oswald's grave-site, dated November 4, 1964. With flattened mail folds to each letter. 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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