Arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald

Police officers arrested Lee Harvey Oswald inside the Texas Theater—in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas—on November 22, 1963. The photo depicts Oswald, and the officers, as they are exiting the Theater, immediately after the arrest.

This photo was introduced as evidence during Dallas Police Sergeant Gerald Hill's deposition testimony. Hill was questioned during the investigation into the President's murder by the Warren Commission.

One of Oswald's arresting officers, Hill was later seen looking out of the 6th-floor window at the Texas Book Depository (on the afternoon of JFK's assassination).

The post-arrest photo was marked as "Exhibit B" during Hill's deposition. It is part of the Commission's accumulated evidence, appearing in Volume XX at page 156.

In his testimony, Hill said:

...We walked him [Oswald] out the west door of the theatre into a squad car, which was out front. Some of the officers that were still outside had the crowd parted back to where nobody got to us or to the suspect.

But there were shouts at this time from the crowd of, “That is him. We ought to kill him. String him up. Hang him.,” et cetera and so on.

Hill specifically testified about this picture. The attorney asking the questions was David W. Belin, assistant counsel of the President’s Commission:

Mr. BELIN. I hand you what has been marked as "G. L. Hill Deposition Exhibit B." State if you know what this is.

Mr. HILL. This is known to be a picture that was made still inside the theatre as we were moving down the aisle, I believe, to get him to the aisle that divided the two sections.
Now specifically, the exact point in the theatre where this was made, I don't know.

Mr. BELIN. Do you recognize anything?

Mr. HILL. There are three people in this picture that I recognize. The officer with the white uniform hat on that is in the foreground looking at the picture, would be to the left side, is C. T. Walker.

The suspect, and what is an open collar, and what appears to be a T-shirt from here, looking almost directly at the camera with his face practically covered by the officer's cap, is a man later identified to us as Lee Harvey Oswald.

And the man in the suit looking at the camera with a cigar in his mouth is Detective Paul Bentley.

There is, to Mr. Bentley's left, part of another officer that is apparently wearing a suit with only part of his suit and his shirt and his left hand showing. That cannot be recognized, but I will have to admit I think it is me.

And there is a faint image there, if you get the light--that is what I am trying to see very faintly--if we had a--yes, that is going to be me. What we need is to get the light in at an angle.

Mr. BELIN. If you hold it a little bit to your right?

Mr. HILL. Yes; that is going to be me.

Mr. BELIN. Do you know who this person is with the helmet at the extreme left of the person with the helmet?

Mr. HILL. I do not recognize him specifically, but just trying to identify that much of him, I would say it could be an officer named L. E. Gray, but I can't make positive identification.

Mr. BELIN. Okay, sergeant.
By the way, what is the suspect wearing? You mentioned a T-shirt in the picture.
Do you remember what else he had on?

Mr. HILL. He had on a dark--I don't recall it being a solid brown--shirt, but it was a dark-brownish-looking sports shirt, and dark trousers. This I specifically remember.

Mr. BELIN. Any jacket?

Mr. HILL. No, sir; he didn't have a jacket on at this time.

Mr. BELIN. All right, go ahead.

Mr. HILL. I understand a light-colored jacket was found in the parking lot of the funeral home, as a man had previously stated, but I don't recall actually seeing this jacket.

Mr. BELIN. All right, anything else that anyone else said prior to the time you got to the car?

Mr. HILL. Not that I can recall, sir; other than, as I was saying, as we went out, the crowd was jeering, making some threats and calling out things.
If at this time the suspect said anything, I didn't hear him.
And we were moving quite rapidly to get him into the car. (See page 53 of the testimonial record taken from Hill on April 4, 1964 at the U.S. Attorney's office in Dallas.)

Belin continued to work on aspects of the assassination investigation for the rest of his professional life. He died in 1999, and his papers are part of the archives at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5156stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 26, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Jun 11, 2018

Media Credits

Image of Lee Harvey Oswald, outside the Texas Theatre on 22 November 1963, included in Volume 20, at page 156, of the Warren Commission Report. The photo was marked as "Exhibit B" during the testimony of Dallas police officer Gerald Hill. Public Domain.


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"Arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 26, 2016. Apr 21, 2019.
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