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by Allan Eaglesham


In 1994, while researching library archives for newspaper coverage of the events in Dallas on 11/22/63, I came across a photograph in the New York Times that I had not seen before (Figure 1). Titled Room from which shots were fired, it purported to show "police officials and newsmen" in the southeast corner of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). Three stacks of boxes, in a row parallel with the window, appeared to me to be too close to the window to accommodate cartons that were assumed to have been used by an assassin for rifle support. These "rifle-rest" boxes are seen in photographs of the so-called "sniper's nest" in the Warren Report (e.g. Figure 2).

Figure 1. SE corner of the sixth floor of the TSBD, taken by
Ira "Jack" Beers, Dallas Morning news (DMN).
Figure 2. Warren Commission Exhibit 1301.
I wrote a rather muddled article on this subject, which was generously accepted for publication in the Fourth Decade by editor Dr. J.D. Rose [1]. As a result of feedback from TFD readers, I soon realized that the central thesis of the article was wrong.

Figures 3 and 4 show the three-stack wall of book cartons from other angles, revealing a pile of three boxes close to the window. Shadow angles indicate that these photographs were taken late in the afternoon. Ira "Jack" Beers of the Dallas Morning News, who took the photographs shown in Figures 1, 3 and 4, later recalled that he visited the sixth floor at around 4 PM [2].

Figure 3. Beers photograph, DMN.
Figure 4. Beers photograph, DMN.
Comparison of the official photograph (Figure 2) with Figures 3 and 4 revealed obvious differences in the arrangement in the "rifle-rest" boxes and raised new questions, which led to the work reported here. My objectives are to set the record straight -- inasmuch as it is possible in a different place and 40 years later -- to assist others in interpreting photographs of the official scene of the crime and to discuss implications. Accordingly, scale drawings are presented of book-carton locations and arrangements that, I believe, are accurate to within two inches; methods used to make the drawings are described in an Appendix.

1. Eaglesham ARJ, The Sniper's Nest that Never Was, The Fourth Decade July 1994, pp. 5-7.
2. The Warren Commission Hearings volume 13 p. 105 (13H105).

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