Dark Corners Menu

"Sniper's Nest" Menu

by Allan Eaglesham


The official record of the area around the southeast window of the sixth floor of the TSBD shows a haphazard stacking of boxes (Figure 24), apparently hurriedly assembled to provide cover for a sniper, with ample space at the "rifle-rest" for a sharpshooter to do his job (Figures 10 and 11). However, it has been suggested by other researchers that the area used by the putative sniper was constricted [e.g. 27]. This theme has been expanded here with Figure 23. If the "sniper's nest" were constructed for the purpose of providing a shooting location, the first priority would have been to provide the necessary space within which to do the job. The L-shaped configuration was probably constructed as a "safe haven" for TSBD employees wishing to escape work for an unscheduled break; it was located in the farthest corner of the sixth floor and the height of the wall of cartons was such as to allow a person to peep over -- e.g. to check on the boss's movements -- while providing concealment when seated. The "rifle-support" boxes, deconstructed, would have provided a makeshift table at which to eat or play cards.

In my opinion, Tom Alyea's account of the events on the sixth floor is persuasive for these reasons:

  • He had no axe to grind against Will Fritz. Having met the captain at other crime scenes, their interaction was professional and positive. In the TSBD, Fritz would even step out of the way to allow Alyea a clear shot, of the rifle for example [12].
  • Alyea subscribes to the lone-assassination theory. There is no pro-conspiracy agenda.
  • Testimony of police officers, detailed above, is supportive.
  • It is nothing short of a tragedy that the corroborative movie footage is missing. However, even after nearly 40 years, Alyea remains hopeful that it will be discovered in an archive.

    It is noteworthy that Captain Fritz requested copies of Alyea's footage [28]. Mr. Alyea theorizes that this provided the information needed to reconstruct the "rifle-rest" boxes for photographing on Monday, November 25. Is it mere coincidence that this footage is now lost?

    I find it hard to agree with Tom Alyea that Captain Fritz picked up the casings to be helpful. Detective Studebaker's mistakes are understandable. He had been learning his craft for just seven weeks; the challenge of doing a good job under those circumstances must have weighed heavily. In contrast, Fritz was a 40-year veteran for whom preserving physical evidence must have been second nature. Add to this consideration the enormity of the crime and it is difficult to believe that he compromised the crime scene just to be a nice guy.

    12. Alyea T, e-mail September 27, 1998.
    27. Trask RB, Pictures of the Pain, Yeoman Press 1994, p. 559 note 49.
    28. Alyea T, e-mail November 7, 1998.

Previous Section Next Section
Top of the Page