War and History Fiction posted August 31, 2019

This work has reached the exceptional level
...I'm just a patsy!

The Dealey Plaza Mosaic

by Bananafish308

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

"Grab me one of those."

Mac pulled a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer from the six-pack ring and handed it to his buddy.

"Breakfast of champs." He laughed. "This beats the hell out of Geometry, doesn't it?"

Dave pulled out his can opener and deftly punctured two holes in the top of the can; one large hole and a much smaller hole on the opposite side of the can. He took a long swig of the beer and wiped his mouth with his sleeve.

"Ahh, sure does, but it's not quite breakfast anymore. Maybe brunch, now? This is my third beer." His voice was a bit slurred, indicative of a teenager not accustomed to drinking more than a few sips of beer at one time. "What a great day to be hanging out outdoors, instead of being cooped up in school."

"Yeah, perfect weather." Mac looked up at the sun hanging high in the sky on this clear Friday in Dallas. It was about noon on November 22, 1963.

Changing the subject, Mac said, "Your Cowboys are going down this week!"

"My ass they are, want to put money on it?"

"Haha, are you kidding me? The Browns are kicking ass this year and the Cowboys suck! How much..."

Mac stopped in mid-sentence. He noticed a black car slowly approaching in the distance. They were leaning up against Dave's parked white station wagon drinking their beer when they spotted the car. The young men dropped down and hid the cans of beer under the car, behind a tire.

The parking lot the two teens were hanging out in was adjacent to a railway yard. The parking lot was large and usually not very crowded. Part of the lot bordered a wooden stockade fence that overlooked Elm Street in the northeast corner of Dealey Plaza. On the other side of the fence was the top of a grassy incline that led down to the street. This area was thick with trees and shrubbery, which made it an ideal spot to drink beers with little concern about being spotted.

"Damn," said Dave, "I hope they didn't see the beers."

The car pulled up to them and stopped. Inside were two men. The driver was dressed in a plaid shirt and the passenger in a business suit. The driver rolled down his window and said in an authoritative voice, "What are you guys doing here? Shouldn't you be in school?"

Before the youths could answer, he continued, "Get the fuck out of here. Now!" He drove a short distance away and parked the black car right alongside the fence with the grassy incline on the other side.

The teens quickly threw the beer cans - both the empty and full ones - into the back seat of the station wagon, jumped in the front seat and drove off.

"Whew, that was a close call." Dave heaved a sigh of relief as he steered the station wagon toward the exit from the parking lot. "My father would have kicked my ass if we were caught. Drinking beer AND cutting class, wow, I would have been a dead man!"


Friday, November 22, 1963

11:53 a.m.

Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippet crossed Houston Street in downtown Dallas and stopped in front of the Texas School Book Depository. He held a package in one hand. A festive crowd lined both sides of the street in anticipation of President John F. Kennedy's motorcade which would pass by in about 40 minutes. Tippet glanced at his watch and looked south down Houston Street, the direction from which the motorcade would come. He entered the building and made his way to the rear stairwell, taking the stairs to the sixth floor. At the top of the stairs he encountered Lee Harvey Oswald who nodded at him as he passed Tippet on his way down the stairs.

Tippet headed toward the southeast corner of the sixth floor and stopped at a window overlooking the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets. It offered a perfect vantage point from which to view the Presidential motorcade as it turned left onto Elm Street and proceeded west through Dealey Plaza. This was the information Oswald provided to the CIA when they approached him several days earlier. They were especially concerned over what they considered to be the President's ill-advised decision to ride in an open-top limousine and decline a bulletproof bubble. As a result, they were taking additional precautions and stationing uniformed police officers at vantage points in many of the surrounding buildings. Oswald thought it a bit unusual that the CIA was getting involved in duties normally assumed by the Secret Service. He shrugged it off, though, as he was elated that the CIA enlisted his assistance.

Tippet took some nearby book boxes and stacked them around the window, blocking the window from the view of anyone entering the floor. He removed a 7.65 German Mauser bolt action rifle equipped with a 4/18 scope from the package. He sat down with his back against the wall under the window in his makeshift shelter that would later become known as the "sniper's nest". He glanced at his watch again. 12:05 p.m. Now it was just a matter of waiting.


Oswald sat in the first floor lounge of the Texas School Book Depository where he worked, eating his lunch and reading a newspaper. He looked up at the large clock on the wall. It was just about noon on November 22, 1963.

At that point, Junior Jarman and Harold Norman walked through the lounge on their lunch break. Oswald looked up from his newspaper and stared at them for a moment, but didn't say a word and went back to his newspaper.

"What a Commie asshole," Norman said, after they passed Oswald. Jarman shrugged and didn't respond, although he wasn't very fond of the rude, arrogant Oswald, either.

About twenty minutes later, Oswald went to the second floor lunchroom to buy a Coke from the soda machine.


12:30 p.m.

Tippet crouched at the window, squinting through the scope of the Mauser aimed out the window on a downward trajectory toward Elm Street. The Presidential limousine had just made the left turn onto Elm Street and was moving west away from him. He waited for Kennedy's upper torso to come into the view of the scope, as his World War II infantry training had drilled into him, and pulled the trigger. At the same moment, the suspension arm of a traffic light also came into view. "Shit!" The bullet deflected off the suspension arm and ricocheted off a curb further down Elm Street.

He pulled the bolt back on the rifle, chambered another round, and fired again. At that exact moment, the President moved slightly to his left. The bullet just missed him. Governor John Connally, who was seated in front of Kennedy, was struck in the back. The bullet exited his chest, penetrated his right wrist, exited near his palm, and lodged in his left thigh.

A split second later, Kennedy clutched his throat with both hands. He had been struck by a bullet fired from the grassy knoll to the front and right of the limousine. Tippet chambered yet another round and took aim at Kennedy's head. As he looked through the scope and was starting to squeeze the trigger he saw the back of the President's skull blown off by the force of another bullet from the grassy knoll that hit Kennedy in the front of his head. The shock of witnessing such gory carnage magnified by the scope forced Tippet's third shot to go harmlessly awry.

He quickly hid the Mauser under some boxes, returned down the rear stairway and calmly exited the building through the front entrance.


12:32 p.m.

Oswald was standing in the lunchroom drinking his soda, lost in thought, when a Dallas police officer entered the lunchroom and pointed his service revolver at Oswald. The cop was accompanied by Roy Truly, Oswald's supervisor. Truly reassured the cop that Oswald was an employee and the cop let Oswald pass.

In a bit of a shock over the encounter, Oswald left the lunchroom. As he walked down the second floor hallway, he passed Mrs. Reid, a clerical supervisor with the company, who said to him, "The President has been shot."

"What the fuck??" Oswald mumbled half to himself as he rapidly exited the building through the front entrance.

Once out on the street, he tried to collect his thoughts. Houston and Elm Streets were in chaos. He contemplated his actions for a moment, then boarded the first city bus he saw. Traffic was heavy and a few stops later he got off the bus and hailed a taxicab. He took the cab to his rooming house, which was a couple of miles away. Inside his room, he gathered a few things, including a jacket, and exited within a few minutes.

Back outside, he jumped on another bus and took it a mile or so to The Texas Theatre. He slipped into the theatre without paying and took a seat toward the back. The movie, "Cry of Battle," was already in progress. He slumped down in the chair and took a deep breath.


1:15 p.m.

Tippet drove his patrol car in the direction of East 10th Street and North Patton Street, the appointed meeting place. He spotted two men, one in a plaid shirt and one in a business suit, near the intersection and stopped the car. Tippet got out and walked toward the men.

"That was some fuckin' head shot," he said, as he approached them.

Without saying a word, the man in the business suit pulled a gun from inside his jacket and fired four shots at Tippet, killing him.


1:35 p.m

Oswald sat in the back of the theatre, his mind in turmoil. The realization was slow to dawn on him, but he began to put two and two together. He was so enthralled that the CIA had reached out to him to become an informant for them, after repeatedly rebuffing his past solicitations, that he refused to consider the odd pretense they provided for needing his assistance. He was an intelligent man, but his Achilles heel had always been impetuousness and an irrational quest for relevance. Too often, these fatal flaws drowned out sound reasoning. His inability to consider the consequences of rash action would be his downfall.

The house lights suddenly illuminated the theater. A contingent of police officers approached him, led by Officer Nick McDonald. Oswald felt like a cornered animal and his desperation reached a crescendo. He knew once he was taken into custody he would be at the mercy of the CIA.

"Well, it is over now," he said, as he pulled a pistol from his pants, pointed it at McDonald and pulled the trigger. At the same time, McDonald grabbed the gun and the hammer came down on the webbing between his thumb and index finger, preventing the pistol from firing. McDonald struck Oswald with a vicious blow to the face and Oswald was taken into custody.

At the police station, reporters swarmed Oswald, yelling questions at him.

"...I'm just a patsy!" He declared over the clamor.


Later that night, with the assassination dominating the news, another local news story went almost unnoticed, save for the family members of those involved. It was reported that two teenagers died in a car accident that day. The driver apparently lost control of his vehicle and hit an oak tree. Both teens were killed. Police believed alcohol was a factor, as a number of empty beer cans were found in the back seat. The two youths were identified as John McArdle and Dave Dalton, both seventeen.


At 11:21 a.m. on Sunday November 24th, detectives were transferring Oswald from Dallas Police Headquarters to the county jail. As they escorted him through the basement, a lone gunman pushed his way through the gathered crowd and shot Oswald in the stomach.

"Jack, you son of a bitch!" yelled one of the police detectives.

The gunman turned out to be Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner. Ruby was a popular figure in Dallas and was known to have mob connections. He also liked to ingratiate himself with the local cops that frequented his strip club by providing them with free drinks and favors from his girls.

Oswald was pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m. that day.


Jack Ruby was convicted of murdering Oswald and sentenced to death. His conviction was overturned by an appeals court. The court ordered that a new trial be scheduled, but Ruby died on January 3, 1967 of a pulmonary embolism before the trial could begin.


A few months later

Sam Giancana, former Chicago mob boss, paced back and forth in his study. He glanced at his Rolex watch every few minutes, Havana cigar in his mouth and brandy snifter in his hand. Finally, the phone on his desk rang. He spilled some of the expensive cognac in his haste to place the glass on the desk and answer the phone. He picked up the receiver.


He listened for a few moments. "Great!" He barked and slammed the receiver down in triumph.
Sam grabbed the snifter from the desk, drained the remaining contents, and stalked over to the bar to get a refill. He picked up the almost empty bottle of Remy Martin off the bar and poured two fingers into his glass. He walked back to the desk, plopped down in the lush chair and threw his feet up on the desk. He pulled the phone closer to him and lifted the receiver. Before dialing the number he took a deep puff from the cigar.

The phone rang just once before someone on the other end picked up.

"Sam, is that you?!" John Roselli sounded just as nervous as Sam was just a few minutes ago.

"Yes, John, calm down. It's done. Plaid shirt and business suit are gone. That's the last of them. Everyone directly connected with the shooting are now gone."

John Roselli was also a prominent Chicago mobster. Along with Sam Giancana, they were recruited by the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro. Repeated attempts to murder Castro failed, but the CIA now had vital mob connections. When the CIA decided that Kennedy had to go, it was only natural that they enlist the services of Giancana and Roselli, especially given their animosity toward the Kennedys.

John was ecstatic over the news. "What a fuckin' relief."

"I know," said Sam, "but I don't feel good about whacking Kennedy. I liked his old man, but we had to stop his fucking brother."

"Exactly! You don't sleep with us and then turn on us! Anyway, at least it's all over now."

"I hope so," Sam said, not entirely convinced.


Sam's concerns were justified. The furor over the assassination did not die down and the political repercussions were substantial. Even after the Warren Commission Report was released with the hope that it would put conspiracy theories to rest, a myriad of theories continued to propagate. Witnesses whose testimony contradicted the findings of the report died under suspicious circumstances.

In 1975, days before he was scheduled to testify before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sam was viciously gunned down while cooking sausage in his Chicago basement kitchen.

A year later, John Rosselli testified before the same committee regarding a conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. Three months later, the Committee attempted to recall John for additional testimony, but John had disappeared. Shortly after, his decomposing body was found in a 55 gallon steel drum floating in Dumfoundling Bay near Miami.

The CIA does not like loose ends.

Alternate Facts contest entry

My fact/belief I was given to prove false is: Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK.

Historical Notes:

-All the characters were real figures except the two teenagers drinking in the parking

-The timelines for the various events that occurred on November 22, 1963 are
historically accurate.

-When the police arrived at the "sniper's nest" they allegedly found an Italian Carcano
M91/38 bolt-action rifle, purported to have been purchased by Oswald earlier that
year. Many conspiracy theorists claim that the rifle was planted in the "sniper's nest"
by the CIA, as several witnesses, including Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone, Deputy
Constable Seymour Weitzma, and Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig claimed that the gun
found was the Mauser. Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade also told the press that
the weapon was a 7.65 Mauser.

-The deaths of Oswald, Ruby, Giancana, and Roselli are all historically accurate.

-Trivial fact: the Cowboys did actually play the Browns that Sunday and the Cowboys
were terrible that year, while the Browns were one of the best teams in the league.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by seshadri_sreenivasan at FanArtReview.com

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