May 23, 2016
Researchers have known for ever of one particular photo that Mary Moorman took in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963 is missing. That photo shows motorcycle officer Bill Lumpkin with the Depository in the background, and possibly the window from which Lee Oswald shot JFK. What is less known is that there are possibilities of THREE missing photos as indicated by the drawing below.
For the writing of this blog, much of my information comes from Gary Mack’s article, “The Real Mary Moorman Photo Story”
MARY’S ACTIVITIES ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963
At around 11AM, Mary Moorman, accompanied by Jean Hill, parked her car near the Old Red Court. on the East side of Houston. They first went to a store to buy a roll of film. Mary intended on taking pictures of officers she knew and also of the presidential couple. They first took a picture of each other (Roll 1). The Depository is seen on the top-right-hand corner. Mary remembers seeing 7 and 8 at the back of the photos at the Baylor University. I contacted the university to confirm, but they told me they returned the originals to Jack White. They have copies of them, but not of their backs. So they don’t know what numbers were showing on the originals.
Those 2 photos were located by Jean Hill in 1988. Mary had forgotten about them since November 22, 1963. It is unknown why Jean never gave them back to Mary.
They then took position on the south curb of Elm Street waiting for the motorcade. Mary took a photo of motorcyclist Glen C. McBride she was acquainted with, about 2 minutes before the shooting.
A bit later, Mary took a picture of the other motorcycle officer that she knew, W.G. Lumpkin. This one is missing.
The last photo she took was the famous photo of President Kennedy hit in the head, 1/4 of second after the impact on Kennedy’s head.
A few minutes later, John Featherstone with the Dallas Times Herald talked to Mary, and saw her photo. He invited her to the Sheriff’s Office.
In the meantime, Jean Hill went in the pursuit of a man she saw running in the direction of the parking lot.
After Hill came back, Mary and Jean followed Featherstone to the Sheriff Office where they gave an interview to a TV station.
HOW MANY PICTURES DID MARY TAKE ON ELM STREET?
Mary told me that she remembers showing the investigators only 2 photos, one of them being JFK in the limousine. She did not testify to the Warren Commission, so she did not have the chance to clarify the question of how many she took. The Warren Commission did ask Jean Hill questions on the photos, but she was not asked about the number of photos or the fate of the other photos.
Mary’s affidavit seems to indicate that she took 3.
Contrary to the general belief, the 2 photos taken of Mary and Jean are not of the same roll of photos as the other photos in Dealey Plaza. The first 2 photos are on “Roll 1” while the motorcade photos are on “Roll 2”.
HSCA Consultant Robert Groden examined the back of the 2 photos below, and found the manufacturer’s numbering system on the back. The first is numbered 3, and the other numbered 5. Conclusion: #4 is missing, and so are #1 and #2. Mary remembers only #4 which is of Lumpkin. She speculated that the previous photos on the roll did not turn out well, so they may have been thrown away.
THE MISSING LUMPKIN PHOTO
The photo was taken about 2 minutes before the shooting. Sometime in 1964, Mary gave this photo to Lumpkin who was unable to locate it when asked several times: He told the HSCA in 1978 that he had the photo somewhere, and that he would try to locate it. It is unknown if the HSCA contacted him again. In October 1984, Mary asked him through a person. He said he could still not find it.
I was unable to find any evidence that Mary brought the existence of this photo to the attention of the Warren Commission or the FBI.
Lumpkin passed away in 2015. I have sent letters to 3 children of Lumpkin requesting information on the photo. No response from them was received.
MARY IN THE WARREN COMMISSION REPORT
Mary was called to testify to the Warren Commission, but was unable to do so because of a foot injury. She asked the WC for a few days delay, which was granted. But she never heard back from them.
Her photos were not published or even mentioned in the Warren Report, but there are documents that do mention them in the Commission’s Volumes. We’ll analyze those documents later.
WHAT DO THE FBI DOCUMENT SAY ABOUT THE LUMPKIN PHOTO?
Mary gave a photo to Deputy Sheriff Allan Sweat who turned it over to Secret Service agent William Patterson as documented in this document – CE 1426. It is unclear if it is the Lumpkin or McBride photo.
19H535 (WC Volume 19): Deputy Sheriff Bill Wiseman’s report notices that one of the pictures shows the most East end window of the 6th floor just before the shooting. It’s a fact repeated by Mary to Mark Lane in 1964. Lane reported that information to the Warren Commission during his testimony (2H42). The McBride photo does not show the window, so Wiseman is necessarily talking about the Lumpkin photo, unless Wiseman made a mistake. The Lumpkin photo would show the window as he was further back up the street , closer to Houston, than McBride.
Fort Worth Press. November 22, 1963 article. In it, Mary explains that she was not supposed to leave the photo in the camera for more than one minute. She estimates it took her up to 4 minutes.
Dallas Times Herald, November 22, 1963. In it, we read, “They glanced up to see a man run up the hill across the street from them and another(near the motorcade) pepper bullets at the running figure”
A bit later, we read, “I thought I saw someone in the motorcade in street dress shoot back at a person running up the hill”
Photo #3 shows the back wheel of a motorcycle. Unknown officer, most probably S. G. Bellah.
MARY ON THE 6TH FLOOR (PROBABLY EARLY 80s)
Mary and Me (2014)
My main website
My other blogs
PHOTOS, FILMS, SUSPECTS, WITNESSES
DOCUMENTARIES: WHAT YOU SEE IN THEM
INVESTIGATORS IDENTIFICATION PROJECT: TRYING TO IDENTIFY OFFICIALS IN PHOTOS AND FILMS
A CHRONOLOGY OF THE INVESTIGATORS’ ACTIVITIES IN DEALEY PLAZA
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