When all else fails in my relentless search for answers regarding President Kennedy’s unsolved assassination, I return to the simplest, earliest sources of information. A simple black and white documentary produced some of the best pieces of evidence that led to a sweeping rebellion and passionate dissent towards the haphazard conclusions of The Warren Commission.
I was fortunate enough to find a pristine, complete print of Emile de Antonio and Mark Lane’s Rush To Judgment on YouTube yesterday. A fever came over me, as I remembered how the most important criminal investigation (of the 20th century) was virtually turned upside down in a mere 122 minutes. Rush To Judgment was first catapulted onto a canvass screen (and into movie theaters) on June 2, 1967.
It changed the world! The black and white documentary, which is Mark Lane’s rebuttal to the hasty conclusions of The Warren Commission, (by way of original witnesses who saw something completely different from what was reported to the American People), restored me to a clearer day of innocence, I thought I’d once experienced, (having suffered) a former day of tyranny, recollected as a guarded society ruled by fear and oppression, where the truth could only be obtained by sly means, hidden from those who had so much to gain, by burying what was already lost to the keen memory of history.
The particulars of this most famous of documentaries, and my favorite one of all time, need not be hatched out again blow by blow (the original frames already aptly achieve this). The redundancy of such an ostentatious showcase is not the point of my brief in defense of further viewings of Rush To Judgment. My purpose is to reignite within you the vitality and immediacy one can drink in with their own eyes, when the uncluttered black and white frames seemingly sing out Lee Harvey didn’t do it! Butterflies welled up once again in my stomach as I remembered how that revelation first had come over me.
Oswald’s matter-of-fact black eye is noticeable instantaneously in some early frames of the documentary. It looks like the Dallas Police roughed him up pretty good when busting him at the Texas Theater. And how did they know to put out an all points bulletin giving Oswald’s description, at an early time, at 12:45 PM, only 15 minutes after JFK had passed through a bullet whizzing Dealey Plaza? Mark Lane raises this question. Through the years I’ve thought about this impossibility of such an early identification. There is no benign answer; only that the description was probably planted by an anonymous conspirator to the DPD to frame Lee.
Rush To Judgment is chalk full of specific topics which need to be isolated, dissected, then viewed several times over again, until the profundity of what the witnesses are telling you begins to sink in ernest. An example I’ll give you (there are many, many others, but this is a good one), is what J. C. (Jesse) Price saw from the Terminal Annex Building just after the volley of shots were fired. I will say, it was his words that were most effective, since Mark actually went with him atop the Terminal Annex to the exact spot he was standing at on November 22nd.
J.C. actually saw one man running away from behind the picket fence, which is behind The Grassy Knoll, in the parking lot, used for The Texas School Book Depository Building, just seconds after the fatal head shot. Price was quite precise in his description of a fleeing suspect, jetting out of the Knoll area very rapidly.
The fleer was a young man, wearing khaki pants, a white shirt, and carrying something in his hand, which J.C. suspected was a gun. You could see the Knoll clear as day from the building rooftop. I didn’t have any trouble believing what Price is telling us in the film. Why he wasn’t called by The Warren Commission is still a mystery, even today. I believe J.C. Price really saw one of Kennedy’s assassins escape, and nobody took him seriously. I do
More than any witness, L.E. Bowers, Jr. has haunted me over the years. Lee Bowers himself died only three days after speaking with Mark Lane (sometime in 1966) in a car accident. The tie-in of Bowers’ car accident to what he saw that Friday when working in the Southend Terminal BLDG as a rail switch operator, has yet to be unraveled by the Doubting Thomas’s who frequently jam up the roads leading to the truth. Bowers saw it all and tells us so (to an omniscient camera shortly before he too loses his life).
What Lee Bowers has to say about the three automobiles coming into the TSBD parking lot has stuck with me throughout the years. Were the assassins casing the joint just 15 minutes before the motorcade drives by? I believe it! The second car, which pulls in at around 12:16 PM, had a male talking into a microphone. Who was he talking to (we want to know)? Bowers saw the commotion in that area, over by the picket fence, just as the shots were fired. Lee knew the second and third shots were from different shooters, since they were too close together.
Three witnesses heard a shot come from The Grassy Knoll area. These three railroad workers had a birds-eye view, since they were on top of the triple underpass. I’ve stood there myself some years ago, and you can see Dealey Plaza perfectly. S.M. Holland was quite certain, he heard the report, then saw a puff of smoke hovering near the trees, that are just in front of the picket fence. Richard C. Dodd and James Leon Simmons exactly corroborate S.M. Holland’s story.
Your best bet, is to pick out one tiny detail from Rush To Judgment, then begin to research it to see what authorities have said in a consequential timeframe following the 1967 documentary. I attempted this strategy just this morning with the perplexing accounts of Warren Reynolds, who was shot in the head at his Oak Cliff used car dealership, when he failed to identify Oswald as the man fleeing Officer J. D. Tippit’s slaying. Penn Jones Jr. had mentioned the mysterious death of Betty Mooney McDonald (purportedly a stripper who had worked for Jack Ruby) in a Dallas jail cell.
I didn’t find anything that made me doubt the two events (McDonald’s hanging and the Reynold’s shooting) were related. The Tippit shooting itself rears its ugly head in this Pandora’s Box of mind blowing revelations for why the Lone Assassin Theory of The Warren Report cannot and is not true, or even close to being true. A black woman, Acquella Clemons, saw two men at the Tippit shooting. The one who she says did the shooting fits the description of Jack Ruby; a chunky, heavy set man – kind of short. The chunky man waves the thin man to go!
Two days later a man who Acquella thought was a police officer, since he had a gun, said to her she ‘might get hurt’ if she tells what she saw. The Warren Commission never called her to testify. The documentary ends with Penn Jones (a newspaper reporter who had his own news service, The Midlothian Mirror) saying “something is wrong in the land.” This is a very important film in terms of what was happening by way of a social movement of dissent in the U.S. There was dissent against a raging war in Vietnam and now we could see the exposure of how an organized cabal had eliminated our president to keep the war going strong.