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Lee Edward Bowers, Jr. (January 12, 1925 – August 9, 1966)[1][2] was a key witness to the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas in 1963.[3] At the moment of the assassination he was operating the Union Terminal Company's two-story interlocking tower, overlooking the parking lot just north of the grassy knoll and west of the Texas School Book Depository. He had an unobstructed view of the rear of the concrete pergola and the stockade fence at the top of the grassy knoll.[4] He described hearing three shots that came from either the Depository on his left or near the mouth of the Triple Underpass railroad bridge on his right; he was unsure because of the reverberation from the shots.

Bowers worked in the two-story railroad tower seen at the top of this photo of Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas

Warren Commission testimony[edit]

On April 2, 1964, Lee Bowers provided testimony to Joseph A. Ball, assistant counsel of the Warren Commission, at the US Post Office Building in Dallas.[5] When asked by Ball, "Now, were there any people standing on the high side — high ground between your tower and where Elm Street goes down under the underpass toward the mouth of the underpass?" Bowers testified that at the time the motorcade went by on Elm Street, four men were in the area: one or two uniformed parking lot attendants, one of whom Bowers knew; and two men standing 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 m) apart near the Triple Underpass, who did not appear to know each other. One was "middle-aged, or slightly older, fairly heavy-set, in a white shirt, fairly dark trousers" and the other was "younger man, about midtwenties, in either a plaid shirt or plaid coat or jacket." One or both were still there when the first police officer arrived "immediately" after the shooting.[6] Many assumed that Bowers meant that these men were standing behind the stockade fence at the top of the grassy knoll.[7]

Rush to Judgment[edit]

However, two years later when Bowers was interviewed by assassination researchers Mark Lane and Emile de Antonio for their documentary film Rush to Judgment, he clarified that these two men were standing in the opening between the pergola and the stockade fence, and that "no one" was behind the fence when the shots were fired.[8] Bowers said,

These two men were standing back from the street somewhat at the top of the incline and were very near two trees which were in the area. And one of them, from time to time as he walked back and forth, disappeared behind a wooden fence which is also slightly to the west of that. These two men to the best of my knowledge were standing there at the time of the shooting.

Bowers told Lane that as the motorcade passed "there was a flash of light or smoke" in the vicinity of where the two men were standing.[9]

Employment[edit]

Bowers served in the U.S. Navy from ages 17 to 21. He attended Hardin-Simmons University for two years then Southern Methodist University for two years, majoring in religion. He worked for the Union Terminal Co. railyard for 15 years, also working as a self-employed builder. In 1964 he began working as business manager for a hospital and convalescent home.[1]

Death[edit]

Bowers died in August, 1966, when his car left an empty road and struck a concrete bridge abutment near Midlothian, Texas.[10][11]

It was alleged in Richard Belzer's book "Hit List" that Bowers's death was murder, not accidental, to cover up knowledge of the JFK assassination [12]

Bowers was played by Pruitt Taylor Vince in the 1991 film JFK.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 6, p. 284, Testimony of Lee E. Bowers, Jr., April 2, 1964.
  2. ^ Ancestry.com. Texas Death Index, 1903-2000 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006.
  3. ^ Warren Commission Report, p. 71–72, The Witnesses: At the Triple Underpass.
  4. ^ Warren Commission Report, p. 74, Commission Exhibit 2118, View From North Tower of Union Terminal Company, Dallas, Texas.
  5. ^ "Testimony of Lee E. Bowers, Jr.". Hearings Before the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Volume VI. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1964. pp. 284–288. 
  6. ^ Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 7, p. 287–288, Testimony of Lee E. Bowers, Jr., April 2, 1964.
  7. ^ Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966, p. 31–32:
    "His [Bowers'] description of the two men behind the fence was not unlike Miss Mercer's…"
    Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy, Carroll & Graf, 1993, ISBN 978-0-88184-648-5, p. 75:
    "Bowers told a fascinating story of suspicious cars moving in the sealed-off railroad yards minutes before the assassination, and of seeing strange men behind the picket fence."
    Harrison Edward Livingstone, High Treason, Carroll & Graf, 1998, ISBN 978-0-7867-0578-8, p. 116:
    "Lee Bowers Jr. … was in the railroad control behind the grassy knoll and saw two men behind the fence, a puff of smoke during the shooting, and a lot of activity."
    Anthony Summers, Not in Your Lifetime, Marlowe & Co., 1998, ISBN 978-1-56924-739-6, p. 36:
    "Lee Bowers, the railway towerman who had seen two strangers behind the fence just before the assassination, had partially lost sight of them in the foliage."
  8. ^ Rush to Judgment, which advocated a multi-shooter conspiracy, did not use that portion of Bowers' interview. The redacted portions of the Bowers interview were first published by Dale K. Myers in 2004. Dale K. Myers, Secrets of a Homicide: Badge ManThe Testimony of Lee Bowers, Jr. The interview transcript is among the papers of De Antonio at the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.
  9. ^ Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966, p. 31
  10. ^ Bugliosi, Vincent (2007). Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. New York: W.W. Norton. p. 899. ISBN 978-0-393-04525-3. 
  11. ^ "Executive Dies After Car Wreck", The Dallas Morning News, August 10, 1966, p. D4.
  12. ^ http://www.bubblews.com/news/2000218-belzer-and-wayne-examine-the-jfk-hit-list

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Bowers — Please support Wikipedia.
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145 news items

Green Bay Press Gazette

Green Bay Press Gazette
Sun, 15 Mar 2015 18:07:47 -0700

Several Green Bay-Bay Area USBC Bowling Association members are ranked in the top 25, but only Wrightstown's Lee Bowers is in first place at the halfway point in the 113th annual Wisconsin State Bowling Association Tournament. The tournament, which ...
 
Columbia Daily Tribune
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:45:00 -0700

Arrington Lee Bowers, 48, of 2900 Greeley Drive, first-degree trespassing, driving while license is suspended or revoked, driving while intoxicated, $9,500 bond. Howard Lee Callen Jr., 53, of 1800 East Prathersville Road No. 23, unlawful use of a ...

MLive.com

MLive.com
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:15:12 -0700

Cory Lee Bowers, 32, of East O Avenue, was sentenced to two days in jail, two years of probation and ordered to pay attorney fees, court costs, state fees and restitution for possession of less than 25 grams of a controlled substance as a second-time ...
 
Dalles Chronicle
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 14:33:45 -0700

#March 20, 4:01 p.m. – Two vehicle, non-injury crash, 1200 block of West 6th Street. Officer assisted with the exchange of information. #March 21, 7:35 p.m. – Two vehicle, non-injury crash, 2200 block of East 12th Street. Officer assisted with the ...
 
Brownwood News (blog)
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 17:39:48 -0700

*Bangs Police arrested 25-year-old Kavin Lee Bowers of Coleman for driving while license invalid. *Brown County Sheriff's Office arrested 29-year-old Albert Cantu of Bangs on a warrant related to possession of a dangerous drug. *Brown County Sheriff's ...

East London and West Essex Guardian Series

East London and West Essex Guardian Series
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 05:21:47 -0700

Chingford Athletic took full advantage of the fact league-leaders May & Baker EC 'A' were not in action, beating Eastside Rangers (London Community) 4-0. The win saw Chingford close the gap on the top-of-the-table side to 12 points and they have five ...
 
OCRegister
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:09:46 -0700

“Our great success has been partnering with other important museums in the world,” said Julie Perlin Lee, Bowers' vice president of collections and exhibition development. “More recently we've been traveling our own collections. Currently, our ...

Student Operated Press

Student Operated Press
Tue, 19 Nov 2013 04:40:32 -0800

Do I believe the conspirators eliminated Lee Bowers, since he saw to much? I have to admit, I do believe just that; but who do I think it was (who snuffed Lee?) Mark Lane has finally concluded, it was the CIA who Kennedy, so I`ll go along with this ...
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