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Lee Edward Bowers, Jr. (January 12, 1925 – August 9, 1966)[1] was a witness to the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.[2] Conspiracy theorists claim that Bowers died under "mysterious circumstances".[2]

Early life and career[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.[3]

Assassination of Kennedy[edit]

At the moment of the assassination, Bowers 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.[4] He had an unobstructed view of the rear of the concrete pergola and the stockade fence at the top of the grassy knoll.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] Many assumed that Bowers meant that these men were standing behind the stockade fence at the top of the grassy knoll.[8] Bowers further stated : "At the time of the shooting there seemed to be some commotion (...)" on the high ground above Elm Street. When asked about this commotion, he added : "I just am unable to describe rather than it was something out of the ordinary, a sort of milling around, but something occurred in this particular spot which was out of the ordinary, which attracted my eye for some reason, which I could not identify."

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.[9] 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.[10]


Bowers died in August, 1966, when his car left an empty road and struck a concrete bridge abutment near Midlothian, Texas.[11][12]

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


  1. ^ Ancestry.com. Texas Death Index, 1903-2000 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006.
  2. ^ a b Thompson, Helen (December 31, 1969). "Dealey Plaza Revisited". Texas Monthly. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 6, p. 284, Testimony of Lee E. Bowers, Jr., April 2, 1964.
  4. ^ Warren Commission Report, p. 71–72, The Witnesses: At the Triple Underpass.
  5. ^ Warren Commission Report, p. 74, Commission Exhibit 2118, View From North Tower of Union Terminal Company, Dallas, Texas.
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 7, p. 287–288, Testimony of Lee E. Bowers, Jr., April 2, 1964.
  8. ^ 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."
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966, p. 31
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ "Executive Dies After Car Wreck", The Dallas Morning News, August 10, 1966, p. D4.

External links[edit]

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

Peoria Journal Star
Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:40:05 -0700

1715 Kingsbury Road, Washington, Brad A. and Linda L. Elward to Michael J. and Kathy Lee Bowers, $305,000. 11 Dayton Court, Morton, Michael K. and Margaret C. Harms to Benjamin W. and Rebekah A. Smidt, $325,000. 419 Maxine Drive, Morton, J.K. ...

The Daily Telegram

The Daily Telegram
Mon, 18 Apr 2016 12:07:30 -0700

The 37-year-old Adrian man who last month admitted sexually abusing two teenaged girls was sentenced Thursday in Lenawee County Circuit Court to concurrent 16-month-to-two-year prison terms. The prison terms handed down to Garrison Lee Bowers ...
Columbia Daily Tribune
Thu, 14 Apr 2016 12:18:19 -0700

Arrington Lee Bowers, 49, of 3102 Alpine Drive, out-of-county warrant, $5,000 bond. Dennis James Bunn, 33, of the streets of Columbia, first-degree tampering, resisting arrest, second-degree burglary, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to ...
Daily Journal
Sat, 09 Apr 2016 10:48:45 -0700

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Two men have been sentenced to prison for separate slayings in central Arkansas. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Saturday that 22-year-old Juwon Rashad Cooper was sentenced to 15 years in prison for ...

Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 09:37:30 -0800

Coached by former England Rugby Union player Lewis Moody, pro stunt drivers Terry Grant and Lee Bowers pulled off a totally unique and potentially dangerous rugby interception which has set a record for the Greatest speed differential between the throw ...


Sat, 12 Mar 2016 22:00:00 -0800

With less disposable income, it will be harder for them to go out to eat, which Lee Bowers notes is his bread and butter. Bowers, a retired lawyer and lifelong Huntington resident, owns the Rusty Dog restaurant, which opened six years ago downtown ...

The Atlantic

The Atlantic
Thu, 03 Mar 2016 08:52:30 -0800

The suits date back to 1969. The lead plaintiff in a 2006–2007 class action suit, Lee Bowers, gave vivid testimony about the crowded conditions he endured in a holding cell during his relatively brief but, by his own account, traumatic detainment. He ...

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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