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James Robert Leavelle (born August 23, 1920) is the former Dallas, Texas homicide detective who was escorting Lee Harvey Oswald through the basement of Dallas Police headquarters when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby.

Leavelle was born and raised in Red River County, Texas and joined the Dallas Police Department in 1950.[1]

When Leavelle testified before the Warren Commission, he claimed that the first time he had ever sat in on an interrogation with Oswald was on Sunday morning, November 24, 1963. When Counsel Joseph Ball asked Leavelle if he had ever spoken to Oswald before this interrogation, he stated; "No; I had never talked to him before". Leavelle then stated during his testimony that; "...the only time I had connections with Oswald was this Sunday morning [November 24, 1963]. I never had [the] occasion to talk with him at any time..."

In a 2006 interview, Leavelle said that he was the first to interrogate Oswald after his arrest (contrary to his Warren Commission testimony); he said that he joked to Oswald before the transfer, " 'Lee, if anybody shoots at you, I hope they're as good a shot as you are,' meaning that the person would hit Oswald instead of me. He kind of smiled and said, ‘You're being melodramatic...Nobody’s going to shoot at me.’ ”,[2]

Leavellle believes that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy, and has also refuted conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination.[2]

Leavelle was a sailor on board the USS Whitney during the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Warren Commission, Volume VII: James R. Leavelle" (PDF). http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh7/pdf/WH7_Leavelle.pdf. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named msnbc
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