After 48 Years, DPD Honors Clerk Who Alerted Them to Lee Harvey Oswald's Whereabouts

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Photo by Leslie Minora
Johnny Calvin Brewer, left, led officers to Lee Harvey Oswald after Kennedy's assassination. Pictured with historian Farris Rookstool III, center, and former DPD officer Ray Hawkins, who cuffed Oswald at the Texas Theatre.
After John Kennedy was shot in downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963, Johnny Calvin Brewer was listening to the radio while working behind the cash register at Hardy's Shoe Store on West Jefferson Avenue in Oak Cliff. At around 1:15 p.m., the radio broadcaster announced that another gunshot had been fired, this time at Officer J.D.Tippit, who had stopped a man who fit the assassin's description on West 10th Street, not far from Hardy's.

Minutes later, as cops swarmed the area, a casual shopper entered the shoe store. Brewer observed as Lee Harvey Oswald nervously browsed the selection, seemingly trying to avoid the cops and fade into the background despite the commotion of police cars screaming and people milling around outside.

If it weren't for Brewer, then a 22-year-old store clerk, the aftermath of Kennedy's assassination could have played out much differently. Which is why this afternoon, exactly 48 years later, Dallas Police Chief David Brown honored Brewer at the Texas Theatre, where he presented him with the Citizen's Certificate of Merit. "The selfless acts of Mr. Brewer have not been forgotten," Brown said, presenting him with the award.

After all, the afternoon of November 22, 1963 was not a time for shoe shopping. The president had just been shot; everyone knew. Brewer realized the man perusing the selection could very well be the man talked about on the radio. Oswald left the shoe store and entered Texas Theatre.

Brewer followed. "I was blank," he says now when asked what he was thinking then. He acted instinctively. He told the person working the ticket booth to call the police; he waited in the back of the theater to direct police once they arrived. It was the "longest couple minutes" he'd experienced.

He pointed four officers to Oswald, who was sitting in the crowd.

Only a few feet away from where Brewer stood, officer Nick McDonald told Oswald to stand up. The accused assassin chose instead to fight. He grabbed a pistol and tried to pull the trigger. Oswald nearly murdered another man that day.

While McDonald struggled to hold down Oswald, officer Ray Hawkins cuffed him. This afternoon, Hawkins sat quietly in the back of the very theater where the scene took place. "It was a wild day," Hawkins said, recounting the story. "I just feel lucky now that no one else was shot."

Today was the first time he had seen Brewer in 48 years. "He really did a great thing," Hawkins said.

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Granado11
Granado11

Innocent till all evidence points otherwise, Lee Oswald couldn't have plotted such an event as a lone gunman. Too many questions ,and not enough actual evidence pointing toward Oswald. We can only speculate about the truth, but the Gov't may never let the truth be told.

Wes Scott
Wes Scott

GREAT! Now, when are we going to find out who actually killed Kennedy and Tippitt? It damned sure was NOT Lee Oswald! There was a reason why Lyndon Johnson sealed the records on the assassination for 75 years - all those directly involved would be long dead and no justice could ever be served.

Think about this - Kennedy's parade route was changed after his plane landed at Dallas Love Field, an act that slowed down his car for a sniper hit. Lee Oswald would have ZERO ability to change the parade route.

Using an exact match of the same Mannlicher Carcano rifle supposedly used by Oswald, no expert sniper of the US military or FBI was able to successfully fire the four shots in 5 seconds that were recorded on the Zapruder film.

The fatal head shot came from his right front side from behind the fence on the Grassy Knoll. The film clearly showed Kennedy's head move backward and to the left on impact, and Jackie crawled onto the back of the car to retrieve a piece of Kennedy's skull that was blown backward from the exit wound. His greatest head wound was at the rear where the bullet exited, not the front where the bullet entered his head. Had Kennedy been shot from the rear, as claimed in the Warren Commission report citing Oswald as the lone assassin, then Kennedy's face would have been blown off. That was NOT the case.

Oswald was a CIA plant in the USSR, trained by the US military and utilized by the CIA. He was given Russian language training during his military service, something that NO soldier other than one being trained for covert spy activities ever received. Oswald worked at a U2 spyplane base on Sakhalin Island, Japan, where he was a trusted operative in some of the most sensitive intelligence gathering activities of his day.

It is unfathomable how truly gullible and close-minded most Americans are, especially when it comes to who killed JFK. This was clearly a mob hit sanctioned by the CIA, both of which had plenty of reasons for hating Kennedy and wanting him dead. Castro elicited mob help in overthrowing Batista, and then confiscated all mob holding and booted them out of Cuba. The CIA was pissed about the Bay of Pigs.

It was impossible for Oswald to have solely arranged and conducted the assassination of Kennedy. Only a complete fool believes that could have happened.

Williamdanielson77
Williamdanielson77

Thanks Wes for the short version of why LHO was not the lone gunman as announced to all within 30 minutes of the Kennedy hit and the only coup de tat in the history of our US of A. I was in fifth grade at the time and was not buying the hastly thrown together cover-up. I've been studing this crime of the century for  decades. Because of the freedom of information act, more evidence of a crimial conspiricy has appeared.  The Mafia and the US government left their foot prints.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'd never heard of Brewer til listening to the Musers this morn, hell of a footnote in the craziest chapter of Big D history.

Stay hard Mr. Brewer!

Guest
Guest

Very interesting. That's the first time I have heard that part of the story.

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