What James Worrell saw and heard

What James Worrell saw Headline: (front page of the Times Herald on "Friday evening, March 6, 1964")

Dallasite Says Man Fled From Assassination Site

By DARWIN PAYNE, Staff Writer

A 20-year-old Dallas youth said Friday he will tell the Warren
Commission that he saw a man run from the rear entrance of the Texas
School Book Depository Building and disappear seconds after President
Kennedy was assassinated.

James Richard Worrell of 13510 Winterhaven in Farmers Branch said he
described what he saw in a signed statement to police officers and
FBI agents the day after the assassination.

His testimony in Washington, D.C., is scheduled for Tuesday before
the commission now investigating the slaying of President Kennedy on Nov. 22.

The youth told The Times Herald he had skipped school that day to see
the President. He said he was standing directly below the sixth floor
of the depository when he heard a shot.

4 SHOTS FIRED (mini-headline within the story)

"I looked up real quick and saw the barrel fire again. I looked to
see where it hit and saw President Kennedy hit in the back of the head.

"Then I looked up again and saw it fire a third time. I was `moving
out' by then and didn't see where it hit," he said. The youth,
currently unemployed and no longer enrolled at Thomas Jefferson High
School, also claims he heard a fourth shot as he ran around the corner.

"I heard four shots, I don't care what they say," he said.

He said he ran around the depository on Houston Street and crossed
the street to rest against a building after his dash.

"I saw somebody strike out of the back door ... I just saw his back
and couldn't say who it was. He came out and bolted alongside the
building parallel to Elm and then he cut to his right," the youth said.

MAN DESCRIBED (mini-headline)

"He was sure running like everything," Mr. Worrell said. He said the
man disappeared from sight while running toward Pacific Street.

He estimated he was about 200 feet from the man. The youth said no
one else had reached the rear of the building at that time.

"To me he looked about 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10," he said. "He looked
like he weighed from 155 to 165 pounds and he had dark hair, a dark
sports coat. I don't know if it was blue, black or brown, but it was dark."

The man carried nothing and did not look around in his dash, Mr.
Worrell said.

The youth said he then returned home by bus. Next day, he said, he
called Farmers Branch police, who questioned him. "Then the Dallas
police came out and got me and took me downtown. I told the FBI and
another policeman what I had seen."

Mr. Worrell said he wasn't contacted again until Wednesday when a
Secret Service agent notified him he was requested to testify before
the Warren Commission.

RETURNED HERE

He said he had left town and gone to West Texas to roughneck shortly
after Jan. 1, then returned to Dallas.

Mr. Worrell, who lives with his mother, Mrs. Martha Worrell and a
sister, said he saw the barrel and part of the stock when the shots
were fired. He said he saw no part of the assassin's hand or arm,
though.

He said he ran from the scene because "everybody was hitting the
ground, and you never know how many might have been up there or how
many were going to get it."

"It was so coincidental," he said. "I had gone to Love Field to see
the President but it was too crowded. I came downtown and just
happened to pick that place."

Mr. Worrell said he is to meet a Secret Service agent at Love Field
Monday night and accompany him by jet to Washington. He said he
received a letter Thursday from President Johnson which described the
Warren Commission and its purpose and told who its members are.

OTHERS INVITED

Three other Dallasites also have been invited to testify at Tuesday's session.

Times Herald photographer Bob Jackson, who took the historic photo of
Lee Harvey Oswald immediately after he was shot, has accepted the
invitation to appear.

The others, Arnold Rowland and Amos Lee Euins, also have been
invited. Dallas police officials could not identify either man,
however, and Secret Service officials said they could release no
information on them. Efforts to locate the persons by other means failed.

A Warren Commission spokesman said official acceptances have not been
received from Mr. Rowland or Mr. Euins.

Go back to main page