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Jim Leavelle

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Jim Leavelle
Leavelle while escorting Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963 moments before Oswald's assassination by Jack Ruby
James Robert Leavelle

(1920-08-23)August 23, 1920
DiedAugust 29, 2019(2019-08-29) (aged 99)
Cause of deathMyocardial infarction

James Robert "Jim" Leavelle (August 23, 1920 – August 29, 2019) was a Dallas, Texas homicide detective who was escorting Lee Harvey Oswald through the basement of Dallas Police headquarters when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby.

Early life[change | change source]

Leavelle was born and raised in Red River County, Texas. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, and was a sailor on board the USS Whitney during the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor bombings.[1]

Career[change | change source]

He joined the Dallas Police Department in April 1950 and retired in April 1975.[2][3]

Leavelle later said to author Joseph McBride that to him, the murder of President John F. Kennedy was "no different than a south Dallas nigger killing". This remark reveals that Leavelle was a racist who was not really concerned about who killed President Kennedy.[4]

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.[5] 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".[5] 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..."[5]

Leavelle believed that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy,[1] and said that in a 2006 discussion, he was told by Oswald's brother Robert that he believes the same thing, "because I knew my brother."[1]

Death[change | change source]

Leavelle died at a hospital on August 29, 2019, at the age of 99 while on a trip to Denver, Colorado from a heart attack while recovering from hip surgery.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Brokaw, Tom (December 7, 2006). "Pearl Harbor survivor witnesses history — twice". MSNBC.com.
  2. "Warren Commission, Volume VII: James R. Leavelle" (PDF). Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  3. Stengle, Jamie (May 14, 2013). "Dallas police honor detective cuffed to Oswald". Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  4. Eugenio, James Di (September 20, 2016). Reclaiming Parkland: Tom Hanks, Vincent Bugliosi, and the JFK Assassination in the New Hollywood. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. p. 251. ISBN 9781510707771. Archived from the original on June 4, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Testimony of James R. Levelle". Hearings Before the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Volume VII. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1964. pp. 260–270.
  6. Jackson, Matt. "Dallas Detective Cuffed to Oswald Dies at 99". NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth.