JFK50GT - A Day In Dallas
John F Kennedy GeoTrail

JFK50GT #11: Texas Theater

Flight from Dealey Plaza

Within 80 minutes of shooting President Kennedy from the6th floor window of the Texas School Book Depository at Dealey Plaza, Oswald was apprehended. After taking the 3 shots and quickly ditching his weapon, he walked to a bus stop and rode the bus for a block. With traffic at a standstill, he got out and walked several blocks where he hailed a cab just south of downtown which took him several blocks away from his boarding house. Oswald walked to hid boarding house that left, soon encountering Officer JD Tippit, whom he shot and killed. Leaving the scene of that crime he walked briskly towards West Jefferson Street. On W. Jefferson, he heard the wail of police sirens and ducked into the entry alcove of Hardy's shoe store with his back to the street to avoid detection. The police sirens traveled westward on W. Jefferson and abruptly turned back eastward on Zang, just a block before reaching Oswald's location at 213 W. Jefferson (now a dress shop).

Oswald's Capture

As soon as the police sirens retreated, Oswald returned to the sidewalk and continued westward towards the Texas Theater. His secretive behavior triggered the suspicion of the 18-year-old shoe store manager, Johnny Calvin Brewer. Brewer followed him heading west down the sidewalk and into the theater. Before entering the theater, he had the ticket girl call the police to notify them of this suspicious fellow. Upon entering the theater, Brewer got the concession man to cover the front exit while he went to the back exit. He could see that no one had recently left the theater through the rear exit, but with the lights down low for the movie, he could not find the man he was looking for in the crowd. When Brewer started to open the back door, he was greeted by an anxious police presence. He quickly explained the situation to the officers and they entered through the back of the theater and raised the house lights.

A peek into the darkened Texas Theater

The theater lobby has multiple balcony entrances and many places to hide.

The Texas Theater marks the end of the chase for President Kennedy's assassin, even though that wasn't known at the time of his arrest.

With the lights up, Brewer quickly pointed out Oswald near the back row, and the police quickly advanced toward him. Oswald responded by sucker-punching the first officer to reach him, then Oswald drew his handgun that he had just used to kill Officer Tippit. The gun was wrestled out of his hand and a fight ensued as the officers handcuffed him and marched him out the front of the theater. Brewer, along with several officers and a few members of the press were present in the theater to witness his apprehension. Oswald was arrested for the murder of Officer Tippit, but the connection could not initially be made to President Kennedy. The connection was soon made and charges for the Kennedy assassination were filed later that night.

The historic plaque outside the theater marks the site where Oswald was apprehended. Just down the street at 213 W. Jefferson is the site where Oswald tried to duck the police, but aroused the suspicions of Johnny Calvin Brewer, who led the police to Oswald.

The cache is of a non-traditional variety since hiding spots are few and far between at this location. Stealth is a must here. From the cache site, you can see both the theater and the site of the shoe store where the clerk tracked down Oswald.