JFK50GT - A Day In Dallas
John F Kennedy GeoTrail
JFK - A Day In Dallas

#12 JFK50GT: Officer Tippit Murder

Oswald murders Officer JD Tippit

This cache is dedicated to Dallas Police Officer JD Tippit who was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

JD Tippit was born in Clarksville, Texas. He had no first or middle name, only the letters "JD". He was a decorated WWII veteran (awarded the Bronze Star while serving in the Army Airborne Infantry in Germany). His DPD badge # was 848.

On November 22, 1963, Officer JD Tippit was working beat number 78, his normal patrol area in south Oak Cliff, a residential area of the city. At 12:45 p.m., 15 minutes after the assassination of President Kennedy, Officer Tippit received a radio order to move to the central Oak Cliff area as part of a concentration of police around the center of the city. At 12:54, Officer Tippit radioed that he had moved as directed. By then, several messages had been broadcast describing a suspect in the assassination as a slender white male, about 30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing about 165 pounds.

At approximately 1:13 p.m., Officer Tippit was driving slowly eastward on East 10th Street when, about 100 feet past the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, he pulled alongside Lee Harvey Oswald, who was walking in the same direction. Oswald, who resembled the broadcast description, walked over to the car and apparently exchanged words with Officer Tippit through the open vent window. Officer Tippit opened the door on the left side and started to walk around the front of his car. As Officer Tippit reached the front wheel on the driver's side, Oswald drew a revolver and fired several shots in rapid succession, hitting Officer Tippit three times in the chest. Oswald then walked up to Officer Tippit's fallen body and shot him directly in the head, killing him instantly. DPD squad car #10 was found on the street between 402 and 406 East 10th Street.

The Warren Commission interviewed 12 people who either witnessed the murder or its immediate aftermath. One witness watched Oswald shoot and kill Officer Tippit, then saw him flee the scene with the gun still in his hand. This witness, along with at least three others, picked him out of a lineup that same night. Two other ladies did not see the shooting, but watched Oswald shake the spent cartridges out of his handgun as he fled across their yard. They found two of the cartridges on the ground, which were later matched to the gun in Oswald's possession when he was arrested minutes later. Both the Warren Commission and the 1979 findings of the House Select Committee on Assassinations found that Oswald shot and killed Officer Tippit.

This is the site where Lee Harvey Oswald murdered Officer JD Tippit. Soon after Officer Tippit pulled his squad car to the side of the road, suspicious of Oswald as the possible Presidential assassin, Oswald pulled a gun and rapidly fired three shots into his chest, and later a forth shot from point blank range. Multiple witnesses observed these events and identified Oswald as the killer.

Today, the house at 402 East 10th Street, that was in the background of the crime scene photo, is long gone. In fact, it's been recently rebuilt from the ground up. It took 49 years for the historical marker at Patton & East 10th Streets to finally be erected to recognize that an officer was killed in the line of duty at this location.

This plaque memorializes the events in Oak Cliff on November 22, 1963. The sign is a nice reminder of Officer Tippit's service, but somehow took nearly 49 years until it was made and erected.Many of the area's surroundings are as new as the sign.