Some questions about Arnold Rowland…
He was the already married High School senior who says he was a JFK assassination witness and that there was a gunman on the 6th floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository but NOT at the Warren Commisions‘ official “Snipers nest”.
He said he saw man holding a rifle “at port arms” at the south-west corner window of the Book Depository about 15 minutes ( or was it five minutes) BEFORE Kennedy drove through Dealey Plaza.
He said to his wife “The secret service isn’t so secret is it?” and pointed at the window, but his wife said she didn’t see anybody in that window.
Rowland also says he saw an African American man in the so-called Snipers Nest window and he was about 55 years old, practically bald and very thin.
Oliver Stone and other conspiracy theorists say that Arnold Rowlands story proves a conspiracy, it proves a second gunman, and it disproves the Warren Reports “Oswald was the Lone Gunman” theory.
Vincent Bugliosi said in “Reclaiming History” that we shouldn’t believe Arnold Rowlands story because his high school principal said he was a patholigical liar and a known exagerater.
Bugliosis also points out that Rowlands wife didn’t see this man that her husband claimed to see.
I saw on the “Portal to Texas History” website ( https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338653/m1/2/ )
that he gave a statement to the Dallas County Sherriff’s department that is mostly the same as what he told the Warren Commission with one crucial difference,
He said the man was holding a rifle at “Parade Rest.”
Bugliosis also points out that Rowlands description of the gunman standing at”Port Arms” is ridiculous. Why would anyone stand at “parade rest” or “Port Arms” unless they were performing official military Drill and Ceremony?
If you were waiting to assassinate someone you wouldn’t stiffly stand like a toy soldier would you?
And what kind of civilian uses terminology like “Parade Rest” and or “Port Arms” anyway?
So we should dismiss what Arnold Rowland says he saw entirely, right? He’s a pathological liar who made this story up for attention right?
Lets look at other parts of the official record. Other stories….
16‐year‐old Amos Lee Euins said he saw the shooter in the snipers nest window -and that he thought the man was black.
Howard Brennan said he saw the shooting from the snipers nest window and that the man he saw more or less looked like Oswald. Oswald was 24, but Brennan said the shooter looked to be about 30. I don’t see a contradiction here, every picture of Lee Harvey Oswald taken around the time of the assassination shows him to APPEAR closer to 30 than 24.
An african american Texas School Book depository employee (Bonnie Ray Williams ? )says he was sitting at/near what would later be called the “Snipers Nest” eating his lunch, a chicken sandwich.
Didnt Bonnie Ray Williams say he WAS at the “snipers nest” window for a bit, eating a chicken sandwich, then realized his friends were directly below him on the FIFTH floor, left, went down to fifth floor window to be with his friends?
Couldn’t this then back up Amos Lee Euins story, Howard Brennans story AND Arnold Rowlands story?
( I think I’m getting part of this from an in-person conversation with Bill Brown, and maybe one of the conspiracy books?)
Oswald was on the 6th floor. Maybe he WANTED to shoot from the “snipers nest” window but somebody was sitting there.
Oswald could have been standing near the south-west corner window with his rifle waiting for/hoping that the other person at the other end of the sixth floor would leave. Barring that, Oswald could just commit his evil deed from the south-west corner window.
When the other person left, Oswald left the south-west corner window area and walked over to the “Snipers nest” corner and moved the 3 boxes to set up his shooting area.
Arnold Rowland never said he saw the shots coming from the south-west corner window, did he? He simply said he saw a man with a rifle at the south-west corner window STANDING there with a rifle some minutes before the assassination. Have I got that right?
Arnold Rowland said he saw a white guy with a rifle at the southwest corner window and a Black person at the other end. I don’t see any contradiction here. The second man Rowland saw was Bonnie Ray Williams. Rowland got BRW’s age WAY off, but it was a ways away and he didn’t get that good of a look at either person did he?
Rowland also correctly described the rifle “appeared to be a high powered rifle because it looked as though it had a scope on it.” And he semi-correctly described Oswald himself (“White man with a light colored shirt, open at the neck. He appeared to be of slender build and he appeared to have dark hair.”) Although later in the day, Oswald was wearing a reddish brown long sleeve shirt with a white T shirt underneath it, wasn’t he? So Rowland got the shirt color wrong, a minor point that I don’t think discredits his whole testimony.
As for Rowlands changing testimony as to how the rile was held, maybe he was lying, maybe he was mistaken or mis- remembering things. Or maybe he saw BOTH things. He could have seen Oswald holding the rifle up with both hands across his torso ( “Port arms”) and then he saw Oswald after he put the rifle on the floor, resting it on its butt ( “parade rest”).
In both of Rowlands statements his description had the words “sort of thing.”
“the man I saw was holding the rifle in a port arms kind of thing’
and he told the Dallas Sherrifs office (exact quote):
“He appeared to be holding this at a parade rest sort of position”
So a “parade rest sort of thing” didn’t need to mean a stiff formal PARADE REST pose, it could easily be : “holding it alongside his body”
And a “Port Arms sort of thing” could easily just be “holding it up with two hands.”
I don’t know why Arnold Rowland used such oddly specific military D&C ( “Drill and Ceremony”) terminology. Was he in Junior ROTC or a High School marching bands rifle drill team? Did he have a lot of family members who had been in the military? Or did he just have the same interest in military matters that many teen age boys would have had in 1963 ( and many still do today). Anyone have an answer for this?
His use of military D&C terminology is a bit eccentric and unusual, but not impossible to accept.
As for why his wife didn’t see the man with the rifle in the window? Rowland said the rifle man was 15 to twenty feet back from the window, and maybe Oswald changed position by the time Rowland pointed him out to his wife. Or maybe his wife didn’t have her glasses on?
Rowland said ” In about 15 minutes President Kennedy passed the same spot where we were standing and the motorcade had just turned west on Elm heading down the hill when I heard a noise I thought to be a back fire”
15 Minutes seems to be more than enough time for Bonnie Ray Williams to leave the sixth floor and Oswald to move three boxes to set up his snipers nest.
16‐year‐old Amos Lee Euins said he thought the shooter was black.
I can’t prove this, and I admit this is a bit of a stretch…. a “leap of faith ” But maybe Euins saw Oswalds rifle up in the window but had maybe seen Bonnie Ray Williams earlier, and he “mashed” the two memories together? He didn’t realize he had seen two different people in the same window?
There’s no proof, no statements by Euins, to suggest this was so, is there?
I have visited Dealey Plaza several times in the past 3 years and the “Rowland Corner” has been under construction every time I’ve been there. Obviously , the CIA doesn’t want me or anyone else to see Rowlands point of view?