Broken Silence - Really?
In mid 1996 Pinnacle Books published Broken Silence by Ray "Tex" Brown and Don Lasseter. The authors insinuated Mr. Brown was responsible for teaching Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby how to shoot or at least he attempted to do so. In the end he claims both were beyond help.
Late in the text, at page 260 to be exact, Mr. Lasseter explains how the book was constructed. "I had spent weeks researching the available facts of the assassination and related events before and after. I watched hours of documentaries on videotape and rolled miles of microfilm in libraries. Assembling the data I drew timelines of the activities by Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald, President Johnson, and several other bit players. My plan was to draw a similar timeline for Tex Brown's movements, then compare it to the others."
If Lasseter were accurate then the first thing developed would be a chart showing where there are any timing gaps in the whereabouts of both Oswald and Ruby. Assassination researchers, as well as, the Warren Commission and House Select Committee would have no records of the duo's location at these times. From that point it would be a simple matter to use these dates and times to interject Mr. Brown into the story. For example, we have no idea what Oswald did on Thursday, October 10,1963. Lasseter and Brown quickly clear the matter up. Oswald and Ruby on that Thursday show "up at my (Tex Brown's) place an hour before noon." Shortly thereafter Ruby asks Tex to take Oswald out to Lake Worth for a little target practice.
Now Lasseter proclaims he was not easily swayed on the Brown believability issue. On page 268 he pushes the envelope. "First I wanted to know if he (Tex Brown) had studied published accounts of the events and details, or watched documentaries on television." "Absolutely not, he (Brown) insisted." Well that settles that. There should be no reason to question anything revealed between the covers of Broken Silence.
Following along closely you will find that most of the gaps are filled with similar scenarios. Usually Brown meets the pair and then they head out for more practice at Lake Worth. Of course, we are asked to embrace on faith some spectacular details taken solely from Tex's memory. On page 268 we discover "Every bit of his story, though comes from his personal recollection. The diaries, notes, photographs, and artifacts he kept were all destroyed in a disastrous fire. His memory is the last remaining record." Thus Tex becomes another of a number of people claiming knowledge of aspects of the Kennedy assassination that are very careless with their proof. Of course a skeptic such as this writer can claim that the author's will use this vehicle to chalk up historical errors to bad or misplaced reminiscence.
In reading this book I can only conclude Tex has remarkable recall indeed. He even manages to remember his friend Tommy's comments about the details of a 1963 Dallas Cowboys- Philadelphia Eagles football game played in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. (Page 147-148).
But there is one thing he HAS forgotten, one that can't be excused by faulty memory. For the period 1946 to 1966 Daylight Savings Time was not observed in the State of Texas. Tex admits when Oswald started work at the Texas School Book Depository the practice times needed to be changed. Oswald started work on Wednesday, October 16,1963. From page 108- "More important, though, he (Ruby) told me that our future sessions would have to be held on weekday evenings, after 5:30, because he'd landed a job in Dallas, at the Texas School Book Depository, from 8:00 to 4:45 each day." Of course the mere mention of this conversation proves that prior to this date, for the story to be true, there were sessions at Lake Worth after 5:30 p.m.
Ruby would have to pick Oswald up immediately after work and travel to Tex's hangout, the Rodeo Cafe then on, as shown in a photograph in the book, to a remote section of Lake Worth some miles distant to the west. If they could make it there by 5:30, which is still subject to question we nevertheless have the problem with the amount of available light. On October 15,1996 it is DARK by 7:00 p.m. but remember we're talking Daylight Savings Time here. To convert we must use the memory jogger "fall back" which means that in 1963 it was 6:00 PM. So here we have a self-professed firearms instructor racing his two charges to the lake to practice in very unfavorable conditions.
In essence the book fails based upon the squeeze between Oswalds leaving work and the amount of daylight remaining. Until Messieurs Brown and Lasseter can refute my assertion I will have to consider this another tall Texas yarn.
Copyright Ó 1999 by David B. Perry All rights reserved