A Last Minute Change?

From Robert "Tosh" Plumlee's personal statement (2004)

"I was told, the routing of the motorcade had been changed at the last minute to Dealey Plaza." (Emphasis mine)

From James Files' video Confession of an Assassin (1996)

Around 7 AM on November 22, 1963 Jim Files drove to the Dallas Cabana Hotel to pick up John Rosselli. Next he drove Rosselli to a pancake house just off a major highway in west Fort Worth. Inside the pancake house, Roselli met with Jack Ruby who gave him a 5" X 9" envelope. Among other things in the envelope was:

"a map in there of the exact motorcade route that would take it through Dealey Plaza. Johnny Rosselli said well they only made one change. That was when he (Roselli) informed me they was coming off of Main Street on to Elm or on to Houston there ... they made the zig-zag, the little turn that they should have never made." (Emphasis mine)

From Jim Garrison's book On the Trail of the Assassins (1988)

Frank Klein: "Where the hell were the Dallas police when they made that last minute change in the route?" (Emphasis mine)

Jim Garrison: "Where indeed and the Secret Service. And the F.B.I."

Page 102

"The last-minute change in the parade route in Dallas was highly suspicious . . ." (Emphasis mine)

Page 176

"Had the November 17 warning been distributed to all concerned agencies, I realized, the last minute change in the parade route could have been scrutinized more closely, spotted as a trap, and the parade might have been canceled." (Emphasis mine)

Page 221

"And the parade route had been changed at the last minute so the motorcade would have to make a sharp turn, thus slowing it to less than ten miles per hour." (Emphasis mine)

Page 280

From the Dallas Morning News - Tuesday, November 19, 1963 ~ page 1

"Yarborough Seating Pondered by Dallas Morning News staff

The News learned Monday evening that the presidential motorcade will travel 10 miles to the Trade Mart using this route: From Love Field to Mockingbird Lane, along Mockingbird Lane to Lemmon, then Lemmon to Turtle Creek, Turtle Creek to Cedar Springs, Cedar Springs to Harwood, Harwood to Main, Main to Houston, Houston to Elm, Elm under the Triple Underpass to Stemmons Expressway and on to the Trade Mart." (Emphasis mine)

From the Dallas Times Herald - Tuesday, November 19, 1963 ~ pages 1 & 13

"Yarborough Gets JFK Table Spot by Jim Lehrer

Route Revealed: While the formal announcement of the details of the President's Texas and Dallas trip was to be made in Washington at 4 p.m., a White House representative in Dallas released the motorcade route. From the airport, the President's party will proceed to Mockingbird Lane to Lemmon and then to Turtle Creek, turning south to Cedar Springs. The motorcade will then pass through downtown on Harwood and then west on Main, turning back to Elm at Houston and then out Stemmons Freeway to the Trade Mart." (Emphasis mine)

The first print citation I can find claiming a last minute change in the motorcade route appears in Jim Garrison's 1988 book On the Trail of the Assassins. However, both the Tuesday, November 19th Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald report that the parade would travel on Main to Houston to Elm. Therefore the last minute change, mentioned at least four times by Garrison, is nothing more than a fabrication on his part.

So if there was no last minute change in the motorcade route, what does one make of the statements by Plumlee and Files?

In Plumlee's November 21, 2004 personal statement, which appears at http://www.jfkchat.com/plumlee1.html, he indicates the assassination attempt was to take place in the vicinity of the Adolphus Hotel at Main and Akard, which is one-half mile east of Dealey Plaza. However, Plumlee adds, there was a sudden shift in plans when the "routing of the motorcade had been changed at the last minute to Dealey Plaza." [Emphasis mine] In my opinion, this is rather far-fetched. Plumlee needs to provide evidence that there really was another planned parade route. A route that, contrary to published reports, would not take the President through Dealey Plaza.

The difficulty he would have with the Adolphus Hotel theory is that the hotel is nestled between Main and Commerce Streets, where the only westbound traffic toward Dealey Plaza was Main Street. Commerce was, and still is, a one-way street going east, so the motorcade could not have traveled west on Commerce to get to the Trade Mart. In theory, the motorcade could have driven on Elm Street, which is still a one-way street heading west. But if that had happened, the motorcade would have passed a block north - and out of view - of the Adolphus, thereby removing it from being a possible location for the assassination.

In the case of Files, he claims to have learned about the motorcade route change from Rosselli who got the information from Ruby. But since there was no last minute change - Files' story becomes a fabrication built upon a historical falsehood.

In the end, Files, Plumlee and Garrison would have us believe everyone involved in the protection of the president and those who would successfully make the attempt on his life never bothered to check the route as published in the local newspapers a full three days before the event. I can only conclude that at some point after 1988 Plumlee and Files read or heard through others about Garrison's unfounded claim. Neither realized the allegation was fictitious and both attempted to weave that last minute change myth into their self-professed activities that day.

Maybe all were fooled by the erroneous map of the motorcade route published on the front page of the Friday Dallas Morning News. Unlike the map printed in the Dallas Times Herald the Dallas Morning News had omitted the right turn from Main to Houston and the left onto Elm.

Dallas Morning News - November 22, 1963
Dallas Times Herald - November 21, 1963