April 3, 2017 by Hayley Ellis
The first witness called is Buell Frazier a co-worker of Oswald’s at the TSBD. He is the one who gave Oswald a ride to Ruth Paine’s house on Thursday evening and to work the next morning. Buell Frazier’s testimony really goes 50/50 because he is both a good witness for the Prosecution and the Defense. He speaks to Oswald breaking his routine and going home on the 21st of November and getting “curtain rods” as well as stating that it sounds like the shots are more accurately coming from the grassy knoll and that Oswald was a good man and he liked him. So he’s really a great witness for both sides.
Bugliosi (Prosecution)- Buell was an order filler of books. In October Oswald began working at the Book depository. He learned that Oswald was living alone in Dallas and his wife lived down the street from Buell. He began giving Oswald a ride home on weekends to visit his wife. Oswald was a loner and didn’t speak on the drives. On November 21, Oswald broke routine and asked him to give him a ride home and Buell said “sure, you can ride home with me any time” and Oswald told him he was going to get curtain rods. Eventually the next morning, they had gotten in the car and Lee had put a package in the back seat of the car. Lee said it was those curtain rods he was talking about. When he got to work, he carried the package parallel to his body. Buell watched the Presidential motorcade from outside the TSBD. He heard 3 shots. Afterwards, they returned to work and there was roll call. The only employee missing was Oswald.
Spence (Defense)- We’ve never met before, right? But you’ve met and prepared for your testimony with Mr. Bugliosi. The FBI tried to get you to admit that the package he was carrying was longer than what you said, correct?
Well, they had me create an imaginary bag in my mind and I never had any doubt about Lee’s truthfulness and I did think that the package reached his palm which is longer than the gun broken down.
And you liked Lee? Yes, he was nice to children and was concerned about his wife. Buell thought that the shots sounded like they were coming from the railroad closer to the grassy knoll rather than the schoolbook depository.
In the end, Buell’s testimony really goes both ways. He supports that Lee broke his routine and went to Ruth Paine’s house on the 21st of November, but he also states that he heard the shots come from the railroad which is more consistent with shots coming from the grassy knoll, meaning Oswald would not have been the assassin. We’re left without a definitive answer either way after Buell’s testimony. Overall, Frazier’s testimony is strong for both sides, and the jury is left to figure out what they can make of it. He is a strong character witness for the Defense, but also a strong witness for the Prosecution because of the evidence that he provides. Personally, I can’t get a handle on what I think from his testimony. I do know that I trust his witness to breaking routine and bringing “curtain rods” to work rather than his witness to Oswald’s character. But something doesn’t add up here.