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Sandra Styles

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Sean Murphy

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Apr 29, 2011, 6:50:14 PM4/29/11
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A couple of years back, I made contact with Sandra Styles. She told me
that she felt Victoria Adams had significantly exaggerated the speed
with which the pair descended from the fourth to the first floor after
the shooting.
In the light of Barry Ernest's new book 'The Girl on the Stairs', I
decided to contact Sandra once again to discuss this matter. She has
some rather interesting things to say.
Rather than summarise them (and risk putting words in Sandra's mouth),
I shall simply offer the relevant text from Sandra's own emails. In a
number of places I've asterisked key details.
Before doing so, however, I would like to apologise to Barry Ernest
for having on a previous occasion called his integrity as a researcher
into question. The gap between what Sandra has told me and what Barry
says she told him is not at all as large as I had alleged. My
apologies, Barry.
Sean Murphy

***

In my first email I asked Sandra to respond to the following words
from Barry (as posted on a research forum), who was himself responding
to what Sandra had told me a couple of years back:

'When I interviewed Sandra Styles in 2002, she said absolutely nothing
of the kind to me. What she did say was, she couldn't be sure exactly
how quickly she left the window and went down the stairs, but she
recalled she did so "rather quickly," in her words, and "when Vicki
did," again in her words. Why she would say otherwise now, especially
when she said what she did then and added, "Vicki was the more
observant one," is beyond me.'

Here was Sandra's response:

'First of all, I do not recall that Barry put much emphasis on the
timing or that we spent time discussing that aspect. I stand by what
I said to you. *At the time, I first thought we went downstairs
quickly; but in thinking about it further, I came to the conclusion
that it was not immediately. I told an interviewer (FBI? not sure)
that when we got downstairs, the police were there so I assumed we
went down quickly; however, the interviewer told me that it took the
police 15-20 minutes to get to the Depository, so I accepted that we
must have taken longer to get downstairs than I first thought.* I went
with what Victoria said because she spoke with such certainty; since I
couldn't say for sure, I didn't argue with her. *She also told office
workers that on the way down, she noticed the freight elevator cables
were moving.* I'm not sure what that would prove; but since I did not
notice that, that is what I meant when I said she was more observant.
Barry was working closely with her, and I didn't want to get into it
with her when I couldn't prove it either way.

Barry's main discussion with me concerned the outlay of the office:
the exact location of the back stairs in relation to the other
elevator, which direction the building faced, etc. Since I didn't
have scanning capabilities, I had to describe all that verbally in
several emails. We were all interviewed several times by different
entities over the next year. I always said the the same thing to each
one: that I had nothing of importance to help their investigation.
Their concern was whether I knew Oswald, had ever seen him, etc. As
to the timing of the whole thing, I wasn't sure then and can't say for
certain now. I only go by what seems reasonable. I can only report my
personal recollections the best I can. I was easily led back then,
lol. *If she said we went down immediately, I thought that must be
true. If the interviewer said that was not possible due to the amount
of time it took the police to get over there, I re-thought it and
accepted HIS assessment.* The truth may lie somewhere in between.
What is logical is that, in all the pandemonium, it is unlikely that
we would hear shots and head for the back stairs!'

***

In my reply, I put two points to Sandra:

1) The authorities' claim that it took 15-20 minutes for police to get
to the Depository was way off.
2) Barry had come across the so-called Stroud document, in which
Dorothy Ann Garner is reported to have told authorities she saw Baker
and Truly come up onto the fourth floor AFTER Adams and Styles had
left it.

Sandra's response:

'Hmmmmmmm, points to ponder. At this point, I'm wondering whether I
was even there! hahaha
1. My initial sense was that we went down soon after, and the 15-20
minute delay given by the investigator DID seem a bit long, but I took
his word for it. We did linger at the window a bit trying to sort it
out, and I'm sure it was Vicki's idea to go find out what was going
on; therefore we wouldn't have waited a long time to make the decision
to go downstairs. I am certain that we went to the public elevator
first, but may not have waited long there either. My hesitancy on the
timing in all the interviews probably accounts for why they did not
pursue further information from me. As I told everyone who ever
asked, I had no real sense of that aspect of the investigation.
Still, logic tells me it had to take a couple of minutes at least for
things to sink in and to make the decision to go. Therefore, *I'll
give up a few of those minutes but still don't remember it's being a
matter of a few seconds. However, I yield to wiser heads if the
evidence is there.*

2. I know nothing of Dorothy Garner's part. I don't know where she
was at the time. Her office was near the front elevator, but she
could have been in the lunch area on the other side near the back
stairs. It seems odd to me that if the two men ran up the back stairs
a minute or so after the shooting, we did not encounter them on our
way down even if we had left immediately and even more strange that
Mrs. Garner would have been in a position to see them coming up. It
all goes back to the fact that I could be totally off on my
calculations, and anything is possible. I cannot swear in any venue
that what I thought was actually true. I still see it all in my
mind's eye and have not changed my opinion about what we did and when,
but I could be mistaken about the number of minutes. I suppose I
could blame the fact that I am 71 and let it go at that!! No, that
would be too easy.'

***

In my reply, I asked Sandra a number of follow-up questions:

a) Could she recall what her initial time estimate for their going to
the stairs was - i.e. before she was told that the police didn't get
to the Depository for 15-20 minutes?
Her answer: 'Not less than a minute, I thought more like a couple. I
do realize that time takes on feet of its own in a situation like a
shooting or other catastrophe, and witnesses have different takes on
it. I am glad to have the 15-minute thing put to rest; even then it
didn't make sense that it would take the DPD that long to cross the
street.'

b) Could she describe the layout of the fourth floor?
Her answer: 'Here is the layout of the office: Mr. Bergen's office
was in the SE corner and opened into the reception area, as did the
publlic elevator and Dorothy's office. Directly across from Dorothy's
office was a small conference room. Behind the reception area were
the desks of the Customer Service Reps (I was one of those) and
Records (Elsie's job). Then there were the stacks where free teacher
aids and supplies were kept. On the other side of the stacks was the
break/lunch area (not a separate enclosed room), which had a table,
coffeepot and a refrigerator (no drink machine). It was all open; the
only doors were in the bosses' offices, the conference room, and the
back. The elevator opened directly into the reception area. The door
in the NW corner of the breakroom led to the stairs/freight elevator/
storage area.'

c) Could she give any more detail on Victoria's observation about the
elevator cables moving?
Her answer: 'I don't remember any of that. She didn't mention it to
me on the way down or up. As I recall, she only mentioned it later
offhandedly, but I don't recall the circumstances as to how or exactly
when it came up in conversation.'

***

Sean Smiley

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May 6, 2011, 8:42:45 PM5/6/11
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Sean -- What is this? Can you run it here? At least the part which
concerns Garner.... Is that "reported", below, meant to suggest you
haven't seen it yourself?
dcw

Sean Murphy

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May 7, 2011, 2:10:01 PM5/7/11
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Sean Smiley

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May 7, 2011, 10:10:08 PM5/7/11
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Great! Thank you, Sean
dcw

Sean Smiley

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May 9, 2011, 1:04:44 PM5/9/11
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On Apr 29, 3:50 pm, Sean Murphy <seanmurphy...@gmail.com> wrote:

Sean -- Styles' initial time estimate (below) of a "couple" of minutes
would seem to bear out Garner's putting Adams' descent before Baker &
Truly's ascent, to the 4th floor. And, yes, then, it would seem "odd"
to Styles (below) that she & Adams "did not encounter" Baker & Truly.
That could easily be explained (by WR adherents) by the latter's
detour to the lunch room off the 2nd floor, & split-second timing.
Baker, Truly, & Oswald leave the stairwell just before Adams & Styles
walk by on their way down; Baker & Truly return to it just after A&S
have disappeared. Non-adherents might explain this oddity otherwise,
by for instance suggesting that the B/T/O encounter occurred nearer
the front door than the second floor, thus B&T were held up on the
first floor just long enough to allow A&S to go down & out the
back....
dcw

Sean Murphy

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May 11, 2011, 12:48:36 AM5/11/11
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Yes. Which would restore the word 'vestibule' to its usual sense - as
well as explaining the remarkable turn Harry Holmes' WC testimony
takes.

Sean Smiley

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May 16, 2011, 10:33:03 AM5/16/11
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Sean -- I'm trying to clarify the chronology of events 11/22/63. The
first Baker/Truly/Oswald (reported) word on the encounter would have
been Baker's affidavit, right?--and Baker did not mention a
lunchroom.... Then, supposedly, about the same time, or a little
later, Oswald at the first interview mentions the encounter. But as
you know I believe that the only trustworthy report on the first
interview was the joint Hosty-Bookhout report, which does *not*
mention an encounter, but does mention a lunchroom (no cop, tho, & no
Truly). That would mean the *second* take on the encounter would
actually have been Truly's report that evening (an FBI interview?), &
he cites an encounter in the lunchroom. If this reconstruction is
correct, then that might suggest that Fritz & co. got the idea for a
lunchroom encounter from *Oswald*. He provides the "lunchroom"; Fritz
& co. provide the cop there.... The lunchroom encounter now, then, (a)
lifts Oswald off the first floor, close enough to the "nest" to make
his culpability a possibility, & (b) off the stairs, where others were
said to have been, about the same time....
dcw

Sean Murphy

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May 16, 2011, 1:54:37 PM5/16/11
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Exactly, Don. In a sense it doesn't matter how quickly Adams and Styles
actually hit those rear stairs. What matters is that Adams was *telling
everyone about their descent*. The rear stairway and landings were
suddenly off-limits for a relocated Oswald incident. (Shame about Baker's
affidavit...)

Again it seems to me that Harry Holmes' WC testimony may allow us to
tentatively put the pieces together as to what Oswald really claimed
in custody - and what really happened:
:
1. Oswald is on the second floor - either having just purchased a coke
from the machine in the lunchroom or else getting change for the
machine from Geneva Hine in the office area (as per Groden's new
witness claim).
2. He hears a "commotion" (i.e. loud bangs).
3. He hurries down the front stairs to the first floor.
4. He is challenged by Baker in or near the front lobby.
5. Truly vouches for him.
6. Truly and Baker continue on into the building.

This all takes place in or near the 'vestibule' - a word which, lest we
forget, means *front lobby of a building.* The area between the
second-floor landing and the lunchroom was *not* a vestibule. But I
suspect Roy Truly knew that full well as he continually misused the word
in his WC testimony.

Sean


Sean Smiley

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May 16, 2011, 10:49:35 PM5/16/11
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Yes, it sounds like an intentional confusion between the first-floor
entrance and the lunchroom entrance.

And, yes, as you said, Holmes' testimony was bouleversant, or whatever the
French word is for knocking one for a loop.... I was puzzled at first, as
I thought I had read his testimony, and found nothing much beyond what he
wrote in his December (?) recap. So, prompted by your "remarkable", I
re-read, & apparently I had assumed before that there was just one section
which dealt with the encounter. Oh, but there were two, as I found out, &
the second is not at all ambiguous: first floor, front door. I should
have read the whole thing the first time.

A similar thing happened when I read *most* of cabbie Scoggins' testimony,
& mined little; a few years later, I read the whole thing, & yes he seems
to be recanting, near the end, & saying that he did not immediately leave
the scene in his cab. In fact, he stayed, & rode with the cops..... He
was only *playing* the shrinking violet, & letting the bombastic Callaway
take all the credit....

dcw

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