The Man in the Doorway Was Oswald

Recently by Ralph Cinque: Lies, Damn Lies, and National Geographic

The identity of the man in the doorway of the Texas Schoolbook Depository in the famous photo by Ike Altgens has been debated since the very day of the assassination. It was the first photo of the assassination to circle the globe. Obviously, if Oswald was standing outside the building, he could not have been on the 6th floor shooting at Kennedy.

The Warren Commission concluded that the man standing with his shirt open was Billie Lovelady, another TBD employee, and it was based, reportedly, on his testimony, on the testimony of others, and on a very detailed anatomical comparison of the facial features.

Of course, all advocates of the lone gunman theory say that it was Lovelady, and, it is also true that some conspiracy theorists, including some prominent ones, also say that the Man in the Doorway was Lovelady.

But, I'm here to tell you that it was Oswald.

First, note that they could have resolved this with 100% certainty at the time. They had Lovelady; he had his clothing; they had Altgens; he had his camera. They could have put Lovelady at the entrance, dressed exactly as he was on the fateful day, and Altgens on the exact spot where he was when he took his famous picture, and just duplicated it. It could have been done easily and immediately. So, why didn't they do it?

The FBI did eventually take photos of Lovelady, but that was later on, and he was wearing different clothes. And, they were regular, close-up pictures, and therefore useless. Fortunately, there was another picture of Lovelady taken on the day of the assassination, and we'll get to it.

But, let's start by looking at the original Altgens photo, and obviously, the area in question is rather small and quite fuzzy. Look towards the upper left corner. Focus on the man standing next to the column with the open shirt. He's practically leaning against the column. That's our man, the Doorway Man.

Now look at the blow-up of Doorway Man, and next to it, the picture of Oswald taken after his arrest.


In size and general proportions, it sure looks like Oswald. But now, let's look at a picture of Billy Lovelady taken the same day. It is actually a composite: the left side shows Lovelady in the foreground as Oswald is being led away, and the right side shows Lovelady alone.

Note that Lovelady is stockier than Oswald. He looks rather burly in comparison. Doorway Man definitely looks slightly built, asthenic. And notice how loosely the outer shirt fits on Doorway Man. He is really swimming in that thing.

The Warren Commission made a big deal out of minute facial measurements, and of course, linking them all to Lovelady. These include: facial length, lower jaw breadth, chin length, nasal breadth, nasal tip, hairline and pattern of hair loss, and more. But, it would be difficult for any of us to confirm these things, and I don't suggest we take their word for it.

Moreover, as with the Zapruder Film and the autopsy photos, it has been suggested that the Altgens photo was altered. And a minute thing like the pattern of a balding hairline would have been relatively easy to alter.

So, that brings us back to the shirt- that big, open, unbuttoned, loose-fitting, plaid outer shirt. It is not so easily altered. We know for certain that Oswald was wearing a shirt like that. And we know that he had it buttoned in that fashion, that is, largely unbuttoned, where it was buttoned only at the bottom. And, he wore a white tee-shirt underneath that came to a v. Tee-shirts can be shaped round at the opening or come to a v, and Oswald's and Doorway Man's came to a v.

But, it's the shirt being unbuttoned that is most significant. We know for sure that's how Oswald's shirt was. Multiple pictures show it. Why was his shirt unbuttoned? Well, the top buttons were missing. He was living alone at the time, renting a room in Dallas. Plenty of guys don't sew. I don't. If a button comes off, it stays off. So, Oswald didn't have a choice that day. His shirt had to be unbuttoned.

But, what about Lovelady? He was at work. Most guys button up at work. Plus, the President was driving by that day. It was late November, practically December. According to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce Weather Bureau, the temperature at Love Field when Kennedy arrived was 63 degrees. It may have been a little warmer by the time they reached Dealey Plaza, but not much. It wasn't that hot. And, we have the picture of Lovelady taken after the assassination where his shirt is buttoned. You can barely see the tee-shirt. So, what are we supposed to assume? That he was standing there watching the President with his shirt unbuttoned, for no explicable reason, and then afterwards, he decided to button up? Why? And is that what happened?

Believe it or not, nobody asked him. I read through all his testimony. Nobody asked him, "Were you standing there with your shirt unbuttoned, and if so, why?" The FBI didn't ask. The Warren Commission didn't ask. Nobody asked, and nobody discussed it.

We are talking about a behavior here. It was a coincidence that Oswald and Lovelady happened to look alike. It was a coincidence that they happened to be wearing similar clothes. But, for both to be wearing their shirts the exact same way and not the usual, normal way for a workplace? That seems like a real long-shot to me. And again, Lovelady was not wearing his shirt that way a little while later at the police station. So, when did he button up? And why did he button up? And how the heck did nobody ask him about it?

But, it's not just the buttoning. Oswald's shirt was rumpled. It was in need of ironing. And, it was loose-fitting. Likewise with Doorway Man, it's like he's wearing a sail. The shirt is bulging out with loose material. It seems more like a loose-fitting pajama top. But, in the picture of Lovelady at the police station, his shirt is tight-fitting. And, it is not unbuttoned; it is not rumpled, and the material is lying smoothly and snugly against his chest. You don't get any sense that he is swimming in that shirt as you do when looking at both Oswald after his arrest and at Doorway Man.

And, the pattern of Lovelady's shirt is that of large squares. It's checkered, but the boxes are big. And the white lines in the pattern really stand out. There is a lot of contrast there. For Oswald and the Man in the Doorway, the pattern is much more subtle, more discreet, presenting a more solid-looking coloring. Here is another picture of Oswald in which the likeness of the pattern of his shirt to that of the Man in the Doorway can be readily seen.


And it raises the issue of what happened to Oswald's shirt. They kept parading him around in his tee-shirt. He complained that he wanted his shirt back. He pointed out that everyone else was wearing a shirt but him. There are lots of shots of him like this:

And there is other evidence too, such as the testimony of Bill Shelley who said that Lovelady was seated on the stairs and not standing.

I notice that Doorway Man is standing with his left arm slightly flexed. There is some tension in his elbow. He's bending it, and he's got his left hand centered in front of his body. He is not letting his arm relax and just dangle by his side. That is a muscular habit, which some people have. They carry tension in their arms- habitually- all the time. They never fully relax their arms. Now look at Oswald in the handcuffs. Obviously, his hands are centered there because of the handcuffs. However, he's also raising his hands some. He's lifting his forearms. He's flexing his elbows and quite a lot. He is not relaxed; he is expending energy to bend his arms. It's the same pattern except more exaggerated.

Now look at the mouth in the Altgens photo. It looks like Doorway Man is pursing his lips. His mouth looks firmly closed. Compare that to the cheerful black woman below him whose mouth is relaxed and open. You can see her broad smile and white teeth. Then, in Oswald's arrest photo in the handcuffs you can really see how he is clenching his mouth tightly shut. Again, it's the same pattern, just more pronounced. It's a neuro-muscular habit. Obviously, he was under a lot of stress at that point.

Billy Lovelady was about to testify before the House Subcommittee on Assassinations in 1979 when he died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 42. Make of that what you will. But again, at the time of the assassination, they could have tried to duplicate the Altgens photo with him in it to see if it looked the same, but they didn't. They could have asked him about his habits for buttoning his shirt and what he did that very day, but they didn't. And since the shirt is the main object, the main form, the most visible dimensionality that you see of Doorway Man, they could have asked him to bring that shirt in. But, they didn't.

I think the Doorway Man was Oswald. I'm not saying that I would bet my life on it, but I'd bet some serious money.