“The Men on the Sixth Floor,” by Glen Sample and Mark Collom, chronicles their investigation into the story of Loy Factor, who claimed he was hired to help assassinate President John F. Kennedy.
Factor, who died in 1994, said that he, a man he identified as Malcolm Wallace and a young woman named Ruth Ann were on the sixth floor of the Texas book depository building with Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963.
Dave Perry of Dallas, a veteran JFK assassination researcher, read Sample and Collom’s book and challenges Factor’s story, saying it is full of holes: “It’s like Swiss cheese.”
The following are some of Perry’s concerns:
* Factor said that when he entered the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, Oswald and Wallace were sitting next to a table saw. And the authors say a book depository employee remembered seeing a table saw on the sixth floor.
Perry, however, says the archivist at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas recently examined photographs and film footage of the sixth floor shot immediately after the assassination and no table saw is present.
Sample says he has no proof that a table saw was there but says two separate sources say they saw it.
* The book cites testimony from a former prisoner of the Dallas Jail across the street from the book depository. He said he and other inmates observed two men on the sixth floor of the building before the assassination, one of whom appeared to be Latino. (Both Wallace and Factor were dark-skinned).
* Perry, however, says an investigation by the FBI in 1963 shows that the sixth floor of the book depository cannot be seen from the prisoners’ cell.
Responds Sample: “That was an FBI investigation, right? Well, I would question that. The fact that the FBI during that period of time were doing everything they could to make their scenario work.”
* Oswald, according to the Warren Commission, concealed his rifle in brown wrapping paper and told the man who drove him to work the morning of the assassination that it was curtain rods.
Asks Perry: How did Wallace and Factor get their rifles into the building without being seen?
Responds Sample: “I have absolutely no idea. That’s one of the things we asked [Factor], and he did not have any input. That was one of the things that was a mystery to us. Unless those rifles would have already been there.”
* Only one rifle, Oswald’s, was found on the sixth floor after the assassination.
Asks Perry: How did Factor and Wallace get their rifles out of the building?
Responds Sample: “I have no idea. We asked [Factor] that, and he had no input.”
* Oswald built a sniper’s nest on the sixth floor out of boxes of textbooks to conceal himself from anyone entering the sixth floor.
Asks Perry: If Factor says co-conspirator Ruth Ann counted down the signal to fire with her hand--"one, two, three"--how did the concealed Oswald see her? How, in fact, could Oswald, Factor and Wallace watch Ruth Ann while at the same time looking through their rifle scopes?
Responds Sample: “Whether Oswald could physically see [her] or not where he was, I don’t know because she would have been near another window. I would imagine the men [Factor and Wallace] that were at the other windows could have seen her--you could see something out of the corner of your eye--and also it was an audible signal at the same time. Maybe the physical signal was for the benefit of someone else [on the grassy knoll].”
* Madeleine Brown of Dallas, who claims she was Lyndon Johnson’s longtime mistress, says an angry Johnson told her at a Dallas social gathering the night before the assassination that “After tomorrow those [blank] Kennedys will never embarrass me again.”
Perry says there is no evidence such a party occurred.
Responds Sample: “Other than what she has told us and written about, I don’t know” of any other evidence that the party occurred.
* The authors cite a Dallas Morning News article that says sources close to a 1984 Robertson County, Texas, grand jury said Billy Sol Estes testified that illegal cotton allotments and other business deals he arranged with Johnson’s help in the early ‘60s generated $21 million a year, part of which went into an LBJ slush fund.
Estes, who was protected from prosecution by a grant of immunity, also told the grand jury that then-Vice President Johnson helped plan the murder of the Agriculture Department official investigating the scheme and that Wallace was the triggerman. (At the time, Estes was the only one of the four he named in the conspiracy still alive.)
Perry, however, says the testimony of Estes--a convicted felon called a “self-serving liar” by his opponents--is unreliable.
Furthermore, Perry says, law enforcement investigators and the Dallas Times Herald looked into the potential for Wallace to have been involved in the official’s death and determined that Wallace had been working in Anaheim at the time.
Responds Sample: “They did not conclusively prove that he was in Anaheim. . . . Billie Sol Estes was not obligated to appear before the grand jury. Yes, he may be known as a crook, but basically his reported reason for doing this was to get it off of his conscience and he had no obligation to say what he said.”
* Perry also questions the very heart of “The Men on the Sixth Floor”: Loy Factor, a man described in the book as having a metal plate in his head as a result of shrapnel wounds during World War II, a man the Veterans Administration deemed incompetent and entitled to receive compensation, a man who had a guardian appointed to manage his business affairs. And, adds Perry, a man in “fragile” health at the time Sample and Collom interviewed him.
Responds Sample: “He may have required help in some areas of his life as far as his financial dealings, as far as his slowness, but he was able to get by. He lived a fairly normal life. He was married, raised a family, held down a job, he drove a tractor, had a driver’s license. He was even a lay minister for a while.”