The Rush to the Knoll!


In the immediate aftermath of the assassination, numerous witnesses and policemen found themselves in the parking lot atop the infamous Grassy Knoll.  Their presence is often cited as evidence of an assassin firing from behind the fence.

The "rush" to the knoll actually occurred over a minute after the shots, and was triggered by a Dallas motorcycle policeman in the parade, Clyde Haygood, who had no firsthand knowledge of the shot direction.  Officer Haygood was a block away when he heard the first of three shots.  After racing to Elm Street, he stopped just past the fallen Newman family, parked his cycle, and ran up to confer with a policemen he saw on the railbridge.  Only then did people start running up after him, falsely thinking he was after a culprit.

The "rush" up through the walkway by the Bryan Colonnade occurred even later.  Prominent witnesses like the Newmans didn't begin for over a minute;  Jean Hill didn't cross the street for over two minutes. The initial reaction of most people close to the shooting was to simply drop to the ground or seek cover.  Later, media reports and affidavits from witnesses would describe their impression perhaps aided by the sight of Haygood and the tricky acoustics of the Plaza that shots seemed to come from the area to the front of the car.

Transcript of Clyde Haywood evidence

Mr. BELIN.  Did you hear any shots at all?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  Yes.

Mr. BELIN.  Where were you when you heard the shots?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  I was on Main Street just approaching Houston Street.

Mr. BELIN.  How many shots did you hear?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  Three.

Mr. BELIN.  Were the three spaced equally distant?


Mr. BELIN. Was one more close than the other one?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  The last two were closer than the first.  In other words, it was the first, and then a pause, and then the other two were real close.

Mr. BELIN.  What did you do after you heard the sounds?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  I made the shift down to lower gear and went on to the scene of the shooting.

Mr. BELIN.  What do you mean by the scene of the shooting?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  There on Main Street.

Mr. BELIN.  On Main Street?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  I am sorry, on Elm Street.

Mr. BELIN.  What position of Elm Street?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  Be just west of Houston Street.

Mr. BELIN.  By the scene of the shooting, do you mean the place where you believed the President's car was when the bullets struck?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  Yes.

Mr. BELIN.  What did you do when you got there?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  When I first got to the location there, I was still on Houston Street, and in the process of making a left turn onto Elm Street I could see all these people laying on the ground there on Elm.  Some of them were pointing back up to the railroad yard, and a couple of people were headed back up that way, and I immediately tried to jump the north curb there in the 400 block, which was too high for me to get over.

Mr. BELIN.  You mean with your motorcycle?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  Yes.

Mr. BELIN.  All right.

Mr. HAYGOOD.  And I left my motor on the street and ran to the railroad yard.

Mr. BELIN.  Now when you ran to the railroad yard, would that be north or south of Elm?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  The railroad yard would be located at the---it consists of going over Elm Street and back north of Elm Street.

Mr. BELIN.  What did you do when you got there?

Mr. HAYGOOD. Well, there was nothing.  There was quite a few people in the area, spectators, and at that time I went back to my motorcycle it was on the street--to the radio.

Mr. BELIN.  Did you see any people running away from there?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  No.  They was all going to it.

Mr. BELIN.  Did you talk to any people over there or not?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  In the railroad yard, I talked to one of the people I presumed to be a railroad detective that was in the yard.

Mr. BELIN.  Had he been in the yard before or not?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  No.  He was just coming into the area after I was.

Mr. BELIN.  He was coming into the area after the shooting?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  Yes.

Mr. BELIN.  Did he say anything to you, that you remember?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  Nothing that I remember.

Mr. BELIN.  Then what did you do?

Mr. HAYGOOD.  I went back to my motorcycle, which was sitting on Elm Street.

The truth of the matter is, No one close to the shooting thought the initial shots came from the direction of the Grassy Knoll.  This assumption only came into being after they saw a policeman running up the bank, deducing that he must be chasing a gunman.  Many witnesses have unwittenly added to this theory and invented gunsmoke, Rifles etc.

All of these eyewitness account can easily be disproved and put down to a trick of the imagination.  Officer Haygood, who was one of the first to reach the top of the Grassy knoll saw nothing suspicious, even although other witnesses have came forward stating they saw gunmen running away for the same area.

RIYAN Productions