Tag Archives: Victoria Adams

The Error of Pigeonholing

Lately, supporters of the Warren Report have begun a campaign to lump Victoria Adams in with other witnesses who have either, 1) changed their stories over the years or, 2) suspiciously waited decades before revealing their long-held sensational tales.

In both cases, those witnesses (oddly enough, only the ones who dispute the Warren Commission’s version of events), are quickly dismissed due to a perceived lack of credibility on their part, or what is thought to be their sudden attempts to attain literary stardom.

Ironically, these supporters often cite as being reliable Warren Commission star witness Howard Brennan, whose official statements are fraught with inconsistencies, and who wasn’t able to more profoundly nail Oswald as the lone assassin using his 20/20 hindsight until his book “Eyewitness to History” came out 24 years after the fact — in 1987.


I can understand the point of view of the supporters and have occasionally found myself in their corner — only, however, when their criticisms are legitimate and accurate rather than mere generalizations without factual foundations.

But their claims against Victoria Adams could not be farther from the truth.

First, she is on record as being very consistent with what she told authorities from the day of the assassination through her April 7, 1964, official testimony before Warren Commission staffer David Belin. There is documented evidence that the details she related concerning the timing of her trip down the stairs remained the same throughout all of those recorded interviews. Her comments were just as unswerving during my lengthy and probing discussions with her from when I found her in 2002 until she passed away five years later.

Second, she was the last person who would have wanted publicity. In fact, she often told me that if my book about her was ever published, she preferred not to be a part of any speaking engagements, appearances, or media attention.

She did not come to me with the background to her story; I’m the one who sought her out. Until I came along, she had remained silent, admitting to me that even her best friends didn’t know of her past, and that she had accepted the fact she was going to die with the truth.

As to the assumption that what Miss Adams reveals in “The Girl on the Stairs” is somehow diminished by the lapse of 48 years, that opinion is equally wrong.

What she reveals in my book about her actions and observations on November 22, 1963, is certainly nothing new. It is, in fact, the same as what she provided to authorities back in 1963 and 1964. It’s just that back then, no one believed her or wanted to do anything about it if they did.

What is new in my book are the two C’s: the clarification to and the corroboration of her story, both of which were never sought. And because the story of Victoria Adams was never fully investigated as it should have been and when it should have been, the truth of the matter is only now emerging.

What remains startling is, why did it take so long?



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Another Search for Vicki

Mr. Belin: Were you graduated from high school?
Miss Adams: In San Francisco, that’s correct.

That brief exchange, made in 1964 as part of the Warren Commission’s investigation, ultimately ended my search for Victoria Adams – but not until 2002, the year of my entry into the wonders of modern technology.

Since she was not specific in stating what school she attended, it forced me to begin an online look through the alumni pages of every listed high school in the San Francisco Bay area. Saying there were quite a few would be quite an understatement. Beginning with the letter “A,” it didn’t take long (actually, it did but that’s a sore spot these days) before I arrived at “P” and Presentation High School. I found on the pages of the many former students the name “Victoria Adams,” with a graduating year of “1959.” Both fit. But subsequent inquires produced no replies from the school.

A friend – a state police investigator we’ll call Larry Roberge – took over and somehow quickly ferreted out this lady’s email address. He wrote her to say he was a former Presentation classmate and wanted to know if she was the Victoria Adams who had at one time worked for the Scott Foresman Co. in Dallas. This naturally intrigued the normally cautious Miss Adams, for Presentation was an all-girls school. Nevertheless, she wrote back to Larry that yes, she was that woman. He then turned the matter over to me, and the rest became my history.

Former students and the alumni association of Presentation High School had by now been conducting somewhat of a search of their own. For quite a few years they had wondered whatever had become of Vicki and why they could not get in contact with her when their annual class reunions were held. Ironically, when “The Girl on the Stairs” appeared and the story of my journey to find Vicki was read by a former classmate of hers, another search came to an end.

This April, Presentation will be holding its 55th reunion. Once again, Vicki will not be in attendance. This time, however, her absence is for a different reason. But her presence will still be recognized, perhaps as much now as when she once walked the school’s halls in saddle shoes, a formalized dress, and wavy hair. This year there will be a special commemoration for this once very popular and now very noteworthy schoolgirl whose past remained such a mystery for all those many years. Those who knew her will be supplying related pictures and anecdotes and memories for others to see and hear and remember. “A fun-loving Vicki” is how one former classmate already described her to me, suggesting that this mirthful girl was keeping secret the consuming inner turmoil she harbored after her parents abandoned her at the age of 11. The comment seems as well to befit a high school yearbook that labeled Vicki as “jovial” and “blue-eyed,” one who wrote for her school’s newspaper, found studying to be “relaxing,” and maintained the youthful hopes of one day becoming a “teacher or social worker.”

Captured here are two images of a somewhat pensive and innocent girl who lived with a constant fear of instability, and sought refuge in the Catholic teachings as she was shuffled from one foster home to another. She believed in God and her government back then.

That would change soon enough.

My thanks to Joanne Macarthy Smith, Class of 1959, for providing a new chapter to the life of Victoria Adams.

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About Face!

There was a time when the name Victoria Adams was only associated with the goings-on of a lead singer for the Spice Girls. But much like the theory of two Oswalds, we are now witnessing the emergence of a second Victoria Adams. She is the girl of “The Girl on the Stairs” and it’s reassuring to see that finally, after all these years, her truthfulness is getting the recognition it deserves. Researchers are citing her; radio shows discuss her; other book authors write about her.

It is also interesting to see the turnaround taking place by those—usually Warren Commission supporters—who are now trying to explain away why, coming down the stairs when she said she did, Miss Adams failed to see or hear Lee Oswald.

To set the stage, the Commission determined that Oswald fired three shots from the Depository’s sixth floor, then quickly descended the back stairway to a second-floor lunchroom. There, he was confronted by Dallas policeman Marrion Baker and building manager Roy Truly, who had run up from the first floor. The encounter took place within 90 seconds of the final shot. Moments afterward, Baker and Truly continued up the stairs to the roof while Oswald walked out the front door.

Victoria Adams testified she came down those same stairs from the fourth floor to the first floor immediately after the shooting. Most will agree that under those circumstances, her actions were critical and the timing of those actions deserved further investigation. In fact, that was the initial reaction of the Commission, which is on record as saying the story of Miss Adams was important and needed to be resolved. Yet without further exploration, the Commission concluded in 1964 that Miss Adams was simply wrong and had come down the stairs later than she thought.

Commission attorney David Belin, interrogator of Miss Adams, used the exact same logic in dismissing Miss Adams, this time in his book written 10 years after the Warren Report was released. The Gerald Posners and the Vincent Bugliosis have reinforced that conclusion in their own volumes, the latter going so far as to make the witty suggestion that Miss Adams was perhaps an assassin. Thinking this childish smear to not be enough, other authors have arbitrarily increased the amount of time it took Miss Adams to either leave her office, go down the stairs, or both without a shred of evidence other than their own opinion to bolster such bloating.

Incontrovertible proof now exists that Miss Adams did go down the stairs as quickly as she said she did. What has been the response of those Commission supporters? Well, here are a few samples I’ve pulled from emails dripping with sarcasm or derision:

“I guess all that means now is that she came down the stairs ahead of Oswald, doesn’t it, huh?” Or this one, “She was obviously much faster than Oswald, right on!” Or how about, “She was so fast she beat him in the race. Good girl!” Or the fitness reasoning, “She was obviously young and therefore in such good health it doesn’t surprise me she could run faster than the assassin. Maybe she should have been in the Olympics.”

First, she was said to have been too slow and came down later. Now, she has suddenly become a world-class sprinter, her three-inch heels on old, not-well-lighted stairs notwithstanding. Neglected through all of this has been the Commission’s own words: “If her estimate of time is correct, she reached the bottom of the stairs before Truly and Baker started up, and she must have run down the stairs ahead of Oswald and would probably have seen or heard him.”

Her estimate of time has been shown to be correct.

Ignored too is most current analysis is Dorothy Garner. In a position to see exactly when Vicki went down those stairs, Mrs. Garner told me she definitely did not see Oswald on those stairs after Vicki started her descent. Perhaps that is why she was never officially questioned by the Warren Commission and why the document containing her observations was suppressed for 35 years.

What seems clear is that the Warren Commission never wanted to examine much less verify Vicki’s statements. It simply brushed her aside. Therefore, the question still remains: if Victoria Adams did not see or hear Lee Oswald when she went down the stairs, and Dorothy Garner did not observe Oswald coming down the stairs after Vicki left, how did he get to the second floor lunchroom?

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The Sixth Floor Escape

Let’s kick this blog off with the most common question I’m asked:

“The theory you advocate says that because Victoria Adams saw and heard no one when she came down the stairway, then Oswald was not on the sixth floor and therefore did not shoot the president. But how do you explain her not seeing the other assassin or assassins, since it is obvious someone was up there?”

First, I do not advocate any theory in the book. The conclusion I draw regarding this point is that Miss Adams told the truth and therefore, that truth now adds a critical element to what we have been fed regarding Oswald’s movements in the two minutes following the assassination.

As background, and in contrast to the implication that the Depository was secure and immune from interlopers, we have manager William Shelley saying in 1964, “Any one of a thousand different people could have entered or left the building and nobody would have known it.”

We have employee James Jarman telling the HSCA that a stranger could “very easily” have entered the rear of the Depository and made his way to the sixth floor because “…that day the dock door was up and the side door was open.” This ease of access or escape was also observed by the Secret Service when an agent arrived and noticed the same open doors — nearly a half hour after the shooting.

Consider as well the testimony of Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney who stated that only minutes after the shooting, he was climbing the back stairs and, “I met some other officers coming down, plainclothes, and I believe they were deputy sheriffs.” Moments later, on the way down the stairs from the seventh floor, Mooney said he saw “…some news reporter, or press, I don’t know who he was…” coming up.

It is clear, then, that security was lax at the Depository and an unauthorized individual had the means to enter the building unnoticed and make his way to a higher floor. Let’s say someone did. How then could he have escaped?

The Stairs

Defenders of the Warren Report are quick to point out that if Vicki Adams didn’t hear Oswald on the stairs, then why didn’t she hear the assassin(s) who replaced him?

The error in their logic is glaringly obvious, for the question presupposes that any other shooter would have made his escape down the stairs at the exact same time Oswald was to have done so. But this person would not necessarily have had to come down the stairs when Oswald supposedly did.

The timing of Oswald’s escape from the sixth floor was based on a speed that would get him to the second-floor lunchroom in advance of when Marrion Baker and Roy Truly saw him there. That time frame was established at under 90 seconds, a figure resulting from on-site tests duplicating the actions of both Baker and Truly. Oswald had to get to the lunchroom before they did, which therefore put him on the stairs at a specific time.

The fact Victoria Adams would have been on those stairs at the same moment is what posed the problem.

But if someone other than Oswald was on the sixth floor, his escape would not have been governed by any such time constraints. He could have come down later, since the sixth floor remained vacant and was not discovered as the sniper’s “man cave” for some 35 minutes after the assassination. (This, oddly enough, even though that floor was pointed out almost immediately as the source of the shots.)

By then, uniformed cops, plain-clothes cops, the news media, workers and others were swarming throughout the Depository. The delay in searching the sixth floor would have provided plenty of opportunity for someone to depart in the confusion. This person might even have remained on the sixth floor and then blended in with those who eventually arrived there.

In other words, alternatives exist. What are your thoughts?


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