Slide 18 of 158
That weekend, or Monday morning at the latest, J. Edgar Hoover received a TWX (inter-office telegram) from special agent James W. Bookhout of the FBI's Dallas office. The Warren Commission was never informed of the existence of this message. On Monday, November 18, Lawson and Sorrels drove over the motorcade route from Love Field to the Trade Mart for the first time. Curry stressed the fact that it could be covered in 45 minutes, and even suggested that a short section along the Central Express- way be eliminated because of the security risks it offered. After they had driven through the center of the city and reached Dealey Plaza, Curry pointed down Main Street past the railroad overpass and said, "And afterwards there's only the freeway." But instead of turning right into Houston Street in the direction of Elm Street, as the motorcade did on November 22, Curry turned left in front of the Old Courthouse (see map), and neither Lawson nor Sorrels followed the parade route past that point, where they would have been obliged to make a 90 degree right turn into Houston Street, followed 70 yards later by a 120 degree turn to the left into Elm Street. Had they done so, it might have occurred to them that the big Presidential Lincoln would be obliged to slow down almost to a stop in order to make that second turn.(2)
2. The Warren commission claimed that all motorists are obliged to make this inconvenient detour in order to reach Stemmons Freeway (which leads to the Trade Mart), but the Commission acknowledged that it would have been possible for the motorcade to continue straight down Main Street through the underpass and make a 100 degree turn around a concrete barrier onto the freeway approach. The Commission declared, however, that "a sign located on this barrier instructs Main Street traffic not to make any turns." We do not mean to criticize the Dallas traffic laws, but on November 22 all the streets had been cleared to make way for the motorcade, and it would have been normal to follow the easiest, the quickest, and the safest (because it involved only one turn) route onto the freeway.
3. The route followed by the motorcade that day surprised even Senator Yarborough, a Texan, who may have remembered continuing straight down Main Street onto Stemmons Freeway despite the no turn sign on some other occasion.