Slide 22 of 158
Secret Service advance man Lawson met with Police Chief Curry in Dallas on November 13. Together they visited the Trade Mart, where Curry suggested the November 22 banquet be held.(1) Lawson forwarded a favorable report to Washington, and the next day, November 14, O'Donnell confirmed his choice.
That same day, Curry held a meeting with his deputies, Batchelor and Fisher, Lawson, and Sorrels to study the problems raised by the President's visit. The meeting continued into the next day, November 15, with the participation of members of the local host committee. Sorrels and Lawson were preoccupied with security problems in and around the Trade Mart, and Curry promised massive reinforcements.
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) This type of double turn is contrary to Secret Service regulations, which specify that when a Presidential motorcade has to slow down to make a turn, "the entire intersection must be examined in advance, searched and inspected from top to bottom." Curry, however, brought the reconnaissance to an end at the very point where it became unacceptable (as well as unusual) from the point of view of security.(3)