Ian Griggs passed this week, he was a British Police Officer, a long time JFK researcher, a stalwart in the DPUK group, a regular presenter at the JFK Lancer “November in Dallas Conference”, a scholar, the author of an exceptional book on the Kennedy assassination – and my good friend for years.
Ian devoted a good deal of his JFK research to Dallas, to the Dallas Police Department and to Jack Ruby, Ruby’s club and performers. He interviewed dozens of people associated with the DPD, with Ruby personally and with the club. Ian spent years compiling a study of the DPD personnel who were working at the time of the assassination, published many articles on them, and wrote a book which we all hope to see in print eventually.
His book “No Case to Answer” has been in print for some time and is something I would highly recommend. Ian approached the JFK assassination and Lee Oswald as the purported assassin based on his career experience in British law enforcement. The title of the book comes from his conclusion that there simply was no case against Oswald that would have been sustained in court, nor for that matter sufficient to have brought the charge to court in the first place.
No Case to Answer explores a number of issues that support that view – including Oswald’s rifle, the mysterious (and missing in crime scene photos paper sack), the mysterious and missing Oswald line up (missing what was supposed to be a key witness to Oswald as the shooter), and a variety of other points of evidence which Ian deconstructs patiently and in great detail.
Perhaps the most dramatic deconstructions is something Ian liked to demonstrate in his conference presentations – the purported assembly of Oswald’s rifle inside the Texas School Depository after the rifle was supposedly carried to work and into the building in two pieces in a paper sack.
Ian would present the rifle parts (he actually purchased a Carcano in the US and flew home with it to London early on in his studies). He would point out the very small machine screw required to reattach the rifle parts…and then note that the Warren Commission could find no such small screwdriver in Oswald’s possessions – or in the Texas School Depository – so it concluded that Oswald had used a coin as a tool to lock in the screw and secure the rifle parts.
Given that the screw has to go all the way in and is flush with a metal plate, he would demonstrate and note that it was impossible to do the work using a coin without scratching the finish on the plate.
And then he would project a photo of the Oswald rifle officially held in evidence – with no scratches on the metal plate. Thereby demonstrating a level of police investigative work which clearly was missing from a great deal of the Warren Commission inquiry.
I first met Ian in London (in a pub), even before joining him as a regular in the Lancer conferences in Dallas. Later he recruited me to do my first conference presentation (all fifteen minutes of it) and ultimately hosted myself and my wife on a visit to England, including my presentation at the annual DPUK conference. It was always a treat being with Ian. On that particular trip we were with him when London police responded to a bomb threat at our hotel, and also in a similar situation on the London tube system. He understood their protocols and easily chatted with some of the officers we met, reducing our stress level a good bit.
In Dallas, Ian routinely helped organize diner during the conference for several of us – with a visit to Campisi’s, where we could sit in Jack Ruby’s favorite booth (hey, its not all crime scene evidence and documents – you need a little flavor to make it real).
In that regard I would also have to admit some of my best time at the conferences was spent with Ian and our friends, whether it was in a pub in London or Canterbury (or at the Sherlock Holmes pub/restaurant in London) or in the conference hotel bar in Dallas.
Here’s to Ian, I’ll miss you my friend.