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M-burg Mayor Reflects On 25-Year Friendship With Det. James Leavelle

The Cove's Link to JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald and the Man in the White Stetson


September 19, 2019

Courtesy of Richard Brantner Sr.

This famous photograph taken by Robert Jackson of the Dallas Times Herald on Nov. 24, 1963, shows the momenet Jack Ruby stepped from the shadows and shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Handcuffed to Oswald is Detective James Leavelle of the Dallas Police Department. Leavelle, who died last month at age 99, became friends with fellow law enforcement officer Richard Brantner Sr. of Martinsburg.

Some people choose the spotlight, and sometimes the spotlight chooses them.

On Nov. 24, 1963, James Leavelle, a homicide detective with the Dallas Texas Police Department, found himself with the spotlight shining brightly on him as one of the most shocking events in American history unfolded in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters.

Leavelle was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald, who was being investigated for the murders of President John F. Kennedy and Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit just two days earlier.

Oswald was being transferred from the city jail to the county jail when s...

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