The Railroad Tower: What Lee Bowers Saw
Up from and behind the Grassy Knoll lies a relic of the city's industrial age, a switching yard for the Union Railroad Terminal and a two-story tower where workers oversee the comings and goings of trains. Known alternately as the North Tower or Interlocking Tower 106, this railroad switching station dates back to 1916 when the cotton trade drove the the city's prewar economy.
On November 22, 1963, beginning just before noon, switching yard employee Lee Bowers was working in the tower 14 feet above groundlevel and noticed some curious happenings from his perch. One was a series of cars, including a dirty 1959 Oldsmobile station wagon with out-of-state license plates and a Goldwater '64 bumper sticker driving slowly through the off-limits parking area around the tire and just above the grassy knoll.
Bowers told the Warren Commission: This car just drove around slowly and left the area. It was occupied by a middle aged white man with partly grey hair. At about 12:15 pm another car came into the area with a white man about 25 to 35 years old driving. This car was a 1957 Ford, Black, 2 door with Texas license. This man appeared to have a mike or telephone in the car. Just a few minutes after this car left at 12:20 pm (minutes before the assassination) another car pulled in. This car was a 1961 Chevrolet, Impala, 4 door, am not sure that this was a 4 door, color white and dirty up to the windows. This car also had a Goldwater for "64" sticker.
From his vantage point, Bowers also reported seeing two suspicious men milling around the picket fence behind the grassy knoll, describing them as "one man, middle-aged or slightly older, fairly heavy-set, in a white shirt, fairly dark trousers. Another younger man, about mid-twenties, in either a plaid shirt or a plaid coat or jacket." Both were facing toward Elm and Houston, where the motorcade would be coming from. They were the only strangers he remembered seeing. In subsequent interviews, he described seeing a "commotion" shortly before the assassination and a "flash of light or smoke" from the picket fence.
Bowers is one of many who met an untimely fate after the events of 11.22.63. On the morning of August 9, 1966, he was driving near Midlothian, Texas, when his car veered from the road and hit a bridge abutment. There were no signs of skid marks.