The Prayer Man and John Martin

The Prayer Man and John Martin

Who the Prayer Man is a controversial and long standing debate.  This will be answered in The Prayer Man and John Martin.

This is a frame from Dave Weigman who caught this image that has generated much debate.

The figure in the western part of the doorway of the TSBD is too indistinct to realistically identify who it is. Many speculate that this is Lee Oswald captured on film after the assassination. If he’s here how can he be up in the Sniper’s Nest shooting President Kennedy or, elsewhere?

This scene is some time after the assassination. How long is difficult to determine. If this is Oswald one could speculate he stayed in the doorway of the TSBD long after the assassination and everyone left the area and many are now returning to the TSBD.

He has his hands up in front of his chest, hence the name Prayer Man. To me, this image was Oswald drinking a coke directly after confronting Officer Baker and Roy Truly. I thought that for a long time until new information changed that interpretation.

Altgens 6 was supposedly taken at the direct moment of the assassination capturing President Kennedy being shot in the throat.

In the doorway of the TSBD is an Oswald / Lovelady figure that has generated much contention.

Altgens 6 is used here to express the point that an Oswald figure is in the doorway of the TSBD at the moment of assassination. Altgens 6 will be discussed in more detail later.

Is this Oswald is the question? If this is Oswald then, once again, he can’t be in the Sniper’s Nest shooting President Kennedy.
Next is a montage that may help some decide who the figure in the doorway is. In the montage, picture left, is a red line outlining a face mask of Billy Lovelady placed on the alleged Lee Oswald. The figure may or may not be Lee Oswald but, it is certainly not Billy Lovelady. He is the headless figure to the right. What Altgens 6 does, in relation to this issue, is establish the presence of an Oswald figure in the doorway of the TSBD during the assassination.
It, the Oswald / Lovelady figure, may be Lee Oswald, a Lee Oswald double in need of disguising, or someone else entirely different portrayed there. Whatever, other aspects of the Oswald / Lovelady figure shows really bad photo editing indicating a hurried process.

We see in the cropped Altgens 6 photo below the Oswald figure has a red line indicating where the Lovelady face mask has been placed. This is to help you establish the area the Lovelady mask covers. The face mask is easy to see. There is a lighter color difference between the face mask and the face under it.

The film work of John Martin complicates the situation discussed above. The discussion here is basically where was Oswald during the assassination? Was he up in the Sniper’s Nest, was he on the first, or second floor of the TSBD. Was he in the doorway of the TSBD or was he on Elm Street filming the assassination of President Kennedy as the limousine goes by the TSBD?

Was Oswald on Elm Street filming the assassination? No one has ever suggested that as far as I know? So, what gives?

Take a look at the following Martin frames suggesting the Prayer Man was on Elm Street west of the TSBD doorway filming the assassination with perhaps a video camera. Here, we have a figure that could be the Prayer Man or Lee Oswald on the Elm Street holding a large object, probably a camera. The presidential limousine is just entering the scene.


Another frame from Martin’s film:


The Oswald figure has on a red, probably brown shirt that matches pretty much the shirt that Lee Oswald had on that day. There is a difference. In Altgens 6, the Oswald figure has the shirt partially unbuttoned showing a white T shirt. Here in John Martin, the Oswald figure’s shirt is buttoned to or nearly to the top button. Plus, his sleeves are rolled up as seen in the scene with the Prayer Man. The Oswald figure’s sleeves are not rolled up in the Altgens 6 photo.

This might make things clearer:

To the artist’s eye the Oswald figures are the same in these frames. Although, in all frames, the Oswald figure is indistinct but, there are still many points of similarity.

Once again, if Lee Oswald is on Elm Street filming the assassination he can’t be on the 6th floor shooting President Kennedy. Nor, can he be in the doorway of the TSBD being covered by a Lovelady face mask! His image in Altgens 6 in the doorway suggests a similarity to images of Oswald at the Dallas police station later that day.

There are problems relating and integrating Dave Weigman, Ike Altgens, and John Martin’s work into something sensible. This is standard fare for working with any assassination media taken in Dealey Plaza on the day of the assassination. Which is not fraudulent? What can you trust to be genuine? Sadly, everything I have seen has been tainted in one form or another. Can John Martin be trusted? No, there are other portions of the film that has been edited.
I raise this with caution. The portion of the Martin film showing the Prayer Man may be genuine. I think it was missed by the photo editors. It appears that different teams of photo editors were working with different scripts producing strange results. As an example, the problem with the Babushka Lady and the Lady in Blue was not done well in Zapruder and other films.

The Ghost Train of Dealey Plaza is eliminated in nearly all films and photos but, not in all. The FBI had to keep the Willis slides for years to make sure no train was visible. John Martin has excellent frames showing the Ghost Train in detail that were missed.

Assuming all of these figures are Lee Oswald, then can a timeline be made of where he was at the time of the assassination? If so, the timeline would run into the first problem. Was Oswald in the TSBD doorway where Algens 6 places him? Remember, we are assuming that all the figures are Oswald. Altgens 6 shows Kennedy being shot in the throat. This correlates to Zapruder frame 255 or frames in that area. If this is so that the presidential limousine is not in front of the TSBD but, about 40 feet past the Stemmons Freeway sign down Elm Street towards the Triple Underpass.

John Martin shows Lee Oswald on Elm Street filming the presidential limousine. Because, of the difference in time and distance, would it be possible for Oswald to run up to the steps of the TSBD and he caught on film there by Altgens.

If that’s the case Oswald then lingers on the steps of TSBD to film the aftermath of the assassination. Maybe? It is a scenario that can relate the various media but, it’s full of holes

The holes concerning this scenario mostly concern Altgens 6. But, that is for another discussion at another time.

This imagery of the Prayer Man on Elm Street has engendered a wild speculation about Lee Oswald and Buell Frazier.

The assassination occurred on Friday the 22nd of November in 1963. The night before Lee Oswald went to visit his wife and family at Ruth Paine’s home which is uncharacteristic. Supposedly, while there he secured his rifle, the Mannlicher-Carcano, and took it with him the next day to assassinate President Kennedy.

Testimony from Buell Frazier generally convinced people that Oswald disguised his rifle as curtain rods. Even though Frazier said the curtain rod bag or package was too short to contain a long rifle, people generally accepted the notion.

What if the bag was truly shorter and contained a large camera? The Prayer Man has a large camera on Elm Street. What if Lee Oswald went to Ruth Paine’s home to secure one of his expensive cameras to film the presidential parade? Or, in a darker scenario Oswald needed a camera to film the assassination as ordered.

The next morning when Buell Frazier asked Oswald what was in the package he put on the back seat of the car, Oswald replied curtain rods. Maybe, he didn’t want Frazier to know he was going to film the presidential motorcade as it passed the TSBD. Maybe, he didn’t want Frazier to know he had been tasked to film the assassination. It is one way to make sure he didn’t miss work that day.


There is always more to a story.  I ran across this after completing this article.  It is a photo / frame montage from the internet  that was put together by someone who labelled this photo is such a way as to define a different way to look at a traditional story about Lee Harvey Oswald.

That story is the confrontation of Officer Marion Baker, Roy Truly, and Lee Harvey Oswald in the 2nd floor break room about 90 seconds after the assassination.  That didn’t happen if this photo / frame montage is true.



Officer Marion Baker is about to confront Lee Oswald on the steps of the TSBD not the 2nd floor break room 90 seconds later.  This photo montage removes Oswald once again from the 6th floor Sniper’s Nest.  It is just one of many things that debunk stories about the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald.  Let’s turn to one of the chief law enforcement officers of that time, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.  Hoover said to President Lyndon Johnson “The evidence against Oswald is not very, very strong.”  I interpret that to mean very, very weak.  This is demonstrates that when folks seriously look at any of the evidence against Oswald it is as Hoover described.  Even worse, it demonstrates its fraudulence. It is the reason he had to die before a trial.