By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Clear as glass?: Last week, Aubrey Mayhew, an 80-year-old former music producer in Nashville, received a call from one of his sons, who had some disturbing news. Mick Mayhew told his daddy that the so-called "sniper's perch" from the old Texas School Book Depository, from which Lee Harvey Oswald killed John Kennedy, was being auctioned on eBay.
Mayhew looked at the name of the seller—Caruth Byrd—and realized that an old feud over ownership of this piece of memorabilia was still alive. Because, see, come Friday, someone will have beaten out more than 190 bidders and paid more than $2 million for an old window, and at least one man is claiming that sucker's phony.
"Caruth Byrd don't have the window," Mayhew tells Buzz. "Never has had it. If you did your research, you'd know that."
We have done our research. We started with a 1997 story that appeared in these very pages. In the piece "Stained Glass," Ann Zimmerman wrote that a cursory glance at the perch on display in the Sixth Floor Museum for years "reveals that it differs significantly from pictures taken of the window moments after the assassination."
Mayhew or Byrd definitely has the real window. Byrd's daddy owned the building at the time of the assassination and had one of his workers remove a window six weeks after Kennedy's killing. Mayhew bought the building from Byrd in 1970 with the intention of turning it into a museum himself until city leaders forbade him. He also had a window removed—the correct one, he insists.
"The window Byrd took out was at the other end of the building, and they only took out half of it, which means they had to replace half of it. If someone would inspect it, like a master carpenter, he would see the window has been replaced and repaired. I also have a letter from a very wealthy civic leader who was half-owner of the Texas School Book Depository who said he witnessed them taking the window out and told them they were taking it out of the wrong window."
Just don't ask to see the documents. He won't share them.
Mayhew says he's tried to contact eBay and warn them they're selling a phony. So far, he says, he's had no luck.
"Hopefully, the people bidding will not pay the money, 'cause then it will end up in a big mess, trying to get the money back," he says.