Man credited with finding Oswald's gun in book depository - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

East Texas man credited with finding Oswald's gun in book depository


Les Ellsworth Jr.'s birth came just months after President John F. Kennedy's assassination. Although he did not experience the wake of this tragedy first-hand, the connection he has to this unforgettable day in America's history is very real. 

"Dad was early on a police officer for San Antonio Police Department. He then became an ATF Secret Service Agent, and he was new to the department in Dallas and because of his police department affiliation in San Antonio, he became friends with the police chief in Dallas," said Ellsworth.

His father, Frank Leslie Ellsworth Sr., was only a block and half away from the school book depository when the shooting happened.

"Everyone was pointing to the book depository, so they real quickly cornered that off and the police chief let dad and his partner up into the building," Ellsworth explained. 

He said his father found the bird's nest with the gun and casings used to shoot the president, and with that find, he said his father was given another task. 

"He was put in charge of finding out where the gun came from, whether it was mafia or soviet union contacts of Oswald," Ellsworth said. 

Ellsworth said his father's investigation didn't take long.

"A pawn shop contacted them because there was an APB out and he said, 'Hey, I sold it to Oswald because he looked legit at the time,'" Ellsworth said.  

Ellsworth's father has since passed away, but today, his family will always remember their father, his humility, and his success. 

"Dad was probably a literal genius and he could do anything so he was an impressive man," Ellsworth said.

Ellsworth served his country during World War II and the Korean War. He was secret service for LBJ and Ronald Reagan. He eventually retired and moved to Tyler with his wife. The couple created, "The Potpourri House", which is now operated by his son, Les Ellsworth Jr. 

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