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AEP retiree appears in Killing Kennedy movie

by on November 22, 2013

The movie Killing Kennedy, currently airing on the National Geographic Channel, was created to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, which occurred Nov. 22, 1963. And if you watch the film very carefully, you might just recognize an AEP retiree.

                    Dave “Butch” Martin

Based on the best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, Killing Kennedy begins in 1959, at major turning points for both the future president and his assassin. John F. Kennedy (played by Emmy-award winner Rob Lowe) is in Washington, D.C., preparing to announce his presidential candidacy, while Lee Harvey Oswald finds himself in the U.S. embassy in Moscow, renouncing his U.S. citizenship. These two events start both men — one a member of one of the United States’ most wealthy and powerful families, the other a disillusioned former Marine and Marxist — on a cataclysmic track that would alter the course of history.

According to Dave “Butch” Martin, who retired from the AEP Human Resources’ compensation section in 2003 after working most of his career in power plants throughout West Virginia, Killing Kennedy was filmed in Richmond, Va. Martin appears in the movie as a Dallas news reporter shortly after Lee Harvey Oswald is captured by the police and paraded in front of the press. He also helps subdue Jack Ruby (actor Casey Siemaszko) after he shoots Oswald. All of this occurs in the final 10 minutes of the film.

“I applied to be an extra after reading an article about the upcoming filming in the local paper,” said Martin, who currently works in the Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Richmond. “After I was selected, the casting company told me what my part was to be, sent a bunch of instructions, and gave me directions as to when and where to report.

“When I got to the casting trailers,” he continued, “they outfitted me in a black 60’s era suit, then sent me to another building to get a haircut and a dab of makeup. They also put about a half pound of Brylcreem in what’s left of my hair.”

Martin was in the filming of three scenes, all of which occurred after Oswald was captured.

“The first scene was when the police paraded Oswald down the hallway so the reporters could see the man who shot the president,” he said. “The second was similar, only in that one they had the rifle Oswald used, and held it up for all to see. The third scene was when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. We filmed each scene six or seven times.

“It’s in the third scene that I’m visible in the movie for a nanosecond,” he added. “All the reporters are waiting for Oswald to be escorted out of police headquarters when Jack Ruby pushes some of us out of the way and shoots. I helped pull him off Oswald and subdue him until the police take over.”

Martin said the three scenes comprise about two minutes in the movie, but took about five hours to shoot. All together, he was on the set for nine hours.

“The filming of that part of the movie was done in the basement of the Virginia General Assembly building (state legislature) next to the state capitol in downtown Richmond,” he noted. “The rest of the movie was also filmed in Richmond, including the parts set in Russia and Dallas.

“It was a most interesting experience,” Martin concluded. “There were maybe 20 of us extras as reporters and another 20 or so as police officers and detectives. Although our instructions as extras included not talking to the actors, I had to have some dialog with Casey Siemaszko (Jack Ruby) in order to know which way he was going to move at a certain time. Also, I encountered Will Rothhaar (Lee Harvey Oswald) in the lunch line and was able to chat with him briefly.

“It’s a good movie. I remember well the events that occurred after JFK was shot. This is the first time I’ve seen a movie or story that was told primarily from Oswald’s perspective.”

From → News From AEP

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