|Name||John Will Fritz|
|Occupation||Captain (Dallas Police Department), Beat Officer, Detective, Night Commander|
|Portrayed by||Wilbur Fitzgerald|
|Appearance||The Day in Question|
John Will Fritz, head of the police investigation of the Kennedy assassination, was born on June 15, 1895, in Dublin, Texas. He spent much of his boyhood on a ranch near Lake Arthur, New Mexico.
Fritz joined the Dallas Police Department as a beat officer in 1921 and soon became a detective. He advanced through the ranks and was promoted to captain in 1934, when he organized the department's homicide and robbery bureau. Though he was made inspector of detectives in 1935, he voluntarily returned to being a captain in 1944. In 1947 he received the special title of senior captain, and later he reportedly refused the opportunity to become police chief. During his leadership of the homicide and robbery bureau, Fritz gained a reputation as an effective interrogator.
Fritz gained nationwide attention when he headed the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He was the first person to question suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald just hours after Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963. Though he did not get a confession, Fritz said he had all the proof he needed to convict, and before midnight he formally charged Oswald with the president's murder. Under the direction of Dallas police chief Jesse E. Curry, Fritz helped plan the transfer of Oswald to the county jail and was present when Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby during the move two days later. For years after the assassination, Fritz rarely spoke of the case and turned down repeated offers for books and articles. In November 1969 he was appointed night commander of the criminal investigation division, an appointment that some interpreted as a demotion. He retired three months later, on February 27, 1970.
He lived alone for much of his life, though he was married to a woman named Faye and had a daughter. Fritz was afflicted with heart disease and cancer; he died on April 19, 1984.
- Will Fritz on the Texas State Historical Association website. Retrieved on September 14, 2019.