Saturday, 7 December 2013
Researcher Jim DiEugenio has reviewed Philip Shenon’s horrendous book on President Kennedy’s assassination entitled, A cruel and shocking act. Shenon’s contention is that Oswald killed the President at the behest of Fidel Castro! I haven’t read the book myself, but based on Mr DiEugenio’s review of the book, I know that it’s absolutely terrible. (The review can be read here on the CTKA.net website).
Thursday, 28 November 2013
When the topic of President Kennedy’s foreign policy is discussed, the two most popular subjects are undoubtedly Cuba and Vietnam. In this day and age, there can be no doubt that shortly before his assassination, it was President Kennedy’s intention to reach a détente with Cuban Premier, Fidel Castro, and to withdraw all US military advisers from Vietnam. However, as researcher Jim DiEugenio explains, there is much, much more to President Kennedy’s foreign Policy than just Cuba and Vietnam. In his wonderful article entitled JFK’s Embrace of Third World Nationalists, Jim DiEugenio provides readers an insight into the real John F. Kennedy, and not the cold warrior/war monger he is portrayed as by disinformation shills.
Click here to read Mr DiEugenio’s article.
Saturday, 23 November 2013
Recently, researcher Martin Hay wrote an article entitled: “Send In the Clowns: Fetzer and Lifton Embarrass Themselves, Again!”. The article is about Jim Fetzer’s and David Lifton’s childish attack on world renowned forensic pathologist, Dr Cyril Wecht. Without a doubt, Fetzer and Lifton are amongst the most arrogant and pathetic researchers one could ask for. I for one have the utmost disrespect for both of them. The article can be read here:
Friday, 22 November 2013
Exactly 50 years ago from this day, a great man was gunned down as he rode in an open motorcade through the Streets of Dallas. That man’s name was John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Since his untimely and tragic death, there have unfortunately been far too many people who have smeared him as being a womanizer, a drug addict, and most shockingly of all, a bad President. However, there are those amongst us who look beyond these allegations at what President Kennedy did for the World during his all too brief Presidency; and how his assassination altered the course of World history. To be perfectly honest, I have the utmost disrespect for those who think that President Kennedy’s assassination is irrelevant today.
There are also far too many people who wonder why, after half a century; people are still researching his assassination. The simple and blunt answer is that we give a shit! I first began researching the assassination towards the end of February, 2009. Since that time, I have read about all the various theories pertaining to his assassination. Whilst there are undoubtedly many utterly absurd conspiracy theories, this does not mean that we should dismiss all theories simply because absurd theories exist. In my opinion, only a complete fool would think otherwise. But to give what is perhaps the best example of why we should continue researching the assassination even after 50 years, I draw your attention to the brilliant research by Sean Murphy. Several months ago on John Simkin’s education forum, Sean Murphy began to lay out his theory that Lee Harvey Oswald was standing outside the Texas School Book Depository with his co-workers on the front steps of the building! For those of you who are unaware of this ground breaking research, you can view it by clicking here. You can also view a lengthy discussion on this very issue in which several researchers (including myself) have been involved in on Greg Parker’s terrific research forum. See here.
Despite all of the research over the past 50 years, there are still those misguided individuals who believe that Oswald, acting alone and unaided, murdered the President for some demented reason. Unfortunately for these people, the evidence says otherwise. There are also people who say that it is pointless to keep researching the assassination as we will never know exactly what happened. Whist it is true that there are still over 1,000 Government documents classified, and that we will probably never know how many crucial documents were unlawfully destroyed, I believe that if we successfully lobby the United States Congress to release all the classified documents, we can come close to solving the assassination. To that end, I want to thank all the hard working individuals who have sacrificed so much of their personal time to try and find out what really happened on November 22nd, 1963. In particular, I want to thank all the researchers of Greg Parker’s research forum, all of whom I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with.
R.I.P President Kennedy. You will never be forgotten!
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Lee Farley, a foremost authority on President Kennedy’s assassination, was recently interviewed by the Liverpool Echo with regards to his thoughts and feelings on the assassination (see here). Mr Farley is co-authoring a book on the assassination with Australian researcher, Greg Parker. The working title of this book is Lee Harvey Oswald’s cold war: why the Kennedy assassinations should be reopened. It is a book which I strongly recommend any serious student of the assassination read once it is published (see here for more information on the book).
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
JFK assassination researchers Jim DiEugenio and Debra Conway have put up my review of Mr DiEugenio’s most recent book, Reclaiming Parkland, on the CTKA.net website (see here). For anyone interested in why Mr DiEugenio’s book should be read, please read through my review.
Saturday, 19 October 2013
Several years ago, Australian researcher Greg Parker wrote a terrific article entitled Oswald and Albert Schweitzer College. I only recently discovered it, and I highly recommend that any serious assassination researcher read through it carefully, as it contains much valuable information on Oswald and the Albert Schweitzer College. Click here to read it.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Len Osanic, the host of Black Op Radio, has been putting together a fantastic video series entitled 50 reasons for 50 years (see here). Throughout this fantastic video series, Mr Osanic demonstrates the complete fraud of the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, assassinated President Kennedy. I strongly recommend that every serious assassination researcher take their time to view each episode.
Saturday, 17 August 2013
Want to know why lone gunman zealots such as John McAdams are not to be trusted concerning the assassination of President Kennedy? Just read through this article by assassination researcher Jim DiEugenio on the CTKA.net website.
Mr DiEugenio succinctly explains why John McAdams and his fellow lone gunman zealots, such as David Von Pein and David Reitz, are nothing but liars who have no interest whatsoever in the truth behind the President’s assassination.
Thursday, 11 July 2013
JFK assassination researchers Jim DiEugenio and Debra Conway have kindly posted an article I wrote concerning Oswald’s dark gray blue Jacket on the CTKA website. The article is entitled “The mystery of Ce163”, and can be read here. In this article, I argue that the dark gray blue Jacket (designated Warren Commission exhibit 163) was not discovered inside the TSBD as the Warren Commission told us that it was.
I also argue that the man who allegedly discovered it; a TSBD employee named Frankie Kaiser, was by all likelihood an FBI informant. My appreciation goes out to assassination researchers Greg Parker, Lee Farley, and Richard Gilbride for all the help they provided me. If you have read the article and have questions and comments to make, please don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section below, or to email them to me.
Finally, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to both Ms Conway and Mr DiEugenio for deciding to post my article on the CTKA website.
Note to readers:
There is one pertinent detail in my Jacket essay which I had previously neglected to mention. During his interview with the FBI on the second of December, 1963, Buell Wesley Frazier claimed that when he drove Oswald to the residence of Ruth Paine on the day before the assassination, he observed Oswald wearing a gray Jacket (see here). When Frazier testified before the Warren Commission, he was shown both Ce162 and Ce163, and denied that he had ever seen Oswald wear either one of those Jackets. If Frazier’s recollection is correct, then the Jacket which he saw Oswald wearing was the flannel-wool looking jacket which he also claimed he saw Oswald wearing on the morning of the assassination.
It is also important to keep in mind that Marina Oswald testified that when Oswald arrived at the residence of Ruth Paine on the day before the assassination, he was allegedly wearing Ce162! (See here). If this assertion is true, then not only does it contradict Frazier’s claim, but then Oswald could not have retrieved this Jacket when he arrived at his rooming house on 1026 North Beckley!
Friday, 5 July 2013
Highly esteemed JFK assassination researcher, Jim DiEugenio, was kind enough to email me a copy of the current sell sheet for his upcoming book Reclaiming Parkland. I have uploaded it here (below) for any interested person to see what Mr DiEugenio’s new book is all about. I am greatly looking forward to reading a copy of it once it is published, and providing a lengthy review of it on my blog.
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
Up on the CTKA website is an excellent article by Jim DiEugenio entitled “Ron Rosenbaum Fires the First Salvo” (see here). Mr DiEugenio explains the lengths to which journalistic shills such as Rosenbaum go to in order to uphold the utterly absurd conclusions of the Warren Commission. One of Rosenbaum’s most disingenuous claims is that Earlene Roberts, the house keeper of the 1026 North Beckley rooming house where Oswald was allegedly living under the name “O.H Lee”, died before she could testify before the Warren Commission!
Yet as anyone who has studied the JFK assassination should be aware, Roberts did testify before the Warren Commission, and actually died on January 9, 1966, from a heart attack. Mr DiEugenio is currently working on the second part of his article, and I am greatly looking forward to reading it.
As a personal challenge to these Oswald acted alone shills, perhaps they would care to answer the 15 simple questions I had asked Gary Mack here.
Monday, 24 June 2013
JFK assassination researcher, Martin Hay, has posted on his blog a well written and highly informative article entitled “The Head Wounds Revisited”. In his article, Mr Hay discusses the shots to the President’s head; in which he argues that there was a shot near the President’s EOP, with a second shot from the right front which caused the massive gaping hole in the top right of his head.
Although I disagree with him on a number of issues, I highly recommend that researchers read through the article, as Mr Hay has put in a lot of time and effort into writing it. The article can be found here.
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
A very long review of Jim DiEugenio’s exceptionally well written and resourced book, Destiny Betrayed (second edition), has been posted on the Destiny Betrayed website (See here). The review was written by a man named Albert Grossi. It’s a very well written review which delves into all the major highlights of Mr DiEugenio’s book. I strongly recommend every serious assassination researcher who doesn’t own a copy of Mr DiEugenio’s book to take their time to read Mr Grossi’s review, and to then seriously consider purchasing a copy of it.
Also, be sure to check out George Bailey’s review of the book (here) on his blog. I have been following Mr Bailey’s blog for quite a while, and I honestly consider it to be a great resource of information on the assassination. I recommend that researchers take their time to read through Mr Bailey’s blog articles.
Well done to both Mr Grossi and Mr Bailey for their reviews!
Sunday, 9 June 2013
After reading much Derogatory horse crap written about President Kennedy, it came as a breath of fresh air to read a positive article concerning his Presidency. In this article, Jeffrey Sachs explains the measures which Kennedy took as President (such as the partial nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviets) to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons on Mankind. I strongly recommend everyone to take their time to read it.
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Continued from Part 2
In chapter nine of his book, Thomas explains to the reader his interpretation of President Kennedy’s and Governor Connally’s wounds. Thomas begins by explaining that the autopsy doctors had failed to dissect the President’s back wound possibly “…for the purpose of hiding the presence of JFK’s Addison’s disease.” Thomas then argues that any bullet striking the President’s vertebrae at full force “…would have been damaged by the impact” and notes that Ce399 was “…nearly pristine”. However, as I have argued in part 2 of this review, the back wound was probably inflicted by a fragment of a Mannlicher Carcano bullet which struck the road and deflected upwards.
Thomas also notes the controversy between the Warren Commission and the HSCA concerning the time that Governor Connally was shot; namely that the Warren Commission concluded Connally was shot at frame 210 of the Zapruder film, whereas the HSCA determined that it was at frame 190. As Thomas and I have noted, the best evidence indicates that Connally was actually shot at frame 224. It’s also worth noting that both the Warren Commission and the HSCA argued that Connally’s reaction to being shot was delayed. The Warren Commission even went on to state that:
“The Governor did not even know that he had been struck in the wrist until he regained consciousness in the hospital the next day.”
Despite this assertion, close examination of the Zapruder film reveals that after frame 224, Connally can be seen reaching for his right wrist with his left hand and then holding onto it. Thus, Connally was aware of his wound. Perhaps due to the excruciating pain and shock he had experienced, his memory had been adversely affected. Thomas writes that Michael West, a forensic pathologist from Mississippi, interpreted this as being “…akin to a knee jerk reflex”. This makes perfect sense to me. Thomas also writes that Jeff Lotz, of Failure Analysis Associates, discovered that Connally’s lapel flapped out from his coat at frame 224.
Thomas then moves onto a discussion of the bullet wound to Governor Connally’s back near his right armpit. Thomas cites the testimony of Dr Robert Shaw, the thoracic surgeon who operated on Governor Connally, where he claimed that Connally’s back wound was:
“….a small wound approximately a centimetre and a half in its greatest diameter. It was roughly elliptical.”
Dr Michael Baden, the chairman of the HSCA’s medical panel, had re-examined Connally’s back wound and determined that it was 2.8 cm long (it should be noted that the length of a MC bullet is 3 cm). Thomas mistakenly asserts that Baden had “…confirmed the findings of the original record”. Lone gunman zealots such as Dr. John Lattimer have been using this measurement as “proof” that a MC bullet had struck Connally’s back by tumbling, after it had exited from the President’s throat. This assertion assumes that Connally’s back wound had shrunken by 2mm.
Thomas explains: “Had the bullet struck the Governor straight on, nose first, it would most likely have made a round perforation less than a centimetre in diameter.” Thomas is undoubtedly referring to the fact that the diameter of a MC bullet is 6.8 mm. Thomas also explains: “The elongation of the wound indicates that the bullet struck sideways and is the primary evidence that the bullet had something first…” At frame 224 of the Zapruder film, Connally is turned sharply to his right towards the infamous Grassy knoll area. Had the shot to Connally’s back originated from the TSBD sniper’s nest, as Thomas posits; then the wound would certainly have been elliptical in shape.
Despite his assertion, Thomas then writes: “The possibility of a tangential wound, a trajectory from the side rather than behind cannot be ruled out completely, but is limited in this case by the alignment of the entrance and exit wounds and by the fact that the Governor was seated almost directly in front of the President.” However, not once does Thomas inform the reader that Connally’s upper body was turned sharply to the right, and therefore enabling him to receive a tangential wound from either the TSBD or the Dal-Tex building. My own belief is that Connally was shot from one of the upper floors of the Dal-Tex building; most likely from the 7th (top) floor.
Furthermore, why Thomas should choose to believe Baden is beyond me. Baden has been exposed as being utterly unreliable. For example, see this discussion of Baden’s credibility by Pat Speer. Some of Baden’s most outlandish claims include that the photographs of President Kennedy’s body were taken by an inexperienced Secret Service photographer; whereas in actual fact, the photographs were taken by John Stringer, the US Navy’s top autopsy photographer. Another ridiculous claim by Baden is that a close examination of the Zapruder film shows that the first shot (by “Oswald”) missed and hit the curb; when in reality, it shows no such thing!
I also strongly advise readers to read through this highly informative article by Milicent Cranor, in which she explains that Connally’s back wound had become 3 cm long – after it was surgically enlarged. This pertinent fact is something which Thomas shamefully never explains to the reader.
Thomas then moves onto what I consider a brilliant dissection of Larry Sturdivan’s theory that the so-called magic bullet (Ce399) remained virtually pristine after striking Connally’s 5th rib and radius bone, due to the impact velocity of the bullet on each bone allegedly being less than its deformation velocity. But Thomas first explains that the tests by the US Army at Edgewood arsenal showed that when a MC bullet was fired at human cadavers, the bullets were severely deformed. He also notes that the results of the deformation velocities were curiously withheld from the Warren Commission.
Thomas explains that Sturdivan had understated the muzzle velocity of the MC rifle (claiming that it was 2000 ft./s, when it was actually 2160 ft./s) and that Sturdivan overstated the distance from the TSBD Sniper’s nest to President Kennedy’s back (claiming that it was 100 yards, when it was merely 60 yards). By simultaneously understating the muzzle velocity and increasing the distance of travel, Sturdivan reduced the impact velocity of “Ce399”, and therefore the amount of damage the bullet was likely to sustain upon impact.
Thomas then goes on to explain that contrary to Sturdivan’s contention that the alleged exit velocity of the MC bullet from the President’s throat was less than 1,700 ft./s, the Army’s ballistics tests revealed the exit velocity was 1798 ft./s. Thomas explains that according to the testimony of both Sturdivan and Alfred Olivier before the Warren Commission, the MC bullet would have deformed from an impact velocity in excess of 1,700 ft./s. It is incredibly ironic that Sturdivan would testify before the HSCA that “…If it [the bullet] strikes bone, which is twice as dense [as soft tissue], then it would begin to deform nose on at approximately 1,400 feet per second.” and not at above 1,700 ft./s.
Sturdivan also testified before the HSCA that a MC bullet which passed through a goat, during ballistics tests, had encountered less resistance than Ce399, and lost less velocity, because Connally allegedly had a greater amount of tissue than the goat. Yet, as Thomas asks; “How much tissue did Sturdivan think Governor Connally had on his ribs?” Much valuable information concerning Sturdivan’s bullet entrance and exit velocities can be found on Pat Speer’s website. Suffice it to say, Sturdivan’s values are deliberately deceptive.
Thomas contends that a MC bullet had struck Governor Connally in the back; breaking apart as it hit his 5th rib, with the nose portion (Ce567) striking his right wrist, and the base portion (Ce569) striking his left thigh and leaving a round puncture. As stated in part 2 of my review, Thomas ignored the fact that Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman, who was riding in the right front seat of the limousine, testified before the Warren Commission that he heard a “flurry of shells” come into the limousine after he saw the President grab at his throat. As I also explained, the bullet did not break into two pieces as Thomas would have us believe, but rather into at least three pieces.
Thomas writes: “More compelling evidence that a broken rather than intact bullet struck the Governor’s wrist is that the missile carried pieces of mohair from the Governor’s jacket into the wound”. He adds that; “It is vastly more likely that the jagged edge of a broken bullet would tear the cloth of the [Connally’s] jacket and carry the material into the wound than the alternative, that the smooth surface of an intact bullet would have accomplished the same.” This makes perfect sense to me. Thomas also cites the testimony of Dr Charles Gregory, who operated on Connally’s wrist, where Gregory claimed that an “irregular missile”; such as broken bullet, can carry debris into a wound.
Thomas also notes that Ballistics experts, Dr Frederick Light and Dr. Joseph Dolce, claimed that Ce399 would have sustained more damage had it caused of all Connally’s wounds. One of the most fascinating discussions in this Chapter is the results of the spectrographic tests performed on the clothing of Governor Connally and President Kennedy, by Dr. Charles Petty at the behest of the HSCA. Petty used the EDX method to determine the amount of Copper and lead traces in the bullet holes, against a “control” (normal) level. A “control” level refers to the blank reading from the spectrographic testing on a part of the clothing away from the bullet hole. The results from the bullet holes are then compared to the “control” level to provide meaningful results.
Charles Petty claimed that EDX results are consider positive if the amount of a certain element is “….at least one order of magnitude, or ten times, greater than the control or normal level for that element”. Thomas argues that since the bullet hole at the front of Connally’s shirt had 12 times the amount of lead as the “control” value, this proves that the bullet had broken up inside Connally’s chest then exited. Thomas also explains that since the bullet hole in the shirt cuff had 21 times the amount of lead as the “control” value, then this is also proof that Connally was hit in the wrist by a broken bullet.
Although I tend to agree with Thomas’ interpretation of the results, citing this as proof that it was a MC bullet which hit Connally and broke-up is a narrow minded point of view. As Thomas notes, virtually all rifle bullets are Copper jacketed; and surely, MC bullets were not the only Copper jacketed bullets available in 1963 which contained a lead core.
Thomas also claims; “By contrast [to the aforementioned bullet holes] the defects in President Kennedy’s clothing, and in the back of the Governor’s clothing, the entry holes, had amounts of lead equivalent to that found in the controls, meaning no detectable amount of lead, and as a result that is consistent with an intact, copper-jacketed bullet passing through the President and striking the Governor”. However, this is a somewhat narrow minded interpretation of the results. The lack of lead could also be explained by a fragment of Copper from the jacket of a bullet striking the President in the back, with a separate shot to Connally by a Copper jacketed bullet.
Thomas explains that the HSCA’s photographic panel decided on a vote of 12 to 5 that President Kennedy was reacting to a “severe external stimulus” prior to Zapruder frame 224, and argues that President Kennedy would not have been able to raise his arms after he was shot through the neck. However, as Dr David Mantik writes in his review of Thomas’ book, this would only be true if he was shot at the level of the 5th/6th cervical vertebrae. The photograph of the President’s back wound places the wound at about the level of the 1st thoracic vertebrae. Therefore, he still would have been able to move his arms.
Thomas also believes that as the President was shot in the back, the bullet had “plucked” the tendons of his trapezius muscle, thereby causing his arms to flap. However, as Dr Mantik explains here, it is not anatomically possible for such a reaction to occur. Thomas then moves onto his explanation of what caused the President to react to a gunshot beginning at circa Zapruder frame 190, when he suddenly stops waving to a group of women on his right.
Thomas believes that this was due to a fragment of a bullet which deflected off the road and entered the back of his skull (perhaps this is what caused the defect in the cowlick area). However, this explanation ignores the evidence that it was the back wound which was caused by a bullet fragment deflected upwards from the road pavement. Thomas cites the observations of witnesses Virginia (Virgie) Baker and Royce Skelton, both of whom claimed they saw a bullet strike the pavement after the first shot. However, Thomas ignores the fact that in her FBI interview dated 24/11/63, Baker claimed she saw the bullet strike the pavement in front of the limousine – and not behind it.
Thomas also discusses the wounding of bystander James Tague, writing that “The Warren Commission knew that a bullet had missed and that a piece of a shattered bullet had struck the curbstone throwing shards of cement that lacerated the face of a bystander, James Tague.” He apparently believes that after a bullet hit the pavement, a fragment from the bullet had sufficient Kinetic energy to travel over 200 ft., and dislodge pieces of concrete. Significantly, Thomas ignores that Tague was always adamant that it was not the first shot which had caused his injury! Please refer to this discussion for more information.
Thomas also believes that Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman had actually heard the President yell out “My God, I’m hit” after the first shot. However, Thomas neglects to mention that none of the other occupants of the limousine recalled hearing the President utter such words. Thomas uses this bolster his belief that Kennedy was responding to the pain of the bullet fragment which allegedly struck the back of his head. However, this ignores the fact that Pat Speer’s comprehensive analysis of the eye/ear witness statements has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the shot(s) to Governor Connally at Circa Zapruder frame 224 was fired from a rifle equipped with a silencer/suppressor. Therefore, if Kellerman had really heard the President yell out “My God, I’m hit” then it could have been in response to the shot near his EOP which then exited his throat; as Pat Speer and I believe.
In Chapter ten, Thomas discusses the back and to the left movement of the President’s head. The overwhelming majority of conspiracy advocates believe this is positive proof that the head shot originated from the left front of the President. However, lone gunman zealots believe that the back and to the left movement was either due to a neuro-muscular reaction, or alternatively, the much more extraordinary jet effect theory. Another theory is that the driver, Secret Service agent William Greer, had accelerated the limousine at the moment of the head shot(s), causing the President’s body to move backwards due to inertia. However, examination of the Zapruder film reveals that Greer, Kellerman, and the Connally’s move forward at the instant of the head shot(s), thereby debunking this theory.
Although Thomas is correct to criticise Larry Sturdivan’s utterly ridiculous theory that experiments with goats somehow prove that a neuro-muscular reaction caused President Kennedy (a human being) to move back and to the left, I have not completely dismissed the notion that some type of muscular reaction did in fact occur. Perhaps the best aspect of this Chapter is Thomas’ critique of Luis Alverez’ experiments, where Alverez had tried to demonstrate using watermelons that a jet effect from the explosion of the President’s head propelled his entire upper body back and slightly to the left.
Thomas makes a number of key points. For example, he notes that with the large gaping hole on the top right of the head, and with the President in the position shown in the Zapruder and Muchmore films, a jet effect would have driven the head to the left, and not backwards. He also notes that Alverez did not use a MC rifle during the experiments, but rather rifle with a higher velocity; and therefore, there was a much greater amount of transfer of Kinetic energy from the bullet to the watermelons. It’s also important to keep in mind that the melons were not attached to a heavy object, whereas the President’s head was attached to his upper body – which also went backwards.
Thomas also endorses the belief that the apparent forward movement of the President’s head between Zapruder frames 312 and 313 was due to the deceleration of the limousine at this point in time. This was first advocated by David Wimp. Although I believe that all of the occupants of the limousine do lurch slightly forward as Wimp has advocated, as I have mentioned previously, Pat Speer has demonstrated that the President’s head moves down slightly due to the impact of a bullet on the top of his head.
Thomas then moves onto a discussion of the so-called magic bullet (Ce399), providing an alternate explanation as to the bullet’s origin. It is worth mentioning here that Thomas provides a good discussion of the lengths to which the FBI went to in order to cover-up the fact that there was a bullet or bullet fragment which struck the commerce Street curb and injured witness James Tague. My own belief is that a fragment of the lead core of the MC bullet which struck the President’s head tangential, and sheared apart, had cleared the limousine and hit the curb sending a fragment of concrete which then cut Tague’s left cheek.
Thomas believes that Ce399 was a missed shot fired from the Sniper’s nest window of the TSBD, which hit the turf near the manhole cover to the left of the President’s limousine. Thomas posits that this was recovered by the man with blonde hair, believed by some to be FBI agent Robert Barrett, and then placed onto a stretcher at Parkland hospital. He believes the bullet was found, and then placed into the President’s coffin where it was allegedly discovered after his coffin was opened up at the Bethesda Naval hospital.
First of all, Thomas explains to the reader that the bullet was not discovered on Governor Connally’s stretcher as lone gunman zealots have been arguing. The bullet was discovered by Parkland hospital orderly Darrell Tomlinson, and then given to Parkland chief of security O.P Wright, who in turn allegedly gave the bullet to Secret Service agent Richard Johnsen. However, Thomas ignores the fact that Wright informed researcher Josiah Thompson that the bullet had a pointed tip! An Otis elevator repair man named Nathan Burgess Pool would inform HSCA investigator James McDonald that he was present when Tomlinson discovered the bullet, and he also claimed that it was pointed! See here.
Thomas cites the claim by Captain David Osborne (the chief of surgery at Bethesda Naval hospital at the time of the assassination) to HSCA investigators that an intact bullet was recovered during the autopsy. Thomas also cites a receipt by FBI agents James Sibert and Frank O’Neill which reads as follows:
“We hereby acknowledge receipt for a missile removed by Commander James J. Humes MC, USN on this date.”
Thomas explains to the reader that when Sibert and O’Neill were questioned about this issue by the HSCA, they claimed that they were actually referring to two tiny silvers of metal removed from the President’s brain. Thomas seems to be implying that Sibert and O’Neill were lying. This makes little sense in light of the fact they’ve always insisted that the bullet had fallen out of the President’s back, and did not exit through his throat?
As further evidence that a bullet was recovered during the autopsy, Thomas cites the fact that Captain John Stover’s name was on the receipt for the bullet, and that Stover allegedly acknowledged to David Lifton that a bullet was present at the autopsy. However, I would hardly call a man with a reputation like Lifton a reliable source of information. It is also important to bear in mind that a HSCA staff report claimed Osborne could not be sure that he actually did see a bullet. However, when Lifton interviewed Osborne, he allegedly denied having ever told the HSCA that he had doubts about seeing a bullet. Osborne also allegedly claimed that the bullet was intact and “not deformed in any way”.
Although it seems there was a bullet recovered at Bethesda, the evidence that this was Ce399 is rather weak. Thomas surmises that this was the bullet that was given to FBI agent Elmer Todd by Secret Service chief, James Rowley, at the white house. I tend to agree. For some time, I have been working a theory that Ce399 was fired by the Dallas Police from an unspent cartridge found in “Oswald’s” rifle. According to the Sibert/O’Neill report on the autopsy (here), FBI agent Charles Killion had telephonically advised them of the following:
“…the [FBI] laboratory had received through Secret Service agent Richard Johnson [Johnsen] a bullet which had reportedly been found on a stretcher in the emergency room of Parkland Hospital, Dallas, Texas.”
The official version of Ce399’s chain of possession holds that it was delivered to Chief Rowley by Johnsen at the white house, who then gave it to Elmer Todd in an envelope. However, the aforementioned report makes no mention of either Rowley or Todd, and instead implies that the bullet was delivered directly to the FBI laboratory by Johnsen. The work by John Hunt (here) has demonstrated that FBI agent Robert Frazier received a bullet at 7:30 pm, whereas Elmer Todd marked on the envelope that he received the bullet at the white house at 8:50 pm! My belief is that Johnsen had delivered a pointed bullet to the laboratory at 7:30pm, with Todd taking possession of Ce399 in the envelope at the white house. I will expand on this theory in a future post on my blog.
As proof that a bullet was recovered from the turf near the manhole cover, Thomas cites numerous sources, such as DPD Officer Joe W. Foster, and St Louis Dispatch journalist, Richard Dudman. In particular, Thomas notes that Warren Commission counsel Norman Redlich sent a memorandum to counsel Wesley Liebeler explaining that Dallas deputy Sheriff Buddy Walthers told fellow deputy Sheriff, Al Maddox, that a bullet was found in the grass. Thomas also explains that Walther’s widow, Dorothy, informed researcher Mark Oates that Walthers told her that a bullet was recovered.
After reading through Thomas’s work, I have become convinced that a bullet was recovered from the turf, and then placed on the stretcher. However, I believe that this was a pointed bullet just as O.P Wright and Nathan Burgess Pool claimed. Through the declassification of certain evidence by the ARRB, an envelope which allegedly contained a 7.65mm shell was discovered (this could have been mistaken for a bullet). Several researchers such as Jim DiEugenio have argued that this proves a 7.65mm German Mauser was fired from the 6th floor of the TSBD. However, the bullet could have originated from a rifle located on an upper floor of the Dal-Tex building, for example.
It’s worth noting that a 7.65mm Mauser bullet has a pointed tip, and could conceivably be the bullet which was discovered in the turf, and then transported to Parkland hospital and left on the stretcher. In the confusion surrounding the President’s assassination, the bullet could have been accidentally left there to be retrieved at a later point in time. However, if this was a 7.65mm bullet which was recovered, it is not consistent with the shot near the President’s EOP, with its smallest diameter measured as 6mm.
Thomas provides what I consider to be a good discussion of the bone fragment discovered by Dallas deputy Sheriff Seymour Weitzman. Weitzman testified before the Warren Commission that he gave the fragment to a Secret Service agent in Dealey Plaza. The problem is; no genuine Secret Service agents were present in Dealey Plaza immediately following the assassination. Thomas informs the reader that FBI agent Vincent Drain told Larry Sneed, author of the book No More Silence, that someone he believed was a “Security Officer” handed him a piece of the President’s skull.
Thomas believes the “Security Officer” was in fact an FBI agent named Doyle Williams. Thomas makes a number of key points which lend credence to his theory that Williams was the man who delivered the skull fragment to Drain. For example, Williams was present in Dealey Plaza shortly following the assassination. Williams informed researcher Henry Hurt that he was sent to Parkland hospital by his superior, Gordon Shanklin, to inform the Secret Service that the FBI was willing to assist them. Thomas explains that Williams tried to barge into the trauma room where the President was taken; only to be punched in the jaw and wrestled to the floor by Secret Service agents.
The incident was reported by Secret Service agent Andrew Berger, and was confirmed by Parkland hospital nurse Doris Nelson. Yet, Williams denied that he was challenged by the agents guarding the door to the trauma room. Thomas asks the reader: “Was it really necessary to force his [Williams’] way into a high security area to pass on such mundane information” (Thomas is referring to the aforementioned message from Gordon Shanklin). This is indeed a very good question. If Williams did have in his possession a piece of the President’s skull, it would make sense that he would try and barge into the trauma room to deliver it to the doctors and nurses attempting to save the President’s life. Thomas also believes that it was Williams who delivered Ce399 to Parkland hospital.
If the Secret Service, during the high tension following the President’s shooting, forcibly prevented Williams from delivering the skull fragment into the trauma room, which they might have thought could have saved the President’s life, then it’s understandable why they would hide the fact that Williams was trying to deliver the fragment to the doctors. As evidence that the fragment which Weitzman discovered was delivered to Bethesda Naval hospital, Thomas cites the testimony of James Humes, where Humes claimed:
“Someone presented these three pieces of bone to me. I do not recall specifically their statement as to where they had been recovered. It seems to me they felt it had been recovered either in the street or in the automobile, I don’t recall specifically.”
Since two of the fragments were discovered in the automobile, as per the reports by Secret Service agents Samuel Kinney and Clint Hill, then it’s perfectly logical in light of all the evidence that the third fragment was the one discovered by Weitzman. I commend Thomas for his work on this issue.
Equally pleasing was Thomas’ critique of Thomas Canning’s analysis of bullet trajectories for the HSCA. Canning was a NASA rocket hired by the HSCA to determine the trajectories of the President’s back and head wounds, and the alleged trajectory between the President’s throat wound and Connally’s back wound. Canning concluded that the trajectories of the wounds led back to the TSBD Sniper’s nest. However, as Thomas and others have noted, Canning ignored the fact that bullets do not follow a straight path when travelling through a person’s body. Canning was also allowed to move the location of the President’s back wound upwards as he desired – despite the fact that the HSCA’s forensic pathology panel had already determined the wound was located at about the level of the first thoracic vertebrae.
Canning had also assumed that the entrance wound to the President’s head was located in the cowlick, just as the HSCA’s pathology panel had concluded. Of course, this ignores the fact that all three of the autopsy doctors; and four other witnesses, indicated that the wound was located near the EOP – and that not a single witness to the autopsy claimed that the entrance wound was located in the cowlick area. Thomas’ critique of Canning’s work is far too detailed for me to go into here, and will leave it up to any interested in reading about to go to Pat Speer’s website (here), or to simply purchase a copy of Thomas’ book. Suffice it to say, Thomas’s critique was thorough and enlightening.
In chapter 13, which has been entitled Comparative bullet lead analysis, Thomas debunks the NAA (neutron activation analysis) used by Vincent Guinn to “prove” that the bullet fragments from Governor Connally’s right wrist had originated from Ce399. Lone gunman zealots such as Vincent Bugliosi have been vehemently arguing that this proves that the President and Governor Connally were both hit by Ce399. Thomas argues that Guinn’s “analysis” is invalid because Guinn only took one measurement from each of the samples he tested, instead of replicating his results.
Guinn had also failed to take a sufficient number of samples for testing, and failed to scientifically prove that MC ammunition is unique to other kinds of rifle ammunition. He also withheld the results from most of the specimens he measured, and did not statistically analyses the data he had obtained from the tests. In fact, as Thomas writes:
“With the single exception of Guinn’s HSCA report, no study of bullet metal before or since has ever claimed to be able to distinguish individual bullets from within the same production batch.”
In other words, apart from Guinn’s contention, there is no way to determine whether Connally’s wrist fragment had originated from Ce399, or from another bullet from the same batch of bullets. Adding further doubt to Guinn’s credibility is the fact that Guinn had conducted similar analyses for the Warren Commission – and at the behest of both the FBI and Warren Commission, he had concealed the results because they failed to support the notion that Oswald was the sole assassin! (Be sure to read through this important discussion of Guinn’s “analysis” by metallurgist Erik Randich and chemist Patrick Grant, in which they explain the flaws of his analysis).
Thomas dedicated the next chapter to a discussion of the murder of DPD Officer J.D Tippit (this chapter can be viewed online here at the Mary Ferrell foundation website). Thomas claims that Tippit’s name was Jefferson Davis Tippit, for which lone gunman zealot Dale Myers criticised him. Former DPD Sgt Don Flusche told Larry Sneed that Tippit’s first name was John. In this news article, former DPD Officer Charles Comer also refers to Tippit as John Tippit.
Thomas begins with a discussion of the possibility that two men may have been involved in the shooting. Witnesses Aquila Clemmons and Frank Wright claimed they had seen two men murder Tippit. Thomas dismisses this notion by stating “Given that the witnesses to the shooting saw only a single individual in the confrontation with the Officer, it is entirely conceivable that one or more of the running suspects were only bystanders, fleeing out of fear.” (My discussion of the Tippit murder witnesses can be read here).
Given that this Chapter can be viewed online, it is not my intention to provide a thorough review of it, but to point out some of Thomas’ omissions and mistakes. Thomas believes that it was Tippit’s squad car which was present outside Oswald’s rooming house, explaining that “Mrs [Earlene] Roberts hazarded a guess during her testimony that the squad car’s number was 106 or 107.” Thomas ignores the fact that Roberts informed the FBI on November the 29th that she had seen car 207 outside the rooming house. This car was assigned to DPD Officer Jim Valentine, and took Sgt Gerald Hill to Dealey Plaza from City Hall. As I explained in this two part article, Hill lied about how he travelled to Oak Cliff. As I also explained, Hill had by all likelihood framed Oswald for the murder of Tippit!
Thomas’ discussion of the so-called order sending Tippit into central Oak Cliff could have been better. For example, he could have noted that when the Channel 1 dispatcher Murray Jackson allegedly ordered Tippit into Central Oak Cliff, he did not contact William Mentzel (the Officer assigned to the Central Oak Cliff district) to ensure that he was in his assigned district. Thomas could also have noted that when Jackson allegedly contacted Tippit at 12:54 pm asking him if he was in the Oak Cliff area, and ordering him “You will be at large for any emergency that comes in.”, he never bothered to inform Mentzel that he should be at large for any emergency – in his own patrol district! Please refer to this article for my own discussion of this issue.
Thomas’ dismissal of the wallet found at the Tippit murder scene containing ID for Oswald and Hidell is, to put it kindly, absurd. Thomas writes that DPD detective Paul Bentley, who had removed Oswald’s wallet from his left hip pocket, informed Larry Sneed that he had discovered ID for Oswald and Hidell. Although this is true, during an interview with WFAA-TV on the day following the assassination (here), Bentley was specifically asked what kind of ID Oswald had in his wallet – and made absolutely no mention of the fake selective service card bearing the name Alek James Hidell. In his report concerning Oswald’s arrest, he again failed to mention that the Hidell ID was found in Oswald’s wallet. Thomas mentions none of this to the reader.
Furthermore, Thomas neglected to inform his readers that when DPD Chief Jesse Curry had informed reporters on the day following the assassination (here) that the money order for the rifle bearing the name A. Hidell had been tracked down by the FBI – he made absolutely no mention that Oswald had the Hidell ID in his wallet when arrested. Thomas also writes:
“….a comparison of the filmed wallet [found at the Tippit murder scene] with those in the Archives by Dale Myers shows that it is not one of those.”
First of all, why Thomas should consider a charlatan like Dale Myers as reliable is completely beyond my comprehension. Secondly, a comparison of one of the wallets at the national archives, allegedly belonging to Oswald, with the wallet found at the Tippit murder scene shows that they are the same wallet (see here). Please refer to this article for my own discussion of this pertinent issue.
Despite my misgivings about Thomas’ dismissal of the wallet found at the Tippit murder scene, I found his discussion of the station wagon to be enlightening. In his summary of the Tippit Chapter, Thomas writes the following:
“The circumstantial evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald shot Officer J.D Tippit is compelling. It is known that he was on foot in the neighbourhood and attempting to escape from the assassination. Eyewitnesses saw him flee the scene of the crime, run west on Jefferson Boulevard and hide in the Texas Theatre, where he was arrested carrying a pistol.”
Contrary to Thomas’ assertion, the circumstantial evidence of Oswald’s guilt is not compelling. The eye witnesses saw a man who undoubtedly looked like Oswald, but as I’ve explained on my blog, their identification of Oswald is completely unreliable. For example, Ted Callaway and Sam Guinyard, who observed the killer running South on Patton Street, claimed they saw him on opposite sides of the Street! Thomas also made no mention of the highly suspicious Igor Vaganov, or the contradictions in the statements of the DPD Officers and witnesses to Oswald’s arrest at the Texas Theatre. Nevertheless, I agree with Thomas that DPD Officer Harry Olsen was likely involved in Tippit’s murder.
Thomas then discusses the polygraph examination given to Jack Ruby by FBI agent Bell Herndon. He explains that there is a great difference in opinion as to how reliable a polygraph is at detecting lies. For example, the American Polygraph association claimed the accuracy of a polygraph was 85 to 95%, whereas a study by the Office of Technology Assessment concluded that the error rate could be as high as 70%.
When Ruby was asked during the polygraph examination whether he knew Oswald and whether he was involved in the assassination, Herndon testified that Ruby was being truthful. However, as Thomas explains, when the HSCA reviewed the results of the polygraph examination, they discovered that Herndon turned down the sensitivity of the Galvanic skin response, whereas the standard procedure was to actually increase it as the examination proceeded.
Against standard procedure, Herndon also failed to ask Ruby any “control” questions, and failed to repeat any of the relevant questions. Furthermore, there were a total of 10 people present when the examination was being made (undoubtedly putting a greater amount of pressure on Ruby) when only Herndon and Ruby should have been present. Thomas also explains the lengths to which FBI director J. Edgar Hoover went to in order to prevent a polygraph examination being given to Ruby. Overall, I thought Thomas’ work on the polygraph examination was brilliant.
Finally, we come to the core of Thomas’ book – the acoustics evidence. As I said at the beginning of my review, I was very impressed by Thomas’ work. It is my honest belief that Thomas is probably the top expert on the acoustics evidence in the world (although researchers such as Dr. David Mantik also have a great amount of knowledge). Thomas’ belief is that there were a total of five shots fired at the President. According to Thomas, the first and second shots were fired 1.65 seconds apart, the second and third were fired 1.1 seconds part, the third and fourth were fired 4.8 seconds apart, with the fourth and fifth fired 0.7 seconds apart.
Thomas explains that the acoustics experts hired by the HSCA had placed three arrays of microphones to determine the approximate location of the microphone of the DPD motorcycle which captured the sounds of the shots; at the time each of the suspect shots on the Channel 1 Dictabelt recording were fired. Although I believe there could be some validity to the acoustics evidence, it is extremely unlikely that there were a total of five audible shots. As Pat Speer demonstrates in his analysis of the ear witnesses to the assassination, over 90% heard three shots or less, with a total of only 18 out of the 269 witnesses analysed hearing four or more shots. What I find to be quite coincidental is the fact that the majority of witnesses indicated they heard the last two shots fired almost simultaneously, just as the acoustics evidence allegedly proves.
The acoustics experts analysed the validity of the test shots against the suspect shots on the DPD Dictabelt by using correlation coefficients, with a higher coefficient indicating a greater likelihood of a match between the echo patterns of the test and suspect shots. Thomas writes that “Generally speaking, values 0.50 or less are considered to be so low as to constitute evidence that there is no real relationship.” Tests with suspect shots 1, 4 and 5 achieved a maximum coefficient of 0.80, with the lowest as 0.70. Tests with suspect shot 2 achieved a maximum coefficient of 0.80, with the lowest as 0.60. Tests with suspect shot 3 achieved only a single microphone match, with the coefficient at only 0.60.
Given the fact that only a single match was found for shot 3, with a coefficient as low as 0.60, Thomas should have disregarded it as an actual captured shot. Bear in mind the fact that Bonnie Rae Williams (who was standing directly below the Sniper’s nest window on the 5th floor of the TSBD) informed the Dallas Sheriff’s Office on the day of the assassination, and the FBI on the following day, that he heard only two shots fired from above his head. Suspect shots 1 and 5 were determined to have been fired from the Sniper’s nest window of the TSBD. The fact that 4 matching microphone positions were determined for shot 1, and 3 matching positions for shot 5, is consistent with Williams’ recollection of having heard only two shots fired from above his head.
It’s important to note that tests with suspect shot 2 achieved a maximum coefficient of 0.80 from the TSBD. Thomas believes that this was a shot fired from possibly the Dallas County records building. Thomas argues that since “Oswald’s” rifle required a minimum of 2.3 seconds to fire successive shots, it could not have fired the second suspect shot only 1.65 seconds after the first suspect shot. Given that only a single coefficient of 0.80 was achieved with a test shot fired from the TSBD Sniper’s nest, with the other two as 0.60, this suspect shot should also have been dismissed. This then leaves us with three audible shots; two from the TSBD and one from the direction of the Grassy knoll, with the last two fired almost simultaneously in accord with the ear witness statements.
Thomas, like the HSCA’s acoustics experts, believes that the motorcycle with the “stuck” open microphone was that of DPD Officer H.B McLain. McLain was part of the President’s motorcade escort, and was riding a two wheeler motorcycle. When McLain was asked by James Bowles, the DPD’s communications supervisor, to listen to a tape copy of the Dictabelt recording, he explained the motorcycle with the “stuck” microphone was a three wheeler. As McLain put it to Larry Sneed:
“You can tell very clearly the difference between the sound of a solo motorcycle that we rode and a three-wheel motorcycle; it’s like daylight and dark. The solo engine has a kind of a thump to it: CHUKE.. CHUKE.. CHUKE.., while the three-wheeler has more of a thrashing sound.. AAANG.. AAANG.. AAANG! You could hear all this on the tapes, but the people in Washington [the HSCA] didn’t listen.”
Whilst some defenders of the acoustics evidence have accused McLain of lying, I don’t believe this to be the case. In this interview with New Zealand researcher Seamus Coogan, McLain expressed his belief that there was a conspiracy behind the assassination, and that the Warren Commission “…did not investigate any thing. They told you what happened and that's the way they wrote it down”. Since the acoustics evidence supports the notion that there was a conspiracy, it is perfectly logical to believe that a conspiracy believer such as McLain was being honest when he said it was a three-wheelers microphone that was “stuck” open and not his.
One of the biggest problems with the acoustics evidence is the presence of Police sirens on the Dictabelt recording approximately four minutes following the assassination (the actual recording of the Dictabelt can be listened to here). Lone gunman zealots, and conspiracy advocates who completely dismiss the acoustics evidence as being bogus, argue that this proves the motorcycle with the “stuck” microphone was at the Dallas Trade Mart, which the motorcade passed en route to Parkland memorial hospital following the assassination.
James Bowles claimed that the DPD Officer whose microphone was “stuck” open was William Price. Although Price was assigned to the Trade Mart with a three wheeler motorcycle, he never confirmed that it was his microphone which was open. In fact, no DPD Officer assigned to the Trade Mart with a three-wheeler ever came forward to identify himself as being the one with the “stuck” microphone. My own belief is that at the time of the assassination, there were possibly two microphones which were “stuck” open, one in Dealey Plaza, with another one at the Trade Mart when the sirens passed by.
Another issue is the sound of the Carillon bell which can be heard several seconds following the suspect shots on the Dictabelt recording. Thomas explains to the reader:
“The HSCA staff was unable to locate a bell tower near Dealey Plaza in 1978. But it was subsequently discovered that back in the early 60’s there was a downtown carillon bell and that it was audible in Dealey Plaza.”
However, Thomas also writes:
“In a subsequent analysis of the recordings IBM scientists, including NRC panel member Richard Garwin, discovered that the bell sound is actually on both [DPD] Channels.”
In my opinion, the presence of the bell sound on both DPD Channels is evidence that the sound was captured in Dealey Plaza. The motorcycle escorts in the president’s motorcade were using Channel 2 for communications. However, the DPD Officers at the Trade Mart were only using Channel 1 for normal Police communications. Since the sound was captured by a microphone on Channel 2, it logically follows that there was a Microphone “stuck” open in Dealey Plaza on Channel 1 as well.
In the final Chapter of his book, Thomas explains his “reconstruction” of the shooting sequence using the acoustics evidence. Thomas posits the first shot was fired from the TSBD Sniper’s nest at Circa Zapruder frame 175 which missed. This is incredibly ironic in light of the fact that Thomas previously used Governor Connally’s rapid head turn to his right at Circa Zapruder frame 162 as evidence that the first shot was fired at this point in time!
Thomas posits the second shot which was fired 1.65 seconds after the first, at Circa Zapruder frame 204 was also a missed shot. Thomas claims that this was the shot which caused witness Phil Willis to snap a blurry picture due to his startle reaction to the shot. However, Willis clearly said it after the first shot, and not the second which startled him; a fact which Thomas ignores. As I’ve already stated, there was no audible shot at this point in time.
According to Thomas, the third shot was the single bullet shot to the President and Governor Connally fired from the TSBD Sniper’s nest. He explains that this synchronises with Connally’s jacket flapping out (at Zapruder frame 224) and his Stetson hat flipping up. However, this assumes that the sound of the gunshot from the TSBD reached H.B McLain’s microphone at the exact difference in time the visible reaction was captured by Zapruder’s camera prior to the headshot(s). In my opinion, it defies probability that this could happen; and as previously explained, the evidence supporting a shot from the TSBD at this point in time is extremely weak at best.
The fourth shot was allegedly the head shot; fired from behind the picket fence on top of the Grassy knoll area. It defies physics that such as shot could have sharply deflected after hitting the President’s right temple, and then blowing out a hole at the back right of his head as Thomas posits. My belief is that this shot missed. According to the analysis of the acoustics evidence, there was a 0.80 correlation coefficient for the shot emanating from behind the picket fence. Based on the shock wave precedence of the bullet, Thomas calculated the muzzle velocity of the rifle as being approximately 2350 to 2550 ft./s.
Ironically, he had advocated a muzzle velocity of only 2,200 ft./s when calculating the flight time of the bullet to hit the president in the head. It’s completely baffling as to why Thomas didn’t use the 2350 to 2550 ft./s estimate in calculating the flight time. In any event, as I explained in part 2 of my review, the most credible hypothesis is that the bullet fired from the MC rifle found on the 6th floor of the TSBD hit the top of the President’s head tangentially.
The fifth and final shot was fired from the 6th floor of the TSBD according to Thomas, which missed and struck the turf to the left rear of the President’s limousine. Although I agree that a shot did miss and hit the turf, Thomas’ contention that a total of three shots had missed is very unlikely, in my opinion. I agree that one or even two misses is plausible, but not three. Although Thomas believes the bullet which hit the turf was Ce399, my own belief is that the bullet was a pointed bullet which was found on the stretcher at Parkland Hospital by Darrell Tomlinson.
There’s one final issue I would like to discuss before concluding my review. As most researchers are aware, many witnesses to the assassination mistook the first shot for the back fire of a motorcycle. Thomas believes that the “stuck” microphone captured the sound of a motorcycle backfire. Indeed, when one listens to a copy of the Dictabelt recording, there is a loud popping sound immediately preceding the suspect shots. Thomas now claims that this is what Governor Connally was reacting to when he rapidly turned his head to the right. However, Connally made it clear that what he thought he heard was a rifle shot; and not a motorcycle backfire.
Thomas actually speculates that the backfire may have inadvertently caused the gunmen to fire prematurely at the President, although he admits that this is pure conjecture. In my opinion, the popping sound heard a split second before the suspect sounds on the Dictabelt recording may actually have been the backfire of the three-wheeler which captured the sounds. Now consider this: Thomas wants the reader to believe that there was a total of six gunshot like noises (one backfire noise and five shots); whereas the overwhelming majority of the witnesses only recalled hearing a total of three gunshot like noises! I find the notion that most of the witnesses would hear only three of the noises out of a total of six to be completely ridiculous.
That concludes my review. Overall, this was a good book, but not a great book. I have watched several of Thomas’ interviews on YouTube, and found him to be an intelligent and decent man. It was therefore a bit uneasy for me to criticise him in the manner in which I did. Despite my misgivings with some of his work, I think that he made a great contribution to trying to solve the assassination with his work on the acoustics evidence, the finger print evidence etc. Sometime in the future, I intend to perform my own analysis of the acoustics evidence and post it on my blog.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Continued from Part 1
In chapter four of his book, Thomas deals with the alleged murder weapon – which of course was the Mannlicher Carcano rifle entered into evidence as Ce139. Thomas discusses four key issues with the rifle. Namely the misidentification of the rifle as a German Mauser, the spent shell casing with the dented lip (Ce543) which was allegedly discovered in the Sniper’s nest of the 6th floor of the TSBD, the accuracy of the rifle, and the spectrographic tests by FBI agent John Gallagher on the bullets and bullet fragments to determine whether they had originated from “Oswald’s” rifle.
Thomas begins with a discussion of the misidentification of the rifle as a German Mauser, referring to the misidentification as “One of the many red herrings in the lore of the JFK assassination”. As Thomas explains, Dallas deputy Sheriffs Seymour Weitzman, Eugene Boone, Roger Craig, and DPD Captain Will Fritz all initially identified the rifle as a 7.65 mm Mauser. Thomas believes that the misidentification of the rifle arose due to the fact that German Mausers were also manufactured as 6.5 mm calibre rifles, and that both Mausers and Carcanos were manufactured as bolt action rifles. Thomas explains that since the MC rifle didn’t have the words “Mannlicher Carcano” stamped on it, with only “CAL 6.5” stamped on the barrel; this then led to the false reports that it was a Mauser.
My own belief is that the MC rifle entered into evidence was in fact the rifle used to shoot the President from the 6th floor of the TSBD. If the conspirators were trying to frame Oswald for the assassination (as the evidence indicates) it makes no sense that they wouldn’t use the MC rifle, as Oswald allegedly ordered the MC rifle via Money order, and the so-called backyard photographs depict “Oswald” holding the rifle.
As Thomas explains, TSBD employee Warren Caster had brought two rifles into the TSBD two days before the assassination. One of them was a 0.30 -06 calibre (7.65mm) Mauser. It is therefore quite possible that deputy Sheriff Seymour Weitzman had merely confused the MC rifle with Caster’s Mauser when he wrote in his affidavit the day following the assassination (here) that “This rifle was a 7.65mm Mauser bolt action equipped with a 4/18 scope, a thick leather brownish-black sling on it.” It should be noted that Caster testified before the Warren Commission that his rifles were at his home on the day of the assassination.
Where were those guns [rifles] on November 22, 1963?
The guns were in my home, 3338 Merrell Road.
Although both Roy Truly and William Shelley confirmed during their Warren Commission testimonies that Caster had removed the rifles from the TSBD before the assassination, it is quite possible that the rifle(s) were present inside the TSBD on the day of the assassination. Realising that the presence of the Mauser had led to the misidentification of the MC rifle, the DPD and/or the FBI had likely suborned Caster, Truly, and Shelley to claim that Caster’s rifle had been removed from the building prior to the assassination. It’s important to keep in mind that photographs and film footage of the rifle on the 6th floor and outside the TSBD clearly show that the rifle is the MC rifle entered into evidence.
Thomas also explains that FTA agent Frank Ellsworth, who was present inside the TSBD during the DPD search of the building following the assassination, claimed that the MC rifle was actually discovered on the 4th floor. However, the Tom Alyea footage (here) clearly shows DPD Captain Will Fritz, and Lt Carl Day examining the MC rifle on the 6th floor of the TSBD. There are many conspiracy advocates who are of the opinion that the President was assassinated from a floor below the 6th floor. This is based mainly on the fact that there were false reports of the shooting, such as DPD inspector Herbert Sawyer’s transmission on Channel 2 of the DPD radio, in which he remarked;
“On the 3rd floor of this book company down here, we found empty rifle hulls and it looked like the man had been here for some time. We are checking it out now.”
First of all, it makes no sense that the conspirators would use a lower floor of the building for assassinating the President, as they would logically want to be higher above the ground. Secondly, the witnesses on the 5th floor of the TSBD claimed that the shots were fired from directly above their heads. Thirdly, several witnesses in the Plaza reported seeing a gunman in an upper floor of the TSBD – with none claiming that it was from a lower floor. Finally, it makes no sense that the DPD would move the spent shell casings from a lower floor of the TSBD to the 6th floor. In my opinion, the TSBD sniper was located in the South-eastern most window of the 6th floor where the spent shell casings were found.
I should also point out that Dallas deputy Sheriff Roger Craig insisted until the day he died that the rifle was a Mauser. Now although I believe that Craig did see a man resembling Oswald enter a Nash rambler station wagon on Elm Street, as it was corroborated by four other witnesses, and DPD chief Jesse Curry provided indirect corroboration during this Press conference, he should not be considered a totally credible witness. For example, Craig claimed that when he heard the news of Tippit’s murder, he looked at his watch and it read 1:06 pm. However, this is contradicted by the fact that T.F Bowley claimed he looked at his watch when he arrived at the Tippit murder scene, and it read 1:10 pm (see here for a detailed discussion of the time Tippit was most likely shot).
Thomas also explains to the reader that deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone testified before the Warren Commission that it was Captain Will Fritz who first identified the rifle as a Mauser. He also explains that Fritz would only admit that he “might” have identified the gun as a Mauser. Thomas also explains that the Warren Commission would not admit that Fritz; who was in charge of the investigating the assassination, would have made an error in identifying the rifle. Thomas then does a brilliant job in highlighting how incompetent (and deliberately negligent) Fritz was in his investigation of the President’s assassination. For example, Thomas explains that Fritz had no formal training in forensics, that he had failed to tape record any of his interrogations of Oswald, and that he had no interest in Rose Cheramie’s claim of a conspiracy to assassinate the President.
As most researchers are aware, conspiracy advocates have argued that the dented shell casing (Ce543) could not have been dented after it was allegedly fired from the MC rifle. In his discussion of the dented shell casing, Thomas explains that the shell casing could simply have been dented by the mishandling of the shell by the DPD; inferring that there actually were three shots fired from the MC rifle. However, Thomas inexcusably omits that Bonnie Ray Williams (one of the three witnesses on the 5th floor of the TSBD at the time of the assassination) claimed in his affidavit to the Dallas Sheriff’s Office on the day of the assassination, and informed the FBI the following day, that he had heard only TWO shots fired above him (please refer to this post for more information).
Thomas does what I think is a good job in explaining the problems with the chain of possession of the dented shell casing. Thomas cites the report by DPD detective C.N Dhority (here) in which Dhority claimed that Captain Fritz had given him the three spent shell casings to take to Lt Carl Day. Thomas then cites Fritz’s testimony where Fritz explained that he had kept possession of one of the shell casings, before turning it over to the FBI on November the 27th, 1963. FBI agent James Hosty wrote out a receipt concerning the shell casing which can be read here.
Thomas explains that Lt Day had testified that his mark didn’t appear on Ce543, only to claim in an affidavit to the Warren Commission (here) that he now remembered marking the shell, and now claimed that it was Ce545 (one of the other spent shell casings) which was retained by the DPD and that it contained Captain George Doughty’s initials (Doughty was Day’s immediate superior in the DPD identification bureau). The following is from Day’s testimony concerning Ce543:
Now, I am going to ask you to state if you know what Commission Exhibit 543 is?
That is a hull that does not have my marking on it.
Do you know whether or not this was one of the hulls that was found at the School Book Depository Building?
I think it is.
What makes you think it is?
It has the initials "G. D." on it, which is George Doughty, the captain that I worked under.
Was he there at the scene?
No, sir; this hull came up, this hull that is not marked came up, later. I didn't send that.
That was retained. That is the hull that was retained by homicide division when the other two were originally sent in with the gun.
Despite the fact that Captain George Doughty had marked the spent shell casings; and was Lt. Day’s immediate superior, he was never called to testify before the Warren Commission! Thomas believes that Ce543 was dented by the DPD when experimenting with chambering the spent shell casings in the rifle, and that they possibly retained it because they had damaged it. My own belief is that Ce543 contained an unfired round, from which Ce399 (the so-called magic bullet) originated. I will elaborate on this theory in a future post on my blog.
Thomas also does a nice job explaining the markings on the spent shell casings. Both Ce543 and Ce545 contained a mark from the magazine follower of the rifle, although Thomas doesn’t actually mention that Ce545 contained the mark. Since the magazine follower only marked the last bullet in the clip of the rifle, both these shells had previously been loaded into the rifle and ejected. Thomas also writes that Ce543 contained three marks which indicated that it had been loaded and extracted from the rifle at least three times – possibly due to practicing with the bolt of the rifle with live ammunition. Thomas also explains that Ce543 had a deeper firing pin impression; which could only have occurred by attempting to fire an empty shell casing (see here for information on the dented shell casing).
In his discussion of the accuracy of the rifle, Thomas notes that the scope was misaligned. Many conspiracy advocates have argued that since the scope was misaligned, the rifle could not have been used during the assassination. However, with all due respect, I consider this to be a narrow minded interpretation of the evidence. As Thomas explains, it is quite possible that the 6th floor assassin had collided with one of the columns of the TSBD, thereby misaligning the scope. However, Thomas then contradicts himself by claiming on a later page; “…if the four-power scope had been perfectly aligned, which we have every reason to believe was not the case…”
Thomas does a good job exposing the fraud of the shooting tests conducted by the US Army on “Oswald’s” Mannlicher Carcano. As Thomas notes, the 6th floor window of the TSBD was 60 feet high, whereas the three shooters enlisted for the test fired from a 30 feet tall tower, and the target was placed in a straight line from the tower instead of on an angle as was the case with the 6th floor window. The targets were also stationary, and the three shooters were all top sharpshooters, whereas Oswald had barely qualified as a Marksman in the Marines in 1959.
Thomas also does a good job in explaining how the Warren Commission, the FBI, and HSCA’s chief counsel Robert Blakey, were deceptive in their evaluation of the accuracy of the rifle. For example, Thomas notes that Blakey claimed the following in a memorandum to the HSCA;
“It is apparently difficult, but not impossible – at least with only minimal practice with the firearm used – to fire three shots, at least two of which score “kills”, with an elapsed time of 1.7 seconds or less between any two shots, even though, in the limited testing conducted, no shooter achieved this degree of proficiency”.
The 1.7 second elapsed time is derived from the DPD Dictabelt recording, which allegedly proves that two shots were fired from the TSBD only 1.7 seconds apart. As Thomas explains, the MC rifle used during the testing was not the one allegedly used to shoot the President from the 6th floor of the TSBD; instead, it was a substitute rifle! The reason the MC rifle discovered in the TSBD wasn’t used was because it was in poor condition (bear in mind that the FBI determined that it required a minimum of 2.3 seconds to fire consecutive shots from “Oswald’s” rifle) . As far as I’m concerned, using a substitute rifle to prove that the shots could have been fired 1.7 seconds apart is completely and utterly ridiculous. Why anyone should believe otherwise is beyond me.
Thomas then moves on to a discussion of the spectrographic tests performed by the FBI lab on the bullet fragments recovered from President Kennedy, Governor Connally, and the limousine. As Thomas explains, the FBI hid from the Warren Commission the results of its spectrographic tests. When the late Harold Weisberg filed a freedom of information suit for the release of the results, he was met by heavy residence from the FBI and the courts, but the results were eventually released.
Upon their release, Weisberg discovered that the results from the analysis of the President’s clothing, the windshield of the President’s limousine (where it is purported there was a through and through bullet hole), and the Commerce Street curb where a bullet or bullet fragment had struck and the injured bystander James Tague, were missing from the released results.
Thomas explains that the so-called Walker bullet; which was allegedly recovered from the home of former Army General Edwin Walker after the failed attempt on his life on April 10, 1963, had distinct metallurgical characteristics than the MC bullets fired at President Kennedy. Thomas notes that the “Walker” bullet had a lead core with Tin as its major impurity, whereas the bullets used in the assassination of the President had a lead core with antimony as its major impurity.
Thomas argues that the “Walker” bullet and the “Kennedy” bullets were from different manufacturing batches; with the former being from World War 2, and the latter bullets from the post-war period. It’s important to keep in mind that Walker had informed HSCA chief counsel Robert Blakey that the bullet which was recovered from his home was not an MC bullet! Walker claimed that it was a steel jacketed bullet. The fact that the MC bullet allegedly recovered from Walker’s home had distinct metallurgical characteristics is evidence that the actual bullet recovered was not ammunition that Oswald allegedly purchased, and then allegedly tried to murder Walker with.
A highly fascinating revelation made by Thomas is that the MC bullets used to assassinate the President were manufactured at the behest of the CIA! As Thomas explains, four lots of MC bullets were manufactured by the Western Cartridge company following World War 2, under contract with the U.S Marine Corp. Thomas then cites an interview which FBI agent Robert Frazier gave to David Fisher, during which revealed that he believed the CIA had provided Italy (where the MC was manufactured) with four million rounds of MC bullets, which was then sold back to the U.S since Italy didn’t use them.
Thomas argues that the Government had gone to great lengths to hide the spectrographic test results, as it would reveal that President Kennedy was assassinate by bullets which were manufactured at the behest of the CIA, as part of an assassination plot directed at French President Charles De Gaulle. Now, does anyone honestly believe that the FBI and the US Government wouldn’t go to great lengths to try and hide the fact that the President was assassinated using CIA bullets? I am very grateful to Thomas for providing this information in his book. I think this is crucial information, which serious assassination researchers should not ignore, as it indirectly implicates the CIA in the assassination.
After my disappointment with Chapter one, I was very pleased with what Thomas had written in the following three Chapters. Unfortunately, I was also very disappointed with some of the things Thomas wrote in Chapter five, which he entitled Photogrammetry. In this Chapter, Thomas discusses the so-called backyard photographs of “Oswald” posing with the MC rifle, the photograph taken of Edwin Walker’s home, the photographs taken of the TSBD before and after the assassination, and photographs of the infamous Grassy Knoll.
Thomas begins with the so-called backyard photographs (designated Ce133-A, B, and C), claiming that the photographs are in fact genuine as lone gunman zealots have been vehemently arguing. As evidence of their authenticity, Thomas cites the determination by the FBI’s photographic expert, Lyndal Shaneyfelt, that frame edge markings unique to the Imperial reflex camera (which was allegedly used by Marina Oswald to take the photos), matched to the negative of Ce 133-B to the exclusion of all cameras. Thomas also cites the study by the HSCA’s photographic panel which came to the conclusion that the photographs are authentic.
Although Thomas does inform the reader that the photographs were discovered in the home of Ruth Paine by the DPD on the day following the assassination, he apparently didn’t believe it was odd that they were not found on the day of the assassination, when Paine’s home was initially searched by the DPD. Thomas also doesn’t inform the reader that the Imperial reflex camera was mysteriously discovered by Ruth Paine, and given to Oswald’s older brother, Robert, on December 8th, 1963; instead of to the DPD or the FBI.
Thomas also never informs the reader about the serious lack of credibility of both Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine (who helped Oswald get his job as an order filler at the TSBD). There is also no mention of Michael Paine, the “estranged” husband of Ruth Paine, who arrived at Ruth’s house at approximately 3:45 pm on the day of the assassination generously offering his help to Ruth (see here). Keep in mind that Marina Oswald was inconsistent concerning when she had taken the backyard photographs, including how many she had taken. In her affidavit to the DPD on the day of the assassination (here), Marina made the following claim concerning Oswald’s ownership of the rifle;
“Today at the Police station they showed me a rifle. This was like the rifle my husband had. It was a dark gun. But I don’t remember the sight on it. It could be the same rifle but I’m not sure.”
During her testimony before the Warren Commission – after her memory had miraculously improved, she now claimed that the MC rifle entered into evidence was the "fateful rifle of Lee Oswald”! She also initially claimed that she didn’t know that Oswald allegedly used the alias, Alek James Hidell. During her testimony before the Warren Commission in February 1964, she claimed that she first heard the name during Oswald’s radio debate with Ed Butler and Carlos Bringuier (see here). Unfortunately for her claim, there was no mention of the Hidell named during the entire debate!
It is also crucial to bear in mind that according to Robert Oswald, the FBI had implied (in so many words) that she would possibly be deported back to Russia if she didn’t co-operate with them! In fact, Marina Oswald herself claimed that she was advised that “it would be better for me if I were to help them.” (See here). Why anyone should believe that she actually did take the photographs of Oswald holding the rifle is beyond me. The one final point I would like to make concerning Marina’s credibility, is that the HSCA wrote a 29 page report questioning her credibility.
As far as Ruth Paine is concerned, many researchers, such as Jim DiEugenio, have noted that both her sister and father worked for the CIA; and that Ruth Paine herself worked for the CIA! Dallas deputy Sheriff Buddy Walthers wrote in his report to Sheriff Bill Decker (here) that “A set of metal file cabinets containing records that appeared to be names and activities of Cuban sympathizers” was discovered, after searching through Ruth Paine’s home. One must ask what Ruth Paine was doing with metal filing cabinets containing the names of Cuban sympathisers – unless of course, she was spying on them at the behest of an intelligence agency such as the CIA.
It’s crucial to note that during her testimony before a New Orleans grand jury for the indictment of Clay Shaw, Marina Oswald claimed that she was advised by the Secret Service to keep away from Ruth Paine – because they believed she was sympathising with the CIA! (See here). Furthermore, in this article by researcher Steve Jones, it is stated that a friend of Ruth Paine’s in Nicaragua claimed she believed Ruth was working there in some sort of intelligence gathering capacity, since Ruth would be taking copious notes of everything she heard and saw, and that she would be asking many people inappropriate questions etc.
It’s also crucial to note that Ruth Paine claimed the reason she wanted Marina to move into her home was so that she could learn the Russian language. However, as Jim DiEugenio explains in his updated book Destiny Betrayed (2nd edition), Ruth Paine had studied Russian since 1957, and she had a Russian tutor in Dallas named Dorothy Gravitis. Most importantly, Ruth Paine taught Russian at St Mark’s School for boys. Now, why on Earth would she need Marina Oswald to teach her Russian? The fact is she didn’t need her! So why would she lie; and more importantly, why would she need Marina Oswald to move in with her – if not to help frame Oswald for the assassination?
As far as Michael Paine is concerned, consider the fact that his mother, Ruth Forbes Paine, was a close friend of CIA agent Mary Bancroft. Bancroft was involved in a 20 plus year affair with the notorious CIA director, Allen Dulles. There was therefore an indirect relationship between Michael Paine and the CIA. There is also evidence that Michael Paine was also some type of intelligence agent/asset. As Jim DiEugenio explains in his book, Michael Paine had accosted several students from the Southern Methodist University, at Luby’s cafeteria in Dallas. He had told them that he praised the revolution of Fidel Castro, and that he knew an ex-Marine who had returned from Russia with wife. There can be no doubt that this was Oswald.
One of the students identified Michael Paine to the FBI as the man who had been accosting the students. One interpretation of this incident is that Michael Paine had been setting Oswald up for the assassination as a Marxist sympathiser. Another important point to keep in mind is that it was Michael Paine who informed the DPD that the so-called backyard photographs of Oswald holding the rifle were taken at 214 West Neely Street in Dallas. As researchers such as Greg Parker have explained, the evidence that the Oswalds actually lived at the Neely Street is simply not convincing.
Finally, and most importantly, Anthony Summers wrote in his book The Kennedy conspiracy, that Michael Paine was overheard on the telephone telling his wife that he was sure Oswald shot the President, and also added: “We both know who is responsible”. Now how could Michael Paine have known who was responsible, unless he was involved in the assassination himself! It’s also worth mentioning that two friends of the Paines’, Fred and Nancy Osborn, had vouched for their innocence. Fred’s father, Fred Osborn senior, was a friend of Allen Dulles. It is my firm opinion that both Ruth and Michael Paine were involved in framing Oswald for the assassination.
Shockingly, Thomas mentions none of the above concerning Marina Oswald and the Paines. Thomas also never mentions the fact that David Eisendrath, who headed the HSCA PEP fake photo panel, claimed in his report that the HSCA’s photographic panel were fooled by fake photographs he had prepared! In light of that information, it is simply ridiculous to uphold the HSCA photographic panel as being credible.
Thomas also discusses the destruction of a photograph of Oswald allegedly holding the MC rifle above his head by Marina Oswald and his mother, Marguerite Oswald, allegedly done to hide evidence of Oswald’s guilt. Thomas believes that this photograph also depicted Oswald with the MC rifle. However, many researchers have explained that this was most likely a photograph of Oswald in Russia, holding a shotgun. Apparently, Thomas didn’t think it was odd that Marina and Marguerite would only destroy only one of the backyard photographs of Oswald – instead of all of them. This strongly suggests that the photograph which was destroyed was not of Oswald holding the MC rifle. Thomas also didn’t seem to think it was odd that Oswald wouldn’t destroy the backyard photographs; if he really did deliver the rifle to the TSBD.
Thomas also briefly discusses the Walker shooting, and is of the opinion that Oswald did actually shoot at Walker. However, not once does Thomas mention that Walker informed HSCA chief counsel G. Robert Blakey that the bullet fired at him was not a MC bullet, but rather a steel jacketed bullet. Thomas also believes that the so-called Walker note, mysteriously “discovered” by Ruth Paine, and verified by Marina Oswald as being left by Oswald is actually authentic. Of course, Thomas believes that both Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine are credible witnesses, something which in light of everything mentioned above (and more) is utterly absurd.
Thomas cites the FBI’s questioned document examiner, James C Cadigan, who claimed that the handwriting on the note was Oswald’s. First of all, handwriting analysis is not an exact science. Secondly, the handwriting could easily have been forged by someone like Ruth Paine. Furthermore, as researcher Gil Jesus demonstrated here, Marina Oswald initially denied having any knowledge of the note.
It is my opinion that the photographs of the Oswald impersonator was made using a higher quality camera, with Oswald’s head then pasted into the photos to incriminate him (if you look closely at each of the backyard photographs, the head appears to be the same, with only the expression being slightly different). I believe the conspirators had enlarged the original photos with Oswald’s pasted in head, altered his facial expression with an air brush, and then took snapshots of the photographs with the pasted in head, using the imperial reflex camera. Keep in mind that the photographs of General Walkers home also contained the markings from the Imperial reflex camera. Given that the bullet fired at Walker was a steel jacketed bullet, it stands to reason that the conspirators had taken snapshots of the original Walker photographs using the Imperial reflex camera to incriminate Oswald.
It is also my opinion that Michael Paine had brought the photographs with him to Ruth Paine’s house on the day of the assassination. With the DPD detectives and Dallas Sheriff’s deputies already there when he arrived, the photographs had to be discovered the following day. Let’s also bear in mind that a copy of Ce133-A was discovered amongst the possessions of George deMohrenschildt. This copy of Ce133-A contained a greater amount of background than the copy entered into evidence by the Warren Commission. It was also of a higher quality. It has been argued that this copy was made using a higher quality enlarger and a higher quality lens. The HSCA allegedly determined that this was also a first generation print from the Imperial reflex camera.
Despite my misgivings with Thomas concerning the backyard photographs, I should praise him for explaining that a photograph of Walker’s home with a 57 model, two tonne, Chevrolet Bel Air sedan, was damaged to hide the identity of the license plate of the car. Thomas also discusses the apparent movement of boxes on the 6th floor of the TSBD from the time that Dallas morning news photographer Tom Dillard took his famous photograph of the TSBD, until the time that freelance photographer James Murray took his photograph of the TSBD approximately 12 to 14 minutes following the assassination. Although I tend to believe that boxes were moved, it can’t be stated as a fact that this wasn’t simply due to an optical illusion, or due to the fact that the photographs were taken from different locations.
Thomas also discusses the so-called black dog man, and the so-called badge man who was allegedly shooting at the President from behind the picket fence. In my opinion, the “badge man” is nothing more than an optical illusion. As for the “black dog man”, there is compelling evidence that this was a Negroe man who was eating lunch with his wife at the time of the assassination. Abraham Zapruder’s secretary, Marilyn Sitzman, who was standing behind Zapruder on top of the pedestal as he filmed the motorcade, informed Josiah Thompson that she saw a young Negroe couple eating lunch in the area of the Grassy knoll where the black dog man figure was photographed.
Thomas surmises that the purpose of the “black dog man” may have been to ensure that witnesses didn’t approach the picket fence from where a shot was most likely fired. I believe that this could have been the case. Thomas also mentions the fact that there were men in Dealey Plaza who identified themselves to DPD Officers Joe Marshall Smith, and Sgt David V. Harkness as Secret Service agents. Of course, there were no genuine Secret Service agents assigned to Dealey Plaza, and that these men were by all likelihood conspirators (please see here for my discussion of this issue).
In chapter six of his book, Thomas discusses the Zapruder film. Issues discussed include the wounding sequence of President Kennedy and Governor Connally, blurring of the film, and Abraham Zapruder’s startle reaction to the shots. Thomas notes that the flapping of Governor Connally’s jacket at frame 224 of the Zapruder film establishes that this was the point in time at which Connally was shot through the chest. Simultaneously, Connally’s torso can be seen to twist slightly to the left, most likely due to the transfer of momentum from the bullet to his body. Following this, we can see a look of pain on Connally’s pain, and his right hand holding the Stetson hat flips up probably due to a reflex reaction of the bullet shattering his wrist. If you look at the Zapruder film closely, after his Stetson hat flips up, Connally moves his left hand near his right wrist where the bullet struck him.
We then see Connally slump and turn to his right by Zapruder frame 236 with a look of pain on his face. It’s blatantly obvious that he has been wounded. Like many researchers, Thomas also believes that Connally’s rapid head snap to the right at Circa Zapruder frame 162, was due to his hearing a gunshot. However, Thomas neglects to mention that Dallas morning news reporter Mary Woodward and her three friends had called out to the President to look towards them. Therefore, Connally had most likely turned his head to look towards these women; just as the President had done so. Thomas also neglects to mention that none of the witnesses to the assassination recalled seeing the President wave after the first shot. He can be seen waving after Zapruder frame 160 (please see here for my own discussion of the first shot).
Thomas argues that the jiggling of Zapruder’s camera at frame 227 was due to a shot from the South eastern most window on the 6th floor of the TSBD. However, Zapruder testified before the Warren Commission that he saw the President lean over and grab at himself after the first shot. These actions can be seen after Zapruder frame 224, when Kennedy grabs at his throat and leans forward and to the left. As I explained here, there is much evidence that there was a shot prior to Zapruder frame 224. Therefore, Zapruder’s testimony indicates that he didn’t hear a shot fired at circa Zapruder frame 224, and that he couldn’t have jiggled the camera in response to hearing a shot.
Let me state that I think Thomas done a good job in exposing the lies and deceptions of lone gunman zealots, such as Luis Alverez, who claim that the blurring of the Zapruder film at frame 313 (the moment of the head shot(s)) was due to a startle reaction by Zapruder from a shot fired from the TSBD. Thomas explains that the sound of a shot from the TSBD sniper’s nest would have arrived at Zapruder’s location in 0.24s, and that it would therefore have not arrived in time to cause the blurring at Zapruder frame 313.
However, Thomas explains that the muzzle blast from a rifle near the corner of the stockade fence, where a figure which appears to be a person’s head can be seen, would have caused blurring of Zapruder film at frame 313. The distance of Zapruder from near the corner of the fence is approximately 52 ft. The air temperature in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination was 65 degrees Fahrenheit (as indicated by the Hertz sign on top of the TSBD), which means the sound speed of sound was about 1123 ft./s. Therefore, the sound of a shot from that location would have reached Zapruder in about 0.046 s.
Thomas mistakenly writes that it would take 0.045 s for the sound to reach Zapruder, as he uses 50 ft. as the distance from the rifle to Zapruder, instead of 52 ft. However, it’s only a very minor mistake. Thomas claims that the sound of the shot (and the shock wave) would reach Zapruder 0.019 s prior to frame 313 of the Zapruder film, where it is blatantly obvious that the President has been shot in the head. However, it would actually arrive 0.020 s prior to frame 313. Thomas explains that there would have been a 0.025s to 0.040s delay for Zapruder to react to the sound.
With the speed of the Zapruder’s camera at 18.3 frames per second, Zapruder would be reacting (assuming a full 0.040s delay) at circa frame 313; just as the blurring indicates. I should note that Thomas is firmly of the opinion that the head shot originated from behind the picket fence. As I explain below, it had actually by all likelihood originated from the 6th floor window of the TSBD. I nevertheless commend Thomas for demonstrating that the shot which caused the blurring of the Zapruder film at frame 313 had originated from behind the picket fence.
In chapter seven, Thomas discusses the President’s neck and back wound; concluding that the back wound was caused by a bullet which then exited his throat. Contained in this chapter are some of the most startling omissions of fact which I have seen. When discussing the back wound, not once does Thomas explain to the reader that the wound was measured 7 by 4mm in diameter at the autopsy, and that it was measured as 14 cm from the tip of the right mastoid process. When discussing the throat wound, not once does Thomas explain to the reader that Dr Malcolm Perry, who had performed a tracheostomy incision on the President at Parkland hospital, informed the chief autopsy pathologist, James Humes, that the throat wound was 3 to 5mm in diameter. Thomas merely states that Perry claimed it was a “few” millimetres in diameter.
Thomas explains that the autopsy Doctors and witnesses were placed under a gag order to not discuss what occurred during the President’s autopsy; and that the autopsy doctors were shamefully not permitted to dissect the President’s back wound to trace the path of the bullet which allegedly entered there! He also explains the deceptions by the media concerning the throat wound, such as the claim by LIFE magazine in its December 6, 1963 issue that:
“…the 8mm film [Zapruder film] shows the President turning his body far around to the right as he waves to someone in the crowd. His throat is exposed – toward the Sniper’s nest – just before he clutches it.”
Yet as Thomas explains, the Zapruder film depicts no such thing. Thomas also explains how Warren Commissioner Gerald Ford altered the description of the President’s back wound from “A bullet entered his back at a point slightly above the shoulder and to the right of the spine.” to instead read “A bullet entered the back of his neck at a point slightly to the right of the spine.” Ford would later admit to having done so “only in an attempt to be more precise”. However, this was not precise in the least, since the autopsy photo of the President’s back clearly shows the wound to be below the neck!
Thomas also explains the lie by the Warren Commission that “The [autopsy] doctors traced the course of the bullet through the body”. The truth of the matter is that the autopsy doctors weren’t even aware during the autopsy that there was a throat wound, due to the fact that Doctor Malcolm Perry had performed a tracheostomy incision over the wound, during the desperate attempt to try and save the President’s life. So how on Earth could they have possibly traced the path of the bullet? The fact is they didn’t.
Despite Thomas’ insistence that the bullet which entered the President’s back exited his throat, this simply can’t be true as I explain in my two part discussion of the single bullet theory here. Given that the diameter of the wound in the President’s back measured 7 by 4mm, whereas the diameter of a Mannlicher Carcano bullet is 6.8mm, it is highly unlikely that even with elastic shrinkage of the wound, it could have been caused by a MC bullet. Furthermore, as I explain here, the shot to Governor Connally was almost certainly a silenced shot which could not have originated from the 6th floor of the TSBD.
Thomas explains that the reason the autopsy doctors were unable to connect the back wound to the throat, via a surgical probe, is because President Kennedy had his arms raised at the moment he was hit in the back. Given that Governor Connally was almost certainly shot in the back at frame 224 of the Zapruder film, Thomas believes this was when the President was also shot. Apparently Thomas didn’t believe that if Kennedy had his arms already raised by frame 224 – then he was almost certainly already hit by a bullet. I mean, why else would he have his arms raised?
My own belief is that the President was hit in the back by a fragment from a MC bullet which deflected upwards off the road. This would explain why the President’s back wound had an upwards abrasion collar, why the wound was an irregular oval shaped wound, and why the wound was shallow and did not penetrate to the throat. In the autopsy report prepared by FBI agents James Sibert and Frank O’Neill, it is claimed that the bullet had entered the back at a 45 to 60 degree downward angle (although Thomas neglects to mention this to the reader).
If the back wound was caused by a bullet fragment from the road, then it would surely have entered at an upwards angle of 45 to 60 degrees. I believe the autopsy doctors knew this, and lied to Sibert and O’Neill by telling them that a bullet entered at a downward angle. I should note that my experimentation with raising arms has shown that the skin in the area of the back, where President Kennedy’s wound was located, is pulled slightly upwards. However, keep in mind that witnesses to the autopsy, such as Paul O’Connor and James Jenkins, claimed that a surgical probe had penetrated two to three inches into the wound.
Now in order for Thomas’ theory to be true, the hole in the back muscles would have to be at the same level as the hole in the skin at the time the wound was inflicted; and during the autopsy when Kennedy’s arms were not raised, but by his side. Thomas doesn’t cite any evidence to support this claim. However, I don’t think that such a theory should be ruled out completely.
Following his discussion of the back and throat wounds, Thomas moves onto a discussion of the President’s massive head wound. Thomas claims that this was a wound inflicted by a bullet fired from behind the picket fence on top of the infamous Grassy knoll area. Thomas believes the bullet entered Kennedy’s right temple near the hairline (with an angle of approach of about 50 to 60 degrees), where a small hole was discovered, and where assistant White house press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff indicated to reporters where the bullet had allegedly entered. Thomas believes that upon sharply deflecting to the left, the bullet then blew out a large hole from the right rear of the skull.
However, the laws of physics, and a close examination of both the Zapruder and Muchmore films reveal that this can’t possibly be the case. First of all, we should keep in mind that in his discussion of the acoustics evidence, Thomas claims the rifle fired from behind the picket fence had a muzzle velocity of approximately 2350 to 2550 ft./s. Yet for his calculation of the flight time of a bullet fired from that location, he had assumed a muzzle velocity of only 2,200 ft./s. For the sake of this discussion, let’s use the conservative velocity of 2,200 ft./s. Thomas claimed that the impact velocity of the bullet fired from behind the picket fence with a muzzle velocity of 2,200 ft./s, would have been 1,900 ft./s.
In order for the bullet to deflect to the extent that Thomas would have us believe, a large amount of force would have been exerted on the bullet upon impact, towards the direction of the Grassy knoll. According to Newton’s third law of motion; every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, the impact of the bullet would have spun and knocked the President’s head violently to the left, and would likely have also snapped his neck. However, such reactions can’t be seen in either the Zapruder or Muchmore films. There is also no evidence that the President’s neck was broken.
To support his deflection theory, Thomas cited a study by Karl Sellier in which Sellier had come to the conclusion that deflections of up to 65 degrees were obtained in experiments with bullets striking metal plates. Thomas should know as well as anybody else that the President’s head wasn’t made of a metal plate, but rather human bone; and wasn’t fixed into place, but allowed to pivot on his cervical vertebrae. As far as physics is concerned, Thomas’ deflection theory simply cannot be true.
Thomas begins his discussion of the head wound by explaining that the HSCA and Clark Panel were unable to locate the bullet wound discovered during the autopsy, which was 2.5 cm and slightly above the EOP (External occipital protuberance). However, as I demonstrate here, the wound can be seen! The autopsy doctors weren’t alone in their claim that the wound was located near the EOP. Four other witnesses to the autopsy; autopsy photographer John Stringer, Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman, Lt. Richard Lipsey, and mortician Tom Robinson also indicated that the wound was near the hairline where the EOP is located.
In fact, as Pat Speer explains on his website, Tom Robinson claimed that he saw the autopsy doctors insert a surgical probe “near the base of the brain in the back of the head” and that he also recalled seeing “the tip of the probe come out the tracheotomy incision in the anterior [front] neck”. As Speer further explains, the HSCA’s medical report stated the following concerning Richard Lipsey’s recollections of what transpired during the autopsy “He [Lipsey] also concluded the entrance in the rear of the head corresponded to an exit in the neck”. I discussed the issue of the bullet exiting the throat in this post.
Speer also explains that despite popular belief amongst conspiracy advocates that the back of the President’s head was blown out, in actual fact, it wasn’t! I concur. Although Thomas does believe the right rear of the skull was blasted out, he also believes the autopsy photograph taken of the back of the head doesn’t depict a hole because the scalp was pulled back by one of the autopsy doctors when the photograph was taken. There have been all sorts of theories pertaining to the head wound, with lone gunman zealots arguing that the entry wound to the rear of the skull was actually 4 inches higher in the cowlick region. The most credible (and only) explanation in my opinion is Pat Speer’s argument that a bullet fired from the 6th floor window of the TSBD struck the President tangentially on the top right of his head.
Speer cites several key pieces of evidence to support his claim, which I will discuss briefly here. First, there is no back spatter of blood from the rear of the President’s head seen in the Zapruder film, where the bullet which allegedly caused the massive gaping head wound had entered the skull. As a bullet enters the skull, the transfer of energy from the bullet to the inside of the skull pressurises the brain and blood matter, resulting in the spattering of the blood from the entry hole. The fact that no back spatter is evident from the rear of the President’s head is strong evidence that the bullet which caused the gaping hole did not enter the back of the head.
As most researchers are aware, a piece of the President’s skull referred to as the Harper fragment was discovered in the Dealey plaza lawn to the front and left of the President’s position at the time of the headshot. Ironically, it was discovered by a medical student named Billy Harper. At Zapruder frame 313, the Harper fragment can be seen shooting upwards and slightly forwards from the top of President Kennedy’s head as a white streak. When the HSCA asked Dr Lawrence Angel, a world renowned Forensic anthropologist, to identify the location of the Harper fragment on President Kennedy’s skull, he drew a diagram showing it to be immediately anterior to the large cracks seen posterior to the large gaping hole on the lateral skull X-ray.
In a memorandum by Angel to the HSCA medical panel, he explained the following concerning the Harper fragment:
“Its [Harper fragment’s] postero-inferior pointed angle appears to fit the crack in the posterior section of the right parietal and its slightly wavy lower boarder can fit the upper edge of the loose lower section of right parietal.”
Speer explains that the underside of the Harper fragment shows internal bevelling (associated with entrance wounds) towards the back, with external bevelling (associated with exit wounds) towards the front. The presence of both internal and external bevelling in the Harper fragment is evidence that the bullet struck the top of the President’s head tangentially from rear to front. Furthermore, Speer explains that a greyish discolouration on the outside of the Harper fragment; caused by lead from the core of a MC bullet, suggests that the bullet broke up whilst entering the skull; and not whilst exiting the skull.
Let’s keep in mind that two fragments of the bullet’s copper jacket, from the nose and base of the bullet, were discovered inside the limousine. The nose fragment (Ce567) is severely mangled, and the base fragment (Ce569) is flattened, and devoid of its lead core (keep in mind that the middle portion of the bullet’s copper jacket was never recovered). Many conspiracy advocates argue that MC bullets don’t fragment when they strike human skulls. However, in this book entitled Medical response to terrorism (page 364) the following information is provided:
“High -velocity lead core and jacketed bullets generally break up into hundreds of fragments, called a lead snowstorm, upon entering tissues, creating significant damage.”
An examination of the lateral skull X-ray reveals such a lead snowstorm in the area of the large gaping head wound. The presence of the large skull fractures immediately posterior to the hole strongly suggests that the bullet had impacted tangential on the top of the head, since the impact of a bullet will fracture the skull due to the transfer of energy. Also, information contained in this book which is entitled Forensic Neuropathology: A Practical Review of the Fundamentals (page 215), includes a discussion of tangential bullet wounds, where it is claimed that:
“A gunshot wound that penetrates the scalp and subcutaneous tissue may be angled sufficiently to graze or groove the skull but not enter it. Such a wound has also been termed a tangential wound or gutter wound. It may involve the skull external table only; may produce in addition, a linear non-displaced inner table fracture; or may perforate the skull and cause fragments of bone to be displaced inwards. A slightly deeper penetration may be accompanied by the deeper portion of the bullet being sheared off by the skull and entering the intracranial cavity, often with skull bone fragments, while the remainder of the bullet continues on an extracranial path. The latter situation may result in a keyhole skull fracture, with its characteristic combination of external and internal bevelling of the wound edges. Rarely has a keyhole would pattern been described in skull exit gunshot wound. When even a portion of the bullet perforates the skull, it is no longer classified as a tangential wound.”
It is readily apparent from photographs that the base of the bullet has been sheared off. It is also easy to imagine that as the nose portion strikes the top of the head, the bullet will start to deflect slightly upwards, and shear apart due to the upwards force exerted on the bullet from the top of the skull. The downwards force exerted by a bullet striking the top of the head will undoubtedly cause the head to move downwards. As Pat Speer demonstrates on his website, this is precisely what is seen between frames 312 and 314 of the Zapruder film! In my opinion, this is positive proof that the bullet hit the top of the head.
Speer also explains that the discovery of skin on the nose fragment of the bullet is positive proof that the bullet struck the President’s head tangentially (see here for a discussion of the discovery of skin). Speer cites Dr Vincent J.M DiMaio’s book Gunshot wounds (here, page 46) in which it is claimed that skin is the least commonly encountered tissue on bullets.
If the bullet did actually enter the back of the skull, it makes no sense that skin would remain attached to its nose as it travelled through the brain. Furthermore, it makes little sense that skin from an outward exploding exit wound would attach itself to the nose of the bullet. However, if the bullet did strike tangentially, it makes sense that the nose of the bullet would scrape off skin from the scalp as it broke off.
It is crucial to bear in mind that Dr William Kemp Clark, the chief neurosurgeon at Parkland hospital, had informed reporters that he believed the head wound “could have been a tangential wound, as it was simply a large, gaping loss of tissue." Clark confirmed during his testimony before the Warren Commission that he did in fact believe the head wound was a tangential wound.
What, if anything, did you say then in the course of that press conference?
I described the President's wound in his head in very much the same way as I have described it here. I was asked if this wound was an entrance wound, an exit wound, or what, and I said it could be an exit wound, but I felt it was a tangential wound.
I think the fact that the chief Neurosurgeon of Parkland hospital believed the wound was a tangential wound is quite significant. According to the HSCA’s medical report, Richard Lipsey informed the HSCA that “He [Lipsey] believed the massive defect in the head represented an entrance and an exit when it was only an exit”. Whilst lone gunman zealots will undoubtedly argue that Lipsey was mistaken, or even lying, FBI agent Frank O’Neill drew a diagram for the HSCA in which he wrote the words “entrance” and “exit” on opposite sides of the diagram depicting the head wound. In other words, O’Neill was depicting a tangential wound.
Finally, in a book co-authored by legendary Forensic scientist Henry Lee entitled The real World of a Forensic Scientist, it is claimed: "[The] shot entered Kennedy's right temple and exited through his skull.", therefore implying the wound was of a tangential nature. For those of you interested in the truth behind the President’s head wound, I strongly recommend you take the time to carefully read over everything Pat Speer has written on his website.
The one final issue I would like to address is Thomas’ claim that the bullet fragments found inside the limousine were not associated with the head wound, but rather with Governor Connally’s wounds. In chapter nine, Thomas explains that the bullet broke in two when it struck Governor Connally’s rib, and then one of the fragments struck his right wrist shattering the radius bone. In the first place, the bullet did not break in two. As explained above, Ce567 was identified as the nose portion of the bullet’s copper jacket, Ce569 as the base portion of the copper jacket, with the middle section missing. Therefore, the bullet broke into at least three fragments.
Pat Speer’s analysis of the shooting has demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that the shot(s) to Governor Connally was fired by a rifle equipped with a silencer/suppressor. Also, Thomas ignores the crucial testimony of Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman, who claimed that he heard a “flurry of shells” come into the car after he observed the President clutching at his throat. Without a doubt, Kellerman was referring to the nose and base fragments of the bullet which damaged the interior of the limousine.
In this report by Lt Colonel Pierre Finck to his superior, Brigadier Generally J.M Blumberg, Finck explains the following:
“There is a parasagittal laceration of the right cerebral hemisphere, extending from the frontal to the occipital lobes and exposing the Thalamus. The Corpus Callosum is lacerated. No metallic fragments are identified but there are numerous small bone fragments, between one and ten millimetres in greatest dimension, in the container where the brain was fixed.”
As explained on page 215 of the book Forensic Neuropathology: A Practical Review of the Fundamentals:
“A slightly deeper penetration may be accompanied by the deeper portion of the bullet being sheared off by the skull and entering the intracranial cavity, often with skull bone fragments, while the remainder of the bullet continues on an extracranial path.”
The fact that “numerous small bone fragments” were found in the container where the President’s brain was fixed, strengthens the case that the head wound was a tangential wound. Think about it, with the bullet striking the top right of the head tangentially, it would shatter the skull into small fragments, with the fragments being carried downwards into the brain. Besides, it makes no sense that tiny bone fragments would be carried into the brain if the large gaping hole was an exit wound, since the fragments would logically be blown outwards.