Why I don't think the JFK assassination conspiracy theories are compelling or
Regarding various JFK, 9-11, etc., conspiracy theories and being able to tell
the difference between arbitrary (or worse) from compelling possibility:
It's sad we live in a day where common human selfishness is appropriately
named but common sense isn't.
Several basic principles of reason and judgment should be employed in judging
allegations of crime in a courtroom or just generally.
1. An arbitrary possibility is one of two or more reasonable possibilities
whereas a compelling possibility is the only reasonable possibility. In judg-
ing guilt in a USA courtroom the latter is called guilt beyond reasonable
2. A criminal is typically judged as sane enough to stand trial, even if
they're otherwise considered crazy or underage, if they show they know right
from wrong. If they took they're victim/intended victim away from others to
commit the crime against them--showing they realize they'd be in trouble if
someone else saw them do it--they're sane enough to stand trial and be judged
as culpable for the crime.
3. A criminal typically tries to minimize risk--not maximize it. One way
this is shown is by operating under the principle of "need to knoew basis
only" as utilized by a crime group. The more people added to the criminal
operation the greater the chance something could go wrong, someone could tell
or be overheard, and trouble could come back to whoever organized the operation
and anyone else in the operation.
Conspiracy theorists may have some imaginable concerns for motive though
their claims of "connect the dots" are forced: they're more matters of cherry
picking dots, putting those dots near each other, and trying to imagine reason-
able things to fill the gaps to give the idea the best spin. And there's a
multiple choice of such constructs to pick from at that. Where they pale even
greater in comparison to the idea that Oswald did it is regarding execution.
One basic precaution of criminals is "need to know basis only" for good rea-
son--to minimize risk. Oswald, for all the flaws in his plan (notably leaving a
palm print on the barrel of the rifle in a place only accessible during assem-
bly, not having a getaway car since he didn't have the money to afford one,
blowing his cover by not killing till the third shot so panicking and not stay-
ing for the employee roll call--and this wasn't any ordinary roll call since
the president had just been shot outside--and losing it over being questioned
by Tippit and the police in the movie theater), seems to have known this. He
wouldn't even bring a getaway driver in on it he was so committed to it. His
basic approach beats the conspiracy versions for likeliness of execution.
Conspiracy theorists seem to think they'd have the strongest case in the
world if they could implicate everyone as a liar who could lie, and claim
everything was forged that could be forged or substituted that could be substi-
tuted, in Dallas and parts of New Orleans and New Mexico.
It's like someone proposing that a group rob a bank and make their getaway in
a major city during it's busiest time, a bank with a security camera and some
customers with cameras, by not wearing disguises--they just have to get every-
one who saw it lie and say that they didn't and forge all the films and videos.
Actually, that's not a novel idea: the like of it shows up occasionally on
"World's Dumbest Criminals" videos...and with JFK conspiracy theorists.
And they're lucky to get one or a few people being dumb for their videos.
The conspiracy theorists come up with a cast of dozens, including all key wit-
nesses promising to lie (note--not people who hated JFK but fans of his, Os-
wald's wife about Oswald, Oswald about himself in his own diary) forged hand-
writing, films, paper bags, substituted bullets and stolen brains, etc.
Courts typically look to see if the killer took their victim to a secluded
place to kill them. If so, it demonstrates they're sane enough to know right
from wrong--they knew they'd get in trouble if anyone else was around. Even
most underage criminals, or criminals who are so crazy they kill and eat peo-
ple, seem to know this. To find ones who don't show they know this you have
to go to "World's Dumbest Criminals" for some drunk that tries to rob a conven-
ience store with a clear plastic bag or such over their head and JFK conspiracy
theorists. I'll imagine an evil Hoover for you but who said he was dumb as a
The conspiracy theories may be able to propose an imaginable added motive to
encourage Oswald to expand his political fanaticism into being a budding serial
killer (if a yutz as one). But if the main claims about execution meant to in-
dicate a conspiracy--magic bullet, shots from the grassy knoll, Oswald's rifle
couldn't do it--fall, and the execution of the idea maximizes risk ridiculously
and needlessly, what's left to take it seriously as a compelling alternative
for execution of the plan?
What's the grassy knoll guy there for? To shoot a rifle at a president from
ahead and to the right of him, when much of the crowd, some with cameras, are
looking in his basic direstion, to make Oswald, above and behind JFK at the
other end of the block, look guilty? The Zapruder film doesn't show an indica-
tion of a second spray of blood/brain tissue from right to left for the fatal
shot. He couldn't even hit the car, figured, "Ooo, will Oswald be pissed," and
went home? And scads of testimony and things that could be forged were bent
out of shape to accomodate this dufus?
You'd think if Oswald had any kind of crew for the assassination of JFK it
wouldn't have been to put a rifleman in public at the grassy knoll who couldn't
even hit the car but would at least have been to have a getaway car driver. It
shows how committed to "need to know basis only" he was.
If conspiracy theorists are marginalized by liberal late night talk show
hosts it isn't because they're "shills for the CIA" or such--something they're
terrible candidates for. They'd love having a story of a misdead by a politi-
cian to base rude jokes on. It's because the conspiracy theoriss aren't show-
ing a glimmer of understanding of the several ground rules for how to judge
something in court, also generally recommended, above and the talk show host
doesn't want to be known for having such poor judgment and advertising it.
The best chance for credibility of a conspiracy theory might be to suggest
Oswald met with others without telling his wife and they gave him extra motive.
But that's another gap to imagine a connection for and Oswald was enough of a
political extremist loner without it being needed to explain anything.
See the book "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Ken-
nedy" by attorney Vincent Bugliosi
"Reclaiming History. 53 pieces of Evidence against Oswald"
"Why Lee Harvey Oswald Acted Alone in the Assassination of JFK: Proof from
Attorney Vincent Bugliosi" The Film Archives
skeptic.com regarding JFK conspiracy theories
Single bullet theory or magic bullet theory
John F. Kennedy assassination rifle
See efforts by conspiracy advocates like Jim Garrison, Mark Lane, Oliver
Stone, and Jim DiEugenio
"Earl Warren (March 19, 1891 – July 9, 1974) was an American jurist and poli-
tician, who served as the 30th Governor of California (1943–1953) and later the
14th Chief Justice of the United States (1953–1969).
"He is best known for the decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school
segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding
the rights of the accused, ending public school-sponsored prayers, and requir-
ing 'one man-one vote' rules of apportionment of Congressional districts. He
made the Supreme Court a power center on a more even basis with Congress and
the Presidency, especially through four landmark decisions: Brown v. Board of
Education (1954), Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), Reynolds v. Sims (1964), and
Miranda v. Arizona (1966).
"President Johnson demanded in the name of patriotic duty that Warren head
the governmental commission that investigated the assassination of John F. Ken-
nedy. It was an unhappy experience for Warren, who did not want the assignment.
As a judge, he valued candor and justice, but as a politician he recognized the
need for secrecy in some matters. He insisted that the commission report should
be unanimous, and so he compromised on a number of issues in order to get all
the members to sign the final version. Many conspiracy theorists have attacked
the commission's findings ever since, claiming that key evidence is missing or
distorted and that there are many inconsistencies in the report. The Commission
concluded that the assassination was the result of a single individual, Lee
Harvey Oswald, acting alone. Fears of possible Soviet or Cuban foreign involve-
ment in the assassination necessitated the establishment of a bipartisan com-
mission that, in turn, sought to depoliticize Oswald's role by downplaying his
Communist affiliations. The commission weakened its findings by not sharing the
government's deepest secrets. The report's lack of candor furthered antigovern-
ment cynicism, which in turn stimulated conspiracy theorists who propounded any
number of alternative scenarios, many of which appear mutually contradictory."
Warren apparently didn't want to stir up the conservative communist hating
war mongers who would press for military build up for wars against communists.
Assuming we agree the CIA could do something secret, even something some of us
disagree with, they should be judged by the same concerns of arbitrary vs. com-
pelling used to judge anyone else.
Oswald's political extremism
Oswald had a motive in being an extremist who defected to Russia in 1959 and
who likely hated JFK for being a symbol of the USA (Cold War, etc.) who was
against Fidel Castro (Bay of Pigs, Cuban missile crisis, etc.) whom Oswald
strongly supported. (Oliver Stone in "JFK," 1991, imagines imagines Oswald as
indicating such things as an elaborate ruse to cover for taking part in the
Cuban Project--Operation Mongoose.) (We now know the CIA made assassination
attempts on Castro.)
Oswald wrote propaganda about communist Russia (idealist version) vs. the USA
(evil capitalist version) to his brother from the USSR on Nov. 26, 1959. See
the whole letter at the next link. Some excerpts:
"Ask me and I will tell you I fight for communism. This word brings to your
mind slaves or injustice. This is because of American propaganda.
"I want you to understand what I say now, I do not say lightly, or unknowing-
ly, since I have been in the military as you know, and I know what war is like.
"1. In the event of war, I would kill any American who put a uniform on in
defense of the American government--any American."
"2. That in my own mind, I have no attachments of any kind in the U.S."
For comparison with Oswald's militant commitment that a US citizen's criti-
cism of his ideal of Russia must be propaganda see:
Stalinism (just prior to Oswald's time in the Soviet Union)
Nikita Khrushchev (Oswald's time in the Soviet Union till his death)
Human rights in the Soviet Union (Oswald's time in the Soviet Union till his
Human rights in Russia (today)
James Reston's book "The Accidental Victim: JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the
Real Target in Dallas," 2013, makes the case that L.H.O.'s target was Texas gov-
ernor John Connally. For attempting to defect to the Soviet Union Oswald's
marine discharge was changed to dishonorable which would make it hard to find
work. In Jan., 1961, Oswald wrote to Connally to change that and in Feb., 1961,
Oswald recieved a letter from Connally that brushed him off.
The 17th page was ripped from Oswald's green address book/diary. Under "I
will kill" the page features the names of the FBI agent James Hosty (who'd
strongly interrogated Lee's wife Marina Oswald which greatly upset Lee), right
wing general Edwin Walker, the famously anti-communist ex-Vice President Richard
Nixon, and Texas governor John Connally. A dagger dripping blood is drawn
through Connally's name. Marina Oswald, Lee's wife, testified that Connally was
Lee's target to the Warren Commission and in 1978 to the U.S. House Select Com-
mittee on Assassinations.
Rifle part 1
Refutation of the conspiracy theorists' claim that Oswald couldn't mail the
order for the rifle on March 12, 1963 and have it received by Klein's on March
According to Jimmy Orr "Cancelled in Dallas by 10:30 AM and flown to Chicago
that afternoon. Arrival for mail processing at a Chicago General Mail Facility
during the early morning hours of the 13th and on the street for delivery to
Klein's that same day. Makes perfect sense considering the volumes handled in
Refutation of the claim (such as by James DiEugenio) that the number 12 on Os-
wald's letter to order the rifle indicates that it was sent a long way from his
According to David Von Pein: "I’ve been told by a group of postmark collectors
and historians (in the USA) that the number ‘12’ which appears on the franking/
cancellation mark does not indicate where the item was posted. It merely indi-
cates that the letter was franked through the number 12 machine at the process-
ing plant, which was, in 1963, within the terminal annex building where Oswald
actually bought the money order!
"You'll notice that the '12' is stamped AFTER the word 'Tex.' [Texas] on the
envelope, instead of being placed between the city and the state.
"Normally, the postal zone number is placed between the name of the city and
the state, such as the way Oswald himself wrote out the address on the envelope
he mailed to Klein's -- he wrote 'Chicago 6, Ill.', which is also the way the
Chicago address appears in the Klein's ad that is seen in CE773."
Refutation of the claim the Oswald was at work at 10:30 when the letter was
The time stamp 10:30 doesn't mean it was mailed by Oswald at 10:30--it just
means he'd put the letter in the mailbox before the time it went through the
cancelling machine. He could have put it in a drop box the night before.
The murder weapon, a 6.5×52mm Mannlicher-Carcano Italian Carcano M91/38 bolt-
action rifle, was identified by ballistics as Oswald's. He had himself photo-
graphed with it prior to the assassination.
"Marina Oswald testified that Lee told her on April 10, 1963 that he had used
the rifle earlier that night in an attempt to assassinate retired U.S. Army
General Edwin Walker, a controversial political activist, at Walker's home in
Dallas. The bullet was deflected from hitting Walker when it struck a window
The deflected bullet went through the window and hit a wall in Walker's
house. Priscilla McMillan says Oswald, apparently unaware of this, told her he
killed Walker. See 5:45 etc. in the Youtube video at the link below.
"In a speech Walker made on March 5, reported in the Dallas Times Herald, he
called on the United States military to 'liquidate the [communist] scourge that
has descended upon the island of Cuba.' Seven days later, Lee Harvey Oswald or-
dered by mail a Carcano rifle, using the alias 'A. Hidell.'
"On April 10, 1963, as Walker was sitting at a desk in his dining room, a
bullet struck the wooden frame of his dining room window. Walker was injured in
the forearm by fragments. Marina Oswald later testified that her husband told
her that he traveled by bus to General Walker's house and shot at Walker with
his rifle. Marina said that Oswald considered Walker to be the leader of a
"To the end of his life, Walker believed that another man had also shot at
him, acting as Oswald's accomplice. He spent decades trying to learn the iden-
tity of that accomplice. Unsatisfied with the Dallas Police investigation into
the shooting, Walker hired a private investigator and Walker personally inter-
viewed witnesses. In his testimony before the Warren Commission, Walker accused
the Commission and the FBI of blocking his access to a man named Walter Kirk
Coleman. Colman was a neighbor of Walker who, according to Dallas Police De-
partment records, witnessed two men at the scene of the crime, and speeding
away. Walker testified in a letter to the United States House Select Committee
on Assassinations (HSCA) that the bullet that the committee called the 'Walker
bullet' was not the bullet that almost killed him: 'It is not the bullet that
was fired at me and taken out of my house by the Dallas City Police on April
10, 1963. The bullet you have was not gotten from me or taken out of my house
by anyone at anytime.'"
There are snags in taking Walker as a credible witness:
It's claimed that the bullet fired at General Walker was a "steel-jacketed"
bullet and could not have been fired from Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.
But the bullet matched Oswald's rifle in "class characteristics" and therefore
could well have been fired from his rifle. However the bullet was badly man-
gled and no positive identification was possible.
Walker was slanderous of the Earl Warren promotion of integration:
"Though Walker had followed orders in achieving desegregation of Central High
School in Little Rock, he acted privately in organizing protests in September
1962 against the enrollment of James Meredith, an African-American veteran, at
the all-white University of Mississippi at Oxford, Mississippi. On September
26, 1962, Walker went on several radio stations to broadcast this message:
'Mississippi: It is time to move. We have talked, listened and been pushed
around far too much by the anti-Christ Supreme Court!'
"White segregationists from around the state joined students and locals in a
violent, 15-hour riot on the campus on September 30, in which two people were
killed execution style, hundreds were wounded, and six federal marshals were
shot. Walker was arrested on four federal charges, including sedition and in-
surrection against the United States. He was temporarily held in a mental in-
stitution on orders from Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. RFK demanded that
Walker receive a 90-day psychiatric examination.
"Angered by negative publicity, Walker began to file libel lawsuits against
various media outlets. One suit responded to negative coverage of his role in
the riot at the University of Mississippi protesting Meredith's admission. The
Associated Press reported that Walker had 'led a charge of students against
federal marshals' and that he had 'assumed command of the crowd.' Several news-
papers were named in the lawsuit. If Walker and his lawyers were successful, he
could win tens of millions of dollars.
"A Texas trial court in 1964 found the statements false and defamatory. By
that time, Walker and his lawyers had already won over $3 million in lawsuits.
"The Associated Press appealed the decision, as Associated Press v. Walker,
all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled
against Walker, finding that, although the statements may have been false, the
Associated Press was not guilty of reckless disregard in their reporting about
Walker. The Court, which had previously said that public officials could not
recover damages unless they could prove malice, extended this to public figures
Worst for Walker's case of Coleman indicating Oswald had an accomplice:
"Warren Commission Exhibit No. 2958, an FBI report taken 6/3/64 by Special
Agents Robert Barrett and Ivan Lee. File # DL 100-10461:
"WALTER KIRK COLEMAN, 4338 Newton Street, Dallas, Texas, age 15, furnished
the following information:
(Coleman thought he heard a car backfire and stood on a bike to be able to
look over the fence of his house into a Mormon church parking lot and saw two
men he didn't recognize in it. Another fence separated the parking lot from
"COLEMAN stated his immediate attention was directed toward No. 1. No. 1 got
into the 1950 Ford and, as he did so, glanced back in the direction of COLEMAN.
This man got into the car and drove off at a normal rate of speed towards the
exit from the church parking lot onto Turtle Creek Boulevard. COLEMAN stated he
did not notice if No. 1 was carrying anything in his hands.
"COLEMAN then returned to his residence and did not observe how or when No. 2
left the parking lot."
(Coleman said he didn't notice if No. 2 was carrying anything or not either--
his attention was mainly toward No. 1. There were about six cars in the lot
which were gone an hour later but the caretaker's Renault car remained.)
"COLEMAN stated he has seen numerous photographs of LEE HARVEY OSWALD and he
was shown a photograph of OSWALD among several other photographs. He stated
that neither man resembled OSWALD and that he had never seen anyone in or
around the WALKER residence or the church before or after April 10, 1963, who
resembled LEE HARVEY OSWALD."
"COLEMAN explained that, from where he was standing looking over the fence,
he could not see down the alley behind WALKER's residence, as there is a stock-
ade fence around some garbage cans in the southwest corner of the church park-
ing lot, and this blocked his view down the alley."
Two men were in a nearby church parking lot--neither one fleeing or doing or
seen to be carrying anything suspicious. It seems Coleman saw a couple people
leave what may have been a funeral service. The witness could not have seen
Oswald (or anyone else) in the alley. He said he didn't see Oswald. The full
report is at the next link:
544 Camp St. 531 Lafayette St.
544 Camp St. is an alias Oswald used (something he also did in ordering a ri-
fle--A.J. Hidell) for the address on his leaflets for the pro-Castro Fair Play
for Cuba Committee of which Oswald was the president and only member.
"Both addresses certainly did lead into the same structure of cement and
steel, but contrary to what one reads in many books, the 544 Camp Street en-
trance did not lead to Banister's ground-level office, but only up a stairway
to the second floor. As onetime Banister employee Joe Newbrough puts it, 'If
you entered 544 Camp Street, the only way you could have gotten to Banister's
office was to go out a window.' 'Banister never even considered his office to
be part of the Newman Building.
Conspiracy theorists dispute that point.
"The only relevance of the 544 Camp Street address would seem to be that it
had briefly housed the office of the anti-Castro Cuban Revolutionary Council
(CRC). That had been for only a few months in late 1961 and early 1962...."
Oswald was a pro-Castro Marxist. But:
"Oswald, on at least one occasion, made a friendly overture to a known anti-
Castro activist, Carlos Bringuier, the New Orleans delegate to the Student Rev-
olutionary Directorate (DRE) and even offered Bringuier assistance in military
training of Cuban exiles."
In line with his views:
"Oswald had written to the national president of the Fair Play for Cuba Com-
mittee, Vincent T. Lee, on August 1, 1963, 8 days before his arrest. In the
letter, Oswald mentioned he had rented an office for his local FPCC chapter,
but was told to vacate after 3 days because the building was to be remodeled."
"In interviews with the FBI and the Secret Service, the building owner, Sam
Newman, denied renting an office to Oswald. Others renting office space at 544
Camp Street were questioned, but none recalled seeing Oswald at the Newman
Building or elsewhere in New Orleans."
Oswald seems to have ambitiously padded his pro-Castro case. He was the only
member of his branch and hadn't yet shown he needed an office for it.
"...an office in the Newman Building had been rented to the" anti-Castro "Cu-
ban Revolutionary Council from October 1961 through February 1962. Leaders of
the CRC were contacted and asked if they had any association with or knowledge
of Oswald or the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. The Cubans said they had none
because they had vacated the building 15 months prior to Oswald's appearance in
"On August 9, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested on Canal Street in New Or-
leans and charged with disturbing the peace. The arrest was the result of a
confrontation with anti-Castro Cuban exile Carlos Bringuier and two of his as-
sociates, Miguel Cruz and Celso Hernandez. Oswald was handing out pro-Castro
leaflets when Bringuier, Hernandez and Cruz approached him. When Hernandez
tried to take the leaflets from Oswald, a shouting match began; the New Orleans
police then intervened, arresting all four individuals."
Oswald seems to have conducted an investigation into the views opposite to
his by a brief friendly but falsely supportive talk with Carlos Bringuier and
Carlos and two associates were upset to learn of being used for it.
In the terms of the day you might say Oswald was playing James Bond--the James
Bond movies began being popular in the USA in 1962. A better comparison may be
the current (2014) examples of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert mocking the
stances of Fox News. In Oswald's case the intention would be to stir the pot,
create controversy with provocation, to drum up interest in his group for which
which he was the only member.
Guy Banister and David Ferrie, strongly anti-communist and anti-Castro, met
in Banister's office which had and entrance around the block from 544 Camp St.
The two offices didn't connect within the building (disputed). Guy's brother
Ross theorized Oswald had used the 544 Camp St. address on his literature to
embarrass Guy, and that Guy knew of the leaflets and was displeased.
The displeasure Oswald intended seems to be to suggest the anti-Castro stance
of the office rented by "the Cuban Revolutionary Council from October 1961
through February 1962" and possibly anti-Castro Banister was shown wrong by the
content of Oswald's pro-Castro leaflet.
"Delphine Roberts, Banister's long-time friend and secretary, stated to the
committee that Banister had become extremely angry with James Arthus" (janitor)
"and Sam Newman" (building owner) "over Oswald's use of the 544 Camp Street ad-
dress on his handbills." She initially didn't claim she saw Oswald in Bani-
ter's office and later claimed she did raising doubts about her testimony.
Roberts said Banister accused Jack Martin, one of those whose investigations
Banister utilized, of stealing several files, Martin protested, Banister used
his gun to hit Martin on the head and cause him to bleed, and the discussion
continued out of the range of hearing.
Jack Martin said on Nov.22, 1963, he'd told Banister "What are you going to
do--kill me like you all did Kennedy?" just before the beating. "You all" may
be taken by conspiracy theorists to mean Banister led a group of assassins or
more generally that the assassination was kickback for the anti-Castro efforts
Banister, the CRC, and JFK took part in--efforts which inflamed Oswald. (Rob-
ert Kennedy suspected as much wonderng if JFK's anti-Castro efforts had pro-
voked pro-Castro Oswald. Or likewise one could say that Mark Lane's efforts
to cause Jim Jones and followers to worry that the CIA was out to get them led
to the Jonestown paranoia and tragedy.) Banister, PO'ed to be accused of hav-
ing blood on his hands, pistol whipped Martin.
Martin held Ferrie responsible for not getting a job investigating the sale
of phony certificates of ordination and consecration and "slandered Ferrie at
Jack Martin had only suspicions of Ferrie's involvement in the assassination.
"Martin has also told the committee he saw Lee Harvey Oswald with Ferrie in
Guy Banister's office in 1963. Nevertheless, in light of Martin's previous
contradictory statements to authorities shortly after the assassination in
which Martin made no such allegation about having seen Oswald, it may be argued
that credence should not be placed in Martin's statements to the committee."
"...in 1955" "Ferrie was captain of a Civil Air Patrol squadron and Oswald
a young cadet."
As noted above, "Oswald, on at least one occasion, made a friendly overture
to a known anti-Castro activist, Carlos Bringuier, the New Orleans delegate to
the Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE) and even offered Bringuier assis-
tance in military training of Cuban exiles."
"During his Warren Commission deposition, Bringuier brought up the subject of
a discrepancy among Oswald's pamphlets, but not the discrepancy one might ex-
pect. 'The leaflet he was handing out on Canal Street August 9" the date of the
tussle "didn't have his name of Oswald, at least the ones that I saw,' Brin-
guier observed. 'They have the name A. J. Hidell, and one post office box here
in New Orleans and the address, and the leaflets that he was handing out on
August 16 have the name L. H. Oswald, 4907 Magazine Street.'"
I don't mean to restrict anyone's imagination regarding arbitrary possibili-
ties but we need to distinguish arbitrary from compelling possibility. There's
a saying that if it walks, squawks, and flies like a duck, it must be a duck.
Then again, if all we have is that it's something that walks, something that
squawks, and something that flies, it's not compelling it's a duck. It could
be a politician giving an interview on a jet.
The one evidential precedent we have for Oswald making friendly overtures to
someone with strongly opposing political ideas about Castro was a poor man's
version of investigating the opposition and eventually just pissing them off.
Oswald was the only member of his local chapter of a pro-Castro group--he ap-
parently wasn't great at motivating recruitment and just wanted to stir the pot a
little to drum up interest. Oswald, true to a need to know basis only caution,
didn't engage Carlos Bringuier's group in a specific assassination plan.
Whether or not the two Camp St. addresses shared a hall doesn't make an ass-
assination theory compelling. Oswald's use of the Camp St. address for flyers
seems to have been intended to refer to the anti-Castro Cuban Revolutionary
Council (CRC) recently at the address, and even that Banister represented their
strongly anti-Castro views, as wrong, something Oswald relished to piss Banis-
ter off like it did Carlos, etc. (which apparently worked).
If we imagine conversation between Oswald and Ferrie, and we have contradic-
tory testimony to base it on, it likewise may have been to scope out the oppo-
sition and ultimately piss off peoople who were notable in holding views that
strongly opposed Oswald's. It wouldn't mean he planned to assassinate JFK with
Ferrie, etc., any more than he did in the example with Carlos Bringuier we have
a precedent for.
This way of prying into opposing views, to better plan how to counter their
views, may be all "544 Camp St." means--to piss off anti-Castro Banister wheth-
er Banister laid claim to the addresss or by suggesting he could be thought to
represent the anti-Castro group which recently had an office at 544 Camp St.
If Oswald talked with Banister or Ferrie and pretended to share their views,
with Oswald just intending it to help better know how to shore up his own pro-
Castro arguments and ridicule theirs, Oswald's point in using the address
of an anti-Castro group Banister might lay claim to would be that Banister in-
advertantly helped him and to ridicule Banister--an irony Oswald might relish as
a way to call attention to his own stances.
Talking with snooping Banister might all the more make certain Banister kept
track of Oswald and found out different about him via the flyers and piss Ban-
ister off like it pissed off Carlos.
If it be imagined to refer to a conspiracy between a secretly anti-Castro Os-
wald and others who were blatantly anti-Castro, we have contradictory testimon-
ies to base it on and it's a different conclusion than we get with the better
understood precedent set with Oswald and Carlos Bringuier.
Any anti-JFK ideas imagined to have been discussed between them may be arbi-
trarily imagined to have given Oswald added motive. At any one time someone
who hates the president could find others who states the same views in the
harshest terms and there were strongly anti-JFK people in Dallas. But it
doesn't mean someone intending an assassination would engage them in a plot--
"need to know basis only" and minimizing risk are still more likely than that
Oswald openly discussed a serious murder plot with anyone in Dallas that didn't
like JFK. The lone gunman idea for execution of the assassination shows Oswald
understood this common idea of how to execute a crime and doesn't have anything
compelling against it. (See the sections on Guy Banister, etc., below.)
Claim of federal agents taking Banister's files after his death
Oswald's rifle/"curtain rods" bag and claims the CIA forged the bag claimed
"The next morning (Friday) he returned to Dallas with Frazier; he left behind
$170 and his wedding ring, but took with him a paper bag. Frazier reported that
Oswald told him the bag contained curtain rods, The evidence demonstrated that
the package actually contained the rifle used by Oswald in the assassination."
Recently Frazier claimed Oswald's rifle wouldn't fit in the 24-26" bag put in
the back of his car--the bag which Oswald claimed contained curtain rods.
Wes Frazier's sister Linnie Randle made the same claim--among others.
"When questioned by police officers after his arrest, Oswald told them that
he did not bring a long bag to work and the only thing he brought to work was a
bag lunch (4H217-8). Frazier testified that Oswald did not bring a lunch to
work the day of the assassination."
The bag found on the sixth floor of the Depository was 38" long and had Os-
wald's fingerprint and palmprint on it.
Frazier stated in an affidavit that the bag from the Depository "could have
been the sack or package which he saw in the possession of Oswald on the morn-
ing of November 22, 1963, but that he does not feel he is in a position to def-
initely state that this original is or is not the sack."
Linnie's testimony has varied widely from stating "on the day of the assass-
ination that the bag was 'approximately 3 feet by 6 inches' (Commission Docu-
ment 5, p. 320)" to 27" to 24"--the size now claimed by Wes.
See more at the next link.
The conspiracy theorists' corrupt CIA people are not only supposed to be sub-
stituting rifles and forging films but forging paper bags.
If there's any merit to the 24" inch claim (though different than the origin-
al claims) perhaps it could be due to Oswald having simply made a longer bag of
the same material as usually used for a 24" bag. Wes and Linnie could later
remember that the material was typically used for a 24" bag. Their testimonies
demonstrate at the least that they could be confused (at the worst persuaded to
pander to conspiracy theorists).
James Tague claimed he was hit on the right cheek by a curb chip from a rico-
chet of the second bullet. "This curb surrounding the scar chip was not cut
out until August 1964 after Tague repeatedly reminded authorities that he had
also been wounded during the shots, and it is now in the National Archives. The
scar chip was 23 feet 6 inches (7.2 m) east of the east edge of the triple un-
derpass railroad bridge, about 20 (6.1 m) feet from where Tague stood during
the attack. The detective told Tague it looked like a bullet had been fired
from one of the Houston and Elm Streets intersection buildings and had hit the
"According to the Warren Commission's final report, forensic tests by the FBI
revealed that the chipped bullet mark impact location contained no embedded
copper metal residue, indicating that it was not created by 'an unmutilated
military full metal-jacketed bullet such as the bullet from Governor Connally's
stretcher.' Tague, in his book Truth Withheld, published pictures of the scar
taken on November 23, 1963, and as it sat in the National Archives in 1997."
"Tague testified the shots were fired and 'coming from my left,' 'by the,
whatever you call the monument,' which was the area of the North Pergola Monu-
ment that is located on the north grassy knoll, several hundreds of feet apart
from and west of the Book Depository building.
"In 1997 Tague visited the U.S. National Archives and personally examined the
curbstone scar chip. Tague was also accompanied by a U.S. National Archivist.
They both immediately agreed that the scar chip was covered up with a patch of
foreign material that had been placed over the scar chip (no documented record
nor documented authorization has been found yet revealing precisely what gov-
ernment agency and/or individual(s) did it, or when the scar chip was covered
up). Harold Weisberg had said exactly the same thing about the scar chip being
covered over after he first examined the scar chip in the late 1960s."
"Several conspiracy theories posit that at least one shooter was located in
the Dal-Tex Building, which is located across the street from the Texas School
Book Depository. According to L. Fletcher Prouty, the physical location of
James Tague when he was injured by a bullet fragment is not consistent with the
trajectory of a missed shot from the Texas School Book Depository, leading
Prouty to theorize that Tague was instead wounded by a missed shot from the
second floor of the Dal-Tex Building."
"Some support for the contention that the first shot missed is found in the
statement of Secret Service Agent Glen A. Bennett, stationed in the right rear
seat of the President's follow-up car, who heard a sound like a firecracker as
the motorcade proceeded down Elm Street. At that moment, Agent Bennett stated:
"'... I looked at the back of the President. I heard another firecracker
noise and saw that shot hit the President about four inches down from the right
shoulder. A second shot followed immediately and hit the right rear high of the
"This incident appears to have been recorded in the contemporaneous report of
Dallas Patrolman L. L. Hill, who radioed in around 12:40 p.m.: 'I have one guy
that was possibly hit by a richochet from the bullet off the concrete.'361
Scientific examination of the mark on the south curb of Main Street by FBI ex-
perts disclosed metal smears which, 'were spectrographically determined to be
essentially lead with a trace of antimony.'362 The mark on the curb could have
originated from the lead core of a bullet but the absence of copper precluded
'the possibility that the mark on the curbing section was made by an unmuti-
lated military full metal-jacketed bullet such as the bullet from Governor Con-
The second shot is ruled out and the third would have lost steam by the time
it reached the curb, which points to a chip from the first shot.
Bugliosi thinks it was Oswald's first shot hitting the street then the curb.
Blog writer David Von Pein thinks it hit a nearby oak tree then the curb but
admits we can't know. Tague may have not realized he was hit right away.
"For the Warren Commission, Tague was asked 'Do you think that it is consis-
tent with what you heard and saw that day, that the shots could have come from
the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository?' He responded 'Yes.'"
"Analysis of the footage of the Zapruder film of the assassination best cor-
relates with this theory. Posner shows how the first shot (at Z-frame 160) is
being deflected by a branch of the oak tree between Oswald and the limousine."
The president's car slowed down after the first shot
The president's driver William Greer put on the brakes after the first shot
slowing the car to nearly a walking pace. Secret Service procedures at the
time didn't allow Greer to take action without orders from his senior agent--
Roy Kellerman, who sat to Greer's right. Kellerman said that he shouted,
"Let's get out of line--we've been hit." Greer took a look back then acceler-
ated but it was too late.
Single bullet theory regarding the second shot
The idea of a "magic bullet" is partly based on the claim a single bullet
hitting both JFK and Connelly would have had to zig zag. This is baserd on
the misinformation, spread by Garrison, that JFK and Connelly were seated at
the same height and parallel. But JFK and Connelly need only to have been
seated differently to preclude zig zagging. Connelly was turned to his right
on a jump seat lower than JFK and ahead and to the left of JFK.
JFK conspiracy theorists claim the bullet was in pristine condition. The
condition of the bullet found, distorted at the top and bent at the bottom, was
unlikely but not impossible for having hit JFK and Connelly. The broken off
pieces of the bullet and X-rayed pieces add up to amount missing from the bul-
let found, which was determined to have come from Oswald's rifle, so it seems
best indicated it was the bullet that struck both JFK and Connelly.
According to Bugliosi, neutron activation analysis shows that all the bullet
fragments from Kennedy and the car originated from just two bullets and that
they were fired from the rifle discovered on the sixth floor of the Texas
School Book Depository.
The bullet viewed head on
The bullet wouldn't have directly shattered a major bone but went around a
rib, breaking the end, and hitting the side of a wrist.
If the single bullet that hit JFK's upper back and left his throat were to
have missed Connelly, where would it go? There was no bullet hole in the back
of the seat in front of JFK. It would have to ig zag left and out of the car.
Conspiracy believer Cyril Wecht said he didn't know where it went. The magic
bullet shoe is on the other foot. I know of no testing indicating that such a
rifle bullet exiting soft tissue of the neck would change course that dramati-
Of the two choices, the first idea, the single bullet idea, is more credible.
Lone gunman theory
"Of the 104 earwitnesses in Dealey Plaza who are on record with an opinion as
to the direction from which the shots came, 54 (51.9%) thought that all shots
came from the direction of the Texas School Book Depository, 33 (31.7%) thought
that all shots came from the area of the grassy knoll or the triple underpass,
9 (8.7%) thought all shots came from a location entirely distinct from the
knoll or the Depository, 5 (4.8%) thought they heard shots from two locations,
and 3 (2.9%) thought the shots came from a direction consistent with both the
knoll and the Depository."
Dealey Plaza had buildings on three sides creating echo. The echoes overhead
caused a minority to think they heard shots from the grassy knoll. But the
crowd, many with cameras, would be looking in that basic direction after JFK's
car passed them and a rifleman firing on the ground from the knoll would be
sure to get their attention and probably be filmed. None saw that but some saw
Oswald or his rifle in the window of the Depository or heard it in the immedi-
"Three employees of the Depository, observing the parade from the fifth
floor, heard the shots fired from the floor immediately above them." "James
Jarman, Jr., age 34, a wrapper in the shipping department; Bonnie Ray Williams,
age 20, a warehouseman temporarily assigned to laying a plywood floor on the
sixth floor; and Harold Norman, age 26, an "order filler." "Eyewitnesses tes-
tified that they saw a man fire a weapon from the sixth-floor window." One was
"Howard L. Brennan...." Warren Commission Report pp.61-68
Another factor that made it easier for Oswald to shoot JFK is that JFK was
wearing a back brace. This kept him in an upright position instead of bending
over like Connally.
Unlikeliness of a mob boss, corrupt CIA agent, etc., using a conspiracy
theorists large cast of participants/context of Oswald calling himself a
If Oswald, an unstable man, a poor man known for lies and failure yet wanting
to be considered historically important, openly willing to kill someone repre-
senting the US military, resentful of JFK's againstness for Castro, approached
a leader of organized crime (rogue elements of the CIA, Cuban politics, etc.)
asking for help in murdering JFK, the leader might strongly like the idea yet
most likely would have simply said, "OK--go ahead." That's all.
Organized crime leaders have murders done but also minimize unneccesary risk
to avoid bringing law enforcement attention onto themselves. They try to iso-
late themselves from the general public like the head of the phone company. If
you tried to contact them, you'd probably just contact a telemarketer or their
manager--not the head of the company.
Why would the crime leader put his own men on the ground esp. at the "grassy
knoll"--a public place near tall buildings with windows and people on an over-
pass, between a parking lot and a crowd with cameras (not far from Zapruder, in
fact) who would be looking in that basic direction after the presidential mo-
torcade passed, where someone could go by unexpectedly at any moment, to fire a
rifle? (People wouldn't wonder if the shot came from there due to echoes over-
head--they'd know.) The conspiracy theorist's premise is that they'd do it to
make a guy in a building on the other end of the block "look" guilty!?
The grassy knoll rifleman would likely be caught, might spill, and might be
overheard talking about it. It would maximize risk for the crime leaders or
such that something could go wrong, someone could tell on them, and trouble
could come back on them they don't want.
Oswald was on a pro-Castro crusade, was a marksman if not a notably expert
shot, had a rifle, and was willing to murder someone that represented the US
military. To Oswald, JFK was leading the USA to wage war against Castro. The
crime leader or such who hated Kennedy would let Oswald try it and if he got in
trouble that would be his problem.
Oswald's "patsy" claim was a denial he shot Tippit and was persecuted by com-
munist-hating cops (not JFK assassins) who were making him a patsy for defect-
ing to Russia earlier. If it's arbitrarilly imaginable he'd had talks with
crime leaders I don't know how you'd prove it and those leaders would know it
wouldn't prove what was discussed. They'd know Oswald was taken for a liar and
not credible. They wouldn't be held responsible any more than many other JFK
haters in Dallas and wouldn't be expected to maximize risk by putting troups on
the ground needlessly for a one man job.
If a crime leader considered putting pro marksmen on the ground, why even
utilize Oswald? Why not put the best, and reliably loyal to the crime group,
marksmen in the best shooting location--the library (the Texas School Book De-
pository in Dallas, Texas)? It was pretty much a straight shot from the li-
brary to to JFK's car which had slowed down to about 12 mph after the curve,
slower after the first shot and the driver braked, and was going slightly down-
hill and away.
But the best evidence is that Oswald lost the element of surprise after the
first shot, was tempted by the limo slowing down to persist in using three
shots to kill Kennedy, panicked and said, "Fuck me"--in fact was seen--so
stashed the rifle, was the only one who didn't stay for employee roll call
(not any ordinary roll call--the president had been shot outside and witnesses
saw Oswald fire the shot or saw the rifle stcking out the window), shot Tippit
(not the way to act innocent whether you're innocent or guilty--it's just fuck
yourself big time--this guy didn't need help looking guilty, he was real good
at it all on his own), etc.
Shooters from the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza would have needed to be stand-
ing on some kind of tall platform, would have had a target moving side to side
to hit, and wouldn't have been in hiding from the public. They'd have been
firing at the president from a place viewable from windows on nearby tall
buildings, in the basic direction the crowd was looking in after JFK passed
them, and sure to get attention with rifle shots on the ground vs. wondering
about echoes from overhead. They'd want to make Oswald a patsy by putting
their own hit man where he'd be far more likely to get caught at the other end
of the block?
"Lee Bowers, a railroad switchman sitting in a two-story tower, had an unob-
structed view of the rear of the stockade fence atop the grassy knoll during
the shooting. He saw a total of four men in the area between his tower and Elm
Street: a middle-aged man and a younger man, standing 10 to 15 feet (3.0 to 4.6
m) apart near the triple underpass, who did not seem to know each other, and
one or two uniformed parking lot attendants. At the time of the shooting, he
saw 'something out of the ordinary, a sort of milling around,' which he could
not identify. Bowers testified that one or both of the men were still there
when motorcycle officer Clyde Haygood ran up the grassy knoll to the back of
the fence. In a 1966 interview, Bowers clarified that the two men he saw were
standing in the opening between the pergola and the fence, and that 'no one'
was behind the fence at the time the shots were fired."
"Lee Bowers operated a railroad tower that overlooked the parking lot on the
north side of the grassy knoll. He reported that he saw two men behind the
picket fence at the top of the grassy knoll before the shooting. The men did
not appear to be acting together and did not appear to be doing anything sus-
picious. After the shooting, Bowers said that one of the men remained behind
the fence. Bowers said that he lost track of the second man whose clothing
blended into the foliage. When interviewed by Mark Lane, Bowers noted that he
saw something that attracted his attention, either a flash of light, or maybe
smoke, from the knoll, leading him to believe 'something out of the ordinary'
had occurred there. Bowers told Lane he heard three shots, the last two in
quick succession. Bowers opined that they could not have come from the same ri-
fle. Bowers later purportedly said to his supervisor, Olan Degaugh, that he saw
a man in the parking lot throw what appeared to be a rifle into a car."
Bowers didn't mention a flash of light or smoke to the Warren Commission--he
added that later talking to conspiracy theorist Lane. "He was not sure as to
what it was (that caught his attention), but he believed it was a puff of smoke
or flash of light."
It's been theorized that Bower's attention could have been drawn by someone
breaking a glass pop bottle in the area. Modern rifles don't make puffs of
Cnspiracy theorists give Bowers death due to his truck hitting a concrete
bridge abutment a couple years later as mysterious (as though silenced by ass-
assination plotters). "Monty Bowers concluded Lee's allergies contributed to
his death. Both Monty and Lee had severe allergies and were prone to fits of
sneezing. They took antihistamines that provided little relief. Monty told rep-
resentatives of the insurance company his allergies bothered him that day. He
assumed Lee experienced similar symptoms." In oher words, the pills probably
made him doze off or he had a fit of sneezing.
Claim of smoke from the grassy knoll
"Conspiracy authors seldom fail to discuss several witnesses who saw 'smoke,'
or 'steam,' or 'motorcycle exhaust' on the Grassy Knoll. Of course, they forget
the 'steam' and 'motorcycle exhaust' and present all the witnesses as having
seen smoke from a rifle. But just how much smoke do modern rifles produce? One
clue comes from the movie JFK. Director Oliver Stone could not find a rifle
that would emit the necessary cloud of smoke when fired, and so he resorted to
having a special-effects man blow smoke from a bellows."
"Smoke" on the Grassy Knoll
Conspiracy theorists originally claimed the fatal shot to Kennedy was shown
as coming from his right front (the "grassy knoll").
According to frames 223 and 224 of the Zapruder film, the second shot, which
hit JFK's upper back etc., came from behind JFK.
The video at the next link includes a computer animated reconstruction of the
Zapruder film. The film itself is shown and shows Connelly's coat puffed out
at the chest just as JFK was struck at frame 224 of the film--when the bullet
left the area of Connelly's right nipple. Subsequently Connelly still holds
onto his hat but his wrist goes limp. Ralph Salerno says surveillance of or-
ganized crime shows no connection with the assaassination.
This page has a .gif which shows frame 223 and Connelly's jacket billow near
the lapel at frame 224.
As Bugliosi notes, the bullet that left JFK's throat would hit Connelly--
where else would it go? Conspiracy theorists can't demonstrate bullet damage
to the back of Connelly's seat.
The third shot, the fatal shot to JFK, came at frames 313--JFK's head moved
forward 2+" and at 313 there was a spray of blood and tissue on the right side
back to front and a bit going forward overhead. His back moved forward from
the seat behind him. At frame 314 JFK's head began to move to the left as a
nueromuscular reaction while his body dropped and the trajectory of the blood/
tissue continued forward. There wasn't a second spray of blood, etc., to the
Jackie's face was right by the left side of JFK's head when the fatal shot
hit. If it were fired from ahead and to the right side of the car, it would
have hit JFK across his head, right to left, and hit Jackie or at least covered
her with blood like Sissy Spacek near the end of "Carrie" (1976). The Zapruder
film and X-rays indicate the shot came from behind. The spray of blood is back
to front. Conspiracy theorists imagine a near-simultaneous shot from ahead and
to the front, but again Jackie wasn't hit and there wasn't a second spray of
blood to the left.
At the next page you can click to see each individual frame of the film.
The JFK conspiracy believers claim there was a bullet hole in the windshield.
But "...the crack was described by the expert who examined it as a crack, not a
hole, with bits of lead stuck to the glass on the rear side of the glass. Al-
most like it got hit from behind with a bullet fragment." It was also high on
the windshield and an accompanying bullet wasn't found.
"Some assassination researchers claim that FBI photographs of the presiden-
tial limousine show a bullet hole in its windshield above the rear-view mirror,
and a crack in the windshield itself. When Robert Groden, author of The Killing
of a President, asked for an explanation, the FBI responded that what Groden
thought was a bullet hole "occurred prior to Dallas." In 1993, George Whitaker,
a manager at the Ford Motor Company's Rouge Plant in Detroit, told attorney and
criminal justice professor Doug Weldon that after reporting to work on November
25, 1963, he discovered the presidential limousine in the Rouge Plant’s B
building with the windshield removed. Whitaker said that the limousine's re-
moved windshield had a through-and-through bullet hole from the front. He said
that he was directed by one of Ford's vice presidents to use the windshield as
a template to fabricate a new windshield for installation in the limousine.
Whitaker also said he was told to destroy the old windshield.
If particles of one of Oswald's bullets cracked the windshield from inside
perhaps cracked pieces even fell out later to make a hole. We know the two
shots that hit occupants of the car came from Oswald. For more about the wind-
shield see the footnote at *.
Rifle part 2
"A palm print was discovered on part of the rifle that could only have been
put there when the rifle was not fully assembled. Such a palm print could not
be placed on this portion of the rifle when assembled because the wooden fore-
grip covers the barrel."
"... a tuft of fibers found in a crevice of the rifle was consistent with the
fibers and colors of the shirt Oswald was wearing at the time of his arrest."
"Marina Oswald testified that Lee told her on April 10, 1963 that he had used
the rifle earlier that night in an attempt to assassinate retired U.S. Army
General Edwin Walker, a controversial political activist, at Walker's home in
Dallas. The bullet was deflected from hitting Walker when it struck a window
Oswald probably threw the rifle behind some boxes hastily to get away from a
public place where he'd just made rifle shots. It wasn't a secluded place
where he felt he could take his time about it. Likewise, his hastinesss is
shown in that he murdered a policeman, Tippit, then was seen making a desperate
run across the block with the gun held out.
He may have wanted credit as a hero from similar political zealots and not
punishment from US authorities. But he must have felt the privacy of his snip-
er's nest was destroyed as soon as he started shooting and didn't leave him a
Oswald would have been familiar with whatever idiosyncrasies of the rifle in
practising with it. The rifle may have had a slat under the scope that was
loosened by Oswald hastily putting the rifle behind some boxes and such a slat
considered refuse on the floor later. Oswald could have pocketed it as some-
thing far fewer people would recognize than a shell casing and disposed of the
slat later, possibly intending the excuse that he couldn't have aimed as good
"Ronald Simmons, of the Army's Ballistics Research Laboratory, bench tested
Oswald's rifle for the Warren Commission, and found the dispersion to be .29
mils — a figure typical for high-powered rifles — and described it as 'quite
"Skeptics have argued that expert marksmen could not duplicate Oswald's
shooting in their first try during re-enactments by the Warren Commission
(1964) and CBS (1967). In those tests the marksmen attempted to hit the target
three times within 5.6 seconds. This time span has been heavily disputed. The
Warren Commission itself estimated that the time span between the two shots
that hit President Kennedy was 4.8 to 5.6 seconds. If the second shot missed
(assuming the first and third shots hit the president), then 4.8 to 5.6 seconds
was the total time span of the shots. If the first or third shot missed, that
would give a minimum time of 7.1 to 7.9 seconds for the three shots. Modern
analysis of a digitally enhanced Zapruder film suggests that the first, second,
and final shot may have taken 8.3 seconds.
"Many of CBS's 11 volunteer marksmen, who (unlike Oswald) had no prior exper-
ience with a properly sighted Carcano, were able to hit the test target two
times in under the time allowed, although they were all afforded multiple at-
tempts. The only man who scored three hits was a firearms examiner from Mary-
land by the name of Howard Donahue."
Celebrity/ex-governor/conspiracy theorist Jessie Ventura claims he trained to
be a Navy Seal but didn't become one and couldn't duplicate what Oswald did
with the same rifle. Jessie probably just didn't practice enough with it to do
it in 8.2 sec., or used a shorter time limit, because other people have done
Facts about Oswald's rifle
The claim has been made that a paraffin test showed that Oswald had not fired
a rifle. The paraffin test was unreliable and produced both false positives
and false negatives. Its only real use was to intimidate naive suspects into
The claim has been made that Oswald's rifle was not tested to see whether it
had been recently fired. There was not, and still is not, any test that can
determine whether a rifle has been "recently fired."
"Penn & Teller Debunk the Second Gunman Theory"
It's a demontration of how fast the rifle could fire and the effect of shoot-
ing a melon being like that of Oswald shooting JFK.
"When the FBI tested the rifle found that the scope couldn’t be sighted in as
it existed without first adding two metal shims. The scope tube was also visi-
bly scrapped and the scope itself may have been damaged.
"While the scope could not be sighted in by the FBI, and may have been dam-
aged, there is no way to know whether this occurred before Oswald fired or af-
ter. It has been theorized that the scope was damaged when Oswald hid the ri-
fle. Of course, there is no way to prove this, one way or the other. The scope
may also have been damaged or had it's zero destroyed when it was removed from
the rifle in order to search for fingerprints, as testified to by FBI expert
"There is also a theory that Oswald may have used the iron sights for some
or all of the shots, possibly because he realized there was a problem with the
scope after the first shot or possibly due to the close range of the shots.
We’ll discuss the possibility he used iron sights in more detail later."
"The last element from this American Handgunner article that should be noted
is Ayoob’s statement that 'Most of the shooters (in the recreation) agreed
that, given the well under 100 range involved, iron sights were much easier to
"This is noteworthy because it supports the speculation that Oswald may have
used the iron sights for one or more shots during the assassination. If his
scope was damaged before he took the first shot, instead of after, he may have
missed due to the scope being off and switched to iron sights for the next
shots. Or he may have used iron sights for all three shots, which makes any
possible damage to the scope irrelevant. This article at the GunsAmerica blog
includes a photo that shows how the side mount on Oswald’s Carcano would have
allowed him to still easily use the iron sights on his rifle."
Oswald shooting Tippit and the claim that Oswald's "patsy" statement implies
joint assassins of JFK
"The Warren Commission identified twelve people who witnessed the shooting,
or its aftermath." "The Commission also named several other witnesses who were
not at the scene of the murder, but who identified Oswald running between the
murder scene and the Texas Theater, where Oswald was subsequently arrested.
Four cartridge cases were found at the scene by eyewitnesses. It was the unani-
mous testimony of expert witnesses before the Warren Commission that these
spent cartridge cases were fired from the revolver in Oswald's possession to
the exclusion of all other weapons."
Oswald said he was a "patsy" after being arrested for the murder of Tippit
protesting that he was innocent of that but rather was being persecuted by com-
mie haters for defecting to Russia earlier--not implying anything about the
assassination of JFK let alone conspiracy theories about it.
"Soon after his capture Oswald encountered reporters in a hallway. Oswald de-
clared, 'I didn't shoot anybody' and, 'They've taken me in because of the fact
that I lived in the Soviet Union. I'm just a patsy!' Later, at an arranged
press meeting, a reporter asked, 'Did you kill the President?' and Oswald-—who
by that time had been advised of the charge of murdering Tippit, but had not
yet been arraigned in Kennedy's death—-answered, 'No, I have not been charged
with that. In fact, nobody has said that to me yet. The first thing I heard
about it was when the newspaper reporters in the hall asked me that question.'
As he was led from the room the question was called out, 'What did you do in
Russia?' and, 'How did you hurt your eye?'; Oswald answered, 'A policeman hit
The lack of motive for organized crime to have Ruby kill Oswald
Ruby was a strong supporter of JFK, was said to cry like someone might over
the death of one of their parents over the assassination, had his own motive--
the desire to be considered a hero for killing the killer of JFK and to spare
Jackie from a trial.
Could a Mafia leader have had the motive to kill JFK to get rid of RFK who
led increased arrests of organized crime members? Yes. Could such a mob leader
feel it was therefore credible enough to claim responsibility for it to play
hero to his mob? Yes. Hub-boy.
Frank_Ragano claimed mob boss Trafficante confessed responsibility for the
assassination on his death bed in Tampa, Florida. "This was later found to be
a complete fabrication by Ragano, because hospital records proved that Traffi-
cante was in Miami receiving dialysis several times that week."
Even if Oswald could prove he'd had a meeting with a crime figure it wouldn't
prove what was discussed in it, though, and crime leaders would know it. Ruby
ran a strip joint and may have run into people of local crime, but Oswald's
ruse was that he was persecuted by "commie haters." He did't imply that too
much was being made over him having mob connections, so the mob wouldn't have a
need to silence him.
The mob is supposed to have wanted to make Oswald a patsy by putting one of
their men in front of the motorcade--where? There wasn't damage to the inter-
ior of the car or occupants beyond that of the two bullets from behind. (It
would be a magic bullet to do a 180 degree turn and hit JFK from behind.)
After the murder, not having prepared with his own vehicle or finding a get-
away car (Marina said he took a bus to try to murder Walker earlier, too), Os-
wald ran around trying to flag down buses, murdered police officer Tippit (a
big no-no--the sign of an amateur murderer in a panic), and hiding in a local
movie theater, without buying a tacket, where he pulled a gun on an officer
again. The officer said the only reason Oswald didn't fire is that the skin
between his first finger and thumb got caught in the firing mechanism.
As Bugliosi noted, Oswald doesn't seem like an organized crime hit man but a
lone murderer. Organized crime wouldn't try to make Oswald in the Library
Building a patsy by putting a hit man in public in the grassy knoll between a
crowd gathered to watch the president and a parking lot, ahead of the motorcade
where everyone it passed would be looking--you'd put the hit man in a room ad-
joining Oswald's or the roof. The grassy knoll is where you'd put a shooter
you wanted to get caught, and organized crime/rogue members of the CIA, etc.,
wouldn't want the attention of law enforcement.
Oswald's behavior after the shooting wasn't the way you'd act innocent if you
were an innocent patsy or guilty, either. He didn't act like someone who was
having a soft drink in the lobby of the library but someone who was paranoid
the others were on to him and tried desperately to get away.
Another reason organized crime leaders, corrupt members of the CIA, etc.,
wouldn't have been motivated to have Ruby kill Oswald is that Oswald's credi-
bility was undermined by the immediate context of lies he told. First he said
he'd been on the second floor then, after a couple of co-workers said they
hadn't seen him there, changed it to him having come down from upstairs, etc.
Oswald also "denied killing Kennedy and Tippit; denied owning a rifle; said
two photographs of him holding a rifle and a pistol were fakes; denied telling
his co-worker he wanted a ride to Irving to get curtain rods for his apartment
(he said that the package contained his lunch); and denied carrying a long,
bulky package to work the morning of the assassination. Oswald also denied
knowing an 'A. J. Hidell.' Oswald was then shown a forged Selective Service
System card bearing his photograph and the alias, 'Alek James Hidell' that he
had in his possession at the time of his arrest. Oswald refused to answer any
questions concerning the card, saying '...you have the card yourself and you
know as much about it as I do.'"
The "patsy" claim by Oswald, to claim he was persecuted by commie haters and
hadn't really shot Tippit, was understood as being in a context of lies he told
to deny guilt. Coupled with his inability to prove what was said at whatever
meeting, it wouldn't make much of a motive for organized crime to run the risk
of sending someone to kill him.
JFK was "assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC) on Fri-
day, November 22, 1963."
A fitness instructor matching Oswald's specifics--5'10", 150lbs., 23 yrs.
old--duplicated Oswald's feat of going from an area of the sixth floor of a
similar warehouse down four flights of stairs to an area of the second floor in
less than 90 seonds. He did it without running in just over 48 sec. His heart
rate was up a bit but he wasn't out of breath or sweating. See the clip at the
Oswald claimed two fellow employees saw him on a the first floor then went to
the second floor to have a soda when the shooting occurred. He said he was
"eating his lunch in the first floor lounge (known as the 'domino room'). He
said that he then went to the second-floor lunchroom to buy a Coca-Cola from
the soda machine there and was drinking it when he was encountered by Dallas
motorcycle policeman (Marrion L. Baker). Oswald said that while he was in the
domino room, he saw two 'Negro employees' walking by, one he recognized as
'Junior' and a shorter man whose name he could not recall.
"Junior Jarman and Harold Norman confirmed to the Warren Commission that they
had 'walked through' the domino room around noon during their lunch break.
When asked if anyone else was in the domino room, Norman testified that some-
body else was there, but he could not remember who it was. Jarman testified
that Oswald was not in the domino room when he was there.
"Janitor Eddie Piper also testified that he spoke to Oswald on the first floor
at 12:00 p.m.
"Another co-worker, Bonnie Ray Williams, was on the sixth floor of the De-
pository eating his lunch and was there until at least 12:10 p.m. He said that
during that time he did not see Oswald, or anyone else, on the sixth floor and
felt he was the only one up there. However, he also said that some boxes in
the southeast corner may have prevented him from seeing deep into the 'sniper's
"During his last interrogation on November 24, according to postal inspector
Harry Holmes, Oswald was again asked where he was at the time of the shooting.
Holmes (who attended the interrogation at the invitation of Captain Will Fritz)
said that Oswald replied that he was working on an upper floor when the shoot-
ing occurred, then went downstairs where he encountered Dallas motorcycle po-
liceman (Marrion L. Baker)."
"Lee Harvey Oswald was encountered by an armed Dallas policeman, Marrion Bak-
er, in the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building's second floor lunchroom 74 to
90 seconds (according to a Warren Commission time recreation) after the last
shot." "Baker stated that he recognized it as the report of a high-powered
rifle and that he thought the shots had originated from the building 'either
right in front of me [the Depository] or the one across to the right of it,'
the Dallas Textile Building (DalTex). He said he also noticed pigeons take
flight up from the roof of the Depository Building and start flying around.
Baker then quickly drove to the corner of Houston and Elm St., parked his mo-
torcycle, ran to the entrance of the Texas Schoolbook Depository, entered the
building, and, led by building superintendent Roy Truly, began climbing the
"In the second floor lunch room near the stairs, Baker drew his weapon and
confronted Oswald, but Baker released Oswald when Oswald was identified as an
employee by Mr. Truly. According to Baker, Oswald did not appear to be nervous
or out of breath. Truly said that Oswald appeared 'startled' when Baker aimed
his gun at him. According to the Warren Commission, Oswald was next seen by a
Depository secretary as he crossed through the second floor business office car-
rying a soda bottle. He left the Texas School Book Depository at approximately
12:33 p.m. through its front door.
Witness Howard Brennan described the sniper in the window as looking like Os-
wald. Police spread the description at 12:45 p.m., 12:48 p.m., and 12:55 p.m.
Oswald no doubt wished he'd accomplished the assassination with the first
shot for the element of surprise. Since he shot from above and behind the
crowd that might have worked. But by the time of the third shot he worried
that he'd been seen--and he was--so he panicked. He was the only one absent
when roll call was taken of employees.
"Dallas Patrolman J. D. Tippit drove up in his patrol car alongside Oswald—-
presumably because Oswald resembled the police broadcast description of the man
seen by witness Howard Brennan firing shots at the presidential motorcade.
"Tippit exited his car and was immediately struck and killed by four shots.
Numerous witnesses heard the shots and saw Oswald flee the scene holding a re-
volver; nine positively identified him as the man who shot Tippit and fled.
Four cartridge cases found at the scene were identified by expert witnesses be-
fore the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee as having been fired
from the revolver later found in Oswald's possession, to the exclusion of all
other weapons." The bullets were too damaged to be identified with the weapon.
That's not how you act innocent if you're innocent or not. Oswald didn't
need help to look guilty--he was real good at it all by himself.
Oswald's "patsy" line was a denial of murdering Tippit--that he was being
persecuted because he's wanted to live in Russia (a remnant of the the "red
scare" days of early/mid-'50's McCarthyism)--not a claim to have been set up
regarding the assassination of JFK.
"Oswald was formally arraigned for the murder of Officer Tippit at 7:10
p.m., and by the end of the night (shortly after 1:30 a.m.) he had been ar-
raigned for the murder of President Kennedy as well.
"Soon after his capture Oswald encountered reporters in a hallway. Oswald
declared, "I didn't shoot anybody" and, "They've taken me in because of the
fact that I lived in the Soviet Union. I'm just a patsy!" Later, at an ar-
ranged press meeting, a reporter asked, "Did you kill the President?" and
Oswald—who by that time had been advised of the charge of murdering Tippit,
but had not yet been arraigned in Kennedy's death—answered, "No, I have not
been charged with that. In fact, nobody has said that to me yet. The first
thing I heard about it was when the newspaper reporters in the hall asked
me that question. As he was led from the room the question was called out,
"What did you do in Russia?" and, "How did you hurt your eye?"; Oswald an-
swered, "A policeman hit me."
Papers of Capt. Will Fritz
Claim of secret evidence of a rogue CIA effort to make Oswald look guilty
Edwin Lopez, conspiracy theorist and Jim Garrison defender, claims there's
evidence of effort by maverick elements of the CIA to make Oswald a patsy, ap-
pear to be guilty, but it's based on documents that are classified--are secret.
Courts aren't supposed to make judgments based on accusations built on evidence
that's alleged but can't be provided. (Lev.18 makes a similar case for murder-
ing gay people, which goes to show how things can go awry if we judge against
people with secret evidence.)
That's why once Bugliosi got Lopez to admit it in the mock trial, Bugliosi
finished questioning him. Later, the jury still decided Oswald was guilty.
One, if there was evidence that rogue elements of the CIA covered for an
assassin, misidentified the murderer of the president, and conspired to make
someone else look guilty, why would the regular CIA help keep it a secret for
Two, if we imagine such evidence ever existed, it's more likely the rogue
elements would destroy the evidence--not keep it as secret evidence.
Those are good reasons to question whether or not "secret" evidence even
existed. It may serve as a lead for someone or a group like WikiLeaks to go on
to look for such evidence. But it's not compelling for the conspiracy case.
Claims that Hoover/the CIA covered up Garrison's evidence of a conspiracy to
Garrison's case against Clay Shaw
Jim DiEugenio is interviewed in the YouTube video at the next link concerning
his new book about the JFK assassination. He criticizes Bugliosi, favors James
Garrison (magic bullet claim, shot from the front, etc.), favors Edwin Lopez'
report on Oswald in New Mexico (which Bugliosi called a dud--see above), etc.
DiEugenio claims there was a conspiracy by George DeMohrenschildt in Dallas,
David Ferrie, Clay Shaw, and Guy Banister in New Orleans, and Ruth (friend of
Lee Harvey Oswald) and her husband Michael Paine in Dallas. It includes David
Atlee Phillips and E. Howard Hunt. And J. Edgar Hoover (FBI head), who got
along badly with JFK, allegedly covered it up.
DiEugenio claims there were three teams of shooters--at the end of the fence
at the grassy knoll, one in the Texas School Book Depository building, and one
in the Dal-Tex building (the Garrison claim), there was a hole in the wind-
shield, etc. See the coverage of these issues above.
NEW ORLEANS, AND THE GARRISON INVESTIGATION
Criticism of the claim that the CIA thwarted Garrison's efforts to prove a
Criticism of the claim of a mysterious government effort to redact important
Criticism of the claim that a note by Hoover proves that an Oswald lookalike
went to Meico City
Richard Case Nagell
"JFK Assassination: Was There Any Substance to the Garrison Investigation?
KGB Plot (2004)"
Claims of forged photo and film
Conspiracy theorists claim the photo of Oswald with the rifle was forged but
it's based on a poor copy with high contrast that exaggerates a normal line in
The camera used was determined to have been used to take the photos to the
exclusion of all other cameras and Oswald signed the photos. 39:20 in Youtube
Jack White's claim of photographic proof of two Oswalds
"The Great Zapruder Film Hoax - 1/6" by Jack White
Various photo "experts" claims of forged photography
Tom Wilson, Jack White, James Fetzer, David Mantik, and Robert Groden
In 1996 Roland Zavada, a former product engineer for Kodak who led the team
that invented Kodachrome II, determined that there was no evidence that the
Zapruder film had been tampered with. Yet, as the high definition version of
it has dispelled the notion that the bullet that killed JFK came fom ahead and
to the right of him, have begun claiming that the film was altered to make it
seem like the bullet came from behind.
Misleading claim (such as by Jack White) that Mary Moorman snapped a photo
of JFK's limo from the street yet the Zapruder film shows her on the nearby
James H. Fetzer's credibility problems in claiming that the Zapruder film was
forged may be seen in that he also claims the Twin Towers on 9-11 were brought
down by weaponry.
Misleading claim that the president's limo stopped, not just slowed down, but
it's not shown in the Zapruder film
Claims by Jean Hill
She claimed at the time of the assassination to have only heard the shots not
seen the shooter. Later she claimed she saw a shooter at the grassy knoll.
She claims she stepped into Elm Street and shouted "Hey, Mr. President, look
this way. We want to take your picture" and almost touched front fender of
limo. But her Warren Commission testimony is that she was on the "edge" of the
street and the claim of being on the street was contradicted by photographic
evidence which shows her several feet from the curb and not moving. Now con-
spiracy theorists claim the Zapruder film was forged.
Claim of mysterious deaths of those who advocated conspiracy theories
"Richard Belzer Discusses "Hit List," His Book on the JFK Assassination, at
The National Press Club" The National Press Club
Belzer has recently become a favorite guest on The Alex Jones show. Alex is
"often described as America's leading conspiracy theorist" and "has accused the
U.S. government of being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, the September
11 attacks and the filming of fake Moon landings to hide NASA's secret technol-
ogy. He believes that government and big business have colluded to create a New
One claim Belzer makes in "Hit List," p.140, is that, according to this web
site blog: "In 1968 a test using a new process determined from saved tissue
samples, proved that Dorothy Kilgallen died of fatal mix of three barbiturates:
secobarbital, amobarbital, and pentobarbital." And Belzer claims she only had
a prescription bottle in her medicine cabinet for one.
The autopsy found she had alcohol and barbituates in her system but not a
normally lethal amount. Her habit of combining them couldn't have been properly
doctor-approved, and barbituates are among the illicit things you can buy on
the street. We've had younger celebrities die from this habit which isn't on
any doctor's health regimen. Perhaps years of using them led to her body just
giving up at the age of 60 and she collapsed onto the nearest bed with her
makeup on, with a book she'd read before, etc. (I sometimes look into books
I've read before, too, and never realized anyone would think it was suspi-
cious.) There was no sign of forced entry or a struggle in which someone
to force anything down her throat. And she didn't have a toxic amount of alco-
hol/barbituates in her as you'd think someone forcing her to take them to kill
her would administer.
She hadn't claimed she was about to release game-changing information. Some
merely speculated her upcoming book Murder One might provide it.
Eric Paddon provides skepticism about claims she was on the verge of breaking
important info about JFK's death at the next link. It includes that
- she gave misinformation that Brennan hadn't looked up to see Oswald fire
his third shot,
- that deputy Seymour Weitzman's initial misidentification of the Mannlicher-
Carcano rifle as a Mauser amounted to an attempt to substitute a different ri-
fle which is untrue since newsfilm taken of the rifle being removed confirms it
was a Mannlicher,
- and that her last period in the matter involved trust in Mark Lane's con-
spiracy ideas which included the discredited idea that forgery is indicated by
a photo with too much contrast of Oswald holding his rifle, etc.
Apparently she thought that she had a special inside source in being able to
correspond with Mark Lane instead of just being able to read his literature.
It wasn't an actual insider spilling like Deep Throat of Watergate or such--just
conspiracy theorist Mark Lane. This misled her.
Her source of the misinformation about Brennan was Mark Lane.
She printed Lane's misinformation, which he'd also told the Warren Commis-
sion, about the alleged "meeting" at the Carousel Club between Jack Ruby, J.D.
Tippit, and Bernard Weissmann (the author of the anti-Kennedy ad that had upset
Ruby on the day of the assassination). If she'd waited till the Warren report
was published she'd have learned it was misinformation.
For example, see the article at the next link for how Mark Lane came up with
the idea that Mrs. Markham described the Tippit killer as "short, heavy, and
with bushy hair" while keeping in mind that Mrs. Markham identified Oswald in
the police lineup.
Bogus Mark Lane conspiracy evidence
"According to Gary Wills and Ovid Demaris, (Jack Ruby, page 72):
"Conspiratorialists of the wilder variety believe that Dorothy Kilgallen had
a private interview [with Jack Ruby], one that caused her death. This tete-a-
tete never took place: she leaned over the rail and talked to Jack in the open
courtroom during a break in the proceedings. Lawyer Joe Tonahill, who hoped to
collaborate with Miss Kilgallen on a book, arranged the brief exchange, and was
present at it."
She lived another 20 months (died Nov.8, 1965) after talking eight min. with
Ruby. The length of time she continued to publish articles on the assassina-
tion doesn't indicate Ruby provided her with any game-changers. Ruby lived a
little more than a year after she died (died Jan.3, 1967) and he could have
gotten any new ideas out through someone else. Neither indicated they shared
any special new info.
You'd think that since Lane was the main source she settled on an assassin
out to silence Lane's information would kill Lane and that didn't happen--false
claims were simply discredited. That could be why her notes were just thrown
out: it was damage control but not for the CIA--for her.
Belzer claims David Ferrie had a mysterious death. But the coroner "con-
cluded that there was no evidence of suicide or murder" and he "died of a mas-
sive cerebral hemorrhage due to a congenital intracranial berry aneurysm that
had ruptured at the base of his brain." He seems to have thought Garrison's
efforts to characterize him as part of a murder plot would ruin his career and
wrote of suicide shortly before his death.
Belzer claims John Roselli had a mysterious death--he was found chopped up in
If you or I ended up chopped up in a barrel, it would be a mysterious death.
For a mobster testifying before a committee about mob gossip, it would be an
occupational hazard. It's not the same thing.
"John 'Handsome Johnny' Roselli (born Filippo Sacco; July 4, 1905 – August 9,
1976), sometimes spelled John Rosselli, was an influential mobster for the
Chicago Outfit who helped them control Hollywood and the Las Vegas Strip.
"Roselli was also involved with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plot to
kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the early 1960s. Many conspiracy researchers
believe he was also involved with the assassination of US President Kennedy in
"On June 24 and September 22, 1975 Roselli testified before the 1975 U.S.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCIA) led by Idaho Senator Frank
Church about the CIA plan to kill Castro, Operation Mongoose. Shortly before
Roselli testified, an unknown person shot and killed Giancana in the basement
of his Illinois home. This happened just days before Giancana was to testify
before the committee. Giancana's murder supposedly prompted Roselli to perman-
ently leave Los Angeles and Las Vegas for Miami, Florida.
"On April 23, 1976 Roselli was called before the committee to testify about a
conspiracy to kill President Kennedy. Three months after his first round of
testimony on the Kennedy assassination, the Committee wanted to recall Roselli.
However, at this point, he had been missing since July 28. On August 3, Senator
Howard Baker, a member of the new SSCIA, requested that the FBI investigate
"On August 9, 1976, Roselli's decomposing body was found in a 55-gallon steel
fuel drum floating in Dumfoundling Bay near Miami, Florida. Federal investiga-
tors suggested he may have been killed by Chicago mobsters for keeping an un-
fair share of the mob's gambling interests in Las Vegas. At the behest of some
members of the United States Senate, United States Attorney General Edward H.
Levi instructed the FBI to find out if Roselli's earlier testimony regarding
the CIA plot to assassinate Castro may have led to his murder.
"After Roselli's death, journalists Jack Anderson and Les Whitten published
an editorial stating that Roselli had told associates that individuals he had
recruited to kill Castro had been turned by the Cuban leader to assassinate
President John F. Kennedy.
"Bill Bonanno, the son of Cosa Nostra mafia boss Joseph Bonanno, claimed in
his 1999 memoir, Bound by Honor: A Mafioso's Story, that he had discussed the
assassination of President John F. Kennedy with Roselli and implicated him as
the primary hitman in a conspiracy instigated by the mob. According to Bonanno,
Roselli fired at Kennedy from a storm drain on Elm Street. In 2006, the Discov-
ery Channel aired an hour-long television documentary entitled Conspiracy Files
:JFK. Based on information in the book Ultimate Sacrifice by Lamar Waldron, the
program asserted that Roselli was responsible for framing Abraham Bolden who
was arrested the day before he was to appear before the Warren Commission. In
2010, Playboy magazine published an article by Hillel Levin in which Roselli
was also implicated in the assassination by Robert "Tosh" Plumlee and James
Files, an inmate within the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Belzer seems like a nice bright guy. If you stick to the truth despite ad-
versity there could be something noble about it. But in this case you better
find a way to make it compelling, not arbtrary or worse, and get around the
problem of the idea needlessly maximizing risk, or it's just masochstic--you
just shoot yourself in the foot.
Late night talk show hosts would love to have good evidence of a political
leader doing something wrong to tear into him with rude jokes. If they margin-
alize someone like Belzer it's because they'd rather seem savvy and not promote
bad judgment. They'd likewise marginalize someone who promoted that you need
to let your kid die at a hospital refusing medical use of blood because the JWs
leaders say the best evidence shows the Bible requires it.
Jessie Ventura (see above) had a show in which guest Bugliosi left as Jessie
insisted on a JFK assassination conspiracy (his last assertion was the conspir-
acy theory rendering of Oswald's "patsy" quote--see above). It was like Bugli-
osi closed the front door on one of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Likewise, JWs
seem insistent about something fluky and can go on and on and there comes a time
when you can just recommend you check it out for yourself or they can waste a
chunk of your life over it. They may say you don't want to hear the truth. I
don't believe it when they say it, either.
Claims by Robert Craig about Oswald after the assassination
Craig was featured in Mark Lane's "Rush to Judgment." Craig claimed Tippit
was shot by 1:40, changed it to before 1:15, and later changed it to 1:06.
Mark Lane--Jonestown tragedy
Mark exacerbated the situation by holding press conferences and creating fear
among members claiming there were CIA cnspiracies to destroy Jonestown which
the Temple's other attorney was furious about and which became the reason Jim
Jones gave for leading his followers to commit suicide. 918 died.
Mark Lane--Random House suit
"In 1995, Lane lost a defamation suit against book publisher Random House who
used the caption 'Guilty of Misleading the American Public' under a photo of
Lane in an advertisement for Gerald Posner's Case Closed. He sought $10 million
in damages for disparagement of his integrity and the unauthorized use of his
photograph. Lane was rebuked by Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the United States
District Court for the District of Columbia who said: 'A conspiracy theory war-
rior outfitted with Lane's acerbic tongue and pen should not expect immunity
from an occasional, constrained chastisement.' A similar suit filed by Robert
J. Groden against Random House was dismissed the previous year by a federal
judge in New York."
"JFK" is a 1991 fictional film by Oliver Stone which he defends as fact in
interviews. He adds more comes out all the time reaffirming this.
If his case was so good why did he add factiods and change the evidence to
make it sound good? The part about stuff like that coming out all the time I
agree with, anyway. Stuff like that comes out of his butt all the time.
Garrison's version of his visit on the Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson,
used by "JFK," vs. what really happened. Stone went with Garrison's version
that there was just something wrong with Carson.
"Oliver Stone's JFK vs David Belin"
David William Belin (June 20, 1928 — January 17, 1999) was an attorney for
the Warren Commission and the Rockefeller Commission.
(PS: Stone's son became a Muslim who said 9-11 was an inside job. Does this
kind of thing run in the family? You remember Muhammed: Allah spoke to me via
an angel--the comets are there to chase the jinn, homosexuals are abominations
to be punished, slavery?--you can even marry the slave women, what harm could
come from it? That guy.)
Sean, an "actor and director is voicing his opinions on the Quran ('a very
sensible book'), 9/11 ('an inside job'), Hezbollah ('don't consider them to be
terrorists') and Iran (a 'very civilized people'). Etc.
Shooter in the sewer
Jim Garrison also suggested a shooter in a storm drain which he was depicted
as suggesting in Oliver Stone's "JFK." Other conspiracy theorists have sug-
gesting it since.
For the above quote "According to Bonanno, Roselli fired at Kennedy from a
storm drain on Elm Street" see "JFK Assassination - Storm Drain Shooter" by
In it it's shown that JFK couldn't have been seen or fired at from the Elm
St. storm drain. The only other storm drain opening nearby was at the north
end of the overpass (the one at the south end was built years later). Even if
we imagine someone standing on it the trees and three men obscured the view to
JFK. Railroad employees on the overpass said they saw no strangers there.
"The man at right is the late Tom Wilson, an analyst who used computer 'en-
hancements' of photos to discover evidence of a conspiracy. His accomplishments
are many. For example, his analysis of the Zapruder film showed a bullet enter-
ing Kennedy's body from the front—-iron-clad evidence of a shot from the Grassy
Knoll. His computer even pinpointed the place in Kennedy's suit jacket where
the bullet entered. Unfortunately for Wilson, Kennedy's jacket is in the Na-
tional Archives in College Park, Maryland. It has no bullet hole in the front.
"Wilson was one of the stars of the new edition of The Men Who Killed Kenne-
dy that showed on American TV in 1996. Wilson's analysis of the Moorman Polar-
oid photo revealed the trajectory of the bullet that struck Kennedy in the head
from the front. The shot came from the storm sewer! To the left is a scene from
the show. Jack Brazil, long a proponent of the 'sewer theory' is pictured in
the storm sewer. Unfortunately, the sewer is a terrible shooting location, and
Kennedy's head would not have been visible from within the sewer at Zapruder
frame 313, when it it seen to explode."
According to the photos at the next link JFK wouldn't have been seen from the
Elm St. drain till around frame 361. The fatal shot was at frame 313.
Entering and exiting the storm sewer would be done via a nearby round metal
manhole cover. And shooting a rifle at someone in a crowd isn't subtle--it's an
attention getter. What would the getaway plan be? Knock knock knock--"C'mon,
we heard you down there." "That wasn't me--you heard echoes overhead. I'm not
here. Go away." Knock knock knock--"C'mon--we've got nummy food...."
"Nowhere Man: The Strange Story of Gordon Arnold"
Badge man, etc.
The "umbrella man" was Louie Steven Witt. "He said that he brought the um-
brella to simply heckle Kennedy whose father had been a supporter of the Nazi-
appeasing British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. By waving a black umbrel-
la, Chamberlain's trademark fashion accessory, Witt said he was protesting the
Kennedy family appeasing Adolf Hitler before World War II. An umbrella had been
used in cartoons in the 1930s to symbolize such appeasement, and Chamberlain
often carried an umbrella. Kennedy, who wrote a thesis on appeasement while at
Harvard, Why England Slept, might have recognized the symbolism of the umbrel-
la. Black umbrellas had been used in connection with protests against the Pres-
ident before; at the time of the construction of the Berlin Wall, a group of
schoolchildren from Bonn sent the White House an umbrella labeled Chamberlain."
James Groden conspiracy theorist
Groden claimed to have found a previously-unknown TSBD witness named Geral-
dine Reid. He says she "appeared to be in her late seventies to early eighties"
when he interviewed her, and she only came forward with her story after she
died by agreement. He swore that Geraldine Reid was not the TSBD employee Mrs.
Robert Reid, who was deposed by the WC; he says the Mrs. Robert Reid's first
name was Delores.
The reopenkennedycase site quickly proved that Mrs. Robert Reid was actually
Mrs. Jeraldean Reid and that Jeraldean Reid died in 1973 at the age of 60.
Nothing in RG's description works or makes sense given this information. It
looks like Groden was suckered by a hoax.
Claim of audio evidence of a fourth shot
The claim that an audio recording from McLain's two wheel police motorcycle
indicated a fourth shot has been dispelled.
"Jim Bowles, a Dallas police dispatcher supervisor in November 1963, and lat-
er Dallas County Sheriff, believes it originated from a particular officer on a
three-wheeled motorcycle stationed at the Dallas Trade Mart, the original des-
tination of President Kennedy's motorcade, along the same freeway to Parkland
Hospital, which would account for the sound of sirens rushing by. McLain him-
self believes that it was from a different officer on a three-wheeler near the
Trade Mart, who was known for his whistling. When interviewed by author Vincent
Bugliosi, the officer acknowledged that his microphone could have been stuck in
the open position (he did not recall hearing any transmissions for several min-
utes), and could later have become unstuck after he followed the motorcade to
Claim made August, 1978, by Dallas Police patrolman Tom Tilson when inter-
viewed by a staff member of the HSCA (House Select Committee on Assassina-
tions). He was one of the witnesses featured in the mock trial with Bugliosi
Tom Tilson he saw a man slide down the steep bank on the north side of Elm
Street. The man threw something into a dark-colored car on the driver's side
then got in and immediately drove quickly away towards Industrial Boulevard
several blocks west of the assassination site. Tilson wasn't on duty that day
but turned around on Commerce and followed the man who was heading in the di-
rection of Ft. Worth. Tilson approached the car close enough to get a good
look at the driver whom he described as matching the features of Jack Ruby.
Tilson had his daughter, Dinah, write down the license number, make, and model
on a slip of paper (to this day he can't recall what kind of car the man was
driving). Once he reached his home, he gave the information to someone in the
homicide department of the Dallas Police which he described in his 1978 testi-
mony as being elitist resenting "...any encroachment on its authority." He
never heard back from the Department again and after holding onto the slip of
paper for ten years he discarded it around the time of his wife's death.
"Unfortunately for Tilson's story, photographer Mel McIntire was on the west
side of the Triple Underpass, photographing the motorcade as it passed. The
first of his photos, taken just as the presidential limo emerged from under the
Underpass, shows thirteen spectators on the north side of Elm Street, and three
more on the south side. The figure Tilson claimed to see would have been in
plain view of all of these witnesses. Even worse, McIntire's second photo,
with the Secret Service followup car in the foreground, shows a broad expanse
of grass north of Elm Street and west of the Underpass. The automobile that
the supposed shooter got into would be visible in this photo--if such an auto-
mobile actually existed."
Claim of a little pristine bullet at the hospital
Nurse Phyllis Hall claimed in 2013 there was a small pristine bullet, unlike
the other bullets, between JFK's ear and neck and the bullet was taken away by
Doris Nelson--the operating room supervisor--and never seen or referred to
again. Phyllis claims to be a believer in JFK conspiracy theories, that JFK had
a big exit wound in the back of his head, and thinks LBJ ordered a cover-up.
The claim is there was a pristine bullet, smaller than the rifle bullets, by
JFK's neck--not taken from another hole in him. Some law enforcer took a bullet
from their pistol and used it to compare then left it to go take a pee? What-
ever it was it isn't compelling for a conspiracy theory. See the section on
"brain" and the rest of the film and ballistic evidence that JFK was shot from
Lack of compelling evidence of a conspiracy
The more the conspiracy theory involves getting others to collaborate on the
scam (someone pressing Oswald's palm print onto an inner part of his rifle,
Howard Brennan lying about seeing someone who looked like Oswald in the library
window firing a rifle, getting Oswald's wife to lie about Oswald trying to kill
Walker and about taking a photo of Oswald with his rifle) without a compelling
reason to imagine those things, to imagine why an evil assassin plotter would
increase their risks needlessly, the less likely the conspiracy claim sounds.
If we imagine an evil Hoover who wanted JFK killed and Oswald to take the
blame, he'd have an assassin snipe from near Oswald in the Book Depository
Building and maybe leave one or two false items of evidence to implicate Os-
wald. That's it. Conspiracy theorists seem to think the more they add falsi-
fied evidences and liars, the more they solidify their idea. They don't seem
to realize they do the opposite. They come up with the Rube Goldberg machine
of assassination ideas--the Ed Wood of Scorsese crime movie plots ("They Stole
the President's Brsin").
If all you have to do is shoot someone in the back of the head, it shouldn't
be that difficult. Between an elaborate Rube Goldberg plan and Oswald's one
man job plan, Oswald had the version you'd use--with a little extra touch of
credibility in that he was poor so couldn't afford a getaway car. If everyone
that could lie lied and everything that could be forged was forged, what evi-
dence are you going by?
It's like the conspiracy theorists come up with a vast, and still growing,
Rube Goldberg machine to pour a glass of water. Oswald walks in, phmm, pours a
glass of water. He dribbles some on his shirt in his hasty panic, but that's
basically the way you'd do it.
"Connecting the dots." That's a little forced since some connections claimed
are imagined and not clear. It's more a case of nearby dots, some disputed,
and the conspiracy theorist filling the gaps with their version of what seems
most reasonable. One conspiracy theorist said there's no evidence for his
theory because Hoover destroyed it. There's that secret evidence again (see
the section above on Ed Lopez).
A magic bullet that's not magic, a bullet from ahead and to the right that
came from behind, a rifle that couldn't do the job that could, a photograph and
film forged so well there's no evidence they were forged, getting Howard Bren-
nan to lie that he'd seen someone that looked like Oswald in the sixth floor
window and Oswald's wife Marina to lie that Lee attempted to murder Walker and
that she'd taken the photo of Oswald with the murder weapon, a palm print added
to a part of the rifle acessible during assembly, a brain that was stolen, Ed-
win Lopez claiming at the Bugliosi/Spence mock-hearing that there was evidence
of rogue CIA members working to make Oswald look guilty but it's secret evi-
dence he can't show, a group of people to lie that Oswald shot Tippit and a
crowd of people murdered to silence them--
all of this bent out of shape to accomodate an idea that the Mafia, rogue
elements of the CIA, etc., would try to make Oswald, behind and above the pres-
ident in the Library Building, "look" guilty by having someone shoot a rifle,
not from an adjoining room or the roof, but from ahead and to the right of the
president in a public place by a presidential motorcade, by buildings with win-
dows, by a parking lot and a crowd with cameras gathered to watch the presi-
dent (Zapruder would have been nearby), where someone could come or go unex-
pectedly at any time and where the crowd with cameras would be looking once the
Where do the conspiracy claims become compelling?
I've read things by those advocating the conspiracy version that even point
to those who ran toward the grassy knoll as evidence in favor of their version.
Actually, Dealey Plaza had echoes so if Oswald shot a rifle above them some
might wonder where the noise came from. At least Oswald was giving discretion
a good shot with the sniper's nest on the sixth floor behind the president.
Still, Harold Norman on the floor below claimed to have heard an unknown person
make three shots followed by shell casings hitting the floor above so Oswald,
familiar with the building enough to know his shots weren't just heard beyond
the window but below, had to make a quick exit.
"ON TRIAL: LEE HARVEY OSWALD" (PART 4) (HAROLD NORMAN)" by David Von Pein's
Harold Norman watched the motorcade from the 5th floor of the Book Depository
and says he heard the three rifle shots made from the floor above and heard
three shells hit the floor.
People chasing policeman Haywood onto the grassy knoll claimed as good evi-
dence the rifleman shot from it (?!)
"The 'rush' to the knoll actually occurred over a minute after the shots, and
was triggered by a Dallas motorcycle policeman in the parade, Clyde Haygood,
who had no firsthand knowledge of the shot direction. Officer Haygood was a
block away when he heard the first of three shots. After racing to Elm Street,
he stopped just pass the fallen Newman family, parked his cycle, and ran up to
confer with a policemen he saw on the railbridge. Only then did people start
running up after him, falsely thinking he was after a culprit."
People running toward the grassy knoll is good evidence that a rifleman
wasn't there. If there was a rifleman firing ahead of the president's motor-
cade in the direction the crowd would be looking after it passed, a rifleman
with onlookers with cameras in front of him and a parking lot behind him, peo-
ple nearby would know he was there. We might have a film of it. He'd have
been the celebrity assassin of the daily news.
Because shots fired overhead could cause echoes in Dealy Plaza a smaller
percent thought the shots came from the grassy knoll. Police were sent into
the book depository and some to the grassy knoll. Haygood arrived a minute af-
ter the assassination and, checking into reports some made about thinking the
sound of the shots came from the grassy knoll, he checked it out. Emboldened
by Haygood's inspection some followed him. But if the rifleman was known to
have shot from it the police would have known it, too, been been directed
there, and discouraged the public from following. And anyone who'd been there
a minute before would have been a block or more away running away before Hay-
wood got there. They wouldn't have been around to be discouraged.
I've seen YouTube clips of the rampage of Anders Behring Breivik--the mass
murderer in Norway in 2011 who didn't want any Muslims in Europe. People were
running *away* from him. Some were swimming in frigid water to get away from
this guy. Nobody was running *toward* him unless they were trying to apprehend
him and if need be shoot him. Maybe one guy could be suicidal--probably not a
random crowd all at once.
A guy shooting a rifle nearby at ground level at people isn't a subtle
thing--it's an attention getter. If he were nearby, people would know and
they'd be running away. I may not be an expert on handwriting analysis, photo
forgery, etc., but if you have to explain this to a conspiracy theorist, it's a
pretty good indication they aren't wired up right. You have to know at such
points in the conversation when to just let it go.
The usual mob hit is something like "Vinnie, two hits in the head tomorrow.
Whack him, stuff him in the trunk, drop it in the bay. Yu'll get your cut but
if you get in trouble that's your ass. You spill we whack you." The conspir-
acy theory idea is like that except adding "Vinnie, tell 20 or 30 of your
neighbors--make them promise not to tell. There will probably be cameras and
things to sign--we'll forge all of them later. There's a diary but we'll say
the guy lied in his own diary," etc.
If someone applied for the job of strategian for the mob or such with that
plan (put a rifleman in public to make someone at a distant different vantage
point on the other side of the block look guilty then get dozens of bystanders
to lie for them and falsify any evidence) they not only wouldn't get it they
probably wouldn't be taken on as a customer--they're too risky. They're too
prone to bring trouble from the law back onto the higher-ups of the crime
"The Warren Commission reported that Jack Crichton, the 1964
Republican candidate for governor of Texas, arranged for a member of the local
Russian community to act as translator in the police questioning of Marina,
during which she implicated Oswald in the assassination. In her Warren Commis-
sion testimony, she stated a belief that her husband was guilty, an opinion she
reiterated in testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations in
"In 1965 Marina married Kenneth Jess Porter, with whom she has two sons. She
used to live in Dallas, Texas, and has appeared in numerous documentaries on
the Kennedy assassination. In 1989, Marina became a naturalized United States
citizen. She now contends that Oswald was innocent of the assassination. She
has lived in Rockwall, Texas since the mid-1970s."
"In a 2013 interview Robert Kennedy Jr. said his father Attorney General Rob-
ert Kennedy who publicly supported the commission privately felt it was a
'shoddy piece of craftsmanship.'"
"In 2013, son Robert Jr. told CBS journalist Charlie Rose that his father was
'fairly convinced' that others besides Lee Harvey Oswald were involved in his
Arthur Schlesinger regarding his conversation with Robert Kennedy on Dec.5,
1963 "Schlesinger’s Journals: 1952-2000," p.214
“I asked him, perhaps tactlessly, about Oswald. He said that there could be
no serious doubt that he was guilty, but there was still argument whether he
did it by himself or as part of a larger plot, whether organized by Castro or
by gangsters. He said that the FBI thought he had done it by himself, but that
McCone thought there were two people involved in the shooting.”
"'One of your guys did it.' - Brothers, by David Talbot, p.10, quoting Haynes
Johnson in Wash. Post of 17 Apr 1981 and personal interviews, about a comment
made over the phone within hours of JFK's murder. There remains disagreement
and confusion over whether RFK said this to friend and Cuban exile leader Harry
Ruiz-Williams or to Haynes Johnson himself, as Johnson implied in a later arti-
cle (the two men were together when the call from RFK came). According to Tal-
bot, Johnson today insists that RFK said it to Williams."
"“When CIA chief John McCone learned of the assassination, he rushed to Rob-
ert Kennedy's home in McLean, Virginia, and stayed with him for three hours.
Journalist Jack Anderson adds: “'Sources would later tell me that McCone an-
guished with Bobby over the terrible possibility that the assassination plots
sanctioned by the president's own brother may have backfired.'
"We know little of what took place during this meeting. However, RFK later
told his close friend Walter Sheridan: 'I asked McCone if they had killed my
brother, and I asked him in a way that he couldn’t lie to me.'
"At around 4.00 p.m. RFK phoned Ebbit Hotel in Washington. This was a build-
ing used by the CIA to house Cuban operatives. He first spoke to Enrique Ruiz-
Williams, his main contact in the Cuban group involved in the plot to kill Cas-
tro. He then asked to be put through to Haynes Johnson, an American journalist
working closely with the anti-Castro Cubans. According to Johnson, RFK said:
'One of your guys did it.'”
As noted above Schlesinger wrote that Hoover told RFK Oswald acted alone and
the head of the CIA suggested a second gunman. It's not clear to me how a talk
with McCone would give RFK the idea that there may have been a second gunman
unless as suggested RFK suspected that the CIA involvement in the Bay of Pigs
Invasion of 1961 or 1960-63 plans to assassinate Castro (?) motivated Oswald or
even that someone from one of those efforts assisted Oswald. It should also be
noted that this was right after JFK's assassination when there was more room
for speculation because less was known about it.
An example of Warren Commission criticism imaginable might be that knowledge
of Oswald's Russia/Marxist concerns were addressed only briefly (to avoid it
being a politicized "red scare" topic to urge military build-up against Russia,
etc.). But such knowledge came out otherwise and included that he was a life-
long loner about that and generally. His effort to kill Walker--that he could
be so extreme as to try to kill JFK--wasn't commonly known till Marina shared
it as the effort of a lone zealot after the assassination.
Another example is that the Warren commission excluded Jackie's testimony,
although it's since become available and doesn't indicate any conspiracy theor-
ies. It just seems to have been excluded out of consideration to not bother
her while she was mourning.
"In September 2011, audio tapes of Jackie Kennedy were released that had been
recorded in 1964 after her husband's assassination." "More recently, personal
correspondence of Jackie Kennedy from the years 1950 to 1964 have surfaced."
1963 tapes of her interviews with Arthur Schlesinger released in 2011 are
about marital concerns and gossip.
RFK could criticize such particulars without that being any support for "JFK"
(1991) conspiracy ideas--that someone else shot JFK from the grassy knoll and
Oswald was merely the victim of a vast and risky group effort to make him look
RFK publicly supported the main conclusion: there was "no doubt" Oswald was
the assassin. This isn't a point made by conspiracy theorists. Saying he
heard the CIA chief speculate about another prompting or assisting Oswald in
some way or being a second shooter, or that RFK was even "fairly" certain
about such ideas, was appropriately relegated to private mention of it. Mo-
tives could be more easily imagined than overcoming the problems with a second
shooter covered elsewhere in this article. This wouldn't be the case if RFK
claimed the certainty of conspiracy, of assassins other than Oswald and not Os-
wald, of the conspiracy theorists.
This would have been exasperated by RFK's criticism of Hoover's conflicts
with RFK over how to handle organized crime or regard of Martin Luther King.
(Note: it may be relevant that MLK was a Gandhi-type pacifist--Gandhi advised
that the Jews should have offered themselves to the Nazis during WWII because
it would have been heroic of them, probably not the stance of Hoover or most
anyone--and MLK had the conservative stance on homosexuals, and some have
stated or speculated that Hoover was a homosexual.)
RFK may have harbored criticisms later offered by the United States House
Select Committee on Assassinations (1976-1978) which were later dropped. One
reason was an audio tape thought to indicate a fourth shot was later realized
to be useless and other reasons are given elsewhere in my article.
Garrison claimed that Robert Kennedy was "without any question of a doubt...
interfering with the investigation of the murder of his brother" and was making
"a real effort to stop it."
Evidence of bogus related evidence
Conspiracy theorists claim JFK's brain was stolen, but Paul O'Conner was
present at the entire autopsy and said there was less than a handful of brain
matter left. The course of the bullet to the head had to be based on the skull
More about JFK's brain
"JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think about Claims of Conspiracy" by John
McAdams (Sep 2014)
Motorcycle cop Bobby Hargis struck by brain matter
Claims of phony diary notes, forged handwriting, replaced rifle, forged paper
bag, forged films, dozens of important witnesses made to lie--why don't they
add Kennedy family members made to lie? That would be stupid, wouldn't it?
Claim Robert Kennedy stole JFK's Brain
James Swanson has a 2013 conspiracy book that claims Robert Kennedy stole his
brother's brain to prevent assassination info from getting out. (Can your
heart stand the awful truth of brain robbers from Massachusetts?) It could be
he didn't want information about his brother's sicknesses and medication to be-
come public knowledge so had it cremated and thrown in the Potomac.
I feel like Lewis Black with his "Nazi Tourette's" sketch about Glenn Beck:
"Seriously--Robert fucking Kennedy!"
John Jr. met Oliver Stone ("JFK," 1991) for the magazine "Vanity Fair"
"Then there was the Oliver Stone fiasco. Our second issue would hit the
stands in November, just before Stone’s film Nixon opened. An established di-
rector making a movie about a political legend, Stone was a natu-ral George
story. Not to mention that he had directed the conspiracy—theory film on the
assassination of John’s father. Eric wanted John to interview Stone so badly he
was practically hopping up and down. For the first time, John would publicly
discuss the conspiracy theories swirling around his father’s death. What editor
wouldn’t kill to publish that?
"But there was one problem: John didn’t want to do it. He had made a consci-
ous decision not to live his life haunted by his father’s assassination, trying
to answer un-answerable questions. He’d never even seen JFK. On the other hand,
John recognized that this story was manna from heaven for George, and in those
early days he was bending over backward to try to do what we, the ostensible
pros, thought he should do. In the end, against his better judgment, he agreed
to interview Oliver Stone, but he refused to do it alone.
"So he and Michael flew to L.A. for a get-to-know-you dinner at Rockenwagner,
a res-taurant in Santa Monica. They agreed that if John was uncomfortable at
any point in the conversation he would get up and go to the rest room. Things
did not go well. As they started their main course, Stone asked John’s opinion
of the second-gunman theory. What did John think? Lee Harvey Oswald couldn’t
really have killed John’s father alone, could he? Shot him from that far away,
then shot him again? There had to have been a conspiracy.
"John excused himself, stood up, and walked away. As planned, Michael changed
the subject. After John returned, dinner ended as soon as they could politely
bring it to a close.
"Back in New York, we met in John’s office and tried to come up with a re-
placement interview fast. John apologized to Eric, who could not mask his dis-
appointment, but refused to contact Stone again. As John spoke, conflicting
emotions flickered across his face, revealing his distaste for Stone, his guilt
over letting us down, and his self-recrimination for doing something he didn’t
feel comfortable with. He shuddered as he said, “I just couldn’t sit across a
table from that man for two hours. I just couldn’t.”
Note that enough time had passed that RFK could talk about the issue with
Vanity Fair but he refused to talk with Stone again.
Documentary critical of JFK conspiracy theories
"JFK Lee Harvey Oswald Conspiracy - BBC Documentary"
PS: Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln but Lincoln didn't have a secretary
named Kennedy. Lincoln's White House secretaries were John G. Nicolay and John
However, as Gary Muledeer pointed out, Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cab-
in and John F. Kennedy once spilled Log Cabin syrup on the back seat of his
grandfather's Lincoln. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Anthony Marsh, October 22, 1995
The most well-known point of damage to the limousine was the crack of the
windshield. We can see in the Altgens 1-6 photo, which equals approximately
Zapruder frame 255, that the windshield is undamaged, yet in his next photo we
can see that the windshield is cracked. Frazier's CE 350 shows the condition of
the windshield taken about 14 hours after the assassination (Figure 9). Con-
trary to the opinion of a couple of people, there was no hole in the wind-
shield, only a crack. As we can see in this blow-up of CE 350, it is a crack
(Figure 10). I believe CE 350 depicts the same windshield which was on the
limousine during the assassination. The location and pattern of the crack, and
presence of blood spatters looks consistent from Dealey Plaza to CE 350.
Some people point to conflicting testimony about the roughness of the area of
the crack as an indication that there was a windshield switch or that the wind-
shield was struck on the outside. Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman testified
(2H89) that when he first felt the windshield a few days after the assassina-
tion, the inside felt rough and that when he examined it on the day of his tes-
timony that it felt smooth. I believe that the reason for the difference in
roughness is that when the windshield was first examined on November 23, 1963
the roughness on the inside was due to the presence of minute bullet fragments
(CE 841) which were completely removed for testing, so that any later examina-
tion would feel only the smooth glass.
Some might also argue that the theory of how glass fractures on the opposite
side of the point of impact would seem to indicate that the shot came from the
front and caused a fracture on the inside. Then, supposedly, the conspirators
realized this mistake and switched windshields so that the corrected windshield
would exhibit fractures on the outside to indicate that it was hit from the in-
side. But there are a couple of problems with the theory. That is a fine theory
in other cases, with ordinary plate glass, but the windshield was composed of
laminated automobile glass, which consists of two layers of glass with a layer
of plastic between them. Thus it is quiote common that there may be damage to
the inside layer of the glass which does not extend to the outside layer of the
glass and vice versa. That is its design purpose. I also doubt that anyone had
the opportunity and capability to switch windshields before it was examined and
photographed by Frazier, and certainly trying to resolve conflicting testimony
by switching windshields would require several switches.
However, there does seem to be one apparent discrepancy which is disturbing.
When the windshield was photographed for the HSCA, it appears that there is a
massive stain on the driver's side which does not appear in CE 350 (Figure 11).
However, it is possible that this area was just out of frame on the photo of CE
350. Moreover, it is not clear that the stain seen in the HSCA photo has to be
blood. I suppose that it could have been some other liquid which dripped onto
the windshield while it was in storage at the National Archives. Maybe someone
spilled coffee on it. You would think that in this age of sophisticated blood
analysis that someone could determine if it is blood, and perhaps whose. We
might also need Dr. Henry Lee to do a blood spatter analysis. Many of the blood
spots are consistent with either JFK's or Connally's wounds, but sometimes it
looks to me as though the massive stain was caused by someone pouring liquid
>from a cup. It might also tell us something important, such as from which an-
gles the splatter could have come, or which angles could be ruled out by the
possibility that Greer's head would block such a path from a particular wound.
Is there any other damage which would tell us from which direction the wind-
shield was struck? I believe I am the first person to point out something which
no one else has noticed before. If you look carefully at CE 350, you can see
that the back of the rearview mirror was dented (Figure 12). This could only
have been caused by a bullet ricocheting off the inside of the windshield, thus
proving that that the glass was struck on the inside by a shot from behind the
limousine, and that there was not a hole in the glass. If a bullet had gone
through the windshield, there would be nothing to ricochet back and strike the
back of the rearview mirror. What could a shot from behind have first struck to
produce a bullet fragment which would hit the inside of the windshield and then
ricochet to the right to hit the back of the rearview mirror?
I think the bullet which caused the damage to the windshield, and most likely
also the chrome topping, was the last shot from the TSBD. It's highly unlikely
that this shot struck JFK after Z-313. He had already been struck by a shot in
the back from the TSBD at about Z-210. Connally had already been struck in the
back by a shot at about Z-230. That is when Connally thought he was hit. But he
did not remember being struck in the wrist. Not only was the alinement of the
two men incorrect for a Single-Bullet Theory trajectory at either Z-190 or
Z-210, Connally's wrist was too high to have been struck by a bullet exiting
his chest just below his right nipple. I think the most likely scenario is that
the last shot from the TSBD hit Connally's wrist after Z-313, either directly
or indirectly, then broke up into many fragments which caused all the damage to
the limousine, Tague's cut, and the fragments in Connally's thigh. I would sug-
gest that a much more detailed examination of the photographic record might
pinpoint the time at which the windshield, chrome topping and rearview mirror