JUST THE FACTS:
ESTABLISHED FACTS ABOUT THE JFK ASSASSINATION
THAT POINT TO CONSPIRACY
Michael T. Griffith
@All Rights Reserved
Revised and Expanded on 3/5/2002
With all the controversy surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, it might be somewhat surprising to learn that there are many acknowledged facts about the case, facts that are so well established they aren't disputed by anyone who has seriously studied the case, and that point to conspiracy. Discussion about the JFK assassination usually centers on a specific area of the case. Sometimes, in focusing on a particular issue, we forget or overlook the obvious things. The acknowledged facts alone indicate the assassination resulted from a conspiracy, and that it was followed by an extensive cover-up. What are these facts? Here are SOME of them:
* J. Edgar Hoover informed Lyndon Johnson during a phone conversation the day after the assassination that someone had been impersonating Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged single assassin, at the Soviet embassy in Mexico City. (The transcript of the conversation was among the documents recently released by the Assassination Records Review Board [ARRB]. Also, in light of recent disclosures, there can be no credible doubt that the "Oswald" who called the Soviet embassy from the Cuban embassy in Mexico City on 9/28/63 was NOT the real Oswald.)
* Silvia Odio, the American-educated daughter of distinguished, prominent Cuban parents, gave testimony to federal investigators which, if true, would constitute strong evidence there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy. Mrs. Odio testified that two anti-Castro Cubans and a man named "Leon Oswald" visited her apartment in Dallas during the last week of September 1963. However, according to the Warren Commission (WC), the real Oswald was ending his stay in New Orleans and setting off for Mexico City at this time. Within forty-eight hours of the visit, Mrs. Odio reported, one of the Cubans phoned her and said (1) "Leon Oswald" was an ex-Marine and "an expert marksman" who was "kind of nuts," and (2) "Leon Oswald" said anti-Castro Cubans should have shot Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs disaster, that they should "do something like that" (i.e., shoot Kennedy). Mrs. Odio and her sister said "Leon Oswald" bore a striking resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded Mrs. Odio's testimony was credible and truthful. A senior WC staffer wrote the following in an internal Commission memo:
Mrs. Odio has checked out thoroughly. . . . The evidence is unanimously favorable. . . . [Mrs. Odio] is the most significant witness linking Oswald to the anti-Castro Cubans.
* In April 1963 an inflammatory flyer was sent to Cuban exiles in Miami which said in part:
Only through one development will you Cuban patriots ever live again in your homeland as freemen . . . if an inspired Act of God should place in the White House within weeks a Texan known to be a friend of all Latin Americans.
The flyer was signed "a Texan who resents the Oriental influence that has come to control, to degrade, to pollute and enslave his own people."
* On 10/1/63, Ernesto Castellanos, a Cuban exile who took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion, was secretly tape-recorded at a John Birch Society meeting in Dallas saying that he and other anti-Castroites were "going to give him [Kennedy] the works when he gets in Dallas." (The tape was discussed in an 8/14/78 article in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS and, according to the article, was made available to the HSCA.)
* Within days of the assassination, the Secret Service learned from an informant that an anti-Castro Cuban activist in the Chicago area, Homer S. Echevarria, in a discussion about an illegal arms sale a short time before the President was killed, said that "his group had 'plenty of money' and that his backers would proceed [with the arms deal] 'AS SOON AS WE TAKE CARE OF KENNEDY.'" This information prompted the agent in charge of the Chicago field office to prepare a memorandum in which he said Echevarria's group "may have a connection with the JFK assassination." Echevarria belonged to the 30th of November Group. Another member of this same group was Rolando Masferrer, who relayed money between Alpha 66 and Mafia kingfish Carlos Marcello. Former HSCA chief counsel G. Robert Blakey, along with many researchers, suspects Marcello was one of the figures behind the assassination. Alpha 66 was a violent, radical anti-Castro group that had a safe house in Dallas at the time of the assassination. Many anti-Castro Cuban exiles hated Kennedy because they believed he was responsible for their defeat at the Bay of Pigs.
* Two federal correctional officers said they heard Marcello admit to having been involved in Kennedy's assassination. An FBI informant said Marcello told him, after the assassination, that he had met with Jack Ruby and Oswald. Another informant said that prior to the assassination Marcello spoke of wanting to have Kennedy killed.
* Dallas oil baron and extreme right-winger H. L. Hunt reportedly had similar wishes for President Kennedy. According to German journalist Joachim Joesten, during a party held prior to the President's trip to Dallas several witnesses heard Hunt remark that there was "no way left to get those traitors out of our government except by shooting them out," apparently in reference to the President and his brother, Robert Kennedy. In a speech in Houston, Texas, given prior to the assassination, Hunt said the Kennedy administration was a "Communist government." Hunt reportedly had ties to U.S. intelligence, especially to the CIA.
* Joseph Milteer, a wealthy radical right-wing leader, told a Miami police informant named William Somersett, on tape, fourteen days before the assassination, that a hit on Kennedy was "in the working." (The tape can be heard on the five-hour documentary THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY, and a transcript of the tape is available in several books on the assassination.)
* Rose Cheramie, a prostitute who had contact with underworld figures, told a doctor and a police officer two days before the assassination that Kennedy was going to be killed in Dallas. Louisiana State Police lieutenant Francis Fruge went to Eunice, Louisiana, to pick up Miss Cheramie, who had been injured when she was involved in a car accident and/or when she was struck by some men at a bar.
According to Lt. Fruge, Miss Cheramie told him on the way to the hospital that she "was going to, number one, pick up some money, pick up her baby, and to kill Kennedy." Lt. Fruge told the HSCA that when Cheramie related her story she appeared to be "quite lucid." According to Lt. Fruge, Miss Cheramie told him she had been riding in a car with two "Italian-looking" men. When Lt. Fruge questioned her later, she told him the two men traveling with her were from Miami and were going to Dallas to kill the President.
During the 1967-1969 Jim Garrison investigation into the assassination, Lt. Fruge went to the bar where Miss Cheramie had last been seen before she was injured. Fruge reported that he showed the owner of the bar some photographs and mug shots to identify, and that the bar owner chose the photos of a Cuban exile, Sergio Arcacha Smith, and another Cuban Fruge believed to be named Osanto. (Arcacha Smith is known to Kennedy assassination investigators as an anti-Castro Cuban refugee who had been active in 1961 as the head of the New Orleans Cuban Revolutionary Front. At that time, he befriended anti-Castro activist and rabid Kennedy-hater David Ferrie. Ferrie and Arcacha Smith were also believed to have had ties with New Orleans organized crime figure Carlos Marcello.)
Lt. Fruge took Miss Cheramie to the State Hospital in Jackson, Louisiana. Dr. Victor Weiss, who worked as a resident physician at the hospital at the time, stated in a 1988 documentary produced by noted columnist Jack Anderson that Cheramie told him the "word was out in the New Orleans underworld that the contract on Kennedy had been let." Miss Cheramie, said Weiss, was absolutely certain Kennedy was going to be shot, and kept insisting on it over and over again to the doctors and nurses who treated her. In 1978, Dr. Weiss told the HSCA that the doctor who had originally treated Miss Cheramie, Dr. Bowers, told him that she had stated to him, Dr. Bowers, before the assassination, that Kennedy was going to be killed. In addition, Dr. Weiss said Miss Cheramie told him she had worked for Jack Ruby. Lt. Fruge reported that Miss Cheramie told him the same thing.
* A retired El Paso policeman, Jim Bundren, has told researchers that in late September 1963, an Army Intelligence officer who had been arrested and taken into custody appeared to have foreknowledge of the assassination. The intelligence officer was Richard Case Nagell. Nagell reportedly also worked for the CIA at times, and a 1969 military intelligence "Agent Report" states that Nagell "conducted an inquiry into the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald" in August and September of 1963.
Nagell was arrested for walking into an El Paso bank and firing some shots into the ceiling on September 20, 1963. Nagell claimed he was merely trying to get arrested for his own safety because he believed he was being followed. Jim Bundren is one of the police officers who escorted Nagell during one of his hearings. Here is what Bundren reported to a researcher during a taped interview:
I was sitting next to Nagell at one of his preliminary hearings. I don't remember the exact date, but I know it was before the Kennedy assassination. Nagell looked over at me and said, "You're a pretty good cop, aren't you? You know, if I didn't want you to, you'd never have caught me."
I said, "You didn't want to rob that bank, did you?" He just looked at me for a moment. He's got that look that's unusual, the penetrating eyes, that scar down one side of his face. And he says, "What makes you say that?"
I said, "I saw the shots you fired in the bank. With your Army training and everything, I just felt like maybe it was some kind of a diversionary tactic."
Nagell just smiled and said, "WELL, I'M GLAD YOU CAUGHT ME. I REALLY DON'T WANT TO BE IN DALLAS. I said, "What do you mean by that?" "YOU'LL SEE SOON ENOUGH," he said. (emphasis added)
* A CIA document released in 1977 states that Jean Soutre, a French assassin and member of the violent anti-Kennedy group called the OAS, was in Dallas on the day of the assassination. The document also says Soutre was picked up by U.S. authorities in Texas and deported within forty-eight hours of the shooting. (It is likely that the person was actually Michel Mertz using Soutre's name, as explained in Brad O'Leary and Ed Lee, THE DEATHS OF THE COLD WAR KINGS, Baltimore: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2000, pp. 93-171. Mertz, too, was an assassin and was a ranking figure in the French Mafia.)
* During the forty days preceding the assassination, Oswald had little time to target practice.
* When asked to comment on Oswald's last rifle score as a Marine, Lt. Col. A. G. Folsom said Oswald's score of "Marksman" was indicative of someone who was "a rather poor shot."
* Oswald's best score in the Marines was just two points above the minimum required for the middle of three qualification levels, "Sharpshooter," and this was after weeks of practice and instruction.
* Nearly all of Oswald's fellow Marines who were asked to comment on his shooting ability expressed the view that he was not a very good shot. Several of them, in fact, said he was a very poor shot. (And apparently none of them described him as an excellent shot.)
* A WC staffer named Wesley Liebeler stated in an internal Commission memo that critical persons would not take the Commission's claims about Oswald's marksmanship seriously.
* Monty Lutz, a former member of the HSCA's firearms panel and an expert rifleman in his own right, stated during the 1986 mock Oswald trial sponsored by a British television company that to his knowledge no one had ever duplicated Oswald's alleged shooting feat.
* The WC leaned toward the view that its alleged lone gunman did not fire until frame 210 of the Zapruder film. If the supposed single assassin didn't fire until Z210, then he would have had between 4.8 and 5.6 seconds to score two hits out of three shots at a moving target using a bolt-action rifle. (Even lone-gunman theorist Jim Moore admits in his book CONSPIRACY OF ONE that the WC clearly favored the view that the alleged lone gunman didn't fire until Z210.)
* The only way WC supporters can "expand" the alleged lone gunman's firing time from 5.8 to 8.2/8.4 seconds is to assume that he fired at around Z160 and that he completely missed, not only Kennedy, but the entire limousine. (The limousine was less than 140 feet from the sixth-floor gunman at Z160.)
* The WC expressed strong skepticism about the idea that its lone gunman would have missed the limousine with his first and closest shot.
* The world-class, Master-rated riflemen who took part in the WC's rifle tests expressed considerable criticism of the alleged murder weapon. They did not view it as a high quality rifle, and they found its bolt to be difficult and its trigger pull to be rather odd.
* In the 1967 CBS rifle test, which was designed to test "the Warren Commission's version of the shooting," not one of the eleven participating expert marksmen scored at least two hits out of three shots on his first attempt. Seven of them failed to do so on ANY of their attempts. Oswald would have had only one attempt.
* Oswald's notebook contained the word "microdots," a common spy technique of photographically reducing information to a small dot.
* An unregistered Minox camera was found among Oswald's belongings. Cameras of this type were reportedly used in spy work. Kurt Lohn, who was formerly in charge of Minox distribution in New York City, informed newsman Earl Golz of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS that the serial number of the Minox camera found among Oswald's possessions did NOT exist among any Minox cameras distributed for commercial sale in the United States. The FBI tried to have the Dallas police change their reports so as to remove the references to the camera and to replace them with the entry of "light meter."
* The day after the assassination a call was intercepted in Dallas between Ruth Paine's home and Michael Paine's office. In the FBI report on this conversation, it states that a male and female were talking, that the male said he did not feel Oswald was responsible for the crime (though he felt Oswald had done the shooting), and that the male then said, "We both know who is responsible." Ruth Paine was the one who arranged for Oswald to work at the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). It was also Ruth Paine who arranged for Marina Oswald to live with her while Marina and Lee were separated. Michael Paine held a security clearance and worked for a defense contractor.
* When Oswald applied for a tourist card at the Mexican consulate in New Orleans, the man in line in front of him, was William Gaudet, who worked for the CIA. Oswald's tourist card was number 24085; Gaudet's was 24084. Eight days after the assassination the FBI claimed there was no record of who had obtained the tourist card before Oswald's. This claim was proven false in 1975 when, due to a bureaucratic blunder, the name of the card's owner was revealed.
* Gaudet told the HSCA that on one occasion he saw Oswald talking on a street corner with Guy Banister, an ultra-conservative former FBI agent with ties to the anti-Castro movement and the CIA.
* Several of Oswald's "Fair Play for Cuba" handbills were stamped with the address of 544 Camp Street. This was the location where Banister and the Cuban Revolutionary Council, a militant anti-Castro group set up by the CIA, maintained their offices.
* According to an FBI report, G. W. Gill, an attorney for Mafia kingfish Carlos Marcello and Santos Trafficante, told David Ferrie's roommate, Layton Martens, that when Oswald was arrested by the Dallas police, Oswald was carrying a library card with Ferrie's name on it. The report was based on an interview with Martens himself. David Ferrie worked for Marcello, was involved with CIA-backed anti-Castro Cubans, and was a fanatical opponent of President Kennedy. On one occasion, Ferrie had to be removed from the podium in the middle of a speech for making virulent, inflammatory anti-Kennedy remarks. An FBI report observed that on occasion Ferrie had said Kennedy "ought to be shot."
* According to investigators from New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's office, Mrs. Doris Eames, a neighbor of Oswald's, told them that Ferrie came by her house after the assassination asking if she had any information regarding Oswald's library card. Mrs. Eames told British investigative journalist Anthony Summers in 1978 that Ferrie was so nervous he appeared nearly out of his mind. That same year, Mrs. Jesse Garner, Oswald's former landlady, told an HSCA investigator that Ferrie visited her home and asked if she had come across the library card Oswald had used when he was living in one of her apartments.
* In 1975, Penn Jones, a leading assassination researcher, received an anonymously mailed envelope from Mexico City which contained two letters, one of which was a copy of a handwritten letter signed "Lee Harvey Oswald." The letter is dated November 8, 1963, and is addressed to a "Mr. Hunt." The note reads as follows:
I would like information concerning my position.
I am asking only for information. I am suggesting that we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me or anyone else.
Lee Harvey Oswald
Handwriting experts retained by the HSCA were unable to come to a firm conclusion about the authenticity of the note. However, three private handwriting experts consulted by the DALLAS MORNING NEWS unanimously concluded the writing was Oswald's.
The note was mailed from Mexico City. Some researchers have suggested the note was addressed to E. Howard Hunt, a former CIA officer who has made no secret of his hatred for Kennedy, while others have suggested it was addressed to oil tycoon H. L. Hunt, who is discussed below. (Some lone-gunman theorists now argue that the note was a Soviet forgery. A former Soviet KGB agent claims the note was forged by the KGB to embarrass H. L. Hunt. If this is the case, it goes to show that even top handwriting experts can be fooled. Oswald's own wife said the handwriting on the note was his.)
* On November 9, 1963, Oswald wrote a letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C., in which he said, "I could not take a chance on requesting a new visa unless I used my real name, so I returned to the United States."
* Jack Ruby killed Oswald while Oswald was being transferred in broad daylight, in the middle of the day, in the basement of the Dallas police station, which was supposed to be a secure area.
* The HSCA concluded Ruby's killing of Oswald was NOT "spontaneous," and that Ruby probably entered the basement with assistance.
* The HSCA found what it viewed as compelling evidence that Ruby had extensive ties with the Mafia. For the first few weeks after the shooting, Ruby was commonly characterized as a gangster, as a man who was involved with the Mafia. On 11/26/63, four days after the assassination, the CHICAGO TRIBUNE ran a story on Ruby's Mafia activity and connections in that city.
* Mafia man Johnny Roselli reportedly met with Ruby twice in the two months leading up to the assassination. Roselli was involved with Mafia kingfish Santos Trafficante and Sam Giancana in the CIA-Mafia assassination plots against Fidel Castro.
* Dallas police sergeant Patrick Dean, who was reportedly close to the city's Mob boss, Joe Civello, failed a lie detector test with regard to his reassignment of police guards away from the elevators and a door to a stairway next to the stairs just before Ruby shot Oswald.
* Former Dallas police officer Billy Grammer has reported that on the night before Ruby killed Oswald, he received a call from Ruby at police headquarters warning that Oswald would be shot the following evening. Grammer says the caller did not identify himself, but that he is sure the voice was Jack Ruby's. Grammer claims he was well acquainted with Ruby. Grammer further reports that Ruby seemed to be aware of all the plans to transfer on Sunday from police headquarters to the Dallas County Jail, that he knew about the decoy vehicle assignment, and was aware of the approximate time the transfer would occur.
* Two WC staffers wrote the following in an internal Commission memo:
In short, we believe that the possibility exists, based on evidence already available, that Ruby was involved in illegal dealings with Cuban elements who might have had contact with Oswald.
* According to an 11/25/63 Associated Press report, William Crowe, an entertainer who had performed at Ruby's Carousel Club, told an AP reporter he was "positive" he had seen Oswald in the club. DALLAS MORNING NEWS reporter Kent Biffle said Crowe told him the same thing several days later.
* Karen Carlin, who had been a dancer at Ruby's club, told FBI agent Roger Warner on 11/24/63 that "she was under impression that Lee Oswald, Jack Ruby, and other individuals unknown to her, were involved in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy."
* Another Ruby dancer, Janet Conforto, told Dallas newsmen shortly after the assassination that she had seen Oswald in Ruby's club. Yet another Ruby dancer, Kathy Kay, told the DALLAS TIMES HERALD the same thing in 1975.
* Four Dallas deputy constables told the DALLAS MORNING NEWS in 1976 that shortly after the assassination they examined a box of handwritten notes and other papers in the Dallas County Courthouse that linked Ruby to Oswald.
* In 1990 the Attorney General of Texas, Jim Mattox, announced that his mother had told him she once saw Ruby and Oswald eating dinner together in the restaurant where she worked.
* The Secret Service failed to employ a number of standard protection procedures for the Dallas motorcade. The HSCA found the SS's protective measures for the motorcade were deficient. Among other things, the Committee said:
Surprisingly, the security measures used in the prior motorcades during the same Texas visit show that the deployment of motorcycles in Dallas by the Secret Service may have been UNIQUELY INSECURE. (Emphasis added)
In film footage of other presidential motorcades, it is seen that police motorcycle escorts rode on both sides and in front of the limousine during those events, forming a shield around the car and making it harder for a potential assassin or assassins to shoot the president. This was not done during the Dallas motorcade, and in fact security for the Dallas motorcade was reduced the day before the assassination.
* One or more senior military officers chose three poorly qualified, inexperienced military doctors to perform President Kennedy's autopsy, when much more capable and experienced doctors were readily available.
* Dr. James Humes, the chief autopsy pathologist, burned the original autopsy report shortly after hearing Oswald was dead, and without making a photographic copy of it.
* The HSCA's medical panel concluded the autopsy on the President was inadequate. Private forensic experts have said the autopsy was a severely flawed post-mortem examination.
* One of the autopsy pathologists said under oath in the Clay Shaw trial in 1969 that a senior military officer prevented him from performing a crucial autopsy procedure.
* A role of film taken during the autopsy by a medical corpsman was seized and destroyed by a Secret Service agent.
* Important photographs taken during the autopsy, some of which were apparently mentioned by one of the autopsy pathologists, are missing. (The medical witness interviews conducted by the ARRB leave no doubt about this fact.)
* Dr. John Ebersole, the radiologist at the autopsy, told HSCA investigators that a sizable fragment of occipital bone was missing from Kennedy's head and arrived late that night from Dallas. The occiput is located at the back of the skull. Yet, the autopsy photographs of the back of the head, which were supposedly taken at or before the start of the autopsy, show the occipital region intact. (Many researchers believe the autopsy photos have been altered.)
* Over forty witnesses, many of them trained medical personnel, who saw President Kennedy's head wounds, said the large defect was in the right rear part of the head, in the right occipital-parietal region. A large wound in the back of the head indicates a shot from the front.
* Two federal agents who attended the autopsy told the ARRB that the autopsy photos of the back of the head were not accurate, and that they recalled seeing a large defect in the right rear part of the skull. The agents suggested a flap of scalp was pulled over the right-rear defect before the photos were taken.
* Dr. J. Thornton Boswell, one of the autopsy pathologists, told HSCA investigators that the rear entry wound was right next to the external occipital protuberance and that part of that wound was contained in a fragment of bone that did not arrive from Dallas until late that night.
* During an interview with HSCA investigators, Dr. Finck questioned how one of the alleged autopsy photos of the back of the head had been established as having been taken at the autopsy.
* Dr. George Burkley, the President's personal doctor, communicated through his attorney to the HSCA's chief counsel that he was aware of information that proved there must have been more than one person involved in the assassination. Dr. Burkley volunteered to disclose this information to the Committee. Dr. Burkley saw the President's body at Parkland Hospital in Dallas and during the autopsy. The letter that Dr. Burkley's attorney sent to the HSCA at Dr. Burkley's request was released by the ARRB. To date no record has been found that the HSCA sought to obtain the information Dr. Burkley offered to provide.
* The WC said the wound in President Kennedy's back was at the base of the neck. Dr. Humes placed the wound in this location, at the base of the neck, in the Rydberg Navy medical drawing. The HSCA, on the other hand, placed the wound nearly two inches lower than where it appears in the Rydberg drawing. The President's death certificate, which is marked "verified," places the wound at the third thoracic vertebra (T3). On the night of the autopsy, Dr. Boswell prepared an autopsy face sheet diagram in which he placed the wound at or near T3. The bullet holes in the back of the President's shirt and coat place the wound at or near T3. Several witnesses who saw the body said the back wound was well below the neck. One of those witnesses was Dr. Ebersole, who said the wound was at T4. Three federal agents who saw the body drew wound diagrams for the HSCA. Those diagrams were recently released, and all three place the back wound near T3. The current single-bullet theory, which is the cornerstone of the lone-gunman scenario, is based on the assumption that the back wound was no lower than where the HSCA placed it, that is, no lower than T1, and that Kennedy was leaning 20-25 degrees forward. If the single-bullet theory is invalid, then there had to be more than one gunman.
* The chief of the HSCA's forensic pathology panel, Dr. Michael Baden, admitted the back wound was slightly BELOW the throat wound. (He went on to claim that the bullet still could have come from the TSBD's sixth-floor window if Kennedy had been leaning markedly forward when the missile struck. But no photo or footage shows Kennedy leaning as far forward as Baden and others have claimed he was leaning.)
* Dr. David Mantik, a highly qualified radiation oncologist and physicist, studied the original autopsy x-rays and photographs at the National Archives, and concluded no bullet could have gone straight from the back wound to the throat wound without smashing right through the spine or without causing massive lung damage. The x-rays show no such damage to the spine or lungs.
* The two persons who claimed to have found CE 399, which is the so-called "magic bullet" that allegedly went through Kennedy and Connally, both said the missile had a pointed tip, whereas CE 399 has a round tip.
* On the day of the assassination, Dr. Malcolm Perry, the surgeon who performed the tracheostomy on the President's throat, said twice on national television that the throat wound was an entrance wound. When interviewed a short time later, he was asked about the report that the alleged sole assassin fired from a building which was to the rear of the limousine. Dr. Perry replied by suggesting the President must have been turned toward the building when the bullet struck his throat.
* Dr. Charles Carrico, who saw the throat wound before the tracheostomy was performed over it, described the wound as a "penetrating wound" in his 11/22/63 medical report.
* On the night of the autopsy, all three of the autopsy pathologists concluded, after extensive, prolonged probing, both with fingers and with a surgical probe, that the back wound had no point of exit. About half of the probing was done after the chest organs had been removed. James Jenkins, one of the medical technicians at the autopsy who witnessed the procedure, has reported he could see the surgical probe pushing against the lining of the chest cavity. Says Jenkins,
I remember looking inside the chest cavity and I could see the probe . . . through the pleura [the lining of the chest cavity] . . . . You could actually see where it was making an indentation . . . where it was pushing the skin up. . . . There was no entry into the chest cavity. . . . No way that that [the bullet] could have exited in the front because it was then low in the chest cavity. . . .
* The NEW YORK TIMES, on 12/18/63, quoted a source it believed was familiar with the autopsy as saying that the bullet which struck the President in the back "penetrated two to three inches." Five weeks later, the TIMES said the bullet "hit the President in the back of his right shoulder, SEVERAL INCHES BELOW THE COLLAR LINE. THAT BULLET LODGED IN HIS SHOULDER" (emphasis added). In accordance with this report, the WASHINGTON POST reported on 12/18/63 that during the autopsy a bullet "WAS FOUND DEEP IN HIS SHOULDER" (emphasis added).
* Two medical technicians at the autopsy have stated that a bullet rolled out from the area of the President's back when the body was removed from the casket prior to the autopsy. One of the med-techs said the bullet rolled out from the back, while the other says it rolled out from the sheets. A third med-tech from the autopsy has said he remembers personnel at the autopsy talking that night about a bullet that had fallen from the sheets.
* Admiral David P. Osborne, who was in attendance at the autopsy, reported that a bullet rolled out from the "clothing" that was wrapped around the President's body, and that he actually handled the missile. The HSCA asserted that Osborne "thought" he saw a bullet roll out, but that he later said he wasn't sure when told no one else at the autopsy recalled such an event. Admiral Osborne told researcher and author David Lifton that he and the HSCA had disagreed over the matter. Said Osborne,
. . . I told them [HSCA investigators] that this was the way I remembered it, and they said: "Well, it must be wrong, because the Secret Service testified that the bullet was found in the hospital in Parkland, and brought back to Washington." And so I said: "Well, if that's true, then they brought it back to the morgue, because I had that bullet in my hand, and looked at it."
According to the official record of the chain of possession of the bullet that was found at Parkland Hospital, that missile was never taken to Bethesda Hospital (where the autopsy was performed).
The HSCA's claim that no one else at the autopsy recalled seeing a missile fall from the sheets wrapped around the body is incorrect. As mentioned above, a medical technician who was at the autopsy has said he remembers seeing this happen, while another med-tech says he recalls discussion among personnel at the autopsy about a bullet having fallen from the sheets.
Admiral Osborne told Lifton the bullet fell from the clothing wrapped around the body when the body was removed from the casket.
* A security representative from the CIA, Regis Blahut, was detained and polygraphed for opening an HSCA safe and for handling at least one autopsy photograph without permission. Only after failing three polygraph tests did Blahut finally admit he had handled the autopsy photo. Though Blahut's illegal action was attributed to "curiosity," Blahut later blurted to a reporter "There are other things involved that are detrimental to other things." The CIA fired Blahut as a result of the incident, but the matter was not investigated further.
* HSCA polygraph experts studied Jack Ruby's polygraph and found it was very ineptly done. They found that the polygrapher ignored standard procedure in a way that made it harder to detect falsehood. Yet, even with the polygraph's sensitivity turned down (instead of up, as it should have been), the registered responses indicated Ruby was lying when he denied he had no role in the assassination. The HSCA polygraph experts stated the following in their report regarding the reaction to the question, "Did you assist Oswald in the assassination?":
In fact, the reactions to the preceding question--(Did you assist Oswald in the assassination?)--showed the largest valid GSR reaction in test series No. 1. In addition, there is a constant suppression of breathing and a rise in blood pressure at the time of this crucial relevant question. From this test, it appeared to the panel that Ruby was possibly lying when answering "no" to the question, "Did you assist Oswald in the assassination?" This is contrary to Herndon's opinion that Ruby was truthful when answering that question. (8 HSCA 217-218)
* Numerous witnesses complained that the transcripts of their interviews with the FBI and/or with WC staffers were inaccurate, and in some cases that the transcripts significantly misreported important parts of their testimony.
* Most of the witnesses in Dealey Plaza who expressed an opinion on the subject did not believe all the shots came solely from the Book Depository.
* At least fifty Dealey Plaza witnesses believed shots were fired from in front of the President's limousine. A number of these witnesses said they were certain at least one shot came from in front of the limousine.
* Four policemen were told by bystanders that shots had come from the picket fence on the grassy knoll, which was to the right front of the limousine during the shooting.
* Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig and motorist Richard Robinson said they saw a man run down across the grassy incline in front of the Book Depository and get into a light-colored Rambler station wagon after the President had been shot.
* Richard Randolph Carr, watching from a nearby building, said he saw a man in a tan jacket on the top floor of the TSBD shortly before the assassination, and that he saw the same man a few minutes afterward walk "very fast" down Houston Street, turn the corner onto Commerce Street, and then get into a light-colored Rambler station wagon.
* Three witnesses who saw a man in the southeast corner window of the sixth floor of the Book Depository said the man's hair was blond or light colored. Oswald's hair was brown.
* All five of the witnesses who reported seeing a gunman in the sixth-floor window of the TSBD said the man was wearing a light-colored shirt. But Oswald wore a rust-brown shirt to work that day, and a policeman saw Oswald wearing that shirt less than 90 seconds after that shots were fired.
Blakey, G. Robert and Richard Billings, FATAL HOUR: THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY BY ORGANIZED CRIME, Berkley Books Edition, New York: Berkley Books, 1992. Ruby's Mafia ties. Ruby's killing of Oswald not spontaneous act. Ruby did not enter basement via Main Street ramp. HSCA investigation of Ruby. Location of JFK's rear head entry wound.
John Davis, MAFIA KINGFISH: CARLOS MARCELLO AND THE ASSASSINATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY, Signet Edition, New York: Signet, 1989. Oswald-Ferrie link. Oswald having Ferrie's library card. Rub's Mafia links.
DiEugenio, James, DESTINY BETRAYED: JFK, CUBA, AND THE GARRISON CASE, New York: Sheridan Square Press, Inc., 1992. Ferrie-Oswald link. Oswald having Ferrie's library card. Rose Cheramie. Autopsy doctor testimony at Clay Shaw trial that a senior military officer prevented him from performing important autopsy procedure.
Fetzer, James, editor, ASSASSINATION SCIENCE: EXPERTS SPEAK OUT ON THE DEATH OF JFK, Chicago: Catfeet Press, 1998. No path from back wound to throat wound in autopsy x-rays.
Fonzi, Gaeton, THE LAST INVESTIGATION, New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1993. Silvia Odio as credible witness.
Robert Groden and Harrison Edward Livingstone, HIGH TREASON: THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY AND THE NEW EVIDENCE OF CONSPIRACY, Berkley Edition, New York: Berkley Books, 1990. Joseph Milteer. Large wound in back of head. Destruction of evidence at autopsy. Blahut incident. Location of Kennedy's back wound. Poor security arrangements for JFK's motorcade.
Hurt, Henry, REASONABLE DOUBT: AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ASSASSINATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY, New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985. CIA document on presence of Soutre/Mertz in Dallas on afternoon of assassination and on his being deported. Difficulty of alleged shooting feat. Silvia Odio as credible witness. Oswald known as bad shot in Marines. Man seen fleeing from Book Depository and jumping into a waiting station wagon.
Kurtz, Michael, CRIME OF THE CENTURY: THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION FROM A HISTORIAN'S PERSPECTIVE, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1983. Back wound below throat wound. Path of non-fatal bullet that struck Kennedy's back went upward, not downward. Man seen fleeing from Book Depository and jumping into a waiting station wagon.
Lifton, David S. BEST EVIDENCE, Carroll & Graf Edition, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1988. Bullet or sizable fragment found at autopsy. Large defect in the back of the head.
Livingstone, Harrison Edward, HIGH TREASON 2, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1992. Large defect in the back of the head. Problems with autopsy. Destruction of evidence at autopsy. Location of Kennedy's back wound.
Marrs, Jim, CROSSFIRE, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1988. Minox camera and camera's serial number. Ruby-Oswald link. The "Dear Mr. Hunt" note. Appearance of bullet found on stretcher. Grammer account of Ruby warning that Oswald would be shot. Oswald note to Soviet Embassy about using "real name."
Meagher, Sylvia, ACCESSORIES AFTER THE FACT: THE WARREN COMMISSION, THE AUTHORITIES, AND THE REPORT, New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967; Vintage Press, 1976. Syliva Odio as credible witness. WC rifle tests.
Newman, John, OSWALD AND THE CIA, New York: Carroll and Graf Publishers, 1995. Hoover to LBJ on Oswald imposter at Soviet Embassy in Mexico City. Oswald who made 9/28/63 call to Soviet Embassy was not real Oswald.
North, Mark, ACT OF TREASON: THE ROLE OF J. EDGAR HOOVER IN THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY, New York: Carroll and Graf, 1991. Reports of bullet found in shoulder. Ruby linked to Mafia in early press reports. Pre-assassination reports of anti-Castro Cuban plans to kill Kennedy, including statement by Echevarria. Joseph Milteer. Rose Cheramie. Dallas doctors described throat wound as entry wound.
O'Leary, Brad and Edward Lee, THE DEATHS OF THE COLD WAR KINGS, Baltimore: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2000. The Jean Soutre who was detained in Dallas was most likely Mertz using Soutre's name. OAS was violent anti-Kennedy organization. CIA document on Soutre detention in Dallas and subsequent deportation. Marcello discussed wanting to have Kennedy killed before the assassination, and admitted to being involved in Kennedy's death and that he met with Ruby and Oswald.
Russell, Dick, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, New York: Carroll and Graf Publishers, 1992. Richard Case Nagell's foreknowledge of assassination. OAS and Jean Soutre/Michel Mertz.
Summers, NOT IN YOUR LIFETIME: THE DEFINITIVE BOOK ON THE JFK ASSASSINATION, New York: Marlow & Company, 1998. Oswald impersonations in Mexico City. Oswald "Mr. Hunt" note and handwriting analyses of the note. Large wound in the back of the head. Pre-assassination threats on Kennedy's life. William Gaudet incident. Minox camera.
Thompson, Josiah, SIX SECONDS IN DALLAS, Bernard Geis Associates, 1967. Appearance of bullet found on stretcher. Witnesses in Dealey Plaza. Man seen fleeing Book Depository and jumping into waiting station wagon. Size and appearance of throat wound.
Weisberg, Harold, NEVER AGAIN: THE GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY IN THE JFK ASSASSINATION, New York: Carroll and Graf, 1995. Oswald's poor shooting skills. Negative comments on alleged murder rifle by riflemen in WC's own rifle test.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael T. Griffith holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Excelsior College in Albany, New York, and two Associate in Applied Science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force. He is a two-time graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, in Arabic and Hebrew. He is also a two-time graduate of the U.S. Air Force Technical Training School in San Angelo, Texas, and holds an Occupational Instructor Certificate from the Community College of the Air Force. He is the author of the book Compelling Evidence: A New Look at the Assassination of President Kennedy (Grand Prairie, TX: JFK-Lancer Productions and Publications, 1996). His articles on the assassination have appeared in several journals that deal with the case. In addition, he is the author of four books on Mormonism and ancient texts.
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