How and why the Warren Commission framed Lee Harvey Oswald

   A factual account based on the Commission's public and private documents

                               by Howard Roffman

                     (c)1976 by A.S. Barnes and Co., Inc.

                (c)1975 by Associated University Presses, Inc.

                              ISBN 0-498-01933-0

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *

                    From the inside front and back jacket 
                   of the 1976 issue of "Presumed Guilty:"

          If Howard Roffman is right, and his careful documentation argues
       that he is, Lee Harvey Oswald could not have been the assassin of
       John F. Kennedy.  He could not have been the gunman in the sixth
       floor window of the Texas School Book Depository building, as is
       shown by his close analysis of both the circumstantial evidence and
       the ballistics of the case.
          The implications are serious indeed, and the Introduction deals
       with them extensively, besides assessing the contributions of other
       critics.  The documentation here presented, extracted from the
       once-secret working papers of the Warren Commission, demonstrates
       conclusively that the Commission prejudged Oswald guilty and made
       use of only circumstantial evidence to bolster its assumption,
       while suppressing information that tended to undermine it.
          Roffman in this book states the charge explicitly:  "When the
       Commissioners decided in advance that the wrong man was the lone
       assassin, whatever their intentions, they protected the real
       assassins.  Through their staff, they misinformed the American
       public and falsified history."

                                About the Author

          Howard Roffman, now 23, was born and raised in Philadelphia,
       Pa., where he attended public school.  His interest in the
       assassination of President Kennedy began when he was fourteen, and
       he read everything he could lay his hands on on the subject.  By
       the 11th grade he had bought all 26 volumes of the Warren Report
       ($76), and, convinced of the inadequacy of the conclusions, he went
       to the National Archives and studied the files--the youngest
       researcher ever to see them.  Alarmed at what he discovered, he
       writes, "I can't think of anything more threatening than when the
       government lies about the murder of its leader."
          Mr. Roffman completed his undergraduate studies as a History
       major at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with honors
       in 1974.  At present studying law at the Holland Law Center,
       Gainesville, Fla., he is the author of a second book,
       "Understanding the Cold War."

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


         I wish to thank the following publishers for having given me
      permission to quote from published works:

      The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., for permission to quote from
          "Accessories After the Fact," copyright (c) 1967 by Sylvia
          Meagher, reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Bobbs-
          Merrill Company, Inc.

      CBS News, for permission to quote from "CBS News Extra:  `November
          22 and the Warren Report,'" 1964, and "CBS News Inquiry:  `The
          Warren Report,'" 1967.

      Harold Weisberg, for permission to quote from his books
          "Whitewash," 1965, "Whitewash II," 1966, "Photographic
          Whitewash," 1967, and "Oswald in New Orleans," 1967.

         I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to Dick
      Bernabei and Harold Weisberg, who gave so unselfishly of themselves
      to help further my research and my personal development.  Special
      thanks go to Sylvia Meagher for her encouragement and assistance
      with my manuscript, and to Halpert Fillinger for his time and
      invaluable advice concerning the medical/ballistics aspects of this
      study.  To those too numerous to name who helped in so many ways, I
      offer my thanks and appreciation.

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      Note on Citations

          1 Assassination:  The Official Case
          2 Presumed Guilty:  The Official Disposition

          3 Suppressed Spectrography
          4 The President's Wounds
          5 The Governor's wounds and the Validity of the Essential

          6 The Rifle in the Building
          7 Oswald at Window?
          8 The Alibi:  Oswald's Actions after the Shots
          9 Oswald's Rifle Capability


      Appendix A:  Tentative Outline of the Work of the President's
      Appendix B:  Memorandum to J. Lee Rankin from David W. Belin
      Appendix C:  Memorandum to J. Lee Rankin from Norman Redlich
      Appendix D:  A Later Memorandum to J. Lee Rankin from Norman
      Appendix E:  Report of the FBI's First Interview with Charles
      Appendix F:  FBI Report on Mrs. R. E. Arnold


                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      A Decade of Deceit:  From the Warren Commission to Watergate

         Whoever killed President John F. Kennedy got away with it
      because the Warren Commission, the executive commission responsible
      for investigating the murder, engaged in a cover-up of the truth
      and issued a report that misrepresented or distorted almost every
      relevant fact about the crime.  The Warren Commission, in turn, got
      away with disseminating falsehood and covering up because virtually
      every institution in our society that is supposed to make sure that
      the government works properly and honestly failed to function in
      the face of a profound challenge;  the Congress, the law, and the
      press all failed to do a single meaningful thing to correct the
      massive abuse committed by the Warren Commission.  To anyone who
      understood these basic facts, and there were few who did, the
      frightening abuses of the Nixon Administration that have come to be
      known as "Watergate" were not unexpected and were surprising only
      in their nature and degree.
         This is not a presumptuous statement.  I do not mean to imply
      that anyone who knew what the Warren Commission did could predict
      the events that have taken place in the last few years.  My point
      is that the reaction to the Warren Report, if properly understood,
      demonstrated that our society had {nothing} that could be depended
      upon to protect it from the abuses of power that have long been
      inherent in the Presidency.  The dynamics of our system of
      government are such that every check on the abuse of power is
      vital;  if the executive branch were to be trusted as the sole
      guardian of the best interests of the people, we would not have a
      constitution that divides power among three branches of government
      to act as checks on each other, and we would need no Bill of
      Rights.  Power invites abuses and excesses, and at least since the
      presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, an enormous amount of power has
      been assumed and acquired by the president.
         Political deception is an abuse that democracy invites;  in a
      system where the leaders are ultimately accountable to the people,
      where their political future is decided by the people, there is
      inevitably the temptation to deceive, to speak with the primary
      interest of pleasing the people and preserving political power.
      There probably has not been a president who has not lied for
      political reasons.  I need only cite some more recent examples:
         Franklin Roosevelt assured the parents of America in October
      1940 that "your boys are not going to be sent into foreign wars";
      at the time he knew that American involvement in World War II was
      inevitable, even imminent, but he chose not to be frank with the
      people for fear of losing the 1940 election.
         Dwight Eisenhower in 1960 denied that the American aircraft shot
      down by the Russians over their territory was a spy-plane, when he
      {and} the Russians knew very well that the plane, a U-2, had been
      on a CIA reconnaissance flight;
         John F. Kennedy had the American ambassador at the United
      Nations deny that the unsuccessful invasion of Cuba at the Bay of
      Pigs was an American responsibility when exactly the opposite was
         So, deception and cover-up per se did not originate with the
      Warren Commission in 1964 or the Nixon administration in 1972.
      They had always been an unfortunate part of our political system.
      With the Warren Commission they entered a new and more dangerous
      phase.  Never before, to my knowledge, had there been such a
      systematic plan for a cover-up, or had such an extensive and
      pervasive amount of deception been attempted.  And certainly never
      before had our government collaborated to deny the public the true
      story of how its leader was assassinated.
         In the face of this new and monumental abuse of authority by the
      executive, all the institutions that are supposed to protect
      society from such abuses failed and, in effect, helped perpetrate
      the abuse itself.  As with Watergate, numerous lawyers were
      involved with the Warren Commission;  in neither case did these
      lawyers act as lawyers.  Rather, they participated in a cover-up
      and acted as accessories in serious crimes.  The Congress accepted
      the Warren Report as the final solution to the assassination and
      thus acquiesced in the cover-up of a President's murder.  And,
      perhaps most fundamentally, the press failed in its responsibility
      to the people and became, in effect, an unofficial mouthpiece of
      the government.  For a short time the press publicized some of the
      inconsistencies between the Warren Report's conclusions and the
      evidence;  yet never did the press seriously question the
      legitimacy of the official findings on the assassination or attempt
      to ascertain why the Johnson administration lied about the murder
      that brought it into power and what was hidden by those lies.
         It was only a small body of powerless and unheralded citizens
      who undertook to critically examine the official investigation of
      President Kennedy's murder, and among them it was still fewer who
      clearly understood the ominous meaning of a whitewashed inquiry
      that was accepted virtually without question.  It was only these
      few who asked what would happen to our country if an executive
      disposed to abuse its authority could do so with impunity.
         It was in 1966, long before the press and the public saw through
      the thicket of deception with which we had been led into a war in
      Vietnam, long before this country was to suffer the horrors of
      Watergate, that a leading assassination researcher, Harold
      Weisberg, wrote and published the following words:

            If the government can manufacture, suppress and lie when
         a President is cut down--and get away with it--what cannot
         follow?  Of what is it not capable, regardless of motive . .
            This government {did} manufacture, suppress and lie when
         it pretended to investigate the assassination of John F.
            If it can do that, it can do anything.
            And will, if we let it.

      Weisberg, in effect, warned that the executive would inevitably
      commit wrongdoing beyond imagination so long as there was no
      institution of government or society that was willing to stop it.
      That one man of modest means could make this simple deduction in
      1966 is less a credit to him than it is an indictment of a whole
      system of institutions that failed in their fundamental
      responsibility to society.
         My political maturity began to develop only in the past few
      years;  all of my research on the assassination was conducted while
      I was a teenager.  Yet the basic knowledge that my government could
      get away with what it did at the murder of a president made me
      fearful of the future.  On October 10, 1971, when I was eighteen
      years old, I wrote what I hoped would be the last letter in a long
      and fruitless correspondence with a lawyer who had participated in
      the official cover-up as an investigator for the Warren Commission.
      I concluded that letter with these words:

            I ask myself if this country can survive when men like
         you, who are supposed to represent law and justice, are the
         foremost merchants of official falsification, deceit, and

         It was to take three years and the worst political crisis in our
      history for the press and the public to even begin to awaken to the
      great dangers a democracy faces when lawyers are criminals.
         It is with pain and not pride that I look back and see that so
      few were able to understand what the Warren Commission and the
      acceptance of its fraudulent Report meant for this country.  This
      was not omniscience, but simple deduction from basic facts.  I
      cannot escape the conviction that had the Congress, or the lawyers,
      or especially the press seriously endeavored to establish the basic
      facts and then considered the implications of these facts, we all
      might have been spared the frightening and threatening abuses of
      Watergate. If the institutions designed to protect society from
      such excesses of power had functioned in 1964, it is possible that
      they would not have had to mobilize so incompletely and almost
      ineffectively in 1972 and 1973.
         Watergate has brought us into a new era, hopefully one in which
      all institutions will work diligently to see that our government
      functions properly and honestly.  As of now, the reasons for
      optimism are still limited.  It was not the press as an institution
      that probed beneath the official lies about Watergate and demanded
      answers;  essentially, it was {one} newspaper, the "Washington
      Post," that, true to its obligations, bulldogged the story that
      most of the nation's press buried until it became a national
      scandal.  It was not the law as an institution that insisted on the
      truth;  it was one judge, John Sirica, who best served the law by
      settling for no less than the whole truth, and he was and continues
      to be deceived and lied to by those whose responsibility it is to
      uphold and defend the law.  Whether Congress will adequately
      respond to the crimes and abuses of the Nixon administration
      remains to be seen.
         Our very system of government and law faces its most profound
      challenge today.   A nation that did not learn from the Warren
      Commission has survived to relive a far worse version of that past
      in Watergate.  It would do well to live by the wisdom of Santayana,
      for it is doubtful that American democracy could survive another

                                                         Howard Roffman
                                                          January, 1974

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


         On January 22, 1964, the members of the then two-month old
      Warren Commission were hastily assembled for a top-secret meeting.
      Half-way into their executive session, the Commissioners decided
      their words were so sensitive that they should not be recorded.
      Commission member Allen Dulles, the former CIA director, even
      suggested "this record ought to be destroyed."  The incomplete
      stenographer's tape remained locked in government vaults for eleven
      years until, under pressure from a persistent researcher named
      Harold Weisberg, the National Archives retrieved it and forwarded
      it to the Pentagon for transcription.  The result was a blow to
      anyone who ever entertained the belief that the Warren Commission
      set out in good faith to investigate the murder of President
      Kennedy and discover the full truth.
         It was never a secret that the Commission relied almost entirely
      on the FBI to conduct the bulk of its investigation.  In its own
      Report, the Commission boasted of this relationship:  "Because of
      the diligence, cooperation, and facilities of the Federal
      investigative agencies, it was unnecessary for the Commission to
      employ investigators other than the members of the Commission's
      legal staff" (Rxiii).  It was also no secret that this relationship
      was inherently compromising because the investigative agencies,
      particularly the FBI, had a vested interest in the conclusion that
      the President's murder was the unforeseeable act of a lone madman.
      In the aftermath of the assassination, the FBI was left holding the
      bag.  Rumors immediately spread that Oswald had been an FBI
      informant and that the FBI knew of Oswald's potential for violence
      but failed to report his identity to the Secret Service.  As Harold
      Weisberg succinctly put it as early as 1965, after President
      Kennedy was killed, all the federal agencies "had one objective, to
      take the heat off themselves."[1]
         By any reasonable standard, the last investigator to have been
      entrusted with the task of developing the facts surrounding the
      assassination was the FBI.
         The Warren Commission realized this, but decided to rely on the
      FBI nonetheless.  Its public position would be one of praise for
      the FBI's diligent cooperation.  But the secret executive sessions
      and confidential memoranda tell another story:  The Commission knew
      what J. Edgar Hoover was up to and played along.
         The Commission convened in secret that January 22 to discuss the
      rumor that Oswald had been a paid informant for the FBI.  As
      chapter 2 of this book documents, the FBI had already preempted the
      Commission by publicly claiming to have solved the assassination
      within three weeks of the event.  At the January 22 session, an
      unidentified speaker, probably General Counsel J. Lee Rankin,
      explained the basic problem to the Commission:  "That is that the
      FBI is very explicit that Oswald is the assassin . . . and they are
      very explicit that there was no conspiracy."  However, the speaker
      noted, "they have not run out all kinds of leads in Mexico or in
      Russia. . . .  But they are concluding that there can't be a
      conspiracy without those being run out."  The inevitable question
      was raised:  "Why are they so eager to make both of those
      conclusions . . . ?"  Mr. Dulles claimed to be confused as to why
      the FBI would want to dispose of the case by finding Oswald guilty
      if, at the same time, Oswald was rumored to have been in the FBI's
      employ.  Dulles's question was quickly answered by Rankin:

         A:  They would like to have us fold up and quit.
         Boggs:  This closes the case, you see. Don't you see?
         Dulles:  Yes, I see that.
         Rawkin [{sic}]:  They found the man.  There is nothing more
         to do.  The Commission supports their conclusions, and we
         can go on home and that is the end of it.[2]

      The Commission engaged in a more explicit discussion of the problem
      at its secret session five days later, on January 27.  John J.
      McCloy noted "we are so dependent upon them [the FBI] for our facts
      that it might be a useful thing to have him [Hoover] before us" for
      the purpose of requesting further investigation "of the things that
      are still troubling us."  The following discussion ensued:

            Mr. Rankin:  Part of our difficulty in regard to it is
         that they have no problems.  They have decided that it is
         Oswald who committed the assassination, they have decided
         that no one else was involved, they have decided--
            Sen. Russell:  They have tried the case and reached a
         verdict on every aspect.
            Rep. Boggs:  You have put your finger on it. . . .
            Mr. Rankin:  . . . They have decided the case, and we are
         going to have maybe a thousand further inquiries that we say
         the Commission has to know all these things before it can
         pass on this.
            And I think their reaction probably would be, "Why do you
         want all that.  It is clear."
            Sen. Russell:  "You have our statement, what else do you
            Mr. McCloy:  Yes, "We know who killed cock robin."[3]

         Thus, the Commission recognized the untenable position it faced
      being put in if it relied on the FBI for additional investigation
      when the FBI was claiming that the crime had been solved and no
      more investigation was necessary.  Hoover had already staked the
      very reputation of his agency on a solution that demanded Oswald as
      the lone assassin.  It would have been a naive Commission indeed
      that would have expected the FBI to destroy its own "solution" of
      the crime with further investigation.  In light of these secret
      discussions, the Commission's heavy dependence on the FBI is
      nothing less than culpable.
         The central FBI conclusion, which the Commission adopted as its
      own, was that Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President Kennedy.
      This conclusion was sustained solely on the finding that bullets
      from Oswald's rifle had caused the wounds to President Kennedy and
      Governor Connally.  If this one finding crumbles, the case for
      Oswald's guilt must crumble with it.  It was thus of paramount
      importance that the Commission independently verify this FBI
         The Commission was certainly aware of its responsibility.  In
      secret, the members admitted to each other the inadequacy of the
      Bureau's ballistics findings as set forth in the FBI Report.  At
      the executive session held December 16, 1963, Mr. McCloy
      complained, "This bullet business leaves me totally confused."
      Chairman Warren concurred:  "It's totally inconclusive."[4]
      Members of the Commission's staff, noting the FBI's sloppy work,
      recognized a need "to facilitate independent analysis of the
      Bureau's ballistic conclusions"[5] and to "secure from the FBI and
      consider the underlying documents and reports related to the rifle
      and shells."[6]
         As I explain in chapter 3, the only way the Commission could
      possibly have established a firm link between bullets fired from
      Oswald's rifle and the wounds inflicted during the assassination
      was to compare the metallic composition of all the ballistic
      specimens through a meticulous scientific process called
      spectrographic analysis.  The FBI claimed to have run such tests
      and arrived at inconclusive results.  The Commission took the FBI
      at its word, based on nonexpert testimony, without ever having
      looked at the spectrographer's report or having put the relevant
      documents into its record.  Evidence has since been developed by
      Harold Weisberg that a far more detailed comparative process,
      neutron activation analysis (NAA), was utilized by the Commission
      through the Atomic Energy Commission.[7]  Proper NAA testing could
      at once have settled the doubts that plagued the Commission.
         The Commission knew the value of NAA and recognized the need to
      apply the technology to the evidence in the assassination.  Indeed,
      the AEC had immediately offered its services to the FBI, only to be
      snubbed by Hoover.  Then, on December 11, 1963, Paul C. Aebersold
      of the AEC wrote a letter to Herbert J. Miller at the Department of
      Justice explaining how the NAA process might be of vital importance
      in the investigation of the President's murder.[8]  Aebersold noted
      that "it may be possible to determine by trace-element measurements
      whether the fatal bullets were of composition identical to that of
      the purportedly unfired shell" found in the chamber of Oswald's
      rifle.  Likewise, "Other pieces of physical evidence in the case,
      such as clothing . . . might lend themselves to characterization by
      means of their trace-element levels."  The Justice Department
      forwarded Aebersold's letter to the Commission, which immediately
      took the matter up with Hoover.  The Commission sought "your advice
      regarding the feasibility and desirability of taking advantage of
      [the AEC's] offer."[9]  When the Commission assembled on January
      27, 1964, Mr. Rankin advised as follows:

            Now, the bullet fragments are now, part of them are now,
         with the Atomic Energy Commission, who are trying to
         determine by a new method, a process that they have, of
         whether they can relate them to various guns and the
         different parts, the fragments, whether they are part of one
         of the bullets that was broken and came out in part through
         the neck, and just what particular assembly of bullet they
         were part of.
            They have had it for the better part of two and a-half
         weeks, and we ought to get an answer.[10]

         Indeed, an investigative Commission aware of its obligation to
      verify ballistic findings on which the case against an alleged
      presidential assassin depended "ought" to have insisted upon and
      received an immediate "answer" from an independent agency employing
      a sensitive new technology.  But {this} Commission {never} got an
         And that was exactly how J. Edgar Hoover wanted things.
         Still awaiting the AEC's test results, the Commission on March
      16, 1964, had staff lawyer Melvin Eisenberg discuss the NAA process
      with FBI Special Agent John F.  Gallagher, the man who had run the
      Bureau's earlier spectrographic analysis.  Among the questions
      raised by Eisenberg was the application of NAA to President
      Kennedy's clothing, particularly to the overlapping holes in the
      shirt near the collar button, which the FBI had been unable to
      relate spectrographically to the passage of a bullet.  Hoover
      disapproved the idea, writing the Commission on March 18 that "It
      is not felt that the increased sensitivity of neutron activation
      analysis would contribute substantially to the understanding of the
      origin of this hole and frayed area" (20H2).  The Commission bowed
      to Hoover's wish and never subjected the alleged bullet damage in
      President Kennedy's and Governor Connally's clothing to NAA.  The
      secrets that might be held by the minuscule traces of metal left on
      the clothing would not be unlocked by this Commission charged with
      evaluating "{all} the facts" of the assassination (R471).
         For what its own record discloses, the Commission merely forgot
      about the scientific tests it knew were crucial and proceeded
      without them to assemble a case against Oswald (see chapter 2).
      The Commission took not a word of testimony about NAA's of the
      ballistic specimens, and allowed into the published evidence
      references only to NAA's of the paraffin casts of Oswald's hands
      and cheek made by the Dallas Police (R562).  Even at that, as late
      as September 5, 1964, a week before the Warren Report was set in
      type, the staff was still trying to obtain from the FBI a
      description of the NAA process.[11]
         The only word the Commission ever officially received relating
      to these vital tests was communicated not through the AEC but
      through Hoover, whose brief letter remained buried in the
      Commission's unpublished files until Harold Weisberg dug it
      out.[12]  Hoover did not write the Commission until July 8, 1964,
      after sections of the Report naming Oswald as the assassin had been
      preliminarily drafted.  Although he then attempted to play down the
      value of the NAA's, his letter stands as a monument to the
      deliberate inadequacy of the Commission's investigation.
         To begin, Hoover's July 8 letter informed the Commission that
      the NAA's conducted were incomplete:

            Because of the higher sensitivity of the neutron
         activation analysis, certain of the small lead fragments
         were then subjected to neutron activation analysis and
         comparisons with larger bullet fragments.

      Thus, according to Hoover, there were no NAA comparisons of any of
      the copper components of the recovered bullets and fragments.
      Hoover's listing also excluded several items of ballistics evidence
      possessed by the Commission, among them the unfired cartridge and
      the metallic traces on the clothing.  What were the results of this
      examination of fatally limited scope?  Hoover reported the
      following only:

            While minor variations in composition were found by this
         method, these were not considered sufficient to permit
         positively differentiating among the larger bullet fragments
         and thus positively determining from which of the larger
         bullet fragments any given small lead fragment may have

      I invite the reader to unscramble these semantics.  It is indeed
      impossible to know what Hoover considered a "larger bullet
      fragment," especially because a whole bullet, Commission Exhibit
      399, was alleged to have been tested but seems not to have been
      included within the above description of the test results.  In
      short, Hoover told the Commission very little, if anything, about
      the NAA results, and provided no documentation to support or
      clarify his incomprehensible summary.
         The Commission, having already decided that Oswald was the
      assassin, was content to leave the record in this hopeless state.
      One researcher, Harold Weisberg, was not, and tried to force the
      government to release the entire record concerning the
      spectrographic analysis by filing a suit under the Freedom of
      Information Act (FOIA), as described in chapter 3.  After I
      completed the text of this book, a federal court of appeals decided
      against Weisberg and allowed the Department of Justice to continue
      suppression of the spectrographer's report.[13]  The decision was
      so contrary to the FOIA that Congress almost immediately moved to
      overrule it legislatively.  A 1974 amendment to the FOIA cited the
      {Weisberg} case as a frightening precedent and expressed Congress's
      intent that the government not be permitted to suppress reports
      involving well-known scientific procedures such as
      spectrography.[14]  By February 1975, when the new law took effect,
      Weisberg was back in court, demanding not only the spectrographer's
      report but also the full report on the NAA's performed by the AEC
      for the Warren Commission.  The government produced a batch of
      almost incomprehensible working papers, most of them incomplete,
      some containing tables of elements with statistical data missing.
      These, it claimed, represented the full extent of the relevant
      documents within its files.  The government's claims defied belief:
      the spectrographer's report that FBI Agent Robert Frazier swore had
      been made "a part of the permanent records of the FBI" (5H69) did
      not exist;  the NAA's that Rankin described to the Commission on
      January 27 had not been conducted until May 15;  and the experts of
      the FBI and AEC are equipped with such computerlike memories that
      they could understand and evaluate the results of the
      spectrographic and NAA testing without tabulating or recording
      literally thousands of multi-digit figures.  Bald as the
      government's representations were, they satisfied a federal
      district judge.[15]  Once again, release of meaningful, possibly
      determinative scientific data on the assassination awaits the
      appellate process.
         One need not await the release of the full documentation, if it
      exists, to ask why it was not published by the Warren Commission
      and made part of a complete historical record.  Nor can one avoid
      the observation that the Commission's investigation cannot have
      been complete or legitimate absent this most fundamental scientific
      evidence, the value of which was only too well known to the
         One conclusion is both basic and irrefutable:  the people have
      been lied to about the murder of their president and how that
      murder was investigated by the government.  Without a doubt, the
      falsehoods and misrepresentations disseminated by the government
      and the media concerning the assassination of President Kennedy are
      as odious in our society as the assassination itself.  The freedoms
      guaranteed under the law are without meaning unless the people are
      honestly and competently informed.  Indeed, when a government can
      get away with whitewashing the truth about a president's murder,
      the suggestion of authoritarianism is more than apparent.
         The reader should understand that I regard the significance of
      the Warren Commission's failure not as part of an intriguing
      "whodunnit" but rather as a frightening breakdown of the principle
      of governmental accountability.  Surely the question of who killed
      the President must concern us all, but over twelve years after the
      murder, speculation about who was responsible becomes a futile
      exercise of questionable value.  I have yet to see a shred of
      credible evidence linking any known group or individual with the
      President's murder.  Yet speculation on that score is as rife today
      as it is profitable.  Those who engage in it have been dubbed
      "conspiracy theorists."
         In this book I do not deal with theory;  I deal with fact.  The
      facts are that we do not know who killed President Kennedy, that
      the Warren Commission named the wrong man as the assassin and never
      searched for the truth of the crime.  Although I do not allege that
      the Commission or its staff knew that Lee Harvey Oswald was not the
      assassin, the documents presented here reveal that no possibility
      other than Oswald as the assassin was ever considered in the
      investigation.  What this means, regardless of motives (about which
      I am not competent to speculate), is that the Commission left
      President Kennedy's murder unsolved, tacitly allowing the real
      assassin or assassins to go free.
         A reader approaching the field of critical works on the
      assassination faces a thicket of conflicting theories, doctrines,
      and allegations.  I think it only fair to let the reader know in
      advance where I believe my book stands within the maze.  First,
      however, it would be helpful to review briefly the events of the
      assassination and its subsequent history.
         President Kennedy was shot to death at 12:30 P.M., c.s.t., on
      November 22, 1963, as he rode through the streets of Dallas, Texas,
      in a motorcade.  Texas Governor John Connally, seated in the
      President's open limousine, received serious bullet wounds in the
      shooting.  Immediately, the motorcade sped to nearby Parkland
      Hospital, where a team of doctors tried in vain to save the
      President's life.  The President's death was announced, and, over
      the objections of the local authorities, who then had exclusive
      jurisdiction in the crime, the body was forcefully removed from the
      hospital and flown back to Washington.  Before the plane bearing
      the President's body took off, Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, who
      had ridden in the motorcade, took the oath of office and assumed
      the duties of President.
         Within forty-five minutes of the assassination, a Dallas Police
      Officer, J. D. Tippit, was shot to death in a Dallas suburb.  A
      half-hour later, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested in a movie theater
      a half mile from the site of the Tippit murder. He was first
      accused of killing only Tippit, but by that evening he became the
      prime suspect in the murder of the President as well.  Throughout
      that hectic weekend, the Dallas Police made repeated public
      accusations of Oswald's guilt.  Oswald steadfastly maintained that
      he was innocent and said he would prove it when he was brought to
         The trial never came, however.  On November 24, Oswald, still in
      police custody, was shot to death by Jack Ruby.
         Elimination of the only suspect in the assassination precluded a
      trial that might have turned up the facts about the President's
      murder through the adversary system of justice.  In its stead,
      President Johnson on November 29 appointed a commission to
      "evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination .
      . . and the subsequent violent death of the man charged with the
      assassination"(R471).  Earl Warren, then Chief Justice of the
      Supreme Court, presided over this commission, whose members
      included Senators Richard Russell and John Sherman Cooper,
      Representatives Hale Boggs and Gerald Ford, Allen Dulles, and John
      J. McCloy.  This panel, which became known as the Warren
      Commission, appointed a General Counsel, J. Lee Rankin, who headed
      a group of fourteen Assistant Counsel and twelve staff members.
      Throughout the Warren Commission's ten-month investigation, it was
      this staff of lawyers under Rankin who took virtually all the
      testimony and composed the final report.
         The Commission itself conceded that its task was not executed by
      its prestigious but preoccupied members.  In the words of the
      Warren Report, it was the staff that "undertook the work of the
      Commission with a wealth of legal and investigative experience."
      "Highly qualified personnel from several Federal agencies, assigned
      to the Commission at its request" also assisted in the
      investigation(Rxi).  Members of the legal staff, divided by subject
      into teams, were responsible for analyzing and summarizing much of
      the information originally received from the various agencies, and
      for "determin[ing] the issues, sort[ing] out the unresolved
      problems, and recommend[ing] additional investigation to the
         On September 24, 1964, the Warren Commission submitted an 888-
      page report to the President.  (This report was later to become
      known as the Warren Report.)  The Commission concluded that Lee
      Harvey Oswald alone had assassinated President Kennedy, and
      maintained that it had seen no evidence indicating that Oswald and
      Ruby, together or alone, had been part of a conspiracy to murder
      the President.  Two months after the issuance of its Report, the
      Commission published as a massive appendix the evidence upon which
      the Report was allegedly based, including transcripts of witness
      testimony, evidential exhibits, and thousands of documents.  This
      evidence is contained in twenty-six volumes.
         Immediately upon its release, the Warren Report was met by an
      overwhelmingly favorable response from the nation's "establishment"
      press.[16]  This response, analyzed objectively, was in fact a
      blatant instance of irresponsible journalism, for newsmen lavished
      praise on the Report before they could have read and analyzed it--
      {two months} before the evidence upon which it rested was released
      to the public.
         Nevertheless, the Warren Report, which was introduced to the
      public as the definitive and final word on the assassination, was
      soon to be seriously questioned;  a national controversy would
      erupt in which the Warren Commission, its Report, its evidence, and
      its workings would be challenged by a broad range of critics.
         Criticism of the Commission and doubts about the assassination
      were brewing prior to the issuance of the Report, although they did
      not command broad public attention and were regarded more as
      suspicious rumblings of foreign origin.  By the end of 1965 things
      were beginning to change.  Vincent Salandria published a well-
      documented critique of the medical/ballistics conclusions of the
      Commission in a small left-of-center magazine.  "The Oswald
      Affair," by respected correspondent Leo Sauvage, was published in
      France, challenging the conclusion that Oswald was guilty.  In late
      1965, "The Unanswered Questions About President Kennedy's
      Assassination," a hasty critical analysis by reporter Sylvan Fox,
      was published.  "Whitewash," written in 1965 by Harold Weisberg,
      was the first full-length book to examine in detail the
      Commission's investigation, and bore the unenviable burden of
      "breaking" the subject of Warren Report criticism in the United
      States.  After Weisberg published his book in a private printing at
      his own expense, several other works critical of the official
      version of the assassination appeared on the market, including, in
      chronological order of publication:  "Inquest," by Edward Jay
      Epstein;  "Rush to Judgment," by Mark Lane (Lane had been among the
      first to defend the dead Oswald, and, at his own urging, gave
      testimony before the Warren Commission);  "The Second Oswald," by
      Richard Popkin;  "Whitewash II" and "Photographic Whitewash," by
      Harold Weisberg;  "Accessories After the Fact," by Sylvia Meagher;
      and "Six Seconds in Dallas," by Josiah Thompson.
         These books were widely reviewed and often appeared on best-
      seller lists.  They were responsible for generating a considerable
      national controversy over the findings of the Warren Commission, in
      which several responsible periodicals called for a new
      investigation[17]  and about two-thirds of the public rejected the
      allegation of Oswald's lone guilt.[18]
         Early in 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison made
      the dubitable announcement that his office, after conducting an
      extensive investigation, had "solved" the assassination.[19]  One
      figure in the plot alleged by Garrison died immediately before he
      was to be arrested.[20]  Soon after, a New Orleans businessman,
      Clay Shaw, was arrested and charged with conspiring to murder
      President Kennedy.[21]  Finally the assassination was to get its
      day in court.  But Shaw did not come to trial until January 1969,
      and he was easily acquitted after a two-month proceeding in which
      all the shocking evidence against him promised by Garrison failed
      to materialize.[22]  Garrison was in consequence widely condemned
      by the media, and the New Orleans fiasco caused the virtual
      destruction of whatever foundation for credibility had previously
      been established by critics of the Warren Report.  Garrison did not
      refute or in any tangible way diminish the legitimacy of several
      responsible and documented criticisms of the official version of
      the assassination.  But his unethical behavior and the mockery of
      justice (involving only Shaw) perpetrated under him were "bad
      press";  it left the public and the media highly suspicious of
      Warren Report criticism.
         Then, in June 1972, there was the break-in at the Watergate and
      the beginning of a new national consciousness, a skepticism toward
      government and an unwillingness to believe the official word.  By
      the time President Nixon resigned in August 1974, deception,
      dishonesty, and malfeasance in government were accepted as the
      reality, even expected as the norm.  Suddenly, the notion that the
      government had not told the truth about John Kennedy's murder did
      not seem so outrageous.
         It was not long before there formed a new wave of doubt about
      the Warren Commission's findings.  Revelations about the illegal
      domestic activities of the CIA led President Ford to appoint a
      presidential commission in February 1975.  This commission's scope
      was quickly expanded to include allegations that the CIA had been
      involved in the Kennedy assassination as well as numerous plots
      against foreign leaders, notably Fidel Castro of Cuba.[23]
      However, the commission, whose investigation was headed by an ex-
      staff lawyer for the Warren Commission, David Belin, chose to
      "investigate" only the most unfounded of the charges against the
      CIA relating to the assassination.  The outlandish allegations of
      Dick Gregory and A. J. Weberman that E. Howard Hunt and Frank
      Sturgis were arrested in Dealey Plaza on November 22 provided easy
      targets for Mr. Belin's selectively aimed investigative
      cannons.[24]  It soon became public knowledge that the United
      States had indeed been involved in the assassination business,
      having used the CIA and the Mafia to make attempts on the lives of
      Castro, Trujillo, and Lumumba, among others.  Doubts grew.  In the
      fall of 1975 it was revealed that the Dallas office of the FBI, on
      orders from J. Edgar Hoover, had destroyed a threatening note left
      there by Oswald.[25]  After the FBI confirmed this deliberate
      destruction of evidence,[26] no one could deny that there {had}
      been some sort of conspiracy to conceal by the government.
      Representative Don Edwards announced that his subcommittee would
      hold hearings into the FBI's withholding of evidence from the
      Warren Commission, and two Senators on a select committee
      investigating the CIA formed a special subcommittee to study the
      need for a congressional investigation of the assassination.
      Clearly the tide was turning.  Even the Commission's staunchest
      defenders were forced to call for a new investigation, including
      David Belin[27]  and President Ford,[28]  both Warren Commission
         I support the movement toward a new investigation, but the vital
      question now concerns {what} should be investigated.  A
      congressional reopening of the case should focus on those areas
      which will yield meaningful findings and serve a constructive
      national purpose.  Such an investigation would inevitably have to
      deal with the question of "Who killed Kennedy?"  However, my own
      familiarity with the evidence leads me to believe that an inquiry
      limited only to that question would be doomed to achieving very
      little.  The major question at this point is "Who covered up the
      truth about the murder, how, and why?"  A congressional
      investigation could establish with little effort that the Warren
      Report's "solution" of the crime is erroneous;  the Commission's
      files, as well as the files of other federal agencies, would
      provide a fertile starting point for the determination of
      responsibility in the cover-up.  The participants in all stages of
      the official investigation of the assassination are either known or
      identifiable, and those individuals still living can be subjected
      to cross-examination.  I do not personally believe that the federal
      investigators knew who killed President Kennedy.  But the evidence
      is certain that decisions were made, at times and levels now
      unknown, that the truth about the assassination should not be
      discovered, that falsehood should be disseminated to the people.
      When such decisions are made by the government, the Congress has a
      reason, indeed an obligation, to investigate and to assure that the
      executive is made to account.
         Thus, it is my conviction that the only responsible approach to
      be taken toward the assassination at this point is to focus upon
      the question of the Warren Commission's failure, rather than to
      speculate about conspiracies and solutions for which there is no
      evidence.  My own review of the critical literature and the varied
      positions of those opposing the Warren Report persuades me that
      this approach is in fact the only viable one.  I hope that a brief
      elaboration will help the reader to understand my position.
         The early writings on the assassination by Weisberg, Meagher,
      Lane, and Epstein focused on the inadequacy of the official
      solution to the crime.  Each author approached the subject in his
      or her own manner, although, in my estimate, the books by Lane and
      Epstein were seriously flawed.
         Harold Weisberg was the first and the strongest advocate of the
      doctrine that the assassination should be studied from the
      perspective of the official noninvestigation.  Weisberg has
      continually stressed the great implications of the fraudulent
      investigation for our government and our society.  His own words on
      the subject forcefully convey his approach:

            In its approach, operations and Report, the Commission
         considered one possibility alone--that Lee Harvey Oswald,
         without assistance, assassinated the President and killed
         Officer Tippit.  Never has such a tremendous array of power
         been turned against a single man, and he was dead.  Yet even
         without opposition the Commission failed. . . .
            A crime such as the assassination of the President of the
         United States cannot be left as the Report . . . has left
         it, without even the probability of a solution, with
         assassins and murderers free, and free to repeat their
         crimes and enjoy what benefits they may have expected to
         enjoy therefrom.  No President is ever safe if Presidential
         assassins are exculpated.  Yet that is what the Commission
         has done.  In finding Oswald "guilty," it has found those
         who assassinated him "innocent."  If the President is not
         safe, then neither is the country.[29]
            Much more does it relate to each individual American, to
         the integrity of the institutions of our society, when
         anything happens to any president--especially when he is
            The consignment of President John F. Kennedy to history
         with the dubious epitaph of the whitewashed investigation is
         a grievous event.[30]
            Above all, the Report leaves in jeopardy the rights of
         all Americans and the honor of the nation.  When what
         happened to Oswald once he was in the hands of the public
         authority can occur in this country with neither reprimand
         nor question, no one is safe.  When the Federal government
         puts its stamp of approval on such unabashed and open denial
         of the most basic legal rights of any American, no matter
         how insignificant he may be, then no American can depend on
         having those rights, no matter what his power or
         connections. The rights of all Americans, as the
         Commission's chairman said when wearing his Chief Justice's
         hat, depend upon each American's enjoyment of these same

      Perhaps the simplest statement of the context enunciated by
      Weisberg is contained in the quotation that I included in the
      Preface of this book:  "If the government can manufacture, suppress
      and lie when a President is cut down--and get away with it--what
      cannot follow?"[32]
         The basic focus of Mrs. Meagher's book is set forth in its very
      appropriate title, "Accessories After the Fact:  The Warren
      Commission, The Authorities and The Report."  Mrs. Meagher
      scrupulously contrasts the statements contained in the Warren
      Report with the Commission's published hearings and exhibits.  She
      finds that:

            The first pronounces Oswald guilty;  the second, instead
         of corroborating the verdict reached by the Warren
         Commission, creates a reasonable doubt of Oswald's guilt and
         even a powerful presumption of his complete innocence of all
         the crimes of which he was accused.[33]

      As stated by Mrs. Meagher, the corollary to this finding is as

            Because of the nature of the investigation, it is
         probable that the assassins who shot down President John F.
         Kennedy have gone free, undetected.  The Warren Report has
         served merely to delay their identification and the process
         of justice.[34]

      This is to say that the Warren Commission and the federal
      authorities, regardless of their motives or conscious intent, made
      themselves accessories after the fact in the President's murder by
      constructing a false solution that allowed the real criminals to go
         Mark Lane's best-selling "Rush to Judgment" was presented as a
      critique of the Commission's investigation.  One may question
      Lane's selection and presentation of evidence;  certain basic flaws
      in the book raise more serious questions about its value as a
      "critique" of the official inquiry.  The Warren Commission's
      investigation cannot be understood without reference to the
      relationship between the Commission and its staff, for it was the
      staff that handled virtually all of the work and digested the
      information that filtered up to the Commission members.  Yet in
      "Rush to Judgment" the staff is never identified.  Where
      questioning of a particular witness is quoted, names of individual
      staff members have been replaced by an anonymous "Q."  An
      introduction by Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper states:  "It is clear
      that the bulk of the work fell upon the Chairman and upon the
      assistant counsel and staff [who for Lane's readers are
      nameless]."[35]  This assertion unjustly singles out Earl Warren
      for blame, although he never came close to doing "the bulk of the
      work." Trevor-Roper seems immediately to thwart the supposed
      purpose of the book by offering the assurance that "moderate,
      rational men will naturally and . . . rightly" reject the idea that
      the Commission and the "existing agencies" "sought to reach a
      certain conclusion at the expense of the facts . . . that they . .
      . were dishonest . . . [that the] Commission . . . engaged in a
      conspiracy to cover up a crime. . . ."[36]  Lane surely no longer
      accepts this kind but false view of the Commission's work, and has
      omitted the introduction by the prestigious Trevor-Roper from the
      1975 paperback reissue of his book.  In the intervening years,
      however, Lane has taken public stances that have seriously
      compromised his credibility.  In the midst of his close association
      with Jim Garrison prior to the acquittal of Clay Shaw, Lane told
      the press that he knew the identities of the real murderers of
      President Kennedy.[37]  During the 1968 presidential campaign, in
      which he ran for Vice-President on a ticket with Dick Gregory, Lane
      held a press conference in Philadelphia to announce that Garrison
      "has substantially solved the assassination conspiracy.  He knows
      who was involved and has strong evidence.  I've seen the evidence;
      I've talked to the witnesses."[38]  Lane also claimed to have two
      copies of this evidence, which he promised to release if the
      government kept Shaw from going to trial.  The evidence presented
      at Shaw's trial, needless to say, did not solve the assassination;
      neither Garrison nor Lane ever possessed the dispositive evidence
      each claimed to have.
         Doubters who sought a rational and scholarly treatment of the
      Commission's failure flocked to Edward Jay Epstein when his
      critique of the inner workings of the Commission, "Inquest," was
      published in 1966;  they were soon to be disappointed.  Many of
      Epstein's most telling points were based on unrecorded interviews
      with Commission members and staff lawyers and thus could not be
      verified when the inevitable denials came.  Yet, for all his
      pretenses, Epstein actually defended the official investigation.
      According to Epstein, the Warren Commission was involved in a
      situation that might have excused lying in the "national interest."
      He rightly asserted that the "nation's faith in its own
      institutions was held to be at stake."[39]  But, in concluding his
      book, he found that "in establishing its version of the truth, the
      Warren Commission acted to reassure the nation and protect the
      national interest."[40]  This, he implied, justified the failure to
      make "it clear that very substantial evidence indicated the
      presence of a second assassin."[41]  Three years after writing his
      book, Epstein totally reversed his position in a "New York Times
      Magazine" article.[42]  "Nor is there any substantial evidence that
      I know of," he wrote in 1969, "that indicates there was more than
      one rifleman firing."  Suddenly, to Epstein, it was incidental that
      the Commission "had conducted a less than exhaustive
      investigation."  Of the "great number of inconsistencies" between
      the official evidence and the official conclusions, he could say
      only that "there is no formula for adding up inconsistencies and
      arriving at the truth," as if this platitude would rescue the
      Commission's findings.  Those who suggest that these massive
      "inconsistencies" prove the invalidity of the Warren Report,
      Epstein opined, merely engage in "obfuscatory rhetoric."
         Perhaps the two best-known books departing from the perspective
      of the inadequacies of the official investigation and entering into
      the realm of alternative theories are Richard Popkin's "The Second
      Oswald" and Josiah Thompson's "Six Seconds in Dallas."  Both books
      cite a wealth of evidence but are thoroughly inadequate in
      themselves, and thus, to my thinking, are counterproductive.  "The
      Second Oswald" was introduced as "the third stage of a great case"
      and promoted as "the startling new theory of the
      assassination."[43]  The theory--that someone, resembling and
      posing as Oswald, planted incriminating circumstantial evidence
      during the two months before the assassination--was hardly new.
      Harold Weisberg had devoted a chapter of his "Whitewash" to it,
      although not in the context of suggesting a solution to the crime.
      Weisberg's copyrighted work was never acknowledged by Popkin, who
      falsely claimed singular and original credit.  Popkin's
      preoccupation with the importance of solving the crime has led him
      into strange pursuits, the latest of which was to inform President
      Ford that John Kennedy was killed by "zombie assassins," programmed
      like robots by the CIA.[44]  Professor Thompson's book, a slick
      presentation utilizing numerous photographs, refuses to name any
      assassins but offers a scenerio [sic] in which three assassins
      fired four shots in Dealey Plaza.  The theory is hopelessly flawed.
      It is based on a first shot fired later than the evidence
      indicates;[45]  it relies heavily on interpretations of the
      Zapruder film that are tenuous at best;[46]  it fails to account
      for at least one shot that missed the car;[47]  and it is riddled
      with basic inaccuracies such as the misidentification of a
      cartridge case first forwarded to the FBI by the Dallas Police (an
      integral part of the "theory").[48]
         Of all those critics who began with a desire to help but who
      wound up damaging their credibility through irresponsible action,
      no one has been more of a disappointment than Dr. Cyril Wecht.  For
      years Dr. Wecht was an outspoken and highly qualified critic of
      President Kennedy's autopsy.  His exceptional credentials in
      forensic pathology were of great value to many critics researching
      the case.  Then, in 1972, Dr. Wecht applied for and was granted
      access to the photographs and X rays of President Kennedy's body
      taken during the autopsy.  Most critics rejoiced that finally an
      expert from "our side" would be allowed to study this long-
      suppressed evidence.
         I had great reservations as to the advisability of Dr. Wecht's
      viewing this material.  Affirmatively, there was little that the
      pictures and X rays could tell because the autopsy itself had been
      hopelessly botched.  The report of an earlier examination by an
      expert panel convened at the government's behest in 1968 had
      already revealed enough information to destroy the official
      reconstruction of the crime and suggest perjury in the testimony of
      the autopsy pathologists before the Warren Commission.[49]  Thus, I
      felt that an examination by Dr. Wecht in 1972 could accomplish
      little and actually be disserving, because Dr. Wecht, for all his
      expertise in forensic pathology, was never an expert {on the
      assassination}.  I knew that Dr. Wecht was closely advised by
      critics whom I considered irresponsible, and I feared the sort of
      public posture he would assume as a result of their counsels.  When
      Dr. Wecht solicited my help prior to viewing the pictures and X
      rays,[50] I advised him of my position[51] and received no
      response.  Years later I learned that he was so enraged at my
      suggestions of caution that he forbade his panel of "advisers" from
      ever communicating his findings to me.[52]
         Dr. Wecht's behavior subsequent to viewing the suppressed
      photographic material has exceeded my worst expectations.  His
      early statements and writings sensationalized the fact that
      President Kennedy's brain was missing,[53]  seriously overrating
      the evidential value of the brain.[54]  He initially chose to
      temper his remarks about the pictures and X rays themselves by
      claiming that the incomplete state of the evidence made a
      conclusive determination of the source of the shots impossible.[55]
      However, Dr. Wecht did not hesitate to offer unfounded speculation
      about the assassination or the murder of Officer Tippit.[56]  On
      one occasion he stated:  "I believe the evidence shows conclusively
      . . . that the assassination was the work of a conspiracy, and that
      the Central Intelligence Agency--the CIA--was definitely
      involved."[57]  When Dr. Wecht ultimately reduced his findings to
      an article for a medical journal, his position changed, although
      hardly for the better.  He toned down his earlier caveats about the
      limits of the medical evidence and concluded that the available
      evidence led him to believe that President Kennedy was struck by
      two bullets from the rear.[58]  In my opinion, it was highly
      irresponsible for Dr.  Wecht to announce such a tenuous conclusion
      while ignoring the irrefutable evidence that the pictures and X
      rays destroy the integrity of all the medical evidence upon which
      the Warren Report was based--as he himself had testified in open
      court years before.  In some cases it is difficult to believe that
      errors in Dr. Wecht's article could have been inadvertent.  The
      article casually notes that an X ray of the President's head
      revealed at least three fragments of metal in the {left} hemisphere
      of the brain;[59]  the article also claims to vouch for the
      accuracy of the description of the same X ray contained in the
      report of the 1968 panel review.[60]  What Dr. Wecht failed to tell
      his readers is that the 1968 panel stated that there were {no}
      metallic fragments depicted on the X ray to the left of the midline
      of the head, a finding which, according to that panel, renders the
      theory of a frontal shot "not reasonable to postulate."[61]  If Dr.
      Wecht's observation is correct, he deceived his readers in claiming
      to verify the earlier panel report and in failing to note the
      glaring discrepancy.
         Dr. Wecht's apparent desire to solve a crime that cannot be
      solved has earned him the dubious honor of being quoted extensively
      by defenders of the Warren Report.[62]  Even the 1975 presidential
      commission investigating the CIA cited Dr. Wecht's testimony and
      writings to support the notion that President Kennedy was shot only
      from behind.[63]  Dr. Wecht, ostensibly still a "critic," protested
      that he had been misrepresented and promised to eat the transcript
      of his testimony--on the steps of the White House--if he really
      said what had been attributed to him.[64]  Soon Wecht admitted that
      his words had merely been used out of context.[65]  But there would
      be no eating on the White House steps;  the testimony had already
      consumed Dr. Wecht.
         Facts, not theories, documentation, not speculation, are the
      only responsible approach to the sordid history of President
      Kennedy's murder.  The evidence is simply insufficient to allow any
      determination of what really happened on November 22, 1963, and a
      critic attempting to fashion a solution without respecting the
      limits of the evidence is doomed to sacrifice his credibility.
         The crime remains unsolved, and, as I document here, the federal
      government played a direct and deliberate role in assuring that it
      would remain unsolved.  This is a fact far more frightening than
      even the most outrageous theory about who committed the crime.  It
      is also intolerable.  One of the few remedies available to the
      average citizen is to set the record straight, however and wherever
      it can be done, in order to lay the foundation for responsible
      congressional action.
         To set the record straight is the purpose of this book.  Here I
      present documented proof of two points essential to any
      understanding of the assassination and its official

         1.  Lee Harvey Oswald did not fire any shots in the
         2.  The Warren Commission considered no possibility other than
      that Oswald was the lone assassin, and consciously endeavored to
      fabricate a case against Oswald.

         It is not the critic's responsibility to explain the motives of
      the Commission members or their staff, or to name assassins and
      conspirators.  The only responsibility of the critic is to deal
      with the facts and never to avoid or attempt to modify, without
      factual basis, the implications of the evidence.  So, when the
      Commissioners decided in advance that the wrong man was the lone
      assassin, whatever their intentions, they protected the real
      assassins.  Through their staff they misinformed the American
      people and falsified history.  Regardless of whether their false
      solution to the crime was a "politically acceptable explanation,"
      they did nothing to rectify the politically "unacceptable" fact.
      When a government can get away with what ours did at the death of
      its president, the presidency and the people are betrayed.
         The assassination of a president is a total negation of the
      electoral process, which is the very foundation of democratic
      institutions.  With the Warren Report, the government sacrificed
      its credibility, and undermined any legitimate basis the people
      might have had for confidence in it.  Very simply, a government
      that disseminates blatant falsehoods about the murder of its chief
      executive and frames an innocent man is not accountable to and does
      not deserve the confidence of the people.
         This is a disquieting reality, but one that must be faced if
      integrity is to be restored to our government and its institutions.
      The government must function properly, with decency, honesty, and
      respect for the law.  In framing Oswald and exculpating
      presidential assassins, the Commission mocked the law and every
      principle of justice.  In the words of former Supreme Court Justice
      Louis Brandeis, "In a government of laws, the very existence of the
      government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law
         This book is not a call to the people to lose faith in their
      government.  It is a call to reason, so that no one will
      unquestioningly accept governmental assurances without first
      checking the facts.  In the end we must face reality;  we must
      reckon with truth no matter where it is found.


 [1] Harold Weisberg, "Whitewash:  The Report on the Warren Report"
    (Hyattstown, Md.:  Harold Weisberg, 1965), p. 189.

 [2] Transcript of Warren Commission executive session of January 22,
     1964, pp. 11-13.  The transcript is reproduced in Harold
     Weisberg's "Post Mortem" (Frederick, Md.: Harold Weisberg, 1975),
     pp. 475ff.

 [3] Transcript of Warren Commission executive session of January 27,
     1964, pp. 170-71.  The full transcript is reproduced in Harold
     Weisberg's "Whitewash IV:  JFK Assassination Transcript"
     (Frederick, Md.: Harold Weisberg, 1974).

 [4] Transcript of Warren Commission executive session of December 16,
     1963, p. 11.

 [5] Memorandum dated February 10, 1964, from Charles Shaffer to
     Howard Willens, available from the National Archives.  This
     document is reproduced in Weisberg's "Post Mortem" at p. 488.

 [6] Memorandum dated January 23, 1964, from Francis Adams and Arlen
     Specter to J. Lee Rankin, attachment II, item (c), available
     from the National Archives.  This document is reproduced in
     Weisberg's "Post Mortem" at p. 490.

 [7] See "Post Mortem," chap. 29 and pp. 407ff.

 [8] Aebersold's letter is available from the National Archives.  The
     letter notes:  "Our work leads one to expect that the tremendous
     sensitivity of the activation analysis method is capable of
     providing useful information that may not be otherwise attainable."

 [9] Letter from J. Lee Rankin to J. Edgar Hoover, dated January 7, 1964.

[10] Transcript of Warren Commission executive session of January 27,
     1964, p. 194.

[11] Memorandum from Melvin Eisenberg to Norman Redlich dated September
     5, 1964.  This document is reproduced in Weisberg's "Post Mortem"
     at p. 477.

[12] See "Post Mortem," chap. 29 and p. 607.

[13] "Weisberg v. U.S. Department of Justice," 489 F.2d 1195 (D.C. Dir.

[14] During the Senate debate on the 1974 FOIA amendments, Senator
     Edward Kennedy expressed his understanding that one of the
     proposed amendments would "in effect override the court decisions
     in the court of appeals on the Weisberg against United States."
     Senator Philip Hart, who had written the amendment, responded:
     "That is its purpose."  "Congressional Record" of May 30, 1974,
     S9329-30.  The official legislative history is contained in the
     Conference Report, H. Rep. 93-1380, 93d Congress, 2d Session, 1974.

[15] Weisberg's second FOIA suit for the spectrographic and NAA results
     is described in detail with much of the accompanying documentation
     reproduced in "Post Mortem," pp. 407ff.  See also the affidavit of
     FBI Agent John W. Kilty filed by the government in the suit, at
     pp. 623-24.

[16] E.g., see Anthony Lewis's coverage of the Warren Report and
     editorial comment by James Reston, "New York Times," September 28,
     1964;  "Washington Post" coverage of the same date, including
     praise by Robert Donovan, p. A14, Roscoe Drummond, p. A13, Marquis
     Childs, and an editorial saying the Report "deserves acceptance as
     the whole truth, and nothing but the truth", a favorable editorial
     in the "Washington Evening Star," September 28, 1964, p. A-8;
     "Time" (October 2, 1964) and "Newsweek" (October 5, 1964) carried
     lengthy "news" features praising the Report.

[17] E.g., see "Life," November 25, 1966, pp. 38-48;  "Ramparts,"
     October 1966, p. 3;  "Saturday Evening Post," January 14, 1967,
     and December 2, 1967, p. 88.

[18] In May 1967 a Harris Survey revealed that 66 percent of the
     American public believed that the assassination was not the work
     of one man but was part of a broader plot.

[19] "Philadelphia Inquirer," February 25, 1967.

[20] "Washington Post," February 23, 1967.

[21] "Philadelphia Inquirer," March 2, 1967.

[22] Ibid., March 2, 1969.

[23] "New York Times," March 8, 1975.

[24] "New York Times," May 12, 1975.  See "Report to the President by
     the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States" (June
     1975), Chap. 19.

[25] "Dallas Times Herald," August 31, 1975.

[26] "New York Times," September 1, 1975, p. 7.

[27] "New York Times," November 23, 1975.

[28] "New York Times," November 27, 1975.

[29] Weisberg, "Whitewash," p. 188.

[30] Weisberg, "Whitewash II," p. 7.

[31] Weisberg, "Whitewash," p. 189.

[32] Weisberg, "Photographic Whitewash," p. 137.

[33] Sylvia Meagher, "Accessories After the Fact" (New York:  The
     Bobbs-Merrill Co., Inc., 1967), p. xxiii.

[34] Ibid., p. 456.

[35] Mark Lane, "Rush to Judgment" (New York:  Holt, Rinehart & Winston,
     1966), p. 8.

[36] Ibid., pp. 15-16.

[37] "Lane:  I Know the Assassin," "New York Post," March 21, 1967, p. 14.

[38] Philadelphia "Distant Drummer" for bi-weekly period beginning
     November 1, 1968, p. 9.

[39] Edward J. Epstein, "Inquest" (New York:  Bantam Books, 1966), p. 2.

[40] Ibid., p. 125.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Edward J. Epstein, "The Final Chapter in the Assassination
     Controversy?", "New York Times Magazine," April 20, 1969.

[43] Richard Popkin, "The Second Oswald" (New York:  Avon Books, 1966),
     p. 9 and jacket blurb, back cover.

[44] Dick Russell, "'Dear President Ford:  I Know Who Killed
     JFK . . . ,' " "Village Voice," September 1, 1975.

[45] Compare Josiah Thompson, "Six Seconds in Dallas" (New York:  Bernard
     Geis Associates, 1967), pp. 34- 35, with Olson and Turner,
     "Photographic Evidence and the Assassination of President John F.
     Kennedy," "Journal of Forensic Sciences," October 1971.

[46] For example, Thompson claims that the precise moment of impact on
     Governor Connally is ascertainable because the Governor's right
     shoulder slumps, his cheeks puff, and a lock of hair flies up.  "Six
     Seconds," pp. 71-75.  The shoulder slump would occur coincidentally
     with the impact of the bullet;  the other signs necessarily would
     appear an instant {after}.  Yet, the film reveals the shoulder slump
     at frame 238, with the secondary signs of impact first appearing in
     frame 237, {before} the supposed momentum transfer occurs.

[47] Thompson suggests that a fragment from the head shot might have
     retained enough energy to travel 270 feet, strike a curbstone, and
     ricochet to wound a bystander, but adds that "270 feet is a long
     way for a fragment to fly." Ibid., pp. 230-33.

[48] The three cartridge cases found in the Book Depository were given
     FBI identification numbers C6, C7, and C38.  Only two cases were
     forwarded to the FBI on the night of the assassination.  Thompson,
     attempting to "excite . . . suspicion" about C6, alleges that C6
     was the case initially withheld from the FBI by the Dallas Police.
     Ibid., p. 143.  However, the evidence establishes beyond question
     that C38 was the withheld case and that C6 and C7 were immediately
     forwarded to the FBI.  See CE 717, and 24H262.  In support of his
     assertion that C6 had been withheld, Thompson cites testimony by
     Dallas Police Lt. J. C. Day (4H254-55), which was erroneous and
     was later retracted by Day in a sworn affidavit (7H402).  Thompson
     does not mention the retraction.

[49] See Weisberg, "Post Mortem," Part II.

[50] Letter from Dr. Cyril H. Wecht to the author, dated July 20, 1972.

[51] Letter from author to Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, dated July 26, 1972.

[52] Tape of a conference between Dr. Wecht and several Warren Report
     critics, recorded August 23, 1972.  The tape was made available
     to me by a participant in the conference.  Of my letter, Dr. Wecht
     stated:  "I'm a little too big of a boy to receive a letter from
     a punk kid like that, you know, 18 year old snotty nose kid."  Dr.
     Wecht also expressed anger that Harold Weisberg disapproved of his

[53] "Mystery Cloaks Fate of Brain of Kennedy," "New York Times," August
     27, 1972, p. 1.

[54] Philip Nobile questioned Dr. Wecht about the brain in a nationally
     syndicated column:

      WECHT:  The brain has disappeared because it would give us hard
              physical evidence that the Warren Commission is
              inaccurate regarding (1) the number of bullets that
              struck the president's head and (2) the direction the
              bullets came from.

      NOBILE: In other words, you think the brain is the key to
              solving the assassination?

      WECHT:   Yes, it is.

     "Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel," November 19, 1972, p. 4E.

[55] See Dr. Wecht's article in "Modern Medicine," November 27, 1972.

[56] E.g., see source cited in note 54.

[57] "National Enquirer," October 15, 1972.

[58] In 1972 Dr. Wecht wrote, "So far as the available materials show,
     there might even have been shots fired from the front and right. .
     . ."  "Modern Medicine," November 27, 1972, p. 31.  In 1974 Dr.
     Wecht wrote:  "So far as the available medical evidence shows, all
     shots were fired from the rear.  No support can be found for
     theories which postulate gunmen to the front or right-front of the
     Presidential car."  Wecht and Smith, "The Medical Evidence in the
     Assassination of President John F. Kennedy," "Forensic Science
     Gazette," April 1974, p. 128.

[59] Wecht and Smith, "Forensic Science Gazette," April 1974, p. 118.

[60] Ibid., p. 114.

[61] Report of the Ramsey Clark panel, 1968, p. 12.

[62] E.g., see Jacob Cohen, "Conspiracy Fever," "Commentary," October
     1975.  My citation of Cohen's article should not in any way be
     construed as an endorsement of it, for it is a gross and deliberate
     misstatement of fact, as I documented in collaboration with Jerry
     Policoff in the "Washington Star," October 26, 1975, Section H.

[63] "Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities Within
     the United States," June 1975, p. 264.

[64] "New York Times," June 12, 1975.

[65] "Philadelphia Inquirer," June 15, 1975, p. 3-A.

[66] Dissenting opinion of Justice Brandeis in "Olmstead v. United
     States," 277 U.S. 438 (1928).


      PART I:


                              A Note on Citations

         References to the 26-volume "Hearings Before the President's
      Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy" follow this
      form:  volume number, H, page number;  thus, for example, 4H165
      refers to volume 4, page 165.  Exhibits introduced in evidence
      before the Commission are designated CE and a number;  CE399, for
      example, refers to the Commission's 399th exhibit.  References to
      the "Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of
      President Kennedy" (Washington, D.C.:  Government Printing Office,
      1964) follow this form:  R, page number;  R150, for example
      indicates page 150 of the Report.  Most references to the
      Commission's unpublished files deposited in the National Archives
      follow this form:  CD, number:  page number;  CD5:260, for example,
      indicates page 260 of Commission Document 5.

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      Assassination:  The Official Case

         As stated in its Report, one of the Warren Commission's main
      objectives was "to identify the person or persons responsible for
      both the assassination of President Kennedy and the killing of
      Oswald through an examination of the evidence" (Rxiv).
      Accordingly, the Commission produced one person whom it claimed to
      be solely responsible for the assassination:  Lee Harvey Oswald
      (R18-23).  Because the scope of the present study is limited to
      Oswald's role in the shooting, it is vital that we first understand
      the foundations for the Commission's conclusion that Oswald was
         In this chapter I will deal solely with the evidence that is
      alleged to prove Oswald's guilt, as presented in the Report.  I
      will make no attempt to criticize the selection of evidence, but
      rather will take the final report at face value, probing its logic
      and structure so that it can be judged whether the determination of
      Oswald's guilt is warranted by the "facts" set forth.
         The first and most vital step in determining who shot at the
      President involved ascertaining the location(s) and weapon(s) from
      which the shots came.  In a chapter entitled "The Shots From the
      Texas School Book Depository," the Commission "analyzes the
      evidence and sets forth its conclusions concerning the source,
      effect, number and timing of the shots that killed President
      Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally" (R61).

      {The Scene}

         The scene of the assassination was Dealey Plaza, the so-called
      heart of Dallas, made up of three streets that converge at a
      railroad overpass.  At the opposite side of the plaza are several
      buildings, many city owned.  Along each side leading to the
      underpass are grassy banks adorned with shrubbery and masonry
      structures.  Two grassy plots separate the three streets--Elm,
      Main, and Commerce--all of which intersect with Houston at the head
      of the plaza.  The shooting occurred as the Presidential limousine
      cruised down Elm Street toward the underpass.
         One of the major conclusions of the Commission is that the shots
      "were fired from the sixth floor window at the southeast corner of
      the Texas School Book Depository" (R18), a book warehouse located
      on the northwest corner of Elm and Houston.  (Oswald was employed
      in this building.)  Several factors influenced this conclusion.
         The Report first calls upon the witnesses who indicated in some
      way that the shots originated from this source.  It refers to two
      spectators who claimed to see "a rifle being fired" from the
      Depository window, two others who "saw a rifle in this window
      immediately after the assassination," and "three employees of the
      Depository, observing the parade from the fifth floor," who "heard
      the shots fired from the floor immediately above them" (R61).

      {The Limousine}

         Discussed next is the presidential automobile (R76-77).  On the
      night of the assassination, Secret Service agents found two
      relatively large bullet fragments in the front seat of the car--one
      consisting of the nose portion of a bullet, the other a section of
      the base portion.  An examination of the limousine on November 23
      by FBI agents disclosed three very small lead particles on the rug
      beneath the left jump seat, which had been occupied by Mrs.
      Connally, and a small lead residue on the inside surface of the
      windshield, with a corresponding series of cracks on the outer
      surface.  All of the metallic pieces were compared by
      spectrographic analysis by the FBI and "found to be similar in
      metallic composition, but it was not possible to determine whether
      two or more of the fragments came from the same bullet."  The
      physical characteristics of the windshield damage indicated that it
      was struck on the inside surface from behind, by a bullet fragment
      traveling at "fairly high velocity."


         In a crime involving firearms, the ballistics evidence is always
      of vital importance.  This was especially true of the ballistics
      evidence adduced by the Commission relating to the President's
      murder.  As used in the Report, this evidence seems to have a
      clarifying effect, bringing together loose ends and creating a
      circumstantial but superficially persuasive case.  The relevant
      discussion is summarized in the Report as follows, based on
      unanimous expert testimony:

            The nearly whole bullet found on Governor Connally's
         stretcher at Parkland Memorial Hospital [the President and
         the Governor were rushed to this hospital after the
         shooting] and the two bullet fragments found on the front
         seat of the Presidential limousine were fired from the 6.5-
         millimeter Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found on the sixth floor
         of the Depository Building to the exclusion of all other
            The three used cartridge cases found near the window on
         the sixth floor at the southeast corner of the building were
         fired from the same rifle which fired the above-described
         bullet and fragments, to the exclusion of all other weapons.

         Here the Commission has related a rifle and three spent
      cartridge cases found at the scene of the crime to a bullet found
      in a location presumably occupied by Governor Connally as well as
      to fragments found in the car in which both victims rode.  The
      circumstantial aspect of the ballistics evidence presented by the
      Commission is this:  it does not directly relate the weapon to a
      specific shooter nor the bullet specimens to a specific victim's


         An autopsy is a central piece of evidence in violent or
      unnatural death.  In the case of death by gunshot wounds, an
      autopsy can reveal a wealth of information, indicating the type(s)
      of ammunition used by the assailant(s), as well as the general
      relationship of the gun to the victim's body.  Bullets or fragments
      found in the body can sometimes conclusively establish the specific
      weapon used in the crime.  The medical evidence used by the
      Commission emanated from (a) the doctors who observed the
      President's and the Governor's wounds at Parkland Hospital, (b) the
      autopsy on the President performed at the Bethesda Naval Hospital,
      Maryland, on the night of the assassination, (c) the clothing worn
      by the two victims, and (d) ballistics tests conducted with the
      Carcano found in the Depository and ammunition of the same type as
      that found in the hospital and the car.  From this information the
      Commission drew the following conclusions:

            The nature of the bullet wounds suffered by President
         Kennedy and Governor Connally and the location of the car at
         the time of the shots establish that the bullets were fired
         from above and behind the Presidential limousine, striking
         the President and the Governor as follows:
            (1) President Kennedy was first struck by a bullet which
         entered at the back of his neck and exited through the lower
         front portion of his neck, causing a wound which would not
         necessarily have been lethal.  The President was struck a
         second time by a bullet which entered the right-rear portion
         of his head, causing a massive and fatal wound.
            (2) Governor Connally was struck by a bullet which
         entered on the right side of his back and travelled downward
         through the right side of his chest, exiting below his right
         nipple.  This bullet then passed through his right wrist and
         entered his left thigh where it caused a superficial wound.

      For each set of wounds, the Report cites ballistics tests in
      support of the notion that the injuries observed were consistent
      with bullets fired from the Carcano (R87, 91, 94-95).  In two
      instances it is asserted that the tests further indicated that the
      wounds could have been produced by the bullet specimens traceable
      to the {specific} Carcano found in the Depository, as opposed to
      merely being consistent with a {similar} rifle firing similar
      ammunition (R87, 95).

      {The Trajectory}

         "The trajectory" is the next topic of discussion in the Report,
      which says:  " . . . to insure that all data were consistent with
      the shots having been fired from the sixth floor window, the
      Commission requested additional investigation, including analysis
      of motion picture films of the assassination and on-site tests"
      (R96).  The films referred to by the Commission were those taken of
      the assassination by spectators Abraham Zapruder, Orville Nix, and
      Mary Muchmore.  Only Zapruder's film, taken from the President's
      side of the street, provided a photographic record of the entire
      shooting.  (Zapruder's position is shown in the sketch of Dealey
         Motion picture footage is composed of a series of still pictures
      called "frames" taken in extremely rapid succession which, when
      projected at approximately the same speed of exposure, create the
      illusion of motion.  The frames of the Zapruder film were numbered
      by the FBI for convenient reference, and it is not until frame 130
      that the President's car appears in the film.  From that point on,
      this is basically what we see in terms of frames:  The car
      continues down Elm for a brief period, gradually approaching a road
      sign that loomed in Zapruder's view.  At frame 210, President
      Kennedy goes out of view behind this sign.  Governor Connally, also
      temporarily blocked from Zapruder's sight, first reappears in frame
      222.  At 225 the President comes into view again, and he has
      obviously been wounded, for his face has a grimace and his hands
      are rising toward his chin.  Within about ten frames, the Governor
      is struck;  he manifests a violent reaction.  In the succeeding
      frames we see Mrs. Kennedy reach over to help her husband, her
      attention temporarily diverted by Connally, who is screaming.
      Finally, at frame 313, the President is struck in the head, as can
      be clearly seen by the great rupturing of skull and brain tissues.
      Mrs. Kennedy scrambles frantically onto the trunk of the limousine
      and is forced back into her seat by a Secret Service agent who had
      run to the car from the follow-up vehicle.  Subsequent to the head
      shot, the limousine accelerated in its approach toward the
      underpass.  Once the car is out of view, the film stops.  The Nix
      and Muchmore films depict sequences immediately before, during, and
      after the head shot.
         Examination of Zapruder's camera by the FBI established that an
      average of 18.3 film frames was exposed during each second of
      operation;  thus the timing of certain events could be calculated
      by allowing 1/18.3 seconds for the action depicted from one frame
      to the next.  Tests of the "assassin's" rifle disclosed that at
      least 2.3 seconds (or 41-42 film frames) were required between
      shots (R97).
         The on-site tests were conducted by the FBI and Secret Service
      in Dealey Plaza on May 24, 1964.  A car simulating the Presidential
      limousine was driven down Elm Street, as depicted in the various
      assassination films, with stand-ins occupying the general positions
      of the President and the Governor.  An agent situated in the
      sixth-floor window tracked the car through the telescopic sight on
      the Carcano as the assassin allegedly did on November 22.  Films
      depicting the "assassin's view" were made through the rifle scope
      (R97).  During these tests it was ascertained that the foliage of a
      live oak tree would have blocked a sixth-floor view of the
      President during his span of travel corresponding to frames 166
      through 210.  An opening among the leaves permitted viewing the
      President's back at frame 186, for a duration of about 1/18 second
         The Commission concluded that the first shot to wound the
      President in the neck occurred between frames 210 to 225, largely
      because (a) a sixth-floor gunman could not have shot at the
      President for a substantial time prior to 210 because of the tree,
      and (b) the President seems to show an obvious reaction to his neck
      wounds at 225.  Exact determination of the time of impact was
      prevented because Mr. Kennedy was blocked from Zapruder's view by a
      road sign from 210 to 224 (R98, 105).
         The Report next argues that the trajectory from the sixth-floor
      window strongly indicated that a bullet exiting from the
      President's throat and traveling at a substantial velocity would
      not have missed both the car and its occupants.  No damage to the
      limousine was found consistent with the impact of such a missile.
      "Since [the bullet] did not hit the automobile, [FBI expert]
      Frazier testified that it probably struck Governor Connally," says
      the Report, adding, "The relative positions of President Kennedy
      and Governor Connally at the time when the President was struck in
      the neck confirm that the same bullet probably passed through both
      men" (R105). The evidence allegedly supporting this double-hit
      theory is then discussed, and the Commission concludes that one
      bullet probably was responsible for all the nonfatal wounds to the
      two victims (R19).

      {Number of Shots}

         "The weight of the evidence indicates that there were three
      shots fired," declares the Report (R19).  This conclusion is based
      not so much on witness recollections as on the physical evidence at
      the scene--namely, the presence of three cartridge cases (R110-11).
      The Commission reasons that, because (a) one shot passed through
      the President's neck and probably went on to wound the Governor,
      (b) a subsequent shot penetrated the President's head, (c) no other
      shot struck the car, and (d) three shots were fired, "it follows
      that one shot probably missed the car and its occupants.  The
      evidence is inconclusive as to whether it was the first, second, or
      third shot which missed" (R111).

      {Time Span}

         Determination of the time span of the shots, according to the
      Commission's theory, is dependent on which of the three shots
      missed.  As calculated by use of the Zapruder film, the time span
      from the first shot to wound the President to the one that killed
      him was 4.8 to 5.6 seconds.  Had the missed shot occurred between
      these two, says the Report, all the shots could still have been
      fired from the Carcano, which required at least 2.3 seconds (or 42
      frames) between successive shots.  If the first or third shots
      missed, the time span grows to at least 7.1 to 7.9 seconds for the
      three shots.
         Thus, the Commission concluded

         that the shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded
         Governor Connally were fired from the sixth-floor window at
         the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository
         Building.  Two bullets probably caused all the wounds
         suffered by President Kennedy and Governor Connally.  Since
         the preponderance of the evidence indicated that three shots
         were fired, the Commission concluded that one shot probably
         missed the Presidential limousine and its occupants, and
         that the three shots were fired in a time period ranging
         from approximately 4.8 to in excess of 7 seconds. (R117)

      {The Assassin}

         In a preface to its discussion of the evidence relevant to the
      identity of President Kennedy's assassin, the Report adds a new
      conclusion to those of its preceding chapter.  Here it asserts not
      only that it has established the source of the shots as the
      specific Depository window, but also "that the weapon which fired
      [the] bullets was a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter Italian rifle
      bearing the serial number C2766" (R118).  Although it had
      previously traced the found bullet specimens to this rifle
      discovered in the Depository, the Report never specifically
      concluded that these bullets were responsible for the wounds.
      Making such an assertion at this point provided the premise for
      associating the owner of that rifle with the murder.
         Who owned the rifle?  The Report announces:

         Having reviewed the evidence that (1) Lee Harvey Oswald
         purchased the rifle used in the assassination [although the
         name under which the rifle was ordered was "A.  Hidell," the
         order forms were in Oswald's handwriting (R118-119)], (2)
         Oswald's palmprint was on the rifle in a position which
         shows that he had handled it while it was disassembled, (3)
         fibers found on the rifle most probably came from the shirt
         Oswald was wearing on the day of the assassination [although
         the Commission's expert felt that these fibers had been
         picked up "in the recent past," he could not say definitely
         how long they had adhered to the rifle (R125)].  The
         Commission never considered the possibility that they were
         deposited on the rifle subsequent to Oswald's arrest.], (4)
         a photograph taken in the yard of Oswald's apartment shows
         him holding this rifle [the photographic expert could render
         no opinion as to whether the rifle shown in these pictures
         was the C2766 and not another rifle of the same
         configuration (R127)], and (5) the rifle was kept among
         Oswald's possessions from the time of its purchase until the
         day of the assassination [The Commission cites no evidence
         that the specific C2766 rifle was in Oswald's possession.],
         the Commission concluded that the rifle used to assassinate
         President Kennedy and wound Governor Connally was owned and
         possessed by Lee Harvey Oswald. (R129)

         At this point the Commission has related Oswald to the
      President's murder in two ways.  It has posited the source of the
      shots at a location accessible to Oswald, and has named as the
      assassination weapon a rifle purchased and possibly possessed by
      Oswald.  This, although circumstantial, obviously laid the
      foundation for the ultimate conclusion that Oswald was the
      assassin.  Now his activities on the day of the shooting had to be
      considered in light of this charge.
         In a section headed "The Rifle in the Building," the Report
      takes up the problem of how the C2766 rifle was brought into the
      Depository.  The search for an answer was not difficult for the
      Commission.  Between Thursday night, November 21, and Friday
      morning, Oswald had engaged in what could have been construed as
      incriminating behavior.  As the Report explains,

            During October and November of 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald
         lived in a roominghouse in Dallas while his wife and
         children lived in Irving, at the home of Ruth Paine,
         approximately 15 miles from Oswald's place of work at the .
         . . Depository.  Oswald travelled between Dallas and Irving
         on weekends in a car driven by a neighbor of the Paine's,
         Buell Wesley Frazier, who also worked at the Depository.
         Oswald generally would go to Irving on Friday afternoon and
         return to Dallas Monday morning. (R129)

         On Thursday, November 21, Oswald asked Frazier whether he could
      ride home with him to Irving that afternoon, saying that he had to
      pick up some curtain rods for his apartment.  The Report would lead
      us to believe that Oswald's Irving visit on the day prior to the
      assassination was a departure from his normal schedule.  Adding
      further suspicion to this visit, the Report asserts "It would
      appear, however, that obtaining curtain rods was not the purpose of
      Oswald's trip to Irving on November 21," noting that Oswald's
      apartment, according to his landlady, did not need curtains or
      rods, and no curtain rods were discovered in the Depository after
      the assassination (R130).
         By seeming to disprove Oswald's excuse for the weekday trip to
      Irving, the Report establishes a basis for more sinister
      explanations;  they hinge on the assumption that the rifle was
      stored in the Paine garage.  Asserting that Oswald had the
      opportunity to enter the garage Thursday night without being
      detected, the Report emphasizes that, by the afternoon of November
      22 the rifle was missing from "its accustomed place."  The
      implication is that Oswald removed it (R130-31).
         To top off this progression of hypotheses is the fact that
      Oswald carried a "long and bulky package" to work on the morning of
      the assassination.  As he walked to Frazier's house for a ride to
      the Depository, Frazier's sister, Linnie May Randle, saw him
      carrying a package that she estimated to be about 28 inches long
      and 8 inches wide.  Frazier was the next to see the brown paper
      container, as he got into the car and again as he and Oswald walked
      toward the Depository after parking in a nearby lot.  He thought
      the package was around 2 feet long and 5 or 6 inches wide,
      recalling that Oswald held it cupped in his right hand with the
      upper end wedged in his right armpit.  The Report expresses its
      apparent exasperation that both Frazier's and Mrs. Randle's
      estimates and descriptions were of a package shorter than the
      longest component of the Carcano which, when disassembled, is 34.8
      inches in length.  It asserts that "Mrs. Randle saw the bag
      fleetingly" and quotes Frazier as saying that he paid it little
      attention, and concludes that the two "are mistaken as to the
      length of the bag" (R131-34).  Had they not been "mistaken" in
      their recollections, Oswald's package could not have contained the
         "A handmade bag of wrapping paper and tape was found in the
      southeast corner of the sixth floor along-side the window from
      which the shots were fired (R134)," says the Report, citing
      scientific evidence that this bag was (a) made from materials
      obtained in the Depository's shipping room, and (b) handled by
      Oswald so that he left a palmprint and fingerprint on it.  After
      connecting this sack with the "assassin's" window and Oswald, the
      Report attempts a further connection with the rifle by asserting
      that some fibers found inside the bag matched some of those which
      composed the blanket in which the rifle was allegedly stored,
      suggesting that perhaps the rifle "picked up the fibers from the
      blanket and transferred them to the paper bag."  This feeble
      evidence is all the Commission could produce to suggest a
      connection between the rifle and the bag.  A Commission staff
      lawyer, Wesley Liebeler, called it "very thin."[1]  Likewise, the
      Commission asserts that Oswald {constructed} this bag, while it
      presents evidence only that he {handled} it (R134-37).
         One may indeed express concern that, on the basis of the above-
      cited evidence, the Commission asserts, "The preponderance of the
      evidence supports the conclusions that" Oswald:  "(1) told the
      curtain rod story to Frazier to explain both the return to Irving
      on a Thursday and the obvious bulk of the package he intended to
      bring to work the next day," even though no explanation other than
      the transporting of the rifle was considered by the Commission
      (e.g., that perhaps Oswald told the "curtain rod story" to Frazier
      to cover a personal reason such as making up with his wife, with
      whom he had quarreled earlier that week, bringing a large package
      the following morning to substantiate the false excuse);  "(2) took
      paper and tape from the wrapping bench of the Depository and
      fashioned a bag large enough to carry the disassembled rifle,"
      although no evidence is offered that Oswald ever constructed the
      bag;  "(3) removed the rifle from the Paine's garage on Thursday
      evening," citing no evidence that it might not have been someone
      other than Oswald who removed the rifle, if it was ever there at
      all;  "(4) carried the rifle into the Depository Building,
      concealed in the bag," even though, to make this assertion, it had
      to reject the stories of the only witnesses who saw the package,
      and could produce no direct evidence that the rifle had been in the
      bag;  and "(5) left the bag alongside the window from which the
      shots were fired," offering no substantiation that it was Oswald
      who left the bag in this position (R137).  The Commission's
      conclusion from this evidence is that "Oswald carried [his] rifle
      into the Depository building on the morning of November 22, 1963"
      (R19), although the prefabrication of the bag demands premeditation
      of the murder, and the presence of the bag by the "assassin's"
      window implies, according to the Report, that Oswald brought the
      rifle to this window.
         Because its logic was faulty, the Commission's interpretation of
      "the preponderance of the evidence" loses substantial foundation.
      Not one of the five above-quoted subconclusions relating to the
      rifle in the building is confirmed by evidence;  a conclusive
      determination is precluded by insufficient evidence.  The most the
      Commission could fairly have asserted from the facts presented is
      that, although there was no conclusive evidence that Oswald brought
      his rifle to the Depository, there was likewise no conclusive
      disproof, that is, the state of the evidence could not dictate a
      reliable conclusion.
         As the Commission edged toward its ultimate conclusion that
      Oswald was the lone assassin, it reached a comfortable position in
      having concluded that Oswald brought his rifle to the Depository.
      It next had to consider the question of Oswald's presence at the
      right window at the right time.  Assured that Oswald "worked
      principally on the first and sixth floors of the building," we
      learn that "the Commission evaluated the physical evidence found
      near the window after the assassination and the testimony of
      eyewitnesses in deciding whether Lee Harvey Oswald was present at
      this window at the time of the assassination" (R137).
         The Report presents only one form of "physical evidence"--
      fingerprints--asserting that a total of four of Oswald's prints
      were left on two boxes near the window and on the paper sack found
      in that area.  In evaluating the significance of this evidence,

         the Commission considered the possibility that Oswald
         handled these cartons as part of his normal duties. . . .
         Although a person could handle a carton and not leave
         identifiable prints, none of these employees [who might have
         handled the cartons] except Oswald left identifiable prints
         on the cartons.  This finding, in addition to the freshness
         of one of the prints . . . led the Commission to attach some
         probative value to the fingerprint and palmprint
         identifications in reaching the conclusion that Oswald was
         present at the window from which the shots were fired,
         although the prints do not establish the exact time he was
         there. (R141)

         The Report's reasoning is that the presence of Oswald's prints
      on objects present at the sixth-floor window is probative evidence
      of his presence at this window at some time.  Liebeler felt that
      this evidence "seems to have very little significance indeed," and
      pointed out that the absence of other employees' fingerprints "does
      not help to convince me that [Oswald] moved [the boxes] in
      connection with the assassination.  It shows the opposite just as
      well."[2]  Both Liebeler and the Report avoid the logical, and the
      only precise, meaning of these fingerprint data:  the presence of
      Oswald's prints on the cartons and the bag means {only} that he
      handled them;  it does not disclose {when} or {where}.  Oswald
      {could} have touched these objects on the first floor of the
      Depository prior to the time when they were moved to their location
      by the "assassin's" window, perhaps by another person.  Thus, this
      evidence does not connect Oswald with the source of the shots and
      is meaningless, because Oswald normally handled such cartons in the
      building as part of his work.
         "Additional testimony linking Oswald with the point from which
      the shots were fired was provided by the testimony of Charles
      Givens," the Report continues, "who was the last known employee to
      see Oswald inside the building prior to the assassination."
      According to the Report, Givens saw Oswald walking {away} from the
      southeast corner of the sixth floor at 11:55, 35 minutes before the
      shooting (R143).  That Oswald was seen where he normally worked
      such a substantial amount of the time prior to the shots connects
      him with nothing except his expected routine.  That "none of the
      Depository employees is known to have seen Oswald again until after
      the shooting," if true, is likewise of little significance,
      especially since most of the employees had left the building to
      view the motorcade.
         In its next section relevant to the discussion of "Oswald at
      Window," the Report--best expressed in colloquial terms--"pulls a
      fast one."  This section is entitled "Eyewitness Identification of
      Assassin," but contains {no} identification accepted by the
      Commission (R143-49).  The first eyewitness mentioned is Howard
      Brennan who, 120 feet from the window, said he saw a man fire at
      the President.  "During the evening of November 22, Brennan
      identified Oswald as the person in the [police] lineup who bore the
      closest resemblance to the man in the window but said he was unable
      to make a positive identification."  Prior to this lineup, Brennan
      had seen Oswald's picture on television.  In the months before his
      Warren Commission testimony, Brennan underwent some serious changes
      of heart.  A month after the assassination he was suddenly positive
      that the man he saw was Oswald.  Three weeks later, he was again
      unable to make a positive identification.  In two months, when he
      appeared before the Commission, he was again ready to swear that
      the man was Oswald, claiming to have been capable of such an
      identification all along.  Brennan's vacillation on the crucial
      matter of identifying Oswald renders all of his varying statements
      unworthy of credence.  The Report recognized the worthlessness of
      Brennan's after-the-fact identification, although it managed to use
      his testimony for the most it could yield:

            Although the record indicates that Brennan was an
         accurate observer, he declined to make a positive
         identification of Oswald when he first saw him in the police
         lineup.  {The Commission therefore, does not base its
         conclusion concerning the identity of the assassin on
         Brennan's subsequent certain identification of Lee Harvey
         Oswald as the man he saw fire the rifle}. . . .  The
         Commission is satisfied that . . . Brennan saw a man in the
         window who closely resembled . . . Oswald. (R145-46;
         emphasis added)

      If the Commission did not base its conclusion as to Oswald's
      presence at the window on Brennan's identification, upon whose
      "eyewitness identification of assassin" did it rely?  Under this
      section it presents three additional witnesses who saw a man in the
      window, all of whom gave sketchy descriptions, and {none} of whom
      were able to identify the man.  Thus, the Report, having rejected
      Brennan's story, could offer {no} eyewitness capable of identifying
      the assassin.
         In pulling its "fast one," the Commission sticks to its
      justified rejection of Brennan's identification for only 11 pages
      for, when the conclusion to the "Oswald at Window" section is
      drawn, his incredible identification is suddenly accepted.  Here
      the Commission concludes "that Oswald, at the time of the
      assassination, was present at the window from which the shots were
      fired" on the basis of findings stipulated above.  One of these
      "findings" involves "an eyewitness to the shooting" who "identified
      Oswald in a lineup as the man most nearly resembling the man he saw
      and later identified Oswald as the man he observed" (R156).
      Through this double standard the Report manifests itself to be no
      more credible than Brennan.
         "In considering whether Oswald was at the southeast corner
      window at the time the shots were fired, the Commission . . .
      reviewed the testimony of witnesses who saw Oswald in the building
      within minutes after the assassination" (R149).  Immediately after
      the shots, Patrolman M. L. Baker, riding a motorcycle in the
      procession, drove to a point near the front entrance of the
      Depository, entered the building, and sought assistance in reaching
      the roof, for he "had it in mind that the shots came from the top
      of this building."  He met manager Roy Truly, and the two ran up
      the steps toward the roof.  Baker stopped on the second floor and
      saw Oswald entering the lunchroom there.  This encounter in the
      lunchroom presented a problem to the Commission:

            In an effort to determine whether Oswald could have
         descended to the lunchroom from the sixth floor by the time
         Baker and Truly arrived Commission counsel asked Baker and
         Truly to repeat their movements from the time of the shot
         until Baker came upon Oswald in the lunchroom. . . .  On the
         first test, the elapsed time between the simulated first
         shot and Baker's arrival on the second-floor stair landing
         was one minute and 30 seconds.  The second test run required
         one minute and 15 seconds.
            A test was also conducted to determine the time required
         to walk from the southeast corner of the sixth floor to the
         second-floor lunchroom by stairway [Oswald could not have
         used the elevator.]. . . .  The first test, run at normal
         walking pace, required one minute, 18 seconds;  the second
         test, at a "fast walk" took one minute, 14 seconds. (R152)

      Thus, as presented in the Report, these tests could prove that
      Oswald was {not} at the sixth-floor window, for had his time of
      descent been one minute, 18 seconds and Baker's time of ascent been
      one minute, {14} seconds, Oswald would have arrived at the
      lunchroom {after} Baker, which was not the case on November 22.
      Recognizing this, the Report assures us that the reconstruction of
      Baker's movements was invalid in that it failed to simulate actions
      that would have lengthened Baker's time.  Thus, it is able to
      conclude "that Oswald could have fired the shots and still have
      been present in the second floor lunchroom when seen by Baker and
      Truly" (R152-53).
         Here the Commission is playing games.  It tells us that its
      reconstructions could support or destroy the assumption of Oswald's
      presence at the window.  This point is crucial in determining the
      identity of the assassin, for it could potentially have provided
      Oswald with an alibi.  Instead of conducting the tests properly,
      the Commission tells us that it neglected to simulate some of
      Baker's actions, and on the premise that its test was invalid,
      draws a conclusion incriminating Oswald.  One of the factors
      mentioned by the Report as influencing the conclusion that Oswald
      was at the window is that his actions after the assassination "are
      consistent with" his having been there.  Because the premise of an
      invalid reconstruction makes debatable any inferences drawn from
      it, and because Oswald's actions after the shooting were consistent
      with his having been almost {anywhere} in the building, this aspect
      of the Report's conclusion is a {non sequitur}.
         The Report ultimately attempts to combine its four logically
      deficient arguments in support of the conclusion that Oswald was
      present during the assassination at the window from which the shots
      were fired.  The facts presented are not sufficient to support such
      a conclusion.  The fingerprint evidence does not place Oswald at
      that window, for the objects on which he left prints were mobile
      and therefore may have been in a location other than the window
      when he handled them.  That someone saw Oswald near this area 35
      minutes before the shots does not mean he was there during the
      shots, nor does the alleged fact that no one else saw Oswald
      eliminate the possibility of his having been elsewhere.  The one
      witness who claimed to have seen Oswald in the window could do so
      only at intervals, rendering his story incredible.  Oswald's
      actions after the assassination do not place him at any specific
      location during the shots and might even preclude his having been
      at the window.
         The only fair conclusion from the facts presented is that there
      is no evidence that Oswald was at the window at the time of the
         At this point in the development of the Commission's case,
      Oswald "officially" possessed the murder weapon, brought it to the
      Depository on the day of the assassination, and was present at the
      "assassin's" window during the shots.  There would seem to be only
      one additional consideration relevant to the proof of his guilt:
      his capability with a rifle.  This issue is addressed only after
      several unrelated matters are considered.
         The Commission's conclusion that Oswald was the assassin is not
      based on a constant set of considerations.  The chapter "The
      Assassin" draws its conclusion from eight factors (R195).  The
      chapter "Summary and Conclusions" omits two of these factors and
      adds another.  The eight-part conclusion states that:

            On the basis of the evidence reviewed in this chapter the
         Commission has found that Lee Harvey Oswald (1) owned and
         possessed the rifle used to kill President Kennedy and wound
         Governor Connally, (2) brought this rifle to the Depository
         Building on the morning of the assassination, (3) was
         present, at the time of the assassination, at the window
         from which the shots were fired, (4) killed Dallas Police
         Officer J. D. Tippit in an apparent attempt to escape, (5)
         resisted arrest by drawing a fully loaded pistol and
         attempting to shoot another police officer, (6) lied to the
         police after his arrest concerning important substantive
         matters, (7) attempted, in April 1963, to kill Major General
         Edwin A. Walker, and (8) possessed the capability with a
         rifle which would have enabled him to commit the
         assassination.  On the basis of these findings the
         Commission has concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the
         assassin of President Kennedy. (R195)

      Obviously, considerations 4, 5, 6, and 7 do not relate to the
      question of whether Oswald did or did not pull the trigger of the
      gun that killed the President and wounded the Governor.  In the
      alternate version of the Commission's conclusions, 4 and 5 are
      omitted from the factors upon which the guilty "verdict" is based.
      Added in this section is the consideration that the Mannlicher-
      Carcano and the paper sack were found on the sixth floor subsequent
      to the shooting (R19-20).
         "In deciding whether Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots . . .,"
      says the Report, "the Commission considered whether Oswald, using
      his own rifle, possessed the capability to hit his target with two
      out of three shots under the conditions described in Chapter III
      [concerning the source of the shots]" (R189).  The Commission's
      previous conclusions leave little room for an assertion other than
      one indicating that Oswald had the capability to fire the
      assassination shots.  If he could not have done this from lack of
      sufficient skill, the other factors seeming to relate him to the
      assassination will have to be accounted for by some other
         First considered under this section is the nature of the shots
      (R189-91).  Several experts are quoted as saying that the shots,
      fired at ranges of 177 to 266 feet and employing a four-power
      scope, were "not . . . particularly difficult" and "very easy."
      However, in no case did the experts take into account the time
      element involved in the assassination shots.  Without this
      consideration, Wesley Liebeler could not understand the basis for
      any conclusion on the nature of the shots.  He wrote:

            The section on the nature of the shots deals basically
         with the range and the effect of a telescopic sight.
         Several experts conclude that the shots were easy.  There
         is, however, no consideration given here to the time allowed
         for the shots.  I do not see how someone can conclude that a
         shot is easy or hard unless he knows something about how
         long the firer has to shoot, i.e., how much time is allotted
         for the shots.[3]

      Liebeler's criticism had no effect on the final report, which
      ignores the time question in evaluating the nature of the shots.
      The evaluation of the shots as "easy" should therefore be
      considered void and all inferences based on it at best
         In considering "Oswald's Marine Training," the Report deceives
      its readers by use of common and frequent {non sequiturs}.  First
      it includes, as relevant to Oswald's {rifle} capability, his
      training in the use of weapons other than rifles, such as pistols
      and shotguns.  Of this Liebeler said bluntly, "That is completely
      irrevelant to the question of his ability to fire a rifle. . . .
      It is, furthermore, prejudicial to some extent."[4]  The Report
      then reveals with total dispassion Oswald's official Marine Corps
      evaluation based on firing tests:  when first tested in the
      Marines, Oswald was "a fairly good shot";  on the basis of his last
      recorded test he was a {"rather poor shot."}  A Marine marksmanship
      expert who had absolutely no association with Oswald is next quoted
      as offering various excuses for the "poor shot" rating, including
      bad weather and lack of motivation.  No substantiation in any form
      is put forth to buttress these "excuses."  As the record presented
      in the Report stands, Oswald left the Marines a "fairly poor shot."
      However, the unqualified use of the expert's unsubstantiated
      hypothesizing gives the impression that Oswald was not such a "poor
      shot."  On the basis of this questionable premise, the Report
      quotes more experts who, in meaningless comparisons, contradicted
      the official evaluation of Oswald's performance with a rifle and
      called him "a good to excellent shot" (R191-92).  One may indeed
      question the state of our national "defense" when "rather poor
      shots" from the Marines are considered "excellent" marksmen.
         In discussing "Oswald's Rifle Practice Outside the Marines"
      (R192-93), the Report cites a total of 11 instances in which Oswald
      could be physically associated with a firearm.  Most of these
      instances involved hunting trips, six of which took place in the
      Soviet Union.  However, as Liebeler pointed out in his critical
      memorandum, Oswald used a shotgun when hunting in Russia.
      Liebeler's concern can be sensed in his question "Under what theory
      do we include activities concerning a {shotgun} under a heading
      relating to {rifle} practice, and then presume not to advise the
      reader of that?"[5]  The latest time the Report places a weapon in
      Oswald's hands is May 1963, when his wife, Marina, said he
      practiced operating the bolt and looking through the scope {on a
      screened porch at night}.  Liebeler thought "the support for that
      proposition is thin indeed," adding that "Marina Oswald first
      testified that she did not know what he was doing out there and
      then she was clearly led into the only answer that gives any
      support to this proposition."[6]  The Report evoked its own
      support, noting that the cartridge cases found in the Depository
      "had been previously loaded and ejected from the assassination
      rifle, which would indicate that Oswald practiced opening the
      bolt."  Marks on these cases could not show that {Oswald,} to the
      exclusion of all other people, loaded and ejected the cases.
         In the end, the Commission was able to cite only two instances
      in which Oswald handled the Carcano, both based on Marina's tenuous
      assertions.  It produced {no} evidence that Oswald ever fired his
      rifle.  Despite this and the other major gaps in its arguments, the
      Report concludes that "Oswald's Marine training in marksmanship,
      his other rifle experience and his established familiarity with
      this particular weapon show that he possessed ample capability to
      commit the assassination" (R195).  Because the Report offers no
      evidence to support it, this conclusion is necessarily dishonest.
      Liebeler cautioned the Commission on this point but was apparently
      ignored.  He wrote:

            The statements concerning Oswald's practice with the
         assassination weapon are misleading.  They tend to give the
         impression that he did more practicing than the record
         suggests he did.  My recollection is that there is only one
         specific time when he might have practiced.  We should be
         more precise in this area, because the Commission is going
         to have its work in this area examined very closely.[7]

         That a shooter can be only as good as the weapon he fires is a
      much-repeated expression.  In fact, the proficiency of the shooter
      and the quality of his shooting apparatus combine to affect the
      outcome of the shot.  To test the accuracy of the assassination
      rifle, the Commission did not put the weapon in the hands of one
      whose marksmanship was as "poor" as Oswald's and whose known
      practice prior to firing was virtually nil.  Its test firers were
      all experts--men whose daily routines involved working with and
      shooting firearms.  Liebeler, as a member of the Commission's
      investigatory staff, was one of the severest critics of the rifle
      tests.  The following paragraphs, again from Liebeler's memorandum,
      provide a good analysis of those tests as represented in the

            As I read through the section on rifle capability it
         appears that 15 different sets of three shots were fired by
         supposedly expert riflemen of the FBI and other places.
         According to my calculations those 15 sets of shots took a
         total of 93.8 seconds to be fired.  The average of all 15 is
         a little over 6.2 seconds.  Assuming that time calculated is
         commencing with the firing of the first shot, that means the
         average time it took to fire two remaining shots was about
         6.2 seconds.  That comes to about 3.1 seconds for each shot,
         not counting the time consumed by the actual firing, which
         would not be very much.  I recall that Chapter Three said
         that the minimum time that had to elapse between shots was
         2.25 seconds, which is pretty close to the one set of fast
         shots fired by Frazier of the FBI.
            The conclusion indicates that Oswald had the capability
         to fire 3 shots with two hits in from 4.8 to 5.6 seconds.
         Of the fifteen sets of three shots described above, only
         {three} were fired within 4.8 seconds.  A total of five
         sets, including the three just mentioned, were fired within
         a total of 5.6 seconds.  The conclusion at its most extreme
         states Oswald could fire faster than the Commission experts
         fired in 12 of their 15 tries and that in any event he could
         fire faster than the experts did in 10 out of their 15
         tries. . . .
            The problems raised by the above analysis should be met
         at some point in the text of the Report.  The figure of 2.25
         as a minimum firing time for each shot is used throughout
         Chapter 3.  The present discussion of rifle capability shows
         that expert riflemen could not fire the assassination weapon
         that fast.  Only one of the experts managed to do so, and
         his shots, like those of the other FBI experts, were high
         and to the right of the target.  The fact is that most of
         the experts were much more proficient with a rifle than
         Oswald could ever be expected to be, and the record
         indicates that fact.[8]

      Despite the obvious meaning of Liebeler's analysis, the rifle tests
      are used in the Report to buttress the notion that it was within
      Oswald's capability to fire the assassination shots (R195).  The
      kindest thing that can be said of this one-sided presentation of
      the evidence was written by Liebeler himself:  "To put it bluntly,
      that sort of selection from the record could seriously affect the
      integrity and credibility of the entire Report. . . .  These
      conclusions will never be accepted by critical persons anyway."[9]
         The only possible conclusion warranted by the evidence set forth
      in the Report is that Oswald left the Marines a "rather poor shot"
      and, unless a major aspect of his life within a few months prior to
      the assassination has been so well concealed as not to emerge
      through the efforts of several investigative teams, he did not
      engage in any activities sufficient to improve his proficiency with
      his weapon to the extent of enabling him to murder the President
      and wound the Governor unaided.
         This is the official case, the development of the "proof" that
      Oswald, alone and unaided, committed the assassination.  To avoid
      the detailed discussion required for a rebuttal, I have assumed
      that the source of the shots was as the Commission postulated--the
      sixth-floor window of the Depository, from "Oswald's rifle."
         This was as far as the Commission could go in relation to the
      question of Oswald's guilt.  Obviously, the use of his rifle in the
      crime does not mean he fired it.  The Commission offers, in
      essence, {no} evidence that Oswald brought his rifle to the
      Depository, {no} evidence that Oswald was present at the window
      during the shots, and {no} evidence that Oswald had the capability
      to have fired the shots.  This is not to say that such evidence
      does not exist, but that none is presented in the Report.  That,
      for the scope of this chapter's analysis, is significant.
         The Commission's conclusion that Oswald was the assassin is
      invalid because it is, from beginning to end, a {non sequitur}.
      This analysis of the derivation of that conclusion, based solely on
      the evidence presented in the Report, demonstrates that evidence to
      be without logical relationship, used by the Commission in total
      disregard of logic.  The Report's continued fabrication of false
      premises from which are drawn invalid inferences is consistent with
      one salient factor:  that the Commission evaluated the evidence
      relating to the assassin's identity on the presumption that Oswald
      alone was guilty.


 [1] "Memorandum re Galley Proofs of Chapter IV of the Report," written
     on September 6, 1964, by Wesley J. Liebeler, p. 5. (Hereinafter
     referred to as Liebeler 9/6/64 Memorandum.  This document is
     available from the National Archives.)

 [2] Ibid., p. 7.

 [3] Ibid., p. 20.

 [4] Ibid., p. 21 .

 [5] Ibid.

 [6] Ibid., p. 22.

 [7] Ibid., p. 21.

 [8] Ibid., p. 23.

 [9] Ibid., p. 25.

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      Presumed Guilty:  The Official Disposition

      The discussion in chapter 1 did not disprove the Commission's
      conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy.
      It merely showed that, based on the evidence presented in the
      Report, Oswald's guilt was presumed, not established.  The
      Commission argued a case that is logical only on the premise that
      Oswald alone was guilty.
         The official assurance is, as is to be expected, the opposite.
      In the Foreword to its Report, the Commission assures us that it
      "has functioned neither as a court presiding over an adversary
      proceeding nor as a prosecutor determined to prove a case, but as a
      fact finding agency committed to the ascertainment of the truth"
      (Rxiv).  This is to say that neither innocence nor guilt was
      presumed from the outset of the inquiry, in effect stating that the
      Commission conducted a "chips-fall-where-they-may" investigation.
         At no time after a final bullet snuffed out the life of the
      young President did {any} agency conduct an investigation not based
      on the premise of Oswald's guilt.  Despite the many noble
      assurances of impartiality, the fact remains that from the time
      when he was in police custody, Oswald was officially thought to be
      Kennedy's sole assassin.  In violation of his every right and as a
      guarantee that virtually no citizen would think otherwise, the
      official belief of Oswald's guilt was shamefully offered to a
      public grieved by the violent death of its leader, and anxious to
      find and prosecute the perpetrator of the crime.

      {The Police Presumption}

         Two days after the assassination, the "New York Times" ran a
      banner headline that read, in part, "Police Say Prisoner is the
      Assassin," with a smaller--but likewise front-page--heading,
      "Evidence Against Oswald Described as Conclusive."  The article
      quoted Captain Will Fritz of the Dallas Police Homicide Bureau as
      having said, "We're convinced beyond any doubt that he killed the
      President. . . .  I think the case is cinched."[1]
         Other newspapers echoed the "Times" that day.  The "Philadelphia
      Inquirer" reported:  "Police on Saturday said they have an airtight
      case against pro-Castro Marxist Lee Harvey Oswald as the assassin
      of President Kennedy."[2]  On the front page of the "St. Louis
      Post-Dispatch" was the headline "Dallas Police Insist Evidence
      Proves Oswald Killed Kennedy."

            Dallas police said today that Lee Harvey Oswald . . .
         assassinated President John F. Kennedy and they have the
         evidence to prove it. . . .  "The man killed President
         Kennedy.  We are convinced without any doubt that he did the
         killing.  There were no accomplices," [Captain] Fritz
            Police Chief Jesse E. Curry outlined this web of evidence
         that, he said, showed Oswald was the sniper.[3]

         The following day, November 25, was the occasion for yet another
      banner headline in the "Times."  In one fell swoop, there was no
      longer any doubt;  it was no longer just the Dallas police who were
      prematurely convinced of Oswald's guilt.  "President's Assassin
      Shot to Death in Jail Corridor by a Dallas Citizen," the headline
      proclaimed.  There was no room for such qualifiers as "alleged" or
      "accused."  Yet, in this very issue, the "Times" included a strong
      editorial that criticized the police pronouncement of guilt:

            The Dallas authorities, abetted and encouraged by the
         newspaper, TV and radio press, trampled on every principle
         of justice in their handling of Lee Harvey Oswald. . . .
         The heinousness of the crime Oswald was alleged to have
         committed made it doubly important that there be no cloud
         over the establishment of his guilt.
            Yet--before any indictment had been returned or any
         evidence presented and in the face of continued denials by
         the prisoner--the chief of police and the district attorney
         pronounced Oswald guilty.[4]

      It is unfortunate that this proper condemnation applies equally to
      the source that issued it.
         Transcripts of various police interviews and press conferences
      over the weekend of the assassination (which confirm the above
      newspaper accounts) demonstrate that, in addition to forming a bias
      against Oswald through the press, the police made extensive use of
      the electronic media to spread their improper and premature
         On Friday night, November 22, NBC-TV broadcast a press interview
      with District Attorney Henry Wade, whose comments included these:
      "I figure we have sufficient evidence to convict him [Oswald] . . .
      there's no one else but him" (24H751).  The next day, Chief Curry,
      though he cautioned that the evidence was not yet "positive," said
      that he was convinced.  In an interview carried by NBC, Curry
      asserted, "Personally, I think we have the right man" (24H754).  In
      another interview broadcast by local station WFAA-TV, Curry was
      asked, "Is there any doubt in your mind, Chief, that Oswald is the
      man who killed the President?"  His response was:  "I think this is
      the man who killed the President" (24H764).  In another interview
      that Saturday, Captain Fritz made the absolute statement:

            There is only one thing that I can tell you without going
         into the evidence before first talking to the District
         Attorney.  I can tell you that this case is cinched--that
         this man killed the President.  There's no question in my
         mind about it. . . .  I don't want to get into the evidence.
         I just want to tell you that we are convinced beyond any
         doubt that he did the killing. (24H787)

         By November 24, Curry's remarks became much stronger.  Local
      station KRLD-TV aired this remark:  "This is the man, we are sure,
      that murdered the patrolman and murdered--assassinated the
      President" (24H772).  Fritz stuck to his earlier conviction that
      Oswald was the assassin (24H788).  Now D.A. Henry Wade joined in
      pronouncing the verdict before trial or indictment:

            WADE:  I would say that without any doubt he's the
         killer--the law says beyond a reasonable doubt and to a
         moral certainty which I--there's no question that he was the
         killer of President Kennedy.
            Q.  That case is closed in your mind?
            WADE:  As far as Oswald is concerned yes. (24H823)

      {The FBI Presumption}

         That same day the FBI announced, contrary to the police
      assertion, that the case was still open and that its investigation,
      begun the day of the shooting, would continue.[5]  This continued
      investigation climaxed after a duration just short of three weeks.
      In a series of contrived news "leaks," the Bureau added to the
      propaganda campaign started by the Dallas Police.
         The decision of the FBI and the Commission was to keep the first
      FBI Summary Report on the assassination secret.[6]  However, even
      prior to the completion of this report, the newspapers carried
      frequent "leaked" stories telling in advance what the report would
      contain.  The Commission met in executive session on December 5,
      1963, and questioned Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach
      about these leaks.  Katzenbach spoke bluntly.  FBI Director Hoover,
      he related, denied that the leaks originated within the FBI, but "I
      say with candor to this committee, I can't think of anybody else it
      could have come from, because I don't know of anybody else that
      knew that information."[7]
         On December 9, Katzenbach transmitted the completed FBI Report
      to the Commission.  In his covering letter of that date, he again
      expressed the Justice Department's desire to keep the Report
      secret, although he felt that "the Commission should consider
      releasing--or allowing the Department of Justice to release--a
      short press statement which would briefly make the following
      points."  Katzenbach wanted the Commission to assure the public
      that the FBI had turned up no evidence of conspiracy and that "the
      FBI report through scientific examination of evidence, testimony
      and intensive investigation, establishes beyond a reasonable doubt
      that Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy."[8]
         Although the Commission released no such statement, the
      conclusions of which the Justice Department felt the public should
      be informed were widely disseminated by the press, through leaks
      which, according to Katzenbach, must have originated with the FBI.
      On December 1, the "Washington Post" in a major article told its
      readers that "all the police agencies with a hand in the
      investigation . . . insist that [the case against Oswald] is an
      unshakable one."[9]  "Time" magazine, in the week before the FBI
      report was forwarded to the Commission, said of the report, "it
      will indicate that Oswald, acting in his own lunatic loneliness,
      was indeed the President's assassin."[10]  "Newsweek" reported that
      "the report holds to the central conclusion that Federal and local
      probers had long since reached:  that Oswald was the assassin."[11]
      The "New York Times" was privy to the most specific leak concerning
      the FBI report.  On December 10 it ran a front-page story headed
      "Oswald Assassin Beyond a Doubt, FBI Concludes."  This article, by
      Joseph Loftus, began as follows:

            A Federal Bureau of Investigation report went to a
         special Presidential commission today and named Lee H.
         Oswald as the assassin of President Kennedy.
            The Report is known to emphasize that Oswald was beyond
         doubt the assassin and that he acted alone. . . .
            The Department of Justice, declining all comment on the
         content of the report, announced only that on instruction of
         President Johnson the report was sent directly to the
         special Commission.[12]

         All of these news stories, especially that which appeared in the
      "Times," accurately reflect those findings of the FBI report which
      Katzenbach felt should be made public.  The FBI has long claimed
      that it does not draw conclusions in its reports.  The FBI report
      on the assassination disproves this one of many FBI myths.  This
      report {does} draw conclusions, as the press reported.  In the
      preface to this once-secret report (released in 1965), the FBI

            Part I briefly relates the assassination of the President
         and the identification of Oswald as his slayer.
            Part II sets forth the evidence conclusively showing that
         Oswald did assassinate the President.  (CD 1)

         The Commission, in secret executive sessions, expressed its
      exasperation at the leak of the FBI report.  On December 16,
      Chairman Warren stated:

            CHAIRMAN:  Well, gentlemen, to be very frank about it, I
         have read that report two or three times and I have not seen
         anything in there yet that has not been in the press.
            SEN. RUSSELL:  I couldn't agree with that more.  I have
         read it through once very carefully, and I went through it
         again at places I had marked, and practically everything in
         there has come out in the press at one time or another, a
         bit here and a bit there.[13]

         It should be noted here that even a casual reading of this FBI
      report and its sequel, the "Supplemental Report" dated January 13,
      1964, discloses that neither establishes Oswald's guilt, nor even
      adequately accounts for all the known facts of the assassination.
      In neither report is there mention of or accounting for the
      President's anterior neck wound which, by the night of November 22,
      was public knowledge around the world.  The Supplemental Report, in
      attempting to associate Oswald with the crime, asserts that a
      full-jacketed bullet traveling at approximately 2,000 feet per
      second stopped short after penetrating "less than a finger length"
      of the President's back.  One need not be an expert to discern that
      this is an impossible event, and indeed later tests confirmed that
      seventy-two inches of flesh were insufficient to stop such a bullet
      (5H78).  The Commission members themselves, in private, grumbled
      about the unsatisfactory nature of the FBI report, as the following
      passage from the December 16 Executive Session reveals:

            MR. MC CLOY:  . . . The grammar is bad and you can see
         they did not polish it all up.  It does leave you some
         loopholes in this thing but I think you have to realize they
         put this thing together very fast.
            REP. BOGGS:  There's nothing in there about Governor
            CHAIRMAN:  No.
            SEN. COOPER:  And whether or not they found any bullets
         in him.
            MR. MC CLOY:  This bullet business leaves me confused.
            CHAIRMAN:  It's totally inconclusive.[14]

         Thus, by January 1964, the American public had been assured by
      both the Dallas Police and the FBI that Oswald was the assassin
      beyond all doubt.  For those who had not taken the time to probe
      the evidence, who were not aware of its inadequacies and
      limitations, such a conclusion was easy to accept.

      {The Commission Presumption}

         Today there can be no doubt that, despite their assurances of
      impartiality, the Commission and its staff consciously planned and
      executed their work under the presumption that Oswald was guilty.
      The once-secret working papers of the Commission explicitly reveal
      the prejudice of the entire investigation.
         General Counsel Rankin did not organize a staff of lawyers under
      him until early in January 1964.  Until that time, the Commission
      had done essentially no work, and had merely received investigative
      reports from other agencies.  Now, Rankin and Warren drew up the
      plans for the organization of the work that the staff was to
      undertake for the Commission.  In a "Progress Report" dated January
      11, from the Chairman to the other members, Warren referred to a
      "tentative outline prepared by Mr. Rankin which I think will assist
      in organizing the evaluation of the investigative materials
      received by the Commission."[15][see Appendix A  -- ratitor]  Two
      subject headings in this outline are of concern here:  "(2) Lee
      Harvey Oswald as the Assassin of President Kennedy;  (3) Lee Harvey
      Oswald:  Background and Possible Motives."[16]  Thus, it is
      painfully apparent that the Commission did, from the very
      beginning, plan its work with a distinct bias.  It would evaluate
      the evidence from the perspective of "Oswald as the assassin," and
      it would search for his "possible motives."
         Attached to Warren's "Progress Report" was a copy of the
      "Tentative Outline of the Work of the President's Commission."
      This outline reveals in detail the extent to which the conclusion
      of Oswald's guilt was pre-determined.  Section II, "Lee Harvey
      Oswald as the Assassin of President Kennedy," begins by outlining
      Oswald's movements on the day of the assassination.  Under the
      heading "Murder of Tippit," there is the subheading "Evidence
      demonstrating Oswald's guilt."[17]  Even the FBI had refrained from
      drawing a conclusion as to whether or not Oswald had murdered
      Officer Tippit.  Yet, at this very early point in its
      investigation, the Commission was convinced it could muster
      "evidence demonstrating Oswald's guilt."
         Another heading under Section II of the outline is "Evidence
      Identifying Oswald as the Assassin of President Kennedy," again a
      presumptive designation made by a commission that had not yet
      analyzed a single bit to evidence.  The listings of evidence under
      this heading are sketchy and hardly conclusive, and further reveal
      the biases of the Commission.  Some of the evidence that was to
      "identify Oswald as the assassin" was "prior similar acts:  a)
      General Walker attack, b) General Eisenhower threat."[18]  Thus we
      learn that Oswald was also presumed guilty in the attempted
      shooting of the right-wing General Walker in April 1963.
         Under the additional heading "Evidence Implicating Others in
      Assassination or Suggesting Accomplices," the Commission was to
      consider only the possibility that others worked with {Oswald} in
      planning or executing the assassination.  The outline further
      reveals that it had been concluded in advance that Oswald had no
      accomplices, for the last category under this heading suggests that
      the evidence be evaluated for the "refutation of allegations."[19]
         The Commission was preoccupied with the question of motive.
      According to the initial outline of its work, it had decided to
      investigate Oswald's motives for killing the President {before} it
      determined whether Oswald had in fact been involved in the
      assassination {in any capacity.}  At the executive session of
      January 21, 1964, an illuminating discussion took place between
      Chairman Warren, General Counsel Rankin, and member Dulles.  Dulles
      wanted to be sure that every possible action was taken to determine
      Oswald's motive:

            Mr. Dulles: I suggested to Mr. Rankin, Mr. Chairman, that
         I thought it would be very useful for us, if the rest of you
         agree, that as items come in that deal with motive, and I
         have seen, I suppose, 20 or 30 of them already in these
         various reports, those be pulled together by one of these
         men, maybe Mr. Rankin himself so that we could see that
         which would be so important to us.
            Chairman Warren:  In other words, to see what we are
         running down on the question of motive.
            Mr. Dulles:  Just on the question of motive I found a
         dozen or more statements of the various people as to why
         they thought he [Oswald] did it.
            Warren:  Yes.
            Mr. Dulles:  Or what his character was, what his aim, and
         so forth that go into motive and I think it would be very
         useful to pull that together, under one of these headings,
         not under a separate heading necessarily.
            Warren:  Well, I think that that would probably come
         under Mr. [Albert] Jenner, wouldn't that, Lee [Rankin],
         isn't he the one who is bringing together all the facts
         concerning the life of Oswald?
            Mr. Rankin:  Yes, yes.  We can get that done.  We will
         see that that is taken care of.
            Warren:  Yes.[20]

         The staff, working under the direction of Rankin, was likewise
      predisposed to the conclusion that Oswald was guilty.  Staff lawyer
      W. David Slawson wrote a memorandum dated January 27 concerning the
      "timing of rifle shots."  He suggested that:

            In figuring the timing of the rifle shots, we should take
         into account the distance travelled by the Presidential car
         between the first and third shots.  This tends to shorten
         the time slightly during which {Oswald} would have had to
         pull the trigger three times on his rifle.[21] (emphasis

      At this early point in the investigation, long before any of the
      relevant testimony had been adduced, Slawson was positive that
      Oswald "pulled the trigger three times on his rifle."
         Another staff lawyer, Arlen Specter, expressed the bias of the
      investigation in a memorandum, dated January 30, in which he
      offered suggestions for the questioning of Oswald's widow, Marina.
      Specter felt that certain questions "might provide some insight on
      whether Oswald learned of the motorcade route from newspapers."  He
      added that "perhaps [Oswald] was inspired, in part by President
      Kennedy's anti-Castro speech which was reported on November 19 on
      the front page of the Dallas Times Herald."[22]  The implication
      here is obvious that the President's speech "inspired" Oswald to
      commit the assassination.  Again, it must be emphasized that until
      Oswald's guilt was a proven fact, which it was {not} at the time
      these memoranda were composed, it was mere folly to investigate the
      factors that supposedly "inspired" Oswald.  Such fraudulent
      investigative efforts demonstrate that Oswald's guilt was taken for
         Rankin had assigned teams of two staff lawyers each to evaluate
      the evidence according to the five divisions of his "Tentative
      Outline."  Working in Area II, "Lee Harvey Oswald as the Assassin
      of President Kennedy," were Joseph Ball as the senior lawyer and
      David Belin as the junior.[23]  On January 30, Belin wrote a very
      revealing memorandum to Rankin, concerning "Oswald's knowledge that
      Connally would be in the Presidential car and his intended
      target."[24]  This memorandum leaves no doubt that Belin was quite
      sure of Oswald's guilt {before} he began his assigned
      investigation.  He was concerned that Oswald might not have known
      that Governor Connally was to ride in the presidential limousine
      because this "bears on the motive of the assassination and also on
      the degree of marksmanship required, which in turn affects the
      determination that Oswald was the assassin and that it was not too
      difficult to hit the intended target two out of three times in this
      particular situation."  The alternatives, as stated by Belin, were
      as follows:

            In determining the accuracy of Oswald, we have three
         major possibilities:  Oswald was shooting at Connally and
         missed two of the three shots, two misses striking Kennedy;
         Oswald was shooting at both Kennedy and Connally and all
         three shots struck their intended targets;  Oswald was
         shooting only at Kennedy and the second bullet missed its
         intended target and hit Connally instead.[25]

      Belin could not have been more explicit:  Three shots were fired
      and Oswald, whatever his motive, fired them all.  Of course, at
      that point Belin could not possibly have {proved} that Oswald was
      the assassin.  He merely presumed it and worked on that basis.
         It is important to keep this January 30 Belin memorandum in mind
      when we consider the 233-page "BALL - BELIN REPORT #1" dated
      February 25, 1964, and submitted by the authors as a summation of
      all the evidence they had evaluated up to that point.  The
      "tentative" conclusion reached in this report is that "Lee Harvey
      Oswald is the assassin of President John F.  Kennedy."[26]
      However, Ball and Belin were careful to include here a new
      interpretation of their assigned area of work.  They wrote:

            We should also point out that the tentative memorandum of
         January 23 substantially differs from the original outline
         of our work in this area which had as its subject, "Lee
         Harvey Oswald as the Assassin of President Kennedy," and
         which examined the evidence from that standpoint.  At no
         time have we assumed that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin
         of President Kennedy.  Rather, our entire study has been
         based on an independent examination of all the evidence in
         an effort to determine who was the assassin of President

         Although this new formulation was no doubt the proper one, the
      Warren Report makes it abundantly clear that Ball and Belin failed
      to follow the course outlined in their "Report #1."  As we have
      seen, the only context in which the evidence is presented in the
      Report is "Lee Harvey Oswald as the Assassin of President Kennedy,"
      even though that blatant description is not used (as it was in the
      secret working papers).  Furthermore, that Belin a month before
      could write so confidently that Oswald was the assassin completely
      refutes this belatedly professed intention to examine the evidence
      without preconceptions.  It would appear that in including this
      passage in "Report #1," Ball and Belin were more interested in
      leaving a record that they could later cite in their own defense
      than in conducting an honest, unbiased investigation.  Indeed,
      Belin has quoted this passage publicly to illustrate the
      impartiality of his work, while neglecting to mention his
      memorandum of January 30.[28]
         The Warren Report was not completed until late in September
      1964, with hearings and investigations extending into the period
      during which the Report was set in type.  Yet outlines for the
      final Report were drawn up as early as mid-{March}.  These outlines
      demonstrate that Oswald's guilt was a definite conclusion at the
      time that sworn testimony was first being taken by the Commission.
      The first outline was submitted to Rankin at his request by staff
      lawyer Alfred Goldberg on approximately March 14, according to
      notations on the outline.[29]  Under Goldberg's plan, Chapter Four
      of the Commission's report would be entitled "Lee Harvey Oswald as
      the Assassin."  Goldberg elaborated:

            This section should state the facts which lead to the
         conclusion that Oswald pulled the trigger and should
         indicate the elements in the case which have either not been
         proven or are based on doubtful testimony.  Each of the
         facts listed below should be reviewed in that light.[30]

         The "facts" enumberated [sic] by Goldberg are precarious.
      Indeed, as of March 14, 1964, no testimony had been adduced on
      almost all of the "facts" that Goldberg outlined as contributing to
      the "conclusion that Oswald pulled the trigger."  Goldberg felt
      that this chapter of the Report should identify Oswald's rifle "as
      the murder weapon."  Under this category he listed "Ballistics" and
      "Capability of Rifle."  Yet the first ballistics testimony was not
      heard by the Commission until March 31 (3H390ff.).  Another of
      Goldberg's categories is "Evidence of Oswald Carrying Weapon to
      Texas School Book Depository."  Here he does not specify which
      evidence he had in mind.  However, the expert testimony that
      {might} have supported the thesis that Oswald carried his rifle to
      work on the morning of the assassination was not adduced until
      April 2 and 3 (4H1ff.).  This pattern runs through several other
      factors that Goldberg felt established Oswald's guilt {before} they
      were scrutinized by the Commission or the staff.  To illustrate:
      "Testimony of eyewitnesses and employees on fifth floor"--this
      testimony was not taken until March 24, at which time the witnesses
      contradicted several of their previous statements to the federal
      authorities (3H161ff.);  "Medical testimony"--the autopsy surgeons
      testified on March 16 (2H347ff.), and medical/ballistics testimony
      concerning tests with Oswald's rifle was not taken until mid-May
      (5H74ff.);  "Eyewitness Identification of Oswald Shooting Rifle"--
      only one witness claimed to make such an identification, and he
      gave testimony on March 24 (3H140ff.) that was subsequently
      rejected by the Commission (R145-46).
         On March 26, staff lawyer Norman Redlich submitted another
      outline of the final Report to Rankin;  in almost all respects,
      Redlich's outline is identical with Goldberg's.  Chapter Four is
      entitled "Lee H. Oswald as the Assassin," with the notation that
      "this section should state the facts which lead to the conclusion
      that Oswald pulled the trigger. . . ."[31]  In general, Redlich is
      vaguer than Goldberg in his listing of those "facts" which should
      be presented to support the conclusion of Oswald's guilt.  However,
      he does specify what he considers to be "evidence of Oswald
      carrying weapon to building."  One factor, he wrote, is the "fake
      curtain rod story."  Yet, when Redlich submitted this outline, no
      investigation had been conducted into the veracity of the "curtain
      rod story."  The first information relevant to this is contained in
      an FBI report dated March 28 (24H460-61), and it was not until the
      last day in {August} that further inquiry was made (CE2640).
         The pattern is consistent.  The Commission outlined its work and
      concluded that Oswald was guilty before it did any investigation or
      took any testimony.  The Report was outlined, including a chapter
      concluding that Oswald was guilty, before the bulk of the
      Commission's work was completed.  Most notably, these conclusions
      were drafted {before} the staff arranged a series of tests that
      were to demonstrate whether the official theories about how the
      shooting occurred were physically possible.  A series of ballistics
      tests using Oswald's rifle, and an on-site reconstruction of the
      crime in Dealey Plaza were conducted in May;  the Report was
      outlined in March.  On April 27, Redlich wrote Rankin a memorandum
      "to explain the reasons why certain members of the staff feel that
      it is important" to reconstruct the events in Dealey Plaza as
      depicted in motion pictures of the assassination.  Redlich stated
      that the Report would "presumably" set forth a version of the
      assassination shots concluding "that the bullets were fired by one
      person located in the sixth floor southeast corner window of the
      TSBD building."  He then pointed out:

            As our investigation now stands, however, we have not
         shown that these events could possibly have occurred in the
         manner suggested above.  All we have is a reasonable
         hypothesis which appears to be supported by the medical
         testimony but which has not been checked out against the
         physical facts at the scene of the assassination.[32]

         Thus, Redlich admitted that the Commission did not know if the
      conclusions already outlined were even physically possible.  But
      his suggestion of on-site tests should not be taken to indicate his
      desire to establish the untainted truth, for he explicitly denied
      such a purpose in his memorandum.  Instead, he wrote:

            Our intention is not to establish the point with complete
         accuracy, but merely to substantiate the hypothesis which
         underlies the conclusions that Oswald was the sole

      This is as unambiguous a statement as can be imagined.  The
      reconstruction was not to determine whether it was physically
      possible for Oswald to have committed the murder as described by
      the Commission;  it was "merely to substantitate" [sic] the
      preconceived conclusion "that Oswald was the sole assassin."
         On April 30, three days after Redlich composed the above-quoted
      memorandum, the Commission met in another secret executive session.
      Here Rankin added to the abundant proof that the Commission had
      already concluded that Oswald was guilty.  The following exchange
      was provoked when Dulles expressed his well-voiced preoccupation
      with biographical data relating to Oswald:

            Mr. Dulles:  Detailed biography of Lee Harvey Oswald--I
         think that ought to be somewhere.
            Mr. Rankin:  We thought it would be too voluminous to be
         in the body of the report.  We thought it would be helpful
         as supplementary material at the end.
            Mr. Dulles:  Well, I don't feel too strongly about where
         it should be.  This would be--I think some of the biography
         of Lee Harvey Oswald, though, ought to be in the main
            Mr. Rankin:  {Some of it will be necessary to tell the
         story and to show why it is reasonable to assume that he did
         what the Commission concludes that he did do}.[34] (emphasis

         As late as the middle of May, long after the Commission and the
      staff had decided, in advance of analyzing the evidence, that
      Oswald was guilty, Commission member McCloy expressed his feeling
      that the conclusion as to Oswald's guilt was not being pursued with
      enough vigor by the staff.  McCloy was not interested in a fair and
      objective report.  This story was related by David Belin in his
      memorandum of May 15, which described his trip to Dallas with
      certain Commission members, McCloy included.  One night in Dallas,
      Belin persuaded McCloy to read "Ball-Belin Report # 1," which by
      then was almost three months old.  Belin recounts McCloy's

            He seemed to misunderstand the basic purpose of the
         report, for he suggested that we did not point up enough
         arguments to show why Oswald was the assassin. . . .
         Commissioner McCloy did state that in the final report he
         thought that we should be rather complete in developing
         reasons and affirmative statements why Oswald was the
         assassin--he did not believe that it should just merely be a
         factual restatement of what we had found.[35]

         As quoted at the opening of this chapter, the Warren Report
      asserted that the Commission functioned not "as a prosecutor
      determined to prove a case, but as a fact finding agency committed
      to the ascertainment of the truth."  This statement is clearly a
      misrepresentation of the Commission's real position, as expressed
      in private by McCloy when he told Belin that he wanted a report
      that argued a prosecution case, and not simply "a factual
         The Dallas Police and the FBI both announced their "conclusion"
      before it could have been adequately substantiated by facts and, in
      so doing, almost irrevocably prejudiced the American public against
      Oswald and thwarted an honest and unbiased investigation.  The
      Commission operated under a facade of impartiality.  Yet it
      examined the evidence--and subsequently presented it--on the
      premise that Oswald was guilty, a premise openly stated in secret
      staff memoranda and reinforced when the members met in secret
      sessions.  Now, as the curtain of secrecy that once sheltered the
      working papers of the investigation is lifted, the ugly and
      improper presumption of guilt becomes obvious.  Wesley Liebeler
      expressed the prejudice of the entire "investigation" when he
      argued to Rankin in a once-secret memorandum that " . . . the best
      evidence that Oswald could fire as fast as he did and hit the
      target is the fact that he did so."[36]


 [1] "New York Times," November 24, 1963, p. 1.

 [2] "Philadelphia Inquirer," November 24, 1963.

 [3] "St. Louis Post-Dispatch," November 24, 1963.

 [4] "New York Times," November 25, 1963, p. 18.

 [5] "St. Louis Post-Dispatch," November 24, 1963, p. 2.

 [6] Transcript of the December 5, 1963, Executive Session of the Warren
     Commission, pp. 10-11.

 [7] Ibid., p. 8.

 [8] Letter from Nicholas Katzenbach to Chief Justice Warren, dated
     December 9, 1963.  This letter is available from the National

 [9] "Washington Post," December 1, 1963.

[10] "Time," December 13, 1963, p. 26.

[11] "Newsweek," December 16, 1963, p. 26.

[12] "New York Times," December 10, 1963, p. 1.

[13] Transcript of the December 16, 1963, Executive Session of the
     Warren Commission, p. 11.

[14] Ibid., p. 12.

[15] "Progress Report" by Chairman Warren, p. 4, attached to "Memorandum
     for Members of the Commission" from Mr. Rankin, dated January 11,

[16] The "Tentative Outline of the Work of the President's Commission"
     was attached to the memorandum mentioned in note 15.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Transcript of the January 21, 1964, Executive Session of the Warren
     Commission, pp. 10-11.

[21] Memorandum from W. David Slawson to Mr. Ball and Mr. Belin, dated
     January 27, 1964, "SUBJECT:  Time of Rifle Shots," located in the
     "Slawson Chrono. File."

[22] Memorandum from Arlen Specter to Mr. Rankin, dated January 30, 1964,
     concerning the questioning of Marina Oswald, p. 3.

[23] "Memorandum to the Staff," from Mr. Rankin, dated January 13, 1964,
     p. 3.

[24] "Memorandum" from David W. Belin to J. Lee Rankin, dated January 30,
     1964.  This document was discovered in the National Archives by
     Harold Weisberg and was first presented in "Post Mortem I," pp.

[25] Ibid.

[26] "Ball-Belin Report #1," dated February 25, 1964, p. 233.

[27] Ibid., pp. 1-2.

[28] See "Truth Was My Only Goal," by David Belin in "The Texas
     Observer," August 13, 1971, p. 14.

[29] "Memorandum" from Alfred Goldberg to J. Lee Rankin, dated "approx
     3/14," 1964.

[30] "Proposed Outline of Report," attached to the memorandum referred
     to in note 29.  This outline was discovered in the National
     Archives by Harold Weisberg and is presented in "Post Mortem I,"
     p. 123.

[31] "Proposed Outline of Report (Submitted by Mr. Redlich)," attached
     to "Memorandum" from Norman Redlich to J. Lee Rankin, dated March
     26, 1964.  This document was discovered in the National Archives by
     Harold Weisberg and is presented in "Post Mortem I," p. 132.

[32] "Memorandum" from Norman Redlich to J. Lee Rankin, dated April 27,
     1964.  This document was discovered in the National Archives by
     Harold Weisberg and is presented in "Post Mortem I," pp. 132-34.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Transcript of the April 30, 1964, Executive Session of the Warren
     Commission, p. 5891.

[35] Memorandum from Mr. Belin to Mr. Rankin, dated May 15, 1964, p. 5.

[36] Liebeler 9/6/64 Memorandum, p. 25.


      PART II:


                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      Suppressed Spectrography

      In the final analysis, the Warren Commission had three pieces of
      tangible evidence that linked Lee Harvey Oswald to the
      assassination of President Kennedy:  (1) A rifle purchased by
      Oswald and three empty cartridge cases fired in that rifle were
      discovered on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository,
      (2) a nearly whole bullet that had been fired from Oswald's rifle
      was found on a stretcher at Parkland Hospital, and (3) two
      fragments of a bullet or bullets that had been fired from Oswald's
      rifle were found on the front seat of the presidential limousine.
         Yet, there is nothing in this evidence itself to prove either
      that Oswald's rifle was used in the shooting or, if it was, that
      Oswald fired it.  The whole fault in the Commission's case relating
      the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle to the shooting is this:  bullets
      identifiable with that rifle were found {outside} of the victims'
      bodies.  Pieces of metal not traceable to any rifle were found
      {inside} the bodies.  The Report merely assumes the legitimacy of
      the specimens found externally and works on the assumption that
      these bullets and fragments had once been {inside} the bodies, and
      thus were involved in the shooting.
         Obviously, bullets found outside the bodies are entirely
      circumstantial evidence, for although they may be conclusively
      linked with a particular weapon, their location of discovery does
      not link them with a particular victim.  No matter how close to the
      victims or to the scene of the crime these bullets were found, as
      long as they were not {in} the actual bodies when discovered, proof
      is lacking that they were ever in the bodies at all.  If Commission
      Exhibit 399, the nearly whole bullet found on a stretcher at
      Parkland, had been removed from Governor Connally's body, it could
      be asserted that it had indeed produced his wounds.  Likewise, if
      the identifiable bullet fragments found on the front seat of the
      limousine had instead been located in President Kennedy's head
      wound, we would have the proof linking Oswald's rifle to the fatal
         In the case of the assassination, there was an easy and
      conclusive way to determine whether the bullet specimens found
      {outside} the bodies had ever been {inside} the victims, thus
      providing either the proof or the disproof of the notion that
      Oswald's rifle was used in the shooting.  This conclusive evidence
      is the spectrographic comparison made between the metallic
      compositions of the projectiles found outside of the victims and
      the bits of metal removed from the wounds themselves.
         Spectrography is an exact science.  In spectrographic analysis,
      a test substance is irradiated so that all of the elements
      composing it emit a distinct spectrum.  These spectra are recorded
      on film and analyzed both qualitatively (to determine exactly which
      elements compose the substance in question) and quantitatively (to
      determine the exact percentage of each element present).  Through
      such analysis, two substances may be compared in extremely fine
      detail, down to the percentages of even their most minor
         Comparative chemical analysis such as spectrography has long
      been a vital tool in crime solving.  The following are actual cases
      that illustrate the value of such comparison:

          1.  A deformed slug with some white metal adhering to it
              was found at the scene where a man had been shot, but
              not wounded.  The white metal was first suspected to be
              nickel, which would have indicated a nickel-coated
              bullet, but was subsequently tested and found to be
              silver from a cigarette case that had been penetrated.
              The slugs in the cartridges taken from the suspect in
              the attack were analyzed and found to differ in
              composition from the projectile used in the shooting;
              the suspect thus escaped conviction.

          2.  In another case, a man escaped conviction because of
              dissimilarities in composition found upon comparative
              analysis of the bullet removed from the wounded man and
              bullets from cartridges seized in the suspect's house.
              The former contained a trace of antimony and no tin and
              the latter contained a comparatively large amount of

          3.  A night watchman shot at some unidentified persons
              fleeing the scene of a robbery, but all escaped.  Blood
              found at the scene the next morning indicated that one
              of the persons had been wounded and subsequently a man
              was arrested with a bullet wound in his leg for which
              he could provide no plausible explanation.  Analysis
              demonstrated that lead fragments removed from the wound
              did not agree in composition with the slugs in the
              watchman's cartridges and the man was released.  The
              impurities present in the lead were the same in each
              case, consisting chiefly of antimony, but the fragments
              from the wound contained much less antimony than the
              watchman's slugs.[2]

         The identifiable bullets and fragments found {outside} the
      victims' bodies are the suspect specimens in the presidential
      assassination.  The tiny pieces of metal found {inside} the bodies
      are, in effect, the control specimens.  All of the specimens--
      including those removed from the President and the Governor--were
      subjected to spectrographic analysis.  The results of these
      analyses hold the conclusive answer to the problem that was the
      central issue in the question of Oswald's guilt:  Did the bullets
      from Oswald's rifle produce the wounds of the victims?
         The spectrographic analyses could solve this central problem
      through minute qualitative and quantitative comparison.  If a
      fragment from a body was not {identical} in composition with a
      suspect bullet, that bullet could not have entered the body and
      left the fragment in question.  The requirements for "identical"
      composition are stringent;  if the exact elements are not present
      in the exact percentages from one sample to another, there is no
      match and the samples must have originated from two different
      sources.  If a fragment is found to be identical in composition
      with a suspect bullet, it is possible that the bullet deposited the
      fragment in the body.  However, before this can be conclusively
      proven, it must be demonstrated that other bullets manufactured
      from the same batch of metal were not employed in the crime.[3]
      Some of the major comparisons that should have been made in the
      case of the President's death are these:

          1.  The Commission apparently believed that the two large
              bullet fragments (one containing part of a lead core)
              found on the front seat of the car and traceable to
              Oswald's rifle were responsible for the head wounds.
              Two pieces of lead were recovered from the President's
              head.  The head fragments could have been compared to
              the car fragment containing lead.  Had the slightest
              difference in composition been found, the car fragments
              could not have caused the head wounds.

          2.  The Commission believed that the two car fragments were
              part of the same bullet.  Spectrographic comparison
              might have determined this.

          3.  Copper traces were found on the bullet holes in the
              back of the President's coat and shirt.  Since the
              Commission believed that bullet 399 penetrated the
              President's neck, the copper residues on the clothing
              could have been compared with the copper jacket of 399
              for a conclusive answer.  Any dissimilarity between the
              two copper samples would rule out 399.

          4.  The Commission believed that 399 wounded Governor
              Connally.  Fragments of lead were removed from the
              Governor's wrist.  These could have been compared with
              the lead core of 399.  Again, any dissimilarity would
              conclusively disassociate 399 from Connally's wounds.
              An identical match might support the Commission's

          5.  The lead from the Governor's wrist could have been
              compared with the lead from one of the identifiable car
              fragments to determine whether this might have caused
              Connally's wounds in the event that 399 did not.  This
              could have associated "Oswald's" rifle with the wounds
              even if 399 had been proven "illegitimate."

          6.  The lead residue found on the crack in the windshield
              of the car could have been compared with fragments from
              the two bodies plus fragments from the car in an effort
              to determine which shot caused the windshield damage.

          7.  As a control, the lead and copper composition of 399
              could have been compared to that of the identifiable
              car fragments to determine whether all were made from
              the same batches of metal.

         The government had in its possession the conclusive proof or
      disproof of its theories.  It is not presumptuous to assume that,
      had the spectrographic analyses provided the incontrovertible proof
      of the validity of the Warren Report's central conclusions, they
      would have been employed in the Report, eliminating virtually all
      of the controversy and doubt that have raged over the official
         But the complete results of the spectrographic analyses were
      never reported to the Commission;  there is no indication that the
      Commission ever requested or desired them;  they are not in the
      printed exhibits or the Commission's unpublished files;  no expert
      testimony relevant to them was ever adduced;  and to this day, the
      Department of Justice is withholding the complete results from
         On November 23, 1963, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a report
      to Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry summarizing the results of FBI
      laboratory examinations, including spectrographic analysis (see
      24H262-64).  On the matter of composition, Hoover said only that
      the jackets of the found specimens were "copper alloy" and the
      cores and other pieces, "lead."  The element mixed with the copper
      to form the "alloy" is not even mentioned.  It is quite unlikely
      that the other specimens were composed solely of "lead," for the
      lead employed in practically all modern bullets is mixed with small
      quantities of antimony, bismuth, and arsenic.[4]  The only
      spectrographic comparison mentioned in this report is meaningless:

            The lead metal of [exhibits] Q4 and Q5 [fragments from
         the President's head], Q9 [fragment(s) from the Governor's
         wrist], Q14 [three pieces of lead found under the left jump
         seat in the limousine] and Q15 [scraping from the windshield
         crack] is similar to the lead of the core of the bullet
         fragment, Q2 [found on the front seat of the car].

      That two samples are "similar" in composition is without meaning in
      terms of the precise data yielded through spectrographic analysis.
      The crucial determination, "identical" or "not identical," is
      consistently avoided.  Also avoided is the essential comparison
      between the "stretcher bullet," 399, and the metal fragments
      removed from the Governor's wrist.
         The Commission sought virtually no testimony relevant to the
      spectrographic analysis.  When it did seek this testimony, it asked
      the wrong questions of the wrong people.  FBI ballistics expert
      Robert Frazier gave testimony about these tests on May 13, 1964.
      At this time, he told the Commission and Arlen Specter, his
      interrogator, that the spectrographics examinations were performed
      by a spectrographer, John F. Gallager (5H67, 69).  Frazier,
      accepted by the Commission only as a "qualified witness on
      firearms" (3H392), was not a spectrographic expert.  His field was
      ballistics and firearms identification, and while he might have
      supplemented his findings with those from other fields, he was not
      qualified in spectrography, which entails expertise in physics and
      chemistry.  Gallagher, the expert, could well be called the
      Commission's most-avoided witness.  His testimony, the {last} taken
      in the entire investigation, was given in a deposition attended by
      a stenographer and a staff member the week before the Warren Report
      was submitted to President Johnson.  At this time, he was not asked
      a single question relating to the spectrographic analyses.[5] (See
         Neither Specter nor the Commission members can deny having known
      that Frazier was not the man qualified to testify about
      spectrographic analysis;  Frazier stated this in his testimony:

            Mr. Specter:  Was it your job to analyze all of the
         bullets or bullet fragments which were found in the
         President's car?
            Mr. Frazier:  Yes;  it was, {except for the
         spectrographic analysis of the composition}.  (5H68;
         emphasis added)

      Frazier added, "I don't know actually whether I am expected to give
      the results of (the spectrographer's) analysis or not" (5H59).  If
      this statement fails to make it clear that Frazier was not prepared
      to testify about the results of the spectrographic analyses, an
      earlier statement by him leaves no doubt:  "[The spectrographic]
      examination was performed by a spectrographer, John F. Gallagher,
      and I do not have the results of his examination here" (5H67).  If
      Frazier did not have the actual report of the results of the tests
      with him when he appeared before the Commission, there was
      obviously no way of vouching for the accuracy of the findings to
      which he testified, whether he was qualified as an expert in
      spectrography or not.  Also, Frazier's knowledge of the
      spectrographic analysis was merely secondhand;  he was aware of the
      results of these tests because the spectrographer "submitted his
      report to me" (5H69).  Thus, Frazier played no role in conducting
      this analysis.  His only "qualification" for giving testimony about
      the spectrographic analyses was that he had read a report about
      them.  Because this report is not part of the public records, we
      have no way of determining whether Frazier accurately related the
      results of the analyses, or whether the report upon which he based
      his testimony was competent, complete, or satisfactory.  In short,
      we are asked to take Frazier on his word when (1) he knew of these
      tests only secondhand, (2) he did not have the actual results with
      him when he testified about them, and (3) he had no expertise in
      spectrography.  On this basis alone, Frazier's testimony concerning
      the tests is not worthy of credence.
         However, if we examine exactly what Frazier specified as the
      results of the spectrographic analyses, it becomes apparent that
      his testimony, if true, is meaningless and incomplete.  Frazier
      spoke of essentially the same comparisons that Hoover did in his
      letter to police chief Curry, repeating Hoovers meaningless
      designation that the ballistic specimens compared were "found to be
      similar in metallic composition" (5H67, 69, 73-74).  When the
      {exact} composition had been determined to a minute degree and
      could be compared for conclusive and meaningful answers, there was
      no legitimate reason to accept this testimony about mere
      "similarities" in composition.  Furthermore, Frazier offered his
      opinion that the spectrographic analyses were inconclusive in
      determining the origin of certain of the ballistics specimens
      (5H67, 69, 73-74).  However, because Frazier was not a
      spectrographic expert and because the actual report of these tests
      is not available, his interpretation of the test results is
      worthless.  Even at that, Frazier and his Commission interrogator,
      Arlen Specter, avoided mention of those comparisons affecting the
      legitimacy of bullet 399--namely, the copper from the President's
      clothing and the lead from Governor Connally's wrist as compared
      with the copper and lead of 399.
         Frazier was cross-examined at the New Orleans conspiracy trial
      of Clay Shaw.  Here he was pressed further on the spectrographic
      analysis.  When asked about any "similarity" in the compositions of
      the various ballistic specimens he replied, "They all had the same
      metallic composition as far as the lead core or lead portions of
      these objects is concerned."[6]
         This response prompts two inferences.  First, Frazier
      specifically excluded as being the "same in metallic composition"
      the {copper} portions of the specimens.  If this omission was
      necessitated by the fact that the copper of the recovered specimens
      did not match in composition, a significant part of the Warren
      Report is disproved.  Second, Frazier's description of the lead as
      being the "same" in composition is ambiguous.  Did he mean that the
      {elements} of the composition or the {percentages} of the elements
      were the "same"?  In the former case, his testimony would again be
      meaningless, for {what} is contained in the metal is not so
      important as {how much} is contained.  If the percentages were the
      same, the Report could be confirmed.
         Further questioning by Attorney Oser cleared up this ambiguity.

            Mr. Oser:  Am I correct in saying there is a similarity
         in metallic composition or they are identical?
            Mr. Frazier:  It was identical as far as the metallic
         {elements} are concerned.[7] (emphasis added)

      Here Frazier leaves no doubt that the individual {elements} in the
      various lead samples were identical.  What he avoids saying is that
      the percentages of those elements were identical throughout.  This
      is the crucial point.  If anything, Frazier's specification that
      the {elements} were identical (when questioned about the
      {composition}) leads to the inference that the percentages of those
      elements were not identical, hence the recovered specimens could
      {not} be related and the Warren Report is necessarily invalid.
         The Commission's failure to obtain the complete spectrographic
      analyses and to adduce meaningful expert testimony on them can be
      viewed only with suspicion.  Here was the absolute proof or
      disproof of the official theories.  If truth was the Commission's
      objective, there can be no explanation for the exclusion of these
      tests from the record.  If the Commission was right in its
      "solution" of the assassination, for what reason could it
      conceivably have omitted the {proof} of its validity?  One is
      reasonably led to believe that the spectrographic analyses proved
      the opposite of what the Commission asserted.
         If the Commission's failure to produce the spectrographic
      analyses was no more than a glaring oversight, the remedy is indeed
      a simple one.  The government need only release these tests to the
      public.  They cannot contain the gore that makes publication of the
      President's autopsy pictures a matter of questionable taste.  They
      cannot be injurious to living persons as other classified reports
      might be.  They cannot threaten our national defense.  They are
      merely a collection of highly scientific data that could support or
      destroy the entire official solution to the assassination.
         The government has to this day kept them squelched.
         Harold Weisberg, the first researcher to recognize the
      significance of the spectrographic tests and their omission from
      the record, has fought and continues to fight for access to the
      report detailing these tests.  In 1967, Weisberg wrote as follows
      of his efforts to obtain the tests:

            On October 31, 1966, then Acting Attorney General Clark
         ordered that everything considered by the Commission and in
         the possession of the government be placed in the National
         Archives.  I had written [J. Edgar] Hoover five months
         earlier, on May 23, 1966, asking for access to the
         spectrographic analysis of the bullet allegedly used in the
         assassination and the various bullet fragments, clearly the
         most basic evidence, but not in the printed evidence.  He
         has not yet answered that letter.  Since issuance of the
         Attorney General's order, I have on a number of occasions
         requested this evidence of the Archives.  Hoover, as of
         March 1967, had not turned it over.  Once, in my presence,
         one of his agents deceived the Archives by falsely reporting
         this analysis was in an FBI file that was accessible.  Since
         then, silence, but no spectrographic analysis.[8]

         Weisberg's efforts have continued.  In 1970, he made available
      to me all of his government correspondence.  I saw, over the
      signatures of then Attorney General John Mitchell and Deputy
      Attorney General Richard Kleindienst, the government's constant
      refusal to release the spectrographic analyses.[9]  Having
      exhausted his administrative remedies, Weisberg took the Justice
      Department to court, suing for release under provisions of the
      "Freedom of Information" law.  The U.S. District Court for the
      District of Columbia ruled against Weisberg in this case, Civil
      Action No. 712-70.  Weisberg and his attorney appealed this
      decision, and the appeal, brief No. 71-1026, is currently before
      the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
         Without the spectrographic analyses, there is {no} evidence to
      associate Oswald's rifle with the wounds suffered by President
      Kennedy and Governor Connally.  Nothing was found in the body of
      either victim that would suggest a connection between that specific
      Mannlicher-Carcano and the wounds.  The spectrographic tests might
      establish such a connection;  they might also conclusively
      {dissociate} that rifle from the wounds.  However, omission of the
      exact spectrographic results from the Commission's evidence and the
      subsequent refusal of the government to release the
      spectrographer's findings do not leave one at all confident that
      these tests support the official solution to the assassination.


 [1] See "Spectrography" in "Encyclopaedia Britannica" (Chicago:
     William Benton Publishers, 1963), vol. 21, and "Photography" in
     vol. 17;  Herbert Dingle, "Practical Applications of Spectrum
     Analysis" (London:  Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 1950), pp. 1-3, 74-75,

 [2] A. Lucas, "Forensic Chemistry and Scientific Criminal Investigation"
     (New York:  Longmans, Green and Co., 1935), pp. 265-66.

 [3] Author's interview with Dr. John Nichols on April 16, 1970.  See
     also Nichols's statement in the "Dallas Morning News," June 19, 1970.

 [4] "The Winchester-Western Ammunition Handbook" (New York:  Pocket
     Books, Inc., 1964), p. 120. (Hereinafter referred to as "Winchester

 [5] First public attention drawn to the spectrographic analyses and
     their omission from the Commission's record was by Harold Weisberg
     in "Whitewash," p. 164.  Sylvia Meagher later discussed this topic
     in her book, pp. 170-72.

 [6] Transcript of court proceedings of February 21, 1969, in "State of
     Louisiana v. Clay L. Shaw," p. 40. (Hereinafter referred to as
     "Frazier 2/21/69 testimony.")

 [7] Ibid., p. 41.

 [8] Weisberg, "Oswald in New Orleans," pp. 148-49.

 [9] Weisberg's attorney in this case, Bernard Fensterwald, requested
     that his client be furnished with the spectrographic analyses in a
     letter to Justice Department lawyer Joseph Cella, dated October 9,
     1969.  Then Deputy Attorney General Richard Kleindienst responded to
     this request in a letter dated November 13, 1969;  he refused to
     disclose the document, (These letters are a part of the public
     record.  They are part of the set of exhibits appended to the
     "COMPLAINT" dated March 11, 1970, filed in U.S. District Court for
     the District of Columbia in the case of "Harold Weisberg v. U.S.
     Department of Justice and U.S. Department of State," Civil Action
     No. 718-70.)
       Weisberg has attempted to obtain the report of the spectrographer
     through a series of written requests dated May 23, 1966, March 12,
     1967, January 1, 1969, June 2, 1969, April 6, 1970, May 15, 1970,
     and an official request form submitted on May 10, 1970.  In a letter
     dated June 4, 1970, then Attorney General John Mitchell personally
     denied Weisberg's request for access.  Richard Kleindienst, in a
     letter dated June 12, 1970, also denied Weisberg's request.  (These
     letters are also a part of the public record.  They are contained in
     the appendix to Appeal No. 71-1026, "Weisberg v. U.S. Department of
     Justice," filed by attorney for plaintiff-appellant in the U.S.
     Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.)

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      The President's Wounds

      There is evidence independent of the spectrographic analyses that
      reasonably, although not conclusively, disassociates Oswald's rifle
      from the wounds inflicted on President Kennedy.  Certain aspects of
      the medical evidence strongly indicate that the President was {not}
      struck by bullets of the type recovered and traced back to the
      C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano purchased by Oswald.  The implication of
      this evidence as well as the evidence relating to Governor
      Connally's wounds is that the identifiable bullet recovered at
      Parkland Hospital and the bullet fragments found in the limousine
      played no role in the wounding of either victim, and came to rest
      in their location of discovery by some means other than that
      alleged by the Commission.  More precisely, the significance of the
      medical evidence is that it forces the conclusion that the items of
      physical evidence that implicate Oswald in the murder--his rifle,
      the spent cartridge cases, and the bullets--were deliberately
      "planted" for the purpose of implicating Oswald, although none
      played a role in the actual shooting.
         We must recognize that the medical evidence in this case suffers
      severe limitations, to which almost infinite discussion could be
      and has been devoted.[1]  Because the scope of this study does not
      include an examination of the official investigation into the
      President's wounds, including the autopsy and other examinations,
      it must suffice here to say that most of the medical evidence
      available today is not credible and precludes a positive
      reconstruction of the exact manner in which President Kennedy was
      killed.  There is currently enough solid information to say with
      some precision what did {not} happen to the President, and it may,
      in fact, never be possible to say more than that.
         Respecting the limits of the medical evidence, I will make no
      effort to explain exactly how President Kennedy was shot, from
      which directions, by how many bullets, and so on.  Instead, I will
      focus on one aspect of the wounds, namely, the type of ammunition
      that produced them.  This is the only aspect of the medical
      evidence that relates to the question of Oswald's guilt, assuming,
      of course, that at least some of the assassination shots originated
      from the rear.  The question to be answered is this:  Could the
      President's wounds have been caused by bullets of the type
      recovered and traced to Oswald's rifle?

      {The Head Wounds}

         The wounds to President Kennedy's head can be briefly described
      as follows:  There was a 15 by 6 mm.  entrance wound situated at
      the rear top of the head.  Most of the right half of the brain had
      been blasted away by a bullet.  Numerous tiny metal fragments were
      depicted on X-rays as being located in the right-frontal portion of
      the head.  Much of the skull and scalp in the right frontal area
      had also been blasted away, creating a large, irregular defect from
      which lacerated brain tissue oozed.  Many lacerations of the scalp
      and severe fractures of the skull accompanied this large defect.
      It can be said with reasonable certainty that {a} bullet struck the
      President's head from the rear.  The evidence does {not} establish
      that it was the rear-entering bullet that produced the explosive
      wound to the right-front of the head, nor is there currently any
      evidence to preclude the possibility that the head was in fact
      struck by two separate bullets from different directions.
         The Warren Commission made no serious effort to establish the
      type of ammunition that produced the head wounds, and it failed to
      establish {any} connection between those wounds and the ammunition
      allegedly used by Oswald.  The Commission postulates that Oswald
      fired military ammunition.  Such bullets are constructed of a lead
      core chemically hardened and inserted into a jacket of copper
      alloy.[2]  The principal reason for this type of construction is to
      insure good penetrating ability by inhibiting bullet deformation.
      Hard metal-jacketed military bullets can be deformed upon striking
      resistant tissue such as bone.  In such a case, the bullet is
      liable to become mangled and distorted in shape.  When such bullets
      undergo fragmentation, it is rarely extensive.  Typically, the
      jacket may separate from the core which, in turn, may break up into
      relatively large chunks, depending on the nature of the resistant
      tissue and the force with which it was struck.[3]
         The autopsy pathologists concluded that one bullet struck the
      head, entering through the small rear entrance wound, and
      explosively exiting through the gaping defect in the right-frontal
      area of the head.  The conclusion that the rear wound was one of
      entrance was justified on the basis of the information available.
      However, the pathologists could present no evidence to substantiate
      the "conclusion" that the gaping defect was an exit wound.  The
      unmistakable inference of the testimony of Dr. James Humes, the
      chief autopsy pathologist, is that the doctors "concluded" this was
      an exit wound solely because the only other external head wound was
      one of entrance (2H352).  This reasoning is in total disregard of
      any practicable medico-legal standards, and is worthless without
      tangible evidence to buttress it.
         Given the unsupportable premise that one bullet caused all the
      head wounds, Assistant Counsel Arlen Specter was able to adduce
      worthless testimony from Dr. Humes about the type of ammunition
      involved.  First he asked Dr. Humes whether a "dumdum" bullet
      struck the head:

            Dr. Humes:  I believe these were not dumdum bullets, Mr.
         Specter.  A dumdum is a term that has been used to describe
         various missiles which have a common characteristic of
         fragmenting extensively upon striking.
            A . . Had [the entrance wound on the head] been inflicted
         by a dumdum bullet, I would anticipate that it would not
         have anything near the regular contour and outline which it
         had.  I would also anticipate that the skull would have been
         much more extensively disrupted, and not have, as was
         evident in this case, a defect which quite closely
         corresponded to the overlying skin defect because that type
         of missile would fragment on contact and be much more
         disruptive at this point. (2H356)

      Thus, the clean characteristics of the entrance hole led Dr. Humes
      to conclude that it was not caused by a "dumdum" bullet.  What such
      a bullet would produce upon striking the skull, according to Humes,
      is in essence what appeared on the right side of the President's
      head and was arbitrarily designated an exit wound.  The Commission
      never raised the proper question:  Was the gaping head defect
      really the "exit" wound or could it have been another entrance,
      caused by a "dumdum"?
         The Commission members continued this line of questioning.
      First Mr. McCloy queried about soft-nose ammunition having caused
      {only} the entrance wound:

            Dr. Humes:  From the characteristics of this wound, Mr.
         McCloy, I would believe it must have had a very firm head
         rather than a soft head.
            Mr. McCloy:  Steel jacketed, would you say, copper
         jacketed bullet?
            Dr. Humes:  I believe more likely a jacketed bullet.

      Allen Dulles joined in:

            Mr. Dulles:  Believing that we know the type of bullet
         that was usable in this gun ["Oswald's" rifle], would this
         be the type of wound that might result from that kind of
            Dr. Humes:  I believe so, sir. (2H357)

         During his testimony, Col. Pierre Finck, who participated in the
      autopsy as a consultant to Dr. Humes, was asked about the nature of
      the bullet's fragmentation within the head.  Commissioner Gerald
      Ford, apparently feeling that he had asked one question too many,
      cut Finck off at the vital point and did not permit him to

            Mr. Ford:  Is it typical to find only a limited number of
         fragments as you apparently did in this case?
            Dr. Finck:  {This depends to a great deal on the type of
         ammunition used}.  There are many types of bullets,
         jacketed, not-jacketed, pointed, hollow-nosed, hollow-
         points, flatnose, roundnose, all these different shapes will
         have a different influence on the pattern of the wound and
         the degree of fragmentation.
            Mr. Ford:  That is all.  (2H384;  emphasis added)

         The Report does not cite any of the above-quoted testimony.
      Instead, it discusses ballistics which, it asserts,

         showed that the rifle and bullets identified above were
         capable of producing the President's head wound.  The Wound
         Ballistics Branch . . . at Edgewood Arsenal, Md., conducted
         an extensive series of experiments to test the effect of . .
         . the type [of bullet] found on Governor Connally's
         stretcher and in the Presidential limousine, fired from the
         C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found in the Depository. . .
         .  One series of tests, performed on reconstructed inert
         human skulls, demonstrated that the President's head wound
         could have been caused by the rifle and bullets fired by the
         assassin from the sixth floor window. (R87)

         How could such tests "demonstrate that the President's head
      wound could have been caused by" bullets fired from a rifle
      traceable to Oswald?  The tests, in fact, do {not} suggest {any}
      correlation between the head wounds and "Oswald's" rifle.  When
      analyzed, they prove to be nothing more than incompetent,
      meaningless, hence invalid simulations.
         Used for these tests were old skulls, hard and brittle, having
      long lost the natural moisteners of living bone.  These test skulls
      were filled and covered with a 20 percent gelatin solution, a
      standard simulant for body tissues (5H87).  Not simulated in the
      experiments was a vital determining factor--the scalp.  As the
      "expert" who conducted the tests admitted, the scalp of a living
      person would serve to retain or hold together the bones of the
      cranium upon impact of a missile (5H89).  Obviously, this
      reconstructed "head" could not possibly respond to a bullet's
      strike as would a normal, living head.
         Ten skulls were fired upon with "Oswald's" rifle under
      conditions duplicating only those under which Oswald allegedly
      fired.  Only one skull was subsequently shown to the Commission;
      the bullet that struck it "blew out the right side of the
      reconstructed skull in a manner very similar to the head wound of
      the President" (R87).  This persuaded the "expert" to conclude--
      contrary to his beliefs nurtured by prior experience--"that the
      type of head wounds that the President received could be done by
      this type of bullet" (R87).
         The pictures of this test exhibit printed by the Commission show
      a gelatin-filled skull with the bone of the entire right side
      missing (17H854).  However, the gelatin underlying this missing
      bone is completely intact, so utterly undisturbed that it still
      bears the various minute impressions of the skull that once covered
      it.  This gelatin was supposed to simulate the tissues within the
      skull (5H87).  Yet those tissues, according to the autopsy report,
      were "lacerated," "disrupted," and "extensively lacerated" (16H981,
      983).  Obviously, even upon its entering the bony vault of the
      skull, the test bullet was not capable of producing the extensive
      damage attributed to it by the Commission.  As for the disruption
      of the skull on the test exhibit, almost {any} force could have
      dislodged pieces of the brittle skull not restrained by scalp.  As
      forensic pathologist Dr. John Nichols confirmed to me, even a blow
      with a hammer could have produced the damage shown on the test
         The Commission adds a further note, again unjustly incriminating
      Oswald.  Two large fragments of the bullet that struck the test
      skull were recovered, a portion of the copper jacket near the base,
      and a sizable piece of the lead core.  The Commission had its
      "expert" compare these fragments with the two similar fragments
      that were found in the front seat of the presidential limousine and
      identifiable with "Oswald's" rifle.  The result of this comparison,
      as presented in the Report, is seemingly to associate these
      traceable fragments with the head wounds.  The expert is quoted as

         the recovered fragments were very similar to the ones
         recovered on the front seat and the floor of the car.
            This to me, indicates that those fragments did come from
         the bullet that wounded the President in the head. (R87)

         These are the last words of the Report's discussion of the head
      wounds.  Since no qualifying language follows, the reader is left
      with the impression that the "expert opinion" is valid in
      associating the identifiable fragments with the wounds.  Nowhere in
      the Report do we find the simple fact that the fragmentation of
      both the test bullet and the found bullet pieces is not an
      exclusive occurrence, as implied.  The break-up observed is
      consistent with the normal fragmentation pattern of full-jacketed
      military bullets.  When such bullets break apart, the core usually
      separates from the jacket.[5]  The Commission could have produced
      the same effect if it fired the bullet through a piece of masonite.
         Thus, for all its claims, the Commission was able to present no
      credible evidence associating bullets from "Oswald's" rifle, or
      even military bullets in general, with the President's head wounds.
         The nature of the bullet fragmentation within the President's
      head actually disassociates military bullets from the head wounds,
      and strongly suggests that some type of sporting ammunition struck
      the head.
         One essential fact about the entrance wound in the head was
      omitted from both the autopsy report and the pathologists'
      testimonies.  It came to light in the following passage from a
      report released by Attorney General Ramsey Clark in January 1969.
      (In February 1968, Clark secretly convened a panel of three
      forensic pathologists and a radiologist to study and report on the
      photographs and X rays taken of the President's body during the
      autopsy.  [This photographic material has been withheld from the
      public for a variety of reasons.]  Clark kept the report of his
      panel secret until January 1969, when he released it as part of the
      Justice Department's legal argument against New Orleans District
      Attorney Jim Garrison's attempt to have the pictures and X rays
      produced at the conspiracy trial of Clay Shaw.)  The passage reads:

            Also there is, embedded in the outer table of the skull
         close to the lower edge of the [entrance] hole, a large
         metallic fragment which . . . lies 25 mm. to the right of
         the midline.  This fragment . . . is round and measures 6.5
         mm. in diameter.[6]

      The "Clark Panel" is describing a 6.5 mm. piece of metal that
      separated from the bullet upon entering the skull and became
      embedded in the skull at the bottom portion of the entrance wound.
      This, the key to the type of ammunition causing the wound, vitiates
      Dr.  Humes's previously cited testimony that a "jacketed bullet"
      probably caused this entrance wound.
         The bullet from which was shaved this substantial fragment upon
      entrance could {not} have been covered with a hard metal jacket
      such as copper alloy.  Such a fragment is, in fact, a not
      infrequent occurrence from a {lead} bullet.  Rowland Long, in his
      book "The Physician and the Law," speaks of the penetration of lead
      bullets into the skull and asserts:  "Not infrequently a collar
      shaped fragment of lead is shaved off around the wound of entrance
      and is found embedded in the surrounding scalp tissues."[7]
      Criminologist LeMoyne Snyder describes a similar phenomenon in his
      book "Homicide Investigation."[8]  Forensic pathologist Halpert
      Fillinger explained to me the principles that rule out full-
      jacketed ammunition and suggest a lead bullet:

            You can appreciate the fact that a jacketed projectile is
         going to leave very little on the [bone] margins because
         it's basically a hardened jacket, and it's designed so that
         it will not scrape off when it goes through a steel barrel.
         One can appreciate the fact that going through bone, which
         is not as hard as steel, may etch or scratch it, but it's
         not going to peel off much metal.  In contrast to this a
         softer projectile might very well leave little metallic
         residues around the margins.[9]

         The Commission's case against Oswald requires full-jacketed
      ammunition to have been used to inflict the wounds of President
      Kennedy.  The presence of the 6.5 mm. metallic fragment in the
      margin of the skull entrance wound eliminates the possibility that
      a full-jacketed bullet entered through this hole.  Such a fragment
      located at that site is indicative of a lead or soft-nosed bullet.
         Most of the right hemisphere of the President's brain had been
      shot away.  The intact portions of the right side were extensively
      disrupted, with laceration and fragmentation (see 2H356;  The
      "Clark Panel" Report, p. 8;  R541, 544).  However, when seen and
      photographed at the autopsy, the brain was missing more tissue than
      had been blown out directly from the force of the missile.  The
      Zapruder film shows brain tissue oozing out of the gaping skull
      defect subsequent to the impact of the fatal bullet.  Similarly,
      the Parkland doctors who viewed the President shortly after he
      suffered this wound reported that brain matter was slowly oozing
      out and becoming detached (R519, 521, 523, 530).
         The loss of a substantial quantity of brain tissue becomes
      significant when we consider Dr. Humes's testimony that the X rays
      showed "30 or 40 tiny dustlike particle fragments" of metal in the
      President's head (2H353).  Humes cautioned that the fragments that
      appeared to be "the size of dust particles" (2H359) on the X rays
      would actually have been smaller because "X ray pictures . . . have
      a tendency to magnify these minute fragments somewhat in size"
      (2H353).  Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman saw the X rays during
      the autopsy and provided a similar description:  " . . . the whole
      head looked like a little mass of stars, there must have been 30,
      40 lights where these little pieces were so minute that they
      couldn't be reached" (2H100).
         The Clark Panel adds some details about the head fragments.  It
      reports that the majority of these fragments were located
      "anteriorly and superiorly" (toward the front and top of the head),
      and that none were visible on the left side of the brain or below a
      horizontal plane through the anterior floor of the skull.[10]  With
      such minute fragments scattered through the brain, we can infer
      that an indeterminable amount of metal was evacuated from the head
      as brain tissue oozed out subsequent to the President's head being
      struck.  From this it follows that (a) there were originally more
      fragments in the head than are shown in the X rays and, (b) the
      pattern of distribution of these fragments as illustrated by the X
      rays may not precisely represent the original distribution except
      to indicate that the majority were situated toward the front of the
         The only solid observation that can be made on the basis of
      fragmentation depicted in the head X rays is that {a} bullet
      striking the head fragmented extensively, leaving pieces of metal,
      for the most part "the size of dust particles," concentrated toward
      the frontal portion of the brain.  This type of fragmentation is
      not consistent with the type of full-jacketed military ammunition
      that the Commission says was used.  The construction and
      composition of full-jacketed bullets obviates any such massive
      break-up.  As noted previously, when military ammunition fragments,
      it is usually in such a manner that the core separates from the
      jacket.  The core may undergo further break-up, although its
      metallic composition does not permit the creation of numerous
      dustlike particles.[11]  Dr. Fillinger tells me that the fragments
      described in the President's brain were not characteristic of a
      military round, and, while he makes no absolute statement, he has
      expressed his skepticism that they actually came from such a round.
      He feels that the break-up of the bullet is more consistent with a
      hunting round.[12]
         In addition to this extensive brain damage and the accompanying
      bullet fragmentation, a good deal of scalp and skull in the right
      frontal and parietal area of the President's head had been blasted
      away by the bullet, creating a large, irregular defect.  Associated
      with this gaping wound was fracturing and fragmentation of the
      skull so extensive that the contours of the head were "grossly
      distorted."[13]  Dr. Humes reported that in peeling the scalp away
      from the skull around the margins of the head defect, pieces of
      skull would come "apart in our hands very easily" or fall to the
      table (2H354).  Dr. Humes stated also that "radiating at various
      points from the large defect were multiple crisscrossing fractures
      of the skull which extended in several directions" (2H351).  The
      Clark Panel describes multiple fractures of the skull
      "bilaterally"--on {both} sides extending into the base of the
      skull.[14]  Information recorded in contemporary autopsy notes
      indicates that the vomer (a bone in the nose) was crushed, and that
      there was a fracture through the floor of the globe of the right
      eye (17H46).  Dr. J. Thornton Boswell, assistant to Dr. Humes at
      the autopsy, has confirmed to a private researcher that a large
      area of skull damage was present in the mid- and low-temple region,
      although none of these fractures had broken the skin.[15]
         The size and extent of the gaping defect, and the associated
      fracturing and fragmentation of the skull, are indicative of a
      high-velocity bullet's having struck the head to produce this
      damage.  Dr. Fillinger has expressed to me his strong feeling that
      the extensive fragmentation of the skull is the consequence of a
      high-velocity round.[16]  He stated that the presence of such
      massive fracturing means that "there is a tremendous amount of
      force applied to the skull to produce all these fractures. . . .
      This has been pretty well fragmented, as a matter of fact," he told
      me, "and again, it speaks for some sort of high-velocity
         The gaping defect and accompanying extensive fragmentation of
      the skull are not consistent with having been produced by the type
      of ammunition the Commission alleges was used which, despite
      contrary claims, was of "medium" velocity.
         The Commission asserts that the fatal shot was fired at a
      distance of 270 feet (R585).  Although the Report gives the average
      striking velocity of the bullets fired from "Oswald's" rifle at
      other distances as measured during the wound ballistics tests, it
      does not record the velocity for the head shot tests at the proper
      distance.  At 210 feet, the average striking velocity was 1,858
      feet per second (R584).  Dr. Fillinger told me that he would
      consider an impact velocity of 2,000 f.p.s. "medium."[18]  Even Dr.
      Malcolm Perry of Parkland Hospital testified that he considered the
      Mannlicher-Carcano "a medium velocity weapon" (3H389).  FBI
      ballistics expert Robert Frazier called the velocity "low" (3H414)
      although this would appear more of a comparative evaluation than an
      absolute statement, since bullets can be fired as slowly as 800
      f.p.s. or as fast as 4,100 f.p.s.
         Because there was great damage to the head and extensive bullet
      fragmentation in the brain, Dr. Fillinger was doubtful that the
      Mannlicher-Carcano could have produced these wounds.  "To produce
      this kind of effect," he told me, "you have to have a very high-
      velocity projectile, and the Carcano will not stand very high bolt
      pressures."[19]  The massive defect corresponds perfectly to the
      characteristics that Humes described in reference to bullets that
      "have a common characteristic of fragmenting extensively upon
      striking," and that would have "extensively disrupted" the skull at
      the point of impact (2H356).  Such a bullet would most likely be
      that which is used for "varminting."  Bullets used in varmint
      hunting must be fired at very high velocities ranging upward from
      2,700 f.p.s., and are designed so that they will smash apart
      immediately on impact.  They commonly leave pinhead-sized fragments
      scattered throughout the tissues.[20]
         Without consideration of the question of whether the damage to
      the President's head was the consequence of a strike by one or two
      bullets, it can be said with a reasonable degree of certainty that
      in no instance are any of the head wounds associable with full-
      jacketed military ammunition of the type attributed to Oswald.  The
      medical evidence relating to the head wounds is thus exculpatory of
      Oswald, for his guilt hinges on the assumption that he fired full-
      jacketed military bullets from the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found
      in the Depository and linked to him.

      {The Neck and Upper Thorax Wounds}

         The autopsy report concludes that a bullet struck the President
      in the upper thoracic region of his back and penetrated his body on
      a slightly downward angle, exiting through the lower part of the
      anterior neck.  This theory has long been rendered incredible in
      numerous critical analyses.[21]  However, one piece of information
      in particular prevents anyone, whether or not he believes the
      Warren Report, from asserting that a bullet went through the neck
      in the manner described in the autopsy report.  In order to
      substantiate the assumption of a continuous bullet track, that
      track must be dissected at the autopsy.  According to Drs.
      Fillinger and Wecht, there is no way to positively identify a
      bullet path other than by dissecting it--taking it apart and
      following it through every fraction of an inch of the tissue it
      penetrates.[22]  In his New Orleans testimony, Colonel Finck stated
      explicitly, under oath, that the putative bullet track in the
      President's neck was {not} dissected.[23]  This failure to dissect
      is, according to Dr.  Fillinger, "the most critical thing of the
      whole autopsy."[24]  Without such dissection, {no one,} including
      the autopsy pathologists, can be in a position to assert that one
      bullet made a continuous path through the President's neck.
         There is one piece of information concerning the neck and upper
      thorax wounds that establishes beyond any doubt that (1) the
      particular bullet traced to Oswald's rifle and alleged by the
      Commission to have penetrated the President's neck could not have
      produced the damage attributed to it, and (2) military ammunition
      of the general type attributed to Oswald could not have caused
      these wounds.  This information came to light in the report of the
      Clark Panel.
         Describing antero-posterior X-ray views of the lower neck
      region, the Panel Report declared, "Also several small metallic
      fragments are present in this region."[25]  This observation by the
      Panel vitiates Dr. Humes's sworn testimony to the Commission that
      the X rays revealed no metallic fragments in the neck region
         Detailed information concerning these fragments is scant.  Of
      their number, the Clark Panel says only that there are "several";
      of their size, that they are "small."  My requests to the Panel for
      more specific designations have gone unanswered.  The radiologist
      on the Panel, Dr. Russell Morgan, has told me that the exact
      "region" in which these fragments appeared on the films was just
      lateral to the tip of the right transverse process of the seventh
      cervical vertebra, which is located at the very base of the
      neck.[26]  However, the back-to-front (or front-to-back)
      distribution of these fragments cannot be determined because the
      inventory of X rays includes no lateral views of the neck.  As I
      learned from Dr. Fillinger, antero-posterior X-ray views can be
      very deceiving in depicting the front-to-back distribution of X-ray
      densities.  As a case in point, he showed me X rays of a boy shot
      in the chest with shotgun pellets.  The "A-P" view seemed to show
      the tiny "shot" particles in the same plane within the chest.  A
      lateral X ray, however, revealed that the particles were actually
      scattered throughout the chest at various levels from front to
      back.[27]  Thus, all we can know about the distribution of the
      fragments in the President's neck is that they were at the level of
      the seventh cervical vertebra.
         Nevertheless, the knowledge that there were metallic fragments
      in the neck, regardless of their number, size, or distribution, is
      sufficient to eliminate the possibility that military ammunition of
      the type attributed to Oswald was responsible for the neck wounds.
         As previously noted, full-jacketed military bullets are
      constructed so that they will not fragment in soft tissue.  Even if
      a bone in the neck region were struck (the official story is that
      {no} bone in President Kennedy's neck region was struck), it is
      unlikely that this military ammunition of medium velocity could
      have produced "several small" fragments and no large ones.  (There
      was no point on the body from which a large fragment could have
      exited.  The 5 mm. wound on the anterior neck, alleged by the
      autopsy pathologists and the Commission to have been an exit wound,
      was entirely too small and regular to have been caused by a large
      section of a bullet that had become deformed as a result of
         That neither the head nor the neck wounds are attributable to
      the ammunition Oswald allegedly used would seem to provide
      persuasive evidence that Oswald played no part in the shooting of
      the President.  In fact, the evidence of the neck fragments is
      clearly exculpatory, as is illustrated in an actual case presented
      by LeMoyne Snyder in "Homicide Investigation."[28]  Snyder relates
      the story of a hunter found dead from a rifle wound in the chest.
      Investigation disclosed only two persons who could have shot the
      man--one armed with a military rifle firing jacketed ammunition,
      the other with a .30-calibre Winchester firing soft-nosed hunting
      bullets.  According to Snyder, "The problem was to try to determine
      whether the victim had been killed by jacketed ammunition or a
      soft-nosed bullet."  In reference to an X ray of the victim's
      chest, Snyder writes:  "Notice the numerous flecks of lead
      scattered through the tissues, strongly indicating that the wound
      was caused by soft-nosed ammunition."  The parallel to the
      assassination is striking, for the fragments scattered in the
      President's neck must "strongly indicate . . . soft-nosed
      ammunition," although the government's suspect allegedly fired
      jacketed bullets.
         Snyder's case ends justly;  the guilty person is identified by
      the medical evidence, the innocent is exculpated.  Tests using the
      two suspect weapons demonstrated that the military ammunition would
      have left no metal in the chest, while the soft-nosed bullet would
      have scattered numerous tiny fragments, proving "that it was soft-
      nosed ammunition and not a jacketed bullet which killed the man."
      In denying the Commission knowledge of the neck fragments, Dr.
      Humes denied Oswald the possible proof of his innocence.
         The presence of these fragments in the President's neck further
      disassociates Oswald from the crime because it establishes beyond
      any doubt that the specific bullet alleged by the Commission to
      have penetrated the neck could {not} have produced the damage
      attributed to it.  The Report never directly identifies a
      particular bullet as having caused the neck wounds.  However, it
      clearly implies that the bullet that wounded Governor Connally had
      first penetrated the President's neck.  It asserts that a whole
      bullet traceable to the Mannlicher-Carcano was found on Governor
      Connally's stretcher at Parkland Hospital (R79, 81), and expresses
      the belief that this bullet caused the Governor's wounds.
      Obviously, according to the theory that one bullet produced all the
      nonfatal wounds to both men, it must be the Commission's belief
      that the President's neck was penetrated by the "stretcher bullet,"
      Commission Exhibit 399.
         CE 399 could not have produced the President's neck wounds, for
      the simple reason that it is unfragmented.  Several factors destroy
      the possibility that the bullet merely brushed some fragments from
      its surface in passing through the neck, thereby leaving the
      metallic pieces observed on X rays.  The loss of fragments that
      might almost insignificantly have reduced the bullet's mass would
      certainly have created some irregularity of its surface.  Yet an
      irregular missile of substantial size could not have produced the
      small round wound in the throat upon exiting (see 6H5, 15).
         In his testimony at the New Orleans conspiracy trial, FBI
      ballistics expert Robert Frazier described the condition of CE 399
      and the circumstances under which it could have deposited metal

            Mr. Frazier:  In my opinion there was no jacketing
         missing, no discernible amount of jacket missing [from the
            Mr. Oser:  . . . If such a pellet as Exhibit 399 is shot
         . . . during its travel what could possibly remove the
         copper jacketing in order for the lead contained therein to
         be deposited into a particular target?
            Mr. Frazier:  The bullet would have to strike some object
         with sufficient force to rupture the jacket either from
         striking head-on or if it were tumbling the striking of the
         side, or the other alternative would be if the bullet
         tumbled in flight and wound up in a base-first attitude,
         then the lead would be exposed at the point of impact.
            Mr. Oser:  In Commission Exhibit 399, you found the
         copper jacketing intact, I believe you said?
            Mr. Frazier:  Yes.[29]

         Because none of CE 399's jacket was missing, the neck fragments
      could not possibly have come from that area of the bullet.  The
      only other means by which 399 could have lost fragments (since the
      jacket was not ruptured) is if it somehow began tumbling in the
      neck, presenting its base to some hard surface and scraping off
      fragments.  Had 399 been tumbling in this manner, it would have
      produced a massive and lacerated exit wound, which certainly did
      not occur on the President's neck.
         Thus, there is no conceivable way in which 399 could have
      deposited metallic fragments in the President's neck.

         Although the putative bullet track through the neck was never
      dissected, on the night of the autopsy the pathologists were able
      to insert metal "probes" into the back wound to a depth of about
      two inches.[30]  No path could be probed beyond this point and the
      pathologists speculated that the bullet that entered the back might
      somehow have stopped short after this modest penetration and fallen
      out of the wound prior to the autopsy.[31]  Although the
      pathologists abandoned this theory when they were confronted with
      the anterior neck wound to be accounted for, others, including the
      FBI and some critics of the Warren Report, have suggested that the
      "stretcher" bullet, CE 399, penetrated the President's back a very
      short distance and dropped out of the wound at Parkland
      Hospital.[32]  This theory seems to offer an alternative by which a
      bullet fired from Oswald's rifle might be connected with the
      President's wounds.  However, to postulate that CE 399 or any other
      bullet of the type allegedly fired by Oswald penetrated two inches
      of flesh and suddenly stopped short is to beg for the ludicrous;
      as a theory, it is unworthy of serious consideration.  I base this
      assertion on the following considerations brought out to me by
      Richard Bernabei, a fellow researcher who has made substantial
      contributions to the medical-ballistics aspects of this case.

         {General Principles.}  A cartridge, or round of ammunition, is
      composed of a primer, a cartridge case, powder, and a bullet.  The
      primer, a metal cup containing a detonatable mixture, fits into the
      base of the cartridge case, which is loaded with the powder.  The
      bullet fits into the neck of the cartridge case.  To fire the
      bullet, the cartridge is placed in the chamber of the firearm,
      immediately behind the barrel, with its base resting against a
      solid support which, in a bolt-operated weapon, is called the bolt
      face.  When the trigger is pulled a firing pin strikes a swift,
      hard blow into the primer, detonating the primer mixture.  The
      flames from the resulting explosion ignite the powder, causing a
      rapid combustion whose force propels the bullet forward through the
      barrel (R547).
         Because the bullet is propelled by the pressure of the expanding
      gases in the cartridge case, the bullet's velocity will vary with
      the amount of pressure generated.  This pressure not only expands
      the sides of the case, but also drives the base back against the
      bolt face.[33]  The latter action flattens out the base, and the
      degree of flattening plus the resultant depth of the firing-pin
      indentation provide a very fair means of estimating whether the
      pressure was normal, high, or low, and thus whether the bullet was
      fired at its standard velocity.[34]

         {Background.}  According to the Warren Report, three empty
      cartridge cases were found near the alleged "assassin's window,"
      all of which were traceable to "Oswald's" rifle owing to the
      microscopic marks left on the bases (R79, 84-85).  The presence of
      these expended cases weighed heavily in the Commission's conclusion
      that three shots were fired.  The Report states:  "The most
      convincing evidence relating to the number of shots was provided by
      the presence . . . of three spent cartridges" (R110).  Without
      making comment as to the soundness of this reasoning and assuming
      for argument's sake that the Carcano was used, I claim that it
      logically follows that bullet 399, if it is a legitimate
      assassination bullet, was fired from one of the spent cases.

         {Drawback.}  Bullets fired from "Oswald's" rifle into flesh
      simulants exhibited good penetrating power, passing easily through
      more than 72 cm. of gelatin.  These bullets struck a simulated neck
      from a distance of 180 feet, traveling at approximately 1,904
      f.p.s. and exiting from the simulant at 1,779 f.p.s. (R581-82).  As
      ballistics expert Charles Dickey confirmed to me, bullets moving at
      such speeds would not stop short in muscle, as is demanded by the
      theory placing CE 399 in the President's back.[35]
         The only way a bullet such as CE 399 could have made a short
      penetration into muscle at a distance of 50 yards is if its
      velocity had somehow been significantly retarded.  Owing to the
      lack of physical mitigants, the only explanation for such a
      tremendous slowing down is a "short-charge" cartridge, whose
      explosive power is far less than standard.[36]  Dickey told me that
      this would be an extremely unusual occurrence and that, despite the
      age of the alleged ammunition, the propellants should have remained
      stable.[37]  In all the many times this ammunition has been test-
      fired subsequent to the assassination, not one "short charge" has
      been reported.[38]

         {Disproof.}  As mentioned previously, a key indication of the
      velocity at which a bullet was fired is found by the degree of
      flattening of the cartridge base and the depth of the primer
      indentation.  Dick Bernabei had told me that, from his own
      examination of the three found cartridge cases and two others fired
      from the rifle for comparison purposes, the primer indentations on
      all the cases were identical, proving that they had all been fired
      at the same velocity.  To check this, I had the National Archives
      prepare a photo illustrating the five bases all under similar
      lighting.  This picture confirmed Dick's observations, indicating
      that the bullets fired from the suspect cases were fired at their
      normal velocity.
         Thus, from the unlikely to the impossible, neither bullet 399
      nor any other bullet of that type fired at standard velocity from
      the Mannlicher-Carcano could have lodged in the soft tissues of the
      President's back.


         Throughout this chapter, I have endeavored to answer the
      question:  Could the President's wounds have been caused by bullets
      of the type recovered and traced to Oswald's rifle?  The answer to
      that question, to the most reasonably certain degree allowed by the
      limitations of the medical evidence, is No.  The nature of the
      bullet fragmentation observed within the President's wounds
      strongly indicates that he was {not} struck by military ammunition
      of the type attributed to Oswald's rifle.  In every case, it is
      likely that the President's wounds were produced by some type of
      sporting ammunition.  It is possible to conclude beyond a
      reasonable doubt that a specific bullet, CE 399, traced to Oswald's
      rifle, did {not} penetrate the President's neck, for there is no
      way in which that bullet could have deposited the metallic
      fragments located in the neck region. Before any conclusions can be
      drawn concerning whether CE 399 played any role in the shooting, we
      must first ask whether it is possible for CE 399 to have produced
      the wounds of Governor Connally.


 [1] The best published discussions of the limitations of the medical
     evidence may be found in the following sources:  Weisberg,
     "Whitewash," chap. 13;  Meagher, chap. 5;  Cyril Wecht, "A Critique
     of President Kennedy's Autopsy," in Thompson, pp. 278-84.
       The most definitive expose of the medical evidence is contained
     in a three-part book by Weisberg called "Post Mortem."  This is a
     copyrighted study based on Weisberg's exhaustive research over a
     period of about eight years;  however, it is not commercially

 [2] "Winchester Handbook," p. 121, and A. Lucas, pp. 241-42.

 [3] Rowland H. Long, "The Physician and the Law" (New York, 1968),
     p. 239.

 [4] Author's interview with Dr. John Nichols on April 16, 1970.

 [5] Author's taped interview with Dr. Halpert Fillinger on January 14,
     1970.  (Hereinafter referred to as "Fillinger Interview.")  See
     also Long, p. 239.

 [6] Report of the Ramsey Clark panel, p. 11.

 [7] R. Long, p. 231.  This phenomenon is also described and illustrated
     in Thomas Gonzales, Milton Helpern, Morgan Vance, and Charles
     Umberger, "Legal Medicine, Pathology and Toxicology" (New York:
     Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1954), pp. 396 and 423.

 [8] LeMoyne Snyder, "Homicide Investigation" (Springfield, Mass., 1953),
     p. 132.

 [9] Fillinger Interview.

[10] Clark Panel Report, pp. 10-11.

[11] The lead used in most military projecticles is an alloy of antimony
     with small quantities of arsenic and bismuth added for hardening to
     resist expansion.  See Lucas, pp. 241-42.

[12] Fillinger Interview.

[13] Clark Panel Report, p. 7.

[14] Ibid., p. 10.

[15] Thompson, p. 110.

[16] Fillinger Interview.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] "Winchester Handbook," p. 123;  C. E. Hagie, "The American Rifle
     for Hunting and Target Shooting" (New York:  The Macmillan Co.,
     1946), pp. 69, 73, 83.
       The possibility that a frangible bullet produced the massive head
     wound was first suggested by Vincent Salandria in an article that
     appeared in "Liberation" magazine, March 1965, p. 32.  The
     specification of a varminting bullet was first introduced to me by
     Dick Bernabei, who has done much admirable and worthwhile work on
     the medical/ballistics aspects of the case.

[21] See Weisberg, "Whitewash," pp. 178-86; Meagher, pp. 139-59;  David
     Welsh and David Lifton, "A Counter-Theory:  The Case For Three
     Assassins," "Ramparts," January 1967, section II:  "The Bullet in
     the Back."  Much of the original research can be found in Vincent
     Salandria, "The Warren Report," "Liberation," March 1965, pp. 14-22,
     Part I:  A Philadelphia Lawyer Analyzes the President's Back and
     Neck Wounds.

[22] Fillinger Interview, and Thompson, p. 50.

[23] Transcript of court proceedings of February 24, 1969, in "State of
     Louisiana v. Clay L. Shaw," p. 115. (Hereinafter referred to as
     "Finck 2/24/69 testimony.")

[24] Fillinger Interview.

[25] Clark Panel Report, p. 13.

[26] Letter to the author from Dr. Russell Morgan, dated November 12,

[27] Fillinger Interview.

[28] This case and the accompanying illustrations can be found in LeMoyne
     Snyder, pp. 135-39.

[29] Frazier 2/21/69 testimony, pp. 159-60.

[30] See CD 7, p. 284; 2H93;  Thompson, p. 167.

[31] See CD 7, p. 284, 2H367.

[32] See the first FBI report on the assassination, CD 1, and the
     Supplemental Report, dated January 13, 1964;  Thompson, pp. 165-70.

[33] Sir Sydney Smith and Frederick Fiddes, "Forensic Medicine" (London:
     J. and A. Churchill, Ltd., 1955), p. 174.

[34] Major Sir Gerald Burrard, "The Identification of Firearms and
     Forensic Ballistics" (London:  Herbert Jenkins, 1951), p. 51.  The
     scheme I use in the text is adapted from this book, p. 52.

[35] Author's taped interview with Charles Dickey at Frankford Arsenal.
     July 16, 1968. (Hereinafter referred to as "Dickey Interview.")

[36] Thompson, pp. 167-68.

[37] Dickey Interview.

[38] E.G., see R193 and "International Surgery" 50, no. 6 (December
     1968):  p. 529.

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      The Governor's Wounds and the Validity of the Essential Conclusions

      In the case of Governor Connally, it is not possible to determine
      the type of ammunition that produced his wounds.  Three bones in
      his body were struck by a bullet, two of them seriously broken and
      fractured, and flecks of metal were observed in, and in one case
      removed from, his injuries.  The presence of these metallic
      fragments in the Governor's wounds, however, does not specifically
      indicate that he was struck by a type of sporting ammunition,
      because the force with which the bone tissue was struck was
      sufficient for military ammunition to have deposited the fragments
      observed.  It is the Warren Commission's belief that the Governor's
      wounds were caused by the almost pristine bullet, CE 399, fired
      from Oswald's rifle (R95).  Therefore, in this chapter I will deal
      not with the general question of the type of ammunition, but with a
      specific bullet, CE 399.  The question to be answered is this:  Did
      bullet 399 produce the wounds sustained by Governor Connally?
         A bullet entered the back of the Governor's chest to the left of
      his right armpit.  This bullet struck the fifth rib and shattered
      it, actually stripping away about 10 cm. of bone starting
      immediately below the armpit (4H105;  6H86).  The right lung was
      severely lacerated (6H88).  The bullet exited from the anterior
      chest, causing a large sucking wound about 5 cm. in diameter just
      below the right nipple (6H85).  There was an atypical entrance
      wound on the dorsal (back of the hand) side of the Governor's wrist
      and an atypical exit wound on the volar (palm) side (6H07;  R93).
      The radius (wrist bone) had been broken into about seven or eight
      pieces from the passage of the bullet (4H120).  There was a 1 cm.
      puncture wound located on the Governor's left thigh some five to
      six inches above the knee (R93).  X rays revealed a small metallic
      fragment embedded in the left thigh bone, the femur (6H106).  This
      fragment was not surgically removed and still remains in Mr.
      Connally's femur.
         It is probable that one bullet caused all of Connally's
      injuries.  In support of this hypothesis, the Report paraphrases
      the Parkland doctors as follows:

            In their testimony, the three doctors who attended
         Governor Connally expressed independently their opinion that
         a single bullet had passed through his chest, tumbled
         through his wrist with very little exit velocity, leaving
         small metallic fragments from the rear portion of the
         bullet;  punctured his left thigh after the bullet had lost
         virtually all of its velocity;  and had fallen out of the
         thigh wound. (R95)

      A footnote to this statement cites portions of the doctors'
      depositions taken in Dallas on March 23, before two of them were
      brought to Washington to testify for the Commission a month later.
      At this time, they had not seen bullet 399 and spoke on a strictly
      hypothetical basis.
         Dr. Tom Shires, who was involved in the Governor's medical
      treatment, explained that, from the discussion among Connally's
      surgeons, "everyone was under the impression this was one missile-
      -through and through the chest, through and through the arm and the
      thigh."  When asked if any of the doctors had dissented from this
      consensus he replied, "Not that I remember" (6H110).
         Dr. Charles Gregory, who attended to the Governor's wrist wound,
      best explained the reasoning behind the theory that one bullet
      caused Connally's wounds:

            Mr. Specter:  Would you consider it possible, in your
         professional opinion, for the same bullet to have inflicted
         all of the wounds which you have described on Governor
            Dr. Gregory:  Yes;  I believe it is very possible, for a
         number of reasons.  One of these--is the apparent loss of
         energy manifested at each of the various body surfaces,
         which I transected, the greatest energy being at the point
         of entry on the posterior aspect of the chest and of the
         fifth rib, where considerable destruction was done and the
         least destruction having been done in the medial aspect of
         the thigh where the bullet apparently expended itself.
             . . . We know that high velocity bullets striking bone
         have a strong tendency to shatter bones and the degree to
         which the fifth rib was shattered was considerably in excess
         of the amount of shattering which occurred in the radius--
         the forearm.
             . . . I think that the missile was continually losing
         velocity with each set of tissues which it encountered and
         transected, and the amount of damage done is progressively
         less from first entrance to the thorax to the last entrance
         in the thigh. (6H101-2)

            The Report is entirely misleading, however, when it asserts
      that the doctors felt that the wrist fragments were left "from the
      rear portion of the bullet" and that this {bullet} subsequently
      punctured the thigh.  In their original testimonies, the doctors
      did not postulate from what part of the bullet the fragments had
      come.  The intent of the Report is obvious, when we consider that
      the only possible surface from which CE 399 could have lost
      fragments is its rear, or base, where the lead core was naturally
      exposed.  The thinking of the doctors, however, tended to rule out
      the possibility of CE 399's having gone into the wrist at all,
      because they felt that this wound was the result of an irregular or
      fragmented missile (6H90-91, 98-99, 102).  Dr. Robert Shaw, who
      conducted the operation on the Governor's chest, was puzzled as to
      how the wrist wounds could have appeared as they did if a whole
      bullet had caused them (6H91).
         According to Dr. Shaw, it is not exactly correct to assert that
      a whole bullet entered the thigh.  In the portion of his original
      testimony cited by the Report, Dr.  Shaw explained the theory of
      one bullet's causing all the Governor's wounds in this way:  "I
      have always felt that the wounds of Governor Connally could be
      explained by the passage of one missile through his chest, striking
      his wrist and {a fragment of it} going on into his left thigh"
      (6H91;  emphasis added).
         What the Report does not reflect is the substantial change in
      Drs. Shaw's and Gregory's opinions when shown the bullet that
      allegedly produced the Governor's wounds.  The first indication of
      varied opinions came through this exchange between Dr. Shaw and
      Commissioners Cooper, Dulles, and McCloy.  Dr.  Shaw had been asked
      about the possibility that one bullet had caused the Governor's

            Dr. Shaw:  . . . this is still a possibility.  But I
         don't feel that it is the only possibility.
            Sen. Cooper:  Why do you say you don't think it is the
         only possibility?  What causes you {now} to say that it is
         the location--
            Dr. Shaw:  This is again the testimony that I believe Dr.
         Gregory will be giving, too.  It is a matter of whether the
         wrist wound could be caused by the same bullet, and we felt
         that it could but {but we had not seen the bullets until
         today,} and we still do not know which bullet actually
         inflicted the wound on Governor Connally.
            Mr. Dulles:  Or whether it was one or two rounds?
            Dr. Shaw:  Yes.
            Mr. Dulles:  Or two bullets?
            Dr. Shaw:  Yes;  or three.

            Mr. McCloy:  You have no firm opinion that all these
         three wounds were caused by one bullet?
            Dr. Shaw:  I have no firm opinion. . . .  Asking me now
         if it was true.  {If you had asked me a month ago I would
         have} [had].
            Mr. McCloy:  Could they have been caused by one bullet,
         in your opinion?
            Dr. Shaw:  They could.
            Mr. McCloy:  I gather that what the witness is saying is
         that it is possible that they might have been caused by one
         bullet.  But that he has no firm opinion {now} that they
            Mr. Dulles:  As I understand it too.  Is our
         understanding correct?
            Dr. Shaw:  That is correct. (4H109;  emphasis added)

         It might be regarded as highly culpable that Commissioners
      Dulles and McCloy, who professed such a clear understanding of Dr.
      Shaw's position, signed a report stating the opposite of what Dr.
      Shaw had testified to, with a footnote referring to prior
      statements withdrawn by Shaw in their presence.  Dr. Shaw's
      testimony is explicit that, prior to seeing the bullet in evidence,
      he felt that all the Governor's wounds were caused by one bullet;
      when shown the bullet, CE 399, which allegedly did this damage, he
      retracted his original opinion.  What was it about this bullet that
      caused such a change of judgment?
         Under questioning by Arlen Specter, Dr. Shaw summed up the
      indications that CE 399 did not produce the Governor's wounds.  He
      had first been asked to comment on the possibility of a bullet's
      having caused the wounds:

            Mr. Specter:  When you started to comment about it not
         being possible, was that in reference to the existing mass
         and shape of bullet 399?
            Dr. Shaw:  I thought you were referring directly to the
         bullet shown as Exhibit 399.
            Mr. Specter:  What is your opinion as to whether bullet
         399 could have inflicted all the wounds on the Governor
         then, without respect at this point to the wound of the
         President's neck?
            Dr. Shaw:  I feel that there would be some difficulty in
         explaining all of the wounds as being inflicted by bullet
         Exhibit 399 without causing more in the way of loss of
         substance to the bullet or deformation of the bullet.

         CE 399 is a virtually undistorted, intact bullet.  Its weight is
      approximately two grains below the average weight of an unfired
      bullet of that type.  As was mentioned in the previous chapter,
      none of the copper jacket of 399 is missing.  The nose and sides of
      this bullet--as shown in photographs and as I saw in a personal
      examination--are without gross deformity.  The base of 399 has been
      slightly squeezed so that, in contrast to its rounded shaft, the
      tail end is slightly elliptical in shape.  A small amount of lead,
      which apparently has flowed from the open base, creates a slight
      irregularity of the base.
         Given the almost pristine condition of CE 399, it is
      understandable that Drs. Shaw and Gregory were puzzled at the
      inference that this bullet had caused the Governor's wounds.
      Before having seen 399, they imagined the bullet that penetrated
      Connally as being irregular or distorted, the natural consequence
      of powerful impacts with two substantial bones.  Dr. Shaw did not
      think the bullet could even have remained intact (6H91).  On the
      basis of the nature of the wrist wound, Dr. Gregory thought that
      "the missile that struck it could be virtually intact, insofar as
      mass was concerned, but probably was {distorted}" (6H99).
         According to Dr. Gregory, the wrist wound showed characteristics
      of suffering the impact of an {irregular} missile (6H98, 102).  In
      his testimony before the Commission, Dr. Gregory expounded on the
      nature of this "irregular" missile:

            Dr. Gregory:  The wound of entrance (on the wrist) is
         characteristic in my view of an irregular missile in this
         case, an irregular missile which has tipped itself off as
         being irregular by the nature of itself.
            Mr. Dulles:  What do you mean by irregular?
            Dr. Gregory:  I mean one that has been distorted.  It is
         in some way angular, it has sharp edges or something of this
         sort.  It is not rounded or pointed in the fashion of an
         ordinary missile. (4H124)

         Obviously, the condition of the bullet that produced the wrist
      wound, as described by Dr. Gregory, does not match that of bullet
      399, which is not "distorted" or "irregular."  There is only one
      surface on CE 399 that is the least bit "irregular," the base end
      where the lead core is naturally exposed.  When Arlen Specter asked
      Dr. Gregory about a possible correlation between CE 399 and the
      wrist wound, the latter responded:

         the only . . . deformity which I can find is at the base of
         the missile. . . .  The only way that this missile could
         have produced this wound, in my view, was to have entered
         the wrist backward. . . .  That is the only possible
         explanation I could offer to correlate this missile with
         this particular wound. (4H121)

      Dr. Gregory admitted, in response to a hypothetical question from
      Counsel Specter, that the slight irregularity in the base of CE 399
      "could have" been sufficient to produce the lacerated wounds
      observed on the Governor's wrist (4H122).
         Yet, Dr. Gregory's only correlation of CE 399 to the wrist wound
      is not applicable to the circumstances of the shooting.  Dr.
      Gregory examined 399 in its spent state, long after it had been
      fired and incurred its slight amount of damage.  He related the
      bullet in {this} state to a bullet in flight that had not suffered
      the full extent of its damage.  The irregularity of 399's base
      would have occurred {after} it hit the wrist, as the Commission
      postulates.  Certainly a base-first strike on the radius would not
      have left the base in the same condition as it was {prior} to
      impact.  Dr. Gregory's answer to Specter's hypothetical question
      could not apply to the actual shooting.
         Specter knew independently from wound ballistics experts that
      the condition of CE 399 was not at all consistent with having
      struck a wrist.  Two conferences that Specter attended were held
      during the week prior to Dr. Gregory's Commission testimony.  The
      consensus of the first meeting was, in part, that "the bullet
      recovered from the Governor's stretcher does not appear to have
      penetrated a wrist."[1]  The expert opinion was more explicit at
      the next meeting, held the day of the Shaw-Gregory testimony and
      attended by those doctors, the wound ballistics experts, Specter,
      McCloy, and others.  A memorandum of this conference reports that

         in a discussion after the conference Drs. Light and Dolce
         (two wound ballistics experts from Edgewood Arsenal)
         expressed themselves as being very strongly of the opinion
         that Connally had been hit by two different bullets,
         principally on the ground that the bullet recovered from
         Connally's stretcher could not have broken his radius
         without having suffered more distortion.  Dr. Olivier
         (another wound ballistics expert) withheld a conclusion
         until he has had the opportunity to make tests on animal
         tissue and bone with the actual rifle.[2] 

    |                     photograph of 5 bullets:                        |
    |                                                                     |
    | leftmost--virtually pristine                                        |
    |   2nd from left--flattened length-wise but not squished vertically  |
    |     middle--top half missing/middle squished, bottom recognizable   |
    |       2nd from right--"apparent" [misshapen] top of middle bullet   |
    |         rightmost--top 3rd of bullet is mushroomed into a "pancake" |

      Fig. 4.  CE 399 (far left) is beautifully preserved as compared to
      similar bullets fired from the Carcano:  (from left to right) CE
      853, fired through a goat's chest, CE 857 (in two pieces), fired
      into a human skull, and CE 856, fired into a human wrist.  Not one
      of the three, each of which did less damage than the Commission
      attributes to 399, emerged as undistorted as 399.  It is
      preposterous to assume that 399 could have struck so many
      obstructions and remained so undamaged.  (This photograph was taken
      for Harold Weisberg by the National Archives.)

         Dr. Olivier's tests, despite their shortcomings, demonstrated a
      very common ballistics principle--that a bullet striking bone will
      usually suffer some form of distortion.
         As is apparent from Figure 4, none of Dr. Olivier's test bullets
      admitted into evidence matched 399, since all were grossly deformed
      by extreme flattening, indenting, or separation of jacket from core
      (see also 17H849-51).
         Although Dr. Olivier's tests included shots through ten cadaver
      wrists, only one of the bullets recovered from this series was
      admitted into evidence, CE 856 (see Fig. 4).  The other bullets are
      not in the National Archives, and until recently no researchers had
      seen them.  On March 27, 1973, the Archives declassified a once-
      "Confidential" report written in March 1965 by Dr. Olivier and his
      associate, Dr. Arthur J. Dziemian.  This report is entitled "Wound
      Ballistics of 6.5-MM Mannlicher-Carcano Ammunition," and represents
      the final report of the research conducted for the Commission at
      Edgewood Arsenal.  This report includes photographs of four of the
      test bullets fired through human wrists, published here for the
      first time ever (Fig. 5).  The bullet marked "B" in Figure 5 is
      apparently CE 856.  However, the other three bullets, which
      produced damage similar to that suffered by Governor Connally's
      wrist, are even more mutilated than the one bullet that was
      preserved for the record.  These newly released photographs
      graphically reveal the degree of mutilation that might be found on
      Mannlicher-Carcano bullets that had struck human wrists, and make
      even more preposterous the Commission's assertion that near-
      pristine 399 penetrated Connally's wrist. {goes below: .ll 75}

    |  photograph of 4 bullets lying horizontally: 2 bullets in 2 rows:   |
    |                                                                     |
    | top left--head mashed slightly down (1 to 2 centimeters?)           |
    |                 top right--head mashed w/more deformity, (1-2 cms?) |
    | bottom left--head mashed, more deformity (3-4 cms?)                 |
    |             bottom right--head mashed, extreme deformity (5-6 cms?) |

      Fig. 5.  This photograph was considered "Confidential" by the
      government and withheld from researchers for eight years.  It
      depicts "6.5-MM Mannlicher-Carcano Bullets Recovered after being
      Fired Through Distal Ends of Radii of Cadaver Wrists."

         The obvious conclusion dictated by the nature of the Governor's
      wounds is that CE 399 could not have caused them.  This is contrary
      to the Report's assertion that "all the evidence indicated that the
      bullet found on the Governor's stretcher could have caused all his
      wounds" (R95).  The substantiating argument of the Report is that
      the total weight of the bullet fragments in the Governor's body
      does not exceed the weight lost by 399.  This argument is
      nonsensical, for it ignores the thoroughly nonstatistical nature of
      ballistics and the expected consequences of bullets striking bone;
      such a line of reasoning attempts to replace imprecision with
      pseudo-exactness and inapplicable mathematics.
         It is therefore, in light of the well-preserved state of that
      bullet, preposterous to postulate that CE 399 caused Governor
      Connally's wounds.  Drs. Shaw and Gregory, barraged by the official
      contention that 399 was discovered on the Governor's stretcher and
      thus must have caused his wounds, were reserved in expressing
      themselves on the unlikelihood of such a proposition.  Other
      experts have been more free in voicing their opinions.  I have yet
      to find one expert who will concede the likelihood of an occurrence
      such as the Commission assumes.  When I spoke with ballistics
      expert Charles Dickey at Frankford Arsenal, he cautioned me that he
      could not speak out directly against the validity of the
      government's beliefs relating to the assassination.  Even he found
      it hard to accept that 399 caused the Governor's wounds.[3]  Among
      the many forensic pathologists who have scoffed at this theory are
      William Enos,[4] Halpert Fillinger,[5] Milton Helpern,[6] John
      Nichols,[7] and Cyril Wecht.[8]
         The absence of gross deformity in bullet 399 contradicts the
      career of massive bone-smashing attributed to it.  However, as I
      learned from Dr. Fillinger and as Harold Weisberg pointed out
      several years ago in a copyrighted study of the medical evidence,
      the most crucial aspect of 399's state is its absence of
      significant distortion detectable through microscopic
         The barrels of modern firearms are "rifled," that is, several
      spiral grooves are cut into the barrel from end to end.  As the
      bullet is propelled through the barrel, these spiral grooves and
      lands (the raised portions of the barrel between the grooves) set
      the bullet spinning around its axis, giving it rotational as well
      as forward movement, thus increasing its stability in flight.  The
      lands and grooves consequently etch a pattern of very fine striated
      lines along the sides of the bullet, which will vary from one
      weapon to another just as fingerprints vary from one person to
      another.  Like fingerprints, the lands and grooves scratched onto
      the surface of the bullet can be microscopically identified with a
      particular weapon to the exclusion of all others, provided that
      they remain sufficiently intact subsequent to impact (R547-48).
         The very fine lands and grooves along the copper sides of CE 399
      allowed the conclusive determination that the bullet had been fired
      from "Oswald's" rifle.  FBI agent Frazier provided vital testimony
      about the defacement of these microscopic markings on 399:

            Mr. Eisenberg:  Were the markings of the bullet at all
            Mr. Frazier:  Yes;  they were, in that the bullet is
         distorted by having been slightly flattened or twisted.
            Mr. Eisenberg:  How material would you call that
            Mr. Frazier:  It is hardly visible unless you look at the
         base of the bullet and notice it is not round.
            Mr. Eisenberg:  How far does it affect your examination
         for purposes of identification?
            Mr. Frazier:  It had no effect at all . . . because it
         did not mutilate or distort the microscopic marks beyond the
         point where you could recognize the pattern and find the
         same pattern of marks on one bullet as were present on the
         other. (3H430)

      From Frazier's testimony it is apparent that the very slight
      "defacement" of 399's lands and grooves could be better termed a
      "displacement," for the microscopic marks were distorted only by an
      almost insignificant change in the {contour} of the bullet as
      opposed to a disruption in the continuity of the surface.
         After closely examining 399 at a magnification of five
      diameters, I was convinced of the veracity of Frazier's testimony.
      I followed each set of lands and grooves on the bullet and saw that
      all were continuous and without disruption, beginning just below
      the rounded nose and running smoothly down to the tail end.
         Dr. Fillinger emphasized to me that a jacketed bullet such as
      399 could strike one bone and leave its lands and grooves intact so
      far as visible {to the naked eye}.  When I assured him that Agent
      Frazier had found these marks still to be intact even through
      microscopic examination, Fillinger seemed somewhat taken aback.
      "Well, this is unlikely," he said.  "It's very unlikely, as a
      matter of fact.  Even our own ballistics people here don't get that
      kind of good luck."[10]  One can readily appreciate that forceful
      contact with firm bone tissue is bound to disrupt the fine
      striations on a bullet's surface, even with a jacketed projectile.
         If 399 wounded Governor Connally, then it was necessarily immune
      to the conditions that distort and deform other bullets of its
      kind.  If it smashed through two substantial bones and rammed into
      another one, it failed to manifest the normal indications of such a
      flight, those which marked other bullets under even less stress.
      The theory that 399 wounded the Governor is valid only on the
      premise that it was a magic bullet capable of feats never before
      performed in the history of ballistics.
         Bullet 399 is not magic.  It is just the typical mass of copper
      and lead that constitutes other bullets of its kind.  Governor
      Connally was likewise not magic.  His flesh and bones would deform
      bullets as would anyone else's;  his wounds showed very strong
      indications that the bullet causing them had, in fact, become
      distorted and irregular.
         The only tenable conclusion warranted by the evidence of the
      Governor's wounds, the condition of 399, and the laws of physics is
      that 399 did not wound Governor Connally.

      {The Search for Legitimacy}

         Did 399 figure in the assassination shots?
         As we have seen, there is no possible way by which bullet 399
      can be related to the President's wounds.  The extensive
      fragmentation involving the fatal wounds rules out a missile left
      intact.  The presence of fragments in the President's neck likewise
      rules out 399, for there is no possible circumstance under which it
      could have deposited fragments in the neck and still account for
      the other wounds, such as the tiny hole in the throat.  Had the
      President sustained a back wound of short penetration, it could not
      have been caused by a bullet whose penetrating power was as great
      as 399's.
         Governor Connally, to judge from the nature of his wounds and
      the predictable consequences of a strike such as he endured, was
      hit by a missile that did not leave behind a very large percentage
      of its substance but ended its flight in a distorted or mangled
         Thus, CE 399 can not be related to any of the wounds inflicted
      on either victim during the assassination.  From this it follows
      that 399 must have turned up at Parkland Hospital in a manner not
      related to the victims and their treatment.  It had to have been
      placed on the stretcher at some time, manually and intentionally.
         It can not be a legitimate assassination bullet.
         The situation at Parkland on the afternoon of the assassination
      would have enabled almost anyone to gain access to the area where
      399 was discovered on the stretcher.  A man identifying himself as
      an FBI agent tried to enter the room in which the dead President
      lay at the hospital.  The Secret Servicemen who witnessed this
      incident and had to restrain the man with force reported that he
      "appeared to be {determined} to enter the President's room"
      (18H798-99 and 795-96).  The Commission apparently made no efforts
      to determine the identity of this man and sought no further details
      from other witnesses.
         Two witnesses were positive that they saw Jack Ruby at Parkland
      Hospital at about the time the President's death was announced
      (15H80;  25H216).
         Harold Weisberg, in his book "Oswald in New Orleans," reveals
      that a Cuban refugee of "disruptive influence" was employed at
      Parkland at the time of the assassination.  Pointing out that the
      Commission's best evidence indicated that 399 was a "plant,"
      Weisberg finds it extremely suspicious that no effort was made to
      identify this "political Cuban" when his existence was known to
      both the Secret Service and the Commission.[11]  Such a man would
      have had access to the stretcher on which 399 was found and would
      not have attracted the least suspicion, since he was an employee of
      the hospital.
         Nurse Margaret Henchcliffe related an incident that illustrates
      how almost {anyone} could have made his way to the area of the
      stretcher.  She reported that a 16-year-old boy {carrying a camera}
      had gotten into the Emergency Area, seeking to take pictures of the
      room in which the President had died less than an hour before
         There is currently no evidence against the possibility that the
      two bullet fragments found in the front seat of the limousine and
      traced to "Oswald's" rifle were likewise "planted" after the
      victims were taken to the hospital.  We should recall from the
      discussion of the President's head wounds that the fatal damage
      was, in no instance, consistent with the damage produced by
      military ammunition of the type attributed to Oswald.  Photographs
      taken outside the hospital show substantial crowds in proximity to
      the unguarded limousine.[12]  As in the case of the stretcher
      bullet, the circumstances {did} permit incriminating evidence to be
         It cannot be said, and indeed I make no pretense of saying, that
      a phony FBI man, a "disruptive Cuban," Jack Ruby, or a young boy
      with a camera planted bullet 399 at Parkland Hospital.  The thrust
      of this discussion has been that anyone could have gained access to
      the locations in which evidence pointing to Oswald was found.  This
      point may also be applied to the Book Depository, where Oswald's
      rifle and three spent shells were discovered.  Within fifteen
      minutes of the assassination, the Depository was swarming with
      unidentified people.[13]  The medical evidence, as the discussion
      in this and the previous chapter demonstrates, disassociates
      military bullets from the President's wounds and proves that a
      specific bullet traced to Oswald's rifle and found at Parkland
      could {not} have wounded either victim in the assassination.  The
      spectrographic analyses, the only evidence that could correlate
      Oswald's rifle with the wounds, was conspicuously avoided by the
      Commission, and has been suppressed by the government so that no
      one to this day may know the spectrographer's findings.  It is
      therefore not unreasonable to postulate, in accordance with the
      only scientific evidence currently available, that the tangible
      evidence that implicates Oswald was deliberately "planted," and did
      not figure in the actual shooting.  The unmistakable inference from
      the medical evidence is that the rifle, the cartridge cases, and
      the bullets {had} to have been planted.  The circumstances at the
      Book Depository and at Parkland Hospital indisputably could have
      enabled a "conspirator" to plant evidence pointing to Oswald.  The
      Commission has produced no evidence that precludes the possibility
      of a "plant."

         The discussion in this section has removed the very foundation
      of the official case against Oswald by demonstrating, to the degree
      of certainty possible, that Oswald's rifle was not responsible for
      the wounds of President Kennedy and Governor Connally.  The
      medical/ballistics evidence thus exculpates Oswald and presents
      several unmistakable conspiratorial implications.
         The Warren Commission claimed to have much evidence, apart from
      the medical/ballistics findings, that proved or indicated that
      Oswald was the assassin.  This additional evidence, and the
      Commission's treatment of it, I will consider in Part III.


 [1] "Memorandum for the Record," dated April 22, 1964, written by
     Melvin Eisenberg about a conference held on April 14, l964.

 [2] "Memorandum for the Record," dated April 22, 1964, written by
     Melvin Eisenberg about a conference held on April 21, 1964.

 [3] Dickey Interview.

 [4] "CBS News Inquiry:  `The Warren Report,'" Part II, broadcast over
     the CBS Television Network on June 26, 1967, p. 18 of the
     transcript prepared by CBS News.

 [5] Fillinger Interview.

 [6] Marshall Houts, "Where Death Delights" (New York:  Coward-McCann,
     1967), pp. 62-63.

 [7] Nichols Interview and letter to author from Dr. John Nichols,
     dated September 5, 1969.

 [8] Thompson, p. 153.

 [9] Fillinger Interview;  Weisberg, "Post Mortem I," p. 25

[10] Ibid.

[11] Weisberg, "Oswald in New Orleans," pp. 292-93.

[12] E.g., see Jesse Curry, "Personal JFK Assassination File" (Dallas:
     American Poster and Printing Co., Inc., 1969), pp. 34-37.  The
     "Dallas Morning News" of November 23, 1963, estimated that a
     crowd or 200 had gathered outside the hospital (p. 9).

[13] See Weisberg, "Whitewash II," p. 35.


      [10 photographs included over the next 10 pages (inserted between 
       page 148 and 149 of the text);  for "ascii completeness," their 
       captions follow.                                     -- ratitor ]


      J. Lee Rankin, head of the Warren Commission's staff of lawyers.
      (UPI photo)

      Arlen Specter, Commission staff lawyer, and architect of the
      single-bullet theory.  (UPI photo)


      Commission staff lawyer David Belin (center), in Dallas, with
      Commission members Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky
      (left) and John J. McCloy.  Belin is responsible for assembling
      much of the case against Oswald.  (UPI photo)


      Lee Harvey Oswald in police custody on November 22, 1963.  Note
      Oswald's dark shirt (rust brown), which witnesses recalled he wore
      that entire day.  The alleged gunman in the sixth floor of the Book
      Depository wore a light, short-sleeved shirt consistently described
      as white or khaki.  (Wide World Photos)


      Lee Harvey Oswald is silenced forever by Jack Ruby as Oswald is
      being escorted through Dallas city jail.  (Wide World Photo)


      Lee Harvey Oswald, dying, refuses to confess to a crime that he did
      not commit.  (Wide World Photos)


      Extreme close-up of the tail end of Bullet 399, shown in relation
      to a millimeter scale.  This photograph reveals the sole deformity
      of this so-called magic bullet:  there has been a slight squeezing
      at the base with some disruption of the lead core that is exposed
      at that point.  It is difficult to believe that this bullet could
      emerge so unscathed after penetrating two bodies, smashing two
      bones, and brushing another, as the Warren Commission alleges.
      However, it is {impossible} for this bullet to have left the lead
      fragments demanded if it is a legitimate assassination bullet.
      Metal fragments, some with dimensions greater than 3mm., were left
      behind at each point 399 is alleged to have hit:  The President's
      neck, and the Governor's chest, wrist, and thigh.  As this
      photograph reveals, such an array of fragments could not have come
      from 399's base, thus disassociating 399 from the shooting.  The
      one area of 399's lead base that is missing appears as a small
      crater in this photograph;  this is the result of FBI Agent
      Frazier's having removed a slug of lead for spectographic analysis.
      (Photo:  National Archives)


      Suppressed Skull X rays--These [2] X rays depict gelatin-filled
      human skulls shot with ammunition of the type allegedly used by
      Oswald.  They were classified by the government and remained
      suppressed until recently;  they are printed here for the first
      time ever.  What they reveal is that Oswald's rifle could not have
      produced the head wounds suffered by President Kennedy.  The bullet
      that hit the president in the head exploded into a multitude of
      minuscule fragments.  One Secret Service agent described the
      appearance of these metal fragments on the X rays:  "The whole head
      looked like a little mass of stars."  The fragmentation depicted on
      these test X rays obviously differs from that described in the
      president's head.  The upper X ray reveals only relatively large
      fragments concentrated at the point of entrance;  the lower reveals
      only a few tiny fragments altogether.  This gives dramatic,
      suppressed proof that Oswald did not fire the shot that killed
      President Kennedy.  (Photo:  National Archives)


      Marina Oswald, widow of supposed assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, being 
      escorted to testify before Warren Commission investigators.  (UPI 


      PART III:


                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      The Rifle in the Building

      The Mannlicher-Carcano C2766 rifle was brought into the Book
      Depository and taken to the sixth floor in some way at some time
      prior to 1:30 P.M., November 22, when it was found hidden in a
      stack of boxes near the sixth-floor stair landing.  For the "lone
      assassin-no conspiracy" theory to be valid, the only man who could
      have brought the rifle into the building is Lee Harvey Oswald.
         The Commission's conclusion that Oswald brought the rifle into
      the Depository demands premeditation of the murder. According to
      the Report, Oswald deliberately lied to co-worker Frazier about his
      reason for returning to Irving the day before the assassination and
      constructed a paper sack on or before Thursday, November 21, for
      the purpose of carrying his rifle into the building (R137).
         The prerequisite of premeditation in this case is prior
      knowledge of the motorcade route.  If Oswald did not know by
      Thursday morning that President Kennedy would pass his building, he
      obviously could not have planned to shoot the President.  The
      closest the Commission came to considering the question of prior
      knowledge was to assert that Oswald could have known the motorcade
      route as early as November 19, when it appeared in the Dallas
      papers (R40, 642).  It never established whether Oswald {did} know
      the route.
         Despite the Commission's assurances, on the basis of newspaper
      accounts neither Oswald nor any Dallas resident could have known
      the {exact} motorcade route, for conflicting accounts were
      published.  The problem, as stated by the Report in its
      "Speculations and Rumors" appendix, is this:

            {Speculation}. --The route shown in the newspaper took
         the motorcade through the Triple Underpass via Main Street,
         a block away from the Depository.  Therefore, Oswald could
         not have known that the motorcade would pass directly by the
         . . . Depository Building. (R643).

      The Report appears to dispel this speculation by asserting that the
      published route clearly indicated a turn-off from Main onto
      Houston, and Houston onto Elm, taking the President directly in
      front of the Depository as the procession approached the underpass.
      In dispelling this rumor, the Report quotes incompletely and
      dishonestly from the relevant Dallas papers.
         On November 16, the "Dallas Times Herald" reported that while
      the route had not yet been determined, "the presidential party
      apparently will loop through the downtown area, probably on Main
      Street" (22H613).  Both the "Dallas Morning News" and the "Times
      Herald" carried the release of the motorcade route on November 19,
      including the information about the turn onto Elm (22H614-15).  The
      next day, the "Morning News" carried another description of the
      route, saying the motorcade "will travel on Mockingbird Lane,
      Lemmon Avenue, Turtle Creek Boulevard, Cedar Springs, Harwood, Main
      and Stemmons Freeway," with mention of the Houston-to-Elm stretch
      omitted (22H616).  Not included in the Commission's evidence but
      discovered and printed by Harold Weisberg, is a map of the
      motorcade route that appeared on the front page of the "Morning
      News" of November 22, the day of the President's visit.  The map
      shows the route as taking Main down to Stemmons Freeway again,
      avoiding the cut-over to Elm.[1]
         The Report never quotes those press accounts which did not
      include the Elm Street stretch, leaving the impression that Oswald,
      in his premeditation, knew previously that the President would pass
      directly before him, and therefore present an easy target (R40).
      The distinction is not major, because either published route would
      have put the President within shooting range of the Depository.  It
      should be noted, however, that the Commission, in making its case,
      quoted selectively from the record.
         Before it can be stated that Oswald knew of {any} motorcade
      route, it must first be established that he had access to a medium
      by which he could have been so informed.  Roy Truly and Bonnie Ray
      Williams thought that Oswald occasionally read newspapers in the
      Depository (3H218, 164).  Mrs. Robert Reid saw Oswald in the
      building some five to ten times and recalled that "he was usually
      reading," although she did not specify what he read (3H279).
      Charles Givens provided the best detail on Oswald's reading habits
      during work.  He testified that Oswald would generally read the
      previous day's paper:  "Like if the day was Tuesday, he would read
      Monday's paper in the morning."  Givens was certain that the
      editions of the paper Oswald read, the "Dallas Morning News," were
      dated, for he usually looked at them after Oswald finished (6H352).
         Oswald's sufficient access to the electronic media is not
      definitely established.  Mrs. Earlene Roberts, the woman who rented
      Oswald his small room on North Beckley, testified that he rarely
      watched television:  "If someone in the other rooms had it on,
      maybe he would come and stand at the back of the couch--not over 5
      minutes and go to his room and shut the door" (6H437).  The police
      inventory of materials confiscated from Oswald's room reveals he
      had a "brown and yellow gold Russian make portable radio" (24H343),
      although there is no information as to whether the radio was
      usable, or used.
         Although the evidence of Oswald's accessibility to information
      relating to the motorcade route does not establish whether he
      {could} have known {anything} about the exact route, there are
      indications that he was, in fact, totally uninformed about and
      uninterested in the procession.  The narrative written by Marina
      Oswald when she was first put under protective custody leads one to
      believe that Oswald knew nothing of the President's trip.  "Only
      when I told him that Kennedy was coming the next day to Dallas and
      asked how I could see him--on television, of course--he answered
      that he did now know," Marina wrote of the night before the
      assassination (18H638).[2]
         More important information was provided by co-worker James
      Jarman, who met Oswald on the first floor of the Depository between
      9:30 and 10:00 on the morning of November 22.  According to Jarman,

         was standing up in the window and I went to the window also,
         and he asked me what were the people gathering around the
         corner for, and I told him that the President was supposed
         to pass that morning, and he asked me did I know which way
         he was coming, and I told him, yes;  he probably come down
         Main and turn on Houston and then back again on Elm.
            Then he said, "Oh, I see," and that was all. (3H201)

      Jarman first reported this incident on November 23, 1963, in his
      affidavit for the Dallas Police (24H213).
         Jarman's story is subject to two interpretations.  If Oswald
      spoke honestly, then he clearly revealed his ignorance of the day's
      events, knowing neither the reason for the crowds gathering around
      the building nor the route of the motorcade.  If Oswald knew the
      answers to the questions he posed to Jarman, it would seem that he
      was deliberately trying to "plant" false information to indicate
      his lack of interest in the motorcade, a good defense in case he
      was later apprehended in connection with the assassination.
      However, as Sylvia Meagher has pointed out, if Oswald deliberately
      dropped exculpatory hints to Jarman, why did he not later offer
      this to the police as part of the evidence in his favor?[3]  In all
      the pages of reports and testimony relating to Oswald's
      interrogation sessions, there is no indication that Oswald ever
      mentioned the early morning meeting with Jarman.
         Thus there is no basis for asserting that Oswald knew the exact
      motorcade route as of Thursday morning, November 21.  The
      newspapers, including the one Oswald normally saw a day late,
      carried conflicting versions of the route, varying at the crucial
      juncture--the turn-off on Houston Street.  While there is no way of
      knowing whether Oswald had seen any of the published information
      relevant to the motorcade, his actions indicate a total unawareness
      of the events surrounding the procession through Dallas.
         During October and November of 1963, Oswald lived in a Dallas
      rooming house while his wife, Marina, and two children lived in
      Irving at the home of Ruth Paine, some 15 miles from the
      Depository.  In the words of the Report, "Oswald traveled between
      Dallas and Irving on weekends in a car driven by a neighbor of the
      Paines, Buell Wesley Frazier, who also worked at the Depository.
      Oswald generally would go to Irving on Friday afternoon and return
      to Dallas Monday morning" (R129).  On November 21, the day before
      the assassination, Oswald asked Frazier whether he could ride home
      with him that afternoon to obtain "some curtain rods" for "an
      apartment."  Sinister implications are attached to this visit to
      Irving, which the Report would have us believe was unprecedented.
      Assuring us that the curtain-rod story was a fabrication, and
      asserting that "Oswald's" rifle was stored in the Paine garage, the
      Report lays ground for the ultimate assertion that Oswald returned
      to Irving to pick up his rifle and bring it to work the next day.
         The Report's explanation of Oswald's return to Irving hinges on
      the assumption that the C2766 rifle was stored in the Paine garage.
      Of this there is not a single shred of evidence.  The Commission
      had one tenuous item that could indicate the presence of {a} rifle
      wrapped in a blanket in the Paine garage;  Marina testified she
      once peeked into this blanket and saw the {stock} of a rifle
      (R128).  The other evidence indicates only that a bulky object was
      stored in the blanket.  Certainly no one saw the {specific} C2766
      rifle in the garage.  As Liebeler has pointed out, "that fact is
      that not one person alive today ever saw that rifle in the Paine
      garage in such a way that it could be identified as that rifle."[4]
         The Report recounts in dramatic detail the police search of the
      Paine garage on the afternoon of the assassination.  When asked
      that day if her husband owned a rifle, Marina pointed to the
      rolled-up blanket, which the officers proceeded to lift.  The
      blanket hung limp in an officer's hand;  it was empty (R131).
      Although there was no evidence that the rifle had ever been stored
      there, the Commission found the presence of the empty blanket on
      November 22 evidence that Oswald "removed the rifle from the
      blanket in the Paines' garage on Thursday evening" (R137).  Had the
      rifle been stored where the Commission assumed, {anyone} could have
      removed it at almost {any} time prior to the afternoon of the
      shooting.  The Paines apparently were not preoccupied with the
      security of their home, as indicated on Saturday, November 23.
      While the police were searching the Paine house that day, Mr.  and
      Mrs. Paine drove off, leaving the officers completely alone
         With no evidence that Oswald ever removed the rifle from the
      Paine garage or that the rifle was even stored there, the
      Commission's case loses much of its substance, however
      circumstantial.  Further reducing the suspicion evoked by Oswald's
      return to Irving is the fact that this trip was {not} particularly
      unusual.  Despite the Commission's statement that he generally went
      home only on weekends, Oswald kept to no exact pattern for visiting
      his wife during the short time he was estranged from her.  On the
      contrary, Oswald frequently violated the assumed "pattern" of
      weekend visits.  He began his employment at the Depository on
      October 16.  That Friday, the 18th, he came to Irving but did not
      return to Dallas the following Monday because his wife had given
      birth to a second daughter that Sunday;  he visited Marina on
      Monday and spent the night at the Paines's.  The next weekend was
      "normal."  However, there are strong indications that Oswald
      returned to Irving the next {Thursday}, October 31.  During the
      weekend of November 8, Oswald again spent Monday with his wife in
      Irving, this time because it was Veteran's Day.  Furthermore,
      Oswald did not return at all the following weekend, and he fought
      over the telephone with his wife that Sunday about his use of an
      assumed name in registering at the roominghouse.  The following
      Thursday, the 21st, he returned to Irving (see R737-40).
         The Report does not include mention of a visit by Oswald to
      Irving on any Thursday other than November 21.  But there is strong
      evidence of another such return, as was brought out by Sylvia

            It does not appear that Oswald's visit on Thursday
         evening without notice or invitation was unusual.  But it is
         not clear that it was unprecedented.  An FBI report dealing
         with quite another matter--Oswald's income and
         expenditures--strongly suggests that Oswald had cashed a
         check in a grocery store in Irving on Thursday evening,
         October 31, 1963 [CE 1165, p. 6];  the Warren Commission
         decided arbitrarily that the transaction took place on
         Friday, November 1 [R331].  Neither Oswald's wife nor Mrs.
         Ruth Paine, both of whom were questioned closely about the
         dates and times of Oswald's visits to Irving during October
         and November, suggested that he had ever come there--with or
         without prior notice--on a Thursday.  It is possible, though
         implausible, that Oswald came to Irving on Thursday, October
         31, 1963 solely to cash a check and then returned to Dallas
         without contacting his wife or visiting the Paine residence.
         More likely, Marina and Mrs.  Paine forgot that visit or,
         for reasons of their own, preferred not to mention it.
         Either way, it is clear that Oswald's visit to Irving on
         Thursday night, November 21, may not have been

         Oswald's excuse for his return to Irving Thursday was that he
      intended to pick up curtain rods for "an apartment."  The Report
      attempts to vitiate this excuse by noting that (a) Oswald spoke
      with neither his wife, nor his landlady, nor Mrs. Paine about
      curtain rods, (b) Oswald's landlady testified that his room on
      North Beckley Avenue had curtains and rods, and (c) "No curtain
      rods were known to have been discovered in the Depository Building
      after the assassination" (R130).
         The source cited for the assertion that no curtain rods were
      found in the Depository after the assassination is CE 2640.  The
      Report neglects to mention that CE 2640 details an investigation
      conducted on September 21, 1964, ten months after the
      assassination, when only one person, Roy Truly, was questioned
      about curtain rods (25H899).  Truly was "certain" that no curtain
      rods had been found because "it would be customary for any
      discovery of curtain rods to immediately be called to his
      attention."  Aside from the ludicrous implication that the
      Depository had rules governing the discovery of curtain rods, this
      "inquiry" was too limited and too late to be of any significance.
         Apparently, the Commission's request for this inquiry calculated
      its worthlessness.  Rankin made this request of Hoover in a letter
      dated August 31, 1964.  The letter, which I obtained from the
      National Archives, leaves little doubt that the result of the
      inquiry was preconceived to be against Oswald.  Rankin ordered that
      Truly be interviewed "in order to establish that no curtain rods
      were found in the [Depository] following the assassination."[6]
      This phraseology seems to instruct Hoover {not} to conduct an
      objective investigation;  otherwise, the letter would have read "in
      order to establish {whether any} curtain rods were found."
         The Commission accepted without question the landlady's
      assurance that Oswald's room had curtain rods.  Had it conducted
      the least investigation, it could easily have determined that the
      room {did} need rods.  Black Star photographer Gene Daniels
      followed many of the events in Dallas on the weekend of the
      assassination.  On Saturday morning, November 23, he went to
      Oswald's rooming house and obtained a fascinating set of pictures.
      Daniels explained the circumstances to me:

            I went to the rooming house the following morning and
         requested permission to make the photograph from the
         landlady.  I'm not sure of her name but I don't think she
         was the owner.  We went into the room and she told me she
         preferred not to have me take any pictures until she put
         "the curtains back up."  She said that newsmen the evening
         before had disturbed the room and she didn't want anyone to
         see it messed up.  I agreed and stood in the room as she and
         her husband stood on the bed and hammered the curtain rods
         back into position.  While she did this, I photographed them
         or possibly just her I forget right now, up on the bed with
         the curtain rods etc.[7]

         It seems doubtful in the extreme that the activity of newsmen
      the night before could physically have removed curtain rods from
      the wall in Oswald's room.  A more reasonable possibility is that
      the rods had not been up at all until November 23, when Daniels
      witnessed and photographed the landlady and her husband hammering
      the rods into the wall.
         This renovating of Oswald's cubicle could not have come at a
      better time in the development of the Dallas police case against
      Oswald.  On the day of the assassination, Wesley Frazier filed an
      affadavit for the police that included information about the
      curtain-rod story (24H209).  At 10:30 on the morning of November
      23, police Captain Will Fritz asked Oswald if he had carried
      curtain rods to work the previous day.  According to Fritz, Oswald
      denied having told the curtain-rod story to Frazier (R604).  (This
      denial, in light of opposing testimony from Frazier and his sister,
      was apparently a falsehood.)
         Thus, the Commission is on shaky ground when it assumes Oswald's
      excuse for returning to Irving to have been false.  The inferences
      drawn from the premise of a spurious excuse are likewise weakened
      or disproved.  This Commission, which seems to have become a panel
      of amateur psychiatrists in conjuring up "motives" for Oswald,
      showed an appalling lack of sympathy and understanding in
      "evaluating" the "false excuse."

            In deciding whether Oswald carried a rifle to work in a
         long paper bag on November 22, the Commission gave weight to
         the fact that Oswald gave a false reason for returning home
         on November 21, and one which provided an excuse for the
         carrying of a bulky package the following morning. (R130)

            The preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion
         that Lee Harvey Oswald . . . told the curtain rod story to
         Frazier to explain both the return to Irving on a Thursday
         and the obvious bulk of the package which he intended to
         bring to work the next day. (R137)

         The curtain-rod story may not have been false.  However, there
      are several possible explanations for Oswald's Irving visit other
      than the one that had such appeal to the Commission--that Oswald
      came to pick up his rifle.  As Leo Sauvage has pointed out, Ruth
      Paine and Marina had their own theory about Oswald's return.[8]  In
      the words of the Report:

            The women thought he had come to Irving because he felt
         badly about arguing with his wife about the use of the
         fictitious name.  He said that he was lonely, because he had
         not come the previous weekend, and told Marina that he
         "wanted to make his peace" with her. (R740)

         Sylvia Meagher, more understanding than the Commission, finds
      nothing suspicious in a man's trying to "make his peace" with his
      wife or visiting his two young daughters after not having seen them
      for two weeks.  She points out that if this were the reason for
      Oswald's visit, it is unlikely that he would have admitted it to
      Frazier, with whom he was not close.  Oswald could very innocently
      have lied about the curtain rods to Frazier to cover up a personal
      excuse, bringing a package the next morning to substantiate his
      story and avoid embarrassing questions.[9]  (The Paine garage,
      stuffed almost beyond capacity with the paraphernalia of two
      families, contained many packages that Oswald could have taken on
      the spur of the moment.)
         As the record now stands, Oswald's actions on November 21 could
      well have been perfectly innocent.  The fact is that we do not know
      why Lee Oswald returned to Irving that Thursday, but the trip is no
      more an indictment of Oswald than it is an element of his defense.
      However, official misrepresentations allowed unnecessary and unfair
      implications to become associated with the return.  There is no
      reason to believe that Oswald knew anything about the November 22
      motorcade.  His visit to Irving on a Thursday probably was not
      unprecedented.  Since there is no proof that the C2766 rifle was
      ever stored in the Paine garage, there is no basis for the theory
      that Oswald's return was for the purpose of obtaining that rifle.
      A number of innocent explanations for the visit present themselves
      as far more plausible than the incriminating and unsubstantiated
      notion of the Commission.

      {The Long and Bulky Package}

         At about 7:15 on the morning of the assassination, Oswald left
      the Paine home to walk to the residence of Mrs. Linnie Mae Randle,
      Buell Wesley Frazier's sister.  Mrs. Randle and Frazier were the
      only two people to see Oswald that morning before he arrived at the
      Depository;  they were likewise the only two people who saw the
      long package that Oswald had brought with him to work.  Their
      accounts are critical in the whole case and deserve close scrutiny.
         Standing at the kitchen window of her house, Mrs.  Randle saw
      Oswald approaching.  In his right hand he carried "a package in a
      sort of heavy brown bag," the top of which was folded down.  Mrs.
      Randle specified that Oswald gripped the package at the very top
      and that the bottom almost touched the ground (2H248).  When
      Commission Counsel Joseph Ball had Mrs. Randle demonstrate how
      Oswald held the package, he apparently tried to lead her into
      providing a false description for the record;  she corrected him:

            Mr. Ball:  And where was his hand gripping the {middle}
         of the package?
            Mrs. Randle:  No, sir;  the {top} with just a little bit
         sticking up.  You know just like you grab something like
            Mr. Ball:  And he was grabbing it with his right hand at
         the top of the package and the package almost touched the
            Mrs. Randle:  Yes, sir.[10] (2H248;  emphasis added)

         Mrs. Randle estimated the length of this package as "a little
      more" than two feet.  When shown the 38-inch paper sack found near
      the alleged "assassin's" window, she was sure this was too long to
      have been the one carried by Oswald unless it had been folded down.
      In fact, she volunteered to fold the bag to its proper length;  the
      result was a 28 1/2-inch sack (2H249-50).  Furthermore, the FBI, in
      one of its interviews with Mrs. Randle, staged a "reconstruction"
      of Oswald's movements in which a replica sack was used and folded
      according to Mrs. Randle's memory.  "When the proper length of the
      sack was reached according to Mrs.  Randle's estimate," states the
      FBI report of this interview, "it was measured and found to be 27
      inches long" (24H408) .
         We must admire Mrs. Randle's consistency in estimating the
      length of Oswald's package despite severe questioning before the
      Commission.  Her recollection of the sack's length varied by only
      one and half inches in at least two reconstructions and one verbal
      estimate.  If we recall her specific description of the manner in
      which Oswald carried the sack (gripped at the {top} with the bottom
      almost touching the ground), it is obvious that the package {could
      not} have exceeded 29 inches in {maximum} length.  (Oswald was 5
      feet, 9 inches [24H7].)
         Frazier first noticed the package on the back seat of his car as
      he was about to leave for the Depository.  He estimated its length
      as "roughly about two feet long" (2H226).  From the parking lot at
      work, Oswald walked some 50 feet ahead of Frazier.  He held the
      package parallel to his body, one end under his right armpit, the
      other cupped in his right hand (2H228).  During his testimony
      before the Commission, Frazier, slightly over 6 feet tall compared
      to Oswald's 5 feet, 9 inches, held a package that contained the
      disassembled Carcano.  He cupped one end in his right hand;  the
      other end protruded over his shoulder to the level of his ear.  Had
      this been the case with Oswald's package, Frazier is sure he would
      have noticed the extra length (2H243).  Frazier's Commission
      testimony is buttressed by the original sworn affidavit he filed on
      November 22, 1963.  Here he estimated the length of the sack as
      "about two feet long," adding "I noticed that Lee had the package
      in his right hand under his arm . . . straight up and down"
      (24H209). Furthermore, during another "reconstruction," Frazier
      indicated for FBI agents the length occupied by the package on the
      back seat of his car;  that distance was measured to be 27 inches
      (24H409).  Again, if we take Frazier's description of how Oswald
      held the package in walking toward the Depository, the maximum
      length is fixed at 27 to 28 inches.
         Frazier and Mrs. Randle proved to be consistent, reliable
      witnesses.  Under rigorous questioning, through many
      reconstructions, their stories emerged unaltered and reinforced:
      the package carried by Oswald was 27 to 28 inches long.  Both
      witnesses provided ample means for verifying their estimates of
      length;  on each occasion their recollections proved accurate.
      Frazier and Mrs. Randle both independently described the package as
      slightly more than two feet long;  they both physically estimated
      the length of the package at what turned out to be from 27 to 28
      1/2 inches;  they both recalled Oswald's having carried his sack in
      a manner that would set the maximum length at about 28 inches.  One
      could hardly expect more credible testimony.  Perhaps it is true
      that the combined stories of Frazier and Mrs. Randle, persuasive as
      they are, do not prove that Oswald's package was 27 to 28 inches
      long.  However, no evidence has been put forth challenging their
      stories, and until such evidence can be produced, establishing a
      valid basis for doubt, we are forced to accept the 28-inch estimate
      as accurate.
         Not even the Commission could produce a single piece of evidence
      disputing Frazier and Mrs. Randle.  It merely believed what it
      wanted to believe and quoted what it wanted to quote, even to the
      point of self-contradiction.  Without comment as to the remarkably
      accurate aspects of Mrs. Randle's testimony, the Report dismisses
      her story entirely by asserting with no substantiation that she
      "saw the bag fleetingly."  It then quotes Frazier as saying he did
      not pay much attention to Oswald's package (R134).  This, however,
      was not the full extent of what Frazier had said, as the self-
      contradictory Report had previously quoted.  "Like I said, I
      remember I didn't look at the package very much," warned Frazier, "
      . . . {but when I did look at it he did have his hands on the
      package like that}" (R133-34).
         Accepting Frazier's and Mrs. Randle's stories would have aborted
      in its early stages the theory that Oswald killed the President
      unassisted.  The longest component of the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle
      {when disassembled} is 34.8-inches long (3H395).  The Commission's
      best and, in fact, {only} evidence on this point said the package
      carried to work by Oswald was too short to have contained the rifle
      in its shortest possible form, disassembled.  Obviously, a 35-inch
      package strains the limits imposed by the recollections of Frazier
      and Mrs. Randle.  Such a sack would have dragged on the ground when
      grasped at the top, protruded over Oswald's shoulder when cupped in
      his hand (as Frazier himself demonstrated), occupied more space on
      the back seat of Frazier's car, and been perceptibly longer than
      was consistently described by the two people who saw it.  There is
      just no reason to believe that the package was over 28 inches long,
      and every reason to believe that 28 inches was very close to its
      proper length.  The Commission could give no valid reason for
      rejecting that estimate;  it merely chose to disregard the stories
      of its only two witnesses.  Any alternative would have entailed
      admitting that Oswald did not carry the "assassination weapon" to
      work with him that morning.
         The Report plays up its rejection of the Frazier-Randle
      testimony as if, virtually torn between witness accounts and cold,
      hard, scientific fact, it gave in to the latter.  In the words of
      the Report:

            The Commission has weighed the visual recollection of
         Frazier and Mrs. Randle against the evidence here presented
         that the bag Oswald carried contained the assassination
         weapon and has concluded that Frazier and Randle are
         mistaken as to the length of the bag. (R134)

      What evidence was "presented that the bag . . . contained the
      assassination weapon"?
         "A [38-inch long] handmade bag of paper and tape was found in
      the southeast corner of the sixth floor alongside the window from
      which the shots were fired.  It was not a standard type bag which
      could be obtained in a store and it was presumably made for a
      particular purpose," says the Report (R134).  Before any evidence
      relevant to this bag is presented, the Report draws an important
      inference from its location;  "The presence of the bag in this
      corner is cogent evidence that it was used as the container for the
      rifle" (R135).  The Commission was unequivocal;  the evidence meant
      only what the Commission wanted it to mean--nothing more, nothing
      less.  To take issue with the inference read into the evidence:
      the presence of that bag in that corner is "cogent evidence" {only}
      that someone placed the bag in the corner.  Its location of
      discovery can not tell who made the bag, when it was made, or what
      it contained.  The Commission wanted it to have contained the
      rifle;  therefore, it must have.
         Having attached a significance to this bag (CE 142) "cogent"
      only for the Commission's predisposition toward Oswald's sole
      guilt, the Report presents what it labels "Scientific Evidence
      Linking Rifle and Oswald to Paper Bag."  There was no difficulty in
      linking Oswald to the bag;  his right palmprint and left index
      fingerprint were on it, proving that at some time, in some way, he
      had handled it.  Again, the Commission reads an improper inference
      into this evidence.  Because the palmprint was found at the bottom
      of the paper bag, says the Report, "it was consistent with the bag
      having contained a heavy or bulky object when [Oswald] handled it
      since a light object is usually held by the fingers" (R135).  Not
      mentioned is the fact that, as Oswald walked to Frazier's home, he
      grasped his package at the {top}, allowing it to hang freely,
      almost touching the ground.  According to the Commission's analysis
      of how people hold packages, it would seem unlikely that Oswald's
      bag contained anything "heavy or bulky."  Nor is there any proof
      that Oswald was holding CE 142 when he left prints on it.  Had it
      been lying on a hard, flat surface, Oswald could have leaned
      against or on it and left prints.
         The Report quotes questioned-documents experts to show that CE
      142 had been constructed from paper and tape taken from the
      Depository's shipping room, probably within three days of November
      22 (R135-36).  Here the Report explicitly states what it had been
      implying all along:  "One cannot estimate when, prior to November
      22, {Oswald} made the paper bag."  The bag was made from Depository
      materials;  at some time it was touched by Oswald.  This does not
      prove or so much as indicate that {Oswald} constructed the bag.
      The Commission {assumed} Oswald made it, offering no evidence in
      support of its notion.  It {could not} provide substantiation, for
      the evidence proves Oswald did {not} make CE 142.
         Troy Eugene West, a full-time mail wrapper at the Depository,
      worked at the same bench from which the materials for the paper
      sack were taken.  As Harold Weisberg points out in "Whitewash,"
      "West had been employed by the Book Depository for 16 years and was
      so attached to his place of work that he never left his bench, even
      to eat lunch.  His only separation from it, aside from the
      necessary functions of life [and this is presumed;  it is not in
      his testimony], was on arrival before work, to get water for
         Although West was the one man who could know if Oswald had taken
      the materials used in constructing CE 142, he was never mentioned
      in the Report.  In his deposition, he virtually obviated the
      possibility that Oswald made the bag:

            Mr. Belin:  Did Lee Harvey Oswald ever help you wrap
            Mr. West:  No, sir;  he never did.
            Mr. Belin:  Do you know whether or not he ever borrowed
         or used any wrapping paper for himself?
            Mr. West:  No, sir;  I don't.
            Mr. Belin:  You don't know?
            Mr. West:  No;  I don't.
            Mr. Belin:  Did you ever see him around these wrapper
         rolls or wrapper roll machine, or not?
            Mr. West:  No, sir;  I never noticed him being around.

         West brought out another important piece of information.  Expert
      examination showed that one long strip of tape had been drawn from
      the Depository's dispenser and then torn into smaller pieces to
      assemble the bag (R579-80).  West told Counsel Belin that the
      dispensing machine was constructed so that the dried mucilage on
      the tape would be automatically moistened as tape was pulled out
      for use.  The only way one could obtain dry tape, he added, was if
      he removed the roll of tape from the machine and tore off the
      desired length (6H361).  However, the tape on CE 142 possessed
      marks that conclusively showed that it had been pulled through the
      dispenser (R580).  Thus, the tape used in making CE 142 was wet as
      soon as it left the dispenser;  it had to be used at that moment,
      demanding that the entire sack be constructed at West's bench.
         The fabricator of CE 142 had to remain at or near the bench long
      enough to assemble the entire bag.  West never saw Oswald around
      the dispensing machines, which indicates that Oswald did not make
      the bag.  This contention is supported by those who observed Oswald
      during his return to Irving on Thursday evening.  Frazier never saw
      Oswald take anything with him from work (2H141), despite the fact
      that, even folded, CE 142 would have been awkward to conceal.
      Likewise, neither Ruth Paine nor Marina ever saw Oswald with such a
      sack on or before November 21 (1H120;  3H49;  22H751).
         The Report thus far has done some rather fancy footwork with the
      paper sack, asserting without basis that Oswald was its fabricator
      when the evidence allows the conclusion only that Oswald once
      touched the bag.  Next in line was the "scientific evidence" that
      the Commission promised would link the "rifle . . . to paper bag."
         When FBI hair-and-fiber expert Paul Stombaugh examined CE 142 on
      November 23, he found that it contained a single, brown, delustered
      viscose fiber and "several" light-green cotton fibers (R136).  The
      Report does not mention Stombaugh's qualification of the word
      "several" as indicating only two or three fibers (4H80).  It seems
      that these few fibers matched some composing the blanket in which
      the rifle was allegedly stored, although Stombaugh could render no
      opinion as to whether the fibers had in fact come from that blanket
      (R136-37).  How does this relate the {rifle} to the paper bag when
      it does not conclusively relate even the {blanket} to the bag?  The
      Commission's theory is "that the rifle could have picked up fibers
      from the blanket and transferred them to the paper bag" (R137).
         Had the Commission not been such a victim of its bias, it could
      have seen that this fiber evidence had no value in relating
      anything.  The reason is simple:  the evidence indicates that the
      Dallas Police took no precautions to prevent the various articles
      of evidence from contacting each other {prior} to laboratory
      examination.  On Saturday morning, November 23, physical items such
      as the rifle, the blanket, the bag, and Oswald's shirt arrived in
      Washington, on loan from the police for FBI scrutiny.  It was then
      that Stombaugh found fibers in the bag (4H75).  Prior to Oswald's
      death, this evidence was returned to the police.  However, on
      November 26, the items remaining in police custody were again
      turned over to the FBI.  Before the second return, some of the
      items were photographed together on a table (4H273-74).  This
      photograph, CE 738, shows the open end of the paper bag to be in
      contact with the blanket.  Such overt carelessness by the police
      ruined the bag for any subsequent fiber examinations.  If this was
      any indication of how the evidence was handled by the police when
      {first} turned over to the FBI, {all} the fiber evidence becomes
      meaningless because the various specimens could have come in
      contact with each other {after} they were confiscated.
         There is ample evidence that CE 142 never contained the
      Mannlicher-Carcano.  James Cadigan, FBI questioned-documents
      expert, disclosed an important piece of information in his
      testimony concerning his examination of the paper sack:

            I was also requested . . . to examine the bag to
         determine if there were any significant markings or
         scratches or abrasions or {anything} by which it could be
         associated with the rifle, Commission Exhibit 139, that is,
         could I find {any} markings that I could tie to that
         rifle....And I couldn't find {any} such markings. (4H97;
         emphasis added)

      Cadigan added that he could not know the significance of the
      absence of marks (4H97-98).
         There is, however, great significance, due to circumstances
      unknown to Cadigan.  If Oswald placed the rifle into CE 142, he
      could have done so only between 8 and 9 P.M. on November 21;  he
      simply did not have time to do it the following morning before
      going to work.[12]  Had he removed the rifle immediately upon
      arriving at the Depository at 8 A.M., it would still have remained
      in the bag for at least 12 hours.  The bag likewise would have been
      handled by Oswald during a half-block walk to Frazier's house and a
      two-block walk from the parking lot to the Depository.  It is
      stretching the limits of credibility to assume that a rifle in
      {two} bulky parts (the 40-inch Carcano could have fit into the 38-
      inch bag {only} if disassembled) in a single layer of paper would
      fail to produce obvious marks after over 12 hours of storage and
      handling through two-and-a-half blocks of walking.  More
      significantly, Cadigan made no mention of oil stains having been
      found on the bag, but the rifle was described by FBI Director
      Hoover as "well-oiled" (26H455).  It is reasonable to conclude from
      the condition of CE 142 that this sack, even if Oswald had made it,
      never held "Oswald's" rifle.
         CE 142 may be significant in two ways.  Judging from the
      immediate impression received that this sack had been used to
      transport the rifle (despite the lack of evidence that it did), it
      is not impossible that it was made and left by the window with
      exactly that effect in mind, even for the purpose of incriminating

     |               photograph of flat paper bag on top                 |
     |                                                                   |
     |              and disassembled rifle lying at bottom               |
     |                  (at least 9 discernable pieces)                  |

      Fig. 6.  The Commission says that all these pieces of the
      disassembled Carcano were carried in this bag without leaving any
      identifiable marks or oil stains.  There is no crease in the bag
      where it would have been folded over had it contained the
      disassembled rifle.  Oswald's careless handling of his package is
      not consistent with its having contained so many loose parts.

      However, with all the trash scattered about the storage spaces in
      the building, it is conceivable that CE 142 had been made for some
      unknown purpose entirely unrelated to the shooting and merely
      discarded on the sixth floor.  The evidence that Oswald neither
      made 142 nor carried it home the evening of November 21 leads to
      the inference that the bag he {did} carry on the 22nd has never
      come to light subsequent to the assassination.  Likewise, it
      follows that the contents of Oswald's package may never have been
      found.  (There is evidence suggesting that Oswald, before entering
      the Depository, may actually have discarded his package in rubbish
      bins located in an enclosed loading dock at the rear of the
      building.  Employee Jack Dougherty saw Oswald arrive for work,
      entering through a back door.  At that time, Dougherty saw nothing
      in Oswald's hands [6H377].)
         There is not the slightest suggestion in any of the evidence
      that Oswald carried his rifle to work the morning of November 22.
      The indications are persuasive and consistent that Oswald carried
      almost anything {but} his rifle.  Oswald took little care with his
      package, hardly treating it as if it contained the apparatus with
      which he later intended efficiently to commit murder.  As he
      approached Frazier's house, he held the package at the top, "much
      like a right handed batter would pick up a baseball bat when
      approaching the plate" (24H408), certainly a peculiar and dangerous
      way for one to transport a package containing a rifle in two bulky
      parts.  Every indication of the length of Oswald's sack
      consistently precludes its having contained the disassembled rifle.
      Interestingly enough, Frazier had once worked in a department store
      uncrating packaged curtain rods.  Having seen the appearance of
      these, Frazier found nothing suspicious about Oswald's package
      which, he was informed, contained curtain rods (2H229).
         It is no longer sufficient to say, as I did in the first
      chapter, that there is no evidence that Oswald carried his rifle to
      work on the morning of the assassination.  There is, as the
      evidence indicates, no reason even to suspect that he did (based on
      the descriptions of the package he carried), that he would have
      (based on the indications that he knew nothing of the motorcade
      route), or that he could have (based on the total lack of proof
      that the C2766 rifle had been stored in the Paine garage).  The
      most reasonable conclusion--if any is to be drawn--is that Oswald
      did not carry his rifle to work that morning.


 [1] Weisberg, "Whitewash," p. 23.

 [2] Ibid., pp. 13-14.

 [3] Meagher, pp. 37-38.

 [4] Liebeler 9/6/64 Memorandum, p. 4.

 [5] Meagher, p. 37.

 [6] Letter from J. Lee Rankin to J. Edgar Hoover, dated August 31,
     1964, found in the Truly "K.P." (Key Persons) file.

 [7] Letter to the author from Gene Daniels, received March 19, 1970.
     Quoted by permission.

 [8] Leo Sauvage, "The Oswald Affair" (Cleveland:  The World Publishing
     Co., 1965), pp. 363-67.

 [9] Meagher, p. 38.

[10] The first critical analysis of the questioning of witnesses Frazier
     and Randle appeared in Weisberg's "Whitewash," pp. 17-19.

[11] West's testimony was first noted by Harold Weisberg and published
     in "Whitewash," p. 21.

[12] According to Marina, Oswald overslept on the morning of the
     assassination and did not get up until 7:10, at which time he
     dressed and left (18H638-39).  Oswald arrived at Frazier's home at
     7:20 that morning (24H408).  Thus, he had only ten minutes to get
     ready for work and walk to Frazier's, which would not have allowed
     him time to disassemble the rifle, place it in the sack, and
     replace the blanket.

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      Oswald at Window?

      Hard as the Commission tried to make tenable that Oswald carried
      his rifle to work on November 22, it tried even harder to place him
      at the southeast corner window of the Depository's sixth floor, the
      putative source of the shots.  This was the location at which a man
      with a gun had been seen, and to which Oswald had unlimited access.
      In accordance with the official story, Oswald's guilt hinges on
      this one point, he had to have been at the window to have fired
      some or all of the shots.
         The first evidence discussed in this section of the Report
      concerns the fingerprints left by Oswald on two cartons located
      next to the "assassin's" window.  As was noted in chapter 2, the
      Commission used this evidence to place Oswald at the window at some
      time.  In doing this, it read an unfair and improper meaning into
      limited data.  The presence of Oswald's prints on these objects
      indicates {only} that he handled them and does not disclose exactly
      when or {where} he did so.  I noted that Oswald could have touched
      the cartons {prior} to the time they were moved to the southeast
      corner window.  The fingerprints were the only "physical evidence"
      the Commission could offer to relate Oswald to that specific window
      (R140-41).  Since the fingerprint evidence in fact does {not}
      relate Oswald to the window, it is important to note that {no}
      physical evidence placed Oswald at the window at any time.

      {Oswald's Actions Prior to the Shooting}

         On the morning of the assassination, a number of Depository
      employees had been putting down flooring on the sixth floor.  About
      15 minutes before noon, these employees decided to break for lunch.
      Going to the northeast corner of the building, they began to "race"
      the elevators down to the first floor.  On their way down, they
      noticed Oswald standing at the elevator gate on the fifth floor
      (6H349), where he was shouting for an elevator to descend (3H168;
         One of the floor-laying crew, Charles Givens, told the
      Commission that upon returning to the sixth floor at 11:55, to get
      his cigarettes, he saw Oswald on that floor (6H349).  The Report
      attaches great significance to Givens's story by calling it
      "additional testimony linking Oswald with the point from which the
      shots were fired" (R143).  No testimony was needed to link Oswald
      with the sixth floor;  he worked there.  However, the Report adds
      that Givens "was the last known employee to see Oswald inside the
      building prior to the assassination," unfairly precipitating a bias
      against Oswald by implying that he remained where Givens saw him
      for the 35 minutes until the assassination.
         It is necessary to note, although admittedly it is not central
      to Oswald's possible involvement in the shooting, that there are
      many aspects of Givens's story that cast an unfavorable light on
      its veracity.[1]  It seems illogical that Oswald would have gone
      {up} to the sixth floor after yelling for an elevator {down} from
      the fifth;  even at that, such "jumping" between floors is
      consistent with the type of work Oswald did:  order filling.  In
      addition, police Lieutenant Jack Revill and Inspector Herbert
      Sawyer both testified that Givens was taken to city hall on the
      afternoon of the shooting to make a statement about seeing Oswald
      on the sixth floor (5H35-36;  6H321-22).  However, the police radio
      log indicates that Givens was picked up because he had a police
      record (narcotics charges) and was missing from the Depository
      (23H873).  Givens himself told the Commission he was picked up and
      asked to make a statement, but not in reference to having seen
      Oswald (6H355).  Indeed, the affidavit he filed on November 22,
      1963, makes no mention of either his return to the sixth floor or
      his having seen Oswald there (24H210).
         The previous information forms a basis for doubting Givens's
      story.  There is one other consideration that strongly suggests
      this entire episode to be a fabrication:  it was physically
      impossible for Givens to have seen Oswald as he swore he had done.
      From Givens's testimony, it is clear that his position on the sixth
      floor when he claimed to have seen Oswald was somewhere between the
      elevators at the northwest corner of the building to about midway
      between the north and south walls.  Either way, he would have been
      along the far west side of the sixth floor (6H349-50).  However,
      Givens said he observed Oswald walking along the {east} wall of the
      building, walking {away} from the southeast corner in the direction
      of the elevators (6H349-50).  Dallas Police photographs of the
      sixth floor (CEs 725, 726, 727, 728) show that such a view would
      have been obscured by columns and stacks of cartons as high as a
      man.  If Givens saw Oswald, then there {must} be a major flaw in
      his description of the event.  As the record stands, Givens {could
      not} have seen Oswald on the sixth floor at 11:55.
         We should recall that when Oswald was seen on the fifth floor at
      about 11:45, he was shouting for an elevator to take him {down}.
      Apparently this is exactly the course Oswald pursued, if not by
      elevator, then by the stairs.  Bill Shelley was part of the floor-
      laying crew that left the sixth floor around 11:45.  He testified
      unambiguously that after coming down for lunch he saw Oswald on the
      first floor near the telephones (7H390).  Mention of this fact is
      entirely absent from the Report.
         The Commission seized upon Givens's story because, according to
      the Report, he was the last person known to have seen Oswald prior
      to the shots.  The Report strongly implies that Oswald must have
      remained on the sixth floor, since no one subsequently saw him
      elsewhere.  But Oswald was both inconspicuous and generally unknown
      at the Depository;  he always kept to himself.  Likewise, most of
      the other employees had left the building during this time.  It
      would have been unremarkable if no one noticed his presence,
      especially then.  However, if someone {had} noticed Oswald in a
      location other than the sixth floor after 11:55, his story would
      have been all the more important by virtue of Oswald's
         The Report makes two separate assurances that no one saw Oswald
      after 11:55 and before the shots, first stating "None of the
      Depository employees is known to have seen Oswald again until after
      the shooting" (R143), and later concluding, "Oswald was seen in the
      vicinity of the southeast corner of the sixth floor approximately
      35 minutes before the assassination and no one could be found who
      saw Oswald anywhere else in the building until after the shooting"
      (R156).  A footnote to the first statement lists "CE 1381" as the
      source of information that no employee saw Oswald between 11:55 and
      12:30 that day.
         CE 1381 consists of 73 statements obtained by the FBI from all
      employees present at the Depository on November 22, 1963.  In
      almost every instance, the particular employee is quoted as saying
      he did not see Oswald at the time of the shots.  A few people
      stated they either had never seen Oswald at all or had not seen him
      that day (see 22H632-86).  This collection of statements does not
      support the Report's assertion that no employee saw Oswald between
      11:55 and 12:30, for it almost never addresses that time period,
      usually referring only to 12:30, the time of the shots.
         I have learned that General Counsel Rankin, in requesting these
      statements from the FBI, deliberately sought information relating
      to Oswald's whereabouts at 12:30 {only}, never considering the
      11:55 to 12:30 period.  The Report then falsely and wrongly applied
      this information to the question of Oswald's whereabouts between
      11:55 and 12:30.
         I obtained from the National Archives a letter from J. Lee
      Rankin to Hoover dated March 16, 1964, in which Rankin requested
      that the FBI "obtain a signed statement from each person known to
      have been in the Texas School Book Depository Building on the
      assassination date reflecting the following information:"  Rankin
      then listed six items to be included in each statement:  "1. His
      name . . . [etc.], 2. Where he was at the time the President was
      shot, 3. Was he alone or with someone else. . . ?, 4. If he saw Lee
      Harvey Oswald {at that time?,"}  plus two other pieces of
      information.[2]  Clearly, Rankin desired to know whether any
      employee had seen Oswald {at the time of the shots}.  There is no
      reason to expect that the agents who obtained the statements would
      have sought any further detail, and the final reports reveal that
      indeed none was sought.  Even Hoover, in the letter by which he
      transmitted CE 1381 to the Commission, reported, "Every effort was
      made to comply with your request that six {specific} items be
      incorporated in each statement" (22H632).
         Why did Rankin, when he had the FBI go to such extensive efforts
      in contacting all 73 employees present that day, fail to request
      the added information about the time between 11:55 and 12:30, the
      period that could hold the key to Oswald's innocence had he been
      observed then in a location other than the sixth floor?
         The Commission knew of at least two employees who {had} seen
      Oswald on the first floor between 12:00 and 12:30.  It suppressed
      this information from the Report, lied in saying that no one had
      seen Oswald during this time, and cited an incomplete and
      irrelevant inquiry in support of this drastic misstatement.
         Depository employee Eddie Piper was questioned twice by
      Assistant Counsel Joseph Ball.  During one of his appearances,
      Piper echoed the information he had recorded in an affidavit for
      the Dallas Police on November 23, 1963, namely, that he saw and
      spoke with Oswald on the first floor at 12:00 noon (6H383;
      l9H499).  Piper seemed certain of this, and he was consistent in
      reporting the circumstances around his brief encounter with Oswald.
      Clearly, this is a direct contradiction of the Report's statement
      that no one saw Oswald between 11:55 and 12:30.  The Report, never
      mentioning this vital piece of testimony, calls Piper a "confused
      witness" (R153).  This too was the opposite of the truth.  Piper
      was able to describe events after the shooting in a way that
      closely paralleled the known sequence of events (6H385).  There
      was, in fact, no aspect of Piper's testimony that indicated he was
      less than a credible witness.
         While Piper's having seen Oswald on the first floor at 12:00
      does not preclude Oswald's having been at the window at 12:30, it
      is significant that this information was suppressed from the
      Report, which makes an assertion contrary to the evidence.  One
      aspect of Piper's story could have weighed heavily in Oswald's
      defense.  In his November 23 affidavit, Piper recalled Oswald as
      having said "I'm going up to eat" during the short time the two men
      met (19H499).  In his testimony, Piper modified this quotation,
      expressing his uncertainty whether Oswald had said "up" or "out" to
      eat (6H386).  Despite the confusion over the exact adverb Oswald
      used, the significant observation is that he apparently intended to
      eat at 12:00.  He would most likely have done this on the first
      floor in the "domino" room or in the second-floor lunchroom.
      {Oswald consistently told the police that he had been eating his
      lunch at the time the President was shot} (R600, 613).  The
      suppression of Piper's story was, in effect, the suppression of an
      aspect of Oswald's defense.
         The Commission had other corroborative evidence of a probative
      nature.  Oswald's account of his whereabouts and actions at and
      around the time of the shooting cannot be fully known, for no
      transcripts of his police interrogations were kept--a significant
      departure from the most basic criminal proceedings (see 4H232;
      R200).  Our only information concerning Oswald's interrogation
      sessions during the weekend of the assassination is found in
      contradictory and ambiguous reports written by the various
      participants in the interrogations--police, FBI, and Secret Service
         The interrogation reports are generally consistent in relating
      that Oswald said that he had been eating his lunch at the time of
      the shots.  In three of these reports a significant detail is
      added, in three partially contradictory versions.  Captain Fritz
      thought Oswald "said he ate lunch with some of the colored boys who
      worked with him.  One of them was called `Junior' and the other was
      a little short man whose name he didn't know" (R605).  FBI Agent
      James Bookhout wrote that "Oswald had eaten lunch in the lunchroom
      . . . alone, but recalled possibly two Negro employees walking
      through the room during this period.  He stated possibly one of
      these employees was called `Junior' and the other was a short
      individual whose name he could not recall but whom he would be able
      to recognize" (R622).  Secret Service Inspector Thomas Kelley
      recalled that Oswald "Said he ate lunch with the colored boys who
      worked with him.  He described one of them as `Junior,' a colored
      boy, and the other was a little short negro [{sic}] boy" (R626).
         These versions are consistent in reporting that Oswald had been
      eating lunch (probably on the first floor) when he saw or was with
      two Negro employees, one called "Junior," the other a short man.
      It is possible that Oswald was in a lunchroom (the domino room)
      during this time, although we cannot be certain that Oswald
      directly stated so to the police.  Likewise, it is possible that
      Agent Bookhout correctly reported that Oswald ate alone and merely
      observed the two Negro employees, while Fritz and Kelley
      misconstrued Oswald's remarks as indicating that he ate his lunch
      {with} these two men.
         James Jarman was a Negro employed at the Depository;  his
      nickname was "Junior" (3H189;  6H365).  On November 22, Jarman quit
      for lunch at about 11:55, washed up, picked up his sandwich, bought
      a coke, and went to the first floor to eat.  He ate some of his
      lunch along the front windows on the first floor, near two rows of
      bins;  walking alone across the floor toward the domino room, he
      finished his sandwich.  After depositing his refuse, Jarman left
      the building with employees Harold Norman and Danny Arce through
      the main entrance (3H201-2).
         Harold Norman, another Negro employee, was of rather modest
      height, fitting the description of the man Oswald thought had been
      with Jarman on the first floor (see CE 491).  On November 22,
      Norman ate his lunch in the domino room and "got with James Jarman,
      he and I got together on the first floor."  According to Norman,
      Jarman was "somewhere in the vicinity of the telephone" near the
      bins when the two men "got together."  This would define a location
      toward the front of the building.  Norman confirmed Jarman's
      testimony that the two subsequently left the building through the
      main entrance (3H189).
         There is no firm evidence pinpointing the exact time Jarman and
      Norman left the Depository.  Their estimates, as well as those of
      the people who left at the same time or who were already standing
      outside, are not at all precise, apparently because few workers had
      been paying much attention to the time.  The estimates varied from
      12:00 as the earliest time to 12:15 as the latest (see 3H189, 219;
      6H365;  22H638, 662;  24H199, 213, 227).  Twelve o'clock seems a
      bit early for Jarman and Norman to have finished eating and to be
      out on the street;  the time was probably closer to 12:15.  It was
      most likely within five minutes prior to 12:15 that Jarman and
      Norman "got together" near the front or south side of the first
      floor and walked out the main entrance together.
         Jarman and Norman appeared together on the first floor again,
      about ten minutes after stepping outside.  Because the crowds in
      front of the Depository were so large, the two men went up to the
      fifth floor at 12:20 or 12:25.  To do this, they walked around to
      the back of the building, entering on the first floor through the
      rear door and taking the elevator up five stories (3H202).
         Obviously, Oswald could not have told the police that "Junior"
      and a short Negro employee were together on the first floor unless
      he had seen this himself.[3]  For Oswald to have witnessed Jarman
      and Norman in this manner, he had to have been on the first floor
      between either 12:10 and 12:15 or 12:20 and 12:25.  The fact that
      Oswald was able to relate this incident is cogent evidence that he
      was in fact on the first floor at one or both of these times.  If
      he was on the {sixth} floor, as the Commission believes, then it
      was indeed a remarkable coincidence that out of all the employees,
      Oswald picked the two who were on the first floor at the time he
      said, and together as he described.  Since this is a remote
      possibility that warrants little serious consideration, I am
      persuaded to conclude that Oswald was on the first floor at some
      time between 12:10 and 12:25, which is consistent with the
      previously cited testimony of Eddie Piper.[4]
         Buttressing the above-discussed evidence is the story of another
      employee, who claimed to have seen Oswald on the first floor around
      12:15.  Mrs. Carolyn Arnold, a secretary at the Depository, was the
      crucial witness.  Her story was omitted not only from the Report
      but also from the Commission's printed evidence.  It was only
      through the diligent searching of Harold Weisberg that an FBI
      report of an early interview with her came to light.[5]  She spoke
      with FBI agents on November 26, 1963, only three days after the
      assassination.  The brief report of the interview states that

         she was in her office on the second floor of the building on
         November 22, 1963, and left that office between 12:00 and
         12:15 PM, to go downstairs and stand in front of the
         building to view the Presidential Motorcade.  As she was
         standing in front of the building, she stated that she
         thought she caught a fleeting glimpse of LEE HARVEY OSWALD
         standing in the hallway between the front door and the
         double doors leading into the warehouse, located on the
         first floor.  She could not be sure this was OSWALD, but
         said she felt it was and believed the time to be a few
         minutes before 12:15 PM. (CD5:41)

      As Weisberg cautioned in his book "Photographic Whitewash," where
      he presents this FBI report, "This is the FBI retailing [sic] of
      what Mrs. Arnold said, not her actual words."[6]
         Mrs. Arnold was never called as a witness before the Commission;
      absolutely no effort was made to check her accuracy or obtain
      further details of her story.  If what she related was true, she
      provided the proof that Oswald could not have shot at the
      President.  The Commission's failure to pursue her vital story was
      a failure to follow up evidence of Oswald's innocence.
         Mrs. Arnold was reinterviewed by the FBI on March 18, 1964, in
      compliance with Rankin's request to Hoover for statements from all
      Depository employees present at work November 22 (22H634).  In
      accordance with the deliberate wording of Rankin's items to be
      included in the statements as discussed earlier, Mrs. Arnold was
      not asked about seeing Oswald {before} the shooting, as she earlier
      said she did.  Instead, she provided the specific information
      requested in item (4) of Rankin's letter:  "I did not see Lee
      Harvey Oswald at the time President Kennedy was shot."  "At the
      time" of the assassination obviously is not the same as "before"
      the assassination.  If Rankin for some specific reason avoided
      asking about any employee who had seen Oswald right before the
      shots, he could have had no better witness in mind than Mrs.
         In her March 18 statement, Mrs. Arnold wrote:  "I left the Texas
      School Book Depository at about 12:25 PM."  The report of her first
      interview states that she left her office on the second floor
      between 12:00 and 12:15 and saw Oswald from outside the building at
      "a few minutes before 12:15."  The important distinction between
      these two estimates is that one is in Mrs. Arnold's words, the
      other but a paraphrase.  Of the people who left the Depository with
      Mrs. Arnold, Mrs. Donald Baker recalled having left at about 12:15
      (22H635), Miss Judy Johnson at about 12:15 (22H656), Bonnie Rachey
      also at 12:15 (22H671), and Mrs. Betty Dragoo at 12:20 (22H645).
         It is perfectly reasonable to assert that Mrs. Arnold saw a man
      whom "she felt" was Oswald on the first floor anywhere between a
      few minutes before 12:15 and, at the latest, 12:25.  The actual
      time probably tended toward the 12:15 to 12:20 period.  The
      significance of this one piece of information is startling;  the
      "gunman" on the sixth floor was there from 12:15 on.  If Mrs.
      Arnold really did see Oswald on the first floor at this time, he
      could not have been a sixth-floor assassin.
         Arnold Rowland is the first person known to have spotted a man
      with a rifle on the sixth floor of the Depository.  The time of
      this observation was, according to Rowland, who had noted the large
      "Hertz" clock atop the Depository, 12:15 (2H169-72).  Rowland
      provided an even more accurate means for checking his time

         there was a motorcycle parked just on the street, not in
         front of us, just a little past us, and the radio was on it
         giving details of the motorcade, where it was positioned,
         and right {after} the time I noticed him (the man on the
         sixth floor) and when my wife was pointing this other thing
         to me . . . the dispatcher came on and gave the position of
         the motorcade as being on Cedar Springs.  This would be in
         the area of Turtle Creek, down in that area. . . .  And this
         was the position of the motorcade and it was about 15 or 16
         after 12. (2H172-73;  emphasis added)

      Rowland could not have had access to the police radio logs.
      However, every version of these logs in the Commission's evidence
      shows that the location of the motorcade described by Rowland was
      in fact broadcast between 12:15 and 12:16 PM (17H460;  21H390;
      23H911).  We must note also that while Rowland first noticed this
      man {before} hearing the broadcast at 12:15, it is possible that he
      had been there for some period of time prior to that.
         The difference between Mrs. Arnold's earliest estimate of the
      time she possibly saw Oswald on the first floor and the time
      Rowland saw the sixth-floor gunman is but a few minutes, hardly
      enough time for Oswald to have picked up his rifle, made his way to
      the sixth floor, assembled the rifle, and appeared at the
      appropriate window.  If Mrs. Arnold's later estimates are accurate,
      then Oswald was, in fact, on the first floor while the "assassin"
      was on the sixth.
         Without elaboration from Mrs. Arnold, we can draw no conclusions
      based on the brief FBI report of her first interview.  At this late
      date, I feel that Mrs. Arnold can not honestly clarify the
      information reported by the FBI, either through fear of challenging
      the official story or through knowledge of the implication of what
      she knows.  It was the duty of the Warren Commission to seek out
      Mrs. Arnold to obtain her full story and test her accuracy, if not
      in the interest of truth, certainly so as not posthumously to deny
      Oswald the possible proof of his innocence.
         The Commission failed in its obligation to the truth for the
      simple reason that it (meaning its staff and General Counsel) never
      sought the truth.  The truth, according to {all} the relevant
      evidence in the Commission's files, is that Oswald was on the first
      floor at a time that eliminates the possibility of his having been
      the sixth-floor gunman, just as he told the police during his

      {Identity of the Gunman}

         The Commission relied solely on the testimony of eyewitnesses to
      identify the source of the shots as a specific Depository window.
      The presence of three cartridge cases by this window seemed to
      buttress the witnesses' testimony.  The medical findings, although
      not worth credence, indicated that some shots were fired from above
      and behind;  still, that evidence, even if correct, cannot pinpoint
      the {precise} source "above and behind" from which certain shots
      originated.  It was the people who said they saw a man with a gun
      in this window who provided the evidence most welcome to the
         The Commission's crew of witnesses consisted of Howard Brennan
      and Amos Euins, both of whom said they saw the man fire a rifle;
      Robert Jackson and Malcolm Couch, two photographers riding in the
      motorcade, who saw the barrel of a rifle being drawn slowly back
      into the window after the shots (although neither saw a man in the
      window);  Mrs. Earle Cabell, wife of the city's mayor, who, also
      riding in the procession, saw "a projection" from a Depository
      window (although she could not tell if this was a mechanical object
      or someone's arm);  and James Crawford, who saw a "movement" in the
      window after the shots but could not say for sure whether it was a
      person whom he had seen (R63-68).  Two additional witnesses are
      added in the Report's chapter "The Assassin."  They are Ronald
      Fischer and Robert Edwards, both of whom saw a man without a rifle
      in the window shortly before the motorcade arrived.
         Two other "sixth-floor gunman" witnesses didn't quite make it
      into the relevant sections of the Report--one, in fact, never made
      the Report at all.  Arnold Rowland saw the gunman 15 minutes before
      the motorcade arrived at the plaza.  However, at this time, the man
      was in the far south{west} (left) window.  Rowland told the
      Commission that another man then occupied the southeast corner
      (right) window.  The Commission, whose legal eminences knew that
      another man on the sixth floor at this time satisfied the legal
      definition of conspiracy, sought only to discredit Rowland,
      rejecting his story under a section entitled "Accomplices at the
      Scene of the Assassination" (R250-52).  Mrs. Carolyn Walther saw
      the gunman in the right window, shortly before the procession
      arrived.  However, she too saw a second man on the sixth floor,
      although the "accomplice" she described was obviously different
      from Rowland's (24H522).  Rowland sprang his information on the
      Commission by surprise, none of the various reports on him having
      ever mentioned the second man.  Mrs. Walther told of a second man
      from the beginning and was totally ignored by the Commission.
         While the testimony indicates the presence of a man {holding} a
      rifle in the southeast-corner sixth-floor window, there is {no}
      evidence that this rifle was {fired} during the assassination.
      Under questioning by Arlen Specter, Amos Euins, a 16-year-old whose
      inarticulateness inhibited the effectiveness with which he conveyed
      his observations, said he saw the Depository gunman fire the second
      shot (2H209).  However, Specter never asked Euins what caused him
      to conclude that the gun he saw had actually discharged, that is,
      that the gunman was not merely performing the {motions} of firing
      that gave the impression of actual discharge when combined with the
      noises of other shots, but was fully pulling the trigger and
      shooting bullets.
         The Report cites the testimony of three employees who were
      positioned on the fifth floor directly below the "assassin's"
      window, one of whom claimed to have heard empty cartridge cases
      hitting the floor above him, with the accompanying noises of a
      rifle bolt (R70).  However, there is nothing about the testimony of
      any of these men to indicate that the {shots} came from {directly}
      above them on the sixth floor.  As Mark Lane points out in "Rush to
      Judgement," the actions of these men subsequent to the shooting
      were not consistent with their believing that any shots came from
      the sixth floor;  one of the men even denied making such a
      statement to the Secret Service[7] (3H194).  The stories of the
      fifth-floor witnesses, if valid, indicate no more than the presence
      of someone on the sixth floor operating the bolt of a rifle and
      ejecting spent shells.
         Howard Brennan was the Commission's star witness among those
      present in the plaza during the assassination.  His testimony is
      cited in many instances, including passages to establish the source
      of the shots and the identity of the "assassin."  Brennan was the
      only person other than Euins who claimed to have seen a gun fired
      from the Depository window (R63).  Yet, in spite of Brennan's
      testimony that he saw the sixth-floor gunman take aim and {fire} a
      last shot, there is reason to believe that the man Brennan saw
      never discharged a firearm.  Brennan was asked the vital questions
      that Euins was spared.

            Mr. McCloy:  Did you see the rifle explode?  Did you see
         the flash of what was either the second or the third shot?
            Mr. Brennan:  No.
            Mr. McCloy:  Could you see that he had discharged the
            Mr. Brennan:  No . . .
            Mr. McCloy:  Yes.  But you saw him aim?
            Mr. Brennan:  Yes.
            Mr. McCloy:  Did you see the rifle discharge, did you see
         the recoil or the flash?
            Mr. Brennan:  No.
            Mr. McCloy:  But you heard the last shot?
            Mr. Brennan:  The report;  yes, sir. (3H154)

      If Brennan looked up at the window as he said, his testimony would
      strongly indicate that he saw a man aim a gun {without firing it}.
      When the Carcano is fired, it emits a small amount of smoke
      (26H811) and manifests a recoil (3H451), as do most rifles.  That
      Brennan failed to see such things upon observing the rifle and
      hearing a shot is cogent evidence that the rifle Brennan saw did
      not fire the shot.
         Thus, the Commission's evidence--taken at face value--indicates
      only that a {gunman} was present at the sixth-floor window, not an
      {assassin}.  This distinction is an important one.  A mere gunman
      (one armed with a gun) cannot be accused of murder;  an assassin is
      one who has committed murder.  A gunman present at the sixth-floor
      window could have served as a decoy to divert attention from real
      shooters at other vantage points.[8]  While we cannot know surely
      just what the man in the sixth-floor window was doing, it is vital
      to note that evidence is entirely lacking that this gunman was, in
      fact, an assassin.
         To the Commission, the gunman was {the} assassin, no questions
      asked. The limitations of the evidence could not be respected when
      the conclusions were prefabricated.   By arbitrarily calling a
      gunman the "assassin," the Commission, in effect, made the charge
      of murder through circumstances, without substantiation.
         As was discussed in chapter 1, the Commission had {no} witness
      identification of the "assassin" worthy of credence.  Of the few
      who observed the gunman, only Brennan made any sort of
      identification, saying both that Lee Harvey Oswald {was} the gunman
      and that he merely {resembled} the gunman.  The Commission rejected
      Brennan's "positive identification" of Oswald, expressed its
      confidence that the man Brennan saw at least looked like Oswald,
      and evaluated Brennan as an "accurate observer" (R145).
         Many critics have challenged the Report's evaluation of Brennan
      as "accurate."[9]  Evidence that I have recently discovered
      indicates that Brennan was not even an "observer," let alone an
      accurate one.
         One of the main indications of Brennan's inaccuracy is his
      description of the gunman's position.  Brennan contended that in
      the six-to-eight-minute-period prior to the motorcade's arrival, he
      saw a man "leave and return to the window `a couple of times.'"
      After hearing the first shot, he glanced up at this Depository
      window and saw this man taking deliberate aim with a rifle (R144).
      The Report immediately begins apologizing for Brennan:

            Although Brennan testified that the man in the window was
         standing when he fired the shots, most probably he was
         either sitting or kneeling. . . .  It is understandable,
         however, for Brennan to have believed that the man with the
         rifle was standing. . . .  Since the window ledges in the
         Depository building are lower than in most buildings [one
         foot high], a person squatting or kneeling exposes more of
         his body than would normally be the case.  From the street,
         this creates the impression that the person is standing.

      The Report's explanation is vitiated by the fact that Brennan
      claimed to have seen the gunman standing {and sitting}.  "At one
      time he came to the window and he sat sideways on the window sill,"
      swore Brennan.  "That was previous to President Kennedy getting
      there.  And I could see practically his whole body, from his hips
      up" (3H144).  Thus, Brennan should have known the difference
      between a man standing and sitting at the window, despite the low
      window sill.  Had the gunman been standing, he would have been
      aiming his rifle through a double thickness of glass, only his legs
      visible to witness Brennan.  Had he assumed a sitting position--on
      the sill or on nearby boxes--he would have had to bend his head
      down {below} his knees to fire the rifle out the window (see
      photographs taken from inside the window, at 22H484-85).
         From November 22 until the time of his Commission testimony,
      Brennan said he was looking at the sixth floor at the time of the
      last shot.  His November 22 affidavit states this explicitly
      (24H203) and it can be inferred from his later interviews.  In
      observing the Depository, Brennan contended that he stopped looking
      at the President's car immediately after the first shot (3H143-44).
      Obviously, then, he could not have seen the impact of the fatal
      bullet on the President's head, which came late, probably last, in
      the sequence of shots.  However, Brennan's observations were
      suddenly augmented when he was interviewed by CBS News in August
      1964 for a coast-to-coast broadcast.  As was aired on September 27,
      1964, Brennan told CBS "The President's head just exploded."[10]
      Unless Brennan lied to either CBS or the federal and local
      authorities, it must now be believed that he saw the sixth-floor
      gunman fire the last shot, then turned his head faster than the
      speeding bullet to have seen the impact of that bullet on the
      President's head, then turned back toward the window with equal
      alacrity so as to have seen the gunman slowly withdraw his weapon
      and marvel at his apparent success.  Unless, of course, Brennan had
      eyes in the back of his head--which is far more credible than any
      aspect of his "witness account."
         Brennan's identification of Oswald as the man he saw (or said he
      saw?) in the sixth-floor window weighed heavily in the Commission's
      "evaluation" of the "evidence."  As was discussed in chapter 1, the
      Commission first rejected Brennan's positive identification in
      discussing the evidence, and subsequently accepted it in drawing
      the conclusion that Oswald was at the window.  Without Brennan,
      there would have been not even the slightest suggestion in any of
      the evidence that Oswald was at the window during the shots.  No
      one else even made a pretense of being able to identify the sixth-
      floor gunman.
         On November 22, 1963, Brennan was unable to identify Oswald as
      the man he saw in the window, but picked Oswald as the person in a
      police line-up who bore the closest resemblance to the gunman.
      Months later, when he appeared before the Commission, Brennan said
      he could have made a positive identification at the November 22

         but did not do so because he felt that the assassination was
         "a Communist activity, and I felt like there hadn't been
         more than one eyewitness, and if it got to be a known fact
         that I was an eyewitness, my family or I, either one, might
         not be safe." (R145)

      The Report continued that, because Brennan had originally failed to
      make a positive identification, the Commission did "not base its
      conclusion concerning the identity of the assassin on Brennan's
      subsequent certain identification of Lee Harvey Oswald as the man
      he saw fire the rifle."  Through the Report, the Commission
      expressed its confidence that "Brennan saw a man in the window who
      closely resembled Lee Harvey Oswald, and that Brennan believes the
      man he saw was in fact . . . Oswald" (R146).
         The Commission accepted Brennan's observations and assurances
      without question.  However, the excuse Brennan offered for not
      originally making a positive identification was falsely and
      deliberately contrived, as the evidence reveals.  As Brennan is
      quoted, he felt that he had been the only eyewitness and feared for
      his family's security should his identity become known.  Contrary
      to this sworn statement, Brennan immediately knew of at least one
      other witness who had seen the sixth-floor gunman.  Secret Service
      Agent Forrest Sorrels spoke with Brennan in Dealey Plaza within
      twenty minutes after the shooting, at which time he asked Brennan
      "if he had seen anyone else, and he pointed to a young colored boy
      there, by the name of Euins" (7H349).  Sorrels testified that
      Brennan also expressed his willingness to identify the gunman.  On
      the afternoon of the assassination, {before} he attended the line-
      up, Brennan filed an affidavit with the police (3H145;  7H349) in
      which he again made it known that he could identify the man if he
      were to see him once more (24H203).  This contradicts Brennan's
      testimony that he could have identified Oswald on November 22 but
      declined to do so for fear of its becoming known.
         Thus, Brennan originally indicated a willingness to identify the
      gunman, saw Oswald in a line-up and declined to make a positive
      identification, and subsequently admitted lying to the police by
      saying that he {could} have made the identification but was afraid
         However, even Brennan's identification of Oswald as the man who
      most closely resembled the gunman is invalid, since prior to the
      line-up, Brennan twice viewed Oswald's picture on television
      (3H148).  Brennan again contradicted himself in speaking of the
      effect that seeing Oswald's picture had on his later identification
      of Oswald.
         On December 17, 1963, Brennan spoke with an FBI Agent to whom he
      confided "that he can now say that he is sure that LEE HARVEY
      OSWALD was the person he saw in the window."  At this time, Brennan
      began offering his many excuses for not having originally made a
      positive identification.  One of these

         was that prior to appearing at the police line-up on
         November 22, 1963, he had observed a picture of OSWALD on
         his television set at home when his daughter asked him to
         watch it.  He said he felt that since he had seen OSWALD on
         television before picking OSWALD out of the line-up at the
         police station that it tended to "cloud" any identification
         of OSWALD at that time. (CD5:15)

      On January 7, 1964, Brennan's "clouded identification" was further
      lessened, for he told another FBI Agent that seeing Oswald's
      picture on television "of course, did not help him retain the
      original impression of the man in the window with the rifle"
      (24H406).  Finally, on March 24, Brennan could no longer tell just
      what seeing Oswald prior to the line-up had done.  On this date,
      Brennan testified before the Commission:

            Mr. Belin:  What is the fact as to whether or not your
         having seen Oswald on television would have affected your
         identification of him one way or the other?
            Mr. Brennan:  That is something I do not know. (3H148)

         As his earlier interviews demonstrate, Brennan "knew" but was
      not saying.  It seems obvious that seeing Oswald's picture on
      television prior to the line-up not only would have "clouded" and
      "not helped" the identification, but would also have prejudiced it.
         The best that can be said of Howard Brennan is that he provided
      a dishonest account that warrants not the slightest credence.  He
      contradicted himself on many crucial points to such a degree that
      it is hard to believe that his untruths were unintentional.  He was
      warmly welcomed by the unquestioning Commission as he constantly
      changed his story in support of the theory that Oswald was guilty.
      This man, so fearful of exposure as to "lie" to the police and
      possibly hinder justice, consented to talk with CBS News for a
      coast-to-coast broadcast {before} the Warren Report was
      released,[11] and allowed himself to be photographed for the
      October 2, 1964, issue of "Life" magazine, where he was called by
      Commissioner Ford "the most important witness to appear before the
      Warren Commission."[12]  His identification of Oswald, incredible
      as it was through each of his different versions of it, was
      worthless, if for no other reason than that he saw Oswald on
      television prior to the police line-up.
         Through twenty pages of repetitious testimony, Howard Brennan
      rambled on about the man he saw and who he looked like,
      interjecting apologies, and inaccurately marking various pictures.
      The Commission could not get enough of Brennan's words, for he
      spoke the official language:  "Oswald did it."  Yet, when Brennan
      offered one meaningful and determinative fact, he was suddenly
      shown the door.  Commission Counsel David Belin had been showing
      Brennan some of Oswald's clothing when Brennan interjected:

            Mr. Brennan:  And that was another thing that I called
         their [the police's] attention to at the lineup.
            Mr. Belin:  What do you mean by that?
            Mr. Brennan:  That he [Oswald] was not dressed in the
         same clothes that I saw the man in the window.
            Mr. Belin:  You mean with reference to the trousers or
         the shirt?
            Mr. Brennan:  Well, not particularly either. In other
         words, he just didn't have the same clothes on.
            Mr. Belin:  All right.
            Mr. Brennan:  I don't know whether you have that in the
         record or not.  I am sure you do.
            Mr. Dulles:  Any further questions?  I guess there are no
         more questions, Mr. Belin.
            Mr. Belin:  Well, sir, we want to thank you for your
         cooperation with the Commission.
            Mr. Dulles:  Thank you very much for coming here.

         The Commission had no witness-identification-by-appearance that
      placed Oswald in the window at the time of the shots.  No one,
      including Brennan, could identify the sixth-floor gunman.  However,
      Brennan's statement that the gunman wore clothes different from
      those that Oswald wore on that day might indicate the presence of
      someone other than Oswald in the window.
         If there is anything consistent in the testimonies of those who
      observed a man on the sixth floor, it is the clothing descriptions.
      Rowland recalled that the man wore "a very light-colored shirt,
      white or a light blue . . . open at the collar . . . unbuttoned
      about halfway" with a "regular T-shirt, a polo shirt" underneath
      (2H171).  Brennan described light-colored, possibly khaki clothes
      (3H145).  Ronald Fisher and Bob Edwards described "an open-neck . .
      . sport shirt or a T-shirt . . . light in color;  probably white"
      (6H194), and a "light colored shirt, short sleeve and open neck"
      (6H203), respectively.  Mrs. Carolyn Walther saw a gunman "wearing
      a white shirt" (24H522).
         In each case, these witnesses have described a shirt completely
      different from that worn by Oswald on November 22.  That day Oswald
      wore a long-sleeved rust-brown shirt open at the neck with a polo
      shirt underneath.  At least two witnesses described such attire on
      Oswald {before} he went to his rooming house within a half hour
      after the shots (see 2H250;  3H257), and a third provided a similar
      but less-complete description (R159).  From the time of his arrest
      until sometime after midnight that Friday, Oswald was still wearing
      this shirt, as is shown in many widely printed photographs.[13]
      Although it seems likely that he wore the same shirt all day long,
      Oswald told police he changed his shirt during a stop at his
      rooming house at 1:00 P.M. that afternoon, having originally been
      wearing a red long-sleeved buttondown (see R605, 613, 622, 626).
      However, Oswald did not possess a shirt of this description (see
      CEs 150-64).
         The Commission never sought to determine if Oswald had worn the
      same shirt continually that day or if he had changed prior to his
      arrest.  Apparently it was not going to risk the implications of
      Brennan's testimony that the clothing worn by Oswald in the line-up
      (Oswald wore the rust-brown shirt during the line-ups on November
      22 [7H127-29, 169-70]) differed from that of the sixth-floor
      gunman.  Indeed, when shown the shirt in question, CE 150, Brennan
      said the gunman's shirt was lighter (3H161).
         The testimony of Marrion Baker, a police officer who encountered
      Oswald right after the shots, is somewhat illuminating on this
      point.  When Baker later saw Oswald in the homicide office at
      police headquarters, "he looked like he did not have the same
      [clothes] on" (3H263). However, the reason for Baker's confusion
      (and Baker was not nearly so positive about the disparity as was
      Brennan) was that the shirt Oswald wore when seen in the Depository
      was "a little bit {darker}" than the one he had on at the police
      station (3H257;  emphasis added).
         The crux of the matter is whether Oswald was wearing his rust-
      brown shirt all day November 22, or if he changed into it
      subsequent to the assassination.  While there is testimony
      indicating that he wore the same shirt all along, the nature of the
      existing evidence does not permit a positive determination.  Had
      Oswald been wearing CE 150 at the time of the shots, it would seem
      that he was not the sixth-floor gunman, who wore a white or very
      light shirt, probably short sleeved.  While it can be argued that
      Oswald may have appeared at the window in only his white polo
      shirt, he was seen within 90 seconds after the shots wearing the
      brown shirt.[14]  As will be discussed in the next chapter, there
      was not enough time, had Oswald been at the window, for him to have
      put on his shirt within the 90-second limit.
         The Commission had no evidence in any form that Oswald was at
      the sixth-floor window during the shots;  its only reliable
      evidence placed Oswald on the first floor shortly before this time.
      The Commission concluded that Oswald was at this window because it
      wanted, indeed needed, to have him there.  To do this, it put false
      meaning into the meaningless--the fingerprint evidence and Givens's
      story--and believed the incredible--Brennan's testimony.  Through
      its General Counsel, it suppressed the exculpatory evidence, and
      claimed to know of no evidence placing Oswald in a location other
      than the sixth floor when its {only} evidence did exactly that.
      The conclusion that Oswald was at the window is simply without
      foundation.  It demands only the presumption of Oswald's guilt for
      acceptance.  It cannot stand under the weight of the evidence.


 [1] It was Sylvia Meagher who brought the shortcomings of Givens's
     story to light in her book, pp. 64-69.
       Since her initial disclosure in 1967, Mrs. Meagher has discovered
     several unpublished documents in the National Archives that leave
     little doubt that Givens's story of seeing Oswald on the sixth
     floor {was} fabricated and that staff lawyer David Belin knew this
     when he took Givens's testimony.  The documents tell a shocking
     story, which Mrs. Meagher incorporated in an impressive article
     published in the "Texas Observer," August 13, 1971.
       When Givens was interviewed by the FBI on the day of the
     assassination, he not only failed to mention having seen Oswald on
     the sixth floor, but he actually said he saw Oswald on the {first}
     floor at 11:50, reading a newspaper in the domino room (CD 5,
     p. 329).  On February 13, 1964, Police Lt. Jack Revill told the FBI
     "he believes that Givens would change his story for money" (CD 735,
     p. 296).  A lengthy memorandum by Joseph Ball and David Belin dated
     February 25, 1964, acknowledges that Givens originally reported
     seeing Oswald on the first floor reading a paper at 11:50 on the
     morning of November 22 (p. 105).  On April 8, 1964, Givens
     testified for Belin in Dallas and said for the first time that he
     saw Oswald on the sixth floor at 11:55 when he returned for his
     cigarettes (Givens had never before said that he returned to the
     sixth floor) (See 6H346-56).  Belin twice asked Givens if he ever
     told anyone that he "saw Lee Oswald reading a newspaper in the
     domino room around 11:50 . . . that morning?"  On both occasions,
     Givens denied ever making such a statement (6H352, 354).  Finally,
     on June 3, 1964, when the FBI reinterviewed him, Givens "said he
     {now} recalls he returned to the sixth floor at about 11:45 A.M. to
     get his cigarettes . . . [and] it was at this time he saw Lee
     Harvey Oswald" (CD 1245, p. 182;  emphasis added).
       Belin apparently found nothing unusual in Givens's failure to
     mention the sixth-floor encounter until he testified in April 1964,
     contradicting a previous statement that he denied making.  Givens's
     denial does not prove he actually never made his early statement,
     although for Belin the pro forma denial was sufficient, despite the
     caution of Lt. Revill that Givens would change his story for money.
     The Report (R143) mentions only the later Givens story and says
     nothing of the original version.  This is consistent with the
     constant suppression of evidence exculpatory of Oswald.

 [2] Letter from J. Lee Rankin to J. Edgar Hoover, dated March 16, 1964,
     in the "Reading File of Outgoing Letters and Internal Memoranda."
       This letter was based on a request for additional investigation
     by staff lawyers Ball and Belin.  In their lengthy "Report #1,"
     dated February 25, 1964, they suggested that "everyone who had a
     reason to be in" the Depository on November 22, 1963, be
     interviewed.  "Each of these persons should be asked:  1) to account
     for his whereabouts at the time the President was shot. . . .  3) if
     he saw Lee Oswald at that time" (p. 125).

 [3] The episode with Jarman and Norman was first brought to light by
     Harold Weisberg in "Whitewash," p. 73.  Sylvia Meagher later
     discussed the issue in more detail in her book, p. 225.

 [4] The Report mentions this incident in a context other than one of
     Oswald's defense.  It assures that Jarman neither saw nor ate with
     Oswald at the times involved (R182).  This in no way disproves the
     validity of Oswald's claim that he saw Jarman, for it would not
     have been unusual for Jarman or any other employee not to have
     noticed Oswald.

 [5] Harold Wesiberg, "Photographic Whitewash," pp. 74-75, 210-11.

 [6] Ibid., p. 74.

 [7] Mark Lane, chap. 6.

 [8] The possibility that the sixth-floor gunman was a decoy was first
     suggested by Sylvia Meagher in her book, p. 9.

 [9] E.G., see Weisberg, "Whitewash," pp. 39-42, and Lane, chap. 5.

[10] "CBS News Extra:  `November 22 and the Warren Report,'" broadcast
     over the CBS Television Network, September 27, 1964, p. 20 of the
     transcript prepared by CBS News.

[11] Ibid.  At page two of the transcript, Walter Cronkite specifies
     that CBS interviewed various witnesses a month before the release of
     the Report.

[12] "Life," October 2, 1964, pp. 42, 47.

[13] E.G., see CEs 1769, 1797, 2964, 2965;  CD 1405 (reproduced in
     "Photographic Whitewash," p. 209);  Curry, pp. 72, 73, 77;  "Life,"
     October 2, 1964, p. 48.

[14] Baker testified to this at 3H257.  In December 1963, Truly, who also
     saw Oswald within 90 seconds after the shots, said that Oswald had
     been wearing "light" clothing {and} a T-shirt (CD 87, Secret Service
     Control No. 491)

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      The Alibi:  Oswald's Actions after the Shots

      The first person to see Oswald after the assassination was Dallas
      Patrolman Marrion Baker, who had been riding a motorcycle behind
      the last camera car in the motorcade.  As he reached a position
      some 60 to 80 feet past the turn from Main Street onto Houston,
      Baker heard the first shot (3H246).  Immediately after the last
      shot, he "revved up that motorcycle" and drove it to a point near a
      signal light on the northwest corner of Elm and Houston (3H247).
      From here Baker ran 45 feet to the main entrance of the Book
      Depository, pushing through people and quickly scanning the area.
      At the main entrance, Baker's shouts for the stairs were
      spontaneously answered by building manager Roy Truly as both men
      continued across the first floor to the northwest corner, where
      Truly hollered up twice for an elevator.  When an elevator failed
      to descend, Truly led Baker up the adjacent steps to the second
      floor.  From the second floor, Truly continued up the steps to the
      third;  Baker, however, did not.  The Report describes the

            On the second floor landing there is a small open area
         with a door at the east end.  This door leads into a small
         vestibule, and another door leads from the vestibule into
         the second-floor lunchroom.  The lunchroom door is usually
         open, but the first door is kept shut by a closing mechanism
         on the door.  This vestibule door is solid except for a
         small glass window in the upper part of the door.  As Baker
         reached the second floor, he was about 20 feet from the
         vestibule door.  He intended to continue around to his left
         toward the stairway going up but through the window in the
         door he caught a fleeting glimpse of a man walking in the
         vestibule toward the lunchroom. (R151)

      Baker ran into the vestibule with his pistol drawn and stopped the
      man, who turned out to be Lee Harvey Oswald.  Truly, realizing that
      Baker was no longer following him, came down to the second floor
      and identified Oswald as one of his employees.  The two men then
      continued up the stairs toward the Depository roof.
         "In an effort to determine whether Oswald could have descended
      to the lunchroom from the sixth floor by the time Baker and Truly
      arrived," the Commission staged a timed reconstruction of events.
      The Commission knew that this encounter in the lunchroom such a
      short time after the shots could have provided Oswald with an
      alibi, thus exculpating him from involvement in the shooting.  The
      reconstruction could not establish whether Oswald was at the
      sixth-floor window;  it could, however, tell whether he was {not}.
      In the interest of determining the truth, it was vital that this
      reenactment be faithfully conducted, simulating the proper actions
      to the most accurate degree possible.
         From beginning to end, the execution of the reconstruction was
      in disregard of the known actions of the participants, stretching-
      -if not by intent, certainly in effect--the time consumed for Baker
      to have arrived on the second floor and shrinking the time for the
      "assassin's" descent.[1]
         To begin with, the reconstruction of Baker's movements started
      at the wrong time.  Baker testified that he revved up his
      motorcycle immediately after the {last} shot (3H247).  However,
      Baker's time was clocked from a simulated {first} shot (3H252).  To
      compare the time of the assassin's descent with that of Baker's
      ascent, the reconstruction obviously had to start after the last
      shot.  Since the time span of the shots was, according to the
      Report, from 4.8 to over 7 seconds, the times obtained for Baker's
      movements are between {4.8 and 7 seconds in excess}.
         Although Baker testified that he was flanking the last "press"
      car in the motorcade (3H245), the record indicates that he was, in
      fact, flanking the last {camera} car--the last of the convertibles
      carrying the various photographers, closer to the front of the
      procession than the vehicles carrying other press representatives.
      Baker said he was some 60 to 80 feet along Houston Street north of
      Main when he heard the first shot (3H246).  Those in the last
      camera car were also in this general location at the time of the
      first shot (Jackson:  2H158;  Couch:  6H156;  Dillard:  6H163-64;
      Underwood:  6H169;).  During the reconstruction, Baker drove his
      motorcycle from his location at the time of the {first} shot a
      distance of 180 to 200 feet to the point in front of the Depository
      at which he dismounted (3H247).  However, since Baker had revved up
      his cycle immediately after the {last} shot on November 22, the
      distance he traveled in the reenactment was entirely too long.
      Since the motorcade advanced about 116 feet during the time span of
      the shots, the distance Baker should have driven in the
      reconstruction was no greater than 84 feet (200 - 116 = 84).  This
      would have placed Baker near the intersection of Elm and Houston at
      the time he revved up his cycle, not 180 feet from it as was
      reconstructed.  Likewise, the men in the last camera car recalled
      being in proximity to the intersection at the time of the last shot
      (Underwood:  6H169;  Couch:  6H158;  Jackson:  2H159).
         With 116 feet extra to travel in a corresponding added time of
      4.8 to 7 seconds, Baker was able to reach the front entrance of the
      Depository in only 15 seconds during the reconstruction (7H593).
      Had the reenactment properly started at the time of the last shot,
      it follows that Baker could have reached the main entrance in 8 to
      10 seconds.  Did Baker actually consume so little time in getting
      to the Depository on November 22?
         The Commission made no effort to answer this question, leaving
      an incomplete and unreliable record.  Billy Lovelady, Bill Shelley,
      Joe Molina, and several other employees were standing on the steps
      of the Depository's main entrance during the assassination.
      Lovelady and Shelley testified that another employee, Gloria
      Calvery, ran up to them and stated that the President had been
      shot;  the three of them began to run west toward the parking lot,
      at which time they saw Truly and a police officer run into the
      Depository (6H329-31, 339).  This story is contradicted by Molina,
      who contended that Truly (he did not notice Baker) ran into the
      main entrance before Gloria Calvery arrived (6H372).  Mrs. Calvery
      was not called to testify, and the one statement by her to the FBI
      does not address this issue.  From her position just east of the
      Stemmons Freeway sign on the north side of Elm (22H638), it does
      not seem likely that she could have made the 150-foot run to the
      main entrance in only 15 seconds.  Yet, adding to this confusion is
      an affidavit that Shelly executed for the Dallas Police on November
      22, 1963.  Here he stated that {he} ran down to the "park" on Elm
      Street and met Gloria Calvery {there} (24H226).  Obviously, the
      issue cannot be resolved through these witnesses.
         While Molina felt that Truly ran into the Depository some 20 to
      30 seconds after the shots (6H372), Lovelady and Shelley estimated
      that as much as three minutes had elapsed (6H329, 339).  When
      Counsel Joe Ball cautioned Lovelady that "three minutes is a long
      time," Lovelady partially retracted because he did not have a watch
      then and could not be exact (6H339).  Supporting Molina's estimate,
      Roy Truly told the Secret Service in December 1963 that Baker made
      his way to the front entrance "almost immediately" (CD87, Secret
      Service Control No. 491);  almost a year later Truly said on a CBS
      News Special that Baker's arrival "was just a matter of seconds
      after the third shot."[2]
         I was able to resolve the issue concerning Baker's arrival at
      the Depository through evidence strangely absent from the
      Commission's record.  Malcolm Couch, riding in the last camera car
      (Camera Car 3), took some very important motion-picture footage
      immediately after the shots.  Couch, whose car was almost at the
      intersection of Elm and Houston when the last shot sounded,
      immediately picked up his camera, made the proper adjustments, and
      began filming (6H158).  Others in Camera Car 3 related how their
      car came to a stop or hesitated in the middle of the turn into Elm
      to let some of the photographers out (2H162;  6H165, 169).  Couch's
      film begins slightly before the stop, just as the car was making
      the turn (6H158).  From Couch's testimony and the scenes depicted
      in his film, in addition to the testimony of others in the same
      car, it can be determined that Couch began filming no more than 10
      seconds after the last shot.[3]
         The first portion of the Couch film depicts the crowds
      dispersing along the island at the northwest corner of Elm and
      Houston.  The camera pans in a westerly direction as the grassy
      knoll and Elm Street come into view.  In these beginning sequences,
      a motorcycle is visible, parked next to the north curb of Elm, very
      slightly west of a traffic light at the head of the island.  Baker
      testified that he parked his cycle 10 feet {east} of this signal
      light (3H247-48).  The position of the motorcycle in the Couch film
      is not in great conflict with the position at which Baker recalled
      having dismounted;  it is doubtful that Baker paid much attention
      to the exact position of his motorcycle in those confused moments.
      It would appear that this cycle, identical with the others driven
      in the motorcade, {must} have been Baker's, for it is not visible
      in any photographs taken {during} the shots, including footage of
      that area by David Weigman,[4] and no other motorcycle officer
      arrived at that location in so short a time after the shots.  No
      policeman appears on or around the cycle depicted in the Couch
         Thus, photographic evidence known to, but never sought by, the
      Commission proves that Officer Baker had parked and dismounted his
      motorcycle {within 10 seconds after the shots}.  Corroborative
      evidence is found in the testimony of Bob Jackson, also riding in
      Camera Car 3.  Jackson told the Commission that after the last
      shot, as his car hesitated through the turn into Elm, he saw a
      policeman run up the Depository steps, toward the front door
      (2H164).  This is entirely consistent with Baker's abandoned
      motorcycle's appearing at this same time in the Couch film.
         During the Baker-Truly reconstructions, Baker reached the second
      floor in one minute and 30 seconds on the first attempt and one
      minute, 15 seconds on the second (3H252).  Since Baker's simulated
      movements up to the time he reached the main entrance consumed 15
      seconds (7H593), the actions subsequent to that must have been
      reenacted in a span of one minute to about 75 seconds.  However,
      since Baker actually reached the main entrance within 10 seconds on
      November 22, the reconstructed time is cut by at least five
      seconds.  Further reductions are in order.
         Officer Baker described the manner in which he simulated his
      movements subsequent to dismounting his motorcycle:

            From the time I got off the motorcycle we walked the
         first time and then we kind of run the second time from the
         motorcycle on into the building. (3H253)

      Baker neither walked nor "kind of" ran to the Depository entrance
      on November 22.  From his own description, he surveyed the scene as
      he was parking his cycle, and then "{ran} straight to" the main
      entrance (3H248-249).  Billy Lovelady also swore that Baker was
      {running} (6H339).  However, Truly provided the most graphic
      description of Baker's apparent "mad dash" to the building:

         I saw a young motorcycle policeman {run} up to the building,
         up the steps to the entrance of our building.  He {ran}
         right by me.  And he was pushing people out of the way.  He
         pushed a number of people out of the way before he got to
         me.  I saw him coming through, I believe.  As he {ran} up
         the stairway--I mean up the steps, I was almost to the
         steps, and I {ran} up and caught up with him.  (3H221;
         emphasis added)

         Thus, walking through this part of the reconstruction was, as
      Harold Weisberg aptly termed it, pure fakery, unnecessarily and
      unfaithfully burdening Baker's time.[5]  The Report, on the other
      hand, assures us that the time on November 22 would actually have
      been {longer}, because "no allowance was made for the special
      conditions which existed on the day of the assassination--possible
      delayed reaction to the shot, jostling with the crowd of people on
      the steps and scanning the area along Elm Street and the Parkway"
      (R152-53).  Had the Commission directed any significant effort to
      obtaining as many contemporaneous pictures as possible--including
      those taken by Couch--it could not have engaged in such excuse-
      making.  Even at that, how could the Commission dare go to all the
      efforts of staging a reconstruction and then admit--to its own
      advantage--that it deliberately failed to simulate actions?  As was
      discussed in chapter 1, this child's play was inexcusable as an
      effort bearing such weight in deciding Oswald's guilt.  The Couch
      film eliminates the possibility that the factors mentioned in the
      Report could have slowed Baker down.  As for "jostling with the
      crowd of people on the steps," the Report neglected to mention
      other disproof of this as a slowing factor.  As Truly testified,

         when the officer and I ran in, we were shouldering people
         aside in front of the building, so we possibly were slowed a
         little bit more coming in than we were when he and I came in
         on March 20 (date of the reconstruction).  {I don't believe
         so.  But it wouldn't be enough to matter there}.  (3H228;
         emphasis added)

         Once in the building during the reconstruction, the two men
      proceded [sic] to the elevators "at a kind of trot . . . it wasn't
      a real fast run, an open run.  It was more of a trot, kind of"
      (3H253).  This, again, was not an accurate simulation of the real
      actions.  While Truly admitted that the reconstruction pace across
      the first floor was "about" the same as that of November 22, he
      described the former as a trot and the latter as "a little more
      than a trot" (3H228).  Baker himself said that once through the
      door, he and Truly "kind of ran, not real fast but, you know, {a
      good trot}" (3H249), not the "kind of trot" he described during the
      reconstruction.  A swinging door at the end of the lobby in the
      main entrance was jammed because the bolt had been stuck.
      Apparently, the pace on November 22 was of sufficient speed for
      Truly to bang right into this door and Baker to subsequently
      collide with Truly in the instant before the door was forced open
      (3H222).  Likewise, Eddie Piper, a first-floor witness, had seen
      the two men {run} into the building, yell up for an elevator, and
      "take off" up the stairs (6H385).
         In walking through part of the reconstruction, which should have
      been conducted running and was begun at least five seconds early,
      Baker and Truly managed to arrive on the second floor in one
      minute, 30 seconds.  In the reconstruction, equally begun too early
      but staged at a pace closer to, though not simulating that of
      November 22, the time narrowed to a minute and 15 seconds.  While
      Baker and Truly felt that the reconstructed times were minimums
      (3H228, 253), it would seem that the opposite was true.
      Subtracting the extra seconds tacked on by including the time span
      of the shots reduces even the maximum time to one minute, 25
      seconds.  The understandably hurried pace of November 22 as
      manifested in all the evidence would indicate that Truly and Baker
      reached the second floor in under 85 seconds, and the Couch film
      introduces the possibility that it may have taken as little as 70
      seconds, since Baker parked and abandoned his motorcycle within ten
      seconds of the last shot.
         The second part of the reconstruction was supposed to have
      simulated the "assassin's" movements from the sixth-floor window
      down to the second-floor lunchroom.  Here the figurative lead
      weights tied to Baker and Truly during the reconstruction of their
      movements are exchanged for figurative roller skates, to shorten
      the time of the "assassin's" descent.
         Secret Service Agent John Howlett stood in for the "assassin."
      He executed an affidavit for the Commission in which he described
      his actions:

         I carried a rifle from the southeast corner of the sixth
         floor northernly along the east aisle to the northern
         corner, then westernly [{sic}] along the north wall past the
         elevators to the northwest corner.  There I placed the rifle
         on the floor.  I then entered the stairwell, walked down the
         stairway to the second floor landing, and then into the
         lunchroom. (7H592)

      This test was done twice.  At a "normal walk" it took one minute
      and 18 seconds;  at a "fast walk," one minute, 14 seconds (3H254).
      This reconstruction also suffered from most serious
         The "assassin" could not just have walked away from his window
      as Howlett apparently did.  If the gunman fired the last shot from
      the Carcano as the official theory demands, a minimum time of 2.3
      seconds after the last shot must be added to the reconstructed time
      since the cartridge case from that shot had to be ejected--an
      operation that involves working the rifle bolt.  Furthermore,
      witnesses recalled that the gunman had been in no hurry to leave
      his window (2H159;  3H144).
         There were also physical obstructions that prevented immediate
      evacuation of the area.  Commission Exhibit 734 shows that some
      stacks of boxes nearest to the "assassin's" window did not extend
      far enough toward the east wall of the building to have blocked off
      the window there completely.  However, as Commission Exhibits 723
      and 726 clearly show, other columns of boxes were situated behind
      the first stacks;  these formed a wall that had no openings large
      enough for a man to penetrate without contortion.  Deputy Sheriff
      Luke Mooney discovered three cartridge cases by this window.  He
      had to squeeze "between these two stacks of boxes, I had to turn
      myself sideways to get in there" (3H285).  The gunman would have
      had to squeeze through these stacks of boxes while carrying a 40-
      inch, 8-pound rifle.  Considering these details, we must add at
      least six or seven seconds to the Commission's time to allow for
      the various necessary factors that would slow departure from the
         To simulate the hiding of the rifle, Howlett "leaned over as if
      he were putting a rifle there [near the stair landing at the
      northwest corner of the sixth floor]" (3H253).  The Commission did
      not do justice to its putative assassin who, as the photographs
      reveal, took meticulous care in concealing his weapon.  The mere
      act of gaining access to the immediate area in which the rifle was
      hidden required time.  This is what Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone
      went through before he discovered the rifle:

            As I got to the west wall, there were a row of windows
         there, and a slight space between some boxes and the wall.
         I squeezed through them. . . .  I caught a glimpse of the
         rifle, stuffed down between two rows of boxes with another
         box or so pulled over the top of it. (3H293)

      Luke Mooney "had to get around to the right angle" before he could
      see the rifle (3H298).  Likewise, Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman
      reported that "it was covered with boxes.  It was very well
      protected as far as the naked eye" (7H107).  Another Deputy
      Sheriff, Roger Craig, recalled that the ends of the rows between
      which the rifle had been pushed were closed off by boxes, so that
      one could not see through them (6H269).
         Photographs of the area in which the rifle was found (e.g., CE
      719), and a bird's-eye view of the hidden rifle itself (e.g., CE
      517), corroborate what these men have described and add other
      information.  CE 719 shows that the rifle was found amid clusters
      of boxes that did not permit easy access.  CE 517, in particular,
      is very revealing.  It shows that the rifle had been pushed upright
      on its side between two rows of boxes that partially overlapped on
      top, thus eliminating the possibility that the rifle had merely
      been dropped down between the stacks.  CE 517 also demonstrates
      that both ends of the rows of boxes were partially sealed off by
      other boxes, indicating a possibility never pursued by the
      Commission--namely, that boxes had to be moved to gain access to
      the weapon.  When interviewed by CBS News, Seymour Weitzman
      inadvertently admitted this fact:

            I'll be very frank with you.  I stumbled over it two
         times, not knowing it was there. . . .  And Mr. Bone [sic]
         was climbing on top, and I was down on my knees looking, and
         {I moved a box, and he moved a carton, and there it was}.
         And he in turn hollered that we had found a rifle.[6]

         Hence, the concealment of the rifle required much maneuvering.
      In addition to squeezing in between boxes, the gunman had to move
      certain cartons filled with books.  The rifle itself had been very
      carefully placed in position.  Doubtless this would have added {at
      least} 15, perhaps 20, seconds to the reconstructed time {even if
      the hiding place had been chosen in advance} (of which there is no
      evidence either way).
         If we take the Commission's minimum time of one minute, 14
      seconds (giving the advantage to the official story) and add the
      additional six or seven seconds needed just to evacuate the
      immediate area of the window, plus the 15 to 20 seconds more for
      hiding the rifle, we find that it would have taken {at least} a
      minute and 35 seconds to a minute and 41 seconds for a sixth-floor
      gunman to have reached the second-floor lunchroom, {had all his
      maneuvers been planned in advance}.  Had Oswald been the assassin,
      he would have arrived in the lunchroom {at least} five to eleven
      seconds {after} Baker reached the second floor, even if Baker took
      the {longest} time obtainable for his ascent--a minute, 30 seconds.
      Had Baker ascended in 70 seconds--as he easily could have--he would
      have arrived at least 25 seconds before Oswald.  Either case
      removes the possibility that Oswald descended from the sixth floor,
      for on November 22 he had unquestionably arrived in the lunchroom
      {before} Baker.
         The circumstances surrounding the lunchroom encounter indicate
      that Oswald entered the lunchroom {not} by the vestibule door from
      without, as he would have had he descended from the sixth floor,
      but through a hallway leading into the vestibule.  The outer
      vestibule door is closed automatically by a closing mechanism on
      the door (7H591).  When Truly arrived on the second floor, he did
      not see Oswald entering the vestibule (R151).  For the Commission's
      case to be valid, Oswald must have entered the vestibule through
      the first door before Truly arrived.  Baker reached the second
      floor immediately after Truly and caught a fleeting glimpse of
      Oswald in the vestibule through a small window in the outer door.
      Although Baker said the vestibule door "might have been, you know,
      closing and almost shut at that time" (3H255), it is dubious that
      he could have distinguished whether the door was fully or "almost"
         Baker's and Truly's observations are not at all consistent with
      Oswald's having entered the vestibule through the first door.  Had
      Oswald done this, he could have been inside the lunchroom well
      before the automatic mechanism closed the vestibule door.  Truly's
      testimony that he saw no one entering the vestibule indicates
      either that Oswald was already in the vestibule at this time or was
      approaching it from another source.  However, had Oswald already
      entered the vestibule when Truly arrived on the second floor, it is
      doubtful that he would have remained there long enough for Baker to
      see him seconds later.  Likewise, the fact that neither man saw the
      mechanically closed door in motion is cogent evidence that Oswald
      did not enter the vestibule through that door.
         One of the crucial aspects of Baker's story is his position at
      the time he caught a "fleeting glimpse" of a man in the vestibule.
      Baker marked this position during his testimony as having been
      immediately adjacent to the stairs at the northwest corner of the
      building (3H256;  CE 497).  "I was just stepping out on to the
      second floor when I caught this glimpse of this man through this
      doorway," said Baker.
         It should be noted that the Report never mentions Baker's
      position at the time he saw Oswald in the {vestibule} (R149-51).
      Instead, it prints a floor plan of the second floor and notes
      Baker's position "when he observed Oswald in {lunchroom}" (R150).
      This location, as indicated in the Report, was immediately outside
      the vestibule door (see CE 1118).  The reader of the Report is left
      with the impression that Baker saw Oswald in the vestibule as well
      from this position.  However, Baker testified explicitly that he
      first caught a glimpse of the man in the vestibule from the stairs
      and, upon running to the vestibule door, saw Oswald in the
      lunchroom (3H256).  The Report's failure to point out Baker's
      position is significant.
         Had Oswald descended from the sixth floor, his path through the
      vestibule into the lunchroom would have been confined to the north
      wall of the vestibule.  Yet the line of sight from Baker's position
      at the steps does not include any area near the north wall.  From
      the steps, Baker could have seen only one area in the vestibule--
      the southeast portion.  The only way Oswald could have been in this
      area on his way to the lunchroom is if he entered the vestibule
      through the southernmost door, as the previously cited testimony
      indicates he did.
         Oswald could not have entered the vestibule in this manner had
      he just descended from the sixth floor.  The only way he could have
      gotten to the southern door is from the first floor up through
      either a large office space or an adjacent corridor.  As the Report
      concedes, Oswald told police he had eaten his lunch on the first
      floor and gone up to the second to purchase a coke when he
      encountered an officer (R182).
         Thus, Oswald had an alibi.  Had he been the sixth-floor gunman,
      he would have arrived at the lunchroom {at least} 5 seconds {after}
      Baker did, probably more.  It is extremely doubtful that he could
      have entered the vestibule through the first door without Baker's
      or Truly's having seen the door in motion.  Oswald's position in
      the vestibule when seen by Baker was consistent only with his
      having come up from the first floor as he told the police.
         Oswald {could not} have been the assassin.
         The Commission had great difficulty with facts, for none
      supported the ultimate conclusions.  Instead, it found comfort and
      security in intangibles that usually had no bearing on the actual
      evidence.  Amateur psychology seems to have been one of the
      Commission's favorite sciences, approached with the predisposition
      that Oswald was a murderer.  This was manifested in the Report's
      lengthy chapter, "Lee Harvey Oswald:  Background and Possible
      Motives" (R375-424).
         To lend credibility to its otherwise incredible conclusion that
      Oswald was the assassin, the Commission accused Oswald of yet
      another assassination attempt--a shot fired at right-wing Maj. Gen.
      Edwin Walker on April 10, 1963 (R183-87).  Thus, Oswald officially
      was not a newcomer to the "game" of political assassination.
      Although I am not in accord with the conclusion that Oswald shot at
      Walker, I find it illuminating that the Commission did not follow
      its inclination for psychology in its comparison of Oswald as the
      Walker assailant to Oswald as the Kennedy assailant.
         Having just torn open the head of the President of the United
      States, as the Commission asserts, how did Oswald react when
      stopped by a policeman with a drawn gun?  Roy Truly was first asked
      about Oswald's reaction to the encounter with Baker:

            Mr. Belin:  Did you see any expression on his face?  Or
         weren't you paying attention?
            Mr. Truly:  He didn't seem to be excited or overly afraid
         or anything.  He might have been a little startled, like I
         might have been if someone confronted me.  But I cannot
         recall any change in expression of any kind on his face.

      Officer Baker was more explicit under similar questioning:

            Rep. Boggs:  When you saw him [Oswald] . . ., was he out
         of breath, did he appear to have been running or what?
            Mr. Baker:  It didn't appear that to me. He appeared
         normal you know.
            Rep. Boggs:  Was he calm and collected?
            Mr. Baker:  Yes, sir.  He never did say a word or
         nothing.  In fact, he didn't change his expression one bit.
            Mr. Belin:  Did he flinch in anyway when you put the gun
         up . . .?
            Mr. Baker:  No, sir. (3H252)

            Sen. Cooper:  He did not show any evidence of any
            Mr. Baker:  No, sir. (3H263)

      This "calm and collected" "assassin" proceeded to buy himself a
      coke and at his normal "very slow pace," was then observed by
      Depository employee Mrs. Robert Reid walking through the office
      space on the second floor on his way down to the first floor
      (3H279).  Presumably he finished his coke on the first floor.
      Documents in the Commission's files (but omitted from the Report,
      which assumes Oswald made an immediate get-away) indicate very
      strongly that, at the main entrance after the shots, Oswald
      directed two newsmen to the Depository phones (CD354).
         According to the evidence credited by the Commission, Oswald was
      not such a cool cucumber after his first assassination attempt.
      Here the source of the Commission's information was Oswald's wife,
      Marina, and his once close "friends," George and Jeanne De
      Mohrenschildt.  The incident in question is described in the Report
      as follows:

            The De Mohrenschildts came to Oswald's apartment on Neely
         Street for the first time on the evening of April 13, 1963
         (three days after the Walker incident), apparently to bring
         an Easter gift for the Oswald child.  Mrs. De Mohrenschildt
         then told her husband, in the presence of the Oswalds, that
         there was a rifle in the closet.  Mrs. De Mohrenschildt
         testified that "George, of course, with his sense of humor-
         -Walker was shot at a few days ago, within that time.  He
         said, `Did you take a pot shot at Walker by any chance?'"
         At that point, Mr. De Mohrenschildt testified, Oswald "sort
         of shriveled, you see, when I asked this question . . . made
         a peculiar face . . . (and) changed the expression on his
         face" and remarked that he did target-shooting.  Marina
         Oswald testified that the De Mohrenschildts came to visit a
         few days after the Walker incident and that when De
         Mohrenschildt made his reference to Oswald's possibly
         shooting at Walker, Oswald's "face changed, . . . he almost
         became speechless."  According to the De Mohrenschildts, Mr.
         De Mohrenschildt's remark was intended as a joke, and he had
         no knowledge of Oswald's involvement in the attack on
         Walker.  Nonetheless, the remark appears to have created an
         uncomfortable silence, and the De Mohrenschildts left "very
         soon afterwards." (R282-83)

      De Mohrenschildt further testified that his "joking" remark "had an
      effect on" Oswald, making him "very, very uncomfortable" (9H249-
      50).  In another section, the Report adds that Oswald "was visibly
      shaken" by the remark (R274).
         The Commission certainly chose a paradoxical assassin.  We are
      asked to believe, according to the Commission, that Oswald was
      guilty of attacking both Walker and Kennedy.  Yet, this man who
      officially became markedly upset when jokingly confronted with his
      attempt to kill Walker did not even flinch when a policeman put a
      gun to his stomach immediately after he murdered the President!
         The Commission begged for the charge of being ludicrous in
      drawing its conclusions relevant to Oswald and the assassination;
      it insulted common sense and intelligence when it asked that those
      conclusions be accepted and believed.


 [1] The first critical analysis of these reconstructions appeared in
     "Whitewash," pp. 36-38.

 [2] "CBS News Extra:  `November 22 and the Warren Report,'" p. 28.

 [3] To my knowledge, the Couch film is not commercially available.  I
     was fortunately able to obtain numerous stills made from
     individual frames of a copy of the Couch film, which was
     originally obtained from the Dallas television station for which
     Couch worked.  Due to the legalities involved, these pictures can
     not be reproduced here.

 [4] I obtained numerous frames from the Weigman film in the same manner
     as described above.  These can not be reproduced either.

 [5] Weisberg, "Whitewash," p. 37.

 [6] "CBS News Inquiry:  `The Warren Report,'" Part I, p. 9.

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


      Oswald's Rifle Capability

      The lunchroom encounter was Oswald's alibi;  it proved that he
      {could not} have been at the sixth-floor window during the shots.
      The Warren Commission falsely pronounced Oswald the assassin.  In
      so doing, it alleged that Oswald had the proficiency with his rifle
      to have fired the assassination shots.  Obviously, in light of the
      evidence that proves Oswald innocent, his rifle capability has no
      legitimate bearing on the question of his involvement in the
      shooting.  In this chapter I will examine the Commission's handling
      of the evidence related to Oswald's rifle capability.  It will be
      demonstrated that the Commission consistently misrepresented the
      record in an effort to make feasible the assertion that Oswald was
      the assassin.[1]
         The first consideration germane to this topic is the nature of
      the shots, assuming theoretically that all originated from the
      sixth-floor window by a gunman using the Mannlicher-Carcano.  For
      such a rifleman, "the shots were at a slow-moving target proceeding
      on a downgrade in virtually a straight line with the alignment of
      the assassin's rifle, at a range of 177 to 266 feet" (R189).
      According to the Commission, three shots were fired, the first and
      last strikes occurring within a span of 4.8 to 5.6 seconds;  one
      shot allegedly missed, although the Commission did not decide
      whether it was the first, second, or third.  While the current
      analysis ignores evidence of more than three shots from more than
      one location, I can make only a limited departure from reality in
      working under the Commission's postulations.  My analysis of the
      wounds proved beyond doubt that the President and the Governor were
      wounded nonfatally by two separate bullets.  This demands, in line
      with the Commission's three-shot-theory, that all shots hit in the
      car.  The Zapruder film reveals that the first two hits occurred
      within a very brief time, probably shorter than the very minimum
      time needed to fire two successive shots with the Carcano, 2.3 to 3
      seconds.  The fatal shot came about four seconds after the one that
      wounded Connally.
         The Report repeatedly characterizes the shots as "very easy" and
      "easy."  However, the experts who made these evaluations for the
      Commission did not consider two essential factors that cannot be
      excluded from any hypothesizing:  1) the President was a living,
      moving target, and 2) the shots had to be fired in a very short
      period of time.  First quoted in the Report is FBI ballistics
      expert Frazier:

            From my own experience in shooting over the years, when
         you shoot at 175 feet or 260 feet, which is less than 100
         yards, with a telescopic sight, you should not have any
         difficulty hitting your target. (R190)

      Frazier testified at the New Orleans trial of Clay Shaw, where he
      modified his previous Commission testimony.  How would the added
      consideration of a moving target affect his previous assessment?

         it would be a relatively easy shot, slightly complicated,
         however, if the target were moving at the time, it would
         make it a little more difficult.[2]

         The next "expert" quoted is Marine Sgt. James A. Zahm, who was
      involved in marksmanship training in the Marine Corps:

         Using the scope, rapidly working the bolt and using the
         scope to relocate your target quickly and at the same time
         when you locate that target you identify and the crosshairs
         are in close relationship to the point you want to shoot at,
         it just takes a minor move in aiming to bring the crosshairs
         to bear, and then it is a quick squeeze. (R190)

      Zahm never used the C2766 Carcano;  his comments related to four-
      power scopes in general as aids in rapid shooting with a bolt-
      action rifle.  Another expert, Ronald Simmons, was directly
      involved in tests employing the Carcano.  Although this is not
      reflected in the Report, he told the Commission that, contrary to
      Zahm's generalization of a "minor move" necessary to relocate the
      target in the scope, such a great amount of effort was needed to
      work the rifle bolt that the weapon was actually moved {completely}
      off target (3H449).  There is yet another factor qualifying Zahm's
      evaluation.  This was brought out during Frazier's New Orleans

            Mr. Oser:  . . . when you shoot this rifle . . . can you
         tell us whether or not in rebolting the gun you had to move
         your eye away from the scope?
            Mr. Frazier:  Yes, sir, that was necessary.
            Mr. Oser:  Why was that necessary?
            Mr. Frazier:  To prevent the bolt of the rifle from
         striking me in the face as it came to the rear.[3]

         At best, the Report drastically oversimplified the true nature
      of the shots.  It is true that shots fired at ranges under 100
      yards with a four-power scope are generally easy.  However, the
      assassination shots, in accordance with the Commission's lone-
      assassin theory, were fired in rapid succession (indeed the first
      two would have occurred within the minimum time needed to operate
      the bolt) and at a moving target.  The difficulty of such shots
      becomes apparent when it is considered that operation of the bolt
      would have thrown the weapon off target and caused the firer
      temporarily to move his eye from the sight.
         One is prompted to ask what caliber of shooter would be required
      to commit the assassination alone as described above.  Simulative
      tests conducted by the Commission, while deficient, are quite
         The Commission's test firers were all rated as "Master" by the
      National Rifle Association (NRA);  they were experts whose daily
      routines involved working with and shooting firearms (3H445).  In
      the tests, three targets were set up at 175, 240, and 365 feet
      respectively from a 30-foot-high tower.  Each shooter fired two
      series of three shots, using the C2766 rifle.  The men took 8.25,
      6.75, and 4.60 seconds respectively for the first series and 7.00,
      6.45, and 5.15 for the second (3H446).  In the first series, each
      man hit his first and third targets but missed the second.  Results
      varied on the next series, although in all cases but one, two
      targets were hit.  Thus, in only two cases were the Commission's
      experts able to fire three aimed shots in under 5.6 seconds as
      Oswald allegedly did.  {None} scored three hits, as was demanded of
      a lone assassin on November 22.
         These tests would suggest that three hits within such a short
      time span, if not impossible, would certainly have taxed the
      proficiency of the most skilled marksman.[4]  In his testimony
      before the Commission, Ronald Simmons spoke first of the caliber of
      shooter necessary to have fired the assassination shots on the
      basis that only two hits were achieved:

            Mr. Eisenberg:  Do you think a marksman who is less than
         a highly skilled marksman under those conditions would be
         able to shoot within the range of 1.2 mil aiming error [as
         was done by the experts]?
            Mr. Simmons:  Obviously, considerable experience would
         have to be in one's background to do so.  And with this
         weapon, I think also considerable experience with this
         weapon, because of the amount of effort required to work the
         bolt. (3H449)

            Well, in order to achieve three hits, it would not be
         required that a man be an exceptional shot.  A proficient
         man with this weapon, yes.  But I think with the opportunity
         to use the weapon and to get familiar with it, we could
         probably have the results reproduced by more than one firer.

         Here arises the crucial question:  Was Lee Harvey Oswald a
      "proficient man with this weapon," with "considerable experience"
      in his background?
         While in the Marines between 1956 and 1959, Oswald was twice
      tested for his performance with a rifle.  On a scale of expert-
      sharpshooter-marksman, Oswald scored two points above the minimum
      for sharpshooter on one occasion (December 1956) and only one point
      above the minimum requirement for marksman on another (May 1959)--
      his last recorded score.  Colonel A. G. Folsom evaluated these
      scores for the Commission:

            The Marine Corps consider that any reasonable application
         of the instructions given to Marines should permit them to
         become qualified at least as a marksman.  To become
         qualified as a sharpshooter, the Marine Corps is of the
         opinion that most Marines with a reasonable amount of
         adaptability to weapons firing can become so qualified.
         Consequently, a low marksman qualification indicates a
         rather poor "shot" and a sharpshooter qualification
         indicates a fairly good "shot." (19H17-18)

         There exists the possibility that Oswald's scores were either
      inaccurately or unfairly recorded, thus accounting for his
      obviously mediocre to horrendous performances with a rifle.
      However, there is other information independent of the scores to
      indicate that Oswald was in fact {not} a good shot.  In his
      testimony, Colonel Folsom examined the Marine scorebook that Oswald
      himself had maintained, and elaborated on his previous evaluation:

            Mr. Ely:  I just wonder, after having looked through the
         whole scorebook, if we could fairly say that all that it
         proves is that at this stage of his career he was not a
         particularly outstanding shot.
            Col. Folsom:  No, no, he was not.  His scorebook
         indicates . . . that he did well at one or two ranges in
         order to achieve the two points over the minimum score for
            Mr. Ely:  In other words, he had a good day the day he
         fired for qualification?
            Col. Folsom:  I would say so. (8H311)

      Thus, according to Folsom, Oswald's best recorded score was the
      result of having "a good day";  otherwise, Oswald "was not a
      particularly outstanding shot."
         Folsom was not alone in his evaluation of Oswald as other than a
      good shot.  The following is exerpted [sic] from the testimony of
      Nelson Delgado, one of Oswald's closest associates in the Marines:

            Mr. Liebeler:  Did you fire with Oswald?
            Mr. Delgado:  Right;  I was in the same line.  By that I
         mean we were on the same line together, the same time, but
         not firing at the same position . . . and I remember seeing
         his.  It was a pretty big joke, because he got a lot of
         "maggie's drawers," you know, a lot of misses, but he didn't
         give a darn.
            Mr. Liebeler:  Missed the target completely?
            Mr. Delgado:  He just qualified, that's it.  He wasn't as
         enthusiastic as the rest of us. (8H235)

         The Report tried desperately to get around this unanimous body
      of credible evidence.  First Marine Corps Major Eugene Anderson
      (who never had any association with Oswald) is quoted at length
      about how bad weather, poor coaching, and an inferior weapon might
      have accounted for Oswald's terrible performance in his second
      recorded test (R191).  Here the Commission scraped the bottom of
      the barrel, offering this unsubstantiated, hypothetical excuse-
      making as apparent fact.  Weather bureau records, which the
      Commission did not bother to check, show that perfect firing
      conditions existed at the time and place Oswald last fired for
      qualification--better conditions in fact, than those prevailing
      during the assassination.[5]  As for the quality of the weapon
      fired in the test, it is probable that at its worst it would have
      been far superior to the virtual piece of junk Oswald allegedly
      owned and used in the assassination.[6]  Perhaps Anderson guessed
      correctly in suggesting that Oswald may have had a poor instructor;
      yet, from the time of his departure from the Marines in 1959 to the
      time of the assassination in 1963, Oswald had {no} instructor.
         For its final "evaluation," the Report again turned to Anderson
      and Zahm.  Each man is quoted as rating Oswald a good shot,
      somewhat above average, as compared to other Marines, and an
      "excellent" shot as compared to the average male civilian (R192).
      That the Commission could even consider these evaluations is beyond
      comprehension.  Oswald's Marine scores and their official
      evaluation showed that he did not possess even "a reasonable amount
      of adaptability to weapons firing."  If this is better than average
      for our Marines, pity the state of our national "defense"!  The
      testimonies of Folsom and Delgado--people who had {direct}
      association with Oswald in the Marines--are not mentioned in the
         Thus, Oswald left the Marines in 1959 as a "rather poor shot."
      If he is to be credited with a feat such as the assassination, it
      must be demonstrated that he engaged in some activity between 1959
      and 1963 that would have greatly developed his rifle capability and
      maintained it until the time of the shooting.  The Report barely
      touched on the vital area of Oswald's rifle practice.  In a brief
      two-paragraph section entitled "Oswald's Rifle Practice Outside the
      Marines," the Report painted a very sketchy picture, entirely
      inadequate in terms of the nature of the issue (R192-93).  In all,
      Oswald is associated with a weapon eleven or twelve times, ending
      in May 1963.
         Let us examine each of the Commission's assertions from this
      section of the Report:

            1.  During one of his leaves from the Marines, Oswald
         hunted with his brother Robert, using a .22 caliber bolt-
         action rifle belonging either to Robert or Robert's in-laws.

         A footnote to this statement refers to Robert Oswald's testimony
      at 1H327, where essentially the same information is found.

            2.  After he left the Marines and before departing for
         Russia, Oswald, his brother, and a third companion went
         hunting for squirrels and rabbits.  On that occasion Oswald
         again used a bolt-action .22 caliber rifle;  and according
         to Robert, Lee Oswald exhibited an average amount of
         proficiency with that weapon.

         Here again the Report cites Robert Oswald's testimony at 1H325-
      327.  Although Robert did say that Lee showed "an average amount"
      of proficiency (1H326), his other descriptions of the occasion
      would indicate that none of the men showed any proficiency at all
      that day.  This excursion took place in a "briar patch" that "was
      very thick with cottontails."  Among the three men, eight rabbits
      were shot, "because it was the type of brush and thorns that didn't
      grow very high but we were able to see over them, so getting three
      of us out there it wasn't very hard to kill eight of them."  Robert
      further illuminated the proficiency of the shooting when he
      revealed that it once took all three men firing to hit one rabbit.

            3.  While in Russia, Oswald obtained a hunting license
         joined a hunting club and went hunting about six times.

         As mentioned in chapter 1, Liebeler criticized the inclusion of
      this statement in the Report, for Oswald hunted with a shotgun in
      Russia.  Wrote Liebeler, "Under what theory do we include
      activities concerning a {shotgun} under a heading relating to
      {rifle} practice, and then presume not to advise the reader of
      that?"[7]  The sources given for the above-quoted statement are CEs
      1042, 2007, and 1403 (which establish Oswald's membership in the
      club) and 1H96, 327-28, and 2H466.  The latter references to the
      testimony do not support the Report's implication that Oswald's
      Russian hunting trips helped to further his marksmanship abilities.
         In the portion of her testimony cited (1H96), Marina Oswald said
      that Oswald hunted only once during the time she knew him in the
      Soviet Union.  This prompted a brief exchange not complimentary to
      Oswald's performance with his weapon during the hunt:

            Mr. Rankin:  Was that when he went hunting for squirrels?
            Mrs. Oswald:  If he marked it down in his notebook that
         he went hunting for squirrels, he never did.  Generally they
         wanted to kill a squirrel when we went there, or some sort
         of bird, in order to boast about it, but they didn't.

      Robert Oswald testified that Lee hunted "about six times" in Russia
      (1H327-328).  He too revealed the poor nature of Oswald's

         We talked about hunting over there, and he said that he had
         only been hunting a half dozen times, and so forth, and that
         he had only used a shotgun, and a couple of times he did
         shoot a duck.

      The third reference to testimony is most revealing.  The source is
      Mrs. Ruth Paine, who related what Marina had told her:

            She quoted a proverb to the effect that you go hunting in
         the Soviet Union and you catch a bottle of Vodka, so I judge
         it was a social occasion more than shooting being the prime
         object. (2H466)

         Information not mentioned or cited in the Report corroborates
      the informal nature of Oswald's hunting in Russia as well as his
      usual poor performance with his weapon.  CD 344 contains the
      transcript of a Secret Service interview with Marina recorded
      Sunday night, November 24, 1963, at the Inn of the Six Flags Motel
      at Arlington, Texas.  This was Marina's first interview conducted
      while she was in protective custody.  When asked about Oswald's
      membership in the hunting club, she made this response through an

            While he was a member of this hunting club, he never
         attended any meetings.  He simply had a card that showed his
         membership.  She said Lee enjoyed nature and as a member of
         the club he was entitled to free transportation in an
         automobile which enabled him to go out of town.[8]

      Marina added that Lee owned a "hunting gun" in Russia but "he never
      used it."
         Other information came from Yuri I. Nosenko, a Soviet KGB staff
      officer who defected in February 1964 and apparently participated
      in or knew of the KGB investigation of Oswald in Russia.  CD 451
      contains an interview with Nosenko, but it is currently withheld
      from research.  Liebeler, who saw CD 451 during his Commission
      work, composed a staff memorandum on March 9, 1964, repeating some
      of the information obtained from Nosenko.  According to the
      memorandum, "Oswald was an extremely poor shot and it was necessary
      for persons who accompanied him on hunts to provide him with

            4.  Soon after Oswald returned from the Soviet Union he
         again went hunting with his brother, Robert, and used a
         borrowed .22 caliber bolt-action rifle.

         Robert Oswald is again the source of this information.  The
      hunting trip in question took place at the farm of Robert's in-
      laws.  However, according to Robert, "we did just a very little bit
      [of hunting].  I believe this was on a Sunday afternoon and we
      didn't stay out very long" (1H327).

            5.  After Oswald purchased the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle,
         he told his wife that he practiced with it.  Marina Oswald
         testified that on one occasion she saw him take the rifle,
         concealed in a raincoat, from the house on Neely Street.
         Oswald told her he was going to practice with it.

         Marina Oswald is the source of this above-quoted information.
      The footnote in the Report refers to 1H14-15;  CE 1156, p. 442;  CE
      1404, pp. 446-48.
         Marina's progression of statements relevant to Oswald's rifle
      practice is truly amazing.  The Report quotes her incompletely and
      dishonestly, choosing only those statements which support the
      belief that Oswald practiced with the Carcano.  The following is a
      chronological listing of Marina's relevant words:

            {12/3/63, FBI report of interview with Marina:}  "MARINA
         said she had never seen OSWALD practice with his rifle or
         any other firearm and he had never told her that he was
         going to practice." (22H763)

            {12/4/63, FBI report of interview with Marina:}  "She
         cannot recall ever hearing Oswald state that he was going to
         fire the rifle in practice or that he had fired it in
         practice." (22H785)

            {12/4/63, Secret Service report of interview with
         Marina:}  "The reporting agent interviewed Marina Oswald as
         to whether she knew of any place or of a rifle range where
         her husband could do some practicing with a rifle, and
         whether she ever saw her husband taking the rifle out of the
         house.  She said that she never saw Lee going out or coming
         in to the house with a rifle and that he never mentioned to
         her doing any practice with a rifle." (23H393)

            {12/10/63, Secret Service report of interview with
         Marina:}  "Marina Oswald was asked if she ever saw her
         husband doing any dry practice with the rifle either in
         their apartments or any place else, and she replied in the
         negative." (23H402)

            {12/16/63, FBI report of interview with Marina:}  "She
         cannot recall that [Oswald] ever practiced firing the rifle
         either in New Orleans or in Dallas." (22H778)

            {2/3/64, Marina makes her first appearance before the

            Mr. Rankin:  Did you learn at any time that he had been
         practicing with the rifle?
            Mrs. Oswald:  I think he went once or twice.  I didn't
         actually see him take the rifle, but I knew he was
            Mr. Rankin:  Could you give us a little help on how you
            Mrs. Oswald:  He told me.  And he would mention that in
         passing . . . he would say, "Well, today I will take the
         rifle along for practice." (1H14-15)

            {2/17/64, FBI report of interview with Marina:}  "MARINA
         advised OSWALD had told her after the WALKER incident that
         he had practiced with his rifle in a field near Dallas.  She
         said further that in the beginning of January, 1963, at the
         Neely Street address, he on one occasion was cleaning his
         rifle and he said he had been practicing that day.  [The
         rifle was not mailed until the end of March 1963.]
            "MARINA was asked if she had ever seen OSWALD take the
         rifle from the house and she replied that she had not.  She
         was asked if she had ever known the rifle to have been gone
         from the house at the same time OSWALD was gone from the
         house.  She replied that she could not recall any such
         incident.  She was then asked if it were true then that she
         had never seen OSWALD take the rifle from the house nor knew
         any occasion when he might have had the rifle at a place
         other than at home.  She then admitted that she did know of
         such an occasion.  She said this occasion occurred on an
         evening in March, 1963.  On this evening, she and JUNE
         [their daughter] and OSWALD left the house at about 6:00 PM.
         OSWALD had his rifle wrapped up in a raincoat. . . .  When
         OSWALD returned about 9:00 PM, he told her he had practiced
         with his rifle." (22H197)

            {2/18/64, FBI report of interview with Marina:}  "She
         advised she had been mistaken on February 17, 1964, when she
         said she had recalled OSWALD cleaning his rifle at Neely
         Street, at which time he made the statement he had been
         practicing.  She said she is now able to place the date . .
         . as being shortly before the WALKER incident. . . .  At one
         of the four or five times that she observed OSWALD cleaning
         his rifle at their home on Neely Street . . . he told her he
         had been practicing with the rifle but he did not say when
         he had practiced.  On the other occasions of his cleaning
         the rifle . . . he did not say he had been practicing.
         MARINA deduced that he might have been practicing with the
         rifle." (22H785)

            {6/11/64, Marina again testifies before the Commission:}

            "Lee didn't tell me when he was going out to practice.  I
         only remember one time distinctly that he went out because
         he took the bus.  I don't know if he went to Love Field at
         that time.  I don't--after all this testimony, after all
         this testimony, when I was asked did he clean his gun a lot,
         and I answered yes, I came to the conclusion that he was
         practicing with his gun because he was cleaning it
         afterwards." (5H397)

            Sen. Cooper:  Did he ever tell you that he was practicing
         with a rifle?
            Mrs. Oswald:  Only after I saw him take the gun that one
         time. (5H398)

         Thus Marina, until three months after the assassination, denied
      any knowledge whatsoever of Oswald's rifle practice;  he never told
      her he practiced, and she knew of no practice.  When she first
      appeared before the Commission, her story changed.  She suddenly
      knew of one or two instances when Oswald mentioned he was going to
      practice, although she never saw him take the rifle from the house.
      Subsequent to her testimony, she changed her story again.  After
      telling the FBI she saw Oswald clean the rifle before he even
      ordered it, she "admitted" an incident in which she saw Oswald
      remove the rifle {concealed in a raincoat} to practice {at night}.
      The following day her memory conveniently improved as she retracted
      her statement that she had seen Oswald with the rifle as early as
      January 1963.  She added at this time that although Oswald had
      actually admitted practicing only once, she "deduced" he had
      practiced other times.  This, essentially, was the final version of
      her story.
         {Marina was an entirely incredible witness}.  No honest jury
      could have believed any of her statements;  for everything she
      said, there almost always existed a contradictory statement that
      she had made earlier.  The Commission merely chose her most "juicy"
      descriptions of rifle practice and cited them, ignoring completely
      the other statements.  The official use of Marina's testimony could
      best be described in Aldous Huxley's words, "You pays your money
      and you takes your choice."

            6. According to George De Mohrenschildt, Oswald said he
         went target shooting with that rifle.

         The footnote to this assertion refers to portions of the
      testimonies of George De Mohrenschildt, the Oswalds' "friend" in
      Dallas, and his wife, Jeanne.  The combined stories of the De
      Mohrenschildts are so ridiculous as to make Marina's appear
      reliable and consistent.
         In his testimony, George De Mohrenschildt had been relating the
      incident in which he and his wife paid a late-night visit to the
      Oswalds shortly after the Walker incident (as described in the
      previous chapter).  De Mohrenschildt described how his wife had
      seen a rifle in the closet and offered "facts" unsubstantiated by
      any of the Commission's evidence:

            Mr. De Mohrenschildt:  And Marina said "That crazy idiot
         is target shooting all the time."  So frankly I thought it
         was ridiculous to shoot target shooting in Dallas, you see,
         right in town.  I asked him "Why do you do that?"
            Mr. Jenner:  What did he say?
            Mr. De Mohrenschildt:  He said, "I go out and do target
         shooting.  I like target shooting." (9H249)

         Despite the lack of corroborative evidence, De Mohrenschildt's
      story might have remained plausible had his wife not attempted to
      substantiate it.  In the portion of her testimony cited but {not}
      quoted in the Report, she revealed--to the exasperation of staff
      member Jenner--the details of the incident {ad absurdium:}

            Mrs. De Mohrenschildt:  I just asked what on earth is he
         doing with a rifle?
            Mr. Jenner:  What did she [Marina] say?
            Mrs. De Mohrenschildt:  She said, "Oh, he just loves to
         shoot."  I said, "Where on earth does he shoot?  Where can
         he shoot?"  when they lived in a little house.  "Oh, he goes
         in the park and shoots at leaves and things like that."  But
         it didn't strike me too funny, because I personally love
         skeet shooting.  I never kill anything.  But I adore to
         shoot at a target, target shooting.
            Mr. Jenner:  Skeet?
            Mrs. De Mohrenschildt:  I just love it.
            Mr. Jenner:  Didn't you think it was strange to have
         someone say he is going in a public park and shooting
            Mrs. De Mohrenschildt:  But he was taking the baby out.
         He goes with her, and that was his amusement.
            Mr. Jenner:  Did she say that?
            Mrs. De Mohrenschildt:  Yes;  that was his amusement,
         practicing in the park, shooting leaves.  That wasn't
         strange to me, because any time I go to an amusement park I
         go to the rifles and start shooting.  So I didn't find
         anything strange.
            Mr. Jenner:  But you shot at the rifle range in these
         amusement parks?
            Mrs. De Mohrenschildt:  Yes.
            Mr. Jenner: Little  .22?
            Mrs. De Mohrenschildt:  I don't know what it was.
            Mr. Jenner:  Didn't you think it was strange that a man
         would be walking around a public park in Dallas with a
         high-powered rifle like this, shooting leaves?
            Mrs. De Mohrenschildt:  I didn't know it was a high-
         powered rifle.  I had no idea.  I don't even know right now.

         The Commission did not see fit to include in the Report the fact
      that the extent of the De Mohrenschildts' knowledge of Oswald's
      "rifle practice" was that he fired at leaves while walking his baby
      daughter through public parks.  Had this been included, no one
      could have believed the De Mohrenschildts.

            7. Marina Oswald testified that in New Orleans in May of
         1963, she observed Oswald sitting with the rifle on their
         screened porch at night, sighting with the telescopic lens
         and operating the bolt.

         For this the Report cites Marina's testimony at 1H21-22, 53-54,
      and 65 and CE 1814, p. 736.  However, CE 1814 has nothing to do
      with Marina Oswald, or rifle practice (23H471).
         Marina's testimony about the bolt-working sessions on the porch
      of the Oswald's New Orleans home was another spectacle of blatant
      self-contradiction, again none of which was reflected in the
      Report.  In three days, Marina gave three opposing accounts
      represented in the Report as consistent.  On February 3, Marina

         I know that we had a kind of a porch with a--a screened-in
         porch, and I know that sometimes evenings after dark he
         would sit there with his rifle.  I don't know what he did
         with it.  I came there only by chance once and saw him just
         sitting there with his rifle.  I thought he is merely
         sitting there and resting . . .
            Mr. Rankin:  From what you observed about his having the
         rifle on the back porch, in the dark, could you tell whether
         or not he was trying to practice with the telescopic lens?
            Mrs. Oswald:  Yes. (1H21-22).

      On February 4, Marina offered a version of the porch practice
      different from that put forth in the Report:

            Mr. Rankin:  Did you ever see him working the bolt, the
         action that opens the rifle, where you can put a shell in
         and push it back--during those times [on the porch]?
            Mrs. Oswald:  I did not see it, because it was dark and I
         would be in the room at that time.  But I did hear the noise
         from time to time--not often. (1H54)

      Finally, on February 5, Marina reached the height of her confusion
      and merely retracted the statement attributed to her in the Report:

            Mr. Rankin:  You have told us about his practicing with
         the rifle, the telescopic lens, on the back porch at New
         Orleans, and also his using the bolt action that you heard
         from time to time.  Will you describe that a little more
         fully to us, as best you remember?
            Mrs. Oswald:  I cannot describe that in greater detail.
         I can only say that Lee would sit there with the rifle and
         open and close the bolt and clean it.  No, he didn't clean
         it at that time.  Yes--twice he did clean it.
            Mr. Rankin:  And did he seem to be practicing with the
         telescopic lens, too, and sighting the gun on different
            Mrs. Oswald:  I don't know.  The rifle was always with
         this.  I don't know exactly how he practiced, because I was
         in the house, I was busy.  I just knew that he sits there
         with his rifle.  I was not interested in it. (1H65)

         It is important to note that Marina originally denied any such
      New Orleans porch practice to the FBI.  An FBI report of an
      interview with Marina on December 16, 1963, states that "She never
      saw [Oswald] clean [the rifle] nor did he ever hold it in her
      presence [in New Orleans] as best as she can recall" (22H778).
         If Marina's stories of porch practice are true (and here the
      reader may believe whichever version he likes), then Oswald
      practiced sighting with his rifle {in total darkness} on a screened
      porch.  If this call be called "practice," it certainly cannot be
      applied to normal daylight firing.
         The seven assertions as quoted above from the Report constitute
      the known extent of "Oswald's Rifle practice."  Only one had
      substantiation.  The others are either misrepresentations of the
      evidence or are merely unsupported altogether.  Oswald performed
      badly on the hunts in which he participated.  He did not even use a
      rifle in Russia although, to the Commission, intent on associating
      Oswald with a rifle as frequently as possible, a shotgun was the
      same as a rifle.  Marina's assertions that Oswald practiced with
      the Carcano are rendered invalid by her earlier statements that
      Oswald never practiced.  Even if the one incident she finally
      conceded was true, Oswald would have had a total of 64 minutes to
      practice (26H61).  The De Mohrenschildts' description of Oswald's
      target shooting at leaves in the park warrants no serious
      consideration.  As Marina admitted to the Commission, she did not
      know what Oswald did with the rifle when he sat with it on the
      porch of their New Orleans home (if he ever did this at all, as
      Marina originally denied).
         Taking the issue further than did the Commission, we can be
      reasonably certain that Oswald engaged in {no} rifle practice in
      New Orleans during the summer of 1963 or in Dallas up until the
      time of the assassination.
         If Marina was consistent in any of her statements, it was her
      denial that Oswald practiced with the rifle in New Orleans.  While
      she recalled no such incident, she felt that Oswald could not have
      practiced without telling her.

         because as a rule he stayed home when he was not working.
         When he did go out, she did not see him take the rifle.

      Marina told this to the FBI on December 16, 1963.  She stuck to
      this story before the Commission, saying she knew "for sure" Oswald
      did not practice in New Orleans (1H21).
         More reliable information relating to possible New Orleans
      practice comes from Adrian Alba, a New Orleans garage owner who
      spoke with Oswald about rifles during the summer of 1963.  On
      November 25, 1963, Alba told the FBI that

         he knew of no rifle practice which OSWALD had engaged in
         while in New Orleans, adding that from his conversation with
         OSWALD he did not believe that OSWALD belonged to any of the
         local gun clubs.  He added that it would have been almost
         impossible for OSWALD to practice with a rifle around New
         Orleans unless he belonged to a gun club. (CD7:203)

      Alba repeated this information in his deposition before staff
      member Liebeler.  He explained why Oswald could not have practiced
      in New Orleans unless he belonged to a gun club (which he did not).
      According to Alba, if someone attempted to practice in the only
      possible regions other than the clubs, "they would either run you
      off or arrest you for discharging firearms" (10H224).
         There is no credible evidence in any form to indicate that
      Oswald practiced with his rifle after moving back to Dallas from
      New Orleans in October 1963.  If the rifle was stored in the Paine
      garage as the Commission asserts (though proof of this is lacking),
      then the possibility that Oswald could have taken the rifle for
      practice is virtually nil.  Likewise, Marina was emphatic that
      Oswald never practiced during the time she lived with the Paines.
      For what little reliance, if any, can be put in her testimony, I
      quote her relevant words:

         he couldn't have practiced while we were at the Paine's,
         because Ruth was there.  But whenever she was not at home,
         he tried to spend as much time as he could with me--he would
         watch television in the house. (1H53)

         There is no evidence indicating that the rifle was in Oswald's
      possession during this period.  The woman who cleaned his small
      room on North Beckley never saw it there, although she did not go
      into the drawers of the "little wooden commode or closet" in the
      room (6H440-441).  While several witnesses thought they had seen
      Oswald practicing at a rifle range in Dallas throughout September
      to November 1963, the evidence strongly indicates that the man
      observed neither was nor {could} have been Oswald, as the Report
      admits (R318-30).  Various FBI and Secret Service checks failed to
      turn up any evidence of rifle practice by Oswald in the Dallas area
      (see CEs 2694, 2908, 3049).
         And this was Oswald the marksman--from the time he received his
      first weapons training in the Marines, where he went from a fairly
      good to a rather poor shot, to his few hunting trips with Robert
      Oswald, where he manifested his lack of skill with a rifle, to his
      presumed hunting in the Soviet Union with other than a rifle but
      the same absence of any proficiency, to the time of his assumed
      possession of the rifle, when no credible evidence indicated that
      he ever engaged in practice.
         This obviously was not the caliber of shooter defined by expert
      Simmons as necessary to have pulled off the assassination alone.
      The presumed lone assassin, according to Simmons, had to have
      "considerable experience" in his background, especially
      "considerable experience with" the Carcano, and had to be "a
      proficient man with this weapon."  Oswald was none of these.  The
      only reliable evidence now known demonstrates that he was simply a
      poor shot who never did a thing to improve his capability.
         As we have seen, the Commission consistently misrepresented the
      evidence relevant to Oswald's rifle capability.  In its conclusion
      to this section of the Report, it retained its propensity for
      conjuring up what it wanted without regard to evidence.  It
      concluded this:

            Oswald's Marine training in marksmanship, his other rifle
         experience and his established familiarity with this
         particular weapon show that he possessed ample capability to
         commit the assassination. (R195)

         The Commission, in essence, told the public that "rather poor
      shot" Oswald did what shooters in the NRA Master classification,
      the highest rating, could not do.  It must have caused great
      concern among those who spend hours of concentrated practice each
      day trying to maintain proficiency with a rifle to learn that
      Oswald outdid the best and "established familiarity" with his rifle
      by {never} practicing, probably never even playing with his rifle!
         Oswald did not have the capability to fire the assassination
      shots as the official theory proclaims.  That he was a competent
      marksman is a pure myth created by the Commission in flagrant
      disregard of the evidence.


 [1] Analyses of the nature of the shots and related topics have
     appeared in "Whitewash," chap. 4;  Lane, chap. 9;  Epstein,
     chap. 9;  Meagher, chap. 4.

 [2] Frazier 2/21/69 testimony, p. 67.

 [3] Ibid., p. 148.

 [4] See also the excerpts from the Liebeler 9/6/64 Memorandum as
     discussed in chap. 1.

 [5] U.S. Department of Commerce, Weather Bureau, "Local Climatological
     Data," for San Diego, California, May 1959, and Los Angeles,
     California, May 1959.

 [6] I have seen this rifle at the National Archives and it does appear
     rather dilapidated.  Fingerprint expert Latona called it "a cheap
     old weapon" (4H29).  Ballistics expert Robert Frazier went into
     more detail on the condition of the rifle:

     Mr. Eisenberg . . . . How much use does this weapon show?

     Mr. Frazier.  The stock is worn, scratched.  The bolt is relatively
     smooth, as if it had been operated several times.  I cannot
     actually say how much use the weapon has had.  The barrel is--was
     not, when we first got it, in excellent condition.  It was, I would
     say in fair condition.  In other words, it showed the effects of
     wear and corrosion. (3H394)

 [7] Liebeler 9/6/64 Memorandum.

 [8] CD 344 was discovered in the National Archives by Harold Weisberg
     and is discussed in "Whitewash II," pp. 15-19.

 [9] This memorandum was shown to Epstein by Liebeler.  References to it
     may be found in "Inquest," p. 146, and the "Saturday Evening Post,"
     April 6, 1968, p. 72.

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *


         Throughout twelve hours of interrogation over the weekend of the
      assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald steadfastly denied that he had
      shot the President (R613, 627).  He repeated that denial before
      hundreds of newsmen crowded into the narrow corridors of the police
      headquarters:  "I'm just a patsy," he exclaimed (20H362, 366).
      Even as he lay dying on a stretcher, the police pressed him for a
      final confession.  But Oswald merely shook his head;  he would die
      protesting his innocence (12H185).
         Oswald's plea was ignored amid the clamor of official voices,
      which hastened to assure the public of Oswald's guilt.
         The Dallas Police wasted no time in announcing their verdict.
      Of course, it is preposterous to assume that even the most
      competent police force could have solved one of the century's most
      complex crimes overnight.  Yet this was precisely the claim made by
      the Dallas Police when, on the day after the assassination, they
      told the world that Oswald was beyond doubt the lone assassin.
         Two weeks later the FBI claimed that it too had conclusively
      determined that Oswald was the lone assassin.  This was indeed an
      unwarranted conclusion since, in its "solution" of the crime, the
      FBI failed to account for one of the President's wounds and a shot
      that missed the car.  The FBI seems never to have anticipated that
      concerned citizens would probe its thoroughly flawed report.  It
      made sure that everyone knew the conclusion reached in the report
      by leaking to the press everything it wanted known.  The report
      itself, however, the FBI decided to keep secret.
         The FBI's ploy had one salient effect:  it preempted the Warren
      Commission and left the Commission little choice but to affirm the
      FBI's conclusions.  The alternative was for the Commission to
      conduct a genuinely independent investigation and announce that the
      FBI had erred.  In 1964, given the FBI's reputation as the greatest
      law-enforcement investigative agency in the world and the
      pervasive, although then unspoken fear of J. Edgar Hoover's power,
      this was an unthinkable alternative for the conservative Commission
      members.  The choice was made to rely on the FBI--in effect, to let
      the FBI investigate itself.
         Thus, from the very beginning of its investigation, the
      Commission planned its work under the presumption that Oswald was
      guilty, and the staff consciously endeavored to construct a
      prosecution case against Oswald.  One Commission member actually
      complained to the staff that he wanted to see more arguments in
      support of the theory that Oswald was the assassin.  There could
      have been no more candid admission of how fraudulent the
      "investigation" was than when a staff lawyer secretly wrote, "Our
      intention is not to establish the point with complete accuracy, but
      merely to substantiate the hypothesis which underlies the
      conclusions that Oswald was the sole assassin."  In its zeal to
      posthumously frame Oswald--and falsify history--the staff often
      considered ludicrous methods of avoiding the facts--as in the
      suggestion of one staff lawyer that "the best evidence that Oswald
      could fire as fast as he did and hit the target is the fact that he
      did so."
         The Commission, in presuming Oswald guilty, abdicated its
      responsibility to the nation.  But did the Commission, in spite of
      its prejudices, arrive at the truth?  Does the evidence establish
      that Oswald was the assassin?
         The medical evidence actually disassociates Oswald's rifle from
      the wounds suffered by President Kennedy and Governor Connally.
      The nature of the bullet fragmentation within the President's
      wounds rules out full-jacketed military bullets such as those
      allegedly fired by Oswald.  Bullet 399, discovered at Parkland
      Hospital and traced to Oswald's rifle, could not, in any
      conceivable way, have produced any of the President's wounds.
      Likewise, 399 could not have produced the Governor's wounds without
      having suffered some form of mutilation;  bullets simply do not
      smash through two or three bones and emerge in the condition of
      399, with no apparent distortions and no disruption of their
      microscopic markings.
         The medical evidence leads one to believe that Oswald's rifle
      played no role in the shooting and that all the evidence that seems
      to link Oswald to the shooting was in fact planted.  The only
      evidence that might conclusively show whether bullet 399 and the
      two fragments traced to Oswald's rifle were actually involved in
      the wounding of either victim is the spectrographic and neutron
      activation analyses, and they are withheld from the public.  One
      need not be an expert analyst to deduce that the government would
      hardly suppress this evidence if it corroborated its account of the
      assassination.  The only credible explanation for the suppression
      of this crucial scientific evidence is that it must establish
      conclusively what the medical evidence established to but a
      reasonable degree--that Oswald's rifle played no role in the
         The evidence of the rifle, the cartridge cases, and the bullets
      is significant because it creates the powerful assumption that
      Oswald was the assassin.  The medical evidence, in disassociating
      Oswald's rifle from the crime, makes it apparent that unknown
      persons deliberately planted the recovered ballistic items with the
      intention of leaving evidence that would point to Oswald as the
      murderer.  Such planting of evidence does not necessarily imply an
      enormous conspiracy, as some of the Commission's defenders have
      suggested.  Two accomplices, one at the Book Depository and one at
      Parkland Hospital, are all that would have been required.
      Conditions at both sites were so chaotic at the time that such
      accomplices could easily have escaped detection.
         Once it is established that Oswald's rifle was not involved in
      the shooting, there is not a shred of tangible or credible evidence
      to indicate that Oswald was the assassin.  The evidence proves
      exactly the opposite.
         The circumstantial evidence relating to Oswald himself is almost
      entirely exculpatory.  Every element of it was twisted by the
      Commission to fit the preconceived conclusion of Oswald's guilt.  I
      have documented that, through its staff and its Report, the

          1.  Drew undue suspicion to Oswald's return to Irving on
              November 21, although the evidence indicated that
              Oswald did not know the motorcade route and broke no
              set pattern in making the return;

          2.  Ignored {all} evidence that could have provided an
              innocent excuse for Oswald's visit;

          3.  Wrongly discredited the reliable and consistent
              testimony of the only two witnesses who saw the package
              Oswald carried to work on the morning of the
              assassination;  because their descriptions meant that
              the package could {not} have contained the rifle, the
              Commission claimed to have made this rejection on the
              basis of "scientific evidence," which did not exist;

          4.  Concluded that Oswald made a paper sack to conceal the
              rifle, citing no evidence in support of this notion and
              suppressing evidence that tended to disprove it;

          5.  Concluded that the sack was used to transport the
              rifle, although its evidence proved that the sack never
              contained the rifle;

          6.  Used the testimony of Charles Givens to placed [sic]
              Oswald at the alleged source of the shots {35 minutes
              too early,} even though Givens described an event that
              physically could not have taken place;

          7.  Claimed to know of no Depository employee who saw
              Oswald between 11:55 and 12:30, basing its claim on an
              inquiry in which it (through General Counsel Rankin)
              had the FBI determine whether any employee had seen
              Oswald {only} at 12:30, completely suppressing from the
              Report three distinct pieces of evidence indicating
              Oswald's presence on the first floor during the period
              in question.

          8.  Failed to produce any witness who could identify the
              sixth-floor gunman as Oswald;  both rejected and
              accepted the identification of one man who admitted
              lying to the police, who constantly contradicted
              himself, and who described physically impossible
              events;  and ignored evidence of clothing descriptions
              that might have indicated that Oswald was {not} the

          9.  Reconstructed the movements of Baker and Truly in such
              a way as to lengthen the time of their ascent to the
              second floor;

         10.  Reconstructed the movements of the "assassin" so as to
              greatly reduce the time of his presumed descent;  a
              valid reconstruction would have proved that a sixth-
              floor gunman could {not} have reached the second-floor
              lunch-room before Baker and Truly;

         11.  Misrepresented Baker's position at the time he saw
              Oswald entering the lunchroom, making it seem possible
              that Oswald could have just descended from the third
              floor, although, in fact, the events described by Baker
              and Truly prove that Oswald must have been coming {up}
              from the {first} floor (as Oswald himself told the
              police he did);

         12.  Misrepresented the nature of the assassination shots by
              omitting from its evaluation the time factor and other
              physical obstacles, thus making it seem that the shots
              were easy and that Oswald could have fired them;

         13.  Misrepresented the evidence relevant to Oswald's rifle
              capability and practice, creating the impression that
              he was a good shot with much practice, although the
              evidence indicated exactly the opposite.  The
              conclusion dictated by all this evidence en masse is
              inescapable and overwhelming:  Lee Harvey Oswald never
              fired a shot at President Kennedy;  he was not even at
              the Depository window during the assassination;  and no
              one fired his rifle, the Mannlicher-Carcano, on that
              day.  Beyond any doubt, he is innocent of the monstrous
              crime with which he was charged and of which he was
              presumed guilty.  The official presumption of his guilt
              effectively cut off any quest for truth and led to the
              abandonment of the principles of law and honest
              investigation.  At {all} costs, the government has
              denied (and, to judge from its record, will continue to
              deny) Oswald's innocence and perpetuated the myth of
              his lone guilt.

         With this, a thousand other spiders emerge from the walls.
         It can now be inferred that Oswald was framed;  he was
      deliberately set up as the Kennedy assassin.  His rifle was found
      in the Depository.  We know that it had to have been put there;  we
      also know that it was not Oswald who put it there.  {Someone else
         We know that a whole bullet traceable to Oswald's rifle turned
      up at Parkland Hospital;  we also know that this bullet was never
      in the body of either victim.  {Someone had to have planted it at
      the hospital.}  The same applies to the two identifiable fragments
      found in the front seat of the President's limousine.
         We know that someone shot and killed President Kennedy;  we also
      know that Oswald did not do this.  The real presidential murderers
      have escaped punishment through our established judicial channels,
      their crime tacitly sanctioned by those who endeavored to prove
      Oswald guilty.  The after-the-fact framing of Oswald by the federal
      authorities means, in effect, that the federal government has
      conspired to protect those who conspired to kill President Kennedy.
         It is not my responsibility to explain why the Commission did
      what it did, and I would deceive the reader if I made the slightest
      pretense that it was within my capability to provide such an
      explanation.  I have presented the facts;  no explanation of
      motives, be they the highest and the purest or the lowest and the
      most corrupt, will alter those facts or undo what the Commission
      indisputably has done.
         The government has lied about one of the most serious crimes
      that can be committed in a democracy.  Having lied without
      restraint about the death of a president, it can not be believed on
      anything.  It has sacrificed its credibility.
         Remedies are not clearly apparent or easily suggested.
      Certainly, Congress has an obligation to investigate this
      monumental abuse by the executive.  But first and foremost, the
      people must recognize that they have been lied to by their
      government and denied the truth about the murder of their former
      leader.  They must demand the truth, whatever the price, and insist
      that their government work honestly and properly.
         Until then, the history of one of the world's most democratic
      nations must suffer the stigma of a frighteningly immoral and
      undemocratic act by its government.

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      Appendix A

                     Tentative Outline of the Work of the
                            President's Commission

      {Author's note:  This "Tentative Outline" was attached to a
      "Progress Report" dated January 11, 1964, from Commission Chairman
      Earl Warren to the other Commission members, and reveals the extent
      to which the Commission's conclusions were formulated prior to its

      I. {Assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas}

            A. Trip to Texas--Prior to Assassination
               1. Initial plans for trip
                  a. relevent dates [sic]
                  b. itinerary
                  c. companions
                  d. motorcade to luncheon
                  e. other
               2. Events of morning of November 22
                  a. arrival at airport--time, etc.
                  b. motorcade--crowds, time, etc.

            B. Assassination (based on all available statements of witnesses,
               films, photographs, etc.)
               1. Shots
                  a. number of shots fired
                  b. time elapsed during shots
                  c. direction of shots
                  d. location of car at time
               2. Postures and apparent injuries to President Kennedy and
                  Governor Connally
                  a. President Kennedy
                  b. Governor Connally

            C. Events Immediately Following the Shooting
               1. Treatment at hospital
               2. Activities of Dallas law enforcement
               3. Return of entourage to Washington
                  a. President Johnson's trip to airport
                  b. trip of Mrs. Kennedy with body of late
                     President to airport
                  c. swearing-in
               4. Removal of President Kennedy's body to
                  Bethesda Naval Hospital
               5. Removal of car to Washington--condition and repairs

            D. Nature and Extent of Wounds Received by President
               Kennedy (based on examinations in Dallas and Bethesda)
               1. Number of individual wounds received by
                  President Kennedy
               2. Cause of death
               3. Time of death
               4. Evaluation of medical treatment received in

      II. {Lee Harvey Oswald as the Assassin of President Kennedy}

            A. Brief Identification of Oswald (Dallas resident,
               employee of Texas School Book Depository, etc.)

            B. Movements on November 22, 1963 Prior to Assassination
               1. Trip to work
                  a. time
                  b. package
                  c. other significant facts, e.g. any conversations, etc.
               2. Entry into Depository
                  a. time
                  b. package
                  c. other significant facts
               3. Activities during morning
                  a. nature of his work
                  b. location of his work
                  c. other significant facts, e.g. any conversations, etc.
               4. Movements immediately prior to 12:29 P.M.

            C. Movements after Assassination until Murder of Tippit
               1. Presence within building
                  a. location
                  b. time
                  c. encounter with police
                  d. other relevant facts
               2. Departure from building
                  a. time
                  b. direction of movement
                  c. other relevant facts, e.g. crossing police line, etc.
               3. Boarding of bus
                  a. time and place of boarding
                  b. duration of ride
                  c. other relevant facts, e.g. dress, appearance,
                     conversations, etc.
               4. From bus to taxi
                  a. time and place
                  b. distance and route of cab
                  c. time to destination
                  d. other relevant facts obtained from cab driver or
                     other witnesses or sources
               5. Arrival at rooming house
                  a. time
                  b. actions within rooming house
                  c. departure and direction
               6. Route until encounter with Tippit
                  a. time
                  b. distance

            D. Murder of Tippit
               1. Encounter of Oswald and Tippit
                  a. time
                  b. location
               2. Evidence demonstrating Oswald's guilt
                  a. eyewitness reports
                  b. murder weapon
                  c. autopsy and ballistics reports
                  d. paraffin tests
                  e. other, e.g. statements (if any)

            E. Flight and Apprehension in Texas Theater
               1. Movement until entry into theater
                  a. time
                  b. actions, e.g. reloading weapon
                  c. other relevant facts, e.g. recovery of jacket
               2. Apprehension in theater
                  a. movements of Oswald in theater
                  b. notification and arrival of police
                  c. arrest of Oswald
                  d. removal to station

            F. Oswald at Dallas Police Station
               1. Interrogation
                  a. time, manner and number of interrogation sessions
                  b. persons present
                  c. persons responsible
                  d. results
               2. Other investigation by Dallas police
                  a. line-ups and eyewitness identification
                  b. seizure of Oswald's papers
                  c. other
               3. Denials and other statements by Oswald
               4. Removal to County Jail on November 24, 1963
               5. Killing of Oswald by Ruby

            G. Evidence Identifying Oswald as the Assassin of
               President Kennedy
               1. Room of Texas School Book Depository identified as
                  source of shots
                  a. eyewitness reports
                  b. trajectory of shots
                  c. evidence on scene after assassination
                  d. other
               2. Oswald placed in Depository (and specific room?)
                  a. eyewitness reports
                  b. fingerprints on objects in room
                  c. facts reviewed above
               3. Assassination weapon identified as Oswald's
                  a. discovery of rifle and shells
                  b. obtaining and possession of gun by Oswald
                  c. whereabouts of gun on November 21 and November 22
                  d. prints on rifle
                  e. photographs of Oswald and rifle
                  f. General Walker ballistic report.
               4. Other physical evidence
                  a. clothing tests
                  b. paraffin tests
               5. Prior similar acts
                  a. General Walker attack
                  b. General Eisenhower threat
               6. Permissible inferences from Oswald's:
                  a. flight from Depository
                  b. statements on bus
                  c. murder of Tippit

            H. Evidence Implicating Others in Assassination or
               Suggesting Accomplices
               1. Evidence of shots other than from Depository?
               2. Feasibility of shots within time span and with use
                  of telescope
               3. Evidence re other persons involved in actual
                  shooting from Depository
               4. Analysis of all movements of Oswald after
                  assassination for attempt to meet associates
               5. Refutation of allegations

      III. {Lee Harvey Oswald:  Background and Possible Motive}

            A. Birth and Pre-school Days
               1. Family structure (death of father; statements of
                  persons who knew family;  interviews of mother,
                  brother, and members of family)
               2. Where family lived (statements as to childhood
                  character of Oswald from neighbors who recall family
                  and child)
               3. Standard of living of family (document factors which
                  would have bearing upon development)
            B. Education
               1. Schools (reports from each school attended regarding
                  demeanor, grades, development, attitude to fellow
                  students, activities, problems, possible aptitude
                  for languages, sex life, etc.)
               2. Reports of fellow students, associates, friends,
                  enemies at each school attended
               3. Reports from various neighbors where Oswald lived
                  while attending various schools
               4. Special report from juvenile authorities in New York
                  City concerning Oswald.
                  a. report of case worker on Oswald and family
                  b. psychiatrist who examined him, treatment and
                     results, opinion as to future development
            C. Military Service
               1. Facts regarding entry into service, assignments,
                  stations, etc. until discharge
               2. Reports of personnel from each station regarding
                  demeanor, character, competence, activities, sex
                  life, financial status, attitude, etc.
               3. Report on all activities while in Japan
               4. Report and document study of Russian language
                  a. where and when
                  b. books used
                  c. instruction or self-taught
                  d. any indication of degree of accomplishment

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      Appendix B

                          Memorandum to J. Lee Rankin
                              from David W. Belin

      {Author's note:  This memorandum by staff lawyer Belin speaks for
      itself.  A month later, on February 25,1964, Belin wrote in another
      memorandum, "At no time have we assumed that Lee Harvey Oswald was
      the assassin of President Kennedy."  See chapter 2.}

      MEMORANDUMJanuary 30, 1964
      TO:J. Lee Rankin
      FROM:David W. Belin
      SUBJECT:Oswald's knowledge that Connally would be in the
      Presidential car and his intended target.

         According to the Secret Service Report, Document No. 3, page 11,
      the route of the motorcade was released on the evening of November
      18 and appeared in Dallas newspapers on November 19 as shown in
      Exhibits 6D and 6E (Document No. 3 is the December 18 Secret
      Service Report).
         In examining these exhibits, although the general route of the
      motorcade is shown, there is nothing that shows that Governor
      Connally would be riding in the Presidential car.
         In determining the accuracy of Oswald, we have three major
      possibilities:  Oswald was shooting at Connally and missed two of
      the three shots, the two misses striking Kennedy;  Oswald was
      shooting at both Kennedy and Connally and all three shots struck
      their intended targets;  Oswald was shooting only at Kennedy and
      the second bullet missed its intended target and hit Connally
         If there was no mass media coverage that Connally would be
      riding in the Presidential car, it would tend to confirm the third
      alternative that Kennedy was the only intended target.  This in
      turn bears on the motive of the assassination and also on the
      degree of markmanship [sic] required, which in turn affects the
      determination that Oswald was the assassin and that it was not too
      difficult to hit the intended target two out of the three times in
      this particular situation.
         In any event, I believe it would be most helpful to have the FBI
      investigate all newspaper, television and radio reports from
      November 18 to November 22 in Dallas to ascertain whether or not in
      any of these reports there was a public announcement that Connally
      would be riding in the Presidential car.  If such public
      announcement was made, we should know specifically over what media
      and when.
         Of course, there is another element of timing:  If Connally's
      position in the motorcade was not released until the afternoon of
      November 21, then when Oswald went home to get the weapon, he would
      not have necessarily intended Connally as the target.
         Finally, we would like to know whether or not there was any
      release to the public news media that Connally would ride in any
      car in the motorcade, regardless of whether or not it was the
      Presidential car.
         Thank you.

                              *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      Appendix C

                          Memorandum to J. Lee Rankin
                              from Norman Redlich

      {Author's note:  This is one of many similar outlines of the Warren
      Report, drafted long before the Commission's "investigation" ended,
      and before virtually all of the relevant testimony was taken.  It
      proves that the Commission worked to substantiate a preconceived
      conclusion naming Oswald as the sole assassin.}

      MEMORANDUMMarch 26, 1964
      TO:J. Lee Rankin
      FROM:Norman Redlich
      SUBJECT:Proposed Outline of Report

         I attach a proposed outline of our final report.  This plan
      envisages a main report and supplementary materials to be published
      as one volume.  This will be followed by appendixes to be published
      when prepared.  These appendixes will contain the supporting
      material for the report such as the transcript of testimony,
      important underlying investigatory material, and photos of
      important exhibits not published with the original report.
         I have listed the staff members who I feel should have
      responsibility for the particular sections of the report.  Although
      I have assigned small sections of the report to Mr. Williams, Mr.
      Eisenberg, and myself, the major responsibility lies with other
      members of the staff.  I am assuming that Mr. Williams as your
      Administrative Assistant, and I as your Special Assistant, together
      with Mr. Eisenberg, will have responsibility for review, editing,
      avoidance of duplication, and other technical details of putting a
      report into publishable condition.
         With your permission, I would like to distribute this outline to
      the staff.

                          PROPOSED OUTLINE OF REPORT
                          (Submitted by Mr. Redlich)

      I.  Statement of Objectives and Standards (Mr. Rankin)
          (The Report should start with a brief statement setting forth the
          Commission's view of its objectives and standards used to achieve
          them.  It is important to clarify the Commission's position as a
          fact-finding body and to indicate wherein our findings differ
          from a judicial determination of criminal guilt.)

      II. Brief Summary of Major Conclusions (Redlich and Willens)
          (The purpose of this section is to provide the reader with a
          short statement of our major conclusions without having to read
          through the entire document.)
          A.  Basic Facts Concerning Assassination of President Kennedy and
              Shooting of Governor Connally
          B.  Identity of the Assassin
          C.  Conclusions Concerning Accomplices
          D.  Conclusions Concerning Motive
          E.  Ruby's Killing of Oswald and Conclusion as to Possible Link
      to Assassination
      III. The Assassination--Basic Facts (Adams and Specter)
          A.  Physical Setting
              1. Description of Motorcade
              2. Description of Area where Shooting Occurred
          B.  Shooting
              1. Number of Shots
              2. Medical Effect of Each Shot
              3. Point from which Shots Fired
              4. Statistical Data
                 a. Elapsed time of shooting
                 b. Distance travelled by Presidential car
                 c. Speed of car
                 d. Distance travelled by each bullet
              5. Events Immediately following Shooting
                 a. Reaction of Secret Service
                 b. Trip to Parkland
                 c. Events in Parkland
                 d. Trip to Love Field
                 e. Return to Washington

      IV. Lee H. Oswald as the Assassin (Ball and Belin)
          (This section should state the facts which lead to the conclusion
          that Oswald pulled the trigger and should also indicate the
          elements in the case which have either not been proven or are
          based on doubtful testimony.  Each of the factors listed below
          should be reviewed in that light.)
          A.  Identification of Rifle as Murder Weapon
          B.  Oswald's Ownership of Weapon
          C.  Evidence of Oswald Carrying Weapon to Building
              1. Fake Curtain Rod Stroy [sic]
              2. Buell Frazier's Story
              3. Possible Presence in Paine's Garage on Evening of
                 November 21, 1963
          D.  Evidence of Oswald on Sixth Floor
              1. Palm Prints on Carton
              2. Paper Bag with Oswald Print
          E.  Eyewitness Testimony
          F.  Oswald After Assassination--Actions in Building
          G.  Oswald After Assassination--Actions up to Tippit Shooting
          H.  Shooting of Tippit and Arrest in Theatre
              1. Eyewitnesses
              2. Gun as Murder Weapon
              3. Oswald's Ownership of Gun
          I.  Statements After Arrest
          J.  Prior Actions
              1. Walker Shooting
              2. Possible Nixon Attempt
              3. Practice with Rifle
          K.  Evidence of any Accomplices in Assassination
          L.  Appraisal of Oswald's Actions on November 21 and 22 in Light
      of Assassination
              (This will be a difficult section, but I feel we must face up
      to the various paradoxical aspects of Oswald's behavior in
      light of his being the assassin.  I suggest the following
      items for consideration.)
              1. Did He Have a Planned Escape?
              2. Why did he pass up the Opportunity to get money on
         November 21 when he returned to Irving?
              3. Discussion with Marina about getting apartment in Dallas
              4. Asking fellow employee, on morning of November 22, which
         way the President was coming.

      V. Possible Motive (Jenner, Liebeler, Coleman, Slawson)
         A.  Brief Biographical Sketch of Oswald (Fuller Biography in
         B.  Any Personal Animosity Toward Kennedy or Connally
         C.  Do his Political Beliefs Furnish Motive
         D.  Link to Domestic Left-Wing Groups
             1. Fair Play for Cuba
             2. Communist Party
             3. Conclusions to be Drawn from such Links
         E.  Link to Right-Wing Groups
         F.  Possible Agent of Foreign Power
         G.  Possible Link to Underworld

      VI. Killing of Oswald by Ruby (Hubert and Griffin)
          A.  Facts of the Killing
              1. Actions of Ruby starting with November 22
              2. Description of Events on November 24
          B.  Discussion of Possible Link with Assassination of President
          C.  Other Possible Motives
              1. Brief Biographical Sketch (Fuller Sketch in Supplement)
              2. Ruby as Self-styled Patriot, Hero, Important Man
              3. Possibility of Ruby being Mentally Ill

          A.  Visual Aids To Help Explain Main Body of Report (All Staff
              Members Concerned)
          B.  Organization and Methods of Commission (Willens)
          C.  Security Precautions to Protect Life of President (Stern)
              1. What Was Done on This Trip
              2. Broader Recommendations in This Area
              (I recognize that this area has been the subject of extended
              discussion and it might be desirable to move this section to
      the main body of the Report)
          D.  Detailed Facts About President's Trip up to Assassination
              (Adams, Specter, Stern)
          E.  Biography of Oswald (Jenner, Liebeler, Coleman, Slawson)
          F.  Biography of Ruby (Hubert and Griffin)
          G.  Oswald Relationship with U.S. Government Agencies (Redlich,
      Stern, Coleman, Slawson)
          H.  Discussion of Widely Circulated Theories (Redlich and
          I.  Other Important Documents We May Wish to Publish as Part of
      Supplement, I suggest the following:
              1. Autopsy Reports
              2. Summary of Testimony of Experts on Physical Evidence
              3. Charts and Other Data Presented by Experts (Eisenberg)
              4. Reports of Medical Examination on Governor Connally
              5. Report of FBI and Secret Service on Location of
                 President's car at Time of Shots (Redlich and Eisenberg)

                               *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      Appendix D

                       A Later Memorandum to J. Lee Rankin
                               from Norman Redlich

      {Author's note:  This memorandum by staff lawyer Redlich explicitly
      states that the object of the investigation was not to determine the
      truth as far as it could be known, but rather to substantiate a
      preconceived conclusion.}

      MEMORANDUMApril 27, 1964
      TO:J. Lee Rankin
      FROM:Norman Redlich

         The purpose of this memorandum is to explain the reasons why
      certain members of the staff feel that it is important to take certain
      on-site photographs in connection with the location of the approximate
      points at which the three bullets struck the occupants of the
      Presidential limousine.
         Our report presumably will state that the President was hit by the
      first bullet, Governor Connally by the second, and the President by
      the third and fatal bullet.  The report will also conclude that the
      bullets were fired by one person located in the sixth floor southeast
      corner window of the TSBD building.
         As our investigation now stands, however, we have not shown that
      these events could possibly have occurred in the manner suggested
      above.  All we have is a reasonable hypothesis which appears to be
      supported by the medical testimony but which has not been checked out
      against the physical facts at the scene of the assassination.
         Our examination of the Zapruder films shows that the fatal third
      shot struck the President at a point which we can locate with
      reasonable accuracy on the ground.  We can do this because we know the
      exact frame (no. 313) in the film at which the third shot hit the
      President and we know the location of the photographer.  By lining up
      fixed objects in the movie fram [sic] where this shot occurs we feel
      that we have determined the approximate location of this shot.  This
      can be verified by a photo of the same spot from the point were
      Zapruder was standing.
         We have the testimony of Governor and Mrs. Connally that the
      Governor was hit with the second bullet at a point which we probably
      cannot fix with precision.  We feel we have established, however, with
      the help of medical testimony, that the shot which hit the Governor
      did not come {after} frame 240 on the Zapruder film.  The Governor
      feels that it came around 230 which is certainly consistent with our
      observations of the film and with the doctor's testimony.  Since the
      President was shot at frame 313, this would leave a time of at least 4
      seconds between two shots, certainly ample for even an inexperienced
         Prior to our last viewing of the films with Governor Connally we
      had assumed that the President was hit while he was concealed behind
      the sign which occurs between frames 215 to 225.  We have expert
      testimony to the effect that a skilled marksman would require a
      minimum of time of 2 1/4 seconds between shots with this rifle.  Since
      the camera operates at 18 1/3 frames per second, there would have to
      be a minimum of 40 frames between shots.  It is apparent therefore,
      that if Governor Connally was hit even as late as frame 240, the
      President would have to have been hit no later than frame 190 and
      probably even earlier.
         We have not yet examined the assassination scene to determine
      whether the assassin in fact could have shot the President prior to
      frame 190.  We could locate the position on the ground which
      corresponds to this frame and it would then be our intent to establish
      by photography that the assassin could have fired the first shot at
      the President prior to this point.  Our intention is not to establish
      the point with complete accuracy, but merely to substantiate the
      hypothesis which underlies the conclusions that Oswald was the sole
         I had always assumed that our final report would be accompanied by
      a surveyor's diagram which would indicate the appropriate location of
      the three shots.  We certainly cannot prepare such a diagram without
      establishing that we are describing an occurrence which is physically
      possible.  Our failure to do this will, in my opinion, place this
      Report in jeopardy since it is a certainty that others will examine
      the Zapruder films and raise the same questions which have been raised
      by our examination of the films.  If we do not attempt to answer these
      questions with observable facts, others may answer them with facts
      which challenge our most basic assumptions, or with fanciful theories
      based on our unwillingness to test our assumptions by the
      investigatory methods available to us.
         I should add that the facts which we now have in our possession,
      submitted to us in separate reports from the FBI and Secret Service,
      are totally incorrect and, if left uncorrected, will present a
      completely misleading picture.
         It may well be that this project should be undertaken by the FBI
      and Secret Service with our assistance instead of being done as a
      staff project.  The important thing is that the project be undertaken

                               *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      Appendix E

                            Report of the FBI's First
                          Interview with Charles Givens

      {Author's note:  This is the actual report of the FBI's first
      interview with Charles Givens.  Givens is reported as saying nothing
      about the alleged encounter with Oswald on the sixth floor that he was
      to describe to the Commission much later.  Rather, he is reported to
      have told the FBI on the day of the assassination that he saw Oswald
      on the first floor at the same time he later told the Commission he
      saw Oswald on the sixth floor.  This FBI report was not published by
      the Commission or mentioned in the Warren Report.

                         FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

                                            Date   11/23/63

         CHARLES DOUGLAS GIVENS, 2511 Cochran Street, advised he was
      employed by the Texas School Book Depository, Houston and Elm Street,
      from October 1, 1963, to present time.  GIVENS said he has worked at
      this same position as a wrapper on several occasions prior to this
         On November 22, 1963, GIVENS worked on the sixth floor of the
      building until about 11:30 A.M. when he used the elevator to travel to
      the first floor where he used the restroom at about 11:35 A.M. or
      11:40 A.M.  GIVENS then walked around on the first floor until 12
      o'clock noon, at which time he walked onto the sidewalk and stood for
      several minutes, then walked to the Classified Parking Lot at Elm and
      Records Street.  GIVENS then walked to Main Street to watch the parade
      and after the President and the group had passed, he walked back to
      the parking lot, at which time he heard several shots fired from the
      direction of the building at which he is employed.  He attempted to
      return to work but was told that he had been released for the balance
      of the day.
         GIVENS advised that a white male, known as LEE, was employed in the
      same building and worked as a wrapper or order filler.  He said he saw
      this same person's picture on television on the afternoon of November
      22, 1963, who was supposed to have been the person being investigated
      for the shooting of the President.  LEE worked on all floors of the
      building, and on November 22, 1963, GIVENS recalls observing LEE
      working on the fifth floor during the morning filling orders.  LEE was
      standing by the elevator in the building at 11:30 A.M. when GIVENS
      went to the first floor.  When he started down in the elevator, LEE
      yelled at him to close the gates on the elevator so that he (LEE)
      could have the elevator returned to the sixth floor.  GIVENS said that
      during the past few days LEE had commented that he rode to work with a
      boy named WESLEY.
         GIVENS said all employees enter the back door of the building when
      JACK DOUGHERTY, the foreman opens the door at about 7 A.M.  On the
      morning of November 22, 1963, GIVENS observed LEE reading a newspaper
      in the domino room where the employees eat lunch about 11:50 A.M.


           11/22/63           Dallas, Texas                 DL 89-43
      on ____________  at   _________________      File # ____________

                         WILL HAYDEN GRIFFEN
      by Special Agent _________________________ and
                         BARDWELL D. ODUM (HM)

                                            Date dictated   11/23/63

                               *  *  *  *  *  *  *

      Appendix F

                         FBI Report on Mrs. R. E. Arnold

      {Author's note:  The Warren Commission stated in its Report that it
      knew of no Book Depository employee who claimed to have seen Oswald
      between 11:55 and 12:30 on the day of the assassination.  This was
      false, as this FBI report from the Commission's files reveals.  The
      Warren Report never mentions Mrs. Arnold and this FBI document was
      omitted from the Commission's published evidence.}

                         FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

                                               Date  11/26/63

         Mrs. R. E. ARNOLD, Secretary, Texas School Book Depository, advised
      she was in her office on the second floor of the building on November
      22, 1963, and left that office between 12:00 and 12:15 PM, to go
      downstairs and stand in front of the building to view the Presidential
      Motorcade.  As she was standing in front of the building, she stated
      she thought she caught a fleeting glimpse of LEE HARVEY OSWALD
      standing in the hallway between the front door and the double doors
      leading to the warehouse, located on the first floor.  She could not
      be sure that this was OSWALD, but said she felt it was and believed
      the time to be a few minutes before 12:15 PM.
         She stated thereafter she viewed the Presidential Motorcade and
      heard the shots that were fired at the President;  however, she could
      furnish no information of value as to the individual firing the shots
      or any other information concerning OSWALD, whom she stated she did
      not know and had merely seen him working in the building.


           11/26/63           Dallas, Texas                 DL 89-43
      on ____________  at   _________________       File # ___________

                         RICHARD E. HARRISON/rmh
      by Special Agent ___________________________

                                            Date dictated   11/26/63

                               *  *  *  *  *  *  *



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                               *  *  *  *  *  *  *

   [The index has been included verbatim from the original book.  Hence the
    page numbers are not correct for this copy of the book, but it was felt
    the subjects noted here would still be useful as reference   --ratitor ]


      Accessories after the fact in assassination 33
      Accomplices in assassination, 81- 82
      Accountability of government, 24, 41
      Aebersold, Paul C., 19
      Alba, Adrian, 244-45
      Alibi for Oswald, 221, 225
      Ammunition. {See} Military ammunition;  Sporting ammunition
      Anderson, Eugene, 231
      Arce, Danny, 183
      Archives. {See} National Archives
      Arnold, Mrs. Carolyn, 184-87, 276-77
      Assassin's rifle. {See} Rifle
      Atomic Energy Commission, 19, 20, 21, 23
      Autopsy on President Kennedy, 37, 121
      Autopsy photos and Xrays, 37-39, 115, 117, 121-22

      Bag. {See} Paper bag
      Baker, Mrs. Donald, 186
      Baker, M. L., 63, 199, 201-9, 213, 218-21, 252-53
      Ball Joseph 84-86, 163, 181, 205
      Ballistics evidence, 48
      Ballistics tests, 50;  simulating head wounds, 111-14
      Belin, David, 29-30, 84-86, 90, 169, 196, 197-98, 222, 288-89
      Bernabei, Richard, 126, 129, 283
      Blanket, 170-71
      Boggs, Hale, 17, 26, 80, 222
      Bolt practice by Oswald, 242-43
      Bookhout, James, 182
      Boone, Eugene, 212, 213
      Boswell, Dr. J. Thornton, 118-19
      Brandeis, Louis, 41
      Brennan, Howard, 61-62, 188, 190-98,199
      Bullet fragments, 19-20, 21-22;  in car, 98, 107, 114, 146, 254;
         from Governor Connally, 99-100, 103, 131, 132;  in President
         Kennedy's head, 38-39, 117;  in President Kennedy's neck, 121-25,
      Bullet 399, 22, 95-96, 99-101, 103, 121, 124, 128, 129, 131, 133,
         134, 136-45, 250; planted, 253
      Bullet wounds 50, of Governor Connally, 131-45, of President
         Kennedy's anterior neck, 79, 123,125,145;  of President Kennedy's
         back, 126, 145;  of President Kennedy's head, 108-20;  of
         President Kennedy's neck, 120-29
      Bullets. {See} also Military ammunition;  Sporting ammunition
      Bullets and fragments, 48
      Bullets, high-velocity, 119

      Cabell, Mrs. Earle, 188
      Cadigan, James, 171-72
      Calvery, Gloria, 204-5
      Cartridge cases, 37, 49, 69, 107, 127-28, 129, 147
      Castro, Fidel, 29, 30
      CBS News, 193,197, 205, 213
      Central Broadcasting System. {See} CBS News
      Central Intelligence Agency. {See} CIA
      CIA, 29, 30, 38
      CIA, President's Commission on domestic activities of, 29-30, 39
      Clark, Ramsey, 105,114-15;  panel assembled by, 37, 39, 115, 117,
         118, 121
      Clothing:  description, 288;  worn by gunman, 198-99;  worn by
         President Kennedy, 20, 99, 103;  worn by Oswald, 198-99
      Cohen, Jacob, 281
      Congress, 9, 11, 30-31, 40, 255
      Connally, John, 25, 84
      Cooper, Sen. John Sherman, 26 80, 134-35, 222, 238
      Couch, Malcolm, 188, 203, 205, 208, 209, 289
      Craig, Roger, 212
      Crawford, James, 188
      Cuban refugee at Parkland Hospital, 146
      Curry, Jesse E., 74, 100
      Curtain rods, 56, 146, 158-60, 174;  story about, 58, 88

      "Dallas Morning News," 152-53, 154
      Dallas police, 37, 74, 90, 160, 171, 180-82, 195, 199, 205, 248;
         line-ups of, 195, 199, 200;  radio logs of, 187
      "Dallas Times Herald," 83, 152
      Daniels, Gene, 159-60
      Dealey Plaza, 46
      Deception, political, 10-13
      Delgado, Nelson, 230-31, 232
      De Mohrenschildt, George, 223, 239-41, 244
      De Mohrenschildt, Jeanne, 223 240-41, 244
      Department of Justice, 78;  withholding of spectographic analysis by,
         22, 100, 106
      Dickey, Charles, 128, 142
      Dillard, Tom, 203
      Dissection:  lack of at autopsy, 121
      Dolce, Dr. Joseph, 139
      Dougherty, Jack, 173-74
      Dragoo, Mrs. Betty, 186
      "Dumdum" bullet, 110
      Dulles, Allen, 15, 16-17, 26, 82, 89, 111, 134-35, 137, 198
      Dziemian, Dr. Arthur J., 140

      Edgewood Arsenal, 112
      Edwards, Don, 30
      Edwards, Robert, 189, 198
      Eisenberg, Melvin, 20, 143, 229
      Eisenhower, Dwight, 10
      Ely, John Hart, 230
      Enos, William, 142
      Epstein, Edward Jay, 28, 31, 35-36
      Euins, Amos, 188, 189-90, 195
      Executive sessions of Warren Commission:  12/5/63, 77;  12/16/63, 18,
         79-80;  1/21/64, 82-83;  1/22/64, 15, 16; 1/27/64, 17, 19;
         4/30/64, 89
      "Eyewitness identification of assassin," 61

      FBI, 15-23, 30, 37, 76-77, 90, 163, 171, 179-80, 181, 185, 196, 204,
         239, 243, 244, 248-49;  "agent" at hospital, 145-46; ballistics
         findings of, 18;  report on assassination, 76 77, 249
      Federal Bureau of Investigation.  {See} FBI
      Fensterwald, Bernard, 284
      Fiber evidence, 170-71;  in bag 58;  on rifle, 55
      Fillinger, Halpert, 116, 118, 119, 121, 122, 142, 144
      Finck, Col. Pierre, 111, 121
      Fingerprints: on boxes, 60, 65, 175;  on paper bag, 167-68
      Fischer, Ronald, 191, 198
      Folsom, Col. A. G., 229-30, 232
      Ford, Gerald, 26, 29, 36, 111, 197
      Fox, Sylvan, 28
      Fragments. {See} Bullet fragments
      Frankford Arsenal, 142

      Frazier, Buell Wesley, 56-57, 58, 151, 156, 160, 162, 163-67, 170,
      Frazier, Robert, 23, 53, 70, 101-4, 119, 125, 143, 226-27
      Freedom of Information Act, 22-23, 106
      Fritz, Will, 74, 160, 182
      Full-jacketed bullets. {See} Military ammunition

      Gallagher, John, 20, 101-2
      Garrison, Jim, 28-29, 34-35, 115
      Givens, Charles, 61, 153, 176-78, 252, 274-75, 287-88
      Goldberg, Alfred, 86
      Gregory, Dr. Charles, 133, 137-38, 142
      Gregory, Dick, 29, 34

      Hart, Philip, 278-79
      Helpern, Dr. Milton, 142
      Henchcliffe, Margaret, 146
      "A. Hidell," 55
      High-velocity bullets. {See} Bullets
      Hoover, J. Edgar, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21-22, 30, 77, 100, 105, 159, 172,
         179, 185, 249
      Howlett, John, 210, 212
      Humes, Dr. James J., 109-11, 115, 118, 124
      Hunt, E. Howard, 29
      Hunting rounds. {See} Sporting ammunition
      Huxley, Aldous, 239

      Interrogation sessions of Oswald, 182-83, 248
      Irving, Texas, 56, 58, 156, 157-58, 161-62, 251

      Jacketed bullets. {See} Military ammunition
      Jackson, Robert, 188, 203, 206
      Jarman, James, 154, 185-86, 288
      Jenner, Albert, 82, 240-41
      Johnson, Miss Judy, 186
      Johnson, Lyndon B., 25, 26, 78
      "Junior," 182-84
      Justice Department. {See} Department of Justice

      Katzenbach, Nicholas, 77
      Kellerman, Roy, 117
      Kelley, Thomas, 182
      Kennedy, Edward, 278
      Kennedy, John: Bay of Pigs, 10
      Kleindienst, Richard, 106, 282

      Landlady of Oswald's rented room, 160
      Lands and grooves, 143-44
      Lane, Mark, 28, 31, 33-35, 190
      Lawyers, 11, 13
      Liebeler, Wesley, 58, 60, 67, 68, 69-71, 91, 156, 231, 233, 235, 245
      "Life" magazine, 197
      Light, Dr. F. W., 139
      Limousine:  examination of, 47;  at hospital, 147
      Lineups. {See} Dallas Police
      Loftus, Joseph, 78
      Long, Rowland, 115
      "Long and bulky package," 162-74
      Lovelady, Billy, 204-5
      Lumumba, 30
      Lunchroom, on second floor, 202

      McCloy, John J., 17,18, 26, 80, 90, 110-11, 134-35, 139, 191
      Mannlicher-Carcanco. {See} Rifle
      "Marksman" rating of Oswald, 230
      Meagher, Sylvia, 28, 31, 33, 155, 158, 161-62, 287
      Media. {See} Press
      Medical evidence:  limitations of, 107-8 ; meaning of, 107, 249-50
      Military ammunition, 109, 114, 116, 117-18, 120, 121, 122, 123-24,
         129, 131, 147
      Miller, Herbert J., 19
      Missed shot, 37, 249
      Mitchell, John, 106, 284
      Molina, Joe, 204-5
      Mooney, Luke, 211, 212
      Morgan, Dr. Russell, 122
      "Motive" of Oswald, 82, 84
      Motorcade:  prior knowledge of route of, 151-55;  position of at
         12:15, 186-87
      Muchmore, Mary, 51

      National Archives, 15, 105, 129, 140, 159, 179
      Neutron Activation Analysis, 19-23, 250
      "Newsweek," 78
      "New York Times," 74, 78
      Nichols, Dr. John, 113, 142
      Nix, Orville, 51
      Nixon, Richard, 29
      Norman, Harold, 183-84
      Nosenko, Yuri I., 235
      Note to FBI from Oswald, 30

      Olivier, Dr. Alfred G., 139-40
      On-site tests. {See} Reconstruction of shots
      Oser, Alvin, 104, 125, 227-28
      Oswald, Marina 68, 83, 154, 156 157-58, 161, 170, 223, 233-46
      Oswald, Robert, 232-33, 234-35, 246
      Outline of Warren Commission work, 80-82, 257-63
      Outlines of Warren Report, 86-88, 266-70

      Paine garage, 245
      Paine home:  police search of, 157
      Paine, Ruth, 56, 156, 158, 161, 170, 234, 245
      Palmprint:  on bag, 57-58;  on rifle, 55
      Paper bag, 57-58, 151, 163, 167-73, 251;  prints on, 57-58, 167-68
      Paraffin casts, 21
      Parkland Memorial Hospital, 25 107, 145, 146, 251;  Cuban refugee
         employed at, 146;  doctors employed at, 116, 132;  "FBI agent" at,
      Patsy, Oswald as, 248
      Perry, Dr. Malcolm, 119
      "Philadelphia Inquirer," 74
      Photograph of Oswald with rifle, 55
      Piper, Eddie, 180-81, 209
      "Planted" evidence, 147-48, 251, 254
      Police. {See} Dallas Police
      Popkin, Richard, 28, 36
      Presidency, 10
      Press, 9, 11-13;  reaction to Warren Report, 27;  suspicious of
         Warren Report criticism, 29;  presumption of Oswald's guilt by, 75
      Psychology, 221

      Rachey, Bonnie, 186
      Radio:  in Oswald's possession 154
      Randle, Linnie Mae, 57, 162-64, 165-66
      Rankin, J. Lee, 16-17, 19, 23, 26, 80, 82-83, 89, 91, 159, 179-81,
         185, 234, 237, 242-43, 252
      Reconstruction:  of assassin's movements, 209-14;  of movements
         after the shots, 64, 202-21, 252;  of shots, 52, 88-89, 271-73
      Redlich, Norman, 33, 87-89
      Reid, Mrs. Robert, 153, 222-23
      Revill, Jack, 177
      Rifle, 18, 49, 50, 52, 54-55, 56-57, 58, 95, 106, 107, 151, 156, 162,
         167, 170-72, 191, 210, 225, 227 235-39, 246, 249-50, 253, 289;
         ammunition for, 140;  capability of, 66;  capability tests with
         228-29;  disassembled, 164, 166;  fibers on, 55; hiding of,
         212-16, palmprint on, 55;  photograph of Oswald with, 55;  test
         firing for accuracy, 70-71;  practice with by Oswald, 232-46
      Roberts, Mrs. Earlene, 154
      Roosevelt, Franklin D., 10
      Rowland, Arnold, 186-87,189,198
      Ruby, Jack, 25, 27, 146
      Russell, Sen. Richard, 17, 26, 79
      Russia:  hunting by Oswald in, 233-35, 243, 246

      Salandria, Vincent, 27, 283
      Sauvage, Leo, 27, 161
      Sawyer, Herbert, 177
      Secret Service, 16, 181, 190, 234
      "Sharpshooter" rating of Oswald, 230
      Shaw, Clay:  trial of, 28-29, 35, 103, 115, 226-27
      Shaw, Dr. Robert, 134-37, 142
      Shelley, Bill, 178, 204-5
      Shires, Dr. Tom, 133
      "Short charge," 128
      Shotgun practice by Oswald, 233-35
      Shots: as "easy," 67;  nature of, 225-28;  number of, 53;  time span
         of, 54
      Simmons, Ronald, 227, 229, 246
      Single-bullet theory, 53, 226
      Sirica, John, 14
      Slawson, W. David, 83
      Snyder, LeMoyne, 115, 123
      Soft-nosed ammunition. {See} Sporting ammunition
      Sorrels, Forrest, 195
      Soviet Union. {See} Russia
      Specter, Arlen, 83, 101-3, 110, 133, 136, 138-39, 189
      Spectographic analyses, 18-19, 22, 47, 95-106, 147, 250, 284
      Sporting ammunition, 114, 116, 118, 123-24, 129, 131
      Staff of Warren Commission, 15, 18, 21, 26, 34, 35, 40, 188, 249
      "St.Louis Post-Dispatch," 74
      Stombaugh, Paul, 170
      Sturgis, Frank, 30

      Tape from Depository dispenser, 169
      Texas School Book Depository, 47, 56, 147, 151, 251;  discovery of
         curtain rods in, 159
      Thompson, Josiah, 28, 36-37
      "Time," 77
      Tippit, J. D., 25, 32, 38, 66, 81
      Trevor-Roper, Hugh, 34
      Trujillo, 30
      Truly, Roy, 63, 153, 159, 201-9, 216-20, 222, 252-53
      "Twenty-six volumes," 27

      Underwood, Jim, 203

      Varminting bullets, 120
      Vestibule on second floor, 202, 214, 217

      Wade, Henry, 75
      Walker Edwin A.:  shot fired at, 66, 81, 221, 237, 240
      Walther, Mrs. Carolyn, 189, 198
      Warren, Earl, 18, 26, 32, 34, 79, 80, 82-83
      "Washington Post," 13, 77
      Watergate, 9, 13, 29
      Weberman, A. J., 29
      Wecht, Cyril, 37-39, 121, 142, 280-81
      Weigman, David, 206
      Weisberg, Harold, 15, 16, 19, 21, 22-23, 28, 31-33, 36, 105-6, 142,
         146, 153, 168, 184-85, 208, 284
      Weitzman, Seymour, 212, 213
      West, Troy Eugene, 168-70
      Williams, Bonnie Ray, 153
      Window, evidence near, 59-60
      Witnesses of sixth-floor gunman, 47
      Wounds. {See} Bullet wounds

      Zahm, James A., 227, 231
      Zapruder, Abraham, 51;  film by, 36, 51, 54, 116, 226