‘… the Oswald case is one of the most disgraceful phenomena’

“The bolt clicked open. Vladimir Kryuchkov, dressed in a dark suit, stood in the doorway. ‘You are welcome,’ the spymaster said.

“I began with a few dutiful Cold War questions. I asked about Lee Harvey Oswald’s prolonged stay in Minsk, and the Kennedy assassination. ‘The Soviet Union had nothing to do with the assassination,’ Kryuchkov said. ‘I know that for sure, because I was at the head of Soviet intelligence and it goes without saying that I took an interest in the assassination. Any insinuation otherwise is ill-founded.’

“He went on to say, cryptically, ‘I do, however, think a time will come when you will know. The forces responsible are still not allowing you to find the truth or make it public. Some time will have to pass — five or ten years, maybe — but I hope this will be as short as possible. Anyway, I think the Oswald case is one of the most disgraceful phenomena in the States, because one person after another was killed who was involved in it.’”
— From “The War for the Kremlin,” by David Remnick (New Yorker, July 22, 1996)

 

50 comments

  1. Shane McBryde says:

    Cold shivers anyone?

    Jeff, I would like see your book, “Our Man In Mexico” serialized on this site somehow. I’d pay a premium to be able to read that book online.

  2. Jonathan says:

    It’s entertaining to read about the JFK assassination as a big mystery. I don’t think there’s too much mystery.

    The key to understanding the assassination is that Oswald was framed. Not just anyone: Oswald. Bill Simpich has written Oswald was being tracked by three counter-intelligence services. Assuming this is true, it guarantees those agencies would block any real investigation of Oswald, lest the investigation lead into sensitive agency activities. Furthermore, Oswald could be portrayed however the government or anyone else wished.

    The whole assassination began and ended with Oswald, not just anyone.

    Once the frame was hung around Oswald, a cover-up was assured. And anyone could have committed the murder: Cubans, mob, whoever.

    • Ramon F Herrera says:

      Jonathan:

      In the 1960s there were two people in the world who raised to the top spot in counter-intelligence, deception and related specialties. Not unlike the Olympic Games, there was nobody better. Not even remotely close.

      – One worked for the US government
      – The other, for the Soviet Union.

      [I claim ours was the better one: James Jesus Angleton.]

      The LNs claim that these two creme-de-la-creme, not only world-class, but THE best of the world, were fooled by LHO (*)?

      (*) Who they were FOLLOWING closely.

      • Jeremy Gilbert says:

        Ramon: What activities was Oswald engaged in which would have raised red flags as the potential threat he might pose in terms of killing a high government official?

        Seems to me that his political activities didn’t do that – he wasn’t calling for violence against the authorities. He wrote an angry note to the FBI, but even that was, in context, not surprising. In retrospect, yes. But it’s not hard to see the FBI simply seeing Oswald as chafing under their surveillance. More like road rage than a potential to kill. And his attempt against Walker didn’t lead authorities to his doorstep as no one had any reason to suspect him… or…. see below.

        Oswald was on the radar for sure, but not as a violent threat to anyone. A possible subversive and someone who potentially could pass sensitive material to the enemy. But not a killer. The major intelligence failure on him was that the agencies didn’t seem to be aware of the gun and rifle which was shipped to him, and his potential for violence was not appreciated even after the note to Hosty.

        Even his attempted defection in Mexico, in and of itself, wouldn’t have raised concern over him, indeed, it would have made the potential for Oswald to be a spy for the East even less likely given the lack of interest in him expressed by the Cubans and the Soviets. If anything, any potential concern over this man would have diminished after his failure in Mexico.

        What I believe is more LIKELY is that perhaps the agencies DID know, for example, that the weapons were shipped to Oswald and that perhaps someone in one of the agencies suggested that he might be connected to the Walker shooting. Oswald, after all, fit the bill as someone who could have done it: A known radical leftist, just received a rifle in the mail, a trained Marine sniper. Walker a loud-mouth Bircher. But they didn’t follow up on those suspicions. You can imagine the shit-storm if it was revealed they knew he had the rifle.

        Or – and to me this seems even more likely – the CIA was aware of Oswald being told by the Cubans/Soviets to “prove” himself, only for him to do so on Nov 22 – which would have put all of those actors in a panic – the Cubans, Soviets AND the CIA – that they had to shed ANY inkling that they might be aware Oswald could do “something.” (The Cubans, if this scenario is accurate, would have been horrified to realize the man they encouraged turned around and did THAT…)

        In the end, the likelihood is that the oldest concern in the books was at play here: Cover Your Ass. In America, there can almost nothing worse than the intelligence failure of losing your president when the information was there to possibly prevent it.

        In the end, that’s what I believe is being covered up, if anything.

  3. bogman says:

    It is an ongoing disgrace.

    I used to think the circumstantial evidence of a conspiracy around Oswald’s activities before the assassination was pretty strong, but the evidence tying him to the act that day in Dealey looked strong as well. After coming to this site for some months, that evidence doesn’t seem nearly as strong. Because I’ve learned about:

    o the negative paraffin test (that Oswald predicted would show he didn’t fire a rifle that day)
    o lack of fingerprints on the Carcano
    o problems with a dissembled Carcano — it breaks down into 12 parts and there’s no proof Oswald had a screwdriver to put it back together. A dime really doesn’t work.
    o the FBI was AFRAID to shoot the gun until they cleaned it up it was in such disrepair
    o careful manufacturing and installation of a shim was the only way the scope worked
    o the sights were set for a target 300 yards away and meant to drop — meaning anyone shooting it closer needed to shoot inches if not a foot lower than the target
    o the ballistics analysis process tying the fragments to the Carcano has been thrown out as being unreliable in criminal cases
    o very narrow time frame for Oswald to be at the 6th floor window with all the various witnesses who saw him elsewhere or saw an empty 6th floor
    o the paper bag Oswald allegedly used had no signs a gun had been packaged in it
    o the walletful of money Oswald supposedly left with Marina was actually their family piggy bank and was on the dresser for weeks before

    What’s really left tying Oswald directly to the crime?

    The Hidell ID which leads to the purchase order for the rifle but even that has problems.

    And the fact Oswald left the building – although it’s been shown that at least a dozen other employees also left the TSBD immediately following assassination.

    Not quite the fool-proof case Bugliosi and others have claimed.

    • billy says:

      Did not Oswald leave just 20 dollars for Marina, a far cry from a stash of money

      • bogman says:

        It was $170. But they had been accumulating it for some time. It’s often been falsely portrayed that Oswald left all his money to her that morning.

    • Jeremy Gilbert says:

      Negative paraffin test: Test not considered reliable even in 1963 as both false positives and false negatives resulted. Used chiefly by police to elicit confessions from suspects who themselves believed it an accurate test. Later more sophisticated negative NAA tests used the sample which were now contaminated and cleaned – therefore of dubious reliability

      Lack of fingerprints – usable finger prints are often not found on weapons, so not finding any indicates nothing, but Oswald’s prints WERE found on the stock, taken off by Dallas police, passed on to FBI, card used had characteristic marks from stock establishing it indeed had been on rifle

      Dissembled rifle – we don’t know what tools Oswald may have had, can’t prove he used anything other than a dime, true, but can’t disprove he had access to a screwdriver either. Plenty of tools likely lying around as floor was being redone, so this is a non-issue

      FBI Afraid to shoot – Carcano proved to be readily fireable, despite fears

      Shim on scope – Oswald may not have used scope, could have used iron sights

      Sights set for 300 yards – again, Oswald may used iron sights; shooting pattern indicates adjustments… 1 – missed completely, 2 – struck low, 3 – bullseye

      Ballistics process – Incorrect statement. CE 399 and other fragments positively matched to the individual Carcano to the exclusion of every weapon. True, the NAA test, matching fragments to other fragments of the same bullet now discredited, but that is because modern bullets are indistinguishable. But owing to lack of homogeneity of bullets manufactured at the time, test could establish whether fragments came from one bullet or several. Indeed, test showed CE 399 and fragments formed 2 distinct groups, something we’d not see in modern bullets, hence the reason the test has been discarded

      Narrow time frame – Oswald had at least 15 minutes unseen, plenty of time to get to the 6th floor – likely was hiding when Williams had his lunch up there

      Paper bag – there would be no signs of gun – oil for example would not leak onto paper. Fibres which were identical to fibres of blanket rifle stored in found on rifle and in bag

      Money – issue is not whether wallet or piggy bank, but whether notoriously stingy Oswald left large (for him) amount of money for Marina. $170. While one could argue he was just saving money up, even though he didn’t live with her, it’s harder to explain why he’d leave behind the wedding ring.

      • Gerry Simone says:

        The FBI tests by their experts were based on the use of the scope.

        Robert Frazier didn’t use a scope at 25 yards to try to get the firing time down, albeit barely aiming, to SIMULATE USING A 4X SCOPE AT 100 YARDS.

        Assuming Oswald didn’t use his scope, HOW ON EARTH CAN HE MISS ON THE 1ST & CLOSEST SHOT AS WELL AS MISS THE ENTIRE LIMO? (Give me a break).

        In the CBS tests, they used a scope too.

        Bugliosi proposed this to avoid that troubling point about the misaligned and/or damaged scope.

    • Shane McBryde says:

      Ok, well there’s my something new for the day. I never knew about the Oswald’s “pimp roll.” I had always heard that was him leaving his belongings to Marina because supposedly he anticipated shooting the president that day.

      But, what you say totally makes more since. Most folks carry some cash in the home for whatever (I jokingly call it my pimp roll.)

    • John McAdams says:

      My, what a list of factoids.

      I don’t have time to run them all down, but I’ll just mention a few:

      problems with a dissembled Carcano — it breaks down into 12 parts and there’s no proof Oswald had a screwdriver to put it back together. A dime really doesn’t work.

      A dime did work in a demonstration before the WC.

      http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=15860

      Further, it’s pretty likely that an operation like the Depository would have a screwdriver lying about somewhere.

      the negative paraffin test (that Oswald predicted would show he didn’t fire a rifle that day)

      The test had no probative value.

      http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/factoid2.htm

      lack of fingerprints on the Carcano

      Actually, Oswald’s palm print was under the stock, and photos of the prints on the trigger guard (examined by Vincent Scalice for FRONTLINE) showed enough points of identification to be matched to Oswald.

      careful manufacturing and installation of a shim was the only way the scope worked

      But:

      1. The scope may have been fine, with Oswald having knocked it out of alignment when he jammed it into the pile of boxes.

      2. Oswald may have known (or merely suspected) that the scope was out of alignment, and used the iron sights.

      • Paulf says:

        You didn’t rebut a single point. There “likely” was a screwdriver at the depository? Seriously? That’s the best you have? You can’t use that in court, you know. You don’t have a clue whether the shooter had one, but assume away.

        The scope “may” have been fine? Really? Any proof of that? What’s your proof that Oswald knocked it out of alignment? You made that up out of whole cloth. You have no evidence he was even on the sixth floor, let alone holding the gun, shooting it or jamming the mechanism. But feel free to make assertions as if they are facts.

        Oswald “may have” known the scope was off? C’mon, does it ever get embarrassing to spout such unsupported assertions?

        Look, there are a lot of things that are not known and don’t make sense. But you imagine every unknown as if it perfectly aligns with Oswald’s guilt.

        Worse, you act as if your unsupported assertions are the only logical answers. Only someone real gullible would buy what you are selling.

        • John McAdams says:

          In order to create a problem with Oswald doing the shooting, you have to assume a lot of things.

          Expect me to prove there was a screwdriver around? You prove there was not! In a building like the Depository, the odds are there was.

          You want to assume that Oswald had to shoot with the scope? You have no proof of that. One set of Warren Commission trials was done with the iron sights, since the WC knew Oswald might have used those.

          If you want to say something was impossible, you have to rule out all the theories that might make it possible.

          Otherwise, it’s possible.

          • Gerry Simone says:

            I’ve never heard of trials by the WC using iron sights to demonstrate that Oswald may have used iron sights.

            The only demonstration using sights that I know of is by Robert Frazier in his efforts to force the firing time down by shooting at a target board, without aiming, from 25 yards to SIMULATE firing from 100 yards with a 4X scope.

          • Ronnie Wayne says:

            Doc, I try not to assume anything, personally. Like Oswald fired any shots at all. The Warren omission is BS and I think you probably understand that. I don’t assume dallas Police Chief Curry said ” we never could put him in that window with that gun in his hand”. As it stands in history at this time O was never convicted of any crime. The Warren omission was not a court.

        • Jeremy Gilbert says:

          Paulf: The onus in court would be to establish something could NOT be done, not to prove precisely how the rifle was assembled, whether using a screwdriver, or whatever. Legally, it’s a non-issue. How did he assemble it? It was found assembled, therefore it was assembled! The “how” is only of academic interest unless it was a near-impossible feat.

          Same with the scope. The only relevant question is whether the rifle was usable with a misaligned scope. It was if a) the scope was aligned when used but misaligned when subsequently handled; b) Oswald was aware of the misalignment and adjusted accordingly (he was a trained marksman, after all); c) Oswald used the iron scopes instead.

          The onus in court would be simply to establish the rifle could fire the shots and within the time available hit the targets, not to “prove” the scope was misaligned or not.

          Further, you forget that the bullet and bullet fragments found in the limo and on the gurney which had sufficient markings were fired by that individual rifle, to the exclusion of all other rifles, so however it was assembled, the rifle was used to fire the shots and that rifle HAD to have been placed where it was found AFTER the assassination. Since the rifle was photographed and filmed when recovered, and CE 399 was found at the same time, “planting” a bullet which ballisticlly matched would not have been easily achievable.

          In court, the long-standing claims from conspiracy theorists that evidence was “planted” would require evidence that this was so. The onus would be on the defense to establish these claims, or at least demonstrate they are very credible. Courts general don’t take seriously knee-jerk claims that every piece of inconvenient evidence which incriminates the defendant was “faked” or “planted” without some credible evidence this in fact happened.

          As for Oswald actually being in the sniper’s nest, his presence is established by a) a witness account who positively identified him as the sniper; b) his prints on the boxes found in the sniper nest, several of which were not boxes he’d move in the normal course of his duties; c) witnesses who confirmed the bag found near the window and likely used to carry the rifle was like the one he was seen carrying into the TSBD.

          Further, his actions and statements demonstrated a pattern of provable lies and consciousness of guilt. Such as denying he carried a package into work and denying he even owned a rifle. And, oh yes, multiple witnesses saw him shoot a cop and/or flee the scene. Hardly the actions of an innocent man.

          Finally, if Oswald was not the sniper, who was? EVERYONE in the building had an alibi (with the possible exception of Doughtery); no unknown persons were seen. If he couldn’t have got down those stairs in time, as is often claimed, well then how could the actual sniper who was seen up there apparently vanish into thin air?

          • jeffc says:

            All of these LN “factoids” have been hashed over in overwhelming detail over the years, much to the detriment of the official story. May I politely suggest you need to look into these issues in a more discerning manner.

            For instance, after a rifle has been reassembled, it must still be “sighted” before it can be used, and that procedure requires live fire. Assembled with a dime or a screwdriver? It doesn’t matter if you cannot explain how alleged assassin Oswald could have sighted the rifle.

            The HSCA firearms panel said that the markings on CE399 do not match the rifle found in the TSBD. The FBI in 1963 found the barrel of said rifle corroded and unlikely to have been recently fired.

            CE399 has no chain of evidence taking it from Parkland to Washington and so, regardless of “knee-jerk claims”, it would have been inadmissible in court. If the prosecution persisted anyways, the judge and jury would have heard testimony that CE399 did not resemble the bullet found at Parkland, which had a pointed tip.

            No witness ever saw Oswald in the so-called sniper’s nest. Oswald prints were found on boxes there, but not very many even though it is alleged he built the sniper’s nest by lifting and moving many of these 50lb boxes (and when did he do that?) The alleged rifle sack does not appear in the evidence photos, and the testimony about it is confused and contradictory.

            Oswald’s claims of not carrying a package into work and not owning a rifle are not “provable lies” as , despite official story assertions, neither the package or the rifle can be proved themselves.

            Basically, the official story defenders are left with this: “if Oswald didn’t do it then who did?” That’s a question which needs to be directed to the Dallas Police and the FBI, and not to the folks who are only pointing out the glaring deficiencies in the so-called evidence.

          • mball says:

            The issue in re the rifle would also be how it got to where it was allegedly found. It would also be how Oswald’s prints got on the barrel beneath the forestock (when the rifle was disassembled), but nowhere else on the rifle or cartridges. Scope? There is no evidence that Oswald was ever trained on a scoped rifle, nor that he ever practiced with one. His general marksmanship was poor; he had trouble qualifying for one of his last qualifications in the Marines. He wasn’t an infantryman, he was a radar operator. Sniper’s nest? Brennan ID’d no one immediately, only much later. His excuse isn’t convincing to me. Further, there are more credible witnesses who put Oswald downstairs at or very near the relevant time. Chief Curry said that no one had been able to put Oswald on the 6th floor with a rifle in his hands, and J. Edgar Hoover told LBJ (I believe it was) that the case against Oswald wasn’t very strong. Besides, you’re assuming the rifle, ammunition, bag, etc. would make it into evidence. There would have been a terrific fight over that because the chain of custody was terrible, especially with the rifle and ammunition. I could see a judge excluding it, or allowing it in, letting the defense light the prosecution up over the sloppiness involved in the evidence handling, and letting the jury decide. There are some judges I’ve seen that would have told the prosecution to either tighten its case up or he’d kick it. I mean, the chain of evidence on some stuff was that bad.

          • anonymous contributor says:

            I found this paragraph by Jeremy Gilbert interesting:

            As for Oswald actually being in the sniper’s nest, his presence is established by a) a witness account who positively identified him as the sniper; b) his prints on the boxes found in the sniper nest, several of which were not boxes he’d move in the normal course of his duties; c) witnesses who confirmed the bag found near the window and likely used to carry the rifle was like the one he was seen carrying into the TSBD.

            Let’s put that another way:

            As for Oswald actually being in the sniper’s nest, the only evidence for his presence is a) an unreliable witness [Howard Brennan] who was unable to identify him as the sniper, even after seeing Oswald on television; b) his prints on only two of the dozen or more boxes found in the sniper’s nest, one set of which probably dated from more than three days before the assassination, according to the FBI’s fingerprint expert; c) witnesses who explicitly denied that the bag, which in any case probably was not found near the window and almost certainly not used to carry the rifle, was like the one he was seen carrying into the TSBD.

            In other words: Howard Brennan was of no use, and the paper bag, even if genuine, was not the one that Buell Frazier and his sister saw Oswald carrying that morning. All we have left is one set of prints on one box, for which there is an innocent explanation – as part of his job, Oswald picked books out of boxes.

            The central part of the case against Oswald – that he was in the sixth-floor sniper’s nest at the time of the assassination – is supported only by weak circumstantial evidence. It may be that Oswald actually was there at the time, but the evidence does no more than suggest the possibility. Against this we have the much stronger evidence suggesting that Oswald was elsewhere both a few minutes before the assassination (when he saw Jarman and Norman pass by the domino room) and several minutes before that (when he was seen by Carolyn Arnold at about the same time that Arnold Rowland saw a gunman on the sixth floor).

          • Jeremy Gilbert says:

            Hi Jeff: In response to your jibe, I will say this – I wager I’ve been researching this case longer than most here, but there is always something new to discover. However, the arguments you make are the same ones I used to make, so there is nothing new there.

            Sighting the rifle: Again, the only question was whether the rifle was usable. It was. Obviously, ideally the sniper would want to sight in advance, but the pattern of shots suggest he was adjusting on the fly. Shot 1 – complete miss. Shot 2 – struck, but too low. Shot 3 – bullseye. The same applies to the “corroded” argument. That doesn’t mean the rifle wasn’t fired recently; it means it wasn’t fired a lot recently. And perhaps save for the three shots Nov 22 it hadn’t been fired at all for a few months.

            “The HSCA firearms panel said that the markings on CE399 do not match the rifle found in the TSBD.” This is a highly misleading half-truth. What was in fact determined was CE399 and CE572 – an FBI test bullet fired by the Carcano – were both fired from the same rifle. However, owing to the deteriorated condition of the Carcano, there was no way to match those bullets to the Carcano. There was NO conclusion that the bullets were not fired by the Carcano as the statement implies. http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/hsca/reportvols/vol1/html/HSCA_Vol1_0234b.htm

            Besides, in 1964 the WC DID match the same bullets, and other fragments to the Carcano, to the exclusion of all other weapons. And the HSCA was able to match the cartridges as well to the Carcano.

            No chain of evidence for CE399: This is not true. The WC determined it went from Tomlinson to Wright to Johnsen to Rowley to Todd to Frazier, the latter two marking the bullet. The only out here is Wright later said it was a different bullet, but he confirms where he got the bullet, and Johnsen confirmed it was the same bullet. In 1964, Wright said it looked like the same bullet.

            As for the claim this bullet would not be admissible evidence, from McAdams, this OJ Simpson trial brief shows that this legal argument from the defence would fail. At most, several of those witnesses would be called to the stand, but all made corroborative statements. http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/custody.txt

            “No witness ever saw Oswald in the so-called sniper’s nest.” Completely false. Brennan did, and though the CT crowd likes to poke holes in his testimony and even the WC said he changed his story, the fact remains he testified he believed the sniper was Oswald.

          • Jeremy Gilbert says:

            Oswald’s prints: “Only a few” prints were found. An old CT fallacy. ANY print nails it in terms of whether he handled the boxes. There would be no expectation that numerous readable prints would be recovered as any fingerprint expert would testify. The court would focus on the fact prints WERE recovered which establish that he handled the boxes in question.

            When did he move the boxes: An irrelevant question since the boxes were moved and placed there. And there is no dispute that the boxes were moved and placed there, with several moved for the particular purpose of forming a gun rest.

            The gun sack: He was seen carrying a sack, his fingerprints are on the sack. And he denied he carried a sack despite this evidence, further signs of a consciousness of guilt. While that one piece of evidence wasn’t photographed in situ, the boxes, the cartridges and the rifle were. And his fingerprints, as mentioned, were on the sack. The sack was likely seen as a piece of garbage and moved, before its significance was realized. Besides, it makes little sense, if it is claimed everything else was planted, to move this “planted” piece of evidence. The fact it WAS moved argues against the “plant” claim. It’s not like a sack was “needed” to establish anything – Oswald could have taken it and disposed of it after the assassination if there was none to be found – and that wouldn’t have weakened the case against him.

            Provable lies: Two witnesses said he carried a package, they had no reason to invent this testimony, and as mentioned already, his fingerprints were on the sack. How did they get there? And, yes the ownership of the rifle which he denied was a provable lie, one both the WC and the HSCA agreed was a fact, as did Marina. But this starts to get to the realm of (and I was there for years, so I know it) proving that the sun rose in the east on a particular day. The CT crowd may buy into these “can’t prove it!” arguments, but no court would, and no investigative body has.

            The question “who did it then if not Oswald” is relevant as there is no other person left in the building without an alibi who could have carried it out (putting aside all the Oswald evidence). The CT crowd likes to talk about the “Magic Bullet Theory”; I like to make call this their “Magic Sniper Theory” whereby a sniper fires from the TSBD and…. poof! Vanishes into thin air. Maybe the sniper was David Copperfield!

            The CT crowd likes to avoid that basic issue because it demonstrates the untenable nature of their claim. By removing Oswald from the suspect list, you are left with…. nobody.

          • Jeremy Gilbert says:

            Hi anonymous: Some factual issues here. In terms of the prints on the box, the testimony was WITHIN the last 3 days, not older than 3 days. Other experts said that the prints were made within a day or day and a half of being observed. Further, the palmprint on the large box indicated that Oswald SAT on it, highly suggestive that he was there on the day of the assassination sitting in the precise position he would have sat in if he was the sniper. (He had lunch there? Not what he claimed!)

            And, prints were found on two, not one, boxes, neither of which were open, so the “normal course of his duties” argument doesn’t hold a lot of weight as he picked them up and moved them, he didn’t open them. (probably just shifted the big one)

            Brennan? He positively identified Oswald. And as I’ve stated elsewhere, if it wasn’t Oswald, then you’ve got a problem as everyone else was accounted for in the building and no unknown persons were seen.

            “Witnesses who explictliy deny the bag was the one he carried” Frazier didn’t start denying this was the bag until well after his initial testimony, and Randle confirmed the bag was like the one she saw. Further, fibres found on the bag matched those of the blanket the rifle was stored in – how could this be anticipated if planted? And, again, Oswald denied even carrying anything more than his lunch into work, so what was he seen with? If you argue that Frazier and Randle were trying to frame him, then why give inconsistent descriptions and then later say it was a different bag? Makes no sense to me.

            As for the argument the rifle wasn’t ever in the bag, as I said, fibres matching the blanket fibres were there, it’s hard to understand how else they got there, and the rifle fit perfectly in the bag once disassembled. There is nothing else we’d expect to find in the bag from the rifle unless you believe the CT line that oil would have leaked out. That’s not true.

            This is not “weak circumstantial evidence,” If one or two pieces of evidence placed him there, that might be explained away. But we have a mountain of evidence which places him there – a witness who identified him, multiple fingerprints in the snipers nest, a bag he denied carrying with his prints on, the RIFLE with his prints on, matched to the bullets and fragments, casings on the floor matched to the rifle, etc. and no seen elsewhere in the building at the time of the assassination, unless you want to rely on witnesses who changed their stories a decade later.

          • bogman says:

            “The CT crowd likes to avoid that basic issue because it demonstrates the untenable nature of their claim. By removing Oswald from the suspect list, you are left with…. nobody.”

            Here’s a few reasons your belief in the govt version of events is untenable:

            o LBJ gets Warren on his side by insinuating the Soviets could’ve been involved (from his conversation with Hoover about LHO in Mexico City) but neglects to mention Hoover’s other bombshell that there was an Oswald imposter on the tapes. Whether you believe Oswald was impersonated or not, at that time LBJ had it from Hoover that he was. And he doesn’t tell the Chief Justice who he wants to lead a commission to cut off all other legitimate inquiries in a search for the official “truth.”

            o Hoover’s FBI creates a report in less that two weeks that singles out Oswald and no one else. TWO WEEKs. And they conclude that two shots hit Kennedy and one shot hit Connally. The FBI never acknowledges the Tague fragment story and never changes their assessment of three shots, three hits. The WC was finally forced to change the FBI’s version of events in June 1964 due to the publicity around Tague and that’s when Arlen Specter’s SBT was born.

            o Dulles knew full well his CIA was attempting to kill a foreign leader 90 miles off our shore using the Mafia but never tells the WC.

            o The prime evidence scene — the limousine — is cleaned before any forensic inspection.

            o Connally’s suit was cleaned by his wife two months after the shooting when no US law enforcement representative came looking for this prime piece of evidence.

            o No tapes are made of the prime suspect’s interrogations in custody. However, the suspect’s wife is taped for 8 hours by authorities immediately following the suspect’s murder while in police custody.

            I could go on and on at the obvious malfeasance by the authorities in this case. I would think that even the LNers would be outraged at the way the assassination was investigated by our government.

          • anonymous contributor says:

            Let’s look at the fingerprint evidence. Of the dozen or more heavy boxes which Oswald is supposed to have moved by hand when constructing his sniper’s nest (during the time when he was seen elsewhere in the building, but we’ll ignore that small problem for now), only two boxes contained his prints.

            His right palmprint was found on one box (CE648): “Latona [the FBI expert] stated that he could only testify with certainty that the print was less than 3 days old.” (Warren Report, 141. Latona’s testimony is at 4H39.)

            His left palmprint and right index fingerprint on one other box (CE641) “were developed by chemical processes. The freshness of prints developed in this manner cannot be estimated, so no conclusions can be drawn as to whether these remaining prints preceded or followed the print” on CE648 (WR 141).

            So the fingerprint evidence that places Oswald in the sniper’s nest boils down to this: he left one palmprint on one box that can be dated to within 3 days of the assassination. One palmprint and one fingerprint on a second box cannot be dated. The most we can deduce from this is that Oswald was in that area of the sixth floor at some point in the three days before the assassination. Maybe even that deduction is too much – it’s possible he had handled the boxes elsewhere on the sixth floor and those boxes, like many others, were moved by the men who were laying the new floor.

            How reliable a witness was Howard Brennan? Certainly not reliable enough for the HSCA, which ignored his evidence. Even the Warren Report admits that when Brennan attended a line-up on the day of the assassination he “said he was unable to make a positive identification” (WR 145). A few weeks later, his memory improved and he told the FBI that he could identify Oswald, then the next month he changed his mind again and “appeared to revert to his earlier inability to make a positive identification” (WR 145).

            So we can forget Howard Brennan. The only evidence placing Oswald in the sixth-floor window at the time of the assassination is weak and circumstantial.

            Oswald had a busy half-hour after being seen on the first floor at midday: running up the stairs to the sixth floor to build his sniper’s nest and assemble the rifle he didn’t bring into the building while avoiding Bonnie Ray Williams who was eating his lunch up there; running down a few floors to be seen by Carolyn Arnold; running back up and posing by the wrong window so that he could be seen by Arnold Rowland in the company of another man; running back down in time to see Jarman and Norman by the domino room on the first floor; running back up to shoot the president; running back down to the second-floor lunch room to get a Coke (thirsty work, all that running); then calmly walking out of the building.

            During all this time, no-one saw or heard him on the stairs, or on the elevators, or when he was building his sniper’s nest or assembling his rifle. One might almost think that Oswald didn’t actually go up the sixth floor at all after midday.

          • Gerry Simone says:

            @ Anonymous Contributor and others:

            Check out Barry Krusch’s video reply to Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Kennedy (censored on Amazon so you’ll have to watch it below here – it discusses it within 2 minutes of the video but the whole video is quite interesting).

            Those boxes were moved to the southeast window area by the workers laying down the new floor, which is to say that Oswald did NOT build the sniper’s lair that way.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdUpGtYQdj8

          • Jeremy Gilbert says:

            HI Bogman:
            “LBJ gets Warren on his side by insinuating the Soviets could’ve been involved…” etc.
            Not sure how this makes the government conclusions untenable. Warren wasn’t told about Oswald by LBJ… yes, but he was aware of the claim later – and… so? LBJ was appealing to an extremely reluctant Warren by calling on him to help stem “rumours” etc which could lead to war. Read Caro for more on this.
            “The WC was finally forced to change the FBI’s version of events in June 1964 due to the publicity around Tague” etc.
            You are flat wrong on this. First, you are obviously not aware of the attitude the WC had towards the FBI’s conclusion. It was seen by them right from the start as an embarrassingly inept piece of crap and was ignored. The claim that the Tague claim “forced” them to change their story in June 1964 is nonsense. The WC received the Zap film late January 1964 and almost immediately they realized there was a timing problem. For a moment, there was a real sense that two snipers separately struck JFK and Connally. But a closer examination of the film during April led the WC to conclude that they were likely struck by one bullet, though Connally’s wrist wounds were initially thought to have been caused by another bullet. The re enacment of the assassination took place May 24th, thus confirming the trajectory and the SBT to the satisfaction of the WC. IOW, the SBT was in place well before June 1964.
            Dulles/Castro: Dulles kept the WC in the dark about Castro, yes, but while that would have been a possible motive for Castro to kill Kennedy if he was aware of it (he likely was), the role of the Cubans was explored as much as could have been given the political realities. Problem is, any rational state actor – and Cuba was one – would not seriously consider an assassination attempt given the lethal response. These deficiencies were addressed by the HSCA. I’d say the better critique was what the CIA knew re Oswald and Cuba, this was explored by the HSCA in greater detail.
            “The prime evidence scene — the limousine — is cleaned before any forensic inspection.”: A forensic team – Frazier, Cunningham, Bartlett, Killiam and Thomas – arrioved at 1 am Nov 23 and thoroughly examined the limousine. The cleaning occurred after 4 pm that day, as decomposing remains necessitated it.
            “Connally’s suit was cleaned by his wife two months after the shooting.” So? Any particular reason to hang on to this? What potential evidence are we talking about being destroyed?
            “No tapes are made of the prime suspect’s interrogations in custody.” A glaring deficiency. I ascribe that as another example of the incompetence on display those several days.

          • Jeremy Gilbert says:

            Hi Anonymous:
            “Only two boxes contained his prints.” There is no expectation that many fingerprints would be recovered. Any large box would be harder to move and likely to result in smudged fingerprints. The smaller boxes would be more readily moveable and one of them has two sets of prints. The nature of the prints suggests he carried the box, not what he’d do in the course of his normal duties given the box wasn’t opened or shipped.
            The palmprint on the large box is such that he had to have been sitting on it. You quote Latona. Mandella said a maximum of a day and a half from examination for the placement of the print. So why was Oswald sitting on the box likely on Nov 22? Not to eat his lunch.
            “it’s possible he had handled the boxes elsewhere on the sixth floor and those boxes.” The print on the large box indicates it wasn’t “handled” per se, he was sitting on it. And likely within 24 hours of it being placed.
            “How reliable a witness was Howard Brennan?” I agree – nevertheless, he did positively identify Oswald as the sniper. So that is evidence which directly places Oswald in the sniper’s nest.
            “Oswald had a busy half-hour after being seen on the first floor at midday”
            He needed 5 minutes during the day to assemble the rifle, maybe 2 minutes to assemble the sniper’s nest. The rifle he could have done at some secluded spot; the nest after noon. The witness accounts you cite are problematic, some more so than Brennan’s.
            The facts remain: He was seen carrying a lengthy package into work, a similar package which could carry the dissembled rifle was found by the nest. He denied even having a package. He had routine access to the floor and was seen on the floor. Boxes were moved for a sniper nest – his prints were on some of the boxes. One witness says it was Oswald in the nest. His palmprint is on the floor box indicating he was sitting on it. His rifle with his prints was on the floor. He denied even owning a rifle. The recovered bullet and fragments were matched to the rifle, as were the bullet casings.
            And what was Oswald seen doing after the assassination? Doing what every person would be doing after one of the most shocking events in history – getting a Coke. And acting like everything was completely normal. That in itself is suspicious, unusual behaviour.
            The CT crowd has been twisting itself into knots explaining away this evidence but they NEVER answer a simple, basic question: Who was in the sniper’s nest if not Oswald, and how did that person disappear without a trace? I call that the “Magic Sniper Theory.”

          • bogman says:

            o on the paraffin test — the media thought it was of significant enough value to question Curry on it and Curry thought it was of significant value to say that it was positive for firing “a” gun (but not the rifle) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2FdDM2gMKw.

            With that footage, I find it hard to believe the authorities of that time didn’t believe in the value of the test. I think the negative result was also part of the reason Hoover told LBJ the case against Oswald “not very very strong.”

            But if the authorities did only use the test to scare suspects into confession, it didn’t budge Oswald. He accurately predicted the test would fail:

            “What are you trying to prove with this paraffin test, that I fired a gun?. . .You are wasting your time.”
            http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/LHO.html

            Does Oswald’s correct prediction about the test show a “consciousness of innocence?”

            o on the disassembled Carcano — where and when did Oswald have the opportunity to reassemble it? A British researcher focused on this aspect of the case for some time and found the best he could do to was reassemble the rifle with all components laid out within easy reach in about 5-6 minutes with a screwdriver. He could never assemble it with a dime. There was no screwdriver found in the “sniper’s nest.”

            Given the fact the motorcade was supposed to pass by the TSBD at 12:25 p.m. gives Oswald even less time to put the rifle together after his last sighting at 12:15.

            He also had not have access to the rifle at least since New Orleans, so there was no practice assembling or shooting.

            o Nobody inside the TSBD saw Oswald enter the building with a package. On the contrary, co-worker Jack Dougherty told the WC he specifically saw Oswald come in the door with nothing in his hands http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/doughert.htm

            o I think Jeremy Gilbert way underplays the difficulty of that shot, saying Oswald could forego the faulty scope and use the sights that were set for longer-range shooting and adjust on the fly, all in a few seconds shooting at the POTUS.

            And a question for the LNers: if Oswald was wily enough to teach himself Russian, get himself in the Soviet Union and back to the US with a wife and child during the coldest time of the Cold War, get himself on TV, radion and newspapers in NO, get the CIA talking about him in Mexico City, and pull off the assassination of a president single-handedly, why was he so dumb to carry the Hidell ID with him that tied him directly to the rifle? Doesn’t add up.

            And one final note — if Oswald’s lies under custody prove “consciousness of guilt,” then what do the CIA’s lies and cover-ups in this case over the decades prove?

          • jeffc says:

            Jeremy – predictably, your efforts to detail your assertions result in an ever-weaker position. Most of your points could have been plausibly argued twenty years ago, but at this stage too many knowledgable astute critics have examined the “so-called evidence” in detail and, most importantly, in full – such that the informed observer can quickly note that the thin arguments you propose are readily crushed by the weight of the complete details. Perhaps you should consult, say, Jim DiEugenio’s “Reclaiming Parkland”, which contains summaries of much of the evidence you cite, as it could allow you to sharpen your position. Otherwise, claiming that Howard Brennan did indeed positively ID Oswald, or that Frazier described a package consistent with containing a disassembled rifle, or that there is a chain of possession of CE399, or that Oswald’s “prints” were on the rifle, or that blanket fibres were in the “rifle sack”, or that a purported assassin actually propped his rifle on the “gun rest” boxes, etc etc etc – seems to parrot the WC / Posner / MacAdams / Bugliosi party line which, today, is completely unsustainable.

          • bogman says:

            Jeremy –

            If the Director of the FBI and the new POTUS both believe that the accused assassin was impersonated in the consulates of our Cold War enemies, one would assume they would immediately move heaven and earth to find out who that imposter was. Neither Hoover or LBJ get a pass on that. Borderline treasonous.

            When Dulles doesn’t inform the WC about the plots against Fidel, he in my estimation is also acting treasonously.

            What is reasonable to gather is that neither Hoover, LBJ or Dulles thought there was any possibility the assassination was directed by an enemy state.

            Also, to add to our govt’s shame, the WC accepted the guarantee of McCone and Hoover that Oswald was not an agent of either the CIA or FBI (to their knowledge). And that was that.

          • Jeremy Gilbert says:

            Hi Bogman:
            “Does Oswald’s correct prediction about the test show a “consciousness of innocence?””
            But he WAS tested positive for firing a gun. So that kinda blows up that contention, Bogman.
            “On the disassembled Carcano — where and when did Oswald have the opportunity to reassemble it?”
            He needed 5 minutes to do it, and he had something like 3 ½ hours to find that 5 minutes. He may have gone to the 7th floor or to the roof – there were a lot of places to do this, he didn’t need to be in the sniper’s nest. The bag he could use to partially conceal the assembled rifle. If he did it, for example, in a secluded place with a screwdriver he pocketed then returned unseen, that’s one plausible explanation.
            The onus in court would be to establish, for the defence, that assembly of the rifle was impossible to achieve without detection. That`s a pretty high hurdle for the defence.
            “On the contrary, co-worker Jack Dougherty told the WC he specifically saw Oswald come in the door with nothing in his hands”
            The problem with that line of reasoning is this contradicts even what Oswald claimed – that he carried his lunch into work. Besides, we have two witnesses who saw him carry a bag, one who was quite specific on that point, seeing him carry it in ahead of him. What is your basis for concluding Dougherty is correct and Frazier, his sister and Oswald himself were wrong?
            “I think Jeremy Gilbert way underplays the difficulty of that shot”
            It was a 100-yard shot, not hard for a trained sniper, which Oswald was. And he had about 8 seconds to get the shots off, also not too hard. And… it seems he completely missed on the first, likely firing over the limo, adjusted, but shot too low on the second, got his bullseye on the final shot. So, 1 hit of 3 isn`t exactly great shooting, if he was to be scored on it. But it seems he got the task done, eh?
            “why was he so dumb to carry the Hidell ID with him that tied him directly to the rifle? Doesn’t add up. ”

            It adds up if he planned to make a get-away and needed an ID that didn`t say “Oswald,” as that name would be broadcast within hours. And he also probably correctly figured that if arrested, it`d make no difference anyway. It`d just take the cops a little longer to track down that alias.
            “what do the CIA’s lies and cover-ups in this case over the decades prove? ”`
            It proves that they are liars, it says nothing about their culpability in this case.

          • Jeremy Gilbert says:

            JeffC:
            “claiming that Howard Brennan did indeed positively ID Oswald, or that Frazier described a package consistent with containing a disassembled rifle,… “ etc
            So are you saying Brennan never positively ID`d Oswald ? I;m well aware of the issues with Brennan, but this does not mean he didn`t make the positive ID.
            And I also aware of the increasingly imaginative explanations for this inconvenient evidence against Oswald. I was parroting these same arguments for more than a quarter-century, the newer ones add a scientician sheen to those old arguments. But here we all know the pro- and counter-arguments.
            But let`s turn that around for a moment, and why don`t you or someone else answer these questions to get down to who actually, if not Oswald, killed Kennedy. Because one of the chief reasons I buy the LN line is that the CT line doesn`t address the evidence we have and usually has wild and unsubstantiated claims as gospel.
            1 – How did the sniper escape undetected ? We know a sniper was in that window. All employees were accounted for, all had alibis, save Oswald (okay, Dougherty, perhaps), yet no unknown person or persons was seen descending the stairs or elevators or exiting the building. And the exits were being watched.
            2 – Is the fact that Oswald`s palmprint on the sniper`s nest box, indicating he was sitting on it, mean that the sniper (who I will now call Notoswald) was so slick that he managed to find a box out of several hundred up there that Oswald SAT on AND put a palmprint on and position it in such a way as to frame Oswald ? And how would he possibly do this ? The print likely being made on Nov 222 itself.
            3 – How would Notoswald get Oswald to carry a parcel with curtain rods or whatever into work, leave the bag by the sniper`s nest AND be the right size to carry the rifle that Notoswald presumably brought in ? If Oswald brought it in for Notoswald, why did he not, since he was so smart as per bogman, not join his fellow employees on Elm Street for an alibi insetad if making himself near-invisble?
            4 – How plausible it is that Oswald, universally described by anyone who knew him as intensely political, would choose to decide to have lunch in the windowless lunchroom of the TSBD while the world`s most powerful man was passing by outside ? And further, in reaction to the shocking news that the president was shot, no doubt hearing the shots and screams and commotion, would not at least go out the door to find out what happened and instead decide this is the time to calmly get a Coke ?

          • anonymous contributor says:

            jeffc -

            I’m not sure you’re correct when you write that many of Mr Gilbert’s points could have been plausibly argued twenty years ago. Back in 1967, Sylvia Meagher’s Accessories After the Fact (a very under-rated book, now available as a paperback and e-book) took apart most of the claims that the few remaining lone-nut supporters make today.

            She identified the weakness of the fingerprint evidence, the unreliability of Howard Brennan, the evidence that Oswald did not bring a rifle into the TSBD, the probable fakery of the ‘gun sack’, and the blatant dishonesty of the Warren Report’s claim that no TSBD people saw Oswald after 11:45. Other writers pointed out the dubious history of CE399 and the strong likelihood that CE399 wasn’t actually the bullet that was found on the stretcher, which of course wasn’t even Connally’s stretcher.

            There really is no excuse for anyone to make these claims nearly 50 years after they were discredited.

      • Gerry Simone says:

        With Oswald pressured for time, I really doubt he would use a dime to try to assemble the Carcano.

        If he did, how tight can any connection be to allow accurate firing?

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Stick around bogman!

  4. Jean Davison says:

    Mr. Kryuchkov says, “one person after another was killed who was involved in it.” It sure sounds if he’s heard of the list of Mysterious Deaths. Maybe he saw “JFK” or read about it somewhere. Who hasn’t?

    Anyone can be a conspiracy theorist and give an opinion, including ex-KGB agents and alleged Ruby girlfriends. IMO, someone should’ve asked Kryuchkov and Gail Raven (among others), “How do you know this?… Or is this just your opinion?”

    • John McAdams says:

      Vladimir Kryuchkov was pretty much a die-hard cold warrior. In other words, the sort of fellow that conspiracists would hold in contempt on our side of the Cold War divide.

    • Paulf says:

      Absolutely right that before we can fully evaluate these claims, we need more information about the sources.

      That said, it would be silly to deny that the head of Soviet intelligence had more knowledge of this than a regular person on the street. What’s more, even if he presented compelling evidence, deniers would immediately move to reflexively deny and discredit everything he says.

      Anyone can just deny everything that doesn’t meet their preconceived notions.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Kryuchkov doesn’t believe in coincidences and knows a thing or two about covert operations and disinformation.

  5. Jonathan says:

    I wish certain issues would be put to bed on this site. In particular, the reliability of the paraffin tests done on Oswald.

    If it used certain chemicals, the test could produce FALSE POSITIVES, as Cortlandt Cunningham of the FBI testified to the W.C.:

    “Mr. CUNNINGHAM. …… the reagents used in these two tests are not specific for gunpowder residues. Now, it is true that the nitrates and nitrites in gunpowder residues will react positively with diphenylamine and diphenylbenzidine, but they are not specific. They will react–these two reagents will react with most oxidizing agents.

    Mr. EISENBERG. Can you give us a few examples?

    Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Yes. Urine, tobacco, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soil, fertilizer–I have a list here of the different families or classes of compounds that will react. In addition to nitrates and nitrites, substances such as dichromates, permanganates, hypochlorites, periodates, some oxides, such as selenium dioxide and so forth. Also, ferric chloride and chromates and chlorates. The list of oxidizing agents is so large that will react–that you cannot specifically say it was a gunpowder residue.”

    The test, in other words, cast too wide a net. It could and did produce FALSE POSITIVIES. It did not produce FALSE NEGATIVES. The chemistry of the test didn’t work that way.

    Jeremy Gilbert and John McAdams need to stop peddling falsehoods about this. Oswald tested NEGATIVE on his cheek. That was a TRUE NEGATIVE. Something the Warren Commission couldn’t tolerate. So it falsely reported the paraffin test was COMPLETELY unreliable. The negative paraffin test on Oswald’s cheek was an accurate indicator that he had not fired a rifle any time recently.

    • John McAdams says:

      You are simply repeating conspiracy book stuff, and ignoring the standard forensics literature.

      http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/factoid2.htm

      The paraffin test produced a lot of false positives, and also false negatives.

      Note that more recent versions of the test, with better chemistry, produce few false positives, but still produce false negatives.

      . . . a negative test for GSR [gunshot residue] is meaningless, as (a.) tests are only positive in about half of the cases when an individual is known to have fired a gun, (b.) tests are usually negative in relationship to rifles and shotguns.

      This from Di Maio and Dana, 2007.

      • Jonathan says:

        Diphenylamine and diphenylbenzidine are exquisitely sensitive to oxidizers and turn any speck of oxidizer picked up by paraffin BLUE. The only way you get a negative is if there’s no nitrate or other oxidizer present. That’s not a false negative, just a negative.

        The “more recent versions of the test” to which you refer are irrelevant to the test done on Oswald. You should have put forth proof the Oswald-style test was unreliable as to negatives. Cortlandt Cunningham sure didn’t.

        • John McAdams says:

          Again (you continue to ignore this), all the standard forensics literature said that the paraffin test produced a large number of false positives and a large number of false negatives.

          • Jonathan says:

            John, you ignore reality. Mannlicher-Carcano rifles like the alleged murder weapon leak gunpowder residue ever time when fired and the residue is imparted on the shooter’s cheek. Guinn established this.

            Cunningham and basic chemistry establish that Diphenylamine and diphenylbenzidine will detect the presence of nitrates or other oxidizers.

            You are talking generalities. I’m talking the specifics of the test done on Oswald’s cheek and the characteristics of a Mannlicher-Carcano. Not some other weapon. Not some other test.

          • Gerry Simone says:

            … and yet they STILL took that test despite that it’s not infallible!

            If it was positive, lone nutters would be rallying behind those results.

          • John McAdams says:

            The FBI conducted a test of the C2766 rifle, with an agent firing three shots in rapid succession, and the agent’s cheek then tested negative.

            http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=946&relPageId=585

          • jeffc says:

            Jonathan is correct. The Guinn tests in 1964 on residue deposits with, specifically, Mannlicher-Carcano rifles undermine convincingly arguments that the Oswald paraffin test could have produced a false negative. This issue is covered extensively in Gerald McKnight’s “Breach Of Trust”.

          • John McAdams says:

            This issue is covered extensively in Gerald McKnight’s “Breach Of Trust”.

            So I’m quoting standard forensics literature, and you’re quoting buff books.

            To make your claim, you need to find a citation from standard forensics or scientific literature saying that the paraffin test produces no false negatives.

            You can’t do that.

          • Jeremy Gilbert says:

            I tried to post this the other day, but something went amiss. Here it is again:

            An FBI memo: “Today, Dr. Vincent P. Guinn called the FBI Laboratory and spoke to SA John F. Gallagher… Further be advised that the tests to date indicate that powder residues are deposited on both cheeks of the shooter after the rifle is fired either one time or three times. It appears, he [Guinn] added, that these results can be obtained even if the paraffin casts are made 2 1/2 hours after shooting the rifle providing that the skin of the shooter has not been washed in the meantime.”
            Jonathen: My reading of this FBI memo on this subject seems to indicate that the reliability of the NAA test was not confirmed for casts made after 2 1/2 hours (though I believe test casts were in fact assessed after 4 hours by Guinn) and for the case where the person in question washes his face. Correct me if I am wrong, but the casts were taken at 8 pm, some 7 1/2 hours after the assassination, about twice as long after the fact as per Guinn’s tests, and Oswald could very well have washed his face (he was, after all, punched in the face and otherwise manhandled while arrested and was no doubt “cleaned up” for the press, putting further doubt on the reliability of this test.
            But more than that, it is my reading of Guinn on this subject that he doesn’t seem to think the negative Oswald cheek tests were indicative that he didn’t fire a rifle: “Warren Commission results were inconclusive, not because of a failure of the activation analysis technique, but rather because of earlier contamination of the casts, presumably by excessive handling.” So, they were INCONCLUSIVE, he said, not indicative one way or the other, yet the CT crowd claims the technique is basically infallible.
            It seems to me that Guinn in the report often cited by the CT crowd is defending the TECHNIQUE while bemoaning the botched handling of the casts which might have resulted in a conclusive finding: “The Kennedy assassination is an example of a case where unaltered casts of the cheeks (i.e. not chemically treated and not mishandled) would have been extremely important.”
            Hardly the words of man saying the tests were conclusive in the case of Oswald.

          • John McAdams says:

            Hardly the words of man saying the tests were conclusive in the case of Oswald.

            Good point. Also, I think Guinn in 1963/64 was excessively optimistic about a new technique in which he had a vested interest.

            Ironically, conspiracists trash Guinn for telling the HSCA that the fragments from the limo show hits from two (and only two) bullets.

            But when they can use him to try to get Oswald off the hook, that’s all forgotten.

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