Seeds of doubt: Gaeton Fonzi interviews Arlen Specter in 1966


Warren Commission Exhibit 903.
Arlen Specter demonstrates the
single-bullet theory in May 1964.

When young journalist Gaeton Fonzi interviewed former Warren Commission staff lawyer Arlen Specter in 1966, he expected the talented Specter to have ready answers to the questions which were then swirling around the medical aspects of the JFK case. Specter’s “single bullet theory” was under attack in such books as Edward Epstein’s Inquest, and in scholarly articles by Vincent Salandria in a legal journal (see here and here).

Fonzi would later write in his memoir The Last Investigation: “After those interviews with Arlen Specter, my belief in that Government would never be the same.”

On the surface, the interviews do not contain “explosive” material; Fonzi is largely deferential to Specter, who would go on to become a U.S. Senator. But for those with even a bit of knowledge of the forensics of the JFK case, it is clear that Specter struggles awkwardly at several points to explain simple things. His explanations are  simply hard to believe.

Right off the bat in the first recording, Specter dances around the basic question of whether Kennedy and Connally were hit by the same bullet, and if not, then whether there was sufficient time for a single gunman to hit them both with separate shots.

Gaeton Fonzi and Arlen Specter both passed away in 2012.  Fonzi’s widow Marie has kindly made the recordings and transcripts available to the Mary Ferrell Foundation; they may be read and listened to here:

First Fonzi-Specter interview, Jun 28 1966 see transcript

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Second Fonzi-Specter interview, Jun 29 1966 see transcript

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Third Fonzi-Specter interview, Jul 8 1966 see transcript

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Fonzi-Salandria discussion, Jul 1966 (exact date unknown) see transcript

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