What the Warren Commission didn’t know

The Assassination Archive and Research Center will hold a conference on the 50th anniversary of the report of the Warren Commission in Washington next week — and it is going to be great.

Entitled a “Half Century of Revelations,” the conference speakers (I’m one of them) will review all that has been learned since the Commission issued its notable unpersuasive report 50 years ago.

And perhaps even more significantly, the conference program will help forge a more cohesive and coherent account of the causes of JFK’s death. As Jim Lesar points out today in a piece for Op-Ed News there is a lot that we don’t know because of official secrecy. But I think the presentations of John Newman, Bob Blakey, and Dan Hardway in particular, will give us a closer understanding of the role of certain CIA officers in the tragedy of November 22.

Sign up here for one day or the whole thing. And students, check out the discount.

44 comments

  1. Arnaldo M Fernandez says:

    The conference program should also address what the WC knew, but distorted or silenced. For example, Castro insisted both in public and in private that Oswald couldn’t fire three times against JFK in the given time, and much less hit the moving target twice. An FBI informant reported that Castro had done even some experiments, but Hoover told the WC “that the FBI Laboratory firearms experts made tests and determined that three shots could be fire with the kind of rifle and sight used by Oswald in the five to six seconds which were available.” The greatest sniper of the Vietnam era, Carlos Hathcock, couldn’t do what Hoover said and the WC accepted Oswald did, although Hathcock repeatedly tried to do it.

    • Photon says:

      Arnoldo, thanks for posting the Roberts Hathcock lie as a fact, proving that your credibility is low .
      It is simply amazing how conspiracy buffs will accept anything that supports a conspiracy viewpoint no matter whether it is true or not .

      • Paulf says:

        Sigh, another bit of misdirection by photon. I never heard of Carlos Hathcock and whatever he could or couldn’t do is really irrelevant.

        The real issue is that the odds are astronomical that Oswald, whose marksmanship is questionable, could take the alleged weapon and shoot it accurately three times within the allotted time.

        Now would it be possible for someone to accurately shoot a moving target with a rusty gun with a misaligned target that has to have its cartridges ejected after each shot three times in a handful of seconds? Sure, anything is possible, but it is extremely improbable.

        Now add to that the possibility of a bullet making a string of wounds through two bodies and emerging pristine. Is that possible? Maybe, but it would be a million-in-one chance.

        Then we have the botched investigation and the silencing of the actual suspect (and many other improbabilities). Could all of these unusual and improbable things be totally coincidental? Anything is possible.

        But you really have to deliberately obtuse to pretend that the lone gunman theory doesn’t fall apart without believing a string of almost impossible events. Which is why the photons of the world have to keep bringing up irrelevant splinters to avoid discussing the beam in our eyes.

      • Pat Speer says:

        You’re way off base, Photon, accusing Roberts of lying on this point. Roberts published his book in ’94. Hathcock died in ’99. And yet, as far as we can tell, he never said a word about Roberts misrepresenting what he said.

        There’s also this…it’s beyond dispute that Roberts KNEW and had a close relationship with Hathcock. Roberts’ previous book on sniping was One Shot, One Kill (1990). It was a collection of sniping stories told by the snipers. Well, guess who wrote the longest story in the collection? Hathcock.

        • Photon says:

          Sorry Pat, but you need to get your facts straight. The lead author of ” One Shot,One Kill ” is Charles Sasser, who has been a co-author of about 30 books and I suspect was the principal author of OS,OK. His credibility was completely shredded about 10 years ago when he co-authored about book titled “Taking Fire…” with supposedly the second-most decorated helicopter pilot of the Vietnam war. This guy’s co-pilot found out about it and blew the whistle and revealed that the book was complete B.S. full embellished incidents and false claims. The book was dropped from the bookstore at the Air and Space Museum and apparently has dropped out of sight. And you want us to believe that he or Roberts personally interviewed Hathcock? Frankly, I doubt that Carlos was even aware of this book. He was a private person and never tooted his own horn, even to the point of never pursuing a decoration for pulling a guy out of a burning LVPT that caused injuries that ended his sniper duty-although he still gave exhibitions and helped to train Marines until he retired. By 1994 he was fighting the multiple sclerosis that would ultimately take his life; I suspect that even if he knew about this book being published it would have been difficult for him to comment -not that he would have done so anyway.
          The only evidence that Roberts ever met Hathcock is a picture taken at Roberts range in Oklahoma when Carlos made an appearance-as he did at dozens of ranges across the U.S. after he retired. There are literally hundreds of people across the U.S. with a similar picture. His real friends didn’t need a picture.
          Roberts claimed to be a Marine sniper . He wasn’t. He claimed to be the only Tulsa police officer assigned to investigate the Oklahoma City bombing- highly unlikely since he was a police helicopter pilot months from retirement, let alone that the FBI and Oklahoma City police were running the case. Roberts also claimed that Terry Nichols met with Kalid Shieik Muhhamed before the bombing along with the leadership of the Philippine branch of Al Qaeda- complete fabrication.

      • R. Andrew Kiel says:

        Dr. Joseph Dolce chief consultant in wound ballistics for the US Army supervised the ballistics tests for the Warren Commission – he stated:

        “So they gave us the the original rifle – The Mannlicher Carcano, plus 100 bullets, 6.5 milimeters, & in every instance (of firing into cadavars wrists)the front of the bullet was smashed. It’s impossible for a bullet to strike a bone, even at low velocity & still come out with a perfectly normal tip … under no circumstances do I believe that this bullet could hit the wrist & still not be deformed. We proved it by our experiments”.

        Dr. Robert Shaw (Parkland) & Dr.’s Pierre Finck & James Humes (Bethesda) both made statements before the Warren Commission & the House Select Committee that the single bullet theory was not possible because of the many fragments still present in the governor’s wrist, chest & thigh. How could the bullet (#399) be almost pristine (little to no damage) & have no blood or clothing materials on it – yet travel through wrist & rib bones & clothing & yet be virtually pristine with no cloth fabrics on it.

        Why would these examples of primary evidence be ignored by “objective” researchers like Photon & McAdams – unless they have already reached conclusions that are derived as a result of ignoring evidence that refutes their pre-conceived conclusions.

        • Gerry Simone says:

          Dr. Joseph Dolce repeats what you cited in Chip Selby’s Reasonable Doubt: The Single Bullet Theory.

          You can read my review here:

          http://www.amazon.com/Reasonable-Doubt-Single-Bullet-Theory/product-reviews/6301815866/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

          Dolce’s most important words are ‘EVEN AT LOW VELOCITY’, contrary to what Lattimer or Sturdivan have postulated.

          Your other points are noteworth too R. Kiel.

          I wish Jefferson Morley luck at the conference, and hope that it will be fruitful in the pursuit of the whole truth. Too bad I can’t make it.

        • Jean Davison says:

          Dr. Dolce may have been ignored because he was wrong. Wound ballistics expert Martin Fackler fired this bullet into a wrist bone at a slowed velocity (1100fps) and it was not “smashed”:

          http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/bullet1.jpg

          Other reenactments have also produced bullets resembling CE399.

          Dolce was a surgeon described in an FBI document as a consultant to the Biochemistry Division of Edgewood Arsenal. He concluded Oswald was guilty and suggested this shooting scenario:

          –1st bullet through JFK’s neck (the “pristine” bullet”)

          –2nd bullet hits Connally’s chest and wrist (the missing bullet)

          –3rd, the fatal wound with a fragment hitting the windshield and Connally’s thigh

          http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=99785&relPageId=5

          IMO, based on expert testimony there’s a problem with a bullet exiting JFK’s throat at c.1100 fps and falling harmlessly into the limo. And he doesn’t account for Tague’s wound.

          • jeffc says:

            As described in Chapter 8 of Breach of Trust, Dolce reached his opinion on the shooting sequence after an April 1964 conference arranged by the Warren Commission and attended by Dolce, the Connally’s, Parkland doctors Shaw and Gregory, Rankin, McCloy, Specter, Belin, and others. The group watched the Z-film and discussed the shooting sequence. Dolce at the time was chairman of the Army’s Wound Ballistics Board and was introduced to the Commission as the army’s “top ballistics man”. His opinions were rejected by what he described as the Commission’s “legal talent”, meaning especially Specter. The tests with a Carcano firing bullets were done shortly after this conference producing results which the Commission again rejected.

            In his two SBT chapters (8 and 9), McKnight demonstrates how the theory was developed to support a pre-determined conclusion, and how contrary expert advice was repeatedly overlooked. The SBT was developed to satisfy political demands within the Commission, and not from any scientific or medical consensus.

          • Jean Davison says:

            jeffc,

            I’m aware of the April 1964 conference but I can’t find anything that says Dolce had the title you mentioned or that he was introduced to the WC as the “top ballistics man.” Could you give me a source for that, like a document or testimony? Dolce isn’t described that way in, e.g., this FBI account of the conference:

            https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=746609

          • jeffc says:

            Dolce describes his experience in a 1976 letter requesting he be interviewed by HSCA –

            http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=99785&relPageId=3

          • Dolce describes his experience in a 1976 letter requesting he be interviewed by HSCA –

            He feels “Oswald was the sole assassin who fired the three shots.”

            http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=99785&relPageId=5

            I think Jean already posted a link to this document.

          • jeffc says:

            “I think Jean already posted a link to this document”

            She was asking for some confirmation of Dolce’s qualifications.

            Dolce may have been of the opinion that Oswald was responsible for the shooting, as was Richard Russell – the important point is that, like Russell, he was adamant that the Single Bullet Theory could not be true. Neither man appeared aware that, without the SBT, the conclusion that the assassination consisted solely of three shots from a Mannlicher-Carcano situated on the 6th floor of the TSBD is severely, if not fatally, compromised.

            Gerald McKnight’s book – which you have not read despite portraying yourself as some kind of authority on the subject – shows how expert opinion, such as Dolce, was repeatedly ignored by the Warren Commission’s staff lawyers when it did not confirm or conform to their pre-determined conclusions (the pre-determination, as expressed in the Redlich memo discussed in another thread, was that the shooting was done by one person located on the sixth floor of the TSBD). Supporters of the Warren Commission appear to be in deep denial that the WC was so compromised and operated by such bad faith. But there is no other conclusion after considering the record (which you refuse to do).

          • the important point is that, like Russell, he was adamant that the Single Bullet Theory could not be true.

            So his opinion is absolutely authoritative when you find it convenient, but clueless when it’s inconvenient (Oswald being the sole shooter).

          • Jean Davison says:

            jeffc,

            In giving his qualifications at your link, Dr. Dolce mentions his extensive experience with high-velocity gunshot wounds but doesn’t indicate how much he knew about how bullets behave.

            Please look more closely at these three opinions of his that the WC rejected:

            Dolce disagreed with Olivier and Dr. Gregory about which side of Connally’s wrist was hit, insisting that the larger wound was the exit. But he overlooked the fact that the bullet carried fibers from Connally’s jacket sleeve into that larger wound. The fibers Gregory found prove the location, since there was only one hole in the sleeve.

            Dolce’s objection that CE399 should’ve been damaged like the test bullets was explained in Olivier’s testimony about CE 856, starting at the very last line of this page:
            https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=16891

            The test bullet CE 856 was traveling faster than 399, and therefore caused more damage to the cadaver wrist (and to itself).

            Third, Dolce thought that Connally’s thigh wound was caused by a fragment, but according to the thigh surgeon (Shires), the entry wound was a “1 cm punctate missile wound,” while the x-ray “showed only a very small 1 mm. fragment.”

            I think the WC and HSCA didn’t call Dolce as a witness for good reason. He was wrong.

          • jeffc says:

            As I understand it, Olivier’s work never replicated the alleged travels of the alleged single bullet, and notions of reduced velocity are highly theoretical. Dolce said he did do tests at reduced velocity and still the bullets were smashed. Dolce’s work was rejected because it did not fit with Specter’s already determined finding – not because Specter somehow intuited it was “wrong” scientifically.

            This is all academic and something of a waste of time anyway, because the SBT is ridiculous on any number of levels. In my opinion, the fact that Kennedy was hit by a bullet ahead of Connally is proven by eyewitness and photographic evidence. I also do not accept that CE399 had anything to do with the events in Dealey Plaza. The fact that WC supporters must turn cartwheels over tumbling bullets and reduced velocities, all the while accepting the sketchy nomenclature of the alleged bullet and ignoring the obvious bad faith exhibited by the WC staff lawyers as they constructed their scenarios, this is also telling.

          • In my opinion, the fact that Kennedy was hit by a bullet ahead of Connally is proven by eyewitness and photographic evidence.

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

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

            The fact that WC supporters must turn cartwheels over tumbling bullets and reduced velocities,

            That’s known as “terminal ballistics.” It’s a science. You folks should try it sometime.

            Dolce said he did do tests at reduced velocity and still the bullets were smashed.

            Post a link (or at least a citation) for these tests.

        • Jean Davison says:

          Andrew,

          Dr. Shaw testified that he found no fragments in Connally’s chest and saw none on his chest x-rays. Humes and Finck also had no firsthand knowledge of fragments left in Connally. Shaw thought the wrist x-ray showed more than “three grains of metal.” However, Connally’s wrist surgeon Dr. Gregory said the fragments he saw were very small, thin “flakes” of metal.

          http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/shaw1.htm
          http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/gregory1.htm

          Dr. John Lattimer reproduced the appearance of Connally’s wrist x-ray by using four small pieces of metal equal to the amount said to be missing from CE399:

          http://tinypic.com/2s7vnk0.jpg

          The bullet wasn’t tested for blood and contrary to CT-style “CSI,” there was no reason to expect to find fibers or noticeable blood on an unmangled bullet after it had been handled by five or six people and carried in someone’s pocket before it arrived at the FBI Lab.

      • Arnaldo M Fernandez says:

        Let´s accept that Hathcock is a liar. How do we know that Hoover is not? Which FBI experiment —or any other— proves that Castro´s were not reliable?

      • Photon, your second sentence describes what Arlen Specter tried to do with his single-bullet theory. It was kind of “We have to get the public to believe this, even though it didn’t happen this way”.

        • Photon says:

          Then where did the bullet that went through JFK’s neck go? Every physician who saw the back wound knew it was an entrance wound.Every forensic pathologist who has studied the autopsy photos has agreed that it was an entrance wound. X-rays proved there was no bullet in the neck or back.
          So where did it go? If you cannot establish a trajectory that does not account for the bullet, it is no longer a single-bullet theory. It is a single-bullet fact. Shaw said that ALL of Connolly’s wounds were the result of one bullet, traveling from back to front, most likely tumbling at the time of entering the back (the nature of the chest, lung and wrist injuries preclude the tangential shot possibility beloved by non-physician conspiracy theorists). Why was a bullet tumbling when it hit Connolly?

    • Bill Clarke says:

      Arnaldo M Fernandez September 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Could I please get a reference on this Carlos Hathcock thing? I’ve often heard this but have never seen evidence of it. I’d appreciate it.

      Personally, at that close range I can’t see why the shots would be so difficult. It certainly wouldn’t be considered exceptional marksmanship in most deer hunting camps I know of.

      • Dave says:

        And we all know that sighting the POTUS with a crappy WWII surplus rifle during a presidential motorcade would be no more stressful to accomplish than taking down a buck on a hunting trip with your buddies…

      • Photon says:

        The only source for this was Craig Roberts, a guy who made it up to help sell a book. He claimed to be a “good friend” of Hathcock yet Carlos never mentioned him to any of his real friends and associates, some of whom I know personally. To his real associates he never mentioned the claimed re-creation of the assassination-simply because there never was one.
        When one considers some of the exhibition shots that Hathcock made ( such as the freestanding 300 yard axe and balloon shot) Roberts claim is not only ludicrous but even insulting to the reputation of Hathcock. Then again Roberts claimed to be a Marine sniper in Vietnam-without ever firing a shot! I could go on and on but the bottom line is that this myth was called out by real associates of Carlos Hathcock years ago, but conspiracy buffs love it so much that they can’t give it up. It still works on the low-information individuals who do not want to ask why a sniper that hit targets over a mile away would have ANY trouble with an easy 88 yard shot.

        • Paulf says:

          How does this have anything to do with the assassination? Whether an unrelated person could or couldn’t fire a particular set of shots means absolutely nothing. Do you really have nothing better to do than argue about completely insignificant trivia?

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Photon September 17, 2014 at 11:36 pm

          Just as I expected. Thanks.

        • Gerry Simone says:

          …why a sniper that hit targets over a mile away would have ANY trouble with an easy 88 yard shot.

          Amazing that you would compare apples with oranges, and dismiss the efforts of those CBS experts who couldn’t duplicate what Oswald was alleged to have done.

          Then again, coming from a guy like yourself who likes to spin things, I’m not surprised.

          • Photon says:

            Except that the CBS experts were able to duplicate it-and in less time. You must not get CBS in your part of Canada.

          • Sooooo, it would be great to see that January 1997 Fourth Decade article with those photos, to actually vet this issue ourselves.

            Here it is:

            http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=519986

            The problem with your statement, however, is that it’s easy to see, in photos like this, what you want to see.

            Moyer and Gallagher want to see Ruby. It looks to me like the face of the “Ruby” figure is fuller than that of the real Ruby.

            A disciplined approach to this issue is to enlist forensic anthropologists, as the HSCA did. Failing that, it’s like the “Hunt and Sturgis are two of the tramps” nonsense.

            P.S. I know this is the wrong thread, but somehow the board won’t let me post it on the right thread.

      • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

        Castro, an expert in firing with telescopic sight, said about it: “It is implausible that a marksman equipped with a repeating carbine with a telescopic sight can hit the target three consecutive times in the lapse of five seconds, when he fires at a target that is moving at a distance of 80 meters [With a] rifle with telescopic sight, the target gets lost because of the shot, just because of the shot, and it is necessary to find it again quickly, moreover if the rifle has to be levered (…) In order to fire quickly, it’s much better with a rifle (…) with Lyman sight.”

        • Photon says:

          Who said Castro was an expert in firing a rifle with a telescopic sight?

          • Arnaldo M Fernandez says:

            He started to use such kind of weapon before the Moncada attack in 1953. There are photos available. He made all the adjustments of all the rifles with telescopic sight in the training camp of his expeditionary party in Mexico. There are also photos available. Moreover, he spent two years in the Sierra Maestra with his own rifle with telescopic sight, fighting and also training others in the use of such a weapon. There are also photos available. By his own words: “When we landed in Cuba we had half a hundred rifles with telescopic sights and we had prepared those rifles very well. We had practiced very much with those rifles. We know perfectly all the characteristics of that type of rifle, because also we have them with different powers.” And the point is still which were the experiments mentioned by Hoover. Because any experiment can be, for simple definition, reproduced.

    • Jean Davison says:

      Of course, Hoover’s estimate of 5 to 6 “available” seconds was based on the FBI interpretation of the Z film — first shot hitting JFK at the road sign, second shot hitting Connally, then Z313.

      http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=265671

      The WC didn’t read it that way, and there’s evidence for an early miss, which extends the time line.

      • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

        Not at all. Hoover wrote: “The FBI Laboratory firearms experts made tests and determined that three short could be fire with the kind of rifle and sight used by Oswald in the five to six seconds…” Curiously, “the timing id not begin until after the firing of the first shot.”

      • Bogman says:

        Did Hoover’s FBI ever revise its evaluation of the Z film? I don’t believe it did.

        In essence, the nations top law enforcement agency didnt agree with the WR.

        And the Siebert O’Neilk report on the autopsy dissented from the WR as well.

  2. Bob Truitt says:

    I expect the Big 3 (the Professor, May & Davison) to be at one of the two conferences being held in WashDC, to make those speakers speak the truth and to make corrections to their speeches if time permits. That will provide them with “more bang for their buck” so to speak for their Lone Nut viewpoint. Hopefully they will go to DC and not use this site as their bully pulpit, if only for that weekend.

  3. Larry Schnapf says:

    Putting aside the Hathcock issue, when discussing replicated tests it is important to make sure we are talking about tests that are designed to stimulate the alleged conditions under which Oswald was operating under when he supposedly committed the crime. Are we talking about tests where the shooters were given enough time as necessary to start firing? Were they shooting at stationary targets (most of the tests Im aware of involved this category) or moving target? Were they using the rifle with a wobbly sight or the rifle that had the sight stabilized? Were the shooters expert rifleman? Were the shooters regularly engaged in rifle practice unlike Oswald for whom there was no credible evidence he had fired a rifle since he left the marines. See for yourself if the so-called renactments duplicated the actual conditions purported to have existed on the 6th floor of the TSBD. Probably dont need to even worry about Proton’s headfake about Hathock.

  4. John says:

    Thanks for posting information about the conference Jeff. I really wish lived in the area and could attend. It sounds like a worthwhile event. I hope it is streamed or recorded for those of us from away.

    The sniper questions are way off topic, but I have a question for Bill Clarke, Photon or anyone else, “who can’t see why the shots would be difficult” from LHO’s alleged sniper’s lair. My questiin is: Was LHO a left or right handed rifle shooter? Please provide a photograph or other independent corroboration.

    • Bill Clarke says:

      John September 18, 2014 at 12:47 am

      I don’t know if Oswald preferred to shoot from his left or his right shoulder. I can say that the military makes you shoot from the right shoulder back when bolt guns were the standard issue because the military didn’t bother to provide bolt rifles with a left hand bolt. This includes the Carcano. Even with the M-16 the Army made us shoot from the right shoulder. Now Oswald could have shot his Carcano from his left shoulder but (a) it would have been very clumsy and time consuming to work the bolt and (b) his scope would have been out of play, too far to the left. Not that I think he used the scope anyway.

      So even if Oswald was a left hand shooter, and I know of no evidence of this, he could still have made the shot from his right shoulder. Due to an eye injury I’ve had to switch from the left to the right shoulder. No big deal.

      A white tail deer can run up to 30 mph, much faster than the limo was going when Kennedy was shot. I’ve seen several killed running full out at around 100 yards. I’m not saying it is an easy shot but it certainly isn’t an improbable shot.

  5. GM says:

    Best wishes to all those attending the two conferences. I look forward to reading about it here.

  6. Jason Richardson says:

    Still waiting on Photon, Mcadams or Davison to reply to R. Andrew Kiel’s post……

    • Photon says:

      Bob Prudhomme already has-admitting that Kiel’s fragment claim is false.
      Shaw on Nov 22 during the Connolly post-op news conference clearly states ” we believe this to be from one bullet”. Being ignorant of the characteristics of the 6.5 mm Carcano round he believed that the single round that hit Connolly should have been more deformed He also stated that the fragments left in Connolly’s wrist were ” postage stamp weight” and of no consequence.
      I think others have already commented on Dolce and his mistaken belief that bullet velocity had no bearing on a bullet’s appearance after striking bone.

      • Jason Richardson says:

        So of course the matter is completely resolved and put to rest since Prudhomme is the final word on it and couldn’t possibly make a mistake the way Dolce “did”, right? Sure it is, when it appears to support WC apologists and LN’s agendas. Being selective of “objective” data results in abundant transparency and a loss in the few remaining shreds of credibility that some people have left…..on both sides of the debate.

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