Will the 2017 JFK documents tell us anything new?

Politico’s Bryan Bender follows up on WhoWhatWhy’s scoop about still-secret JFK records with a resounding “maybe.”

Asked whether there might be any significant revelations about Kennedy’s unsolved murder, Martha Murphy, head of the Archives’ Special Access Branch, told POLITICO last year, “I’ll be honest. I am hesitant to say you’re not going to find out anything about the assassination.”

Source: What the government is still hiding about the JFK assassination

27 thoughts on “Will the 2017 JFK documents tell us anything new?”

  1. I have been doing some work on the FOIA-Ravnitzky release at the request of Bill Kelly, but I think the whole community should take a look at these 2 files:


    http://www.jfknumbers.org/~ramon/jfk/FOIA-JFK-List-of-Denied-Docs.pdf (notice the comments).

    In the spreadsheet (press Ctrl-End, or if you bother to count them manually in the PDF file), you will see that the number of released record numbers is 3,550 and not the 3,603 widely reported.

  2. I contacted Michael Ravnitzky, the author of the FOIA request:


    and alerted him to the fact that the National Archives is only acknowledging about 1/3 of the records which are postponed in full (according to their database and website). See his response below:


    “I agree that what was released may not have been the full deal. Feel free to ask them for more records. I do not plan to do so myself, sorry.”

  3. Ramon F Herrera

    The List of Withheld JFK Assassination Documents is 3x larger than acknowledged


    I am trying to reach Russ Baker and/or Michael Ravnitzky. I downloaded the PDF file provided by FOIA. It is very poor and I cannot work with it. Is there any way to submit another FOIA request, asking for the same information but in the original spreadsheet format? Allow me to explain my motivation.

    I have a copy of the full JFK Collection Database, as described here:


    This is the copy:


    The total number of records which are “POSTPONED IN FULL” is not 3,603.

    There are actually 9,718 records which are postponed in full. These are their record numbers:


    If I could have a better copy of the 3,603 RNs, I can provide the 6,115 RNs which are postponed in full (according to NARA’s own database) but are not being acknowledged. Perhaps another FOIA request could be made for this purpose?

    -Ramon F Herrera
    Houston, Texas

  4. Ramon F Herrera

    This is a progress report for the JFK Facts readers.

    The FOIA office has released one file of rather poor quality. We can tell that the original was indeed a spreadsheet, but it was printed on paper and scanned at poor resolution, with tilted pages, dirt, etc. Some of the Record Numbers are cut off at page breaks. Here is the PDF file which should be source of shame and embarrassment:


    (Click on “JFK List of Denied Docs – redacted”).

    Here’s the plan:

    First Stage:

    (1) Extract as many record numbers as possible.

    (2) Verify against the master database mentioned above that each Record Number:

    (a) Actually is part of the JFK Collection.
    (b) Actually belongs in the “POSTPONED IN FULL” category.

    In my first attempt I was able to extract some 3,000 record numbers (half of those advertised) and made a few verifications by hand. The good news is that, so far, all of them have passed tests (a) and (b). An automated program (to be written) will provide the definite result.

    Next approach: Get better software to extract more record numbers.


  5. There were about 17 or 18 individuals in the autopsy suite ( about half who were physicians) who did not see a sutured tracheostomy site. Only in the Wolchenkuckucksheim of conspiracy theory does the opinion of one radiologist present who was concentrating on x-rays and superficially evaluated the body outweigh 17 others , many of whom were present for the entire procedure.
    Dr Ray, answer me this-why would the Parkland doctors suture shut the tracheostomy site?
    When did they do it, if they all left immediately after JFK was declared dead?
    Why did Ebersole refer Mantik to the JAMA article so enthusiastically?
    Lastly, would the fact that Ebersole died only a few months after the phone interview possibly have some bearing on the a ccuracy of his statements, coupled with the fact that they were nearly thirty years after the event?

    1. I can’t figure out why JFK needed a tracheostomy when he was already successfully intubated. I have read they wanted to explore the adjacent jugular and carotid, the paratracheal area was damaged. One could throw a couple stitches in there to secure the trach. They could have closed the trachea quickly post-mortem to keep blood, foam and air from wheezing out of the trach. I’m not aware that they sewed it shut, I doubt it, but the idea it had some rough stitches in it is not entirley crazy.

      1. but the idea it had some rough stitches in it is not entirely crazy.

        Except that the autopsy photos exist, and show no sutures at all.

        That doesn’t make Ebersole a crazy guy, but it should remind us how unreliable witness testimony is.

        1. “Except that the autopsy photos exist”. Could these be the same photos that the people who took them, said they weren’t?

          1. You are citing 1990s stuff elicited by Horne.

            Have you noticed that, while he got several witnesses to say that the photos were not as they remember JFK’s body, the witnesses contradict each other?


            Then there is the fact that top photographic experts authenticated the photos in the 1970s.


            And just how many people would have to be lying for the photos and x-rays to be faked?


  6. To me, the double negative seems that she thinks there WILL be something to be found out about the assassination.

  7. Ramon F Herrera

    – It is possible to extract the 3,603 record numbers from the crappy PDF file obtained by FOIA. They can be matched against the 9,718 that are POSTPONED IN FULL and find the 6,115 which are not being acknowledged.

    3,603 + 6,115 = 9,718

    If anybody knows computer programming and is interested in this task, send me an e-mail to ramon@dealey-plaza.org


    – If you want to have your personal copy of the full JFK Collection database, help yourself! It is here:


    I made that copy as a donation to the Marry Ferrell Foundation, but frankly, Rex Bradford and yours truly have been so busy that we have not deployed a planned interconnection (reciprocal links) between his site and mine.

  8. Ramon F Herrera

    Hi guys:

    I spent a non-trivial part of last summer duplicating the National Archives database, using a technique known as “web scrapping”. I also made a clone of their web site.

    This is the official web site:


    and this, the clone that I made:


    (Notice that my copy says “Not the National Archives”).

    There are 3 differences between the substandard government website and the one owned by The People. I added the following 3 features:

    (1) The field “RIF Record Number” allows you to perform searches by Record Number.

    (2) The field “Current Status” allows you to determine how many records are being withheld in full or partially and their record numbers. (No FOIA required 🙂

    (3) The output of any query shows the total number of pages.

    If you go to YOUR website:


    and type “POSTPONED IN FULL” in the “Current Status” field, you will find out that the actual number of such documents is 9,718.

  9. i don’t even know what she is saying. Isn’t that a double negative? If she’s hesitant to say something, does that mean it is or is not true/

    1. Yes Mary,

      It is one of those Newspeak phrases that Orwell was always warning us about.

      I am always suspicious when someone prefaces a statement with this phrase: “I’ll be honest.”

      It makes me wonder if everything else they might have said beforehand was dishonest.

    2. I think she means there is nothing there that would change anybody’s assessment of the assassination, but as a government bureaucrat she does not think it’s her place to say there is nothing there.

      I’ve heard a few accounts of people who have talked to Archives staff who say the staff have been saying that.

      1. ‘I think she means there is nothing there that would change anybody’s assessment of the assassination, but as a government bureaucrat she does not think it’s her place to say there is nothing there. . . . .I’ve heard a few accounts of people who have talked to Archives staff who say the staff have been saying that.’ — John McAdams

        Do tell, Professor McAdams.

        “I’ll be honest. I am hesitant to say you’re not going to find out anything about the assassination.” — Martha Murphy

        Subjectively speaking, what I hear is a person hedging her position as a government employee vs. her fundamental responsibility as a US citizen. She will not go on record that ‘there is nothing there’.

  10. Well,

    I’m sure that there will be new revelations in the declassified files. The Murder of the 35th President is and has been an Active open investigation into, various aspects of the Coup da Tao as it were. Clearly there are relevant FBI 301 files from the 80’s and 70’s that lead to 302 reports that were collected from the various FBI offices. One such record that originated in the Portland , Oregon FBI office might be of interest From 1983. Declassifying that file impacts other cases involving non relevant to JFK case of leaks of Classified information, but an assistant in Secratary Of the Army Califano’s office who was a Captain at the time, to Lt Cornel Haig soon to be four star General who signed for the body after the Autopsy could yield some clarity and interesting documents. There is a Fax in 2001 to Veterans Administration Secratary Principi that mentions that investigation, not sure if that could be released, but there could be some surprises, the Jimmy Hoffa Files might lead some interesting 301’s and 302’s. There will be unexpected dicuments.

    Willy Bova

    1. Just some additional clarification on the May 1983 FBI 301 and 302 files on the former Captain who was an aid to Lt Cornel Alexzander Haig, on 11-22-1963 he is referred to as the “West Virginian” in FBI Files. He first showed up on an FBI investigation in 1976 in Provo Utah on a wiretap, investigating a Russian Spy ring. The file contains information about recruiting Relatives to be Russian agents in 1976 thru 1983, the 1983 file led to other cases not related to the JFK assassination, the involved various Russian spy cases eventually covering the cases from Pollard to Ames to Nichols, to the Robert Hanson case which is also detailed in the Fax sent to Secretary Principi;s personal office either late 2001 or early 2002, Secretary Principe immediately acted on the Request in the Fax, and approved the request, within 24 hours. The Fax originated from a Government Fax line at the Portland Federal Building. Senator Ron Wyden has been involved with this case since 1982. In addition Paul Lutus from Apple Computers is mentioned in 1983 301 file for a leak, that triggered “Intercept Operator” operations, in addition other Apple Computer issues at the time were discussed that did not relate to classified leaks, but SEC matters.

      Obtaining the entire file CIA file of the “West Virginian” the main subject of the 1983 PDX FBI office file and 2001/ or 2 Fax should be reviewed to for other leads as he worked for the CIA on various missions in the 50’s and early 60’s while in the Army as a sniper and leader of raids into North Korea after the cease fire was agreed too, prior to assighnment at the Office of the Secretary of the Army where he was on 11-22-1963 and expressed and or confessed depending on your point of view to prior knowledge of the “Coup” and following cover up, in 1976 while trying to recruit a family member into a Russian Spy Ring, that continued into the 1980’s, that lead to the FBI “Walk in” Interview, on advice of the “Intercept Operator”. The “West Virginian” had a close relationship with three CIA directors, Helms, Colby and Bush, and Deputy director Bissell in addition to working as and Aid to both General Westmoreland and General Abrams in Vietnam.

      Willy Bova

  11. So where back to if there is nothing to hide, why haven’t the released them previously? Hope I live to see the records released in 2017 if then. We never know. I’d like to see what they say and what the reaction is. If they implicate say Angleton to Morales or Phillips, Joannides and Oswald what will the reaction be? Will the People of the USA or it’s Main Stream Media react at all?

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