Monday, 14 November 2022 20:05

Dale Myers and his World of Illusion

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Lone Nut supporter Dale Myers recently attacked Oliver Stone's film, JFK Revisited. Stone's screenwriter, James DiEugenio, demonstrates how groundless those attacks are with this detailed reply.

Dale Myers has made a career out of giving the MSM what it wants concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This includes proffering a truly dubious witness, Jack Tatum, to incriminate Lee Oswald as the murderer of J. D. Tippit. Jack Myers exposed the man Myers foisted on the public via PBS in 1993. (Click here for details).

But that was not enough for Myers. Not by a long shot. On the 40th anniversary of JFK’s murder ABC’s Peter Jennings wanted to do a program supporting the Warren Report. Somehow, he knew where to go. Jennings hired Myers’ buddy Gus Russo as lead reporter. Russo turned to his PBS chum Dale. Myers went to work on two main areas. These were the acoustics evidence, and his Rube Goldberg “computer simulation” of the Zapruder film: an animation that is supposed to reveal the forensic truth about the last few seconds of Kennedy’s life as it was extinguished in Dealey Plaza.

The problem with both of these is that they turned out to be about as reliable as Myers’ PBS work on the murder of Tippit. Concerning the acoustics evidence, Myers tried to proffer that by relating the movement of the DPD motorcycle driven by H. B McLain in the Hughes film, and then drawing a parallel with the same rider in the famous Zapruder film, he could discredit the acoustics evidence as being inaccurate about the shot sequence in Dealey Plaza. Myers attested that by his mathematical comparison, McLain would have had to have been riding at 200 mph to be in the correct spot to capture the sounds of the bullets in Dealey Plaza on his radio. (Donald Thomas, Hear No Evil, p. 676).

The problem with Myer’s statement was that the general public only saw the computations it was based on three years later. When informed people finally did, it turned out that Dale had done some MSM like slicing and dicing in order to come out with that 200 mph number, e. g. the timing of the first shot, assuming the grassy knoll shot missed, the placement of Robert Hughes etc. (Thomas, pp 677-680). After a long and detailed analysis, Don Thomas concluded that not only was Myers wrong, but “The ABC documentary’s “concrete evidence” had feet of clay. The producers had relied on an expert whose only credential was a bias against conspiracy theories.” (ibid, p. 684; we will go into the Myers “simulation” shortly.)

On July 24th, Myers wrote a piece that was his way of getting back at Oliver Stone’s two new documentaries JFK Revisited and JFK: Destiny Betrayed. He bases this critique on his viewing of the two films in the DVD package plus the release of the accompanying book JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, which contains the annotated scripts, and interview excerpts.

He starts off on the wrong foot by saying the DVD package contains almost ten hours of material. Since the long version of the film is four hours and the short version is two hours, and there is overlap between the two, I guess we will have to wait about another three years to figure out how Dale came to that number. (Even if one throws in the commentary track version, it is not ten hours.)

Myers now slips up again. He wants to criticize the film for something that it does not include. Namely the murder of Tippit. He then acknowledges that some might think this is not fair, but he brushes this off with another of his patently bombastic pronouncements: “I think this is the heart of why the film comes off like a stacked-deck.”

This is the guy who used Jack Tatum as his chief witness in the Tippit case, and who then based his 200 mph motorcycle speed on invisible calculations. He now works his way into the mind of Oliver Stone and his screenwriter—namely me—and says imperiously, ”Oliver Stone and James DiEugenio won’t deal with the Tippit murder because it is the snare that entrapped Lee Harvey Oswald. It was Tippit’s murder that made Oswald a prime suspect in the JFK assassination.” Now that is a rhetorical trick worthy of a card sharp. For the simple matter that the film shows that Oswald not only did not shoot Kennedy, he could not have shot Kennedy. Therefore why would he be involved in the Tippit murder? As Bob Tanenbaum, who Stone and I met with numerous times while planning the film, says on screen: With the Warren Report’s evidence you could not convict Oswald in any court in the country. As an Assistant New York County District Attorney in Manhattan Tanenbaum never lost a murder case in seven years. I think those credentials outdo Myers’. Don’t you?

The book accompanying the DVD contains annotated scripts to both films: the short and long version. It also has excerpts from interviews that largely did not make it into the film due to time issues. Myers refers to that over four hundred page book as being “semi-annotated”. In reality, the pages dealing with the film scripts contain over 500 footnotes. Every statement of factual evidence is sourced.

Interestingly, Stone’s lawyer actually started that process when, upon seeing the rough cut of the film, she wanted us to prove the things we were saying about the pathologists in the film. She thought they were quite startling and might be hard to comprehend to a general audience. Much of that evidence was produced by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), and this is why we enlisted three members of the Board to appear on the program. The reader may want to ask Myers if, in any of the shows he has worked on, he talked about the existence of that body or revealed any of the new or declassified results of its work. One example: that autopsy photographer John Stringer denied he took the pictures of Kennedy’s brain in the National Archives. After all, JFK Revisited has ARRB employee Doug Horne relating this evidence. He was in the room when Stringer said it under oath. That disturbing testimony leaves us with these questions:

  • Who did take the pictures?
  • Why did someone else have to shoot them?

This evidence, as presented in the film, is the kind of material that one could have taken into a court room to adjudicate an acquittal for Oswald. Because the presentation of fraudulent evidence in a felony case can be grounds for having the proceeding thrown out. Stone’s film actually has a practicing neurologist, Michael Chesser, talking about this evidentiary issue.

JFK Revisited, the film and the book, attempted to gather professionals in the field of legal procedure and forensics. I have named two, Tanenbaum and Chesser, and I wish to introduce a third, namely Dr. Henry Lee. Why? Because Myers said that our film included an animated reconstruction of the shooting. No it does not. If we had done so, we would have had to include scale models of the figures in the car, close ups of where the bullets struck the two bodies, and some kind of time sequence also. We chose not to do that. And this is where Dr. Lee comes in to play.

As screenwriter, I did a pre-interview with Lee when he was in Los Angeles testifying in a case. I asked him about this whole issue of doing computer reconstructions for trajectory analysis purposes in the JFK case. He said simply and pointedly: You cannot do that in the Kennedy case. He added that this is due to the basic reason that neither wound in the president was dissected. Therefore, any trajectory analysis amounts to guesswork. Unless a wound track is dissected, you cannot present a trajectory with any real authority. This from the man who many consider the best crime scene reconstruction professional in the business. I decided he was, in all probability, correct and we did not do that sort of thing.

Why did I conclude that? Because Lee has worked on 8,000 felony cases, and about 1,000 of them have been death by gunshot. He has written over 30 books about true crime cases and some of those are used as textbooks in forensic science classes. He has been approved to testify in almost every state of the union, and also 42 countries. As with Bob Tanenbaum, I would like to ask Mr. Myers: “How many states have you been approved in to testify as a forensic crime scene reconstruction expert? How many countries?”

Concerning Lee’s statement, in Myers’ ABC “simulation’ I don’t recall him telling the audience that there was no dissection of the back wound in President Kennedy. Or explaining why. He surely has to know that Kennedy pathologist Pierre Finck admitted under oath at the Clay Shaw trial that there was military brass in the morgue that night and they would not allow the wound to be tracked. (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, second edition, p. 302). This was rather important information. But I don’t think that Russo or Jennings would have allowed that in the show; for obvious reasons.

Myers tries to neutralize the attacks on his “computer simulation” by saying the critiques I named of it, that somehow, he had crushed them all. This really makes me wonder about good ole Dale. According to Bob Harris, Myers asked You Tube to remove his critique of Myers’ simulation. To my knowledge, he never replied to Milicent Cranor. Myers said he called David Mantik, but Dave said he never got the call or any message. As for Pat Speer’s, well the reader can see how this exchange turned out himself.

Anyone who watches JFK Revisited can see that what we did was to present evidence that 1.) It is highly unlikely that a bullet could do the damage that CE 399 did and emerge in such intact condition. 2.) The chain of custody of this bullet is rather suspect. For the former we had forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht on camera along with battlefield surgeon Dr. Joseph Dolce, who worked for the Warren Commission. For the latter we had Dr. Gary Aguilar, Dr. Henry Lee, and former police investigator Brian Edwards as witnesses. In the film, Aguilar proved that the FBI lied when they wrote that Bardwell Odum showed CE 399 to original Parkland identification witnesses O. P. Wright and Darrell Tomlinson. Odum said he never did any such thing. (The Assassinations, edited by James DIEugenio and Lisa Pease, pp.282-84) To repeat: this is the kind of fraud that can get a case thrown out of court. Again, I do not recall Myers discussing this for his ABC “reconstruction”. I think it would be relevant to that presentation. After all, if the bullet was not CE 399, what bullet trajectory was Dale “simulating”?

Myers objects to my references to the Tippit case in the book, JFK Revisited. He says the essay I wrote and reference is a mélange of work by Bill Simpich, Farris Rookstool and John Armstrong. Anyone who reads that piece can see that there are about 7 references to those three in that profusely annotated work. (Click here.) The two most often used sources are, by far, the Warren Commission volumes and the book by Joe McBride, Into the Nightmare. Myers does not want to acknowledge this, perhaps because it indicates 1.) There is material in the volumes he chose not to use and 2.) McBride’s book showed that Myers’ work on the Tippit case was, to be kind, not as comprehensive as he tried to advertise it.

For instance, it turns out that-- in all the decades he says he worked on the Tippit case--he never interviewed the murdered policeman’s father. If Joe McBride found him, why couldn’t Dale? When McBride quoted Edgar Lee Tippit as stating things that would contradict the Myers/Warren Report version of the Tippit shooting, Dale did a funny thing. He now wrote that Edgar Lee was somehow mentally afflicted. As McBride points out, that information was garnered from a sister of J. D. ten days after Myers ordered McBride’s book. In other words, Myers somehow could not locate the man in some 35 years, but now—oh so conveniently-- he finds out it did not matter.

Anyone can read McBride’s reply to Myers. (Click here.) Myers wants to belatedly discredit Edgar because he brings out evidence that indicates Tippit, and another officer, “Had been assigned by the police to hunt down Oswald in Oak Cliff.” Edgar then added that the other policeman did not make it to the scene since he stopped for an accident. As McBride also reveals, former DA Henry Wade seemed to corroborate Edgar. He told Joe: “Somebody reported to me that the police already knew who he [Oswald] was, and they were looking for him.” McBride goes further and states, with convincing evidence, that the other officer, who did not get to the scene, was William Duane Mentzel.

In sum, if Oliver Stone had decided to explore the Tippit case, I would have scripted that also. And I would have brought in the work of McBride, as well as authors like Henry Hurt, Jack Myers and myself. I would have chosen what I thought was the best from each of these sources and arranged it as astutely as I could. To put it mildly, it would not have comported with the Warren Report version.

Myers closes his diatribe by making some of his usual sociologically absurd comments. He first says that there is a movement to silence in America. Really Dale? In the age of Donald Trump? He then gets to his point: Somehow Oliver Stone and myself were ignoring and obfuscating what happened on the day Kennedy was killed. No we were not. We were doing what he never did. We were analyzing the newest evidence in the case with persons who are, unlike him, credentialed professionals. That is why we used people like Dr. Cyril Wecht, criminalist Henry Lee, Dr. Gary Aguilar, physicist David Mantik, neurologist Mike Chesser, former police investigator Brian Edwards, journalist Barry Ernest, ARRB investigator Douglas Horne, surgeon Donald Miller and radiologist Randy Robertson. We easily had more accredited professionals on screen than appeared in all of the programs Myers has worked on combined. In fact, the comparison is so one sided as to be kind of laughable.

This unprecedented gathering of authorities gave the public some new, evidence-backed insights into the actual circumstances concerning what happened to President Kennedy in Dallas. One example: Chesser, Mantik and Aguilar proffered a case-- with House Select Committee on Assassinations advisor Larry Sturdivan’s own evidence—that a shot came from the front. Those same three, plus Horne, also showed that the brain photos, accepted by the HSCA as President Kennedy’s, cannot be his. And, as anyone can see—except Dale Myers—they did this on three evidentiary grounds. I could go on in this vein e.g. about demonstrating Oswald’s alibi, but the point is made. Questions like: What does the autopsy reveal about the true circumstances and the actual cause of death? Does the defendant have an alibi? These are what a criminal investigation of a gunshot homicide are about.

But that is what Myers, Russo, the late PBS producer Mike Sullivan, and Peter Jennings, were not going to do. It was they who were the masters of silence about really happened to JFK. And this new work helps show Dale Myers for what he was and is: a designer of sand castles in the air.

Last modified on Thursday, 17 November 2022 19:27
James DiEugenio

One of the most respected researchers and writers on the political assassinations of the 1960s, Jim DiEugenio is the author of two books, Destiny Betrayed (1992/2012) and The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today (2018), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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