Wednesday, 20 September 2023 15:09

Part 1 of 6: No Motive, plus the Silenced Witnesses

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Scottish researcher Johnny Cairns outlines 60 reasons disproving the official Warren Commission conclusions.

“For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Picture1For as long as I can remember, I have held a profound admiration for President John F. Kennedy. I find Kennedy's firm leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis particularly admirable. Kennedy chose peaceful negotiation with the Soviet Union to the dismay of the aggressive, first-strike demands of his hawkish Joint Chiefs of Staff. One of their plans for a pre-emptive first strike on the Soviets “involved the use of 170 atomic and hydrogen bombs in Moscow alone, intending to annihilate every major city in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe, resulting in hundreds of millions of deaths. Sickened by this plan, Kennedy walked out of the briefing mid-presentation. As Secretary of State Dean Rusk recalled, Kennedy had a strange look on his face as he muttered: And we call ourselves the human race.”

This moment encapsulates the essence of what I admire in John Kennedy: his ability to look beyond immediate power struggles, to consider the profound human consequences, and to act with both wisdom and compassion. His leadership not only averted a catastrophe but also established an enduring example that continues to inspire those, like myself, who believe in compassionate leadership. His actions provide a profound lesson that vibrates at the very core of our collective human values.

However, the radiant legacy of President Kennedy, is tinged with an unsettling undertone of disquiet. His unresolved and tragic assassination on November 22, 1963, marked a pivotal moment in American history, signalling for many, the onset of a profound disenchantment with the government. This disquiet was not an isolated sentiment, but rather the beginning of a troubling pattern.

The subsequent assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., on April 4, 1968, and Robert F. Kennedy, on June 5, 1968, reinforced this disillusionment. These men were not just political leaders; they were emblematic of the very ideals of social justice, equality, and moral integrity that defined the ethos of the 1960s. Their deaths were more than personal tragedies; they symbolized the loss of hope itself.

The spectre of Lee Harvey Oswald looms large in the American psyche. Despite his emphatic proclamation of innocence, he was denied the opportunity to establish it in a court of law. Murdered while in the hands of the Dallas Police, his voice became another eerie echo in the symphony of uncertainties surrounding The President’s murder.

A mere two weeks following the killings of Kennedy, Oswald and patrolman J. D. Tippit, the Warren Commission was convened with the mandate to bring clarity and resolution to the tumultuous circumstances surrounding Kennedy's death. However, this so-called 'investigation' did little to assuage public mistrust. Critics argue that the Commission's conclusions relied too heavily on fragile circumstantial evidence against the conveniently deceased Oswald, who had no opportunity to defend himself. The narrative was tied up in a bow, packaged neatly for a nation eager for answers. But many Americans remained unconvinced, seeing instead the enforcement of a preordained conclusion rather than the revelation of truth.

In this multi-part essay, I've assembled 60 critical points—both facts and queries—that not only challenge the Commission's primary conclusions but also strongly argue for Oswald's complete innocence. The widely accepted narrative that portrays Oswald as the assassin begins to crumble under rigorous scrutiny, especially when faced with a torrent of evidence teeming with inconsistencies and contamination. As we mark the 60th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, the need for a fresh, unbiased investigation becomes increasingly urgent. It's a striking paradox that the most intensely debated case in human history seems to have sidestepped a comprehensive investigation. As Robert Groden aptly put it, "Lee Harvey Oswald is a question mark to history. The debate is often raised, was Lee Harvey Oswald alone as the assassin or was he part of a conspiracy? The question is never raised, is it possible that he didn’t do it at all?”

This exploration does not intend to pinpoint the true perpetrators of President Kennedy's assassination, uncover the exact hideouts of the killers, unmask the orchestrators, or reveal those who facilitated the crime. As the late Mark Lane once succinctly put it, "That really calls for some speculation on my part, I think that area has been pre-empted by the Warren Commission, I prefer to stay in the area of fact." Honouring his words, this work strives not to speculate, but to illuminate the facts. It aims to cast light on the glaring inconsistencies within the Warren Commission’s narrative and to build a compelling case for Lee Oswald's total innocence, grounded in factual analysis and empirical evidence.

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Robert Francis Kennedy. Full speech (Thirteen Days; p. 106, JFK And the Unspeakable; p. 236/237); check this article, this video, this speech and this video.

1. What Was Lee’s Motive?

Commission Conclusion. “The Commission could not make any definitive determination of Oswald's motives.” (WCR; p. 22)

Throughout the past 60 years, no substantial motive has been ascertained to elucidate why Lee Oswald is purported to have assassinated President John F. Kennedy. The Commission lent credibility to theories such as, “Oswald had a deep-rooted resentment of authority”, questioning “Oswald's ability to enter into meaningful relationships” and, the most fanciful of all, speculated on Oswald's “urge to try and find a place in history.”

However, these suppositions fall significantly short of establishing a solid motive, given their lack of concrete evidence in support. Nicholas Katzenbach, the acting attorney general, cognizant of the challenges a motiveless Oswald presented to the official narrative, emphasized in his renowned Katzenbach memo, “Speculation about Oswald’s motivation ought to be cut off”. If Oswald truly possessed an “urge to try and find a place in history”, why would he subsequently deny the accusations levelled against him? Oswald fervently professed his innocence, by proclaiming: “I don't know what dispatches you people have been given but I emphatically deny these charges…I have not committed any acts of violence.” (WCR; p.23) (watch this video and read this document)

There is an abundance of testimony on the record which strongly indicates that Lee Oswald fostered profound admiration and unambiguous support for President Kennedy:

Francis Martello. “He gave me the impression that he seemed to favor President Kennedy more than he did Khrushchev in his statement…he showed in his manner of speaking that he liked the President.” (Volume X; p. 60)

Sam Ballen. “I just can't see his having any venom towards President Kennedy.” (Volume IX; p. 48)

Jeanne De Mohrenschildt. “I don't think he ever said anything against, and whatever the President was doing, Kennedy was doing, Lee was completely exactly with the same ideas, exactly.” (Volume IV; p. 325)

George De Mohrenschildt. “As far as I am concerned, he was an admirer of President Kennedy. I thought that Kennedy was doing a very good job with regard to the racial problem, you know…And he [Oswald] also agreed with me, [Oswald stated] Yes, yes, yes; I think he is an excellent President, young, full of energy, full of good ideas.” (Volume IX; p. 255)

Albert Jenner. “Did Lee ever speak of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy or Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy?”
Lillian Murret. “He said one time that he thought Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy was a very fine person, and that he admired her for going around with her husband, and so forth, but he never spoke about that again, or never said anything about it. In fact, I think he said he liked him.”
Albert Jenner. “Liked President Kennedy?”
Lillian Murret. “Yes.”(Volume VIII; p. 153)

Marilyn Murret. “I can't remember whether it was, if that was before or if it was on that program, where he said something complimentary about Kennedy.” (Volume VIII; p. 173)

Paul Gregory. “Whenever he would speak about Khrushchev, Kennedy would naturally come into mind, and he expressed admiration of Kennedy. Both he and Marina would say, Nice young man. I never heard him say anything derogatory about Kennedy. He seemed to admire the man, because I remember they had a copy of Life magazine which was always in their living room, and it had Kennedy's picture on it, or I believe Kennedy or someone else, and he always expressed what I would interpret as admiration for Kennedy.”

Wesley Liebeler. “Can you recall any specific details concerning his remarks about Kennedy or the conversation that you had with him concerning Kennedy?”

Paul Gregory. “No, just that one time, as I can remember in their apartment that we did look at this picture of Kennedy, and Marina said, He looks like a nice young man. And Lee said something, yes, he is a good leader, or something, as I remember, was a positive remark about Kennedy.”

Lee Oswald. “My wife and I like the Presidential family. They are interesting people. I am not a malcontent. Nothing irritated me about the President.” (JFK Assassination File; p. 123)

2. Houston vs Elm?

Why would Oswald choose to shoot the President on Elm Street, where the view was more difficult and obstructed, instead of maximising his chances of success by targeting President Kennedy as he was approaching the Texas School Book Depository from Houston Street, which offered an unobstructed view? From a logical standpoint, the shot from Houston Street would seem to be the most advantageous for a lone assassin to take.Picture2


3. Four Is the Magic Number?

Why would Oswald choose to attempt the assassination with only four bullets, considering that the ammunition clip of the Carcano could hold a maximum of six, with one in the chamber totalling seven? How did Oswald determine that such a limited amount of ammunition would be sufficient for successful assassination and subsequent ‘escape’ from the Texas School Book Depository?Picture4

4. The Carcano’s Assembly Tool.

What tool did Oswald use to assemble the disassembled Carcano prior to the assassination? Is there any physical or pictorial evidence in the record which supports the assertion that Oswald utilised a specific tool, such as a screwdriver or dime coin, for assembly purposes? FBI Agent Cortland Cunningham testified to the Commission, that he could assemble the Mannlicher with a dime coin within 6 minutes:

Joseph Ball. “Let's take it out of the sack and put it before the Commission. Do you need any special tools to assemble this rifle?”
Cortland Cunningham. “No, sir.”
Joseph Ball. “I notice you have a screwdriver there. Can you assemble it without the use of a screwdriver?”
Cortland Cunningham. “Yes, sir.”
Joseph Ball. “What can you use?”
Cortland Cunningham. “Any object that would fit the slots on the five screws that retain the stock to the action.”
Joseph Ball. “Could you do it with a 10-cent piece?”
Cortland Cunningham. “Yes, sir.”
Joseph Ball. “Will you do that - about how long will it take you?”
Cortland Cunningham. “I know I can do it, but I have never been timed as far as using a dime. I have been timed using a screwdriver, which required a little over 2 minutes.”
Joseph Ball. “2 minutes with a screwdriver. Try it with the dime and let's see how long it takes. Okay. Start now. Six minutes.”
Cortland Cunningham. “I think I can improve on that.”
Joseph Ball. “And the only tool you used was a 10-cent piece?”
Cortland Cunningham. “That is correct.” (Volume II; p.252)

There's no doubt that the late, esteemed English researcher Ian Griggs had delved extensively into this area of research. He conducted numerous experiments, focusing on the assembly and disassembly of the Mannlicher-Carcano. Here's what Ian had to offer on this crucial aspect of the case:

“Well, firstly, it is no simple task to reassemble this rifle. Certainly not as simple as those glib words in the Warren Report or that deliberately misleading CE 1304 photograph would suggest. Secondly, whilst it was reasonably easy to tighten the screws with a screwdriver, it was certainly no simple task using a dime coin. The coin is thin enough to fit the recessed head of the screws but due to its tiny diameter, about two thirds of an inch, there is hardly any leverage, and itmakes it very difficult to exert sufficient pressure to tighten the screws sufficiently.”

Ian also goes on to conclude that:

“Finally, I had practiced many times before undertaking my ‘real attempt’ at putting the gun together. I knew precisely where each part was and in what order it should be fitted. I knew exactly when I had to change position of the rifle from horizontal (across my lap) to vertical (between my knees)”.

“There is no evidence that Oswald had either the time or the opportunity to carry out ‘dry runs’ or rehearsals. How long did it take me to reassemble the Mannlicher-Carcano? Well, my best time was two minutes and four seconds.”

“I have to confess that I admitted defeat using a dime coin. Having begun several times and fallen hopelessly behind the clock, I have to look on SA Cunningham’s time of six minutes with a certain degree of skepticism. Trying to put that rifle together using just a dime resulted in me sustaining two blood-blisters on my fingers and a small cut on the joint of my right thumb.” (No Case To Answer; pp. 165-172)Picture5

Given the gravity of the situation and Ian's account, which stands as a rebuttal to Cunningham’s testimony, it would seem highly improbable that an aspiring assassin would rely on something as basic as a dime coin for rifle assembly. If Oswald was permitted to stand trial, what tool would DA Henry Wade have presented to the jury as evidence to support the charge that Oswald assembled the weapon?

Ian Griggs demonstrates the process of assembling a Mannlicher Carcano in this video.

5. How Did Oswald Wipe Down the Carcano?

Commission Conclusion. “An FBI fingerprint expert testified that the poor quality of the metal and wooden parts would cause them to absorb moisture from the skin, thereby making a clear print unlikely.” (WCR; p. 647)

Drawing on the logical assumption that an individual would instinctively seek to erase incriminating evidence, like fingerprints from a weapon used in an assassination, the theory that Oswald thoroughly cleaned the heavily oiled Carcano post-assassination warrants careful exploration. Crucial points of inquiry include the existence of solid evidence supporting this claim, Oswald's potential methods for fingerprint removal, particularly considering the weapon's oily surface, and the likelihood of oil residue on any cloth or piece of clothing he may have employed for the task. Is there any tangible or photographic evidence which would substantiate this assertion? However, it is crucial to note that even if the testimony regarding the poor quality of the metal and wooden parts of the Carcano causing them to absorb moisture and make clear prints unlikely is true, Oswald would have had no way of knowing this. This further reinforces the likelihood that he would have sought to eliminate any potential fingerprints from the weapon.

6. Lee Oswald, Assassin or Fall Guy?

“They will pick up somebody within hours afterwards, if anything like that would happen, just to throw the public off.” Extremist Joseph Milteer.

Commission Conclusion. “Shortly after the Assassination, the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle belonging to Oswald was found partially hidden between some cartons on the sixth floor.” (WCR; p. 19)

Firstly, was Lee Oswald capable of independently devising and executing the assassination of President Kennedy? Popular narratives often depict Oswald as an irrational, volatile individual consumed by political fanaticism, eager to commit political assassination, indifferent to the costs he might incur personally or for his family. Contrary to these characterizations, the evidence strongly indicates that Oswald was an intelligent, articulate, 24-year-old introvert. A man who was more passive than aggressive, a devoted father, an admirer of John Kennedy, who possessed ties to intelligence agencies, and bolstered by a carefully constructed legend, was unknowingly turned into the perfect patsy.Picture6

The following testimonies offer insightful perspectives that may shed some light on these questions.

Wesley Liebeler. “When you subsequently heard that Oswald had been arrested in connection with the assassination, were you surprised?”
Francis Martello. “Yes, sir; I was, I was very much surprised…he did not give me the impression of being a violent individual. He was a very passive type of an individual. He did not impress me at the time I interviewed him as a violent person by any of the responses to questions, by observing his physical make-up. Not in any way, shape, or form did he appear to me as being violent in any way…as far as ever dreaming or thinking that Oswald would do what it is alleged that he has done, I would bet my head on a chopping block that he wouldn't do it.” (Volume X; p. 60/61)

Sam Stern. “Did you get any indication that he was a dangerous individual or that he was, potentially, a violent individual?”
John Quigley. “Absolutely none at all.”(Volume IV; p. 437)

Wesley Liebeler. “Were you surprised when you learned that Oswald had been arrested in connection with the assassination of President Kennedy?”
Sam Ballen. “I told my wife that evening that there must have been some mistake, that I didn’t believe this chap was capable of this kind of thing, and she said what do you mean? she said they picked him up and got the gun. I said Oswald wasn’t that sort of guy. I told my wife that if you lined up 50 individuals. the one person who would stand out as being suspicious or strange would-be Lee Harvey Oswald, but I was very surprised when Oswald was arrested.” (Volume IX; p. 54/55)

Buell Wesley Frazier. “He [Lee] liked children very much. That is one of the things that I could get Lee to talk about…the children of the neighbourhood, all of them at one time or another seemed to find their way up to the Paine house, where Lee lived, to play with him and his daughter.”. (watch this video)

Ruth Paine. “The idea of his having shot the President, skews what everyone thinks, it seems to me, we forget how ordinary he was. He would play with his children and with mine at the house on weekends…he seemed concerned about his little girls—very much so.”. (watch this video)

Will Fritz. “I think he was above average for intelligence. I know a lot of people call him a nut all the time but he didn’t talk like a nut.” (Volume IV; p. 240)

Robert Oswald. “The Lee Harvey Oswald I knew would not have killed anybody.” (Volume I; p. 314)

The same meme is expressed by the following witnesses, Lillian Murret, (Vol. 8, p. 154; John Murret, Vol. 7 pp. 193-94; Marilyn Murret, Vol. 8, pp. 176-77; Adrian Alba, Vol. 10, pp. 227-28; George Bouhe, Vol. 8, pp. 376-77, Elena Hall, Vol. 8, p. 405)

Now that we have established that extreme violence was not a hallmark of Lee Oswald's nature, we're led into the speculative territory for our ensuing discourse. If we consider the possibility that Oswald was the mastermind and executor of the assassination, we are immediately faced with pressing questions about his plan for the weapon purportedly used in the crime. Why, for instance, would Oswald opt for a traceable rifle for such a high-profile assassination, only to partially conceal it behind boxes at the crime scene? Oswald surely would have understood that if the rifle weren't discovered by the Dallas Police, there would be little to tangibly link him to the President’s murder. Officer Seymour Weitzman's testimony provides a glimpse:“When we got up to the fifth or sixth floor, I forget, I believe it was the sixth floor, the chief deputy or whoever was in charge of the floor, I forget the officer’s name, from the sheriff’s office, said he wanted that floor torn apart. He wanted that gun, and it was there somewhere”Given that the rifle was ultimately located on the sixth floor, where it was always going to be discovered, it raises serious doubts about the wisdom of using and discarding the Carcano in such a manner.Picture7

Moreover, it seems that Oswald devoted significant time and resources to concealing the weapon. As stated in Seymour Weitzman's testimony, the Carcano was well hidden, shielded by an array of boxes, which rendered its detection challenging. In Weitzman's words, “I would venture to say eight or nine of us stumbled over that gun a couple of times before we thoroughly searched the building.” Nevertheless, the question arises - where is the substantiating evidence that Oswald indeed performed this act of concealment? (Weitzman Testimony; Volume VII; p.107).

One might ponder, why didn't Oswald choose to use an untraceable rifle for the attempted assassination? Also why did he choose to stage the assassination attempt from his workplace, the Texas School Book Depository, which significantly eroded any possibility of retaining anonymity as the assassin? More perplexing is his alleged decision to overlook the Dal-Tex building, which, located conveniently across Elm Street, offered a superior view compared to the southeast corner window of the Depository. Even more interesting, the discovery of an untraceable weapon in that building would not have directly implicated any specific individual, thereby preserving the identity of any suspected assassin.Picture8

Indeed, it is compelling to consider what would have transpired had ‘Oswald's’ purported assassination attempt failed? What would he have done with the damning Carcano in such a scenario? With the odds of failure being monumental, considering the defective surplus World War II rifle, Oswald's atrocious marksmanship, and the near two-decade-old ammunition in play in 1963, the prospect for successful assassination appears minuscule.

Considering all these factors, the endeavour could be seen as the actions of a madman. This characterization starkly contrasts with the facts that Oswald was a rational, intelligent human being. In the final analysis, the use and subsequent discarding of the ‘Hidell’ Carcano appears nonsensical. Its only logical purpose in being on the sixth floor seems to be for its inevitable discovery in the aftermath of the assassination, thereby serving as the crucial link tying Oswald to the murder.

7. The Credibility of Howard Brennan.

“Attention all squads, the suspect in the shooting at Elm and Houston is supposed to be an unknown white male, approximately 30, 165 pounds, slender build, armed with what is thought to be a 30-30 rifle.” (Volume XXIII, p. 916.)

Commission Conclusion. “The information for the initial broadcast most probably came from Howard Brennan, who saw Oswald in the window when he was firing the rifle” (WCR; p. 649)

However, there is evidence in the record that challenges the Commission conclusion. One important question raised is whether DA Henry Wade would have relied on Howard Brennan's testimony as far as being able to clearly identify him as the source for the initial broadcast?

Inspector Sawyer, who broadcast the description at 12:45 pm, 15 minutes after the President's murder, stated that “It’s unknown whether he [the suspect] is still in the building or not known if he was there in the first place”. This raises doubts about it being Brennan’s description. Also, if Brennan told the police that the man he saw was firing from the sixth floor then why didn't the police immediately converge upon the window? Sheriff’s Deputy Luke Mooney put his discovery of the area “at around 1 o’clock.” (Volume XXIII; p. 917; Volume III; p. 285; Volume XIX; p. 528/529)

Sawyer testified, “That [the] description came to me mainly from one witness who claimed to have seen the rifle barrel in the fifth or sixth floor of the building and claimed to have been able to see the man up there”. However, Sawyer did not know the witness's name or any details about him, except that he was white and neither young nor old. (Volume IV; p. 322) Mooney stated that he was the only person on the 6th floor when he discovered the expended shells. At that point he yelled out the window to Captain Fritz and Sheriff Decker. And that is when the crime lab officers and Fritz came up the stairs. Mooney said this was around 1 PM. (Vol. XXIII, p. 917; Vol.III, p. 285, Vol. XiX, pp. 528-29)

It is important to note that Brennan testified that he gave his description to Secret Service Agent Forrest V. Sorrels, not to Herbert Sawyer. (Volume III; p. 145) Agent Sorrels, on the other hand, testified that he did not arrive back in Dealey Plaza until 12:55 pm, 10 minutes after the initial broadcast went out. (Volume VII; p. 347/348)

It was much later when the Commission asked for help from J. Edgar Hoover in ascertaining whether or not Brennan was the source of the broadcast. However, Hoover replied on November 12, 1964, “With regard to your suggestion that we determine the precise sources of the description of the suspected assassin broadcast by the Dallas Police Department…the Dallas Police Department advised the broadcast was initiated on the basis of a description furnished by an unidentified citizen who had observed an individual approximating Oswald's description running from the Texas School Book Depository immediately after the assassination. It is not felt that recontact with the Dallas Police Department on the same matter would be justified at this late date.” The FBI did not pursue the matter further, as they could not produce any evidence regarding the identity of the individual. (Mary Ferrell Foundation)

Commission Conclusion. “Brennan also testified that Lee Harvey Oswald, whom he viewed in a police line-up on the night of the assassination, was the man he saw fire the shots from the sixth-floor window of the Depository Building.” (WCR; p.143.)

In addition to the above problems, persistent question marks remain regarding the circumstances behind Brennan's description and his credibility as a witness. Brennan testified seeing the gunman come to the window before President Kennedy arrived, and he could see most of his body, from his hips up, but during the shooting he could only see him from the belt up. Brennan testified that “Well, as it appeared to me, he was standing up and resting against the left windowsill, with gun shouldered to his right shoulder, holding the gun with his left hand and taking positive aim and fired his last shot. As I calculate a couple of seconds. He drew the gun back from the window as though he was drawing it back to his side and maybe paused for another second as though to assure himself that he hit his mark, and then he disappeared.” (Volume III; p. 144)

However, a significant problem arises when we consider his testimony in relation to the height of the window. At the time of the assassination, the window described by Brennan was only open to about waist height. So how could the man Brennan allegedly saw be standing up while firing at the President? Unless, of course, the Commission is suggesting an even more incredible scenario, than the Magic Bullet, where the gunman fires three bullets through unscathed glass?

The Commission backed Brennan. However, evidence in the record contradicts his claim. Hours after the President's murder, Brennan participated in a police lineup to identify the suspect he had witnessed. Brennan testified that that prior to viewing the suspect he had seen Lee Harvey Oswald “on television…I saw his picture twice on television before I went down to the police station for a line-up.” In his affidavit to the Dallas Sheriff’s Office prior to the line-up, Brennan expressed his belief that “he could identify the man if he ever saw him again”.

However, even under these ideal circumstances, Brennan “was unable to make a positive identification of Lee Harvey Oswald.” [This raises a significant question, did Brennan actually attend a line-up at all? This concern is further explored in point 24]. Subsequently, Brennan changed his story regarding his identification. In an interview with the FBI on December 17th, 1963, he stated “that he now can say that he is sure that Lee Harvey Oswald was the person he saw in the window at the time of the President’s assassination. He pointed out that he felt that a positive identification was not necessary when he observed Oswald in the police line-up at the Dallas Police Department at about 7 P.M., November 22, 63, since it was his understanding Oswald had already been charged with the slaying of Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit.”

Yet in an interview with the Bureau, on January 7, 1964, Brennan reverted to his original identification, stating that he had observed Oswald's picture on television prior to the line-up but “it did not help him retain the original impression of the man in the window with the rifle.” In his testimony before the Commission, Brennan once again proclaims that Oswald was the man, he saw firing at the President.

In my opinion the intense public scrutiny and the desire to solve the crime quickly, from the Dallas Police, may have influenced Brennan's perception and recollection of events. The possibility of confirmation bias cannot be ruled out, as Brennan may have felt compelled to identify Oswald as the gunman to support the emerging narrative. The pressure to conform to the prevailing theories can distort an eyewitness's memory and testimony, further diminishing Brennan's credibility. (WCR; p. 145. Volume III, p.147/148 p.155; Volume XXIV, p.203 p. 406.)

Another significant aspect of the Brennan saga relates to the suspect's clothing. According to Captain Will Fritz's notes, Oswald wore “a reddish-colored, long-sleeved shirt with a button-down collar and gray-colored trousers” to work on November 22, 1963. Brennan's description, on the other hand, was of “a man wearing light-colored clothing but definitely not a suit”. When Brennan was shown the shirt Oswald wore that day, he rejected it, stating that he expected it to be a shade lighter. He also noted that the man he observed did not have the same clothes on as Oswald. (see this document)

David Belin. “Do you remember the specific color of any shirt that the man with the rifle was wearing?”
Howard Brennan. “No, other than light, and a khaki color—maybe in khaki. I mean other than light color, not a real white shirt, in other words. If it was a white shirt, it was on the dingy side.”
David Belin. “I am handing you what the court reporter has marked as Commission Exhibit 150. [Oswald's shirt] Does this look like it might or might not be the shirt, or can you make at this time any positive identification of any kind?”
Howard Brennan. “I would have expected it to be a little lighter—a shade or so lighter.”
David Belin. “Than Exhibit 150?”
Howard Brennan. “That is the best of my recollection.”
David Belin. “All right. Could you see the man’s trousers at all? Do you remember any color?”
Howard Brennan. “I remembered them at that time as being similar to the same color of the shirt or a little lighter. And that was another thing that I called their attention to at the lineup.”
David Belin. “What do you mean by that?“
Howard Brennan. “That he [Oswald] was not dressed in the same clothes that I saw the man in the window.”
David Belin “You mean with reference to the trousers or the shirt?”
Howard Brennan. “Well, not particularly either. In other words, he just didn't have the same clothes on.” (Volume III, p. 161)

Given the contradictions in Brennan's testimony and his inability to positively identify Oswald in the lineup, he was not a reliable witness. In contrast, there were other witnesses who observed a gunman on the sixth floor, such as Arnold Rowland, Caroline Walther, and Amos Euins. However, none of them could definitively identify that man as Lee Harvey Oswald.

Rowland described the man as having “had on a light shirt, a very light–colored shirt, white or a light blue or a color such as that. This was open at the collar. I think it was unbuttoned about halfway, and then he had a regular T–shirt, a polo shirt under this, at least this is what it appeared to be. He had on dark slacks or blue jeans; I couldn’t tell from that. I didn’t see but a small portion.” (Volume II; p. 171).

Caroline Walther described “the man [as] wearing a white shirt and had blond or light brown hair.” (Volume XXIV; p. 522.)

Amos Euins described the man he seen as having “a bald spot on his head. I was looking at the bald spot. I could see his hand; you know the rifle laying across in his hand. And I could see his hand sticking on the trigger part. And after he got through, he just pulled it back in the window.” (Volume II; p. 204)

Despite the chaotic nature of the assassination, no other witness has come forward to confirm Brennan's observations or provide an independent account of the events he described. In a case of such historical significance, the absence of corroborating testimony weakens Brennan's credibility and raises doubts about the accuracy of his recollection. This further raises an important question: why would the figure in the sixth-floor window draw so much attention to himself prior to the killing? One would assume that as a lone assassin, anonymity is crucial. The logical approach would be to stay well back, hidden from view, and emerge only at the precise moment the President came into sight. None of the actions attributed to this man seem to make sense unless, of course, the purpose was to be seen all along.

In an interview with author Jim Marrs, Sandy Speaker, who was Howard Brennan's foreman, stated that after the assassination, Brennan disappeared for about three weeks. Speaker was unsure whether it was the Secret Service or the FBI, but federal authorities were involved. When Brennan returned, “he was a nervous wreck, and within a year, his hair had turned snow white.” Brennan refused to discuss the assassination thereafter, seemingly terrified. Speaker claimed that Brennan was coerced into saying what the federal authorities wanted him to say. (Crossfire; p. 25)

8. The Sequence of The Shots.

For a Lone Gunman to have accomplished the murder by utilizing the Carcano [C2766], there had to be an absolute minimum of 2.3 seconds necessary to operate the rifle between the shots in Dealey Plaza. The problem is that there are about 60 witnesses who heard a different pattern. These testimonies indicate that there were multiple assassins targeting President Kennedy in Dealey Plaza. I will describe some in detail and then list the others. Let this testimony stand as an indictment of the Commission's, preconceived, Lone Gunman theory. (WCR; p.117)

Lee Bowers.
MarkLane. “Mr. Bowers, how many shots did you hear?”
Lee Bowers. “There were three shots, and these were spaced with one shot a pause and two shots in very close order such as perhaps Knock, Knock Knock (Bowers taps table to simulate shots) almost on top of each other while there was some pause between the first and the second shots.”

Seymour Weitzman.
Joesph Ball. “How many shots did you hear”?
Weitzman. “Three distinct shots.”
Joseph Ball. “How were they spaced?”
Weitzman. “First one, then the second two seemed to be simultaneously.” (Volume VII; p. 106)

Roy Kellerman.
Arlen Specter. “Now, in your prior testimony you described a flurry of shells into the car. How many shots did you hear after the first noise which you describe as sounding like a firecracker”
Roy Kellerman. “Mr. Specter, these shells came in all together.”
Arlen Specter. “Are you able to say how many you heard?”
Roy Kellerman. “I am going to say two, and it was like a double bang-bang, bang” (Volume II; p. 76.)

William Greer.
Arlen Specter. “How much time elapsed, to the best of your ability to estimate and recollect, between the time of the second noise and the time of the third noise?
William Greer. “The last two just seemed to be simultaneously, one behind the other.(Volume II; p. 118.)

William Greer. “The last two were closer together than the first one. It seemed like the first one, then there was, you know, bang, bang, just right behind it almost.” (Volume II; p.130)

Linda Kay Willis.Mr. Leibeler. “Did you hear any shots, or what you later learned to be shots, as the motorcade came past you there”?
Linda Kay Willis.Yes, I heard one. Then there was a little bit of time, and then there were two real fast bullets together. (Volume VII; p. 498.)

S.M. Holland.
Mr. Stern.“What number would that have been in the—”
Mr. Holland.“Well, that would—they were so close together“
Mr. Stern. “The second and third or the third and the fourth”?
Mr. Holland. “The third and the fourth. The third and the fourth.” (Volume VI; p. 244)

Governor Connally. “…It was extremely rapid, so much so that again I thought that whoever was firing must be firing with an automatic rifle because of the rapidity of the shots; a very short period of time.” (Volume IV; p. 134.)

Mary Ann Moorman.
Johnny Cairns. “Can you remember what the sequence of the shots were?
Mary Ann Moorman. “Noise, brief second then noise, noise”
Johnny Cairns. “So how long would you say between the second and the third shots?”
Mary Ann Moorman. “Immediate” (Personal Correspondence)

Senator Ralph Yarborough. “I have handled firearms for fifty year(s) and thought immediately that it was a rifle shot. When the noise of the shot was heard, the motorcade slowed to what seemed to me a complete stop (though it could be a near stop). After what I took to be about three seconds , another shot boomed out, and after what I took to be one-half the time between the first and second shots (calculated now, this would have put the third shot about one and one-half seconds after the second shot—by my estimate—to me there seemed to be a long time between the first and second shots, a much shorter time between the second and third shots—these were my impressions that day) a third shot was fired.” (Volume VII; p.440)

Forrest V. Sorrels.
Mr. Stern. “Now, did you recognise it at the time as a shot?”
Forrest V. Sorrels. “I felt it was because it was too sharp for a backfire of an automobile. And to me, it appeared a little bit too loud for a firecracker. Within about 3 seconds, there were two more similar reports”
Mr. Stern. “Can you tell us anything about the spacing of these reports?”
Forrest V. Sorrels. “Yes. There was to me about twice as much time between the first and the second shots as there was between the second and the third shots.
Mr. Stern. “Can you estimate the overall time from the first shot to the third shot?”
Forrest V. Sorrels. “Yes. I have called it out to myself, I have timed it, and I would say it was very, very close to 6 seconds.” (Volume VII; p. 345.)

Mary Mitchell. “She and her companion heard a loud report or explosion, then, after a short pause of four or five seconds, there were two more rapid explosions.” (FBI Report, 1/18/64)

Edward Shields. “I heard one shot then a pause and then this repetition—two shots right behind the other.” (Volume VII; p. 394)

Carolyn Walther. “At about the time they reached the curb at Elm Street, she heard a loud report and thought it was fireworks. There was a pause after this first report, then a second and third report almost at the same time, and then a pause followed by at least one and possibly more reports.” (Volume XXIV; p. 522)

Steven Wilson. “It is my opinion that there was a greater space of time between the second and third shots than between the first and second. The three shots were fired within a matter of less than five seconds.” (Volume XXII; p. 685)

James Worrell Jr.
Arlen Specter. “Well, did these four shots come close together or how would you describe the timing in general on those.”
James Worrell Jr. “Succession”
Arlen Specter. “Were they very fast?”
James Worrell Jr. “They were right in succession.” (Volume II; p. 194)

Winston Lawson. “Then I heard two more sharp reports, the second two were closer together than the first. There was one report, and a pause, then two more reports closer together, two and three were closer together than one and two.” (Volume IV; p. 353.)

With the above, the point is made. But there are many more. In the interests of brevity let us list them with the proper sourcing so the interested reader can survey the field so to speak.

Jesse E. Curry. (Volume IV; p. 161, p. 172)
Luke Mooney. (Volume III; p. 282)
William Shelley. (Volume VI; p. 329.)
James Crawford. (Volume VI; p. 172)
Joe Molina. (Volume VI; p. 371)
Garland Slack.(Volume XXVI; p. 364)
Victoria Adams. (Volume VI, p388)
Danny Arce. (FBI Report, 11/22/63)
Cecil Ault. (Volume XXIV; p. 534)
Glen Bennett. (Volume XXIV; p. 541/542)
Jane Berry. (FBI Report 11/24/63)
Earle Cabell (Volume VII; p. 478)
Mrs Cabell. (Volume VII; p. 486.)
Rose Clark. (Volume XXIV; p. 533)
George Davis. (Volume XXII; p. 837)
Harold Elkins. (Volume XIX; p. 540)
Clyde Haygood. (Volume VI; p. 287)
Ruby Henderson. (Volume XXIV; p. 524)
Pearl Springer. (Volume XXIV; p. 523)
Robert Jackson. (FBI Report, 11/22/63)
Ladybird Johnson. (Volume V; p. 565)
C.M. Jones. (Volume XIX, p. 512)
Sam Kinney. (Volume XVIII; p. 731)
Billy Lovelady. (Volume XXIV; p. 214)
John Martin Jr. (FBI Interview 3/31/64)
A.D. McCurly. (Volume XIX; p. 514)
William McIntyre. (Volume XVIII; p. 747)
Austin Miller. (Volume XIX; p. 485)
Lillian Mooneyham. (Volume XXIV; p. 531)
F. Lee. Mudd. (Volume XXIV; p. 538)
Barbara Rowland.(Volume VI; p. 184)
Ruth Smith. (FBI Interview; 12/21/63)
Allan Sweatt. (Volume XIX; p. 531)
James Tague. (FBI Report; 12/14/63)
Warren Taylor. (Volume XVIII; p. 783)
Ruth Thornton. (Volume XXIV; p. 537)
Roy Truly. (Volume III; p. 221)
James Underwood. (Volume VI; p. 169)
Mary Woodward. (Dallas Morning News; 11/23/63)
Rufus Youngblood. (Volume II; p. 150)
Roger D. Craig. (Volume VI; p. 263)

“To say that they were hit by separate bullets is synonymous with saying that there were two assassins.” Norman Redlich, Commission Counsel. (Inquest; p. 43)

9. The Cartons of The South East Corner.

During the London Weekend Television (LWT) mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald in 1986, a significant exchange took place involving Vincent Bugliosi and Eugene Boone regarding the stacks of cartons near the south-east corner window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). Bugliosi, a proponent of the lone nut theory, attempted to imply that Oswald had constructed the carton shield to hide his rifle assembly, possession, and eventual use of it. Boone seemed to agree with Bugliosi's inference, suggesting that the cartons were deliberately arranged for concealment.

Vincent Bugliosi. “Exhibit number 11 [CE723, Shield of cartons around sixth floor south-east corner window] Now on the screen is a photograph, Mr. Boone of stacks of cartons or boxes near a window. Do you recognise what is depicted in this photograph?”
Eugene Boone. “The boxes on the inside of the southeast building uh southeast uh floor of the-sixth floor of the School Book Depositary, southeast corner.”
Vincent Bugliosi. “When you arrived on the sixth floor is this the way the cartons were stacked around that window?”
Eugene Boone. “Yes sir”
Vincent Bugliosi. “So, you could almost say that there was a ‘Snipers Nest’ around that window?”
Eugene Boone. “Yes sir.”

Jerry Spence objects to Bugliosi’s leading question.

Vincent Bugliosi. “What does those cartons and boxes look like to you?”
Eugene Boone. “They look like an attempt to hide something on the other side”
Vincent Bugliosi. “If someone had been walking on that sixth floor and someone was behind those boxes uh could the person behind those boxes had been seen?”
Eugene Boone. “They would be concealed from either the elevator or the stairwell across the building”

However, Bugliosi's line of questioning overlooks the testimony of Bonnie Ray Williams, which sheds light on the true origin of the carton arrangement.

Williams testified, “We had to move these books to the east side of the building, over here, and those books - I would say this would be the window Oswald shot the President from. We moved these books kind of like in a row like that, kind of winding them around.”

Therefore, based on Williams' testimony, it can be concluded that the evidence contradicts Bugliosi's claim that Oswald constructed the shield of cartons. (Volume VIII; p. 167)Picture9

10. The Men Behind the Picket Fence.

Significant testimony from Lee E. Bowers, who worked for the Union Terminal, places two individuals behind the picket fence during the crucial moments of the assassination. Bowers testified that he witnessed a flash of light or some other significant occurrence that drew his attention to the immediate area on the embankment where the two men were located. This detail is vital because it suggests a possible link between these individuals and the shots that were allegedly fired from the picket fence. Bower’s observation aligns with the claims made by multiple witnesses who insisted that the fatal shots originated from this area.Picture10

Joseph Ball. “Now, were there any people standing on the high side—high ground between your tower and where Elm Street goes down under the underpass towards the mouth of the underpass”?
Lee Bowers. “Directly in line, towards the mouth of the underpass, there were two men. One man, middle-aged or slightly older, fairly heavy-set, in a white shirt, fairly dark trousers. Another younger man, about mid-twenties, in either a plaid shirt or a plaid coat or jacket.”
Joseph Ball. “In what direction were they facing”?
Lee Bowers. “They were facing and looking up towards Main and Houston, and following the caravan as it came down.” (Volume IV; p. 287)

Bowers informed Mark Lane that he witnessed a peculiar incident near the unknown individuals in the vicinity during the assassination.

Lee Bowers. “At the time of the shooting, in the vicinity of where the two men I have described were, there was a flash of light or…there was something which occurred which caught my eye in this immediate area on the embankment. Now, what this was, I could not state at that time and at this time I could not identify it, other than there was some unusual occurrence - a flash of light or smoke or something which caused me to feel like something out of the ordinary had occurred there.”

Julia Ann Mercer

On November 22, 1963, Julia Ann Mercer had a significant encounter while driving on Elm Street towards the triple underpass. As she approached, she noticed a truck parked near the right entrance road to the underpass. The truck prominently displayed the words "Air Conditioning" on its side and had toolboxes in the back. Notably, the truck appeared to have one or two wheels up on the curb. While waiting for the left-hand lane to clear so she could pass, Mercer's attention was drawn to the driver of the truck. She observed that he was slouched over the wheel and wore a green jacket. Based on her estimation, he “was a white male and about his 40’s and was heavy set.” In a remarkable turn of events, Mercer also witnessed another individual at the back of the truck. “[he] reached over the tailgate and took out from the truck what appeared to be a gun case…it was brown in color. The man who took this out of the truck then proceeded to walk across the grass and up the grassy hill which forms part of the overpass…The man who took what appeared to be the gun case out of the truck was a white male, who appeared to be in his late 20’s or early 30’s and he was wearing a grey jacket, brown pants and plaid shirt as best as I can remember.” (Volume XIX; p. 483/484.)

When comparing the descriptions provided by Mrs. Mercer and Mr. Bowers, it is evident that there are striking similarities between the individuals they observed.
Mrs. Mercer described the driver of the truck as a white male in his 40s, wearing a green jacket and appearing heavy-set. The man who took the apparent gun case out of the truck was described as a white male in his late 20s or early 30s, wearing a grey jacket, brown pants, and a plaid shirt.

On the other hand, Mr. Bowers witnessed two individuals behind the picket fence during the assassination. He described one man as middle-aged or slightly older, fairly heavy-set, wearing white shirt and dark trousers. The other man he observed was younger, in his mid-twenties, and was either wearing a plaid shirt or a plaid coat/jacket.

Considering the similarities in the descriptions, it is reasonable to deduce that Mrs. Mercer and Mr. Bowers were likely referring to the same individuals. The age ranges, physical appearances, and clothing descriptions align closely between the two accounts. This correlation strengthens the possibility that these men were indeed connected and involved in the events surrounding President Kennedy’s murder.

Several witnesses in Dealey Plaza also testified or stated that they observed smoke emanating from the trees near the picket fence after the President's assassination. These famously include S. M . Holland who said he had no doubt about seeing a puff of smoke and hearing a gunshot from under those trees. (Volume VI, pp. 243-44)Picture11

R.C. Dodd.
Mark Lane. “Did you see anything which might indicate to you where the shots came from?”R.C. Dodd. “Well…ah…we all three/four seen about the same thing as the shots. The smoke came from the hedge on the north side of the plaza.” Mr. Dodd was not called to testify before the Warren Commission.

James Simmons.
Mark Lane. “What did you see and what did you hear?”
James Simmons. “As the Presidential limousine was rounding the curve on Elm Street, there was a loud explosion. At the time I didn't know what it was, but it sounded like a loud firecracker or a gunshot. And it sounded like it came from the left and in front of us. Towards the wooden fence. And there was a puff of smoke that came underneath the trees on the embankment.”
Mark Lane. “Where was the puff of smoke Mr. Simmons in relation to the wooden fence?”
James Simmons. “It was right directly in front of the wooden fence.”
Mr. Simmons was not called to testify to the Warren Commission.
Ed Johnson. “Some of us saw little puffs of white smoke that seemed to hit the grassy area in the esplanade that divides Dallas main downtown streets.” (Fort Worth Star Telegram 11/23/63)
Clemon Johnson. “Mr. Johnson stated that white smoke was observed near the pavilion, but he felt that this smoke came from a motorcycle abandoned near the spot by a Dallas policeman.” (Volume XXII; p. 836)
A.D. McCurley. “I ran over and jumped a fence and a railroad worker stated to me that he believed the smoke from the bullets came from the vicinity of the stockade fence which surrounds the park area.” (Volume XIX; p. 514.)
Austin Miller. “I saw something which I thought was smoke or steam coming from a group of trees north of Elm off the Railroad tracks.” (Volume XIX; p. 485.)

Thomas Murphy.
Stewart Galanor. “Could you tell me where you thought the shots came from?”
Thomas Murphy. “Yeah, they come from a tree to the left, of my left which is to the immediate right of the sight of the assassination.”
Stewart Galanor. “That would be on that grassy hill up there.”
Thomas Murphy. “Yeah, on the hill up there. There are two or three hackberry and Elm trees. And I say it come from there.”
Stewart Galanor. “Was there anything that actually led you to believe that the shots came from there?”
Thomas Murphy. “Yeah, smoke.”
Stewart Galanor. “You saw smoke?”
Thomas Murphy. “Sure did”.
Stewart Galanor. “Could you tell me exactly where you saw the smoke?”
Thomas Murphy. “Yeah, in that tree.” (Cover-Up; p. 59.)Picture12

Nolan Potter. “Recalls seeing smoke in front of the Texas School Book Depository Building rising above the trees.” (Volume XXII; p. 834.)
Royce Skelton. “No, sir; definitely not. It sounded like they were right there-more or less like motorcycle backfire, but I thought that they were theses dumbballs that they throw at the cement because I could see the smoke coming up off the cement.”
Joesph Ball. “You saw some smoke come off of the cement?”
Royce Skelton. “Yes.” (Volume VI; p.237)

Walter Wiborn.
Stewart Galanor. “Did you see anything else that might be of interest?”
Walter Wiborn. “I just saw some smoke coming out in a—a motorcycle patrolman leaped off his machine and go up towards that smoke that come out from under the trees on the right-hand side of the motorcade. Now that was—”
Stewart Galanor. “That’s up that grassy hill.”
Walter Wiborn. “Yes.”
Stewart Galanor. “Grassy knoll. There’s a wooden fence there.”
Walter Wiborn. “Yes.”
Stewart Galanor. “And you saw smoke.”
Walter Wiborn. “Yes.”
Stewart Galanor. “How many? Was it puffs of smoke?”
Walter Wiborn. “It looked like a little haze, like somebody had shot firecrackers or something like that. Or somebody had taken a puff off of a cigarette and maybe probably nervous and blowing out smoke, you know. Oh, it looked like it was more than one person that might possibly have exhaled smoke. But it was a haze there. From my general impression it looked like it was at least ten feet long and about, oh, two or three feet wide.”
Stewart Galanor. “And this was where now exactly?”
Walter Wiborn. “That was back over the sidewalk underneath those trees, that—of that fence that you were talking about…”
Stewart Galanor. “The FBI spoke with you March 17th, 1964, I believe.”
Walter Wiborn. “That’s right.”
Stewart Galanor. “And they make no mention about the smoke that you saw. Did you tell them about that, that you saw smoke on the grassy knoll?”
Walter Wiborn. “Oh yes. Oh yes”
Stewart Galanor. “They didn’t include it in their report.”
Walter Wiborn. “Well.”
Stewart Galanor. “Do you have any idea why they didn’t?”
Walter Wiborn. “I don’t have any idea. They are specialists in their field, and I’m just an amateur.” (Stewart Galanor, May 5th, 1966)

J.L.Oxford. “We jumped the picket fence which runs along Elm Street and on over into the railroad yards. When we got over there, there was a man that told us that he had seen smoke up at the corner of the fence.” (Volume XIX; p. 530)

Who were the men observed by Julia Ann Mercer shortly before the assassination? Who were the men witnessed by Lee Bowers near the picket fence during the assassination? Was the peculiar incident that caught Bowers' attention the smoke from a rifle, as described by multiple witnesses? Is it possible to provide an innocent explanation as to why these two men have neglected to come forward in 60 years?

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Last modified on Friday, 01 December 2023 11:34
Johnny Cairns

Johnny Cairns is an electrician living in Edinburgh. He first got interested in President Kennedy through his father, Robert Cairns. Since then, he has held an undying admiration for Jack Kennedy and what he stood for. Through familiarizing himself with the facts of this crime, he has also become an advocate for the innocence of his alleged assassin, Lee Oswald. Through the various friendships developed with other researchers and making the trip to Dallas in 2018, he has spoken at JFK Lancer presenting the case for Oswald’s innocence and co-authored a book which is due for release at the end of 2021, titled “Case Not Closed.”

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