Tuesday, 14 November 2023 14:53

Part 3 of 6: The Contamination of Evidence, the Inadmissible Lineups and the Autopsy

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

21. Marina’s Credibility.

The issue of Marina Oswald's credibility and the evidence suggesting inconsistencies in her testimony is a matter of significant interest. The available evidence, which includes a declassified letter from Freda Scobey and a report from the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), presents concerns regarding the reliability of Marina's statements.

In a declassified letter from attorney Freda Scobey, who worked for Warren Commissioner Richard Russell, there are allegations that Marina, “directly lied on at least two occasions” to the Warren Commission and that Marina's Testimony “is so full of confusion and contradiction that without the catalystic element of cross-examination it reads like a nightmare. By her own admission Marina is a liar, and it is her voice that tells us how intensely she disliked the FBI and how she lied to that agency almost uniformly. When asked, for example, about the Walker note, she denied knowledge of it, but later admitted her husband wrote it. And when asked on December 3, if she had ever witnessed her husband leaving the house with the rifle, she replied No, but afterwards reversed this by saying she had frequently seen Lee go in and out carrying the rifle, once to "Lopfield" (Love Airfield) for target practice, and, on other occasion, to the park to shoot leaves. How, one asks, can a man go to the park with a rifle either by day or night and shoot leaves off the trees without being reported to the police?” (see this)

Furthermore, the HSCA report titled: "Marina Oswald-Porter, Statements of a Contradictory Nature," raises additional doubts about Marina's credibility. This report, spanning 29 pages, documents inconsistencies in Marina's statements related to various aspects of the case.

These reports cast doubt on Marina's reliability as a source of information in the investigation. The allegations of deception, contradictions, and the questioning of her credibility in these documents are significant factors to consider when evaluating her testimonies before the Warren Commission and their impact on the overall assessment of the case against Oswald.

Scobey notes that: “Marina is making quite the fortune out of this assassination. It does seem to me that if her testimony lacks credibility there is no reason for sheltering her. The above spots where her veracity was not tested are perfectly obvious to any person reading the report in connection with the transcript, and it might become a policy matter whether this decision to brush her feathers tenderly is well advised.” (see here)

22. The Contamination Of Evidence.

Commission Conclusion: “Fibres in paper bag matched fibres in blanket. When Paul M. Stombaugh of the FBI Laboratory examined the paper bag, he found, on the inside, a single brown delustered viscose fibre and several light green cotton fibres. The blanket in which the rifle was stored was composed of brown and green cotton, viscose and woollen fibres.” (WCR; p. 136)

Evidence In the Record Which Refutes Commission Conclusion:

The mingling of crucial evidence by the Dallas Police, from the homicide investigations pertaining to President Kennedy and Officer Tippit, in the photographs presented below, raise serious concerns about its scientific credibility. The clear touching of the paper sack (CE142) and the blanket from the Paine garage, poses a considerable risk of cross-contamination. Such contamination not only undermines the integrity of the evidence but also brings into question the ability to reliably connect Oswald to the crimes.

A thorough and precise approach to handling evidence is crucial to maintaining the investigation's integrity and building a solid case against an accused individual. Thus, the questionable composition and potential contamination of evidence in these photographs escalate concerns about the overall authenticity of the case against Oswald.

According to an FBI document dated November 23rd, 1963, from J. Edgar Hoover, the following evidence, was received by Special Agent Orin Bartlett on November 22nd, 1963.

  • Two 6.5 millimeter Mannlicher-Carcano cartridge cases found in the Book Depository Building.
  • Oswald’s right palm print found on a book carton which was part of the ‘snipers perch’ in the Book Depository.
  • A metal fragment from Governor Connally’s arm.
  • A .38 Special bullet taken from Officer Tippit’s body.
  • Textile fibres ‘found’ on the Carcano.
  • The unfired 6.5mm Carcano cartridge alleged to have been found in the rifle.
  • Paper bag- This is probably the same bag which was ‘found’ on the sixth floor by investigators. (CE142, see point 53)
  • Oswald's shirt, which he was wearing when arrested.
  • ‘Oswald’s’ Revolver.
  • ‘Oswald’s’ green and brown blanket from the Paine garage. (Jesse Curry, JFK Assassination File; pp.88-90)Picture1

Picture2Lt. Carl Day asserts that he was the photographer of CE738, However, various aspects of Day's claim cast a shadow of doubt over his involvement and the veracity of his assertion.

Remarkably, Day does not include a date in CE738, an omission that stands out since he has included dates in previous evidentiary photographs, e.g., CE737. This inconsistency leads us to question why this particular image would be an exception?

Day's assertion that he was the exclusive photographer of CE738 lacks corroboration from any third party, which weakens the credibility of his claim. This ambiguity is amplified by Day's decision to photograph this evidence upon its second release to the FBI on November 26, instead of at its initial handover to the FBI on November 22. This leads us to wonder whether the Dallas police would not have preferred to maintain a visual record of the evidence being flown to Washington on the 22nd?

Day's integrity has been called into question by several sources including Tom Alyea, who accused Day of perjury, [see point 51]. This accusation, along with inconsistencies in his handling of crucial evidence, cast a pall over Day's credibility. Notably, Day admitted to handling the revolver for the purpose of photographing it but denied marking it.

David Belin “Did you put any initials on the revolver or not?”
Lt. Carl Day. “No, sir; I don't think I did.”

Belin then continues to question Day regarding CE737 & 738.Picture3

David Belin. “I am now going to hand you No. 737 and ask you to state if you know what this is.”
Lt. Carl Day. “Yes, sir. This is the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository on November 22, 1963.”
David Belin. “Who took that picture?”
Lt. Carl Day. “I took it myself.”
David Belin. “When?”
Lt. Carl Day. “About 9 or 9:30 p.m., November 22, on the fourth floor of the City Hall in my office.”
David Belin. “I am going to now hand you what has been marked as 738 and ask you to state if you know what this is.”
Lt. Carl Day. “Yes, sir. This is a photograph of most of the evidence that was returned to the FBI the second time on November 26, 1963. It was released to Agent Vince Drain at 2 p.m., November 26.”
David Belin. “Who took that picture, if you know?”
Lt. Carl Day. “I took this picture.” (Volume IV; p. 273/274)

What is striking here is Belin's detailed questioning about CE737, contrasted with the absence of similar scrutiny for CE738.

Day's unconventional decision to combine evidence from two distinct murder investigations into a single image invites additional scrutiny. This method jeopardizes the integrity of both cases, casting a spotlight on Day's actions and honesty.

Even if 738 was taken on November 26, after Oswald's death, the visible cross-contamination within the image questions the reliability of the evidence. Such contamination could render the evidence in this photograph completely useless for future testing. Given the visible cross-contamination, we cannot confidently assert that the evidence was properly handled outside this photograph.

These factors, including Day's contested integrity, have substantial implications for the case against Oswald. While Henry Wade might have sought to convince the jury of the state's evidence's authenticity, the introduction of this photographic record could cast severe doubt on his case.

If Oswald had competent legal counsel, this photograph could be pivotal in challenging the state’s case. By emphasizing the potential mishandling and cross-contamination of the evidence, the defense could argue that the evidence's integrity has been compromised. This photograph serves as a compelling visual aid to underscore these arguments and introduce reasonable doubt about Oswald's alleged connection to the crimes. Furthermore, the defense could question the rationale behind the Dallas Police's decision to consolidate evidence from two separate homicide investigations into one photograph - a practice that strays from standard procedure and threatens the reliability of the evidence. Such reasoning could critically undermine the jury's confidence in the prosecution's case."

23. The Paraffin Test.

Commission Conclusion.“One would therefore not expect nitrates to be deposited upon a person’s hands or cheeks as a result of his firing a rifle.” (WCR; p. 561)

“I know that if the case, which has been presented against him, is full of falsehoods and contradictions and I know that right now in the office of the Dallas District Attorney, is a paraffin test which shows that Lee Harvey Oswald did not fire a rifle on November 22 1963. I know that because I have a photostatic copy of that document.” Mark Lane. (see here)

Just a few hours after the assassination of President Kennedy, Lee Oswald was subjected to a standard forensic procedure applied to individuals suspected of having recently discharged a firearm. This involved a method known as the paraffin test, where a layer of liquid paraffin wax was meticulously applied over the surfaces of Oswald’s hands and onto his right cheek. The principle behind this test was that once the paraffin hardened, it would act as a non-invasive extraction tool, capable of pulling out the most minute residues trapped deep within the pores of his skin, residues that could potentially originate from the firing of a weapon.

Dr. M. S. Mason, Director of the Dallas City County Criminal Investigative Laboratory, conducted these tests on behalf of the Dallas Police. The items he examined included:

Exhibit 1. “One manila envelope containing a paraffin cast of the right side of the face of Lee Oswald”.

Exhibit 2. “One manila envelope containing a paraffin cast of the left hand of Lee Oswald.”

Exhibit 3. “One manila envelope containing a paraffin cast of the right hand of Lee Oswald.” (see this and this)

Dr. Mason employed spectrographic analysis, a method regularly used by law enforcement, for the initial test. His findings, reported to the Dallas Police on November 23, 1963, revealed that "No Nitrates were found on exhibit 1. Nitrate patterns consistent with the subject having discharged a firearm were present on exhibits 2 and 3." The analysis showed evidence of barium and antimony on Oswald's hands but not on his cheek.

It is worth noting that these residues, which contain distinct elements like barium and antimony, can also be found in various everyday substances such as "Printing Ink, Paper, Rubber, Plastics, Urine, Tobacco, Cosmetics, and Pharmaceuticals,” etc. Considering Oswald's job at the Texas School Book Depository, where he frequently handled books, as an order filler, cautious interpretation of these test results is necessary. (WCR; p. 561/562)

Though spectrographic analysis was deemed reliable enough for most criminal investigations, the lack of positive results on Oswald's cheek prompted the need for a more incisive examination. This led to the paraffin cast’s being subjected to the process of Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA). This method is capable of detecting the presence of substances in quantities much too small to be identified by spectrographic analysis.Picture4

Picture5The proposal to subject Oswald's paraffin casts to Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) evidently provoked a tangible sense of apprehension within the FBI ranks. This unease seemingly sprang from the potential revelation of exculpatory evidence through the test results. If such evidence was uncovered in Oswald's favor, it would support the claim that Oswald had not operated a rifle on November 22, 1963, thereby significantly advancing the case for his exoneration.

On November 27, 1963, in an FBI memorandum, Mr. Jevons (FBI) suggests to his superior, Mr Conrad (FBI), that NAA should be used on Oswald's casts, "To protect the Bureau against any possible future allegations that if Neutron Activation Analysis type of analysis had been conducted [on the paraffin casts], one might have contained extremely significant data.” Jevons also noted that “allegations might originate from relatively highly placed individuals in the Atomic Energy Commission, charged with developing NAA, who will recognise the publicity potential of such allegations.” Aware of the Bureau's apprehensions, Mr. Jevons gives such reassurances as, "Oswald is now dead and there will be no trial... Any such examinations will, of course, be with the strict understanding that the information and dissemination of the results will be under complete FBI control." (see this)

The results of neutron activation analysis corroborated the findings of the spectrographic examination. No gunpowder residue was present on Lee Oswald’s face, indicating innocence. (see this)

Despite having knowledge of the genuine results of the Spectrographic Analysis on November 23, 1963, the Dallas Police brazenly announced that Oswald's paraffin test had returned positive results. This false assertion, deliberately disseminated by members of the Dallas Police and prosecutorial officials, stemmed from their distorted interpretation of the paraffin test findings pertaining to Lee Oswald. The dissemination of such groundlessly accusatory information to the media not only undeservedly cast Oswald in a shroud of suspicion, but it also egregiously violated his constitutional rights. Their contentious remarks, thoroughly marred by deception, are reproduced below for closer scrutiny.

11/23/63. City detective Charles Brown said he believed the hand tests were positive but was not certain about results of a paraffin test on Oswald's face.

11/23/63. Brown said he has great faith in paraffin tests. (AP, 9:42 a.m. CST, Raymond Holbrook and Peggy Simpson.)

11/23/63. Dallas. Oswald, charged last night with murdering the President, insisted he is not the assassin. But an officer said today, I think we got some good results from the paraffin test on both Oswald's hands.

11/23/63. Dallas. Curry said ... paraffin tests, made to determine from powder residue whether Oswald had fired a gun, were positive. This meant Oswald had fired a weapon within a short time before he was arrested. Apparently, it could have been either a rifle or a pistol - or both. They wouldn't say. (AP, 1:50 pm CST Peggy Simpson.)

11/24/63 Dallas. But a Dallas detective, Charles Brown, said a paraffin test of Oswald's face and hands for gunpowder particles got good results. The paraffin tests, he said, indicated Oswald recently had fired a rifle - the type of weapon used to kill the President. The gunpowder on the face would come from cradling a rifle against the right cheek while the marksman took aim. It was pointed out that Oswald was also accused of killing Dallas patrolman J. D. Tippitt with a pistol while allegedly trying to flee the assassination scene.

"Wouldn't this also leave gunpowder traces on the suspect's hands?" was one question. But Dallas police indicated that their tests were able to distinguish between gunpowder from a pistol and rifle. (San Francisco Examiner, p. 1 col. 8, Bob Considine, Hearst Headline Service)

11/24/63. Henry Wade.

Reporter. “What about the Paraffin tests?”
Henry Wade. “Yes, I haven’t gone into that. The paraffin tests show he recently fired a gun, it was on both hands.”
Reporter. “Recently fired a rifle?”
Henry Wade. “A gun.”

The Director of the F.B.I. in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in charge of the investigation stated: "I have seen the paraffin test. The paraffin test proves that Oswald had nitrates and gunpowder on his hands and face. It proves he fired a rifle on November 22.” (The Minority of One, 9/64, p.11, “16 Questions on the Assassination”, Bertrand Russell)

Despite being fully aware of the results of the spectrographic analysis, the Dallas Police persisted in asserting publicly that the findings supported Oswald's guilt. In certain instances, they went so far as to claim that the test had conclusively detected nitrates on his cheeks, which is an entirely false and fraudulent assertion. (see this)

(Henry Wade, 11/24/63 Press Conference)

Nestled within the speculative discourse and conjecture section of the Report, one can find the following declaration:

Speculation: “Gordon Shanklin, who was the Special Agent in charge of the Dallas office of the FBI, posited that the paraffin test conducted on Oswald's face and hands produced positive results, indicating that Oswald had indeed fired a rifle.”

Commission Finding: “However, it's essential to note that the paraffin tests were undertaken by members of the Dallas Police Department, and the subsequent technical examinations were carried out by the Dallas City-County Criminal Investigation Laboratory. The Commission was notified by the FBI that neither Shanklin nor any other FBI representative had ever made such a claim. The Commission found no substantiating evidence that Special Agent Shanklin had publicly voiced this statement.”

These statements were underpinned by a letter from J. Edgar Hoover to J. Lee Rankin, dated September 14, 1964. In this communication, Hoover addressed the claim that "Special Agent in Charge, J. Gordon Shanklin of our Dallas Office made a public statement about a paraffin test performed on Lee Harvey Oswald." Shanklin advised Hoover that he had made no such statement, dubbing the allegation as "completely unfounded."

Nonetheless, a conflicting report surfaced from The New York Times on November 25, 1963, claiming Shanklin as the source of the information about Oswald's positive paraffin tests. The report detailed, "Already the authorities have collected evidence of all sorts, Gordon Shanklin, the FBI agent in charge of Dallas, said today...The FBI noted these other pieces of evidence, which have been assembled by the Dallas Police, FBI, and Secret Service... A paraffin test, used to determine if a person has recently fired a weapon, was administered to Oswald shortly after he was apprehended Friday. It showed particles of gunpowder from a weapon, probably a rifle, remained on Oswald’s cheek and hands" (NY Times; Fred Powledge; November 25th, 1963).

During the Warren Commission hearings, FBI Special Agent Cortland Cunningham testified about the results of paraffin tests conducted on Lee Oswald. The specific tests in question were aimed at determining whether Oswald had recently fired a weapon, specifically the Mannlicher Carcano, C2766.

Melvin Eisenberg, one of the Commission's counsels, inquired whether Cunningham's tests, or his experience with revolvers and rifles, could shed any light on the significance of a negative result being obtained on the right cheek, stating,

Melvin Eisenberg."A paraffin test was also run of Oswald's cheek, and it produced a negative result.”
Cortland Cunningham
. “Yes.”
Melvin Eisenberg. “Do your tests, or do the tests which you ran, or your experience with revolvers and rifles, cast any light on the significance of a negative result being obtained on the right cheek?”
Cortland Cunningham. “No, sir; I personally wouldn't expect to find any residues on a person's right cheek after firing a rifle due to the fact that by the very principles and the manufacture and the action, the cartridge itself is sealed into the chamber by the bolt being closed behind it, and upon firing the case, the cartridge case expands into the chamber filling it up and sealing it off from the gases, so none will come back in your face, and so by its very nature, I would not expect to find residue on the right cheek of a shooter.”

Cunningham then testified that he, alongside fellow FBI Agent Charles Killion, executed a rapid-fire test with the rifle, yielding negative results for residues on both the cheek and hands.

Melvin Eisenberg. Also, before firing the rifle?
Cortland Cunningham. Yes. We fired the rifle. Mr. Killion fired it three times rapidly, using similar ammunition to that used in the assassination. We reran the tests both on the cheek and both hands. This time we got a negative reaction on all casts.
Melvin Eisenberg. So, to recapitulate, after firing the rifle rapid-fire no residues of any nitrate were picked off Mr. Killion's cheek?
Cortland Cunningham. That is correct, and there were none on the hands. (Volume III; p. 492-494)

However, Cunningham's statements were refuted by two different pieces of evidence. The first comes from Vincent P. Guinn, head of the Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) Section of the General Atomic Division, of the General Dynamics Corporation, in February 1964. Guinn and his colleagues had been using NAA to test the powder residues from discharged firearms. When they ran tests using a rifle similar to the one reportedly owned by Lee Harvey Oswald. Guinn found that “the triple firing of the rifle leaves unambiguous positive tests every time on the paraffin casts. Because of the inferior construction of the Carcano the blowback from one or three shots deposited powder residue on both cheeks of the shooter.(Gerald McKnight, Breach Of Trust; p. 211)

The second piece of evidence comes from Harold Weisberg, a first-generation researcher who successfully sued for the actual test results from the FBI. Within the records he received, it was stated “These paraffin tests were subjected to NAA…there is no similar evidence [Nitrate] on [Oswald’s] cheek. The tests given me show that in seven “control” cases where others fired a rifle this evidence [Nitrate] was left on the cheeks.” This evidence stands as a direct challenge to Cunningham's claim that residue wouldn't be found on a shooter's cheek. (Weisberg, Post Mortem; p. 437)

Regrettably, the all-encompassing data yielded from Cunningham’s test - including unprocessed results, spectrographic or neutron activation analyses, photographic proof, and procedural documentation - remains unrevealed. Which makes his testimony problematic to present at trial, especially with the countering evidence described above. That evidence appears to be exculpatory.

Also why weren't the clothes worn by Oswald at the Texas School Book Depository and subsequently at his arrest at the Texas Theatre subjected to a gunshot residue analysis? Implementing these tests could have furnished critical evidence that either substantiated or refuted his involvement in the President’s assassination.

The problems with this evidence shine a spotlight on a fascinating facet of the case. It compelled the Commission to cast a skeptical eye on the veracity of these findings, and the test itself; thereby shrouding these potentially vindicating results in a fog of uncertainty.

Even Commission counsel Norman Redlich, in a memorandum to Commissioner Alan Dulles, noted, “At best, the analysis shows that Oswald may have fired a pistol, although this is by no means certain. … There is no basis for concluding that he also fired a rifle.” (McKnight, p. 207)

24. The Dallas Police Line-Ups.

Commission Conclusion. “The Commission is satisfied that the line ups were conducted fairly.” (WCR; p.169)

The Department Of Justice.“Testimony concerning a line up or showup identification is inadmissible if, considering the totality of the circumstances, the identification procedure was so impermissibly suggestive as to give rise to a very substantial likelihood of misidentification.” (see here)

Between November 22 and 23, 1963, a series of line-ups were convened involving Lee Oswald, various Dallas Police personnel, and city prisoners held for unrelated offences. In every instance the participants were required to state their name and occupation to the identifying witness. It is important to note that while some participants provided false information during these line-ups, Oswald consistently provided accurate details about himself, more specifically his infamous name and place of employment, the Texas School Book Depository. Highly concerning is the fact that this information was widely publicised through the media, and many witnesses reported to having observed Oswald's photograph on television prior to attending the actual line-ups.(Volume VII; p. 239.)

Joesph Ball. “Now, back to the first showup, did the detective ask you any questions? Ask your name and address and occupation?”
R. L. Clark. “Yes, sir.”
Joesph Ball.
“What did he ask you?”
R. L. Clark.
“He asked me my name.”
Joesph Ball. “Did you give him your real name?”
R. L. Clark.
“No, sir.”
Joesph Ball.
“Fictitious name?”
R. L. Clark. “Yes, sir.”
Joesph Ball.
“Ask you your occupation?”
R. L. Clark.
“Asked my occupation.”
Joesph Ball.
“What did you tell him?”
R. L. Clark
. “I don't recall. All of them are fictitious.”
Joesph Ball.
R. L. Clark.
“Yes, sir.” (Volume XII; p.237/238.)
Joesph Ball.Policeman ask you any questions? Detective ask you any questions?”
William Perry.
“Yes, sir; my name and what have you.”
Joesph Ball.“Well, what do you mean, "what have you."?
William Perry.
Well, occupation.”
Joesph Ball.“And what answer did you give him?”
William Perry.
“I gave him all fictitious answers.” (Volume XII; p. 234.)
Joesph Ball.“Did the detective ask you name?”
Daniel Lujan. “Yes, sir.”
Joesph Ball.“And did you tell him your name?”
Daniel Lujan. “Yes, sir.”
Joesph Ball.“Did he ask your occupation?”
Daniel Lujan. “Yes, sir.”
Joesph Ball.“What did you tell him?”
Daniel Lujan. “Working for S. & F. Meat Co.” (Volume XII; p 245/246)

The judicial system has established rules by which police departments must adhere to in the assembly of line ups for witness identification. These rules, crucial for maintaining fairness and objectivity, are as follows:

Participant Similarity: ‘Fillers’ should generally resemble the suspect's description. This includes aspects like height, weight, age, race, and other distinctive features.

Inadmissible Lineups.When the others are grossly dissimilar in appearance from the suspect.” (see here)

Cecil McWatters.“No, sir; they were different ages, different sizes and different heights.” (Volume II; p. 270)

Lineup Size: A lineup should, by standard, include at least five 'fillers' in addition to the suspect. This discourages the suspect from being conspicuously distinctive.

Suspect's Position: Suspects should have the liberty to choose their position in the lineup, rather than being consistently stationed at a specific number.

Oswald, Number 2 man: 3 times. Number 3 man:1 time.

Witness Instructions: The Police Department should make it clear to the witness that the perpetrator may not be part of the line up, relieving them from the pressure to identify someone.

David Belin. “Did they tell you one of the men was the man you saw or not, or did they tell you "See if you can"--just what did they say? Did they say, "Here is a lineup, see if you-can identify anyone," or did they say, "One of the men in the lineup"
William Scoggins. “Yes, I believe those are the words they used.” (Volume III; p.334)

Clothing Change: In instances where multiple line ups are conducted, suspects should have their clothing changed. This prevents identification based on clothing instead of physical traits. On November 22, 1963, during all three line-ups, Oswald consistently wore the same clothes, except for the Saturday line-up conducted on November 23. During that particular line-up, Oswald's brown long-sleeved shirt was missing, as it had been sent to Washington.

Non-Suggestive Environment: The lineup setting must be unbiased and devoid of suggestive elements. Police officers, for instance, should refrain from hinting at the identity of the suspect.

Inadmissible Lineups. “When the suspect is pointed out before or during the procedure.” (see here)

Captain Will Fritz or Jim Leavelle, intimated to an audience which included Ted Calloway, Sam Guinyard and Cecil McWatters that: "We want to be sure. We want to try and wrap him up real tight on killing this officer. We think he is the same one that shot the President, and if we can wrap him up tight on killing this officer, we have got him." (Volume III; p. 355) (watch this) (see here)

Line up Protocol and its Importance:

Inadmissible Lineups. “When an identification is made in the presence of other identifying witnesses.” (see here)

Adhering to a rigorous and standardized protocol for police line ups is crucial in maintaining the reliability and integrity of witness testimony. This includes taking careful measures to ensure witnesses are kept separate from each other to mitigate any potential influence that may arise from shared discussions or collective reactions. Encouraging each witness to independently identify the suspect underscores the importance of their testimony being solely rooted in their own recollections.

The primary objective of this protocol is to minimize the risk of corrupting the identification process. Allowing witnesses to converse about the event or discuss the suspect's attributes could lead to the contamination of the process. Such discourse could inadvertently foster groupthink, induce false positives, or in the worst-case scenario, yield tainted identifications.

The consequences of such errors are severe and far-reaching. They could trigger misidentifications and, subsequently, wrongful convictions.

What follows is a compilation of witness testimonies presented to the Commission. These statements confirm that the Dallas Police Department failed to adhere to the established protocol, jeopardizing the integrity of the investigation.

Sam Guinyard.

Joseph Ball. “Were you with Ted [Calloway] at the time?”
Sam Guinyard. “Yes, sir.”
Joseph Ball. “How close was Ted to you?”
Sam Guinyard. “Oh, sitting about like that.”
Joseph Ball. “You mean 3 or 4 feet away from you?”
Sam Guinyard. “Yes, something like that.” (Volume VII; p. 400)

Ted Calloway.“We first went into the room. There was Jim Leavelle, the detective, Sam Guinyard, and then this bus driver and myself. We waited down there for probably 20 or 30 minutes.” (Volume III; p. 355)
William Whaley.“Then they took me down in their room where they have their showups, and all, and me and this other taxi driver [William Scoggins] who was with me, sir, we sat in the room awhile and directly they brought in six men, young teenagers, and they all were handcuffed together.” (Volume II p. 260/261)

William Scoggins.

David Belin. “Mr. Scoggins, when you identified the man in the line up at the police station on November 23, was there any other person who at the same time was asked to identify a man in that lineup?”
William Scoggins. “Yes, one other.”
David Belin. “Do you know-one other person?”
William Scoggins. “Yes.” (Volume III; p. 337)

Virginia Davis

David Belin. “Where was your sister when you identified him?”
Virginia Davis. “She was sitting right next to me.”
David Belin. “How did you identify him? Did you yell that this is the man I saw?” Where was the detective? Was he to your right or to your left?”
Virginia Davis. “Let's see to my right.”
David Belin. “Where was your sister, to your right or to your left?”
Virginia Davis. “Right.”
David Belin. “As she was to your right, so you leaned over to the detective and told the detective it was No. 2?”
Virginia Davis. “Yes, sir.” (Volume VI; p. 462)

The following is a chronological record of the line ups conducted by the Dallas Police Department on 11/22-11/23-1963.

11/22/63 16:05
Showup 1.Picture6
Picture71. William E Perry, Dallas Police Officer. Aged 34. 5’10”1/2”. 170 Pounds. Brown Hair. Blue Eyes. Dark Complexion. Brown Sports Coat. Gave fictitious name and occupation to witness.
2. Lee H. Oswald, Texas School Book Depository, Warehouse Employee. Tattered Brown Long Sleeved Shirt. Tattered White T-Shirt. Dark Pants. Aged 24. 5’ 9”.131 Pounds. Medium Build. Brown, Receding Hair. Blue Eyes. Bruise Over His Right Eye. Cut On His Forehead.
3. R. L. Clark, Dallas Police Officer. Aged 31. 5’9,3/4”. 170 Pounds. Blond Hair. Blue Eyes. Ruddy Complexion. Red Vest, Short Sleeve White Shirt, Brown Pants With Belt. Gave fictitious name and occupation to witness.
4. Don Ables, Dallas Police Jail Clerk. Aged 26. 5’9”. 165 Pounds. Brown Hair. Eyes Brown. Ruddy Complexion. White Shirt, Gray-Knit Sweater. Dark Trousers. Gave fictitious name and occupation to witness.
(Volume VII; p. 125/168,170,233,236, 241/242)
Joseph Ball. “It’s unusual to use officers to show up prisoners?”
Elmer Boyd. “Well, I would say so.”
Joseph Ball.“Is that usual to use Don Ables, the clerk, in a show up?”
Elmer Boyd.“No, sir.”
Joseph Ball.“It is unusual?”
Elmer Boyd.“Yes.” (Volume VII; p. 125)

11/22/63 18:20.
Showup 2.
1. William E Perry, Dallas Police Officer. Aged 34. 5’10”1/2”. 170 Pounds. Brown Hair. Blue Eyes. Dark Complexion. Brown Sports Coat. Gave fictitious name and occupation to witnesses.
2. Lee H. Oswald, Texas School Book Depository, Warehouse Employee. Tattered Brown Long Sleeved Shirt. Tattered White T-Shirt. Dark Pants. Aged 24. 5’ 9”.131 Pounds. Medium Build. Brown, Receding Hair. Blue Eyes. Bruise Over His Right Eye. Cut On His Forehead.
3. R. L. Clark, Dallas Police Officer. Aged 31. 5’9,3/4”. 170 Pounds. Blond Hair. Blue Eyes. Ruddy Complexion. Red Vest, Short Sleeve White Shirt, Brown Pants With Belt. Gave fictitious name and occupation to witnesses.
4. Don Ables, Dallas Police Jail Clerk. Aged 26. 5’9”. 165 Pounds. Brown Hair. Eyes Brown. Ruddy Complexion. White Shirt, Gray-Knit Sweater. Dark Trousers. Gave fictitious name and occupation to witnesses.
(Volume VII; p. 125,168,169,170,233,236, 241/242)Picture8
Joseph Ball.“Were they dressed differently than Oswald?”
Richard Sims. “Yes; I know they didn’t have the color of clothes on or things like that.”
Joseph Ball.“His clothes were rougher looking than the other men?”
Richard Sims.“Well, I don’t imagine that he would be dressed as nice as the officers were, as far as their clothes.” (Volume VII; p. 170)
Joseph Ball.“The other three were better dressed than Oswald, would you say?”
Elmer Boyd.“Well, yes, sir; I would say they probably were.”(Volume VII; p. 127)

11/22/63 19:40
Showup 3.Picture9
1. Richard Walter Borchgardt. City Prisoner. Aged 23. 161 Pounds. 5’9”. Brown Hair. Blue Eyes. Fair Complexion.
2. Lee H. Oswald, Texas School Book Depository, Warehouse Employee. Tattered Brown Long Sleeved Shirt. Tattered White T-Shirt. Dark Pants. Aged 24. 5’ 9”.131 Pounds. Medium Build. Brown, Receding Hair. Blue Eyes. Bruise Over His Right Eye. Cut On His Forehead.
3. Ellis C. Brazel. City Prisoner.. Aged 22. 5’10”. 169 Pounds. Green Eyes. Blond Hair. Ruddy Complexion
4.Don Ables, Dallas Police Jail Clerk. Aged 26. 5’9”. 165 Pounds. Brown Hair. Eyes Brown. Ruddy Complexion. White Shirt, Gray-Knit Sweater. Dark Trousers. Gave fictitious name and occupation to witnesses.
(Volume VII; p. 131/132,170, 41/242

Showup 4.Picture10
David Belin. “Had you seen any pictures of Lee Harvey Oswald in the newspapers prior to the time you went to the police station lineup?”
William Scoggins. “I think I saw one in the morning paper.”(Volume III; p.334)
1. John T. Horne. City Prisoner. Aged 17. Dark Shirt. Dark Pants. Dark Thick Hair.
2. David Knapp. City Prisoner. Aged 18. White Shirt. Dark Pants. Dark Thick Hair.
3. Lee H. Oswald. Texas School Book Depository, Warehouse Employee. Tattered White T-Shirt. Dark Pants. Aged 24. 5’ 9”.131 Pounds. Medium Build. Brown, Receding Hair. Blue Eyes. Bruise Over His Right Eye. Cut On His Forehead.
4. Daniel Lujan. City Prisoner. Aged 26. 170 Pounds. 5’8”. Black Hair. Brown Eyes. Complexion Olive. Mexican. Blue Shirt. Brown Jacket.
(Volume VII; p. 170, 245/246) (watch this

The Curious Case Of Howard Brennan.

Determining which line up Howard Brennan attended should, in theory, be straightforward. However, the available records yield no clear answer to this surprisingly complex question. This intriguing issue was first highlighted by Ian Griggs, who found no explicit evidence of Brennan attending any specific line up. As outlined in Commission Exhibit 2003, the list of 'witnesses' for the line ups is as follows: Helen Markham, Cecil McWatters, Sam Guinyard, Ted Calloway, Barbara Davis, and Virginia Davis on 11/22/63; and William Scoggins and William Whaley on 11/23/63. It is perplexing that the Dallas Police would allow 'witnesses' from two distinct homicide cases to participate in the same line up. Furthermore, the actions McWatters and Whaley supposedly witnessed are ambiguous at best. After all, when did taking a bus home or hailing a taxi qualify as a crime?"(Volume XXIV; p. 347)

For some perspective on this issue, let us first look at the testimony of Brennan himself on this point.

David Belin.“Now, taking you down to the Dallas Police Station, I believe you said you talked to Captain Fritz. And then what happened?”
Howard Brennan. “Well, I was just more or less introduced to him in Mr. Sorrels' room, and they told me they were going to conduct a line up and wanted me to view it, which I did.”
David Belin. “Do you remember how many people were in the line up?”
Howard Brennan. “No, I don't. A possibility seven more or less one.”
David Belin. “All right. Did you see anyone in the line up you recognized?”
Howard Brennan. “Yes.”
David Belin. “And what did you say?”
Howard Brennan. “I told Mr. Sorrels and Captain Fritz at that time that Oswald--or the man in the lineup that I identified looking more like a closest resemblance to the man in the window than anyone in the lineup.”
David Belin. “Were the other people in the lineup, do you remember--were they all white, or were there some Negroes in there, or what?”
Howard Brennan. “I do not remember.” (Volume III; p. 147)

Here are some notable observations drawn from this excerpt of Brennan's testimony:

  1. The line-up consisted of four individuals, three fillers and the suspect. If Brennan did indeed view a line-up, how could he possibly forget such a critical detail?
  2. Brennan identified both SS Agent Sorrels and Captain Fritz as present at this line-up.
  3. Curiously, Brennan could not recall the ethnic backgrounds of those in the line-ups. This strikes me as odd. Could Brennan, in his lifetime, have participated in an event more dramatic and pivotal? And in Texas? During segregation?

The idea that he could forget such fundamental elements of the procedure, assuming he genuinely attended, is quite puzzling to me.

Now let us take a look at the testimony of Forrest Sorrells.

Forrest Sorrells. “I got a hold of Captain Fritz and told him that the witness was there, Mr. Brennan. He said, I wish he would have been here a little sooner, we just got through with a line up. But we will get another fixed up. So I took Mr. Brennan, and we went to the assembly room, which is also where they have the line up, and Mr. Brennan, upon arrival at the police station, said, I don't know if I can do you any good or not, because I have seen the man that they have under arrest on television, and he said. I just don't know whether I can identify him positively or not because he said that the man on television was a bit dishevelled and his shirt was open or something like that, and he said the man I saw was not in that condition.

So when we got to the assembly room, Mr. Brennan said he would like to get quite a ways back, because he would like to get as close to the distance away from where he saw this man at the time that the shooting took place as he could.
And I said, "Well, we will get you clear on to the back and then we can move up forward.
They did bring Oswald in in a line up. He looked very carefully, and then we rooted him up closer and so forth, and he said, I cannot positively say.
Sam Stern. “How many other people were in the line up?”
Forrest Sorrells. “As I recall it, there were five. In other words, all told there was five or six-I don't remember. I believe there were five.”
Sam Stern. “Were the others reasonably similar to Oswald in height and physical appearance, and color?”
Forrest Sorrells. “I noted that to me I thought it was a very fair line up, because they didn't have anyone that was a lot taller than he was, or anyone a lot shorter. They didn't have any big fat ones or anything like that. In other words, to me it was a good lineup.” (Volume XII; p. 354/355)

  1. In an affidavit dated November 22, 1963, Mr. Brennan asserted that “he could identify the man if he ever saw him again”, as noted in point 7.
  2. Sorrells failed to specify which line-up Brennan attended or identify any other attendees of the line-up.
  3. Sorrells estimates that there were either "five or six" individuals present at the line-up. It raises questions about Sorrells' accuracy, given that only four individuals were supposed to be viewed.
  4. Sorrells described it as a "very fair line-up." This mysterious line-up, which Mr. Brennan allegedly attended, appears to be more of an anomaly than the norm. Given what we know, it's impossible for an unbiased observer to conclude that the line-ups conducted by the Dallas Police Department were anything but fundamentally flawed, exhibiting a shocking disregard for established protocols.

Lastly, let's examine the testimony of Will Fritz regarding this matter.

John McCloy.“Were you present at the show up at which Brennan was the witness?”
Will Fritz. “Brennan?”
John McCloy. “Brennan was the alleged…”
Will Fritz. “Is that the man that the Secret Service brought over there, Mr. Sorrels brought over?”
John McCloy. “I don't know whether Mr. Sorrels…”
Will Fritz. “I don't think I was present but I will tell you what, I helped Mr. Sorrels find the time that that man--we didn't show that he was shown at all on our records, but Mr. Sorrels called me and said he did show him and he wanted me to give him the time of the showup. I asked him to find out from his officers who were with Mr. Brennan the names of the people that we had there, and he gave me those two Davis sisters, and he said, when he told me that, of course, I could tell what showup it was and then I gave him the time.”
John McCloy. “But you were not present to the best of your recollection when Brennan was in the showup?”
Will Fritz. “I don't believe I was there, I doubt it.” (Volume IV; p. 237)

Here are some notable observations drawn from this excerpt of Fritz’s testimony:

  1. Strangely, Fritz appears not to recognize the name Brennan, even though Brennan was a pivotal witness in his case.
  2. Fritz seems to distance himself from the assertion that he was present at Brennan's line-up.
  3. According to Fritz, it was Sorrells who informed him that Brennan had been taken to a line-up. Oddly, however, Sorrells wanted Fritz to specify the time of the line-up.
  4. It raises the question, who are the officers that Fritz is referencing?
  5. As Ian Griggs highlights, Brennan did not attend the Davis sisters' line-up. Griggs posed this query to Dale Myers, who in turn asked Barbara Davis if Brennan or someone fitting his description had been present at her line-up. Barbara's response was: "Just me and my sister-in-law and some guys from law enforcement" (No Case To Answer; pp. 92/93).
  6. Lastly, if Brennan did indeed attend a line-up, it's perplexing as to why his name was not listed in any of the Dallas Police Department records concerning these line-ups.

As highlighted by Ian Griggs, the undeniable facts remain that:

  1. “Brennan or his description, does not appear in the testimony of any of the other eyewitnesses who attended the line-ups. Markham, Calloway, Guinyard, McWatters, Barbra and Virginia Davis, Scoggins, Whaley, fail to mention Brennan.”
  2. “The name Brennan does not appear in the testimony or affidavits of any of the DPD officers who supervised the line-ups on record. Chief Curry, Sims, Boyd, Graves, Leavelle, Dhority, Moore, Potts, Brown, Hall, Senkel.” (Griggs, pp. 77-100)

Brennan's name is not only absent from the DPD's records relating to line-ups, but also from the testimonies and affidavits of the officers present at the other line-ups. Why is this the case? Despite its seemingly straightforward nature, why is there a sense of obfuscation around this event?Picture11

Picture12Dr Buckout Evaluates.

In 1979, the late Larry Harris approached Dr. Robert Buckout to assess the Dallas Police line-ups in which Lee Oswald was subjected to. Dr. Buckout, a renowned expert in eyewitness testimony and identification procedures, reached a clear conclusion. He stated,

"By any stretch of the imagination, virtually every rule in the book was violated in the conduct of these line-ups. The results of any of the line-ups conducted as poorly and under hysterical circumstances, as they were, should be regarded as utterly worthless." (watch this)

Line-up participate Daniel Lujan on Oswald’s objections to the lineup:

Joesph Ball.“You were handcuffed to Oswald?”
Daniel Lujan. “Yes, sir.”
Joesph Ball. “He was complaining, was he?”
Daniel Lujan. “About having a T-shirt and wanted a jacket or something.”
Joesph Ball.“Oswald was doing some talking?”
Daniel Lujan.“Yes.”
Joesph Ball. “Was he shouting loud?”
Daniel Lujan. “He was shouting. He, he was shouting, said all of us had a shirt on and he had a T-shirt on. He wanted a shirt or something.” (Volume XII; p. 245/246)

Dr. Buckout's assessment illuminates the serious flaws and deficiencies in the line-ups conducted by the Dallas Police Department. As an expert in the field of eyewitness testimony and identification procedures, his conclusion carries substantial weight, suggesting that the line-ups were conducted in a manner that not only violated established protocols but implies that they were conducted in such a manner which would reach a desired conclusion. Additionally, the actions of Fritz/Leavelle exposes a specific agenda and a desire to not only link Oswald to the murder of Officer Tippit, but also to the assassination of President Kennedy. It suggests a deliberate effort to construct a strong case against Oswald by solidifying his involvement in both crimes. This highlights the Dallas Police's predisposition to connect Oswald to both murders, thereby influencing the direction of the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings. This again raises serious questions regarding Oswald's treatment at the hands of the Dallas Police.

“When a line up or showup is conducted in violation of the defendant's right to due process, an in-court identification of the defendant will not be permitted unless the government can establish an independent source. The factors used to establish an independent source where a line up or showup has been conducted in violation of the defendant's right to counsel are also applicable here.” (see here)

25. Oswald Gets No Defense.

Marguerite Oswald:“My son, Lee Harvey Oswald, was tried and convicted within a few hours time, without benefit of counsel. And so, I am appealing to the Board that my son, Lee Harvey Oswald, be represented by counsel… I implore you, I implore you, in the name of justice, to let my son, Lee Harvey Oswald, who is accused of assassinating the President, and I, the mother of this man, who is the accused's mother, be represented by counsel. Marguerite Oswald. (Volume I; p. 127/128)

Mark Lane, a seasoned attorney and vocal critic of the case against Oswald, was enlisted by Marguerite, Oswald's mother. He put forth a petition to the Warren Commission, articulating his intent to advocate for Oswald's legal rights during the forthcoming hearings. Prior to this, Lane had addressed a letter to Chief Justice Earl Warren, stating, "It would be appropriate that Mr. Oswald, from whom every legal right was stripped, be accorded counsel who may participate with the single purpose of representing the rights of the accused.” Nonetheless, Lane's request to represent Oswald was rejected. As substantiation, Lane cited a letter dated January 23, 1964, from J. Lee Rankin, the Commission's counsel. The correspondence stated, “The Commission does not believe that it would be useful or desirable to permit an attorney representing Lee Harvey Oswald to have access to the investigatory materials within the possession of the commission or to participate in any hearings to be conducted by the commission.” Earl Warren also informed Lane “that Oswald was not on trial, and that counsel would not be permitted to represent him”(NY Times, 26 Feb 1964; p. 17)

26. President Kennedy’s Clothing.

Picture13Commission Conclusion. “President Kennedy was first struck by a bullet which entered at the back of his neck and exited through the lower portion of his neck.” (WCR, P19.)Picture14

The clothing worn by President Kennedy serves as compelling evidence in this case. An examination of the garments reveals that President Kennedy sustained a gunshot wound in the upper portion of his back, specifically near the third thoracic vertebra. This fact finds support in numerous eyewitness testimonies and the documented evidence on the record. Had Oswald gone to trial, it would have been imperative for Henry Wade to demonstrate to the jury that despite the President's shirt and jacket displaying a clear and concise bullet hole in the back, the actual entry point of the sustained injury was at the base of President Kennedys neck.

Sibert & O’Neill

FBI agents James Sibert & Francis O’Neill took meticulous notes during the Presidents autopsy. Included in these notes is a detailed description of the wounds sustained by the President.

“During the latter stages of this autopsy, Dr Humes located an opening which appeared to be a bullet hole which was below the shoulders and two inches to the right of the middle line of the spinal column. This opening was probed by Dr Humes with the finger, at which time it was determined that the trajectory of the missile entering at this point had entered at a downward position of 45 to 60 degrees. Further probing determined that the distance travelled by this missile was a short distance as much as the end of the opening could be felt with the finger.” (Sibert and O'Neil Report on the Autopsy 11/26/63) (see this)

Admiral George Burkley, Official Whitehouse Death Certificate, 11/23/63. “A second wound occurred in the posterior back at about the level of the third thoracic vertebra.” (see this)Picture15

Picture16Admiral George Burkley.Signed “verified” to the Autopsy Face sheet which depicts the wound in President Kennedy’s back way below the neckline, around the third thoracic vertebra.

Clint Hill.“I saw an opening in the back, about six inches below the neckline to the right-hand side of the spinal column.”(Volume II; p.143)

Roy Kellerman.“While the President is in the morgue, he is lying flat. And with part of the skull removed, and the hole in the throat, nobody was aware until they lifted him up that there was a hole in the shoulder. That was the first concrete evidence that they knew that the man was hit in the back first.” (Volume II; p.103)

Roy Kellerman.“The other wound I noticed was in his shoulder”.

Arlen Specter.“Which Shoulder”
Roy Kellerman. “Right shoulder...the upper neckline, sir, in that large muscle between the shoulder and the neck, just below it.” (Volume II; p. 81)

Glen Bennett.“At this exact time, I saw a shot that hit the Boss about 4 inches down from the right shoulder; a second shot followed immediately and hit the right rear high of the Boss's head.” (Volume XXIV, pp. 541/542)

Willam Greer. “It was, to the best of my recollection it was, back here, just in the soft part of the shoulder.” (Volume II; p.127)

Paul O'Connor.“Finally, we turned the body over, and there was a bullet wound-an entrance wound-in his back, on the right side of his spinal column. To emphasize where it was in proximity to the rest of his body: if you bend your neck down and feel back, you feel a lump and that's the seventh cervical vertebra. This bullet wound was about three inches down and an inch or two to the right of the seventh cervical vertebra.” (William Law, In The Eye Of History; p.199)

Jim Jenkins.“There was a bullet wound around the scapula in the back.”
William Law. “How far do you say that was. Give me an estimate: T1, T2-?”
Jim Jenkins. “He thinks, reaching around touching his back...I would say say about T4” [the fourth thoracic vertebra. (Law, p.226)

Pierre Finck, one of three autopsy pathologists who conducted the President’s autopsy has revealed that: “I was denied the opportunity to examine the clothing of Kennedy. One officer who outranked me told me that my request was only of academic interest. The same officer did not agree to state within the autopsy report that the autopsy was not complete, as I had suggested to indicate. I saw the clothing of Kennedy, for the first time on March 16, 1964, at the Warren Commission, before my testimony, more than 3 months after the autopsy.” see this

Pathologist Gerald Ford.

A declassified document released by the ARRB (Assassination Records Review Board), proves that Commissioner Gerald Ford made a critical change to the wording of the Warren Report, which describes the location of the wound on the President’s back. The original version explicitly described that "A bullet had entered at the back at a point slightly above the shoulder to the right of the spine." This description was consistent with the verified autopsy face sheet, the death certificate, and numerous witness testimonies. However, Ford revised the report to state that the bullet entered at the back of the neck, thereby bolstering the credibility of the Single Bullet Theory (SBT). And, more importantly, keeping the blame for the assassination solely on Lee Oswald. Fords revision stated that "President Kennedy was first struck by a bullet which entered at the back of his neck.” This alteration not only calls into question the integrity of the report, but it appears to be a deliberate manipulation of the facts by an elected official. This was done purely to save the circumstantial case against Oswald. Alongside other fraudulent exhibits such as CE1302, these revisions underscore the practices employed by the Commission (See the film, JFK:Destiny Betrayed, Episode 3; WCR; p.19)

To summarize, the jacket and shirt of President Kennedy effectively serve as evidence that exonerates Oswald in the case, especially the shirt since these were tailored. Examination of the clothing reveals a gunshot wound in the upper portion of the President’s back, near the third thoracic vertebra. This finding is supported by eyewitness testimonies and documented evidence. However, in the aftermath of the autopsy, Dr. Finck has revealed that he was denied access to the President’s clothing, thus limiting the ability of the pathologists to thoroughly examine the evidence during the procedure. Gerald Ford made a critical change to the wording of the report, regarding the placement of the back wound. The original version accurately described the entry point above the shoulder to the right of the spine, but Ford revised it to support the Single Bullet Theory (SBT). This alteration raises serious concerns about the modus operandi of the Commission. It suggests a deliberate manipulation of facts to maintain a predetermined theory that Oswald was the lone assassin.

27. Admiral Burkley vs. The Warren Report.

Picture17“Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori.” Wilfred Owen.

Admiral George Burkley, President Kennedy's personal physician who was present at both Parkland and Bethesda, had firsthand experience witnessing the fatal wounds sustained by the President. Given the significance of his testimony in establishing the facts surrounding the nature and locations of President Kennedy's injuries, it was crucial for Dr. Burkley's account to be heard on the record.However, astonishing it may seem, Dr Burkley was not called to testify before the Warren Commission.

In a 1967 interview with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Burkley declined to comment on the findings of the Commission.

Interviewer– “Do you agree with the Warren Report on the number of bullets which entered the Presidents body?”Burkley – “I would not care to be quoted on that.” (see this)

28. Uncovering the Whitewash: Jim Humes and The ARRB.

James Humes: “In [the] privacy of my own home, early in the morning of Sunday, November 24, I made a draft of this report which I later revised, and of which this [handwritten draft of autopsy report] represents the revision. That draft I personally burned in the fireplace of my recreation room.” Commander J. J. Humes. (Volume II; p. 373)

Michael Baden: “Where bungled autopsies are concerned, President Kennedy’s is the exemplar.” (James DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland; p.37)

Chief autopsy surgeon Commander J.J. Humes destroyed crucial medical evidence on November 24, 1963, which had significant implications for the case against Oswald. This evidence consisted of the initial draft of President Kennedy's autopsy report and the accompanying notes it was based upon. It is noteworthy that Humes alleged destruction occurred only after Lee Oswald had been shot to death by Jack Ruby. Humes testified: “The final changes in the notes prior to the typing of the report were made, and I will have to give you the time because whatever time Mr. Oswald was shot, that is about when I finished. I was working in an office, and someone had a television on and came in and told me that Mr. Oswald had been shot, and that was around noon on Sunday, November 24th.” If Oswald had lived to stand trial, these destroyed notes would have played a crucial role as evidence. On February 13, 1996, Jeremy Gunn and Doug Horne from the ARRB conducted a deposition of Commander Humes, during which they addressed the issue of his disposal of the original autopsy material. Gunn ultimately exposed Humes' explanation for his actions.

Jim Humes “Also in Greenfield Village, there is an old Illinois courthouse where Lincoln used to preside when he was circuit-riding judge. And in that courthouse was a chair that was alleged to be the chair in which Lincoln sat when he was assassinated in Ford's Theater. And the docent, in describing this chair, proudly spoke that here on the back of the chair is the stain of the President's blood. The bullet went through his head. I thought this was the most macabre thing I ever saw in my life. It just made a terrible impression on me. And when I noticed that these bloodstains were on this document that I had prepared, I said nobody's going to ever get these documents. I'm not going to keep them, and nobody else is ever going to get them. So, I copied them--and you probably have a copy in my longhand of what I wrote. It's made from the original. And I then burned the original notes in the fireplace of my family room to prevent them from ever falling into the hands of what I consider inappropriate people”

Gunn then questions Hume’s about a glaring inconsistency in his story regarding the draft and notes:

Jeremy Gunn. “Did you ever make a copy that--a copy of the notes that contained the same information as was on the original handwritten notes that was in any form other than the form that appears in Exhibit 2?”
Jim Humes. “No.”
Jeremy Gunn. “Have you ever observed that the document now marked Exhibit 1 in the original appears to have bloodstains on it as well?”
Jim Humes. “Yes, I do notice it now. These were J's. I'm sure I gave these back to J. I presume I did. I don't know where they came from.” [J refers to Jay Thornton Boswell, who was a partner to Humes on the autopsy.]
Jeremy Gunn. “Did you ever have any concern about the President's blood being on the document that's now marked Exhibit 1?”
Jim Humes. “I can't recall, to tell you the truth.”
Jeremy Gunn. “Do you see any inconsistency at all between destroying some handwritten notes that contained blood on them but preserving other handwritten notes that also had blood on them?”
Jim Humes. “Well, only that the others were of my own making. I didn't--wouldn't have the habit of destroying something someone else prepared. That's the only difference that I can conceive of. I don't know where these went. I don't know if they went back to J or where they went. I have no idea. I certainly didn't keep them. I kept nothing, as a matter of fact.
Jeremy Gunn: I'd like to show you the testimony that you offered before the Warren Commission. This is in Exhibit 11 to this deposition. I'd like you to take a look at pages 372 to the top of 373, and then I'll ask you a question.”
Jim Humes. “All right.”
Jeremy Gunn. “I'll read that into that record while you're reading it yourself. Mr. Specter asked the question: And what do those consist of? The question is referring to some notes. "Answer: In privacy of my own home, early in the morning of Sunday, November 24, I made a draft of this report, which I later revised and of which this represents the revision. That draft I personally burned in the fireplace of my recreation room. Do you see Mr. Specter's question and your answer?”
Jim Humes. “Yes.”
Jeremy Gunn. “Does that help refresh your recollection of what was burned in your home?”
Jim Humes. “Whatever I had, as far as I know, that was burned was everything exclusive of the finished draft that you have as Exhibit--whatever it is.”
Jeremy Gunn. “My question will go to the issue of whether it was a draft of the report that was burned or whether it was—"
Jim Humes. “I think it was—"
Jeremy Gunn. “—handwritten notes—"
Jim Humes. “It was handwritten notes and the first draft that was burned.
Jeremy Gunn. “Do you mean to use the expression handwritten notes as being the equivalent of draft of the report?”
Jim Humes. “I don't know. Again, it's a hair- splitting affair that I can't understand. Everything that I personally prepared until I got to the status of the handwritten document that later was transcribed was destroyed. You can call it anything you want, whether it was the notes or what, I don't know. But whatever I had, I didn't want anything else to remain, period. This business, I don't know when J got that back or what.”

Further in the testimony Gunn asks Humes again about his destruction of the autopsy report and notes:

Jeremy Gunn. “When I first asked the question, you explained that the reason that you had destroyed it was that it had the blood of the President on it.”
Jim Humes. “Right”.
Jeremy Gunn. “The draft report, of course, would not have had the blood of…”
Jim Humes. “Well, it may have had errors in spelling, or I don't know what was the matter with it, or whether I even ever did that. I don't know. I can't recall. I absolutely can't recall, and I apologise for that. But that's the way the cookie crumbles. I didn't want anything to remain that some squirrel would grab on and make whatever use that they might. Now, whether you felt that was reasonable or not, I don't know. But it doesn't make any difference because that was my decision and mine alone. Nobody else's.” (see this)

29. Pierre Finck Spills The Beans.

Harold Weisberg.The President got an autopsy that wouldn’t have been acceptable for a bowery bum. But Oswald got an autopsy fitting of a President.

The subsequent testimony from the 1969 trial, The People Vs Clay Shaw, strengthens the claim that President John F. Kennedy's autopsy was significantly faulty, emphasizing the military's substantial influence over the process. Within this scenario, Alvin Oser, the state prosecutor, cross-examines Pierre Finck, a defense witness who was also one of the pathologists involved in the autopsy that evening. What Oser elicits from Finck is crucial in understanding the autopsy.

Alvin Oser. “Well, at that particular time, Doctor, why didn't you call the doctors at Parkland or attempt to ascertain what the doctors at Parkland may have done or may have seen while the President's body was still exposed to view on the autopsy table?”
Pierre Finck. “I will remind you that I was not in charge of this autopsy, that I was called –"
Alvin Oser. “You were a co-author of the report though, weren't you, Doctor?”
Pierre Finck. “Wait. I was called as a consultant to look at these wounds; that doesn't mean I am running the show.”
Alvin Oser. “Was Dr. Humes running the show?”
Pierre Finck. “Well, I heard Dr. Humes stating that -- he said, "Who is in charge here?" and I heard an Army General, I don't remember his name, stating, I am." You must understand that in those circumstances, there were law enforcement officers, military people with various ranks, and you have to co-ordinate the operation according to directions.”
Alvin Oser. “But you were one of the three qualified pathologists standing at that autopsy table, were you not, Doctor?”
Pierre Finck. “Yes, I am.”
Alvin Oser. “Was this Army General a qualified pathologist?”
Pierre Finck. “No.”
Alvin Oser. “Was he a doctor?”
Pierre Finck. “No, not to my knowledge”.
Alvin Oser. “Can you give me his name, Colonel?”
Pierre Finck. “No, I can't. I don't remember.”

Testimony continued.

Alvin Oser. “Colonel, did you feel that you had to take orders from this Army General that was there directing the autopsy?”
Pierre Finck. “No, because there were others, there were Admirals.”
Alvin Oser. “There were Admirals?”
Pierre Finck. “Oh, yes, there were Admirals, and when you are a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army you just follow orders, and at the end of the autopsy we were specifically told — as I recall it, it was by Admiral Kinney, the Surgeon General of the Navy — this is subject to verification — we were specifically told not to discuss the case.”

Finck’s sworn admission that military personnel were supervising the pathologists during President Kennedy's autopsy brings to light serious concerns regarding the case against Oswald. In response to Oser's questions about why Finck had refrained from dissecting the trajectory in President Kennedy's neck, Finck testified that.

Alvin Oser. “Did you have an occasion to dissect the track of that particular bullet in the victim as it lay on the autopsy table?”
Pierre Finck. “I did not dissect the track in the neck.”
Alvin Oser. “Why?”
Pierre Finck. “This leads us into the disclosure of medical records.”
Alvin Oser. “Your Honor, I would like an answer from the Colonel, and I would as the Court so to direct.”
Judge: “That is correct, you should answer, Doctor.”
Pierre Finck. “We didn't remove the organs of the neck.”
Alvin Oser. “Why not, Doctor?”
Pierre Finck. “For the reason that we were told to examine the head wounds and that the –"
Alvin Oser. “Are you saying someone told you not to dissect the track?”
Judge: “Let him finish his answer”.
Pierre Finck. “I was told that the family wanted an examination of the head, as I recall, the head and chest, but the prosectors in this autopsy didn't remove the organs of the neck, to my recollection.”
Alvin Oser. “You have said they did not, I want to know why didn't you as an autopsy pathologist attempt to ascertain the track through the body which you had on the autopsy table in trying to ascertain the cause or causes of death? Why?”
Pierre Finck. “I had the cause of death.”
Alvin Oser. “Why did you not trace the track of the wound?”
Pierre Finck. “As I recall I didn't remove these organs from the neck.”
Alvin Oser.” I didn't hear you.”
Pierre Finck. “I examined the wounds, but I didn't remove the organs of the neck.”
Alvin Oser. “You said you didn't do this; I am asking you why didn't do this as a pathologist?”
Pierre Finck. “From what I recall I looked at the trachea, there was a tracheotomy wound the best I can remember, but I didn't dissect or remove these organs.”
Alvin Oser. “Your Honor, I would ask Your Honor to direct the witness to answer my question.”
Alvin Oser. “I will ask you the question one more time: Why did you not dissect the track of the bullet wound that you have described today, and you saw at the time of the autopsy at the time you examined the body? Why? I ask you to answer that question.”
Pierre Finck. “As I recall I was told not to, but I don't remember by whom.”
Alvin Oser. “You were told not to, but you don't remember by whom?”
Pierre Finck. “Right.”
Alvin Oser. “Could it have been one of the Admirals or one of the Generals in the room?”
Pierre Finck. “I don't recall.”
Alvin Oser. “Do you have any particular reason why you cannot recall at this time?”
Pierre Finck. “Because we were told to examine the head and the chest cavity, and that doesn't include the removal of the organs of the neck.”
Alvin Oser. “You are one of the three autopsy specialist and pathologists at the time, and you saw what you described as an entrance wound in the neck area of the President of the United States who had just been assassinated, and you were only interested in the other wound but not interested in the track through his neck, is that what you are telling me?”
Pierre Finck. “I was interested in the track, and I had observed the conditions of bruising between the point of entry in the back of the neck and the point of exit at the front of the neck, which is entirely compatible with the bullet path.”
Alvin Oser. “But you were told not to go into the area of the neck, is that your testimony?”
Pierre Finck. “From what I recall, yes, but I don't remember by whom.”

Finck’s testimony introduces serious doubts about the thoroughness of President Kennedy's autopsy. Finck’s disclosure that military personnel directed the autopsy, including the decision not to dissect the wound in the neck, implies manipulation and restrictions imposed upon the pathologists. These revelations challenge the autopsy's comprehensiveness and scrutiny of key evidence. This testimony confirms that intentional limitations were imposed upon the autopsy, concealing the fact that President Kennedy was shot from the front. (read this and this.

30. The Condition Of President Kennedy’s Brain.

“I've a rendezvous with Death. At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year, And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.”
Alan Seeger.

The official record of President Kennedy's brain post-mortem raises significant questions that further complicate the investigation. The "Supplementary Report of Autopsy Number A63-272 of President John F. Kennedy," reported the brain weight as 1500 grams after formalin fixation. This is puzzling when compared to the expected average weight of an adult male brain. Typically, brain weight decreases with age, with the average male brain weighing around 1400 grams at the age of 20 and decreasing further to approximately 1300 grams by the age of 65. The recorded weight of President Kennedy's brain, at 1500 grams presents a perplexing contrast to the evident and disturbing images of a shattered skull and mass eruption of brain matter, which is clearly visible in the Zapruder film. The stark incongruity between the autopsy report and the observable evidence raises significant doubts about the accuracy and trustworthiness of the post-mortem findings. To assess the correlation between witness testimonies and the findings in the supplementary autopsy report, it is crucial to consider the following testimonies from various witnesses who were present during the events surrounding President Kennedy's death. These witnesses observed the immediate aftermath of the assassination and may have important information regarding the condition of President Kennedy's brain.Picture18

Dr Robert McClelland.“The cause of death, I would say, would be massive head injuries with loss of large amounts of cerebral and cerebellar [brain] tissues and massive blood loss.” (Volume VI; p. 34.)

Dr Malcolm Perry.
“I noted there was a large wound in the right posterior parietal area in the head exposing lacerated brain. There was blood and brain tissue on the cart.” (Volume VI; p. 9.)

Dr Marion Jenkins.
“Regarding the head wound, Dr Jenkins said that only one segment of bone was blown out—it was a segment of occipital or temporal bone. He noted that a portion of the cerebellum (lower rear brain) was hanging out from a hole in the right—rear of the head. During the emergency medical procedures, Mrs Kennedy came in the room and gave Dr Jenkins a piece of the President’s brain.” (Dr Jenkins HSCA Interview with Andy Purdy; p. 15.) (see this)

Dr Jim Carrico. “The skull wound had avulsed the calvarium and shredded brain tissue present with profuse oozing. Attempts to control slow oozing from cerebral and cerebellar tissue via packs instituted.” (Volume XVII; p. 4/5.)

Dr Kemp Clark.There was a large wound in the right occipito-parietal region, from which profuse bleeding was occurring. 1500 cc. Of blood were estimated on the drapes and floor of the Emergency Operating Room. There was considerable loss of scalp and bone tissue. Both cerebral and cerebellar tissue were extruding from the wound.” (Volume XVII; p. 3.)

Dr Paul Peters.“I could see that he [Kennedy] had a large, about 7cm opening in the right occipital parietal area. A considerable portion of the brain was missing there and uh the occipital cortex the back portion of the brain was lying down near the opening of the wound and blood was trickling out”. (see this)

Dr Charles Baxter.“Portions of the right temporal and occipital bones were missing and some of the brain was lying on the table. The rest of the brain was extensively macerated and contused” (Volume XVII; p. 8.)

Dr Adolph Giesecke Jr. “I noticed that he [JFK] had a very large cranial wound, with loss of brain substance and it seemed that most of the bleeding was coming from the cranial wound.” (Volume VI; p. 74.)

Dr Ronald Jones.
“There was a large defect in the back side of the head as the President lay on the cart with what appeared to be some brain hanging out of this wound with multiple pieces of skull noted next with the brain and with a tremendous amount of clot and blood”. (Volume VI; pp 53-54)

Dr Don Curtis.
After I completed the cut-down, I went around to the right side of the patient [JFK] and saw the head wound.”
Arlen Specter. “And what did you observe there”?
Dr Don Curtis. “Oh –fragments of bone and a gross injury to the cranial contents, with copious amounts of haemorrhage.” (Volume VI; p. 60.)

Clint Hill.
“As I lay over the top of the back seat, I noticed a portion of the President’s head on the right rear side was missing and he was bleeding profusely. Part of the brain was gone. I saw a piece of his skull with hair on it lying in the seat. (11/30/63 Report by Clint Hill on Activities on 11/22/63.)

Clint Hill.
“His brain was exposed. There was blood and bits of brain all over the entire rear portion of the car.” (Volume II; p. 141.)
Dr Robert Karnei JR.Dr. Karnei said that normally a neuropathologist is present for the examination of abnormal brains. He said this brain would be "…considered such because of the extensive damage." (p. 6/7 of summary HSCA interview with Karnei.)
Governor Connally. “Immediately I could see on my clothes, my clothing, I could see on the interior of the car which, as I recall, was a pale blue, brain tissue, which I immediately recognized, and I recall very well, on my trousers there was one chunk of brain tissue as big as almost my thumb, thumbnail.
Arlen Specter. “Did Mrs Kennedy state anything at that time”?
Governor Connally. “Yes; I have to—i would say it was after the third shot when she said, They have killed my husband.
Arlen Specter. “Did she say anything more”?
Governor Connally. “Yes; she said, I heard her say one time I have got his brains in my hand”. (Volume IV; p. 133/134.)

Mrs Nellie Connally.
“Then after the third shot she said [Mrs Kennedy] They have killed my husband. I have his brains in my hand.” (Volume IV; p. 148).

Bobby Hargis

Mr Stern.“Did something happen to you, personally in connection with the shot you have just described”?
Bobby Hargis. “You mean the blood hitting me”?
Mr Stern. “Yes”
Bobby Hargis. “Yes; when President Kennedy straightened back up in the car the bullet hit him in the head, the one that killed him and it seemed like his head exploded, and I was splattered with blood and brain and a kind of bloody water. (Volume VI; p. 294.)

J Thornton Boswell. “Well, probably half of one hemisphere was absent…the upper surface of that side of the brain was missing.” (ARRB Interview pp. 42/43)

Abraham Zapruder.
Forrest Sorrels testified that Zapruder had told him “My God, I saw the whole thing. I saw the man’s brains come out of his head.” (Volume VII; p. 352).

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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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