Sunday, 31 March 2013

Book review: Hear No Evil, by Don Thomas - Part 1

The following is my review of Don Thomas’ 700 page plus book Hear No Evil, published in 2010 by the Mary Ferrell foundation. Although there are two excellent reviews of the book on the website by Dr David Mantik and Martin Hay; which I highly recommend researchers to read, my views on the assassination differ to those of both Mantik and Hay in many ways. Thomas is well known as a foremost expert on the often overlooked acoustics evidence. In fact, my primary reason for purchasing the book was to learn all I could about the acoustics evidence.

After reading through Thomas’ comprehensive work on the acoustics evidence, I was very impressed (my discussion of the acoustics evidence can be found in part 3 of this review). Thomas has also provided much valuable information concerning both the medical evidence and the ballistics evidence. Unfortunately, there are also many shocking omissions of facts, contradictions and utterly absurd statements throughout the book. I should also note that Thomas’ book focuses strictly on the evidence and investigations of the assassination, and is not a book concerning who was behind the assassination.

In the introduction to his book, Thomas writes; “The JFK case has come to be the epitome, the granddaddy, of all conspiracy theories”. I frankly don’t think that any rational person would disagree with that point of view. Thomas also writes that President Lyndon Johnson, and Warren Commission members Hale Boggs, John Sherman Cooper, and Richard Russell (although Thomas doesn’t actually name them) all expressed doubts about the Warren Commission’s conclusions – a fact which diehard Warren Commission defenders don’t want to acknowledge. Thomas also briefly explains how the first Police and media reports claimed that the shots had emanated from the direction of the infamous Grassy Knoll/railroad tracks.

In Chapter one of his book, Thomas discusses the crime scene, which of course was the 6th floor of the TSBD. Thomas begins by explaining that; “…eleven [witnesses] reported seeing a gunman, or a gun protruding from, a window on the upper floor of a building on the northeast corner of the plaza at or near the time of the shooting.”  The building to which Thomas is referring to is the TSBD. The witnesses who reported seeing a gunman were Howard Brennan – the man who would eventually “positively” identify Oswald as the sniper, James Worrell, Amos Euins, Robert Edwards, Ronald Fischer, Arnold Rowland, Carolyn Walther, Robert Jackson, and as British researcher Ian Griggs explains in his book, possibly Samuel Paternostro.

If Paternostro is included, there were actually nine witnesses who claimed to see a gunman and/or a gun protruding from an upper floor of the TSBD. Perhaps Thomas also included Lillian Mooneyham and Ruby Henderson as witnesses to seeing the gunman/gun protruding. However, according to the FBI interview with Mooneyham:

“Mrs. Mooneyham estimated that it was about 4 to 5 minutes following the shots fired by the assassin that she looked up towards the sixth floor of the TSBD and observed the figure of a man standing in a sixth floor window behind some cardboard boxes. This man appeared to Mrs. Mooneyham to be looking out of the window, however, the man was not close up to the window but was standing slightly back from it, so that Mrs. Mooneyham could not make out his features. She stated that she could give no description of this individual except to say that she is sure it was a man she observed, because the figure had on trousers. She could not recall the color of the trousers.”

Although there is every reason to believe the man Mooneyham observed was indeed one of the conspirators, there is nothing in her interview with the FBI about her seeing the man with a gun. Like Carolyn Walthers, Ruby Henderson informed the FBI that she observed two men on one of the upper floors of the TSBD (one of whom she claimed could have been a Mexican), but never mentioned seeing either one of them with a gun.

Now if Thomas knew the identities of the eleven witnesses to whom he was referring, then he should have cited their names. There were of course no witnesses who claimed that they observed a gunman in one of the windows of the Dal-Tex building or the Dallas County records building, both of which are located at the intersection of Elm and Houston Streets.

Thomas makes it clear that he believes Oswald actually owned the Mannlicher Carcano rifle allegedly used to murder the President, and which he allegedly purchased via mail order. He also believes that Oswald had the fake Selective Service card bearing the name Alek James Hidell (which is misspelled as Alec James Hidell). Thomas also believes that Oswald did in fact have a bus transfer from Cecil McWatters’ bus in his possession when he was arrested at the Texas theatre.

However, in light of all the evidence we have today, to believe the above is completely absurd. Both John Armstrong and Gil Jesus have proven that Oswald could not have ordered the rifle from Klein's sporting goods in Chicago. Among the evidence they have cited, is Oswald’s work timesheet from Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall which shows that he was at work when the Money order for the rifle was allegedly mailed on March 12, 1963.

As Gil Jesus further states on his website, the money order is missing the necessary financial endorsements from the financial institutions which allegedly processed it, and the actual order was for 36 inch rifle, with the rifle in evidence being 40.2 inches long (even though Klein’s had 36 inch rifles in stock at the time, and didn’t sell 40.2 inch rifles until April). In addition, the FBI informants at the post Office who were monitoring Oswald’s mail never claimed that Oswald received the rifle. In fact, there are no witnesses at the Post Office who claimed that Oswald took possession of the rifle.

There was also no certificate of good character issued to Oswald by a judge for the purchase of the rifle – even though one was required by law. Also, Kleins didn’t mount scopes on the 40.2 inch rifles, even though “Oswald’s” does have one. For much more information, I strongly advise you to read through Gil Jesus’ work on his website here. By implication, Thomas also believes that the so-called backyard photographs of Oswald holding the rifle are authentic (I will return to this issue in part 2 of my review).

Thomas apparently didn’t believe it was odd that Oswald would use the Hidell alias to purchase the rifle; and then have it shipped to his Post Office box which was under his actual name. The entire purpose of Oswald allegedly using the Hidell alias to purchase the rifle was obviously to hide the fact that he ordered it. So why the hell would he then have it delivered to his Post Office box which was under his real name? It makes no sense at all, yet lone gunman zealots have no qualms about it.

Perhaps more significantly, why the heck would Oswald be carrying the Hidell ID in his wallet when arrested if he had planned on shooting the President with the rifle he allegedly used to purchase it? Furthermore, if the backyard photographs were truly authentic, then why didn’t Oswald destroy them? One must believe that Oswald was an incredibly stupid assassin to have the Hidell ID in his wallet, and for him not to destroy the photographs. As I explained in this post, the Hidell ID was by all likelihood discovered inside a wallet at the murder scene of DPD Officer, J.D Tippit (I will return to the issue of the wallet during my discussion of the Tippit murder).

However, I would like to point out that on the day following the assassination, when DPD Chief Jesse Curry was informing reporters that the Money order for the rifle had been tracked down by the FBI (here), and that the order was under the Hidell name – he never bothered to tell them that the fake Selective Service card bearing that very name was discovered inside Oswald’s wallet when arrested! Surely, if the Hidell ID was really was inside Oswald’s wallet when he was arrested, Curry would have mentioned it.

On a further note, on the day following the assassination, when Curry was asked by a reporter how “Oswald got to the other side of town”, and whether Oswald had travelled by a bus, he responded: “We have heard that he was picked-up by a Negroe, in a car” – and made no mention of the bus transfer being discovered inside his shirt pocket! British researcher Lee Farley has spent a considerable amount of time proving that Oswald never boarded Cecil McWatter’s bus, and that he never travelled towards his rooming house inside William Whaley’s cab (my own discussion of these issues can be read here).

Thomas also discusses the brown paper bag which was allegedly discovered in the Southeast corner of the 6th floor of the TSBD, and which was allegedly used by Oswald to carry the rifle into the building on the morning of the assassination. Thomas actually believes that Oswald carried the rifle into the building inside the brown paper bag! As “proof” of his claim, Thomas cites the single brown delustered Viscose fibre and green cotton fibres allegedly discovered inside the bag, which could have originated from the blanket in Ruth Paine’s garage in which the rifle was purportedly stored.

However, on page 137 the Warren report, the FBI’s hair and fibre expert Paul Stombaugh, who examined the fibres, was cited as being unable to positively determine if the fibres had originated from the blanket. Although Thomas does explain that the rifle was well oiled, and that the FBI was unable to find any traces of gun oil or abrasions from the rifle inside the bag, he never explains how they could be missing. Lone gunman zealots such as Vincent Bugliosi have argued that Oswald wrapped the rifle inside cloth, which prevented any traces of abrasions or oil being found inside the bag. Now unfortunately for their claim, no such cloth was ever discovered inside the TSBD.

During his discussion of the paper bag, Thomas makes some of the most startling omissions I have ever seen. Although he does mention that both Buell Wesley Frazier and his sister Linnie Mae Randle (the only two witnesses to Oswald carrying a package on the day of the assassination) described the package Oswald was carrying as being too small for even a disassembled Mannlicher Carcano rifle, not once does he mention that Frazier described the package as being similar in appearance to one obtained from a grocery store. Not once does he also mention that Frazier’s sister informed the Warren Commission that she saw Oswald place the package into Frazier’s car – despite the fact her view was blocked by the carport wall.

Thomas also inexcusably neglects to mention that Jack Dougherty, the only witness to seeing Oswald enter the building, claimed that he didn’t see Oswald carrying any sort of package. Keep in mind that no other person inside the TSBD ever claimed they observed Oswald with any type of package! We should also keep in mind that in order to make the paper bag, Oswald had to obtain the paper and tape from the TSBD which was used for wrapping mail. Troy Eugene West, a TSBD mail wrapper, testified before the Warren Commission that he never observed Oswald take any paper and tape; nor did any other witness. However, Thomas never mentions this pertinent fact.

Thomas also discusses the “discovery” of the Paper bag near the Sniper’s nest. Keep in mind that there are no photographs by the DPD showing the bag where it was discovered! Although Thomas does mention the conflict in testimony of who allegedly discovered the bag, and also mentions that Captain Will Fritz, Dallas deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney, and DPD Officer Gerald Hill claimed they didn’t see the bag, he nevertheless uses the testimony of Motorcycle Officers Clyde Haygood, E.D Brewer, and detectives L.D Montgomery and Marvin Johnson as proof that the bag was actually discovered on the 6th floor of the TSBD.

However, Thomas neglects to mention that several other DPD Officers and deputy Sheriffs such as Elmer Boyd, John Hicks, Eugene Boone, Roger Craig, and Jack Faulkner also neglected to see the Paper bag near the Sniper’s nest. Furthermore, researcher Pat Speer has performed a photographic analysis of the bag on his website (here), where he demonstrates that the width of the bag in the famous Allen photograph of detective L.D Montgomery carrying a bag outside the TSBD is 10.75 inches, whereas the width of the bag entered into evidence is 8.5 inches. Hence, they are the not the same bag.

In my opinion, the paper bag was never discovered on the 6th floor of the TSBD. It simply defies belief that no photographs of the bag in-situ were taken by Lt Carl Day or his assistants, Robert Studebaker. I should give credit to Thomas for mentioning that Buell Wesley Frazier was arrested and interrogated on the day of the assassination for his ownership of a British Enfield rifle. Many researchers have argued that Frazier was threatened by the DPD and the FBI to be charged as Oswald’s co-conspirator. Given that Frazier had driven Oswald to the TSBD on the morning of the assassination, it is certainly plausible that he was threatened to be charged as a co-conspirator.

As is the case with the overwhelming majority of JFK assassination researchers, Thomas also believes that Oswald’s alleged encounter with DPD Officer Marrion Baker, and TSBD superintendent Roy Truly inside the 2nd floor lunchroom actually occurred. However, consider the fact that in his first day affidavit, Baker made absolutely no mention of encountering Oswald in the lunchroom; claiming instead that he encountered a man walking away from the stairway on either the 3rd or 4th floor! (Please see here for my discussion of this issue).

Like many other researchers, Thomas also accepts that TSBD employee, Bonnie Ray Williams, was on the 6th floor of the building eating his lunch until approximately 12:20pm. During his Warren Commission testimony, witness Arnold Rowland claimed that he saw an “elderly Negroe” man in the South-eastern most window of the 6th floor, from where Oswald allegedly fired the shots at President Kennedy.

Although Thomas and others believe the “elderly Negroe” man seen by Rowland was Williams, there is good reason believe that it was in fact the TSBD janitor, Eddie Piper. As researchers such as Greg Parker and Richard Gilbride have explained, Piper’s alibi of viewing the President’s motorcade from the 1st floor of the TSBD lacks credibility. Bear in mind that at the time of the assassination, Williams was only 20 years of age, whereas Piper was 55 years of age – and therefore much more likely to have been recalled as an “elderly Negroe” by Rowland.

In his affidavit to the Dallas Sheriff’s Office (here), Williams made no mention of going to the 6th floor to have his lunch, claiming instead that “We rode the elevator to the 1st floor and got our lunches. I went back on the 5th floor with a fellow called Hank [Harold Norman] and Junior [James Earl Jarman], I don’t know his last name”. Williams’ statement implies that he went directly to the 5th floor with Norman and Jarman. I encourage any serious researcher to read through Greg Parker’s fascinating discussion of Piper’s presence on the 6th floor just prior to the assassination on his website here.

Despite Thomas’s omissions of certain facts and my disagreements with him, let me state that I think he done a terrific job in his discussion of the “gun rest” allegedly formed by Oswald using the boxes located on the 6th floor. As Thomas explains, only two of the boxes contained prints from Oswald, and that they are of no evidentiary value since Oswald worked on the 6th floor as an order filler (my own discussion of Oswald’s prints on the boxes can be found here).

Thomas further explains that Dallas deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney, who discovered the spent shell casings in the sniper’s nest, testified before the Warren Commission that one of the boxes had a crease on top of it, which could have been made from a rifle resting on it. Thomas then cites the testimony of Lt Carl Day, where he explained that he could find no evidence that the box was used as a gun rest. Thomas then discusses the famous Dillard photo, taken just a few seconds after the last audible shot was fired by Dallas morning news photographer Tom Dillard, which shows that the boxes were in a different orientation to the photograph of the DPD’s reconstruction of the crime scene. In my opinion, the boxes were moved into such as position by the DPD to ensure that any of Oswald’s prints on the boxes would link him to that window.

Thomas also explains that the eye witnesses who observed the 6th floor shooter were consistent with their description of the shooter as wearing a light coloured shirt. When Oswald was arrested at the Texas theatre, he was wearing a white T-shirt, with a dark brown long sleeved shirt on top of it (which Thomas describes as a burgundy plaid shirt). There has been much debate amongst researchers on whether or not Oswald changed his clothes when he returned to his rooming house following the assassination, and I have no firm opinion on whether or not he did. Now Oswald could have removed his dark brown shirt while shooting at the President. However, it can’t determine whether or not he did – and the evidence clearly indicates that Oswald was not the 6th floor assassin.

Thomas also discusses the dark fibres “discovered” by the DPD on the butt of the rifle, and examined by the FBI’s hair and fibre expert, Paul Stombaugh. Thomas explains that:

“The dark fibers from the butt plate of the rifle could have come from Oswald’s dark colored shirt, and if so, they add to the compelling evidence that the sixth floor weapon belonged to him”

However, as discussed previous, the evidence indicates that Oswald never owned the rifle; and apart from the dubious statements by Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine, there is no compelling evidence whatsoever that Oswald owned the rifle (my discussion of the credibility of both Marina Oswald and Ruth Pained can be found in part 2 of my review). Therefore, the fibres “found” on the butt of the rifle were most likely planted by the DPD. When we take into account the fact that the bus transfer and revolver bullets allegedly discovered in Oswald’s pockets were actually fabricated evidence by the DPD; the above explanation makes perfect sense (be sure to check out Gil Jesus’ discussion of the bullets here).

In his summary of chapter one, Thomas wrote what I can only describe as a totally absurd statement. Namely that:

“Oswald may have been left holding the bag, but the evidence is overwhelming that he was actively and materially involved in the assassination

In reality, as I have explained above and previously on my blog, the evidence is not overwhelming that Oswald was actively and materially involved in the assassination. One of the biggest dilemmas amongst conspiracy advocates is whether or not Oswald knew that President Kennedy would be assassinated, and whether or not he was a willing conspirator. Although I do believe that Oswald may have had prior knowledge that President Kennedy would be assassinated, I don’t think he was willingly involved in the conspiracy. Think about it, why would the conspirators take the risk of having their designated Patsy inform the DPD and the FBI of who was involved in the conspiracy?

Many conspiracy advocates are of the opinion that Oswald was to be killed in the Texas Theatre prior to his arrest. Although I believe this may have been the case, I think that the conspirators would want Oswald to be paraded before the media as the President’s assassin on the behalf of Fidel Castro, after his connections to the FPCC were exposed. As far as Jack Ruby shooting Oswald is concerned, I believe that was done to ensure that Oswald would never be tried in a court of law, and possibly acquitted as the President’s assassin.

Suffice it to say, I was thoroughly disappointed with chapter one – and I honestly believe this was the worst chapter in the book. However, after reading through Thomas’ discussion of the fingerprint evidence in chapter two, I was quite impressed with what he wrote. Thomas begins with a discussion that fingerprints are not as unique as most people have been led to believe, and provides a quote from the book co-authored by legendary forensic scientist Henry Lee entitled Advances in Fingerprint Technology, concerning the individuality of fingerprints, which reads:

“From a statistical viewpoint, the scientific foundation for fingerprint individuality is incredibly weak”.

Lone gunman zealots often cite the presence of Oswald’s finger and palm prints on the boxes in the sniper’s nest and the rifle as positive proof of his guilt. Of course, to any rational researcher, this is an incredibly narrow minded interpretation of the finger and palm print evidence, and the fact that recent studies have proven that finger and palm prints are not as unique as commonly believed, has weakened the case against Oswald.

One of the highlights of this chapter is Thomas’ discussion of the all too familiar palm print, which was allegedly discovered by DPD Lt Carl Day on the underside of the barrel of the rifle. As Thomas explains, the palm print lift was not turned over to the FBI on the night of the assassination, nor was it ever photographed (even though the fingerprints on the trigger guard of the rifle were), nor did Carl Day bother to cover the prints with cellophane as he did with the trigger guard prints.

As Thomas further explains, Day claimed that there was still a remnant of the palm print visible on the rifle. However, when the FBI’s fingerprint expert Sebastian Latona examined the rifle, he could find no trace of the print. There was also no mention of the palm print until Sunday November 24th when it was announced to the media by Dallas district attorney Henry Wade. Finally, Thomas explains that Day had refused to sign a sworn affidavit for the FBI claiming that he had in fact lifted the print from the barrel of the rifle!

Despite all these problems with the print, Thomas nevertheless concludes that since Oswald owned the rifle, it was in fact his palm print. However, the simple fact of the matter is that Oswald did not own the rifle. Now if Oswald had handled the rifle prior to the assassination, he could have left a palm print on it. However, my own opinion is that the print did not belong to Oswald.

In his summary of chapter two, Thomas explains referring to the palm print that “it does not seem plausible that an effort would have been made to plant evidence that is so minimally incriminating”. By “Minimally incriminating” Thomas is referring to both the fact that Lt Day claimed the print was dry (therefore not a recently made print), and that he claimed it was found on the underside of the barrel – and not, for example, near the trigger housing.

Thomas does indeed make a good point. Although some researchers will scoff at my explanation, I believe Day claimed it was dry and found on the underside of the barrel as a way to explain why there was no mention of an insignificant palm print until two days following the assassination. In other words, I believe Day was merely covering his backside. Thomas also cites the “discovery” of flaws traced in the surface of the lift, which allegedly matched those etched in the surface on the underside of the rifle’s barrel. However, Thomas apparently never thought that the same FBI who did everything they could to hide the fact that a missed shot may have struck the commerce street curb, and the same FBI which altered the statements of many witnesses (see here), would also lie about the prior presence of the palm print.

On a further note, I’m very grateful to Thomas for his discussion of the fingerprint and palm print which Oswald allegedly left on the paper bag discussed above. As Thomas explains, the DPD failed to discover the prints using the black powder method, but the FBI managed to discover them using the silver nitrate method. Thomas argues that the significance of this is the prints were not fresh – and therefore not incriminating as upheld by lone gunman zealots. Thomas also explained that the prints on the boxes in the sniper’s nest were also only developed through the silver nitrate method.

Thomas believes the prints on the paper bag did in fact belong to Oswald. However, there is absolutely no convincing evidence that Oswald ever made the paper gun sack. Furthermore, as Dr David Mantik explains in his review of John McAdams’ book on the website (here), positive identification of fingerprints is unreliable. Mantik cites the conviction of Gilbert McNamee for the infamous Hyde Park bombing in London as an example of the unreliability of fingerprint identification.

One of the other highlights of this chapter is Thomas’ brilliant discussion of the print discovered on the foregrip of the stock of the rifle. Before reading Thomas’ discussion of this issue, I was not aware that such a print was ever discovered. Thomas quotes the following from Vincent Scalice’s HSCA report concerning the print:

“Lift from rifle….from the underside of the foregrip at the gun barrel end of the foregrip”

As Thomas explains, Scalice claimed that he identified five points of identity between Oswald’s known print, and the lift of the print from the foregrip (Thomas further notes that Scalice failed to mention whether the print was a fingerprint or a palm print!). As a rebuttal to Scalice’s claim, Thomas cites both the testimony of DPD Lt Carl Day, and the FBI’s latent fingerprint examiner Sebastian Latona. Day never claimed that he had discovered any print on the foregrip of the rifle, and Latona explained that he had been unable to locate any print of value on the rifle. Therefore, both Day and Latona have proven Scalice’s claim to be a lie. 

Thomas also cites the fascinating interview of former FBI agent Richard Harrison by researcher Gary Mack. Harrison explained to Mack that he had driven the FBI agents to the morgue where they had fingerprinted Oswald’s corpse – allegedly for comparing the prints to the ones already in evidence. Thomas speculates that the FBI may have planted a print from Oswald’s corpse onto the foregrip of the rifle. I should also note that Thomas explains the Warren Commission were undoubtedly aware of the print’s existence, and chose to ignore it since it could prove that the rifle was handled by somebody other than Oswald – and that Oswald was not the 6th floor sniper.

As I’ve explained many times previously on my blog, Oswald had to be found guilty of the President’s murder. Otherwise, the DPD and the FBI would have to explain with severe embarrassment to the entire United States and the rest of the world that they were unable to locate the President’s assassin(s). Now, does any rational person truly believe that the DPD and the FBI wouldn’t ensure that a viable suspect such as Oswald would be found guilty? The evidence that Oswald was framed for the assassination is simply overwhelming; as countless researchers have demonstrated.

Overall, Thomas’s discussion of the finger and palm print evidence was brilliant. Equally brilliant was Thomas’ discussion of the Paraffin casts performed on Oswald’s hands and right cheek. For those who are unaware, the paraffin test involved applying liquid paraffin to a suspects hands to check for the presence of gunshot residues. Once the paraffin would harden and form a cast, the cast would then be removed and analysed for the presence of Barium and Antimony (bear in mind that the paraffin test is used specifically for determining the presence of Barium and Antimony from gunshot residue).

The paraffin test was performed on Oswald’s hands and right cheek by DPD detectives John Hicks and Sgt W.E “Pete” Barnes at the request of Captain Will Fritz. In fact, during his Warren Commission testimony, Barnes explained that the first time he had ever performed a paraffin test on a person’s cheek was when Fritz requested he perform one on Oswald’s right cheek. Like FBI agent Courtlandt Cunningham, Barnes explained that he didn’t believe the test would show whether or not Oswald had fired a rifle on the day of the assassination. Barnes also explained that the casts were sent to the city-county laboratory at Parkland hospital on the morning following the assassination for analysis.

As Thomas explains, the Warren Commission avoided publishing the results of the Paraffin tests in its 26 volumes of evidence, and claimed in its report that although the cast for Oswald’s right cheek tested negative for gunshot residues, the test was unreliable for determining whether or not a suspect had recently fired a rifle. Thomas informs the reader that both the Diphenylamine Dermal Nitrate test, and the Neutron activation analysis performed on Oswald’s paraffin casts, should be considered unreliable.

Concerning the paraffin casts on Oswald’s hands, Thomas explains that the palms of Oswald’s hands contained more Barium and Antimony than the back of his hands. If Oswald had fired a revolver at Officer J.D Tippit, and a rifle at President Kennedy, then the back of his hands should have contained a greater amount of Barium and Antimony than the palms of his hands. Yet, they didn’t.

Thomas also discusses the fact that the DPD had palm printed Oswald – before the paraffin had been applied to his hands. The significance of this is that placing ink on Oswald’s hands, and then subsequently washing them, would have rendered the test useless for determining whether or not Oswald had fired a gun. As evidence for his claim, Thomas cites the report by DPD detectives Richard Sims and Elmer Boyd (here), in which it is claimed that the paraffin casts of Oswald’s hands were made after he had been fingerprinted! Thomas also explains that Sgt Barnes initially claimed during his Warren Commission testimony that he had made the casts after Oswald had been palm printed; only to quickly reverse himself and claim that the casts were made before Oswald was palm printed.

My own belief is that the paraffin casts made from Oswald’s hands are meaningless for determining whether or not he had fired the revolver or the Mannlicher Carcano rifle; and as I have argued on my blog, I don’t believe Oswald assassinated the President or killed Officer Tippit. Thomas also discusses in detail the Neutron activation analysis applied to Oswald’s right cheek cast to determine whether there were traces of Barium and Antimony (this was done after the Diphenylamine Dermal Nitrate test failed to yield a positive result).

First of all, Thomas explains that the Neutron activation analysis is extremely sensitive, and can detect even very minute traces of Barium and Antimony which doesn’t necessarily mean the suspect had fired a rifle. Thomas does a fine job in explaining the deliberate vagueness of the FBI’s chemist, John Gallagher, who responded as follows to the following question by Counsel Norman Redlich;

Mr. Redlich
Were you able to make determination as to whether the barium and antimony present on the inside cast was more than would be expected in the case of a person who had not fired a weapon or handled a fired weapon?

Mr. Gallagher
I found that there was more barium and antimony on the inside surface of the cast than you would find on the cheek of an individual who had recently washed his cheek. However, the significance of this antimony and barium on the inside of the cheek [cast] is not known.

Although Gallagher claimed that the significance of Antimony and Barium on the inside of the cheek cast was unknown, Neutron activation tests performed by Vincent Guinn on the cheeks of FBI agents who fired a rifle similar to “Oswald’s” revealed that Barium and Antimony were always deposited. This therefore dispels the belief by W.E Barnes and Courtlandt Cunningham that they wouldn’t expect to find deposits on Oswald’s right cheek after allegedly firing the Mannlicher Carcano rifle. Thomas quotes Guinn who co-authored an article in which it was stated;

“Deposition of residues on both hands and face was detected subsequent to rifle firing, but this subject was not extensively pursued.”

Furthermore, Thomas states that Guinn informed reporters in August 1964 that the result of his tests with the Mannlicher Carcano rifle was affirmative in all eight replicates. Although the Neutron activation tests indicate that Oswald didn’t fire a rifle at President Kennedy, I think it would be foolish to consider the tests to be completely reliable.

I should also point out that Thomas explains how Dallas district attorney Henry Wade mislead the media by claiming; “Paraffin tests showed that he [Oswald] had fired a rifle recently”. As explained in this article on the CTKA website, Wade was notorious for convicting innocent people. One final point I’d like to make is that Thomas believes that Oswald was actually carrying a revolver with him when arrested at the Texas Theatre. However, as I explained in this two part article, DPD Sgt Gerald Hill had by all likelihood framed Oswald for the murder of Officer J.D Tippit with the revolver.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Greg Parker's assassination forum

If you’re looking for a forum to discuss the assassination of President Kennedy without being harassed by trolls and bullshit artists who are only interested in promoting their own theories (rather than seeking the truth behind the assassination), then look no further than Greg Parker’s website, which is entitled Reopen Kennedy Case. I had always been hesitant to join any forum due to the presence of trolls and bullshit artists; however, I can assure you, this is not a problem one will encounter on Parker’s forum.

Parker has been researching the assassination since the year 2000, and in my opinion, he is one of the most competent and honest researchers I have ever encountered. Members of his forum include some of the best JFK assassination researchers one could ask for, such as Lee Farley, Frankie Vegas, and Robert Charles-Dunne. Parker's website can be viewed here, and membership is absolutely free. However, once you register as a member, you will need to activate your account via a link in an email you receive confirming your membership.

Now, it’s not my intention to discourage people from joining other forums to discuss the assassination. One other forum I highly recommend is JFK Lancer, which is run by Debra Conway. There are many highly competent researchers on that forum, but it also has its fair share of bullshit artists, such as the Ralph Cinque – whose only agenda is to prove that Oswald was actually standing outside the TSBD at the time of the assassination (please refer to this article on my blog for more information).

I should also add that Parker’s forum is not limited to discussing the assassination of President Kennedy. There are also discussions concerning the assassination of Robert Kennedy, Government agencies, assassinations in general, and much more. I highly recommend you take the time to read through Parker’s excellent website; if you haven’t already.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Fifteen simple questions for Gary Mack

Over on the website (here), Jim DiEugenio has posted his new article on Gary Mack entitled Gary Mack Strikes Again. In my opinion, this was a nice article for which I would like to thank Jim DiEugenio. His contribution to anything related to President Kennedy and his assassination, are always of enormous value. I think anyone interested in the truth behind the assassination (not lone gunman zealots) would agree with me.

Gary Mack is well known as the long-time curator of the 6th floor museum, located in Dealey Plaza. He is also well known for his involvement in the utterly deceitful programs; Inside the Target Car, and The Ruby connection (be sure to check out Jim DiEugenio’s reviews of these programs, here and here, if you haven’t already). As many researchers are also aware, Gary was once an ardent conspiracy advocate himself, but is now of the opinion that Oswald was the assassin of President Kennedy – although he claims that he doesn’t dismiss the notion of a conspiracy altogether.

After reading through DiEugenio’s article, I have decided to publically ask Gary 15 simple questions related to the assassination of President Kennedy, and its aftermath. We all know that according to the Warren Commission, Lee Harvey Oswald acting at his own behest fired three shots at the President from the 6th floor of the TSBD. Oswald then allegedly fled by Cab to his rooming house (after the bus he allegedly boarded became stuck in traffic), where he picked up “his” revolver. My discussion of Oswald’s “escape” from the TSBD can be read here.

After allegedly picking up “his” revolver, he decided for some very mysterious reason to go for a walk – instead of fleeing Dallas by bus, for example, after allegedly murdering the President in cold blood. He then allegedly encountered DPD Officer, J.D Tippit, and shot him to avoid being arrested. Oswald was then arrested at the Texas Theatre; after he allegedly tried to shoot DPD Officer, Nick McDonald (see here for my discussion of this incident).

My questions for Gary Mack are as follows:

1). If the Warren Commission had evidence that the democratically elected President of the United States was assassinated at the behest of the CIA (one of their own Government agencies), do you honestly believe that they would tell that to the American people – and the rest of the world for that matter?

2). If Oswald really did order the MC rifle using the Hidell alias – obviously in order to conceal the fact that he had ordered it, then why in God’s names did he have it delivered to his P.O box which was under his real name? (You see, doing that would have defeated the entire purpose of Oswald using an alias in the first place).

3). If Oswald really did order the MC rifle via money order, then why aren’t the stamps from the financial institutions which allegedly processed it on the order – as they must have been had it actually been processed? (See here for researcher Gil Jesus’s discussion of the money order).

4). In this press conference, when DPD chief Jesse Curry was specifically asked if Oswald had travelled to “the other side of town” by a bus, why on Earth didn’t Curry inform them that the DPD had discovered the bus transfer in Oswald’s pocket – especially in light of the fact that he had informed them that “we have heard that he [Oswald] was picked up by a Negroe, in a car”?

5). In this press conference, when DPD Chief Jesse Curry is explaining to reporters that the money order for the MC rifle had been found, and that the FBI determined Oswald’s handwriting was on the order, and that he used the name Hidell to order the rifle – why on Earth didn’t he inform them that Oswald was carrying the fake selective service card bearing the name Hidell inside his wallet when arrested? (Surely if Oswald was really carrying the card in his wallet, Curry would have told the reporters!).

6). If the DPD dispatcher, Murray Jackson, had really ordered Tippit to: “move into central Oak Cliff area” and then allegedly instructed him: “You will be at large for any emergency that comes in” after supposedly realising that the Central Oak Cliff area was being drained of Police resources, why didn’t Jackson instruct William Mentzel, the DPD Officer assigned to the central Oak Cliff area, to be at large for an emergency in his own patrol district?

7). If DPD Sgt Gerald Hill had no involvement in the assassination, why did he lie about his actions following the President’s assassination, as I demonstrated in this article?

8). If there were really three shots fired from the 6th floor window of the TSBD, then how do you explain the fact that Bonnie Ray Williams told the Dallas Sheriff’s Office on the day of the assassination, and the FBI on the following day, that he heard only TWO shots above him? (I trust you are aware of all the problems with the spent shell casing designated as Ce543).

9). Why should anyone believe that Harold Norman actually heard the bolt of the rifle being worked and the spent shell casings hitting the floor above him, when he made absolutely no mention of this during his initial interview with the FBI on the 26th of November?

10). Why did it, miraculously, take an entire two weeks for the DPD to take a statement from Johnny Brewer; the man who allegedly lead the Dallas Police to Texas Theatre, where they arrested the accused murderer of not only one of their own Officers, but also the President? (Need I add that Julia Postal, the Texas Theatre cashier who allegedly called the Police, didn’t provide an affidavit to the DPD until the 4th of December).

11). If Oswald’s lunchroom encounter with Roy Truly and DPD Officer Marrion baker did actually occur, then why didn’t Baker mention this in his affidavit on the day of the assassination – claiming instead that he encountered a man walking away from the stairway on the 3rd or 4th floor?

12). There were no DPD Officers, FBI agents, or Secret Service agents assigned to the parking lot behind the picket fence during the assassination, so who was the man whom Dallas deputy Sheriff W.W “Bo” Mabra claimed he encountered there (and whom Mabra believed was a City Officer) following the assassination?

13). If President Kennedy was really hit in the back by a MC bullet (which has a diameter of 6.8mm), then why was the wound only 7 by 4mm, as measured during his autopsy?

14). If Sergio Arcacha Smith had no involvement in the assassination, do you honestly believe it is just a coincidence that he was identified as one of Rose Cheramie’s companions at the silver slipper – and also had diagrams of the Dealey Plaza Sewer system in his apartment?

15). Why should anyone believe that Charles Givens was being truthful when he claimed that he last observed Oswald on the 6th floor of the TSBD at approximately 11:55 am – when he made absolutely no mention of this during his initial interview with the FBI on the 23rd of November?

I could easily have asked many more questions, but I didn’t want to overwhelm Gary with too many questions. Now, if Gary is willing to answer any or all of my above questions, he can post his answers below as a comment, or alternatively, he can email me at I think all of the above questions are important, and I would greatly appreciate reasonable answers.

I also encourage the defenders of lone gunman myth – who are certain that Oswald was the President’s assassin, to provide answers to the above questions. Let me state that I reserve the right to post any privately emailed answers to my questions on my blog, along with my responses to those answers.

If Gary Mack and others have a problem with me posting their answers to the above questions on my blog, then they should simply not provide any answers. However, if Gary is really interested in only the truth behind the assassination; as he claims, then he should have absolutely no problem with publically providing answers to my questions.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Book review: No more silence, by Larry Sneed

This is my review of Larry Sneed’s book No more silence, published in 1998. Sneed’s book is an oral history of the assassination of President Kennedy, containing interviews with many witnesses to the assassination, such as Bill Newman, Charles Brehm, and James Tague. Also included in the book are interviews with former DPD Officers such as Carl Day, Gerald Hill, Paul Bentley, and William Ralph “Pinky” Westbrook. Former Dallas deputy Sheriffs such as Bill Courson, Al Maddox, Luke Mooney, W.W “Bo” Mabra, and Jack Faulkner were also interview by Sneed.
Former FBI agent, Vincent Drain, whom had confiscated much of the evidence from the DPD on the night of the assassination, was also interviewed - as was former Dallas assistant District attorney, William F. Alexander. In my opinion, this is an important book which I strongly recommend any serious assassination researcher purchase. In the introduction to the book, Sneed makes it blatantly clear that he has little respect for conspiracy theories, but doesn’t dismiss the notion that there was a conspiracy behind the assassination. Sneed also asks the readers to keep an open mind, as they read through the many interviews contained in his book.
When writing this review, it was not my intention to provide a comprehensive review of the book. The common belief amongst the former DPD Officers and deputy Sheriffs interviewed by Sneed was that conspiracy advocates, who have written books about the assassination, have done so only for money and fame. Of course, in some cases this is true. However, I honestly get sick and tired of reading this over and over again.
Now to be perfectly honest, my primary reason for purchasing this book was to compare the statements Gerald Hill made to Sneed, to his previous statements. As I explained in this two part article, Gerald Hill was very likely involved in framing Oswald for the murder of DPD Officer J.D Tippit!
During his interview with Sneed, Hill repeats the claim that he travelled to the Tippit murder scene inside DPD Sgt Calvin “Bud” Owens patrol car, along with William Alexander, and Dallas morning news reporter, Jim Ewell. Hill also repeats the claim that he travelled to the Texas Theatre with DPD Officer, Bob Apple. However, as I explained in my article on Hill, these were both demonstrable lies.
It’s significant to note that Hill failed to mention to Sneed that he had been searching for the Tippit murderer with a “witness” inside a DPD patrol car; just as he did during his testimony before the Warren Commission. In my article discussing Hill’s complicity, I expressed the belief that Hill had picked-up the Tippit murderer, and took the revolver from him to then frame Oswald inside the Theatre. The fact that Hill failed to mention the “witness” to Sneed, has reinforced my belief that it was actually the Tippit murderer whom Hill had with him inside the car.
Harold Russell, who was standing in the parking lot of Johnny Reynolds’s used car lot on the corner of Jefferson and Patton streets, observed the Tippit murderer come down Patton Street then turn West onto Jefferson Blvd. Russel advised the FBI in an interview with them in February 1964 that he had been put into a DPD Patrol car by Officers he was unable to identify. However, he made no mention of this during his initial interview with the FBI in January (see here). I believe the FBI knew that Hill was involved in framing Oswald, and had interviewed Russell and coaxed him to claim that he had been put into a patrol car!
During his interview with Sneed, Hill claimed that he had been confused when he claimed the shells at the Tippit murder scene were from an “automatic 38 rather than a pistol”. As I have explained previously, I believe Hill had deliberately reported the shells as being from an automatic to cover his backside. Think about it. If you’re going frame a person with a revolver, wouldn’t you report the shells as originating from an automatic in order to divert suspicion away from yourself? I sure would.
Incidentally, Hill informed Sneed that he had marked the empty shell casings found at the Tippit murder scene. However, this is not what he told the Warren Commission. During his testimony, Hill claimed that he had asked Officer Joe M. Poe to mark the shells and to “maintain the chain of evidence as small as possible”. Furthermore, no researcher who has examined the spent shell casings at the national archives has ever claimed that Hill’s initials were inside any of them. Without a doubt, Hill was mistaken.
When Sneed interviewed William Alexander, Alexander informed him that he travelled to the Tippit murder scene with Sgt Calvin “Bud” Owens, and Gerald Hill. During his Warren Commission testimony, Owens had claimed that he travelled to the Tippit murder scene with Alexander and Captain William Ralph Westbrook, but made no mention of Gerald Hill being in the car with him. As I also discussed previously, Hill had also claimed that Dallas Morning news reporter, Jim Ewell, was also in Owens’ patrol car. However, during his interview with Sneed, Ewell made no mention of travelling to the Tippit murder scene with Hill.
Despite alexanders claim that Hill was in Owens’ patrol car with him, there are many reasons to doubt his credibility. First of all, Alexander claimed that Owens told DPD inspector Herbert Sawyer that he would “take the call!” to go to the Tippit murder scene. However, Owens made no such claim during his testimony before the Warren Commission (although that doesn’t necessarily mean that Alexander was mistaken or lying).
Secondly, Alexander claimed that Hill told Sawyer “I can go if you can spare me!” This is not what Hill claimed during his Warren commission testimony! Hill claimed that Sawyer told him "Well, as much help as we have here, why don't you go with Sergeant Owens to Oak Cliff on that detail.", and never said that he told Sawyer; “I can go if you can spare me!” Also, Hill claimed that Alexander said "Well, if it is all right, I will go with you." Alexander on the other hand, informed Sneed that he actually said; “Well, I’ll go, so let’s go!”.
Thirdly, Alexander also informed Sneed that after he had crossed the Triple underpass and turned onto Beckley Street inside Owens’ patrol car, they had traversed a short distance when a description of Tippit’s killer was broadcast over the DPD radio. According to the transcript of the DPD radio Channel 1, Officer Roy Walker broadcast a description of the killer at 1:22 pm. Within the same minute following this, Officers Joe M. Poe and Leonard E. Jez reported that “we’re at the location [Tippit murder scene] now”. Immediately following this, someone from Owens’ patrol car reported “19’s code 6” (19 was Owens’ call sign). According to DPD terminology, a code 6 means an Officer has arrived at the location of his new assignment. Therefore, Alexander’s claim is consistent with the DPD radio transcript.
However, further on during his interview, Alexander claimed that Owens’ patrol car was the first to arrive at the Tippit murder scene – contradicting his earlier claim and the DPD radio transcript.  In actual fact, the first DPD Officer to arrive at the murder scene was reserve Sgt Kenneth Croy. Also, Alexander claimed that he had arrived at the murder scene “just as the ambulance was pulling away with Tippit’s body”. Not only did none of the occupants of Owens’ patrol car corroborate Alexander’s claim; Kenneth Croy testified before the Warren Commission that Tippit’s body was being loaded into the ambulance as he arrived.
As a matter of fact, Hill informed the Warren Commission that the ambulance carrying Tippit’s body had passed by Owens’ patrol car as they were headed to the Tippit murder scene – contradicting Alexander’s claim. The final point I would like to make is that Alexander failed to inform Sneed that Jim Ewell and Captain Westbrook were with him inside Owens’ patrol car (Incidentally, both Ewell and Westbrook failed to mention that Alexander was in the same patrol car with them).
Based on the above, Alexander’s claim of travelling to Oak Cliff with Gerald Hill should not be considered credible. I think it is quite likely that Alexander knew that Hill lied about how he travelled to Oak Cliff - and lied to cover-up for him. If Alexander and the DPD knew that Hill was one of the Officers inside the Police car which stopped in front of Oswald’s rooming house, then they surely wouldn’t have told the FBI or the Warren Commission that he had – as it would likely implicate Hill in the conspiracy to assassinate the President. But enough about Gerald Hill.
When Sneed interviewed former DPD Officer Paul Bentley, Bentley repeated his lie of possibly preventing “Oswald’s” revolver from firing a shot, as Oswald was allegedly trying to shoot Nick McDonald (see here for my discussion of this issue). Bentley also claimed that he had discovered an identification card bearing the name Hidell, upon removing Oswald’s wallet inside the Police car which escorted him to City Hall. Undoubtedly, Bentley was referring to the fake selective service card bearing the name Alek James Hidell – which Oswald was allegedly carrying inside his wallet.
Apparently, Sneed didn’t think it was important enough to ask Bentley why he didn’t mention that Oswald had the Hidell ID in his wallet when he was interviewed on the day following the assassination by WFAA- TV (see here). Sneed also apparently didn’t think it was important to ask Bentley why he also made no mention of the Hidell ID in his report submitted to DPD Chief Curry concerning Oswald’s arrest at the Texas Theatre (my discussion of the Hidell ID can be read here).
Paul Bentley’s memory had evidently improved by the time he was interviewed by Sneed. Other DPD Officers who were involved in Oswald’s arrest at the Texas Theatre who were also interviewed by Sneed included Captain William Ralph Westbrook, and John Toney. During his interview, Westbrook informed Sneed that Oswald yelled “This is it” after Nick McDonald ordered him to stand-up as he approached him inside the Theatre.
Westbrook also claimed that McDonald and Oswald were struggling, after Oswald allegedly pulled out “his” revolver, and that DPD Officer Bob Carroll had reached out and grabbed it away from them. However, Westbrook made absolutely no mention of this during his Warren Commission testimony! In fact, when he was specifically asked by Warren Commission counsel Joseph Ball if he heard Oswald say anything, Westbrook responded with the following:
“The word "brutality" or "police brutality" and I think that was just all he yelled--was said while I was in the aisle walking down to the group. There was about six or seven ahold of him at that time.”
Westbrook also testified that he heard one of the Officers shout out “Yes, I have the gun” after Westbrook allegedly yelled “Has somebody got his gun”. Without a doubt, Westbrook was lying to Sneed about what he had seen and heard during the scuffle with Oswald. During the interview, Westbrook failed to inform Sneed that a wallet was discovered at the Tippit murder scene; just as he and other DPD Officers had failed to do so in their reports and interviews.
As I have explained previously, a former FBI agent named Robert Barrett claimed that upon arriving at the Tippit murder scene, Captain Westbrook called him over, holding a wallet in his hand, and asked him if he knew who Lee Harvey Oswald and Alek James Hidell were. The only way Westbrook would have known about those names at that time, was if the wallet found at the Tippit murder scene had contained identification for those two names. The wallet was filmed by WFAA-TV cameraman, Ron Reiland (the footage can be viewed here).
Sneed argues in his book that the DPD would have announced the discovery of the wallet “to the world”, and would not have concealed its discovery. What Sneed doesn’t explain is that had the DPD claimed Oswald’s wallet was found at the scene, they would then have to explain why Oswald was carrying his own wallet after he was arrested at the Theatre. In any event, the DPD would surely have realised that Oswald was framed for the murder. As I’ve discussed many times previously, the DPD needed Oswald to be found guilty to inform the entire United States and the rest of the world that the President’s assassin had been caught (please refer to my discussion of the Hidell ID for more information on this issue).
During Sneed’s interview with John Toney, Toney informed Sneed that during the scuffle with Oswald inside the Theatre, he observed “a pistol in someone’s hand over someone’s shoulder, and someone was holding the arm”. However, in his report to DPD Chief Jesse Curry concerning Oswald’s arrest (here), Toney explained that it was in fact Oswald who had the gun in his right hand. Toney’s memory would have undoubtedly deteriorated by the time he was interviewed by Sneed. However, I have demonstrated in my prior posts regarding Oswald’s arrest, and Gerald Hill’s suspicious behaviour, that the allegations Oswald had pulled out a revolver from his belt, was a fabrication by the DPD – to ensure that he would be convicted for both the murder of Tippit, and for the murder of President Kennedy.
One of the most important topics discussed in Sneed’s book, were the suspicious individuals seen/encountered in Dealey Plaza immediately following the assassination. Former DPD Sgt, David V. Harkness, is well known for testifying before the Warren Commission that he had encountered men behind the TSBD who told him they were Secret Service agents. As most of us are aware; there were no genuine Secret Service agents assigned to Dealey Plaza on the day of the assassination.
Harkness tried to explain to Sneed that he could have been mistaken on their identities; since he didn’t see their identification (this is consistent with what he told the Warren Commission). He further added that “I probably had an assumption that everybody that was with the parade was with the Secret Service”. However, when Harkness was specifically asked by Warren Commission counsel David Belin if there was anyone behind the TSBD when he went there, he responded with the following:
“There were some Secret Service agents there. I didn't get them identified. They told me they were Secret Service.”
As we can see, Harkness testified that the men he encountered had told him they were Secret Service agents - only to tell Sneed over 20 years later, that he had merely assumed they were. Now, why should anyone believe that Harkness’s latter claim to Sneed is more reliable than his claim before the Warren Commission? Common sense tells us that since a person’s memory deteriorates over time; we shouldn’t consider his latter claim as being reliable.
Another person who claimed he encountered suspicious individuals was witness Malcolm Summers. Summers is the man seen in the Zapruder film diving to the ground, following the shot(s) to President Kennedy’s head. Summers is also known for his claim that he and other witnesses to the assassination had been stopped by a man in a suit with a gun under his overcoat, as they ran towards the Grassy knoll area following the shooting. However, there were no plain clothed DPD Officers, FBI agents, or Secret Service agents in Dealey Plaza immediately following the assassination! Summers repeated this claim to Sneed.
Summers also related to Sneed that as he was leaving Dealey Plaza inside his truck, a car containing three men had pulled out in front of him at a high rate of speed. Although Summers had mentioned this incident prior to his interview with Sneed (see here for example), this was actually the first time I had read about it. Summers explained that at the time, he thought the men in the car were Mexicans.
Lone gunman zealots undoubtedly dismiss this as another irrelevant incident. However, I think it is highly suspicious that a group of men would drive out from the scene of the assassination at a high rate of speed – almost like they’re trying to escape. The “Mexicans” seen by Summers could very well have been Cubans. As researchers such as Jim DiEugenio and Larry Hancock have aptly argued, Cubans such as Sergio Arcacha Smith; who were opposed to the dictatorship of Fidel Castro in Cuba, were likely involved in the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. I certainly believe this to be the case.
Although there are those who have dismissed Summers’ claims as being nothing but pure fantasy, indirect corroboration for the presence of the man with the suit and gun was provided by former Dallas deputy sheriff, Al Maddox. As revealed in the book, Summers’ son was married to Maddox’s daughter.
As Maddox explained to Sneed, the night before the assassination, he observed a man whom he described as wearing a light brown coat, standing near the Oak Cliff the bus stop on Elm Street. Maddox claimed that the time of his encounter with the man was around midnight, and that the man was standing and looking around. Maddox further claimed that the description of the man Summers encountered, was almost identical to the man he had seen the previous night. I find this “coincidence” to be both very interesting and suspicious.
Let me add that Maddox also claimed that Summers told him the man in the vicinity of the Grassy knoll showed him a badge, and had a Uzi type gun under his coat. As far as I’m aware, Summers never claimed the man had shown him a badge; and it would therefore seem that Maddox was mistaken on this point. However, Summers did claim during his interview in the documentary series The men who killed Kennedy, that the gun the man was carrying looked like a little machine gun.
There was also the encounter of man in the parking area behind the picket fence on top of the Grassy knoll by former Dallas deputy Sheriff, W.W “Bo” Mabra. In his report to Dallas Sheriff Bill Decker (here), Mabra claimed that the man he had encountered was a city Officer who had informed him "I was stationed in [the] rail yards and had this entire area in view. No body came this way." However, no DPD Officers were assigned to the parking lot area. In fact, if there had been, the Warren Commission and its zealous defenders would have used this as proof that there were no shots fired from behind the picket fence.
What makes Mabra’s encounter with the man all the more intriguing, is that shortly following the assassination, DPD Officer Joe Marshall Smith had encountered a man in the parking area who identified himself to Smith as a Secret Service agent (my discussion of this issue can be read here). As I mentioned above, no genuine Secret Service agents were in Dealey plaza immediately following the assassination.
During his interview with Sneed, Mabra repeated his claim of encountering the “Officer”, but added that he was wearing a uniform. Given that no genuine DPD Officers were assigned to the parking lot area, this cannot possibly be true. It therefore seems that Mabra had misremembered how the man was dressed. The distinct possibility exists that the man Mabra had encountered, was the same man whom Malcolm Summers encountered.
Mabra also explained to Sneed that he had also seen a puff of smoke originating from the direction of the Grassy knoll, just as witnesses such as Sam Holland, Richard Dodd, Thomas Murphy, James Simmons, Cheryl McKinnon, and other witnesses had seen.
In Sneed’s interviews with the former DPD Officers and deputy Sheriffs, there is much discussion concerning how Jack Ruby entered the DPD basement, after which he shot Oswald as he was being transferred from the City jail to the County jail. According to the official version, Ruby “probably” entered the basement via the main Street ramp, as DPD Officer Roy Vaughn who was guarding the ramp “stepped out” into the Street momentarily to halt traffic, as a car driven by DPD Lieutenant Rio Sam Pierce was exiting the basement.
Roy Vaughn was one of the Officers who were interviewed by Sneed. Vaughn adamantly denied that Ruby had gone down the ramp. One of the witnesses who claimed Ruby came down the ramp was a former DPD Officer named Napoleon Daniels. However, Vaughn explained to Sneed that he had phoned Daniels about the matter, and that Daniels had denied seeing Ruby go down the ramp. As a matter of fact, the Warren Commission considered Daniels to be an unreliable witness.
One of the former DPD Officers who strongly supported Vaughn was Sgt Donald Flusche. Flusche was standing on Main Street watching the ramp entry which Vaughn was guarding, but was never called to testify before the Warren Commission. Flusche told Sneed that he knew Jack Ruby on sight - and that he didn’t see Ruby go down the ramp. He also verified that Vaughn was a totally honest man. In fact, Paul Bentley, who at the time of the assassination was the chief polygraph examiner for the DPD, told Sneed that he ran a polygraph examination on Vaughn, with the results showing that Vaughn was being truthful when he said he didn’t see Ruby into the basement.
Lt Pierce was also interviewed by Sneed, and claimed that he didn’t see Ruby standing at the top of the ramp, as he was driving out the ramp onto Main Street. My own personal belief is that Ruby did not enter the basement via the ramp. Vaughn told Sneed that he believed it was Sgt Patrick Dean (one of the DPD Officers responsible for security in the basement) who had let Ruby into the basement, but claimed that it was merely because Dean was a friend of Ruby’s; and not because Dean was involved in a conspiracy with him.
Many conspiracy advocates believe that it was indeed Dean who allowed Ruby to enter the basement, and I think it’s quite possible that he did. Many of the former DPD Officers interviewed by Sneed were of the opinion that Ruby did in fact enter the basement via the Main Street ramp – although they didn’t doubt Vaughn’s honesty.
Many of the DPD Officers interviewed also vehemently asserted that Ruby couldn’t have been part of a conspiracy to shoot Oswald, because he would not have known exactly when Oswald was going to be transferred. For example, consider what former DPD Officer James Leavelle (who is well known for being the Officer handcuffed to Oswald as he was shot) told Sneed:
“There was no way he could have planned it because he didn’t know when the transfer was going to happen, and he didn’t know he could get into that basement.”
However, this ignores the fact that Billy Grammar, a DPD dispatcher, claimed he received a phone call on the night before the transfer, from a man whom he later recognised as Jack Ruby telling him that unless the plans for Oswald’s transfer were changed, Oswald would be killed. It therefore seems that Ruby knew of the plans.
As far as knowing exactly when Oswald was being transferred, someone such as Patrick Dean could easily have signalled Ruby to move into position for the kill, just as Oswald was being escorted down the elevator into the basement.
We should also bear in mind that just prior to entering the basement; Ruby had allegedly sent a telegram to one of his strippers in Fort Worth, Texas, from the Western union building located on Main Street. Lone gunman zealots have argued that if Ruby truly had a prior intention of shooting Oswald, why did he wait until the last minute to enter the basement to shoot him? Of course, it all depends on whether Ruby really did send the telegram, or whether it was just another fabrication by the DPD to denounce the notion of a conspiracy.
I have always been of the opinion that Ruby shot Oswald, so that Oswald would not be tried in Court and risk being acquitted for the President’s assassination. If Oswald had been tried and acquitted, then there would be a massive public outcry for the DPD and FBI to bring the real perpetrators to justice – something which the DPD, the FBI, and any rational person knows would have been an almost impossible task to achieve!
As far as whether there was DPD complicity in Oswald’s murder, I honestly can’t see how Ruby could have entered the basement without help. Let me put it to you this way; if Gerald Hill was involved in framing Oswald for the murder of Officer Tippit (as the circumstantial evidence indicates), then it stands to reason that DPD Officers were involved in allowing Ruby to shoot Oswald. Of course, this doesn’t mean the entire DPD was involved in the conspiracy to assassinate the President. Only the most delusional of Conspiracy theorists would advocate such as notion.
Many of the former DPD Officers interviewed by Sneed argued that DPD Chief Curry was not to blame for the presence of the media in the basement, which had given Jack Ruby the opportunity to shoot Oswald. In fact, many of them blamed Elgin Crull, who was the City manager at the time and therefore Curry’s immediate superior, and/or Earl Cabell, who of course, was the major of Dallas at the time. For example, consider what Paul Bentley told Sneed:
“I think Curry was given orders from the City manager. Curry gave the orders but he was told how to do so. That was the information we understood.”
Given that Oswald was charged with not only murdering a Policeman; but also the President of the United States, then I think it is very likely that Crull, Cabell and others would want to show the world that Oswald had not be mistreated whilst in custody, and that they had nothing to hide with transferring him to the County jail.
I think it is important to try and uncover the identity of the person/people who had possibly ordered Cabell and Crull to allow the media into the basement, which provided Ruby the opportunity to shoot Oswald – as they could very likely have been involved in the conspiracy to assassinate the President. Despite what one might believe about Oswald’s murder, there is no doubt that it was a severe embarrassment to the DPD and the City of Dallas – and that the DPD would do everything in its power to cover-up for the breach of security in the basement. Only a complete fool, such as David Von Pein, would honestly think otherwise.
Another highly controversial topic related to the assassination which was discussed in the interviews with former DPD Officers, was the acoustics evidence. As most assassination researchers are aware, the acoustics experts hired by the HSCA came to the conclusion that the microphone of DPD motorcycle Officer H.B McClain had become “stuck open” on Channel 1 of the DPD radio, and captured the sound of the gunshots in Dealey Plaza.   
Sneed interviewed McClain, along with the former DPD communications supervisor, James C. Bowles, who wrote a rebuttal to the HSCA’s acoustics evidence entitled “The Kennedy Assassination Tapes: Rebuttal to the Acoustical Evidence Theory” Both McClain and Bowles informed Sneed that McClain’s motorcycle could not have been the one with the open microphone; because the motorcycle in question was a three wheeler, whereas McClain’s was a two wheeler.
Although I don’t trust Bowles (see here for an excellent essay on why Bowles should not be considered credible), I nevertheless believe that McClain was telling Sneed the truth. During an interview with New Zealand researcher Seamus Coogan (here), McClain openly admitted that he believed there was a conspiracy behind the assassination, and that the Warren Commission “did not investigate anything”. So it stands to reason that McClain was not lying to cover-up for the Warren Commission’s lone gunman conclusion.
Although McClain had informed HSCA investigators that his mic. could have been the one that was “stuck open”, he told Sneed that he had not been allowed to listen to the sounds captured by the mic.. He claimed that after he returned from Washington following his interview with the HSCA investigators, James Bowles had asked him to listen to a tape copy of recordings of the sounds captured by the “stuck” mic.. After listening to the tapes, McClain determined that the motorcycle with the stuck open mic. was a three wheeler; since the sound of a three wheeler engine is distinct from that of a two wheeler.
Now, although I don’t believe that it was McClain’s motorcycle which had the open mic., I do believe the sounds of the gunshots were captured by the mic. of a three wheeler in the vicinity of Dealey Plaza. The most thorough and impressive analysis of the acoustics evidence is by Donald Byron Thomas, who authored the book, Hear No Evil: Social constructivism and forensic evidence in the Kennedy assassination. I have just recently finished reading through Mr Thomas’s book, and will be writing a review of it, in which I hope to write a detailed discussion of my own thoughts on the acoustics evidence.  
One of the most truly ridiculous claims by the former DPD Officers interviewed by Sneed is that the DPD was one of the most cleanest and efficient Police departments in the entire United States. Thanks to Craig Watkins, who was elected the District attorney of Dallas in 2006, we now know that the DPD was in fact one of the most corrupt Police departments in the United States (see here for a discussion of all the innocent people who were wrongly convicted under the regime of former Dallas district attorney, Henry Wade).
Another interesting topic of discussion was the miniature Minox spy camera which the DPD discovered in the home of Ruth Paine which allegedly belonged to Oswald – and which the FBI claimed was actually just a Minox light meter. When Sneed interviewed former DPD detective Gus Rose; one of the Officers who discovered it, Rose reiterated that it was in fact a camera, and that he had seen film inside it. William Alexander also verified that it was a camera. However, former FBI agent Vincent Drain boldly asserted to Sneed that he didn’t recall seeing the Minox Camera, and that:
“…the light meter would be easily mistaken for one by somebody that really didn’t know [about the camera] and, at that point in time, I never knew the Dallas Police Department to use them.”
Well, at least that’s what Drain believes. Keep in mind that this is the same Vincent Drain who told Sneed that he was a close personal friend of Robert Kennedy, and that Kennedy had “no question with the Warren Commission”. In light of what we know from the recent revelations of his son, Robert Kennedy Jr. and other sources, this claim is utterly bullshit!
Researchers such as Jim DiEugenio have argued that the reason Oswald had a Minox Camera, was because he was involved in espionage work for the CIA. William Alexander tried to dismiss the significance of Oswald’s ownership of the camera, by explaining:
“We had the Minox camera and that was all there was to it! In those days, a Minox camera probably cost around $200. What inference can be drawn from it?”
If there was no significance to Oswald’s ownership of the camera, then why the hell did the FBI do everything they could to hide the fact that Oswald had one? Alexander provided no explanation. The best answer, in my opinion, is that the FBI realised Oswald’s ownership of the camera would have led to speculation that Oswald was working for one or more US intelligence agencies – which could then have led to speculation that he had murdered the President at their behest!
I should also note here that almost all of the former DPD Officers and Dallas deputy Sheriffs interviewed by Sneed vehemently insisted that Oswald was guilty. Just consider detective L.C Graves’ statement to Sneed:
‘’As an Officer you don’t work on theory except when you’re trying to solve a case. But once you solve the case and get the facts together, then you stick to the facts, and that’s the way it is. The case against Oswald and Ruby is closed, absolutely, and I’ll defy anybody to prove otherwise. They haven’t yet and they never will!”
In light of all the evidence with have today, a statement such as that it completely and utterly absurd. More importantly; it is obsolete. Unfortunately, there will always be those delusional individuals who will maintain that Oswald – and only Oswald – was responsible for the President’s assassination.
Of course, for Graves and other former DPD Officers and deputy Sheriffs to claim that Oswald was in fact innocent, would be equivalent to claiming that the President’s real assassins had evaded them. Such a revelation would surely be a great embarrassment to them, since they were part of the Police/Sheriff’s department which investigated that tragic and unfortunate murder. Now does anybody honestly believe they wouldn’t have shared any embarrassment whatsoever?
One of the most interesting comments I read in the book was by former Dallas postal inspector, Harry Holmes. As most researchers are aware, Holmes was involved in Oswald’s interrogation on the morning of November 24, just prior to Oswald’s transfer to the County jail. He was also used by the Warren Commission to help incriminate Oswald for the assassination. Holmes made the following during his interview with Sneed:
“And then too, there was no skullduggery in setting him up at the School Book Depository because the people that recommended it had no interest whatsoever; they were just neighbours of Ruth Paine that had heard about the job.”
The “neighbours” to which Holmes was referring to in his interview was Linnie Mae Randle; the sister of Buell Wesley Frazier, the man who took Oswald to the TSBD on the morning of the assassination. For Holmes to imply that there was nothing suspicious about Oswald’s employment at the TSBD is a complete crock. The person who helped Oswald get his job as an order filler for the TSBD, was Ruth Paine.
As Jim DiEugenio writes in his seminal book Destiny betrayed (the 2nd edition), both Ruth and Michael Paine (Ruth’s “estranged” husband) had connections to the CIA. In fact, Ruth’s father and sister both worked for the CIA! It was of course in Ruth Paine’s garage where we were told that Oswald stored “his” rifle inside a blanket. It was also in Ruth Paine’s home where evidence such as the phoney backyard photographs of Oswald holding the rifle were discovered. It was also in Ruth Paine’s home where Dallas deputy Sheriff, Buddy Walthers, claimed in his report to Sheriff Bill Decker (here) that he discovered the following:
“Upon searching this [Ruth Paine’s] house we found stacks of hand bills concerning "Cuba for Freedom" advertising, seeking publicity and support for Cuba. Also found was a set of metal file cabinets containing records that appeared to be names and activities of Cuban sympathizers”.
In my opinion, the fact that Ruth Paine had the names of communist sympathisers in her home is positive proof that she had been working for the CIA. According to Ruth Paine, she had asked Marina Oswald to move into her home in April 1963, so that she could learn Russian from her. However, as Jim DiEugenio explains in his book, Ruth Paine taught Russian at the St Mark’s school for boys prior to this! So the obvious question is: Why the hell would Ruth Paine need Marina Oswald to teach her Russian? The truth is; she didn’t need her.
As I have discussed previously, Ruth Paine had allegedly telephoned Roy Truly, who was the super intendant of the TSBD, on October the 15th, 1963, enquiring about a job for Oswald. According to a former TSBD employee named Edward Shields, Truly had laid off eight black employees one day prior to hiring Oswald; presumably due to redundancies. Yet, Oswald was hired anyway (see here for my discussion of Truly’s complicity).
My belief is that both Ruth and Michael Paine, and Roy Truly, were involved in the assassination, and that the entire story about Ruth Paine calling Truly about a job for Oswald was nothing but a charade to set him up as the patsy for the assassination. If you want to learn all you can about the Paines, then I strongly recommend you read through a copy of Jim DiEugenio’s book. In the meantime, you can read through this informative article.
Another interesting statement which I read in the book was by assassination witness, Charles Brehm. Brehm is well known as the “clapping” man seen standing to the right of witnesses Jean Hill and Mary Moorman in the Zapruder film. Although Brehm is now deceased, he had always maintained that he observed President Kennedy react to the first shot by grabbing his throat, and that the head shot was the second shot. The following is what Brehm related to Sneed:
“There were no people [Snipers] hiding around with silencers, which in itself is laughable, because why should this person [Sniper] have a silencer and that person not have a silencer? And if there were nine people, as somebody advocates, why eight people with silencers shooting and only one without one?”
Although I’m not aware of any conspiracy theorist who believes there were nine assassins firing at the President, Pat Speer’s thorough and exhaustive analysis of the eye/ear witness statements regarding the shooting (here) has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there was at least one assassin behind the President’s limousine using a silencer. As Speer has shown, the majority of eye witnesses to the assassination claimed that President Kennedy reacted to the first shot by grabbing his throat/leaning forward and/or leaning to the left. These reactions by the President are seen in the Zapruder film after frame 224.
Many of the witnesses to the assassination also claimed that the head shot was the second shot, and that the second and third shots were fired very close together. Yet, the available evidence clearly indicates that at least two shots were fired prior to the headshot(s) at Zapruder frame 313. The most logical conclusion based on Speer’s analysis is that the shot(s) at circa Zapruder frame 224 (where Governor Connally was shot) were fired from a rifle equipped with a silencer (See here for my own discussion about the silenced shot(s)).
Brehm himself was adamant that the second shot was the head shot. Little did he realise that his own recollections of the shooting helped prove that there was at least one assassin using a silencer. Brehm also seems to be implying that it makes no sense that the assassin on the 6th floor of the TSBD wouldn’t have used a silencer. However, when you take into account the fact that Oswald was framed for the assassination (as the wallet found at the Tippit murder scene proves), the 6th floor assassin would deliberately not have used a silencer – in order to draw attention towards that location.
I realise that the above statement may sound completely absurd, but when you take into account the likelihood that Roy Truly had accompanied DPD Officer Marrion Baker into the TSBD to identify any of the accosted assassins as employees of the building, then the above explanation makes perfect sense.
I would like to conclude my review of Sneed’s book with a discussion of Otis Williams; one of the most important but often overlooked witnesses to the assassination. At the time of the assassination, Williams was 64 years old, and was working at the TSBD as a credit manager. Williams provided Sneed the following crucial information.
“I entered the building [TSBD] immediately, climbed up the stairs back where the warehouse elevator was which led to the sixth floor and went up to the fourth floor, which was the first one I could see from to see the underpass….. I could have gone down the steps when Oswald came down, but he came down on the elevator. Anyway, I walked down the steps and didn’t see him or anything.”
As we can see, Williams said he immediately went into the TSBD following the shooting, and climbed the stairs from which Oswald allegedly descended from the 6th floor – but didn’t see Oswald. Williams also claimed that Oswald “came down on the elevator”. The problem with William’s explanation is that Oswald could not have come down the elevator! When Roy Truly and Officer Baker entered the TSBD shortly following the shooting, they discovered that both of the elevators leading from the 1st floor to the 7th floor were on the 5th floor.
If Williams’s recollection is accurate, then Oswald is positively exonerated as the 6th floor assassin! However, let’s bear in mind that at the time of his interview with Sneed, Williams was very old – and his memory would most likely have deteriorated by the time Sneed had interviewed him. I should also note that Williams had entered the TSBD following the shooting, because he believed the shots were fired at the President from the direction of the triple underpass, and wanted to take a look at the underpass from an elevation.
I could have gone on, but I want researchers to read through the interviews in the book for themselves. As I stated at the beginning of my review, I think this is an important book which I strongly recommend any serious assassination researcher purchase. For those of you who haven’t read the book, I hope you found my review to be useful. Please feel free to post any comments or questions you may have.


I wanted to discuss the following derogatory comments made about President Kennedy to Sneed by former Dallas deputy Sheriff, Bill Courson:

“I think that he was just as much a racist as anybody else, and being an opportunist, saw that issue [racial discrimination] as a way to make a big name for himself. Personally, I think John F. Kennedy, and all Kennedys, had the morals of an alley cat.”

Ironically, Courson made the above comments following his appraisal of President Kennedy for peacefully resolving the Cuban missile crisis. Presumably, when Courson stated that Kennedy “had the morals of an alley cat” he was referring to the allegations of his affairs in the Whitehouse. There is no firm evidence that Kennedy ever had affairs in the Whitehouse, and I personally don’t give a shit if he did; because it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.

The fact that Kennedy saved the world from almost certain nuclear annihilation during the Cuban missile crisis is good enough for me to consider him a great man and President! However, for Courson and other delusional people like him, it apparently isn’t.

As far as Courson’s utterly absurd claim that Kennedy was a racist is concerned, give me a bloody break! If Kennedy was truly a racist, then why did he befriend Ahmed Sukarno, the former President of Indonesia? Why did he stand-up for the rights of African Americans during the Civil rights movement? Why did he support the famous March on Washington which took place in August 1963? Also, why did he do everything he could to help out the Congolese during the Congo crisis? (Please refer to this brilliant essay by Jim DiEugenio for more information).

As far as Courson’s claim that Kennedy was an opportunist is concerned, he never cited one example to support his utterly ridiculous claim. Suffice it to say, if President Kennedy was truly a racist as Courson and other shameless Kennedy bashers have insinuated, then believe me, I would not be spending my time trying to uncover the truth behind his assassination.