PHYSICAL EVIDENCE / The Rifle|
Walter F. Graf and Richard R. Bartholomew
[Editor's Note: The authors present a definitive study
establishing the existence of conspiracy in the death of
JFK revolving about a seemingly minor matter of evidence
--a rifle clip--that contaminates the ballistic evidence.
George Michael Evica has characterized this study as one
of the most important in the history of the case.]
Generals have their bed in town
Hay foot, Straw foot never knows
Ifen the gun is loaded or not
So load her again and if she blows
Dead and buried and soon forgot
-- Civil War ballad
Despite claims of prima facie evidence in the murder of John F. Kennedy, the basic issue remains, in any real sense, unresolved. Thirty years after the publication of the Warren Report, the debate over whether or not a conspiracy killed President Kennedy continues. Most people, in their day-to-day affairs, despite what they may believe, act as if the case is closed.
Journalist Robert Sam Anson once noted that "The lack of positive evidence of conspiracy surely hampers an investigation of John Kennedy's death; it need not deter it. Oftentimes negative information is almost as important. Thus, each bit of conscious disinformation that was put out after the assassination should be followed to its source. All attempts to deflect the original investigators from the truth should be rigorously followed up." University of California, Berkeley, Professor Peter Dale Scott further noted that such deflections "...should be closely examined, for in this case damage control (as well as truth) is evidence: a clue to what relevant truths are being concealed....Just as we believe the defendant who pleads guilty more readily than the one who pleads innocent, so we will pay more attention to the official record when it raises questions about its own reliability." In 1993, former Warren Commission Assistant Counsel Burt W. Griffin stated that rejecting the single bullet theory [a belief that one bullet caused seven wounds in two men despite its timing, flight path, points of entry and exit, and resulting condition] requires the assumption that ballistics evidence went undiscovered or was suppressed. Griffin, now Judge Griffin, is correct. He also admitted that he and other Warren Commission staff members did not believe that the Dallas Police, the FBI, the Secret Service, or the CIA, did a thorough job in investigating the crime.1
There are actually several conflicting single bullet theories,2 a good reason, among many, to reject them. Rejecting them means there was more than one shooter. It also means there are problems with the ballistics evidence. This article endeavors to end assumptions about the suppression of that evidence. Notwithstanding the failure of the single bullet theories, and actually precluding them, we argue that the existence of a conspiracy is sufficiently proved by exposing two unreliable claims of the Warren Commission; by exhausting all conceivable innocent explanations for those claims; by arguing that they were instead "damage control" attempts to deflect honest inquiry; and by calling into question long-accepted theories about the alleged murder weapon and its alleged misidentification.
We demonstrate how the planting of specific evidence -- a part of the weapon -- was based on an error. The perpetrators quickly realized the mistake but not soon enough to correct it or hide it. All they could do was deflect attention from it. It was an error so obvious that it would have exposed, within hours of Lee Harvey Oswald's arrest, the conspiracy to frame him. In fact, the error has never been hidden, just confused. We therefore show that damage control was the motive for the unanticipated, but criminally necessary and deliberate, prolonged misidentification of the weapon.
Failing that proof, we further argue that there is only one other explanation for the weapon-related facts: traditional interpretations that a second reported murder weapon was deliberately replaced with one that could be traced to Oswald. If either argument is correct -- both establishing planted and suppressed ballistics evidence -- we will have sufficiently proven conspiracy.3
From the beginning, there has been no reason to deny the conspiracy. Four of the seven Warren Commissioners -- the majority -- including the Commission's chairman, Chief Justice Earl Warren, expressed doubts about the Commission's conclusions within a decade of their report. They were joined by a fifth Commissioner in 1978, when John J. McCloy told the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), that "I no longer feel we had no credible evidence or reliable evidence in regard to a conspiracy...." Lyndon Johnson never believed the report he commissioned. The official policy of the FBI is that the case is not closed, a policy begun by J. Edgar Hoover himself.4 And those were the people who had supposedly found the truth.
By any standard of historiography, the lone-assassin scenario must be considered a minority opinion which is contrary to the known evidence. Yet that is not enough for a vocal minority of conspiracy deniers. Even the HSCA would go only as far as declaring a probable conspiracy. What is needed is simple evidence of conspiracy that is true, valid and sufficient at first impression. What is needed is a "smoking gun."
In a letter that remained classified until January 1993, Walt W. Rostow, advisor to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, voiced his fear of such evidence to Secretary of State Dean Rusk in the days just before the Warren Report was made public. His main concerns were that "Overseas the report should do something to dilute the conspiracy theory of President Kennedy's assassination," that "The report does, however, blow the fact that Oswald saw a named KGB agent at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City"; that "the major task for ourselves and the USIA will be to prevent the discussion and debate in the U.S. from projecting an image of excessive domestic disarray" and that because "As the debate unfolds, issues will arise -- almost certainly some issues we have not now anticipated...We must be a united government in this matter."5
That unity has never been less evident. During a 1992 campaign appearance with Bill Clinton in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, now-Vice President Albert Gore said he believed that President Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy of unknown origin and that all federal files should be opened to the public.6 President Clinton, when asked at a thirtieth anniversary press conference whether he thought Kennedy was killed by a single assassin and whether he was satisfied with his own security arrangements, replied: "I'm satisfied with the finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I am also very satisfied with the work done by the Secret Service in my behalf."7 A good answer loaded with priorities perhaps, but this divided White House illustrates better than anything that, as a country, when it comes to the murder of our thirty-fifth president, believe what we might, we know no more now than we did in the waning weeks of 1963.
For more than thirty years, researchers have sought the elusive "smoking gun" -- a simple, indisputable fact that proves conspiracy in the murder of John F. Kennedy. It now appears that search may be over. This discovery is not based on new evidence. As is often the case in quests for definitive answers, it was right under our noses the whole time. It has lain dormant in the Warren Report for three decades as one of Rostow's feared "issues we have not now anticipated." Obscure and riddled with disinformation, yes, but not impossible to see.
It is well-known that the rifle allegedly used as the murder weapon was identified as a 6.5 millimeter caliber, Italian-made, bolt-action, military rifle called a Mannlicher-Carcano, after its two inventors. It is largely unknown that during WWII, it was one of only two military-use rifles in the world that fed a cartridge into the chamber from a clip. The other was the M-1 Garand. The difference between the two is that the clip on the M-1 Garand ejects when the last round is fired, while on the Carcano the clip ejects when the last round is chambered. "In the clip system, the clip remains attached to the rounds on loading and forms an essential part of the magazine system, a follower forcing the rounds out of the clip and presenting them in turn to the bolt for loading."8
According to the Warren Report, when the weapon allegedly used to kill the President was found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD), one cartridge remained, and it was in the chamber.9 Therefore, if operating properly, the rifle had automatically ejected the clip. The Warren Commission reported, however, that when the rifle was found, it contained a clip.10 Firearms experts for the HSCA explained the discrepancy. On September 8, 1978, Monty C. Lutz of the Committee's firearms panel, was asked about this by Pennsylvania Representative Robert W. Edgar.
Mr. Edgar. The cartridge clip was removed from CE-139 by Lieutenant Day of the Dallas Police Department on November 22, 1963 at the crime laboratory for the police department. Shouldn't a clip automatically fall out once the last cartridge has fed into the chamber?
That explanation seems reasonable enough. But it is not. It is true that the clip must be deformed to have any chance of getting as stuck as this one. But once bent, it stays bent. Commission Exhibits (CEs) 574 and 575 are photographs of the alleged clip in its normal, unbent condition. And five years after the HSCA reported the clip deformed, Life magazine photographer Michael O'Neill photographed it in normal condition for Life's November 1983 issue.12
According to assassination researcher and author J.W. Hughes, who has tested this deformation over fifty times on each of his seven Mannlicher-Carcanos, "When deformed, it will not hold the rounds because the locking ridge is spread too wide to hold the round and the weapon jams."13 The Warren Commission was apparently silent about whether expert riflemen from the U.S. Army and FBI had such difficulty firing the alleged murder weapon in 1964, and whether it was fired with its alleged clip. Whether or not those marksmen used the original clip, they were required to use any test clip in the original's apparent "found" condition, i.e., deformed. Anyone could have tested the clip by duplicating its required abnormal behavior, and can still. But CBS News, which claimed to "duplicate the conditions of the actual assassination" in its filmed rifle test in 1967, did not. According to reporter Dan Rather, "Eleven volunteer marksmen took turns firing clips of three bullets each at the moving target." They fired a total of thirty-seven three-round series, seventeen of which resulted in unfired bullets due to "trouble with the rifle." Clip problems or not, all data from those seventeen troubled series was disregarded by CBS analysts. It was the other series of shots, however, with properly emptied and ejected clips, deemed worthy of analysis by CBS, that should have been disqualified. In the CBS film, clips can be seen flying out of the gun so fast as to be a blur.14 If a test clip is not bent, or ejects, or moves at all, Oswald's alleged feat is not duplicated, invalidating the test. The HSCA firearms panel seemed not to be interested in this phenomenon, since it did not test the clip under firing conditions. Congressman Edgar learned about the defect from Mr. Lutz when he asked for details about their firing test:
Mr. Lutz. This was a single cartridge being inserted into the chamber and firing into a cotton waste recovery box...backing away from the box, a foot or two, and pointing the muzzle into the box and then firing into it, in order to recover the projectile.
Under the heading "Findings and Conclusions of the Firearms Panel Concerning the Kennedy Assassination," we learn that, "Two bullets were test-fired into a horizontal water recovery tank. Further tests were conducted by loading four cartridges into the CE 375 [sic] cartridge clip and inserting it into the magazine of the rifle. The cartridges were worked through the rifle's mechanism and ejected without being fired. When the last cartridge was chambered, the cartridge clip remained in the magazine instead of falling out as it is designed to do."16 Given Mr. Lutz's "the clip many times will open up" statement, this result demands further explanation.
"Many times will" also means "many times won't." Metal expands when heated and can alter its shape. But during the HSCA tests of the loading mechanism, the rifle should have been cool. In addition, CE 541 (3), a photograph of the clip stuck in the magazine reproduced on page 83 of the Warren Report, shows it in a cool rifle. Surely the rifle had not been fired for some time before that photography session. Is Lutz suggesting that the clip's sides spring out when cool and then return to a normal shape in the heat of firing? If such a violation of the laws of physics occurs with this rifle and clip, how then could the rifle have "contained a clip" when found?
Also, the HSCA's explanation does not explain what happened after the rifle was found. Over at least the next twenty-four hours, the Dallas Police Department reported, and left uncorrected, descriptions that remain a paradox to this day. Early news reports seemed to identify the murder weapon as anything but a 6.5 mm. Mannlicher-Carcano. NBC and WBAP radio identified it as a British Enfield .303. KLIF radio said it was a 7.65 German Mauser. KRLD radio announced that the rifle was "presumed to be a .25 caliber high powered Army or Japanese rifle." Radio station KBOX reported a German Mauser or a Japanese rifle. Dallas television station WFAA described it as three different kinds of Mauser: a "German Mauser," a 6.5 "Argentine Mauser" with a four-power scope, and a 7.65 "Mauser." Dallas NBC-affiliate television station WBAP's continuous coverage between 12:56 p.m. and 5:26 p.m. Central Standard Time (C.S.T.) reveals that the "conflicting reports" of the rifle's make evolved from the first (British .303) to the last (7.65 Mauser) in a very short time frame between 2:14 and 2:24.17
Despite the fact that the alleged murder weapon that allegedly belonged to Oswald reportedly was clearly stamped "Made Italy" and "Cal. 6.5," local authorities and the media seemed to finally agree that it was a 7.65 German-made Mauser. Had as few as two different descriptions continued to dominate news reports the rest of the day, one of them being an Italian, or a clip-fed weapon, an argument could be made for confusion. But that is not what happened. The supposed murder weapon was not "called...most everything," as Captain Will Fritz testified.18 Initial descriptions quickly gave way to a short-lived consensus for a 7.65 German Mauser, not further confusion. Probably due to the earlier conflicting reports, reporters remained skeptical. But they asked if it was a Mauser, and were told, tacitly at least, that it was. As different as these early descriptions seemed from each other and from the weapon the Warren Commission finally chose, there is one difference they all have in common. It is the one difference from the Mannlicher-Carcano they all share. It is the key to the conspiracy. None of them can use an ammunition clip.
The early critics of the Warren Commission who dealt directly with the rifle descriptions and clip problems, including Mark Lane, Harold Weisberg and Sylvia Meagher, missed this particular paradox. Since the mid-seventies, most of the clip and rifle problems have been recognized by gun experts and many researchers, including Gary Shaw, Mary Ferrell, Jack White and George Michael Evica. But the fact that there is only one other clip system with which the Mannlicher-Carcano's can be confused (the significance of which is explained below), and the absolute impossibility of confusing a Mannlicher-Carcano for any rifle but that one, seem to have been completely overlooked.
In the case of Meagher, it was a near miss. She was aware of a lack of direct evidence that a clip was found at the crime scene. The Texas Department of Public Safety official "Evidence Sheet" lists the incriminating evidence against Lee Harvey Oswald in detail. The number of spent shells found at the crime scene even changed from "(2)" to an obviously distorted "(3)" by the time the Warren Commission published the list, but no clip was ever accounted for.19
The FBI Laboratory Report from J. Edgar Hoover to Police Chief Jesse Curry the day after the assassination itemizes and numbers everything from metal fragments to a belatedly identified rifle. But the clip is not listed or numbered. It is mentioned only in passing as part of a group of things without fingerprints.20
Meagher even wrote, referring to testimony about confusion over the clip, "It is another coincidence, one supposes, that someone has mistaken a six-shot clip for a clip suitable to a Mauser, just as the Carcano was taken for a Mauser."21
This unfortunate statement may have ended further questions before they could be asked. Mausers are loaded from a "charger" (a.k.a. "stripper clip") which must be discarded after loading. While it is sometimes called a "clip," a charger has a completely different function.
Meagher fell for FBI weapons expert Robert Frazier's subtle testimony. The question asked of Frazier was, "Is there any reason that you can think of why someone might call that a five-shot clip?" Frazier answered, "No, sir, unless they were unfamiliar with it. There is an area of confusion in that a different type of rifle shooting larger ammunition, such as a 30.06 or a German Mauser rifle, uses five-shot clips, and the five-shot clip is the common style or size of clip, whereas this one actually holds six."22
Frazier limited his answer to unfamiliarity with the clip itself. The full answer reveals the deception. The confusion is over the term, not the function. How could weapons expert Frazier not know this? Confusing a charger with a clip is only possible through complete and total ignorance of the way rifles are loaded. And that irrefutable fact leads, as the reader will see, to conclusive proof of conspiracy in the JFK assassination.23
Many questions about other rifles at the crime scene have been raised, and some of them answered conclusively, by JFK assassination researchers over the years.24 Oswald and his fellow employees had even seen a Mauser at the TSBD in the possession of their supervisor, Roy Truly, just two days before the assassination.25 But had the critics known about the charger-clip discrepancy, they might have asked, along with questions about other rifles, slightly different questions: Why would a description of a superficially similar but non-clip-fed rifle prevail for at least twenty-four hours (and at most three days) after a clip-fed rifle became the most important piece of evidence? Was it because it prevented questions from being asked about ammunition clips? Why avoid such questions? Was it because no clip was found with the gun? Did the crime scene investigators replace the clip? Why would the crime-scene investigators lie and fabricate evidence to hide a rifle's normal firing condition? Did they confuse the Mannlicher-Carcano's feeding system with that of the more familiar M-1 Garand, thinking it needed a clip if a round was in the chamber? Did they know, therefore, that the rifle was planted? And if they knew that, did they knowingly help frame Lee Harvey Oswald?
Things might have been very different had Mark Lane known to ask these questions when he brought the Mauser description to the Commission's attention on March 4, 1964. This analysis does not exculpate Lee Harvey Oswald. Nor does it conclusively indict other individuals. But if this analysis is correct, it does conclusively prove conspiracy. And it serves to remind us that, in this time of new evidence produced through technology and file declassification, nothing is wrong with the old evidence. A hard question we must ask -- and answer for our children -- is why it took us so long. That delay caused great damage they will have to undo.
In our search for a smoking gun, we missed the real prima facie evidence -- the gun that didn't smoke. Let us begin again.
"NO MORE SHELLS IN THE MAGAZINE"
As trial jurors are reminded daily, evidence tampering can be inferred from an absence of evidence which is reasonably expected to exist, and, conversely, from the existence of evidence which is reasonably expected to be absent. Inference is the essence of circumstantial evidence, one of three major classifications of evidence. The other two major classifications are direct evidence and real evidence. The essence of direct evidence is that it directly establishes a main fact or element of the crime. It may be an actual object or an immediate experience on the part of a witness. Items of real evidence, the focus of our discussion here, are tangible objects which prove or disprove the facts at issue. Real evidence is self-explanatory. It may be either direct (e.g., an actual gun seen and collected) or circumstantial (e.g., a gun not seen or collected but inferred from established facts such as its visual and auditory effects). But real evidence needs only to be identified in court, not explained. Fingerprints and blood stains are other examples of real evidence. The most important real evidence is corpus delicti evidence. It consists of objects and substances which are an essential part of the body of a crime, such as a gun used to commit a murder. Investigators at a crime scene are therefore chiefly responsible for the discovery and preservation of corpus delicti evidence.
Those rules of evidence are among the most basic concepts used in criminal investigation. Like the basic procedures described below, they were known and used around the world at the time of Kennedy's assassination. They were studied worldwide in textbooks. One of those books, by criminologist and educator Charles E. O'Hara, Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation, first published in 1956, was in its third printing with 14,000 copies by 1963. Prescribed fundamentals like those in textbooks like O'Hara's were known to Dallas Police Lieutenant John Carl Day. On the day of the assassination, Day was fifty years old, had twenty-three years of experience with the Dallas Police Department, and had been the immediate supervisor of the crime-scene search section of its identification bureau for seven years.26
In his "shoot-out town," as Dallas was called in 1963,27 Lieutenant Day knew all too well that investigators of the crime of murder have the greatest responsibility for competent inquiry. They face the most severe test of the full resources of the applied art of investigation. Among the most important of those investigative resources are science and prescribed methodology. In a murder involving a gun, an essential question is: "Is this the gun that fired the fatal bullet?" All the parts of the gun, including those required for its successful operation, as well as the condition of those parts, are therefore crucial pieces of corpus delicti evidence. Such evidence must be intelligently handled from the point of view of science and the law. Each person who handles that evidence must insure that it is accounted for at all times while in their own possession.
Fingerprints take priority during collection because they are the most fragile. But prior to submitting a gun to the crime laboratory, it should be unloaded and all parts that are removable without the aid of tools, and which may leave an imprint on the bullet or cartridge case, should be removed from the gun and properly marked or labeled for identification as they are being collected or as soon as possible thereafter. All of that information, plus any unique characteristics, such as caliber or gauge, make, lot number, and serial number, should be recorded in the investigator's notebook during or immediately after the search.
Despite those long established, most important, most fundamental procedures used throughout the world in searches of the most important of all crime-scenes -- those where murders occurred -- on November 22nd, 1963, extremely unorthodox methods and extreme neglect by experienced investigators apparently prevailed during the search of the crime scene of the murder of the President of the United States.
At 12:30 p.m. C.S.T., shots were fired at the President. Immediately, Dallas police apparently suspected some had originated from the TSBD. According to the Warren Report, the Dallas police had two witnesses who saw from where the shots came, Howard Brennan and Amos Euins. Brennan "quickly reported his observations to police officers." And "Immediately after the assassination," Euins "reported his observations to Sgt. D. V. Harkness of the Dallas Police Department and also to James Underwood of station KRLD-TV of Dallas."28
Shortly before 1:03 p.m.,29 Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney reportedly discovered three used cartridge cases lying on the floor beneath the southeast corner window of the sixth floor. Harold Weisberg observed that, "More than a half-hour elapsed before the empty shells were found, yet they were `found' at exactly the window pointed out. It was almost three-quarters of an hour before the rifle was `found,' and it was found on that very floor."30
Reportedly at 1:22 p.m., Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone and Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman discovered a bolt-action rifle with a telescopic sight attached. The Warren Commission concluded that Weitzman -- though neither man handled the rifle -- described it as a 7.65 Mauser bolt action. It was subsequently described as a 6.5 millimeter Mannlicher-Carcano Italian military rifle. It reportedly contained one round, which was a copper-jacketed military-type bullet manufactured by Western Cartridge Co.31
The rifle was photographed and filmed almost from the moment it was found, but the earliest known evidence of an ammunition clip was not recorded until just before 1:57 p.m. It appeared in photographs taken by William G. Allen of the Dallas Times Herald, Ira D. "Jack" Beers of the Dallas Morning News, and Daniel Owens of Fort Worth television station WBAP.32 In his book, Pictures of the Pain, Richard B. Trask described the scene:
Some time close to 1:45, Lieutenant Day left the Book Depository's front door carrying the rifle discovered on the sixth floor. Photographers swarmed around Day as he walked to Houston Street and crossed the street over to its east side and proceeded a short distance easterly on Elm Street to his vehicle. Day held the weapon by its strap and away from his body, attempting to touch it as little as possible to preserve any potential evidence on the rifle itself. The significance of the scene and the clear view of the presumed assassination weapon was not lost on any of the photographers. Allen took eight exposures while Beers shot at least three. By early evening the wire services would be circulating photos of this dramatic scene. Several of these photos clearly show the end of an ammunition clip protruding from the bottom of the rifle. The brass clip held up to 6 rounds. When the final round was bolted into the rifle chamber, the clip was supposed to fall out from the bottom of its chamber. The clip, however, had a propensity to catch and not fall out.33
We considered three aspects of these photographs: the precise time they were taken, the clip's "propensity" to align itself in the manner shown, and the photographic authenticity of the clip's image.
Precise timing of that event can be determined because the very next photographs, taken after Lieutenant J. C. Day departed, by Allen, Beers, and a newly-arrived photographer, George Smith of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, were of three apparent "tramps" being escorted past the TSBD by two uniformed policemen. The first of the seven known "tramp" photos, taken by Smith, shows shadows cast by the building's brickwork.34 Shadows cast by sunlight can be read as a "sundial" by comparing the bricks' measurements to the known positions of the sun for that date (see fig. 1). We can therefore be certain that the clip first appeared in evidence just prior to 1:57 p.m.
Using a 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle (not a carbine) in excellent working condition, two black steel clips, and one live shell with a rounded, exposed-lead tip, as opposed to a full-metal jacket, coauthor Richard Bartholomew tested Trask's claim that the clip "had a propensity to catch and not fall out."35
Inserting an empty clip manually from both the top and bottom resulted in the clip jamming against the clip release mechanism to its rear and against machined ridges on the sides of the magazine to its front. There were two distinctly different jamming effects, depending on which end of the magazine placement was attempted. Neither jamming effect occurred when the shell was loaded into the chamber from the clip.
First is the "bottom-placement" effect. When the clip was placed from the bottom, its posterior stayed aligned with the back of the magazine. This jamming effect could only be accomplished by manually protruding the clip partially from the bottom and turning it clockwise. Turning it counterclockwise did not produce this effect. Instead, the clip always fell out. There was an audible clicking sound when the clip's right front side jammed into place behind the machined ridge. It was stuck firmly rather than loosely. This effect visually matched what is seen in the pictures of the alleged murder weapon being carried out of the TSBD. When the clip was placed farther into the magazine, from bottom to top, the second jamming effect occurred. It was identical to the "top-placement" effect, produced by placing the clip into the magazine from the top (as described below).
Second is the "top-placement" effect. When placed from the top, the clip always fell at an anterior-posterior angle, with the bottom angling forward and the top angling rearward. This fall resulted in the clip hanging on the front edge of the magazine's opening at the bottom. Then, when aligned properly manually, the clip slid easily through the ejection port, as it is designed to. Only by engaging the clip release button was it possible to remove the clip from the top. It was loose enough to rattle, but jostling would not release the clip. During some top placement attempts, special manual alignment of the clip produced the "bottom-placement" jamming effect. The clip turned clockwise as a result of this physical handling, and holding the rifle at such an angle that the clip turned as it fell through the opening.
It is clear that there is a propensity for a normal, empty clip to stay inside the magazine when manually placed from the top. The "bottom-placement" jamming effect, which allowed partial ejection, was also reproducible when the clip was placed from the top, but it required physical manipulation to accomplish. However, neither jamming effect occurred when the shell was loaded into the chamber from the clip. The normal action of the rifle kept the clip aligned with the magazine's bottom opening, allowing it to fall out as designed.
From this experiment, experiences of others familiar with this weapon, and silence about clip-jamming frequency by official investigators who test-fired the alleged murder weapon with a clip, we concluded the clip must be deformed to jam regularly during rifle operation. A normal clip can be regularly jammed only through non-operational manipulation. The fact that no clip is seen protruding from the magazine in film taken on the sixth floor, combined with the fact that it is seen protruding from the magazine in film taken later at the front street entrance, means, at a minimum, that investigators handled the clip at the crime scene.
Therefore, the following aspects and implications of this clip's lack of an operational "propensity to catch" are discussed in this article: the clip was officially reported to have no prints; handling by investigators was never reported, nor was Captain Fritz's filmed handling of the rifle with a handkerchief; since Oswald did not take precautions against leaving prints, he either did not load the rifle, or investigators wiped his and their own prints off the clip. Given the official silence, both alternatives indicate conspiracy.
The remaining aspect of the Allen, Beers and Owens photographs, considered here, is the claim that no clip was visible to be photographed: the clip and its unusual placement are an illusion created entirely by photo-retouching. It is reasonable to consider such a forgery. It was both possible and probable with the then current state of photographic art. Photography in 1963-1964 had long been capable of altering history, and was known to have altered Russian history. The CIA's Ray Cline said, "Photography became to the fifties what codebreaking was to the forties." Codebreaking determined the outcome of WWII. During the Eisenhower administration, both C.D. Jackson, the purchaser of the Zapruder film of the assassination, and Edwin H. Land, the inventor of the Polaroid camera, worked closely with Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles on propaganda and U-2 photographic intelligence. While the Warren Commission was in session, Ranger 7 returned 4,308 photographs from the moon electronically.36
It could be argued, therefore, that the clip's image was faked because there was no evidence of a clip at the crime scene. But the plausibility of that claim ends there. Such a forgery has no other reasonable benefit to the conspirators. On the contrary, by the time the forgery could have been completed (one of the photographs was broadcast by NBC-TV News at 3:56 p.m. C.S.T.),37 the use of extreme confidentiality regarding the clip had become obvious.
In fact, the Allen, Beers and Owens photos are among the best proof of conspiracy. As will be seen, those photos forced the bizarre, deafening silence that continues to surround the clip. Those photos forced the conspirators into a hasty coverup of their worst mistake: thinking a clip was needed inside this rifle to satisfy its load-fire-reload characteristics. Without those photos, the conspirators could have said, "Nope, we didn't find any clip. It must have ejected normally and been ditched by the suspect." Had those photos never existed, we can be sure there would be no need for a clip in evidence, or any twenty-four-hour consensus about a Mauser.
Fifteen years later, the Allen, Beers and Owens photos forced esteemed firearms experts to tell the HSCA a ridiculous story about a clip so bent it could not move in any direction during the extensive handling of the rifle on the sixth floor. Those photos continue to force Lieutenant J.C. Day into extreme, tortured avoidance of how, where, and in what condition the clip was found. The claim least reasonably believed about the photos is the normality Trask purports in the handling of evidence at the crime scene. Would not a clip so deformed (according to the HSCA) as to stick completely inside the rifle, require extreme jarring to move it partially out of the rifle? Would the abnormality of a clip so deformed at least elicit some comment at the scene from those who described every other "normal" part of the rifle's discovery in detail?
The earliest known attempt to ask one of the crime-scene investigators for the exact location and condition of the clip when found, occurred on September 9, 1968. Dr. John K. Lattimer wrote and asked Day these questions: "Can you tell me where the empty cartridge clip was found? Was it on the floor under the window from which Oswald fired, or was it still in the rifle until Captain Fritz ejected the last round? I have not been able to find out this fact in the Warren Commission Report, and am appealing to you for clarification of this point." He gave , as a reference, Dr. Paul Peters, a member of the emergency medical team who tried to resuscitate JFK at Parkland Hospital. According to a handwritten notation, signed by Day and dated "9/16," at the bottom of Lattimer's letter, the only action taken by Day, apparently, was contacting Peters' office and learning that "Dr. Lattimer was a reputable professor." The only response to Lattimer's letter seems to have been a form-letter response, two weeks later, from Chief of Police Charles Batchelor, referring him to the Justice Department.38
If the clip was so deformed as to stick completely inside the rifle, unnoticed for a half hour, then stick partially outside the rifle until it was allegedly removed at the police crime lab, would not Lieutenant Day have answered Dr. Lattimer's 1968 letter that asked specifically how, where, and in what condition the clip was found? Would such a clip not elicit some comment at all, in three decades, from those who "found" it? In his 1980 book, Kennedy and Lincoln, Lattimer vaguely reported questionable results from his own experiments. He did not report his expected answers from either Day, or the Justice Department, or anyone else. Yet Lattimer declared that "the Warren Commission had been correct" that "the clip was found in Oswald's rifle...."39 As we will see, vague and inadequate as it is, Lattimer's "proof" is vastly superior to the Warren Commission's.
JFK assassination researchers are well aware that the statements concerning the alleged murder weapon consist of a collection of information, misinformation and disinformation. In 1993, the task of citing it was greatly simplified when one author compiled most of it into a single volume, necessary in his attempt to portray the Warren Commission's unsupported minority opinions as the truth.
Gerald Posner's Case Closed includes only two direct references to the Mannlicher-Carcano's ammunition clip. Posner says that the fact that Oswald used only four bullets in a six-bullet clip is a sign of his lack of preparation.40 With regard to the three spent cartridges ejected from the rifle, he cites Lieutenant Carl Day's Warren Commission testimony as proof that Day photographed the shells at the crime scene in their original position. He cites the photographs taken by Day and his assistant Robert Lee Studebaker, and Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney's testimony as proof that the shells were found in a random pattern rather than in a neat row.41 The claim that they were in a neat row was later made by Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig.42
Posner also refers to the so-called misidentification of the rifle reportedly found at the TSBD and the fact that it was mistaken for a Mauser.43 The story that the Mannlicher-Carcano was planted at the Depository about twenty minutes after the assassination is "folklore," Posner claims.44 He informs us that Mooney and Weitzman (actually, it was Boone and Weitzman) thought at first glance that the rifle was a 7.65 bolt-action Mauser. He adds that, "Although they quickly admitted their mistake, that initial misidentification led to speculation that a different gun was found on the sixth floor and that Oswald's Carcano was later swapped for the murder weapon."45 No one "quickly admitted" any mistake. If they had, no argument would exist over the misidentification.
Posner ignores the earlier Enfield .303 identification altogether. He dismisses the Mauser identification by saying, "Firearms experts say they are easy to confuse without a proper exam (HSCA Vol. I, pp. 446-47; HSCA Vol. VII, p. 372.)" Posner gives no explanation for why, after a proper exam was made early that Friday afternoon by Lieutenant Day, the Mauser description continued uncorrected by the Dallas Police Department both internally to Police Chief Curry and public relations officer Captain Glen D. King, and externally to District Attorney Henry Wade and the press. He then ridicules Mark Lane for "trying to portray a simple mistake as evidence of conspiracy (Rush to Judgment, pp. 95-101)."46
Posner, like many conspiracy deniers who continue to assert ludicrously that Weitzman made an innocent error, is evidently unaware that his fellow denier, Commission staffer Wesley J. Liebeler, revealed a motive. Mark Lane spoke about Liebeler's June 5, 1967, remarks on Stanford radio station KZSU: "Said Liebeler, `And, of course, Mr. Weitzman is Jewish.' While the relevance of the officer's religion may not seem apparent at the outset, Liebeler's presentation of Weitzman's motive places it in context. Since `the Germans have been picking' on the Jewish people `for the last 50 years,' Weitzman reasoned, according to Liebeler, that he `got one back at them.'"47
An unfortunate oversight, perhaps, for someone like Mr. Posner who has studied Nazi Germany and desires to close the case based on minority opinions of the Warren Commission. Of course, given the facts, we would have to believe that the other crime scene investigators and the Dallas Police Department conspired to join Weitzman in his alleged attack on German anti-Semitism.
On pages 474-75 of Case Closed there is a technical illustration of the Carcano and the clip with a line drawn from the clip pointing to the area forward of the trigger, showing this position as its whereabouts when in use.
There is also a four-panel diagram illustrating the bolt action. The caption above reads, "The bolt action can easily be executed in a fraction of a second." The caption below reads, "1. Push bolt up... 2. Pull back (to eject case and position next cartridge)... 3. Push forward... 4. Push down (to lock bolt)." Posner does not point out that while the bolt action can be operated quickly, such rapid firing is only possible with the clip. Among the Warren Report's few words about the clip is the statement: "As long as there is ammunition in the clip, one need only work the bolt and pull the trigger to fire the rifle."48 Otherwise a cartridge must be loaded after each firing.
Despite this semi-detailed look at the load-fire-reload cycle, Posner never mentions anywhere in his book the peculiarities of this rifle's feeding system. He also does not mention that there should have been some mention of discovering the clip by Boone, Weitzman, Mooney, and especially Day and Captain Will Fritz, head of the Dallas Police Department Homicide Division. The Warren Report cites Fritz's testimony49 and Day's testimony50 to support their statement that "When the rifle was found in the Texas School Book Depository Building it contained a clip...."51
Sylvia Meagher wrote: "...there is not one word on those pages about an ammunition clip, nor is there anything elsewhere in the testimony of Fritz or Day or other witnesses which establishes that an ammunition clip was found at all. The assertion in the Report that the rifle found in the Book Depository contained a clip is absolutely unsupported by direct evidence or testimony."52
Meagher is right. The pages cited by the Report as proof that the clip was found with the rifle say nothing about the clip. Fritz talks about Day. Day talks about Fritz. They both talk about the rifle: about finding it; photographing it; handling it; ejecting the live round; putting identifying marks on it and the live round; dusting them both for prints; and about how, when and where all of these activities were done. But nothing in this testimony indicates the existence of a clip at the crime scene.
Posner quotes the following from a January 19, 1992, interview he had with Carl Day: "I knew there could be no fingerprints on that strap, so I picked the gun up by that. The stock was pretty porous and weather-worn, so there was little chance of any prints there. Before pulling the bolt back, I satisfied myself there were no prints on the little metal lever. Then I held the gun while Captain Fritz pulled the bolt, and a live round fell out. There were no more shells in the magazine."53 From this statement we might be tempted to think that we now apparently have, twenty-nine years late, the first and only (and improbable) record of the clip ("magazine") being seen at the time of the discovery of the rifle. But returning to Lutz's testimony before the HSCA, aided by fellow firearms expert Donald E. Champagne, we learn otherwise:
Mr. Edgar. ...I was interested in seeing you handle the rifle and talking about the action of the rifle. I have just a couple of questions relating to the rifle itself.
But as we have already seen, these men did not test whether the clip in evidence (as seen in CE 575) would allow the weapon to function properly. In the condition shown on page 83 of the Warren Report, given their reason for why the clip was there, it would not (see fig. 2).
The main point here is that in Posner's book, the terms "clip" and "magazine" are used interchangeably, when, in fact, they refer to two different things. Day was not talking about a clip. The clip holds the cartridges. The magazine is an integral part of the rifle which, in this instance, holds both the cartridges and the clip. The clip goes into the magazine.
On Mausers, the Lee Enfield or Springfield 1903, the magazine would hold the cartridges without the clip (a.k.a. charger or stripper clip) which is thrown away when the cartridges are "thumbed" into the magazine. The term "clip" is used in this latter case commonly, but the correct term is "charger" or "stripper clip."55
The point is that a Mannlicher-Carcano will not function, except impossibly slowly, without a clip, and a Mauser will not function properly with one. According to J.W. Hughes, "One thing that you should be aware of is that the Mannlicher-Carcano was not designed to `single load'. If you attempt to single load the Mannlicher-Carcano, the bolt will push the round into the chamber, but will need to be forced closed. This will in most cases not properly seat the bolt behind the round and the firing pin most generally will not strike the primer with sufficient force to discharge the round. Then, in most cases, it will deform the rear of the shell as the extractor is forced around the extractor ring as the bolt is opened. I tested my Mannlicher-Carcanos again with this type of loading and 1 out of 63 rounds fired."56 (emphasis in original) Congressman Edgar did not ask the HSCA firearms panel, and they did not volunteer, whether they had this difficulty during their firing tests conducted entirely without the clip.
Furthermore, with the Mannlicher-Carcano, we are talking about a rifle that feeds from the top. A clip feeds from the top (see fig. 2). A detachable magazine feeds from the bottom. The magazine is temporarily attached to the bottom of the rifle and houses the cartridges. During WWII, both Mausers and Enfields were equipped with ten-round detachable magazines. These magazines were attached to the bottom. These could not have been involved in the misidentification of the Mannlicher-Carcano.
Therefore, Carl Day was still cleverly avoiding the problem of the clip after twenty-nine years. When he told Gerald Posner, "There were no more shells in the magazine," he was correct. He was not only correct, but he provided himself an avenue of escape from the glaring subject of the clip. At the moment they determined there were no more rounds in the magazine, Day and Fritz could not avoid seeing the empty clip which was supposedly stuck inside the magazine.57
Mr. Posner was also purposely avoiding the issue. Even if Posner and Day simply misspoke, it is still unbelievable that several witnesses to this clip-magazine, including such firearms users as Boone, Weitzman, Mooney, and Fritz, have never said a word in thirty years about finding such an essential part of the weapon. And if Posner and Day misspoke, it is still unbelievable that a description of a non-clip-fed rifle prevailed inside and outside the Dallas Police Department during that Friday afternoon, evening and night. Historian and author George Michael Evica makes a very good point about this:
Lieutenant Day was credited by the Warren Commission with identifying the rifle in his possession as an Italian 6.5 mm. weapon. The Commission, however, supplied neither evidence nor documentation for its statement. Those references it did give to `document' the alleged Day identification were irrelevant to the Commission's assertion. And Day himself seemed to deny the Commission's statement: `I didn't describe the rifle to anyone other than [unidentified] police officers.' One of those `police officers' seems to have been public relations officer Captain Glen D. King, but if Day did describe the weapon he examined to King, and King (doing his job) passed that description on to the working press the afternoon and evening of the 22nd, either Day described the rifle as a 7.65 Mauser, or King thought Day described it as such, since that description prevailed.58
Day, in describing a Friday night encounter with the press, testified under oath that, "Several of the newsmen asked me various questions about what the gun was at that time. I did not give them an answer.
"When I went back to the office after Marina Oswald viewed the gun, they still were hounding me for it. I told them to check with the chief's office, he would have to give them the information, and as soon as I got back to my office I gave a complete description, and so forth, to Captain King on the gun."59
Day, and King in turn, should have been following the official Dallas Police Department policy on news coverage. The Warren Report states:
Consistent with its policy of allowing news representatives to remain within the working quarters of the Police and Courts Building, the police department made every effort to keep the press fully informed about the progress of the investigation. As a result, from Friday afternoon until after the killing of Oswald on Sunday, the press was able to publicize virtually all of the information about the case which had been gathered until that time. In the process, a great deal of misinformation [and as later discovered, disinformation] was disseminated to a worldwide audience.
Considering the number and quality of worldwide journalistic organizations represented, is it possible that not one followed Day's instruction to "check with the chief's office" (i.e., King) on the second most sought-after piece of information? For all of these professional journalists to get the name and type of murder weapon wrong is no less unbelievable than if they had gotten the name and description of the primary suspect wrong for twenty-four hours after he was in custody.
Warren Commissioner John J. McCloy asked Day: "There was never any doubt in your mind what the rifle was from the minute you saw it?" Day replied, "No, sir; It was stamped right on there, 6.5, and when en route to the office with Mr. Odum, the FBI agent who drove me in, he radioed it in, he radioed in what it was to the FBI over the air."61 The HSCA added that "Later that day, the rifle's six-round cartridge clip was removed by Lieutenant Day in the Dallas Police Crime Laboratory."62
Evica further points out that Day waited until he got to his office to dictate a detailed description of the rifle, which remained in his possession from the moment it was found. That description and four others are missing from the Commission's public record: 1) Weitzman's FBI description, 2) Day's dictated memo, 3) Day's description to FBI Special Agent Bardwell D. Odum, 4) Odum's broadcast, and 5) Dallas police Detective C.N. Dhority's description.63 Five descriptions that would have prevented the "folklore" of a planted rifle were not made public.
1. Robert Sam Anson, "They've Killed the President!" (New York: Bantam, 1975) p. 356; hereafter cited as Anson 356. (Investigation of negative information:) Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1993) pp. 58, 60-61, 69; hereafter cited as Scott 58, 60-61, 69; Charles J. Sanders and Mark S. Zaid, "The Declassification of Dealey Plaza: After Thirty Years, A New Disclosure Law At Last May Help To Clarify the Facts of the Kennedy Assassination," South Texas Law Review, Vol. 34:407, Oct. 1993; later published in "The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992" (ARCA), The Fourth Decade, Special Edition, 1994, pp. 411-12 n.8 (Griffin statements); hereafter cited as Sanders and Zaid 411-12 n.8.
2. Sanders and Zaid 410-12 n.8 (Warren Commission theory critique); DeLloyd J. Guth and David R. Wrone, The Assassination of John F. Kennedy: A Comprehensive Historical and Legal Bibliography, 1963-1979 [Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1980] pp. xxvii-xxx; hereafter cited as Guth and Wrone xxvii-xxx (House Committee theory critique); Gerald Posner, Case Closed (New York: Random House, 1993) p. 317, 326,-35, 474, 477, 478-79; hereafter cited as Posner with page number(s); (American Bar Association Mock Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald prosecution theory presented uncritically and without credit to A.B.A. by Posner).
3. The authors realize that the idea of proving conspiracy with finality is difficult to accept. Respected researchers have expressed aversion, on nothing more than rhetorical grounds, to our application of the notion. However, after remaining skeptical, scrutinizing our premise, relevant facts, arguments and counterarguments, and after requesting and receiving peer review, the basic premise of this article has resisted remonstration and confutation. Nevertheless, because of its awful consequences, we hope our conclusion will be quickly and rationally disproved. With regard to the identity of a possible second found murder weapon: although the alleged misidentification described a 7.65 Mauser, and although the authors often refer to a supposed second rifle as a Mauser, that description could have been used to distract attention from a different, but completely unmarked Mannlicher-Carcano, as well as from the discrepancy over its loading mechanism; see discussion in George Michael Evica, And We Are All Mortal (Hartford, Conn.: University of Hartford, 1978) pp. 1-61; hereafter cited as Evica 1-61.
4. William M. Blair, "Warren Commission Will Ask Mrs. Oswald to Identify Rifle Used in the Kennedy Assassination," New York Times Feb. 5, 1964, p. 19 (Chairman Warren's doubts). This source quotes Warren's only public statement of doubt: that full disclosure was not possible for reasons of national security (Warren's statement was originally made to Dallas Morning News reporter Clint Richmond at Love Field the day Warren was in Dallas to interview Jack Ruby [Richard Bartholomew discussion with Clint Richmond, Mar. 5, 1997]). But in 1976 the extent of Warren's private doubt became publicly known. It had been confirmed in Jan. 1967, when columnist Drew Pearson told Warren about a conspiratorial lead involving CIA-Mafia assassination plots. Rather than stand by the Commission's conclusions, Warren referred the information to Secret Service Director James J. Rowley, who testified that Warren "...said he thought this was serious enough...and that the Warren Commission was finished, and he wanted the thing pursued, I suppose, by ourselves or the FBI" (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Activities, The Investigation of the Assassination of President Kennedy: Performance of the Intelligence Agencies [Senate Report 94-755, 94th Cong., 2nd sess., 1976, Final Report, Book V] p. 80; cited in Bernard Fensterwald, Coincidence or Conspiracy [New York: Zebra Books, 1977] pp. 74-75; hereafter cited as Fensterwald 74-75). Edward Jay Epstein, Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth (New York: Viking, Jun. 1966) pp. 149-50, (Bantam, Oct. 1966) p. 122 (doubts of Commissioners Russell, Cooper and Boggs); see also Fensterwald 86, 91, 96, 99. Hearings Before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, vol. XI (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979) note 11 at p. 14; hereafter cited as 11 HH 14 n.11 (Commissioner McCloy's doubt); see also Fensterwald 86. Walter Cronkite interview, CBS News, broadcast on Apr. 25, 1975 (President Johnson's doubt); see also Fensterwald 76, 124. Warren Commission Hearings and Evidence (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964, v. V) p. 99 ; cited hereafter as 5H 99 (Hoover's policy). See also discussion in Sanders and Zaid 412 n.11.
5. Letter from Walt Rostow to Dean Rusk, September 25, 1964 (LBJ Library: Papers of Walt W. Rostow, Box 14).
6. Los Angeles Times Jul. 20, 1992.
7. David E. Rosenbaum, "30-Year Commemoration In Dallas and Arlington," New York Times Nov. 23, 1993, p. A16.
8. Ian V. Hogg, "The Mannlicher Clip System," The Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of World War II (London: Bison Books, 1977, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, Inc., 1977).
9. Warren Commission Report (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964) p. 555; hereafter cited as R 555.
10. R 555.
11. 1 HH 482.
12. 17H (CE 574) 258, (CE 575) 259. Life magazine, November 1983, pp. 16-17.
13. Letter from J.W. Hughes to Walter F. Graf, May 25, 1994.
14. R 193-95. "CBS News Inquiry: `The Warren Commission Report'" (4-part series produced by Leslie Midgely, narrated by Walter Cronkite) June 25-28, 1967; official transcript cited in Mark Lane, A Citizen's Dissent (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968) pp. 103, 104, 106-07; hereafter cited as Lane, Dissent 103, 104, 106-07. Anson 143. CBS rifle test film rebroadcasts: "The 20th Century" (narrated by Mike Wallace, Arts & Entertainment Cable Network, Nov. 16, 1994, 1 hr.); "Cronkite Remembers: Television and Politics" (Discovery Channel Cable Network, Jan. 23, 1997, 30 mins.).
15. 1 HH 483.
16. 7 HH 365.
17. 26 H (CE 3048) 599. Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967, Vintage Books, 1976, 1992) p. 95; hereafter cited as Meagher, Accessories 95. Sylvia Meagher, "Treasure-Hunting in the National Archives," The Third Decade January 1986, p. 2; cited in Sheldon Inkol, "Other Patsies," The Third Decade May 1990, p. 8. Richard B. Trask, Pictures of the Pain (Danvers, Mass.: Yeoman Press, 1994) p. 532; hereafter cited as Trask 532. "JFK Assassination: As It Happened" (Arts & Entertainment Cable Network, Nov. 22, 1988, 6 hrs.) at 1 hr..-14 min. and 1 hr.-24 min.; hereafter cited as As It Happened 1:14, 1:24.
18. 4H 206.
19. Texas Department of Public Safety Evidence Sheet No. 443-A, and 24H (CE 2003, p. 130), reproduced in J. Gary Shaw and Larry R. Harris, Cover-Up: The Governmental Conspiracy to Conceal the Facts About the Public Execution of John Kennedy (Cleburne, Texas: self-published, 1976) pp. 159, 160.
20. 24 H (CE 2003 pp. 131-35) 262-64. FBI file no. PC-78243 BX, Nov. 23, 1963, p. 5; reproduced in Jesse E. Curry, Retired Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry Reveals his personal JFK Assassination File (Dallas Tx.: American Poster and Printing Company, 1969) p. 94; hereafter cited as Curry 94. Suspiciously, that FBI lab report, a photo of Day with the rifle in front of the TSBD on p. 54, and a reproduction of a Klein's Sporting Goods ad on p. 99, are the only references to the essential ammunition clip in Chief Curry's 133-page book. Nowhere in his main text does Curry mention the clip.
21. Meagher, Accessories 119.
22. 3H 398. Meagher, Accessories 119.
23. The unmistakable difference between these two methods of loading a rifle (charger vs. clip) is clearly demonstrated in two adjacent film segments approximately 1 hr.-30 min. into the 1973 National General Cinema, Inc. film, Executive Action. When viewing them, keep in mind that one method is not interchangeable with the other.
24. Robert Sibley, "The Mysterious Vanishing Rifle of the JFK Assassination," The Third Decade September, 1985; cited in Sheldon Inkol, "Other Patsies," The Third Decade May 1990, p. 8. W. Anthony Marsh, "No Mentesana Rifle," Assassination Chronicles, Mar. 1996, p. 24.
25. R 601, 612; cited in Harold Weisberg, Whitewash: The Report on the Warren Report (New York: Dell, 1966) p. 147; hereafter cited as Weisberg, Whitewash 147.
26. Charles E. O'Hara, Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation (Springfield, Ill.: Thomas Books, 1956, 1970, 2nd ed., 2nd printing) pp. 5-6, 30, 67, 69, 80, 438, 450, 493, 562, 575, 681, 684-85, 687; hereafter cited as O'Hara with page number(s). As if speaking to the crime-scene investigators at the TSBD, O'Hara wrote the following in a brief preface to his second edition: "On review, however, it would appear that insufficient attention had been given to the role of the investigator in establishing the innocence of persons falsely accused. It was thought that this aspect of investigation was too obvious to stress; that the continued insistence on objectivity and professionalism in the investigator's conduct should meet this requirement. After all, the process of establishing innocence is hardly separable from the task of detecting the guilty. One does not, that is to say, prove guilt by the method of exhaustion" (O'Hara vii). 4H 249-50 (Day's experience).
27. Garry Wills and Ovid Demaris, Jack Ruby (New York: New American Library, 1968, Da Capo Press edition, 1994) p. 58; hereafter cited as Wills and Demaris 58.
28. R 63-64.
29. Richard Bartholomew photogrammetric study (fig. 3) of Jim Murray photo of Gerald L. Hill in Trask 523.
30. Weisberg, Whitewash 190.
31. R 79. 7H 106-07. Boone statement, in 7H 106; 1 HH 442.
32. Trask 540, 549-50. Other published sources of these photographs include: Robert J. Groden, The Killing of a President (New York: Viking Studio Books, 1993) p. 66; Josiah Thompson, Six Seconds in Dallas (New York: Bernard Geis Associates [1967, p. 222]/Berkley Medallion, 1976) p. 190; hereafter cited as Thompson 190; Robert J. Groden and Harrison Edward Livingstone, High Treason (New York: Conservatory Press, 1989) photo preceding ch. 8, p. 127; Curry 54; United Press International and American Heritage magazine, Four Days: The Historical Record of the Death of President Kennedy (New York: American Heritage, 1964, 1983) p. 29; hereafter cited as Four Days 29 (this photo was the first of these broadcast by NBC-TV News at 3:56 p.m. CST [As It Happened 2:56]).
33. Trask 549
34. Trask 339, 340, 550
35. Richard Bartholomew's contemporaneous notes on clip jamming test, Feb. 19, 1995. Thanks to Mike Blackwell for use of the test materials from his firearms collection.
36. Blanche Wiesen Cook, "C.D. Jackson: Cold War Propagandist," CovertAction Information Bulletin, No. 35, Fall 1990, pp. 33, 36. Peter Collier & David Horowitz, The Rockefellers (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1976) pp. 272-73. Michael R. Beschloss, May Day (New York: Harper & Row, 1986) p. 143. William R. Corson, The Armies of Ignorance (New York: The Dial Press/James Wade Books, 1977) pp. 372-73. Patrick Moore & Garry Hunt, Atlas of the Solar System (New York: Rand McNally, 1983, third printing, 1985) p. 422.
37. As It Happened 2:56
38. Letter from John K. Lattimer, M.D. to Lieutenant J.C. Day, Sept. 9, 1968, file "DPD-1185," JFK Assassination: The Dallas Papers, CD-ROM, 1995. Letter from Charles Bachelor, Chief of Police to John K. Lattimer, M.D., Sept. 30, 1968, file "DPD-1184", op cit.
39. John K. Lattimer, Kennedy and Lincoln: Medical & Ballistic Comparisons of Their Assassinations (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1980) p. 299; hereafter cited as Lattimer 299. Lattimer's objectivity and credibility on the assassination have long been suspect. After Lattimer became the first private doctor to view the JFK autopsy photos and X-rays, Sylvia Meagher noted that, "Dr. Lattimer has made emphatic assertions which verge on the omniscient. He tells us that a bullet entered the back of the neck at a point even higher than ever claimed before, which happens to coincide with the point of entry on a sketch used by Dr. Lattimer in his lectures on behalf of the Warren Report as early as 1969 or some three years before he saw the autopsy photos. He does not explain how this bullet high in the neck produced holes in the coat and the shirt more than five inches below the top of the collar, except to offer the lame suggestion about the garments riding up that was discredited long ago." Seven years after Lattimer located the back wound higher, the HSCA's panel of forensic experts examined the alleged same X-rays and photos he had examined, and placed the same wound lower than the Warren Commission's placement. (Sylvia Meagher, "The case of the urologist apologist," The Texas Observer May 26, 1972, pp. 22-24. Guth and Wrone xxix, citing 7 HH).
40. Posner 263.
41. 4H 250 (Day); 3H 286-87 (Mooney).
42. Posner 269-70.
43. Posner 413.
44. Posner 446.
45. Posner 271.
46. Posner 271.
47. Lane, Dissent 126.
48. R 555. Any assumption that a clip was present in the manner alleged because the Carcano was rapidly fired as a "repeater" is the result of circular reasoning. In its alleged found condition, this "murder weapon" could have been used as a clip-fed repeater whether a clip had been found after the shooting or not. The clip's presence after chambering of the last round must be established independently because: 1) chambering of the last round is reason enough to expect the clip's absence, and 2) the clip's abnormal presence was too-belatedly alleged to be due to an unproven, abnormal defect. Preclusively, the claim that the alleged murder weapon was used as a repeater depends on scientific evidence chemically matching its ammunition and alleged chambered bullet to another specific bullet and several specific bullet fragments. The likelihood of those matches, in turn, depends on the unbiased credibility of the opinions of Dr. Vincent P. Guinn who did neutron activation analysis tests of that ballistic evidence for the HSCA. Despite his oath, Guinn's testimony was not "the whole truth and nothing but...." See Guinn's oath and testimony denying he did "any work" for the FBI or Warren Commission: 1 HH 491, 557; compare with UPI's report quoting Guinn stating he did do such work: "Radioactive tests used in Oswald case," Glasgow, Scotland, Aug. 27, New York Times Aug. 28, 1964, p. 32; cited in Richard Bartholomew, "Dial `P' For Perjury," JFK/Deep Politics Quarterly Jul. 1996, pp. 7-10.
49. 4H 205.
50. 4H 258.
51. R 555.
52. Meagher, Accessories 117.
53. Posner 271.
54. 1 HH 481-83.
55. Charger: Ian V. Hogg, "The Mannlicher Clip System," The Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of World War II. Stripper clip: Interview of Mike Blackwell by Richard Bartholomew, Sept. 25, 1994. Craig Roberts (Assassination Chronicles, Dec. 1995) wrote: "A stripper clip is one in which the rounds are stripped off during mechanical operation of the bolt assembly. The Carcano, M-1, and other weapons...fall into this category." Reacting to Roberts in a letter to Richard Bartholomew, Oct. 8, 1996, Walter Graf wrote: "I always thought that a `stripper clip' was the `strip' or `charger' thrown away when the cartridge was thumbed into the Springfield, Mauser, or Enfield...Then recently I was watching an A&E documentary with top experts like Ian Hogg (English). Twice they referred to a stripper clip as the strip (charger) on the Springfield 03, etc....Somehow the usage of the term got switched over the years."
56. Letter from J.W. Hughes to Walter Graf, May 25, 1994.
57. R (17H (CE 541 ) 239) 83.
58. Evica 24.
59. 4H 264.
60. R 231-35.
61. 4H 264.
62. 7 HH 355.
63. Evica 25.