Casebook: Proving Lee Harvey Oswald’s Innocense

The following is an assignment from a class called Writing the Weird. I had so much more that I wanted to add but it was only supposed to be 20 pages.
I will add more as time goes on. Enjoy!

This handout photo received October 16, 2013 courtesy of RR Auction shows Lee Harvey Oswald’s Dallas Police mug shot after he was arrested for the assassination of former US president John F. Kennedy. RR Auction is holding the most extensive JFK auction of the year, fifty years after his tragic assassination in Dallas,Texas on November 22, 1963, offering a collection of museum-quality items relating to John F. Kennedy, his family, and the tragedy of his death. The live auction takes place on October 24, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. AFP PHOTO/RR AUCTION/HANDOUT/ RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / RR AUCTION / HANDOUT” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTSHANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images

Opening Statement

Kennedy’s assassination is a tangled snare of smokescreens and false sponsors. At every turn, there is another twist, a new discovery, an underlying motive that has never been discerned. The purpose of this casebook is not to dissect the colorful life of Lee Harvey Oswald, or paint him as a wife-beating, commie loving, nut case. That job is well left to the Commission loving zealots. And it does not attempt to delve into the deeper matters of possible coup d’etat, mob involvement, or other conspiracy notions. The purpose here is simply to prove two main points:

  • Many people were involved in the assassination, and there was more than one shooter.
  • Regardless of whether Oswald was involved, he would have been acquitted of all charges because all evidence brought against him was contaminated or manipulated in some way.

Grassy Knoll Witnesses

Around forty witnesses that were standing near the vicinity of the Grassy Knoll either heard shots, smelled gunpowder or saw smoke. Most were either ignored by the Warren Commission, misquoted by police or became the brunt of attack by journalists who served only to confirm the official story.

In his widely acclaimed book, Case Closed, Gerald Posner claimed there were only four witnesses who saw smoke, and they said the smoke was either exhaust fumes or steam. Adding more weight to this theory, he held that there was a steam pipe under the Triple Underpass that policeman Seymour Weitzman burned his hand on while he was searching there after the shots. He claimed that modern ammunition is smokeless, and could not have created even a wisp of smoke. Furthermore, he added that a stiff wind blowing from the south would have prevented a puff of smoke from sitting stagnantly in the air (Posner, 256).

Posner’s claims are wildly misrepresented. At least seven substantiated witnesses claimed to have seen smoke near the Grassy Knoll. James Simmons was misquoted by the FBI when they reported that he stated the smoke came from exhaust fumes, but Posner failed to mention that in his book. The steam pipe Posner claims was the source of the smoke was located over 100 feet from where the smoke was observed by witnesses (Galanor). Upon being questioned by Congressman Edgar, a firearms panel confirmed that modern weapons do emit smoke (House Select Committee on Assassinations, 606).


Puff of Smoke on the Grassy Knoll by Dave Weigman

Possibly the most well-documented corroboration of the puffs of smoke on the Grassy Knoll made its way into the public eye in the 1980’s when researchers examined a frame from a TV news film shot by photographer Dave Weigman who was riding in the seventh car in the motorcade. When the shots were fired, Weigman jumped out of the vehicle to get a closer look. Most of the frames are blurred, except for one frame that clearly depicts a puff of smoke just as the presidential limousine enters the Triple Underpass (Marrs, 60).

Nearly twenty sheriff’s deputies testified in affidavits that they thought the shots came from the railroad yards located behind the Grassy Knoll. When the shots were fired, they all ran in the direction of the railroad before Decker gave his order to “saturate the area of the park, railroad, and all buildings” (Marrs, 18). Of the twenty deputies, sixteen placed the origin of the shots near the Triple Underpass, three gave no reply and only one thought they came from the Depository (415). Keep in mind that the Dallas deputies were hostile toward Kennedy, and didn’t even want to be at the motorcade. They had no reason to lie about anything (Marrs, 318).


                      Badgeman Location                     Gordon Arnold, Badgeman & Railroad Worker

One of the most widely published assassination photos was taken by Mary Moorman who took a Polaroid just as Kennedy was struck with the final blow. The House Select Committee on Assassinations did not study the image because of its quality but recommended for the photo to be further examined. After Gordon Arnold came forth with his account of the Grassy Knoll, Gary Mack and Jack White began studying the photo. Upon studying an original, good-quality copy of the photo, they found what appeared to be two figures placed in the general area that the House committee’s acoustical tests indicated the shots were fired from (Marrs, 81).

In a two-part documentary called The Men Who Killed Kennedy aired in 1988, three figures were identified in the Moorman picture as Gordon Arnold, and the two men who Ed Hoffman witnessed behind the fence of the Grassy Knoll.

Gordon Arnold was a serviceman just out of training camp. On the morning of the assassination, Arnold came downtown with his movie camera because he thought there was going to be a parade. As he walked along the picket fence toward the Triple Underpass, a man who identified himself as Secret Service told him he couldn’t stand there. Arnold then walked around the front of the fence, the spot circled in the Moormon picture, and started to film the motorcade. Just as the limousine turned onto Elm, Arnold felt a bullet fly past his left ear so he fell to the ground. Moments later a policeman with no hat and dirty hands came around the fence, kicked him, and asked him if he was taking pictures. The man then took the film and walked off (The Men Who Killed Kennedy). Arnold never gave his name to authorities, but he was interviewed by the Dallas Morning News, at which time former senator Ralph Yarborough confirmed seeing Arnold on the Knoll that day (Marrs. 80).

Ed Hoffman was a deaf mute who was the only person to actually witness gunmen behind the Grassy Knoll. Hoffman was driving toward downtown Dallas at noon on the Stemmons Freeway when he realized the motorcade was coming through so he decided to stop and join the spectators. Hoffman then decided to walk closer to Elm Street to get a better view of Dealey Plaza. He soon noticed a man with a rifle scaling along the fence wearing a dark suit and a tie. The man tossed the rifle to a second man wearing coveralls and a railroad worker’s hat. The second man disassembled the rifle, placed it in a bag, then walked toward the railroad tower. The other man walked toward the corner of the fence. The police and the F.B.I. ignored Hoffman’s attempts to provide testimony (The Men Who Killed Kennedy).

School Book Depository Witnesses

Upon seeing pigeons fluttering above the Depository, motorcycle policeman Marrion L. Baker drove to the entrance of the building. Accompanied by Roy Truly, the Depository’s superintendent, Baker encountered Oswald in the second-floor lunchroom calmly drinking a coke (Marrs, 13).

When the final shot was fired, Mrs. Robert Reid, the clerical supervisor at the Depository, ran to her second-floor office where she encountered Oswald drinking a coke. In a later reenactment, it took two minutes to reach the distance from where she heard the shot to the point she met Oswald (Marrs, 53).

Clerk Lillian Mooneyham of the 95th District Court told the FBI that four and a half to five minutes after the shots were fired she observed a man standing in the sixth-floor window behind some boxes. News photographer Tom Dillard backed her account with a picture he took an estimated thirty seconds after the final shot. In comparison with photos taken prior to the shooting, Dillard’s photo confirms an obvious rearranging of boxes within two minutes after the last shot was fired. Mooneyham was never called to testify to the Warren Commission (Marrs, 54-55).

Deputy sheriff Roger Dean Craig had received four promotions in the Dallas County Sherriff’s Department, and was named Officer of the Year by the Dallas Traffic Commission in 1960. As he was observing a nick caused by a bullet that was reported to have hit the curb, Craig saw a white man running down the hill from the depository. Craig later identified the man as Oswald when he was captured at police headquarters. The man then hopped into a light colored Rambler station wagon that was driven by a dark-complected male. Craig’s account caused problems for the official version of the story, which held that Oswald acted alone. Craig was eventually fired from his job, claimed to have been the object of murder attempts, and was killed by a rifle bullet that was officially ruled as suicide (Marrs, 319-321).

Steelworker Richard Carr reported seeing a heavyset man on the sixth floor of the depository moments before the shooting. He then saw two men run from the Depository, and jump into a Nash Rambler station wagon after the assassination. Carr said he saw the same man he saw earlier in the Depository window walking briskly Eastward on Commerce Street. His story was corroborated by James R. Worrell Jr. who told the Warren Commission that after the shooting he saw a man wearing a sports coat come out of the rear of the Depository and head south on Houston. Carr told the FBI the man he saw was not Oswald, but the FBI warned Carr to keep his mouth shut. Carr’s house was raided by police, and he was forced to move to Montana to avoid harassment (Marrs, 308).

The Gunshots

Upon being struck by a bullet while riding in the motorcade, Governor Connelly testified to the Warren Commission, “There were either two or three people involved or more in this or someone was shooting with an automatic rifle. (Marrs, 11)” Connelly always believed he was struck by a separate bullet from the one that hit Kennedy. (Ling, 54)

Both sheriff Decker and motorcycle officer James Chancey saw the first bullet hit the pavement, yet neither was questioned by the Warren Commission (Marrs, 12). Other witnesses to the extraneous bullet were railroad worker, Royce G. Skelton and Austin Miller who were standing on the Triple Underpass. Both men signed affidavits stating a bullet hit the street near the president’s car (Marrs, 61-62). Virgie Rachely was standing with other workers in front of the Depository facing Elm. She told Commission attorney Wesley Liebler a stray bullet hit the middle of the southernmost lane on Elm Street just behind the presidential limousine (Marrs, 27).

James Thomas Tague found himself stopped in traffic that was halted on Houston Street. He got out of his car to watch the motorcade while standing by the underpass on a small concrete median separating Commerce and Main. Deputy Sheriff Eddy R. Walthers arrived moments after the shots were fired, and told Tague he had blood on his face. Tague had been wounded by concrete-projectile from a bullet that struck the curb. Patrolman Clyde A. Haygood then radioed the police dispatcher and mentioned that a man had been hit with flying concrete. Tague’s report of an extraneous bullet was ignored by the FBI, the press, and the Warren Commission (Marrs, 63).

Dallas policeman J.W. Foster was assigned to security on the Triple Underpass. When the shots were fired, he ran to the front of the Depository where he told the Commission he saw a bullet strike the grass near a manhole cover on the south side of Elm. Harry Cabluck photographed the scene and recalled seeing more than one gouge. The slug hole was featured as “The Assassin’s Bullet” in the November 23, 1963, edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Witnesses Wayne and Edna Hartman told the FBI they saw two parallel marks on the ground that seemed to line up with the picket fence on the Grassy Knoll. The Hartman’s testimony was ignored by the FBI. Moments after the shots were fired, Sherriff Deputy Eddy R. Walthers and Dallas policeman J.W. Foster witnessed a man in a suit walk over to the scene, cup an object into his hand, and put it into his pocket (Marrs, 304-306).

The Stemmons Freeway sign went missing later that day. According to bystanders, the sign was struck by a bullet. In 2004, the Asahi Television Network of Japan released two copies of the Zapruder film that had six missing frames. The frames confirm a small bullet hole in the Stemmons Freeway sign (Marrs, 306).

Gunmen Witnesses

Phillip B. Hathaway and John Lawrence saw a man, six-foot-five or more, 250 pounds, early 30’s, dirty blond, crew cut, wearing a gray business suit. Hathway said the man was carrying rifle case made of leather, at which time he remarked to Lawrence that it must be a Secret Service man. The same man may have been spotted by Ernest Jay Owens, who told sheriff’s officers he saw a heavy-set man wearing a dark suit carrying a foreign-made rifle out of a parking lot. Once Oswald was captured, no effort was made to investigate these reports (Marrs, 16).

Julia Ann Mercer was caught in a traffic jam while driving west past the grassy knoll on Elm Street. Parked alongside the curb was a pickup truck. Mercer saw a young man with a rifle case come out of the truck, and climb up a steep incline onto the knoll (Garrison, 17).  Police standing on the nearby overpass saw the man, but made no attempt to question him (Garrison, 206). Mercer later identified the driver as Jack Ruby, but the F.B.I. forged her signature on a false report stating she could not identify the driver (Garrison, 218). Mercer was never questioned by the Warren Commission.

Fake Secret Service Agents

The presence of men posing as Secret Service agents is evidence that numerous people were involved in Kennedy’s assassination. In lieu of numerous reports of Secret Service agents on the Grassy Knoll and at the Depository, the Secret Service purported that none of their men were positioned anywhere near Deadly Plaza. All agents were either riding in the motorcade or at the Trade Mart (Marrs, 310).

Dallas policeman Joe M. Smith ran to the parking lot above the Grass Knoll after a woman told him, “They’re shooting the president from the bushes.” As he searched through the parked cars, he encountered a man dressed in a sport shirt and sport pants who displayed Secret Service identification. Malcolm Summers followed police up to the Grassy Knoll where they encountered a man dressed in a suit with a gun under an overcoat draped over his arm. The man told them not to come any further. GI Gordon Arnold encountered a Secret Service man behind the picket fence on the Grassy Know who told Arnold he couldn’t be there. Arnold said shots were fired moments later from behind the fence (Marrs, 309-310).

Dallas police sergeant D.V. Harkness encountered Secret Service agents when he ran to the rear of the Depository moments after the assassination. He told the commission he didn’t ask for identification because they said they were Secret Service. Dallas Secret Service agent in charge Forest V. Sorrels walked through the Depository within an hour or so after the assassination without showing identification. Sorrels was the only Secret Service agent to go to the Depository, but his arrival was too late to be one of the men encountered by Harkness (Marrs, 31).

Shooting of J.D. Tippit

Officer J.D. Tippit was allegedly shot to death while attempting to arrest Oswald forty-five minutes after the assassination in Oak Cliff, which was close to where Oswald was boarding at the time. Tippit’s murder has been hailed by critics as proof of Oswald’s guilt in Kennedy’s assassination (Marrs, 330). However, evidence suggests Oswald didn’t shoot Tippit.

When Deputy Sherriff Roger Craig heard the report that Tippit was shot he looked at his watch and it was 1:06 p.m. Oswald was spotted standing by the Northbound Beckley bus stop at 1:04 p.m. by Earline Roberts, the housekeeper at Oswald’s boarding house. Tippit was killed a mile south in the opposite direction (Garrison, 194).

The only two witnesses who identified Oswald as the killer were completely unreliable. Warren Reynolds initially would not identify Oswald as the killer until he was shot in the head, and changed his mind. Helen Markham became the centerpiece of the government’s case against Oswald, but her testimony was full of inconsistencies. By the end of her testimony, she had raised doubts that she even witnessed the murder (Garrison, 195).

Two witnesses recalled seeing two men involved in the shooting, but it was later discovered that F.B.I Director J. Edger Hoover ordered the special agent in charge of the Dallas Bureau office not to question them. Acquilla Clemons observed two men standing near Tippit’s car before the shooting. One man was waving a pistol as the other man ran down Jefferson Street. Neither man fit the description of Oswald, and police told her not to tell anyone what she saw or she’d get killed. Frank Wright came out of his house when Tippit was fatally wounded. He observed a man looking down at Tippit then the man got into an old, gray car and drove off (Garrison, 197).

After Tippit’s murder, the Dallas homicide unit sent one bullet to the F.B.I. lab, under the notion that it was the only bullet found in Tippit’s body. Upon realizing the bullet did not match Oswald’s revolver, the Warren Commission pressed to find other bullets that did match. The Commission soon realized that four bullets were pulled from Tippit’s body. Three more bullets were found, and they too did not match Oswald’s revolver (Garrison, 199).

Several witnesses mentioned seeing cartridges scattered on the ground after the shooting. Police initially radioed the weapon as an automatic because of the ejector marks found on the cartridges. When Dallas homicide made a summary of the evidence there was no mention of any cartridges. The homicide unit added four cartridges to the summary six days after the shooting. Officer J.M. Poe later testified to the Warren Commission that he scratched his initials in two of the cartridges. Sergeant W.E. Barnes also scratched his initials in two cartridges. Neither officer was able to identify their markings on any of the cartridges (Garrison, 201).

The Evidence  


                Exhibit 509                                     Exhibit 724                                     Exhibit 733

Nine fingerprints and four palm prints were found on boxes on the sixth floor of the Depository. Of these prints, only one fingerprint and on palm print could be traced to Oswald. The rest were traced to Dallas policeman R.L. Studebaker, FBI clerk Forest L. Lucy, and other police, with a few unidentified (Marrs, 416). Oswald’s fingerprints do not equate to evidence in this matter because he worked at the Depository.

Warren Commission Exhibits 509, 724 and 733 show three versions of the boxes stacked near the windows. Dallas police photographer, R.L. Studebaker told the Commission the photographs were taken late Monday following the assassination. Photographer Jack Beers from Dallas Morning News took a photo with a different variation of boxes three hours after the assassination. Dallas police lieutenant J.C. Day of the Crime Scene Search Unit admitted to the Warren Commission that boxes had been moved around (Marrs, 416).


Photograph taken by J.C. Day

Day also took two photographs of three hulls reportedly found on the sixth floor. Two hulls are pictured lying next to either while the third is a distance away. WFAA-TV cameraman Tom Alyea managed to film the scene before the crime unit arrived. He tried to film the hulls laying on the ground, but there were boxes in the way so Captain Will Fritz scooped up the hulls for the camera to see the threw them back on the ground. Alyea’s footage was thrown out by orders of his WFAA news director (Marrs, 416-417).

Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig and officer Luke Mooney told researchers they saw three hulls lying side by side only inches apart under the window. The positioning of the shells according to Craig and Mooney’s account would have been impossible if the shells had been ejected from a rifle, and left behind by a hasty assailant (Marrs 417). The hulls were placed in a single envelope with no attempt to distinguish one from another (Ling, 53).

Commission Exhibit 543

While the Warren Commission published a copy of the Dallas police evidence sheet listing three shell casings taken from the Depository, another copy of the sheet was published by the Texas Department of Public Safety files listing only two casings. An FBI receipt for assassination evidence from the Dallas police confirms that only two casings arrived in Washington after the assassination. Captain Will Fritz reportedly broke the chain of evidence when he held onto the third shell casing for several days before forwarding it to the FBI (Marrs, 417).

The FBI crime lab determined that two of the hulls show a small dent, these hulls are confirmed to have come from the Oswald rifle. The third hull had no dent. Designated as Commission Exhibit 543, the third hull had an indentation that would have prevented the fitting of a slug. The condition of the hull suggests it did not fire a bullet that day. The FBI also determined the Exhibit 543 had been loaded and extracted from a weapon at least three times, but could not confirm that the weapon belonged to Oswald (Marrs, 418).

FBI experts said Exhibit 543 had follower marks from the magazine of Oswald’s rifle, but gave no explanation for how the marks got there. The magazine follower marks only the last cartridge in the clip, which was occupied by a live round in Oswald’s Carcano (Marrs, 418).


Commission Exhibit 139: The Oswald Rifle

The rifle found behind boxes on the sixth floor Depository was initially described as a 7.65 bolt action German Mauser with a thick leather brownish back sling on it. Sheriff E.L. Boone, who discovered the rifle, and constable Seymour Weitzman described the gun as a Mauser in their reports that day. Deputy Roger Craig confirmed their reports when he told researchers he actually saw the word “Mauser” stamped on the weapon’s receiver. When Dallas County district attorney was about asked the make of the rifle shortly after midday, he said it was a Mauser. By Friday late afternoon, the weapon was officially announced as a 6.5 mm Italian Carcano (Marrs 418-419).

The Warren Commission asserted that Weitzman was mistaken by his identification and everybody else repeated his mistake. Weitzman, who owned a sporting-goods store and was considered an expert on rifles, testified to the Warren Commission only through affidavit and was not asked to identify the Carcano as the gun he held in the depository (Marrs, 419).

Adding more doubt to the Carcano as the weapon used in the assassination, the Carcano was part of a gun shipment, which Adam Consolidated Industries Inc. claimed were defective. FBI reports quoted experts as calling the rifle a cheap, old weapon that could be bought for $3 each in a lot of 25, and was easily knocked out of adjustment. When the weapon was evaluated by the Infantry Weapons Evaluation Branch of the Ballistics Research Laboratory of the Department of the Army, chief Ronald Simmons reported that the rifle needed three metal shims under the telescopic sight before they could check its accuracy. Experts also determined that the sight was adjusted for a left-handed shooter, yet Oswald was right-handed (Marrs, 419).

Another curious anomaly is that the sling on Oswald’s rifle seemed to come from a musical instrument or camera strap. Commission experts explained that the strap is normally used to steady the aim; however, the strap was too small to be used in such a manner. No evidence was ever brought forward as to where Oswald may have purchased ammunition for the rifle, and no gun oil or other cleaning materials, including ammunition, were found in Oswald’s belongings (Marrs, 421).

Kennedy’s death certificate, the Warren Commission, the House Select Committee on Assassinations and the Journal of American Medical Association all claimed that Kennedy was killed by a high-velocity rifle. A high-velocity rifle exceeds 2,000 feet per second, while the Carcano only reached a velocity of less than 1,779 feet per second (Marrs, 420).

A paraffin test made on Oswald the day of the assassination tested positively on his hands, indicating the presence of nitrates but no gun powder. The cast of his right cheek tested negative for both. Such a result suggests that Oswald did not fire a weapon that day. The Warren Commission deemed the test unreliable, sighting that an FBI agent fired three rounds through the Oswald rifle and tested negative on both his hands and face. When the Dallas police evidence sheet was published the Warren Commission deleted reference to Oswald’s paraffin test at the bottom of the page (Marrs, 421). No test was administered to determine if the rifle had been fired that day (Marrs, 429).

Oswald’s palm print was found on the underside of the Carcano when the gun was disassembled. The print was the only hard evidence linking Oswald to the Carcano; however, print would have never been admitted into the courtroom because it lacked chain of evidence. Dallas police lieutenant John Carl Day said he discovered the print before turning it over to the FBI shortly before midnight November 22, 1962, yet there is no record of his discovery. The FBI later attempted to have Lieutenant Day certify a statement concerning his lifting the palm print, but he declined to sign it. The rifle was then turned over to the FBI laboratory early on November 22, 1963, and examined for fingerprints. A report signed by J. Edgar Hoover stated that no fingerprints of value were found on the rifle (Marrs, 422).

When Oswald was killed on November 24, 1963, the rifle was flown back to Dallas. Miller Funeral Home director Paul Groody told Fort Worth Press that on Monday an FBI team visited Oswald’s body with a camera and a crime lab kit. Groody said the FBI fingerprinted Oswald’s dead corpse, and he had a difficult time getting the black ink off Oswald’s hands in time for burial. FBI agent Harrison confirmed to researcher Gary Mack that he, along with Agent Dran, had personally driven the rifle to the funeral home for the intended purpose of comparing Oswald’s hand to the print. Later that day, District Attorney Wade mentioned to reporters that Oswald’s print was found on the rifle. By Monday evening, The Dallas Time Herald proclaimed: OSWALD’S PRINTS REVEALED ON RIFLE KILLING KENNEDY (Marrs, 423).

exhibit-399                exhibit-567-2

     Exhibit 399: The Magic Bullet                              Exhibit 567: Bullet Fragments

Amid the panic that ensued in the emergency room during Kennedy’s final hour, Darrell C. Tomlinson had to manually operate an elevator that connected the ground floor emergency room to the second floor operating theaters. As Tomlinson moved a stretcher away from the wall so he could reach the men’s restroom, he bumped the wall and a bullet rolled out from under the mat (Marrs, 354). Hospital security director O.P. Wright then gave the bullet to a Secret Service agent who put it in his pocket. The bullet was neither wrapped nor marked prior to forensic examination. Neither Wright nor the agent could confirm that exhibit 399 was the same bullet retrieved at the hospital (Ling, 54). The bullet would later be designated as Commission Exhibit 399, “The Magic Bullet.” However, evidence suggests the bullet was planted to confirm Oswald’s guilt.

Despite efforts to confuse Tomlinson so he would identify the stretcher as Governor Connelly’s, Tomlinson was very clear about his testimony. Tomlinson stated that the stretcher contained two rolled up bloody sheets, some surgical instruments, and some sterile packs. The Warren Commission made no effort to determine the true origin of this stretcher; however, researchers suggest the stretcher was used in treating two-year old Ronald Fuller, who entered Parkland emergency with a cut on his chin (Marrs, 355).

Tomlinson said a second stretcher was on the elevator, and that he pulled it out and put it next to the first stretcher. The stretcher that was on the elevator was later identified as the one used to carry Connelly to the second-floor operating room. Warren Commission attorney Arlen Specter designated the stretcher in the elevator as stretcher A, and the one already in the hall as stretcher B. Tomlinson identified the stretcher where he found the bullet as stretcher B. Arlen continued to insist that Tomlinson found the bullet on stretcher A despite Tomlinson’s rejections. The Warren Commission disregarded Tomlinson’s testimony, and concluded that the bullet came from Connelly’s stretcher. Commission Exhibit 399 would become the cornerstone of the single-bullet theory (Marss, 355).

The single bullet theory attempts to explain how the Magic Bullet managed to pass through Kennedy’s back and neck then proceed to strike Connelly in the back, deflect off his rib, hit his wrist, wound his thigh, then somehow end up on a stretcher in pristine condition. Critics of the single-bullet theory point to the fact that the next bullet fired from Oswald’s weapon hit Kennedy in the head and exploded into many fragments. (Ling, 54) The Warren Commission attempted to replicate such a feat by firing similar ammunition into goat carcasses, human cadavers, and gelatin blocks all showing more deformity than the Magic Bullet.

Emission spectrography tests used to determine if bullet fragments taken from Kennedy and Connelly came from the same bullet are also cause for speculation. After the tests were conducted, the Warren Commission failed to ask the spectrographic expert any questions. They simply wanted to confirm that the fragments were of similar metallic composition. Years later, Harold Weisberg tried to obtain the spectrographic test results, but government attorneys argued that revealing the results was not in the “national interest.” In 1973, a letter from J. Edgar Hoover was released that reported the fragments were of “similar” composition and “no significant differences were found.” If the test had conclusively proven that the bullets came from the same source, the Commission would have released it to the public, and used it as a key evidence.


Commission Exhibit 142

A brown paper bag that Oswald allegedly used to transport the rifle from Irving, Texas was reportedly found on the sixth floor Depository, although the bag is not featured in any of the crime scene photographs. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald fashioned the bag from wrapping paper at the Depository. Several problems exist with this scenario. First, cloth fibers were found on the bag that matched those of a blanket found at the Irving home. A Dallas police photograph shows the bag touching the blanket, which could have produced the matching fibers. Second, Wesley Frazier who drove Oswald to Irving before the assassination said Oswald had no package with him at the time. Additionally, the Oswald rifle was found to be well oiled, yet there was no trace of oil on the bag or at the Irving home. Even more, the FBI found no traces of paper bag particles on the rifle (Marrs 427-428).

Frazier and his sister Linnie Mae Randle testified that Oswald was carrying a paper bag containing curtain rods on the morning of the assassination. Frazier said Oswald carried the package tucked under his arm, with one end cupped in his hand and the other under his armpit. The length of the disassembled rifle was thirty-five inches long, making it impossible for Oswald to carry it in this manner. Depository employee Jack Dougherty said he saw no bag when Oswald arrived to work that day (Marrs, 427-428).


            Kennedy’s Shirt                               Connelly’s Shirt                     Kennedy’s Limousine

The extent to which the crime scene was mismanaged is exemplified by the handling of the presidential limousine, and Kennedy and Connelly’s blood-stained garments. From the moment the limousine parked at the emergency room door, federal agents and Dallas police mopped up blood, picked up bullet fragments, and handled evidence contrary to crime scene procedure. (Marrs, 429)

When a nurse gave a Secret Service agent Kennedy’s clothes, he crumpled it up and threw it in the limousine trunk. By the time the garments reached the FBI lab, this crucial evidence was contaminated. (Ling, 54) The limousine was then shipped Hess & Eisenhardt and completely dismantled within 48 hours after the assassination, thus destroying valuable evidence. (Marrs, 429)

Congressman Henry Gonzalez received Governor Connelly’s blood stained clothing at Parkland hospital. Rather than turning it over to the FBI, he kept it in a closet in his Washington office. The FBI retrieved the clothing several months later. The clothing was eventually presented to the Warren Commission, but by this time it had been cleaned and pressed. Gonzalez was ironically the one who formally called for the reopening of the assassination in 1975, which led to the forming of the House Select Committee of Assassinations (Marrs, 429).


In addition to the five shots documented in this case book, Kennedy was hit in the back, neck and head, for a total of eight shots. Most of the shots happened in rapid succession, almost simultaneously. The witnesses to these gunshots include police officers, bystanders, and a photograph that clearly shows gun smoke on the Grassy Knoll. Evidence of further involvement in the assassination is contrived through testimony from witnesses who claim to have seen fake Secret Service agents, and get-away drivers. The lone-assassin stance held by the Warren Commission is gelled together with lies, cover-ups and manipulated evidence.

Standard police procedure is to ensure a documented chain of custody for all items and materials. All items must be individually packaged, and each person who takes custody of the evidence must sign the package. Police are routinely required to question all witnesses, and record their statements. When an area is designated as a crime scene, the area must be immediately contained to maintain integrity for the crime unit photographers. None of these standard procedures were administered at any point throughout the investigation. Every piece of so-called evidence would have been thrown out of court. The prosecution clearly had no case against Oswald.


Galanor, Stewart . “The Art of Misrepresenting Evidence.” Electronic Assassinations

           Newsletter Oct. 1993: n. pag. Print.

Garrison, Jim. On the Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the

Murder ofPresident Kennedy. New York: Sheridan Square, 1988. Print.

“Grassy Knoll Witnesses.” 22 November 1963 And Introduction to the JFK Assassination.

N.p., n.d. Web.                  witnesses

House Select Committee on Assassinations, Report, 1979

Ling, Peter. “Killing Kennedy.” History Today 63.11 (2013): 50–54. Print.

Marrs, Jim. Crossfire The Plot That Killed Kennedy. New York: Basic, 2013. Print.

Posner, Gerald L. Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK. New York:

Random House, 1993. Print.

“The Men Who Killed Kennedy.” United Kingdom ITV. N.p., 1988. Web. 9 September 2016.

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