Patterico's Pontifications

8/3/2007

Meeting Vincent Bugliosi

Filed under: Books,General — Patterico @ 12:15 am



Last night at Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena I went to a book signing for Vincent Bugliosi’s book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

It was a very enjoyable evening. I had never heard Bugliosi speak before, but watching him argue the case for Oswald’s lone guilt in the assassination, I experienced something of what his jurors must have experienced as they watched him argue one of the 106 felony jury trials he tried (105 of which he won). He is a very effective and persuasive oral advocate — the result of preparation, total mastery of his facts, and a forceful and articulate presentation.

Bugliosi did a televised mock trial of Oswald in London in 1986. Gerry Spence defended Oswald. Bugliosi won a conviction. The entire televised mock trial (which I believe was shown in its entirety on BBC) lasted 21 hours; a 5-hour distillation appeared on Showtime.

I have been searching for a copy of this mock trial ever since I first heard about it eight years ago or so. What criminal lawyer wouldn’t drool at the chance to see (arguably) the best prosecutor of the century square off against (arguably) the best defense attorney of the last several decades? I wrote Bugliosi a handwritten letter back then to ask if it was available for sale anywhere. He wrote me back and said that he would lend me his copy, except that he was in the middle of writing a book about the assassination, and needed to hold onto it. (It had never occurred to me that he would lend it to me anyway.)

I asked him again last night whether the DVD of the trial was available anywhere. Apparently it isn’t. He has sent his copy to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza . . . which, by the way, is the absolute most interesting place to go in the Dallas/Fort Worth area — and that’s coming from a Fort Worth native.

If any reader knows where I can get a copy, I will be eternally indebted.

In any event, I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to finish this 1600-page tome, but it looks fascinating. I’m already in sympathy with the conclusion; I firmly believe that anyone who thinks Oswald was part of a conspiracy is simply ignorant of the facts. But Bugliosi claims to take on all conspiracy theories and demolish them — in (he claims) the first book to do so with thoroughness.

I’m looking forward to it.

186 Responses to “Meeting Vincent Bugliosi”

  1. “In any event, I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to finish this 1600-word tome…”

    Try.

    In any event, if 1600-words is overwhelming to you, you really NEED my recommended book that has changed my life!

    Yes, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek. :p

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. “But Bugliosi claims to take on all conspiracy theories and demolish them — in (he claims) the first book to do so with thoroughness.”

    Out of true curiosity, how do you explain Garrison?

    Do you think he was sincere and had reasonable basis for his beliefs? A paranoiac? Decent man, but incapable of rational analysis? Possibly insincere?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. And, does he have any explanation for the ‘Magic Bullet’………?

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  4. He discussed the Magic Bullet last night.

    First, he says, the conspiracy theorists lie (or are simply ignorant) about Connolly’s true position in the car. (He was not directly in front of JFK, but rather in front and slightly to the left.)

    Second, where do conspiracy theorists think the bullet went, if not into Connolly? Did it hit the car? No; the car was not damaged. Did it disappear into thin air? *That’s* a magic bullet!

    Third, the bullet was not in “pristine” condition as many have argued. The base was damaged. Nor is there any reason it should have been badly damaged. It was a military-style bullet with a full metal jacket that was designed to inflict maximum damage on a human. It went through soft tissue in JFK’s neck, grazed one of Connolly’s ribs, and hit his wrist, which is a soft bone.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  5. Everything comes back to Oswald’s weapon. Three casings on the sixth floor match his weapon. The bullets match his weapon. No evidence ties anyone else to the shooting.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  6. Has anyone accounted for Bush’s whereabouts on Nov, 22, 1963?

    Diffus (ead439)

  7. yeah, but the guy spent some time in russia first. and then they let jack ruby walk right up and pop him. i was eight years old when it happened, remember asking my folks who’s gonna get shot next.

    assistant devil's advocate (0494db)

  8. yeah, but the guy spent some time in russia first. and then they let jack ruby walk right up and pop him.

    What’s your point, exactly, ada? Are you a conspiracy theorist?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  9. “It went through soft tissue in JFK’s neck, grazed one of Connolly’s ribs, and hit his wrist, which is a soft bone.”

    Those are his exact words? Too much detail…..

    “Researcher Gerald McKnight wrote:

    “According to the Warren Report the missile hit JFK in the posterior neck, then without striking any hard object passed through the neck to exit at the front of his throat. It then entered Texas Governor John B. Connally’s back at the right arm pit, sliding along his fifth rib, demolishing four inches of the rib before it exited his chest below the right nipple. The bullet then allegedly struck and shattered the radius of the right wrist on the dorsal side, then exited at the base of his palm and hit his left thigh just about the knee. The Report then asserts that CE 399 traveled about three inches beneath the surface of the skin, hit the femur and deposited a lead fragment on the bone. Then, sometime later, with a spasm of reverse kinetic energy it spontaneously exited the hole in Connally’s thigh and neatly tucked itself under the mattress of a stretcher parked in a hallway of the Parkland Memorial Hospital that the Report asserted was linked to the wounded governor. There it rested calmly under the mattress waiting for its rendezvous with history.”

    http://www.jfklancer.com/SBT.html

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  10. Actually (no pun intended) FMJ bullets are not designed to inflict maximum damage on a human. There is an explanation on wiki at
    http://tinyurl.com/2cbn3j

    Actual (fe1d8a)

  11. Semanticleo,

    The bullet that struck Connolly was fired from Oswald’s weapon.

    Firearms tests showed that.

    So what is your point, exactly?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  12. And where did the bullet that hit Kennedy go, if not into Connolly?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  13. “The bullet that struck Connolly was fired from Oswald’s weapon.”

    Are you referring to the bullet found laying on the hospital gurney?

    The point is, if the bullet in question did not
    perform the physics described by the Warren Commission, there was a second shooter.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  14. Also, I don’t claim to be an expert on this and can’t spend the day debunking different conspiracy theories, but:

    1) I don’t think it’s accurate that the bullet struck Connolly’s thigh bone and deposited lead there. My recollection is that the medical examiner said it struck bone in two places: a glancing blow to the rib leaving no metal fragments, then hitting the wrist.

    2) Re FMJ: I believe the idea is that they are designed to pass through soft tissue without being damaged.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  15. The point is, if the bullet in question did not
    perform the physics described by the Warren Commission, there was a second shooter.

    Well, tell us what physics it *did* perform. Where did it go?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  16. “n challenging the evidence for the lone-gunman theory, Cliff Spiegelman, professor of statistics at Texas A&M and an expert in bullet-lead analysis, recently teamed with former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent and forensic scientist William A. Tobin of Forensic Engineering International in Virginia and William D. James, a research chemist with the Texas A&M Center for Chemical Characterization and Analysis (CCCA). Together, they conducted a chemical and forensic analysis of bullets reportedly derived from the same batch as those used by suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to gun down Kennedy on that fateful day at Dealey Plaza.

    Their findings, which show that evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed, will be published in a forthcoming edition of “Annals of Applied Statistics.”

    Using new compositional analysis techniques not available in the 1960s, the team found that the bullet fragments involved in the assassination are not nearly as rare as previously reported. In addition, their findings show that one of the 10 test bullets from one box analyzed is considered a match to one or more of the five existing assassination fragments, meaning that the matching fragments could have come from three or more separate bullets and, therefore, more than one shooter.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070517142528.htm

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  17. My father, who knew quite a bit about shooting, considered the military 6.5mm a superior cartridge for penetration and long range ballistics. All shooters agree about its accuracy. In the hands of a Marine-trained marksman it can look like magic.

    nk (173e2a)

  18. John McAdams has compiled the best archive of evidence from the assassination on the web IMO.
    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/home.htm The following is an excerpt for those who believe in the “magic bullet.”

    Anybody who wants to posit that CE 399 [the so called magic bullet] was faked and planted by conspirators needs to supply plausible answers to all of the following questions. Why did the conspirators . . .

    1. Plant it in a location where it could easily have been lost?
    2. Plant a bullet that was only “slightly” damaged if its role was to have passed through at least the President? Why not shoot up some livestock and get a bullet a bit more mangled?
    3. Plant it before it could have been known how many other bullets would be recovered? How could they have known that CE 399 would not be the “one bullet too many” that would blow the whole plot?
    4. Plant the bullet so it was found before it was known how much lead was in JFK’s neck/upper back? What if a big chunk of lead was found in JFK’s neck or upper back, a chunk too big to have come from CE 399?

    procab (9921f1)

  19. The Carcano got a lot of undeserved bad press in the ’60s from gun writers who were trying to protect American gun makers from the glut of surplus imports. Besides pasta, Italians know how to make guns. There’s nothing out of the ordinary in Oswald being able to make those shots with that rifle.

    nk (173e2a)

  20. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that Semanticleo is (apparently) a conspiracy nut.

    Tell you what, Semanticleo. I’m off to work and can’t spend my day rebutting every error and illlogical implication in your links. (Don’t like the link that said Connolly’s thigh bone was hit? Then try this link!)

    So let’s try something else. Instead of just tossing out one link after another, why don’t you tell us what you think happened, and what evidence supports it?

    Take as much space as you like. But be detailed and support your claims with evidence.

    Then, if I can, I’ll tell you where you’re wrong.

    Start by telling us where the bullet that hit JFK went, if not into Connolly.

    But then tell us the rest of it.

    Patterico (b0861f)

  21. “rebutting every error and illlogical implication in your links.”

    You have a problem with ScienceDaily?

    You have the temerity to accuse me of being a conspriracy nut while you swallow whole,
    a predisposed belief supported with unscientific
    conclusions? Try reading things that run counter
    to your mindset. It might make you a better prosecutor.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  22. Semanticleo,

    You didn’t answer the question, where did the bullet go after exiting Kennedys throat?

    procab (9921f1)

  23. Make the case, and leave my profession out of it (or tell us your name and where you work so we’re on an equal and fair footing).

    Patterico (d80036)

  24. Uh, ‘cleo?

    Using new compositional analysis techniques not available in the 1960s, the team found that the bullet fragments involved in the assassination are not nearly as rare as previously reported. In addition, their findings show that one of the 10 test bullets from one box analyzed is considered a match to one or more of the five existing assassination fragments, meaning that the matching fragments could have come from three or more separate bullets and, therefore, more than one shooter.

    That is the only new claim in their findings. Which proves or disproves what? Nothing, really. Could have is not the same as did.

    Pablo (99243e)

  25. What new ground does Bugliosi cover that Gerald Posner missed in “Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK”?

    I’ve always understood this to be the authoritative text on the subject.

    Has Bugliosi found some missing details?

    http://www.amazon.com/Case-Closed-Harvey-Oswald-Assassination/dp/0385474466

    TakeFive (2bf7bd)

  26. I too like Posner’s book “Case Closed”.

    Anyone who has seen the full photographs of the 6.5mm Carcano bullet found in Connelly’s gurney and who has any real experience with 6.5mm bullets of the kind in question, looks at the bullet and sees that it had quite a trip through JFK’s neck/upper torso and Connolly’s body. It is no “magic” bullet.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  27. i have no conspiracy theory to offer you today, but that doesn’t mean i believe the warren commission. surely you have files in your office in which you can sense the outline of something, but you can’t prove anything. the anomalies surrounding this event scream that there is more yet untold, but after 44 years i am resigned to perpetual ignorance as to what this more yet untold might be.

    assistant devil's advocate (0494db)

  28. 1986 New York Times review of “On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald” with Vincent Bugliosi and Gerry Spence:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE3DE1238F933A15752C1A960948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

    TakeFive (2bf7bd)

  29. Time magazine gave “On Trial” a little kinder review:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,962995,00.html

    TakeFive (2bf7bd)

  30. For further debunking of the various Kennedy conspiracy theories, I commend the following articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):

    JFK’s Death – The Plain Truth From the MDs Who Did The Autopsy by Dennis L. Breo (JAMA, May 27, 1992 – Vol 267, No. 20, pp. 2794-2803.)

    JFK’S Death, Part II – Dallas MDs Recall Their Memories Ibid, pp. 2804-2807.

    JFK’s Death, Part III – Dr. Finck Speaks Out: ‘Two Bullets, From the Rear’ by Dennis L. Breo (JAMA, October 7, 1992, Vol. 268, No. 13, pp. 1748-1754)

    JFK’s Assassination – Conspiracy, Forensic Science, and Common Sense by Robert R. Artwohl, MD (JAMA, March 24/31, 1993 – Vol. 269, No. 12, pp. 1540-1543)

    Additional Data on the Shooting of President Kennedy by John K. Lattimer, MD, ScD (JAMA, March 24/31, 1993 – Vol. 269, No. 12, pp. 1544-1547)

    JFK- An Allonge by Charles S. Petty, M.D. (JAMA, March 24/31, 1993 – Vol. 269, No. 12, pp. 1552-1553)

    Not sure if there are online links available, but then that’s why God invented libraries.

    DubiousD (b64248)

  31. And Patterico, a reading assignment for you:

    Seeing the Unseen, Part 2

    Wink.

    DubiousD (b64248)

  32. DubiousD, I’d start off with Part 1, I think it’s crucial to setting the stage. And a great read, to boot.

    I’d recommend those essays to ‘cleo, but I have a feeling that its head would explode whilst screaming, “The moon landings were faked!!!! Why can’t you sheeple see that?!?!?”

    I'm Geekier (8364b5)

  33. One of the best bits was how he debunks the famous French Corsican conspiracy plot; which
    was publicized by a BBC series based on an investigation by future Oliver Stone screen writer
    Steven Rivele; broadcast by A&E and later the History Channel. Small problem, the chief
    suspects; Sarti, Bocogni, were all in jail at the time; a fact Rivele forgot to check; ala Foer. This is not unique to Rivele and Bill Kurtis among others , David Talbot, the new conspiracy
    theorist on the bloc; hasn’t got the memo.either.

    narciso (c36902)

  34. Being too young to actually remember Kennedy (my mother says I watched the entire funeral in complete silence and then went into the bathroom and threw up) the apparent fixation that people have which won’t allow them to accept the simple facts of the case has always appalled me. They seem to have it as an article of faith that one man could not possible have done it; they simply have to find out how he didn’t do it…

    Re the DVD–do you know if the Museum will lend you a copy or allow you to view if you can arrange a visit to Dallas? My guess is that’s the most efficient way of seeing it.

    kishnevi (7907a6)

  35. Patterico, it doesn’t change the foundation of your argument (it actually enhances it), but there is one inaccuracy in your comment #4 I have to address.

    “It was a military-style bullet with a full metal jacket that was designed to inflict maximum damage on a human.

    That is NOT the design criteria of a full metal jacket military bullet: There are other designs for that. FMJ is designed to be hard to penetrate as deeply as possible, for example, vehicles and body armor.

    Here’s a balanced analysis of it. It does away with the myth of “hollow point bullets are not allowed by the Geneva convention” and gives a much better précis of the history and law behind military ammunition.

    Do I think the analysis is worth reading? No, not really — it’s a very minor point except that the design of a full metal jacket bullet, while not typically causing “maximum” damage, is more likely to survive multiple entrances and ricochets.

    For accuracy, I wanted to bring it to your attention.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  36. Ollie stone got it all wrong in his movie JFK but what else can you ever expect from the hollywood left anyway

    krazy kagu (591d76)

  37. Ah, Actual brought the above to your attention at 6:10 am. Good on ya.

    Has anyone accounted for Bush’s whereabouts on Nov, 22, 1963?

    Comment by Diffus — 8/3/2007 @ 5:35 am

    Yes. Click here to see.

    Do I agree with those loons? Not sure. They’re loons, yes, but I haven’t researched their claim. Seems plausible that Bush was there and the documents attributed to the FBI regarding Bush, i.e., his statement about threats made on the president, could be authentic.

    Also, since he later became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, I think it’s not outside of the realm of reason that he could have been a covert CIA agent at this point.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  38. Patterico;

    I am suggesting the case is not closed, unlike
    this simple declarative statement; “The bullet that struck Connolly was fired from Oswald’s weapon.”

    How have you determined that factoid? Where did
    the bullet go? I don’t know. Why would I assume
    your absurd Oz-strawman to be anything other than
    a rhetorical question? If curiosity were a crime,
    your status as Citizen of the Year would be a life-long appointment.

    The way you determine the facts is very much in play since you are a public servant prosecuting criminal cases.

    Your profession is germane to the discussion.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  39. Patterico,

    It’s my understanding that no marksman was able to duplicate the shots the Warren Commission Report said Oswald fired that day. Is that correct and, if so, how did Bugliosi deal with that?

    As a footnote, I’ve practiced before the judge who heard the Bugliosi/Spence mock trial in London. Judge Bunton equaled and perhaps even surpassed them – professionally, intellectually and as a showman.

    DRJ (bea74b)

  40. DRJ, how were Oswald’s shots not duplicable? They were not difficult shots.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  41. Miss Cleo really is a twat. Going after the host’s profession should be beneath the Left, but apparently not.

    JD (fd9a5b)

  42. There is so much misinformation and disinformation in this by now that it is impossible to sort it out.

    One thing I did that I’d suggest to anyone with an interest is to watch the NBC videotape of their coverage. They started taping about 10 minutes in, and taped all day. This tape was replayed by A&E on the 25th anniversary, and maybe other times. I’ve still got a (decaying) videotape of that airing.

    There’s some interesting stuff, such as just WHEN the news media became aware of Oswald and the Tipett shooting. One thing I found fascinating was former President Eisenhower’s statement about dinnertime, urging Americans not to be “stampeded” into precipitate action, which to my mind was warning against an invasion of Cuba, given Oswald’s ties.

    HAving lived through the events, and paid some attention to the various theories, I find only two are credible (means, motive, opportunity, no really inconvenient facts): Either Oswald acted alone or the assassination came from the Johnson/Hoover axis. Nobody else had the means to get away with it.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  43. Semanticleo:

    The way you determine the facts is very much in play since you are a public servant prosecuting criminal cases.

    Your profession is germane to the discussion.

    Not to this discussion on this blog it’s not.

    Let me explain this as clearly as I know how: I have almost no hard and fast rules for commenters, except for one. I do not allow commenters to use my blog comments to question my fitness for my job.

    Period. Full stop.

    If you do it, I will ban you.

    This is your second and final warning.

    You are free to question my logic and my facts all day long. Argue with me all you like. Just leave my job out of it. Entirely.

    I don’t care how relevant you think it is. I don’t care what your reasoning is. You have stated your reasoning on this and it is noted. The rule remains.

    I’ll respond to your substantive points, but I want this rule clearly understood. I think it’s reasonable not to allow people to use my blog to suggest I’m unfit for my job. Even if you think it unreasonable, that’s the rule.

    Patterico (a52257)

  44. On substance: I note you have failed to explain where your bullet went. Now that’s a magic bullet: one that goes through Kennedy’s neck at a downward angle, yet doesn’t hit anyone else or damage the car in any way. A bullet that just vanishes.

    Abracadabra!

    I also notice you are pointedly refusing to say what you think happened. I repeat the invitation.

    Patterico (280cfe)

  45. DRJ,

    The idea that other marksmen have been unable to duplicate the feat is, quite simply, not true. It’s a myth propounded by conspiracy theorists.

    Patterico (48a7b8)

  46. TakeFive,

    I had not read Posner’s book. My impression of the facts came primarily from a long visit to the museum a few years back.

    My understanding is that: Bugliosi more thoroughly rebuts every conspiracy theory out there, and also conducted some new interviews with witnesses. But on the whole, my impression (based on his talk and reviews I have seen) is that Posner made the major points already.

    Patterico (a8986f)

  47. ada says:

    ” the anomalies surrounding this event scream that there is more yet untold, but after 44 years i am resigned to perpetual ignorance as to what this more yet untold might be”

    All we can do is talk facts. I plan to read the book. Name the anomaly and we’ll discuss it.

    Kevin Murphy,

    Bugliosi spent 20 years of his life working to show that we do know enough facts to make a judgment. As with ada, I invite you to address specifics.

    It’s a good way to get me involved with the book.

    Patterico (175724)

  48. I’m also a big fan of Posner’s “Case Closed” book on this subject. For those who don’t have the time or inclination to read Bugliosi’s massive tome on the subject, that is a great resource. Buglosi’s take on JFK will still come in handy if you still feel the need to examine the nitty-gritty details in even more exacting fashion (which is often necessary for seemingly intractable conspiracy theories).

    http://www.posner.com/book5.htm

    Justin Levine (20f2b5)

  49. It would be (and you know it) foolhardy to venture into hypotheticals, without the full force of
    governmental bureaucracies at my disposal. I can
    only see what I (and you) are allowed to see.

    For National Security reasons, the Warren Commission sealed sensitive portions until 2020(?).

    As for the threat of banning, Pfeh!

    I did not call you a ‘twat’, did I?

    Conservative evenhandedness, notwithstanding.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  50. Oswald had the ability to make the shot but it’s my understanding there was no evidence that Oswald (or anyone) could repeatedly shoot that specific rifle fast enough to match the time frame of the Zapruder tape. Maybe it’s an urban legend but that’s my recollection.

    DRJ (bea74b)

  51. Semanticleo,

    The Warren Commission sealed nothing.

    I believe a longstanding rule of the National Archives, of general applicability and promulgated previous to this incident, resulted in an order that some materials be sealed until 2017. I believe much of that order was altered by subsequent laws and/or regulations. All that remains sealed, I believe, are some redactions. Some previous redactions have since been unredacted and have proven to be non-sinister . . . done for reasons of privacy or legit operations security reasons. People who have seen all the unredacted material say the other redactions are similar.

    The Warren Commission sealed nothing.

    I just have no idea where you’re going with this thread, unless you’re trying to see how many incorrect things you can say.

    Patterico (95e848)

  52. DRJ,

    It’s an urban legend.

    There are many surrounding this case.

    I discussed this phenomenon when discussing O.J. It’s the Microscope Theory. Remember? Put anything under a microscope long enough and you can doubt anything. Shoot, you might even wonder whether you really exist.

    Patterico (09a6fa)

  53. It would be (and you know it) foolhardy to venture into hypotheticals, without the full force of
    governmental bureaucracies at my disposal. I can
    only see what I (and you) are allowed to see.

    And where, from what you’re allowed to see, do you think the real bullet went? If it isn’t the one that went into Connolly, where did it go?

    That isn’t a hypothetical, btw, if you doubt the round found was the round that killed Kennedy.

    Pablo (99243e)

  54. I’ll add to Kevin Murphy that anyone who says we can’t know what happened probably hasn’t been to the museum. It’s one of the best documented events in history, because of its importance. There are an unbelievable number of photos of the route from all sorts of angles. There are other videos, too — just not of the assassination itself.

    Patterico (2e0bd2)

  55. Semanticleo,

    You can say Pfeh to my rule all you like. I don’t ask that you like my rule. I only ask that you observe it.

    I don’t like people calling other people “twats” here but the disapproval of your comments was on the money. (Even if you disagree, it’s irrelevant — it’s out of bounds anyway.)

    Patterico (6bed47)

  56. My recollection is wrong. The Zapruder film supports a time frame of 5.6 seconds which is supported by this evidence.

    DRJ (bea74b)

  57. My sense is that for some, the conspiracy theories are like a religion. Facts and evidence get trumped by blind faith.

    Patterico (82f1f4)

  58. Semanticleo,

    Let me try re-asking the question I’ve been trying to ask you all throughout this thread:

    What’s your point?

    Patterico (9ce9e3)

  59. DRJ,

    Oswald had the ability to make the shot but it’s my understanding there was no evidence that Oswald (or anyone) could repeatedly shoot that specific rifle fast enough to match the time frame of the Zapruder tape.

    I can’t recall who it was, but I’ve seen it recreated from the depository window, with a carcano. 3 shots in 6 seconds is not difficult to do. Accuracy would be a problem for most people at that rate. But he only hit his target with two shots, and he was a marksman/sharpshooter as per his scores on the USMC firing range, and he was using a scope.

    Pablo (99243e)

  60. Patterico,
    We watched the movie in question during a class on the assassination (a few years back granted). I’ll see if they still have a copy at the media center.

    MM

    MaaddMaaxx (55ac67)

  61. Patterico, I am of the opinion that there are people who have a emotional need to have possession of “secret” knowledge that embellishes their importance. That is what drives the fascination with conspiracy theories with these people, that they “knows” something you or I don’t.

    Of course to get the full benefit of this secret knowledge, they then have to loudly proclaim the inferiority of those who do not share, and therefore are not in awe of their obvious superiority.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  62. MaaddMaaxx,

    I really would be very much in your debt if there were some way for me to get a copy.

    It would be difficult to arrange to watch it at the museum and not entirely satisfactory.

    It baffles me that it’s not widely available on DVD. I think the demand is there, given the continuing interest in the topic.

    There must be a conspiracy of conspiracy buffs to suppress it.

    Patterico (59ab83)

  63. Patterico,

    Are you sure that all concerns about the spacing of the shots have been resolved? There seem to be some legitimate questions raised by an acoustical reconstruction and other tests summarized in this 1979 Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives:

    “In conclusion, the committee found that the scientific acoustical evidence established a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John f. Kennedy.”

    DRJ (bea74b)

  64. DRJ,

    I remember learning on visiting the museum that a primary assumption of the acoustical analysis had been disproved by a later-found video that placed an officer in a location that destroyed the assumption.

    Wasn’t Anthony Pellicano involved in that acoustical analysis?

    OK, have to sign off for a while.

    Patterico (3d3403)

  65. One issue not mentioned in the comments — one that gave Warren Commission member Hale Boggs a problem with the so-called “magic bullet” theory — is what happened to Oswald’s third bullet? One bullet struck Kennedy, then Connolly & is recovered in the stretcher; another bullet (the third shot Oswald fires) strikes Kennedy in the head, killing him. That accounts for two bullets, yet Oswald fired 3. There was no trace of a bullet hitting the presidential car. So how was it that of the 3 shots Oswald fires, 2 are almost dead-on accurate, while the third misses the ENTIRE CAR?

    Here, Gerald Posner in Case Closed provided a very plausible explanation. It supports the Oswald-as-the-lone-gunman theory & the single bullet (i.e., “magic bullet”) developed by then Commission lawyer Arlen Specter, albeit contradicting a finding of the Warren Commission:

    –First bullet fired: deflects off a tree branch that partially obscured Oswald view. As a result of deflection, this bullet misses the car entirely, strikes a street curb, fragments (with a fragment striking a near-by pedestrian).

    –Second bullet fired: strikes Kennedy in upper back/throat, passes through & strikes Connolly.

    –Third bullet: fatal Kennedy head shot.

    Connolly’s description of the shots he heard & his reaction, as well as the Zapruder film, supports Posner’s hypothesis.

    Warren Commission had the first shot hitting Kennedy in the throat; second shot missing. In this respect the Commission erred, per Posner. (Relatively minor error yet it probably helped fuel the conspiracy theories.)

    Posner, I thought, did a cracker-jack job in laying this out.

    And oh, I haven’t the references handy but there have been numerous re-creations of the firing of the 3 shots in 6.5 seconds, starting with the FBI’s investigation. Conclusion: easily accomplished by an experienced rifleman (which Oswald was).

    DWC (06ea11)

  66. Patterico #64,

    Here’s a link to the separate remarks and dissenting comments to the 1979 Report I linked above. Scroll halfway down to Page 493 where I think the authors address and agree with your point concerning the location of the officer and the open microphone.

    Senator Dodd also raises some interesting questions at beginning of the link. I don’t know if his questions were ever answered.

    DRJ (bea74b)

  67. I find Patterico’s belief this is settled not convincing, DRJ.

    I don’t know and don’t care enough to research Lee Harvey Oswald forever… but there do appear to be problems with the case as Bugliosi outlines it and you are pointed some out.

    The fact that Bugliosi is an absolutely crackerjack prosecutor is impressive… but his skills at persuasion don’t mean he’s necessarily correct and that Chris Dodd, the man with the white hair, is wrong.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  68. DRJ,

    The acoustic evidence is dealt with in Posner’s book. Not only did the dictabelt recording not contain sounds of gunshots, the recorder (presumably a police officer with an open radio mike) wasn’t even in Dealey Plaza at the time of the shooting.

    The evidence for this:

    If this had been a recording off a police officer’s radio in Kennedy’s motorcade, then a lion’s share of recording would have contained the constant blaring of police sirens, as the cops in the motorcade hit their lights and sirens as they rushed JFK to the hospital. In fact, the dictabelt recording contains only the sound of a siren briefly passing by. Hence, the owner of the radio mike could not have been part of the motorcade, as was originally alleged.

    Also the recording picks up sounds of a bell ringing back and forth, not unlike the sound of the liberty bell. Dealey Plaza did not have a liberty bell.

    Finally, cross-radio traffic from another station bleeding into the dictabelt recording indicates that at the time the sound distortions (interpreted by some to be gunshots) were taking place Kennedy had already been taken to the hospital. So the assassin couldn’t very well have been shooting at Kennedy if Kennedy wasn’t there.

    The reason why the House Select Committee of Assasination never bothered with any of this is because they ran out of funding and had to rush to complete their report. Hence, the dictabelt was never further scrutinized.

    Even conspiracy theorists like Harrison Edward Livingstone (“High Treason” and “High Treason 2″) admit the dictabelt evidence is bunk.

    The chairman of the House Select Committee, Louis Stokes, announced in 1992, “If it wasn’t for this one piece of evidence (the dictabelt tape) our commission would have found completely in favor of the Warren Commission’s findings.” That pretty much tells you all you need to know right there.

    DubiousD (00f3d5)

  69. I haven’t read his book (the case was closed with Posners book IMO) but I’ve listened to two interviews of Bugliosi on his recent book tour. In both he asked the holders of differing opinions to account for the bullet that inflicted the throat wound. None had an answer. Alternate theories claim it was a shot from the front but there is no collateral damage behind Kennedy to support this belief.

    It is a fact that all the downrange collateral damage from the assassination is in front of Kennedy. There is none behind him.

    Any thoughtful alternate theory must START with an accounting of the throat wound bullet.

    procab (d253b0)

  70. Posner’s main contribution is that his work is probably the best biography of Oswald. Among other things, it documents that he was clearly capable of killing JFK (and others) and that his bizarre personality made him an extremely unlikely candidate for a conspiracy. The KGB wanted nothing to do with him.

    The actual shooting was not that difficult. In fact, Oswald missed entirely with his first shot (or the bullet was somehow deflected). His second shot his Kennedy in the lower back while the third hit the president in the head.

    One of the interesting revelations is that the second shot – the one that hit JFK in the back and exited through his throat – was probably sufficient to have killed Kennedy even if the third shot missed. This was because the shot crushed JFK’s trachea and prevented him from breathing. By the time the doctors as the hospital performed a tracheotomy, the lack of oxygen to Kennedy’s brain would have killed him.

    Finally, Jim Garrison was a complete fraud. In fact, compared to Garrison, Mike Difong is a combination Atticus Finch and Learned Hand.

    SMG

    SteveMG (ad4477)

  71. What happened to the third bullet? It ricocheted off the curb, went into a low-earth orbit for 48 years, and finally re-entered the atmosphere on 9-11-01, striking Building 7 at the World Trade Center & causing it to collapse.

    I used to think Kennedy assassination wackos were the valedictorians of conspiracy theorists until 9/11. The “Truthers” make Kennedy Kooks look sane by comparison. However, I love it when amateur Kennedy Kooks make arguments using “facts” that only existed in the universe of Oliver Stone’s movie.

    Russ from Winterset (208079)

  72. “I find Patterico’s belief this is settled not convincing, DRJ.
    I don’t know and don’t care enough to research Lee Harvey Oswald forever… but there do appear to be problems with the case as Bugliosi outlines it and you are pointed some out . . .”

    Christoph,

    I won’t ask you to research anything forever, but surely you can articulate in your own words what the specific “problems with the case” are.

    If not, I’d simply make this point. Look down this thread and review which side has made specific unrefuted points based on evidence, and which side has offered refuted arguments and arguments based on vague feeings and emotion.

    Patterico (268112)

  73. Hey Patterico, fair enough.

    Before I begin, you may have missed my previous comment where I’m leaning to thinking Garrison was wrong and, indeed, daft. All based on a Wikipedia article, not definitive, but not a right-wing bastion of thought either.

    As far as articulating what my own thoughts are at this point (having left the conspiracy nonsense aside when I was younger, but still remembering some of what I read…) I’m mostly commenting on DRJ’s points.

    For example, she says, “It’s my understanding that no marksman was able to duplicate the shots the Warren Commission Report said Oswald fired that day. Is that correct and, if so, how did Bugliosi deal with that?”

    I don’t know in detail what she’s referring to and will plead laziness if it comes down to it. I can’t preach, “Getting Things Done” and respond to the Kennedy “conspiracy” in detail. After all, it’s not on my projects list and never will be!

    But she makes a point… I’ve heard the shots weren’t reproduced and I’ve heard reproducing was easy. I think there is so much lies around this it’s hard for me to know the truth without research, which I’ve admitted I’m not going to do.

    I guess I respect DRJ and was wondering how you feel about her point? Does she have one?

    For what it’s worth, I think it probably was NOT a conspiracy. But since you felt it was worth posting on and since DRJ is sincere and motivated enough to do the research, I wanted to cheat and piggy back on her work to see what you felt about it!

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  74. One thing I’ll add though is about the whole mess is in most cases where someone is murdered, you don’t have a night club owner of all people feel so outraged about it they’ll trade their freedom for vengeance.

    While not proof of a conspiracy, you have to admit it’s weird.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  75. While not proof of a conspiracy, you have to admit it’s weird.

    Yes, it’s strange, but it doesn’t put another shooter on Dealey Plaza.

    Pablo (99243e)

  76. One thing I’ll add though is about the whole mess is in most cases where someone is murdered, you don’t have a night club owner of all people feel so outraged about it they’ll trade their freedom for vengeance.

    Perhaps, but then again, not every murdered person is a popular US President. Ruby didn’t risk his freedom to avenge JD Tippet.

    Revenge over a murder is hardly unthinkable: how many gang shootings bring reprisals?

    Steverino (28dc98)

  77. patterico, i don’t believe there was more than one gunman on the scene. bullets can do funny things when you shoot them, just like baseballs leaving the hand of a great pitcher. i suspect that some organization, most likely either the soviet union or the mafia, put him up to this. when you see a ten foot ice shelf in the water, you don’t have to probe underneath to know there’s about ninety feet of ice down there. you must have learned at your job how to tell the difference between an amateur crime and a professional crime. this isn’t john hinckley with a crush on jodie foster here, this was done in a professional manner, which means that somebody else engaged him, commissioned him to do it, and what happened to him afterward is how potentially dangerous, talkative loose ends get tidied up in high-stakes situations of this nature. after 44 years the sense of surprise, sorrow and loss has all gone away, but the incredulity remains as rock-solid as if it were yesterday.

    assistant devil's advocate (783b6e)

  78. CSPAN carried a talk VB gave on the book a week or two ago. He made one terrific point that is germane to Ruby as evidence of conspiracy.

    If LHO was the patsy/puppet of a grand conspiracy, he would not have fled by foot and bus back to his rooming house. His controllers would have arranged for him to be picked up and whisked away. LHO would think it was a means of escape, but he would have been Hoffa’d. No loose ends. Just the mystery of the disappearing commie assassin.

    Plus, as Posner notes, Ruby came close to missing LHO at the jail. Had Oswald not asked for a clean sweatter, his transfer would have occurred before Ruby got to the police station garage.

    craig henry (831b39)

  79. One thing I’ll add though is about the whole mess is in most cases where someone is murdered, you don’t have a night club owner of all people feel so outraged …

    I think the explanation for this is simple. The world if full of lonely little people looking for recognition. The classic “chance to kill Hitler” fantasy. Or like a deranged fan attaching themselves to someone famous – think Mark David Chapman / John Lennon.

    I could see how Ruby might fantasize he could get away with murder, become famous, and maybe even been considered a hero by a grateful nation.

    I could see how Ruby might fantasize he could get away with murder, become famous, and maybe even been considered a hero by a grateful nation.

    TakeFive (abe21f)

  80. One thing I’ll add though is about the whole mess is in most cases where someone is murdered, you don’t have a night club owner of all people feel so outraged …

    I think the explanation for this is simple. The world if full of lonely little people looking for recognition.

    Look, that’s one conclusion.

    Up above I make the point I think there was no conspiracy.

    So I guess that’s the conclusion I lean toward.

    That one action, though, certainly contributed mightily to people thinking there was a conspiracy and it’s hard for me to blame them.

    X assassinates politician is one thing. X assassinates politician and is taken out in front of police by Y, someone with mob ties, is something else.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  81. Patterico #73:

    “If not, I’d simply make this point. Look down this thread and review which side has made specific unrefuted points based on evidence, and which side has offered refuted arguments and arguments based on vague feeings and emotion.”

    I highlighted concerns and provided links to the Warren Commission Report (that supports your position) and to the 1979 House Assassinations Report (that raises questions based on the acoustical evidence). Nevertheless, it appears you classify me as being on the “vague feelings and emotion” side.

    Interesting.

    DRJ (bea74b)

  82. As a sidebar to the assassination, we have the thesis that liberalism embraced a deeper, darker more sinister view of America after the murder.

    Liberalism before the Fall

    And has yet to recover.

    Problematic; but not entirely indefensible.

    SMG

    SteveMG (87ebdb)

  83. DRJ,

    You are the glaring exception.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  84. … you don’t have a night club owner of all people feel so outraged about it they’ll trade their freedom for vengeance.

    …someone with mob ties, is something else.

    Again, I think this is explainable. I’m too young to know how Kennedy was actually regarded at the time, but the mythology around the man has him as the most dashing, intellegent, adroit president that ever lived. Damn near a messiah.

    So if someone were to kill the murderer of this saint, where’s the harm? Technically illegal, but what jury would mete out harsh punishment for this heroic act? Maybe Ruby envisioned going before a 1960’s Texas jury…

    A year or two in federal prison, then onto the talk show circuit. Sounds like a reasonable fantasy to me.

    I think even Ruby’s perported low level mob ties could go towards this idea of a little man looking for larger recognition.

    TakeFive (9b535f)

  85. X assassinates politician is one thing. X assassinates politician and is taken out in front of police by Y, someone with mob ties, is something else.

    Ruby’s relative (sister, I think) said he cried all weekend after the assassination — harder than he had for the deaths of his parents. He didn’t think he was risking his freedom. He thought he’d be back serving drinks and getting slapped on the back in no time. He’d be internationally renowned as the guy who shot the guy who shot JFK.

    He didn’t have “mob ties” to anyone significant. He had nothing more in the way of “mob ties” than any nightclub owner who might run into smalltime mobsters in the course of his business. (He talked a good game, though.)

    Oswald and Ruby weren’t the kind of professional and stable folks you’d rely on if you were an organization that needed to pull off a professional hit. Oswald was notoriously unstable.

    And if Oswald was part of some kind of conspiracy, why was he wandering around Dallas afterwards? Why didn’t they kill him immediately? Especially as unstable as he was.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  86. However, DRJ, your concerns are all easily addressed.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  87. it appears you classify me as being on the “vague feelings and emotion” side.

    Not at all. I’d put you on the “refuted facts” side.

    I recognize I haven’t refuted them all with citations yet, but I intend to do so.

    My memory, based mainly on visiting the museum, is that all these issues are easily addressed. The shots have been recreated. The acoustical evidence is provable nonsense.

    But while I know all this to be true from memory, it may take me a bit of time to provide the specific explanations. I don’t always have a great memory for details.

    But I’ll provide it all.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  88. Ruby’s relative (sister, I think) said he cried all weekend after the assassination — harder than he had for the deaths of his parents. He didn’t think he was risking his freedom. He thought he’d be back serving drinks and getting slapped on the back in no time. He’d be internationally renowned as the guy who shot the guy who shot JFK.

    He didn’t have “mob ties” to anyone significant. He had nothing more in the way of “mob ties” than any nightclub owner who might run into smalltime mobsters in the course of his business. (He talked a good game, though.)

    I agree with everything you just said — just that it looks suspicious, which was my point, which you can’t dispute.

    History and how people have gone about it proves my point.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  89. this was done in a professional manner

    He wandered around, walking, taking a bus, and taking a cab afterwards. What is professional about that?

    Professional is, you whisk him away. And then you kill him — privately, out of sight.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  90. I agree with everything you just said — just that it looks suspicious, which was my point, which you can’t dispute.

    I can. Suspicious how?

    In other words, where is your question going?

    What reasonable explanation fits the evidence better than the evidence I have offered, based on witnesses and evidence?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  91. I agree with the evidence you just offered, Patterico. Not everyone looks at it so deeply. This really isn’t a difficult thing to understand.

    Guy kills president, is knocked off in public, LOOKS suspicious. Doesn’t meant it was a conspiracy. But looks a hell of a lot more suspicious than if he weren’t knocked off.

    Surely you can understand that?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  92. “Oswald and Ruby weren’t the kind of professional and stable folks you’d rely on if you were an organization that needed to pull off a professional hit. Oswald was notoriously unstable.”

    Huh?

    Being a professional hitman is just another career choice?

    Seems to me that anyone who kills someone else for money or political reasons is at least a sociopath, if not totally crazy.

    alphie (015011)

  93. alphie, there are “professional” hit men who are capable of carrying out hits in a “professional” manner. People who, regardless of the fact that they may be sociopaths, are far more “reliable” in the context of the criminal world.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  94. Guy kills president, is knocked off in public, LOOKS suspicious.

    I think it LOOKS less suspicious than if he was knocked off in private before he was arrested.

    I think it DOESN’T look “suspicious” (and by the way, I’m asking you for a specific definition of what you mean by that word) the way it happened. It looks like what it was. A lone gunman in Oswald. Ruby seeking fame.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  95. I’m irritated when people toss around words like “suspicious” and don’t say what they mean.

    This is the same mindset that says “I would have acquitted OJ even though I believe he is guilty.”

    But let’s take that one to the OJ thread.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  96. The question of the acoustic evidence is a difficult one to explain — and again, I’m not some JFK assassination expert. But I think the first question I would pose is this: the analysis assumes that an officer named McLain was the one with the stuck microphone. But he he wasn’t where he was supposed to have been placed for the acoustic evidence to work.

    So for you to believe the acoustic evidence, you’d have to believe he’s the only American who didn’t remember where he was when the assassination happened.

    And the video and photographic evidence I mentioned in an earlier comment shows that is not true.

    Many more problems with the acoustical evidence set forth here.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  97. Patterico,

    Are you trying to say that Oswald did a poor job killing Kennedy?

    alphie (015011)

  98. “I would have acquitted OJ even though I believe he is guilty.”

    (Sure, but I’ll duplicate my reply here so it can be followed easily. Click here to follow the conversation.)

    NOW I believe he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. At the time, (from the jury’s perspective) due to the judge and how it was handled, and the prosecution and how that was mishandled, I had some doubts about whether he was guilty.

    I still leaned toward guilty, but my understanding is the sequestered jury didn’t see everything I saw by watching the media and I wouldn’t use the media take to convict a man.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  99. People who, regardless of the fact that they may be sociopaths, are far more “reliable” in the context of the criminal world.

    On the other hand, if one was planning to commit the crime of the century (American version), wouldn’t you select an unstable person? Someone who could be more easily manipulated (if less trustworthy) and, because of their questionable background, less believable if things go awry?

    This is an example where the JFK assassination can careen off into the rings-inside-the-rings-inside-the-rings, where if you stay too long, up becomes down down and down becomes up and everything starts to blur. It’s a world, in another sense, that drove James Jesus Angelton off the deep end.

    SMG

    SteveMG (87ebdb)

  100. Are you trying to say that Oswald did a poor job killing Kennedy?

    No. I am saying that if you wanted to pick someone to carry out a job like this, he’s about the last guy on the planet you’d pick.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  101. On the other hand, if one was planning to commit the crime of the century (American version), wouldn’t you select an unstable person? Someone who could be more easily manipulated (if less trustworthy) and, because of their questionable background, less believable if things go awry?

    Actually, you’d just kill him afterwards.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  102. I think it DOESN’T look “suspicious” (and by the way, I’m asking you for a specific definition of what you mean by that word) the way it happened.

    Patterico, suspicious is subjective, just look at the definitions. Here are some:

    sus•pi•cious (adj.)
    1. Arousing or apt to arouse suspicion; questionable: suspicious behavior.
    2. Tending to suspect; distrustful: a suspicious nature.
    3. Expressing suspicion: a suspicious look.’

    sus•pi•cion (n.)
    1. The act of suspecting something, especially something wrong, on little evidence or without proof.
    2. The condition of being suspected, especially of wrongdoing.
    3. A state of uncertainty; doubt. See Synonyms at uncertainty.
    4. A minute amount or slight indication; a trace.

    It’s either suspicious to you or it isn’t. I’m SURE it was suspicious to many people and the subsequent events and history PROVES, beyond any reasonable doubt, that I’m correct about that.

    Yes, it can be explained away, perhaps easily. But when someone kills someone powerful, to wit the most powerful man in the world, and the assassin is killed shortly after, MANY people will regard that as suspicious.

    Not proof. Suspicion. Please understand the difference.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  103. Actually, you’d just kill him afterwards.

    Comment by Patterico — 8/4/2007 @ 12:44 pm

    Like what happened?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  104. John Wilkes Booth
    Charles Guiteau
    Leon Czolgosz
    Lee Harvey Oswald

    Oswald is exactly the kind of guy you’d hire to do the job, based on the available data.

    alphie (015011)

  105. John Wilkes Booth
    Charles Guiteau
    Leon Czolgosz
    Lee Harvey Oswald

    You’ve grouped together: an orange, a banana, a pear and a chair.

    With the exception of Booth (the chair) – who hardly fits into the grouping as some sort of oddball, eccentric loner (he was a successful actor, among other accomplishments) – none of the others were involved in a conspiracy. They acted alone, based on their own personal, inner demons.

    SteveMG (87ebdb)

  106. “If it can be imagined, it could be true.” Is there a name for this fallacy? A variant of solipsism, maybe?

    nk (173e2a)

  107. A common problem with sparse data, stevemg.

    The four successful presidential assassins would seem to have far more in common than, say, WWII has in common with the Iraq fiasco.

    alphie (015011)

  108. “A common problem with sparse data”

    So what you’re saying is you couldn’t even find four data points to go together?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  109. “Like what happened?”

    No, as I’ve already explained, not like what happened.

    You wouldn’t let Oswald get arrested. You’d whisk him away.

    You wouldn’t hit him in public, with another guy who will also get arrested and could also sing.

    So no. *Not* like what happened.

    Patterico (b307c7)

  110. Wow. alphie managed to bring Iraq into a JFK assassination thread.

    Bet he’s a killer playing the “6 degrees to Kevin Bacon” game.

    I'm Geekier (12dd25)

  111. A common problem with sparse data, stevemg.

    Er, it was your data, Alphie.

    Not mine.

    It seems to me that there is a a wealth of scholarship/evidence that loner, eccentric type of individuals prone to violence (e.g., Oswald) usually act alone when they committ their crimes.

    Not exactly the type of reliable people one wants to work with. The KGB, for example, learned this when he defected to the Soviet Union.

    They wanted nothing to do with him.

    SteveMG (87ebdb)

  112. I was just responding to your one sentence comment, Patterico. I know you believe there was a more logical time to knock the shooter off. And thinkers like you would see it as more suspicious, not less.

    Ultimately, it would have been better for everyone had Ruby just balled his eyes out and stayed home.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  113. SteveMG,

    Exactly my point.

    If alphie’s list shows anything, it’s that assassins like Oswald usually act alone.

    Which I don’t think was alphie’s point . . . but then, our staunch Republican friend hasn’t made much sense in this thread anyway.

    Oswald was not the sort of guy an organization would turn to. The KGB’s rejection of him is consistent with my view.

    Patterico (7534b8)

  114. I haven’t read all the posts on this, so forgive if I’m repeating something already covered.

    I used to buy into a lot of the conspriacy stuff, not so much because I thought that there was a cover up or that there was a conspiracy, but mostly because I was 3 at the time and most of what I was exposed to came from those who did. Which is to say, that is what the media covered and let’s face it, Oswald Acted Alone is not the stuff of great ratings.

    As I got older I became curious and looked into it more seriously, and by that I mean I looked for facts and not speculation. Additionally, I am a very active firearms enthusiast, to the point of making my own ammunition and being a student of ballistics. This does not make me an expert by any means, but does, I feel, make me more knowledgable than the average layman on this issue.

    OK, So what we do we know as fact. We know the exact location that Oswald fired from. We know the exact type and caliber of weapon that he used. We know the exact vehicle that the victims were in and their exact locations in that vehicle. We have film taken by Abraham Zapruder which shows the exact location of the vehicle and the exact position of the victims as they were shot.

    The biggest bone of contention is the so-called magic bullet. But when we examine the location of the shooter, the location of the vehicle and the location and the position of the victims, we can reach some pretty positive conclusions.

    First off, if we view the Zapruder film, we can see that John Conally is sitting lower in the vehicle than the President. That is because we know, that although he was a tall man, 6’3″ I believe, he was sitting in the starboard jumpseat of the Presidential Limousine. The Presidential Limousine starboard jumpseat is mounted lower and inboard, this is because, due to protocol, the President should be higher and more visible than other dignitaries. This invalidates the idea that the “magic bullet” had stop it’s downward angle and rise up in order to strike Conally where it did as he was already much lower than the President. This is not debatable, we know the configuation of the car and we can see the victims location on film.

    As for the construction of the bullet, early on I read one poster say that is was designed for maximum damage. This is not the case. Hollywood has instilled mythical powers in the full metal jacketed bullet. It is assumed that because it is used in warfare, it is meant to inflict maximum damage. Actually the metal jacket prevents the bullet from expanding or deforming and making a much larger wound channel. Sporting rounds have hollow points or nonjacketed noses to facilitate this expansion and helping to ensure a quick kill. Military rounds due not because they are against the Geneva Convention and because a wounded soldier takes a couple of men to care for him and prevents them from enjoining the battle.

    But anyway, Oswald’s bullet was a 6.5 mm metal jacketed one, which would have no problem going through Kennedy’s throat, Conally’s torso, wrist and lodging in his thigh.

    Now the 6.5 mm Mannlicher Carcano has been described as inaccurate, well I have one and I can attest that it is quite accurate out to 175 to 200 yards. This would have been more than enough for Oswald to reach his targets.

    The last point that I’m going to bring up, is that a computer generated recreation has been made but using the Zapruder film and accurate measurements taken from Dealey Plaza. This recreation has shown that tragectory of the shots from Oswald’s location matches exactly that of the bullets that struck Kennedy and Connally at the exact time shown on the Zapruder film.

    Now motives and rational for the asassination can be flouted around. But for me, the phyical proof that the shots that killed Kennedy and wounded Connally came from the 6th floor of the book depository shows that Oswald acted alone. If it can be shown that someone other than Oswald was in that spot at that time and was trained to shoot, then I’ll say that there is doubt that he did it.

    But the angle of the wounds and the location of the victims as shown on the Zapruder film at the time of the shooting, rules out any other tragectory than where Oswald was located.

    Thresherman (56a0a8)

  115. “…early on I read one poster say that is was designed for maximum damage. This is not the case.”

    That poster was Patterico. Several commentators dealt with that previously including myself. You’re right, of course.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  116. My point is that Oswald, a “crazy loner” who was an excellent shot, is exactly the kind of guy you’d want to hire for the job.

    alphie (015011)

  117. My point is that Oswald, a “crazy loner” who was an excellent shot, is exactly the kind of guy you’d want to hire for the job.

    Why?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  118. That poster was Patterico. Several commentators dealt with that previously including myself. You’re right, of course.

    I clarified what I meant. But I’m getting used to having what I say be ignored here.

    The clarified point actually supports what I was saying.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  119. “The clarified point actually supports what I was saying.”

    Yes — speaking of ignoring points made here — that’s why I said, “Patterico, it doesn’t change the foundation of your argument (it actually enhances it)…”

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  120. Well, Christoph,

    He had a good chance of success, and the odds he would be traced back to you would be slim…he’d probably believe any tale you told him.

    alphie (015011)

  121. Well, Christoph,

    He had a good chance of success, and the odds he would be traced back to you would be slim…he’d probably believe any tale you told him.

    You think assassins taking over the United States of America from a popular president would base their plan on the FBI not being able to get out of a crazy loner who hired him?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  122. FOLLOW-UP: No, alphie, if your point has any merit at all, it has to be based on a plan to kill the assassin later. There’s some grounds for believing that, to wit the assassin was killed.

    Problem with that, as Patterico points out, is then you have another unstable personality alive who killed the assassin…

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  123. Christoph,

    I can understand the political and financial forces behind the whole Republican “anti-science” movement, but this is out there.

    If there was a conspiracy behind the Kennedy assassination(which I doubt, btw):

    1. It was successful.
    2. The conspirators got away with it.

    Are you guys really suggesting a known member of the KGB/Mafia/Texas Rangers/Cuban Communist Party would have made a better choice?

    alphie (015011)

  124. Are you guys really suggesting a known member of the KGB/Mafia/Texas Rangers/Cuban Communist Party would have made a better choice?

    I’m saying if you had to do it, you use a professional you trust to be able to escape after and not wandering around a movie theatre. Someone who’s got an actual plan to get the heck out of dodge.

    Then you kill ’em.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  125. One flaw in your “logic” there Christoph.

    What “professional” killer would take a job they know would end in their own death, one way or another?

    alphie (015011)

  126. If you’re going to do a coup, you just do it and rely on your new position to protect you.

    Secret coups are a bunch of drivel unless Johnson, who couldn’t be bothered to run again in 68, was involved.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  127. One thing I’ll add though is about the whole mess is in most cases where someone is murdered, you don’t have a night club owner of all people feel so outraged about it they’ll trade their freedom for vengeance.

    Think about your question further. Think about how many people “loved” Kennedy. Think about how many people other than Jack Ruby actually considered taking that kind of action. I’ll bet you that when Ruby shot Oswald on national TV, there were thousands, maybe millions, of people watching who were overjoyed that he did it.

    otcconan (1837a4)

  128. I’ll bet you that when Ruby shot Oswald on national TV, there were thousands, maybe millions, of people watching who were overjoyed that he did it.

    Stupid people. Destroyed the liberal movement as Kennedy understood it and everything he stood for, at least so far as the Democratic party represents it.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  129. I think a lot of the conspiracy theories are based on emotion. I was born in 1969 so I wasn’t there, but my mother once stated that the first thing everyone thought was that Johnson had done it. It was a gut reaction. And many people took that gut reaction and ran with it, instead of objectively analyzing the situation.

    Oswald was a loner, a true loser, who had been rejected by everyone but his wife, the same kind of person, incidentally, who today believes in conspiracy theories. He had an inflated sense of his own worth, brought about by insecurity and rage. In fact, he was pretty much the same kind of person as Charles Whitman, only he had a specific target in mind rather than a desire to kill as many as possible.

    Had he been brought to trial, all of this could have been avoided, because it would have been obvious from his first statement on the stand that he had done it, acting alone. In fact, Oswald himself would be totally angered by the insinuation he needed help. He was a pathological person, and needed the kind of validation that only a very violent act could bring. He, and Whitman, were the first manifestations of the monsters we have seen later; Klebold and Harris, Cho, et al. The inability of the theorists to recognize the pathology of his psyche is the only limiting factor that forces them to believe their conspiracies.

    otcconan (1837a4)

  130. Oh, and if some police officer had managed to kill Klebold or Harris or Cho? You’d have conspiracy theories surrounding those actions as well….

    otcconan (1837a4)

  131. Oh, Good Lord.

    Alphie, what is your point in this thread, besides finding a way to link a Iraq reference to the JFK assassination?

    Paul (771326)

  132. DRJ & Christoph,

    RE: “no marksman was able to duplicate the shots”

    The conspiracy minded often say this because of two things.

    1) The scope was damaged (perhaps when Oswald disposed of the gun?) and was inaccurate in initial tests. Once the scope was dialed in the gun proved very accurate.

    2) Time span of shots – the conspiracy minded claim Oswalds rifle could not be cycled fast enough to shoot the three rounds. Typically they cite a time span of sub 6 seconds. The Warren Commission cited a time span of 4.8 to 7.9 seconds. No one is certain when the bullet that hit the curb was fired. The conspiracy minded will have you believe it was fired second which constrains the time span tighter (4.8-5.6). This makes it difficult, but not impossible (7 of the 15 WC tests met this criteria), to shoot the three rounds. Here is a video of a guy making that claims the rifle cannot be cycled in less than 2.3 seconds while simultaneously cycling it in 1.83!

    What they intentionally ignore is the fact there is no evidence that the bullet that hit the curb was fired second. In fact Gov Connelly testified he was NOT hit by the first round implying the first shot hit the curb. The WC gives a span of 7.1-7.9 seconds if the curb round goes first or last. Posner thinks it may have been first and was deflected by a tree branch directly below Oswald.

    procab (f9158b)

  133. SMG wrote

    “One of the interesting revelations is that the second shot – the one that hit JFK in the back and exited through his throat – was probably sufficient to have killed Kennedy even if the third shot missed. This was because the shot crushed JFK’s trachea and prevented him from breathing. By the time the doctors as the hospital performed a tracheotomy, the lack of oxygen to Kennedy’s brain would have killed him.”

    This does not match my recollection. My recollection of the wound and Posner’s discussion is that the bullet damages the spinal column fatally – and that the key symptom of this sort of damage is the rise in JFK’s arms to chest level as seen in the Zapruder film. It is the spinal damage that is fatal, not the tracheal so much.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  134. This does not match my recollection. My recollection of the wound and Posner’s discussion is that the bullet damages the spinal column fatally

    My source (wherever the hell I read it once) was not, I’m pretty sure, from Posner’s book. It’s been awhile since I got swallowed up by the assassination information.

    Like most information on the event, it could be just a bunch of grasping at straws.

    I don’t recall reading that the “spinal damage” was sufficiently fatal, however.

    SMG

    SteveMG (87ebdb)

  135. Haha, Paul,

    I wasn’t trying to “connect” Iraq and the Kennedy assassination, but I do see the same kind of faulty thinking that got us stuck there on display here.

    If (and that’s a very big if) you were going to conspire to kill Kennedy, then someone who is a crazy loner, or someone who could convincingly act like one, is exactly the kind of person you would want doing the deed.

    “There was no conspiracy because Lee Harvey seemed to be a crazy loner” is exactly what you would want people to think.

    alphie (015011)

  136. Steve, I’ll have to dig up my copy and refresh my recollection.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  137. If (and that’s a very big if) you were going to conspire to kill Kennedy, then someone who is a crazy loner, or someone who could convincingly act like one, is exactly the kind of person you would want doing the deed.

    Or, if you wanted to kill someone you could get a ninja to do it, because they’re so quiet. So, if you don’t hear anything, they’re trying to kill you!

    Pablo (99243e)

  138. “There was no conspiracy because Lee Harvey seemed to be a crazy loner” is exactly what you would want people to think.

    Except there’s no ‘seemed’ about it. Most people who think there was a conspiracy have no appreciation for how much a pathetic, narcissistic, unstable loser Oswald was.

    Paul (771326)

  139. Comment by procab — 8/4/2007 @ 4:05 pm

    I’ve fired bolt action rifles that quickly and know it can be done. I was thinking about obstruction, but had my question addressed in later comments.

    Yes, the shots were possible and you don’t need a super-duper rifle to be accurate at that range.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  140. Pablo, don’t get the Alphie/Moby started on ninjas, because he used to be one, you know.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  141. Haha, Robin,

    Yeah, and the ninjas smuggled Saddam’s WMDs to Syria, right?

    alphie (015011)

  142. Yeah, and the ninjas smuggled Saddam’s WMDs to Syria, right?

    Come out of the closet, alphie, and admit you are a liberal Democrat.

    You’ll feel much better inside.

    Paul (771326)

  143. If there was a conspiracy behind the Kennedy assassination(which I doubt, btw):

    1. It was successful.
    2. The conspirators got away with it.

    In other words, the lack of evidence of a conspiracy . . . is evidence of a conspiracy!

    Brilliant.

    If there was a CIA conspiracy to kill Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, they got away with that too.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  144. Paul,

    I’ll have you know that alphie is a staunch Republican.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  145. How foolish can you be. Jim Garrison indited how many witnesses?
    They were all dead within days. He finally went to trial out of desperation with the one remaining witness, Clay Shaw, who ended up dying mysteriously soon after. As for Oswald’s gun, a plant. the first gun found was a mauser. no mention in Bugliosi’s book. Why did Bobby use US Marshalls for protection instead of the secret service after his brother was killed? He knew he couldn’t trust them, that’s why. How do you account for Bobby, Martin, and John jr.? Wake up and smell the fascism.

    john monto (d053a5)

  146. the first gun found was a mauser

    I believe the Carcano is a Mauser variant with a Manlicher magazine. Do you have a specific model for the “first gun found”?

    Why did Bobby use US Marshalls for protection instead of the secret service after his brother was killed?

    Is it part of the Secret Service’s duties to guard the Attorney General or U.S. Senators?

    How do you account for Bobby, Martin, and John jr.?

    Planned Parenthood was probably behind Bobby and Martin’s deaths. They both exhibited prodigious fecundity although in different ways. For John Jr., I would look at Nikita Kruschev’s descendants avenging his humiliation at the hands of JFK. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put on my lead-lined hat and start humming “om omni padne om”. The telepaths are especially bad today.

    nk (173e2a)

  147. Paul,

    I’ll have you know that alphie is a staunch Republican.

    Yeah, Patrick, I can tell by those hard-right stances he takes.

    /snicker

    Paul (771326)

  148. How do you account for Bobby, Martin, and John jr.?

    It was the Arts and Education Council of St. Louis.

    Paul (771326)

  149. Yeah, those assasins were really clever, forcing JFK Junior to take off at dusk when he didn’t know how to pilot with instruments.

    lc (1401be)

  150. As for Oswald’s gun, a plant. the first gun found was a mauser.

    According to? One of the hallmarks of crisis is that the initial reports can be… just flat wrong. Sometimes it takes a while to work through them. Which then makes it harder to silence those who see a conspiracy everywhere.

    Look at this: LHO’s rifle
    and compare it to this:
    “Argie” mauser

    Think someone who caught a glimpse of one might be confused, unless they’ve looked hard, and noticed the Mauser action (present on both) locks up aft of the receiver in the Argie, and has a split receiver in the Carcano? (One reason the Carcano is a lot slower to fire.)

    lc: BTW, you don’t need instruments to fly at night. I’m not instrument rated, and 1/2 of my logged flight time is “night”.

    The reports are (gee, sound familiar?) somewhat contradictory, but apparently JFK Jr. did not plan well enough for the weather, fog removed outside references, then got disoriented and ended up in a spin.
    NTSB report.

    Unix-Jedi (b18156)

  151. forcing JFK Junior to take off at dusk when he didn’t know how to pilot with instruments.

    Well, they obviously used the same mind-control device that they used on Ray and Oswald and Sirhan.

    A more up-to-date version (fits in your glove compartment), I’m sure.

    The current state-of-art has internet access.

    SMG

    SteveMG (e63278)

  152. I can’t resist a few comments.

    –Patterico why is someone who believes there was a conspiracy a “conspiracy nut” (comment 20)? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    –There are loads of problems with all of the evidence, which is a point that seems to go over the heads of the lone gun theorists. Where is the bullet that exited Kennedy’s throat? I’ll tell you when you tell me what happened to Kennedy’s brain, and to the windshield of the limousine that several witnesses claim had a bullet hole–and that one Ford employee says was quietly replaced following the assassination.

    –Why did the pristine bullet end up on Connolly’s stretcher and not in the limousine? Did it dangle out of the final of 7 wounds and then just fall out? That is one MAGIC bullet.

    –Why do all witnesses agree the throat wound was one of entry, not exit?

    –Why did so many witnesses rush the grassy knoll? That must have been some echo.

    –Watch the Zapruder film closely, it is clear that Connolly was hit well after Kennedy was reacting to his wound.

    –Why was Kennedy’s back wound so much lower than the supposed throat exit wound? It is clear from the Zapruder film that he is not hunched over to that degree.

    –Which explanation makes more sense for the act of opening an umbrella at the exact moment the president’s limousine passed, and the precise instant the president was shot: A timing mechanism for multiple assassins, or a political protest based on an obscure story related to Neville Chamberlain?

    It’s pretty clear we’ll never know what happened, but there are at least as many problems with the theory that Oswald acted alone as there are with the notion that more than one shooter was involved, or at least that Oswald had help. To dismiss the arguments as being from “nuts” is evidence that your conclusion is foregone and frankly shows that your argument–all of them–are biased.

    Gotta Know (98b6df)

  153. monto, live from the grassy knoll:

    How foolish can you be. Jim Garrison indited how many witnesses?
    They were all dead within days. He finally went to trial out of desperation with the one remaining witness, Clay Shaw, who ended up dying mysteriously soon after. As for Oswald’s gun, a plant. the first gun found was a mauser. no mention in Bugliosi’s book. Why did Bobby use US Marshalls for protection instead of the secret service after his brother was killed? He knew he couldn’t trust them, that’s why. How do you account for Bobby, Martin, and John jr.? Wake up and smell the fascism.

    No Mauser rifle was found. One of the people who found the gun said it “looked like a Mauser.” That is correct; the extended trigger guard on the Mannlicher makes it resemble the Mauser used by the German army.

    JFK conspiracy buffs, who are liars, cretins, and charlatans almost without exception (not unlike another group of “truth-seekers” one could mention) have been pretending for 40 years that a Mauser rifle was found, based on that off-hand remark. Without a shred of evidence.

    Clay Shaw was not a witness; he was the defendant in one of the most absurd and unjust prosecutions in American legal history, carried out by one of the sickest individuals in American legal history. The lionization of the twisted and corrupt Jim Garrison by Oliver Stone is a screaming outrage.

    RFK relied heavily on Federal Marshals who were directly under his control as AG – unlike the Secret Service, which is part of the Treasury Department.

    Did I mention that Jim Garrison was a sick creep who deserved to lead the Mardi Gras parade with his ears nailed to a truck bumper and a roman candle up his lying ass? He’s the one guy I could think of who makes Mike Nifong look like a hero.

    Glen Wishard (b1987d)

  154. Gotta Know, the answer to most of your items is simply that it was not so.

    The main difference between JFK’s and Connolly’s reactions to the same bullet was that JFK’s arm reaction is an autonomous reflex, and Connolly’s was more conscious in nature. The reactions are evidenct within a few frames of each other.

    The Mauser description of the rifle is a good example of the kind of thing that the conspiracy nuts blow into huge claims. The difference between a Carcano and a Mauser rifle is something that only a collector, gun buff or a specific expert would know. It just looked like some form of foreign military surplus rifle to most people, hence the “mauser” reference.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  155. The difference between a Carcano and a Mauser rifle is something that only a collector, gun buff or a specific expert would know.

    Yeah, and there’s no friggin’ practical difference at that range.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  156. The answer is that it was simply not so? Gee I feel better already, must be a lone gunman named Oswald. Whew. Thanks.

    Gotta Know (98b6df)

  157. No problem, Gotta Know, happy to help.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  158. Gotta Know:

    I gotta know. If I bother to go through your questions and answer them with evidence, are you going to pay any attention? Or just move on to new questions and reject the evidence out of hand?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  159. One thing about the Zapruder film, the frames at which the shot that hits JFK in the back and exits occurs can arguably be seen with what appears to be an outward movement of JFK’s coat lapel followed by his arm movements which reflex show the spinal column disruption.

    The geometry of that wound just does not work in reverse, so any claim of a reversed interpretation of entry and exit is meaningless and not consistent with any conspiracy theory anyway. The conspiracy theory requires that wound to be a shot from Oswald together with a second shot of Oswald’s somehow hitting Connolly and the mythical grassy knoll shooter doing the head shot of JFK.

    But I’ve noticed that conspiracy theorists enjoy the advantage of not having to present a coherent narrative themselves while criticizing what they claim is a narrative no more coherent by their claims.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  160. Well Patterico I could very well ask you the same question.

    One of us proclaims not to know what happened, the other of us calls those with an opposing view “nuts.”

    Which one is more likely to listen?

    Gotta Know (98b6df)

  161. Robin-

    Those who believe there was more than one person are not obligated to provide a narrative of what happened, any more than a defense attorney is obligated to provide the guilty party in a capital case. That’s a total straw man.

    There is no requirement whatsoever that a second bullet fired from Oswald’s gun hit Connolly, that would be proof of a conspiracy in and of itself.

    “Conspiracy” means one thing only: More than one person was involved. It does not necessarily imply that Oswald was not one of the shooters. It does not technically even imply that there was more than one shooter. It just implied that there were at least two people involved in the assassination.

    Gotta Know (98b6df)

  162. No, Gotta Know, it isn’t a strawman. It is a simple requirement for logic. Analogous to the scientific method.

    A scatter shot of incoherent, inconsistent and mutually contradictory claims is just nonsense and rightly ignored. The lack of a coherent narrative reveals illogic and irrationality.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  163. Gotta Know,

    I will listen to any documented facts and evidence.

    Will you?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  164. I really don’t want to waste my time if it won’t make any difference.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  165. What does that mean, “make any difference?” Do you think I am going to guarantee you that you will convince me that your version is correct?

    Forget it, save your time.

    Gotta Know (98b6df)

  166. Gotta Know,

    He meant whether you would be a lazy arse and not bother to thoroughly read the info he gives you.

    It looks like you don’t “Gotta Know” after all!

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  167. “I have a theory. Put anything in life under an intense microscope — anything — and you can find questions. Especially if you want to find them, and you proceed off of incomplete information and jump to conclusions…. people ignore simple theories based on basic evidence in favor of huge, unwieldy conspiracies that could never be kept together in real life. Or they focus on one piece of evidence at a time without looking at the big picture…. I call it the Microscope Effect.” — Patterico

    Lona Manning (4df3f5)

  168. Lona I don’t disagree with that, but like the other truism that single-shooter theorists drag out–that Oswald is a lone wacko and conspiry theorists “need” to balance the loss of Kennedy’s life with a grander plan–it doesn’t matter. Rationalizing away the supposed motives of those who disagree with your theory doesn’t affect what happened in Dallas. What happened, happened.

    I could just as easily pull out notions about how Oswald alone theorists need to have a simple, orderly world and therefore they’ve seized on this as the answer, which they claim to “know” with certainty. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change the two facts that (a) there are many, many problems with taking the leap of faith that Oswald alone pulled the trigger, and (b) many, many intelligent, honest people, the majority of Americans in fact, believe there was more than one person involved. Patterico refers to these people as “nuts.”

    So who exactly needs to have a theory?

    Gotta Know (98b6df)

  169. Actually Gotta Know, that Oswald was the sole gunman best explains all the evidence. Once you introduce more supposed gunman, you create contradictions. Now while you want to ignore those contradictions, the reality is that an explanation that requires creating more contradictions is not a logical explanation.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  170. I read Posner’s book, Case Closed, which was very good, but it left me wondering about one section of the book.

    Posner tells of a story about Oswald going out to look at buying a car a few days before the Kennedy assasination. He reportedly told the car salesman that he was about to come into some money in a few days. Who’s money ? For doing what ?

    Neo (cba5df)

  171. Patterico

    You are right in there is soo much misinformation concerning the assassination however and I can’t swear to these as facts either but here it goes:

    The Warren commission and the 1979 and the 1992 commissions did seal the following items
    and they are sealed until 50 years after the death of the last living Kennedy Child

    The autopsy report by the Navy

    The Ballistics report – there was no exact match only a caliber match nor was there a forensic examination of the weapon – however given the extremely crude technology at the time this is not conspiracy worthy in inself but the question is unanswered because the FBI tech fired the weapon before he examined it

    The attempted recreation of the shooting by the sniper training battalion Ft Hood

    The original interview tapes and notes with Jack Ruby right after the shooting

    The Secret Service recordings of the 5 gunshots that were fired

    The film from the Babushka lady and her identity

    The original interview with the Dallas County School Depository supervisor that somehow miraculously in 10 minutes fingered Oswald as the assassin and never explained how he knew Oswald was missing and he knew he fired the shots so the miraculous APB went out before Kennedy arrived at Parkview

    These were acknowledged as sealed by the Warren Commission by the 1994 Clinton statement see his press releases when the last 4 million or so pages

    EricPWJohnson (92aae0)

  172. Patterico

    I will try to get you the links

    EricPWJohnson (92aae0)

  173. Actually

    Here it is and the parts that are not open are the critical ones

    http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/faqs.html?template=print#sealed

    With a very few exceptions, virtually all of the records identified as belonging to the Kennedy Collection have been opened in part or in full

    Also they are still very very testy about the rifle why how cares – well because its material they will not let anyone examine the rifle

    (3) Indicate briefly why the documentation available on the exhibit does not satisfy your research objectives and how those objectives might be met by observation of the original exhibits.
    We will not consider any request unless the researcher has examined the digitized preservation photographs of the “Exhibits and Other Evidence from the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (Warren Commission), 1959-1964″ that are available through NARA’s Archival Research Catalog (ARC). The Finding JFK Collection Documents in ARC page will provide you with detailed instructions on how to find these images in ARC

    EricPWJohnson (92aae0)

  174. Patterico

    So I would conclude some things

    Kennedys Body was taken into custody at gun point violating Texas law – this is not in dispute – so lets not go there the 1979 Congressional Report also noted this but said it was a highly unusual day

    Material bone fragments and bullet fragments were gathered days after the incident without any chain of custody

    The audio recordings clearly showed problems with the 3 shot theory

    While the archives were still sealed and inacessable and the 1979 committee concluded that the entire files were tampered with and the following materials were missing

    The autopsy report

    the notes from the Ruby interviews by Dallas PD before they were kicked to the curb by the feds

    The Secret Service Duty Roster

    Sooo we can always wonder……….

    EricPWJohnson (92aae0)

  175. Reply to Comment by Neo — 8/6/2007 @ 8:31 am

    Posner in this PBS interview contradicts your memory. Search for “Bogard” (the salesmans name) to find the relevant passage.

    The Warren Commission also discounted Bogards story for many reasons detailed here. Again search for “Bogard”.

    Two years later Bogard would commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. In the trunk of the car was a stack of newspapers all having headlines about the JFK assassination.

    procab (1f3e89)

  176. Eric, there is nothing “clear” about any audio recordings – certainly nothing that undermines the three shot narrative.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  177. Robin

    They had to be excused away. look when you have to explain away then you have to realize that the recording recorder something that did NOT fit

    However the Secret Service had a sophisticated mike to mike system, those recordings have NEVER been released nor heard by anyone

    Could be a harmless coincidence

    There are numerous harmless coincidents

    EricPWJohnson (92aae0)

  178. However the Secret Service had a sophisticated mike to mike system, those recordings have NEVER been released nor heard by anyone

    Stupid question: if these recordings have never been released, and no one has ever heard them, how do you know what’s on them? How does anyone?

    steverino (5fd2be)

  179. Steverino

    They admitted they had them thats why its SOP secret service had a state of the art mike mike system

    They also won’t release the duty roster either – the complete one

    You got to ask yourself okay Oswald did it then why not release the rifle for independent forensic analysis

    Nope won’t do it

    To me thats a big red flag

    EricPWJohnson (92aae0)

  180. Interesting how those who insist on believing in a conspiracy ignore the larger truths and rely heavily on minor inconsistancies.

    Using their methods, one could make the case that John Hancock didn’t sign the Declaration of Independence, John Wilkes Boothe didn’t shoot Lincoln and that John Kerry served long and valiantly in Vietnam.

    Oh wait,they already tried that last one. My bad.

    Thresherman (a071ac)

  181. They admitted they had them

    That doesn’t explain how you know what’s on them if nobody has heard them.

    Or this:

    While the archives were still sealed and inacessable and the 1979 committee concluded that the entire files were tampered with and the following materials were missing

    Sealed and inaccessible, but somehow the committee used ESP to know that the files were tampered with?

    steverino (5fd2be)

  182. Not only is it a major event of American history, but the Kennedy assassination is a tremendous example that illustrates how people arrive at beliefs and conclusions in their lives, how they reason, think, and sift through the available evidence – or fail to do so.

    What I always find absolutely astounding in the Kennedy case is how so many folks can (apparently in perfectly clear conscious) virtually ignore and leapfrog over so MUCH of the hard factual evidence, substituting instead relatively minor “facts” and inconsistencies they feel bolsters their case for some kind of nefarious, all-encompassing yet vague conspiracy, so seemingly desperate are they to arrive at that conclusion.

    The conspiracy theorists of the Kennedy case (as well as their related cousins, i.e., UFO’s, alien abductions, the moon-landing hoax, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, 9-11 government conspiracies) illustrate this dynamic repeatedly. Their oft-documented zany antics, fabricated factoids, poor critical thinking and research skills have been on public display now for almost an entire half a century. And yet, in spite of all their prodigious efforts (books, seminars, articles, documentary films, etc.) they have made amazingly little progress in clearly and intelligibly demonstrating their case for any kind of conspiracy with respect to the tragic events of that sad November weekend back in 1963.

    But they righteously persist, desperately searching for something – anything – that can be manipulated into some kind of “irrefutable proof” for conspiracy, seemingly oblivious to all the other demonstrable facts of the case which plainly point to Oswald’s guilt in the assassination, and his alone.

    They gallantly march on, even to the point where, as one writer observed years ago, if God Himself were to announce once and for all time that indeed Oswald acted alone in killing the President and there was no grand conspiracy involved at all, that the diehard conspiracy theorists would then proclaim, “Holy cow, this conspiracy goes higher than we ever imagined!”

    It’s absolutely amazing how immune the human mind can be to hard facts, evidence and logic when they point toward a conclusion we just don’t want to accept.

    Randy Martens (6065e6)

  183. Randy, I agree completely. I have read both the Posner and Bugliosi books, and think it ironic that the conspiracy-theorists are doing their best to deprive Oswald of his rightful place in infamy. Would-be Presidential assassin John Hinckley has no doubts though, he has stated that as crazy as he was, acting alone, he almost killed Reagan.

    Tom TB (d671ab)

  184. Tom, yet I truly can sympathize with the conspiracy buffs to some degree. It just seems to me that (as many other writers have said in the past) the primary reason people want to believe in a conspiracy is that in some way (perhaps even subconsciously) they feel it invests President Kennedy’s tragic and premature death with some kind of meaning.

    It’s hard for people to accept the reality that completely meaningless and random tragedies happen. They happen all the time in this crazy world, and the fact that someone as consequential as a President of the United States can be struck down by someone as completely unstable and inconsequential as a Lee Harvey Oswald…well, many minds just cannot accept this unpleasant truism – and so they strive to find some kind of evidence for conspiracy, even if they have to “force square pegs into round holes” in order to do so.

    Plus the fact that a fairly lucrative industry has been built upon Kennedy’s death certainly doesn’t dampen the conspiracist’s persistance either!

    But until you brought it up in your previous post, I’d not considered Hinckley’s 1981 attempt upon President Reagan. If Hinckley would have succeeded in assassinating Reagan (the bullet striking a mere inch or so closer to a 70-year-old President’s heart than it did), no doubt conspiracy “researchers” would have had yet another project to aim their delusional paranoia toward.

    You know, their in-box seems filled to the brim with other pressing issues in desparate need of their impressive detective skills – things such as alien abductions, moon landing hoaxes, 9-11 government conspiracies, etc.

    As a number of their websites clearly demonstrate, many (if not most) Kennedy assassination buffs gullibly buy into all this other nonsense as well – sort of a package deal that seems to appeal to minds needing something more than the often mundane facts of objective reality to keem them occupied.

    Absolutely amazing.

    You may be interested in reading Daniel Pipes’ interesting book called Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From – I think you’d find it extremely relevant to the Kennedy case.

    Randy Martens (6065e6)

  185. Patterico,

    Are you going to Vromies on July 31? Bugliosi is going to be there for his book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder.

    Miss Havisham's Tea Party (c1f115)


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