Where New JFK Evidence Points

Exclusive: Media specials are on tap for the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s murder, but none will explore the troubling new evidence that has been declassified in recent years  and that undercuts the Official Story of the Lone Gunman, writes Jim DiEugenio.

By Jim DiEugenio

In late 1991, film director Oliver Stone released JFK, his film about the investigation of the murder of President John F. Kennedy by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. To say the film was controversial does not begin to describe the furor which surrounded its reception. Six months before the film was in theaters, stories began to appear in large newspapers criticizing a film no one had seen yet.

When the film was finally shown, there was an interesting dichotomy. Whereas most of the film critics liked it, editorials and news stories about the movie attacked it. One critic actually lost her job over a positive review of the film.

President John F. Kennedy in the motorcade through Dallas shortly before his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. (Photo credit: Walt Cisco, Dallas Morning News)

President John F. Kennedy in the motorcade through Dallas shortly before his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. (Photo credit: Walt Cisco, Dallas Morning News, Public Domain)

But the film did two things relevant to the state of the evidence in the matter of President Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. At the end of his film, Stone had shown a title card saying that the files of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) had been classified until the year 2029.

Embarrassed and faced with public outrage Congress held hearings. Many people testified including Stone, and the last chief counsel of the HSCA, Robert Blakey. As a result, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created, tasked with finding and releasing all documents held by public and private entities in America concerning the murder of President Kennedy. Eventually, two million pages of classified files were open to the public.

The second thing the film did was arouse the curiosity of many people who were not aware of the evidentiary problems that had haunted the Kennedy case for nearly 30 years. Stone’s film was the first time in over a decade that millions of Americans had been exposed to things like the Zapruder film, Oswald’s odd relationships with the FBI and CIA, his associations with right-wingers in Dallas and New Orleans, the investigative failings of the Warren Commission, the problems with the autopsy of President Kennedy, and much, much more.

These new people who were drawn into the case had fresh perspectives to offer and new insights. Between the newly declassified documents and this new generation of writers, the information base about both Kennedy and his murder grew exponentially in a relatively short time.

But this week’s 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination will be marked almost entirely by television specials that will be silent about this new and plentiful information, which alters the calculus of the Kennedy case. That is because, despite the uproar created by Stone’s film, the defenders of the Warren Commission’s narrative circled the wagons and protected the Establishment’s preferred solution to the assassination that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Why Oswald?

There always was an attractiveness to the Oswald-did-it storyline. It is the simplest explanation, a lone gunman acting out of some personal grievance, ideological fixation or psychological imbalance. No need to explore evidence of a larger conspiracy. No need to integrate Kennedy’s murder into the historic developments that his presidency represented.

Thus, many influential people from officials involved in the original investigation defending their judgments to a later generation of authors burnishing their reputations for probity have fought fiercely to defend the Oswald-acted-alone narrative. They have done so despite nagging evidentiary problems, such as the “magic bullet theory,” which attributed the multiple wounds to Kennedy’s neck and Texas Gov. John Connally’s chest, wrist and thigh to a single bullet found almost unscathed on a gurney at Parkland Hospital, and those troubling images from the Zapruder film showing Kennedy’s head being knocked backward by the fatal shot, although Oswald was behind him at the Texas Bookstore Depository.

Most importantly, Gerald Posner’s book, Case Closed, which was published before the ARRB was even set up, was used to close the door on further inquiry by pronouncing Oswald guilty again. Yet, Posner’s book did not include any of the intriguing documents the ARRB declassified. Neither did it include the results of the ARRB special investigation into the medical evidence launched by chief counsel Jeremy Gunn.

After Posner’s book, there seemed to be something of an informal agreement by the gatekeepers in the media. There would be no programs dedicated to airing the discoveries of the ARRB, despite the fact that the ARRB had unprecedented powers to declassify documents and compel testimony. Because of these combination of factors, the American public was given little exposure to the ARRB material and the revolutionary work of new authors on the Kennedy case, the most infamous American homicide of the Twentieth Century.

Besides the Oswald-acted-alone solution, there have been other proposed narratives that accept the idea of conspiracy but don’t directly challenge the institutions of the state. These scenarios acknowledge the likelihood of other conspirators but point the finger at the Mafia or Fidel Castro or some other enemies of America.

But much of the new evidence tends to bolster the narrative advanced by Garrison and by Stone’s movie: that the assassination must have involved elements of the U.S. intelligence community working with right-wing operatives who considered Kennedy soft on communism and that a cover-up was put in place by key government figures to prevent an unraveling of these powerful institutions and the erosion of public trust in the authorities.

Who Was Oswald?

Let us begin with the figure of Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald had been portrayed by the Warren Commission as a lonely, communist sociopath. Although there was never any clear motive put forth by the Warren Commission as to why the alleged assassin killed JFK, it was intimated that it was the net result of the frustrations in his life caused by financial problems, ideological intent, and marital troubles. This is still what most current defenders of the Commission say today.

But one of the most surprising things that the ARRB disclosed was the volume of files on Oswald held by both the CIA and FBI after both agencies had long denied that they had much paper on Oswald. But it was not just the volume of documents, but it was the unexpected direction they pointed.

One of the most curious aspects of Oswald’s strange and contradictory life was his military service. One of the things that shocked New Orleans DA Jim Garrison was the fact that, while in the Marines, Oswald took a Russian test. As Garrison writes in his book, the Commission tried to explain this away by stating that he got more questions wrong than right.

But it’s obvious that Oswald stuck with learning Russian because when a friend of his arranged a meeting with Rosaleen Quinn, she commented afterwards that Oswald spoke excellent Russian. And Quinn had been privately tutored in advance of a State Department exam. (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, Second Edition, p. 131)

After acquiring fluency in Russian, Oswald then applied for a hardship discharge in order to leave the service early. Even though he had just a few months left to serve, his request was granted and in only 10 days. The HSCA interviewed a person on the board who granted the discharge. Colonel B. J. Kozak testified that it normally took from three to six months to secure such a release. (HSCA interview of Kozak of Aug. 2, 1978)

After Oswald returned from Russia receiving surprisingly little trouble despite his defection he became friendly with the White Russian community in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He then went to New Orleans in the summer of 1963. Numerous witnesses had testified to seeing him with former FBI agent Guy Banister or at Banister’s office at 544 Camp Street.

But in the files declassified by the ARRB there is even more evidence in this regard. In the declassified files of the Church Committee, there is testimony by two federal immigration agents that they were following David Ferrie in 1963 because of his association with Cubans in the country illegally. Wendell Roache and Ron Smith of the Immigration and Naturalization Service stated that they traced Ferrie to Banister’s office at 544 Camp Street, and Oswald was there. (DiEugenio, p. 113)

Further, at least one of the pro-Castro flyers that Oswald was passing out that summer was stamped with the 544 Camp Street address. According to Banister’s secretary Delphine Roberts, Banister was aware that Oswald had committed this faux pas, and he was upset about it. The rightwing zealot complained that, “How is it going to look for him to have the same address as me!” (HSCA interview with Roberts, July 6, 1978)

The natural question arises: What would an alleged communist like Oswald be doing using the conservative Banister’s office as an address, and also working out of that office? In that regard, one of the most compelling revelations to emerge from the ARRB is that both the FBI and the CIA were running counter-intelligence operations against the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) in 1963. This included using electronic surveillance, penetration agents, and agents provocateur against the New York-based organization.

CIA Mystery 

In one of the CIA’s declassified files on this subject, it was discovered that the men running this counter-intelligence effort at CIA were David Phillips and Jim McCord. (Newman, pgs. 236-41) Phillips’s name in this regard is especially fascinating because of his reported meeting with Oswald in August of 1963 at the Southland Center in Dallas by the militant Cuban exile Antonio Veciana.

At that time, according to the Warren Commission, Oswald was about a month away from leaving for Mexico. In addition to not telling the reader about Phillips, McCord and the CIA counter-intelligence program against the FPCC, the Warren Report also did not reveal a memorandum sent from the CIA to the FBI on Sept. 16, 1963, saying the CIA was “giving some consideration to countering the activities” of the FPCC “in foreign countries. CIA is also giving some thought to planting deceptive information which might embarrass the Committee in areas where it does have some support.”

Oswald had just embarrassed the FPCC by his tactics in New Orleans. First, by getting into a fight with an anti-Castro activist, being arrested, jailed, and then pleading guilty in court. He then took part in a debate where he was exposed as a former Soviet defector. As author Jim Douglass asks: Did this memo refer to Oswald now going to Mexico? (Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, p. 179)

One of the notable achievements of the ARRB was the fact that it declassified the HSCA’s Mexico City Report, which clearly suggests that there was an imposter masquerading as Oswald at both the Cuban consulate and Russian embassy, the places where Oswald was supposed to have visited while he was supposed to be there.

The report states that the CIA could produce no pictures of Oswald either entering or leaving either place, although the Agency had multiple cameras facing each doorway. Further, there is a table in the report which shows that the surveillance tapes the Agency says it had of Oswald in both places could not be of Oswald because the man the CIA had on the tapes spoke broken Russian and fluent Spanish. (Lopez Report, p. 130) However, witnesses said Oswald spoke fluent Russian and broken Spanish.

When one of the tapes of Oswald was sent to Dallas after Kennedy’s assassination and listened to by the FBI agents interviewing Oswald, the agents said the voice was not Oswald’s. When FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was alerted to this, he relayed the information to President Johnson. (FBI Memorandum from Hoover to James Rowley, Nov. 23, 1963)

The FBI Mystery

There are two more declassified connections by the FBI to this important episode. First, a FLASH warning that the FBI had put on Oswald’s file, after his defection to the Soviet Union, was taken off while Oswald was in Mexico. Further, it was removed at about the time the Bureau got information that Oswald was allegedly meeting a KGB agent named Valery Kostikov.

This is important, because as both authors John Newman and Jim Douglass note, if the FLASH notice had been in place, it is probable that Oswald would have been placed on the Security Index. That list would have been turned over to the Secret Service, and Oswald would likely have been picked up or surveilled for Kennedy’s upcoming trip to Dallas.

Secondly, in a declassified memo discovered by Newman, Hoover had scribbled a handwritten note in the marginalia of a memo. In speaking of cooperation between the CIA and the FBI, the Director wrote that he was doubtful about such endeavors because he could not forget “the false story re Oswald’s trip to Mexico” as an example of their double-dealing. Within six weeks of Kennedy’s murder, Hoover thought that the CIA was, at the very least, not being forthcoming about Oswald’s activities in Mexico City.

Hoover was not alone in this suspicion about a CIA connection to Oswald. At a talk at the Cyril Wecht Symposium in Pittsburgh last month, Dan Hardway, an HSCA investigator who specialized on exploring a possible relationship between Oswald and the CIA, said the House panel prepared two indictments for perjury based on the obstruction of the Mexico City investigation. One was for Phillips; the other was for Anne Goodpasture, who controlled the tape and photo production in Mexico City.

Hardway has revealed that when he and another HSCA investigator were getting very close to exposing the skullduggery in Mexico City and who was responsible for it, the CIA moved a man name George Johannides into position as a liaison man over them.

As journalist Jefferson Morley has revealed, the CIA lied to Robert Blakey about the appointment of Johannides. The Agency told Blakely that his new liaison had no connection to the Kennedy case, when, in 1963, Johannides was the Chief of the Psychological Warfare Branch at JM/WAVE, the CIA’s huge Miami station. One of his specific functions was to monitor and supply the anti-Castro Cuban exile group, Cuban Student Directorate, or DRE, which was in contact with Oswald that summer. Carlos Bringuier, the man who got into a physical altercation with Oswald on a city street in New Orleans, was a member of the local branch of the DRE.

Angleton’s Connection

A similar maneuver occurred during the Warren Commission investigation, when the original CIA liaison to the Warren Commission, John Whitten, was replaced by James Angleton, the CIA’s counter-intelligence chief whose office handled (or mishandled) the original reporting about Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union.

When reports came in about Oswald entering the American embassy in Moscow and asking to renounce his citizenship, the information went to the various intelligence repositories in Washington. The FBI issued a FLASH warning to be placed on Oswald if he tried to reenter the country under a false name. After all, the possibility existed that the KGB could have turned him into a spy.

However, at the CIA, the information about Oswald was not acted on immediately or with the normal protocol. A routine 201 form, which catalogues anyone of interest to the Agency, was not filled out on Oswald at that time. Nor did the information go to the Soviet Russia division. Instead, the Oswald notice was funneled to James Angleton’s super-secret, CI/SIG unit, a protective agency that was supposed to be on guard against penetration agents but has been connected to some of the CIA’s most convoluted deep-cover operations, sometimes called “the wilderness of mirrors.” (John Newman, Oswald and the CIA, p. 27)

Besides Angleton’s influence over what CIA files would be made available to the Warren Commission, one of its seven members was former CIA Director Allen Dulles, whom President Kennedy had replaced as director after the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961.

So, it is clear today that the idea the CIA had no intelligence interest in Oswald in the months leading up to Kennedy’s murder has been disproven. In fact, Newman uncovered a CIA memo in the Soviet Russia division which reads, “It was partly out of curiosity to learn if Oswald’s wife would actually accompany him to our country, partly out of interest in Oswald’s own experiences in the USSR, that we showed operational intelligence interest in the Harvey [Oswald] Story.”

The Autopsy Mystery

Another one of the myths circulated by the Warren Commission was that they did not have the actual autopsy exhibits because the Kennedy family would not allow them to access the material. This was a pretense exposed by the declassification of the Commission’s Jan. 21, 1964 executive session hearing. In that transcript, Commissioner John McCloy asked Chief Counsel Lee Rankin if they had the raw materials of the autopsy, and Rankin replied that they did.

In a transcript from the next session on Jan. 27, Rankin talked about actually seeing an autopsy picture and wondering how the bullet could exit Kennedy’s throat from an entrance point that low in the back. Rankin’s puzzlement about the back wound segues neatly into one piece of information that the ARRB did manage to get into the mainstream U.S. media, namely that Commissioner Gerald Ford changed the draft of the Warren Report to move the location of this back wound that so puzzled Rankin up into Kennedy’s neck.

This all too revealing alteration was exposed when Rankin’s son donated an earlier draft of the Warren Report to the ARRB. As Commission historian Gerald McKnight notes in his book Breach of Trust, this revision brought the back wound into “line with the Commission’s no-conspiracy conclusion, repositioning it to make it consistent with what came to be called, the single-bullet theory.” (McKnight, pgs. 171-172)

With the knowledge today that the Commission secretly did have the autopsy photos, this act seems even worse. Because, later on, when the photos were finally revealed to the public, it is clear that the wound was in the back, and not in Kennedy’s neck. Ford appears to have done this simply to make the Commission’s official verdict more palatable to the public, because if the shot was fired from over 60 feet up, from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, how could the bullet hit Kennedy in the back and exit at a higher point if it only went through soft tissue?

We now know that this questionable proposition was not even credible inside the Commission itself. The Commission was presented with evidence of three shells being recovered from the so-called sniper’s nest on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. So, to make Oswald the lone assassin, only three bullets had to be responsible for all the wounds to all the victims in Dealey Plaza.

The Commission said bystander James Tague, standing on Commerce Street, was hit by a missed shot, and one shot fatally wounded Kennedy by striking him in the head. Which left one shot to do the rest of the damage. And it was quite a lot of damage: seven wounds and two smashed bones in Kennedy and Governor Connally who was sitting in the limousine in front of the President. Those seven wounds with one shot represent the trajectory of what has come to be known as the Magic Bullet.

Rolling Russell 

When the Warren Commission verdict was formally announced in the fall of 1964, one of the reasons it appeared authoritative was that it was presented as being unanimous. Seven storied public figures had agreed on each and every aspect of the case against Oswald. Today we know that this was not true.

The best evidence demonstrating its falsity is the Commission’s treatment of Sen. Richard Russell, D-Georgia. For a master’s thesis produced under McKnight’s guidance in 2002, Dani E. Biancolli went through the Russell archive at the University of Georgia.

Almost from the beginning, Russell had problems with the way the Commission was doing business. For instance, Russell was puzzled that the FBI report did not allow for the single-bullet theory. It stated that two separate shots hit Kennedy and one hit Connally. If that is not confusing enough, when the CIA analyzed the Zapruder film, they decided there were two assassins. (McKnight, p. 6)

Russell was not satisfied by the hastily assembled FBI report. He also objected to the fact that Hoover was leaking its findings to the press, making it difficult for the Commission to maintain its independence in the face of public perceptions. Being an experienced trial lawyer, he also began to notice that the Commission was not notifying him when important witnesses would be testifying, e.g. Oswald’s brother, Robert. (Biancolli, p. 46)

Russell also noted that the CIA was giving certain members of the Commission more information than others. Troubled by the overall proceedings, Russell wrote a memo to himself which began with the phrase, “Something strange is happening.” He then noted that the Commission was only going to consider Oswald as the assassin. To lawyer Russell, this was “an untenable position.” (ibid, p. 47) Russell was so disturbed by the way the Commission was progressing that he actually composed a letter of resignation to President Lyndon Johnson.

Russell took the step of drafting an official dissent to the Warren Report. And he wanted the report to contain his reservations about the Magic Bullet. (ibid, p. 63) Aware of this, the more active members of the Commission Gerald Ford, Allen Dulles, John McCloy and chief counsel Lee Rankin tricked Russell. They had discontinued their dealings with their stenography service prior to the final meeting where Russell was to present his dissent. But they did have a secretary in the room to create the pretense that a full transcript was being recorded. (ibid, p. 65) No such thing occurred.

Russell was so effective in his presentation at this meeting that he was joined in the effort by Sen. John Sherman Cooper, R-Kentucky, and to a lesser extent by Rep. Hale Boggs, D-Louisiana. But Russell’s eloquent dissent was not recorded in the transcript. In fact, there really is no transcript of this Sept. 18, 1964 meeting. (ibid, pgs. 63-64) With no transcript available, none of Russell’s objections made it into the Warren Report. Thus, the false veneer of a unanimous Commission was maintained.

Further showing how compromised the Warren Commission was, it is clear today that the Commission demanded little respect from the intelligence agencies supplying it with information. For instance, as ARRB employee Doug Horne discovered, Commission counsel Arlen Specter requested the Secret Service produce any tapes of the Nov. 22 press conference by the doctors at Parkland Hospital. Even though they had a recording, the Secret Service failed to turn it over to the Commission. Perhaps because during the interview, Dr. Malcolm Perry said three times that the wound to Kennedy’s throat was one of entrance. If that were true, Oswald could not have caused it.

The CIA also sent the Commission very limited information about Oswald’s alleged trip to Mexico City. For instance, the CIA did not send any information to the Commission about any of the phone taps they had at the Cuban or Russian embassies. And there is no evidence that the Commission ever knew who did the translation for the intercepts of incoming phone calls.

Further, the Commission never interviewed Silvia Duran, the receptionist at the Cuban consulate, the person who had the most contact with Oswald. Because of these failings, the information in the Warren Report about Oswald in Mexico City, which many people today see as crucial, is so skimpy as to be almost useless.

Hesitant Investigators

As the Russell incident indicates, it’s clear today that the Warren Commission was a reluctant investigative body from the start. This began with the technique President Johnson used to get Earl Warren to serve as chairman, something Warren did not want to do. LBJ told Warren that because of Oswald’s visits to the Russian and Cuban consulates, there was a danger of nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union and Cuba and the possible deaths of 40 million Americans in a matter of minutes.

Johnson later said Warren teared up at this suggestion, and Warren mentioned Johnson’s warning at his first staff meeting. The danger of a freewheeling investigation clearly had an impact on many of the investigators who came to see their job as tamping down suspicions of a larger conspiracy, rather than following the facts wherever they might lead. When Wesley Liebeler met with witness Sylvia Odio in Dallas, he told her that they had orders from Warren that if they came across any evidence of conspiracy they were to shove it under the rug. (Odio interview with Church Committee, Jan. 16, 1976)

What makes this so regrettable today is that there is no audio or photographic evidence that Oswald was at either the Russian or Cuban offices in Mexico City. The descriptions of a short, blonde man suggest an imposter. Hoover also felt that the CIA had given him a cover story. This declassified evidence in the Lopez Report leaves the question: Was the specter of a nuclear war used as a pretext to stop any real investigation?

Another crucial piece of evidence that was revived by the ARRB was this: There appears to have been an unsuccessful attempt to kill Kennedy in Chicago just three weeks before the successful one in Dallas. In November 1975, journalist Edwin Black wrote a long and detailed essay on this aborted plot for the Chicago Independent, a paper with a small and local circulation. Soon, this milestone essay was more or less forgotten, but the HSCA secured a copy of it.

Because of its recirculation, other writers have done more work on the subject.  One of the most disturbing aspects of the Chicago attempt is that the outline of the plot is eerily similar to what happened in Dallas, down to the apparent fall guy. Three men who appeared to be Cubans were going to kill Kennedy in a rifle ambush as he exited off a freeway ramp in front of a tall building.

The man who was supposed to be accused of the crime was Thomas Vallee. Like Oswald, Valle was a former Marine who was stationed at a U-2 base in Japan. Vallee supposedly was resentful toward Kennedy because of the Bay of Pigs disaster. Curiously, the codename of the FBI informant who tipped off the Secret Service was “Lee.” The existence of a prior assassination plot with parallels to Kennedy’s killing in Dallas would seem to be relevant if one were exploring a wider conspiracy, but there was not one word about this episode in the Warren Report.

Medical Evidence

Some of the most startling new evidence in the JFK case from the declassified files relates to the ARRB’s medical investigation and from new doctors who have entered the JFK field. For instance, Dr. Gary Aguilar has collated the interviews done by HSCA investigators Andy Purdy and Mark Flanagan about the wounds to President Kennedy as seen by the witnesses at Bethesda Medical Center, the hospital where Kennedy’s autopsy was done after his body was returned to Washington.

The HSCA report said there was a discrepancy between what the medical staffers at Parkland Hospital in Dallas saw and what the staffers at Bethesda saw. Witnesses at the former, where Kennedy was rushed after the shooting, said they saw a large, avulsive hole in the rear of Kennedy’s skull. This would strongly indicate a shot from the front. Yet the HSCA Report said that the witnesses at Bethesda did not see this wound.

It turns out this was false. When Aguilar went through all the declassified reports from the Bethesda witnesses, they agreed that there was a large avulsive hole in the rear of Kennedy’s skull. Aguilar has a table of over 40 witnesses in two locations who are now on the record as saying they saw this wound. The odds of that many trained medical personnel being wrong are, needless to say, very high. Yet, it remains unclear who at the HSCA was responsible for the deception.

As contradictory to the single-gunman theory as the ARRB-revealed medical evidence seems to be, the present state of the ballistics evidence is probably moreso. Broadly speaking, this consists of the ammunition, the rifle, and the crime scene.

Let us begin with new revelations about the so-called Magic Bullet. When Gary Aguilar was going through the declassified FBI files pertaining to the identification of that exhibit formally called CE 399 he was puzzled by the lack of actual FBI field reports in the file, so-called “302” reports on witness interviews.

What initially spurred his interest in this matter was the 1967 interview that author Josiah Thompson conducted with O. P. Wright, the security director at Parkland Hospital. When Thompson showed Wright a photo of CE 399, he denied that it was the bullet he gave to the Secret Service. CE 399 is a round-nosed, military jacketed, copper-coated bullet. Wright said he turned over a lead-colored, sharp-nosed, hunting round. (Thompson, Six Seconds in Dallas, p. 175)

Yet, in the declassified file, Aguilar could find no 302 where anything like Wright’s definitive response to Thompson was recorded. Or a 302 in which Wright said that CE 399 resembled the bullet he found the day of the assassination. Yet, the FBI was supposed to have shown CE 399 to Wright to confirm the identification of the Magic Bullet as what was turned over at Parkland Hospital. But there was only a summary memorandum confirming that ID.

Though the ARRB told Aguilar that they had exhausted that particular FBI file, there was a clue for further inquiry. In the summary memo, the FBI agent who supposedly showed the exhibit to Wright was identified as Bardwell Odum. In November 2001, Aguilar and Thompson visited the retired agent who told his interviewers that he never took any bullet around to show to any Parkland witnesses and since he knew Wright well, he would have recalled the interview.

Further, if that event had happened, Odum would have had to file a 302. Aguilar had studied the report file in sequential order and none were missing, indicating that Odum never filed a 302 presumably because he never showed the bullet to Wright.

The FBI’s Fiddling

But why would the FBI have fiddled with the evidence relating to the chain of custody for the Magic Bullet? One obvious answer would be that FBI Director Hoover understood how important it was to remove any doubts that Oswald was the lone gunman.

After the declassification process was complete, researcher John Hunt petitioned the National Archives to examine the FBI’s own data in order to determine if CE 399 actually arrived at FBI headquarters when the Bureau said it did and if it was carried there by agent Elmer Lee Todd as Hoover said it was. As basic to an investigation as trail of evidence is, this was not done by either the Warren Commission or the HSCA.

In a handwritten receipt, Todd noted he got the bullet at the White House from James Rowley of the Secret Service at 8:50 p.m. Hunt then reviewed the work of Robert Frazier who was the technician who booked and analyzed firearms evidence on the JFK case that day. In Frazier’s chronicle, entitled appropriately enough, “History of Evidence,” Frazier wrote that he received the bullet from Todd at 7:30 p.m. In another document entitled “Laboratory Work Sheet,” Frazier wrote this again and described the exhibit as “Bullet from Stretcher.”

The obvious problem was: How could Todd have given CE 399 to Frazier at the FBI lab before he got it from Rowley at the White House? Assuming the contemporaneous documentary record is correct, either the FBI switched the bullet or there was more than one bullet. Either alternative would vitiate the Commission’s conclusion about Oswald as the lone gunman.

In Thompson’s book he writes that both Todd and Frazier marked the bullet with their initials; this was based on a two-page FBI document inside a Justice Department Report. The FBI needed Todd’s initials on the bullet because the initials of the man who gave the bullet to Rowley, Secret Service agent Richard Johnsen, are not on CE 399. And neither are Rowley’s. Todd’s initials had to be there to give the chain of possession any validity at all.

Hunt discovered that Todd’s initials are not on CE 399, which would mean that the forensic value of the Magic Bullet was worthless. (Hunt’s articles can be read here http://www.jfklancer.com/hunt/mystery.html, and here http://www.jfklancer.com/hunt/phantom.htm).

Miscarriage of Justice

This essay could be twice as long as it is. And it could touch on many other different fields: the efforts of the FBI and CIA to electronically monitor Jim Garrison’s office; the FBI concealment of Guy Banister’s address of 544 Camp Street from the Warren Commission; the witnesses who saw Oswald, Clay Shaw and David Ferrie in the hamlets of Clinton and Jackson; the testimony of Victoria Adams that Oswald was not running down the Depository stairs from the sixth floor after the shooting; the work by Josiah Thompson and Dave Wimp which demonstrates there is no forward movement by Kennedy at frames 312-313 of the Zapruder film, which shows Kennedy going only one way, back and to the left.

These revelations, based largely on the documentary record released by the ARRB, have revolutionized what the evidence tells us about Kennedy’s assassination. Based on these documents and other discoveries, the Warren Commission is revealed as a miscarriage of justice and its report a distortion of history, perhaps justified in the minds of some participants as needed to protect the country from the repercussions of a no-holds-barred investigation.

While President Johnson may have raised the specter of a nuclear conflagration in 1963, the later motives for the continuing cover-up and the intensity of the attacks on anyone who has questioned the official version can best be explained by the institutional self-interests of the government agencies that would be implicated in the cover-up or the actual crime.

Along with fierce resistance from the CIA and the FBI, there was the close-minded response to the new evidence from the gatekeepers of the major U.S. news media. Ridiculing authors and investigators who challenged the Warren Commission’s findings became something of a litmus test for measuring a journalist’s fitness to get a good-paying job in the mainstream press.

But this arrogant behavior by these powerful governmental and media institutions their contempt for an intellectually unconstrained evaluation of the JFK evidence has proved costly in terms of public trust. Polls reveal that the decline in America’s faith in government began in 1964, the year the Warren Report was issued. As the ARRB’s former counsel Jeremy Gunn said in a speech at Stanford, with what the ARRB discovered, he would much rather be defending Oswald than prosecuting him.

Despite this new evidence, there are many programs being broadcast this month about both President Kennedy and his murder, e.g. Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy. Not a single one will present anywhere near a representative selection of the new evidentiary discoveries made by the ARRB. Yet, this information is crucial to understanding where the United States finds itself today, a country awash in excessive secrecy and growing public distrust.

Another one of the declassified files the records of the Sec/Def meeting of May 1963 revealed that Oliver Stone was correct in another facet of his movie. President Kennedy was planning to withdraw from Vietnam, a decision that if not reversed by President Johnson might have dramatically changed the course of U.S. history.

In the face of this continuing denial of a full accounting of Kennedy’s assassination on the 50th anniversary, the public should ask two simple questions: What really happened to President Kennedy in Dealey Plaza? And why the unending resistance from the news media to present the new evidence to the American people?

Jim DiEugenio is a researcher and writer on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and other mysteries of that era. His most recent book is Reclaiming Parkland.

25 comments for “Where New JFK Evidence Points

  1. November 27, 2013 at 09:47

    Thank-you so much for putting all of this together into one document here Jim! It is a great service that you do for the people that just can’t swallow the Warren Collusion Report! I’ve just posted a link to this page as part of my comment to a fellow that is a hard-core “Oswald did it alone! Period!” kinda guy. Just curious though as also tonight, I saw a video interview of Jack Van Laningham as seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZBpjcDmMSU and I’m curious for your comment on it.
    I find it incredible the bits and pieces that are slowly coming out about what REALLY for once and all, happened that day in Dallas. Just for a laugh I asked the guy if he believed an airplane hit the Pentagon and sure enough…hehe
    Thanks again Jim!

  2. Victoria
    November 22, 2013 at 10:13

    The latest JFK assassination evidence points to a Rothschild/Israeli connection to the murder: http://americanfreepress.net/?p=13765 Who else has had the power, money and influence to have kept it all under wraps for 50 years?

    All the other implicated people and organizations seem to have been involved, too, because Kennedy had many enemies within his own military and government, not to mention, in society at large. In a world predicated upon war and ‘survival of the fittest’, one cannot have a leader who makes the sort of speech JFK made at American University in June of 1963:


    Listen and weep for what we lost on 22nd November, 1963.

  3. Anonymous
    November 20, 2013 at 17:47

    I also saw the same errors. But I recognize them as minor errors which do not distract from the actual information. Why would you want to distract?

  4. Patrick S. Tanner
    November 20, 2013 at 01:49

    Good article but it doesn’t mention Bush and Zappata Oil and how George W. Bush was head of the oil boys and connected with CIA and Angleton and seen outside the book depository that day. This was the kill that made Bush and moved him up in rank and later got him into The Nixon Adm.
    6 minutes ago · Like

    Patrick Scot Tanner Also doesn’t mention William Greer, The Limo Driver who was CIA who made the final head blow to JFK’s Head who was the driver for Henry Cabot Lodge. So it was two shots from book depository into JFK’s back and upper back that was not fired from Oswald as Oswald was set up to be there to orchestrate it as a CIA informant for The FBI through Shaw and Bannister from New Orleans, and the shot to the front of JFK’s neck came from grassy knoll. Other shots were fired from other places but were meant for distraction and confusion. The entire establishment, Dulles, CIA, Zapatta Oil, Hoover, LBJ, Anti Castro Mob working ofr CIA, etc. etc. was all in on it and also Cardinal Spelling U.S. Jesuit General apparently who is head cheese as ordered by Black Pope, and The Fed.

    • Patrick S. Tanner
      November 20, 2013 at 02:08

      George H. W. Bush I mean

  5. November 20, 2013 at 00:07

    Another nail in the Warren Commission pack of lies, perhaps the best one I have seen. What is most dismaying to me about this case is the complicity of mainstream media in the coverup, implying or asserting with certainty that a lone nut did it. As I have said on my Facebook page several times, I know I do not know for sure who did it, but I know for a fact it is possible, nay probable, a conspiracy of some sort did it. As with most cases in the real world, the JFK case, is probably impossible to prove with evidence, especially now with the passage of time. If the real killer were still alive and he decided to come clean, how could he prove he actually did it when the “truth” has already been decided and reinforced over and over by mainstream media?

  6. November 19, 2013 at 23:35

    Jim DiEugenio doesn’t even mention the Israeli angle in the story. I wonder why.

    So I think anybody who read this article should then continue to read this one:

    The JFK War: The disturbing case of Jim DiEugenio, LBJ and Israel

  7. fairandbalancedfredo
    November 19, 2013 at 15:17

    “In retrospect, the reason for the assassination is hardly a mystery. It is now abundantly clear … why the C.I.A.’s covert operations element wanted John Kennedy out of the Oval Office and Lyndon Johnson in it. The new President elevated by rifle fire to control of our foreign policy had been one of the most enthusiastic American cold warriors…. Johnson had originally risen to power on the crest of the fulminating anti-communist crusade which marked American politics after World War II. Shortly after the end of that war, he declaimed that atomic power had become ‘ours to use, either to Christianize the world or pulverize it’ — a Christian benediction if ever there was one. Johnson’s demonstrated enthusiasm for American military intervention abroad … earned him the sobriquet ‘the senator from the Pentagon….'”
    –Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins

  8. elmerfudzie
    November 19, 2013 at 15:02

    The fact remains that, as a nation, we have not resolved the issue of who prints the money and who controls it. This issue must be reviewed and interpreted by taking into account those game changing events over the last one hundred and fifty years. JFK had a vision, a Hamiltonian one, a benevolent federal government that did not side with private corporate interests, especially where the printing and ownership of money was concerned, I include in this oversight, who gets taxed and by how much as well as the financial zing of publicly owned trusts. Those same interests controlling our federal reserve system, such as the Morgan’s, murdered Czar Nicholas and his family. This was accomplished through Lenin who’s revolution was financed by power brokers like the Rothschilds. His communist cabal owed millions of dollars to these same predatory banksters responsible for killing JFK and his brother RFK. The Czar knew, that the international bankers wanted to control his country and him through money printing and thus control over all financing activities inside or outside his sovereign reign. The Czar, of course, rejected the Rothschild model or in today’s vernacular, the Cecil John Rhodes model of capitalism so expediency through assassination was arranged for both “Kings”. Price controls and big steel, locked horns with JFK and who was behind big steel? the Morgans. Further, JFK had to experience what President Truman realized, that creating a second government within the government was a big mistake because the banking interests took immediate control over our CIA and Intel services. Why? because second to who controls money, is who will control information or should I say dis-information. I can only assume the worst fate awaits those countries who permit their “kings” to be murdered in front of the whole world. According to the astute, all American financier, Gerald Celente, the next quarter in 2014 will spell it out for yah.

    • fairandbalancedfredo
      November 19, 2013 at 15:25

      “After the assassination the public was burdened with no quandary. Wherever the guilt really lay, the man identified as killing President Kennedy was stamped as a disciple of the extreme left. Rightly or wrongly, the political left was implicitly convicted along with Oswald. Was that verdict just, or were Oswald and his apparent heroes victims of a vicious double-cross by forces of the extreme right?” –Anthony Summers, Not in Your Lifetime

  9. fairandbalancedfredo
    November 19, 2013 at 14:28

    Was Oswald posing as a Communist as a cover, while actually working as a spy for the CIA? The following is a quick look at some of the evidence pointing to Oswald’s involvement with spy work:

    His childhood — a bright loner who read a wide range of books and was drawn to unpopular ideas, attracted by spy stories (the TV show “I Led Three Lives” and Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels were among his favorites) — perfectly fits the profile of persons most desired for intelligence work.
    Oswald’s Marine career is checkered with inconsistencies and unexplained events that suggest secret intelligence training.
    His assignment to Atsugi base in Japan, which housed a large CIA facility.
    Oswald’s incredible ability with the Russian language. Several Russians, including his wife, said he spoke like a native, yet this high-school dropout reportedly taught himself Russian from books.
    The fact that several persons — including a former CIA paymaster, Oswald’s Marine roommate, and fellow Marine Gerry Patrick Hemming — have suggested that Oswald worked for U.S. intelligence.
    The manner in which Oswald traveled so easily in and out of Russia as well as the unaccounted-for funds he used suggests intelligence guidance.
    The ability of this American “defector” to leave the Soviet Union with his Russian-born wife at a time when most Russians were being denied exit permits.
    The ease with which this would-be defector obtained passports both in 1959 and 1963.
    The fact that Oswald wrote a lengthy report on his activities in Russia and, later, made a detailed report to the FBI concerning his Fair Play For Cuba activities in New Orleans.
    Oswald’s notebook contained the word “microdots,” a common spy technique of photographically reducing information to a small dot.
    Oswald’s nonbinding “defection” to Russia fits perfectly the profile of an Office of Naval Intelligence program to infiltrate American servicemen into the Soviet Union during the late 1950’s.
    One of Oswald’s closest contacts, George DeMohrenschildt, was himself an intelligence operative, first for the Nazis and later for the CIA.
    One of the strongest pieces of evidence for Oswald’s involvement in spy work concerns a small Minox camera found among his effects by Dallas Police. Information developed by the Dallas Morning News in 1978 revealed the camera was not available to the public in 1963. It may have been spy equipment issued to Oswald. This evidence was so explosive that the FBI tried to get Dallas detectives to change their reports regarding the camera and also kept photos taken by Oswald hidden for nearly fifteen years…. Detective Rose told the Dallas Morning News: “[FBI agents] were calling it a light meter, I know that. But I know a camera when I see it…. The thing we got at Irving out of Oswald’s seabag was a Minox camera. No question about it. They tried to get me to change the records because it wasn’t a light meter. I don’t know why they wanted it changed, but they must have had some motive for it.” The motive may have been that the existence of the camera pointed to Oswald’s intelligence connections…. The three-inch-long German-made camera was famous for being used by spies on both sides during World War II.

    Note: The above text is excerpted from the book, Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs

    • Yaj
      November 19, 2013 at 22:54

      Ah yes the Marrs book “Crossfire” which Oliver Stone does credit.

      Of course much of the book “Crossfire” is Marrs ripping off Mae Brussel, sans credit for her work.

    November 19, 2013 at 13:36

    As with the offcicial cover-up of what really happened on 9/11/01, the assassinations of JFK, MLK, Jr., and RFK will continue to be covered up by the Empire, including its official departments as well as its unofficial “Ministry of Truth”, the corporate media, which now includes PBS.

    The military/intelligence coup perpetrated in Dallas on 11/23/1963, and since expanded beyond that assassination, has produced the Corporate/Police State U.S. we now live in, with its global empire of military bases and forces (including CIA and JSOC) raping the planet and murdering millions for power and profit.

    • fairandbalancedfredo
      November 19, 2013 at 15:23

      “It was common knowledge in the Tokyo CIA station that Oswald worked for the agency…. Right after the President was killed, people in the Tokyo station were talking openly about Oswald having gone to Russia for the CIA. Everyone was wondering how the agency was going to be able to keep the lid on Oswald. But I guess they did.” –interview of Jim and Elsie Wilcott, former husband and wife employees of the Tokyo CIA Station, San Francisco Chronicle, “Couple Talks about Oswald and the CIA,” 12 September 1978

  11. Michael Flores
    November 19, 2013 at 13:26

    Unless three facts are presented, all arguments on the JFK assassination are false. First the book THE SWORD AND THE SHIELD already published the fact that the KGB office in charge of creating JFK assassination theories, and they created over 200, was awarded the Order Of Lenin for undermining Americans faith in the system. Not only the names of the people in charge given, but the street address of the office in Moscow. Look in the index of the book RUSH TO JUDGEMENT by MARK LANE which started the JFK assassination industry. He was funded by the KGB and had Soviet scientists blend science with fantasy. Anyone who does not acknowledge this fact must be held with deep suspicion.
    Second, JFK had orgies with the same women who had brought down the British government – Soviet spies in the Porfumo scandal. MI5 had already contacted the FBI, Congress and more and alerted them to this. After Xmas, in 1964, the GOP was to hold hearings on JFK having sex with Russian spies in the White House. There was no reason to shoot him. He was over.
    Finally James Angleton, who had been rewarded for setting up Joe McCarthy for a fall by rising in the ranks of CIA ( Angleton provided Joe with the only false name he had, still classified, before the Army hearings to shake him up and scare off his supporters. It worked. From Ayn Rand to William F. Buckley they denounced Joe- never knowing the CIA’s role. There is a full confession by CIA of this- just google THE POND CIA. Look for the STUDIES IN INTELLIGENCE link.
    During the JFK period Angleton had brought domestic CIA to its knees. Over 150 agents were under house arrest in a search for a KGB spy within the agency. Many were force fed LSD on a weekly basis and tortured. All were innocent. The CIA was thus incapable of doing such an action, and any of the 150 plus agents tortured would have reason enough to expose any kind of assassination plot.
    The KGB has openly admitted they created the “JFK killed by our government myth”. JFK had recklessly let sex undermine our national security. The CIA broke its charter to frame Joe McCarthy and ruin his name. Even though they now admit on their website he was correct. Angleton crippled CIA until Nixon got it going again, by further breaking its charter to go after domestic anti-war people. Yet for some reason, the conspiracy crowd runs like cowards when real conspiracies are revealed.
    The truth is far more fascinating than any conspiracy theory!

    • F. G. Sanford
      November 19, 2013 at 14:38

      So…what’s wrong with the leader of the free world screwing Russian spies? Hey, if he didn’t screw them over here, he might have had to screw them over there.

      Nobody in their right mind would have sex with William F. Buckley or Ayn Rand, so somebody had to do it. And, I wonder just how much LSD you had to swallow to come up with a bizarre comment like this one?

      • fairandbalancedfredo
        November 19, 2013 at 15:28

        James Botelho, a former roommate of Oswald who would later become a California judge, stated in an interview with Mark Lane, “Oswald, it was said, was the only Marine ever to defect from his country to another country, a Communist country, during peacetime…. When the Marine Corps and American intelligence decided not to probe the reasons for the ‘defection’, I knew then what I know now: Oswald was on an assignment in Russia for American intelligence.”[160][161]

    • fairandbalancedfredo
      November 19, 2013 at 14:55

      About 50 million Americans owe their existence to JFK. At least this many would have died had JFK listened to his CIA and Pentagon advisers and bombed and invaded Cuba. We know now that Soviet generals on the island of Cuba
      were authorized to use nuclear weapons against the US if attacked.

    • Juniper
      November 19, 2013 at 16:26

      Michael Flores: you neglected to mention that Sword and Shield also says that the Russians likely actually believed in the veracity of the theories they were encouraging. It also says in that book also that in the 1970’s the KGB internally concluded that there was an “orchestrated” American press campaign that sought to divert public atention from Oswald’s connections to American intelligence.

      • F. G. Sanford
        November 19, 2013 at 17:39

        Thank you, Juniper. The coordinated media campaign you mention, I might add, was conducted by many of the sycophants, suck-ups, cowards, hacks, boot-lickers and self-serving paranoid yes-men that a prominent member of their own community referred to as “The Greatest Generation”.

        “Greatest Generation” my ass. I remember those knee-pad sporting grovelers sternly admonishing my generation against ever questioning the official story. Today, our media follows in those same cowardly footsteps. As a result, massive financial crimes escape media scrutiny. Wars are started based on fraudulent claims of weapons that don’t exist. Body-armored police with tanks and grenade launchers lock down an American city at will. Members of a Seal Team state that they didn’t recognize their target as the man they were assigned to capture or kill. Torture, which would have been the ultimate breach of American values to that supposedly “Great” generation is now practiced with pride. Our Constitutional protections against tyranny are gone. But the media ignores these frauds against American democracy.

        What relevance could “classified” information regarding this episode possibly have on national security today? Other than the fact that it would reveal that the entire facade of American government serves only to protect the interests of a small financial and power elite, I can’t think of any. The media bootlickers aren’t afraid of being labelled “conspiracy theorists”. They’re afraid of being kicked off the gravy train. Walter Cronkite, after all, died a very, very, very wealthy man. The “Greatest Generation”, at least those in the media, were a bunch of whores.

        • Yaj
          November 19, 2013 at 22:47

          Mr Flores–

          The CIA website states the Joe McCarthy was right.

          Um, you do get that the senator wasn’t simply saying there are Soviet agents in the US?

    • Superstitious Skeptic
      November 20, 2013 at 17:17

      So, your heroes are Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon, and an unfettered CIA. Maybe the fluoride the drinking water really was a commie plot and it’s contaminated you precious bodily fluids!

      • TLR
        November 21, 2013 at 14:49

        Michael Flores, how was the GOP going to hold hearings on JFK’s sex life when they didn’t control either house of Congress?

        Your post is a load of made-up nonsense.

    • November 21, 2013 at 16:25

      Your rather lengthy post left out one very important detail and covered up another. The CIA was NEVER brought to its knees. That’s a cover up. Secondly, The CIA was love child of the Nazi SS and the American Military which was enthralled with the prospect of assimilating the whole intricate SS spy network in the Soviet Union. Hence the CIA never had any allegiance to the US but rather the 3rd Reich.

      Evidence of link between Nazis still in operation after World War II to the still unsolved murder of John F. Kennedy
      by Mae Brussell (from the short-lived Larry Flynt publication The Rebel, January 1984)

      The SS Connection to the John F. Kennedy Assassination which reveals evidence of link between SS still in operation after World War II to the still unsolved murder of John F. Kennedy

      It appears very clear that the Allies LOST WWII when the choose to accept the German Military’s surrender but let the well organized Nazi SS Diaspora run it’s destructive course. I think it’s also very clear that the entire US government HAS BEEN HIJACKED by these war criminals. That’s why The time for pretending is past. Because the banksters are looting everyone, the billionaires are talking smug, the police are acting more and more like the military and less and less like Peace Officers, the drones are in the sky, the warships are circling the oil, the super secret US military’s J-SOC is conducting continuous proxy wars and targeted assassinations in over seventy countries world wide with thousands of people as collateral damage, the suicide bombers are decimating their kin, the false flags are turning cabaret, the frankenfood is on the plates, social media is shaping one mind, and with two minutes to go the Fascists are driving down the field unchallenged with Orwell’s dog-eared playbook in hand. Our Fascist system, disguised as a functioning two party democracy, is red in tooth and claw.

      Consider the following:

      The Men Who Killed Kennedy “The Truth Will Make You Free” COMPLETE EPISODE 6


      The Russians LOVED Kennedy because of his very real and heart felt peace overtures !!! This was a sentiment NOT shared by the progeny of the Nazi SS running the CIA which hated the Soviet Union and was in JFK’s cross-hairs, !!!

      Here’s a timely remembrance:
      JFK Assassination Anniversary Primer | MyFDL

  12. November 19, 2013 at 12:51

    I believe that evidence from the Zapruder film gives the timing of the first shot and it is obvious that JFK was first shot in the throat by mobster Charles Nicoletti from a low embankment on Elm Street standing behind a phalanx of members of the Dallas John Birch Society. The evidence for this I give in much detail at:

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