Sunday, October 20, 2013

JFK50 Part 2: Magic Bullets and Vanishing Brains

A slow news weekend means this is an all-JFK post.  First up, news:

New book posits that RFK stole Kennedy's brain.
Allegedly, RFK took his brother's brain so that it wouldn't be known how advanced his Addison's Disease was.  The article makes it seem as if Addison's is an always-fatal condition, but it isn't, and there is evidence that JFK's case wasn't as severe since he was able to survive major surgery.  Of the many bizarre conspiracy theories that have been floated around over the years, one of the strangest has been that Kennedy organized the assassination himself because he knew he would die soon. 

There is a lot of confusion regarding Kennedy's brain, which is alleged to have gone missing from the National Archives in the mid-60s.  Only the Kennedy family had access to the JFK materials at that time (a fact few people know these days) and therefore the Kennedys or another high-ranking government official are our only choices for suspects.  There is also some controversy about what exactly there would have been left of Kennedy's brain to steal.  Most of the Parkland doctors and those present for the official autopsy in Bethesda stated that there was very little brain matter left.  That's a good bit different from the largely-intact brain viewed in photos by the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee.  This mystery was solved in 1998, albeit very quietly:

Archive photos are not Kennedy's brain.

If you read the article fully, you'll see that there were multiple examinations on multiple brains performed as part of the Kennedy autopsy.  Furthermore, there is a strong contention from several people close to the Kennedy family that they insisted the brain be interred with the body, so it is very likely that RFK wouldn't have even thought that there was a brain in the archives to steal.

JFK50 answers part 2:

Continuing this series with a few more points and responses.

Point 9:  Not ONE SPECK of any bullets/bullet fragments/bullet shells OTHER THAN OSWALD'S 6.5 MM MANNLICHER-CARCANO were discovered anywhere in Dealey Plaza, the limousine, the TSBD, Parkland Hospital, or in the victims. This one, to me, is simply impossible for conspiracy advocates to overcome, IF there had been (as some claim) up to 3 firing teams and
4 to 10 shots fired in DP on Nov. 22nd.

Response: Now we're getting somewhere.  Bullet evidence was the cornerstone of the Warren Commission's assertion that Oswald was the lone assassination.  Everyone by now is familiar with the "Magic Bullet" theory and the holes in it, so there is no need to rehash those arguments here.  The debunker is right, however, there is no evidence of other bullets or fragments from a gun other than the M-C.

But let's get into that for a while, shall we?  There is only ONE piece of bullet evidence in the Kennedy assassination: the so-called Magic Bullet, Commission Exhibit 399 (CE399, page 49, Vol XVII). 
This bullet allegedly went through both men and was found in this condition on a stretcher in Parkland Hospital. 

If one assumes that such a feat is possible and this an authentic bullet, forensic evidence does support the claim that this bullet is materially similar to fragments removed from Gov. John Connally's wrist.

It is, however, the only piece of forensic evidence.  Why? Here's a couple of reasons:
  • The car Kennedy was riding in was sent to Deerborn, MI, immediately after the assassination, disassembled and reassembled, and given to LBJ to be his Presidential limo.  There is no record of the car being reviewed for evidence or bullet fragments, nor is there any evidence that the Dallas Police or the FBI even looked at the car.
  • Governor John Connally's suit couldn't yield any forensic evidence, because someone sent it to the dry cleaners before it could be examined.  The suit was turned over to LBJ and a group of Texas Congressmen, and was later found in the closet of Rep. Henry Gonzalez.  It too was never examined and never in the possession of the Dallas Police Department or FBI. It's now on display in Austin, without any mention of its curious history.  
  • James Thomas Tague, interviewed in Vol VII, was struck by a richocheting bullet that struck the curb.  A thorough analysis of this can be found here, and no efforts were made to locate the bullet that struck the curb and then Tague, and the curb was repaired before it was examined in 1964.  The Warren Commission eventually decided that a fragment of a bullet that struck Kennedy and/or Connally had enough energy to travel an additional 200 yards, strike the curb and then wound Tague.
  • The Forgive My Grief series by Penn Jones, Jr. is a must-have for any serious researcher.  The cover of volume III is the oddly framed photograph shown below.  It depicts a FBI agent pocketing an extra bullet found in Dealey Plaza that day; one that was never entered into evidence.  This incident is related in Officer Walther's testimony in Vol VII. 

Point 10: The majority of Dealey Plaza witnesses said shots came from behind the President, in the direction of the School Book Depository Building.
Response:  The answer to this is simple.  See below:
That's the Doppler Effect.  It applies to gunshots because bullets can approach and pass the speed of sound, meaning that witnesses will hear something different depending on their relative position to the projectile when it breaks the sound barrier.  One horrific anecdote seldom mentioned is the number of soldiers in Vietnam who ran towards a sniper because the bullet missed them and broke the sound barrier after it passed.  They simply heard the "pop" in the wrong direction and ran headlong towards oncoming fire.  If gunmen were firing from in front of the President and missed, it is entirely possible that the witnesses would have heard the "pop" in the direction of the TSBD.

Point 11 is more dithering about curtain rods and Ruth Paine's testimony.  I won't spoil the fun for you -- read up on Ruth and Michael Paine on your own.  Find out specifically where Michael worked and for whom, and to whom the Paine's were related.  Then piece together their relationship to Lee and Marina and see if anything stands out to you.

Point 12: Oswald left behind, presumably for wife Marina, his wedding ring, wallet, and just about every dime he had to his name ($170), on the morning of 11/22. Logic dictates that he felt he may not return.
Response: Logic would only dictate this if it was different from his usual routine.  Since this is just an opinion, I'll offer one of my own: It would be strange if Oswald had carried "every dime he had" to work with him on a random morning in late November.  Furthermore, Oswald didn't know how to drive, so carrying a wallet and driver's license wouldn't have been necessary. Marina Oswald contradicts herself in her testimony regarding Lee's wedding ring.  She admits he often took it off during work since it was too wide for his small hands.  Former employers stated to the FBI that Lee never wore a wedding ring at work.

Oswald did, however, have identification on him.  Specifically, he had two identification cards, one for A. Hidell and one for Lee Oswald.  This is according to Officer Guy "Gus" Rose in Volume VII page 228.  Per Rose, Oswald initially identified himself as Hidell and was carrying a wallet at the time of his arrest

Point 13: Oswald was the only Depository employee known to have been INSIDE the Depository Building at the time of the assassination to leave work prematurely on 11/22.
Response: Yes, Oswald left the TSBD after the Kennedy assassination.  This much is true.  He wasn't in too much of a hurry for a man that had just committed the crime of the century, however.  Within minutes of the assassination -- in fact, in about 90 seconds after the final shots -- Oswald was spotted on the second floor of the building buying a Coke by Officer Marrion Baker and building superintendant Roy Truly.  Both Baker and Truly testified to this fact in Vol III but neither of them remembered Oswald having a Coke.  Baker's initial report to the FBI on Saturday the 23rd did mention the Coke, and Volume XI contains Oswald's version of the story which matches Truly's and Baker's but adds in the Coke. 

Point 14 & 15 deal again with the Tippit shooting which, as we saw in the last entry, is contentious enough to not be taken as definitive proof of Oswald's guilt.  Not to mention that killing Tippit doesn't mean that Oswald killed Kennedy. 

Coming next time: The General Walker shooting and the Zapruder film.  Future installments will branch out into to the arguments involving Ruby, Oswald's motives, and the official positions of the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations.