The following review has just appeared in THE FOURTH DECADE (January
2001), pp. 12-17.
_________________________________________________________________________

                     MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA: A REVIEW
                          John Delane Williams

   Murder in Dealey Plaza:What We Know Now That We Didn't Know Then About
the Death of JFK [1] is a book of readings about newly developed
information. It is edited by Jim Fetzer, who also edited Assassination
Science, [2] and convened a conference [3] in Minneapolis with many of the
same authors. Fourteen different articles are the meat of this book.
Fetzer begins this with "Smoking Guns".  Sixteen smoking guns are
discussed, many of which are gone over in considerable detail by the other
authors. Fetzer chose a logical sequence for presenting the articles. With
apologies, the order is changed here, with significance to the overall
story dictating order.

                        Two Different Brains

A logical starting point for me is Doug Horne's "Evidence of a goverment
Cover-up: Two Different Brain Specimens at President Kennedy's Autopsy". I
had attended the conference in Minneapolis where John Tunheim, who had
directed the work of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), stated
that there would be no smoking guns in the released records. [4] Doug
Horne has apparently proven his boss wrong. Horne concluded that there
were two different examinations of the JFK brain. The first examination
occurred on (or about) November 25, 1963. Dr. Pierre Finck was not present
for that examination, but was present at an examintion, purportedly of
JFK's brain, on November 29, 1963. An autopsy photographer, John Stringer, 
claimed Finck was not present at the examination. Stringer took several
photographs. Yet the archive photographs include several different views
that Stringer did not take. This present rendering is but a short outline
of the intricate story that comes from the files at the archives that
allowed Horne to posit two different brains at the two examinations.

               A Chronology of 22 November 1963

Ira David Woods III has been working on a chronology of events in Dallas.
His chronology, JFK Assassination Chronology, is said to be over 400 pages
long and still not completed. The present reported chronology ("22
November 1963: A Chronology",) is 101 pages long. The chronology has its
own smoking guns. One favorite of mine is Oswald's wallet. At 7:10 AM, he
left his wallet in the dresser with $170 in it; Oswald carried $13.87 to
work. Sixty-one pages later, he left wallet #2 at the Tippet murder scene,
together with a driver's license. Eleven pages later, wallet #3 showed up
at the Texas Theatre where Oswald is arrested. WFAA newsfilm shows the 
wallet being gone through at the theatre. It should be noted that five
wallets of Oswald's have been accounted for; in addition to the three
mentioned here, two additional wallets were taken from the Paine residence
by the FBI. [5]  Also related in this chronology is the Summers [6] story
that J.D. Tippit had begun an affair with a waitress who worked at
Austin's Barbecue Drive In. Tippit worked at the barbecue in his off
hours. The recently divorced paramour of Tippit was taken to the funeral
parlor by her ex-husband to see Tippit's body before Tippit's widow and
family arrived. The Tippit paramour then revealed to her jealous
ex-husband that she was pregnant by Tippit. The ex-husband had on
occassion followed the two at night in his car. The couple reunited, with
the husband raising the child as his own until their next breakup in 1968.

                          The Secret Service

Douglas Weldon has focused on the JFK limousine; this focus has lead
directly to the involvement of the Secret Service ("The Kennedy Limousine: 
Dallas 1963"). Weldon reviews the confusing and contradictory  history of
the limousine. What is clear is that the Secret Service either destroyed,
or had destroyed, evidence of the assassination regarding the limousine.
An agent was photographed with a bucket and water and sponge to wash blood
and brain matter out of the area where JFK sat. [see 7, p.41] Also, a boy
was taking pictures of the limousine outside Parkland Hospital, a Secret
Service agent took away his camera and exposed the film. The Altgen's
photo [see 8, pp. 30-31] shows the bullet hole in the limousine; the
picture was taken at a time equivalent to Z-255. It was rumored that the
Secret Service ordered 20 windshields for the limousine. The picture of
the windshield produced by the Secret Service a week after the
assassination likely could have been one of these substitutes.

Weldon hypothesises the windshield damage was caused by a shot from the
south knoll, perhaps from the storm drain. Secret Service agent Emory
Roberts, in command of the agents in the second car, ordered the agents
not to move at the sound of the first shot. Roberts also appeared to take  
command at Parkland Hospital exercising authority he did not posess.

The centerpiece of Weldon's article is the witness from the Ford Motor
Company. The Ford employee, who asked not to be named (actually he didn't
want his story told during his lifetime; he did partially relent. Weldon
played the tape recording of his conversations with the Ford employee at
the Minneapolis Conference [9]). The Ford employee was at work at the
Dearborn, Michigan plant on 11/25/63 when he was told by a division Vice
President to go to the glass plant lab. He and two other employees were to
make a template from the limousine windshield so that it could be
replaced. The windshield had a bullet through it, eminating from the
outside. The carpeting and the interior were completely stripped out. The
original windshield was removed, broken up and scrapped, as they were
ordered to do. Only two people could have ordered the limousine taken to
Dearborn, Lyndon Johnson and James Rowley, Chief of Secret Service. It
seems unlikely that Rowley would make this decision except at Johnson's
approval.                                                    

A scathing review of Weldon's article was recently published by Tim Smith.
[10] Smith maintains that there was no hole in the windshield, and berates
Weldon for not naming the Ford employee. The idea that someone fears for
their life if they tell what they know seems to escape Smith.

Vincent Palamara, a leading student of the Secret Service's involvement
with the assassination, [see 11] addresses three focal members of the
Secret Service, Floyd Boring, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the
White House Detail, Emory Roberts and Bill Geer. Dallas Sheriff Bill
Decker had promised full support to motorcade security; this help was
rejected, presumably by Boring, who was in Washington but in charge of
planning for the Texas trip. More stripping of security included removal
of flanking police motorcyclists, and without agents sitting on the back
of the limousine. Roberts left two agents at Love Field, Henry Rybka and
Don Lawton. Both had been involved in protection to JFK in recent
motorcades.  Roberts also ordered agents not to move toward the limousine.
Only Clint Hill, assigned to protect Jaqueline Kennedy, ran to the
limousine, but too late for JFK. At Parkland Hospital, Roberts usurped
Agent Kellerman's authority. Upon seeing JFK was dead in the limousine,
Roberts said to Kellerman, "You stay with Kennedy. I'm going to Johnson".
[12] Bill Geer was the driver of the limousine who apparently slowed the
limousine down almost to a stop (or did momemtarily stop), allowing a
better shot (or shots).

                         The Zapruder film

An article that addresses eyewitness statements, Vince Palamara reports
(59 Witnesses: Delay on Elm Street, pp. 119-128) on 59 Dealey Plaza
witnesses. The witnesses reported that a) either the limousine stopped; or
b) the limosine slowed to almost a complete stop. The Zapruder film shows
no such event corresponding to these reports. The eyewitness accounts
would cast doubt on the authenticity of the Zapruder film.

A second article by Doug Horne involves interviews with two former CIA
employees of the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC). The
existing record says the Zapruder film had three copies made in Dallas.
Bill MacMahon of the NPIC says he was told by Secret Service agent Bill
Smith that Smith took the film from the person who who exposed it, flew it
to Kodak in Rochester, NY to  get it developed, and then brought it
directly to the NPIC. It was brought there because the NPIC had special
state of the art equipment. They could enlarge each frame up to 40 times
its original size; then they would produce internegatives which were used
to produce multiple colored prints of selected frames. A second NPIC
worker, Ben Hunter, recalled that a "Captain Sands" delivered the film. He
later amended this recollection to say that a secret service agent brought
the film. MacMahon and Hunter were to find the three shots and select
frames for reproduction. MacMahon said his opinion was that Kennedy was
shot 6-8 times from three different directions. He was told that there
were three shots from behind from the School Book Depository; MacMahon
concluded they were to make frames, not do an analysis

A 16 page inset of photographs are shown and discussed by Jack White in
"The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, and Other Photographic Frauds Perpetuated
by the U.S. Government." White has done considerable photographic work. He
served as an advisor on photographic evidence to the House Select
Committee on Assassinations, as well as seved as a consultant to Oliver
Stone on JFK. White also produced the video Fake! [13] on the Oswald
backyard photos. In his present contribution, White casts doubt on whether
Zapruder actually did the filming. Several frames from the Zapruder film
are compared to other photographic evidence. There are several indications
of differences. A comparison of the photos of the Nix film and the
Zapruder film are such that that at least one of them is falsified. For
example, Z-369 and the equivalent Nix frame show some but not all the same
people from the front and the back. The Zapruder figures seem less
lifelike. It would appear to me that there is a slight time differential
between the Nix and Zapruder films; it appears at least three new people
have run into the area. It appears to me that one of the persons has    
vanished (this person is labelled 4 by White in Z-369, and labeled
"S.O.B." in Cicione. [14] Unfortunately, Cicione did not include younger
people in his master list of Dealy Plaza witnesses. At least some of the
people appearing in the Nix frame, but not the Zapruder frame, appear to
be younger (under 21). What White does is show that the Zapruder film and
the Nix film are incompatible; at least one of them has been altered. One
final note on the White pictures: I was unaware of the the painted yellow
stripes in the "kill zone" until my trip to Dallas in November, 2000.
White uses the yellow stripe from the Zapruder film to make an exact frame
match to show alterations in the Zapruder film.

The final essay on the Zapruder film controversy is provided by David
Mantik, who is a major contributor to this volume. Mantik had three
articles in Assassination Science [15, 16, 17] as well as presenting at
the conference in Minneapolis. [18] His presentation in Assassination
Science was more a technical explanation of how the Zapruder film was
altered. Mantik's essay on the Zapruder film is more of an reasoned       
approach attempt to show altering the film was not unthinkable. Mantik
first reviews the resemblances of the JFK assassination to that of
Fedinand in 1914. He makes the point that our knowledge of the Franz
Ferdinand assassination is almost entirely by eyewitness testimony. Were
we to take the same view with the JFK assassination, we might have a
different view; the availability and use of several different recording
devices seems to feed a sense that the evidence provided by the still film
and moving film would seem to be more reliable than eyewitness
recollection; Mantik points out that, from a legal view, for a tape to be
introduced into evidence in court, eyewitness testimony needs to preceed
the introduction of photographic evidence. For the Zapruder film to be
authentic and have an evidentiary base, a chain of posession needs to be
established. The work of Horne in this volume would strongly call into
question an unbroken chain of possession.

A very strong case for film alteration can be inferred from eyewitness
testimony, which reports either a complete stop or an almost complete stop 
of the limousine on Deala Plazy. An alternative interpretation is either
the camera was erratic, or Zapruder turned off the recording to exactly
coincide with the stop. There are probably technical details that would
render the latter argument to be rejected, however, I don't have the
expertise to do so. A possibility that Mantik gives is the simple excision
of frames in selected places that could achieve a number of aims,
including removing evidence on a stop by the limousine. Such an excision
could have been directed by the Secret Service for the purpose of
eliminating the inappropriate stop (or near stop) by William Greer. The
number of anomalies in the Zapruder film are quite numerous. The
intersprocket image extends all the way to the  left edge, unlike the
simulations done by Roland Zavala, a retired Kodak engineer who was
re-hired to do work with Kodak for the AARB. The overexposures typical of
a beginning filming sequence is missing in the film. The likely
interpretation is an excision. Other anomalies include William Greer's
rapid head turn, Toni Foster's unusual stop (and her growing to almost
seven feet tall [19]), among many others.       

It should be noted that ther are persons who support a conspiracy approach
who argue that the Zapruder film is authentic. Notable among them is Hal
Verb [see, for example, 20, 21]. On the other hand, a long term dissenter
against accuracy of the Zapruder film is Harrison Livingston [see  22-26].

                   The Medical Evidence

Gary Aguilar, in "The Converging Medical Case for Conspiracy in the Death
of JFK", makes the point that the available medical evidence grabs the
skeptic who searches for a responsible explanation of the conflicting
evidence. Witnesses who saw Kennedy's head wounds overwhelmingly describe
a wound in the back of JFK's skull that couldn't have been caused by a
shooter from behind. Credible witnessess, when shown the autopsy photos,
called them 'doctored' because they don't show the rearward skull damage.
More photographs were taken by autopsy photographers than are now extant.
On the matter of missing photographs, Drs. Humes, Boswell, and Ebersole, 
together with autopsist photographer John Stringer signed on 11/1/66 a
document saying, "The X-rays and photographs described and listed above
include all the X-rays and photographs taken by us during the autopsy and
we have no reason to believe that any other X-rays or photographs were
made during the autopsy". [27] Another  false affidavit, signed on
11/22/63 by Stringer and Floyd Reibe, an assistant autopsy photographer,
specified the number of autopsy photographs that were taken and
surrendered to Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman. Both Stringer and Reibe
stated they were ordered to sign by Captain Stover, the Commanding Officer
of the U.S. Naval Medical School. At least the 11/1/66 affidavit was
apparently at the command of Lyndon Johnson. [28]

David Mantik is uniquely qualified to address the JFK autopsy issues;
Mantik holds a Ph.D in physics as well as an M.D. The article on "The
Medical Evidence Decoded" is more an integration of his research with the
recent efforts of other researchers. From Douglas Weldon, he notes that
several witnesses indicate a shot from the left front, probably from the  
storm drain south of the first overpass. Mantik concludes that this shot
is consistent with a shot to the right forehead. A right frontal shot
seems likely and consistent with metallic debris found in the X-rays.
Mantik systematically attacks the existing evidence. Much evidence is
missing. This is garnered from addressing witness testimony. Many
photographs taken at the autopsy are missing. Witnesses disagree
drastically with existing photographs. Two photographs that seem unlikely
to be of the same person are a posterior head photograph that shows an
intact head (p.221); when this photograph is contrasted to the one showing
a massive head injury (p.297), one's credulity is stretched beyond reason
that they represent different views of Kennedy's head. Mantik also
explains how a metallic object can later be added to an X-ray, using film
extant in 1963. Mantik hypothesises that Kennedy's throat wound was due to
glass fragments from the windshield. Mantik concludes that high government
officials had to approve, and probably transmit, orders for alteration of
critical forensic evidence. Persons who might have warranted grand jury
investigations included James Rowley, who led the Secret Service, which  
held the critical autopsy materials; Robert Knudsen, White House
photographer; and Admiral George Burley, Kennedy's personal physician. All
three kept their jobs in the Johnson administration.

                 Righting the Record and Epilogue

Jim Fetzer addresses the question, "Could Oswald be Convicted?", using
material from Jesse Curry's JFK Assassination File. [29] This article uses
Curry's evidence to construct a probable conspiracy. The evidence suggests
that Oswald was not likely a shooter. It does not address a possible
involvement in a conspiracy for Oswald.

David Mantik addresses the lack of historians becoming involved in
researching the Kennedy assassination. Mantik laments the "Silence of the
Historians". I would suggest Barbie Zelizer's Covering the Body [30] as
another way to view the lack of historian involvement regarding the JFK
assassination. Zelizer maintains that journalists refuse to allow the  
assassination story be given to historians. Many journalists gain prestige
by their relation to the JFK story. Journalists form an interpretive
community and marginalize persons and views they oppose. Within the
journalistic community, the JFK assasination was a turning point to allow
national television journalists to elbow out local and print media for the
ascendency. The day that Kennedy died was the most important day in the
career of Dan Rather. He went from being a regional journalist to a
national corespondent. Rather claimed to be at Dealey Plaza at the time of
the assassination, but a mile away four minutes later after running the
distance, talking to Walter Cronkite later. The importance of "being" at
the assassination was important to the carees of other journalists. Life
Magazine could "be there" by purchasing the Zapruder film. One might guess
that, as the Dan Rathers are gone from the scene, historians may start to
assert a claim to researching the story.

A final essay by Bertrand Russell, noted British mathematician and
philosopher, was previously published in 1969. [31] This essay seems  
relevant today, and adds a few snippets that have not been widely
reported. District Attorney Henry Wade made a statement of Oswald's
movements. Oswald took a taxi driven by Darryl Click, who had signed an
affidavit to his having driven Oswald. Wade later altered the driver's
name to William Wahley. If "Click" was Wahley, then Wahley had signed a
false affidavit. If the two were not the same, there is conflicting
evidence. In either case, Wade's actions were compromised. "Good showing,
Bertrand."

Some might fault this book for the lack of inclusion of other information
that we now know that we didn't know then. These might include the
involvement of LBJ [32, 33, 34], which includes identifying Mac Wallace's
(an LBJ henchman) print on the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook
Depository. This print had long been unidentified. [35]  The work of Peter
Dale Scott [36] as well as other research deserves mentioning. But a book
has to end somewhere. This is an excellent start. 

Notes

1. Fetzer, J.H. (Ed.) (2000). Murder in Dealey Plaza: What We Know     Now
that We didn't Know Then About the Death of JFK. Chicago:      Catfeet
Press.

2. Fetzer, J.H. (Ed.) (1998). Assassination Science: Experts Speak     out
on the Death of JFK. Chicago: Catfeet Press.

3. The Death of JFK Conference. (1999, May). Minneapolis.

4. Tunheim, J.R. (1999, May). The AARB Records. The Death of JFK
Conference. Minneapolis.

5. Armstrong, J. (1998). Lee and Harvey Oswald; the Mystery of the
Wallets. The Fourth Decade, 5,6,20-28. 

6. Summers, A. (1980). Conspiracy. New York: McGraw-Hill.

7. Trask, R. (1994). Picture of the Pain. Danvers, MA: Yeoman's
Press.

8. Groden, R.J. (1993). The Killing of a President. New York:
Viking Studio Books.

9. Weldon, D. (1999, May). Kennedy Limousine. The Death of JFK
Conference. Minneapolis.

10. Smith, T. (2001). Windshield Reflections.  JFK Deep Politics
    Quarterly, 6,2,16-21.

11. Palamara, V.M. (1993). The Third Alternative: Survivor's Guilt:
The Secret Service and the JFK Murder. Pittsburgh: Author.

12. Manchester, W. (1967). The Death of a President. New York:
Harper & Row.

13. White J. (1990). Fake! (Video). Fort Worth: Third Coast
Productions.

14. Cicone, C. (1996). Schematic and Master List of Witnesses in
Dealey Plaza. Highland Park, MI: Author.

15. Mantik, D.W. (1998). The JFK Assassination: Cause for Doubt. in
Fetzer, J.H. (Ed.) (1998). Assassination Science: Experts Speak      Out
on the Death of JFK (pp. 93-139). Chicago: Catfeet Press.

16. Mantik, D.W. (1998). Optical Density Measurements of the JFK X-
rays and a new Observation Based on the Chest X-ray. in Fetzer,      J.H.
(Ed.) (1998). Assassination Science: Experts Speak Out on      the Death
of JFK (pp. 153-160). Chicago: Catfeet Press. 

17. Mantik, D.W. (1998). Special Effects in the Zapruder Film: How
the Film of the Century was Edited. in Fetzer, J.H. (Ed.)          (1998).
Assassination Science: Experts Speak Out on the Death      of JFK (pp.
263-343). Chicago: Catfeet Press.

18. Mantik, D.W. (1999, May). The Zapruder Film. The Death of JFK
Conference. Minneapolis.

19. White, J. (2000). The Great Zapruder Film Hoax. in Fetzer, J.H.
(Ed.) Murder in Dealey Plaza: What We Know Now that We didn't       Know
Then About the Death of JFK (ins. 1-16). Chicago: Catfeet      Press.

20. Verb, H. (1998). Book reviews: Bloody Treason and Assassination
Science. The Fourth Decade. 5,2,12-17.

21. Verb, H. (2000). Livingston's creation science and the Zapruder
film. The Fourth Decade. 7,2,12-15.

22. Livingston H.E. (1999). The Zapruder film: a study in
deception- part one. The Fourth Decade. 6,4,14-31.

23. Livingston H.E. (1999). The Zapruder film: a study in
deception- part two. The Fourth Decade. 6,5,12-26.

24. Livingston H.E. (1999). The Zapruder film: a study in
deception- part three. The Fourth Decade. 6,6,25-37.

25. Livingston H.E. (1999). The Zapruder film: a study in
deception- part IV. The Fourth Decade. 7,1,17-28.

26. Livingston H.E. (2000). The Zapruder film: a study in
deception- part V. The Fourth Decade. 7,2,7-12.

27. Weisberg, H. (1975). Post Mortem. Frederick, MD: Author.

28. Aguilar, G. (2000). The Converging Medical Case for Conspiracy      in
the Death of JFK. in Fetzer, J.H. (Ed.) (2000). Murder in       Dealey
Plaza: What We Know Now that We didn't Know Then About       the Death of
JFK (pp. 175-217). Chicago: Catfeet Press.

29. Curry, J. (1969). JFK Assasination File. Dallas: American
Poster & Printing Co.

30. Zelizer, B. (1992). Covering the Body: The Kennedy
Assasination, the Media, and the Shaping of Collective Memory.
Chicago: U. of Chicago Press.

31. Russell, B. (1969). The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell,
1944-67. London: Allen & Unwin.

32. Brown, M.D. (1997). Texas in the Morning: The Love Story of
Madeleine Brown and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Baltimore: The
Conservatory Press.

33. Brown, W. (1998). TSBD Evidence Places LBJ "Hit Man" in
Sniper's Nest. JFK Deep Politics Quarterly (extra edition) 3,3.

34. Williams, J.D. (1999). Lyndon B. Johnson and the Assassination
Conspiracies. JFK Deep Politics Quarterly. 4,2,25-28.

35. Sloan, B. (1993). Breaking the Silence. Dallas: Taylor Pub. Co.

36. Scott, P.D. Deep Politics II: Essays on Oswald, Mexico & Cuba.
Skokie, IL: Green Archive Publications.             

                    John Delane Williams
                    522 Belmont Road
                    Grand Forks, ND 58201                                                                                           
                                                                  

 

 

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