Testimony: Howard Brennan's evidence was critical to the Warren Commission. But Flip de Mey says that the underlying premise that he had an unimpeded view is untrue and therefore his testimony is flawed. De Mey says that Brennan initially described Oswald as being older than he was and that he only identified him in the ID parade because he had been allowed to go home where he saw his picture on TV.
De Mey concludes that Brennan's evidence was 'very weak, even completely impossible in many points'. He says that he testimony was 'worthless', a damning assessment given that Gerald Ford, a member of the Warren commission, claimed he was the 'most important' witness to give evidence. Another key witness during the Warren Commission was Charles Givens, a year-old worker at the book depository. In his first statement to police, which de Mey says makes it his most reliable, he said that the last time he saw Oswald was at In a later statement during his appearance before the Warren Commission, Givens denied making this statement completely.
Key evidence: Sergeant Cecil W. His photographs show that the gun was Oswald's, says author Flip de Mey. De Mey dismisses the modified statement as 'completely implausible'.
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By contrast Bonnie Ray Williams, a year-old laborer told the Warren Commission that he had his lunch on the sixth floor of the book depository at He thought he was meeting some friends there to watch the President go past, but he realized he had made a mistake and went one floor lower to meet them. Williams' testimony was that he left the sixth floor around Another major issue with the theory that Oswald shot Kennedy is the fact that he was not a good shot and did not practice shooting.
In January while in the Marine Corps Oswald scored two points above the cut off for the middle category of marksman, meaning he was an average shot. On top of that the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle used in the assassination was a more difficult weapon than the M16 that Oswald was used to shooting with. In the two months before the shooting the weapon was stored in the home of Oswald's friend Ruth Paine. Oswald was seen three times at the Sports Drome Rifle Range shooting range in Dallas but he did not take practice seriously, the owner told the Warren Commission.
This leads de Mey to write: 'Hitting the target with an incorrectly adjusted rifle is not impossible. Hitting the target without practicing is also possible. One of the most well known photos of Oswald gives de Mey a starting point for resolving one of the other mysteries of the killing: whether or not his gun was used. The picture was taken by Oswald's wife Marina and shows him standing in the backyard of his home in Dallas on March 31 holding the Carcano.
In the House Select Committee on Assassinations set up a panel to investigate whether the picture in the image was the same rifle that was used in the shooting. The committee was told that it was indeed the same rifle as a scratch on it which became known as 'Mark S' was visible in the backyard picture and on the rifle itself.
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The problem was that the photograph of the scratch presented to the committee was so small it was impossible to be sure. De Mey resolved this by obtaining the original photograph, which is larger and of far higher quality, from an auction of the estate of Sergeant Cecil Kirk of the Mobile Crime Laboratory of the Metropolitan Police of Washington DC. Exact match: De Mey made a side-by-side comparison of the backyard photograph and a newly-obtained photograph of the gun found in the Texas Book Depository and concluded they were one and the same. Hard to tell: This was the evidence presented to the House Committee on Assassinations.
It concluded that the rifle used to kill JFK was the one held by Oswald in the photograph - but others doubted that conclusion. Full resolution: De Mey obtained high-resolution pictures of the gun from the estate of a police officer who was a key part of the investigation and found the crucial 'Mark S'.
Kirk, who died in , was a leading member of the House committee's photographic unit and his close up photograph of Mark S resolves any doubt that it was there. De Mey also bought sharper versions of the backyard photo from Kirk's estate in which Mark S is clearly visible. According to de Mey, this evidence is 'persuasive' and he believes it shows that it was indeed 'Oswald's Carcano that was found at the crime scene'.
Putting the two larger strands of his theory together leads de Mey to his surprising conclusion. In the book he writes: 'There were indeed shots fired from the sniper's nest and they were more than likely fired with the Carcano. De Mey says that this leads him to the 'unexpected conclusion that the Carcano was indeed used for the shots, but that it was not Oswald who took the shots'. He writes: 'This possibility has never before been considered by the conspiracists. Those who don't believe in Oswald's guilt felt compelled to run with the pack and cry out that the Carcano is an unreliable weapon, but the facts contradict this'.
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But a palm print was found on the underside of the barrel, which is covered over by the wooden foregrip of the stock when the rifle is assembled. Sebastian F. Latona, supervisor of the F. Palmprints, like fingerprints, are the result of perspiration exuded by the sweatpores in the ridges. Oswald's palmprint apparently was protected against evaporation by the wooden stock. The palmprint demonstrated that Oswald had handled the rifle when it was disassembled, and thereby provided additional proof it had been in his possession.
Paul M. Stombaugh of the F.
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Furthermore, the relative freshness of the fibers was strong evidence that they had been caught on the rifle on the morning of the assassination or during the preceding evening. On the basis of fiber analysis it was not possible to state with scientific certainty that the fibers had come from Oswald's shirt and to exclude the possibility they had come from another identical shirt. The fiber analysis illustrates the high degree of scientific sophistication that has been reached in criminal detection.
Like human hair, various types of natural and artificial fibers can be distinguished under a microscope. A major characteristic used to identify fibers is color. Under the microscope many different shades of a color—as many as shades with green and blue, for example—can be differentiated. Another identifying characteristic is the microscopic appearance of different types of fiber. Cotton, for example, resembles a twisted soda straw, and the degree of twist is an additional identifying characteristic. Viscose, an artificial fiber, can be identified from its color and diameter.
Another identifying characteristic is the size and pattern of the millions of tiny spots on the outside of the fiber, created when a delustering agent is added to cut down the luster of the fiber. Scientific evidence linked the rifle and Oswald to a handmade bag of wrapping paper and tape found in the southeast comer of the sixth floor, alongside the window from which the shots were fired. It was this long, bulky bag that Oswald, according to the commission, used to carry the rifle to Dallas from the Paine home in Irving, Tex. Prints of Oswald's right palm and left index finger were found on the hag.
Fiber analysis and spectragraphic examination showed that the wrapping paper and tape were identical to samples of the paper and tape taken from the Depository's shipping room on the day of the assassination.
Furthermore, detailed examination by the F. Under microscopic examination, the fibers corresponded to those of the blanket in which the rifle had been wrapped. Scientific analysis could not specifically prove that Oswald had fired the rifle. Shortly after his arrest, Oswald was given a paraffin test in which warm, sticky paraffin was brushed onto his hands and cheeks to pick up any nitrate remnants of gunpowder.
Oswald's hands reacted positively but the test of his right cheek showed no reaction. The paraffin test, however, is now regarded as unreliable in determining whether a perSon recently fired a weapon. Nitrates from other sources than the residues of gunpowder can become attached to the skin. Futhermore, in this case, the, residues on the hands could have come from the revolver Oswald used in killing Patrolman J. Try Independent Premium free for 1 month to access this feature. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile.
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