In the last post I discussed a key problem – lack of challenge – to the official evidence in the murder of JFK. Beyond that issue there is an even more fundamental problem, the murder investigation itself.

Documents confirm that the morning following the murder, Saturday morning, Director Hoover issued a directive identifying Lee Oswald as the principal suspect of the President, stating that in view of developments all offices should resume “normal” contacts with their informants. That directive ended the process of an open ended criminal investigation, focusing Bureau effort on Oswald and of course anyone who could be directly connected to Oswald. Certainly new leads brought to the FBI would get a response (fairly cursory in most cases) and reports would be filed on them, but if no direct connection to Oswald was indicated, the leads would have limited attention – and for those who have not read FBI investigations of other murders, that was standard procedure, not something unique.

And the following day, Sunday, after only two days, we find Alan Belmont writing a memo to Deputy Director Tolsen concluding that only Oswald had been involved, suggesting the investigation was largely complete and proposing a process by which a report could be generated which would “set forth the items of evidence which made it clear that Oswald was the man who killed the President.”   Pretty darn quick for absolute certainty some might say. But it reflected the marching orders for the Bureau – collect the evidence on Oswald and package it to support a case against him.  Which of course is what the FBI normally does to support a prosecution by the Justice Department, or even a local DA.  Of course in this case there would be no prosecution so all the Warren Commission had to do was to admit the evidence into their historical record. Of course we know that members of the Commission privately discussed their beliefs that they were a) totally dependent on the FBI and b) that they could not necessarily be comfortable that Hoover would tell them the truth about everything – but they don’t seem to have translated that with having any problem with taking all the FBI evidence with virtually no challenge by independent sources.

Oh, and for any of you who watch much TV, the private detectives and defense investigators who put in longer hours and dig deeper than the police to catch the real bad guys (it seems like the police always get the wrong people in those shows) ….none of them were around to work the other side of the JFK murder.

And then we have the final issue, and that is the absolute lack of any consideration by either the FBI or the Warren Commission that Oswald could have been “framed”, could have been a “patsy”.  That any of the evidence could have been manufactured, manipulated etc.  If I’m being harsh there, somebody please give me a reference indicating where such concepts were ever even considered. Along those lines I would also love for someone to post a criminal case in which law enforcement found that its preferred suspect had indeed been framed – there must be some, but in the cases I’m familiar with it always to seems to be third parties that get involved (friends, family, investigators hired by friends or family) that go that direction.

So, not quite 24 hours before  Oswald is declared the sole person of interest and a wide ranging, open ended investigation ceases,  48 hours or so before conspiracy is eliminated and Oswald is certified as the sole participant, and only a week or so after that until the draft of the FBI report setting forth the evidence is completed.  And that evidence will never be challenged, or reviewed by independent experts (at least during the period of the Warren Commission). Does anybody else agree we may have a systemic problem going on..




6 responses »

  1. At least 6 shots at least 3 shooters and plenty of back-up. And at least two credible witnesses who saw shots from the grassy knoll area.

    The most important thing about Powers and O’Donnell is what they did not tell the Warren Commission. Here is a passage from Tip O’Neill’s Man of the House (1987 – page 178):

    I was never one of the use people who had doubts or suspicions about the Warren Commission’s report on the president’s death. But five years after Jack died, I was having dinner with Kenny O’Donnell and a few other people at Jimmy’s Harborside Restaurant in Boston, and we got to talking about the assassination.

    I was surprised to hear O’Donnell say that he was sure he had heard two shots that came from behind the fence.

    “That’s not what you told the Warren Commission,” I said.

    “You’re right,” he replied. “I told the FBI what I had heard, but they said it couldn’t have happened that way and that I must have been imagining things. So I testified the way they wanted me to. I just didn’t want to stir up any more pain and trouble for the family.”

    “I can’t believe it,” I said. “I wouldn’t have done that in a million years. I would have told the truth.”

    “Tip, you have to understand. The family-everybody wanted this thing behind them.”

    Dave Powers was with us at dinner that night, and his recollection of the shots was the same as O’Donnell’s. Kenny O’Donnell is no longer alive, but during the writing of this book I checked with Dave Powers. As they say in the news business, he stands by his story.

    And so there will always be some skepticism in my mind about the cause of Jack’s death. I used to think that the only people who doubted the conclusions of the Warren Commission were crackpots. Now, however, I’m not so sure.

  2. greg parker says:

    Very succinctly and very well put, Larry.

  3. S L MacDonald says:

    Larry, you recently commented on an Education Forum thread about your interest in Richard Case Nagell and the revisions to Russell’s TMWKTM… New info on “Bob”??? No. Bob was not an individual in Mexico. Nagell loved crypto lingo as evidenced in his most famous pseudo-account of the day before and the day of the assassination sent to his ‘friend Arturo V. Nagell reported back to BOB, the guy who gained notoriety as head of Berlin Operations Base (note how the letter begins with an imaginary scenario of a huge drilling machine drilling a tunnel through his prison walls (Harvey’s Berlin spy tunnel)and all the inmates rushing out… then the German march music… and the Volkswagen.

    Was WKH in Dallas on November 22. 1963? Maybe. Check out the background of Allen59 taken outside the TSBD. WKH looking like Oliver Hardy is leaning against a tree… on the left (to his right) is a tall gentleman who resembles GHWB!

    It’s amusing to decode his other little jokes as well, from the “cloak and dagger” references to “Greenbaum”…

    • Both Dick and I would agree you are right on target but when you draw in some of Nagell’s other references to his history with “Bob” we think it refers to Berlin Operating Base alright but to Harvey’s predecessor there – Henry Hecksher. Hecksher was in Japan when Oswald and Nagell was there and also in Mexico City con-temporarily with Nagell. He left to go to DC to take charge of AMWORLD just when Nagell says Bob dropped out of touch.

      So yes indeed, it was RCN once again playing his little code games with us and as you say it was a real habit of his….and there is a lot of entertainment and challenge in decoding a number of similar remarks

  4. Lawrence P. Schnapf says:

    The CAPA mock trial in November will try to expose the insufficiency of the evidence that was assembled to pin oswald as the lone assassin.there are significant legal issues associated with key evidence. some of it likely would not have been admissible.

    • Personally I think the new mock trial is an excellent idea and a wonderful venue for surfacing issues with the evidence – which are many, varied and quite obvious at this date in time. I’m really looking forward to watching this play out in a simulated courtroom!

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