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Deaths of Witnesses Connected to the assassination of John F. Kennedy

Deaths of Witnesses Connected to the assassination of John F. Kennedy

Some writers who have investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy have claimed that a large number of witnesses to the event have died in mysterious circumstances. The Sunday Times reported that "the odds against these witnesses being dead by February, 1967, were one hundred thousand trillion to one." When the Select Committee on Assassinations questioned the newspaper reporter who wrote the article, he admitted he had made a "careless journalistic mistake".

In his book Crossfire, the author Jim Marrs, provided a list of 103 people who he claims died in mysterious circumstances between 1963 and 1976. In reality, most of these people died of natural causes. Some of these people did die in accidents. Others were murdered or committed suicide. However, these people rarely had information that would have been important in helping investigators discover if there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy.

The first person to die linked to the case was Karyn Kupcinet. In his book, Forgive My Grief, W. Penn Jones reports that "a few days before the assassination, Karyn Kupcinet, 23, was trying to place a long distance telephone call from the Los Angeles area. According to reports, the long distance operator heard Miss Kupcinet scream into the telephone that President Kennedy was going to be killed." Karyn's body was discovered on 30th November, 1963. Police estimated that she had been dead for two days. The New York Times reported that she had been strangled. Her actor boyfriend, Andrew Prine was the main suspect but he was never charged with the murder and the crime remains unsolved.

Some researchers claimed that there was a link between the death of Kupcinet and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was argued that the conspirators were trying to frighten off her father and journalist, Irv Kupcinet from telling what he knew.

Grant Stockdale, a close friend of John F. Kennedy died on 2nd December, 1963 when he fell (or was pushed) from his office on the thirteenth story of the Dupont Building in Miami. Stockdale did not leave a suicide note but his friend, George Smathers, claimed that he had become depressed as a result of the death of the president. However, it later became known that four days after the assassination Stockdale flew to Washington and talked with Robert Kennedy and Edward Kennedy. On his return Stockdale told several of his friends that "the world was closing in." On 1st December, he spoke to his attorney, William Frates who later recalled: "He started talking. It didn't make much sense. He said something about 'those guys' trying to get him. Then about the assassination."

After the assassination of President Kennedy, Gary Underhill told his friend, Charlene Fitsimmons, that he was convinced that he had been killed by members of the CIA. He also said: "Oswald is a patsy. They set him up. It's too much. The bastards have done something outrageous. They've killed the President! I've been listening and hearing things. I couldn't believe they'd get away with it, but they did!"

Underhill believed there was a connection between Executive Action, Fidel Castro and the death of John F. Kennedy: "They tried it in Cuba and they couldn't get away with it. Right after the Bay of Pigs. But Kennedy wouldn't let them do it. And now he'd gotten wind of this and he was really going to blow the whistle on them. And they killed him!"

Gary Underhill told friends that he feared for his life: "I know who they are. That's the problem. They know I know. That's why I'm here. I can't stay in New York." Underhill was found dead on 8th May 1964. He had been shot in the head and it was officially ruled that he had committed suicide. However, in his book, Destiny Betrayed (1992), James DiEugenio claimed that the bullet entered the right-handed Underhill's head behind the left ear.

There has been a significant number of people who have died who did appear to have important information about the case. This includes several journalists investigating the murder. On 24th November, 1963, Bill Hunter of the Long Beach Press Telegram and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald interviewed George Senator. Also there was the attorney Tom Howard. Earlier that day Senator and Howard had both visited Jack Ruby in jail. That evening Senator arranged for Koethe, Hunter and Howard to search Ruby's apartment.

It is not known what the journalists found but on 23rd April 1964, Hunter was shot dead by Creighton Wiggins, a policeman in the pressroom of a Long Beach police station. Wiggins initially claimed that his gun fired when he dropped it and tried to pick it up. In court this was discovered that this was impossible and it was decided that Hunter had been murdered. Wiggins finally admitted he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer, Errol F. Greenleaf, testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place. In January 1965, both were convicted and sentenced to three years probation.

Jim Koethe decided to write a book about the assassination of Kennedy. However, he died on 21st September, 1964. It seems that a man broke into his Dallas apartment and killed him by a karate chop to the throat. Tom Howard died of a heart-attack, aged 48, in March, 1965.

On 21st July, 1964, Dr. Mary Sherman was murdered in New Orleans. She had been stabbed in the heart, arm, leg and stomach. Her laboratory was also set on fire. The crime has never been sold. Later Edward T. Haslam published Mary, Ferrie & the Monkey Virus : The Story of an Underground Medical Laboratory. In the book he argued that Sherman was working with David Ferrie. Haslam believed that this Central Intelligence Agency backed research involved disease intelligence gathering and cancer research using laboratory-made biological weapons. Haslam claimed this biological weapon was to be used against Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

Judyth Baker later began giving interviews aboout involvement in an anti-Castro conspiracy. She claims that in 1963 she was recruited by Dr. Canute Michaelson to work with Dr. Alton Ochsner and Dr. Mary Sherman in a CIA secret project. This involved creating the means to insure Fidel Castro developed cancer.

In 1963 Judyth moved to New Orleans where she worked closely with others involved in this plot. This included Lee Harvey Oswald, David Ferrie, Clay Shaw and Guy Bannister. Later she claimed she began an affair with Oswald. The research into this biological weapon was carried out in the homes of Ferrie and Sherman. Oswald role in this conspiracy was to work as a courier. However, the project was abandoned in September, 1963, and Oswald was ordered to Dallas.

Oswald kept in touch with Baker and in November, 1963, he had been forced to join a plot to kill John F. Oswald believed that the conspiracy was being organized by Mafia leader, Carlos Marcello and a CIA agent, David Atlee Phillips. Oswald told her he would do what he could to ensure that Kennedy was not killed. After the assassination of Kennedy and the arrest of Oswald, Baker received a phone-call from David Ferrie warning her that she would be killed if she told anyone about her knowledge of these events.

On 12th October, 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer was shot dead as she walked along the Chesapeake and Ohio towpath in Georgetown. Henry Wiggins, a car mechanic, was working on a vehicle on Canal Road, when he heard a woman shout out: "Someone help me, someone help me". He then heard two gunshots. Wiggins ran to the edge of the wall overlooking the towpath. He later told police he saw "a black man in a light jacket, dark slacks, and a dark cap standing over the body of a white woman."

Soon afterwards Raymond Crump, a black man, was found not far from the murder scene. He was arrested and charged with Mary's murder. The towpath and the river were searched but no murder weapon was ever found.

The media did not report at the time that Mary Pinchot Meyer had been having an affair with John F. Nor did it reveal that her former husband, Cord Meyer, was a senior figure in CIA's covert operations. As a result, there was little public interest in the case.

During the trial Wiggins was unable to identify Raymond Crump as the man standing over Meyer's body. The prosecution was also handicapped by the fact that the police had been unable to find the murder weapon at the scene of the crime. On 29th July, 1965, Crump was acquitted of murdering Mary Meyer. The case remains unsolved.

In March, 1976, James Truitt gave an interview to the National Enquirer. Truitt told the newspaper that Mary Pinchot Meyer was having an affair with John F. He also claimed that Meyer had told his wife, Ann Truitt, that she was keeping an account of this relationship in her diary. Meyer asked Truitt to take possession of a private diary "if anything ever happened to me".

Ann Truitt was living in Tokyo at the time of the murder. She phoned Ben Bradlee at his home and asked him if he had found the diary. Bradlee, who claimed he was unaware of his sister-in-law's affair with Kennedy, knew nothing about the diary. He later recalled what he did after Truitt's phone-call: "We didn't start looking until the next morning, when Tony and I walked around the corner a few blocks to Mary's house. It was locked, as we had expected, but when we got inside, we found Jim Angleton, and to our complete surprise he told us he, too, was looking for Mary's diary."

James Angleton, CIA counterintelligence chief, admitted that he knew of Mary's relationship with John F. Kennedy and was searching her home looking for her diary and any letters that would reveal details of the affair. According to Ben Bradlee, it was Mary's sister, Antoinette Bradlee, who found the diary and letters a few days later. It was claimed that the diary was in a metal box in Mary's studio. The contents of the box were given to Angleton who claimed he burnt the diary. Angleton later admitted that Mary recorded in her diary that she had taken LSD with Kennedy before "they made love".

Leo Damore claimed in an article that appeared in the New York Post that the reason Angleton and Bradlee were looking for the diary was that: "She (Meyer) had access to the highest levels. She was involved in illegal drug activity. What do you think it would do to the beatification of Kennedy if this woman said, 'It wasn't Camelot, it was Caligula's court'?" Damore also said that a figure close to the CIA had told him that Mary's death had been a professional "hit".

There is another possible reason why both Angleton and Bradlee were searching for documents in Meyer's house. Were they looking for material that Meyer had been collecting on CIA's covert activities?

In 1963 Desmond FitzGerald was in charge of the CIA's Cuban Task Force. In this post he personally organized three different plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. According to Dick Russell, FitzGerald had a meeting in France with a Cuban code-named AM/LASH, finalising a plan to eliminate Castro, at the same time John F. Kennedy was assassinated. FitzGerald died of a heart attack while playing tennis in Virginia on 23rd July, 1967.

Lisa Howard died at East Hampton, Long Island, on 4th July, 1965. It was officially reported that she had committed suicide. Apparently, she had taken one hundred phenobarbitols. It was claimed she was depressed as a result of losing her job and suffering a miscarriage. At first no one associated Howard's death with the Kennedy assassination. However, it has recently emerged that Howard was involved in secret negotiations with Fidel Castro on behalf of John F. Kennedy.

Winston Scott was the CIA's station chief in Mexico. Scott retired in 1969 and wrote a memoir about his time in the FBI, OSS and the CIA. He completed the manuscript, It Came To Late, and made plans to discuss the contents of the book with CIA director, Richard Helms, in Washington on 30th April, 1971. Four days before the agreed meeting Scott died of a heart attack.

Michael Scott told Dick Russell that James Angleton took away his father's manuscript. Angleton also confiscated three large cartons of files including a tape-recording of the voice of Lee Harvey Oswald. Michael Scott was also told by a CIA source that his father had not died from natural causes. Scott eventually got his father's manuscript back from the CIA. However, 150 pages were missing. Chapters 13 to 16 were deleted in their entirety. In fact, everything about his life after 1947 had been removed on grounds of national security.

Nancy Carole Tyler worked as secretary to Bobby Baker. At the time of the assassination she was living with Mary Jo Kopechne, who worked for George Smathers (she later became secretary to Robert Kennedy). According to W. Penn Jones Jr, it was Tyler and Kopechne who told Baker that John F. Kennedy planned to replace Lyndon B. Johnson as vice president. Tyler died in a plane crash, near Ocean City, Maryland, on 10th May, 1965. Kopechne was later to die in the car of Edward Kennedy on 18th July, 1969.

Dorothy Kilgallen, a crime reporter of the New York Journal, obtained a private interview with Jack Ruby. She told friends that she had information that would "break the case wide open". Aware of what had happened to Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe, she handed her interview notes to her friend Margaret Smith. On 8th November, 1965, Kilgallen, was found dead. It was reported she had committed suicide. Her friend, Margaret Smith, died two days later.

Two of the men that Jim Garrison believed were involved in the conspiracy to kill Kennedy, Guy Bannister (June, 1964), David Ferrie ( February, 1967) and Eladio del Valle (February, 1967) died before they could be brought to court.

Roger D. Craig was on duty in Dallas on 22nd November, 1963. After hearing the firing at President John F. Kennedy he ran towards the Grassy Knoll where he interviewed witnesses to the shooting. About 15 minutes later he saw a man running from the back door of the Texas Book Depository down the slope to Elm Street. He then got into a Nash station wagon.

Craig saw the man again in the office of Captain Will Fitz. It was the recently arrested Lee Harvey Oswald. When Craig told his story about the man being picked up by the station wagon, Oswald replied: "That station wagon belongs to Mrs. Paine... Don't try to tie her into this. She had nothing to do with it."

Craig was also with Seymour Weitzman when the rifle was found on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository. He insisted that the rifle was a 7.65 Mauser and not a Mannlicher-Carcano.

Craig became unpopular with senior police officers in Dallas when he testified before the Warren Commission. He insisted he had seen Lee Harvey Oswald get into the station wagon 15 minutes after the shooting. This was ignored by Earl Warren and his team because it showed that at least two people were involved in the assassination. Craig, unlike Seymour Weitzman, refused to change his mind about finding a Mauser rather than a Mannlicher-Carcano in the Texas Book Depository. Craig was fired from the police department in 1967 after he was found to have discussed his evidence with a journalist.

In 1967 Roger D. Craig went to New Orleans and was a prosecution witness at the trial of Clay Shaw. Later that year he was shot at while walking to a car park. The bullet only grazed his head. In 1973 a car forced Craig's car off a mountain road. He was badly injured but he survived the accident. In 1974 he surviving another shooting in Waxahachie, Texas. The following year he was seriously wounded when his car engine exploded. Craig told friends that the Mafia had decided to kill him. Craig was found dead from on 15th May, 1975. It was later decided he had died as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

When the Select Committee on Intelligence Activities and Select Committee on Assassinations began investigating Kennedy's death in the 1970s the deaths of potential witnesses increased dramatically. This included several criminals with possible links to the assassination of John F. Those who were killed or who died in suspicious circumstances during this period included Malcolm Wallace (1971), Lucien Sarti (1972), Charles Willoughby (1972), Thomas Davis (1973), Richard Cain (1973), Dave Yarras (1974), Sam Giancana (1975), Jimmy Hoffa (1975), Roland Masferrer (1975), Johnny Roselli (1976), George De Mohrenschildt (1977), Charlie Nicoletti (1977) and Carlos Prio (1977).

William Sullivan, the main figure in the FBI involved in the Executive Action project, was shot dead near his home in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, on 9th November, 1977. Sullivan had been scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

Sullivan was one of six top FBI officials who died in a six month period in 1977. Others who were due to appear before the committee who died included Louis Nicholas, special assistant to J. Edgar Hoover and his liaison with the Warren Commission; Alan H. Belmont, special assistant to Hoover; James Cadigan, document expert with access to documents that related to death of John F. Kennedy; J. M. English, former head of FBI Forensic Sciences Laboratory where Oswald's rifle and pistol were tested and Donald Kaylor, FBI fingerprint chemist who examined prints found at the assassination scene.

Several important figures in the Central Intelligence Agency died before they could give evidence to the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigations. Sheffield Edwards, the CIA official who attempted to organize the assassination of Fidel Castro, died in July, 1975. William Harvey, head of the ZR/RIFLE project, died as a result of complications from heart surgery in June, 1976. William Pawley, who took part in Operation Tilt, died of gunshot wounds in January, 1977. David Morales, who some believe organized the assassination, died aged 53, on 8th May, 1978. Another important figure in CIA covert operations, Thomas Karamessines died of a heart attack on 4th September, 1978.

John Paisley was deputy director of the Office of Strategic Research. On 24th September, 1978, John Paisley, took a trip on his motorized sailboat on Chesapeake Bay. Two days later his boat was found moored in Solomons, Maryland. Paisley's body was found in Maryland's Patuxent River. The body was fixed to diving weights. He had been shot in the head. Police investigators described it as "an execution-type murder". However, officially Paisley's death was recorded as a suicide.

According to the journalist, Victor Marchetti, Paisley was a close friend of Yuri Nosenko. Marchetti also claimed that Paisley knew a great deal about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and was murdered during the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation because he was "about to blow the whistle".

On that evening of November 22, 1963, Gary Underhill was a deeply troubled man. What he had learned, and the fact that they knew he had learned it, were too much for him. He had to escape. Once he was out of Washington, he could regain his equilibrium. Then he would decide what to do. He had friends in New York he could talk to without fear of the word getting back to Washington.

Only hours after Kennedy was shot, CIA agent Gary Underhill left Washington, D.C., and drove to the home of friends on Long Island, N.Y. Underhill says he fears for his life and he must leave the country. "This country is too dangerous for me. I've got to get on a boat. Oswald is a patsy. They've killed the president! I've been listening and hearing things. I couldn't believe they'd get away with it, but they did. They've gone made! They're a bunch of drug runners and gun runners - a real violence group.I know who they are. That's why I'm here.''

Posner writes that there is no source for the claim that Gary Underhill was a former CIA agent, and "no corroboration that he ever said there was CIA complicity in the assassination." I hate to plug my own work, but in Destiny Betrayed, Posner would have learned there are several sources for Underhill's wartime OSS career and his later CIA consulting status, including Underhill himself. As for his accusations about the CIA and the murder of JFK, he related them quite vividly to his friend Charlene Fitsimmons within 24 hours of the shooting. She then forwarded a letter to Jim Garrison relating the incident in detail.

Shortly after dark on Sunday night, November 24, 1963, after Ruby had killed Lee Harvey Oswald, a meeting took place in Jack Ruby's apartment in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Five persons were present. George Senator and Attorney Tom Howard were present and having a drink in the apartment when two newsmen arrived. The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the Long Beach California Press Telegram and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald. Attorney C.A. Droby of Dallas arranged the meeting for the two newsmen, Jim Martin, a close friend of George Senator's, was also present at the apartment meeting. This writer asked Martin if he thought it was unusual for Senator to forget the meeting while testifying in Washington on April 22, 1964, since Bill Hunter, who was a newsman present at the meeting, was shot to death that very night. Martin grinned and said: "Oh, you're looking for a conspiracy."

I nodded yes and he grinned and said, "You will never find it."

I asked soberly, "Never find it, or not there?"

He added soberly, "Not there."

Bill Hunter, a native of Dallas and an award-winning newsman in Long Beach, was on duty and reading a book in the police station called the "Public Safety Building." Two policemen going off duty came into the press room, and one policeman shot Hunter through the heart at a range officially ruled to be "no more than three feet." The policeman said he dropped his gun, and it fired as he picked it up, but the angle of the bullet caused him to change his story. He finally said he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place.

Hunter, who covered the assassination for his paper, the Long Beach Press Telegram had written:

"Within minutes of Ruby's execution of Oswald, before the eyes of millions watching television, at least two Dallas attorneys appeared to talk with him."

Hunter was quoting Tom Howard who died of a heart attack in Dallas a few months after Hunter's own death. Lawyer Tom Howard was observed acting strangely to his friends two days before his death. Howard was taken to the hospital by a "friend" according to the newspapers. No autopsy was performed.

Dallas Times Herald reporter Jim Koethe was killed by a karate chop to the throat just as he emerged from a shower in his apartment on Sept. 21, 1964. His murderer was not indicted.

What went on in that significant meeting in Ruby's and Senator's apartment?

Few are left to tell. There is no one in authority to ask the question, since the Warren Commission has made its final report, and the House Select Committee has closed its investigation.

At approximately 2 a.m. on the morning of April 23, 1964, Hunter was sitting at his desk in the press room of the Long Beach police station and reading a mystery novel entitled Stop This Man, when two detectives - both of whom were later described as "friends" of Hunter - came into the room.

Initially, there was considerable confusion over exactly what happened next. One officer was first quoted as saying he dropped his gun, causing it to discharge as it struck the floor. Later, he changed his story to say that he and the other detective were engaged in "horseplay" with their loaded weapons when the tragedy occurred.

Whatever the case, a single shot suddenly rang out, striking Hunter where he sat. An autopsy later showed that the .38-caliber bullet plowed straight through Hunter's heart.

He died instantly, without ever moving or saying a word.

"My boss called me at 2 a.m. and told me Bill Hunter had been shot," Bill Shelton recalls. "He wasn't satisfied with the story that the cop had dropped his gun, and as it turned out, that wasn't what happened at all."

The newspaper charged police with covering up the facts in the case, which Long Beach Police Chief William Mooney vigorously denied. Detectives Creighton Wiggins, Jr., and Errol F. Greenleaf were relieved of their duties and subsequently charged with involuntary manslaughter. In January 1965, both were convicted and given identical three-year probated sentences.

Two weeks after the shooting, in a letter of resignation to his chief, Detective Wiggins wrote: "It is a tragic thing that this must come about in this manner, for I have lost a wonderful friend in Bill Hunter and so have all the police officers of the department... he was truly the policeman's friend."

While Hunter's death made sensational headlines in California, it was scarcely noted 2,000 miles away in Dallas. Jim Koethe surely mourned his friend, but if he connected Hunter's death in any way with their visit to Ruby's apartment five months earlier, he didn't mention it to any of his acquaintances at the Times-Herald.

The death of Dorothy Kilgallen, Journal-American columnist and famed TV personality, was contributed to by a combination of moderate quantities of alcohol and barbiturates, a medical examiner's report stated today.

As many personalities whose multiple duties and responsibilities demand unceasing attention, Miss Kilgallen experienced recurring tensions in meeting her deadlines for performances - both as a newspaperwoman and TV performer.

In his report today, Dr. James Luke, Assistant Medical Examiner, said that although Miss Kilgallen had only "moderate amounts of each," the effect of the combination had caused depression of the central nervous system "which in turn caused her heart to stop."

Whatever information Kilgallen learned and from whatever source, many researchers believe it brought about her strange death. She told attorney Mark Lane: "They've killed the President, (and) the government is not prepared to tell us the truth . " and that she planned to "break the case." To other friends she said: "This has to be a conspiracy! . I'm going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century." And in her last column item regarding the assassination, published on September 3, 1965, Kilgallen wrote: "This story isn't going to die as long as there's a real reporter alive - and there are a lot of them." But on November 8, 1965, there was one less reporter. That day Dorothy Kilgallen was found dead in her home. It was initially reported that she died of a heart attack, but quickly this was changed to an overdose of alcohol and pills.

Roger Craig had been named Officer of the Year by the Dallas Traffic Commission and he was promoted four times. He was to receive no further promotion or commendation after his refusal to withdraw his identification of the Mauser and admit to being wrong about his identification of the man who ran from the Depository to be picked up by the Rambler on Elm Street. For this he suffered the most dire consequences. Craig was forbidden to speak to reporters about these things and when, in 1967, he was caught doing so he was fired. Thereafter he spoke of a consciousness of being followed, and was fired at by an unknown assailant. The bullet came uncomfortably close and, in fact, grazed his head. He began receiving threats and, in 1973, his car was run off a mountain road causing him a back injury, the pain from which was to become a permanent feature of his life. On another occasion his car was bombed. His marriage broke up in 1973 as a consequence of the continuing harassment, which did not abate. In 1975 he was shot at and wounded in the shoulder by another unknown gunman. At the age of 39, Roger Craig, suffering from the stress of the constant back pains he endured and the financial pressures he encountered because of finding it difficult to get work, succumbed, they said, and committed suicide. They said.

Deaths of Witnesses Connected to the assassination of John F. Kennedy - History

(from The Rebel magazine, January 1984)

Over 100 murders, suicides, mysterious deaths--the strange fate of those who saw Kennedy shot.

S hortly after dark on Sunday night November 24, 1963, after Ruby had killed Lee Harvey Oswald, a meeting took place in Jack Ruby's apartment in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Five persons were present. George Senator and Attorney Tom Howard were present and having a drink in the apartment when two newsmen arrived. The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the Long Beach California Press Telegram, and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald. Attorney C.A. Droby of Dallas arranged the meeting for the two newsmen. Jim Martin, a close friend of George Senator's, was also present at the apartment meeting.
This writer asked Martin if he thought it was unusual for Senator to forget the meeting while testifying in Washington on April 22, 1964, since Bill Hunter, who was a newsman present at the meeting, was shot to death that very night. Martin grinned and said: "Oh, you're looking for a conspiracy."
I nodded yes and he grinned and said, "You will never find it."
I asked soberly, "Never find it, or not there?"
He added soberly, "Not there."
Bill Hunter, a native of Dallas and an award winning newsman in Long Beach, was on duty and reading a book in the police station called "Public Safety Building." Two policemen going off duty came into the press room, and one policeman shot Hunter through the heart at a range officially ruled to be "no more than three feet." The policeman said he dropped his gun, and it fired as he picked it up, but the angle of the bullet caused him to change his story. He finally said he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place.
Hunter, who covered the assassination for his paper, the Long Beach Press Telegram, had written:
"Within minutes of Ruby's execution of Oswald, before the eyes of millions watching television, at least two Dallas attorneys appeared to talk with him."
Hunter was quoting Tom Howard who died of a heart attack in Dallas a few months after Hunter's own death. Lawyer Tom Howard was observed acting strangely to his friends two days before his death. Howard was taken to the hospital by a "friend" according to the newspapers. No autopsy was performed.
Dallas Times Herald reporter Jim Koethe was killed by a karate chop to the throat just as he emerged from a shower in his apartment on September 21, 1964. His murderer was not indicted.
What went on in that significant meeting in Ruby's and Senator's apartment?
Few are left to tell. There is no one in authority to ask the question, since the Warren Commission has made its final report, and The House Select Committee has closed its investigation.
Dorothy Kilgallen was another reporter who died strangely and suddenly after her involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Miss Kilgallen is the only journalist who was granted a private interview with Jack Ruby after he killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Judge Joe B. Brown granted the interview during the course of the Ruby trial in Dallas--to the intense anger of the hundreds of other newspeople present.
We will not divulge exactly what Miss Kilgallen did to obtain the interview with Ruby. But Judge Brown bragged about the price paid. Only that was not the real price Miss Kilgallen paid. She gave her life for the interview. Miss Kilgallen stated that she was "going to break this case wide open."

Lee Harvey Oswald--murdered

Photo by Wide World

Dorothy Killgallen--murdered
Lee Bowers died from "a strange sort of shock"

Jim Koethe-murdered


Warren Reynolds--murdered

Photo by Wide World

Jack Ruby, diagnosed with pneumonia, died 28 days later of cancer

She died on November 8, 1965. Her autopsy report took eight days. She was 52 years old. Two days later Mrs. Earl T. Smith, a close friend of Miss Kilgallen's died of undetermined causes.
Tom Howard, who died of a heart attack, was a good friend of District Attorney Henry Wade, although they often opposed each other in court. Howard was close to Ruby and other fringes of the Dallas underworld.
Like Ruby, Howard's life revolved around the police station, and it was not surprising when he and Ruby (toting his gun) showed up at the station on the evening of the assassination of President Kennedy. Nor was it unusual when Howard arrived at the jail shortly after Ruby shot Oswald, asking to see his old friend.
Howard was shown into a meeting room to see a bewildered Ruby who had not asked for a lawyer. For the next two days--until Ruby's brother, Earl, soured on him, and had Howard relieved--he was Jack Ruby's chief attorney and public spokesman.
Howard took to the publicity with alacrity, called a press conference, wheeled and dealed. He told newsmen the case was a "once-in-a-lifetime chance," and that "speaking as a private citizen," he thought Ruby deserved a Congressional medal. He told the Houston Post that Ruby had been in the police station Friday night (November 22, 1963) with a gun. Howard dickered with a national magazine for an Oswald murder story. He got hold of a picture showing the President's brains flying out of the car, and tried to sell it to Life magazine. Ruby's sister, Eva Grant, even accused Howard of leaking information to the DA. It was never quite clear whether Howard was working for Ruby or against him.
On March 27, 1965, Howard was taken to a hospital by an unidentified person and died there. He was 48. The doctor, without benefit of an autopsy, said he had suffered a heart attack. Some reporters and friends of Howard's were not so certain. Some said he was "bumped off."
Earlene Roberts was the plump widow who managed the rooming house where Lee Harvey Oswald was living under the name O. H. Lee. She testified before the Warren Commission that she saw Oswald come home around one o'clock, go to his room for three or four minutes and walk out zipping his light weight jacket. A few minutes later, a mile away, officer J. D. Tippit was shot dead.
Mrs. Roberts testified that while Oswald was in his room, two uniformed cops pulled up in front of the rooming house and honked twice--"Just tit tit," she said.
The police department issued a report saying all patrol cars in the area, except Tippit's, were accounted for. The Warren Commission let it go at that.
After testifying in Dallas in April 1964, Mrs. Roberts was subjected to intensive police harassment. They visited her at all hours of the day and night. Earlene complained of being "worried to death" by the police. She died on January 9, 1966 in Parkland Hospital (the hospital where President Kennedy was taken). Police said she suffered a heart attack in her home. No autopsy was performed.
Warren Reynolds was minding his used car lot on East Jefferson Street in Oak Cliff in Dallas, when he heard shots two blocks away. He thought it was a marital quarrel. Then he saw a man having a great difficulty tucking "a pistol or an automatic" in his belt, and running at the same time. Reynolds gave chase for a short piece being careful to keep his distance, then lost the fleeing man. He didn't know it then, but he had apparently witnessed the flight of the killer (or one of the killers) of patrolman Jefferson David Tippit. Feeling helpful, he gave his name to a passing policeman and offered his cooperation. Television cameras zeroed in on him, got his story, and made him well known. Warren Reynolds, the amiable used car man, was making history.
Reynolds was not questioned until two months after the event. The FBI finally talked to him in January 1964. The FBI interview report said, " . . . he was hesitant to definitely identify Oswald as the individual." Then it added, "He advised he is of the opinion Oswald is the person."
Two days after Reynolds talked to the FBI, he was shot in the head. He was closing up his used car lot for the night at the time. Nothing was stolen. Later after consulting retired General Edwin Walker (the man Oswald allegedly shot at before he assassinated President Kennedy), he told the Warren Commission Counsel that Oswald was definitely the man he saw fleeing the Tippit murder scene.
A young hood was arrested for the murder attempt. Darrell Wayne Garner had called a relative bragging that he shot Reynolds. But Garner had an alibi, Nancy Jane Mooney, alias Betty McDonald, who said Garner was in bed with her at the time he was supposed to have shot Reynolds. Nancy Jane had worked at Jack Ruby's Carousel Club. Garner was freed.
Nancy Jane was picked up a week later for fighting with a girlfriend. She was arrested for disturbing the peace. The girlfriend was not arrested. Within hours after her arrest, Nancy Jane was dead. Police reports said she hanged herself with her toreador pants.
Reynolds and his family were harassed and threatened. But upon giving the Warren Commission a firm identification of Oswald as being the Tippit murder fugitive, he said, "I don't think they are going to bother me any more."
Hank Killam was a house painter who lived at Mrs. A.C. Johnson's rooming house at the same time Lee Harvey Oswald lived there. His wife, Wanda, once pushed cigarettes and drinks at Jack Ruby's club.
Hank was a big man, over six feet and weighing over 200 pounds. After the assassination, federal agents visited him repeatedly causing him to lose one job after another.
Killam was absorbed by the assassination, even obsessed. Hours after the event, he came home, "white as a sheet." Wanda said he stayed up all night watching the television accounts of the assassination. Later he bought all the papers and clipped the stories about Kennedy's death.
Before Christmas, Killam left for Florida. Wanda confessed where he was. Federal agents hounded him in Tampa, Florida where he was working selling cars at his brother-in-law's car lot. He lost his job.
Killam wrote Wanda that he would be sending for her soon. He received a phone call on St. Patrick's day. He left the house immediately. He was found later on a sidewalk in front of a broken window. His jugular vein was cut. He bled to death en route to the hospital.
There is no mention of Killam by the Warren Commission. A number of FBI documents on Killam relating to the assassination were withheld, along with documents prepared by the CIA. What is clear is that SOMEBODY considered Hank Killam a very important guy.
William Whaley was known as the "Oswald Cabbie." He was one of the few who had the opportunity to talk alone with the accused killer of President Kennedy. He testified that Oswald hailed him at the Dallas Greyhound bus station. Whaley said he drove Oswald to the intersection of Beckley and Neches--half a block from the rooming house--and collected a dollar. Later he identified Oswald as his fare in a questionable police line-up.
Whaley was killed in a head-on collision on a bridge over the Trinity River, December 18, 1965 his passenger was critically injured. The 83 year old driver of the other car was also killed. Whaley had been with the City Transportation Company since 1936 and had a perfect driving record. He was the first Dallas cabbie to be killed on duty since 1937. When I went to interview the manager of the cab company about Whaley's death, he literally pushed me out of the office, "If you're smart, you won't be coming around here asking questions."
Domingo Benavides, an auto mechanic, was witness to the murder of Officer Tippit. Benavides testified he got a "really good view of the slayer."
Benavides said the killer resembled newspaper pictures of Oswald, but he described him differently, "I remember the back of his head seemed like his hairline went square instead of tapered off . . ."
Benavides reported he was repeatedly threatened by the police who advised him not to talk about what he saw.
In mid-February 1964, his brother Eddy, who resembled him, was fatally shot in the back of the head at a beer joint on Second Avenue in Dallas. The case was marked "unsolved."
Benavides's father-in-law J. W. Jackson was not impressed by the investigation. He began his own inquiry. Two weeks later, J.W. Jackson was shot at his home. As the gunman escaped, a police car came around the block. It made no attempt to follow the speeding car with the gunman.

David Ferrie died of
brain hemorrhage
Guy Bannister--heart attack

One by one Jim Garrison's witnesses met premature deaths

Hank Killam's jugular vein was cut and he bled to death

The police advised that Jackson should "lay off this business." "Don't go around asking questions that's our job." Jackson and Benavides are both convinced that Eddy's murder was a case of mistaken identity and that Domingo Benavides, the Tippit witness was the intended victim.
Lee Bowers's testimony is perhaps as explosive as any recorded by the Warren Commission. He was one of the 65 witnesses who saw the President's assassination, and who thought shots were fired from the area of the Grassy Knoll. (The Knoll is west of the Texas School Book Depository Building.) But more than that, he was in a unique position to observe some pretty strange behavior in the Knoll area before and during the assassination.
Bowers, then a towerman for the Union Terminal Co., was stationed in his 14 foot tower directly behind the Grassy Knoll. He faced the scene of the assassination. He could see the railroad overpass to his right. Directly in front of him was a parking lot and a wooden stockade fence, and a row of trees running along the top of the Grassy Knoll. The Knoll sloped down to the spot on Elm Street where the President was killed. Police had "cut off" traffic into the parking lot, Bowers said, "so that anyone moving around could actually be observed."
Bowers made two significant observations which he revealed to the Warren Commission. First, he saw three unfamiliar cars slowly cruising around the parking area in the 35 minutes before the assassination the first two left after a few minutes. The driver of the second car appeared to be talking into a "mic or telephone" "he was holding something up to his mouth with one hand and he was driving with the other." A third car with out-of-state license plates and mud up to the windows, probed all around the parking area. Bowers last remembered seeing it about eight minutes before the shooting, pausing "just above the assassination site."
Bowers also observed two unfamiliar men standing on the top of the Knoll at the edge of the parking lot, within 10 or 15 feet of each other. "One man, middle aged or slightly older, fairly heavy set, in a white shirt, fairly dark trousers. Another man, younger, about mid-twenties, in either a plaid shirt or plaid coat or jacket." Both were facing toward Elm and Houston in anticipation of the motorcade. The two were the only strangers he remembered seeing. His description shows a remarkable similarity to Julia Ann Mercer's description of two unidentified men climbing the Knoll.
When the shots rang out, Bowers's attention was drawn to the area where he had seen the two men he could still make out the one in the white shirt: "The darker dressed man was too hard to distinguish from the trees."
Bowers observed "some commotion" at that spot . . .," " . . . something out of the ordinary, a sort of milling around . . . which attracted my eye for some reason which I could not identify." At that moment, a motorcycle policeman left the Presidential motorcade and roared up the Grassy Knoll, straight to where the two mysterious gentlemen were standing. Later, Bowers testified that the "commotion" that caught his eye may have been a "flash of light or smoke."
On the morning of August 9, 1966, Lee Bowers, vice president of a construction firm, was driving south of Dallas on business. He was two miles south of Midlothian, Texas when his brand new company car veered from the road and hit a bridge abutment. A farmer who saw it, said the car was going about 50 miles an hour, a slow speed for that road.
Bowers died in a Dallas hospital. He was 41. There was no autopsy and he was cremated. A doctor from Midlothian who rode to Dallas in the ambulance with Bowers, noticed something peculiar about the victim. "He was in some strange sort of shock." The doctor said, "A different kind of shock than an accident victim experiences. I can't explain it. I've never seen anything like it."
When I questioned his widow, she insisted there was nothing suspicious, but then became flustered and said, "They told him not to talk."
Harold Russell was with Warren Reynolds when the Tippit shooting took place. Both men saw the Tippit killer escape. Russel was interviewed in January 1964, and signed a statement that the fleeing man was Oswald.
A few months after the assassination, Russell went back to his home near David, Oklahoma. In July of 1965, Russell went to a party with a female friend. He seemingly went out of his mind at the party and started telling everyone he was going to be killed. He begged friends to hide him. Someone called the police. When the policemen arrived, one of them hit Russell on the head with his pistol. Russell was then taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead a few hours later: cause of death was listed as "heart failure."
Among others who died strangely were James Worrell, who died in a motorcycle accident on November 9, 1966. He saw a strange man run from the back door of the Texas School Book Depository shortly after the assassination.
Gary Underhill was shot. This death was ruled suicide on May 8, 1964. Underhill was a former CIA agent and claimed he knew who was responsible for killing President Kennedy.
Delilah Walle was a worker at Ruby's club. She was married only 24 days when her new husband shot her. She had been working on a book of what she supposedly knew about the assassination.
William "Bill" Waters died May 20, 1967. Police said he died of a drug overdose (demerol). No autopsy was performed. His mother said Oswald and Killam came to her home before the assassination and her son tried to talk Oswald and Killam out of being involved. Waters called FBI agents after the assassination. The FBI told him he knew too much and to keep his mouth shut. He was arrested and kept in Memphis in a county jail for eight months on a misdemeanor charge.
Albert Guy Bogard, an automobile salesman who worked for Downtown Lincoln Mercury, showed a new Mercury to a man using the name "Lee Oswald."
Shortly after Bogard gave his testimony to a Commission attorney in Dallas, he was badly beaten and had to be hospitalized. Upon his release, he was fearful for his safety. Bogard was from Hallsville, La. He was found dead in his car at the Hallsville Cemetery on St. Valentine's day in 1966. A rubber hose was attached to the exhaust and the other end extending into the car. The ruling was suicide. He was just 41 years old.
Jack Ruby died of cancer. He was taken into the hospital with Pneumonia. Twenty eight days later, he was dead from cancer.
David Ferrie of New Orleans, before he could be brought to trial for his involvement in the Kennedy assassination, died of brain hemorrhage. Just what caused his brain hemorrhage has not been established. Ferrie was to testify in the famous Jim Garrison trial, but death prevented him.
Dr. Mary Stults Sherman, age 51, was found stabbed and burned in her apartment in New Orleans. Dr. Sherman had been working on a cancer experiment with Ferrie.
Another Ferrie associate, Eladio Cerefine de Valle, 43, died on the same day as Ferrie. His skull was split open he was then shot. DeValle had used Ferrie as a pilot. DeValle had been identifying some men in a photo taken in New Orleans for Jim Garrison. One of the men in the photo was Lee Harvey Oswald.
Paul Dyer, of the New Orleans Police force died of cancer. He was the first police officer to interview Ferrie. Martin got sick on the job and died a month later of cancer. He had just interviewed David Ferrie.
News reporters were not exempt either. Two lady reporters died strangely. Lisa Howard supposedly committed suicide. She knew a great deal about the "understanding" which was in the making after the Bay of Pigs, between President Kennedy and the Cubans.
Marguerite Higgins bluntly accused the American authorities of the November 2nd, 1963 killing of Premier Diem and his brother Nhu. A few months after her accusation, she died in a landmine explosion in Vietnam.
On Saturday November 23, 1963, Jack Zangetty, the manager of a $150,000 modular motel complex near Lake Lugert, Oklahoma, remarked to some friends that "Three other men--not Oswald--killed the President." He also stated that "A man named Ruby will kill Oswald tomorrow and in a few days a member of the Frank Sinatra family will be kidnapped just to take some of the attention away from the assassination."
Two weeks later, Jack Zangetty was found floating in Lake Lugert with bullet holes in his chest. It appeared to witnesses he had been in the water one to two weeks.
Lou Staples, a radio announcer who was doing a good many of his radio shows on the Kennedy assassination, lost his life sometime on Friday night May 13, 1977. This was near Yukon, Oklahoma. He had been having radio shows on the assassination since 1973 and the response to his programs was overwhelming.
Lou's death was termed suicide, but the bullet ending his life entered behind his right temple and Lou was left handed. He joined Gary Underhill, William Pitzer and Joe Cooper whose "suicides" were all done with the "wrong hand" shots to the head.
Lou had been stating that he wanted to purchase some property to build a home. He was lured out to a wheat field and his life ended there. I have been to the spot where Lou died.
Karyn Kupcinet, daughter of Irv Kupcinet, was trying to make a long distance call from Los Angeles. According to reports, the operator heard Miss Kupcinet scream into the phone that President Kennedy was going to be killed.
Two days after the assassination, she was found murdered in her apartment. The case is unsolved. She was 23.
Rose Cherami, 40, was an employee of Jack Ruby's club. She was riding with two men on a return trip from Florida carrying a load of narcotics. She was thrown from the car when an argument began between her and one of the men. She was hospitalized for injuries and drug withdrawal. She told authorities that President Kennedy was going to be killed in Dallas. After her release from the hospital, she was a victim of a hit and run accident on September 4, 1965 near Big Sandy, Texas.
Robert L. Perrin was a gun runner for Jack Ruby. His wife, Nancy testified before the Warren Commission that Robert took a dose of arsenic in August 1962.
Guy Bannister was a private detective who was closely involved in the Jim Garrison trial. Guy and his partner, Hugh Ward, died within a 10 day period as the Warren Commission was closing its hearings. Guy supposedly died of a heart attack, but witnesses said he had a bullet hole in his body.
George deMohrenschildt was another man who was to give testimony but never made it. DeMohrenschildt, in his final days, became suspicious of everyone around him, even his wife, and was nearing a nervous breakdown some thought. He died of gun shot wounds. The verdict was suicide. But deMohrenschildt was a member of the White Russian society and very wealthy. He visited Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald when they lived on Neely Street. Marina visited the deMohrenschildts when she and Lee Harvey Oswald were having some of their disagreements.
Cliff Carter, LBJ's aide who rode in the Vice President's follow up car in the motorcade in Dealey Plaza where President Kennedy was gunned down, was LBJ's top aide during his first administration. Carter died of mysterious circumstances. Carter died of pneumonia when no penicillin could be located in Washington, D.C. in September 1971. This was supposedly the cause of death.
Buddy Walthers, Deputy Sheriff, was at the kill sight of President Kennedy He picked up a bullet in a hunk of brain matter blown from the President's head. Walthers never produced the bullet for evidence.
Walthers was also at the Texas Theater when Oswald was arrested. In a January 10th, 1969 shooting, Walthers was shot through the heart. In a shootout Walthers and his companion Deputy Alvin Maddox, were fired upon by Cherry, an escaped prisoner. Walthers and Maddox were trying to capture Cherry when Walthers was shot through the heart. Walthers's widow received $10,000.00 for her husband dying in the line of duty.

Robert L. Perrin took a dose of arsenic

Dr. Mary Stults Sherman was stabbed to death

Clay Shaw died of
unknown causes

Buddy Walthers was shot through the heart by an escaped prisoner
Roger Dean Craig died of a massive gunshot wound to the chest

Clay Shaw, age 60, died five years after he was charged by Jim Garrison for his involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Some reports have it that he had been ill for months after surgery for removing a blood clot. Other newspaper reports of his death stated he had cancer. It was revealed that Shaw was a paid contact for the CIA. A neighbor reported that an ambulance was seen pulling up to the Shaw home. Then a body was carried in and an empty stretcher brought out. A few hours later, Shaw was reportedly found dead in his home. Then he was given a quick embalming before a Coroner could be notified. It was then impossible to determine the cause of death.
On May 15, 1975, Roger Dean Craig died of a massive gun shot wound to the chest. Supposedly, it was his second try at suicide and a success. Craig was a witness to the slaughter of President Kennedy. Only Craig's story was different from the one the police told.
Craig testified in the Jim Garrison trial. Before this, Craig had lost his job with the Dallas Police Dept. In 1961, he had been "Man of the Year." Because he would not change his story of the assassination, he was harassed and threatened, stabbed, shot at, and his wife left him.
Craig wrote two manuscripts of what he witnessed. "When They Kill A President" and "The Patient Is Dying."
Craig's father was out mowing the lawn when Craig supposedly shot himself. Considering the hardships, Craig very well could have committed suicide. But no one will ever know.
John M. Crawford, 46, died in a mysterious plane crash near Huntsville, Texas on April 15, 1969. It appeared from witnesses that Crawford had left in a rush.
Crawford was a homosexual and a close friend of Jack Ruby's. Ruby supposedly carried Crawford's phone number in his pocket at all times. Crawford was also a friend of Buell Wesley Frazier's, the neighbor who took Lee Harvey Oswald to work on that fatal morning of November 22, 1963.
Hale Boggs was the only member of the Warren Commission who disagreed with the conclusions. Hale Boggs did not follow Earl Warren and his disciples. He totally disagreed. Hale Boggs was in a plane crash lost over frozen Alaska.
Nicholas J. Chetta, M.D. age 50, Orleans Parish coroner since 1950, died at Mercy Hospital on May 25, 1968. Newspaper reports were sketchy. It was said he suffered a heart attack.
Dr. Chetta was the coroner who served at the death of David Ferrie.
Dr. Chetta was the key witness regarding Perry Russo against Clay Shaw. Shaw's attorney went into federal court only after Dr. Chetta was dead.
Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered, then his assassin not captured until over a year later. Dr. King was the only hope this country had for bringing about equality.
The death of Robert Kennedy, only shortly after Dr. King's death on June 5th, 1968, was a brazen act which gave notice to this entire nation. It became imperative, when Senator Kennedy became a threat as a Presidential candidate, that he had to be killed.
There is evidence that two persons, a man, and a woman were with the accused killer, but authorities have found no trace of them. Coroner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi told the Grand Jury the powder burns indicated the murder gun was fired not more than two to three inches from Kennedy's right ear. Witnesses testified that Sirhan was never closer than four or five feet to the Senator.
I have not, by any means, listed "all" of the strange deaths. I have a complete list in my books. I have listed the most significant ones that occurred after the assassination. The strange deaths after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, in my estimate, numbered over 100, but I am certain I know of only a fraction.
Many strange deaths occurred after the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. No one knows the exact number.

Penn Jones, Jr. resides in Waxahachie, Texas, publishes a monthly newsletter on the assassination of JFK, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King and is the author of numerous books on the subject.

Deaths of Witnesses Connected to the assassination of John F. Kennedy - History

The Library of Congress
Congressional Research Service




Analyst, American National Government

Congressional Research Service



This report responds to the request by the House Select Committee on Assassinations that the Congressional Research Service research and analyze the circumstances of the deaths of 21 persons identified by various authors as connected in some way with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In fulfilling the assignment, the Service relied primarily on sources within the Library of Congress supplemented by inquiries to relevant newspapers in the country. Accordingly, it should be understood that the summaries provided are based on an examination of secondary source material and inquiries conducted in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.. No field investigation was undertaken, which necessarily limits any conclusions that might be drawn from this report.

Name: Edward/Eddie Benavides

Assassination Connection: Edward Benavides' brother, Domingo, was an eyewitness to the murder of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit. The two brothers were said to strongly resemble each other.

Date of Death: "Mid-February, 1964" (See circumstances of death for clarification).

Place of Death: Dallas, Texas

Circumstances of Death: According to Penn Jones, Jr., and other advocates of the conspiracy theory, Eddie Benavides was murdered because he bore a strong resemblance to his brother Domingo, who was an eyewitness to the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit. The conspiricists explain the murder of Eddie Benavides by claiming that Domingo described the murderer of Tippit as a man who did not resemble Lee Harvey Oswald. David Welsh, writing in Ramparts Magazine's November, 1966 issue ("The Legacy of Penn Jones Jr.") maintains that:

David Martindale, in the March, 1977, edition of Argosy ("The Bizarre Deaths Following JFK's Murder.") states:

Penn Jones, dean of the conspiracy advocates maintains in volume II of Forgive My Grief that:

While there is an element of uncertainty in Benavides' testimony before the Commission, (see Hearings Before the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, volume VI, pp. 444-454) the accounts of Martindale, Welsh and Jones make extremely broad interpretations of the testimony in order to buttress their own theories. In addition, Penn Jones is apparently guilty of a misquotation: Benavides is not recorded as testifying to Assistant Counsel David W. Belin "He looked like you" in describing Tippit's murderer. He did, however, describe the man as being of roughly the same height, build, complexion and hair color as Mr. Belin.

The accounts of the conspiricists also fail to specify the date on which Edward Benavides died. Martindale, Welsh, Jones and Sylvia Meagher, writing in Accessories After the Fact, all place the date of death sometime in mid February, 1964. The researcher was unable to locate such a notice in the editions of the Dallas Morning News anytime between February 10 and February 20 of 1964.

Richard Warren Lewis, writing in The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Report, a book critical of conspiracy advocates, maintains that

Lewis does not, however, offer any documentation in support of his allegation.

The problem faced by the committee in the case of Eddie Benavides is one of securing an accurate account of his death, including date and circumstances. It would prove far more difficult, however, to confirm or deny the highly questionable allegations of conspiracy advocates.

Jurisdiction: Either the City of Dallas or Dallas County, Texas

City of Dallas Health Department
Office of Vital Statistics
1936 Amelia Court
Dallas, Texas 75235

or, in the case of Dallas County:

Office of the Dallas County Medical Examiner
P.O. Box 35728
Dallas, Texas 75235

Assassination Connection: Albert Guy Bogard worked as an automobile salesman at Downtown Lincoln-Mercury in Dallas, Texas. Penn Jones, in volume II of Forgive My Grief, states that:

On Nov. 9, 1963 salesman Bogard showed a new Mercury automobile to a man using the name of Lee Oswald. The two took a demonstration drive with the prospect at the wheel. The prospect said that he would not have the money for a couple of weeks, but he would then pay cash for the car. Bogard had to ask twice before the man said his name was Lee Oswald.

We believe the men in this group who have met with either shooting or death were seeing a false Oswald."

Date of Death: Stated by Penn Jones to be February 14, 1966.

Place of Death: Stated by Penn Jones to be Hallsville, Louisiana.

Circumstances of Death: Penn Jones states in volume II of Forgive My Grief, that Bogard had testified before the Warren Commission, and, according to Jones, he was found so badly beaten some time later that he required hospitalization. Bogard later left Dallas and returned to Louisiana, his home State. Jones states that:

The researcher was unable to locate any town in Louisiana of that name in any standard atlas of the United States. There is, however, a town of Halls Summit in Red River Parish, in northwestern Louisiana. This may be the location mentioned by Jones, as it is not far from Shreveport, the home of Bogard's wife. There is a Haynesville, Louisiana in Claiborne Parish. It also could be the Hallsville to which Jones refers.

The death of Albert Guy Bogard may warrant further investigation by the Committee in light of the fact of its circumstances. In addition, the site of his death should be determined for the sake of the accuracy of historical records.

Jurisdiction: Halls Summit is located in Red River Parish, Louisiana.

Death Records Available From:

Louisiana Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Records
P.O. Box 60630
New Orleans, Louisiana

Name: Hale Boggs (U.S. Representative, 2nd District of Louisiana)

Assassination Connection: Representative Boggs served on the Warren Commission, and is alleged in an article appearing in Argosy Magazine, March, 1977, to have publicly voiced skepticism about the Warren Commission and to have called for a new investigation into President Kennedy's death a week before his disappearance and presumed death.

Date of Death: Presumed to be October 16, 1972.

Place of Death: Presumed to be somewhere between Anchorage and Juneau, Alaska.

Circumstances of death: Representatives Boggs and Nick Begich of Alaska were traveling together on a campaign tour in Alaska in October, 1972.

The two Representatives chartered a light plane to carry them from Anchorage, Alaska, to Juneau, a flight of 560 miles, largely over water.

The plane failed to arrive in Juneau, and on October 17, a search was initiated. Weak radio signals were monitored by members of the rescue team on October 17 and again on October 26, but no trace of the plane or its occupants was ever found. On November 24, 1972, the U.S. Air Force announced that the search would be ended. On November 29, a petition requesting a presumptive death hearing was filed in Alaska, and on December 29, Judge Dorothy Tyner issued presumptive death certificates for Rep. Begich, pilot Don E. Jonz and co-pilot Russell L. Brown.

Similar action was not undertaken in the case of Representative Boggs because Louisiana lacked a presumptive death law. On January 3, 1973, however, the U.S. House of Representatives declared his seat to be vacant, and his widow, Mrs. Corinne C. Boggs was elected to fill it.

Flying conditions between Anchorage and Juneau are frequently poor, and on October 16, 1972, they were worse than usual. Under such conditions, aviation accidents and disappearances of light aircraft are not infrequent in the area. The Argosy article implies that Representative Boggs was possibly killed to prevent him from making public new information on the Kennedy assassination he was alleged to have gathered. To prove that Representative Boggs met with foul play, the wreckage of the plane would probably have to be found, which appears to be a most difficult, and perhaps impossible task.

Authoritative reports on all aviation accidents occuring within the United States are conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board. An avenue of further investigation by the committee would be to obtain a copy of the pertinent report. Inquiries should include all available information on the accident, and should be directed to:

National Transportation Safety Board
Public Inquiries Section
Accident Inquiries Bureau - A.D. 46
Attention: Mr. King
800 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20594

Jurisdiction and Death Records Availability: Not applicable.

3-a "Boggs, Begich Disappearance: No Trace in 4 Days" -- Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, October 21, 1972, pp. 2774-2775.

3-b "Special House Elections" - Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, January 6, 1973,p.8.

Assassination Connection: Lee Bowers, Jr. was an eyewitness to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. At the time of the murder he was employed by the Union Terminal Company of Dallas as a tower man in the rail yards close to the route taken by the presidential motorcade. When summoned to testify before the Warren Commission, Mr. Bowers stated that some sort of commotion in the vicinity of the "grassy knoll", near the Texas School Book Depository, had attracted his eye. He further stated that two men were standing on the knoll at the time of the assassination.

At a later date, Mr. Bowers elaborated his testimony in an interview conducted by Mark Lane, a chief proponent of the conspiracy theory as part part of his documentary film, Rush to Judgement. At that time he said that the commotion he noticed might have been a flash or a puff of smoke, such as would come from the discharge of a firearm. Penn Jones, Jr. maintains that this statement was the likely cause of Bower's death.

Date of Death: August 9, 1966

Place of Death: Dallas, Texas, after involvement in a motor vehicle accident near Midlothian, Texas, in Ellis County.

Circumstances of Death: The Dallas Morning News printed a routine account of Lee Bowers, Jr.'s death on August 10, 1966. (See attachment 9-a) . He died from injuries suffered when his car went out of control and struck a bridge abutment on Highway 67, two miles west

of Midlothian, Texas. Richard Warren Lewis, in The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Report states that the injuries sustained included "a crushed chest, two broken legs, one broken arm and multiple head and internal injuries."

Lewis and Penn Jones, Jr. differed in their accounts of Mr. Bower's death. Jones maintains in volume II of Forgive My Grief that Bowers was killed in an "unusual one car accident", characterizing Bowers as one of the people "who paid with their lives for their pitiful efforts to tell the story" of the conspiracy allegedly responsible for the death of President Kennedy. Jones further states that the Midlothian physician who attended Bowers remarked that the injured man was in some sort of "strange shock."

Lewis interviewed Dr. Roy Bohl, the doctor who rode in an ambulance with Bowers as it took the dying man to Methodist Hospital in Dallas:

In view of the existing available facts, in particular the Lewis interview of Dr. Bohl which appears to refute Penn Jones' allegations, the case of Lee Bowers does not seem a particularly promising route for investigation by the committee.

Jurisdiction: The subject died in Dallas, Texas, as a result of injuries sustained in an accident in Ellis County, Texas.

City of Dallas Health Department
Office of Vital Statistics
1936 Amelia Court
Dallas, Texas 75235

4-a Executive Dies After Car Wreck. Dallas Morning News, August 10, 1966, p. 6-a.

Assassination Connection: The only information readily available on this subject was a brief entry in Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact, in which Mr. Chesher was described as "believed to have information about a Ruby/Oswald link."

Date of Death: Described by Meagher as March, 1964.

Circumstances of Death: Described by Meagher as a heart attack.

Jurisdiction and Availability of Death Records: Neither available given existing information.

Name: Nicholas J. Chetta, M.D.

Assassination Connection: Dr. Chetta was linked with the Kennedy assassination by Penn Jones, Jr., in volume III of Forgive My Grief. In it he writes:

Nicholas J. Chetta, M.D., Orleans Parish Coroner since 1950, died at Mercy Hospital at 10:20 P.M., Saturday, May 25, 1968. .

In our opinion, this is one of the key murders of the continuing Kennedy assassination conspiracy and coverup.

Dr. Chetta was the coroner who served at the death of David Ferrie. Dr. Chetta was the key witness regarding Perry Russo against Clay Shaw. Shaw's attorneys went into federal court only after Dr. Chetta was dead.

(Forgive my Grief, v. III, p. 28)

Place of Death: New Orleans, Louisiana

Circumstances of Death: As a prominent public official in New Orleans, Dr. Chetta's death was amply covered in the local press (see attachment). He suffered a coronary infarction (heart attack) on the afternoon of May 25, 1968, was admitted to Mercy Hospital in New Orleans at 5:00 P.M that evening, and died at 10:20 P.M. Penn Jones points out in his account that Dr. Chetta's whereabouts at the time he suffered the heart attack were not reported this allegation is borne out in the attached press items. Jones's obvious implication that Chetta's heart attack was induced by some extraordinary means in order to cause his death must be considered an unproved supposition in the absence of substantiating evidence.

Jurisdiction: City of New Orleans, La.

Orleans Parish Coroner's Office
2700 Tulane Avenue
New Orleans, La. 70119

6-a "Dr. Chetta, 50, Taken by Death" - New Orleans Times - Picayune, May 26, 1968, pp.1,22.

6-b "Requiem Today for Dr. Chetta" - New Orleans Times - Picayune, May 27, 1968, p. 22.

Assassination Connection: The only information readily available on this subject was a brief entry in Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact, in which Mr. Goldstein was described as having helped the F.B.I. trace the revolver used in the murder of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit.

Date of Death: Described by Meagher as 1965.

Circumstances of Death: Described by Meagher as "natural causes." The use of the term "natural causes" by Sylvia Meagher, a prominent advocate of the conspiracy theory seems to indicate the author's opinion that there was no occurrence of abnormal or unusual circumstances in the death of David Goldstein.

Jurisdiction and Availability of Death Records: Neither available given existing information.

Name: Thomas Hale (Tom) Howard

Assassination Connection: George Senator, alleged by Penn Jones, Jr., to be Jack Ruby's roommate, retained Tom Howard, a well known and controversial Dallas attorney, to defend Ruby shortly after he was taken into custody following his attack on Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963. Mr. Howard later disagreed with Melvin Belli, Joe Tonahill and Phil Burleson, attorneys who had also been retained to defend Ruby, and eventually withdrew from the case. Penn Jones, in volume II of Forgive My Grief states that:

Date of Death: March 27, 1965

Place of Death: Dallas, Texas

Circumstances of Death: As a well-known Dallas attorney, Tom Howard's death was amply covered in the Dallas Morning News (see attachment 9-a), and, due probably to his connection with the Ruby trial, the Associated Press filed a report on his death which was printed in the New York Times (see attachment 9-b). Penn Jones states in volume I of Forgive My Grief that Mr. Howard died "under strange circumstances." This inferral that he died an unnatural death is not borne out by the attached press items, which state, that Howard had been ill for several days. Further, Richard Warren Lewis, in his book The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Commission, states that:

In view of this account, which appears to confirm the available press reports, and Penn Jones' failure to substantiate either his charge that Howard had additional knowledge about the Kennedy assassination or that he died under mysterious circumstances, the case of Thomas Hale Howard does not on its face, appear to be one which warrants further investigation by the committee.

Jurisdiction: Dallas, Texas

City of Dallas Health Department
Office of Vital Statistics
1936 Amelia Court
Dallas, Texas 75235

9-a "Ruby's First Lawyer, Tom Howard, Dies" - Dallas Morning News, March 29, 1965, p. 3, sec. 4.

9-b "Tom Howard, Lawyer for Ruby Who Quit in Dispute, Dies at 48" - The New York Times, March 29, 1965.

Assassination Connection: Bill Hunter was present in Dallas on November 24, 1963, covering the Kennedy assassination for the Long Beach, California, Independent. In volume I of Forgive My Grief Penn Jones described his involvement as follows:

Shortly after dark (on November 24) a meeting took place in Ruby's and Senator's apartment in Oak Cliff. George Senator and Attorney Tom Howard were present and having a drink in the apartment when two newsmen and two attorneys arrived. The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the Long Beach (Cal.) Press Telegram [sic] and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald. Attorney C.A. Droby of Dallas arranged the meeting for the two newsmen.

Droby insists that he only arranged the meeting. He says he did not accompany the other five men on a tour of the apartment, nor did he hear any of the conversation which went on. But the lives of three who accompanied Senator about the apartment have been taken.

Date of Death: April 1, 1964.

Place of Death: Long Beach, California.

Circumstances of Death: Bill Hunter was shot in the Long Beach Public Safety Building by an off-duty police officer. Penn Jones writes in volume I of Forgive My Grief that:

Richard Warren Lewis, writing in The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Commission states that:

Examination of the newspapers themselves by the researcher was not undertaken due to the fact that the Library of Congress does not retain issues of either paper beyond one month. The following rough citations were, however, provided by the Library of the Independent/Press Telegram:

April 23, 1964 - both a column and editorial appeared in the Long Beach Independent concerning the death of Hunter.

April 26, 1964 - notice of burial appeared in the Long Beach Independent.

June 19, 1977 - a retrospective article on Hunter, his life and death appeared in the Long Beach Independent.

Considering the circumstances of Bill Hunter's death, and especially the trial that followed, the Committee might wish to consider further investigation, including field research in Long Beach.

Jurisdiction: Long Beach, California

Death Records Available From:

Los Angeles County
Chief Medical Examiner -- Coroner's Office
1104 North Mission
Los Angeles, California 90033

Assassination Connection: Johnson's link to the assassination is mentioned both in volume III of Pardon My Grief, and "The Bizarre Deaths Following J.F.K.'s Murder" by David Martindale, which appeared in Argosy Magazine, in March 1977. Both authors reveal that Johnson was to have been one of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's star witnesses in the trial of Clay Shaw for his alleged role in the murder of President Kennedy. Jones states that Johnson was prepared to testify as to the "personal relationship" between Shaw and Lee Harvey Oswald. Martindale, describing Johnson as "an admitted homosexual," states that he was prepared to testify that he "attended parties at which Shaw, Ferrie, Ruby and Oswald were present."

Date of Death: July 23, 1969

Place of Death: Greensburg, Louisiana

Circumstances of Death: The circumstances of Clyde Johnson's death as related by both Jones and Martindale are incomplete. Both state that he was shot to death near Greensburg, La., but fail to relate that the shooting occurred on the doorstep of Johnson's wife's second cousin, Ralph McMillan, and that McMillan was taken into custody at the time. The implications of existing press coverage (see attach- are that Johnson and McMillan were involved in a family quarrel.

Jurisdiction: Saint Helena Parris (County), Louisiana

Death Records Available From:

Clerk of Court
Saint Helena Court House
Greensburg, La. 70441

10-a "Clyde Johnson Killed, Report" - New Orleans Times - Picayune, July 24, 1969, Sec. 2, P. 3.

Name: Dorothy Kilgallen. This report was forwarded, with attachments, under separate cover at an earlier date.

Name: Thomas Henry (Hank) Killam

Assassination Connection: Hank Killam. worked as a house painter in Dallas at the time of President Kennedy's assassination. Penn Jones maintains, in volume II of Forgive My Grief, that Killam was connected with both Lee Harvey Oswald and his murderer. First, his wife, Wanda Joyce Killam, worked for Jack Ruby as an exotic dancer in one of his clubs for two years prior to the assassination. Second, Killam was acquainted with and occasionally worked on painting assignments with a man named John Carter, who resided in a rooming house located at 1026 North Beckley, in Dallas, where Lee Harvey Oswald also lived.

Date of Death: March 17, 1964

Place of Death: Pensacola, Florida

Circumstances of Death: Penn Jones gives a detailed account of Killam's death in volume II of Forgive My Grief:

Hank had moved from town to town after the assassination and then from state to state in an effort to avoid the continual questioning of "Federal agents." According to Hank's wife. Hank was "hounded from job to job" by these Federal agents.

Before his death in Florida, Hank told his brother, Earl Killam: "I am a dead man, but I have run as far as I am going to run."

At 4 A.M. in the morning of March 17, 1974, while asleep in his mother's home, Hank was called to the phone. He dressed and left the house. A car door was heard to slam, according to his mother, although Hank did not own a car.

A few hours later he was found dead on the street in Pensacola, Florida, with his throat cut. Since he was lying near a pile of broken glass, the papers said he either jumped or fell into a plate glass window.


The Pensacola police ruled the death suicide. The local coroner ruled the death accidental. Neither of these parties knew of the conflict in their rulings until early 1967 when brother Earl Killam asked that the body be exhumed in an effort to determine the exact cause.

The circumstances surrounding this death have proved difficult to pursue from Washington, due to the fact that the Library of Congress does not permanently retain issues of the Pensacola Journal. A related item (see attachment 12-a) did appear, however, in the New York Times on February 23, 1967, when it was learned that Earl Killam had requested exhumation of his brother's body. This piece, in fact, was printed at the same time and on the same page as notice of David W. Ferrie's death. No follow up article subsequently appeared in the Times. Judging from the conflicting evidence at hand, the Committee may wish to resolve the circumstances of Killam's death, and the nature and extent of his connection with figures involved in the assassination of President Kennedy and the murder of Lee Oswald.

Jurisdiction: Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida

Death Records Available From:

Department of H.R.S. -- Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 210
Jacksonville, Florida 32231

12-a "Ruby Case Death Sifted in Florida" - The New York Times, February 23, 1967, p. 22.

Additional Note: The analyst, in attempting to determine from which office death records could be obtained, spoke with Mrs. Sturtevant in the Escambia County Office of Vital Statistics. She stated that no autopsy was performed on the subject at the time of his death as it was ruled to be accidental.

Assassination Connection: Jim Koethe, a special writer for the Dallas Times-Herald Sunday magazine section, was one of the men present at what Penn Jones, Jr. alleges was a suspicious meeting supposed to have taken place in Jack Ruby's apartment on Sunday, November 24, 1963, the day Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Jones lists Tom Howard and Bill Hunter (see respectively deaths 8 and 9) as other participants at the meeting. He does not speculate on what took place at the meeting, but there is a clear inference in volume I of Forgive My Grief that it concerned the Kennedy assassination and Ruby's murder of Oswald:

Date of Death: Sometime between September 19 and 21, 1964.

Place of Death: Dallas, Texas

Circumstances of Death: Penn Jones states unequivocally that Koethe was "killed by a karate chop as he emerged from a shower in his apartment in Dallas on September 21, 1964." The available evidence is not as conclusive. The Dallas Morning News reported the death on September 22, (see attachment 13-a) in an article which related that Koethe was found "lying on the floor of his apartment, wrapped in a blanket'." The article went on to state that Captain Will Fritz of the Dallas Police stated that Koethe had apparently been dead since sometime Saturday, September 19.

Koethe's apartment had been ransacked by the assailant two rifles and a handgun were reported to be missing, and the victim's wallet had been emptied.

Richard Warren Lewis, writing in The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Report, states that:

Lewis also suggests, without providing evidence to confirm his allegation, that "homosexuality may have been a motive." In making this statement, he draws from an article appearing in Time Magazine, November 11, 1966 (see attachment 13-b) in which the same allegation is reported, also without substantiating evidence.

The case of Jim Koethe is one in which questions remain to be answered. The Committee may wish to investigate further not only the circumstances of his death, but also the validity, if any, of Penn Jones's inferences concerning the alleged meeting in Jack Ruby's apartment on November 24, 1963.

Jurisdiction: Dallas, Texas

City of Dallas Health Department
Office of Vital Statistics
1936 Amelia Court
Dallas, Texas 75235

13-a Reporter Found Dead At Home. Dallas Morning News, September 22, 1964, Section 1, p. 14.

13-b The Mythmakers. Time, November 11, 1966, pp. 33-34.

Additional Note: The researcher notes here that according to the staff of the Dallas Times-Herald, none of the deaths of the individuals listed in this report who died in Dallas were reported in that journal. The researcher, however was able to find death reports for most of these individuals in the Dallas Morning News.

Name: Levens (first name unknown)

Assassination Connection: The only information readily available on this subject was a brief entry in Sylvia Meagher's Accessories After the Fact, in which Levens was described as operator of a Forth Worth, Texas, burlesque theatre which employed some entertainers who had also been employed by Jack Ruby at his Carousel Club in Dallas.

Date of Death: November 5, 1966

Place of Death: Unknown, possibly Fort Worth, Texas.

Circumstances of Death: Described by Meagher as "natural causes." The use of the term "natural causes" by Sylvia Meagher, a prominent advocate of the conspiracy theory, seems to indicate the author's opinion that there was no occurrence of abnormal or unusual circumstances in the death of Levens.

Jurisdiction and Availability of Death Records: Neither available given existing information.

Name: Nancy Jane Mooney (also known as Betty McDonald)

Assassination Connection: Nancy Jane Mooney's connection with the assassination is indirect and confusing. On November 22, 1963, Warren Reynolds, a used car salesman whose lot was two blocks from the place where Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit was murdered, heard the shots and subsequently saw a man armed with a handgun trying to escape from the vicinity on foot. Reynolds reported his experience to the Police subsequently he was interviewed by both the Dallas Police and the F.B.I., and later testified before the Warren Commission.

Accounts by proponents of the conspiracy theories of the January 21, 1964 interview with Reynolds differ. Penn Jones states that it was conducted by Dallas authorities, whereas David Martindale, writing in the March, 1977, issue of Argosy Magazine and David Welsh, writing in the November, 1966 issue of Ramparts Magazine, both maintain that the questioning was conducted by F.B.I. agents. In any event, all three of the authors agree that Reynolds told the investigators that he could not positively identify the man he saw on November 22, as Lee Harvey Oswald.

On January 24, 1964, Reynolds was shot in the head by an unknown assailant in the basement of his office, but later recovered. Shortly thereafter, Darrell Wayne Garner was arrested and charged with the

crime. David Martindale, describes how Nancy Jane Mooney then entered the case:

Date of Death: February 13, 1964

Place of Death: Dallas, Texas

Circumstances of Death: Accounts of Nancy Jane Mooney's death by supporters of the conspiracy theory tally with that published in a routine article by the Dallas Morning News on February 14, 1964. (see attachment 15-b.) Ms. Mooney was booked into the city jail at 2:45 A.M., February 13, on a charge of disturbing the peace after she and another woman were found in a parked car fighting over a boy friend. A jail trustee discovered her body two hours later. Ms. Mooney had "hanged herself" in her cell by knotting one leg of her slacks around a pipe and the other around her neck. Richard Warren Lewis states further, though without providing evidence, in The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Report, that Ms. Mooney had attempted to commit suicide several times in the past.

In light of the available facts, it is difficult to draw a solid connection between what conspiricists insist was an attempt to murder Warren Reynolds and the subsequent death of Nancy Jane Mooney. In order

to justify Penn Jones's allegations it would be necessary to first, establish Darrell Wayne Garner as Reynold's assailant second, Garner's connection to the alleged conspiracy would have to be proven in order to substantiate allegations that he shot Reynolds in order to prevent him from testifying as to the identity of the man he saw fleeing the site of J.D. Tippit's murder. Finally, it would be necessary to prove that Nancy Jane Mooney was, as is inferred by the conspiricists, murdered in her locked jail cell in such a way to make it appear that she committed suicide because, having provided an alibi for Garner, she was considered to "know to much."

Given the sheer time, energy and expense such an investigation would require, and given, further, the relatively minor point that would be proved, in the unlikely case that such an investigation established as fact the three allegations listed above, the case of Nancy Jane Mooney does not appear to merit priority attention by the Committee.

Jurisdiction: Dallas, Texas

City of Dallas Department of Health
Office of Vital Statistics
1936 Amelia Court
Dallas, Texas 75235

15-a Woman, 23, Hangs Self in City Jail. Dallas Morning News, February 14, 1964, See. 1, p. 8.

Name: Teresa Norton: Penn Jones, Jr., writing in Forgive My Grief, Volume I, claims that Teresa Norton was a name assumed by Karen Bennet Carlin, a dancer employed by Jack Ruby at the Carousel Club.

Assassination Connection: Karen Bennet Carlin, whose stage name was "Little Lynn," was on of the last people to speak with Jack Ruby before he shot Lee Harvey Oswald. On Sunday morning, November 24, 1963, Mrs. Carlin had a telephone conversation with Ruby, in which she asked him for a $25.00 advance so that she would be able to pay her rent and buy groceries. Ruby agreed and volunteered to stop at the Western Union office and send her a money order, as he said he had business in downtown Dallas that afternoon. Ruby drove into the downtown area, parked across the street from the Western Union office, paid for the money order, and then walked the few remaining blocks to the Dallas Police Department, where he shot Oswald.

Date of Death: Questionable see Circumstances of Death.

Place of Death: Questionable see Circumstances of Death.

Circumstances of Death: We find no evidence that Karen Bennet Carlin did die, and if she did, it is almost a certainty she did so under different circumstances than those described by Penn Jones, Jr., and other advocates of the conspiracy theory. Jones maintains that:

Jones does not mention the date on which Mrs. Carlin is supposed to have died. Richard Warren Lewis, writing in The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Commission, quotes Edward J. Epstein, author of Inquest, as saying: "He (Penn Jones, Jr.) talks about the death of Little Lynn Carlin. She never died. She testified to the Warren Commission three months after he reported she was shotgunned to death. He had the wrong girl."

Lewis maintains that a domestic worker from Chicago named Teresa Naughton committed suicide in a Houston hotel on August 17, 1964. He implies that this death must have been the inspiration for Jone's Teresa Norton hypothesis. There is no record of death for either Teresa Norton or Naughton in the Houston Post for the week of August 17-24, but the hearings of the Warren Commission do bear out Epstein's claim: Karen Bennet Carlin did give testimony to be used by the Commission twice in 1964, and the second occasion was in Forth Worth, Texas, on August 24, a full week after Teresa Naughton is alleged to have died. (See Hearings Before the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, vol. XIII, pp. 205-221, vol. XV, pp. 656-664.)

Given this evidence, it appears that Penn Jones, Jr., was mistaken in identifying Karen Bennet Carlin as Teresa Norton/Naughton. The eventual fate of Mrs. Carlin remains to be determined, however, and this might prove a moderately fruitful area of further investigation by the committee

Jurisdiction: Not applicable.

Records Available From: Not applicable.

Jurisdiction: Not applicable.

Records Available From: Not applicable.

Assassination Connection: Earlene Roberts managed the rooming house at 1026 North Beckley Avenue where Lee Harvey Oswald lived at the time of the assassination. On November 22, 1963, she saw Oswald enter the house at about one in the afternoon. She testified before the Warren Commission that during the short time Oswald remained in his room -- not more than three or four minutes -- a Dallas Police patrol car pulled up in front of the rooming house. The horn was sounded lightly twice, and then the car drove off. The inference that a signal was passed to Oswald by the squad car's occupants was mentioned by David Welsh, in "The Legacy of Penn Jones, Jr.", which appeared in Ramparts Magazine, November 1966:

Date of Death: January 9, 1966

Place of Death: Dallas, Texas

Circumstances of Death: Although Penn Jones, Jr., leading advocate of the conspiracy theory, states his belief in volume I of Forgive My Grief that Mrs. Roberts had important evidence to contribute, and that she was harrassed by Dallas Police, it is not clear in his writings whether he believes she died a natural death.

Richard Warren Lewis, in The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Commission maintains that her death was a natural one:

Notice of Mrs. Robert's death, published in the Dallas Morning News, January 10, 1966, appears to substantiate Lewis's findings, stating that:

The Morning News article goes on to mention the coincidence that Parkland Hospital was also the scene of the deaths of both President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Given the available information it appears that Mrs. Earlene Roberts died a natural death. The Committee might, however, consider obtaining the record of her autopsy mentioned by Lewis as being on file at Parkland.

Jurisdiction: Dallas, Texas

City of Dallas Health Department
Office of Vital Statistics
1936 Amelia Court
Dallas, Texas 75235

17-b Mrs. Earlene (sic) Roberts, Oswald's Landlady, Dies. Dallas Morning News, January 10,1966, P. 3-b.

Assassination Connection: Harold Russell was employed at the time of President Kennedy's assassination by Johnny Reynolds Used Car Lot, owned by Warren Reynolds and located at 500 East Jefferson Blvd., in Dallas, a few blocks from the scene of Officer J.D. Tippit's murder. Russell, Reynolds, and several other men saw someone they believed to be the murderer escaping on foot, and Penn Jones, Jr., states in Forgive My Grief, volume II, that, "neither (Reynolds Russell) seemed to think the man leaving the scene was Lee Oswald until later." The Warren Commission however, maintains that:

Date of Death: July 23, 1965

Place of Death: Sulphur, Oklahoma

Circumstances of Death: Penn Jones, Jr., provides the only readily available account of Harold Russell's death:

A few months after the assassination, Harold Russell went back to his home near Davis, Oklahoma. On July 23, 1965, Russell, 53, went out of his mind while on a party with friends. He was crying and telling his friends that he was going to be killed and that he had to be hidden. People at the party called the police.

A policeman answered the call, he hit Russell in the head with a pistol and Russell died a few hours later in a Sulphur, Oklahoma, hospital.

The analyst was unable to locate any press accounts of Harold Russell's death after an extensive search in both the Daily Oklahoman, published in Oklahoma City but statewide in scope of coverage and distribution, and the Tulsa Daily World.

Given the lack of documentable fact in this case, the death of Harold Russell could warrant further investigation by the Committee. The allegations to be investigated were printed by Penn Jones in volume II of Forgive My Grief and Mr. Jones offers no documentation to support his thesis. Two questions are raised by this case: first, did Harold Russell, in fact, initially claim that the man he saw escaping from the site of Officer Tippit's murder was not Lee Harvey Oswald? Second, what, in fact, were the circumstances of Harold Russell's death? An investigation of the documents dealing with the death would shed light on the second question. The first question could be pursued if Penn Jones, Jr., were to reveal the evidence that led him to conclude that Russell did not at first, identify the man leaving the scene as Oswald.

Jurisdiction: Murray County, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics
3200 North Eastern
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

Name: Marilyn April Walle, a.k.a. Marilyn Moon, Marilyn Magyar, Delilah

Assassination Connection: Marilyn Magyar worked as an exotic dancer in Jack Ruby's Carousel Club from November 1963 until it closed following the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. According to Penn Jones, writing in volume II of Forgive My Grief, she left Dallas after the Carousel Club closed, and appeared at the Roam Room in Omaha, Nebraska and the Sho-Bar in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jones relates that she married Leonard Walle in New Orleans on August 7, 1966, and that the couple then returned to Omaha. Jones also states that she was planning to write a book on the assassination of President Kennedy.

Date of Death: September 1, 1966

Place of Death: Omaha, Nebraska

Circumstances of Death: The circumstances of Marilyn Walle's death as reported by Penn Jones agree completely with an article which appeared in the Omaha World-Herald on September 2, 1966. (See attachment 19-a.) Leonard Walle called a family friend at about 3:00 A.M. on September 1, and informed her that he had shot his wife the Walles were living at the Hamilton Hotel in Omaha at the time. The friend, Miss Leona Forsberg, subsequently called the hotel clerk who summoned police. Leonard W. Walle was charged with second degree murder. He was convicted in 1967 and sentenced to a 20 year term in prison.

We found no information to suggest that the murder of Marilyn Walle by her husband was in any way related to her connection with Jack Ruby.

Place of Death: Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha Health Department
Bureau of Vital Statistic
(Birth and Death Records)
1600 South 50th
Omaha, Nebraska 68106

Office of Davis County Coroner
Civic Center, Room 907
Omaha, Nebraska 68102

Attachment: 19-a Two Shots Struck Dancer's Heart Mate To Be Charged. Omaha World-Herald, September 2, 1966, p. 8.

Additional Note: The researcher notes here that it is the stated policy of the World-Herald to avoid giving out citations of articles dealing with private citizens. An article did, however, appear in that paper and was independently found.

Assassination Connection: William Whaley, a long-time Dallas cab driver, was hailed by Lee Harvey Oswald at the Greyhound Bus Terminal on November 22, 1963, soon after the assassination of President Kennedy. Whaley drove Oswald to an address a short distance away from his rooming house at 1026 North Beckley. The driver later stated that he and Oswald had not conversed during the ride.

Date of Death: December 18, 1965

Place of Death: Dallas, Texas

Circumstances of Death: Penn Jones, Jr., first mentioned Whaley's accident in volume I of Forgive My Grief, in which he relates the bare facts of the death:

In volume II he expanded his original remarks to include the inference that Whaley's accident was engineered:

The Dallas Morning News reported Whaley's death in a front pagearticle that appeared December 19, 1965 (see attachment 20-a). The New York Times picked up the report from the Associated Press and printed it that same day (see attachment 20-b. Both accounts confirm the basic facts as stated by Jones. It is useful to note,

however, that the Morning News ran other stories in the same edition relating that extremely bad weather had accounted for a number of accidents, including fatalities in the Dallas area throughout the weekend of December 17-19, 1965.

Richard Warren Lewis, writing in The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Report goes further than the available newspaper accounts. He paraphrases, without citing, however, an accident report he states is on file in the Dallas County Sheriff's Office:

Judging from these reports, Whaley's death appears to have been due to an unfortunate accident the committee may wish to consider obtaining, however, a copy of the accident report mentioned by Lewis. The document, if produced, would erode the theory that Whaley's death was planned and executed in order to prevent him from revealing what Oswald may have told him during the cab ride.

Jurisdiction: Dallas County, Texas

Records Available From: a. Accident Report:

Dallas County Sheriff's Office
600 Commerce
Dallas, Texas 75202

Dallas County Medical Examiner
P.O. Box 35728
Dallas, Texas 75235

20-a 2 Car Smashup Kills Oswald Taxi Driver. Dallas Morning News, December 19, 1965, p. 1.

20-b Oswald Figure is Killed. New York Times, December 19 1965, p. 47.

Assassination Connection: James Worrell was an eyewitness to the assassination of President Kennedy. Standing close to the Texas School Book Depository Building, along the route of the presidential motorcade he heard the shots that killed the President and wounded Governor John Connally, and later testified before the Warren Commission that he saw the barrel and stock of a gun protruding from the window from which the shots were allegedly fired. Worrell also testified that he saw a man in a dark sport jacket and light trousers leave the Depository approximately three minutes after the shooting and run away from the building Penn Jones, Jr., maintains, in Forgive My Grief, volume II, that, "His view of the killer, in our opinion, is what made it necessary for Worrell to die."

Date of Death: November 5, 1966

Place of Death: Dallas, Texas

Circumstances of Death: Accounts of Worrell's death in articles and books favoring the conspiracy theory are sketchy. The report of the accident in the Dallas Morning News (see attachment 21-a) appears to leave little room for speculation that Worrell might have been murdered:

It should be noted that Worrell was carrying a passenger at the time, Miss Karron Lee Hudgins, who was also killed in the accident.

David Martindale, writing in Argosy Magazine, March, 1977, makes the point implied by the conspiricists:

In his testimony before the Commission (see Hearings Before the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, v. II, pp. 190-201) Worrell described the man he saw running from the Texas School Book Depository in the following words:

Mr. SPECTER. Okay. Now, describe as best you can the man whom you have testified you saw at point "Z."

Mr. WORRELL. Describe his appearance?

Mr. SPECTER. Yes. Start by telling us how tall he was, to the best of your ability to recollect and estimate?

Mr. WORRELL.To the -- it is going to be within 3 inches, 5-7 to 5-10.

Mr. SPECTER. What is your best estimate as to his weight?

Mr. SPECTER. What is your best estimate as to his height?

Mr. SPECTER. Pardon me, your best estimate as to his age.

Mr. WORRELL.Well, the way he was running, I would say he was in his late twenties or middle -- I mean early thirties. Because he was fast moving on.

Mr. SPECTER. Of what race was he?

Mr. SPECTER. Can you describe the characteristics of his hair?

Mr. WORRELL. Well, I will say brunette.

Mr. SPECTER. Did he have a full head of hair, a partial head of hair, or what?

Mr. WORRELL. Well, see, I didn't see his face, I just saw the back of his head and it was full in the back. I don't know what the front looked like. But it was full in the back.

Contrary to Martindale's assertion, this statement by Worrell is a fairly accurate description of Lee Harvey Oswald's general build and coloring. At a later point, Mr. Arlen Specter, the Assistant Counsel conducting the questioning, asked Worrell about the accuracy of an interview conducted by F.B.I. agents shortly after the assassination:

My question, first of all, to you: Did you have a profile view of the man who ran away from the building that you described?

Mr. SPECTER. The second question is, did you tell the F.B.I. that you had a profile view?

Mr. WORRELL. No sir, I sure didn't.

Mr. SPECTER. Did you tell the F.B.I. agent who interviewed you, that you felt that this person was Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. WORRELL. I don't know if I did or not.

It may be this statement by Worell that prompted Martindale's statement that he described a man who did not resemble Oswald.

Given the available information relating to Worrell's death, and the failure of Worrell's testimony to substantiate David Martindale's statement that the man he had seen did not resemble Oswald, this does not appear to warrant priority attention by the committee.

Jurisdiction: Dallas, Texas

City of Dallas Health Department
Office of Vital Statistics
1936 Amelia Court
Dallas, Texas 75235

21-a Two Killed in Crash. Dallas Morning News, November 1966, p. A-11.

Thomas H. Neale
Analyst in American National Government
Government Division
June 5, 1978

President Kennedy and the first lady smile at the crowds lining their motorcade route in Dallas. Minutes later the president was shot. (PBS image) More photos

In 1963, a radio newsman, a schoolgirl and a nurse were close to the action when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. What they saw still haunts them.

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Video by Brian van der Brug

Reporting from Dallas

P ierce Allman was a young news manager at a local radio and television station when President John F. Kennedy came to his hometown, and Allman found himself drawn to the motorcade, excited to see the young president and his glamorous wife.

What Allman witnessed that day sometimes invades his dreams: the shots booming, Kennedy's arms jerking up to his throat, the first lady screaming.

Pierce Allman was a radio program manager when JFK arrived in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. He'll never forget that day. (Video by Brian van der Brug, produced by Albert Lee and Mary Vignoles.)

"It's a distinct sensation because everything is vivid," he said. "It's timeless there's no concept of 50 years. It's as if it was yesterday or a few days ago. You can hear all the sounds. Sometimes it's in slow motion."

Dallas is preparing to officially mark the anniversary of the assassination for the first time. A crowd of 5,000 people, selected by lottery, will gather in Dealey Plaza for the unveiling of a monument, musical performances and readings from Kennedy's speeches by historian David McCullough. At 12:30 p.m., around the time Kennedy was shot on Nov. 22, 1963, bells will toll across the city, followed by a moment of silence.

Allman, who has a ticket to attend Friday's ceremony, is one of many Texans who will be reflecting on how the tragedy was imprinted on their lives.

Tina Towner Pender, who was 13, recalls being dazzled by the first lady, and then stunned by the pop of what sounded like firecrackers.

Phyllis Hall, then a nurse at Parkland Hospital, can picture the chaos that erupted when the president arrived at the emergency room, and how Jackie Kennedy refused to leave his side.

For all three, like many across the country, the murder resonates to this day. Hall became disillusioned with the political establishment, Allman marveled at how one gunman could change history, and Pender, then a schoolgirl, remembers it as the day the adults didn't know what to say or do.

Because they saw the tragedy unfold in person, they say, they also feel an intense sense of responsibility — an obligation to share what they know and felt.

Allman, then the 29-year-old program manager at WFAA radio, had spent weeks helping to organize coverage of Kennedy's visit.

Some officials in Texas had publicly expressed concern about security for the Democratic president, he recalled, because "visitors to Dallas had been sort of shabbily treated." Conservative crowds had heckled Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson. One demonstrator struck Stevenson with a protest sign.

The morning the president arrived, gray skies gave way to sunshine, and Allman drove to work in his convertible while listening to radio reports on Kennedy's arrival at Love Field. He was intrigued by something the reports said: The president strode across the tarmac to greet the waiting crowd and was traveling without a bubble top on his limousine.

"It was after that morning coverage that I decided to walk over to watch the motorcade," Allman said.

Allman was interviewed by the Secret Service and has recounted what happened next many times over the decades. Along with Pender and Hall, he's viewed by experts at the Sixth Floor Museum, an institution dedicated to chronicling the assassination, as a credible witness.

"The assassination does become a part of your life," he said.

WFAA was just two blocks from Dealey Plaza, and Allman headed up Houston Street with a colleague, glancing up at rooftops and windows, some open. He turned to his companion.

"I really don't know how they could secure all this," Allman recalled saying.

Allman found a place to stand at the corner of Houston and Elm Streets, facing the Texas School Book Depository.

Tina Towner Pender, seen today at left and in 1963 at right, was 13 when her father handed her a camera to film the president's motorcade in Dallas in 1963. (James M. Towner, right image) More photos

Across the street, Pender was waiting with her parents. They planned to take her back to school after she helped her father record the motorcade. She wore her school clothes: a blue sweater, matching skirt, bobby socks and loafers, her hair curled into a short brown bob.

Her father held a boxy Yashica 44 still camera and handed her a Sears Tower Varizoom, an 8-millimeter camera that shot in color and was mostly used to film home movies.

"There's not a whole lot of film left in there, but there's enough for this," he said.

Pender and her mother staked out a spot on the corner and took turns sitting on a campstool they had brought. When her father suggested they move south, toward a grassy knoll, they protested. Shortly before 12:30 p.m., they realized the president's limousine was entering the plaza.

"You could hear the crowds as the motorcade was approaching," she said.

Pender watched her father get permission from a police officer for the family to stand in the street, near the curb, so he and his daughter could take pictures. The limousine, with the Kennedys sitting behind Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife, turned off Houston onto Elm. Pender gazed through the viewfinder, and her hands trembled with excitement as she tried to keep the first couple in the frame. She was struck by Jackie Kennedy's beauty.

"She seemed to be looking right at us," Pender said.

She stopped filming seconds later as the limousine rounded the corner.

Then came what sounded to her like firecrackers, and someone yanked her to the ground. She got up moments later but couldn't see her parents, who had been swallowed up by the panicked crowd.

When she found them nearby, her father, an Army veteran and marksman who knew the sound of gunfire, said, "Someone just tried to shoot the president!" He took off with his camera in the direction the crowd was headed, toward the grassy knoll, to investigate.

Allman, from his vantage point, watched Kennedy's arms twitch and spring up toward his chin.

He heard the first lady scream, "Oh, my God!" and saw her crawl onto the back of the limo.

Allman looked up at the book depository. He thought he could see a rifle barrel protruding from a window. He headed for the grassy knoll and then changed his mind, thinking, "I've got to get to a phone."

He ran up the book depository steps, passing a man at the entrance. The stranger was thin, with dark hair and circles under his eyes. Allman asked where he could find a phone.

The man jerked his thumb back toward the building as he left and said, "In there."

Later, Allman learned the stranger's name: Lee Harvey Oswald.

Phyllis Hall was a nurse at Parkland Hospital when a mortally wounded President Kennedy arrived. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times) More photos

Hall, 28, was a nurse on duty at Parkland Hospital. She had swung by the emergency room to see a colleague when a supervisor rushed up and said, "There's been an accident in the president's motorcade and they're on their way!"

The wounded arrived moments later.

"I thought the doors had exploded," Hall recalled. "I don't think we had time to think about it — there was just a lot of confusion and yelling."

Kennedy was rushed in and members of the motorcade kept arriving.

"They brought in LBJ. Of course, he'd had heart trouble and his color was just terrible, so they were treating him. Then they brought Gov. Connally in and he was just spitting blood — his lung had been punctured," Hall said. It was, she thought later, "like a newsreel — you knew all these people but they were so out of context, it didn't seem real."

Suddenly, Hall saw a man carrying a long gun approach. FBI, police and Secret Service agents were everywhere, and many were armed. "He put his hand on my back and said, 'We need you back here,'" and directed her to Trauma Room No. 1, she said. The small room was filled with so many doctors, nurses and others that at one point Hall was forced against a wall.

Kennedy's face was deep blue around the eyes, and she could see a bullet hole near his Adam's apple. Hall checked for a pulse but didn't feel one. She watched as doctors performed a tracheotomy through the president's neck wound.

Hall saw Jackie Kennedy standing nearby, her pink Chanel suit spattered with her husband's brain matter. A doctor lifted the president's hair to reveal the gaping wound.

"Jackie just stood at the foot of the carriage with her hand on his foot," Hall said. "She was in such deep shock, she was just staring at his face. At some point the supervisor came in and asked if she would like a chair out in the hallway and she said no, she was going to stay with him. We all wanted to do whatever we could, but there was nothing we could do."

Dr. William Kemp Clark, who to Hall looked like an old schoolmaster with beady eyes behind small glasses, pronounced Kennedy dead at 1 p.m.

"Call it," the doctor said and then strode out past Jackie Kennedy, barely stopping as he said, "Madam, your husband is dead."

Hall approached the first lady and said, "I am so sorry for your loss," but Kennedy just stared straight ahead and didn't seem to hear.

The limousine carrying President Kennedy races toward the hospital seconds after he was shot. (Justin Newman / Associated Press) More photos

Pender had filmed about 15 seconds of the motorcade. Her father took four photos: one of the limo turning and three afterward near the grassy knoll, including one showing a policeman kneeling with his gun drawn.

The family returned to their green Buick and listened to news reports.

"They asked me if I wanted to go back to school, and I didn't know what I should do," she said, "Nobody knew what should be done."

They took her to school. Her classmates were listening to news reports over the loudspeaker when she arrived and told them where she had been.

"They didn't know what to say. Even the teachers were speechless," she said. In the days that followed, officials appealed for those who had shot footage of the motorcade to turn over their film. Her father complied. The film came back weeks later, after the FBI had reviewed it.

The family drew the shades and set up the projector. In the darkened room, the limo glided from right to left in bright sunshine, with Jackie Kennedy in the foreground, looking calm and radiant.

Pender, 63, is retired and living in central Texas near Austin. For now she has entrusted the film to the Sixth Floor Museum, located in the former book depository. She came to the museum recently for a book signing of her memoir, "Tina Towner: My Story as the Youngest Photographer at the Kennedy Assassination."

Pender plans to watch the anniversary commemorative events on television at home.

"It seems impossible it's been 50 years. In some regards it seems like it was just yesterday, or that it happened to somebody else," she said. "I have to remind myself that I was there, that it happened and what a world tragedy it was."

Pierce Allman ran to the Texas School Book Depository, seen behind him, in search of a phone and briefly exchanged words with a stranger — who he later learned was Lee Harvey Oswald. (Bendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images) More photos

Hall, 78, will not attend the anniversary event, but she goes to Dealey Plaza occasionally. For decades, when people asked about that day, Hall demurred. Then four years ago she was invited to speak at the Sixth Floor Museum. Surprised by the size and enthusiasm of the crowd, she decided to keep telling her story. "People have a right to know," she said.

Kennedy's shooting, she said, shook her core beliefs, and she doubts official accounts that say Oswald acted alone. "He offered hope to the people at the time," she said, "In just a few moments, that hope had been dashed."

Allman, 79, owner of a marketing and real estate firm, wonders sometimes: If he had looked up sooner and seen Oswald in the sixth floor window, would he later have recognized the assassin in the doorway of the book depository? Might that have helped police catch Oswald before he fled to Oak Cliff and fatally shot Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit?

And every so often, the dreams come.

In them, he meets the thin stranger in the doorway again. When he wakes, he knows the man was Oswald. In the dream he has a suspicion but can't place the man's face. And, always, before he can remember, the thin stranger disappears.


I don't necessarily agree with all the conclusions these authors have drawn, but everything here is a solid piece of work that deserves your attention. All are copyrighted, and all posted here with permission.

  • Josiah Thompson was the author of a conspiracy classic titled Six Seconds in Dallas, and in the more than half century since has continued to study the case. His most recent volume, Last Second in Dallas, shows him looking at a mass of evidence from Dealey Plaza, and putting it together in a vastly implausible way, as this review by Louis T. Girdler shows. Girdler sees Thompson falling prey to what he accuses the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee of: confirmation bias.
  • While Jim Garrison was was discredited, even among conspiracy-oriented researchers, some authors have tried to rehabilitate him. This essay from Fred Litwin’s book On the Trail of Delusion , documents the lunacy of the Garrison investigation with a plethora of heretofore unseen primary source documents. Many of these documents can be found online on Litwin’s blog.
  • Joan Mellen's book Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas is a book by a conspiracy author that decisively debunks one conspiracy theory: the notion that one Mac Wallace was LBJ's hit man in Texas, and later in Dealey Plaza. Our review of the book points out some weaknesses, but also notes some strengths.
  • David Talbot's book The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government fingers CIA director Allen Dulles as the person who plotted and directed the assassination, and protrays him as a generally evil person. Unfortunately, the book is rather deficient as history, as explained by David M. Barrett in this review.
  • A good, well-reasoned overview of the assassination from someone skeptical of conspiracy theories is Dave Reitzes "JFK Conspiracy Theories at 50: How the Skeptics Got It Wrong and Why It Matters." It's a good "first read" for somebody who had read just conspiracy books (or seen conspiracy documentaries) and wants to see the other side of the issue.
  • Richard Belzer's book Hit List has gotten a fair amount of attention recently. It's an extended explication of the supposed "mystery deaths" associated with the assassination. Unfortunately, as Marilyn Elias explains in her review of the book, it's the sort of book one would write if one surfs conspiracy sites on the Internet, and believes everything one finds there.
  • Jeff Morley is a journalist who has gotten some good press recently for his attempts to pry documents he thinks are related to the JFK assassination from the CIA. Most everybody applauds these efforts, but some have taken him to task for making claims that go far beyond the evidence he (or anybody else) has. Dale Myers and Gus Russo critique a variety of Morley's assertions in "Drums of Conspiracy" and "Fanning Wisps of Smoke."
  • The notion that Kennedy was killed because he intended to withdraw from Vietnam has become the conventional wisdom among conspiracists, and a recent treatment of that theory, James W. Douglass' JFK and the Unspeakable, has drawn some attention. But unfortunately, the author not only distorts history, but unintentionally paints a very unflattering portrait of JFK. See our review of the book here.
  • Zombie assassins? The notion that "Manchurian candidate" assassins might be "programmed" to commit murder has been a recurring one. Most often invoked in the murder of Robert Kennedy, it has also surfaced in the JFK assassination. British author Mel Ayton explores this issue in his essay "Bogus Manchurian Candidate Theories."
  • A recent book by Abraham Bolden tells a most interesting story about the first black Secret Service agent who supposedly knew about conspiratorial goings-on in Chicago, and who was (he claims) framed, convicted and sent to jail on charges of corruption. The media have been rather credulous about his account, but in fact he was almost certainly guilty as charged. Indeed, when the House Select Committee examined his claims in the late 1970s, they found them to lack credibility. While the mainstream media is suitably skeptical when the conspiracy card is played, they suspend that skepticism when the race card is played.
  • Garrisonites are a rather peculiar and paranoid cult among conspiracy believers, and Joan Mellen's book A Farewell to Justice is the latest to defend District Attorney Jim Garrison, whose ill-conceived campaign to convict Clay Shaw of the JFK assassination was the subject of the movie "JFK." Yet, like the movie, Mellen has fallen into the trap of believing the most incredible sources and adopting the most outlandish theories in an attempt to vindicate the DA, as Patricia Lambert shows in this review of the book. In another essay, Dave Reitzes discusses Garrison's central, critical witness, a fellow named Perry Raymond Russo. Mellen accepts his testimony, which Reitzes shows was vastly unreliable. Finally, Lambert shows how Mellen blew off the testimony of a key reliable witness, one Dr. Frank Silva, when it conflicted with the Garrison version of events.
  • When a reputable historian publishes a JFK assassination book with a reputable academic press, it should be judicious in its use of sources and prudent in its judgments. But, alas, David Kaiser's book The Road to Dallas turns out to be just another conspiracy book, not too different from scores of others. Read a review by webmaster John McAdams on the e-zine Washington Decoded .
  • Nothing about the assassination is more important than the issue of when the shots in Dealey Plaza were fired. Pick your timing, and it may be consistent with or entirely debunk a single shooter in the Texas School Book Depository. A new essay by Kenneth R. Scearce supports a new theory about the timing that puts the first shot far earlier than anybody has heretofore theorized. Of course, this theory has generated controversy, so you might want to check out a reply from computer animation specialist Dale Myers.
  • Author David Talbot ought to the the sort of sober and serious person we would expect a member of the mainstream media to be on the assassination, but alas he isn't. Veteran journalist Don Bohning, who long reported on Talbot's prime suspects in the Miami Cuban community, finds Talbot's book Brothersto be pretty much another buff book, with credulous acceptance of suspect witnesses and a very selective use of the documentary record.
  • Mel Ayton has a new essay on Conspiracy Thinking and the John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Assassinations." Ayton believes that all conspiracy thinking has several common threads.
  • There has been a recent spate of new books and new theories about the assassination, including a German television documentary called "Rendezvous With Death" from Wilfried Huismann and Gus Russo and the book Ultimate Sacrifice by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann. Do we have any compelling new evidence or interpretations here, or is this just more unsupported conspiracy theorizing? A new essay by Mel Ayton critically examines the evidence.
  • "Rendezvous With Death", claims to have discovered compelling new evidence that Fidel Castro had John Kennedy killed, using Lee Oswald as hit man and patsy. It has received a mixed reception, at best. A new essay by David Lifton accepts, for the sake of argument, the data produced by the authors of "Rendezvous With Death" and points out that it could be interpreted in a way very different from what the documentary proposes.
  • The History Channel has a record of showing reasonably reliable documentaries on subjects like wars, Nazis, the history of popular culture and the like. But their record on the Kennedy assassination is abysmal. The series "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" has a record of touting the most implausible and bizarre theories. But they managed to reach a new low with an episode titled "The Guilty Men" which fingered Lyndon Johnson as the prime mover behind the assassination. In this article, journalist and historian Max Holland dissects the entire series, and especially the installment on LBJ. And veteran JFK researcher Dave Perry critiques the reliability of the supposed "evidence" in an article from his website. And one of the accused conspirators, Malcolm Liggett, received a settlement.
  • The "acoustic evidence" got a boost in 2001, when a scientist named D.B. Thomas published an article claiming to have corrected the statistical treatment in earlier studies and found clear evidence of a shot from the Grassy Knoll. However, a recent careful study of the timing on the events on the Dallas Police tape by Michael O'Dell shows that the "shots" happened too late to actually be shots. Thus the "acoustic evidence" was to acoustic science what cold fusion was to physics: an example of how even reputable scientists can jump to conclusions when faced with the possibility of an "explosive" discovery.
  • Of course there are all kinds of wild and woolly theories connecting Oswald to the CIA. But some responsible and sober researchers have argued that the Agency knew more about and had a more intense interest in Oswald than they have ever admitted. One such researcher is Jefferson Morley, world news editor of washingtonpost.com. His article "What Jane Roman Said" outlines the evidence.
  • Among conspiracy-oriented researchers, there is a deep gulf between the more moderate and sensible ones, and those who'll promote any bogus piece of "conspiracy evidence." Ulric Shannon is one of the former, and he explains in this essay why he thinks the "I'll believe anything that implies conspiracy" crowd is so harmful.
  • Researcher Bill Drenas debuted his essay "Car #10, Where Are You" on this web site in 1997. The current version has some minor factual corrections and much new material. Not pushing any conspiracy theory, but not a debunking exercise either, it's a very careful attempt to nail down Tippit's whereabouts — minute by minute — on the day he died.
  • A related essay from Drenas involves the Top Ten Record Shop. This classic Oak Cliff location was where Officer Tippit stopped shortly before he was shot. It's still in business, and you'll almost certainly want to visit when you are in Dallas.
  • Long-time researcher Gus Russo, author of the recently released book Live By the Sword has an interesting story to tell about his own personal commitment to the case, and his changing views about who killed JFK, and his changing views of John and Robert Kennedy, excerpted from his book.
  • Canadian Peter Whitmey is a conspiracy-oriented researcher who sometimes takes issue with conspiracy arguments and witnesses. His articles on this site deal with issues such as a possibly sinister conversation overheard in a Winnipeg airport, a little-known New Orleans figure named Clem H. Sehrt, an interesting connection between Oswald biographer Priscilla McMillan and a rather suspect New Orleans witness named Ron Lewis and the phone records of David Ferrie, accused plotter. Another essay outlines what Whitmey considers "Deception and Deceit" in the media in reporting the assassination. Finally, a long essay of his titled "Creating a Patsy" brings his research up to date as of the release of the Vincent Bugliosi book.
  • Gerald Posner and his book Case Closed have come under heavy attack from the community of conspiracy-oriented "researchers." In "Defending Posner" Michael Russ compares what the conspiracy buffs say Posner said to what Posner actually said. It seems buffs are no more accurate when attacking their enemies than when discussing the assassination.
  • Michael Beck was once a JFK "buff" -- a believer in a Kennedy assassination conspiracy. He now believes that Oswald did it all my himself. How did his beliefs change? This is his personal account of an intellectual odyssey.
  • Researcher David Perry has been "doing" the assassination for several years, and has seen a continual stream of "revelations" come and go. In his essay "A Few Good Men" he discusses publicity-seeking, and particularly the Loy Factor story.
  • Tony Marsh's essay "Circumstantial Evidence of a Head Shot From The Grassy Knoll" is now available online. Based on careful analysis of the movements of the occupants of the presidential limo, of the HSCA acoustic evidence, and of a "jiggle analysis" of the Zapruder film, it represents a bold and interesting attempt to put the evidence together in a compelling way. It was originally presented at the 1993 Third Decade Conference.
  • Just how many different people have been accused of being (or have confessed to being) either a shooter or an accomplice in Dealey Plaza? Researcher David Perry has compiled the most complete known list. His Rashomon to the Extreme! is that list. Of the 68 people on this list, at least one is guilty.
  • The essay, A Conspiracy Too Big by Fred Litwin asks about the credibility of any theory that holds that a conspiracy faked all the evidence that conspiracy theorists say is faked.
  • John Locke's FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) outlines the evidence, from the perspective of a person who believes Oswald did it alone. A good briefing for someone who has only read conspiracy books, and wants the other side of the story.
  • A Bad Case of Deja Vu, another essay by John Locke, compares the O.J. Simpson defense to conspiracy thinking in the Kennedy assassination. Would the intellectual habits of the conspiracy buffs have let O.J. go free? Locke says "yes."

Do you have comments on this web page? Want to report some technical problems? Send E-mail to John McAdams You can now search an index containing every document on this site. Visit the new Photo Gallery with a variety of interesting images. Take a look at John McAdams' picks of the best resources on other Kennedy assassination web pages. These are "out of the ordinary" offerings by web authors who have made something unique and unusual available on the 'net.

Warren Commission Report and Hearings

The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, commonly known as the Warren Commission, was created by President Lyndon Johnson and chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate President Kennedy's assassination. The Commission presented their findings in a report to President Johnson on September 24, 1964. The Commission also released 26 hearing volumes on November 23, 1964 comprised of testimonies from 550 witnesses and evidence.

GPO produced the Warren Commission Report and 26 hearing volumes in 1964. Altogether, GPO's work for the Commission resulted in nearly 235,000 copies of the report and nearly 5,600 sets of the hearings.

Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Warren Commission Report) - September 24, 1964

Warren Commission Hearings

Volume I - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Mrs. Marina Oswald, the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald Mrs. Marguerite Oswald, Oswald's mother Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Oswald's brother and James Herbert Martin, who acted for a brief period as Mrs. Marina Oswald's business manager.
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Volume II - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: James Herbert Martin, who acted for a brief period as the business manager of Mrs. Marina Oswald Mark Lane, a New York attorney William Robert Greer, who was driving the President's car at the time of the assassination and others.
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Volume III - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Ruth Hyde Paine, an acquaintance of Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Howard Leslie Brennan, who was present at the assassination scene Bonnie Ray Williams, Harold Norman, James Jarman, Jr., and others.
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Volume IV - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Sebastian F. Latona, a fingerprint expert with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Arthur Mandella, a fingerprint expert with the New York City Police Department Winston G. Lawson, a Secret Service agent who worked on advance preparations for the President's trip to Dallas Alwyn Cole, a questioned document examiner with the Treasury Department and John W. Fain, John Lester Quigley, and James Patrick Hosty, Jr., agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who interviewed Oswald, or people connected with him, at various times during the period between Oswald's return from Russia in 1962 and the assassination and others.
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Volume V - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Alan H. Belmont, assistant to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Jack Revill and V. J. Brian of the Dallas police, who testified concerning conversations Revill had with James Patrick Hosty, Jr., a special agent of the FBI Robert A. Frazier, a firearms expert with the FBI Drs. Alfred Olivier, Arthur Dziemian and Frederick W. Light, Jr., wound ballistics experts with the U.S. Army laboratories at Edgewood Arsenal, Md. J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and others.
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Volume VI - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Drs. Charles J. Carrico, Malcolm Oliver Perry, William Kemp Clark, Robert Nelson McClelland, Charles Rufus Baxter, Marion Thomas Jenkins, Ronald Coy Jones, Don Teel Curtis, Fouad A. Bashour, Gene Coleman Akin, Paul Conrad Peters, Adolph Hartung Giesecke, Jr., Jackie Hansen Hunt, Kenneth Everett Salyer, and Martin G. White, who attended President Kennedy at Parkland Hospital and others.
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Volume VII - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Drs. Charles J. Carrico, Malcolm Oliver Perry, William Kemp Clark, Robert Nelson McClelland, Charles Rufus Baxter, Marion Thomas Jenkins, Ronald Coy Jones, Don Teel Curtis, Fouad A. Bashour and others.
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Volume VIII - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Edward Voebel, William E. Wulf, Bennierita Smith, Frederick S. O'Sullivan, Mildred Sawyer, Anne Boudreaux, Viola Peterman, Myrtle Evans, Julian Evans, Philip Eugene Vinson, and Hiram Conway, who were associated with Lee Harvey Oswald in his youth Lillian Murret, Marilyn Dorothea Murret, Charles Murret, John M. Murret, and Edward John Pic, Jr., who were related to Oswald and others.
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Volume IX - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Paul M. Raigorodsky, Natalie Ray, Thomas M. Ray, Samuel B. Ballen, Lydia Dymitruk, Gary E. Taylor, Ilya A. Mamantov, Dorothy Gravitis, Paul Roderick Gregory, Helen Leslie, George S. De Mohrenschildt, Jeanne De Mohrenschildt and Ruth Hyde Paine, all of whom became acquainted with Lee Harvey Oswald and/or his wife after their return to Texas in 1962 and others.
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Volume X - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Everett D. Glover, who became acquainted with Lee Harvey Oswald following his return to Texas in 1962 Carlos Bringuier, Francis L. Martello, Charles Hall Steele, Jr., Charles Hall Steele, Sr., Philip Geraci III, Vance Blalock, Vincent T. Lee, Arnold Samuel Johnson, James J. Tormey, Farrell Dobbs, and John J. Abt, who testified concerning Oswald's political activities and associations and others.
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Volume XI - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: John Edward Pic, Lee Harvey Oswald's halfbrother Edward John Pic, Jr., John Edward Pic's father Kerry Wendell Thornley, a Marine Corps acquaintance of Oswald George B. Church, Jr., Mrs. George B. Church, Jr., and Billy Joe Lord, who were on the boat Oswald took when he left the United States for Russia and others.
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Volume XII - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Dallas law enforcement officers who were responsible for planning and executing the transfer of Lee Harvey Oswald from the Dallas City Jail to the Dallas County Jail and Don Ray Archer, Barnard S. Clardy, and Patrick Trevore Dean, who participated in the arrest and questioning of Jack L. Ruby and others.
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Volume XIII - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: L. C. Graves, James Robert Leavelle, L. D. Montgomery. Thomas Donald McMillon, and Forrest V. Sorrels, who participated in the arrest and questioning of Jack L. Ruby Dr. Fred A. Bieberdorf, Frances Cason, Michael Hardin, and C. E. Hulse, who testified concerning the time at which Lee Harvey Oswald was shot and others.
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Volume XIV - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Curtis LaVerne Crafard, Wilbyrn Waldon (Robert) Litchfield II, Robert Carl Patterson, Alice Reaves Nichols, Ralph Paul, George Senator, Nancy Perrin Rich, Breck Wall (Billy Ray Wilson), Joseph Alexander Peterson, Harry N. Olsen, and Kay Helen Olsen, all of whom were friends, acquaintances, employees, or business associates of Jack L. Ruby Earl Ruby and Sam Ruby, two of Ruby's brothers, and Mrs. Eva Grant, one of his sisters Jack L. Ruby Dr. William Robert Beavers, a psychiatrist who examined Ruby and Bell P. Herndon, an FBI polygraph expert who administered a polygraph test to Ruby.
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Volume XV - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Hyman Rubenstein, a brother of Jack L. Ruby Glen D. King, administrative assistant to the chief of the Dallas police C. Ray Hall, an FBI agent who interviewed Ruby Charles Batchelor, assistant chief of the Dallas police Jesse E. Curry, chief of the Dallas police M. W. Stevenson, deputy chief of the Dallas police and others. Also includes an index to Volumes I - XV.
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Volumes XVI—XXVI - These volumes contain reproductions of exhibits received into evidence by the Commission. The exhibits received in connection with testimony before the Commission are printed first, arranged in numerical order from 1 to 1053. Next are printed exhibits received in connection with depositions or affidavits, arranged alphabetically by name of witness, and then numerically— e.g., Adams Exhibits Nos. 1-, Baker Exhibits Nos. 1-22. Finally are printed other materials relied upon by the Commission, consisting principally of investigative reports by law enforcement agencies, arranged in numerical order beginning with 1054. Each volume begins with a table of contents—a descriptive listing of the exhibits in the volume and the page or pages on which each exhibit is printed.

The numbering of the exhibits received in testimony before the Commission is not completely consecutive the unused numbers are noted in the table of contents. Also, various systems of designation were used in connection with deposition and affidavit exhibits, so that the designation of some of these exhibits begins either with a letter or a number higher than 1—e.g., Jones Exhibits A-C, Smith Exhibits Nos. 5000-5006.

Almost all of the reproductions contained in the exhibit volumes consist of photographs of the exhibits. The legibility of many documentary exhibits is poor, because some exhibits were copies rather than originals and many others were discolored when tested for fingerprints. In some cases where legibility was particularly bad, the contents of the document have been typed out, and reproduced together with a miniature photograph of the exhibit. A few exhibits of negligible relevance were not reproduced because of their length or for reasons of taste. The omissions are described in the tables of contents. In a very small number of cases, names, dates, or numbers have been deleted from exhibits for security reasons or for the protection of named individuals.

Deaths of Witnesses Connected to the assassination of John F. Kennedy - History

Towards Agreement on the Evidence in the Assassination of JFK:

Contributed by over 100 authors, researchers, and concerned citizens and collated by George Michael Evica for the Assassination Symposium on John F. Kennedy (A.S.K.) 1993.

P resident John F. Kennedy was murdered as the result of a conspiracy. Lee Harvey Oswald was not a lone assassin responsible for the killing of JFK and the wounding of Governor Connally.

T he case against Oswald in the JFK murder is without merit, based on broken chains of evidence, on altered documents, on suppressed, changed, or planted evidence, on withheld spectrographic analyses, and on doubtful ballistic evidence.

L ee Harvey Oswald did not have his day in court. His right to a fair trial was jeopardized by biased remarks made by City of Dallas, State of Texas, and Federal officials, by the mishandling of evidence, by improper chains of evidence, by illegal searches, and by legally inadmissible statements attributed to Marina Oswald Porter.

L ee Harvey Oswald did not murder Dallas police officer Tippit. Compelling evidence that one man (other than Oswald) or two men (neither of them Oswald) shot Tippit was ignored by the Warren Commission. Crucial and obvious inconsistencies (in the ballistics evidence, for example) were left unresolved by the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

A fter the JFK assassination, a group of law enforcement officers and investigators at both the local, state, and federal levels participated in a major cover-up and obstruction of justice.

T he Warren Commission ignored a dozen Dealey Plaza witnesses (including several law enforcement officers) who reported men showing Secret Service credentials or identifying themselves as Secret Service agents who collected evidence, took statements, and reportedly held witnesses in custody. The Secret Service later stated, however, that none of its agents were in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination. The House Select Committee took note of this series of events but did not investigate its conspiratorial significance.

J . Edgar Hoover and top FBI officials possessed substantial information that CIA-connected Mafia bosses were complicit in a plot to murder JFK, yet Hoover did not share this knowledge with either the Secret Service or the Warren Commission.

T he Warren Commission ignored leads that would have lead to CIA-directed plots against Fidel Castro directly connected to the JFK assassination. The Commission also ignored evidence of Jack Ruby's lifetime involvement in corrupt Teamsters' activities, Syndicate business (including drug traffic), police and intelligence informing, and the anti-Castro plots that twould have pointed to a major motive for Ruby killing Oswald. The House Select Committees admitted these facts about CIA plots and Jack Ruby, listed its suspects as Santo Trafficante, Carlos Marcello, Jimmy Hoffa, and the CIA-directed Cuban exiles, and then did nothing to follow up important leads developed by its own staff.

T he Warren Commission did not investigate a pattern of disinformation developed immediately after the JFK assassination attempting to implicate Fidel Castro in the murder of JFK. The House Select Committee ignored substantial evidence that the individuals involved had long-standing CIA links.

T he Warren Commission was unable to establish that Oswald ordered, took delivery of, possessed, practiced with, carried to the Texas School Book Depository, and fired a rifle from that building on November 22, 1963. The Commission's paraffin tests of Oswald's face and hands were inconclusive. The House Select Committee on Assassinations ignored the Commission's failures, relying on the Commission's broken chain of rifle evidence.

T he Warren Commission was unable to establish a definitive shape for the "sniper's nest" and did not prove the value of the earliest-known box arrangement at that sixth floor Texas School Book Depository window. The Commission also ignored the half-opened window, making the firing of a weapon at the motorcade and striking Kennedy and Connally difficult (if not impossible). The House Select Committee failed to resolve these problems.

T he Warren Commission refused to examine either the Bethesda autopsy photos or x-rays. Instead, its medical witnesses used admittedly inaccurate drawings to represent JFK's wounds.

T he Warren Commission placed JFK's backwound higher than Commission testimony and FBI evidence located it in order to argue a back-to-front and high-to-low trajectory for that wound. The House Select Committee's medical panel apparently recognized the Commission's faulty evidence and offered one trajectory but with JFK in three different positions. The only position of the three consistent with the available evidence was a transit through JFK from back to front but from low to high. The House Select Committee did not explain this impossible trajectory as consistent with a round fired from the Depository's sixth floor.

T he alleged transit of CE 399 through JFK's body (accepted by both the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee) is a speculation without credible forensic evidence. That this "Magic" bullet also caused all of Governor Connally's wounds is a fiction.

T he earliest Parkland Hospital descriptions of President Kennedy's wounds and the later Bethesda autopsy descriptions of these wounds seriously contradict each other. The Bethesda autopsy description does not match the Parkland doctors' observations, and the Bethesda autopsy photos and x-rays do not match either each other or the official Naval autopsy report. The Warren Commission refused to look at the autopsy photos and x-rays, using less than accurate drawings of the JFK wounds, thereby overlooking the medical contradictions between Parkland and Bethesda. The House Select Committee on Assassinations recognized the Warren Commission's medical problems but did not resolve these contradictions.

50 Facts About the JFK Assassination

by Betsy Towner, AARP Bulletin | Comments: 0

Sitting in a rocking chair helped relieve JFK's chronic back pain.

En español | It has been 50 years since Nov. 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald as the president was riding in an open-topped car, with the first lady at his side, during a presidential motorcade in Dallas.

Here, 50 interesting facts about that day, what preceded it and what came after.

1. On Nov. 11, 1963, President Kennedy laid a Veterans Day wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

2. He would be buried at the cemetery exactly two weeks later.

3. Jacqueline Kennedy rarely traveled with her husband on political trips but decided to fly with him to Texas on Nov. 21.

4. On Nov. 22, the couple attended a breakfast in Fort Worth.

5. The presidential open-top limousine had been flown in from D.C.

6. A 14-year-old boy reported watching JFK's face go blank around 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 22.

7. The boy also said he heard Jacqueline Kennedy shout, "God, oh God, no."

8. Texas Governor John Connally Jr. received multiple gunshot wounds.

9. A priest administered last rites to the first Roman Catholic U.S. president.

10. This was the fourth presidential assassination in a nation that was less than 200 years old.

11. It was the first since the Secret Service began protecting presidents.

12. The Service scuffled with Dallas police for control of the president's casket.

13. Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office aboard Air Force One.

14. He became president 99 minutes after Kennedy's death.

15. Kennedy's body was also aboard for the return flight to Washington.

16. Judge Sarah Hughes wept as she administered the oath of office.

17. Jackie Kennedy refused to take off her pink Chanel suit, stained with her husband's blood. She told Lady Bird Johnson, "I want them to see what they have done to Jack."

18. Jackie did, however, remove her wedding ring and put it on her husband's finger to be buried with him.

19. Later, she had an aide retrieve it.

20. Jackie's suit has never been cleaned and lies in the National Archives.

21. It will not be seen in public until at least 2103, according to Kennedy family wishes.

22. Attorney General and presidential brother Robert F. Kennedy met Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base upon its return.

23. The Texas School Book Depository's sixth floor, where assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had positioned himself for the shooting, is today a museum dedicated to JFK's assassination.

24. Oswald was a self-described Marxist.

25. He had tried to defect to Russia in 1959.

26. At the time, assassination of a president was not a federal offense Oswald would have been tried in Texas.

27. The murder weapon was a 6.5 mm Italian carbine rifle that Oswald had bought for $19.95.

28. Dallas businessman Abraham Zapruder caught the assassination on his 8 mm home movie camera.

29. His secretary had urged him to go home and get it for the presidential parade.

30. Zapruder's film was later bought by Life magazine for $150,000.

31. Oswald's murder by Jack Ruby on Nov. 24 was the first homicide caught on live television.

32. A police detective at the shooting called out, "Jack, you son of a bitch!"

33. When wrestled to the ground by police, Ruby cried out, "I'm Jack Ruby, you all know me!"

34. Oswald died at the same hospital as Kennedy, two days and seven minutes after the president.

35. The New York Times reported that JFK's 98-year-old grandmother, Mary Josephine Fitzgerald, was not told of the assassination.

36. In Washington, dignitaries from more than 100 countries arrived for Kennedy's funeral. At the time, it was the largest gathering of its kind on U.S. soil.

37. An unexpected 250,000 people paid their respects to the former president as he lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

38. Tens of thousands were turned away, some having waited throughout a near-freezing night in a line that stretched for more than 2 miles.

39. Jackie Kennedy modeled her husband's funeral ceremonies after Abraham Lincoln's.

40. With help from Bobby Kennedy and Robert McNamara, Jackie chose the burial site at Arlington National Cemetery.

41. Jackie requested an eternal flame be put by the grave.

42. Although she would remarry, today she is buried next to the president.

43. Two of the Kennedys' children, an infant son and daughter, are also buried with their parents.

44. The funeral day, Nov. 25, was also John Jr.'s third birthday.

45. Caroline would turn 6 two days later.

46. A taxi driver reported that the funeral crowds were oddly quiet: "… you could hear a pin drop."

47. An Irish military guard paid its respects graveside, following commands shouted in Gaelic.

48. After the funeral, Jackie Kennedy met privately with three heads of state: Charles de Gaulle of France, Eamon de Valera of Ireland and Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

49. Near midnight that night, she and Bobby Kennedy paid an unplanned visit to Kennedy's grave.

50. The first two letters that Lyndon Johnson wrote as president were to Caroline and John Jr.

James Tague, key JFK assassination witness, dies

A material witness whose testimony contributed to the controversial “magic bullet theory” in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has died.

James Tague was standing in Dallas’s Dealey Plaza when the shots were fired on Nov. 22, 1963. A bullet presumably meant for Kennedy instead struck a curb near where Tague was standing and sent debris flying into his face.

“It was just skin-deep, that’s all there was to it,” Tague told Yahoo News three months ago when he was the subject of a video story on the 50 th anniversary of the assassination.

Tague’s daughter, Suanna Holloway, said her father died at his home 70 miles north of Dallas on Friday following a brief illness. He was 77.

“It happened very fast,” Holloway said. “He was a fantastic father.”

Tague’s experience at Dealey Plaza ultimately led Warren Commission investigators to conclude that one of the three shots missed and that one of the rounds went through both JFK and Texas Gov. John Connally.

JFK researcher Debra Conway said the commission was initially going to settle with two shots hitting the president and one hitting the governor.

“But because Mr. Tague was near the missed shot and was wounded … they had to account for the missed shot,” said Conway, president of JFK Lancer, a historical research group. “Jim is a very important witness.”

Critics of the Warren Commission have long questioned the so-called “magic bullet theory,” arguing that the bullet could not have traversed multiple layers and angles.

By his own account, Tague was in Dealey Plaza by accident.

“I was going to meet a cute red head for lunch,” Tague told Yahoo News in his trademark Texas drawl.

But when traffic came to a stop in downtown, Tague got out of his car to investigate. That’s when he saw the president’s motorcade heading toward him. Then came the gunfire.

“I guess 50 years later I’m still trying to absorb all of it,” Tague told Yahoo in November.

A native of Plainfield, Ind., Tague served in the Air Force before settling in Dallas. He sold cars for three decades and managed one of the top dealerships in Dallas before retiring.

Through the years, Tague’s own curiosity transformed him from eyewitness to JFK assassination researcher. He befriended other JFK assassination buffs, visited the National Archives to inspect evidence and amassed a huge collection of Kennedy-related books, some of which he sold on eBay.

Tague also authored two books, including last year’s “LBJ and the Kennedy Killing” in which he alleges a cover-up plot.

“Personally, I’m urging young people to keep the truth alive,” he told Yahoo News.

Even in the months before his death, he still made daily trips to the post office to send out autographs to people seeking a tie to that fateful day in Dallas.

“I did not let it consume my life I just say it made my life interesting,” Tague said.

The contents of Oswald's missing KGB file

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the KGB files were briefly opened to researchers. Among them was file no. 31451, detailing Lee Harvey Oswald's time in the USSR. Before the files were closed again, Russian paper Izvestia reported on some of its contents (translated here via the Russian Press Digest). Rather than add clarity, the reports only further muddied the conspiracy waters.

As a defector, Oswald was of considerable interest to the KGB. Yet the files reveal the Kremlin effectively thought he was useless. They're full of tales about how Oswald was a poor shot, ranking only "fair" in a competition held among workers at his factory. They also detail how the KGB believed Oswald incapable of pulling off Kennedy's assassination.

While this sounds plenty mysterious, there may be a more mundane explanation. After failing to spot and recruit a man capable of gunning down the American president, the KGB could have been forced to engage in a heavy bout of what we would call "ass covering."

The bigger mystery is what's in the rest of Oswald's file. In 1992, the files were closed once more. Since Oswald's file consisted of "five thick volumes, plus a folder tied with shoelaces" (via the National Security Archives blog), most of it is still unpublished. The file now resides with Belarusian intelligence, where it seems unlikely to ever see the light of day. Could it contain the key to understanding JFK's death? At this point, we're willing to believe almost anything.