Sunday, November 28, 2021

1991: Oliver Stone responds to Lone Nutters David Belin and Gerald Ford with a fact-based Wash Post Op-ed

 [“The JFK Assassination – What About the Evidence?” Oliver Stone, Washington Post, 11-24- 1991]


One thing I have noticed about JFK researchers who actually have a platform in the MSM is that they NEVER TELL THE WORLD WHO MURDERED JFK AND WHY - they are always pathetically and frenetically trying to prove it was a CONSPIRACY.

As the World's Foremost Authority on the JFK Assassination I am a tad different that that. How about there is a 100% chance that LYNDON JOHNSON murdered JFK, a 99% chance the Gen. Edward Lansdale was involved, a 99% chance that CIA DAVID ATLEE PHILLIPS  was involved, a 95% chance that CIA E. HOWARD HUNT was involved, and a 100% chance that both ALLEN DULLES and Kennedy-hating FBI chief and LBJ pal J. EDGAR HOOVER were either involved or so involved in the cover up of JFK's death they they were accessories to murder after the fact. I would include LBJ Texas oilman pal and LTV defense contractor D.H. BYRD at 99% of being involved. Foaming Kennedy-hater and LBJ pal H.L. HUNT I would put at 90%, maybe 95% chance of involvement. Let's not forget LBJ pal and super powerful Texas political fixer ED CLARK at 99% chance of involvement in the murder of JFK.

By no means am I excluding other foaming anti-JFK CIA operatives such as David Morales, William King Harvey or Frank Sturgis from involvement or certain CIA-connected anti-Castro Cubans such as Bernardo De Torres. Or Dallas bigwig oilman Clint Murchison, Sr.

There is one very important thing about Gen. Edward Lansdale, David Atlee Phillips and E. Howard Hunt: they were all proteges of CIA director Allen Dulles, who was fired by JFK in 1961, and all three men were up to their eyeballs in the JFK assassination. Lansdale was also quite close to JFK-hating Sen. Thomas Dodd (D-CN) who in turn was so close to LBJ that Lucifer Before Jesus toyed with the idea of making Dodd his Vice President in 1964 rather than Hubert Humphrey.

In response to Oliver Stone's 1991 Op-Ed, I should add that one of the most important things to know in JFK research is that the JFK head x-rays were completely faked to cover up the fact that he had a huge blowout wound hole in the lower part of his head. The faking of the JFK head X-rays fooled the pathologists on the Clark Panel and also the pathologists of the HSCA. Dr. David Mantik and Dr. Michael Chesser are doing some of the most important work in JFK research by putting the JFK head x-rays under a microscope.

I should also add that we know Gerald Ford told the President of France "We arrived at an initial conclusion: it was not the work of one person, it was something set up. We were sure it was set up." See: https://www.kennedysandking.com/news-items/the-kennedy-assassination-the-dream-was-assassinated-along-with-the-man-giscard-says In other words, Ford was telling the French president that JFK's murder was a CONSPIRACY. 

How come Oliver Stone can't mention that Lyndon Johnson has been on the record for decades say that he NEVER BELIEVED THE WARREN COMMISSION and privately he told many people that Castro killed JFK, or the CIA murdered JFK, or it had something to do with Diem's death in Vietnam (by the way, in the mind of Gen. Edward Lansdale, is sure as hell was related to the murder of Diem!!).

Lyndon Johnson before he died said he NEVER believed that Oswald acted alone:

During coffee, the talk turned to President Kennedy, and Johnson expressed his belief that the assassination in Dallas had been part of a conspiracy. “I never believed that Oswald acted alone, although I can accept that he pulled the trigger.”
- Leo Janos, Atlantic Monthly, July 1973 (interview of LBJ occurred before he died on January 23, 1973)


As for Howard Brennan's identification of Oswald, just read Bill Simpich's State Secret, Chapter Six about the set up of Lee Harvey Oswald: https://www.maryferrell.org/pages/State_Secret_Chapter6.html  The Dallas police gave out a description of JFK's shooter as 5 feet 10 inches tall and 165 lbs. and they gave it out 5 times in the first 45 minutes of the JFK assassination.

BILL SIMPICH - QUOTE  As we have seen, the “five-ten/165” Oswald description was embedded right in FBI agent John Fain’s May 12, 1960 memo that CIA officer Bill Bright went to great lengths to include in the CIA’s Records Integration Division files. UNQUOTE

In other words, this incorrect description of Oswald was in U.S. government documents created AS EARLY AS 1960,  over three years before the JFK assassination. The plotters had Oswald's description ready for the frame up and U.S. intelligence was using the Dallas Police Department as a marionette doll!

Yes, the lineup where cabbie driver William Scoggins identified Oswald was rigged and taken after Oswald had been splashed all over the national media as the leftist, pro-Castro murderer of JFK.

Tippit murder witness Helen Markum left the laundry room of her apartment complex at 1:04PM. The FBI timed her walk to 10th and Patten and it took 2-3 minutes at a normal walk. Which means the Tippit murder occured at 1:06 to 1:07PM. The Warren Commission itself says that Oswald was at his boarding house outside at 1:03PM and the boarding house is 9/10th of a mile away from the Tippit murder scene at Tenth and Patten. So there is no way in hell that Oswald was there unless he had the walking speed of a world champion Kenyan miler.

Jackie Kennedy and Evelyn Lincoln immediately suspected LBJ's role in the JFK assassination as did Robert Kennedy. Hale Boggs, Richard Russell and John Sherman Cooper all thought the Magic Bullet Theory was insane. LBJ told everyone for years the Warren Commission was bullshit.

SO WHY DO THE LONE NUTTERS PERSIST AFTER ALL THESE DECADES IN CLUTCHING ONTO THEIR FANTASY?

December, 1991: Oliver Stone responds to David Belin and Gerald Ford with “The JFK Assassination – What About the Evidence?”

[“The JFK Assassination – What About the Evidence?” Oliver Stone, Washington Post, 11-24- 1991]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1991/12/24/the-jfk-assassination-what-about-the-evidence/9121c2b0-c625-44ce-9e5f-2a012d458d8d/

 

By Oliver Stone

December 24, 1991

 

One day after prominently displaying a "news" story in which David Belin -- the ultimate frustrated losing prosecutor as almost the lone defender of the Warren Commission's version of the assassination of President Kennedy -- called me a "prostitute" and my unreleased film, "JFK," a lie worthy of Adolf Hitler, The Washington Post saw fit last Tuesday to give him nearly half its op-ed page to continue his intemperate assault.

Belin and former president Gerald Ford are the last of a dying breed: Warren Commission apologists. Today, not even the government itself contends the Warren Commission investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy was an adequate one. The 1976-79 House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded that the CIA, the FBI and military intelligence withheld information from the Warren Commission, and these agencies and the commission never thoroughly investigated even the possibility of conspiracy.

Belin and Ford make their case by using a combination of ignorance of new evidence and a selective presentation of Warren Commission material. As the reader will see from this presentation of their bald assertions versus the evidence, it is not a very good case.

Belin and Ford: Nineteen medical experts have examined the autopsy photographs and x-rays of President Kennedy and concluded that all the shots struck Kennedy from the rear.

Evidence: While the "official" autopsy photos and x-rays do show that all shots came from the rear, the 26 trained medical personnel -- doctors, nurses, technicians -- who treated the president at Parkland Hospital testified to the Warren Commission that they saw an exit-type wound in the back of the head, a wound that is inconsistent with the photos and x-rays. Neither the Warren Commission nor the HSCA showed the photos and x-rays to the Dallas doctors. Until this happens, the medical evidence proves absolutely nothing.

Belin and Ford: Unequivocal ballistics evidence shows that the bullet that struck the president in the head and the bullet that passed through President Kennedy's neck and struck Gov. Connally were fired from Oswald's rifle.

Evidence: The evidence is far from unequivocal. The Warren Commission tests reported "minor variations" in the various bullet fragments, making the results at best inconclusive. More sophisticated analysis by the HSCA came to the same non-conclusion -- that it was "highly likely" but not certain that the fragments matched each other in composition.

Belin still believes (as of his 1988 book, "Final Disclosure") that Kennedy was shot in the back of the neck. The autopsy photographs show that the wound was in his upper back, making it even more unlikely that the "magic bullet" exited through his throat and struck Gov. Connally. Moreover, Belin and Ford are obviously unaware of the declassified FBI document stating the bullet in the back penetrated only about two inches and did not exit -- proving that the "single bullet" scenario could not have happened at all.

Belin and Ford: A "massive neuromuscular reaction" caused the presi- dent's head to move backward when struck from the rear by a bullet.

Evidence: A "massive neuromuscular reaction," according to Messrs. Ford and Belin, occurs when there is "massive damage inflicted to nerve centers of the brain." The nerve centers of the brain are the pons, the medulla, the cerebellum -- all located in the rear of the brain. According to the Warren Commission and the HSCA, the head shot damaged the right cerebral hemisphere of Kennedy's brain -- not a nerve coordination center, not capable of causing a "massive neuromuscular reaction."

Belin and Ford: Postal Inspector Holmes delayed Oswald's transfer, thus proving Ruby was not part of any conspiracy.

Evidence: If Ruby was part of a conspiracy and Ruby was allowed into the police station by a contact there, then the Holmes excuse is nonsense: The conspirators would make sure Ruby was there for the transfer. Ford and Belin argue that no would-be hit man would kill his target in a police station. No, of course not, unless he had help.

Belin and Ford: Rabbi Hillel Silverman said he is convinced Ruby was telling him the truth when he says he wasn't conspiratorially involved.

Evidence: Ruby told the Warren Commission he couldn't tell the truth in Dallas and begged to be taken to Washington. He also gave press conferences in 1966 saying he would like to tell the truth. By then Ruby was no longer in contact with Silverman. The rabbi left the Dallas area in 1965. Why Belin thinks we should take Silverman's word over Ruby's is unclear.

Belin and Ford: Jack Ruby's lie detector test results -- although not 100 percent accurate, confirmed that Ruby was not part of any conspiracy.

Evidence: While the polygraph results show Ruby was not lying when he said he acted alone, Belin and Ford conveniently leave out J. Edgar Hoover's comment in Appendix XVII of the Warren Report that, based on a psychiatrist's diagnosis of Ruby as a "psychotic depressive," the polygraph results should be considered "nonconclusive."

Belin and Ford: Witness Howard Brennan saw the gunman fire out of the sixth-floor window and gave his description to the police.

Evidence: Warren Commission counsel Joseph A. Ball questioned Brennan and found several reasons to doubt his credibility:

Brennan's account had several glaring inaccuracies with respect to the gunman's clothing and his shooting position.

Brennan could not identify Oswald as the gunman when he first viewed the police lineup. Two months later, Brennan repeated to the FBI that he wasn't able to identify Oswald at the lineup. But in March 1964 Brennan told the Warren Commission that he could have identified Oswald as the gunman but he lied to protect himself and his family.

Belin and Ford: The most probable time span of Oswald's three shots was around 10 seconds.

Evidence: Nowhere is there evidence of 10 seconds. The Warren Commission concluded the time frame was from 4.8 to 7.9 seconds, depending on which of the three shots missed the car completely. The HSCA set a maximum time span of 8.3 seconds -- but based on four shots and two gunmen. Most serious research agrees on the 5.6 seconds indicated by the Zapruder film.

Belin and Ford: Cabdriver William Scoggins saw Tippit's killer from within 12 feet and identified him as Oswald.

Evidence: Although Scoggins did identify Oswald as the culprit, we know the lineups Scoggins viewed were heavily biased. Fellow cabbie William Whaley saw the lineups at the same time as Scoggins and told the Warren Commission:

". . . you could have picked Oswald without identifying him just by listening to them because he was bawling out the policemen, telling them it wasn't right to put him in with these teenagers. . . . he told them they were trying to railroad him and he wanted his lawyer. . . ."

Scoggins saw the lineup on Saturday, long after Oswald's name and occupation had been broadcast widely. Unlike the other men in the lineups, Oswald gave his correct name and place of work.

What Belin and Ford never mention is that Scoggins (as well as another credible witness) reported that Tippit's killer was walking west on 10th Street -- the wrong direction for Oswald to be walking.

Belin and Ford: Ballistics evidence proved that Oswald's revolver was the Tippit murder weapon.

Evidence: There is no chain of evidence for the four cartridge cases found at the scene. Both policemen who handled them marked them with their initials, but neither could identify the cases as the ones they turned in when they testified to the Warren Commission -- they couldn't find their initials. Furthermore, the cartridge cases -- two Western-Winchester and two Remington-Peters -- don't match the bullets -- three Western-Winchester, one Remington-Peters -- recovered from Tippit's body.

Belin and Ford: Those of us who served on the Warren Commission and its staff know it to be the truth -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman who killed President Kennedy and Officer Tippit.

Evidence: Apparently Ford and Belin didn't keep in touch with their colleagues. Commissioners Hale Boggs, Richard Russell and John Sherman Cooper had grave doubts from the start about the "single bullet" theory. In later years they went public with their dissatisfaction with the commission's finding. "I had strong doubts," Boggs said. Cooper was "unconvinced" by the single-bullet theory. In a 1970 Washington Post article, Russell said he believed President Kennedy was killed as the result of a criminal conspiracy and joined forces with researcher Harold Weisberg in an effort to declassify commission transcripts.

Conveniently, Ford and Belin wrap up their presentation by referring to the "other massive body of evidence which conclusively proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Oswald was the lone gunman." They decline to present this massive body of evidence to the readers. Should we take these men at their word? Probably not.

Former president Ford's actions have been called into question more than once in the JFK case. For example, Ford seems to have reported on the Warren Commission to the FBI. A Dec. 12, 1963, internal FBI memo from Hoover aide Cartha DeLoach noted:

"Ford indicated he would keep me thoroughly advised as to the activities of the commission. He stated this would have to be done on a confidential basis, however, he thought it had to be done. He also asked if he could call me from time to time and straighten out questions in his mind concerning our investigation."

With regard to Belin, there is overwhelming evidence that he was less than truthful in taking Charles Givens's testimony for the Warren Commission. Givens, a co-worker of Oswald's at the Book Depository, originally told Dallas police he saw Oswald on the first floor shortly before noon on the day of the assassination. Later, he told the Warren Commission he had seen Oswald all alone on the sixth floor at that same time. In a memo written before he spoke to Givens, Belin made note of the first statement, yet he did not mention it when Givens told him the new "sixth-floor" version.

An FBI document found at the National Archives -- available to the commission -- put Givens's credibility in doubt. The document quoted Dallas policeman Jack Revill as saying Givens "would probably change his testimony for money." In his books and articles, Belin champions Givens as the man who placed Oswald on the sixth floor shortly before the shooting. Researchers have asked Belin about this on many occasions; he has yet to provide an answer.

In earlier tandem performance, Belin appeared as Ford's counsel when the former president testified before the HSCA. During a break in a hearing, Ford, obviously thinking the microphones were turned off, leaned over to Belin and asked, "Have I compromised anything yet?" -- a rather curious statement under the circumstances.

All of Ford and Belin's "evidence" comes from the commission volumes and report -- they ignore all of the Commission Documents (not published within the volumes), all of the evidence turned up by the Jim Garrison investigation, the 1975 Senate Intelligence (Church) Committee hearings, the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation and all of the evidence brought to light over the years by private researchers and scholars through Freedom of Information Act suits and rigorous document analysis. The reason is simple: None of this evidence strengthens their dog-eared conclusions. Most of it contradicts them.

The Ford/Belin piece is tired, obsolete, highly selective information, printed many times before over the past 28 years, not believed by 75 percent of the American people or even supported by the conservative findings of the HSCA that JFK was killed as the result of a "probable" conspiracy.

It is disappointing that prominent men like Belin and Ford are so narrow and vindictive in their rendering of history and their ugly condemnation of me and my film. It is more disappointing The Washington Post gives them a forum for their discredited views.

Oliver Stone directed the movie "JFK" and was co-writer of its screenplay.

Sincerely,

Robert Morrow

Presidential Historian and Distinguished Fellow at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Institute for the Study of Presidential Crime

The World’s Foremost Authority on the JFK Assassination

The Top Historian in the World on Lyndon Johnson

The Greatest Presidential Historian in American History

Nation’s #1 Opposition Researcher on the Clintons & the author of The Clintons’ War on Women (published 2015)

One of the World’s leading public intellectuals due to my sparkling expertise in the JFK assassination

Up and Coming Scholar on the USS Liberty Murders

Knows more about the JFK assassination than all the professors at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the University of Texas at Austin and SMU and anyone who has ever written for the New York Times combined.

Can out-debate 40 Ivy League professors of history and politics on the topic of the JFK assassination at one time

 A lot smarter than anyone who has ever written for Texas Monthly, the Texas Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, The New Yorker, The Daily Beast or the Washington Post; or who has ever reported for WFAA Dallas or KLBJ radio Austin

Far more accurate and knowledgable than the Sixth Floor Museum on the topic of the JFK assassination. Executive director hilarious Nicola Langford and curator Steve Fagin do not know a tenth of a thimble compared to what I know.

Knows more about the JFK assassination than all the 8,000 scholars and scientists combined who have been fellows at the Princeton, NJ Institute for Advanced Study in its 90-year history

Knows more about the JFK assassination than all the people who have ever been members and subject matter experts at the Council on Foreign Relations combined except for those members who were involved in the murder of JFK from their roles in U.S. intelligence

Knows more about the JFK assassination that all the people who have received MacArthur Fellow “genius grants” combined since the program began in 1981.

Has an IQ closer to 140 than 130

Princeton, A.B. – History, 1987

Univ. of Texas at Austin -- MBA, 1990

Tuscaloosa Academy, graduated #3 out of 40 students. Recipient of TA’s highest academic honor, 1983

 

Austin, TX     512-306-1510

 







Friday, November 26, 2021

Benjamin Cole article on the small bullet hole in the back of John Connally's shirt - another blow to the Magic Bullet Theory

 Web link: https://www.kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/the-strange-strange-story-of-governor-connally-s-shirt-coat-and-congressman-henry-b-gonzalez 


Folks, the hilarious lone nutter case just keeps receiving body blows and the latest is an examination of the shirt of John Connally which proves that the bullet hole in the back of his shirt was much to small for a "tumbling bullet" to have gone through JFK and "tumbled through" John Connally's back causing all that damage to both men. 

The Magic Bullet Theory has taken yet another body blow, but then again that horse has been sadistically beaten dead relentlessly by JFK researchers such as Mark Lane since 1966 which was a whopping 55 years ago.

The Benjamin Cole article at Kennedy's and King is listed at the beginning of this missive.

Also, don't forget to check out my new qualifications and credentials as the World's Foremost Authority on the JFK Assassination. I am truly humbled.

Sincerely,

Robert Morrow

Presidential Historian and Distinguished Fellow at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Institute for the Study of Presidential Crime

The World’s Foremost Authority on the JFK Assassination

The Top Historian in the World on Lyndon Johnson

The Greatest Presidential Historian in American History

Nation’s #1 Opposition Researcher on the Clintons & the author of The Clintons’ War on Women (published 2015)

One of the World’s leading public intellectuals due to my sparkling expertise in the JFK assassination

Up and Coming Scholar on the USS Liberty Murders

Knows more about the JFK assassination than all the professors at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the University of Texas at Austin and SMU and anyone who has ever written for the New York Times combined.

Can out-debate 40 Ivy League professors of history and politics on the topic of the JFK assassination at one time

 A lot smarter than anyone who has ever written for Texas Monthly, the Texas Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, The New Yorker, The Daily Beast or the Washington Post; or who has ever reported for WFAA Dallas or KLBJ radio Austin

Far more accurate and knowledgable than the Sixth Floor Museum on the topic of the JFK assassination. Executive director hilarious Nicola Langford and curator Steve Fagin do not know a tenth of a thimble compared to what I know.

Knows more about the JFK assassination than all the 8,000 scholars and scientists combined who have been fellows at the Princeton, NJ Institute for Advanced Study in its 90-year history

Knows more about the JFK assassination than all the people who have ever been members and subject matter experts at the Council on Foreign Relations combined except for those members who were involved in the murder of JFK from their roles in U.S. intelligence

Knows more about the JFK assassination than Elvira does about making a career out off of displaying cleavage

Knows more about the JFK assassination that all the people who have received MacArthur Fellow “genius grants” combined since the progam began in 1981.

Has an IQ closer to 140 than 130

Princeton, A.B. – History, 1987

Univ. of Texas at Austin -- MBA, 1990

Tuscaloosa Academy, graduated #3 out of 40 students. Recipient of TA’s highest academic honor, 1983

 

Austin, TX     512-306-1510 


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Mark Lane's 1966 Playboy interview: he utterly destroys the Magic Bullet Theory and points out the Missing TV interviews of the Parkland doctors

Notice how the early JFK researchers were so focused on proving a conspiracy that they were not naming names of WHO murdered JFK and why. The name LYNDON JOHNSON comes to mind. Why the hell do you think the U.S. government was so maniacally committed to lying about the facts of JFK's murder?

Web link to the Playboy’s 1966 interview of Mark Lane:

https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338123/

 

PLAYBOY INTERVIEW:  MARK LANE

 

a candid conversation with the fiery attorney and author of “rush to

judgment of the documented, best-selling indictment of the warren report

 

News of the assassination of John

Fitzgerald Kennedy had hardly reached a

stunned world when the inevitable ques-

tion was asked: Is this part of a conspir-

acy? When Lee Harvey Oswald, charged

with the assassination, was in turn assassi-

nated, the whispers of doubt swelled to a

chorus. Scripps-Howard columnist Rich-

ard Starnes summed up the feelings of

many Americans when he wrote: “Our

credentials as a civilized people stand

suspect before the world . . . but the real

depth of the disaster that, has befallen us

cannot yet be imagined. In its 188th

year, the Republic has fallen upon

unspeakably evil days, and great mischief

is afoot in the land. It remains to be

seen whether more convulsions will rack

us before it is over . . .”

 

Starnes’ jeremiad, was echoed abroad,

where it was generally assumed that

the murders of Kennedy, Oswald and

Officer J. D. Tippit were all pieces in

a monstrous, conspiratorial jigsaw puzzle.

The Communist nations were quick to

allege that the President had been mur-

dered by a plot originating within his

own Government, and that Oswald had

been silenced before he could incriminate

other members of the cabal. Toss cabled

from Washington to Moscoiv on Novem-

ber 25, 1963, just three days after the

assassination, that “All circumstances of

President Kennedy’s death allow one to

assume that this murder was planned and

carried out by the ultra-right-wing, fascist

 

 

and racist circles, by those xuho cannot

stomach any step aimed at the easing of

international tensions and the improve-

ment of Soviet-American relations.”

 

In other countries, too, rumors of con-

spiracy abounded. The London Daily

Telegraph's Dallas correspondent re-

ported on November 26 that “World

opinion as much as American, is not fully

satisfied about this terrible affair. This

has resulted in an elephantine attempt

on the part of the local authorities con-

cerned to cover up for one another.”

On November 27 , the conservative Lon-

don Daily Mail declared editorially that

“ facts can be produced that a right-wing

plot against the President had caused his

death.” French press opinion was even less

restrained. Paris Jour carried a front-page

article entitled “Oswald Cannot Have

Been Alone in the Shooting,” while

Liberation wrote that “There is no doubt

that President Kennedy fell into a trap.

He was the victim of a plot. And in this

plot it is evident that the Dallas police,

protectors of gangsters like Ruby, played

a role one can only describe as question-

able. They created a defendant, then

allowed one of their stool pigeons to

kill him.”

 

In hasty pursuit of a scapegoat, con-

servatives and reactionaries — at home as

well as abroad — were eager to blame liber-

als and leftists, who returned the charges.

To dispel such divisive speculation.

President Johnson appointed an ultra-

 

 

prestigious Presidential Commission,

headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, to

investigate the assassination. Serving un-

der Warren were former CIA Director

Allen Dulles; John McCloy, former As-

sistant Secretary of War; Senators Rich-

ard Russell and John Sherman Cooper;

and Representatives Gerald Ford and

Hale Boggs. J. Lee Rankin, former Solici-

tor General of the United States, was

appointed as the Commission’s Chief

Counsel, directing a staff of 14 lawyers.

 

The very appointment of such a blue-

ribbon investigative body allayed many

fears, at least in America. Ten months

after the assassination, when the Warren

Commission released its findings, Ameri-

cans heaved a. national sigh of relief.

There had been no conspiracy, the Com-

mission concluded. Lee Harvey Oswald,

acting alone and irrationally , had mur-

dered the President. Jack Ruby had killed

Oswald on his own and without premedi-

tation. The verdict was in, and it was

almost unanimously accepted — in the

United States. Two months later, when

the Commission released its 26 vol-

umes of supporting evidence — a massive

17,815 pages — the case appeared for-

ever closed. A grateful public hailed the

Commission for settling its gnawing

doubts and clearing the air of poisonous

rumors. Harrison Salisbury, assistant

managing editor of The New York

Times, echoed popular sentiment when

he wrote in the Times: “No material

 

“History may come to know the Warren

Report as the ' Warren Whitewash ’; it

may be ranked with Teapot Dome as a

synonym for political cover-up and cyni-

cal manipulation of the truth.”

  

There were 90 witnesses to the assassina-

tion who were questioned and. were able

to give an assessment of the origin of the

shots. Of those, 58 said they came from

behind the fence on the grassy knoll.”

  

“There were at least two assassins. The

evidence is conclusive on that score. But

the Commission wanted to disprove a

conspiracy, and this desire defeated its

investigative function.”

 

 question now remains unsolved so far as

q the death of President Kennedy is con-

cerned. The evidence of Osxuald' s single-

® handed guilt is overwhelming.”

 

>« But historians know that often enough,

£« the more they study a complex event, the

less they know about it. For each ques-

tion answered, seven more spring up to

take its place. The Warren investigation,

with an unlimited budget, a full-time

staff of 26 and complete access to the

massive investigative apparatus of the

United States Government, was the larg-

est historical inquiry ever undertaken.

Inevitably, it woidd produce a paper

mountain of conflicting reports, contra-

dictory testimony, expert disagreement

and unanswered questions. By publishing

the 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits

— containing considerable evidence con-

tradicting its oxun findings — the Warren

Commission implicitly acknoxuledged the

inscrutability of fact. Doubts were to be

expected; it’s surprising only that they

took so long to surface. Discussions of

their validity may occupy scholars for

generations — or even centuries.

 

The ripples preceding the xuave of

criticism came first from England. The

day the Report xuas issued, Lord

Bertrand Russell denounced it as a xuhite-

wash and subsequently formed a “Who

Killed Kennedy?” committee to pursue

its own investigation of the assassination.

And late in 1964, Hugh Trevor-Roper,

Regius Professor of History at Oxford

University, published a scathing' attack

on the Commission in the pages of Eng-

land's establishmentarian London Sun-

day Times. According to Trevor-Roper,

the Report was not only inaccurate but

“slovenly.” In America, less prone to con-

spiratorial viexus of history than intrigue-

rife Europe, criticism was slower in

coming. The first two books attacking the

Commission, Thomas Buchanan’s “Who

Killed Kennedy?” and Joachim Joesten’s

“Osxuald: Assassin or Fall Guy?” con-

tained xoild speculations that generally

discredited, them as serious criticism.

But the flood was only beginning. In

October 1965, Pulitzer Prize-xu inning

nexusman Sylvan Fox, then— city editor

of the New York World-Telegram and

Sun, published a paperback entitled

“Unansxuered Questions About President

Kennedy's Assassination.” On May 9,

1966, Harold Weisberg, a former Senate

investigator, privately published “ White -

xuash: A Report on the Warren Report.”

Sexjen xueeks later, Viking Press published

“Inquest,” by Edward Jay Epstein, a 31-

year-old Cornell graduate student. Origi-

nally Epstein's master's thesis, the book

sold moderately well. Then, on August

15, Holt, Rinehart & Winston published

Mark Lane's “Rush to Judgment,” xuhich

has since forged its xuay to the top of the

best-seller list. And on September 8,

World published “The Osxuald Affair,”

by Leo Sauvage, American correspond-

42 ent for Le Figaro of Paris.

  

This barrage of books prompted The

New York Times to comment editorially

on September 1, 1966, that “ Debate on

the accuracy and adequacy of the Warren

Commission's work is now approachixig

the dimensions of a lively small industry

in this country.” The original band of

lonely doubters had multiplied to a small

army. So drastically had the climate

changed that The New York Times’

White House correspondent, Tom Wick-

er, commented on September 25, 1966:

“A public discussion group in New York

sought to hold a roupd-table session

about the Warren Report. ... The ma-

jor difficulty for the group xuas in finding

anyone of stature xuho xuas xuilling to

defend the Warren Report and its

findings.” Wicker went on to demand

appointment of a nexu Commission to

investigate the assassination. On Septem-

ber 28, Nexu York Congressman Theo-

dore R. Kupferman, citing the slexu of

critical books on the Report, asked the

House of Representatives to establish a

Senate-House Committee to conduct its

oxun investigation of the Warren Report.

Shortly thereafter, Life also called for a

reopening of the investigation. In the

November 1966 issue of The Progressive,

Harrison Salisbury, xuho had earlier felt

that “no material question remained un-

solved,” reversed his field and xurote that

he was convinced “there are questions —

some of them of major importance —

xuhich must be ansxuered.”

 

The one '-man most' responsible jor

these doubts and demands is New York

attorney Mark Lane. He has been inves-

tigating the assassination since early

December 1963, and since the publica-

tion of “Rush to Judgment,” he has been

called everything from a liar to a nation-

al hero. In a lead reviexu for the Chicago

Tribune, Jon Waltz of the Northwestern

University Laxu School faculty wrote:

“This latest critique of the Warren Com-

mission Report is truly horrible. [It]

passes beyond the merely superficial,

being frequently dishonest as well. Lane's

fevered arguments have no semblance

of logic or even of organization. He

presents a phantasmagoric hodgepodge

of unrelated and often xuholly irrelevant

second-guessing. If, in assembling his

collection of quibbles, Lane had any ul-

timate purpose other than confusion and

profit, it goes unstated . . . the catalog

of this book's distortions and apparent

fabrications, large and small, is a long

and sony one ... no one xuill thank

Lane for his book.” But many people did

— including Norman Mailer, xuho con-

cluded his reviexu in Book Week xuith a

hurrah: “Three cheers for Mark Lane.

His xuork is not without a trace of that

stature we call heroic. . . . Lane’s book

proves once and forever that the assassi-

nation of President Kennedy is more of a

mystery today than xuhen it occurred.”

He called Lane's 400 pages of evidence

“staggering facts. ... If one tenth of

 

them should prove to be significant, then

the xuork of the Warren Commission xuill

be judged by history to be a scandal

worse than Teapot Dome.”

 

The hub of all this con trox>ersy ,

Mark Lane, xuas born 39 years ago in

Nexu York City, xuhere he has lived most

of his life. Currently, hoxuever, he travels

through Europe and America lecturing

on the assassination, frequently appear-

ing on TV and radio talk shoxus, and

stopping off occasionally in Denmark

with his young xuife, xuhom he met xuhile

in Copenhagen three years ago. They

plan to settle in California shortly.

 

After serving in Army Intelligence

during World War Txuo, Lane attended

Long Island University and received his

laxu degree from Brooklyn Laxu School.

For 12 years he practiced law from a

storefront in East Harlem; then, in 1958,

he gained local prominence xuhen he

charged that young people confined in

Nexu York State homes for the menially

defective xuere being brutally treated by

attendants. Governor Rockefeller opened

hearings on the issue, and a number of

guards xuere dismissed. In 1960, Lane

xuas elected to the Nexu York State Assem-

bly, representing the black-ancl-xuhite

ghettos of East Harlem and Yorkville.

He ran with the strong endorsement

of Eleanor Roosevelt and Senator Her-

bert Lehman, xuith xuhom he had

earlier helped establish a reform move-

ment within the Nexu York Democratic

Party ; He also had the endorsement

of Senator John F. Kennedy, who

moved into the White House at the same

time Lane attended his first legislative

session in Albany. In 1961, Lane became

the first legislator to be arrested on a

Freedom Ride — in Jackson, Mississippi.

After txuo stormy years in the state as-

sembly, he found himself ostracized as

a troublemaker by a bipartisan pre-

ponderance of his fellow assemblymen,

and did not run for re-election.

 

When President Kennedy xuas assassi-

nated, Lane initiated xuhat his supporters

have termed “his lonely crusade.” His

involvement began in December, xuhen

Mrs. Marguerite Osxuald appointed him

— at no fee — to represent her dead son’s

interests at the Warren Commission hear-

ings. The Commission refused to accept

Lane as a defense attorney, but it did

permit him to testify. Thus began his

three-year investigation — independent,

 

if not impartial — into the circumstances

surrounding President Kennedy’s assas-

sination. Lane traveled to Dallas eight

limes, interviewing scores of xuitnesses,

assisted by a group of amateur investiga-

tors xuho called themselves the “Citizens’

Committee of Inquiry.” The fruits of his

researches and his conclusions comprise

his book “Rush to Judgment” — and a

film of the same title to be released this

month.

 

playboy interviewed Lane in his txuo-

and-a-half-room xualk-up apartment in

 

Lower Manhattan. We began by asking

 

q for his thoughts on the integrity of the

I Warrcn Commission.

 

 

^ PLAYBOY: Iii your book, you wrote that

the Warren Commission — composed of

some of the most distinguished figures

in American life — “covered itself with

 

pi shame.” Are you accusing the Commis-

sion of lying to the American people?

LANE: I would not care to say that the

Commission lied, but — however distin-

guished its members may be — it did is-

sue a false report. I know this because I

carefully compared the one-volume Re-

port with the 26 volumes of evidence

that “supports” it and, in many cases, I

found no relationship whatever between

the Commission’s conclusions and the

Commission’s evidence. The most inno-

cent interpretation, of its shortcomings,

as Hugh Trevor-Roper expresses it in his

introduction to my book, is that the Com-

mission members did what some poor

historians do: They start with a precon-

ceived theory — in this case, that Oswald

was the lone assassin of President Ken-

nedy — and sort out all the evidence

supporting that theory, in the process un-

consciously rejecting any contradictory

fact or interpretation. I don’t know if

that’s what happened here, but it’s one

explanation and, compared with some

of the other theories that have been ad-

vanced to account for the Commission’s

behavior, a relatively comforting one.

PLAYBOY: Haven’t your critics accused

you of committing the same sin you im-

pute to the Commission — selecting from

the mass of testimony those facts that

agree with your preconceptions and dis-

carding the rest?

 

LANE: Yes. But my book is far more thor-

oughly documented than the Warren

Commission Report, and none of the

hundreds of book reviewers across the

country who’ve examined it has yet been

able to discover a single inaccuracy, dis-

tortion or out-of-context statement. And

let me add right here that the statements

I will make in this interview are based

either on the Warren Commission’s 26

volumes of evidence or on filmed inter-

views I conducted in Dallas that will ap-

pear in the documentary film Rush to

Judgment that I made with Emile de

Antonio. So I don’t expect you to pro-

ceed with me on faith.

 

PLAYBOY: You concluded in your book

that the Warren Commission’s “criteria

for investigating and accepting evidence

were related less to the intrinsic value of

the information than to its paramount

need to allay fears of conspiracy.” Do

you believe there was a conspiracy to kill

President Kennedy?

 

LANE: Yes, I do. A conspiracy, as defined

by the law, is simply two or more per-

sons acting in concert to secure an illegal

end. There were at least two assassins.

The evidence is conclusive on that score.

 

44 The Commission wanted to disprove a

 conspiracy, and this desire defeated its

investigative function. Remember, a

Gallup poll taken shortly after the assas-

sination revealed that the majority of

Americans believed there was no lone

assassin, but an organized plot to kill the

President. It was this public fear of a

conspiracy, and all it implied, that the

Commission was determined to allay.

One of the Commission’s members, John

J. McCloy, said it was vital for the Com-

mission to “show the world that America

is not a banana republic, where a gov-

ernment can be changed, by conspiracy.”

And another member, Senator John

Sherman Cooper, said right at the outset

that one of the Commission’s major tasks

was “to lift the cloud of doubts that had

been cast over American institutions.”

PLAYBOY: What was so wrong about the

Commission’s trying to dispel false con-

spiracy rumors?

 

LANE: Nothing, if the rumors were false.

The trouble was that from the very be-

ginning the Commission operated on the

assumption that Oswald did it and did it

alone, and relegated all facts to the con-

trary into this “false rumor” category. In

other words, the Commission had con-

cluded who killed Kennedy before they

even began their investigation.

 

PLAYBOY: Let's get down to the facts of

the assassination. One of the main points

of your book is that the fatal shot was

not fired from the sixth-floor window of

the Book Depository, as the Warren

Commission concludes. -Do you have

any evidence that shots came from

somewhere else?

 

LANE: The Warren Commission said un-

equivocally that there was no credible

evidence even suggesting that the shots

came from anyplace else. This is vital to

their whole case, because if the shots did

originate from two locations, Oswald

couldn’t have been the “lone assassin.”

Let’s look at the evidence. When tiie

President was shot, his limousine had

passed the Book Depository. To the right

and in front of the Presidential limou-

sine was a grassy knoll topped by

a wooden fence. Some time before the

motorcade reached the area, a young

woman named Julia Ann Mercer saw a

truck at tiie base of the grassy knoll,

illegally parked halfway up on the side-

walk, protruding into Elm Street and

partially blocking traffic. Dallas police-

men were standing a short distance away,

but they didn’t move the truck on. Miss

Mercer saw a man leave the truck and

climb the grassy knoll. Another man re-

mained in the truck. She drove off, and

the truck was gone before the motorcade

appeared. In an affidavit for the Dallas

sheriff’s office, she later said that the man

was carrying “what appeared to be a gun

case” about three and a half to four feet

long. Miss Mercer was never called as a

witness or even questioned by the Com-

mission. All we have is her affidavit,

signed before the Dallas sheriff’s depart-

 ment on November 22. I have not been

able to find her. She’s no longer in

Dallas.

 

PLAYBOY: But this is just one woman’s

testimony.

 

LANE: Yes, we begin with just one wom-

an’s testimony, but let me show how it

fits into a pattern of evidence proving

that at least one of the shots was fired at

the President from the grassy knoll. A

railroad man named Lee Bowers was in

a railroad tower overlooking the knoll,

and he testified that he saw two men

standing behind the wooden fence just

before the shots were fired. Bowers did

appear before the Commission and he

testified that the moment firing broke

out something attracted his attention to

the fence. He described it as “something

. . . which was out of the ordinary,

which attracted my eye for some reason,

which I could not identify.” When asked

for details, he said he had seen “nothing

that I could pinpoint as having hap-

pened that ” Here he was inter-

 

rupted by a Commission lawyer. When l

subsequently conducted a filmed and

tape-recorded interview with Mr. Bowers

in Dallas, I told him that for a year and

a half I’d wondered what the end of that

sentence was about to be. He told me,

Yes, I was interrupted by the Commis-

sion lawyers. Evidently they didn’t want

to get the facts. I was just going to tell

that at the time the shots were fired, I

looked at the fence and saw a puff of

smoker or flash of light, -just- when the

shots were fired.” Bowers gave me a de-

scription of the two men on the knoll

that dovetails with the description Julia

Ann Mercer gave the Dallas sheriff’s

office of the two men in the truck. And

another witness, J. C. Price, a post office

employee, told the Dallas sheriff’s office,

minutes after the assassination, that he

was standing on top of the Terminal

Annex Building on Dealey Plaza — over-

looking the route of the Presidential

motorcade — when the shots were fired.

Price later told me that when he heard

gunfire, his attention was instantly drawn

to the grassy knoll. In an interview with

me, he said he saw a man run from be-

hind the wooden fence and dash across

a parking lot, disappearing behind the

Book Depository. Price also said the man

was carrying something in his hand that

could have been a gun.

 

PLAYBOY: So you have three witnesses

who contradict the Commission's conclu-

sion that the shots came only from the

Book Depository. 'Why are you sure

these three are right, and all the witness-

es the Warren Commission relied on are

wrong?

 

LANE-. There are many more than three.

For example, three railroad employees

were standing on a railroad bridge run-

ning across Elm Street above and in

front of the Presidential limousine. They

all said to me in filmed and taped inter-

views, or to Federal or local authorities,

 that the moment they heard shots they

looked at the grassy knoll, because the

shots seemed to originate there. And

each one of these three men, independ-

ently, said he saw a pufF of white smoke

coming from behind the wooden fence.

 

A Dallas police officer, who was among

the first to arrive behind the fence just

after the shooting, said he smelled gun-

powder there, and Senator Ralph Yar-

borough of Texas stated that when his

car passed the grassy knoll after the

shooting, he also smelled gunpowder. In

fact, the majority of witnesses to the

assassination who could place the shots

said — to the Federal or local police, or

in their testimony — that the shots came

from behind the wooden fence.

 

PLAYBOY: The majority? Can you give us

a numerical breakdown?

 

LANE: There were 90 witnesses to the

assassination who were questioned and

who were able to give an assessment of

the origin of the shots. Of those, 58 — or

almost two thirds — said the shots came

from behind the wooden fence on the

grassy knoll. I think the most significant

fact here was the immediate reaction of

witnesses to the shots. Twenty-five wit-

nesses gave statements to the FBI or the

Dallas police on November 22 and 23,

and of those, 22 said the shots came

from behind the wooden fence on the

knoll, not from the Book Depository.

And there were many others who never

made statements but by their own ac-

tions indicated that the shots Came irom

the knoll. For example, 17 Dallas deputy

sheriffs ran right past the Book Deposi-

tory just as the shots were fired, and

rushed behind the wooden fence to be-

gin their search. One Dallas policeman,

 

J. M. Smith, ran to the parking lot be-

hind the knoll and there encountered a

stranger who produced credentials to

show he was a Secret Service agent.

Smith couldn’t subsequently recall the

man’s name, but his account is more or

less corroborated by two other Dallas

officers. However, Sylvia Meagher, an

independent investigator, found after

painstaking research that there were no

Secret Service agents around the knoll or

parking lot at that time and suggested

that an assassin may have escaped using

fake Secret Service credentials. Certainly

something was going on in that area.

The Dallas police even established a

command post behind the fence on the

knoll, and they maintained it for more

than two and a half hours. So there is

overwhelming evidence that at least one

shot came from the knoll.

 

PLAYBOY: But didn’t the Commission have

eyewitness evidence that shots did come

from the sixth-floor window of the Book

Depository?

 

LANE: The Commission had one “star”

witness who testified that a man fired

from that window. He was Howard L.

Brennan, a / 15-year-old steamfitter.

There was some other evidence that

 

 

shots came from there, but it was vague

and frequently contradictory, so the

Commission relied largely on the testi-

mony of Brennan. He told the Commis-

sion he was seated on a concrete wall

across the street from the Book Deposi-

tory, 107 feet from the building and

about 120 feet from the sixth-floor win-

dow. The Commission concluded that

this placed him “in an excellent position

to observe anyone in the window.” Bren-

nan said he heard a noise he at first

thought was a motorcycle backfire — so,

naturally, he looked up to the sixth floor

of the Depository, and saw a man stand-

ing behind the window firing a rifle.

Brennan signed an affidavit to that effect

on November 22, swearing that the man

in the window “was standing up and

resting against the left window sill.”

However, the Commission concluded

the window was open only at the bot-

tom. So if Oswald, or anybody else, fired

through that window from a standing

position, he would have had to fire

through the glass — which was unbroken.

The Commission slithered out of this

one by determining that “although Bren-

nan testified that the man in the window

was standing when he fired the shots,

most probably he was either sitting or

kneeling.” The reason they gave was

that the window ledge was only about a

foot and a half from the floor, thus creat-

ing the illusion from the street below

that a person was standing rather than

sitting or kneeling behind the window.

But Brennan himself invalidated this

explanation, for he swore he saw the

man both stand up and sit down — and

withdraw from the window more than

once. In any case, here we have the

Commission contradicting its own star

witness on a vital point of his testimony

— the position of the assassin at the time

of the crime.

 

PLAYBOY: Important as it may be, this is

just one point, on which anyone could be

mistaken. Was Brennan’s testimony in-

consistent in other respects?

 

LANE: Yes, it was. When Brennan was

taken to the police line-up on November

22, (o pick out the man he claimed to

have seen in the window, Oswald was in

the line-up, but Brennan failed to make

a positive identification. When Brennan

later testified before the Commission, he

said he had known it was Oswald all

along — but didn’t select him from the

police line-up because of his fear that

the assassination was a Communist plot

and “if it got to be a known fact that I

was an eyewitness, my family or I, either

one, might not be safe,” In other words,

Brennan admitted to the Commission

that he had deliberately lied to the Dal-

las police on November 22 when he told

them he could not definitely identify Os-

wald in the line-up. And yet the Com-

mission chose to believe his subsequent

identification of Oswald as the man in

the window. In any court of law, Bren-

 

 

nan would almost certainly have been

discredited as a witness. The Commis-

sion concluded that Brennan was able

to identify a man standing behind a half-

closed window 120 feet away from him.

 

This was the Commission’s star witness

to support their conclusion that Lee

Harvey Oswald fired at the President

from the sixth-floor window of the Book

Depository.

 

PLAYBOY: Do you think that no shots

actually came from the Depository?

 

LANE: It’s not as simple as that. I believe

there is no convincing evidence that Os-

wald fired a gun from the sixth-floor

window of the Book Depository or any-

where else on the day of the assassina-

tion; but I’m not contending that it was

impossible for any shots to have come

from that window. Certainly some shots

were fired from a location somewhere

behind the limousine. All I’m saying is

that shots also came from the grassy

knoll, and to prove that shots came

from the knoll is not to disprove that

shots may have come from elsewhere as

well. But this is most inconvenient for

the Government’s case, because it means

there must have been at least two assas-

sins, since Oswald couldn’t fire at the

President from both the grassy knoll and

the Depository Building. So even if he

was involved — and there’s not sufficient

proof that he was — he must have had an

accomplice. This means the Commis-

sion’s “single assassin” theory flies right

out the window- — --along with., I might

add, their conclusion that there is no

credible evidence that the shots came

from anywhere but the Book Depository.

 

The evidence proves that some shots —

including the fatal one — came from be-

hind the wooden fence on the grassy

knoll.

 

PLAYBOY: Is there any physical evidence

to back up this assertion?

 

LANE: Yes; the effect of the fatal shot on

the President himself. Hie spectator per-

haps closest to the President when the

fatal bullet struck was Charles Brehm, a

Dallas salesman. He was standing about

20 feet away, to the left of the limousine,

facing the grassy knoll. Brehm was inter-

viewed on television in Dallas, and I

spoke with him later. He told me in a

filmed interview that a portion of the

President’s skull was driven back and

sharply to the left, over the rear of the

President’s car. Unless the laws of phys-

ics were temporarily suspended, this

offers impressive corroboration for those

who say the shot came from the right

front of the car — in substantially the op-

posite direction from the Depository.

PLAYBOY: Did the Commission call Brehm

as a witness?

 

LANE: No, lie was never called as a wit-

ness, and no Commission lawyer ever

questioned him.

 

PLAYBOY: Is there any photographic evi-

dence to support your contention that 45

 the fatal shot came from the right front

of the Presidential limousine?

 

LANE: Yes, there is. There’s an eight-

millimeter motion picture taken by a

Dallas amateur photographer, Abraham

Zapruder, some frames of which were

published in Life. It was taken while the

shots were being fired. Frame 313 of the

film — which appears in Volume 18 of

the Commission’s evidence — shows the

President just as the fatal shot struck

his head. An examination of the two sub-

sequent frames — 314 and 315 — would

reveal whether he was driven backward

or forward by the impact of the bullet.

As the frames are presented in the 26

volumes, they seem to support the Com-

mission’s contention that the shots came

from the rear — that the President was

suddenly driven forward. But the Com-

mission created that illusion by trans-

posing frames 314 and 315, and by

mislabeling them. Actually, the original

film shows that the President xuas driven

back and to the left. One of our investi-

gators analyzed the Commission frames

and wrote to J. Edgar Hoover pointing

out the deception. Mr. Hoover replied —

well, here’s the letter. Read it yourself.

PLAYBOY: The letter, on FBI stationery

and signed “John Edgar Hoover, Direc-

tor,” reads, in part: “You are correct in

the observation that frames labeled 314

and 315 of Commission Exhibit 885 are

transposed in Volume 18 as noted in

your letter.”

 

LANE: There’s another interesting aspect

of the Zapruder film: The Commission

published most of the frames, but they

failed to publish frames 208 to 211. A

street sign visible in frame 207 is only

partially visible in frame 212, because

Zapruder panned his camera to photo-

graph the moving Presidential limousine.

In frame 212, sharp lines of stress sud-

denly appear on the back of the sign

— which stood in a direct line of sight

between the grassy knoll and the

Presidential limousine — and the lines

lengthen and deepen in succeeding

frames. They appear to radiate from a

spot in the lower left portion of the sign,

but that portion is no longer visible by

the time frame 212 was photographed.

These stress lines appear to be the result

of the impact of a bullet. Thus, what the

Commission failed to publish — frames

208 to 211 — could well be photographs

of a portion of the sign struck by a bullet

fired from the grassy knoll: This sign

was removed from Dealey Plaza just

after the assassination and has since

disappeared. The question of these miss-

ing frames was brought before one of

the Commission’s lawyers last year by

David Lifton, a graduate engineering

student and an associate of the Citizens’

Committee of Inquiry. The lawyer was so

concerned that he wrote to Lee Rankin

and Norman Redlich, two other Com-

mission attorneys, admitting that Lifton's

evaluation of the stress signs as a result

of bullet impact “seemed plausible to

me.” This Commission attorney com-

mented: “1 have no recollection that any-

body considered what happened to the

sign, or that anybody was aware of the

fact that the frames were omitted, or

that there were peculiar marks on the

back of the sign.” He understood the sig-

nificance of the stress marks quite clear-

ly, for he added: “Since Oswald could

not have fired fast enough to have hit

the sign with one shot at frame 208 and

the President with another shot before

frame 225, when the President came out

from behind the sign, the notion is that

someone else must have been firing at

the President, too.” Mr. Redlich’s reply

was typical: “All of the evidence which

we have indicates quite conclusively that

no shots were fired from the front.” In

other words, since we start with the im-

mutable presumption that Oswald was

the lone assassin, firing from the rear,

all contrary evidence must be dismissed.

playboy-. Is there any evidence that some

shots could have come from other loca-

tions, such as the railroad overpass?

 

LANE: Some shots may have originated

from other locations. My only point is

that it’s impossible to conclude there was

a lone assassin, Oswald or anyone else,

after we determine that even one shot

originated elsewhere. But I don’t see how

shots could have been fired from the rail-

road overpass without attracting the at-

tention of the numerous witnesses there.

They would have seen and heard some-

one firing a rifle, since there is no easy

place to hide on the overpass. But I do

believe shots came from both the front

and the rear. It’s possible that some shots

from the rear originated in the building

housing the Dallas sheriff’s department

— as at least one eyewitness, Charles

Brehm, told me he thought at the time.

But let me make clear that to say shots

might have come from that building is

not to imply a sheriff or policeman fired

them — any more than the Commission’s

conclusion that shots came from the

Book Depository Building implicates

any publishing firms with offices there.

Let's just say that Dallas law-enforce-

ment officers -would hardly be eager to

investigate the possibility that the Presi-

dent of the United States was shot from

one of their own buildings.

 

PLAYBOY: Are you charging, in effect, that

the Warren Commission lied — by ignor-

ing all evidence to the contrary — when it

concluded that the President was shot

only from the sixth-floor window of the

Book Depository?

 

LANE: “Lied” is not my word. After all,

as news media have assured us for three

years now, the members of the Warren

Commission are all honorable men. But

concerning Oswald’s presence in that

window, there is one piece of crucial evi-

dence that could prove fairly conclu-

sively whether he was there or not. A

few seconds before the first shot hit the

 President, a Polaroid photograph was

taken of the Presidential limousine. It

was developed on the scene, and shows

the sixth-floor window of the Book De-

pository moments before the shots were

fired. The picture was taken by a Dallas

resident named Mary Moorman. The 26

volumes contain a report from a Dallas

deputy sheriff, John Wiseman, who

requisitioned the picture from Miss

Moorman. On November 23, Wiseman

reported to the Dallas sheriff’s depart-

ment that he had looked at the picture—

but he was never asked what it showed.

His affidavit does state that the photo

shows the window' where the gunman

was alleged to have been firing, but it

doesn’t mention whether anyone is in

the window'. This picture was turned

over by the Dallas deputy sheriff to

agents of the Secret Service. It has never

been published. No one will say where

it is. It is not available in the National

Archives. Presumably, the Government

has it somewhere, but nobody is talking.

 

I think it’s safe to assume that if this

photo, taken a few seconds before the

shots were fired, showed Lee Oswald or

anyone else shooting at the President

from the Depository window, it would

probably have been published on the

cover of the Warren Commission Report.

Certainly it would have been published

somewhere as irrefutable proof of Os-

wald’s guilt — and the origin of at least

some of the shots. In light of the picture’s

suppression, you can draw your own

conclusions as to what it did or did not

show'.

 

PLAYBOY: Did the nature of President

Kennedy’s wounds shed any light on the

origin of the shots?

 

LANE: That’s a key question. Remember

at the moment the first shot was fired,

President Kennedy was facing to his

front and to his right — toward the grassy

knoll. Even the Commission concedes

this. Now, if the bullet that struck his

throat came from the knoll, then the

wound would have to be an entrance

wound. On the other hand, if the bullet

came from the Book Depository Build-

ing, behind the Presidential limousine,

then it would have to be an exit wound.

Every doctor at Dallas’ Parkland Hos-

pital who examined the wound in

President Kennedy’s throat and made a

statement to the press on the day of the

assassination said the throat wound was

an entrance w'ound. That means the

bullet entered from the front. As I said,

the Commission itself concedes that the

President was looking in the general

direction of the knoll at that moment.

Thus, the medical evidence supports the

eyewitness testimony of people in Dealey

Plaza that some shots — at least this shot

— came from the grassy knoll.

 

PLAYBOY: But the Warren Commission

later concluded that the throat wound

was, in fact, an exit wound, supporting

their conclusion that the shots came

from the Book Depository.

 

LANE: Sure they did. But just saying it’s

so doesn’t make it so, even when it’s

said by — as I think you called them —

“some of die most distinguished figures

in American life.” The fact is, the Com-

mission’s conclusion that the wound was

an exit wound was as questionable as the

rest of their findings. They reached it

because they had to; otherwise their

whole case against Oswald as the lone

assassin would fall apart. And to make

their exit-wound conclusion stick, they

conveniently disposed of — or ignored — all

the embarrassing contradictory evidence.

PLAYBOY: If the throat wound w'as an en-

trance wound, what happened to the

bullet? None was found in the Presi-

dent’s body.

 

LANE: Whether or not a bullet remained

in the President’s body can best, perhaps

only, be determined by an examination

of the autopsy X rays. But that evidence

— constituting at law “the best evidence”

— has been suppressed, and we are left

with the opinions of military physicians.

 

The medical authorities who conducted

the autopsy at the Bethesda, Maryland,

 

Naval Hospital took one roll of 120 film,

22 color photographs, 18 black-and-

white prints, and 11 X rays of the Presi-

dent’s body. Those photographs and X

rays could answer the question of where

the bullets came from. Naval Command-

er J. }. Humes, the doctor at the Naval

Hospital who had the photos taken to

assist him in determining the path of

the bullet through the President’s body,

testified they were taken from him by

agents of the Secret Service before they

were even developed. The X rays and

photographs have never been seen by

any member of the Warren Commission,

nor by any of its attorneys. This in-

credible fact is reluctantly corroborated

by former Commission Counsel Arlen

Specter, in an interview in the October

10, 1966, issue of U.S. Nexus & World

Report. You’ll recall that the where-

abouts of the photos was unknowm until

early last November, when, according

to The Nezu York Times of November

2, the Justice Department “disclosed

that photographs and X rays taken of

President Kennedy’s body at the autopsy

after his assassination were turned over

to the National Archives ... by the

Kennedy family.” It’s comforting to

learn that the photos haven’t dis-

appeared, but no non-Government in-

vestigator will be able to examine the

material for at least five years. Anyway,

the main point is not what the photos

and X rays show, but why the Warren

Commission never tried to secure them

in the first place. The Commission’s

failure to examine them epitomizes their

inadequate investigation. If they had

done everything else perfectly, this one

vital omission would still be enough to

discredit their work.

 

PLAYBOY: Why didn’t the Warren 47

 

Commission ask to examine the photos

q and X rays?

 

LANE: I don’t know. Perhaps they thought

® that the evidence might confuse them.

 

It might even interfere with their tidy

gj preconceptions. When President Jolin-

^ son was asked this at a press conference,

he replied, “I think every American can

understand the reasons why we wouldn’t

want to have the garments, the records

and everything paraded out in every

sewing circle in the country to be ex-

ploited and used without serving any

good or official purpose.” Well, no one

has suggested that the evidence be

utilized in that fashion — merely that the

Commission should have seen the evi-

dence before they signed their Report.

playboy: What did the doctors who con-

ducted the autopsy say about the Presi-

dent’s wounds?

 

LANE: At first, nothing — for the simple

reason that the Government silenced

them. Humes, who conducted the autop-

sy, told a New York Times reporter he

‘‘had been forbidden to talk” by agents

of the FBI. Doctors at Parkland Hospital

who originally said the throat wound

was an entrance wound were similarly

visited by the FBI and told to make no

more public statements. In fact, if you

turn to Volume 17 of the Warren Com-

mission testimony, you’ll find a most ex-

traordinary certificate written by Dr.

Humes. It reads: “I, James J. Humes,

certify that I have destroyed by burning

certain preliminary draft notes relating

to Naval Medical School Autopsy Re-

port A63-272 . . .” Think about this

for a moment. Here we have a com-

mander in the United States Navy, who

is also a doctor, assigned to perform the

autopsy on the assassinated President of

the United States, burning his draft notes

on the autopsy — really, our notes —

and being silenced by the FBI. And we

have crucial evidence, the X rays and

photographs, never examined by the

Commission. If Oswald was the lone assas-

sin, if all the shots, came from the Book

Depository, if everything is as cut and

dried as the Commission assures us it is,

then why the mystery? Why the official

suppression? Are we really 17 years from

1984? If you wonder why Dr. Humes

burned his notes, I refer you to the state-

ment of one of the most inventive of the

Warren Commission lawyers, Arlen

Specter, in that interview with U. S.

News A* World Report. Here Specter

explains that Humes “had never per-

formed an autopsy on a President” be-

fore. No doubt he was out on a house

call when Roosevelt died, and therefore

lacked the prerequisite experience that

would have taught him that valuable

Government documents are not to be

destroyed.

 

PLAYBOY: Have you tried to reach Humes

yourself to find out why he burned his

48 notes?

 

LANE: I wrote to him but never received

an answer.

 

PLAYBOY: Is there any physical evidence

to support the Commission’s conclusion

that Oswald was the lone assassin?

 

LANE: Only Exhibit number 399.

 

PLAYBOY: Which is?

 

LANE: Exhibit 399 of the Warren Com-

mission Report is a bullet that is the

only substantial link between the assassi-

nation and the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle

the Commission claims belonged to Os-

wald. There are some bullet fragments

that the Commission also attempted to

link to the Mannlicher-Carcano, but the

whole body of ballistics literature dem-

onstrates that they are valueless for pur-

poses of identification. The significance

of Exhibit 399, however, goes beyond

the fact that it was used in an effort to

tie Oswald to the murder. The Commis-

sion’s whole single-assassin theory rests

on the fact that this bullet hit both Presi-

dent Kennedy and Governor Connally.

PLAYBOY: Why?

 

LANE: Because the Zapruder film shows

that the maximum time that could have

separated the wounding of the President

and of the governor was 1.8 seconds.

The expert who tested the alleged assas-

sination weapon for the Government said

it required a minimum of 2.3 seconds

simply to work the bolt of the Carcano

rifle. This was the minimum interval be-

tween the two shots, not including the

time necessary to aim; thus Oswald could

not liave fired twice in less than 2.3 sec-

onds. But the Warren Commission was

faced with the demonstrable fact that, at

most, only 1.8 seconds elapsed between

the time President Kennedy was shot and

the time the governor, who was sitting on

a jump-seat in front of Kennedy, was hit.

This meant the shot that wounded Gov-

ernor Connally was fired by somebody

else. As the Commission’s own counsel,

J. Lee Rankin, put it: “To say that they

were hit by separate bullets is synony-

mous with saying that there were two as-

sassins.” The Commission resolved this

dilemma with an imaginative invention:

that one bullet struck the President in

the back of his neck, exited through the

front of his throat, and then struck

the governor, whose reaction to being

wounded was delayed. The bullet passed

into the governor’s back, shattering his

fifth rib into multiple fragments, exited

through his chest, and passed through

his right wrist, smashing the wristbone,

struck his thighbone and lodged in his

left thigh. The bullet that did all this.

Exhibit 399, is an almost pure, pristine,

undamaged bullet. If you look at its

photograph in the Warren Report, you’ll

see that it isn’t even dented!

 

PLAYBOY: You mean this bullet made sev-

en wounds in two men, breaking three

different bones, and wasn’t materially

damaged in the process?

 

LANE: I don’t mean it — the Warren Com-

mission means it! I think the suggestion

is preposterous — and so did several of

the doctors who examined Connally and

his X rays at Parkland and Bethesda.

PLAYBOY: Isn’t it barely possible that a

bullet could do everything the Commis-

sion says this one did and yet emerge

unscathed?

 

LANE: Not even barely, I’m afraid. The

Commission’s own experts fired other

bullets from the Carcano into a variety

of substances, and in each case the bullet

came out deformed. And the Com-

mission never tried to have one bullet do

everything that they claim number 399

did. One Commission expert, Dr. Alfred

G. Olivier, a veterinarian, fired a bullet

through a gelatin block supposedly rep-

resenting the President’s neck. He wasn’t

asked about the condition of the bullet

when it emerged. He also fired a bullet

through the carcass of a goat, supposed-

ly simulating Governor Connally’s back

and chest. That bullet was “quite flat-

tened,” he testified. Then he fired a

bullet into the Wrist of a corpse, and

testified with pride that he had created a

fracture in the cadaver almost identical

with the fracture suffered by Governor

Connally. He also testified, however, that

the spent bullet from the cadaver was

not like number 399 at all. He said,

“Commission Exhibit 399 is not flattened

on the end. This one is very severely

flattened on the end.”

 

PLAYBOY: Did the bullet fragments found

in the governor’s wrist, rib and thigh

match Exhibit 399?

 

LANE: Of course not. How do you put a

jigsaw puzzle together if someone throws

in a few extra pieces? Dr. Shaw, who

examined Connally, testified that there

seemed to be more than three grains of

metal from the bullet lodged in the

governor’s wrist wound, and still more

fragments were found in his thighbone.

But according to FBI tests, less than

three grains of metal all told are missing

from Exhibit 399. Time magazine, on

September 16, 1966, summed it up this

way: “The bullet offered sufficient

grounds to make the single-bullet theory

suspect. . . . Medical men testified that

it could not have done so much damage

to Connally and emerged in such good

shape.”

 

PLAYBOY: The bullet in question, accord-

ing to the Warren Report, was found on

Governor Connally’s stretcher at Park-

land Hospital. If it didn’t fall out of his

body, where did it come from?

 

LANE: Who knows? First of all, the War-

ren Commission artfully distorted the

testimony of the senior engineer at the

hospital, Darrell C. Tomlinson, to con-

clude that the bullet was in fact discov-

ered on Connally’s stretcher. However,

if you read Tomlinson’s testimony for

yourself, you’ll find all he would ever say

was that he saw it roll from a stretcher

that was left in the hospital corridor. He

didn’t know if it was Governor Connally’s

stretcher, President Kennedy’s stretcher

 or even the siretcher of some totally un-

related patient. Remember, many people

bad access to the hospital that day; even

Jack Ruby was there, according to two

reliable witnesses, including Scripps-

Howard newsman Seth Kantor, who tes-

tified that he talked to Ruby there. The

Commission, of course, disregarded his

testimony.

 

PLAYBOY: Do you think Ruby — or some-

one else — planted this bullet on the

stretcher to incriminate Oswald?

 

LANE: That certainly is a possibility

that should be examined, since it would

account for a lot of baffling things about

Exhibit S99 — including the pristine con-

dition of the bullet after supposedly

smashing the bodies and bones of two

men.

playboy: Couldn’t there be a more in-

nocent explanation for the contradic-

tions surrounding this bullet than that

it was deliberately planted as part ol a

conspiracy to frame Oswald?

 

LANE: Perhaps. But none seems appar-

ent. The more I’ve studied the whole

question of Exhibit 399, the more fan-

tastic it becomes. For example, two

declassified FBI autopsy reports, dated

December 9, 1965, and January 13, 1964,

were recently discovered in the National

Archives in Washington. They state flatly

that the bullet in question entered Presi-

dent Kennedy’s back — not his neck,

mind you, as the Commission claims —

and did not continue through his body.

The FBI agents who attended the autop-

sy reported that Commander Humes

said then — whatever he may have since

claimed to the contrary — that there was

“no point of exit”; that the bullet pene-

trated the President’s back a very short

distance. The two FBI agents, James

W. Sibert and Francis X. O’Neill, who

were present during the autopsy at

Bethesda Naval Hospital, said that Dr.

Humes probed the back wound with his

finger and determined that the bullet

had traveled “a short distance, inasmuch

as the end of the opening could be felt

with the finger.” Since no bullet was in

the President’s back and “there was no

point of exit,” the agents said Humes was

puzzled as to the whereabouts of the

bullet. After being informed that a bullet

was “found on a stretcher’ at Parkland

Hospital — presumably the President’s

stretcher — and that the President had

been subjected to external cardiac mas-

sage there, “Dr. Humes stated that the

pattern was clear that the one bullet had

entered the President’s back and had

worked its way out of the body during

external cardiac massage.” This expla-

nation appears to be corroborated by

Colonel Finck, another physician present

at the autopsy, wdio was quoted by Secret

Service agent Roy Kellcrman, also pres-

ent during the autopsy, as having said,

“There arc no lanes for an outlet of this

entry in this man’s shoulder.” Perhaps

this explains why Commander Humes

& decided to burn his original notes after

@ the Commission’s theory contradicted

 

what he had written down. Not only is

® this a further indication that the au-

!>« topsy records were tampered with before

gg publication in the Warren Report but

it also rebuts the Commission’s fantasy

about Exhibit 399 hitting both President

& Kennedy and Governor Connally. In

 

addition, Governor Connally himself

said on a CBS television show on Sep-

tember 27, 1964: “I understand there is

some question in the minds of the ex-

perts about whether or not we could

both have been hit by the same bullet

. . . the first bullet. I just don’t hap-

pen to believe that. I won’t believe it,

never will believe it, because, again, I

heard the first shot, I recognized it for

what I thought it was. I had time to

turn to try to see what had happened.

I was in the process of turning again be-

fore I felt the impact of a bullet.” Mrs.

Connally, who was seated next to the

governor, also swears President Ken-

nedy was hit before her husband and

by a separate bullet. The Warren Com-

mission chose to ignore their testimony

— and if they weren’t dealing with the

governor of Texas, the Commission

would probably have impeached Con-

nally ’s integrity, as they did with less

prominent nonconforming witnesses.

 

And here’s something I just found out:

I recently spent several hours in the

studios of WNEW-TV here in Manhat-

tan, searching for footage for a docu-

mentary program, and in their library I

found what may be the sole remaining

video tape of the press conference held

in Dallas’ Parkland Hospital on the after-

noon of the assassination. This particular

film was taped by Station WFAA-TV in

Dallas, an ABC affiliate. WFAA and all

the other local stations were visited after

the assassination by FBI and Secret Serv-

ice agents and asked to surrender all their

tapes of the hospital news conference.

But this film segment was flown to New

York, sr'on after the assassination and

gathered dust in WNEW’s files for three

years, apparently without the FBI being

aware of its existence. The film shows

Dr. Robert Shaw, one of the physicians

attending Governor Connally, speaking

to the press at 4:30 p.m. on November

22. After Dr. Shaw described the gover-

nor’s wounds, he said the bullet that

caused the governor’s wounds remained

at that time in Connally’s thigh. This is

two and a half hours after Exhibit 399 —

the bullet that the Commission claims

caused all the governor’s wounds, includ-

ing the thigh wound — was found by Dar-

rell Tomlinson. So if anything else was