FBI file shows Ted Kennedy was death threat magnet

June 16, 2010 - Leave a Response

This poorly researched article about the recently released FBI files on the late Senator Ted Kennedy contains two potentially explosive references to the contents of the released documents, without comprehending their context or significance as reported. One concerns an inmate who was “housed next to” Sirhan Bishara Sirhan [in a California prison], the alleged but wrongly accused assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, for 18 months, and who claims Sirhan offered him $1 million and a car to kill Ted Kennedy, presumably on his release. This story is patently false on its face given the lack of motive and the resources on Sirhan’s part. It is more telling as possible proof of an orchestrated FBI attempt to both smear Sirhan through this planted informant and to provide motive for a second patsy in another Kennedy assassination. The second revelation is even more eye-opening. Division V FBI operative Cartha Deke DeLoach (COINTELPRO and Office of Naval Intelligence) was apparently asked by Nixon White House Counsel John Dean on behalf of then-Attorney General John Mitchell to check discretely into the travels of Mary Jo Kopechne, the woman found dead in Ted Kennedy’s car in Chappaquiddick’s Poucha Pond on Martha’s Vineyard during the election year in which Ted Kennedy was a possible candidate against Nixon’s second term. Dean wanted to know if Kopechne had traveled to Greece in 1968. Had this story leaked out after the incident and during Watergate testimony, it would have opened the lid on people inside the government who posed much more of a threat to Ted Kennedy than the Klu Klux Klan and other disgruntled individuals who seem to be at the center of the FBI’s investigative efforts. John Dean is still alive and should be asked about when this request was initiated, what they wanted to know and why, and what they found out, since the FBI response is redacted. I am sure there is much more to be found in the thousands of records just released and that serious researchers will spend time looking at these new files to reveal more of the hidden history surrounding the Kennedy family and the loss of democracy in the United States – John Judge

FBI file shows Ted Kennedy was death threat magnet
Jun 15, 1:08 AM EDT
Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — For decades after gunmen shot down his brothers, Sen. Edward Kennedy lived under constant assassination threats of his own, sometimes chillingly specific, as he became a target for extremist rage, previously private FBI documents disclosed Monday.

Five years after President John F. Kennedy was killed and shortly after Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot, one letter warned that the third brother was next: “Ted Kennedy number three to be assassinated on Oct. 25, 1968. The Kennedy residence must be well protected on that date.”

Nearly two decades later, in 1985, the threats continued, this time including the Republican president as well as the liberal Democratic senator: “Brass tacks, I’m gonna kill Kennedy and (President Ronald) Reagan, and I really mean it.”

Releasing 2,352 pages from Kennedy’s FBI file, many of them concerning threats over the years, the agency said on its website: “These threats originated from multiple sources, including individuals, anonymous persons and members of radical groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, ‘Minutemen’ organizations and the National Socialist White People’s Party.”

Some of the threats prompted investigations, some resulted in warnings to Kennedy or local law enforcement authorities. There is no indication any attempts were carried out.

In 1977, the FBI even looked into allegations that Sirhan Sirhan – the man who assassinated Robert Kennedy – had attempted to hire a fellow prisoner to kill Edward Kennedy. The prisoner, who was housed next to Sirhan for 18 months, told the FBI he was offered $1 million and a car but declined.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Robert Kennedy died on

June 6, 1968, a day after he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Their deaths cast a long shadow on the youngest brother’s life, and prompted fears he, too, would be targeted by an assassin’s bullet. Indeed, Kennedy wrote in his memoir “True Compass” that after his brothers were killed he was easily startled by loud sounds and would hit the deck whenever a car backfired.

He died last year at 77 after fighting brain cancer. Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, declined comment on the document release through a spokesman.

Most of the documents released Monday are about death threats and extortion attempts against the Massachusetts Democrat.

The release had been highly anticipated by historians, scholars and others interested in the life and long public career of one of America’s most prominent and powerful politicians. The Associated Press and other media organizations requested the documents through Freedom of Information Act requests.

There is relatively little on a major controversy, Kennedy’s car accident on Chappaquiddick Island off the coast of Massachusetts that killed Mary Jo Kopechne, a young woman who had been a worker in Robert Kennedy’s campaign.

The files do show that the FBI was told almost immediately of the accident and Kennedy’s involvement, but authorities kept his identity quiet at the start. The Boston FBI office relayed word to Washington headquarters at 2:45 p.m. EDT on

July 19, 1969, after being notified by Police Chief Dominick Arena in Edgartown, Mass. The advisory said that Kennedy – the vehicle’s driver – was uninjured. It also said, “Stated fact Senator Kennedy was driver is not being revealed to anyone.”

Kopechne drowned after Kennedy drove the car in which she was riding off a bridge into a pond. He swam to safety, leaving Kopechne in the car. Kopechne, 28, was found dead in the submerged car’s back seat 10 hours later. Kennedy, then 37, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and got a suspended sentence and probation.

In his memoir, Kennedy wrote that his actions on Chappaquiddick were inexcusable. He said he was afraid, “made terrible decisions” and had to live with the guilt the rest of his life.

Kopechne’s death also caught the attention of the Nixon administration and one of the eventual Watergate conspirators.

One file shows FBI Deputy Director C.D. DeLoach reporting an Oct. 17, 1969, call from John Dean, then assistant to the deputy attorney general.

“He stated that both the deputy attorney general and attorney general are anxious to discreetly find out if Mary Jo Kopechne (deceased) had visited Greece in August 1968,” DeLoach writes in his report. John Mitchell was attorney general at the time. Dean supplied Kopechne’s passport number. The subsequent report about the results of the check on any visit to Greece was blacked out.

Meanwhile, the FBI said Monday it has additional documents on threats to Kennedy, possibly thousands more pages, that it plans to make public once the agency finishes reviewing them.

Kennedy family members were given a chance to review and to raise objections to the documents before they were released Monday, the FBI said.

Dennis Argall, assistant section chief of the FBI’s record information dissemination section, declined to specify how much time the family was given. He would only say the family was given an “appropriate” time to review the documents.

The family has no legal power to keep information withheld. But the FBI does consider privacy concerns on a case-by-case basis, he said.

Johnson reported from Boston. Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Sam Hananel in Washington contributed to this report.


Thursday, June 10, 2010, 12:00 pm “And We Are All Mortal…”

June 6, 2010 - Leave a Response

Thursday, June 10, 2010, 12:00 pm
“And We Are All Mortal…”

COPA’s annual Commemorative event on the 47th anniversary of JFK’s speech against the Cold War will be held at the Memorial Plaque, campus of American University (southeast end of football field), 4800 Nebraska Ave. NW, Washington, DC (entrance off New Mexico and Nebraska Aves.). Reading followed by luncheon meeting. Open to researchers and public, no cost.

On Eve of California Primary, Lessons From Robert Kennedy’s Assassination

June 6, 2010 - Leave a Response

Missing from this story as well as from the many comments is the reality that Sirhan Sirhan did not kill Robert Kennedy, a fact now further proven by the groundbreaking forensic work of Dr. Robert Joling, former president, American Academy of Forensic Sciences and audio expert Philip von Praag in their book, “Open and Shut Case”, and a fact known to researchers based on the forensic and ballistic evidence of Dr. Noguchi’s autopsy of RFK and witness and photographic evidence from the scene. The actual gunman and those who orchestrated the assassination of Robert and John Kennedy remain at large on this 42nd anniversary of his death. While many sincerely mourned his loss at the time, the failure of America to address the facts and seek the real killers of Robert Kennedy, not only for justice but for the course of history and the restoration of the principles of democracy, is the real tragedy. As Bob Dylan sang long ago, “Now is the time for your tears” John Judge

On Eve of California Primary, Lessons From Robert Kennedy’s Assassination
Carl M. Cannon
Senior Washington Correspondent
Politics Daily.com
June 5, 2010

On Tuesday, California’s voters will go to the polls to choose their November standard-bearer for governor, an open Senate seat, and a host of other races. It’s a celebration of democracy, as all elections are, but for the past four decades June primaries in the Golden State have also been sad and sobering reminders of the harm that human beings do to each other in the name of politics and sectarianism.
This day, 42 years ago, Robert F. Kennedy was shot after winning the California presidential primary. He died the following day, June 6, 1968, just before 2 a.m. My job was to tell people about it.
Each year, usually around Christmas time, I write one column expounding on my love of newspapers. This year, perhaps because the California primaries are so compelling, I’m going to do it early. In 1968, I was a 14-year-old paperboy the same age as Homer McCauley, the sensitive World War II-era Western Union messenger of William Saroyan’s The Human Comedy. I had read that book — Saroyan, one of California’s greatest writers, was taught in school at the time — and had wondered how Homer McCauley had managed to climb on his bicycle and deliver death notices to the Gold Star mothers in the San Joaquin Valley without crying.
I was about to find out.
Robert Kennedy in Los Angeles, 1968As a student at Joaquin Miller Junior High School in Sacramento, I delivered the San Francisco Chronicle, which was the preferred newspaper of many politically aware Northern Californians. My route was big: 90 papers delivered seven days-a-week on a bicycle stripped down for speed and lightness: my daily trip was about five miles.
Any American even slightly older than I am will always remember the national tragedy and turmoil of 1968, and the passions surrounding that year’s presidential campaign.
On March 12, anti-war candidate Sen. Eugene McCarthy gave President Johnson a scare in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire and LBJ subsequently announced he would not seek re-election. Four days later Robert Kennedy entered the race. A month after that, Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, a debilitating blow that seemed to break McCarthy’s stride, if not his spirit. I know it sapped mine. By the time of the June primary in California, the Democratic presidential contest had come down to a grinding contest between Bobby Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey. I had first been a Humphrey kid, out of loyalty to LBJ, then switched to McCarthy after meeting him at Sacramento Municipal airport. But 14-year-olds can be fickle. After Robert F. Kennedy ushered in June of 1968 with a campaign swing through Sacramento and the Central Valley, I switched affections again, to RFK. It was a short-lived love affair.
Like most Californians who had to get up early for school or work, I watched the election returns the night of June 4, saw that Bobby had won, and went to bed relatively early, as a paperboy will do when his alarm is set every morning at 5:45 a.m.
That morning, I didn’t sleep that late, however. At 4:30 in the morning, my mother came into my room, which was a first, and told me gently to get up and deliver the papers. I told her that they didn’t have to be delivered this early, and she replied that today, they did. I should know, she added, that Bobby Kennedy had been shot in Los Angeles. It had happened just after midnight, she said, meaning that the out-of-town editions of the San Francisco Chronicle were not going to have the news that people needed to know: namely, that less than five years after his brother the president had been assassinated, RFK had also been wounded, and was probably going to die.
“Where’s dad?” I asked. The answer was that my father, a newspaperman, was still at work.
“He stayed there all night,” my mother told me. “But he called with the latest bulletin. He told me to write this down for you.”
Fighting back tears, my mother handed her oldest son a three-by-five card with the grim news from L.A. I was to read the latest news about RFK to my customers as I delivered their paper.
“No one will be awake at this hour.” I protested.
“Yes, they will,” she replied softly. “And they’ll want to know what happened.”
She was right. At every other house, it seemed, in these pre-cable, pre-Internet days, a light was on, and through the windows I could see people at their kitchen tables, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, some with their face in their hands. At many houses, the resident — usually the woman of the house — came outside to meet their paperboy, who dutifully recited the information on his little card. Sometimes the women would start crying. Several of them hugged me in their grief.
My paper route usually took an hour. That morning, it took three. It’s far too melodramatic to say that the kid who delivered those papers began his rounds as a boy and finished them as a man, but I will say that when I was done delivering those papers, I had acquired an abiding interest in the presidency, and a searing appreciation for the power of the news. I still retain those dual passions, and over the years have also formed some judgments about the meaning of those horrifying events of 1968.
One of them is that the words we use in politics and the press matter.
In 1944, as Allied bombers razed German cities, George Orwell, who was then (among other things) a newspaper columnist, received a letter from a reader who was troubled by the indiscriminate nature of the lethal ordnance being rained on the German people by British and American pilots. Although he said he realized “the Hun (has) got to be beaten,” the writer expressed his misgivings over civilian casualties suffered in places like Dresden and Hamburg. Replied Orwell in his newspaper column: “It seems to me that you do less harm by dropping bombs on people than by calling them ‘Huns.'”
Perhaps that’s hyperbole, but Orwell’s point was that it’s the name-calling and demonization that make the bombing possible. It’s a lesson for our own times as well as the 1960s. It’s a lesson for any era, as the sacrifice of the Kennedy family attests. The anger and hatred expressed in our politics is troubling, and not only because it’s unpleasant. World history – our own history – has shown it can be dangerous. That’s one reason why Politics Daily, a newspaper for a digital age, has embraced the concept of the “civilogue,” a self-explanatory term coined by our colleague Jeffrey Weiss, who lives in Dallas, a city that came for a time to be associated with the murder of a president.
Yoda, the sage and diminutive Jedi master in the movie Star Wars , a cultural icon of the 1980s, put it this way: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Those words were not actually written by a cute little intergalactic creature, of course. They were written by George Lucas, who, like Homer McCauley grew up in the Central Valley and who was living in Los Angeles that fateful June of 1968 when hate and fear seemed to overwhelm the better angels of our natures.

AU’s Peter Kuznick Teams Up With Filmmaker Oliver Stone

June 5, 2010 - Leave a Response

AU’s Peter Kuznick Teams Up With Filmmaker Oliver Stone
History at American University newsletter

When Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone was in Washington in fall 2007, scouting locations for a film about the My Lai massacre, he asked AU history professor Peter Kuznick to join him, his cinematographer, and his producer for dinner. As often happens when Kuznick and Stone get together, their conversation turned to analyzing key events in history. In the midst of an animated conversation, Stone suggested that the two of them do a documentary film together.

Kuznick was then spending his sabbatical year working on a book on how knowing that nuclear war could end all life on the planet had influenced public opinion and policy decisions since the start of the atomic bomb project in 1939. Still, he agreed that working on a documentary with Stone would be an intriguing possibility for the future. Kuznick should have known Stone better than that. They had been friends since 1996 when Stone made the first of many visits to Kuznick’s class which uses Stone’s films as a window into recent U.S. history, comparing Stone’s interpretations with those of scholars and participants in key events.

The class is so popular with AU students that one year Kuznick let 150 students enroll instead of the customary 80. The class has brought an outstanding roster of guest speakers to the AU campus, including Robert McNamara, Daniel Ellsberg, Bob Woodward, Paul Warnke, Seymour Hersh, John Dean, Ambassador Robert White, Senator Max Cleland, Vietnam vets Bobby Muller, Ron Kovic, and Wayne Smith as well as Pham Duy Thanh, who fought for North Vietnam, Cambodian child soldier and author Loung Ung, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, JFK screenwriter Zach Sklar and leading JFK critic Max Holland, and many others.

By the time Stone returned to California a couple days later, his idea for a documentary had evolved into something far grander. Stone phoned Kuznick proposing that they collaborate on a 10- part documentary series exploring lesser known aspects of U.S. history – the parts that are generally left out of high school history texts and those so often presented in a sanitized version conforming to what Kuznick and Stone consider a triumphalist and very partial view of America’s past. Their series instead plans to focus on the development of a peculiarly American form of empire and the national security state that undergirds it. Kuznick explained, “We had initially intended to begin by debunking the mythology surrounding the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then, in the second episode, go back to the roots of empire in the late 19th century. We now plan to begin with World War II and work our way to the present in a more linear fashion.” They will likely include the earlier material as an 11th episode in the box sets that are released next year.

Showtime has announced that the series, “The Secret History of the United States,” will be aired in 2010. Kuznick warns that, despite the title, people who are looking for conspiracies will be disappointed: “This is solid history, based on cutting edge scholarship. The broad public, which has not been exposed to this kind of information and analysis, may be shocked by what we present, but it will come as less of a surprise to historians who have stayed on top of the latest research findings.”

Stone, a decorated Vietnam vet who dropped out of Yale to serve, has won numerous Academy Awards, including two for best director. Despite an illustrious Hollywood career that includes the films Platoon, Born on the 4th of July, JFK, Nixon, Salvador, Natural Born Killers, Wall Street, The Doors, and W, he sees this documentary series as his crowning achievement. He recently proclaimed, “this epic 10-hour series…is the deepest contribution I could ever make in film to my children and the next generation.” He added, “I can only hope a change in our thinking will result.” Kuznick feels the same way: “It will be a great opportunity to reach an audience of tens of millions – here and abroad – rather than the tens of thousands who might read something I write. Oliver and I have put a lot into this project. We want to change the way people understand American history in the hopes that we, as a nation, can learn from what we’ve done wrong and build upon what we’ve done right. Our story has its share of villains, but it also has its share of heroes. We want to correct the historical record, but we also want to inspire the next generation to dream the dreams and fight the fights that will enable this country to become a force for good in the world rather than the hyper-militarized defender of an unjust and inequitable status quo.”

Two of Kuznick’s students – Cindy Gueli, who received her PhD in 2006, and Eric Singer, who is currently writing a dissertation on civil defense in Baltimore – have assisted Kuznick and Stone in the research.

Retired history professor writing third book

June 4, 2010 - One Response

Retired history professor writing third book
Originally published June 02, 2010
Frederick, MD News Post.com

By Brian Englar
News-Post Staff

Gerald McKnight is a retired Hood College professor and JFK assassination expert. McKnight is working on his third book.

For retired Hood College history professor Gerald McKnight, much of the early part of his life conditioned him to question American policy and challenge the officially recognized versions of events.

Growing up in a rough Philadelphia neighborhood during the 1940s, many of his friends were avowed leftists, exposing him to a range of alternative political views.

Then came his service in the Korean War, where he was assigned the grim task of removing bodies from the battlefield after massive Chinese assaults.

“That was eye-opening for a 20-year-old,” McKnight said. “I think what it said to me in a sense was, ‘what is the history of this and how did we get involved with this?’ ”

McKnight said these experiences helped steer him away from his plan to go into veterinary medicine and into the field of history. However, it was not until he arrived in Frederick in the mid-1970s as a part-time professor at Hood that he found what would be his life’s work: attempting to call into question the official story of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and other political figures of the 1960s.

While at Hood, he worked with Virginia Lewis, history department chairwoman at the time as well as a JFK enthusiast, and met Frederick resident and assassination researcher Paul [Harold] Weisberg. He and Lewis decided to put together a class about the political assassinations of the 1960s, which McKnight continues to teach.

McKnight said the college provided a supportive environment where he could pursue his research without fear.

“It was encouraged,” McKnight said. “I wasn’t regarded as the village idiot or as someone who needed counseling.”

McKnight has since written two books, based largely on documents obtained by Weisberg and himself. “The Last Crusade: Martin Luther King Jr., the FBI and the Poor People’s Campaign” was published in 1998 and documents the bureau’s campaign of harassment against King and its efforts to thwart a planned march on Washington by impoverished Americans. He had to sue the Justice Department for the documents used in the book, receiving word his Freedom of Information Act requests would be granted the day before the case was set to go to trial.

“Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why” was published in 2005 and details many of the inner workings of the commission in an attempt to show its findings were based on a preordained conclusion reached by top officials almost immediately after the assassination.

He is working on a new book about the Kennedy assassination he said will highlight evidence drawn from recently obtained documents. He said its scope will be more expansive than “Breach of Trust,” dealing with many aspects of the case, including what he said is documented proof that the government used threats of deportation to get Marina Oswald to cooperate with its investigation, as well as evidence Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union may have been part of an Office of Naval Intelligence program to insert sleeper agents.

While McKnight hopes his work will make a difference in informing the nation’s understanding of the assassination, he thinks the upcoming 50th anniversary of the event is likely to spark a massive media campaign in support of the official story.

“I think there is a movement on to close off this issue once and for all,” McKnight said, “… to say that publishers and newspapers should treat this business of an alternative explanation for Dallas as some sort of mental disease that undermines the republic itself.”

FBI delays release of Ted Kennedy’s FBI file

May 28, 2010 - Leave a Response

FBI delays release of Ted Kennedy’s FBI file
May 25, 2010 04:22 PM

By Bryan Bender, Boston Globe Staff

WASHINGTON — The FBI says it is delaying the release of thousands of pages of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s FBI file for at least another week.

Alex Brown, an official in the bureau’s Record/Information Dissemination Section, says that the first installment of the voluminous file, which the bureau previously said would be made public this Friday, “is under further review.”

He said it is likely to be delayed at least another week, but declined to provide any other explanation for the decision.

The file on the long-serving Massachusetts senator is highly anticipated by historians who predict that it could contain new information about potential threats to his life in the wake of the assassination of his brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy; the investigation into Kennedy’s involvement in the accidental drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne when he drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969; and a host of other previously unexplored details about what was otherwise an exhaustively chronicled political and private life.

The file has has already sparked some controversy even before its release: The Kennedy family has been given the rare opportunity to raise objections to the release of certain information on privacy grounds.

A spokeswoman for the Kennedy family says that Kenneth Feinberg, a former chief of staff to the late senator who managed the US fund to compensate the families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and is now the Treasury Department’s “pay czar,’ is representing the family in the matter.

There was no immediate comment from the family on the reason for the delay.

Bullet evidence challenges findings in JFK assassination

May 23, 2010 - Leave a Response

Bullet evidence challenges findings in JFK assassination
Science Blog
18 May 2007

Researchers at Texas A&M University are combining statistics and chemistry to shoot holes in traditional bullet-lead analysis techniques and the accuracy of so-called “expert” testimony — specifically, calling into question critical evidence that has long supported the theory of a lone gunman in the 1963 assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy.

In challenging the evidence for the lone-gunman theory, Cliff Spiegelman, professor of statistics at Texas A&M and an expert in bullet-lead analysis, recently teamed with former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent and forensic scientist William A. Tobin of Forensic Engineering International in Virginia and William D. James, a research chemist with the Texas A&M Center for Chemical Characterization and Analysis (CCCA). Together, they conducted a chemical and forensic analysis of bullets reportedly derived from the same batch as those used by suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to gun down Kennedy on that fateful day at Dealey Plaza.

Their findings, which show that evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed, will be published in a forthcoming edition of “Annals of Applied Statistics.” The paper currently is available online at

Using new compositional analysis techniques not available in the 1960s, the team found that the bullet fragments involved in the assassination are not nearly as rare as previously reported. In addition, their findings show that one of the 10 test bullets from one box analyzed is considered a match to one or more of the five existing assassination fragments, meaning that the matching fragments could have come from three or more separate bullets and, therefore, more than one shooter.

As one of the most traumatic events in U.S. history, the Kennedy assassination sparked a wave of scientific investigation, both immediately after the murder and in the decades since. One such investigation, the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations, re-examined the murders of Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

With respect to the Kennedy assassination, the committee concluded, largely on the basis of comparative bullet lead analysis and expert testimony by University of California-Irvine chemist Dr. Vincent P. Guinn, that if there were another shooter or shooters — likely firing from the Grassy Knoll — they missed all limousine occupants.

Ancient history — that is, until Spiegelman got a telephone call in 2004 from Stuart Wexler, a humanities and advanced placement government instructor at Highstown High School in New Jersey, who eventually served as the historian for the team’s paper. Wexler had read online about Spiegelman’s recent work on a National Research Council committee that helped the FBI assess its Compositional Analysis of Bullet Lead (CABL) procedure used as forensic evidence in hundreds of murder cases, including the Kennedy assassination.

“Wexler and a friend of his had bought some bullets of the same type believed to have been used in the Kennedy assassination,” Spiegelman recalls. “They were Mannlicher-Carcanos, which were only manufactured in 1954 and are now antiques, mainly because most surviving bullets have been bought up by conspiracy buffs. He was looking for someone to analyze them. I thought it was interesting and that it would be a neat project, so I agreed.”

To find a qualified metallurgist and forensic expert, Spiegelman had to look no further than to one of the key figures behind the NRC study in the first place — William Tobin, a decorated FBI agent who in retirement had made a veritable second career out of testifying against his former employer where its evidentiary techniques were concerned.

Spiegelman and Tobin turned to Texas A&M research chemist William James and D. Max Roundhill, former head of the Department of Chemistry at Washington State University and now a consultant in Austin, for the chemical portion of their analysis. Finally, Spiegelman recruited Dr. Simon J. Sheather, professor and head of the Texas A&M Department of Statistics, at the writing stage of the project.

In their study, James analyzed the chemical composition of 30 bullets — 10 from each of three boxes of Mannlicher-Carcano bullets that originated from two of the only four separate lots ever produced. Using a measurement approach similar to Guinn’s, they applied more appropriate standards, such as additional chemical elements beyond those considered at the time, as well as a known quality control procedure. They also analyzed physical samples with a known geometry.

In comparing their data to Guinn’s testimony as well as to NRC report findings, the team determined that many bullets within a box of Mannlicher-Carcano bullets have similar composition, leading them to conclude that two-element chance matches to assassination fragments are not extraordinarily rare — even less rare, considering they came from the same box.

Based on their findings, not to mention the international significance of the Kennedy assassination, Spiegelman and his team say it is “scientifically desirable” for the bullet fragments to be reanalyzed.

Kennedy once said during a Yale commencement address, “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” Spiegelman claims that “by properly reanalyzing the bullet fragments, our nation has a chance to shatter a myth about the JFK assassination.”

“The reanalysis should include at least the seven elements identified in the NRC report, should establish the scientific basis for matching fragments originating from a single bullet, and should address the critically important issues of bullet and source heterogeneity,” he adds.

Texas A&M University

The Annals of Applied Statistics
Chemical and forensic analysis of JFK assassination bullet lots: Is a second shooter possible?
Cliff Spiegelman, William A. Tobin, William D. James, Simon J. Sheather, Stuart Wexler, and D. Max Roundhill
Source: Ann. Appl. Stat. Volume 1, Number 2 (2007), 287-301.

The assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) traumatized the nation. In this paper we show that evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed. This paper discusses new compositional analyses of bullets reportedly to have been derived from the same batch as those used in the assassination. The new analyses show that the bullet fragments involved in the assassination are not nearly as rare as previously reported. In particular, the new test results are compared to key bullet composition testimony presented before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). Matches of bullets within the same box of bullets are shown to be much more likely than indicated in the House Select Committee on Assassinations’ testimony. Additionally, we show that one of the ten test bullets is considered a match to one or more assassination fragments. This finding means that the bullet fragments from the assassination that match could have come from three or more separate bullets. Finally, this paper presents a case for reanalyzing the assassination bullet fragments and conducting the necessary supporting scientific studies. These analyses will shed light on whether the five bullet fragments constitute three or more separate bullets. If the assassination fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely, as the additional bullet would not easily be attributable to the main suspect, Mr. Oswald, under widely accepted shooting scenarios [see Posner (1993), Case Closed, Bantam, New York].

[In 2007, access to the Annals of Applied Statistics was open. Beginning in 2008, you must hold a subscription or be a member of the IMS to view the full journal. For more information on subscribing, please visit: http://imstat.org/orders.
If you are already an IMS member, you may need to update your Euclid profile following the instructions here: http://imstat.org/publications/eaccess.htm.%5D

Boxes of JFK assassination papers soon may be headed for Sixth Floor Museum’s new reading room

May 17, 2010 - Leave a Response

These records are clearly JFK assassination related records under the federal law, the JFK Assassination Records Act. Such records are legally under the purview of the National Archives, not local legal or other repositories, and original copies should be part of the national collection at Archives II. They should certainly not be donated to a private museum in Dallas whose provenance and care for them is not assured over time. COPA and Judge John Tunheim, the former Chair of the JFK Assassination Records Review Board petitioned District Attorney Watkins to send them to the National Archives. I am chagrined to see that they will be kept in Dallas at a Museum that fails to tell the whole story of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Boxes of JFK assassination papers soon may be headed for Sixth Floor Museum’s new reading room
11:10 PM CDT on Thursday, May 13, 2010
By DAVID FLICK / The Dallas Morning News

A little more than two years ago, when Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins announced that 15 long-hidden boxes of materials relating to the Kennedy assassination would go to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, it seemed like a big win for the local team.

Sixth Floor officials say they are still waiting to collect the prize.

“We still don’t have them,” said museum spokeswoman Deborah Marine. “As far as I know, nothing has been finalized about when we might get them.”

When asked about the documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Jamille Bradfield, Marine’s counterpart in Watkins’ office, sent a brief e-mail:

“Regarding the status of our donation, the district attorney’s office has made a commitment to the Sixth Floor Museum to donate the JFK memorabilia and we anticipate it will become part of the collection in the museum’s new reading room.”

The reading room, which will allow researchers easier access to museum documents, is scheduled to open next month on the first floor of the former schoolbook depository.

Bradfield did not explain why the transfer had taken two years, other than saying that timing the donation to coincide with the opening of the reading room “couldn’t be more perfect.”

Marine said museum officials would be delighted to finally be getting the materials and were not bothered by the delay.

“It sometimes takes at little bit longer to prepare something like this,” Marine said.

Besides, officials already know what’s in the boxes. Marine noted that The Dallas Morning News posted the entire collection online within a week of Watkins’ original announcement in February 2008.

His announcement of the existence of the boxes, which had been stored in an old safe in the courthouse for decades, stirred nationwide attention at the time.

The memorabilia was gathered by the legendary Henry Wade, district attorney at the time of the assassination, and kept from public view by his successors.

The boxes included some of Wade’s personal correspondence, official records from the Jack Ruby trial, and letters and photographs of both Ruby and alleged Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Most intriguing was what appeared to be a transcript of a conversation between Ruby and Oswald plotting to kill the president at the Mafia’s behest.

The “transcript” was quickly identified as part of a script for a proposed movie that Wade briefly supported. The movie was never made, but the story of its stillborn production was the most interesting revelation in the unearthed materials.

The initial reaction to Watkins’ announcement was a spirited competition between the Sixth Floor Museum and supporters of the National Archives to be the final repository for the materials. When Watkins announced the materials would stay in Dallas, it was interpreted as a victory for a respected local institution.

By that time, however, there already were doubts about how significant the collection was.

Although Watkins predicted at the time that the collection “will open up the debate again about whether there was a conspiracy,” researchers and conspiracy theorists who studied the documents were mostly unimpressed.

One amateur researcher, Steve Thomas, who posted extensively about the files, said at the time that they added some insight into Wade’s view of the Ruby trial, but otherwise contained no revelations.

“If you’re looking for a smoking gun,” he said, “you’re not going to find it.”

To view the actual documents online visit:

Second safe stolen from Sixth Floor Museum

May 12, 2010 - Leave a Response

Second safe stolen from Sixth Floor Museum
WFAA Radio
Posted on May 10, 2010 at 10:34 PM

DALLAS — News 8 has learned that there was a second safe stolen from the Sixth Floor Museum in downtown Dallas last week.

Inside that safe? Possible documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and jewelry that may have some connection to his wife, Jacqueline.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department told the public about one safe that was nearly stolen from the museum during the May 4 break-in. It was recovered almost immediately, dangling from a winch on the back of a stolen pickup truck.

But during that burglary, a second safe was removed in what now appears to have been an inside job. Dallas police found it in a park in southeast Dallas.

A police report said there were bags and keys from the museum inside that safe, but it also said that JFK documents and jewelry possibly related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were missing.

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price suggested that the perpetrators had intimate knowledge of the museum that is a repository for an invaluable collection of materials related to the Kennedy assassination. “Someone would have to know, first of all, the location,” he said.

Police now believe that “someone” is 30-year-old Patrick Cleveland, who was arrested by Dallas County Sheriff’s Department deputies last Friday.

Cleveland worked for Platinum Security, the private firm that provides security at the Sixth Floor Museum. He is now free on bond.

“I do believe it was an inside job, but I didn’t have anything to do with this,” Cleveland told News 8.

He said he often saw other employees taking pictures of the museum safes and other contents with their camera phones during his seven-month stint as a security guard.

“I pass by those safes every day. I know it would take a tow truck or a ton of people to even move them,” Cleveland said. “The safe should have been bolted to the ground.”

But neither safe was bolted down and both were removed from the premises in the pre-dawn burglary.

The Sixth Floor Museum had no comment about their security guard being arrested on a theft charge. Nor did it have anything to say about the second safe or its contents.

Following the burglary, the museum maintained that its entire collection was “safe and secure.”

The Sheriff’s Department says it is not making any comments on this case at this time because they plan to make other arrests.


Jerry Ray: A Memoir of Injustice

May 8, 2010 - One Response

No one knows Jerry Ray or the true story of James Earl Ray and the injustice of his wrongful conviction than T Carter. Her new book, A Memoir of Injustice by the Younger Brother of James Earl Ray, Alleged Assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. as told to Tamara Carter, is the result of her meticulous historical research and her years of discussions with the brother of the patsy accused of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. She also discusses the history of our efforts since 2000 to create a Martin Luther King, Jr. Records Act with the help of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and it’s current revival in Congress by Senator Kerry and Representative Lewis. Even if you are not a student of the King assassination this book is a first person history of people caught up in the machinery of injustice that marks far too much of our legal, media and political system. The book can be pre-ordered now on Amazon. Get a copy!


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