PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S ASSASSINATION:
THE FBI'S EARLY MISTAKES







President Lyndon B. Johnson was told several incorrect things by the
FBI in the days that immediately followed the assassination of
President John F. Kennedy in November 1963.

Such as when FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (for some reason) told
Johnson that the "Stretcher Bullet" connected to JFK's murder was
found on KENNEDY'S stretcher....when, in fact, that was impossible,
since JFK's stretcher was never in the area of Parkland Hospital where
that bullet (Warren Commission Exhibit No. 399) was found by
hospital employee Darrell Tomlinson.

In a taped telephone conversation between Hoover and President
Johnson on November 29, 1963, which can be heard in its entirety above
(and HERE), several other errors can also be found, including Hoover
telling LBJ that the shots from the Texas School Book Depository
Building had come from the "fifth" floor, instead of the sixth floor.

Hoover's FBI took control of most of the physical evidence in the JFK
murder investigation late on the night of November 22nd....taking it
out of the hands of the Dallas Police Department, which is the
organization that collected the majority of the physical evidence in
the case -- which is evidence that all points to Lee Harvey Oswald as
the one and only killer of President Kennedy and policeman J.D. Tippit.

In hindsight, it would have been nice if Hoover's boys could have found
a way to transfer Oswald himself back to Washington, too, along with
LHO's rifle, the bullet fragments in the car, the President's car
itself, the bullet shells from the Book Depository, and all the rest of
that mile-high mountain of stuff that proves it was Lee Oswald who
killed President Kennedy that day in Dallas.

But the assassin himself remained in Dallas during that dark weekend in
'63....with the tragic result being: a dead Mr. Oswald two days after the
assassination, thanks to a well-aimed bullet fired from the gun of Dallas
nightclub operator Jack Ruby.

Upon listening to the 20-minute-long Hoover/Johnson phone call from
11/29/63, which was the same day LBJ created the Warren Commission
to investigate President Kennedy's murder, a decent-sized number of
significant errors crop up as Mr. Hoover is relaying what he says are the
facts surrounding various elements of the JFK assassination which had
taken place exactly one week earlier.

Let's now examine that November 29th phone call and take a look at
some of the obvious mistakes uttered by Mr. Hoover -- mistakes
that were later corrected by the Warren Commission during that
Commission's nearly ten-month probe into the events of November 22:


Lyndon B. Johnson [LBJ] -- "How many shots were fired?"


J. Edgar Hoover [JEH] -- "Three."

LBJ -- "Any of 'em fired at me?"

JEH -- "No."

LBJ -- "All three at the President?"

JEH -- "All three at the President....and we have them."


I'm surprised more conspiracy theorists don't do more hollering about
the above erroneous statement made by Mr. Hoover, wherein he claims
that the FBI had in its possession ALL THREE of the rifle bullets fired
by Oswald's Carcano rifle during the Presidential shooting.

When, of course, in reality, only two of the three bullets were recovered,
because one of the shots (as later determined by the Warren Commission)
missed the car entirely and was unrecoverable.

It seems fairly obvious that Hoover (as of the date of the November 29
phone call) was under the impression that the two bullet fragments found
in the front seat of JFK's limousine represented the remains of two separate
bullets.

Later detailed examination, however, would determine that the two
front-seat fragments were almost certainly portions of just one single
bullet, not two. (With one of the front-seat fragments being a "nose"
section of a bullet; while the other fragment was the "base" portion of
a FMJ 6.5-mm. Mannlicher-Carcano missile.)


JEH -- "He [JFK] was hit by the first and the third [shots]. The second
shot hit the Governor. The third shot is a complete bullet, and wasn't
shattered; and that rolled out of the President's head, and tore a
large part of the President's head off. And in trying to massage his
heart at the hospital, they apparently loosened that, and it fell onto
the stretcher."


The above paragraph spoken by J. Edgar Hoover is simply amazing --
amazing, that is, in terms of the number of errors contained in that
paragraph.

To say that the THIRD shot (which was the JFK "head shot") was the
"complete bullet" (which would be CE399, the Stretcher Bullet), and
that it "rolled out of the President's head" in a whole,
nearly-undamaged condition, is utterly crazy.

In that conversation with President Johnson, Mr. Hoover had his bullets
mixed up, to say the least.


JEH -- "Those three shots were fired within three seconds."


The above is yet another error-filled statement spoken by Mr. Hoover.
Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was unable to fire three shots
"within three seconds". That, in fact, is an absurd comment by
Hoover, and I haven't the foggiest of notions where he arrived at
such a conclusion.

Per the WC test firings, Oswald's rifle had a minimum mechanical firing
time of 2.295 seconds between EACH shot (and that doesn't count any aim
time; it only includes the time required to work the bolt and squeeze
the trigger again).

But the Zapruder Film of the entire assassination proves beyond very
much doubt at all (at least I have no doubts) that one gunman most
certainly fired all the shots that resulted in each of the two victims'
wounds -- with the entire shooting timeline taking approx. 8.4 seconds
from start to finish, with ample space between the three shots for
Oswald to work the bolt on his rifle and to aim and fire again.

Of course, Hoover was talking to LBJ just a week after the assassination,
which I suppose resulted in some of these errors in judgment on
Hoover's behalf. But the "3 shots within 3 seconds from LHO's rifle"
business is just simply crazy (and impossible).

And here's another very strange Hoover statement from that same
November 29th phone call:


LBJ -- "If Connally hadn't been in his way..."

JEH -- "Oh yes....yes. The President no doubt would have been hit [a
third time]."

LBJ -- "He [JFK] would have been hit three times."

JEH -- "He would have been hit three times."


Now, yes, it was a mere seven days after JFK's terrible murder, and a
lot of facts had not yet been researched and verified concerning the
full events in Dallas -- but the above quote from the FBI head man is
just absolutely nutty.

Because even by November 29th, it was surely common FBI knowledge
as to WHERE on Elm Street the shooting began and ended. Via photos,
films, and witness accounts, it was very obvious that the ENTIRE shooting
occurred while both JFK and John Connally had their backs to the assassin.
And JFK was sitting behind Connally in the limousine. Which means that
at no time was Connally blocking Oswald's view of President Kennedy.

And yet Hoover misinforms Johnson with these words: "He would have been
hit three times" had Connally not been "in the way".

Just....amazing. I think even long-time conspiracy advocates would
agree with me that the above quote from J. Edgar can't really be taken
as a "shady" or "conspiratorial" comment in any fashion (even though
many conspiracists do, indeed, firmly believe that Mr. Hoover was a
rotten liar and started covering up the true facts in the JFK case from
the get-go) -- but the above comment about the victims' positions in
the car relative to the gunman (Oswald) is just plain ignorance on the
part of the FBI Director. How can it be anything else? It's just
flat-out wrong....even, as I said, if you're a conspiracy theorist.

And, of course, Hoover's agency got the shooting scenario all fouled up
as well, as we all know....when the FBI said that each of Oswald's
three shots resulted in a "hit" to one of the victims. Hoover's men
came to this "3 Hits" conclusion even though they should have known
full well that such a three-hits scenario was utterly impossible just
by glancing at President Kennedy's autopsy report (which states that
a bullet came out of JFK's throat).

Unless the FBI did no checking at all with respect to Robert Frazier's
detailed study of the limousine on the night of 11/22/63 (which was a
limo examination that was performed by one of their OWN FBI AGENTS,
which verified the fact that the bullet that exited JFK's throat did NOT
hit the limousine and did not cause any limo damage whatsoever) -- the
Bureau SHOULD have been able to put 2 and 2 together before even
submitting its December 9, 1963, report to the Warren Commission.

The FBI investigators should have been able to conclude that bullets
rarely, if ever, vanish into thin air after entering a vehicle on a
17.72-degree downward trajectory from a 60-foot-high source, and that
the JFK "SBT" back-thru-throat bullet HAD to have gone into the man who
was sitting almost directly in front of the President in the limousine (John
B. Connally).

I've long wondered why the Federal Bureau of Investigation itself
didn't propose the Single-Bullet Theory to account for the double-man
wounding of President Kennedy and Governor Connally. They should
probably have done so, in my opinion.

Because -- Given the lack of limo damage to the back-seat and jump-seat
areas of the car....plus the autopsy report verifying the fact that a
whole bullet came out of Kennedy's neck on a downward angle and went
SOMEPLACE....and knowing the location where Connally was injured on
his back -- how is ANY other solution even possible, other than to conclude
that the first bullet that struck JFK (which, per the autopsy, is hanging
in mid-air between JFK and Connally and proceeding, obviously, toward
the front of the limo) went into the only other injured victim in that car?

Did Hoover's men not even study ANY of this evidence before arriving at
a "3 Shots & 3 Hits" scenario? If they didn't know these basic pieces
of information -- why didn't they? That would be my first question to them?

I'm not accusing the FBI of being involved in any kind of massive
cover-up operation...because I don't think they were. And, along those
same lines, I certainly don't believe for a moment that LBJ was a part
of some crooked conspiracy and cover-up following JFK's death.

Because if Johnson had been involved in some type of cover-up plot,
would he have voluntarily taped some of the phone calls that he made
sure were recorded in the days and weeks following such a "cover-up"
operation? Particularly a phone conversation in September 1964 with
Warren Commission member Richard Russell, during which Johnson and
Russell each say they do not believe the Single-Bullet Theory is true.
Would LBJ want that comment on tape if he had a desire to squelch all
talk of conspiracy? I kinda doubt it.

A whole lot of people have doubts about the Single-Bullet Theory. But
their doubts don't make the SBT any less true. The SBT, in my view, is
THE best explanation for the injuries to both JFK and John Connally (not
counting the fatal head shot to JFK, that is).

The single-bullet conclusion perfectly aligns with all of the physical
evidence....from the (one) whole bullet recovered in the hospital where
the victims were taken....to the wound patterns on the victims....to
the timing visible on Abraham Zapruder's film....and right on into
Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle (which was found in the TSBD shortly after
the shooting). The SBT fits -- to an absolute T.

Believing in ANY other anti-SBT solution only adds numerous layers of
mystery and unexplainables to the mix. And is that type of thinking
more logical than the completely-within-reason (and "within the
evidence") single-bullet conclusion?

If you look up "Occam's Razor" in the dictionary, I think you'll find
the answer to that last question.

Final comments:

I think the FBI was merely rushed to get a report out to the
newly-created Warren Commission as soon as humanly possible, and
therefore they very likely didn't dig deep enough to resolve all of
the questions surrounding the murder of President Kennedy. Hence,
some inaccuracies were bound to result.

But the basic, raw information was there for Hoover's agency to use,
even via a somewhat-rushed-to-press report that was issued just 17 days
after an event that had many, many things to sort out, including THREE
separate murders (John F. Kennedy's, J.D. Tippit's, and Lee Harvey
Oswald's) and all of the various issues that went with each of those
three killings.

But, possibly, in this "rushed" state to get some kind of final report
to the Warren Commission members, Mr. Hoover and the FBI missed
a lot of important info. Obviously, in hindsight, that's precisely what
did occur.

Hindsight, of course, is almost always 20/20.

David Von Pein
November 2006
September 2010

LINK TO ORIGINAL POST (NOVEMBER 3, 2006)