JFK ASSASSINATION ARGUMENTS
(PART 467)


"PAPA ANDY" SAID:

>>> "Now that I've read RH ["Reclaiming History"] from cover to cover, here are a few points: 1) VB's lists are not that convincing. ... Not doing any work that day is not proof of murder." <<<


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

That's not at all what Vincent Bugliosi says in his book, "Reclaiming History". You're misrepresenting what Vince said. In his comprehensive 53-item list of things that lead toward Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt (in the chapter called "Summary Of Oswald's Guilt"), Bugliosi's 44th numbered item among the 53 reads like this.....

"44. Oswald's clipboard was found on the sixth floor after the assassination. Three orders for Scott, Foresman & Company were on the clipboard, all dated November 22, 1963. Oswald had not filled any of the orders." -- Page 965 of "RH"

So, based on that 44th item on VB's list, Vince isn't saying that Oswald didn't do any work ALL DAY LONG on November 22nd. VB is only saying that the three orders on LHO's clipboard had not been filled. And I see nothing else on VB's list that has anything specifically to do with Oswald's lack of work performed on 11/22/63.

Vince could have actually strengthened a few of the 53 items on his list by adding certain other facts relating to some of the items....with that 44th item being one such time.

I.E.: Vince could have significantly strengthened that item about the clipboard (which he did not do in the "Summary" chapter) by reminding readers exactly WHERE on the sixth floor the clipboard was found--very near the back staircase where Oswald hid the rifle after the shooting.

In fact, the precise LOCATION of the clipboard when it was discovered, to me, is the most significant thing about the whole "clipboard" topic. It's my own opinion that Oswald probably left his clipboard in that location near the stairs at the same time he pre-arranged his little "nook" that he planned on using to hide the rifle.

He arranged the boxes in just such a fashion where it would be fast and easy to drop his rifle down between box stacks. It was during this "pre-arranging" of those boxes that Oswald very likely left his
clipboard in the same general area.*

* = IMO, that is. Yes, it's just a guess. But given the sum total of all evidence surrounding Oswald's obvious guilt, I think the above scenario makes a good deal of sense. YMMV, of course.

FOOTNOTE REGARDING VINCENT BUGLIOSI'S "BIG 53" ---

It's my opinion that only one thing on Vincent's 53-item list of incriminating evidence against Oswald doesn't really belong there, and that is item #41 (re: the paraffin test).

[DECEMBER 2013 EDIT: Since this 2007 post, I've added one more thing that appears on Bugliosi's list that I really don't think belongs there--item #23 about Oswald changing his trousers.]

Here's a passage from my review of "RH" concerning the subject of the paraffin test:

"The only item on Vince's list that I think really doesn't belong there is #41, where VB talks about the results of the paraffin test on Oswald's hands being positive. In my opinion, it was a mistake for Vince to have placed that particular item on his list because he knows that paraffin tests are not considered very reliable. And VB even discusses the unreliability of such tests on page 164.

However, in VB's defense of including the paraffin test results on his 53-item list, I'd like to add this .... While it is, indeed, true that paraffin tests are inherently unreliable (since the presence of nitrates on a person's hands can be caused by various other things besides just gunpowder residue) -- I'd also ask this question with respect to Lee Oswald's "positive" paraffin results in this case:

What do you suppose the odds are of something OTHER than gunpowder residue causing that "positive" result in his paraffin test when we also know that Lee Oswald was CARRYING A GUN ON HIM when he was apprehended in the Texas Theater on November 22nd, 1963?

I'd say, given these circumstances (plus the fact that the very gun Oswald had on him when he was arrested was determined beyond all doubt to be the weapon that killed Officer J.D. Tippit), the odds would be pretty doggone low that something other than gunpowder resulted in that positive paraffin conclusion.

I think Vince Bugliosi should have probably included the above "What are the odds?" argument as an addendum to his 41st item on page 965, but he did not include any such addendum."
-- DVP; June 2007


>>> "2) VB claims that since it is beyond doubt that LHO was the [lone] killer, that therefore there is no reason to discuss much of the evidence that the critics have uncovered." <<<

The exact VB quote from "RH" concerning that matter is reprinted below....and it makes a good deal of (common) sense to me:

"With respect to the Kennedy assassination, once you establish and know that Oswald is guilty, as has been done, then you also NECESSARILY know that there is an answer (whether the answer is known or not) compatible with this conclusion for the endless alleged discrepancies, inconsistencies, and questions the conspiracy theorists have raised through the years about Oswald's guilt." -- Page 953 of "RH"

Now, of course, the above Bugliosi statement doesn't negate the notion that there might have been some kind of conspiracy BEHIND Oswald's lone-gunman actions. But I think it's a statement that makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of arriving at the FACT that Lee Oswald shot JFK (which is a raw fact that so many conspiracists simply refuse to accept).

As everyone here knows very well, there are many CTers [i.e., Conspiracy Theorists] who love to engage in the hobby of micro-analyzing every tiny thing surrounding the JFK murder case. Everything is looked at by these curious people with a wary eye of potential "conspiracy"; when, in fact, all of these things that CTers "over-manage" (IMO) do not necessarily lead down a conspiracy path at all.

For example -- Take two very small incidents that Vince Bugliosi mentions (at some length too) in his book -- the "Dial Ryder" incident (where an Oswald-like person had a scope mounted on a rifle prior to November 22)...and the "Bogard" incident (which has "Oswald" taking a high-speed test drive in a new car shortly before the assassination).

Those things are certainly "fringe" things, at best. But to hear the conspiracy-loving kooks tell it, these things (in some way) "prove" a conspiracy existed, with these "imposter Oswalds" running all around Dallas.

But CTers fail to see the built-in illogic being exhibited by any string-pullers and "patsy"-creators when it comes to incidents like this. The CTers who think things like this lead down a CT path must also think that the plotters were performing these NEEDLESS acts of silliness to frame Oswald, even though each of these incidents goes AGAINST the grain of the overall patsy plot they are trying to pull off.

Example: The "used car" incident has Oswald apparently telling the car dealer he'd be coming into some money in "2 or 3 weeks". That'd be silly for any plotters to do....i.e., to essentially tell people that Oswald will be PAID for something he'll be doing right about the time of the assassination! Just...dumb.

And in the Ryder example, evidently some Oswald imposter was getting a scope mounted on a NON-Carcano rifle (which is a weapon the plotters won't be using to frame their patsy with on 11/22 anyway).

So what were these plotters trying to do here? Were they trying to blow their plot wide open by announcing to the world (in a fashion) that Oswald had a SECOND rifle in his possession, when we know he really had only one rifle, his Carcano?

Anyway, those are just two of the dozens of similar examples of things that GO NOPLACE, but CTers love to dredge them up anyway...because such CTers fail to see the inherent illogic of these things (not to mention the totally meaningless nature of peripheral silliness like the incidents mentioned above).

And those same CTers, let's face it, WANT a conspiracy to exist in the JFK case. They NEED it. And they'll do whatever it takes and skew as much evidence as possible in order to work the word "conspiracy" into this murder case. Simple as that.

Because, to borrow from VB once again, to face the Oswald Probably Did It Alone reality is, for them, to forfeit a large section of their lives. And who likes the idea of doing that?


>>> "He [Vince Bugliosi] says things like 'if you were going to kill the President...you would never employ anyone like LHO' or 'if you were...you would arrange a better escape route' or alternatively 'you would kill the killer as soon as possible'. How you or I or VB might kill a president is truly irrelevant." <<<

But Vince's GENERAL IDEA of how a PROFESSIONAL TEAM OF HITMEN who were going to try to pull off the biggest murder in the history of the country would LIKELY approach such a major assassination project cannot be brushed aside...and that's because VB makes sense!

Perhaps you (or others), if they had to map out a Presidential killing weeks/months in advance, would want to choose a marginally-decent (but certainly not an "expert") gunman with an old 1940 Mannlicher-Carcano to perform the biggest "hit" in history.

But I doubt a lot of people would want to rely on Mr. Oswald to get the President killed -- and, after all, the NUMBER ONE objective of this "hit" is to have a dead President Kennedy by the end of the day, isn't it?

Did the "Frame The Patsy" plot actually SUPERCEDE the importance of the "KENNEDY MUST DIE" objective/goal in the minds of these behind-the-scenes conspirators (conspirators that almost all CTers think existed in the days, weeks, and months before November 22)?

That type of mindset amongst so-called "pro" assassination plotters doesn't seem too logical to me. Seems as though the plotters got their priorities mixed up.

And if "they" were going to frame a solo patsy for the murder, why on this Earth would they have used multiple shooters firing from both front and rear? That is SUICIDE...plain and simple.

No patsy plan could succeed under those conditions....which are conditions fully endorsed, incredibly, by Jim Garrison and Oliver Stone, and many others as well.


>>> "4) VB has a double standard for people who change their story. If they change to an LN [Lone Nut] perspective, they are OK, otherwise they are either liars or silly." <<<

Have you got any specific examples you could provide here?

I'm not saying this particular argument of yours is without some degree of merit (it probably is), but while trying to recall the many pages of VB's book from memory right now, I cannot think of many such examples.

It is, indeed, possible that Vince is guilty of this "double standard" to a degree. (He's only human, after all.) One possible example (although I'm not entirely sure as of this writing) could be with respect to the Parkland doctors who appeared on the NOVA PBS-TV program in 1988.


>>> "The same applies to those who come forward years later with their stories." <<<

Again, can you provide an example or two? Offhand, I can think of only one such example -- Jack Tatum.

There could be others, I suppose; but right now I'm drawing a blank.


>>> "5) If it is proven beyond doubt that LHO was the LN, why bother hiding the evidence?" <<<

Examples?? What evidence of a dastardly conspiracy was "hidden"?

A better question might be -- WHY in the world didn't the conspirators merely DESTROY such plot-proving evidence, instead of leaving it lying around somewhere for Harold Weisberg and others to uncover years later?


>>> "VB claims that CE399 is not pristine and shows us the bottom of the 'magic' bullet. Weisberg discovered that the missing metal was removed by the FBI for testing and had nothing to do with any wounds." <<<

And did Weisberg know (and prove beyond all doubt) that all of the approximately 2.4 grains of missing metal from CE399 was "removed by the FBI for testing"? First I've heard of that.

In fact, such a bold declaration about CE399 is utterly impossible.

Why?

Because, given that pesky SUM TOTAL of everything that makes up the mosaic of "evidence" in this case (a "sum total" that CTers love to skew and/or completely ignore, while they throw ordinary common sense down the toilet in the process as well), Bullet 399 HAD to have been inside Governor Connally on 11/22/63.

There is simply no way around this basic fact surrounding this not-at-all-"magic" bullet called Commission Exhibit #399. (At least there's no way around this fact when it comes to reasonable people looking at the evidence who aren't in the habit of shouting "It Was Planted" at every fork in the road.)

>>> "VB mentions the nick on JFK's tie, but not the evidence that shows that a nurse cut the tie or the evidence that no bullet residue was found in the 'nick'." <<<

Very minor points overall.

Why?

Because VB emphasizes that the SBT [Single-Bullet Theory] is true (without a shred of a doubt)....and that a bullet (which was CE399 without a speck of a doubt, for various reasons, which are detailed nicely in "RH") obviously HAD to have come out of JFK's throat (tie nick or no tie nick).

And the damage to both President Kennedy's shirt and tie are fully consistent with the exiting point for the bullet. So the conspiracy argument concerning the tie damage doesn't go anywhere useful at all, because given the totality of evidence, that single bullet DID come out of JFK's throat and went into John Connally.

FOOTNOTE --- Vince could have buttressed his overall pro-SBT arguments some more, IMO, by including some additional info about the importance of CE903 (which is a Commission exhibit that depicts a workable SBT bullet path, without doubt).

Vince does mention the "1964 photograph" (CE903) on page #502 of "Reclaiming History", but doesn't go into any major details about what the photo depicts. Exploring a few more of the details of that important Commission exhibit in his book would have aided Mr. Bugliosi to some extent, IMO.


>>> "6) RH does not add any new evidence to the WCR [Warren Commission Report]." <<<

Nor does the book really need to add any "new evidence".

What possible "NEW" evidence could be unearthed at this post-1963 stage anyway? I suppose it's possible something brand-new could pop up; but I can't imagine anything earthshaking coming up 44 years after the murder.

But a task that Vince does skillfully perform in "Reclaiming History" is to (quoting Vince): "Organize and analyze the evidence in such a way that it makes Oswald's guilt irresistible."

I, naturally, agree. But CTers no doubt think that Vince's "in such a way" comment indicates that he has ignored a bunch of stuff that some people say leads down a conspiracy path.

But, of course, there are also about 1,200 or so pages (including the CD's endnotes) that have Vince addressing and debunking gobs of conspiracy theories.

And it's surprising how many of the silly theories being purported by conspiracy authors can be debunked by way of ordinary, garden-variety common sense ALONE. Mellen, Garrison, Armstrong, Horne, and Waldron to name but a few examples.


>>> "Even LNs are not persuaded by VB's analysis of when the shots were fired." <<<

I disagree with Vince about a few minor points regarding the SBT timeline. But when it comes down to the brass tacks of the shooting (e.g., 3 shots coming from Rifle C2766; the first shot at Z160; the SBT is a rock-solid fact; a total shooting timeline of 8.4 seconds), I agree 100% with VB.

But I will say this -- Upon reflecting on Mr. Bugliosi's unwillingness to pin himself down to one single frame on the Zapruder Film for the SBT shot (he thinks the SBT shot came within a range of frames, Z210-Z222), I'm inclined to respect him for that ambiguity. Because he's admitting, in essence, "I don't know when the SBT shot occurred, but I know from all the evidence it DID occur".

That's not necessarily a bad thing to admit. The Warren Commission said the very same thing (although with a slightly different "range" of Z-Film frames, Z210-Z225).

The WC admitted to the world that they couldn't positively pinpoint the exact place on the film when the SBT occurred...but that doesn't mean the SBT is wrong. Far from it.

The overall mountain of evidence (and basic common-sense factors too) that favor the SBT being true simply cannot be ignored...with or without Z-Film evaluation. And Vince knows this full well, too. (And so do I.)




>>> "7) VB ignores the real controversy about the wound in JFK's [back]. He only mentions the location of the wound described by the FBI agents at the autopsy--below the shoulder. ... If that was the true location of the wound and Weisberg...indicates that it was, then a lot more than the SBT goes out the window." <<<

And yet at the end of all the wrangling we're still left with the following official evidence and information and testimony:

1.) This autopsy photo of JFK's back:



2.) This declaration from the HSCA in 1978:

"From the reports of the experts' analyses of the autopsy photographs and X-rays, the evidence indicates that the autopsy photographs and X-rays were taken of President Kennedy at the time of his autopsy and that they had not been altered in any manner."

3.) And the all-important written-in measurements on this Face Sheet (written on the Face Sheet by Dr. Boswell on 11/22/63):

"14 cm. from rt. acromion; 14 cm. below tip of rt. mastoid process."



And when we add up all three of the above things, the TRUE location of John F. Kennedy's back wound can easily be located. And that location does NOT debunk the Single-Bullet Theory in any way.

So much for Mr. Weisberg.


>>> "8) VB loves to triumphantly proclaim that any claims of [non-Oswald] shots fail because there are no other bullets found. Yet he claims 3 shots and only has 2 bullets to show for it." <<<

Well, quite obviously, Vince is talking about bullets that WENT INTO VICTIMS' BODIES when he's talking about no non-C2766 bullets (or fragments thereof) being found.

Common sense tells a reasonable person that any shots that totally missed everyone and everything in Dealey Plaza do not have a very good chance of being recovered and placed into evidence.

But almost all CTers have a much rougher road to hoe in this "Lack Of Bullets" regard. The CTers say that JFK was hit from multiple directions (and, hence, multiple weapons)....and yet they (the CTers) have absolutely no non-C2766-consistent bullets or fragments to show anybody to back up such multi-shooter claims.

THAT'S what Vincent Bugliosi is talking about when he berates CTers about the lack of "other" bullets. And, as usual, he makes a lot of sense. Because if JFK were hit by one or more non-Oswald bullets -- WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE BULLETS AND/OR FRAGMENTS?

In the final analysis (with or without NAA analysis factored in; because NAA is completely unneeded to support the following statement) ---

There is not a single bullet or bullet fragment connected with John F. Kennedy's assassination that can be declared as having positively come from a weapon other than Lee Harvey Oswald's C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. All bullets and bullet fragments connected with JFK's murder are either conclusively linked to Rifle #C2766 to the exclusion of all other weapons, or are consistent with having come from that very same Carcano rifle.

The above statement is (and always has been) rooted in 100% fact.

David Von Pein
July 31, 2007