(PART 1013)


As is obvious from the title of their book, Ayton and Von Pein want you to believe that there is no "reasonable doubt" about Lee Harvey Oswald's sole guilt in the assassination. The authors even treat us to their (very unusual) definition of the term, writing that....

"If the preponderance of evidence points to the guilt of the accused, it is not reasonable to say a particular anomalous piece of evidence shows innocence. Even when more than one anomaly arises, as it certainly does with respect to the JFK assassination, it is still not 'reasonable' to assume innocence if the preponderance of evidence shows guilt." (p. 118)

Why is this so unusual? Because the above is not the legal definition of the term as used in American criminal courts. The legal definition of beyond reasonable doubt in that venue is that 12 reasonable jurors have no doubt as to the defendant's guilt; they are convinced to a moral certainty that the accused committed the crime. If they do have doubt, they are not reasonable doubts. Which means that, during the deliberations, the one or two people who were reserving judgment had their doubts washed away by the other 10 or 11 jurors' arguments.

Another way of explaining it is this: the prosecutor has judiciously, methodically and conclusively closed off all other avenues of possible explication to the defense. The crime could have happened no other way. It is the most stringent standard in American jurisprudence. That is because a man's life or liberty is at stake. The second most stringent standard is, "by clear and convincing evidence." That standard is used in many administrative hearings, such as those by the ABA to disbar an attorney.

The standard the authors quote above is actually the lowest standard and is used in most civil courts. It is very hard to believe the writers do not understand the difference. Ayton is from the UK, but Von Pein is an American. Yet, at least the book editor should have pointed out this serious discrepancy which, in and of itself, mitigates the portentousness of the title. This reversal reduces the book to a utilitarian, not a fact finding or judicial inquiry.

In other words, because of the Ayton/Von Pein switcheroo, the many serious evidentiary issues repeatedly highlighted by critics over the last fifty years do not amount to reasonable doubt. Needless to say, actual legal experts; lawyers who understand the different standards and why they are used; would feel differently.


Many, many people have had differences of opinion concerning the proper legal definition of the term "reasonable doubt". It can be a confusing issue even among seasoned trial attorneys. Take the O.J. Simpson case as a good example of this. Veteran lawyer Vincent Bugliosi, who I think probably knew a little bit more about the rules that apply in an American courtroom than does Mr. Martin Hay, has expressed his opinion as to the manner in which Simpson's defense team (particularly DNA lawyer Barry Scheck) defined the term "reasonable doubt" to the jury at Simpson's 1995 criminal trial. And Bugliosi had no doubt that the definition of that term that was used by Simpson's defense lawyers was dead wrong and was (to quote Mr. Bugliosi) "not simply the law".

Here's what Bugliosi said about the "reasonable doubt" jury instruction in 1999 during a filmed simulation of the final arguments that Vince would have delivered to the jury if he had prosecuted the O.J. Simpson murder case (and this very same argument would also, of course, have applied at Lee Harvey Oswald's criminal trial, had Oswald lived to be put on trial for the murders of President Kennedy and Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit)....

So, as we can see by watching the above video, it's pretty clear that the following words written on page 118 of the book "Beyond Reasonable Doubt", which are words that were quoted by Martin Hay earlier in this post, are 100% accurate....

"If the preponderance of evidence points to the guilt of the accused, it is not reasonable to say a particular anomalous piece of evidence shows innocence. Even when more than one anomaly arises, as it certainly does with respect to the JFK assassination, it is still not 'reasonable' to assume innocence if the preponderance of evidence shows guilt."

How could any "reasonable" person argue with the logic that exists within the above paragraph (regardless of whether you're inside or outside the confines of an American courtroom)?

And, BTW, since I helped Mel Ayton write the book "Beyond Reasonable Doubt" while we were outside the environment of a United States courtroom (and we also utilized some evidence and testimony to illustrate Lee Oswald's guilt that might not have been allowed to be presented at Oswald's trial, had there been one), the whole notion that an author of a book on the JFK assassination MUST chain himself to—and be forever bound by—the "Rules Of The Courtroom" is a notion that only someone (such as, say, a JFK conspiracy theorist) would think was the only possible way of arriving at the truth concerning the facts surrounding Lee Harvey Oswald and the murder of President John F. Kennedy.

In other words, the conspiracy theorists who constantly repeat the refrain "Oswald would never have been convicted in a court of law" are pretty much doing the only thing they CAN do in order to avoid the obviousness of Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt — they're relying on legal technicalities, and hoping that those technicalities would have prevented some (or most) of the incriminating evidence against Oswald from ever seeing the light of day if there had been an actual court trial in the JFK murder case.

Because, let's face it, if all of the incriminating evidence that points to Mr. Oswald is legitimate evidence that was not tampered with in any manner, then Lee Harvey Oswald was guilty of two murders in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

Quoting from Vince Bugliosi's JFK book (emphasis added by DVP)....

"An argument frequently heard in the conspiracy community is that Oswald could not have been convicted in a court of law because the "chain of custody [or possession]" of the evidence against him was not strong enough to make the evidence admissible in a court of law.


The first observation I have to make is that I would think conspiracists...would primarily want to know if Oswald killed Kennedy, not whether he could get off on a legal technicality.

Second, there is no problem with the chain of custody of much of the physical evidence against Oswald, such as the rifle and the two large bullet fragments found in the presidential limousine.

Third, and most important on this issue, courts do not have a practice of allowing into evidence only that for which there is an ironclad and 100 percent clear chain of custody, and this is why I believe that 95 percent of the physical evidence in this case would be admissible.

I can tell you from personal experience that excluding evidence at a trial because the chain of custody is weak is rare, certainly the exception rather than the rule.

The typical situation where the chain is not particularly strong is for the trial judge to nevertheless admit the evidence, ruling that the weakness of the chain goes only to "the weight of the evidence [i.e., how much weight or credence the jury will give it], not its admissibility"."
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 442 of "Reclaiming History" (Endnotes)


As one can see, Martin [Hay] was correct. The "preponderance of the evidence" is a civil standard. In no way would that be enough to convict someone of a felony, let alone murder.

And then if you show all the holes a good defense lawyer would blow open in the DPD case against Oswald--I mean forget it. This case screams for alternatives, since the WC scenario is so theory driven.

As Bob Tanenbaum said to me, the last thing you want to argue is a theory in front of a jury.


Jim DiEugenio is blowing smoke---yet again.

As if the evidence in the JFK and Tippit cases amounts to only a mere "theory". Give us all a freakin' break, Jimmy.

Apparently to DiEugenio, the guns owned by Oswald, along with the bullets, the shells, the prints, the paper bag, the "LHO Did It" witnesses, Oswald's constant lies, and Oswald's guilty-like actions are things that all add up to just a "theory" with no solid basis in fact whatsoever. All of that stuff was merely manufactured to make Oswald look guilty.

Yeah, right, Jim. The entire batch of physical evidence amounts to just an Oswald-did-it "theory".

Oh, brother. What a crock.

As Jack Nicholson said [in this film] --- "Sell crazy someplace else."


You are the one blowing smoke.

I did not say that, Tanenbaum did.


But you clearly agreed with him. Otherwise, why post Tanenbaum's words? (Duh.)


And as anyone who knows JFK 101 understands, the sine qua non of the WR is the Single Bullet Fantasy.

The WC lawyers understood this thoroughly and they wrote words to the effect, that if the SBT is false, it is admitting there was a conspiracy.


But, of course, that whole point is a moot one---since the SBT was so obviously the correct conclusion for the Warren Commission to reach.


The Warren Commission was a twisted travesty of a fact finding panel and a sick perversion of a legal procedure.


Says the man named James who has a bunch of things all "twisted" around himself, such as the following golden gems of fantasy from DiEugenio's archives of the bizarre:

"[Marrion] Baker never saw Oswald." -- James DiEugenio; July 13, 2015

"I think Wesley Frazier was pressured into doing what he did, and the Dallas police forced him into doing it because they needed somebody besides [Howard] Brennan to pin the thing on Oswald." -- James DiEugenio; January 14, 2010

"I don't think Brennan was at any lineup. I think that was all manufactured after the fact. I think Brennan is a completely created witness." -- James DiEugenio; May 27, 2010

"You cannot even prove he [Lee Harvey Oswald] ever had possession of the handgun." -- James DiEugenio; June 25, 2013

"I don't believe Oswald shot Tippit." -- James DiEugenio; January 14, 2010

"Kennedy is murdered at 12:30 PM. Oswald is almost undoubtedly on the first floor at the time." -- James DiEugenio; 2008

"A Mauser was the first weapon found and...a Mauser shell was found in Dealey Plaza." -- James DiEugenio; April 3, 2015

"It's like I have always said, the WC was the Troika: Dulles, McCloy and Ford, with Warren for window dressing." -- James DiEugenio; August 1, 2015

"I think that that whole thing about burning the [autopsy] notes...was just a cover story." -- James DiEugenio; December 11, 2008

"I'm not even sure they [the real killers of JFK, not Lee Harvey Oswald, naturally] were on the sixth floor [of the Book Depository]. .... What's the definitive evidence that the hit team was on the sixth floor? .... If they WERE on the sixth floor, they could have been at the other [west] end." -- James DiEugenio; February 11, 2010

"Specter and Humes understood that the probe was gonna be a big problem. They thought the photographs would never be declassified. So Specter made up this B.S. story about the strap muscles, never knowing that that story was going to be exposed." -- James DiEugenio; July 16, 2009

"I have minimized the testimony of Linnie Mae [Randle]. I do so because in my view it is highly questionable." -- James DiEugenio; 2008

"I don't think Oswald had anything to do with the rifle transaction." -- James DiEugenio; August 5, 2015

"I just proved that CE 399 was not found at Parkland." -- James DiEugenio; June 4, 2010

"At Bethesda, the military severely curtails the autopsy so that no one will ever know the true circumstances of how Kennedy was killed. Also, the FBI switches the bullet found at Parkland Hospital to fit the second rifle found at the TSBD, a Mannlicher Carcano." -- James DiEugenio; 2008

"JBC [John B. Connally] does not react until around frame 237." -- James DiEugenio; August 2010

"I am not calling [Dallas police officer M.N.] McDonald a liar, the evidence is doing it." -- James DiEugenio; July 26, 2015

[End Quotes.]

Boy, with a record of absurdity like the one presented above (and also HERE), one of the very last individuals on the planet who should be using the words "twisted travesty" when talking about anyone else's conclusions relating to the JFK case is Mr. James DiEugenio.


As we know, Russell, Boggs, Cooper, and LBJ never bought the Single Bullet Fantasy.

Later on, Ford admitted to the president of France, the WC was essentially BS.

And as we also know, through the work of Bill Davy, Warren later told a colleague he would never forgive Johnson for trapping him on the WC.

Which leaves Dulles and McCloy.

Nice company eh?


More garbage and claptrap from DiEugenio. (He'll swallow almost anything. As long as it's seasoned with "conspiracy" salt.)


Why doesn't someone write a book about DVP? Or better yet, make a movie. I think even DVP would admit it could make a good comedy, with some poetic license here and there. Logline: "A Kentucky Fried Chicken manager goes to any lengths to prove that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone-nut assassin of JFK."


Ron, great idea about a movie about DVP. Unfortunately, the man who should play him passed away long ago: Peter Sellers.


And, unfortunately as well, the best actor to play Jim DiEugenio in the upcoming Warner Brothers screen epic, "Flight Of Fancy: The Anybody But Oswald Story", has also passed away. And his name is Peter too—Peter Finch.

This will be the tagline for Jimbo's bio flick.

BTW, although I love Peter Sellers, I'd have to say that the person to portray me in the movies should probably be Bela Lugosi. (But, here again, Bela is no longer with us. Or is he? The undead, you know.)

Bela and I have a lot in common. We stay up all night. We like eerie castles and thunder and lightning. And we seem to both have a preference for crimson-colored beverages. (And there's that "Lugosi/Bugliosi" name thing too.) :-)


I think you're missing the nuance, David. Of course, there are official facts pointing to Oswald as the assassin. But, even if one should concede those facts, they still don't add up to Oswald acting alone unless one mixes into the broth a whole bunch of theory. And, for many, that theory is hard to swallow.


I strongly disagree, Pat. (What a surprise there, huh?)

Every single thing that Lee Harvey Oswald did on both November 21st and November 22nd is indicative of Oswald working alone to kill the President. Everything....

....He hitches a ride to Irving with Buell Frazier on Thursday to get the rifle.

....Oswald lies to Frazier about the reason he wants to go to Irving on Thursday. (And if Oswald had had an accomplice with a car--ANY accomplice--then Lee would have avoided having to tell the "curtain rods" lie to Frazier on both Thursday and Friday, because the accomplice would have driven Lee and his rifle--or perhaps a different rifle--to the Depository on the morning of November 22nd. But Lee chose to hitch a ride with Buell Wesley Frazier instead. And nobody in their right mind has ever claimed that Frazier was an accomplice of Oswald's.)

....After shooting JFK, Oswald leaves the Book Depository Building on foot. There's no car with a co-conspirator waiting for him. Lee is on his own.

....After walking several blocks east on Elm Street right after the assassination to put as much distance between himself and the scene of the crime as he could, Lee is then left to utilize public transportation and a taxi to get him to his roominghouse in Oak Cliff, indicating once again his "I'm out here all alone" status between 12:30 and 1:00 PM CST on 11/22/63.

....Lee then grabs his revolver at his roominghouse (which is another risky thing that could have easily been avoided if Oswald had had an accomplice aiding him that day; the accomplice could have already had a gun waiting for Lee in his car).

....After leaving his room, Lee is then on the move again---again on foot. No car. No accomplice. Lee's hoofin' it all alone. There is nobody there to help him escape. Lee is all by himself.

Nothing Lee Oswald did indicates in any way that he was part of a multi-person conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. And the physical evidence Oswald left behind in the wake of the two murders he committed in Dallas on November 22 most certainly does not send out even the vaguest signal of "conspiracy" --- Oswald's rifle positively was the weapon that killed JFK. And Oswald's Smith & Wesson revolver was unquestionably and beyond all doubt the gun that ended the life of policeman J.D. Tippit on Tenth Street.

In short, Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt in the JFK and Tippit murders is no "theory". It's an evidence-based fact.

The possibility that Oswald had some measure of help from some unknown and unseen individual can never be eliminated with 100% certainty. But as I just laid out above, if Oswald did have a co-conspirator, then that co-plotter was as useless and worthless to Lee Harvey Oswald on 11/22/63 as a snow shovel on the sun.

David Von Pein
September 1-2, 2015