DISCUSSING THE EVIDENCE (AGAIN)
A CONSPIRACY THEORIST SAID:
>>> "David, I'd like to discuss your points with you, I like to see facts referenced. Opinions are OK but need to be stated as such. Show evidence, ADMISSIBLE evidence. I honestly do not think Oswald would have been convicted, had he lived." <<<
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
Yeah, he probably needed to kill three people in order to convince most juries he was a murderer. Two murders weren't enough. If he had been successful in killing Officer McDonald in the theater, do you think perhaps the jury would have thought twice about setting him free?
>>> "I do not care about the Tippit case, it is a sideshow. One does not prove nor disprove the other (Kennedy's and Tippit's murder), so it is irrelevant." <<<
Mrs. Tippit will be thrilled to hear that.
>>> "Burden of proof is on the accuser. Let's take your first 4 points. 1. The rifle. How do we know it was Oswald's?" <<<
Oswald positively ordered it. CE773 and CE788 prove that Oswald/"Hidell" ordered a rifle from Klein's Sporting Goods in March 1963. And Waldman Exhibit No. 7 proves that Klein's received that order for a rifle from Oswald/"Hidell", and Waldman Exhibit #7 also proves for all time that Klein's shipped an Italian 6.5mm. carbine with the serial number C2766 to Oswald/"Hidell" on March 20th, 1963. Are all three of these documents supposedly faked (including the two that have Lee Harvey Oswald's provable handwriting on them)?:
>>> "We all know that it was ordered thru the mail. Why didn't he just walk into a gun shop and anonymously buy one? What? Was it because he was not a lone nut until after he bought it?" <<<
Shame on the Presidential assassin named Lee Harvey for not meeting the rigid expectations of the conspiracy theorists of the world!
Lee doesn't deserve to be recognized as the assassin he is, because he didn't obtain the gun he used to murder the President in the way that CTers demand! Dammit, Lee! You should have known better!
And what about the commonly-heard argument about how no other President in history had been killed with a rifle. It was always a handgun being used to kill Presidents prior to November 1963.
So maybe you should also ask me this question too --- Why did Oswald use a clumsy and crappy rifle to kill JFK, when he could have walked right up to the limousine on Elm Street in front of the Book Depository Building and shot the President with his Smith & Wesson revolver?
Again: Shame on Oswald for doing it the way HE wanted to do it!
>>> "We also all know that this rifle was too big to fit in his P.O. Box, so
he must have had to come in and sign for it, right? Where is the record of this?" <<<
There was no need for Oswald to sign anything in order to get his rifle package at the post office. He merely took the card/slip out of P.O. Box 2915 and took it to the front desk, and a postal clerk would hand over the package. Happens every day.
And as far as Oswald having to sign some type of specific firearms form that Klein's should have included on the rifle package -- Well, perhaps that form SHOULD have been included on Oswald's package. I've never been sure whether or not that was a fact or not. But even if the firearms form was supposed to be included, evidently it WASN'T in this particular Oswald transaction. So if anybody was at fault regarding the forms, it would have been Klein's. It wasn't Oswald's fault if no forms were attached to his package. And it wasn't the fault of the Dallas Post Office either.
Also -- Regarding this topic of "firearms forms":
You and many other people have claimed that Oswald could have waltzed into any gun shop in Texas and walked out with a rifle that could never be traced to the purchaser. But what about that "firearms form" that you CTers keep insisting that Klein's was supposed to attach to Oswald's mail-order rifle package? Didn't a brick-and-mortar gun shop have to fill out any kind of firearms forms or paperwork when they sold a customer a rifle in Texas in 1963?
Why would only a MAIL ORDER company like Klein's be required to include any sort of paperwork? Surely, if a mail-order firm was required to abide by certain rules regarding a rifle's paperwork, then why wouldn't a gun shop in Dallas have been required to abide by similar rules? Wouldn't a gun shop have required their customers to SIGN SOMETHING before walking out the door with a firearm?
I'll admit, I don't know the answer to that last question I just asked. But it sure seems like a common-sense inquiry to me.
In any event, it would appear as if no firearms form was included with the rifle package that Klein's shipped to Oswald/Hidell.
Or, as an alternative answer, perhaps the proper form WAS included with Oswald's package, but somehow the form became detached from the package in transit, and nobody at the post office examined the contents carefully enough to KNOW FOR A FACT that a firearm was inside the package.
But one thing is a certainty -- Klein's shipped Mannlicher-Carcano rifle #C2766 to "A. Hidell" in Dallas....and Klein's DID NOT GET THAT PACKAGE BACK.
Therefore, somebody must have picked up that rifle at the Dallas Post Office.
And who is more likely to have picked up a rifle that was ordered and paid for by Lee Harvey Oswald -- Oswald himself? Or some unknown person who did not order and pay for that rifle?
Not really a tough question. Is it?
[Also see my "Rifle-Related Addendum" at the bottom of this blog post.]
>>> "Is there testimony of a PO employee?" <<<
Only Postal Inspector Harry D. Holmes, as far as I am aware.
Conspiracy theorists expect way too much from the postal employees concerning this matter. But, realistically, how could anyone expect any of the clerks at the Dallas Post Office to remember giving a specific box to a specific person MONTHS earlier?
The postal clerks hand out hundreds of packages a week, no doubt. It was just one more package picked up by one more nameless face in the crowd. If a postal employee HAD specifically remembered Oswald picking up that package in March, I would have been very surprised.
In fact, I just envision what the conspiracy kooks would be saying if some postal employee had recalled Oswald picking up the rifle -- the kooks would probably say that the clerk was just part of the continuing "cover up", and was lying when he/she said he/she remembered giving Oswald the package.
You see, with the kooks who desperately want to take that rifle out of Oswald's hands, no amount of evidence will be enough to prove LHO took possession of C2766. That's fairly obvious already--just take another look at the three official Warren Commission documents pictured above. The CTers have decided to totally ignore ALL THREE of those items.
>>> "Anyone see him with that specific rifle in his hands at any time?" <<<
Not at the post office, no. But a few days later--yes. That person was Marina Oswald. She took multiple photographs of Lee Harvey while he was holding that rifle in his hands.
http://JFK-Archives.blogspot.com/The Backyard Photos
>>> "How did a weapon, addressed to A. Hidell, which was LHO's PO box, get picked up by LHO without violating Postal Regulations?" <<<
I'll let Postal Inspector Harry Holmes answer that one:
WESLEY LIEBELER -- "Now, supposing that Oswald had not, in fact, authorized A. J. Hidell to receive mail here in the Dallas box and that a package came addressed to the name of Hidell, which, in fact, one did at Post Office Box 2915; what procedure would be followed when that package came in?"
HARRY D. HOLMES -- "They would put the notice in the box."
MR. LIEBELER -- "Regardless of whose name was associated with the box?"
MR. HOLMES -- "That is the general practice. The theory being, I have a box. I have a brother come to visit me. My brother would have my same name---well, a cousin. You can get mail in there. They are not too strict. You don't have to file that third portion to get service for other people there. I imagine they might have questioned him a little bit when they handed it out to him, but I don't know. It depends on how good he is at answering questions, and everything would be all right."
MR. LIEBELER -- "So that the package would have come in addressed to Hidell at Post Office Box 2915, and a notice would have been put in the post office box without regard to who was authorized to receive mail from it?"
MR. HOLMES -- "Actually, the window where you get the box is all the way around the corner and a different place from the box, and the people that box the mail, and in theory--I am surmising now, because nobody knows. I have questioned everybody, and they have no recollection. The man would take this card out. There is nothing on this card. There is no name on it, not even a box number on it. He comes around and says, "I got this out of my box." And he says, "What box?" "Box number so and so." They look in a bin where they have this by box numbers, and whatever the name on it, whatever they gave him, he just hands him the package, and that is all there is to it."
MR. LIEBELER -- "Ordinarily, they won't even request any identification because they would assume if he got the notice out of the box, he was entitled to it?"
MR. HOLMES -- "Yes, sir."
MR. LIEBELER -- "It is very possible that that, in fact, is what happened in this case?"
MR. HOLMES -- "That is in theory. I would assume that is what happened."
MR. LIEBELER -- "On the other hand, it is also possible that Oswald had actually authorized Hidell to receive mail through the box?"
MR. HOLMES -- "Could have been. And on the other hand, he had this identification card of Hidell's in his billfold, which he could have produced and showed the window clerk. Either way, he got it."
[Source for above WC testimony: 7 H 527-528.]
[More about Oswald and his post office boxes HERE.]
>>> "We know the FBI tracked the serial number of the gun, but...as many as 5 different rifles could have the exact same serial number." <<<
This is total nonsense. What's the use of even stamping a unique serial number on a particular item if there are several other items with the exact same "unique" number on them (especially a firearm, which could conceivably be used in a felony and, hence, would need to be traced by the authorities)?
That's just silly/dumb.
I've gone a few rounds with other conspiracy theorists on this "serial number" topic. Here's a sampling. And another sampling is here.
>>> "2. The bullet shells. They ballistically match the rifle. OK. I don't care if one was dented. The only question here is, who fired it? Evidence?" <<<
Oswald fired it (of course).
All the evidence points to Oswald as being the person who fired at the President from the sixth-floor Sniper's Nest, including Howard Brennan's positive identification of Oswald as the gunman.
Plus, Oswald's fingerprints and palmprints were located in the EXACT SAME PLACE WHERE THE ASSASSIN WAS LOCATED.
But that last piece of evidence doesn't sway the Anybody-But-Oswald nuts one bit, even though those three prints of Oswald's were found DEEP INSIDE THE SNIPER'S NEST (not just on the OUTSIDE boxes that comprised the Nest).
Those prints were just a nice convenient coincidence for the people who were setting up Oswald as their patsy, right? Meh.
In addition, I'd like to ask this common-sense question:
On ANY given day (November 22, 1963, or any other day on the calendar), who is MORE LIKELY to have been firing shots from LEE OSWALD'S RIFLE -- Lee Oswald or somebody else who DIDN'T own Rifle #C2766?
If anybody answers that last question with "somebody else", they should seek mental help as soon as they can.
>>> "3. CE-399. I can see the possibility of a single bullet striking both Kennedy and Connally. But I cannot see CE-399 doing it, as there was no fabric nor human matter that could prove this bullet passed thru either victim." <<<
As far as I am aware, CE399 was never even tested for "fabric" or "human matter". So how do you (or anyone) know for certain that CE399 didn't have those things on it at some point in time?
Answer: You don't know.
>>> "Is there evidence that I do not know about? If not, then CE-399 is irrelevant to this case." <<<
Oh, sure. It's only a bullet that is tied to the VERY SAME RIFLE that was found on the Depository's sixth floor right after the shooting. And that SAME RIFLE is also tied to JFK's murder via other ballistics evidence besides CE399 -- namely, the three shells underneath the assassin's window and the two bullet fragments found in the front seat of JFK's limo.
So, apparently CORROBORATING evidence such as CE399 is "irrelevant" if you're a conspiracy theorist. A very strange policy there.
>>> "4. Fragments: another ballistic match to the rifle, but again, who fired them?" <<<
Already answered. See above.
You see, only ONE PERSON could have fired Carcano rifle C2766 during the 8.36 seconds when President Kennedy was being subjected to rifle fire in Dealey Plaza. And that person, via just garden-variety common sense ALONE, was almost certainly Lee H. Oswald.
Unless you'd like to postulate a really goofball theory that has TWO gunmen sharing Oswald's Carcano in the Sniper's Nest on 11/22/63, with the first gunman firing one of the shots at the President and then handing off the gun to a second shooter, who then fired the last two shots. (Or maybe it was 2 shots for the first killer, and only 1 shot for the last shooter. Take your pick.)
>>> "Fragments removed from Connally cannot have come from CE-399 because of the total weight issue of the fragments and CE-399." <<<
Granted, there is some confusion in the existing record and testimony as to exactly how many metal fragments were removed from Governor Connally's body during surgery, and the precise weight of those fragments.
We do know, however, that Dr. Vincent P. Guinn tested three of Connally's wrist fragments (CE842) for NAA tests in the late 1970s.
But as far as I know, only one of the Connally bullet fragments was actually weighed, and it weighed one-half of a grain [per the WC testimony of FBI agent Robert A. Frazier; see 5 H 72].
But another thing we do know is that ALL of the metal fragments that were inside John Connally's whole body were very, very small (including the fragments removed from his wrist by Dr. Charles Gregory during surgery).
Also -- From the available evidence and testimony, I can present a good case for there having been only two very tiny bullet fragments being left inside Governor Connally's entire body at the time of Connally's death in 1993. That case is presented in this article.
>>> "While we are talking about the rifle, is there evidence that Oswald even brought the rifle into the TSBD?" <<<
Plenty. It's just that the conspiracists don't want to ADD UP the evidence and take it to its logical destination:
Oswald was seen by Buell Wesley Frazier carrying a large brown bag into the TSBD at about 8:00 AM CST on November 22nd.
"I saw him [Oswald] go in the back door at the Loading Dock of the building that we work in, and he still had the package under his arm." -- Buell Wesley Frazier; Via Frazier's 11/22/63 affidavit [24 H 209]
Later that same day, an EMPTY brown paper bag with two of Oswald's prints on it was found on the floor of the Sniper's Nest in the TSBD. Oswald's rifle was also found on that same sixth floor.
The empty paper bag was 38 inches long. The lengthiest part of Oswald's disassembled rifle measured 34.8 inches. [See Warren Report, Page 133.]
The empty bag (CE142) also contained fibers that were consistent with the blanket in Ruth Paine's garage. Oswald's rifle was known to have been stored inside that exact blanket in Mrs. Paine's garage. [See Warren Report, Page 136.]
This math is easy to do -- the bag Frazier saw Oswald carrying into the Depository contained Rifle #C2766.
If you arrive at any other answer, you've flunked math class.
>>> "Witness testimony does not point to this as we should already know due to the bag length issue." <<<
The "bag length issue" has been overblown by conspiracy theorists. It's just plain silly to think that the "bag length issue" trumps all of the things I just talked about above associated with the paper bag and Oswald's prints being on the bag found in the Sniper's Nest, etc.
There are also the following comments made by Wesley Frazier at the 1986 TV docu-trial, "On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald":
VINCENT BUGLIOSI -- "Did you recall how he [Lee Oswald] was carrying the bag?"
BUELL WESLEY FRAZIER -- "Yes sir. He was carrying it parallel to his body."
BUGLIOSI -- "Okay, so he carried the bag right next to his body....on the right side?"
FRAZIER -- "Yes sir. On the right side."
BUGLIOSI -- "Was it cupped in his hand and under his armpit? I think you've said that in the past."
FRAZIER -- "Yes sir."
BUGLIOSI -- "Mr. Frazier, is it true that you paid hardly any attention to this bag?"
FRAZIER -- "That is true."
BUGLIOSI -- "So the bag could have been protruding out in front of his body, and you wouldn't have been able to see it, is that correct?"
FRAZIER -- "That is true."
FRAZIER, RANDLE, AND THE PAPER BAG
>>> "How did more than one Sheriff's deputy identify the rifle as something other than the one supposedly owned by Oswald? Were they simply mistaken?" <<<
Of course they were simply mistaken. In 1967, Seymour Weitzman said this on CBS-TV:
SEYMOUR WEITZMAN -- "Mr. Boone was climbing on top and I was down on my knees looking. And I moved a box and he moved a carton, and there it was. And he, in turn, hollered we had found the rifle."
EDDIE BARKER (CBS NEWS) -- "What kind of gun did you think it was?"
WEITZMAN -- "To my sorrow, I looked at it and it looked like a Mauser, which I said it was. But I said the wrong one; because just at a glance, I saw the Mauser action....and, I don't know, it just came out as words it was a German Mauser. Which it wasn't. It's an Italian type gun. But from a glance, it's hard to describe; and that's all I saw, was at a glance. I was mistaken. And it was proven that my statement was a mistake; but it was an honest mistake."
>>> "Why were none of these officials even shown the rifle and asked to confirm it as the one found, under oath, by the WC? They were only shown photos and to my knowledge, none could identify it." <<<
Let's listen to what Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone had to say on this "Mauser" matter in 1986:
>>> "If I were on a Grand Jury, it's not looking good as of now. I would have to see more evidence than this, more DEFINITIVE evidence to move to trial. I will, of course, wait for any evidence you may have countering anything I have said or evidence that I have requested from you before we move on. One does not have to be a lunatic, or lone nutter, or tinfoil hat wearer to start looking at the evidence and at least begin to feel that something does not seem quite right." <<<
I doubt it will matter to you what I have to say about the huge pile of evidence that proves Oswald's guilt. Most conspiracy theorists WANT a conspiracy, and it doesn't make any difference how much evidence they are forced to sidestep in order to achieve their goal. Because if a CTer wants something to exist badly enough, he can always pretend that all the evidence that points to Oswald as the lone assassin is fake.
David Von Pein
LINK TO ORIGINAL POST (JULY 15, 2010)
Whenever the topic of Lee Harvey Oswald getting a gun through the mail comes up, I'm always reminded of a 1966 episode of the television show "The Fugitive", starring David Janssen. [FWIW, I have a "Fugitive" website, located here.]
Now, I know I'll probably get blasted by the CTers for even mentioning a TV show script when talking about President Kennedy's murder, but an episode of "The Fugitive" always pops into my mind anyway when thinking about the subject of "mail-order rifles".
The TV episode I'm talking about is called "In A Plain Paper Wrapper", and it co-stars a young Kurt Russell as the leader of this local gang of kids in a small U.S. town.
Kurt and his buddies send away for a rifle by mail-order (and then they use it to try and capture "the fugitive", Dr. Richard Kimble). One of the kids in the gang, a 12-year-old boy, goes to the local post office and comes out with the mail-order rifle in his hands.
A 12-year-old boy picked it up. (And the box was marked "firearms" too, if my memory serves correctly. I have the episode on VHS tape [and now on DVD too], but it's been a while since I've watched it.)
Now, I'm guessing that famed producer Quinn Martin (who helmed "The Fugitive" from 1963 to 1967) probably always aimed for a certain sense of realism and accuracy in the scripts that ended up ultimately being filmed for the TV audience to watch.
So I can't help but wonder if the script for "Paper Wrapper" wasn't actually pretty accurate with respect to the scene which has this small boy able to walk out of a U.S. post office with a rifle in his arms.
Yes, this "TV" example of a boy picking up a rifle at the post office is proof of NOTHING with respect to any discussion about Lee Harvey Oswald and his rifle. I'll readily admit that. And I'll even stress that fact.
But I also can't help but wonder if that very same gun-purchasing and gun-obtaining scenario hasn't played itself out in just that way in hundreds of post offices around the USA over the years.
And, as conspiracy theorists like to point out so often when discussing Oswald and his mail-order rifle, evidently Oswald could have gone into any gun shop in the state of Texas and walked out with a rifle that "could never be traced" (to quote from Oliver Stone's movie).
BTW, I've always found that so-called fact to be very hard to believe. Didn't gun-shop owners, even in 1963, require purchasers to present any kind of I.D. at all? Seems very strange to me. But, I'll admit, I don't have the slightest idea what the regulations were in Texas for purchasing firearms in the year 1963.
But if it, in fact, is true that Oswald could have bought a rifle that "could never be traced" at a gun store in Texas, then what did Klein's do that was any different than what the gun-shop owners were doing, circa 1963, when it came to gun purchases and the paperwork that may have been associated with such gun purchases?
Seems to me that the answer to that last question is --- Nothing.
David Von Pein
LINK TO ORIGINAL POST (OCTOBER 19, 2008)
Posted By: David Von Pein