John Simkin

Jim Hood Photograph: Why did the FBI confiscate it?

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I recently ordered a book entitled Unsolved Texas Mysteries by Wallace O. Chariton. The reason being that it included an article on the Henry Marshall killing (very good it is to). However, there is another fascinating article by Chariton on how the FBI dealt with one aspect of the JFK assassination that was completely new to me.

On the morning of the assassination, Jerry Coley, who worked in the advertising department of the Dallas Morning News, spent sometime drinking coffee with Jack Ruby, who had arrived at the office to place his weekly advert in the newspaper. Ruby spent far longer than usual in the office. He also seemed interested in looking at the Texas School Book Depository (the Dallas Morning News office provided a good view of the building).

Coley and another worker from the building, Charlie Mulkey, decided to go and watch the JFK motorcade. Ruby said he was not interested in seeing JFK and remained in the office.

Coley and Mulkey stood on Houston Street near the entrance of the old county jail. They therefore did not see or hear the shooting, however, when news spread to them they went to Dealey Plaza. While walking down the steps on the grassy knoll, they discovered a pool of blood (Mulkey actually tasted it to make sure it was blood). The two men estimated that there must have been a pint of blood on the steps close to the fence on the grassy knoll.

When the two men returned to the office they told photographer, Jim Hood, about the blood. He visited the scene and took a photograph of it. Later that day, Coley showed the photograph to Hugh Aynesworth, an investigative journalist who worked for the Dallas Morning News. Aynesworth seemed interested in the story but it never appeared in the newspaper.

On 25th November, 1963, Coley began receiving anonymous phone calls. The calls suggested that Coley was in someway involved in the plot to kill JFK. However, the real intention was to intimidate Coley into silence about the the blood on the steps. Threats were made against Coley’s children. The couple understandably decided to keep quiet about the story. In fact, Coley’s wife and their children went into hiding. When Coley returned to the steps on the grassy knoll, the blood had been cleaned away.

On 27th November, 1963, a Time Magazine reporter arrived at the office. He wanted to interview Coley about the story but frightened about the consequences, he refused to speak to him.

The following week, two FBI agents arrived at the office and asked to speak to Coley and Jim Hood. They asked to see the photograph. They took this away plus the negative. The FBI told the two men: “For your benefit, it never happened… Just forget the entire incident; it never happened.”

The men took this advice. However, in 1988, a film crew from Los Angeles contacted Coley and asked him if he would be willing to be interviewed for a documentary they were making on Jack Ruby. Coley agreed and during the interview he told them the story of the blood on the steps. The reporter was fascinated with the story and he was filmed at the spot where the blood was found. It was assumed by the reporter, that someone had been hit in the crossfire and therefore confirmed the view that there must have been two gunman involved in the killing of JFK. Three days later the reporter phoned to say that the director of the documentary had decided not to use the section on the pool of blood. Coley was relieved as his wife had complained when she heard that he had told the reporter the story.

In 1990 Coley told the story to Wallace O. Chariton. He was convinced that Coley was telling the truth (by this time Hood and Mulkey were dead). Aynesworth was interviewed and he confirmed the story but claims that he was convinced that it was some sort of dark drink had been spilt on the steps.

Coley was working on the Henry Marshall case at the time. He therefore asked Clint Peoples about the story of the blood on the steps. Peoples, who was carrying out his own investigation into the JFK assassination at the time, admitted that he already knew about the story. What is more, he believed it was an important factor in explaining the mystery of the assassination.

What Chariton does not say in the article, is that Peoples claimed that he was on the verge of solving the case. He told several friends this at this time. Clint Peoples was killed shortly after Chariton’s book was published in 1991. His manuscript on the JFK assassination has never been found.

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Jerry Coley was interviewed by researchers Mark Oakes and Martin Barkley. The filmed version was once available on the Internet somewhere. I'm sure a Google search would track it down.

James

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This was not the only reported pool of blood. As I recall, a witness or witnesses (can't remember the names, at first I thought Malcolm Summers but apparently not) found blood near the TSBD, and also reported seeing a cop run out of the TSBD with something bloody in his hand.

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Jerry Coley was interviewed by researchers Mark Oakes and Martin Barkley. The filmed version was once available on the Internet somewhere. I'm sure a Google search would track it down.

James

http://users4.ev1.net/~smyers/jfk2/media.html

Thanks, David. I had completely forgotten that material was on Scott Myers' site. I tried to download the interview but was unable to do so. Hopefully it is a temporary problem.

BTW, do you know anything about the material located within the 'Inside the Dealey Plaza Looking Glass' link? There are two photos displayed, the first one bearing a striking similarity to a young D.H. Byrd.

Just curious.

James

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Jerry Coley was interviewed by researchers Mark Oakes and Martin Barkley. The filmed version was once available on the Internet somewhere. I'm sure a Google search would track it down.

James

http://users4.ev1.net/~smyers/jfk2/media.html

Thanks, David. I had completely forgotten that material was on Scott Myers' site. I tried to download the interview but was unable to do so. Hopefully it is a temporary problem.

BTW, do you know anything about the material located within the 'Inside the Dealey Plaza Looking Glass' link? There are two photos displayed, the first one bearing a striking similarity to a young D.H. Byrd.

Just curious.

James

Sorry James -- not familiar with the images....

David

Edited by David G. Healy

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Photographer Malcolm Couch testified about finding a pool

of blood also. From his description, this is where it was IMO.

Jack

Here is Couch's testimony.

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Jack,

Thanks. I was half right in thinking "Malcolm Summers" on the blood.

Thanks too for that photo. Notice the regular red markings painted along the curb. Do you suppose those were painted there for shooters, in case Greer made a wrong turn and headed up the Elm Street extension?

Ron

Edited by Ron Ecker

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Photographer Malcolm Couch testified about finding a pool

of blood also. From his description, this is where it was IMO.

Good stuff, Jack.

Given that, this alleged pool of blood would have been just out of shot in the Tramps image, the one where they are being passed by the Ed Lansdale possible. This character would be heading directly toward where the blood would have been.

BTW, I have always wondered if this unexplained stain on the Tall Tramp's trousers could be blood.

James

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This is quoting Malcolm Couch in the Clifton (TX) Record, 11/22/2000:

"I started toward the building where I had seen the rifle in the window. Then I saw something very weird. There was a trail of blood from the spot where the shooting occurred to the entrance of the Texas School Book Depository. I pointed it out to a man with me.

"Just then an FBI man stepped out of the building, and in his hand was an object dripping blood. It looked like a piece of hairy flesh. I know I didn't imagine this. The scene is very clear to me."

Notice how 37 years after the shooting, the pool of blood near the corner of the TSBD had become a trail of blood all the way from Elm Street to the TSBD entrance.

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This is quoting Malcolm Couch in the Clifton (TX) Record, 11/22/2000:

"I started toward the building where I had seen the rifle in the window. Then I saw something very weird. There was a trail of blood from the spot where the shooting occurred to the entrance of the Texas School Book Depository. I pointed it out to a man with me.

"Just then an FBI man stepped out of the building, and in his hand was an object dripping blood. It looked like a piece of hairy flesh. I know I didn't imagine this. The scene is very clear to me."

Notice how 37 years after the shooting, the pool of blood near the corner of the TSBD had become a trail of blood all the way from Elm Street to the TSBD entrance.

Ron et al - need to keep everything separate here and unique. There may be no correlation between the pools of blood, and the Couch incident.

IMO - the Couch incident was a piece of Kennedy's skull - which had hair attached, or a piece of his scalp. You can draw your own conclusions, but at least Vince Drain provides some substance for that possibility, as well as the account of Seymour Weitzman. Drain lends credence to the use of a dumdum or exploding round - stating that a piece of the skull was recovered with hair attached.

On the pool of blood behind the retaining wall - which is separate from the pool in the Pergola Gardens and the one Jack has highlighted - it was proposed to me once that a man, posing as or really French Press, was one of the victims. I thought about trying to run this down, but never did. Stabbing - not sure if this was the Pergola Garden area, or the Retaining wall. The victim, it was said, was French - that was at the minimum. I'd like to know more about this - but can't get see the way, frankly. If he's French Press, or posing as French Press [like Ruby posing as Press, for example], and actually part of the Corsican Team - why does he get stabbed? Was it due to his lack of knowledge of the English language? Was he innocent, and stupidly stumbled into part of the op. or something else? This is a very interesting subject to me.

- lee

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It is important to separate fact from fiction from flights of fancy in any case one wants to investigate. To me these reports of large pools of blood seem more likely to fit into the latter categories rather than the first. Couch says he saw an 8 – 10 diameter pool of blood in front of the TSBD and Coley saw pool of approximately 1 pint of blood on the steps of the grassy knoll. Neither of these men has any corroborating evidence or testimony, Couch was a photographer but neither he nor anyone else took any photos.

So I ask:

Are there any other reports of the FBI etc. coming into newsrooms and seizing both photos and negatives?

How much of the story did Aynesworth confirm?

Is it reasonable to believe that if these pools of blood really existed that only one photographer would taken a photo of them and no one else reported seeing them?

Is it reasonable to believe that people could have been shot in these locations at the time off the assassination and there aren’t any reports of them being shot? Not from witnesses, not from the victims not from DPD or hospital staff.

Odd that neither man mentioned a trail of blood leading anywhere, where did the “bleeders” go? Where they levitated somewhere?

Len

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It is important to separate fact from fiction from flights of fancy in any case one wants to investigate. To me these reports of large pools of blood seem more likely to fit into the latter categories rather than the first. Couch says he saw an 8 – 10 diameter pool of blood in front of the TSBD and Coley saw pool of approximately 1 pint of blood on the steps of the grassy knoll. Neither of these men has any corroborating evidence or testimony, Couch was a photographer but neither he nor anyone else took any photos.

As I pointed out, Jim Hood took a photograph that was taken away by the FBI. Hugh Aynesworth confirmed that he saw the photograph. However, he believed it was a photograph of a spilt drink. Jerry Coley's wife also confirmed that her husband told her about the pool of blood, photographs, visit by the FBI, etc. She also received the threatening phone-calls that forced her to go into hiding with her children.

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Also someone who lost so much blood in one pool would have been likely to bleed to death in a few minutes if they hadn't gotten medical attention.

severe traumatic bleeding: the flow of blood can soak a paper or cloth hankerchief in a few seconds; in such a situation, the bleeding will cause the death of the casualty in a few minutes; <LI>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleeding

It is important to separate fact from fiction from flights of fancy in any case one wants to investigate. To me these reports of large pools of blood seem more likely to fit into the latter categories rather than the first. Couch says he saw an 8 – 10 diameter pool of blood in front of the TSBD and Coley saw pool of approximately 1 pint of blood on the steps of the grassy knoll. Neither of these men has any corroborating evidence or testimony, Couch was a photographer but neither he nor anyone else took any photos.

As I pointed out, Jim Hood took a photograph that was taken away by the FBI. Hugh Aynesworth confirmed that he saw the photograph. However, he believed it was a photograph of a spilt drink. Jerry Coley's wife also confirmed that her husband told her about the pool of blood, photographs, visit by the FBI, etc. She also received the threatening phone-calls that forced her to go into hiding with her children.

Aynesworth saw the photo but though it was spilt Coke, did he confirm the the FBI siezed the photo and negatives? Who did Coley's wife tell she recieved the phone calls?

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Is it reasonable to believe that if these pools of blood really existed that only one photographer would taken a photo of them and no one else reported seeing them?

Is it reasonable to believe that people could have been shot in these locations at the time off the assassination and there aren’t any reports of them being shot? Not from witnesses, not from the victims not from DPD or hospital staff.

Odd that neither man mentioned a trail of blood leading anywhere, where did the “bleeders” go? Where they levitated somewhere?

Len

We have covered this in the past - a lot of detail should appear in several threads. The pools - plural, were seen by multiple witnesses. Potentially there were 3 separate pools witnessed.

1. Behind the retaining wall on the 'knoll'

2. Behind the walled walkway, on the sidewalk, in the Pergola Garden area

3. On the sidewalk along the Elm St extension, closer to the back of the TSBD.

2 of these pools can be found detailed on Don Roberdeau's plat.

Numerous eye-witness references to these pools can be found in Fetzer's MIDP.

The bloody piece of flesh may have been a piece of Kennedy's head - and indeed, it may have left a dripping trail, as per Couch's witness account - but I would hesitate to link that to all 3 pools.

The dead SS man reports come to mind - but clearly, something occurred that was not publicly reported on.

Even JC Price's affidavit comes to mind.

- lee

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