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Tony Austin

Review of The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy

31 posts in this topic

Part 1:

A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE TV DOCUMENTARY "THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION: BEYOND CONSPIRACY"

In November 2003 a documentary programme appeared on BBC 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of President John F Kennedy. This was a programme originally made in the USA as an ABC special and a version was shown in the UK with commentary by Gavin Esler. What follows is a critical review of that programme.

INTRODUCTION

The assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963 has always been a fascinating and controversial subject. Students of the case have tended to fall into two opposing camps.

Firstly, there are those who favour the findings of the Warren Commission i.e. they believe that a lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald killed the President and that nobody else was involved. On the other side, there are the critics of the Warren Commission who believe that Kennedy was killed as the result of a conspiracy. Arguments between these two opposing sides have gone on for years.

I had hoped that this would be a fair and balanced programme that would allow us to hear both sides of the argument. I also hoped that the numerous controversial issues would be looked at in reasonable depth and independent experts used to help us decide which side makes the most convincing case.

Unfortunately, I found this programme to be a huge disappointment. The whole programme was biased, one sided and grossly unfair to the pro-conspiracy camp.

THE BEGINNING OF THE PROGRAMME

The programme opened with somber music and comments being made about the assassination being a great shock to the American public. Soon after this, men in suits were discussing why the American public might want to believe that their President was killed as the result of a "monster conspiracy" when in fact it was the result of the actions of only one man.

At this stage, the documentary had done nothing to prove that he was killed by one man acting alone. The biased nature of the programme was becoming apparent within minutes of the start.

THE 3D COMPUTER SIMULATION

Soon we moved on to the real "meat" of the programme, Dale Myers's 3-D computer reconstruction of the assassination based on the Zapruder film. Dale Myers is well known for his anti-conspiracy view point and we only had his comments on the model to go by. The serious limitations of the model and the way that certain findings from this model tend to contradict the findings of the Warren Commission were not examined in the programme.

Mr Myers used the witness statements of John Connally and a sudden head movement that he can be seen making to show that the first shot was fired at around frame 160 of the Zapruder film. He did not tell us that this idea of an early shot was rejected by the Warren Commission but promoted by many conspiracy theorists.

The rejection by the Warren Commission was because they felt that it was unlikely that Oswald would have fired at the President at a time when his view would have been blocked by a large leafy tree. From the computer model it can be seen that the sixth floor sniper would have to rise up out of his comfortable position on his gun rest, point the rifle at a steep downward angle and fire at the President when a tree was blocking his line of sight.

It is also interesting to note that at this time the sixth floor sniper would be high above and only a short way to the rear of Kennedy and Connally and yet neither of them looked up. Myers tells us that Connally turned his head because he heard the sound of a gunshot over his right shoulder. None of the crowd visible in the Zapruder film can be seen looking up at the time Connally appears to be reacting to the first shot.

The modern theory, promoted by Gerald Poner in his book "Case Closed", is that this early shot hit a thick tree branch and the bullet broke into two pieces which flew off in different directions. But none of the witnesses that day reported hearing a loud sound coming from the tree or seeing any of the tree branches move suddenly.

Myers did not mention any of these things but he then moved on to the second shot which he said happened between frames 223 and 224 of the Zapruder film. He used a sudden movement of the right lapel of Connally's jacket to pin point the time when a bullet goes through him. He showed us the next frame where Kennedy appeared from behind the road sign for the first time and said "we see a kind of anguished look on his face and his hands immediately go up to his throat."

What Myers failed tell us was that a visible reaction after only between one to two frames would be surprising. The time interval between two frames is one eighteenth of a second or 56 milliseconds. There is time to show a blink reflex, which is the fastest human reflex, but not any other reactions. It would probably be 4 or 5 frames before any physical reactions to being hit by a bullet would be observable on the film. Myers assumes that the first reaction of Kennedy occurs the moment he appears from behind the road sign. He has to in order to assert that both men are reacting to the same bullet at the same time. But this is just an assumption, there are about a dozen frames when Kennedy is behind the road sign and his face cannot be seen. He could have started to react at any one of these frames out of view of the camera. So the assertion that both men are reacting at the same time is based on an assumption which cannot be proven.

Myers went on to look at the trajectory aspects of the second shot. He demonstrated that a bullet fired from the sixth floor "sniper's nest" could pass through the body of Kennedy and through the chest of Connally as described by the Warren Commission.

At one point he showed us a three dimensional picture of Kennedy and Connally in the limousine at the moment the second shot was fired. One thing he did not point out was the position of Connally's right wrist at this time. The computer image showed it lying over his right thigh near the hip. Connally has just turned his head and shoulders 37 degrees around to the right and so this is where you would expect to find his right wrist.

However, from this position it would be impossible for the bullet passing through the bodies of Connally and Kennedy to go through the back of the right radius bone (just below the wrist) and on into the left thigh as described by the Warren Commission.

Later in the programme Myers goes on to look at the third shot which entered the back of the head of Kennedy and exited through the right temple. Not shown in this programme, but covered in Dale Myers's website, is a computer generated line through the entrance and exit wounds (as described by the House Select Committee on Assassinations) which is extended backwards where it goes high over the roof of the Daltex building behind the limousine. He explains this by saying that the bullet was probably deflected slightly on its path as it entered the skull. This is a reasonable explanation but it means that that, theoretically, the shot could have come from any of the buildings behind the limousine. This programme did not cover this aspect and failed to point out that the head shot has not been proven to come from the sixth floor "sniper's nest" by this model it has only been confirmed as a possibility.

The main limitation of the computer model is regarding any shots fired which narrowly missed hitting anybody. If Kennedy or Connally did not react to the sound (because they were already reacting to being hit) then such extra shots would not be detected by this computer model. Myers used witness testimony (in this case from Connally) when assessing the first shot. If we do this with the third shot we run into a problem. According to Myers the last two shots were about five seconds apart. However, at about the time of the head shot many witnesses report hearing the last two shots very close together "bang-bang" less than a second apart. This suggests an additional shot around the time of the head shot.

So, in summary, we can say that the first shot was fired when a leafy tree was between the sixth floor sniper and Preseident Kennedy. Kennedy and Connally might be reacting at the same time to the second shot but this is not as certain as Myers suggests. The second shot was probably fired from the sixth floor of the School Book Depository and, theoretically, it could have gone through Kennedy and Connally but could not have gone through Connally's wrist as described by the Warren Commission. A third shot went through Kennedy's head and could have come from any building to the rear of the limousine. Other shots could have been fired and not shown up by the model (for example, an extra shot could have been fired around the time of the head shot).

This is hardly the definitive proof that Oswald fired all the shots from the sixth floor of the School Book Depository and that no other shooters were involved. One big limitation of the model is that it cannot tell you who fired the shots from the Book Depository. Two other limitations of the model will be covered later.

THE SHOOTING OF POLICE OFFICER J D TIPPIT

The murder of Police Officer J.D Tippit featured early in the programme. Two of the witnesses to this crime, Domingo Benavides and Helen Markham, probably had the best views of the man who shot Tippit.

Benavides was never taken to a police line up. However, he was interviewed by the Warren Commission but when shown a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald all that he could say was that Oswald resembled the man he saw shoot Tippit.

Mrs Markham spoke with a newspaper reporter not long after the 22nd of November 1963 and described the killer as being short, kind of heavy and with bushy hair. Oswald was reasonably tall, very slim and had short straight hair. She was interviewed by the Warren Commission and she told them that if she ever saw the face of the man who shot Tippit she would recognise him. However, at the start of her interview, she repeatedly told the Commission that she could not recognise any of the men in the police line ups that she had viewed, which of course included Lee Harvey Oswald.

This did not stop the narrator from boldly asserting that it was Oswald that four people saw go over to the police car and then shoot and kill Officer Tippit.

The killing of Tippit has always been controversial. The movements of Oswald on that day seemed strange. The movements of Tippit also seemed strange. Witness statements seemed to suggest that Oswald could not have been at the scene at the time the murder took place. There have also been concerns about ballistic evidence and finger print evidence on the police car that seemed to make it less likely that Oswald was the killer. These are only a few of the many issues relating to this case.

However, next to appear was Gerald Posner who told us that "In the killing of President Kennedy the evidence is overwhelming, though some people would dispute that, in the killing of Tippit the evidence is overwhelming and iron clad."

By phrasing his statement that way he seemed to imply that, in contrast to the Kennedy murder, there is general agreement about the Tippit murder and that it is universally accepted that Oswald killed Tippit. This is not the case; there are still plenty of researchers that believe that Oswald was framed for the crime.

Incredibly, once Posner made this statement the programme left this issue completely. I am sure that Mr Posner is a skilful researcher and a good writer but since when did he become infallible? Since when was somebody guilty of a crime just because Gerald Posner says so? If this is the case the programme could have been made much shorter. All you would need is for Gerald Posner to come on at the start of the programme and say "President Kennedy and Officer J D Tippet were killed by Lee Harvey Oswald and nobody else was involved" and just leave it at that!

THE LIFE HISTORY OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD

The programme had now supposedly shown that Oswald killed Kennedy and Tippit so it moved on to look at the life of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Robert Oswald appeared to give his own views on the life of his brother Lee Harvey Oswald. We were told that Robert was the person that knew him best. In fact Robert was 6 years older than Lee and he left home before Lee's 13th birthday. You could argue that the person who knew Lee best was his wife Marina. However, in recent years Marina has said that she now believes that Lee Harvey Oswald was completely innocent regarding the assassination of Kennedy. Is this why his brother Robert was chosen by this programme rather than his wife?

Marina also told author Mark Lane that the biography of Lee Harvey Oswald's life by Priscilla Johnson McMillan was not an accurate account. She said that much of the book was false and known by the author to be false.

Priscilla Johnson McMillan appeared in this documentary giving her account of the life history of Oswald. Was this another good reason for the programme to avoid interviewing Marina Oswald?

The documentary showed that Lee Harvey Oswald grew up without a father, that he had a lonely and troubled childhood and that he was a social misfit. He went on to become an unhappy and lonely man going from one failure to the next.

As a teenager, Oswald became interested in Marxism and he also decided to join the Marines. This seems strange because most Marxists would regard the armed services as "instruments of capitalism used to bring about oppression and the promotion of capitalism throughout the world."

This documentary stated that he joined the Marines simply to get away from his mother. However, Oswald was so keen to join the Marines that he lied about his age and tried to join up when he was only 16 years old. When they found out his true age they refused to let him join. Instead of finding something else to do, Oswald then waited for a whole year so that he could join at 17 and he kept on reading the Marines manual until he "knew it by heart." This makes it unlikely that he joined the Marines simply to get away from his mother.

The examination of Oswald's life was from the point of view that believers in the lone gunman theory would take. This meant that the strange and unusual aspects of Oswald's life were not considered in this programme.

Former investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations ( HSCA ) Gaeton Fonzi reported that he found strong evidence of Oswald being in contact with the CIA. He wrote that there was ".. a preponderance of evidence that indicates that Lee Harvey Oswald had an association with a U.S. government agency, perhaps more than one, but undoubtedly with the Central Intelligence Agency."

The former US senator Richard Shweiker also said of Oswald.. "I personally believe that he had a special relationship with one of the intelligence agencies, which one I am not certain. But all the fingerprints I found during my eighteen months on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence point to Oswald being a product of, and interacting with, the intelligence community."

However, the documentary made no attempt to look at evidence for and against this idea of Oswald having links with CIA at any time during the programme.

THE ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF EDWIN WALKER

The documentary looked at the incident in 1963 when a shot was fired at former General Edwin Walker. Oswald was officially blamed for this attempt on his life. Conspiracy theorists might point out that Walter Kirk Coleman, a teenage neighbour of General Walker saw two men flee the scene by car after the shot was fired. Officially, Oswald was acting alone, he did not have a car and he could not drive. A bullet was recovered from Walker's house and soon after this Detective Ira Van Cleave told the press it was 30.06 caliber bullet and one contemporary police report referred to the bullet as being steel jacketed. However, the bullet presented to the Warren Commission was 6.5mm and copper jacketed and could be matched to the "Oswald rifle."

Edwin Walker was shown this bullet by the Warren Commission he said it did not look like the one he saw at his home. He thought the one found at his home was more badly damaged through having hit a wall than the one presented to him.

The documentary did not mention any of this but it did tell us about a photograph of Walker's home and a note that Oswald wrote about the incident that were recovered from where Marina was staying. Testimony from Marina about the incident was also mentioned. This is difficult evidence for the conspiracy theorists to explain.

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON LEE HARVEY OSWALD

Witnesses on the programme continued to give negative views about Oswald. Typical comments were: "He blackmailed them as he did everybody", "Home again in the United States, Oswald was a man of no importance to anybody but himself", "He found work demeaning" and "He had no deep connections to people other than Marina."

However, many people who had contact with Oswald during his life had positive things to say about him but no mention was made of this in the programme. Writer Sylvia Meagher comments that most members of the Russian-speaking community in Dallas spoke well of Oswald were astounded by the news of his arrest.

Sam Ballen was unable to conceive of Oswald harbouring any hostility toward the President; it was his impression that, on the contrary, Oswald had warm feelings for him. George De Mohrenschildt considered him to be a man "with no hatred in him." Anna Meller was "completely shocked" at the news of Oswald's arrest and could not believe that he had done such a thing.

Buell Wesley Frazier, who regularly drove Oswald to work at the Book Depository, said of him: "The individual that I know as Lee Harvey Oswald I don't think had it in him to be a person capable of committing such a crime as murdering the President of the United States. I'll always believe that. The side I saw of him was a very kind and loving man, and that's the way I like to remember him."

THE VISIT TO MEXICO CITY

The documentary went on to discuss the alleged trip that Oswald made to Mexico City in September 1963. There he was said to have visited the Cuban Embassy and the Soviet Embassy. This has been a controversial area for many years as many researchers believe that Oswald never made this trip.

The day after the assassination the head of the FBI, Mr J Edgar Hoover told Lyndon Johnson on the phone "we have up here the tape recording and photograph of the man who was at the Soviet embassy using Oswald's name. The picture and tape recording do not correspond to this man's voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy down there."

In his book "Plausible Denial" Mark Lane recounts an episode in 1977 when the University of Southern California held a public debate between high ranking CIA officers and those critical of their actions. Former head of the Western Hemisphere division of the CIA, Mr David Atlee Phillips, was speaking in debate with Mark Lane. At one point he made the following statement which was recorded by a local reporter:

"...Now I am not in a position today to talk to you about the inner workings of the CIA station in Mexico City. I am not in a position to talk to others about the details of my testimony, before Mr Sprague, in executive session; but I will tell you this, that when the record comes out, we will find that there was never a photograph taken of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City. We will find out that Lee Harvey Oswald never visited, let me put it that is a categorical statement, there, there, we will find there is no evidence, and first of all there was no proof of that. Second there is no evidence to show that Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Soviet Embassy."

He was referring to his confidential meeting with Mr Sprague the head of the HSCA when he was informing Mr Sprague about what the CIA knew about Oswald's visit to Mexico City and other matters.

The documentary talked about the visit of Oswald to Mexico City as if it was a universally accepted fact. No attempt was made to look into the evidence for and against him making this trip and the claims of some researchers that an imposter was being employed to try and make it appear that Lee Harvey Oswald was in Mexico City trying to get a visa to Cuba shortly before the assassination.

Edited by Tony Austin

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Tony,

Welcome to the Forum. Good post.

Docos giving us the "true story" are being regularly churned out these days. Notice the similarity with the Warren Report in that the viewer/reader is treated to a lengthy life story of LHO. Even 43 years later, they still think the public are idiots. Trouble is............

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Tony,

Welcome to the Forum. Good post.

Docos giving us the "true story" are being regularly churned out these days. Notice the similarity with the Warren Report in that the viewer/reader is treated to a lengthy life story of LHO. Even 43 years later, they still think the public are idiots. Trouble is............

Thanks Mark,

You might like to read my whole article which is on the Dealey Plaza UK website.

This documentary certainly treated the public badly. It gave an entirely one sided view of the assassination and seemed to think this was OK because it could quote scientific work in support that view point. These documentary makers were happy to ignore the fact that there is now plenty of scientific work which supports the opposite view point.

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Part 1:

It is also interesting to note that at this time the sixth floor sniper would be high above and only a short way to the rear of Kennedy and Connally and yet neither of them looked up. Myers tells us that Connally turned his head because he heard the sound of a gunshot over his right shoulder. None of the crowd visible in the Zapruder film can be seen looking up at the time Connally appears to be reacting to the first shot.

The modern theory is that this early shot hit a thick tree branch and the bullet broke into two pieces which flew off in different directions. But none of the witnesses that day reported hearing a loud sound coming from the tree or seeing any of the tree branches move suddenly.

In the conclusions section of my presentation, on the New Views slide, we can see where Connally says he was when he heard the first shot. He was a good fifty to sixty feet further down Elm than where Posner and Myers place him. Posner's theory is incorrect. On the Sniper's Nest view slide, we can see where the limo was at frame 160--there was no twig in the way!

In the Single-Bullet Theory section, on the Old Crone and Midget Analysis, I show how Myers distorted the size of Connally on the overhead view, so that his trajectories would align. It's all smoke and mirrors. Single-bullet fact, my rump!

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In November 2003 a documentary programme appeared on BBC 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of President John F Kennedy. This was a programme originally made in the USA as an ABC special and a version was shown in the UK with commentary by Gavin Esler. What follows is a critical review of that programme.

It is significant that the BBC gave the impression that it had produced this film. At the time, Gavin Esler, was the main presenter of Newsnight, a well-respected news programme. Esler appeared on camera at the beginning of the film as well as providing a commentary. I, like most viewers, assumed it was a BBC film. This gave the film a validity it did not deserve. Can you imagine the fuss if the same thing had been done with a documentary on another controversial subject?

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Soon we moved on to the real "meat" of the programme, Dale Myers's 3-D computer reconstruction of the assassination based on the Zapruder film. Dale Myers is well known for his anti-conspiracy view point and we only had his comments on the model to go by. The serious limitations of the model and the way that certain findings from this model tend to contradict the findings of the Warren Commission were not examined in the programme.

In the early 1980s I was involved in designing computer simulations for teaching history. For example, we tried to show what would have happened if Sir Douglas Haig had used different tactics at the Battle of the Somme. We were criticized by some people for these simulations. The main argument against them was that students had a deep trust in the “truth” of technology and they automatically believed what they saw on the screen. That they were unable to see that this was a construct based on the interpretations of human beings. This was probably the response of most people who watched this documentary. For example, the normally sensible TV reviewer in the Guardian newspaper said the following day that Meyers’ computer animation proved that JFK had been killed by a lone gunman. In my view, this ABC film was the most important disinformation campaign since the publication on the Warren Commission.

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For example, the normally sensible TV reviewer in the Guardian newspaper said the following day that Meyers’ computer animation proved that JFK had been killed by a lone gunman. In my view, this ABC film was the most important disinformation campaign since the publication on the Warren Commission.

This is disheartening. On another forum, an Italian writer asked about an upcoming special on JFK to be shown on the Italian Fox network. I suspect it's gonna be JFK: Beyond Conspiracy in a re-packaged form. About 2/3 of the way through the show, there's a dead give-away. The whole program takes a turn and Jennings starts attacking Oliver Stone. Then, at the end, Jennings repeats how unthinkable it is that the media could have blown such a big story. Hogwash! They blew it and we can prove it!

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It also appears to be on an almost continuous loop on the History channel, where it is shown at least once a month.

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Stephen Turner Posted Today, 10:31 AM

It also appears to be on an almost continuous loop on the History channel, where it is shown at least once a month.

Aye, the forces of the Dark side control the media.

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It also appears to be on an almost continuous loop on the History channel, where it is shown at least once a month.

It is interesting to compare the treatment of "The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy" with "The Guilty Men" which was shown just once before being banned.

I watched "The Guilty Men" again last night on DVD. It is probably the best in Nigel Turner's series of "The Men Who Killed Kennedy". I noticed that Turner wrote, produced and directed the programme and the copyright was held by A & E Networks. How then were the History Channel able to make it "unavailable" to the general public?

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John Simkin Posted Today, 11:13 AM

QUOTE(Stephen Turner @ Mar 30 2006, 11:31 AM)

It also appears to be on an almost continuous loop on the History channel, where it is shown at least once a month.

It is interesting to compare the treatment of "The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy" with "The Guilty Men" which was shown just once before being banned.

I watched "The Guilty Men" again last night on DVD. It is probably the best in Nigel Turner's series of "The Men Who Killed Kennedy". I noticed that Turner wrote, produced and directed the programme and the copyright was held by A & E Networks. How then were the History Channel able to make it "unavailable" to the general public?

John,

A&E and the History channel are in essence part of the same corporation. Apparently programs with a historical aspect are broadcast on History Channel and the other "junk" on AETV. See below:

http://www.aetn.com/global/corporate/

A&E Television Networks, a joint venture of The Hearst Corporation, ABC, Inc. and NBC Universal, is an award-winning, international media company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television programming, to home videos/DVDs and music CDs, to Web sites, as well as supporting nationwide educational initiatives. AETN is comprised of A&E Network®, The History Channel®, The History Channel International®, The Biography Channel®, The Military History Channel, The History Channel en Español, Crime & Investigation Network, AETN International, and AETN Consumer Products. The A&E web site is located at www.aetv.com, the Biography web site is located at www.Biography.com and The History Channel® web site is located at www.HistoryChannel.com

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In November 2003 a documentary programme appeared on BBC 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of President John F Kennedy. This was a programme originally made in the USA as an ABC special and a version was shown in the UK with commentary by Gavin Esler. What follows is a critical review of that programme.

It is significant that the BBC gave the impression that it had produced this film.

It is interesting that the BBC copies a dishonest program and then dishonestly passes it off as a BBC program. Something like Compounding a Felony.

About six years ago I contacted Ludovic Kennedy, who really was a great reporter and presenter for the BBC, and tried to interest him in the JFK assassination. I received a very cordial reply in which Sir Ludovic expressed encouragement for my own research while regretting that he was unable to tackle the project himself due to his advanced age. I have no doubt that the author of The Airman & The Carpenter disapproved of the BBC's shenannigans in their 40th anniversary program.

Edited by J. Raymond Carroll

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I started to watch the documentary in question again today but had to turn it off after 45 minutes due to my utter revoltion at the material and reasoning presented in it. Jack Rubys Rabbi described John Kennedy as Rubys god! For heavens sake!

There is far too much suggestion and innuendo, placing Oswalds photo alongside the Rosenbergs and saying how he admired them.

The approach to this documentary is quite sickening. They display Dale Myers impressive simulation as supposedly concrete proof evidence and describe the shooting as the single bullet fact.

Posner says that the proof that Oswald killed Tippit is iron clad.

I have often wondered what would happen if Gerald posner took part in these forums, and I have now come to the 'iron clad' conclusion that he would be shredded to pieces.

Great work Tony, your article calms me down after watching such tripe.

John

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Part 2:

A HAPPENSTANCE OF HISTORY - JUST THE ONE HAPPENSTANCE?

Robert Oswald returned to tell us that Oswald shooting Kennedy was a chance event. A "happenstance of history" was how he phrased it.

What the documentary failed to reveal was just how many events occurred by pure chance over the weekend of the assassination if the official version is to be believed.

Firstly, Oswald was a social misfit who buys a rifle and decides he wants to assassinate prominent political figures to gain his place in history. By chance, he gets a job in a tall building and, by chance, President Kennedy passes right in front of the building a few weeks later.

Secondly, extra security from the 112th Military Intelligence Group could have stopped the assassination from occurring but, by chance, when an offer of their services was made to the Secret Service it was categorically refused on the one occasion it was really needed.

Thirdly, a press car with TV cameras and press photographers would usually have been following just behind the Presidential Limousine but, by chance, they were put back several places in the motorcade so that no film or photographs of the actual assassination were taken by any professional press photographers or TV cameramen.

Fourthly, about twenty five minutes after the assassination, Oswald was traveling by taxi over the Houston Street Viaduct to Oak Cliff. By chance, Officer Tippit was in his car watching the traffic come over the viaduct at that time. He had not been ordered to go there that morning but five witnesses saw him watching this traffic and then suddenly head off at speed.

Fifthly, by chance, some minutes later Tippit was driving at walking pace in the same street where Oswald just happened to be walking. By chance, of all the men in Oak Cliff that were about 165lb in weight and about 5 feet 10 inches in height (i.e. matching the vague description of the wanted assassin broadcast to all the police units) he just happened to stop Oswald.

Sixthly, two days later Oswald was to be transferred from Dallas Police Headquarters. Jack Ruby was emotionally disturbed by the assassination and he carried a loaded revolver with him over that weekend. That morning an employee asked him to lend her some money. By chance, this involved him going to the Post Office just across the road from Dallas Police Headquarters. He came out and decided to go down into the Police Headquarters at the time, by chance, that Oswald was being brought out and he suddenly decided to shoot Oswald.

Seventhly, within hours of Oswald's death Jack Ruby asked attorney Tom Howard to represent him. Earlier that day, by chance, Howard had walked into Police Headquarters and looked through the jail office window at the time that Oswald was being taken off the jail elevator. According to Detective H.L. Mc Gee, he said "That's all I wanted to see" and left the building less than a minute before Ruby shot Oswald.

There seems to have been rather a lot of happenstances of history going on that weekend!

ROBERT OSWALD

Robert Oswald tells us that he saw Lee Harvey after the assassination and he showed no reaction when he looked into his eyes. "Brother you won't find anything there" he said. But just before this he had said to Robert: "Don't believe all that so-called called evidence" but this was not mentioned.

Robert Oswald told the Warren Commission that "One of Lee's favourite programmes was 'I led three lives', the story of Herbert Philbrick, the FBI informant who posed as a Communist spy, Lee watched that show every week without fail. When I left home to join the Marines he was watching the re-runs."

This statement suggested that Lee had a vivid and fanciful imagination and that he was out of touch with reality. However, researcher John Armstrong points out that Robert left home in July 1952 whilst this TV show was first broadcast in September 1953 so this statement cannot be true.

John Armstrong also noted that Lee Harvey Oswald was the father of June and Rachel Oswald and that Robert Oswald is their uncle but he has never had anything to do with them since Lee died.

These are strange actions for a loving brother who is "the person that knew him best." One wonders what sort of relationship is involved here and why Robert has never given his brother the benefit of the doubt over anything to do with the assassination. For whatever reason, he wants his brother to have all the blame for the assassination and this programme made full use of him. Comments from Lee's wife or other close relatives were avoided in the programme.

JACOB RUBENSTEIN A.K.A. JACK RUBY

Witnesses were used to show Ruby to be 'a nice guy' but with an element of mental instability, prone to sudden outbursts of violence at his club. It was suggested that he could not keep a secret from anybody and that he emphatically told his rabbi that he was not involved in any conspiracy. His brother and his rabbi said that he loved President Kennedy. But how accurate was this picture and was there a side to Ruby that he kept hidden from people close to him, even his rabbi?

In the early 1990s the documentary film made for video "Beyond JFK, The question of conspiracy" featured three people who claimed to have seen Jack Ruby and Oswald together before the assassination. These were Beverley Oliver, Madeleine Brown and Ron Lewis. They spoke in a very matter of fact manner about having seen them together.

The programme never mentioned that there are people who claim to have seen Ruby and Oswald together. Ruby's employee, a dancer named Joyce Gordon, was interviewed for the programme but she had only been dancing at the Carousel Club from September 1963. The spring and summer of 1963 was the time that most people had recalled seeing Ruby and Oswald together.

Another dancer at the club, Janet Conforto, told Dallas newsmen immediately after the assassination that she had seen Oswald in the Carousel Club and another dancer, Kathy Kay, told the Dallas Times Herald the same thing in 1975. William Crowe, an entertainer who performed at Ruby's Carousel Club, within days of the assassination, told an Associated Press reporter that he was positive that he had seen Oswald in the club and he told Dallas Morning News reporter Kent Biffle the same thing several days later. In fact researchers have found more than 30 people who can place Ruby and Oswald together.

WAS THE MAFIA INVOLVED IN THE ASSASSINATION?

The documentary did look at the controversial issue as to whether the Mafia could have been involved in the assassination of Kennedy. We heard from Mr Robert Blakey from the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigation who believes that when Ruby killed Oswald this was a Mafia 'hit'. We even saw him voicing his opinion on the matter, this was the only time in the whole programme when we saw an expert give a pro-conspiracy opinion. This lasted for all of 13 seconds.

Given that he spent many months investigating the matter in an official capacity he could have said a lot more but, hey, he is a conspiracy theorist so why should we want to listen to what he has to say?

The programme moved swiftly on to see what somebody working under Mr Blakey had to say. Ralph Salerno, the HSCA's expert on organised crime, thought that the idea of a Mafia link was a mistake. Firstly, he said if Ruby's role was to silence Oswald then somebody would have been needed to silence Ruby. However, it could have been that Oswald was something of an unknown entity to the Mafia and they did not know how he would respond to threats whilst Ruby grew up in Chicago and knew them well, he would have known their power and ruthlessness against people that crossed them.

Perhaps they knew Ruby could be trusted to keep his mouth shut. In prison, Ruby spoke to the Warren Commission representatives and at one point he said that his "life was in danger...whole family is in jeopardy."

Salerno also looked at the way the FBI had phone tapped and bugged all the Mafia bosses in the 1960s and 1970s and he noted that no discussions about the assassination of Kennedy had ever come to light. However, this surveillance is never totally effective and even if the FBI did pick something up, could we be sure that they would pass on the information? Many researchers have looked at the FBI with regard to the assassination and claim to have found numerous cases where they have failed to pass on evidence to the Warren Commission that suggested some form of conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination.

There is evidence of Mafia involvement that the programme did not mention. For example, two federal correctional officers said that they heard Mafia Boss Carlos Marcello admit to being involved in Kennedy's assassination. An FBI informant also said that Marcello told him, after the assassination, that he had met with Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald. Another informant said that prior to the assassination Marcello spoke of wanting to have Kennedy killed.

Another example involves Johnny Roselli who was a west coast Mafia figure closely involved in Mafia/CIA plots to kill Castro in the early sixties. In the mid-1970s he gave information to associates, Senate investigators, a newspaper publisher and to journalist Jack Anderson that Jack Ruby was "one of our boys". Anderson reported that Roselli said "When Oswald was picked up the underworld conspirators feared that he would crack and disclose information that might lead to them...So Jack Ruby was ordered to eliminate Oswald."

A few months after he testified in secret session before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1976, Johnny Roselli's dismembered body was found in an oil drum in Miami's Biscayne Bay.

RUBY'S LINKS TO THE MAFIA - EVIDENCE IGNORED

Over the years there has been a lot of evidence that has come to light which suggests that Ruby had links to the Mafia but this programme made no attempt to look at this evidence.

Former Mafia leader Bill Bonanno was the son of Joe Bonanno a well known Mafia boss and he wrote a book titled "Bound by honor: a Mafioso's story." He wrote that Jack Ruby was known to him and too many others as a person with links to the Mafia. He even wrote that "He belonged to Sam Giancana like a pinkie ring." Sam Giancana was an infamous Mafia boss from Chicago.

The brother and godson of Sam Giancana also wrote a book called "Double Cross" and in this book it is revealed that Sam Giancana had told his brother that he was involved in the Kennedy Assassination and that this involved the CIA and Mafia working together. Giancana reportedly said that Jack Ruby was used by him to sort out difficult problems. He also stated that Ruby was acting under orders when he killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

The HSCA found plenty of evidence for Ruby associating with members of the Mafia. For example, Joe Campisi owned the Egyptian Lounge in Dallas. When questioned by the FBI he admitted that Ruby had dined with him the evening before the assassination. Campisi also told the Warren Commission that he knew Carlos Marcello. He used to go often to New Orleans to play golf and go to the track with his brothers. One brother, Vincent introduced him to Carlos Marcello and Carlos invited Joe Campisi several times to his fishing camp at Grand Isle, where Campisi would cook spaghetti for Carlos and his brothers. Campisi also sent the Marcello brothers 260 pounds of home made sausage every Christmas.

Carlos Marcello was the notorious Mafia boss of New Orleans. The committee came to believe that Campisi himself was the number two man in the Dallas Mafia hierarchy. Ruby knew Campisi well, as stated earlier, he dined with him the night before the assassination. After Ruby shot Oswald the first person to visit him in jail was none other than Joe Campisi with his wife. This is just one example, the HSCA found numerous similar Mafia associations involving Ruby.

The HSCA carried out an extensive computer analysis of Ruby's telephone toll records before the assassination. This showed that he had often been on the phone with numerous individuals associated either directly or indirectly with organised crime. The HSCA considered the possibility that the calls were all related to Ruby's labour problems. He had to contact a labour union from time to time and the Mafia had infiltrated many union organisations in the 1960s. However, having investigated the matter they concluded that this was not an adequate explanation for all of the phone call activities going on.

It is also interesting to look at the number of long distance calls he made in the months leading up to the assassination. In March 1963 he made fewer than ten. From May to September it was twenty five to thirty five calls per month. In October 1963 it jumped up to seventy calls. For the first three weeks of November it was nearly a hundred long distance calls.

All this looks highly suspicious, but this type of evidence did not get a mention in the documentary which insisted that Ruby had no Mafia links and was not part of any conspiracy.

RUBY'S GUN RUNNING ACTIVITIES

There is evidence to show that Jack Ruby was involved in the illegal transport of guns to Cuba in the 1950s. The documentary failed to look at this evidence.

Blaney Mack Johnson was a pilot who flew illegal cargos to Cuba in the 1950s. He became an FBI informant and disclosed to them that Jack Ruby held an interest in the Colonial Inn in Florida, a night club and gambling house whose principals included several mobsters. He also told them that Ruby arranged illegal flights of weapons from Miami to Cuba.

James E. Beaird told the FBI that he knew Jack Ruby in 1957. Ruby owned a house in Kemah, Texas and Beaird said that it was well known by the locals that he would often send a boat loaded with weapons to Castro's revolutionary army in Cuba from his house.

In 1958 Jack Ruby wrote to the State Department Office of Munitions Control requesting permission to negotiate the purchase of firearms and ammunition from an Italian firm. In the same year the Oklahoma State Crime Commission linked Jack Rubenstein to a car load of guns and ammunition destined for Cuba.

In 1958 Robert Ray McKeown was charged with conspiracy to smuggle guns and equipment to Castro in Cuba. The FBI interviewed him in 1964 because Jack Ruby had made comments which made them think that Ruby might have contacted McKeown.

McKeown told them that Ruby had visited him regarding the sale of jeeps to Castro and he phoned to request assistance in getting three men released from prison in Cuba. One of these men was Mafia boss Santos Trafficante.

The name Jack Rubenstein was listed in a 1959 Army Intelligence report on US arms dealers.

Evidence that Ruby was involved with illegal trafficking of arms to Cuba is significant because the main organisations involved in these activities at that time were the CIA and Mafia, organisations that some researches believe were involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. However, the programme made no mention of these matters.

RUBY'S ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES IN DALLAS

There is plenty of evidence to show that Jack Ruby was involved in the typical underworld activities of gambling, narcotics and prostitution but you would not have thought so watching the programme.

Gambling

Harry Hall told Secret Service and FBI agents that in the early 1950s he was involved in a scheme to defraud rich Texans through high stake bets. He also said that Ruby was involved in this and he also spoke of Ruby having good connections in gambling circles in a number of cities he had visited with Ruby.

William Abadie told the FBI in March 1963 that he was hired by Ruby's shop foreman as a slot machine and juke box mechanic for a period of about seven weeks. He told them that he saw Jack Ruby engaging in illegal bookmaking during that time.

The FBI interviewed Jack Hardee in prison in December 1963. He informed them that when he attempted to set up a numbers game in Dallas a year earlier he was told that he would need to have clearance from Jack Ruby.

Narcotics

A Warren Commission memo states that Jack Ruby was the subject of a narcotics investigation in 1947 along with his brother Hyman and Paul Roland Jones. Ruby avoided prosecution over this but Jones was convicted of flying 60 pounds of opium over the Mexican border.

A 1956 FBI report states that their informant Eileen Curry reported that in January that year she moved to Dallas with her boyfriend, James Breen, after they had jumped bond on narcotics charges. Breen told her at that time that he had made connection with large narcotics set up operating between Texas, Mexico and the East and that "in some fasion James got the okay to operate through Jack Ruby of Dallas."

The FBI interviewed her again after the assassination and she confirmed her previous account but also said that in early 1956 she saw James Breen drive off with Jack Ruby. Breen told her later that "he had accompanied Ruby to an unnamed location where he had been shown moving pictures of various border guards plus narcotics agents and contacts on the Mexican side." Breen had been impressed by what he regarded as an extremely efficient narcotics trafficking operation. Eileen Curry had seen Ruby several times at her apartment and at Ruby's club and she easily recognised him as Oswald's killer from news photos.

Prostitution

Former Dallas County Sheriff Steve Guthrie told the FBI that he believed "Ruby operated some prostitution activities and other vices in his club since Ruby had been in Dallas."

Jack Hardee, who knew Ruby in 1962, reported that Ruby hustled the strippers and other girls who worked in his club, "setting up dates for them and taking half the earnings."

Restaurant operator Carl Maynard told the FBI that one of his waitresses had previously worked at the Carousel Club and he learned through her that Ruby arranged prostitution dates with his girls and he took a percentage of the money earned.

Dallas disc jockey Kenneth Dowe testified that Ruby "was known around the station for procuring women for different people who came to town."

There is considerable evidence that Jack Ruby was involved in gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking activities and that criminals were required to get clearance from him before they engaged in such activities in the Dallas area. However, the only thing that this documentary had to say was "...in Dallas Ruby achieved a measure of respectability..." If that was the case, he must have been much better at keeping secrets than the programme would have us believe!

RUBY AND THE KILLING OF OSWALD

The documentary used various witnesses and historical notes to put over a view about Jack Ruby. The view was that Ruby was not part of a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy, that he loved his President and was very upset by his death, that his actions were due to some odd misplaced patriotism, that he had not planned to kill Oswald in advance, that the act was not premeditated and that it was only by chance that he decided at the last minute go down into the police station just as the Oswald was being transferred.

In fact there is evidence to challenge all of these assertions which this documentary totally ignored. Let us look at them one at a time:

Conspiracy to kill Kennedy?

As shown earlier there is plenty of evidence to show that Ruby had links to the Mafia. We have also seen that there was a dramatic increase in the number of phone calls that Ruby had with Mafia people leading up to the assassination. There is also evidence that Ruby dined with a local Mafia figure, Joseph Campisi, the evening before the assassination.

In March 1963 the Internal Revenue Service had noted that Ruby owed $21,000 in unpaid taxes. In the summer this figure had nearly doubled and in October he was still trying to negotiate with the IRS. However, on November the 19th Ruby told his tax lawyer that he now had a "connection" who could supply him with money to settle his tax debts. On that day he only had $245 in his Carousel Club account. Three hours after the assassination he was in a bank talking with a bank official who knew him well. The official reported that he had $7,000 in cash on him. He deposited none of it but nearly half of it had gone when he was arrested two days later. It has never been explained where this money came from.

Upset at Kennedy's death? Ruby made many long rambling statements whilst in prison. Whilst talking he disclosed that he did not vote for John Kennedy and he had not gone to watch him drive through Dallas. Some people who saw Ruby over the weekend of the assassination thought that he was upset but others did not. On the Friday night TV newsman Vic Robertson saw him at Police Headquarters and reported that "Ruby appeared to be anything but under stress" and "He seemed happy, jovial, was joking and laughing."

In the early hours of Saturday morning he was at radio station KLIF and announcer Glen Duncan said Ruby "was not grieving," and "if anything," was "happy at the evidence piling up against Oswald."

The disc jockey Russ Knight was also there and he thought that Ruby was expressing no bitterness towards Oswald and when he spoke of him it was only to say that he thought he was a good looking guy who resembled Paul Newman.

On Saturday afternoon he was at the Dallas Police Department handing out cards advertising his night club to reporters and inviting them for free drinks. French reporter Phillippe Labro told this to the FBI and a Fort Worth reporter Thayer Waldo testified the same thing.

Johnny Branch, manager of the Empire Room, testified that Ruby came to his club on the Saturday night at 10pm where he mentioned nothing about the assassination but handed out some five dollar bills to customers as he had done on other occasions.

Misplaced patriotism?

Harry Hall, his partner in a gambling operation, told the FBI that "Ruby was the type who was interested in any way to make money" and that he "could not conceive of Ruby doing anything out of patriotism." Jack Kelly had known Ruby for 20 years and expressed similar doubts.

Ruby's friend Paul Roland Jones told the FBI that he doubted that Ruby would have become emotionally upset and killed Oswald on the spur of the moment. He felt that Ruby would have done it for money.

No advanced planning? No premeditation?

Tom Brown, a garage attendant, told the FBI that at about 1:30pm on Saturday the 23rd of November Ruby had been at Nichol's Garage making a phone call. He "overheard Ruby inform the other party to the conversation as to the whereabouts of Chief of Police Curry."

Garret Hallmark, general manager of the garage, overheard Ruby on the phone at 3pm to somebody called Ken. He was seeking confirmation of the scheduled time for Oswald's transfer and he said "You know I'll be there."

Later that day waitress Wanda Helmick was at Bull-Pen Drive-In Restaurant in Arlington, Texas which was operated by Ralph Paul a close friend and business associate of Jack Ruby. When the phone rang between 8 and 9 pm another waitress called out to Ralph Paul "It is for you. It is Jack." She reported overhearing that Paul "did say something about a gun, and he asked him if he were crazy."

Between 2:30am and 3:00am the next morning, in the communications room of Dallas Police Headquarters, Lieutenant Billy R. Grammer had an anonymous phone call. The man calling described the transfer plans for Oswald, including the use of a decoy vehicle and said "You're going to have to make some other plans or we're going to kill Oswald right there in the basement." The voice was familiar to him but at the time he could not place it.

Later that day, after the shooting of Oswald, Grammer realised where he had heard the voice before. It was the voice of Jack Ruby who had spoken to him only a week earlier. Grammer was still convinced of this when interviewed for British Television 25 years later. Was Ruby was under orders to kill Oswald but reluctant to do so?

Last minute decision?

Ruby's roommate George Senator testified that on Sunday the 24th of November 1963, Ruby was in his apartment until about 10:30 am. However, Elnora Pitts phoned between 8:30 and 9:00am to check it was alright for her to do her usual Sunday morning cleaning for Ruby (which she had been doing for several weeks). The man who answered claimed to be Ruby but did not sound like him, did not recognise Pitts and had no knowledge of the Sunday cleaning arrangements she had with Ruby.

A preacher named Ray Rushing told Dallas Police Officer Jack Revill that he had a short conversation with Jack Ruby in a police elevator at about 9:30 am.

John Smith was in a TV truck outside Dallas Police Headquarters that morning and he told the FBI that he saw a man twice between 8am and 10am. The man came to the truck to enquire about Oswald's transfer. Smith confirmed to the FBI that the man was Jack Ruby.

WBAP cameraman Ira Walker testified that a man came up to his TV trunk at just after 10:30am and enquired about Oswald's transfer. He identified the man as being Ruby as did Warren Richey who had been on top of the truck with his camera.

Telephone company records show a call at 10:19 from Karen Carlin's residence to Jack Ruby's flat. This was supposed to be the call from Karen Carlin ("Little Lyne") asking for Ruby to transfer money to her.

We can see that Ruby and his flatmate were lying when they claimed that Ruby stayed at home until 10:30 am and that Ruby was around Police Headquarters taking a keen interest in Oswald's transfer all morning. If Ira Walker is correct about the time he saw Jack Ruby outside Police Headquarters then Ruby could not have taken the call from Karen Carlin and heard her request for a money transfer.

RUBY'S KILLING OF OSWALD - AN UNPLANNED HAPPENSTANCE?

The documentary also promoted the belief that Ruby went down into the basement of the Police Headquarters as a sudden last minute idea, that only by chance did he arrive as Oswald was being transferred and that his murder of Oswald was a spontaneous, unplanned act.

The programme sited the fact that Ruby was in the Post Office at 11.17am transferring money to Karen Carlin and that he had his beloved dog Sheba locked in his car when he decided "on the spur of the moment" to go into Police Headquarters.

However, we have seen that there were statements made by local people suggested that Ruby was already planning to be at Oswald's transfer the day before it took place. There is evidence that he was loitering around Police Headquarters on the morning that Oswald was murdered and taking a keen interest in his transfer arrangements. Ruby could easily have been down in Police Headquarters Basement amongst the reporters at about the time Oswald's transfer was planned at 10:30am. If he was so interested in the events that morning why did he only make a last minute appearance? The answer that some researchers put forward is that he wanted it to look like a spontaneous unplanned act so he lied about being at home until 10:30 am and he got his roommate to do the same. He arranged for Karen Carlin to phone his flat at 10.19am to request a loan. He then made the money transfer to her at 11.17am and then he went into Police Headquarters where there were some members of the Dallas Police Force willing to assist him. These individuals helped him get into the building and delayed the transfer until Ruby was in position. They then signaled to Ruby when Oswald was about to come out and they arranged for Oswald to slow in the area where Ruby was waiting for him. Ruby then killed Oswald because he was following orders from the Mafia to do so. His car was left outside with his dog in it to make the authorities think it was a spontaneous act. We can look at the evidence for this as follows:

Lying about being at home.

We have already seen that a number of witnesses saw Ruby around Police Headquarters between 8am and 10:30am. It seems possible that someone other than Ruby took the phone call from the cleaner that morning. Somebody other than Ruby could have taken the phone call from Karen Carlin at 10:19am because Ruby was seen by the cameraman Ira Walker by Police Headquarters only 11 minutes or so later.

Senator told the authorities that Ruby had been at home until 10:30 am and the evidence suggests that he was lying. If this had been the case then Senator was heavily involved in what was going on and we would expect him to be anxious following Oswald's death. Attorney Jim Martin told the FBI that Senator was practically "overwhelmed with fear" and this fear was "one of the primary reasons he left the Dallas area."

Perhaps he had good reason to be fearful. On the night of Oswald's death he met with Attorney Jim Martin, Attorney Tom Howard and two newsmen, Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe at Jack Ruby's flat. Within 16 months of this meeting Hunter and Koethe had both been brutally murdered and Howard had died of a reported heart attack.

Karen Carlin - phoning under orders?

On the morning of Oswald's murder Karen Carlin phoned Ruby's apartment at 10:19am and later claimed that this was to request a loan of $25, supposedly for rent and groceries. Perhaps a little strange given that it was a Sunday and she had already borrowed $5 from Ruby the previous evening. She saw Ruby most days so she should have been able to ask for a further loan in person within the next day or so. Had she been lying under instructions from Ruby you would expect her to be anxious when questioned by the authorities. Secret Service agent Roger C Warner interviewed her on the day of Oswald's murder and recorded that "she was reluctant to make any statement." She explained that she suspected an assassination conspiracy and that "she would be killed if she gave any information to the authorities." He noted that she "twisted in her chair, stammered in her speech and seemed on the point of hysteria."

Why she felt that she would be killed if she gave out information was never determined.

Help getting into the building?

This is a controversial issue but it should be noted that the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigated how Ruby got into Police Headquarters and concluded that he did not enter the basement via the main street ramp as the Warren Commission claimed. The HSCA concluded that he entered via other means and possibly with the help of someone in the Police Department. Dallas police sergeant Patrick Dean failed a lie detector test with regard to his assignment of police guards away from the elevators and the door to a stairway just before Ruby shot Oswald. Some researchers suggest he was close to Dallas Mafia boss Joe Civello. It seems possible that sergeant Dean could have been one of a number of police personnel assisting Ruby that morning.

Delayed the transfer?

Researchers have found evidence that some members of the Dallas Police Department had associated with local Mafia people and also with Jack Ruby. This included some of the senior personnel. They speculate that one or more of these individuals took actions to delay Oswald's transfer until they knew Ruby was in position.

Signals for Ruby?

TV cameras recorded events that morning and revealed that a car sounded its horn somewhere in the garage area about a minute before Oswald was brought down from his cell. At the time of the shooting a car also reversed rapidly down a ramp and screeched its brakes at the bottom, a car horn also sounded at this time. Did these sounds occur by chance or were they pre-planned signals?

Oswald slowed up near to Ruby? TV recordings of the murder of Oswald at first show him being led out by the police at a brisk walking pace. However, they then slow down a little. Detective Leavelle was at the side of Oswald and he said that the unmarked car for Oswald was not where they were expecting it. The car was a few feet further on. This probably caused them to slow down momentarily. It was when they reached the spot where the car should have been that Ruby stepped out and shot Oswald.

Under orders from the Mafia?

Detective Don Ray Archer told British television in 1988 that after Oswald had been shot he was with Jack Ruby and "His behavior to begin with was very hyper. He was sweating profusely. I could see his heart beating... He asked me for one of my cigarettes...the head of the secret service came up and conferred with him and told me that ...Oswald had died... I returned and said, "Jack, it looks like it's going to be the electric chair for you." Instead of being shocked, he became calm; he quit smoking, his heart slowed down. I asked him if he wanted a cigarette and he advised me that he didn't smoke. I was just astonished at the complete difference of behavior from what I expected. I would say that his life depended on him getting Oswald."

Dog in the car?

The documentary stated that Ruby had left his dog Sheba LOCKED in his car at the time of the shooting of Oswald. This is not true. Official reports state that the doors of the car were open, the key to the boot was in the glove compartment and the car keys were locked in the boot. There was also a wallet and $1,000 in cash locked in the boot.

This means that it would have been easy for anyone to get his dog out of the car and take care of her. In addition Ruby did not have the car keys on him when he was arrested. This means that anybody could have driven his car, with the dog in it, and parked it in a lot near to the Post Office at the time of the shooting. We only have statements from Ruby and his roommate George Senator to prove that Ruby drove his car to the Post Office at about 11am that morning. We have already seen that statements from other witnesses suggest they were both lying about Ruby's movements that morning.

Was the dog in the car episode a set up to give the impression that Ruby killed Oswald as the result of happenstance rather than premeditation? Would he then be able to plea murder without malice and avoid the death penalty? Is this why he did not kill Oswald earlier in the weekend when he had the opportunity? Had a plan to make the murder look spontaneous not been developed at that stage?

The documentary did not look at any of this but continued to promote the official point of view. The alternate explanations put forward by conspiracy theorists were not properly explored by this programme.

Edited by Tony Austin

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I'd forgotten that A&E was part-owned by ABC. That might explain a lot. With Beyond Conspiracy, ABC's ANCHOR MAN, the now-departed Peter Jennings, put his personal credibility on the line claiming there was not one scintilla of evidence blah blah blah, and, even more insultingly, that those who believe conspiracy just can't allow themselves to believe that a pipsqueak like Oswald killed their great hero Kennedy. Those not from the states might not realize the significance of ANCHOR MEN. They are the super-stars of the news world. Hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising is tied to their credibility. When an ABC exec realized that a company part-owned by ABC/Disney was out there spewing controversial crap that undermined the credibility of their STAR, well, that might have been the end of The Men Who Killed Kennedy right there. Those not convinced of the power of stardom should reflect that Comedy Central, owned by Viacom, banned an episode of South Park because it made fun of Tom Cruise and Scientology. Do you think it's a coincidence that Paramount, also owned by Viacom, has the Tom Cruise vehicle Mission Impossible 3 on their summer schedule, and is relying upon him performing a promotion campaign?

While some might think Peter Jennings was just a hired face for Beyond Conspiracy, that's not the way the world of anchor men works. He was the raison d'etre for the program. Without his involvement it would never have been made. So why did he make it? Peter Jennings, as a Canadian who made it big in the colonies, was incredibly patriotic, and probably felt, post 9-11, that America needed to pat itself on the back and support our government. And forget about the yucchy past. It was clear he was already leaning to the right on election eve 2000, when he couldn't say "First Lady Hillary Clinton" without inserting words like "much-despised" or "highly-controversial." When he interviewed Bush, and asked about Bush' losing in Florida, Bush said he still thought he was gonna win, and pretty much winked at him. (That footage should have been in Fahrenheit 9-11.) Anyhow, Jennings had his own agenda. One we may never understand. On another Forum, I exchanged a few questions with Dr. Chad Zimmerman, who was featured in Beyond the Magic Bullet. He made it clear that the producers contacted him, wanting him to replicate the bs experiments he'd put up on the internet supporting the magic bullet. This means that, much like the Warren Commission, these programs are outlined and FUNDED with the results of their "investigations" a foregone concusion. As a TV producer, you might never work again, if you SOLD a program to a network saying we were gonna disprove conspiracy and then handed in a program supporting conspiracy. It's clear, then, that Peter Jennings green-lighted or effectively green-lighted, a program arguing against conspiracy and put all of the weight of ABC news behind it. Who had he been talking to? Somehow I doubt he'd stumbled upon Dale Myers' website and said "Hey, this would make great TV!" But you never know.

Edited by Pat Speer

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