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Craig Roberts: Kill Zone


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 02:57 PM

Craig Roberts was a U.S. Marine sniper. In 1994 he wrote a book, Kill Zone: A Sniper Looks at Dealey Plaza. Here are two passages which I believe reading in some detail. I would be especially interested in hearing the views of other members of the Forum on this subject.

(1) Unlike Oswald, who failed to qualify on the rifle range in Boot Camp, and who barely qualified "Marksman"-the lowest of three grades-on a later try, I was a trained and combat-experienced Marine sniper. I had spent a year in Vietnam, during which time I had numerous occasions to line up living, breathing human beings in the crosshairs of my precision Unertl scope and squeeze the trigger of my bolt-action Model 70 Winchester and send a .30 caliber match-grade round zipping down range.

Here I was, a professional police officer and writer, looking down at the most famous ambush site in history through the eyes of a sniper. A strange feeling came over me. A feeling of calm, dampening my anger. The trained investigator inside me surfaced and took over my emotions. I began to scrutinize what my senses were absorbing.

First, I analyzed the scene as a sniper. In the time allotted, and in the distance along the street in which the rounds had impacted the target from first report to final shot, it would take a minimum of two people shooting. There was little hope that I alone, even if armed with the precision equipment I had used in Vietnam, would be able duplicate the feat described by the Warren Commission. So if I couldn't, I reasoned, Oswald couldn't.

Unless he had help.

I looked at the engagement angle. It was entirely wrong. The wall of the building in which the windows overlooked Dealey Plaza ran east and west. By looking directly down at the best engagement angle-which was straight out the window facing south-I could see Houston Street. Houston was perpendicular to the wall and ran directly toward my window. This is the street on which the motorcade had approached and would have been my second choice as a zone of engagement. My first choice was directly below the window, at a drastic bend in the street that had to be negotiated by Kennedy's limousine. It would have to slow appreciably, almost to a stop, and when it did, the target would be presented moving at its slowest pace. The last zone of engagement I would pick would be as the limo drove away toward the west-and the Grassy Knoll. Here, from what I could see, three problems arose that would influence my shots. First, the target was moving away at a drastic angle to the right from the window, meaning that I would have to position my body to compete with the wall and a set of vertical water pipes on the left frame of the window to get a shot. This would be extremely difficult for a righthanded shooter. Second, I would have be ready to fire exactly when the target emerged past some tree branches that obscured the kill zone. Finally, I would have to deal with two factors at the same time: the curve of the street, and the high-to-low angle formula-a law of physics Oswald would not have known.

Even if I waited for the target to pass the primary and secondary engagement zones, and for some reason decided to engage instead in the worst possible area, I still had to consider the fact that Oswald made his farthest, and most difficult shot, last. I estimated the range for this shot at between 80 and 90 yards. It was this final shot that, according to the Warren Commission, struck Kennedy's head.

As an experienced sniper, something else bothered me. Any sniper knows that the two most important things to be considered in selecting a position are the fields of fire, and a route of escape. You have to have both. It is of little value to take a shot, then not be able to successfully get away to fight another day. Even if the window was a spot that I would select for a hide, I had doubts about my ability to escape afterwards. According to what little I had read, the elevator was stuck on a floor below at the time in question, and only the stairway could have been used as a means of withdrawal. And there were dozens of people-potential witnesses-below who would be able to identify anyone rushing away from the scene. Not good.

But Oswald was not a trained or experienced military sniper. He was supposed to be little more than some odd-ball with a grudge. And for whatever reason, had decided to buy a rifle and shoot the President of the United States. Or so the Warren Commission would have us believe.


(2) Knoll and the Picket Fence, which I had purposely saved for last. I walked up the slope and around the fence, arriving in a parking lot that was bordered on the northwest by train tracks. I walked the length of the fence, stopping at a spot on the eastern end.

I looked over the fence at Elm Street and froze. This is exactly where I would position myself if I wanted the most accurate shot possible considering the terrain I had explored. It had some drawbacks-it was close to witnesses, and prone to pre-incident discovery-but the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages for a determined assassin. The target vehicle would be approaching instead of moving away, thereby continually decreasing the range; the shot would be almost flat trajectory, making the down-angle formula a mute point; the deflection (right/left angle) would change little until the car passed a freeway sign on the north curbline; and finally, it offered numerous escape route possibilities. Behind me, to the north and west, was a parking lot full of cars, a train yard full of boxcars, and several physical terrain features to use as cover during withdrawal. It was by far the best spot.

Looking almost due east, across the grassy open park-like Plaza, I could see two multi-story office-type buildings approximately the same height as the Depository. The roof tops of either building would be excellent firing positions for a trained rifleman with the proper equipment, and would be the places I would select if I wanted the best possible chance of not being detected in advance. Without going to the roofs of each, I could not determine the accessibility of escape routes. But for firing platforms, they were ideal.

Then, considering the possibility of multiple-snipers (which meant a conspiracy), I had to ask myself how I would position the shooters to cover the kill zone in front of the Grassy Knoll?

My military training once again took over. I would use an area within the Plaza that would afford the best kill zone for either a crossfire or triangulated fire. Simply put, I would position my teams in such a way that their trajectory of fire converged on the most advantageous point to assure a kill. In the military, single snipers are seldom used. Normally, the smallest sniper team consists of two men, a sniper and his spotter/security man. Even in police SWAT teams, a marksman has an observer who is equipped with a spotting scope or binoculars to help pick and identify targets and handle the radio communications.

In this case, I would position at least one team behind the Picket Fence (more if I wanted to secure the rear against intruders), another on one or both of the two office buildings (which I later found to be the Dallas County Records Building and the County Criminal Courts Building), and possibly a team on a building across the street north of the Records Building known at the time as the Dal-Tex building. I would have never put anyone in the School Book Depository with so many locations that were much more advantageous unless I needed diversion. If I did, it would be a good place for red herrings to be observed by witnesses.

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#2 Stephen Turner

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 04:03 PM

Consider also Carlos Hathcock, America's most deadly military sniper. he attempted to stage, and replicate Oswald's performance in a mock up at, I think, Quantico. Despite repeated attempts this ace shooter could not come close to repeating Oswald's performance. When asked why he now beleived Oswald had not done the shooting at Dealy Plaza he replied, "Because I couldn't do it"

#3 Ryan Crowe

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 05:31 PM

I have talked with Craig a number of times, and agree with everything he says, but still cant disregard the south knoll as a location...

#4 Ron Ecker

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 09:49 PM

I'm no shooter, but from what I've read, the south knoll would be the best spot, from the standpoint that the target would be moving straight toward you, whereas from behind the north knoll fence the target would be moving toward you at an angle. I believe the south knoll would also allow more time to aim and fire without obstructions.

Roberts doesn't mention the south knoll, and I wonder if he went over there and looked.

#5 Shanet Clark

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 10:04 PM

I'm no shooter, but from what I've read, the south knoll would be the best spot, from the standpoint that the target would be moving straight toward you, whereas from behind the north knoll fence the target would be moving toward you at an angle. I believe the south knoll would also allow more time to aim and fire without obstructions.

Roberts doesn't mention the south knoll, and I wonder if he went over there and looked.


that's right Ron, the limosine would be moving directly toward a south knoll shooter,

but a grassy knoll shooter would have had an oblique angle (and probably would have hit Jackie)

Tosh Plumlee, a respected member of the Forum, testified to a South Shooter, and

I think the emphasis on Zapruder, the fence and the Bookstore Depository are red herrings.

The main sniper was forward and to the left and escaped unnoticed..............

#6 Craig Roberts

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 03:26 PM

[b]The problem is not whether the south knoll could be used, it is what evidence do we have on where the shots came from. JFK's head shot came from the front, a bit to the right. The Limo was not quite at the turn to go under the underpass so was going due west when the final headshot occurred. The skull piece was blown out to the rear and to the left (south) and landed on the hood of the car, and the left rear motorcycle rider was showered with blood and bits of flesh. This shot could not have come from the south or southwest.

CR


I'm no shooter, but from what I've read, the south knoll would be the best spot, from the standpoint that the target would be moving straight toward you, whereas from behind the north knoll fence the target would be moving toward you at an angle. I believe the south knoll would also allow more time to aim and fire without obstructions.

Roberts doesn't mention the south knoll, and I wonder if he went over there and looked.


that's right Ron, the limosine would be moving directly toward a south knoll shooter,

but a grassy knoll shooter would have had an oblique angle (and probably would have hit Jackie)

Tosh Plumlee, a respected member of the Forum, testified to a South Shooter, and

I think the emphasis on Zapruder, the fence and the Bookstore Depository are red herrings.

The main sniper was forward and to the left and escaped unnoticed..............



#7 Ron Ecker

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 04:07 PM

Craig,

Thank you for your comments and for joining us on this question.

The flap opening on the right front side of the head in the Zapruder film indicates a shot impacting in front of or over the ear. If coming from the north knoll, wouldn't such a shot blow out the left rear of JFK's head? It was the right rear that was blown out, which would indicate a shot to the temple area from the left front.

I can see where a tangential shot from the north knoll hitting JFK behind the right ear would blow out that side of the back of his head. But would such a tangential shot to the back part of his head account for a flap being blown open in the front part?

Ron

#8 Bruce Cormier

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 04:16 PM

Craig, I'm pleased you weighed in. Would you address a couple of questions?

First, was it you who "walked away in disgust" from the alleged sniper's perch upon realizing that, given the site's architecture alone -- and, specifically, pipes on the left side of the window -- LHO's claimed feat was implausible for a right hand shot? Or, do I have in mind another writer with your expetise? In either case, please elaborate.

Second, please comment on the feasibility -- even to this this day -- of testing the claimed feat on site. To my knowledge, the topography of the roadway remains the same, and no one (at least not yet) has asserted that conspirators have fraudulently substiituted one version of the TSBD (or sixth floor) for the original. I recognize that "the tree" has grown in the 4+ decades that have elapsed, but couldn't it be cut back? I also recognize that "the window" has been changed since the place became a Musuem -- but do those changes matter, and even if they do, couldn't it be restored? Finally, I recognize that some dispute the Z-film as a timing device, and there is vigorous dispute over the location and number of wounds. But let's go with the official account on that.

This occurs to me whenever people refer to marksmanship tests at Quantico or anyplace else: why not go with the original? To those who would object to this as grotesque or unseemly, please recall that there WAS living firing in a closed-off DP to test the HSCA's acoustical work.

Many thanks,

Bruce

#9 Jack White

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:41 PM

[b]The problem is not whether the south knoll could be used, it is what evidence do we have on where the shots came from. JFK's head shot came from the front, a bit to the right. The Limo was not quite at the turn to go under the underpass so was going due west when the final headshot occurred. The skull piece was blown out to the rear and to the left (south) and landed on the hood of the car, and the left rear motorcycle rider was showered with blood and bits of flesh. This shot could not have come from the south or southwest.

CR



I'm no shooter, but from what I've read, the south knoll would be the best spot, from the standpoint that the target would be moving straight toward you, whereas from behind the north knoll fence the target would be moving toward you at an angle. I believe the south knoll would also allow more time to aim and fire without obstructions.

Roberts doesn't mention the south knoll, and I wonder if he went over there and looked.


that's right Ron, the limosine would be moving directly toward a south knoll shooter,

but a grassy knoll shooter would have had an oblique angle (and probably would have hit Jackie)

Tosh Plumlee, a respected member of the Forum, testified to a South Shooter, and

I think the emphasis on Zapruder, the fence and the Bookstore Depository are red herrings.

The main sniper was forward and to the left and escaped unnoticed..............


Hi, Craig...great to hear from you! There are several folks
here interested in the Mannlicher-Carcano. You are the
best expert around on the subject. I sugget that all MC
questions be addressed to you! I suggest a new thread
CRAIG ANSWERS MC RIFLE QUESTIONS.

Jack

#10 Lee Forman

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 04:41 AM

Mr. Roberts.

As per Jim Hicks, quite a few witnesses, and a lot of reading and exploring I've done myself, there are a few possible locations for shooters - at the ground level.

1. Behind the picket fence - not the 'Badgeman' location, but along the fence facing Elm, to the right of the tree - the GKS location. See enlarged and enhanced photo attached

2. Somewhere behind Pegola Shelter #4 .

3. Somewhere behind Pergola Shelter #3 - the Bill Newman 'Pergola Gardens' area.

As per Jim Phelps...

<< Would you happen to have any additional info that you could share with me
as to why you believe that this area was used by a shooter? >>
===

Sure---look at some of the crowd dynamics pieced together in the seconds
after the shooting from all the film and stills available. In the line of
fire----they hit the grass in just seconds. Some move to the center of the
Pergola's concrete curved area, away from the line of fire and view of the
Garden
and lie down---one runs to look behind the Pergola as someone leaves.

This old Time Mag. Photo has a line put on what would be the line of flight
of the bullet from the Pergola Garden's zone with the hedges:
http://members.aol.c...64/xJFKline.art


A similar photo also has all the Hedges and the Presidents car show, just
seconds before the head shot. If one zooms in on this photo, one sees a black
clad person standing on the sidewalk of the Garden Area:
http://members.aol.c...4/xGNGarden.art
The line of fire in the crowd for a shot from the Garden zone only opens up
after the Limo passes the big interstate sign.


This is another photo near the time of the Pergola Garden's sidewalk and
hedges:
http://members.aol.c...rgolagarden.art

This Zapruder Photo of 313 shows some high speed fragment lines, this appears
to be the bullet fragments and one can do the velocity roughly via the length
of lines and box camera shutter times. These lines rule out a shot from
the front---behind the fences, etc. It is impossible to bullet fragments to
turn 90 degrees. These lines support a low angle shot from the Pergola Garden
zone.
http://members.aol.c...4/xZaplines.art


And the locus of the sound anaysis of the open microphone echo signals point
to this same Pergola Garden area as the locus of origin for one shot.

Specifically on the shooter possible position, number 3:

This would be the area in which a truck is seen parked in the aftermath photos.
This would be the area near the toolsheds.
This would correspond with a woman screaming about shooting the President from the bushes.
This would correspond with shots on a similar trajectory as the TSBD.
This area would work well for Bill Newman's comments and Woodwards's ear shattering sound to her right.
This area would correspond to the area searched by Joe Marshall Smith, as indicated in the Warren Report #5 in the attached.

Mr. Smith.
Yes, sir.; and this woman came up to me and she was just in hysterics. She told me, "They are shooting the President from the bushes." So I immediately proceeded up here.
Mr. Liebeler.
You proceeded up to an area immediately behind the concrete structure here that is described by Elm Street and the street that runs immediately in front of the Texas School Book Depository, is that right?
Mr. Smith.
I was checking all the bushes and I checked all the cars in the parking lot.



Your thoughts appreciated. The area of the toolsheds / Pergola Gardens or Walled Walkway area for one of the possible shooters

Also - may want to search this forum for your name - I believe you have been referenced before on other threads.

- lee

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Edited by Lee Forman, 11 May 2006 - 04:51 AM.


#11 Thomas H. Purvis

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 04:33 PM

Craig Roberts was a U.S. Marine sniper. In 1994 he wrote a book, Kill Zone: A Sniper Looks at Dealey Plaza. Here are two passages which I believe reading in some detail. I would be especially interested in hearing the views of other members of the Forum on this subject.

(1) Unlike Oswald, who failed to qualify on the rifle range in Boot Camp, and who barely qualified "Marksman"-the lowest of three grades-on a later try, I was a trained and combat-experienced Marine sniper. I had spent a year in Vietnam, during which time I had numerous occasions to line up living, breathing human beings in the crosshairs of my precision Unertl scope and squeeze the trigger of my bolt-action Model 70 Winchester and send a .30 caliber match-grade round zipping down range.

Here I was, a professional police officer and writer, looking down at the most famous ambush site in history through the eyes of a sniper. A strange feeling came over me. A feeling of calm, dampening my anger. The trained investigator inside me surfaced and took over my emotions. I began to scrutinize what my senses were absorbing.

First, I analyzed the scene as a sniper. In the time allotted, and in the distance along the street in which the rounds had impacted the target from first report to final shot, it would take a minimum of two people shooting. There was little hope that I alone, even if armed with the precision equipment I had used in Vietnam, would be able duplicate the feat described by the Warren Commission. So if I couldn't, I reasoned, Oswald couldn't.

Unless he had help.

I looked at the engagement angle. It was entirely wrong. The wall of the building in which the windows overlooked Dealey Plaza ran east and west. By looking directly down at the best engagement angle-which was straight out the window facing south-I could see Houston Street. Houston was perpendicular to the wall and ran directly toward my window. This is the street on which the motorcade had approached and would have been my second choice as a zone of engagement. My first choice was directly below the window, at a drastic bend in the street that had to be negotiated by Kennedy's limousine. It would have to slow appreciably, almost to a stop, and when it did, the target would be presented moving at its slowest pace. The last zone of engagement I would pick would be as the limo drove away toward the west-and the Grassy Knoll. Here, from what I could see, three problems arose that would influence my shots. First, the target was moving away at a drastic angle to the right from the window, meaning that I would have to position my body to compete with the wall and a set of vertical water pipes on the left frame of the window to get a shot. This would be extremely difficult for a righthanded shooter. Second, I would have be ready to fire exactly when the target emerged past some tree branches that obscured the kill zone. Finally, I would have to deal with two factors at the same time: the curve of the street, and the high-to-low angle formula-a law of physics Oswald would not have known.

Even if I waited for the target to pass the primary and secondary engagement zones, and for some reason decided to engage instead in the worst possible area, I still had to consider the fact that Oswald made his farthest, and most difficult shot, last. I estimated the range for this shot at between 80 and 90 yards. It was this final shot that, according to the Warren Commission, struck Kennedy's head.

As an experienced sniper, something else bothered me. Any sniper knows that the two most important things to be considered in selecting a position are the fields of fire, and a route of escape. You have to have both. It is of little value to take a shot, then not be able to successfully get away to fight another day. Even if the window was a spot that I would select for a hide, I had doubts about my ability to escape afterwards. According to what little I had read, the elevator was stuck on a floor below at the time in question, and only the stairway could have been used as a means of withdrawal. And there were dozens of people-potential witnesses-below who would be able to identify anyone rushing away from the scene. Not good.

But Oswald was not a trained or experienced military sniper. He was supposed to be little more than some odd-ball with a grudge. And for whatever reason, had decided to buy a rifle and shoot the President of the United States. Or so the Warren Commission would have us believe.


(2) Knoll and the Picket Fence, which I had purposely saved for last. I walked up the slope and around the fence, arriving in a parking lot that was bordered on the northwest by train tracks. I walked the length of the fence, stopping at a spot on the eastern end.

I looked over the fence at Elm Street and froze. This is exactly where I would position myself if I wanted the most accurate shot possible considering the terrain I had explored. It had some drawbacks-it was close to witnesses, and prone to pre-incident discovery-but the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages for a determined assassin. The target vehicle would be approaching instead of moving away, thereby continually decreasing the range; the shot would be almost flat trajectory, making the down-angle formula a mute point; the deflection (right/left angle) would change little until the car passed a freeway sign on the north curbline; and finally, it offered numerous escape route possibilities. Behind me, to the north and west, was a parking lot full of cars, a train yard full of boxcars, and several physical terrain features to use as cover during withdrawal. It was by far the best spot.

Looking almost due east, across the grassy open park-like Plaza, I could see two multi-story office-type buildings approximately the same height as the Depository. The roof tops of either building would be excellent firing positions for a trained rifleman with the proper equipment, and would be the places I would select if I wanted the best possible chance of not being detected in advance. Without going to the roofs of each, I could not determine the accessibility of escape routes. But for firing platforms, they were ideal.

Then, considering the possibility of multiple-snipers (which meant a conspiracy), I had to ask myself how I would position the shooters to cover the kill zone in front of the Grassy Knoll?

My military training once again took over. I would use an area within the Plaza that would afford the best kill zone for either a crossfire or triangulated fire. Simply put, I would position my teams in such a way that their trajectory of fire converged on the most advantageous point to assure a kill. In the military, single snipers are seldom used. Normally, the smallest sniper team consists of two men, a sniper and his spotter/security man. Even in police SWAT teams, a marksman has an observer who is equipped with a spotting scope or binoculars to help pick and identify targets and handle the radio communications.

In this case, I would position at least one team behind the Picket Fence (more if I wanted to secure the rear against intruders), another on one or both of the two office buildings (which I later found to be the Dallas County Records Building and the County Criminal Courts Building), and possibly a team on a building across the street north of the Records Building known at the time as the Dal-Tex building. I would have never put anyone in the School Book Depository with so many locations that were much more advantageous unless I needed diversion. If I did, it would be a good place for red herrings to be observed by witnesses.



First, I analyzed the scene as a sniper. In the time allotted, and in the distance along the street in which the rounds had impacted the target from first report to final shot, it would take a minimum of two people shooting. There was little hope that I alone, even if armed with the precision equipment I had used in Vietnam, would be able duplicate the feat described by the Warren Commission. So if I couldn't, I reasoned, Oswald couldn't


That Craig Roberts rated in the "top" as far as shooting ability, is unquestioned.

However:

1. Exactly why would he, or for that matter, anyone else believe the shooting sequence and elapsed shooting time as given by the Warren Commission???????

This "logic" defies the "logical man" concept of rational thinking.

2. Although obviously an excellent Marksman, does this also represent great achievements in the reading/comprehension field?
Had Mr. Roberts bothered to actually "read" and/or "study" the Warren Report and the accumulated witness statements then he would have (or certainly should have) resolved what even Pat Speer has now come to recognize.

That being: The headshot at Z312/313 IS NOT the last shot fired in the assassination shooting sequence.


Therefore, let me again repeat:

That one does not understand the evidence has no bearing on the validity of the evidence.
It merely means that one does not understand the evidence.

#12 Gene Kelly

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 06:55 PM

The fact remains... an experienced shooter (in his right mind) would likely never have chosen the 5th floor window location. It was wrong for many reasons. And the weapon seems ill-suited for the job at hand, especially a certain kill of the most prominent person in the World. The logic presented is believable; not a one-man job, other better positions, and the desire to escape afterwards.

#13 Thomas H. Purvis

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 07:27 PM

The fact remains... an experienced shooter (in his right mind) would likely never have chosen the 5th floor window location. It was wrong for many reasons. And the weapon seems ill-suited for the job at hand, especially a certain kill of the most prominent person in the World. The logic presented is believable; not a one-man job, other better positions, and the desire to escape afterwards.



LHO:

1. Shooting ability: Upper ranges of EXPERT in all firing positions which consisted of firing from a "fixed" and stable platform firing position. (3 out of 5 firing positions)

Not hardly "an inexperienced" shooter here!

2. the 5th floor window location. Correct: Too many tree limbs in the way. Thus he chose the 6th floor, while James Jarmen, etc; stayed on the fifth floor with the shooter directly above them.

Not to mention the fact that the 6th floor position happened to be an absolutely EXCELLENT position from which to fire down on Elm St.

3. And the weapon seems ill-suited for the job at hand, especially a certain kill of the most prominent person in the World.

Well, for whatever the reason that it was chosen, and whoever it was fired by, it most assuredly did the job.
In fact, first shot would have done it were it not for the extenuating circumstances which caused this bullet to only lodge into the back of JFK a short distance.


So, exactly how many Carcano rifles is it that you own and have fired in order to provide us with the benefit of this research??

If this were so difficult then the sale of "tree stands" as well as hunting sheds built on 30+feet high legs down here in the south would not be such a great sales item.

Height gave the "clear shot" with no intereference by bystanders, vehicles, etc; etc; etc;. Which anyone would know.
"Going away" target gave minimal vertical aiming problems, not to mention that the lateral alignment shift was virtually none.

In my limited experience, this certainly sounds like the absolutely ideal firing position.

And, from what some here have asked of their SOF/SF buddies, they basically got the same answer.

#14 Thomas H. Purvis

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 10:32 PM

Craig Roberts was a U.S. Marine sniper. In 1994 he wrote a book, Kill Zone: A Sniper Looks at Dealey Plaza. Here are two passages which I believe reading in some detail. I would be especially interested in hearing the views of other members of the Forum on this subject.

(1) Unlike Oswald, who failed to qualify on the rifle range in Boot Camp, and who barely qualified "Marksman"-the lowest of three grades-on a later try, I was a trained and combat-experienced Marine sniper. I had spent a year in Vietnam, during which time I had numerous occasions to line up living, breathing human beings in the crosshairs of my precision Unertl scope and squeeze the trigger of my bolt-action Model 70 Winchester and send a .30 caliber match-grade round zipping down range.

Here I was, a professional police officer and writer, looking down at the most famous ambush site in history through the eyes of a sniper. A strange feeling came over me. A feeling of calm, dampening my anger. The trained investigator inside me surfaced and took over my emotions. I began to scrutinize what my senses were absorbing.

First, I analyzed the scene as a sniper. In the time allotted, and in the distance along the street in which the rounds had impacted the target from first report to final shot, it would take a minimum of two people shooting. There was little hope that I alone, even if armed with the precision equipment I had used in Vietnam, would be able duplicate the feat described by the Warren Commission. So if I couldn't, I reasoned, Oswald couldn't.

Unless he had help.

I looked at the engagement angle. It was entirely wrong. The wall of the building in which the windows overlooked Dealey Plaza ran east and west. By looking directly down at the best engagement angle-which was straight out the window facing south-I could see Houston Street. Houston was perpendicular to the wall and ran directly toward my window. This is the street on which the motorcade had approached and would have been my second choice as a zone of engagement. My first choice was directly below the window, at a drastic bend in the street that had to be negotiated by Kennedy's limousine. It would have to slow appreciably, almost to a stop, and when it did, the target would be presented moving at its slowest pace. The last zone of engagement I would pick would be as the limo drove away toward the west-and the Grassy Knoll. Here, from what I could see, three problems arose that would influence my shots. First, the target was moving away at a drastic angle to the right from the window, meaning that I would have to position my body to compete with the wall and a set of vertical water pipes on the left frame of the window to get a shot. This would be extremely difficult for a righthanded shooter. Second, I would have be ready to fire exactly when the target emerged past some tree branches that obscured the kill zone. Finally, I would have to deal with two factors at the same time: the curve of the street, and the high-to-low angle formula-a law of physics Oswald would not have known.

Even if I waited for the target to pass the primary and secondary engagement zones, and for some reason decided to engage instead in the worst possible area, I still had to consider the fact that Oswald made his farthest, and most difficult shot, last. I estimated the range for this shot at between 80 and 90 yards. It was this final shot that, according to the Warren Commission, struck Kennedy's head.

As an experienced sniper, something else bothered me. Any sniper knows that the two most important things to be considered in selecting a position are the fields of fire, and a route of escape. You have to have both. It is of little value to take a shot, then not be able to successfully get away to fight another day. Even if the window was a spot that I would select for a hide, I had doubts about my ability to escape afterwards. According to what little I had read, the elevator was stuck on a floor below at the time in question, and only the stairway could have been used as a means of withdrawal. And there were dozens of people-potential witnesses-below who would be able to identify anyone rushing away from the scene. Not good.

But Oswald was not a trained or experienced military sniper. He was supposed to be little more than some odd-ball with a grudge. And for whatever reason, had decided to buy a rifle and shoot the President of the United States. Or so the Warren Commission would have us believe.


(2) Knoll and the Picket Fence, which I had purposely saved for last. I walked up the slope and around the fence, arriving in a parking lot that was bordered on the northwest by train tracks. I walked the length of the fence, stopping at a spot on the eastern end.

I looked over the fence at Elm Street and froze. This is exactly where I would position myself if I wanted the most accurate shot possible considering the terrain I had explored. It had some drawbacks-it was close to witnesses, and prone to pre-incident discovery-but the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages for a determined assassin. The target vehicle would be approaching instead of moving away, thereby continually decreasing the range; the shot would be almost flat trajectory, making the down-angle formula a mute point; the deflection (right/left angle) would change little until the car passed a freeway sign on the north curbline; and finally, it offered numerous escape route possibilities. Behind me, to the north and west, was a parking lot full of cars, a train yard full of boxcars, and several physical terrain features to use as cover during withdrawal. It was by far the best spot.

Looking almost due east, across the grassy open park-like Plaza, I could see two multi-story office-type buildings approximately the same height as the Depository. The roof tops of either building would be excellent firing positions for a trained rifleman with the proper equipment, and would be the places I would select if I wanted the best possible chance of not being detected in advance. Without going to the roofs of each, I could not determine the accessibility of escape routes. But for firing platforms, they were ideal.

Then, considering the possibility of multiple-snipers (which meant a conspiracy), I had to ask myself how I would position the shooters to cover the kill zone in front of the Grassy Knoll?

My military training once again took over. I would use an area within the Plaza that would afford the best kill zone for either a crossfire or triangulated fire. Simply put, I would position my teams in such a way that their trajectory of fire converged on the most advantageous point to assure a kill. In the military, single snipers are seldom used. Normally, the smallest sniper team consists of two men, a sniper and his spotter/security man. Even in police SWAT teams, a marksman has an observer who is equipped with a spotting scope or binoculars to help pick and identify targets and handle the radio communications.

In this case, I would position at least one team behind the Picket Fence (more if I wanted to secure the rear against intruders), another on one or both of the two office buildings (which I later found to be the Dallas County Records Building and the County Criminal Courts Building), and possibly a team on a building across the street north of the Records Building known at the time as the Dal-Tex building. I would have never put anyone in the School Book Depository with so many locations that were much more advantageous unless I needed diversion. If I did, it would be a good place for red herrings to be observed by witnesses.



First, I analyzed the scene as a sniper. In the time allotted, and in the distance along the street in which the rounds had impacted the target from first report to final shot, it would take a minimum of two people shooting. There was little hope that I alone, even if armed with the precision equipment I had used in Vietnam, would be able duplicate the feat described by the Warren Commission. So if I couldn't, I reasoned, Oswald couldn't


That Craig Roberts rated in the "top" as far as shooting ability, is unquestioned.

However:

1. Exactly why would he, or for that matter, anyone else believe the shooting sequence and elapsed shooting time as given by the Warren Commission???????

This "logic" defies the "logical man" concept of rational thinking.

2. Although obviously an excellent Marksman, does this also represent great achievements in the reading/comprehension field?
Had Mr. Roberts bothered to actually "read" and/or "study" the Warren Report and the accumulated witness statements then he would have (or certainly should have) resolved what even Pat Speer has now come to recognize.

That being: The headshot at Z312/313 IS NOT the last shot fired in the assassination shooting sequence.


Therefore, let me again repeat:

That one does not understand the evidence has no bearing on the validity of the evidence.
It merely means that one does not understand the evidence.




1) Unlike Oswald, who failed to qualify on the rifle range in Boot Camp, and who barely qualified "Marksman"-the lowest of three grades-on a later try, I was a trained and combat-experienced Marine sniper. I had spent a year in Vietnam, during which time I had numerous occasions to line up living, breathing human beings in the crosshairs of my precision Unertl scope and squeeze the trigger of my bolt-action Model 70 Winchester and send a .30 caliber match-grade round zipping down range.


As is apparant, Mr. Roberts may have been the greatest of shots. However, he was somewhat lacking in reading and research ability or else he would have found that LHO fired in the UPPER RANGES OF EXPERT in 3 out of the 5 firing stations.
Each of which was from a fixed/stable firing position.
In the two "off-hand" firing positions, LHO failed in one and barely passed in the other. Each of which degraded his overall score down to Marksman.

Too bad "Sniper" Roberts did not take the time to read up on what his is talking about, not to mention providing us with his Boot Camp firing record as a comparison.

Secondly, I am fully aware of a considerable number of persons in Vietnam who had numerous occasions to line up living, breathing human beings in the crosshairs , and shot them also.
I called it MURDER in my diary, as shooting Vietnamese who are merely walking across some rice paddy dike is hardly that great of an accomplishment.

You see, some of us know what "hamburger" and "hot dog" mean, and although there were most assuredly some disciplined NVA & VC females, I hardly consider shooting a "piece of meat"/(hamburger) as some great accomplishment, just as shooting some male Vietnamese (hot dog) who is walking along minding his own business, does not rate too highly in my book of accomplishments either.


Here I was, a professional police officer and writer, looking down at the most famous ambush site in history through the eyes of a sniper. A strange feeling came over me. A feeling of calm, dampening my anger. The trained investigator inside me surfaced and took over my emotions. I began to scrutinize what my senses were absorbing.

Must be time for some "retraining" if Mr. Roberts did not known enough to read and study ALL of the witness statements and evidence which has always clearly demonstrated that he was, not unlike many, attempting to STUFF a three-shot shooting scenario into a two-shot time frame.

Certainly makes one feel comfortable and assured that we have such professional police officer who does not even bother to review; read; study the evidence for himself.

Sort of makes it quite obvious as to exactly why totally innocent persons often end up in jail.


I looked at the engagement angle. It was entirely wrong. The wall of the building in which the windows overlooked Dealey Plaza ran east and west. By looking directly down at the best engagement angle-which was straight out the window facing south-I could see Houston Street. Houston was perpendicular to the wall and ran directly toward my window. This is the street on which the motorcade had approached and would have been my second choice as a zone of engagement. My first choice was directly below the window, at a drastic bend in the street that had to be negotiated by Kennedy's limousine. It would have to slow appreciably, almost to a stop, and when it did, the target would be presented moving at its slowest pace. The last zone of engagement I would pick would be as the limo drove away toward the west-and the Grassy Knoll. Here, from what I could see, three problems arose that would influence my shots. First, the target was moving away at a drastic angle to the right from the window, meaning that I would have to position my body to compete with the wall and a set of vertical water pipes on the left frame of the window to get a shot. This would be extremely difficult for a righthanded shooter. Second, I would have be ready to fire exactly when the target emerged past some tree branches that obscured the kill zone. Finally, I would have to deal with two factors at the same time: the curve of the street, and the high-to-low angle formula-a law of physics Oswald would not have known.

Makes on wonder if Mr. Roberts has ever actually been to Dealy Plaza.

1. As the Presidential Limo went around the curve of Houston St. to Elm St., the Presidential Limo was completely covered from view by the limbs of the live oak tree.
In addition to this, the target would have been moving almost laterally across the field of fire for such a shot, which would have required a "lead" on a moving target with a rifle.

2. Any shot made as the limo approached the TSDB would have been almost as difficult as the shooter would have had to carry a "lead" on JFK which would have been hindered by the vehicle windshield frame, the handrail, and JBC being directly in front of JFK.
In addition, due to the "lead" required, one would have to estimate the speed of the vehicle and the forward movement of the target for the time-of-flight for the round and thus estimated a lead which would have required aiming at some point on the upper chest/facial area of JFK in order to obtain a head hit.

This would have in fact been the single most difficult shot to achieve, and anyone who knows anything about shooting would know so.

3. As done, provided the absolute "BEST" in shooting alignment.
Target travelling away, thus any "lead" would be absolutely minimal, and even if vehicle speed is faster than estimated the round would still strike either in the upper neck or lower back area.
Limited horizontal movement across the field of fire, thus aiding in re-acquisition of target for succeeding shots.

In fact, there was almost no horizontal/directional difference between the Z313 headshot and the headshot down in front of Altgen's position.


I have absolutely no idea as to who the "ghost writer" for Mr. Roberts was, but they truly knew little about shooting, as well as the shooting setup in Dealy Plaza.

#15 Charles Black

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 04:43 PM

Hello Tom

I interpret what Craig is really saying a liitle differently than do you.

I feel that Craig is approaching this from the standpoint that a logical and staight thinking sniper would, if he knew that he and his spotter,
realized that this mission was to both kill and stay alive and free from capture.

The only two things in the mind of such a professional should be blended into one. " From what position am I most likely to acquire a kill that will also allow me a reasonable probability of escape and evasion". I don't do "suicide"!

In my opinion, the North or South knoll areas would best allow this. It would also allow the possibility of two attempted shots, which should not be necessary with the well skilled shooter and the proper weapon.

Ideally, diversionary sounds from the opposite directions would be greatly desirable for both a second possible shot attempt and a better chance for escape.

Even if one is determined to believe that Oswald was a lone gunman, we must not forget that this happened during lunch break. Nothing would have prevented Oswald from leavng the TSBD, retrieving his "pre hidden" weapon, and have had both a better field of fire while being in a much stronger position to escape.

I was never a sniper, however logic would convince me that the 6th floor did not best support my mission....or desire to continue living.

With the only "possible" change being that I could have chosen either knoll.

Charlie Black




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