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Vince Palamara

MARK LANE HAS PASSED AWAY

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Chuck Schwartz - great post on Dealey Plaza witnesses to possible shots from the 'grassy knoll'.

I followed Mark Lane closely as a 15 year old Bronxite, and went to see him at least twice, most memorably in a debate with Melvin Belli in NYC 1964. It was specifically his recordings of Dealey Plaza witnesses that convinced me and got me forever hooked on this search for truth. Many of these witnesses said they heard more than 3 shots, that they came from in front, that they were questioned (intimidated) by FBI shortly after and told they had it wrong there were only 3 shots. It seemed a natural progression to me to believe Mark Lane. When Oswald was taken into custody and paraded about in the halls of the Dallas police station as the presumptive commie assassin, and then murdered in a well televised spectacle two days later, we all wanted to make sense out of these horrible events. Officialdom, media and government, immediately rallied behind the already official story, which just rang false, incomprehensibly false. It was into that breach, that vacuum, that Mark Lane stepped.

Some time ago there was a lot of criticism of Lane on this forum. Are any of them reading his now? Questions linger about his associations with the Liberty Lobby and with Jonestown. I personally don't think they besmirch his work on JFK.

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Pat;

How could Bowers have seen someone toss a metallic object to someone else and throw it in the trunk on the other side of the fence? Is that what you are saying?

For this is what Bowers told his boss as is in the book on Hoffman.

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Pat;

How could Bowers have seen someone toss a metallic object to someone else and throw it in the trunk on the other side of the fence? Is that what you are saying?

For this is what Bowers told his boss as is in the book on Hoffman.

I'm not familiar with Bowers ever saying this. It seems to me that if he saw this he would have told it to Lane in their extended interview. If you have a direct quote in which Bowers claimed this, I will add it to my database.

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I always thought it was Ed Hoffman, and not Lee Bowers, who always claimed he saw somebody putting something into a metal case near an electrical box behind the grassy knoll. (Not a single one of the Underpass observers saw any of this activity, however.)

But how does that apply to Bowers' observations? Bowers certainly never said anything like that in his filmed interview with Mark Lane in 1966.

~shrug~

Edited by David Von Pein

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I always thought it was Ed Hoffman, and not Lee Bowers, who always claimed he saw somebody putting something into a metal case near an electrical box behind the grassy knoll. (Not a single one of the Underpass observers saw any of this activity, however.)

But how does that apply to Bowers' observations? Bowers certainly never said anything like that in his filmed interview with Mark Lane in 1966.

~shrug~

"Virgil [Ed] Hoffman first came to the attention of the authorities almost four years after the assassination when Jim Dowdy, his supervisor at Texas Instruments in Dallas, called the FBI on June 26, 1967, and told them that an employee, Hoffman, desired to tell the FBI what he saw at the time of the assassination. The FBI told Dowdy that Hoffman, being a deaf-mute, should put in writing everything he saw on that day.

Two days later, Hoffman appeared at the Dallas FBI headquarters. Because he did not read lips and was only semiliterate in reading and writing, he had a difficult time communicating with the agents, but he managed to convey to them, per an FBI report of that day, that when the motorcade was passing through Dealey Plaza, he was standing off the Stemmons Freeway (often referred to as the Stemmons Expressway) near the Texas and Pacific Railroad bridge that crosses over the freeway (not the railroad overpass above Elm, Main, and Commerce, but the one about a hundred yards to the northwest).

He said that right after the shooting he saw two white males, clutching something dark to their chests with both hands, running from the rear of the Texas School Book Depository Building. The men ran north, then east, and Hoffman lost sight of them.

The report doesn't say whether the interviewing agent (Special Agent Will Hayden Griffin) told Hoffman that from Hoffman's vantage point he wouldn't have been able to see the rear of the Texas School Book Depository Building because of a six-foot fence west of the building running for about 150 feet north of the building.

In any event, the report goes on to say, "Approximately two hours after the above interview with Hoffman, he returned . . . and advised he had just returned from the spot on the Stemmons Freeway . . . and had decided he could not have seen the men running because of a fence west of the Texas School Book Depository Building. He said it was possible he saw these two men on the fence or something else."

Since Hoffman admitted that he couldn't have seen what he said he saw, that should have been the end of him as a purported witness. But Hoffman was not about to go away.

[...]

At this point, everyone (including apparently Virgil Hoffman's own family) intended to put the matter behind them. Everyone, that is, except Virgil Hoffman. Almost another ten years went by before Hoffman, this time with bells and bangles, emerged once again. Thoughts about the assassination obviously had not died within him, but instead had been gestating.

By 1977, when he reemerged, allegations about Kennedy's assassin being behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll and about a "puff of smoke" being seen in the vicinity at the time of the shooting had become the currency of discourse in the conspiracy theory community, and Hoffman had a much better tale for the authorities.

He appeared at the Dallas FBI office on March 21, 1977, and this time told agents that the two men he had seen were not, as he had first told them, behind the Texas School Book Depository Building, but instead were—yes, you guessed it—behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll, and one had a rifle and the other a handgun. (The conspiracy theorists, in their books, have always put one assassin behind the picket fence. Hoffman put two there. Both were obviously real, professional hit men for the mob or CIA, etc. If the rifle doesn't get Kennedy, a good old revolver will for sure.)

The FBI report says, "Hoffman made hand motions indicating that one of the men disassembled the rifle and placed it in a suitcase" and that he had also seen a puff of smoke prior to that."

[...]

On the 1988 British television production 'The Men Who Killed Kennedy', Hoffman said the FBI didn't want him to tell anyone what he saw and "offered me money to keep me quiet."

The conspiracy theorists are so impoverished in their desperate search for evidence to support their cause that they are compelled to descend to such whimsical, ever-changing, and obviously untrue accounts as that of Virgil [Ed] Hoffman."

-- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 873-875 of "Reclaiming History"

Edited by David Von Pein

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Pat,

I've looked at this part of the puzzle quite a bit and I have to ask, have you read the full transcript or just the parts Myers shared?

From what I've seen, Bowers never once said the two men were behind the fence or in front of it either, the closest thing we have is that "directly in line" quote and directly in line from his tower and west of the pergola taken literally and exact does actually fall well "behind" the fence(even if my line is fractionally off).

r0dr46.jpg

Whether Lane just assumed Lee was talking about men behind the fence or was scared to pin him down for the record in case he got the wrong answer is anyone's guess.

If you don't know the answer... right?

However, you shouldn't trust Myers on this because when Bowers talked of the south side of the fence as only the transcript revealed, he really meant the south side(where the first people gather after following Haygood up the slope, the photographic evidence of this event Dale seems to have conveniently blocked out) and the very idea that Bowers got N&S confused is far fetched and if you've read the unedited transcript you perhaps would know this like Myers does because there are other clues right in there.

Hudson and the other men on the steps where not visible from the North tower(that's the actual name of the building where Bowers worked, everyday, for years).

I think what Jim is referring to above is an interview Debra Conway had with Bowers' boss, IIRC not recorded but notes kept.

Aside from seeing Bowers for ourselves and finding out that he was brighter than average and clearly being as honest as he could be, it's good to know that it pissed Bugliousi off big time and going by what he wrote it seems to me that if it were he who was interviewing Lee instead of Mark, Vince may have lost his rag and struck him at the mentioning of the word "smoke".

Here you go, from the king of all kooks:

"... a lot of smoke would have to get in one's eyes to believe Lee Bowers.
If Bowers hadn't died when his car struck a bridge abutment near Midlothian, Texas, in August of 1966, it probably would have been just a matter of time before he had Jack Ruby with a machine gun on the grassy knoll."
Lane's interview, the questions he asked and the way he asked them stands up and if in his mind he was rejoicing for getting these two witnesses to practically substantiate each others accounts then again to his and the film-maker's credit he did not show it.
As you can tell from Vince's reaction, Bowers dropped a bomb.

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The conspiracy theorists are so impoverished in their desperate search for evidence to support their cause that they are compelled to descend to such whimsical, ever-changing, and obviously untrue accounts as that of Virgil [Ed] Hoffman."

-- Vincent Bugliosi;

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Vincent Bugliosi was so impoverished in his desperate search for evidence to support his cause that he was compelled to descend to such idiocy as to base his case on a bullet hitting the pavement, shedding it's copper cover, then jumping up and flying at high velocity , crossing a street, causing noticeable damage to a curb, and wounding James Tague by the splattering of concrete.

If one want to know how credible his book (reclaiming history) is - in my opinion, read no further.

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Pat,

I've looked at this part of the puzzle quite a bit and I have to ask, have you read the full transcript or just the parts Myers shared?

From what I've seen, Bowers never once said the two men were behind the fence or in front of it either, the closest thing we have is that "directly in line" quote and directly in line from his tower and west of the pergola taken literally and exact does actually fall well "behind" the fence(even if my line is fractionally off).

r0dr46.jpg

Whether Lane just assumed Lee was talking about men behind the fence or was scared to pin him down for the record in case he got the wrong answer is anyone's guess.

If you don't know the answer... right?

However, you shouldn't trust Myers on this because when Bowers talked of the south side of the fence as only the transcript revealed, he really meant the south side(where the first people gather after following Haygood up the slope, the photographic evidence of this event Dale seems to have conveniently blocked out) and the very idea that Bowers got N&S confused is far fetched and if you've read the unedited transcript you perhaps would know this like Myers does because there are other clues right in there.

Hudson and the other men on the steps where not visible from the North tower(that's the actual name of the building where Bowers worked, everyday, for years).

I think what Jim is referring to above is an interview Debra Conway had with Bowers' boss, IIRC not recorded but notes kept.

Aside from seeing Bowers for ourselves and finding out that he was brighter than average and clearly being as honest as he could be, it's good to know that it pissed Bugliousi off big time and going by what he wrote it seems to me that if it were he who was interviewing Lee instead of Mark, Vince may have lost his rag and struck him at the mentioning of the word "smoke".

Here you go, from the king of all kooks:

"... a lot of smoke would have to get in one's eyes to believe Lee Bowers.
If Bowers hadn't died when his car struck a bridge abutment near Midlothian, Texas, in August of 1966, it probably would have been just a matter of time before he had Jack Ruby with a machine gun on the grassy knoll."
Lane's interview, the questions he asked and the way he asked them stands up and if in his mind he was rejoicing for getting these two witnesses to practically substantiate each others accounts then again to his and the film-maker's credit he did not show it.
As you can tell from Vince's reaction, Bowers dropped a bomb.

The Bowers transcript is available online. I think Gary Mack was the first to find it. It is quite clear from the transcript, IMO, that the men Bowers was talking about were not behind the fence and were most probably the two men near the steps, most probably Hudson and the man in plaid I suspect was Mudd. And yes, he could see these men from the tower. Kathy Beckett among others has taken pictures from the steps in which the tower is readily visible.

To be clear, I consider Mark Lane a hero. But he, like most every lawyer in the known universe, sometimes put the end above the means. He wanted to stir up doubt about the Warren Commission's conclusions. He was correct to do so, IMO. He believed there was a shot from the knoll. He had the smoke witnesses to back this up. And here, years later, he tracks down Bowers, and finds out Bowers remembered something quite different than what Lane thought he'd remembered. So he edited the footage to make it seem like Bowers was describing men behind the fence. The same goes for Price. Price told Lane over and over again that the man he saw running behind the fence started out from the overpass, but it didn't seem to register. Lane reminded him that he'd originally said the man ran from west of the TSBD, and Price was like yeah, the overpass is west of the TSBD. In his zeal to cast Price as a witness for a shooter on the knoll, Lane had assumed Price had meant the man had run out from behind the picket fence. So much for assuming.

Edited by Pat Speer

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Clive:

This is correct:

"I think what Jim is referring to above is an interview Debra Conway had with Bowers' boss, IIRC not recorded but notes kept."

And no, such a thing like that could not have happened on the other side of the fence.

So I agree with you on this.

Edited by James DiEugenio

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Thanks for the tip Pat and Kathy of course for the legwork, here you go.

2blondesandacamera-12.jpg

2blondesandacamera-16.jpg

Cannot be seen unless you move off the steps and west onto the grass.

Myers doesn't recognise this fact yet and it's a major flaw in his argument because

what he did was pick up on one sentence where Bowers appears to say he could literally see through the wooden picket fence and anyone he believes he really could is kooky.

But then Myers continues to steer us towards three men on the steps who could only

be seen from the north tower by penetrating solid concrete.

Cute.

Myers has a point though, Bowers said he could see the south side of the fence when we know he could not but wasn't Haygood visible to Bowers when he reached the west end of the fence and wasn't this exactly what Bowers was talking about when he said he couldn't understand why anyone would investigate that area on the south side of the fence where we know Haygood and his scores of followers hung around?
There's no problem here unless you make one.
What Lee did for a living five days week for ten years, reacting to freight trains coming up from the south and manually flipping switches to ensure their safe passage in a building called the north tower makes the odds that he could confuse north with south very thin indeed.
It was a long shot.

Also to be fair the main suspect for that major edit was the film-maker De'Antonio, some of his critics say that's exactly what he was known for, using edits to illustrate his own ideas and not necessarily those of the person doing the talking, he may have even agreed with these criticisms, it was a style and he hated boring documentary type films, that's not what he wanted to make.

I don't think Lane had any say in the editing at all, that's was Dee's department but was he pleased with the final product? Of course. Attracting the attention of this film-maker and getting a product of this quality was a major result for Mark. The film was a struggle from the start both financially and especially with things like securing all the stock footage they were after which not only were the prices inflated, there were cases where they simply refused usage of them.

But regarding the position of big white X itself, even Myers concedes that it was at least at the correct end of the fence now and if there was a reluctance to pin it down from fear of getting the wrong answer, then where the X was placed is in fact well within reason, it's how it was done that is cause for concern but it's not been proven fraudulent and Myers has to reach just like the rest of us.

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A little more on Bowers from Myers own website(a friendly edit):


The Reverend Wilfred Bailey, Bowers’ minister, told researchers, “Lee did discuss that day with me. He said he saw movement behind the fence. He believed something was going on, but he never got more specific than that. He did not share with me any more than he shared with the Warren Commission.”


In 1967 a friend and fellow employee of Bowers, James R. Sterling gave a statement to Gary Sanders of Jim Garrison's staff. Sterling said Bowers “...observed two men running from behind the fence. They ran up to a car parked behind the Pergola, opened the trunk and placed something in it and then closed the trunk. The two men then drove the car away in somewhat of a peculiar method.”


Then there’s Walter Rishel, a self-proclaimed friend of Lee Bowers (the Bowers family doesn’t recall him), who claimed that Bowers told him he saw two men fire shots from the picket fence, but was afraid to speak out.



...on her own assassination forum, administrator Debra Conway wrote, “I interviewed the supervisor for the railroad yard and Bowers’ boss's superior. He told us that Bowers told him and his direct boss that he did see the two men BEHIND THE FENCE and he thought at least one of them was shooting. He said he didn't go further with it because he was afraid. He didn't want his life threatened or ruined being the main witness against Lee Oswald being the lone shooter. This information, as Gary Mack stated, has long been known and ignored by those who wish to change Bowers' statements to suit their own theories.”

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The men were obviously in front of the fence, going back and forth, whereby they were sometime visible to Bowers, and sometimes not, precisely as would be the case of Hudson and the man in plaid. (If they were behind the fence he would have seen them the whole time.)

Here's Bowers again: (When asked if there were any pedestrians between his location and Elm Street) "Directly in line - uh - there - of course is - uh - there leading toward the Triple Underpass there is a curved decorative wall - I guess you'd call it - it's not a solid wall but it is part of the - uh - park....And to the west of that there were - uh - at the time of the shooting in my vision only two men. Uh - these two men were - uh - standing back from the street somewhat at the top of the incline and were very near - er - two trees which were in the area...And one of them, from time to time as he walked back and forth, uh - disappeared behind a wooden fence which is also slightly to the west of that. Uh - these two men to the best of my knowledge were standing there - uh - at the time - of the shooting...Ah - one of them, as I recall, was a middle-aged man, fairly heavy-set with - what looked like a white shirt. Uh - he remained in sight practically all of the time. The other individual was uh - slighter build and had either a plaid jacket or a plaid shirt on and he - uh -is walking back and forth was in and out of sight, so that I could not state for sure whether he was standing there at the time of the shots or not..."

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