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Lawrence Schnapf

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About Lawrence Schnapf

  • Birthday 04/30/1953

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  • Location
    New York
  • Interests
    environmental law, JFK Assassination, baseball

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  1. Gil- what is different from your prior piece? wasnt it much longer than this one?
  2. An interesting factoid in the Firearms Panel report is that the toolmarks on test firings performed in 1977 did not match the toolmarks on the 1964 hulls. The explanation was: "The panel was unable to identify its test-fired bullets with the CE 399 bullet. The panel attributed this to changes in the bore caused by repeated of the rifle by the FBI and the Infantry Weapons Evaluation Branch of the U.S. Army, as well as to deterioration of the surfaces because the rife had bot been properly cleaned, lubricated and maintained. For the same reasons, the panel's test-fired bullets also could not be identified with those of the FBI. [Vol. VII, page 369] . The rifle was fired approximately 100 times by the FBI and others in 1964. Cliff Spiegelman testified at the 2017 Mock Trial that such few firings would not result in changing the characteristics of the bore. He testified that machine guns that fired thousands of bullets did not exhibit any significant changes. Note that a sulphur cast of the rifle was taken by Frazier. The picture of the case shows the rifle was dirty. [see WC CE 540]
  3. As I mentioned in my comment to Part III, the postal mark on the envelope and the absence of endorsements by federal Reserve member banks are not dispositive. It is possible that the postal mark does not represent where the envelope was mailed but actually may represent the postal machine that was used to process the envelope. 1. At a trial, the Government would have introduced the image of the envelope and postal order as evidence that LHO ordered the rifle. Defense would first object to the evidence as being unreliable because it cant be authenticated (we don’t have originals) as well as chain of custody issues. Presumably, your info would be used to show either that the evidence is inadmissible as unreliable would seek an instruction from the judge to the jury that the questions raised go to the weight they should give to the evidence of purchase. As part of this attack on the credibility of the evidence is Armstrong’s theory that because the postal mark represented the place where the envelope was deposited, Oswald could not have possibly been the one who mailed it. I have been told my some postmark collectors and historians that the number ‘12’ which appears on the franking/cancellation mark does not indicate where the envelope was deposited but simply that the letter was franked through the number 12 machine at the processing plant, which was, in 1963, within the terminal annex building where Oswald actually bought the money order. The government would use this to rebut the defense argument. There are some collectors who have said the mark could be a postal zone because the "12" is facing the same direction as the letters in "Dallas, Tex." (as if the "12" could be a continuation of the "Dallas, Tex." location). Other Dallas postmarks that have a number/letter combination stamped on them (like "3B" and "2B"), those markings are facing the other way, opposite the way that "Dallas, Tex." is engraved on the postmark. There was a FB post several years ago that said that Jimmy Orr (a supervisor for the United States Postal Service) said Main Post Office in Dallas would have typically had a large workroom area with multiple cancellation machines in 1963. He said the number 12 designates either a "Model G Flyer" machine mechanized flyer" or perhaps even the more advanced mechanical canceller called the "Mark II". He said it is also quite probable that they had as many as twelve mechanized Mark II cancellation machines. The dies would be nearly identical and would merely indicate the machine number at the Main Office. He went on to say that in 1963, it was probable that Dallas was shipping everything to the Sectional Center Facility (SCF). It would not have been practical to run a cancellation unit in every corner of the city. He concluded that one cannot tell if the envelope was dropped into a mail slot downtown or in Oak Cliff. Thus, it is possible that Oswald dropped the letter into a mail slot right there at the Main Post Office in Dallas on 3/12/63 (where he bought the money order right) and that the post office stamped the letter SOMEWHERE ELSE, in some OTHER postal zone (#12). He also said that the time of the postmark does NOT indicate what time the letter arrived at the postal facility but simply signifies that it was at least 10:30 am when the envelope went through the cancelling machine. Orr said the time of 10:30 [which is also stamped on Commission Exhibit 773] would indicate the 'clearance' time for delivery. Anything before 10:30 would constitute next day service. I believe that no conclusion can be drawn about the origin of the letter based simply on the postmark. Would be great if someone in the collective here could develop further information on this issue. 2. At a trial, the government would have had Holmes testify to authenticate the order and explain how he found it. Defense would attack its admissibility and Holmes testimony partly because of the lack of endorsement marks on the back. However, there is a question if postal orders would be handled like checks because they are considered cash. Someone would have had to have banking experts testify. If not, the defense would be stuck with the other arguments that you and others have posited. Likely would have been admitted with possibly an instruction to the jury to consider the defense’s arguments
  4. Gil- I'll be interested if you will be clarifying two important issues involving the cancellation mark on the envelope and the lack of endorsements on the rear of the money order. Here are two important issues: 1. Armstrong suggested the cancellation mark represented where the envelope was deposited. If he was right, that would have meant that LHO really did not have time to cross the river to deposit the envelope. However, there is considerable uncertainty about what the cancellation mark means. In many post offices, the mark represents the machine in the general collection office (the office where the mail is sorted and not the mailbox where the envelope is deposited . If the latter applied in Dallas, the mark could not be used to argue that Oswald did not have the time to deposit the envelope (e.g., he could have deposited the night before and the stamp then represents when the envelope was processed at the general PO). I have not seen any evidence that anyone has ever talked to former members of the Dallas post office to clarify this situation. 2. I believe the money order regulations in effect at the time have been handled money orders as if they were cash. Some have agued that the absence of endorsements by the federal reserve member banks meant the money order was never "cashed" However, the banking rules may remove the absence of endorsements of any significance. I have not seen any evidence that any banking regulators from that time were interviewed to clarify how money orders were processed by the federal reserve. L
  5. The police can claim whatever they found whenever they need it and backdated the evidence.
  6. I did an examination of the lineup in connection with the 2017 CAPA mock trial with the judge who presided over the mock trial. We concluded that the lineup was constitutionally deficient and that Oswald's rights were violated. Former WC attorney Burt Griffin came to a similar conclusion with his own presentation at a Cleveland-area law school. The slides to my presentation are available.
  7. didnt weitzman refer to the rifle as having a mauser "action"? that term usually means a bolt-action rifle. my recollection was that it was not uncommon to call bolt-action rifles as having a mauser action. so it is possible he was generically referring to the rifle?
  8. nice piece by Johnny. i'm interested to see what he says about the chain of evidence for the hulls and various bullet fragments.
  9. she was interviewed more than 40 times without the benefit of counsel while under "protective custody" in the motel in the presence of the INS. she was told that if she cooperated she would not be at risk of deportation. there was a NYT article published in 11/64 where she discussed her fears of being deported. she was brought before the Warren Commission 4 times because of problems with her testimony. Philip Shenon in his book and Howard Willens in his book explain how frustrated the WC was with her inconsistent testimony. she was the key witness for the WC. in a trial, she would not have been able to testify under the spousal privilege rule then in effect.
  10. Brennan would never had held up under cross-examination. he admitted to seeing LHO on TV twice before the lineup and couldnt identify him. and Z-film shows him looking away at the time of the first shot.
  11. At the CAPA "Last Witnesses" conference in 2018, Jim Gocheanuer shared his story about his talks with Elmer Moore who said he regretted pressuring dr. Perry. Then we had the doctor who worked with Malcolm Perry in Washington who shared that Dr. Perry said he was pressured to change his account but that he was convinced the neck wound was one of entry.
  12. Jim- thanks for introducing Mark and me. we have assembled a very talented legal team. Our first tangible result of our effort is getting the Public Interest Declassification Board to put out a statement urging full release of the records and putting this topic on the agenda for the May 18th public hearing. stay tuned. we have a full menu of legal actions in the works.
  13. are you referring to Kai Bird's book. I read a book my him which covered the 1980s. wasnt all that interesting.
  14. i am surprised at the number of well-respected members of the research community including lawyers and doctors who do not buy into the Young story. they believe this is just confusion,
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