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First Generation Critics of the Warren Report


Peter McGuire
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I received another email from John Kelin today. He asked me to pass it along to all of you:

Someone wondered whether 1) Vince Salandria is in the book, and 2) Gaeton Fonzi is in the book. The answer to both is: Yes. I interviewed Gaeton four or five years ago and he was kind enough to supply me with a transcript of his historic Specter interview, the one he refers to in THE LAST INVESTIGATION. It makes up what I think is a very effective section of my book. I've also got a copy of his PHILADELPHIA magazine article that came from that 1966 interview -- I probably got that from him, too, but it might have come from Vince. It too figures into this section.

And yes, Bill Kelly, you may have either the credit or the blame for the fact that my book exists. As a reticent person I would not on my own have gone up to Vince after his speech, but you dragged me along with you. And that meeting made all the difference. I neglected to note this in the book's Intro, which morphs into a lengthy acknowledgments section. I should have. I do so now, in this much narrower arena.

Thanks in advance, Courtney.

John Kelin

Thank you, John Kelin!

I ordered the book last Sunday and anticipate its arrival like a little kid waiting for Xmas.

The entire transcript of the Fonzi-Specter encounter -- a lovely slice of research heaven!

Words cannot express my gratitude, sir!

Hi Cliff,

First of all, thank you so much for ordering the book.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, the book does not reproduce the Fonzi-Specter encounter in its entirety. It makes up three or four pages, I guess, of one chapter, and is augmented by some stuff that happened both before and after the encounter. Also, it is placed in the general context of the developing story of the critics.

The transcript Fonzi sent me is on the order of 80-something pages, so reproducing it would have been impossible. He also sent me ten pages of questions he prepared with the help of Vince Salandria.

Please let me know what you think of the book once you get it and read it.

John Kelin

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Please let me know what you think of the book once you get it and read it.

John Kelin

John,

I can't wait!

Please pardon the reflexive pessimism of my earlier posts. As Michael Hogan

correctly pointed out, Salandria (and Fonzi) would have to be included in

any book on the early researchers.

As to the source of my pessimism, a history...

I first became interested in this case in 1975 when I read about it in Creem

(America's Only Rock & Roll Magazine!) In 1977 I read Carl Oglesby's The Yankee

and Cowboy War. That book made a lot of sense, and sated for a time my curiosity

in the case.

Between 1991 and 1997 I was an avid reader of JFK assassination literature. I read

The Last Investigation in 1994 and whole-herartedly agreed with Fonzi's conclusion

that the physical evidence -- the bullet holes in JFK's clothing -- was the smoking-gun

in making the case for conspiracy. But when I got on the internet in 1996 I found that

the only other researcher to make that point, other than Fonzi, was Jim Marrs.

It seemed to me that the case had veered off into these highly complex controversies,

such as the police dictabelt and the contradictory head wound evidence. Surely the

case for conspiracy could be readily made in such a manner that a kindergartener

would grasp it.

In 1997 I started to post my own research into the clothing evidence on internet

groups.

I sometimes wonder if the JFK case would have been better off if I'd picked another

hobby.

In response to my postings, two pieces of utter fraud have been produced in rebuttal,

both of which reached a far, far greater audience than I ever have.

My two usenet antagonists: John Hunt and Chad Zimmerman.

Zimmerman went on the Discovery Channel's Unsolved History to claim

that he could pin-point "exactly" the high back wound using a stand-in for JFK

and an x-ray machine. His experiment contradicted his earlier claims about

the location of JFK's third thoracic vertebra, a fact he failed to note in the show.

His prior analysis of the Dealey Plaza photos concluded that JFK's jacket was

only elevated an inch in Dealey Plaza, and his x-rays verified the fact that the

clothing had to be elevated at least two inches. He touted this as evidence in

support of the SBT, all the while knowing it was a lie.

At the end of November 1999 John McAdams triumphantly posted to his site

John Hunt's article, The Case for a Bunched Jacket.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/bunched.htm

In this article John Hunt concluded that JFK's shirt and jacket were "bunched up"

over 2" in near-tandem at the time of the shot in the back.

John McAdams declared this analysis "definitive." By varying degrees, Hunt's work was

smiled upon by such notables as Gary Mack, Martin Shackelford, and Debra Conway.

Here's the opening paragraph:

The Single Bullet Theory (SBT) in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

lives or dies at the mercy of a number of evidentiary hurdles it must overcome on

its way to legitimacy. If the SBT fails on any level, that would be tantamount to proof

of conspiracy in the assassination of the President. Various commentators have argued

that the positions of the bullet holes in the clothing worn by the President prove that a

single bullet could not have passed through that clothing and the President's body in

such a way as to continue its path into the body of Governor John Connally. In this

essay I shall use several different types of evidence to show that these commentators

are wrong, and that their arguments fail to disprove the Single Bullet Theory.

And what evidence does Hunt produce to conclude that JFK's clothing was sufficiently

"bunched" to account for the SBT trajectory?

From the article, emphasis added:

The limits of space, combined with the clear and convincing photographic evidence

yet to come, obviate the need to elaborate on all of the eyewitness testimony. This

testimony is both contradictory and subject to interpretation. Further, my research

indicates that the difference between the impact point of a "smoothly oriented" jacket

shot and a "bunched up" jacket shot is little more than two inches. The reader is

invited to contact me via e-mail if he or she is curious as to how I arrived at the

aforementioned figure. That essay, explaining in detail my methodology, is not

yet finished.

Not yet finished? In what scientific or academic discipline does one get away with

publishing one's conclusions and then leave out the case upon which those

conclusions were based?

As it turns out, Hunt's "evidence" is nothing more than his tortured analysis of

the Dealey Plaza photos and the witness testimony. He describes the highly

visible shirt collar in Willis #4 and then claims that the jacket in Croft #3 was

up to the level of JFK's ear. He describes a "distinctly arched shape," i.e. convex,

on JFK's left shoulder in Betzner #3 while showing a blow up of Willis #5 showing a

concave curvature at the left base of JFK's neck. Hunt refers to his "home experiment"

wherein he managed to get his jacket to ride up a couple of inches, but he failed to

note that in the same experiment his shirt didn't ride up at all.

This is a work of academic fraud, well blessed by several leading figures in JFK

research...

...and Wikipedia:

From the Wikipedia entry for "John F. Kennedy Assassination," emphasis added:

The [autopsy] report addressed a second missile which "entered Kennedy's upper

back above the shoulder blade, passed through the strap muscles at the base of

his neck, bruising the upper tip of the right lung without puncturing it, then exiting

the front (anterior) neck," in a wound that was destroyed by the tracheotomy incision.

(45) This autopsy finding was not corroborated by the President's personal physician,

Dr. Burkley, who recorded, on the death certificate, a bullet to have hit Kennedy at

"about" the level of the third thoracic vertebra (Image). Supporting this location along

with the bullet hole in the shirt worn by Kennedy (Image) and the bullet hole in the suit

jacket worn by Kennedy (Image) which show bullet holes between 5 and 6 inches

(12.5-15 cm) below Kennedy's collar (Image). However, photographic analysis of

the motorcade, including a new pre-assassination film released in 2006 (color film),

shows that the President's jacket was bunched below his neckline, and was not lying

smoothly along his skin, so the clothing measurements have been subject to historical

criticism as being untrustworthy on the matter of the exact location of the back wound.

(46)

(46)http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/bunched2.htm

So a "case" presented as an academic exercise which refuses to provide a methodology

is now to be regarded as "historical criticism"?

Other than Jim Fetzer referring to John Hunt as "intellectual scum," Hunt has not

been taken to task by anyone of note in the JFK research community.

Indeed, his views appear to have been widely adopted, and the clothing evidence

is rarely cited.

Such is the source of my initial pessimism concerning your book, John, which

extends to the JFK research community as a whole.

Nothing personal!

For the record, the Dealey Plaza films and photos show JFK's jacket dropping:

I think any bright 5 year old could see that JFK's shirt collar was occluded

in the first Nix frame, and visible in the second. Ergo, the jacket dropped,

contrary to the arguments of all LNers and a sadly large number of "CTs".

Thankfully, I hear the hooves of the Cavalry approaching -- your book, John,

which I hope will re-focus attention on this crucial evidence.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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Please let me know what you think of the book once you get it and read it.

John Kelin

John,

I can't wait!

Please pardon the reflexive pessimism of my earlier posts. As Michael Hogan

correctly pointed out, Salandria (and Fonzi) would have to be included in

any book on the early researchers.

As to the source of my pessimism, a history...

I first became interested in this case in 1975 when I read about it in Creem

(America's Only Rock & Roll Magazine!) In 1977 I read Carl Oglesby's The Yankee

and Cowboy War. That book made a lot of sense, and sated for a time my curiosity

in the case.

Between 1991 and 1997 I was an avid reader of JFK assassination literature. I read

The Last Investigation in 1994 and whole-herartedly agreed with Fonzi's conclusion

that the physical evidence -- the bullet holes in JFK's clothing -- was the smoking-gun

in making the case for conspiracy. But when I got on the internet in 1996 I found that

the only other researcher to make that point, other than Fonzi, was Jim Marrs.

It seemed to me that the case had veered off into these highly complex controversies,

such as the police dictabelt and the contradictory head wound evidence. Surely the

case for conspiracy could be readily made in such a manner that a kindergartener

would grasp it.

In 1997 I started to post my own research into the clothing evidence on internet

groups.

I sometimes wonder if the JFK case would have been better off if I'd picked another

hobby.

In response to my postings, two pieces of utter fraud have been produced in rebuttal,

both of which reached a far, far greater audience than I ever have.

My two usenet antagonists: John Hunt and Chad Zimmerman.

Zimmerman went on the Discovery Channel's Unsolved History to claim

that he could pin-point "exactly" the high back wound using a stand-in for JFK

and an x-ray machine. His experiment contradicted his earlier claims about

the location of JFK's third thoracic vertebra, a fact he failed to note in the show.

His prior analysis of the Dealey Plaza photos concluded that JFK's jacket was

only elevated an inch in Dealey Plaza, and his x-rays verified the fact that the

clothing had to be elevated at least two inches. He touted this as evidence in

support of the SBT, all the while knowing it was a lie.

At the end of November 1999 John McAdams triumphantly posted to his site

John Hunt's article, The Case for a Bunched Jacket.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/bunched.htm

In this article John Hunt concluded that JFK's shirt and jacket were "bunched up"

over 2" in near-tandem at the time of the shot in the back.

John McAdams declared this analysis "definitive." By varying degrees, Hunt's work was

smiled upon by such notables as Gary Mack, Martin Shackelford, and Debra Conway.

Here's the opening paragraph:

The Single Bullet Theory (SBT) in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

lives or dies at the mercy of a number of evidentiary hurdles it must overcome on

its way to legitimacy. If the SBT fails on any level, that would be tantamount to proof

of conspiracy in the assassination of the President. Various commentators have argued

that the positions of the bullet holes in the clothing worn by the President prove that a

single bullet could not have passed through that clothing and the President's body in

such a way as to continue its path into the body of Governor John Connally. In this

essay I shall use several different types of evidence to show that these commentators

are wrong, and that their arguments fail to disprove the Single Bullet Theory.

And what evidence does Hunt produce to conclude that JFK's clothing was sufficiently

"bunched" to account for the SBT trajectory?

From the article, emphasis added:

The limits of space, combined with the clear and convincing photographic evidence

yet to come, obviate the need to elaborate on all of the eyewitness testimony. This

testimony is both contradictory and subject to interpretation. Further, my research

indicates that the difference between the impact point of a "smoothly oriented" jacket

shot and a "bunched up" jacket shot is little more than two inches. The reader is

invited to contact me via e-mail if he or she is curious as to how I arrived at the

aforementioned figure. That essay, explaining in detail my methodology, is not

yet finished.

Not yet finished? In what scientific or academic discipline does one get away with

publishing one's conclusions and then leave out the case upon which those

conclusions were based?

As it turns out, Hunt's "evidence" is nothing more than his tortured analysis of

the Dealey Plaza photos and the witness testimony. He describes the highly

visible shirt collar in Willis #4 and then claims that the jacket in Croft #3 was

up to the level of JFK's ear. He describes a "distinctly arched shape," i.e. convex,

on JFK's left shoulder in Betzner #3 while showing a blow up of Willis #5 showing a

concave curvature at the left base of JFK's neck. Hunt refers to his "home experiment"

wherein he managed to get his jacket to ride up a couple of inches, but he failed to

note that in the same experiment his shirt didn't ride up at all.

This is a work of academic fraud, well blessed by several leading figures in JFK

research...

...and Wikipedia:

From the Wikipedia entry for "John F. Kennedy Assassination," emphasis added:

The [autopsy] report addressed a second missile which "entered Kennedy's upper

back above the shoulder blade, passed through the strap muscles at the base of

his neck, bruising the upper tip of the right lung without puncturing it, then exiting

the front (anterior) neck," in a wound that was destroyed by the tracheotomy incision.

(45) This autopsy finding was not corroborated by the President's personal physician,

Dr. Burkley, who recorded, on the death certificate, a bullet to have hit Kennedy at

"about" the level of the third thoracic vertebra (Image). Supporting this location along

with the bullet hole in the shirt worn by Kennedy (Image) and the bullet hole in the suit

jacket worn by Kennedy (Image) which show bullet holes between 5 and 6 inches

(12.5-15 cm) below Kennedy's collar (Image). However, photographic analysis of

the motorcade, including a new pre-assassination film released in 2006 (color film),

shows that the President's jacket was bunched below his neckline, and was not lying

smoothly along his skin, so the clothing measurements have been subject to historical

criticism as being untrustworthy on the matter of the exact location of the back wound.

(46)

(46)http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/bunched2.htm

So a "case" presented as an academic exercise which refuses to provide a methodology

is now to be regarded as "historical criticism"?

Other than Jim Fetzer referring to John Hunt as "intellectual scum," Hunt has not

been taken to task by anyone of note in the JFK research community.

Indeed, his views appear to have been widely adopted, and the clothing evidence

is rarely cited.

Such is the source of my initial pessimism concerning your book, John, which

extends to the JFK research community as a whole.

Nothing personal!

For the record, the Dealey Plaza films and photos show JFK's jacket dropping:

I think any bright 5 year old could see that JFK's shirt collar was occluded

in the first Nix frame, and visible in the second. Ergo, the jacket dropped,

contrary to the arguments of all LNers and a sadly large number of "CTs".

Thankfully, I hear the hooves of the Cavalry approaching -- your book, John,

which I hope will re-focus attention on this crucial evidence.

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Here's a friendly review from Tom Dodge of NPR. BK

John Kelin profiles first critics of the Warren Report

HISTORY

By TOM DODGE / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

http://www.guidelive.com/sharedcontent/dws/ent/books/stories/DN-bk_praise_11

18gl.ART.State.Bulldog.36a4cc0.html

Millions were drawn to their radios and televisions on the weekend of

Nov. 22, 1963, and some were already questioning the police assessments

of the assassination.

In New York were Mark Lane, Harold Weisberg, Sylvia Meagher and Léo

Sauvage. In Hominy, Okla., there was Shirley Martin. In Philadelphia,

Vincent Salandria and Harold Feldman. Penn Jones Jr. in Midlothian.

Mary Ferrell in Dallas. Maggie Field and Raymond Marcus in Los Angeles.

Some were not even Kennedy supporters but became obsessively dedicated

to the truth, not to allaying the country's fears. And for those of us

who remain skeptical of the official version of events, they were our

surrogates, doing what the "mainstream media" should have been doing.

Although the assassination occurred in public with more than 100

testifying eyewitnesses and the actual killing itself filmed, there is

still disagreement on the number of shots fired, from what location,

who fired them, and, most important, why. Praise From a Future Generation

does not attempt to answer any of these questions. What it does,

rather, is personalize this once-maligned group of patriotic American

dissidents, most of them sons and daughters of immigrants, who saw what

they believed was a wrong, and tried to right it.

Their original skepticism arose out of the haste with which the

government seemed compelled to get its story out and close the case.

Lee Harvey Oswald was identified within minutes and arrested and charged

within hours.

These events moved Mr. Lane to publish an article in December,

assailing the government's "rush to judgment," which became the title of his

best-selling book. Ms. Martin immediately drove to Dallas and began

interviewing witnesses, as did Mr. Jones, who published his findings in

the Midlothian Mirror and later in his book, Forgive My Grief and three

succeeding volumes.

The Warren Report was published without an index, prompting Ms. Meagher

to compile one. It became invaluable to subsequent investigators and

students.

Later, her book Accessories After the Fact established her analytical

reputation. Many publishers relied on her to vet books critical of the

government.

Others critical of the government's findings built bodies of work tied

to their individual expertise.

They became friends, corresponding, sharing their findings, even

socializing. But New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's

investigation and trial in 1967 divided them. Ms. Meagher, who viewed

the Garrison investigation as a travesty, all but severed ties with

Garrison supporters, including Mr. Salandria and Mr. Jones.

Their solidarity was sundered, but if not for these dogged doubters,

the American public might never have known of the inconsistencies,

omissions, deceptions and flawed conclusions many believe they

uncovered in the Warren Report.

This is the crux of Praise From a Future Generation, a lucid,

well-documented assessment of these citizen sleuths and their

compulsive, all-out effort to re-open the case. Its 1,737 citations are

based on a bibliography of 212 sources.

As a result of their publications alleging inept police work, official

dissembling in Dallas and Washington, and even a cover-up, the group

endured scrutiny by the FBI and CIA and insults from politicians and

reporters. Some were shadowed and had their mail monitored. They were

labeled as self-serving publicity-seekers and members of the lunatic

fringe.

But beginning in 1969, as government deceptions involving My Lai, the

Pentagon Papers and eventually, Watergate, became known, the public was

ready for a new investigation of the Kennedy assassination.

In 1977, the House Select Committee on Assassinations found "a probable

conspiracy" but could name no other conspirator.

So the contretemps continue. Readers hoping for a purely objective book

to rid us of this quarrelsome conceit that surrounds the JFK

assassination will not find it here. It is, though, an objective study

of these men and women, their motivating backgrounds, strengths and

flaws, successes and debacles.

Despite the praise John Kelin accords them, he never asserts that they,

like Watergate bloodhounds, actually sniffed out a conspiracy,

governmental or otherwise. Nevertheless can a country that cherishes

its freedoms ever have too many inquiries into a president's murder for

which there was never a trial?

NPR commentator Tom Dodge, www.tomdodgebooks.com, lives in Midlothian.

Praise From a Future Generation. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

and the First Generation Critics of the Warren Report John Kelin (Wings

Press, $29.95)

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for posting that.

I must say that one of the coolest moments of this entire book publication experience came last month in Dallas, when I was there for the Lancer conference. My 12 year old son and I were in an iHop restaurant in a booth with torn vinyl seats. It was 6:30 in the morning. I opened the Dallas Morning News, and there, on the book review page, was the Tom Dodge article.

John

Here's a friendly review from Tom Dodge of NPR. BK

John Kelin profiles first critics of the Warren Report

HISTORY

By TOM DODGE / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

http://www.guidelive.com/sharedcontent/dws/ent/books/stories/DN-bk_praise_11

18gl.ART.State.Bulldog.36a4cc0.html

Millions were drawn to their radios and televisions on the weekend of

Nov. 22, 1963, and some were already questioning the police assessments

of the assassination.

In New York were Mark Lane, Harold Weisberg, Sylvia Meagher and Léo

Sauvage. In Hominy, Okla., there was Shirley Martin. In Philadelphia,

Vincent Salandria and Harold Feldman. Penn Jones Jr. in Midlothian.

Mary Ferrell in Dallas. Maggie Field and Raymond Marcus in Los Angeles.

Some were not even Kennedy supporters but became obsessively dedicated

to the truth, not to allaying the country's fears. And for those of us

who remain skeptical of the official version of events, they were our

surrogates, doing what the "mainstream media" should have been doing.

Although the assassination occurred in public with more than 100

testifying eyewitnesses and the actual killing itself filmed, there is

still disagreement on the number of shots fired, from what location,

who fired them, and, most important, why. Praise From a Future Generation

does not attempt to answer any of these questions. What it does,

rather, is personalize this once-maligned group of patriotic American

dissidents, most of them sons and daughters of immigrants, who saw what

they believed was a wrong, and tried to right it.

Their original skepticism arose out of the haste with which the

government seemed compelled to get its story out and close the case.

Lee Harvey Oswald was identified within minutes and arrested and charged

within hours.

These events moved Mr. Lane to publish an article in December,

assailing the government's "rush to judgment," which became the title of his

best-selling book. Ms. Martin immediately drove to Dallas and began

interviewing witnesses, as did Mr. Jones, who published his findings in

the Midlothian Mirror and later in his book, Forgive My Grief and three

succeeding volumes.

The Warren Report was published without an index, prompting Ms. Meagher

to compile one. It became invaluable to subsequent investigators and

students.

Later, her book Accessories After the Fact established her analytical

reputation. Many publishers relied on her to vet books critical of the

government.

Others critical of the government's findings built bodies of work tied

to their individual expertise.

They became friends, corresponding, sharing their findings, even

socializing. But New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's

investigation and trial in 1967 divided them. Ms. Meagher, who viewed

the Garrison investigation as a travesty, all but severed ties with

Garrison supporters, including Mr. Salandria and Mr. Jones.

Their solidarity was sundered, but if not for these dogged doubters,

the American public might never have known of the inconsistencies,

omissions, deceptions and flawed conclusions many believe they

uncovered in the Warren Report.

This is the crux of Praise From a Future Generation, a lucid,

well-documented assessment of these citizen sleuths and their

compulsive, all-out effort to re-open the case. Its 1,737 citations are

based on a bibliography of 212 sources.

As a result of their publications alleging inept police work, official

dissembling in Dallas and Washington, and even a cover-up, the group

endured scrutiny by the FBI and CIA and insults from politicians and

reporters. Some were shadowed and had their mail monitored. They were

labeled as self-serving publicity-seekers and members of the lunatic

fringe.

But beginning in 1969, as government deceptions involving My Lai, the

Pentagon Papers and eventually, Watergate, became known, the public was

ready for a new investigation of the Kennedy assassination.

In 1977, the House Select Committee on Assassinations found "a probable

conspiracy" but could name no other conspirator.

So the contretemps continue. Readers hoping for a purely objective book

to rid us of this quarrelsome conceit that surrounds the JFK

assassination will not find it here. It is, though, an objective study

of these men and women, their motivating backgrounds, strengths and

flaws, successes and debacles.

Despite the praise John Kelin accords them, he never asserts that they,

like Watergate bloodhounds, actually sniffed out a conspiracy,

governmental or otherwise. Nevertheless can a country that cherishes

its freedoms ever have too many inquiries into a president's murder for

which there was never a trial?

NPR commentator Tom Dodge, www.tomdodgebooks.com, lives in Midlothian.

Praise From a Future Generation. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

and the First Generation Critics of the Warren Report John Kelin (Wings

Press, $29.95)

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My negativity is directed at the current state of JFK research.

My negativity is directed toward sites like Lancer which characterize the SBT as

"not probable" rather than "flat out impossible."

It seems that Lancer it taking a politically correct position on this. I have wrote to them about the position they take without a a response from them. I never go to their site anymore and was quite frankly confused about the great write-up about the founder who never seemed to take a stand on what really happened. All work is for not if you do not come to the conclusion , without reservation , that the SBT never happened. It is a non-starter and as you say " FLAT OUT IMPOSSIBLE" period.

The following is a bullet that was never fired from a gun and never hit much less killed anyone:

Slide1_thumb.gif

Much food for thought here. Cliff's sentence- reposted above- about Lancer's chacterization of the SBT jumped off the page! I agree with Peter 100%. Any JFK assassination research group/person/site that gives credence to even the slightest possibility of the SBT is questionalbe imho.

Dawn

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Hi Cliff,

This may be self-evident given the book I wrote, but as far as I'm concerned the assassination was essentially solved by the end of the sixties. Considering Oswald's background, and considering who was in control of the evidence (and everything that happened to it and virtually everything we know about it) I can really draw only one conclusion.

The matter of the clothing holes is addressed in my book. I do not, however, present it in any analytical sense or try to refute people like John Hunt. I merely present the evidence circa the mid-sixties, and let it, I hope, speak for itself.

As you probably know, the issue of a bulge in JFK's clothing rose its ugly head again in early 2007 with the release of the Jefferies film. We added a section to the book as a result. The film brought out the usual apologists and they got the usual lopsided press attention.

In any case, my principal interest at this stage remains the earliest critics. Thanks for your interest and thanks for providing the "source of [your] pessimism." As to your comment that the JFK case might have been better off if you'd picked a better hobby, I disagree...but YOU might have been better off! Heh-heh.

I think The Last Investigation is one of the best books on the case, easily the best in the flood of post-JFK film books. For what it's worth, Rex Bradford tells me that the Mary Ferrell Foundation intends to re-publish this book in the not-too-distant future.

Best,

John

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Hi Charles,

I agree with your Ultimate Mantra completely. It is the same notion, in different words, expressed by Ray Marcus in Addendum B: "I believe to this day that it is virtually an intellectual impossibility to study this material and related documents that have since become public, and come to any conclusion other than that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy." (p. 22.)

I assume that when you say "cognitively impaired" it is in the broadest sense, and includes those who are thoroughly dishonest or in a state of denial. There are plenty of them.

Nowadays, "reasonable access to JFK assassination evidence" is as simple as a computer with internet access. I do not refer to forums such as this one or, God help us, alt.conspiracy.jfk (if it still exists). I do, however, mean YouTube: I think the Zapruder film is all you really need to to see to understand the simplest of truths, which is that the head shot was fired from the right front. I don't think there is any other way to interpret the movement of Kennedy's head and upper body.

You have said some kind things about my book, Charles, and I thank you for that. I tried responding a week or so ago but was still learning how to use this site, and I don't know if those messages got through. At that time I mentioned having been present at the recent Lancer conference when, via cell phone, you made some very moving remarks about the memorial service for George Michael Evica. (The cell was held up to a microphone and a roomful of people heard you.)

John

John,

Would you care to comment on my Ultimate Mantra:

Anyone with reasonable access to JFK assassination evidence who does not conclude that the act was conspiratorial in nature is cognitively impaired and/or complicit in the crime.

Charles

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Nowadays, "reasonable access to JFK assassination evidence" is as simple as a computer with internet access. I do not refer to forums such as this one or, God help us, alt.conspiracy.jfk (if it still exists). I do, however, mean YouTube: I think the Zapruder film is all you really need to to see to understand the simplest of truths, which is that the head shot was fired from the right front. I don't think there is any other way to interpret the movement of Kennedy's head and upper body.

John,

I've just finished your book: I enjoyed it, and found much that was new and intriguing. Of the several criticisms I would make, the first and most important lies in your attitude to the Z film.

Like the early critics you write so lucidly about, you accept uncritically its veracity and fail to acknowledge, let alone discusss, any of the early descriptions of the film. Yet these descriptions are, in some instances, radically at odds with both the duration and content of the version we have today. Why did you ignore the welter of material challenging its authenticity? And why do you think all of the early critics you deal with omitted any reference to the early descriptions?

Paul

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John,

I've just finished your book: I enjoyed it, and found much that was new and intriguing. Of the several criticisms I would make, the first and most important lies in your attitude to the Z film.

Like the early critics you write so lucidly about, you accept uncritically its veracity and fail to acknowledge, let alone discusss, any of the early descriptions of the film. Yet these descriptions are, in some instances, radically at odds with both the duration and content of the version we have today. Why did you ignore the welter of material challenging its authenticity? And why do you think all of the early critics you deal with omitted any reference to the early descriptions?

Paul

Hi Paul,

In my book, the Zapruder film is described and dealt with contemporaneously, primarily through the eyes of the critics. There is a passing reference to the question of authenticity, which is in the book's Epilogue. Authenticity was never an issue when the earliest critics were active and so I do not deal with it.

I disagree with the semantics of your remark that "the early critics you deal with omitted any reference to the early descriptions." The word "omitted" implies some deliberate behavior. You might feel, with hindsight, that this was an area that could have been explored at that time. Since, in the first years, the Zapruder film could only be seen at the National Archives, I don't think that was the case.

Personally, I am not interested in the authenticity issue because I think it clouds things. As I noted earlier, I think there is only one way to interpret the Zapruder film as we have come to know it. I'm sorry to have to quote Ray Marcus again, but I did talk to him about this, and he said: "They’ve tried to take evidence that’s both clear and convincing that you get over to a lay public – that’s the crucial thing, they don’t care about a few people – that a lay public can understand, and to render them seriously arguable."

John

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"Personally, I am not interested in the authenticity issue because I think it clouds things. As I noted earlier, I think there is only one way to interpret the Zapruder film as we have come to know it. I'm sorry to have to quote Ray Marcus again, but I did talk to him about this, and he said: "They’ve tried to take evidence that’s both clear and convincing that you get over to a lay public – that’s the crucial thing, they don’t care about a few people – that a lay public can understand, and to render them seriously arguable."

John

John...too bad that you and Ray Marcus do not understand the Zfilm authenticity issue.

The film is provably a fake.

Fake Zfilm = case closed.

Jack

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Hi Cliff,

This may be self-evident given the book I wrote, but as far as I'm concerned the assassination was essentially solved by the end of the sixties. Considering Oswald's background, and considering who was in control of the evidence (and everything that happened to it and virtually everything we know about it) I can really draw only one conclusion.

I have much to say on this, but I will await the book...

The matter of the clothing holes is addressed in my book. I do not, however, present it in any analytical sense or try to refute people like John Hunt. I merely present the evidence circa the mid-sixties, and let it, I hope, speak for itself.

Let us all hew closely to this approach. The burden of proof was on the

Bunch Theorists and they failed spectacularly.

Hunt is self-refuting; those who pimp Hunt's "historical criticism" do so for their

own agenda, the truth notwithstanding.

The "historical criticism" belongs to Fonzi, not Hunt.

The facts and photos speak for themselves: there is no fabric bulge at the base of

JFK's neck in Betzner #3, otherwise the sunshine would have caught it as it did the

shirt collar above the base of the neck.

As you probably know, the issue of a bulge in JFK's clothing rose its ugly head again in early 2007 with the release of the Jefferies film. We added a section to the book as a result. The film brought out the usual apologists and they got the usual lopsided press attention.

I have lots to say about this as well, but will keep my powder dry for the nonce.

In any case, my principal interest at this stage remains the earliest critics. Thanks for your interest and thanks for providing the "source of [your] pessimism." As to your comment that the JFK case might have been better off if you'd picked a better hobby, I disagree...but YOU might have been better off! Heh-heh.

The women in my life could not agree more!

I think The Last Investigation is one of the best books on the case, easily the best in the flood of post-JFK film books. For what it's worth, Rex Bradford tells me that the Mary Ferrell Foundation intends to re-publish this book in the not-too-distant future.

Best,

John

If HBO were smart they'd option TLI for a movie, not that Bug dreck...

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I am about 200 pages into this book and I can't say enough good things about it! Another must read, folks.

Thanks Dawn. I just ordered it; you convinced me to do it sooner than later. If you say it's a must read, I know I can count on that. And thanks to Peter for the heads-up that Kelin's book was available.

The First Generation Critics as they've come to be known were a small but remarkable group of men and women. Gosh, that seems such a long time ago....

I found this quote to be somewhat uplifting:

"This is an important book that exposes the worst of America, as represented by the murderous conspirators, and the best of America, as represented by those noble critics whose endeavors symbolize profiles in courage."

So, in seeking justice for our last great President we are also honoring the "noble critics."

There are so many reasons why The Assassination matters today, as much as ever, maybe more than ever.

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