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Carl Day dies


Steve Thomas
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Day, John Carl

January 31, 1914 - October 16, 2008: Son, brother, husband, dad, granddad, friend passed away Thursday, October 16, 2008 at the age of 94. Predeceased by Mom and Dad, Jessie Carl Day and Emelia Sholden Day and one brother Malcom. He is survived by his wife of 68 years Ruth Elaine Rogers Day, Son Carl Randall Day his wife Peggy, daughter Janice Day Hoyt her husband Robert. Grand¬children Robert (Bobby) Hoyt, Dark Day Haynsworth, Carl Day, Randall Day and one great granddaughter Eva

A member of Oak Cliff United Methodist Church for 56 years, and recently 1st United Methodist Church, Duncanville. A proud policeman of the Dallas Police Department for 35 years. He was a kind, gentle man with an unforgettable smile who is gready loved and will be sorely missed. Memorial service on Monday, October 20, 2008 at 2:00 pm, First United Methodist Church, Duncanville. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Scottish Rite Hopsital for Children, 2222 Welborn, Dallas, 75219.

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With Day's death, another door closes. Everyone said he was a nice guy. But he was undoubtedly involved in some hanky-panky. His statements about the paper bag supposedly used by Oswald to transport his rifle into the TSBD smell to high heaven.

From patspeer.com, chapter 4:

According to the report of the Dallas Detective who found the bag, L.D. Montgomery, the bag was initialed by Detectives Robert Studebaker, Marvin Johnson, and himself upon its discovery in the sniper's nest (24H314). All three of these men testified before the Warren Commission in Dallas on 4-6-64. So why weren't any of them shown the bag, or asked to verify their initials? Was it simply because the counsel taking their testimony had left the bag behind in Washington?

Perhaps. The bag was indeed shown to the FBI's fingerprint analyst, Sebastian Latona, during his 4-2-64 testimony in Washington.

And it reappeared on 4-22-64, in Washington, during the testimony of Dallas Crime Lab Chief Lt. J.C. Day.

Mr. BELIN. Where was the sack found with relation to the pipes and that box?

Mr. DAY. Between the sack and the south wall, which would be the wall at the top of the picture as shown here.

Mr. BELIN. You mean between--you said the sack.

Mr. DAY. I mean the pipe. The sack was between the pipe and the wall at the top of the picture.

Mr. BELIN. That wall at the top of the picture would be the east wall, would it not?

Mr. DAY. Yes, sir; laying parallel to the south wall.

Mr. BELIN. Did the sack--was it folded over in any way or just lying flat, if you remember?

Mr. DAY. It was folded over with the fold next to the pipe, to the best of my knowledge.

(Note: this suggests that Day was not present when the bag or sack was discovered.)

Mr. BELIN. I will now hand you what has been marked as Commission Exhibit 626 and ask you to state if you know what this is, and also appears to be marked as Commission Exhibit 142.

Mr. DAY. This is the sack found on the sixth floor in the southeast corner of the building on November 22, 1963.

Mr. BELIN. Do you have any identification on that to so indicate?

Mr. DAY. It has my name on it, and it also has other writing that I put on there for the information of the FBI.

Mr. BELIN. Could you read what you wrote on there?

Mr. DAY. "Found next to the sixth floor window gun fired from. May have been used to carry gun. Lieutenant J. C. Day."

Mr. BELIN. When did you write that?

Mr. DAY. I wrote that at the time the sack was found before it left our possession.

(Note: when he says "our possession" he presumably means the possession of the Dallas Police, who had the bag until 11:45 or so that evening, when they purportedly gave it to the FBI. This leaves a large window in which he could have written his name on the bag or sack.)

Mr. BELIN. All right, anything else that you wrote on there?

Mr. DAY. When the sack was released on November 22 to the FBI about 11:45 p.m., I put further information to the FBI reading as follows: "FBI: Has been dusted with metallic magnetic powder on outside only. Inside has not been processed. Lieut J. C. Day."

Well, why is there no mention of the other men's initials on this sack?

Now consider the next bit of Day's testimony...

Mr. BELIN. Did you find anything, any print of any kind, in connection with the processing of this?

Mr. DAY. No legible prints were found with the powder, no.

Mr. BELIN. Do you know whether any legible prints were found by any other means or any other place?

Mr. DAY. There is a legible print on it now. They were on there when it was returned to me from the FBI on November 24.

Mr. BELIN. Do you know by what means they found these?

Mr. DAY. It is apparently silver nitrate. It could be another compound they have used. The sack had an orange color indicating it was silver nitrate.

Mr. BELIN. You mean the sack when it came back from the FBI had a----

Mr. DAY. Orange color. It is another method of processing paper for fingerprints.

Mr. BELIN. Was there anything inside the bag, if you know, when you found it?

Mr. DAY. I did not open the bag. I did not look inside of the bag at all.

Mr. BELIN. What did you do with the bag after you found it and you put this writing on after you dusted it?

Mr. DAY. I released it to the FBI agent.

Mr. BELIN. Did you take it down to the station with you?

Mr. DAY. I didn't take it with me. I left it with the men when I left. I left Detectives Hicks and Studebaker to bring this in with them when they brought other equipment in.

Mr. BELIN. By this you are referring to the bag itself?

Mr. DAY. Yes, sir.

Well, hold on there. According to the reports of the Dallas Police (24H260) and the officers involved (24H314, 24H307) the paper bag by the sniper's nest was both discovered and brought in to the Dallas Police Crime Lab by Detectives L.D. Montgomery and Marvin Johnson. So why does Day, who's already IDed his initials on the bag, and failed to mention that they initialed it before him, fail to mention that they brought the bag into the Crime Lab, and instead mention Hicks and Studebaker? Is he really that forgetful? Or is he trying to hide something? In his 3:45 PM April 6 testimony, Detective Studebaker never mentions Detectives Johnson and Montgomery when he discusses picking up and dusting the bag. He also fails to mention Day. He marks some photos to show where he first saw the bag. (7H137-149) In his 4:00 PM April 6 testimony, just after Studebaker, Detective Johnson mentions Montgomery's finding the bag and the bag's being dusted for fingerprints at the scene, but fails to mention who dusted the bag. (7H100-105) In his 4:50 PM April 6 testimony, Detective Montgomery mentions his finding the bag and the bag's being dusted by Studebaker. Strangely, however, he is less sure than the others that the bag was laying on the floor in the corner. He testifies: "Let's see--the paper sack--I don't recall for sure if it was on the floor or on the box, but I know it was just there----one of those pictures might show exactly where it was...I can't recall for sure if it was on one of the boxes or on the floor there." (Even stranger, years later, he told Larry Sneed "I don't remember exactly where I found the brown paper that Oswald had wrapped the rifle in...I recall that it was stuffed between the boxes, not lying out open on the floor as were the shell casings.") Montgomery's testimony is vague on other points as well. When asked if he picked the bag up off the ground upon discovery, as claimed by Johnson, he at first says "Yes" but then changes his answer to "Wait just a minute no; I didn't pick it up. I believe Mr. Studebaker did." (7H96-100) For his part, in his April 7 testimony, Detective Hicks not only expressed that he had no recollection of seeing the bag in the building, but seemed to know nothing of it at all, as if its existence had been kept a secret. (7H286-289). So why did Day think he left him holding the bag?

The testimony of another Dallas detective, Richard N. Sims, on the morning of April 6, 1964, only adds to the confusion. When asked if he'd seen the paper bag found in the depository, Sims testified:

Mr. SIMS. Well, we saw some wrappings--a brown wrapping there.

Mr. BALL. Where did you see it?

Mr. SIMS. It was there by the hulls.

Mr. BALL. Was it right there near the hulls?

Mr. SIMS. As well as I remember--of course, I didn't pay too much attention at that time, but it was, I believe, by the east side of where the boxes were piled up---that would be a guess--I believe that's where it was.

Mr. BALL. On the east side of where the boxes were would that be the east?

Mr. SIMS. Yes, sir; it was right near the stack of boxes there. I know there was some loose paper there.

Mr. BALL. Was Johnson there?

Mr. SIMS. Yes, sir; when the wrapper was found Captain Fritz stationed Montgomery to observe the scene there where the hulls were found.

Mr. BALL. To stay there?

Mr. SIMS. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. That was Marvin Johnson and L. D. Montgomery who stayed by the hulls?

Mr. SIMS. Yes, sir; they did. I was going back and forth, from the wrapper to the hulls. (7H158-186).

My, what a mess! Sims acknowledges that Johnson and Montgomery were stationed by the hulls (which were found by the sniper's nest) and seems to be aware that they "found" the bag, but never mentions witnessing the "discovery" of the bag, nor of Day or Studebaker's dusting the bag upon its discovery. Sims also describes the "bag" as "loose paper," and not as a carefully folded and taped piece of wrapping paper in the shape of a gun case. He also "guesses" the location where the bag was found. Even worse, Captain Will Fritz testified that Sims was with him when he left the depository, and that he (Fritz, who was only in charge of the investigation) had no knowledge of the paper bag before their departure. (4H202-248) This indicates that Sims had but a vague recollection that some paper was found, but had no real recollection of its appearance or of its discovery, even though he had stood but a few feet from the bag's purported location when picking up the hulls from the sniper's nest, and had accompanied Lt. Day from this location after the discovery of the rifle on the other side of the building. This, in turn, suggests that either no one placed much importance on the "bag" when it was first found in the depository, and that its possible importance only became apparent later on, or that Sims was trying to support that a bag was found in the sniper's nest without actually having seen it. In support of this second, more disturbing, possibility, Detective Sims' report on his activities on the day of the assassination makes no mention whatsoever of the bag or its discovery. (Sims' report on his activities can be found in Box 3, folder 4 of the Dallas Kennedy Archives.)

Perhaps aware of this problem with the bag and its discovery, on April 9, 1964, Warren Commission counsel David Belin took the testimony of Dallas Motorcycle officer E.D. Brewer, who claimed to have been on the sixth floor during the search of the depository, and to have seen a "relatively long paper sack" in the southeast corner of the building. Unfortunately for Belin, he didn't stop there:

Mr. BELIN. Do you remember anything about what the sack looked like?

Mr. BREWER. Well, it was assumed at the time that it was the sack that the rifle was wrapped up in when it was brought into the building, and it appeared that it could have been used for that.

Mr. BELIN. Well, you mean you assumed that before you found the rifle?

Mr. BREWER. Yes, sir; I suppose. That was discussed. (6H306-308).

Brewer also testified he was present when the rifle was found. The problem with his testimony is that, as we've seen, Captain Will Fritz testified that the bag was not "found" or discussed until after the rifle was discovered, and that he was not aware of it at any time before he left the building a short time after the rifle's discovery around 1:25. If the bag had been discovered, dusted, and discussed before the discovery of the rifle, or even before Fritz left the building shortly thereafter, certainly someone more involved in the investigation than a common motorcycle officer would have remembered this fact, and have remembered it long before 4 1/2 months after the assassination.

The bottom line of all this testimony is that none of these men mention Day's initialing or dusting the bag in the depository, and that Montgomery and Studebaker specifically recall that Studebaker was the one who did the dusting. Studebaker also claimed to have found a "partial print" on the bag, and to have put a piece of 1 inch clear tape over it to "preserve" the print. (7H137-149) The FBI's Sebastian Latona, who examined the bag the next morning, testified that he could tell the bag had been previously examined by the "black fingerprint powder" on its surface, but noted further that "There was nothing visible in the way of any latent prints on there at that particular time". (4H1-48) Well, what happened to the partial print discovered by Studebaker?

Could the bag or sack removed from the sniper's nest have been smudged with someone other than Oswald's fingerprints? The Dallas PD's Case Report claims Day lifted a print from the "paper rifle was wrapped in" (24H249). As we've seen Day testified "no legible print was found". Well, it follows then that an "illegible" print was found. If this is so, then what happened to it? More to the point, could the sack initialed by Day and placed into evidence by the FBI have been a different sack entirely than the one found in the sniper's nest by Montgomery, and dusted by Studebaker?

Amazingly, yes. Consider the next section of Lt. Day's testimony:

Mr. BELIN. Did you ever get the kind of sample used at the School Book Depository?

Mr. DAY. Yes, sir; on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, I had the bag listed as----

Mr. BELIN. Commission Exhibit 626 or 142.

Mr. DAY. On the first floor of the Texas School Book Depository, and I noticed from their wrapping bench there was paper and tape of a similar--the tape was of the same width as this. I took the bag over and tried it, and I noticed that the tape was the same width as on the bag.

Mr. BELIN. Did it appear to have the same color?

Mr. DAY. Yes, sir.

Mr. BELIN. All right. Then what did you do?

Mr. DAY. Sir?

Mr. BELIN. Then what did you do?

Mr. DAY. I directed one of the officers standing by me, I don't know which, to get a piece of the tape and a piece of the paper from the wrapping bench.

Mr. BELIN. Handing you what has been marked as Commission Exhibit 677, I will ask you to state if you know what this is.

Mr. DAY. This is the tape and paper collected from the first floor in the shipping department of the Texas School Book Depository on November 22, 1963.

Mr. BELIN. Does this have any identification marks on it?

Mr. DAY. It has my name, "J. C. Day, Dallas Police Department," and also in my writing, "Shipping Department."

Mr. BELIN. Any other writing on there that you recognize?

Mr. DAY. Yes, sir; Detective Studebaker, who was with me, and in his writing it says, "Paper sample from first floor, Texas School Book Depository, Studebaker, 11-22-63." The tape also has Studebaker's writing on it, "Tape sample from first floor." (4H 249-278)

There is no mention of the size of this sample. As it was not considered evidence, furthermore, it was not even photographed by the Dallas Police in its original state (as far as I've been able to ascertain). An 11-26-63 report by the FBI's Vincent Drain on his flights from and to Dallas with the primary evidence, moreover, notes that "sample of brown paper used by Texas School Book Depository and brown tape used by Texas School Book Depository were not returned since Chief Curry stated these were not evidence and had only been sent to the FBI Laboratory for comparison purposes." (CD5 p161). As this decision was made before the FBI gained jurisdiction over the case it suggests that the Dallas Police were not particularly concerned about the samples at this time. Perhaps they'd felt they could have the FBI testify that the sample paper and sample tape matched the bag and tape placed into evidence without having the samples placed into evidence as well. Or perhaps this indicates that the FBI, having helped the Dallas Police with the creation of a new and improved bag complete with Oswald's fingerprints, thought it a waste of time and an unnecessary risk to send back to Dallas a sample far smaller than the sample originally obtained by Day, and as seen by other Dallas detectives not in on their scam.

Adding to this possibility is that, on June 9, 1964, as a response to a May 20th Warren Commission request, the FBI took the paper bag back to Dallas, and inadequately traced back its chain of custody. While the chain of custody on the other items brought back to Dallas--the various bullets, cartridges, and bullet fragments related to the assassination, and even the blanket used by Oswald to store his rifle in the Paine family's garage--were traced back to the first ones to discover them, the brown paper bag was never shown to Montgomery, Johnson, or Studebaker, the three men who first saw the bag in the depository, and who reportedly initialed it on the premises. It was shown to just one man: Lt. J.C. Day. The words to this report are as follows:

"On June 9, 1964, Lieutenant J.C. Day of the Crime Laboratory of the Dallas Police Department, Dallas, Texas, was exhibited the wrapping-paper bag, C10, by Special Agent Vincent E. Drain, Federal Bureau of Investigation. After examining this bag, Lieutenant Day advised he could positively identify this bag as the one he and Detective R.L. Studebaker found on the Sixth Floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building immediately after the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Lieutenant Day stated this paper bag was marked on November 22, 1963 by him. This bag was subsequently delivered on November 22, 1963 to Special Agent Vincent E. Drain for transmittal to the Laboratory of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington D.C., for examination." (24H418).

Notice that there's no mention of Montgomery and Johnson, the detectives who, according to the Dallas Police Department's own records, found the bag and took it over to the crime lab. (24H260). Notice also that Day says only that he marked the bag on the 22nd, not that he marked it on the scene. Notice as well that the agent tracing the chain of evidence, Vincent Drain, was the one who first took the bag to Washington, and the one who later claimed returning the paper sample to Dallas was unnecessary. Day's claim that he found the bag, and Drain's failure to track down Montgomery and Johnson, and even Studebaker--who'd previously testified that they'd found the bag--is undoubtedly suspicious to those even slightly prone to suspicion.

But, wait, it gets even more suspicious. Drain had discussed the bag with Day at an earlier time as well. An 11-30-63 report by Drain on an 11-29-63 interview of Day reveals:

"Lt. Carl Day, Dallas Police Department, stated he found the brown paper bag shaped like a gun case near the scene of the shooting on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building. He stated the manager, Mr. Truly, saw this bag at the time it was taken into possession by Lt. Day. Truly, according to Day, had not seen this bag before. No one else viewed it. Truly furnished similar brown paper from the roll that was used in packing books by the Texas School Book Depository. This paper was examined by the FBI Laboratory and found to have the same observable characteristics as the brown paper bag shaped like a gun case which was found near the scene of the shooting of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building. The Dallas Police have not exhibited this to anyone else. It was immediately locked up by Day, kept in his possession until it was turned over to FBI agent Drain for transmittal to the Laboratory. It was examined by the Laboratory, returned to the Dallas Police Department November 24, 1963, locked up in the Crime Laboratory. This bag was returned to Agent Drain on November 26, 1963, and taken back to the FBI Laboratory.

Lt. Day stated no one has identified this bag to the Dallas Police Department." (CD5, p129).

Beyond offering us yet another witness purported to have seen the bag in the depository not shown the bag at a later date by either the Warren Commission or FBI (Roy Truly) this report has numerous, undoubtedly suspicious, errors. The report makes out that Day himself found the bag. There's no mention at all of Montgomery, Johnson, and Studebaker, nor of Studebaker's claim in an 11-22 FBI report that he was the one to find the bag.(CD5, p129) The report also errs in that it says the bag was "immediately locked up by Day", and that it was not exhibited to anyone else. This conceals that on this same day, 11-29-63, Drain interviewed Dallas detective R.D. Lewis who acknowledged giving Buell Wesley Frazier a polygraph on 11-22 during which Frazier was shown the bag and refused to identify it as the bag he saw that morning. (CD7, p291). Is it just a coincidence that Drain's report on Day, containing false information, was written up on 11-30, and included in the FBI report of 11-30, and that Drain's report on Lewis, conducted on the same day, wasn't written up till 12-1 and forwarded to Washington till 12-10, after the completion of the FBI's 12-9 summary report given to the President and Warren Commission, and leaked to the press?

There is also this to consider. In Lieutenant Day's official report on his activities on the day of the assassination, written up on 1-08-64, he completely fails to mention his "discovery" of the bag. Instead, he says he was pulled from the sniper's nest, where he'd been photographing the hulls, at 1:25 PM, to photograph and inspect the rifle found on the other side of the building. He then left the building at 2:00 PM in order to transport the rifle to the crime lab. According to this report he did not return to the building until 2:45 PM. (26H829-831) Big problem.The reports of detectives L.D. Montgomery and Marvin Johnson reflect that they transported the bag over to the crime lab about 2:30.(24H314, 24H307) This suggests that Day never even saw the bag in the depository, or that he saw it only briefly but thought nothing of it while photographing the area. Adding to this probability is that the 4-1-64 FBI report on Roy Truly's recollections of the bag reflects only that Truly remembered giving paper samples to Lt. Day "on the afternoon of November 22, 1963," but makes no mention of his being shown the paper bag found in the sniper's nest, as purported in Drain's 11-29 report. (FBI file 105-82555, sec 142, p15).

Day's post-1964 statements on the bag, in fact, support that he was not actually present when the bag was "discovered". In an interview with Larry Sneed, published in 1998, he said "Also found on the sixth floor, as I recall, near the shell area, was a paper bag. It should have been photographed, but for some reason, apparently wasn't." Furthermore, in 1992, when asked by researcher Denis Morissette if he knew who found the bag, Day responded: "I don't know. It was on the floor next to and north of the box Oswald was sitting on when I arrived at the 6th floor. My men and I collected the bag at this place. As far as I know it had not been moved by any officers." Tellingly, he never describes his first seeing the bag, only that there was a bag, and that it was found by...someone.

There are other reasons to doubt the story recounted by Drain. It seems highly unlikely that Day could photograph, dust and study the rifle as purported, return to the sniper's nest, discover the bag, show the bag to Roy Truly, transport the bag downstairs, and get paper and tape samples from the shipping table--all in less than 35 minutes, mind you--and then decide to take the rifle over to the crime lab and leave the bag behind. It seems much more likely that he worked on the rifle exclusively before taking it to the crime lab, and that the story of his finding the bag and comparing the paper of the bag to the paper at the shipping table is an orchestrated lie. Perhaps this lie was created to hide that Day took the paper sample later that afternoon, after the paper bag found in the school book depository was inspected and found to have no connection to Oswald or the rifle. Perhaps this is paranoid nonsense. We may never know.

Drain's report on R.D. Lewis presents still another problem, though not an insurmountable one. Although Day testified that "the sack was released on November 22 to the FBI about 11:45 p.m." Lewis claimed it was shown to Frazier during Frazier's polygraph examination. Well, when was this polygraph examination? Drain's report on Lewis doesn't say. According to the report of Officers Rose, Stovall, and Adamcik, the detectives tasked with picking up Frazier after the shooting, however, "R.D. Lewis arrived on the fourth floor about 11:20 PM and conducted the polygraph examination until approximately 12:10 AM 11-23-63." (21H602). Unless Frazier was shown the bag towards the beginning of his examination, he would have to have been shown a different bag than the one released to the FBI.

There is another question that is harder to explain. The only photo of the paper bag in the Dallas Police Archives is a photo in box 12 folder 7 file 1. Its description reads "Photograph of the evidence sent to the FBI. Date unknown." The bag in this photo appears to be about 8 inches wide and could quite possibly be the bag in the FBI and Warren Commission photos. The bag appears to be discolored, however, which suggests that this is a photo of the bag after its return from the FBI Crime Laboratory, where it had been discolored by silver nitrate. This photo makes a second appearance in Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry's 1969 book JFK Assassination File. Here it is listed as "Evidence released to the FBI Laboratory for tests." Curry lists all the items in the photograph, however, and this tells us what we need to know. Item #5 is listed as "Textile fibers found on the left side of the butt plate of the recovered rifle." These fibers were officially undetected in Dallas, and only discovered during an examination in the FBI Crime Lab on 11-23. This proves that this photograph was taken after the return of the evidence to Dallas. So why did the Dallas crime scene investigators not only fail to photograph the paper bag when found on the scene in the school book depository, but at any time on the day of the assassination? Something's undoubtedly wrong here.

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