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Hear No Evil by Don Thomas


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I've been reading through Don Thomas' new book Hear No Evil. While I like its ambition, and find much of Thomas' analysis intriguing, I have also identified some real problems with the book, which suggest to me that Thomas could have used some outside input, and should have spent some time on forums such as this.

A few problems that come to mind...

While discussing the Zapruder film, Thomas takes a cue from some early studies of the film and discusses the actions of Linda Kay Willis in the film. Perhaps I missed his acknowledgment that these early researchers had been mistaken as to the young girl's identity, but it seemed to me that he was unaware that the young girl in red was long ago identified as Rosemary Willis, Linda's sister, and not Linda.

When discussing the single-bullet theory, he makes a more substantive mistake. Here he repeats the standard LN line that the jump seat was 6 inches inboard from the right door of the limo. He seems unaware that the HSCA's exhibits proved this to be untrue, and that the seat was but 2 1/2 inches inboard.

He accepts, based purely on his own impression, that the mystery photo depicts Kennedy's forehead. He seems unaware that I have studied this photo in detail, and have shown that the shape of the drainage hole in the photo shows that it was not taken from above, looking down into the skull, with the forehead in the foreground.

I'm wondering if others reading through his book have found other such mistakes or oversights. Perhaps if we collect them on this thread, those reading the book will know what to expect, and Thomas will have a laundry list of things to re-write or re-consider should he be given the chance to do so.

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Martin Hay's review will be coming up soon at ctka.net.

And I think Mantik will be doing one for us also.

Pat, I think its a little unfair to just post things you have problems with though. There are many good things in it.

Oh, I agree. People should use this thread to both praise the book and point out its problems.

FWIW, I suspect that Mantik will agree that the book has many problems. Thomas accepts that the so-called 6.5 mm fragment was on the back of Kennedy's head, and, if I recall, doesn't even mention Mantik's conclusion that the fragment was subsequently added onto the x-ray.

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Pat,

There are errors but so far I like the Thomas book - he's willing to go beyond accepted conspiracy dogma to make a strong case for conspiracy on his own ground.

Lots of food for thought.

Lawyer nit pick alert - the discussion of Oswald's Miranda warning is odd since the Miranda decision was rendered in 1966.

Best to you,

Jerry

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Pat,

There are errors but so far I like the Thomas book - he's willing to go beyond accepted conspiracy dogma to make a strong case for conspiracy on his own ground.

Lots of food for thought.

Lawyer nit pick alert - the discussion of Oswald's Miranda warning is odd since the Miranda decision was rendered in 1966.

Best to you,

Jerry

Jerry:

What is interesting is that Miranda actually occurred before the assassination and Oswald would have been affected by the decision. People today might well have been read their "Oswald rights." What would have been interesting is whether if Oswald had been tried if it would have influenced the Supreme Court in their ruling.

Best,

Doug

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Pat,

There are errors but so far I like the Thomas book - he's willing to go beyond accepted conspiracy dogma to make a strong case for conspiracy on his own ground.

Lots of food for thought.

Lawyer nit pick alert - the discussion of Oswald's Miranda warning is odd since the Miranda decision was rendered in 1966.

Best to you,

Jerry

Jerry:

What is interesting is that Miranda actually occurred before the assassination and Oswald would have been affected by the decision. People today might well have been read their "Oswald rights." What would have been interesting is whether if Oswald had been tried if it would have influenced the Supreme Court in their ruling.

Best,

Doug

Doug!

It's nice to see you're still checking the Forum. I hope the book is going well. I'm really looking forward to its publication.

You're right - using a strictly rational/legal approach, Miranda should have applied retrospectively.

However, in what I think was a bow to the political realities of the Miranda decision, the Supreme court decided in Johnson v New Jersey (1966) that the Miranda rules would only apply to cases in which the trial began after the Miranda decision was announced. So no luck for LHO there.

My very best to you,

Jerry

Added comment: Following your thoughts I think there's a real possibility that Escobedo might have been very different as a result of the DPD procedures with Oswald.

Edited by Jerry Logan
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Pat,

There are errors but so far I like the Thomas book - he's willing to go beyond accepted conspiracy dogma to make a strong case for conspiracy on his own ground.

Lots of food for thought.

Lawyer nit pick alert - the discussion of Oswald's Miranda warning is odd since the Miranda decision was rendered in 1966.

Best to you,

Jerry

Jerry:

What is interesting is that Miranda actually occurred before the assassination and Oswald would have been affected by the decision. People today might well have been read their "Oswald rights." What would have been interesting is whether if Oswald had been tried if it would have influenced the Supreme Court in their ruling.

Best,

Doug

Doug!

It's nice to see you're still checking the Forum. I hope the book is going well. I'm really looking forward to its publication.

You're right - using a strictly rational/legal approach, Miranda should have applied retrospectively.

However, in what I think was a bow to the political realities of the Miranda decision, the Supreme court decided in Johnson v New Jersey (1966) that the Miranda rules would only apply to cases in which the trial began after the Miranda decision was announced. So no luck for LHO there.

My very best to you,

Jerry

Added comment: Following your thoughts I think there's a real possibility that Escobedo might have been very different as a result of the DPD procedures with Oswald.

Jerry:

I agree with your thoughts on Escobedo and you are correct about Miranda. My thoughts were that the Oswald case might have been attached to the Miranda case as it weaved its way through the courts. I hope all is well.

Best,

Doug

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Pat,

There are errors but so far I like the Thomas book - he's willing to go beyond accepted conspiracy dogma to make a strong case for conspiracy on his own ground.

Lots of food for thought.

Lawyer nit pick alert - the discussion of Oswald's Miranda warning is odd since the Miranda decision was rendered in 1966.

Best to you,

Jerry

Jerry:

What is interesting is that Miranda actually occurred before the assassination and Oswald would have been affected by the decision. People today might well have been read their "Oswald rights." What would have been interesting is whether if Oswald had been tried if it would have influenced the Supreme Court in their ruling.

Best,

Doug

Doug!

It's nice to see you're still checking the Forum. I hope the book is going well. I'm really looking forward to its publication.

You're right - using a strictly rational/legal approach, Miranda should have applied retrospectively.

However, in what I think was a bow to the political realities of the Miranda decision, the Supreme court decided in Johnson v New Jersey (1966) that the Miranda rules would only apply to cases in which the trial began after the Miranda decision was announced. So no luck for LHO there.

My very best to you,

Jerry

Added comment: Following your thoughts I think there's a real possibility that Escobedo might have been very different as a result of the DPD procedures with Oswald.

Jerry:

I agree with your thoughts on Escobedo and you are correct about Miranda. My thoughts were that the Oswald case might have been attached to the Miranda case as it weaved its way through the courts. I hope all is well.

Best,

Doug

Miranda later carried around small cards with the "Miranda rights" written on them and would autograph them for money.

Doug Weldon

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Doug and Jerry:

Did Oswald have his rights read to him? When? Where?

IN VB's book ALexander says that Texas already had a statute similar to Miranda on the books. Did they?

Jim:

I don't know what Jerry's response might be but I believe it is clear that Oswald asked for an attorney but was not provided one as they(DPD) continued to interrogate him. I am not aware of a Texas statute but if there was one it was not being followed. Many people have been critical of the DPD not recording their conversations with Oswald. However, it remains a common police practice in many jurisdictions today NOT to record interrogations.

Best,

Doug Weldon

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Doug and Jerry:

Did Oswald have his rights read to him? When? Where?

IN VB's book ALexander says that Texas already had a statute similar to Miranda on the books. Did they?

Hello Jim,

I never practiced criminal law in Texas and I haven't done an in-depth study so take what I'm writing with a little extra salt.

At the time I believe Texas had a two stage process following arrest. First, in a relatively short time after arrest, the police were required to present the detainee before a magistrate who would inform the person of the reason for their detention, usually the reason was they were being charged with a crime. At this proceeding no response was expected or required of the detained - it was simply a formal notice of the reasons for detention and the charges (if any) against them.

Later, the defendant would be arraigned - that is required to appear before a judge to hear charges and enter a plea to the charges against them.

There's a lot of confusion around Oswald because (I think) the media and Oswald himself did not understand the distinction between arraignment and notice. Oswald thought he had to go to court and appear before a judge to be arraigned and that was correct. But what he got at the jail with a magistrate wasn't an arraignment - it was the notice proceeding. Similarly, lots of reporters wrote or said that Oswald had been arraigned but he hadn't - only notified of the reason for his detention which was the criminal charge against him.

So my understanding is that Texas law required a fairly prompt notice of charges. Once charged then prevailing law at the time would have required the assistance of an attorney if the defendant requested one. At this time US Constitutional law was in flux and there was some question about exactly when someone had the right to an attorney. Established law was the right only existed after someone had been formally charged, but the 1964 Escobedo decision extended the right to anyone who had become a suspect - whether or not they had been formally charged.

I haven't found anything in Texas law that required Miranda like warnings but, as I said, I haven't conducted an exhaustive search.

I hope this helps.

Best to you,

Jerry

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Doug and Jerry:

Did Oswald have his rights read to him? When? Where?

IN VB's book ALexander says that Texas already had a statute similar to Miranda on the books. Did they?

Hello Jim,

I never practiced criminal law in Texas and I haven't done an in-depth study so take what I'm writing with a little extra salt.

At the time I believe Texas had a two stage process following arrest. First, in a relatively short time after arrest, the police were required to present the detainee before a magistrate who would inform the person of the reason for their detention, usually the reason was they were being charged with a crime. At this proceeding no response was expected or required of the detained - it was simply a formal notice of the reasons for detention and the charges (if any) against them.

Later, the defendant would be arraigned - that is required to appear before a judge to hear charges and enter a plea to the charges against them.

There's a lot of confusion around Oswald because (I think) the media and Oswald himself did not understand the distinction between arraignment and notice. Oswald thought he had to go to court and appear before a judge to be arraigned and that was correct. But what he got at the jail with a magistrate wasn't an arraignment - it was the notice proceeding. Similarly, lots of reporters wrote or said that Oswald had been arraigned but he hadn't - only notified of the reason for his detention which was the criminal charge against him.

So my understanding is that Texas law required a fairly prompt notice of charges. Once charged then prevailing law at the time would have required the assistance of an attorney if the defendant requested one. At this time US Constitutional law was in flux and there was some question about exactly when someone had the right to an attorney. Established law was the right only existed after someone had been formally charged, but the 1964 Escobedo decision extended the right to anyone who had become a suspect - whether or not they had been formally charged.

I haven't found anything in Texas law that required Miranda like warnings but, as I said, I haven't conducted an exhaustive search.

I hope this helps.

Best to you,

Jerry

Jerry:

Do you know if the first step involved a court magistrate or a justice of the peace?

Thanks,

Doug

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Doug and Jerry:

Did Oswald have his rights read to him? When? Where?

IN VB's book ALexander says that Texas already had a statute similar to Miranda on the books. Did they?

Hello Jim,

I never practiced criminal law in Texas and I haven't done an in-depth study so take what I'm writing with a little extra salt.

At the time I believe Texas had a two stage process following arrest. First, in a relatively short time after arrest, the police were required to present the detainee before a magistrate who would inform the person of the reason for their detention, usually the reason was they were being charged with a crime. At this proceeding no response was expected or required of the detained - it was simply a formal notice of the reasons for detention and the charges (if any) against them.

Later, the defendant would be arraigned - that is required to appear before a judge to hear charges and enter a plea to the charges against them.

There's a lot of confusion around Oswald because (I think) the media and Oswald himself did not understand the distinction between arraignment and notice. Oswald thought he had to go to court and appear before a judge to be arraigned and that was correct. But what he got at the jail with a magistrate wasn't an arraignment - it was the notice proceeding. Similarly, lots of reporters wrote or said that Oswald had been arraigned but he hadn't - only notified of the reason for his detention which was the criminal charge against him.

So my understanding is that Texas law required a fairly prompt notice of charges. Once charged then prevailing law at the time would have required the assistance of an attorney if the defendant requested one. At this time US Constitutional law was in flux and there was some question about exactly when someone had the right to an attorney. Established law was the right only existed after someone had been formally charged, but the 1964 Escobedo decision extended the right to anyone who had become a suspect - whether or not they had been formally charged.

I haven't found anything in Texas law that required Miranda like warnings but, as I said, I haven't conducted an exhaustive search.

I hope this helps.

Best to you,

Jerry

Jerry:

Do you know if the first step involved a court magistrate or a justice of the peace?

Thanks,

Doug

Doug,

It's my understanding that every justice of the peace is a magistrate but not every magistrate is a justice of the peace in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

So the hearing officer could be either a JP or court designated magistrate.

I think :>)

Jerry

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Doug and Jerry:

Did Oswald have his rights read to him? When? Where?

IN VB's book ALexander says that Texas already had a statute similar to Miranda on the books. Did they?

Jim:

I don't know what Jerry's response might be but I believe it is clear that Oswald asked for an attorney but was not provided one as they(DPD) continued to interrogate him. I am not aware of a Texas statute but if there was one it was not being followed. Many people have been critical of the DPD not recording their conversations with Oswald. However, it remains a common police practice in many jurisdictions today NOT to record interrogations.

Best,

Doug Weldon

Even so, it's intriguing to know that a stenographer was present at the original interviews of Leon Czolgosz (McKinley's assassin) in 1901. That the DPD failed to use one in 1963, and relied instead on Fritz's notes scribbled sometime later, is an embarrassment beyond words. According to Manchester, the WC's staff--mostly big city prosecutors--considered the DPD the "keystone cops". I think this reflected their bias, and that many of the DPD's purported screw-ups, e.g. its failure to photograph the brown paper "gun case"in the building, were not so innocent.

Edited by Pat Speer
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It is clear that Oswald asked for an attorney

a stenographer was present at the original interviews of Leon Czolgosz (McKinley's assassin) in 1901. That the DPD failed to use one in 1963, and relied instead on Fritz's notes scribbled sometime later, is an embarrassment beyond words.

Thank you Patrick for pointing out this most revealing analogy.

Surely this goes more than a little bit beyond EMBARRASSMENT, If we are to ASSUME that the United States, by 1963, had become a civilized nation?

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Doug and Jerry:

Did Oswald have his rights read to him? When? Where?

IN VB's book ALexander says that Texas already had a statute similar to Miranda on the books. Did they?

Jim:

I don't know what Jerry's response might be but I believe it is clear that Oswald asked for an attorney but was not provided one as they(DPD) continued to interrogate him. I am not aware of a Texas statute but if there was one it was not being followed. Many people have been critical of the DPD not recording their conversations with Oswald. However, it remains a common police practice in many jurisdictions today NOT to record interrogations.

Best,

Doug Weldon

Even so, it's intriguing to know that a stenographer was present at the original interviews of Leon Czolgosz (McKinley's assassin) in 1901. That the DPD failed to use one in 1963, and relied instead on Fritz's notes scribbled sometime later, is an embarrassment beyond words. According to Manchester, the WC's staff--mostly big city prosecutors--considered the DPD the "keystone cops". I think this reflected their bias, and that many of the DPD's purported screw-ups, e.g. its failure to photograph the brown paper "gun case"in the building, were not so innocent.

Pat:

You know where I stand on the conspiracy issue. However, I can only reply again that it is NOT an uncommon police practice today to not record OR have a stenographer present during a police interrogation. If a confession is made it would be common to write down the essence of the confession and have the defendant review and sign it. Unless there is a state statute mandating the recording or transcription of a confession it is a very risky process to do so. The first test for the admissibility of a confession is voluntariness and to record or transcribe something can only be beneficial to a defense attorney to dissect it and tear it aprt. The other difficulty is that it is rare that a person can tell the same story twice in the exact same manner and if there are multiple defendants, etc. their stories are going to differ, at least slightly.This can usually be used by a sharp defense attorney for tthe benefit of their client. I have both prosecuted and defended serious crimes. I have been present during police interrogations that you or any citizen might find appalling. We do often see cameras on a defendant on television reality news shows as they are questioned or waiting to be questioned so yes, it does happen in many instances. However, this is often done during a polygraph examination so that the actions of the defendant can be observed when noone is there, i.e., is he/she trying to practice their answers, control their breathing, etc. Since polygraphs are not admissible in any state, most people do not realize that a polygraph is simply an interrogation tool. The person is Mirandized, questioned, attacked with inconsistencies, and any admissions can be used. It is very artful but to sit through the hours of watching a polygraph is one of the most laborious things I have ever done. As critical as I am of many of the procedures I am not critical that there was no recording or transcript. However, I have always been bothered that a transcription was, in fact done, and may have disappeared.

Only my opinion,

Doug Weldon

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