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The Smell of Gunpowder in Dealey Plaza - from "Murder From Within" Wind Speed & Direction


Guest Robert Morrow

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Guest Robert Morrow

There are some jewels of research in the book "Murder From Within" by Fred Newcomb. The book originally came out in 1974; it pointed the finger directly at Lyndon Johnson and it was praised by none other than Barry Goldwater, who read the book after it came out in 1974. Goldwater by 1973 had come to the conclusion that Lyndon Johnson was behind the JFK assassination as he privately told people. "Murder From Within" was republished in 2011.

Fred Newcomb did a fine job of cataloguing the "nose witnesses" who smelled gunpowder at Dealey Plaza. He also determined that the wind direction was flowing from west to east at that moment. Remember the gust of wind that almost knocked off Jackie's pillbox as she turned right from Main Street to Houston St. (before the next left to the "Nightmare on Elm Street?")

For anyone who smelled gun powder in Dealey Plaza, there is absolutely NO WAY that it came from the 6th floor window of the TSBD. The most likely location? The grassy knoll, where most JFK researchers believe the head kill shot to JFK came from.

I also think that all the "nose witnesses" that smelled gunpowder in Dealey Plaza also preclude a head kill shot from the South Grassy Knoll --- it's just too far away. I doubt the wind blew it from there.

From "Murder From Within" on the gunpowder "nose witnesses:"

***Motorcycle escort officer Billy J. Martin, riding one-half car length from the left rear fender of the Presidential limousine, recalled, “You could smell the gunpowder… you knew he wasn’t far away. When you’re that close, you can smell the powder burning. Why you—you’ve got to be pretty close to them… you could smell the gunpowder… right there in the street.”63 (Figure 3-7) “Nose” witnesses Sen. Ralph Yarborough rode in the second car behind the limousine. He smelled gunpowder in the street64 and said it clung to the car throughout the race to Parkland Hospital.65 He later commented, “. . . you don’t smell gunpowder unless you’re shooting at something up wind and it blows it back in your face…”65-a As noted, the motorcade headed into a breeze—photographs show bystanders’ skirts billowing in the wind. At Parkland Hospital Yarborough told reporters “the third shot may have been a Secret Service man returning fire”.65-b Two cars behind Yarborough was the Cabell car. Elizabeth Cabell said she “. . . was acutely aware of the odor of gunpowder.”66 She added Congressman Ray Roberts, seated next to her, had mentioned it also.67 According to press photographer Tom C. Dillard, two cars behind the Cabell car, he “. . . very definitely smelled gunpowder when the cars moved up to the corner [of Elm and Houston Streets].”68 Bystander Virgie Rackley stood in front of the depository building close to the street. “She recalled that after the second shot, she smelled gunsmoke…”69 At the time of the shots, patrolman Joe M. Smith moved from the intersection of Elm and Houston Streets toward the triple underpass.70 Patrolman Earle V. Brown, stationed 100 yards west of the underpass, heard the shots and then smelled gunpowder as the car sped beneath him.71 A police officer who was on the sixth floor of the depository shortly after the shooting failed to smell any gunpowder there.72 One newspaper summed it up: “. . . seconds later the cavalcade was gone. The area still reeked with the smell of gunpowder.”73 Shots from the sixth floor of the depository building would have caused no gunpowder smell in the street. ***

Fred T. Newcomb and Perry Adams (2011-11-03). Murder From Within: Lyndon Johnson's Plot against President Kennedy (Kindle Locations 1376-1377). AuthorHouse. Kindle Edition.

Also, this post on the possibility of a firecracker (I doubt it!): http://educationforu...opic=19251&st=0

Amazon link to "Murder From Within:" http://www.amazon.co...der from within

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Patrolman Earle V. Brown, stationed 100 yards west of the underpass, heard the shots and then smelled gunpowder as the car sped beneath him.

Frangible bullet?

Did anyone report gunpowder smell inside the Parkland trauma rooms or in the parking lot near the limo?

Edited by David Andrews
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  • 2 months later...

Can anyone tell me, with any degree of certainty, the direction and speed of the wind through Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination?

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Warren Commission testimony of James Romack:

Mr. BELIN. You said you started walking away. Where did you walk?
Mr. ROMACK. Toward the School Book Depository Building.
Mr. BELIN. Along what street did you walk?
Mr. ROMACK. Well, it wouldn't be no street at the time.
Mr. BELIN. Well, if there would be a street?
Mr. ROMACK. I guess it would be just about, I don't know whether they are going to split Ross and Houston Street up.
Mr. BELIN. Would you be looking straight at Houston Street?
Mr. ROMACK. More or less. I would be looking at Houston Street; yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. All right, and what happened as you were walking?
Mr. ROMACK. I heard these three rifle shots sound out.

...

Mr. BELIN. Where did they sound like they came from?
Mr. ROMACK. It sounded, I guess, like it came from that building, but it wasn't on my side of the building.
Mr. BELIN. Did it sound like it was up high or low?
Mr. ROMACK. I would say they were high. I have never been asked that question, but it did sound like they were running out high, I would say, and the wind was blowing a little bit from the south that day, I can remember.
Mr. BELIN. The wind was blowing into your face as you walked, or was it blowing from your back, sir?
Mr. ROMACK. It was blowing into my face.
Mr. BELIN. Into your face.

Warren Commission testimony of Marrion Baker:

Mr. BAKER - As we approached the corner there of Main and Houston we were making a right turn, and as I came out behind that building there, which is the county courthouse, the sheriff building, well, there was a strong wind hit me and I almost lost my balance...

Mr. BELIN - From what direction was the wind coming when it hit you?
Mr. BAKER - Due north.

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I think the photographic evidence from the Wiegman photos and the testimony of Holland, Dodd and Simmons on the overpass lends a great deal of verification where gun smoke was on the North Knoll. I must also say that Tosh Plumlee's testimony of the smell of gunpower near the flatbed truck on Commerce Street and at the end of the concrete banister on the South Knoll is also verifiable and true.

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Patrolman Earle V. Brown, stationed 100 yards west of the underpass, heard the shots and then smelled gunpowder as the car sped beneath him.

Frangible bullet?

Did anyone report gunpowder smell inside the Parkland trauma rooms or in the parking lot near the limo?

Again, re: Sen. Yarborough's comment on the gunpowder smell clinging to the limo all the way to Parkland - a frangible bullet aftereffect? Any ballistics-expert opinion on this?

This is not to discount any possible gun smoke emanating from the knoll or underpass.

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Why have we discounted the possible source of the head shot ( from forehead out the back/top of JFK's head ) as coming from the storm drain opening at the base of the steps on Elm? Can we reopen the discussion to at least allow for the possibility that Tom Wilson's belief that the head shot tracectory is from below to up. Also, lets allow for Tom's assertion that the limo is 7 ft 6 in farther down Elm towards the overpass, along with a limo stop. I think a shot from the drain would increase the amount of gunpowder at street level and would explain why the odor was so strong in that area. Look, you either ignore Wilson's theory or allow for it's possibility. I believe that the Storm Drain shooter explains a lot about the autopsy results concerning the X-Rays of the head.

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I have mentioned this before. Not one of the Police Officers indicated that they smelled either the barrel of the Carcano or the cartridges. I found a statement by Lt Day where he said that there was no way to tell if a gun had been fired yesterday, last week or last month (paraphrasing) if gunpowder was smelled in the plaza, would not the gun on the 6th floor reek of the same type smell if it were shot less than an hour before. I could never accept that the gun powder smell that Senator Yarlborough and others smelled came from above and behind them. I have always felt that the silence about whether the gun the police, etal claimed was the assassin's was proof positive it had not been fired that day.

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Guest Robert Morrow

Robert,

According to the HSCA, the wind speed at Love Field at 12:30 pm was 13 knots (approx. 15 mph). http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=79009

According to McAdams, the wind was coming from the southwest at the time of the shooting.

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

Mike

And if the wind at 12:30 PM was coming from the southwest how in the WORLD do six or seven people in cars driving west on Elm Street actually smell gunpowder from a shot from the TSBD 6th floor window? They smell it coming from the Grassy Knoll where a big puff of smoke was filmed in by NBC's Weidman. Robert Groden call tell you all about that.

Edited by Robert Morrow
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