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The Doors of Perception - Why Oswald Is Not Guilty of Killing JFK

By William Kelly


The assassination of President John F. Kennedy remains an unsolved cold case homicide because it has never been properly investigated as a criminal case, the main suspect and accused assassin was murdered while in police custody before he could be tried in a court of law, and no one has been convicted of the crime today.

The FBI said that they will maintain it as an open case forever, while many hundreds of independent citizens continue to investigate the case and try to answer some of the outstanding questions that can still be resolved, and researchers pour of recently released government records and continue to seek the many documents still being withheld for reasons of national security.

The assassination of President Kennedy is not yet a matter of history, but remains a cold case unresolved homicide that can and should be solved to a legal and moral certainty, as it can be if the remaining records are released and the still living witness are properly deposed before they die.

Still there are those who claim that the case has been solved all along - by the Dallas Police, within a few hours of the assassination, and the one and only guilty person - Lee Harvey Oswald did it for his own perverted, psychological reasons that we will never know.

While only an extremist - less than 20% of the people believe Oswald is guilty of killing JFK alone, [1] they include the most powerful people in government, law enforcement, academia and the media, including former Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) Chairman Judge John Tunheim and former prosecutor Gary Cornwell, a deputy counsel to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

Excuse me, Judge John Tunheim and Gary Cornwell and those who have publicly pronounced Lee Harvey Oswald guilty of killing President Kennedy, but I’d like you to consider a few facts that prove to me that Oswald is not guilty of murdering the president.

Can you give Lee Harvey Oswald a break? Can you give the accused assassin of President Kennedy the benefit of the doubt? Can you assume that he’s innocent, if only for a few minutes while I try to convince you he didn’t kill President Kennedy?

Do you support the time honored American tradition of presumption of innocence - a constitutional right that presupposes one’s innocence until proven guilty in a court of law? Well Oswald was never convicted in a court of law - other than for disturbing the peace for rumbling around on a New Orleans street corner with some anti-Castro Cubans, and now he can’t defend himself because he was murdered while in custody of the Dallas Police, which greatly reflects on the law enforcement officers who first considered him a suspect. [2]

If you can at least try to keep an open mind, and consider a few basic previously established facts - four facts that if true, prove Oswald is innocent of killing the President, then maybe you can view the assassination in a new light and from a different perspective, and join the effort to try to identify the real assassins.

For a variety of reasons, most people believe Oswald is not guilty of being the assassin and was framed as a patsy, as he himself claimed, and they consider him a pawn in a larger conspiracy, one that still affects us today. The unresolved nature of the assassination of President Kennedy still affects us today in the continued unhindered use of political assassination as a means of controlling power and the continued withholding of government records relating to the assassination on grounds of national security.

But a few people still believe that Oswald was the lone, deranged gunman, and maintain he is guilty of the crime. Those who think Oswald did it alone also usually attribute to him a psychological motive - such as seeking fame. As Judge Tunheim put it: “I think his motivation is he thought he was supposed to be someone famous in his own mind, and if he did this he would be viewed with great glory in the Soviet Union and Cuba,” an informed opinion that belies the fact that Oswald denied the deed.

Since it can be clearly shown, as I will do, that Oswald could not have been the Sixth Floor Sniper, then what can be made of the motivation of the patsy, framed for the crime, just as he claimed to be?

Whatever you believe, your opinion is based on something - probably some true facts that you learned over the years - or maybe it is based on an accumulation of a lot of knowledge about the case, but the positive proof Oswald is not guilty of killing JFK is based only on a few simple officially acknowledged facts that were established in the first few minutes after the assassination.

Those predisposed to Oswald’s singular guilt usually list the hard, circumstantial evidence that proves to them, that Oswald shot the president from the Sixth Floor Sniper’s nest. As they attest, the rifle found on the Sixth Floor was ordered by Oswald, his palm print was on the rifle, three bullet shells found at the scene were ejected from Oswald’s rifle and the bullet found at Parkland hospital was fired from the rifle. What more do you need to convict him? [3]

Although Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry was one of the first to proclaim Oswald guilty, - after he was told by Washington officials that “You have you’re man,” Curry also acknowledged that, after all is said and done, “we can’t put him in that window.” And for good reason. [4]

The preponderance of testimony and evidence supports the fact Oswald wasn’t the Sixth Floor Sniper, as those who did eyeball the man in the window exonerate Oswald as they unanimously agree the gunman wore a white shirt, while Oswald was wearing a brown one, and as one witness noticed, the sniper had a distinguishing bald spot on the top of his head, a detail that excludes Oswald as a sniper suspect. [5]

There are also witnesses who saw a man with a rifle in the Sixth Floor widow at 12:15 p.m., [6] when Oswald was seen on the first floor. [7] And after the assassination a court clerk from across the street saw a man in the Sixth Floor window five minutes after the last shot was fired, [8] when Oswald was on the second floor. If Oswald was the Sixth Floor Sniper, then who was the man seen in the window with a rifle fifteen minutes before the assassination, when Oswald was on the first floor? And if not Oswald, who was the man in the sniper’s window five minutes after the last shot, when Oswald could not have been there?

These questions don’t seem to bother those who are set in their belief that Oswald shot the President from that window and then quickly ran down the steps to the Second Floor Lunchroom, and it seems like that regardless of whatever exculpatory evidence is presented, Oswald is the designated patsy.


The bottom line is - Oswald was not convicted in a court of law and probably wouldn’t have been if subjected to a trial for a number of reasons, as enumerated by former Manhattanprosecutor Robert K. Tanenbaum, the first deputy chief counsel to the HSCA. [9.]

When he was Chairman of the ARRB, Judge Tunheim didn’t take a public position as to whether there was a conspiracy, or pass judgment on Oswald, as his job was not to investigate the assassination, but to locate and release sealed government records to the public and to let people make up their own minds. But Judge Tunheim has more recently been quoted in the media that he personally believes Oswald guilty. [10]

Judge Tunheim must have read a lot about Lee Harvey Oswald, and he certainly knows much more about the accused assassin than most people, but he’s also a federal Judge and should know better than to describe Oswald as “guilty,” a legal term that applies only to those who have been convicted in a court of law.

When discussing Oswald, open minded and honest people, especially those familiar with legal terminology, refer to Oswald as the “accused assassin” or “alleged assassin,” as the TSBD historic marker correctly calls him, because that’s what he is.

And the gunman in the window should be referred to as the Sixth Floor Sniper, because it has never been established for certain that it was Oswald, and there is a preponderance of evidence that Oswald wasn’t on the Sixth Floor at the time the shots were fired, as I will demonstrate.


Judge Tunheim isn’t the only well-informed person to publicly express a personal belief in Oswald’s guilt, as Gary Cornwell, the former Deputy Chief Counsel to the HSCA does in his book. After the resignation of the first HSCA Chief Counsel Richard Sprague, Cornwell was recruited by second chief counsel G. Robert Blakey.

In his book “Real Answers” Cornwell wrote: “…we confirmed that much of what the Warren Commission said was wrong. But we also found that most of the many reasons that led critics of the Warren Commission to conclude that Oswald was a mere patsy were also wrong, and were based upon inadequate access to the available evidence, questionable assumptions and logic, and/or faulty ‘scientific’ analysis…” [11]

“Mere patsy”!?

Certainly if Oswald was framed for the crime, and was set up as the patsy, as he claimed, and as much of the evidence indicates, then the assassination wasn’t the work of a deranged lone nut, but was a well planned and successfully executed conspiracy by unknown confederates still at large, and the case is an unsolved homicide and a major national security threat today.

There’s nothing “mere” about it.

If Oswald wasn’t the Sixth Floor Sniper and was a patsy, then he most certainly played a smaller role - that of a sacrificial pawn - in a much larger game and a scheme of things that has yet to be figured out.

Since Gary Cornwell not only thinks Oswald guilty, but that those like me who have concluded Oswald was a “mere patsy” are wrong because we have had inadequate access to the available evidence, make questionable assumptions and use faulty logic and/or make faulty scientific analysis, I’d like him to evaluate the four facts, the logical reasoning and the scientific analysis that leads me to believe that Oswald is not guilty of killing the President. I’d like for him to point out where I am wrong, or acknowledge Oswald is really not guilty, if these four facts and reasons are agreed on and correct.

While Cornwell, like Tunheim, probably knows a lot about Oswald, I’m pretty sure neither of them have reviewed these four basic facts, acknowledged by the Warren Commission, that whatever else you believe about him, if they are true, prove Oswald didn’t kill the President.

My purpose here is to present this evidence in a public forum and use it to convince them and anyone else who believes Oswald is guilty, that he deserves the benefit of the doubt and a presumption of innocence that the Constitution, as well as the evidence in the case, legally and morally grants him.

So I publicly ask, challenge Gary Cornwell and Judge Tunheim to consider the following facts and refute or agree 1) that Oswald should not be considered or referred to as “guilty” and 2) there’s at least the distinct possibility that Oswald was not the Sixth Floor Sniper.

Judge Tunheim must recognize that Oswald, not having been convicted in a court of law, should not be considered “guilty,” as that word is a legal term reserved for those convicted in a court of law, and Cornwell should acknowledge, based on these four acknowledged facts, that it is possible that Oswald wasn’t the Sixth Floor Sniper, and therefore the investigation into this unsolved homicide should consider the probability that someone other than Oswald killed the President.

In his book Cornwell doesn’t address the reasons that lead me to believe that Oswald could not have been the Sixth Floor Sniper, but I would like him and Judge Tunheim to consider them and respond.

I base my conclusion on just four facts from the evidence and testimony provided to the Warren Commission, four facts that if true, completely exonerate Oswald from being the Sixth Floor Sniper.

This is not to say that Oswald is innocent of everything. I don’t know who killed President Kennedy, I don’t know who took a shot at General Walker and I don’t know who killed Dallas Police officer J.D. Tippit, but I do know for a fact that Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t kill President Kennedy.

Not my original observation, I credit Howard Roffman, in his book “Presumed Guilty,” of first pointing out most of these details, though I’ve since come across some additional documents (Truly Affidavit) and evidence that supports the contention that Oswald is not guilty and was framed as the patsy, and I believe it can be proven to anyone interested in reviewing these facts, that Oswald was not the Sixth Floor Sniper. [12]

Oswald did not kill President Kennedy if you believe the two men who claim they ran into Oswald in the Second Floor lunchroom ninety seconds after the last shot - Dallas police officer Marrion Baker and Roy Truly, the superintendent of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD).

There are dissenting voices who think they are lying, and there are those who believe the first police reports and discount the later official testimony, and these objections are certainly worth considering. [13]

But the following analysis is based strictly on four points of fact that have been entered into evidence in the official record as published in the Warren Report, and it rests entirely on the credibility of Dallas Policeman Marrion Baker and TSBD superintendent Roy Truly, and what they said occurred in the first two minutes after the assassination.....



Also See:

Chapter 7, Oswald at Window?, "PRESUMED GUILTY", 1976

Chapter 8, The Alibi: Oswald's Actions after the Shots, "PRESUMED GUILTY", 1976

Complete Book: "PRESUMED GUILTY, How and why the Warren Commission framed Lee Harvey Oswald, A factual account based on the Commission's public and private documents", by Howard Roffman

Edited by William Kelly
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