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Did Lieutenant Day Lift Prints That Day? Question for Pat Speer.

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Pat Speer wrote this on the TSBD/OZ thread,

This is important because it also says Day lifted prints from the rifle.

There is NO record of this lift within the DPD's files from the 22nd.

It seems possible they were disappeared.../]

Pat: This comes as a complete shock to me, unless I am simply forgetting.

Did not Day testify that he lifted a palm print in Dallas, but did not get a chance to compare it

before the FBI took it.

Please help straighten me out on this Pat, it would be much appreciated.

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I spent a lot of time researching the fingerprint evidence a few years back, but got pulled away from this research when my son was born, and never got back to it.

But the facts (as I remember them) are as follows:

Day claimed he lifted a print from the underside of the barrel on the 22nd, and that he never got around to studying it before sending it on to Washington on the 26th.

The FBI had no knowledge of this lift until the 26th. This was AFTER the rifle had been returned to Dallas on the 24th. The lift, therefore, could have been created on the 24th or 25th. Day later claimed he never opened the crate holding the rifle after its return from Washington on the 24th. As the DPD re-photographed the rifle before returning it to Washington, however, this clearly isn't true. (I'd like to double-check that one.) Day claimed he'd told Drain about the print when he handed him the rifle on the 22nd, but Drain denied that he'd been told such a thing. Latona, the FBI's fingerprint examiner, noted no gunpowder on the rifle around the print's location when inspecting the rifle, and claimed he saw no sign of any print on the underside of the barrel.

There is therefore no record of this lift beyond Day's word and the lift itself. Day said he told Fritz about it, but Fritz was never asked about this. Wade mentioned a palm print on the underside of the rifle in a news conference on the 24th, but may have been thinking about the smudged prints by the trigger guard. Wade was similarly never asked about this.

Liebeler saw this problem late in the WC's investigation, and asked the FBI to get to the bottom of it.

Day refused to sign an affidavit swearing he'd lifted the print on the 22nd. He said he stood by the DPD report in which he discussed the print. This report was not written until 1-8-64.

It fell upon the FBI, then, to shore up this print for the WC. Hoover wrote a personal letter--NOT a signed affidavit--claiming the FBI inspected the lift and the rifle, and found evidence the lift had indeed come from the rifle. Neither Hoover nor Latona was asked to testify about this. There is no memo in the FBI's assassination files, for that matter, reflecting that this inspection actually took place. (This is another point I'd like to double-check.)

The exhibit demonstrating Hoover's claim, for that matter, was so dark and blurred it proved nothing.

And that's where it stood. For decades...

Researcher John Hunt, however, sweet-talked the Archives into letting him scan the original lift. He posted this scan on this very forum. After much study, I was able to confirm Hoover's claims, and see that the marks on the barrel did in fact show up on the lift.

This supports, then, that the lift came from the rifle. It doesn't tell us when this lift occurred.

That the lift was faked AFTER the rifle was returned from Washington, however, gains support in an unexpected place. In the book First Day Evidence, written with the help of DPD Crime Lab employee Rusty Livingston, Livingston claims that the print was studied by Crime Lab employees and confirmed as Oswald's that first week-end, before Oswald's death. That would have been news to Day, who claimed he told no one about the print beyond Fritz (and, if I recall, Curry), and who only confirmed the print as Oswald's during his WC testimony.

But why would Livingston lie about such a thing? Hmmm... While it seems possible he had a selective memory, it seems as likely to me that he lied to protect Day, without realizing Day had claimed he'd told no one about the print.

Well, then, why LIE to protect Day?

Edited by Pat Speer
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I spent a lot of time researching the fingerprint evidence a few years back, but got pulled away from this research when my son was born, and never got back to it.

Congratulations on your son, Pat.

I hope you named him Patrick after his father,

because my own father was also named Patrick,

and my youngest son is Sean Patrick.

We just welcomed our second grandchild,

who bears the salubrious name of Ava Lilly Beckett.

I can now claim to belong to a literary family,

since my sister married a Joyce,

and my daughter married a Beckett.

I really appreciate this summary Pat, and your own analysis.

I have some suspicions of my own that I intend to follow up on,

and will report in due course.


Edited by J. Raymond Carroll
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