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Summary of Results from Oswald's Paraffin Tests


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"The amount of deposit is not linear with the number of firings...One possible explanation is that additional blasts blow or shake off some of the deposits."

Nice quote. Do you have a source, or is that NOT necessary...

At WHAT point are they no longer linear... 2 shots? 5? 1000? GSR accumulates in the pores of the skin. Take a look at the drawings of the hands - does it appear to you that ALL the pores are full? Is there a "chance" LHO has only 20 pores on the back of hi hand?

Edited by Tom Neal
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"The amount of deposit is not linear with the number of firings...One possible explanation is that additional blasts blow or shake off some of the deposits."

Nice quote. Do you have a source, or is that NOT necessary...

At WHAT point are they no longer linear... 2 shots? 5? 1000? GSR accumulates in the pores of the skin. Take a look at the drawings of the hands - does it appear to you that ALL the pores are full? Is there a "chance" LHO has only 20 pores on the back of hi hand?

As far as the DPD's drawings... The dots on the drawings do not reflect pores that are full or anything like that. A chemical has been added to the paraffin casts. Nitrates react to this chemical. Where the nitrates are bunched together they show up as a speck. It doesn't mean there are no nitrates in between the specks. It means none were recorded. There were many false negatives.

And yes, it would have been helpful if the DPD took pictures of the casts as opposed to creating some drawings. Or even performed speck counts and took sworn statements regarding the number of specks or some such thing. But that's not the way it was done. The number of specks recorded on the diagram could be far less or even more than what was actually on the casts. A presumably competent scientist performed the tests. And came to a conclusion regarding the tests, based in large part on the pattern of the specks. The purpose of the drawing is to record the pattern of the specks. It is my recollection they were mostly concerned with the webbing between the thumb and trigger finger of the shooting hand, and that most other specks were attributed to handling the weapon. It is my recollection that the pattern on Oswald's hand casts was considered a typical pattern for someone who had fired a revolver but I don't remember finding any other drawings that had been introduced into a court of law to which I could compare. Such a comparison might resolve this matter, IMO. The only drawings of this type I've found on the internet are Oswald's. Perhaps other drawings of this type can be found in criminal law journals or libraries.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Guinn performed NAA studies in which he compared the amount of residue after 1 firing vs. 3 vs. 6, etc.

We are talking about the NITRATE tests, and as usual you are mixing and matching the procedures, results, and tests to suit your needs. They are NOT the same test, and they are NOT testing for the same substances.

As far as the DPD's drawings... The dots on the drawings do not reflect pores that are full or anything like that.

A chemical has been added to the paraffin casts. Nitrates react to this chemical. Where the nitrates are bunched together they show up as a speck.

It doesn't mean there are no nitrates in between the specks.

That is a COMPLETE misrepresentation of what was said.

So HOW MANY nitrates have to bunch together to make a "speck" so that it will show up? Where is the documentation that states any of this? It is pure nonsense, and you simply made it up. According to your illogic they are undetectable unless they "bunch up". This is a stretch even by YOUR standards.

Then it also doesn't mean that there are. But you ignore this because it doesn't suit your belief.

And yes, it would have been helpful if the DPD took pictures of the casts as opposed to creating some drawings. Or even performed speck counts and took sworn statements regarding the number of specks or some such thing.

But that's not the way it was done.

A presumably competent scientist performed the tests.

And yet they didn't. What does that tell you?

This is pure speculation on your part, unless it is recorded on these documents you refer to that you have yet to produce.

Again, pure speculation. Where is the documentation for this? The tests were ordered by a man who lied about the results and either ordered the actual analysis destroyed or not recorded. Hardly a "competent scientist."

And came to a conclusion regarding the tests, based in large part on the pattern of the specks.

To state that it fits the pattern is meaningless. Where is the description of these patterns, and their location? Where is the Lab report that explains all this? The fact that this is NOT stated in any record indicates that there is no pattern typical of GSR. Without this documentation no judge would accept this as evidence, so why should we?

They were mostly concerned with the webbing between thumb and finger of the shooting hand.

Which are also present on his left hand in a greater or equal number. Of course in "PS World" there's "a chance" that he shot JDT three times with his right hand and twice with his left...

Since they were "mostly concerned" with the webbing, then the fact that he had the same pattern on his non-shooting hand PROVES the nitrates were acquired elsewhere and he did NOT fire a pistol. Mr. Speer once again shoots himself in the foot!

Edited by Tom Neal
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Given the fact that DPD, FBI and SS have clearly proven that they did not handle ANY (at least I can't think of any) of the evidence in this case properly. ALL have clearly lied about tests results, procedures, evaluation of test results, testimony, etc. ANY exculpatory evidence should be granted MUCH greater weight than any indication of his guilt by any of these agencies as well as the WC and many others.

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"When comparing the amount of residue for six firings with the amount of residue for one firing, moreover, it was clear that the total for six was less than the average for one multiplied by six."

Well, Pat, don't leave us hanging like this. How MUCH greater was the total GSR for six shots than for one shot? Or, to put it in another perspective, how MUCH less was the total GSR for six shots than the average for one shot multiplied by six?

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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As a gift to those with a genuine interest, I will supply some charts from Vincent Guinn's 7-31-63 report to General Atomic.

First, here's his table demonstrating the Ba and Sb values of random people who hadn't fired a gun.

GuinnTable1.png

Edited by Pat Speer
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Now, here's one that's relevant. Note that from performing multiple firings using different guns, more Ba and Sb is acquired, but that the amount acquired by successive shots is not consistent with that acquired from the first shot.

GuinnTable4.png

Edited by Pat Speer
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Now, here's one that's relevant. Note that from performing multiple firings using different guns, more Ba and Sb is acquired, but that the amount acquired by successive shots is not consistent with that acquired from the first shot.

GuinnTable4.png

In this particular chart, was the .38 fired with one hand or two? Did the same person fire all 5 weapons(this matters)? Was the easily obtained ammunition allegedly used by LHO used in these tests? This would be obvious if *as requested* you published the document or at least the entire page containing these tables... You could AT LEAST provide the TITLE of the document as well as how it was obtained so others with a "genuine interest" can view the ENTIRE document rather than selected bits with varying degrees of relevancy...

What is the point of using 5 different guns when the only one that matters is "LHO's" .38? Given the variance above, we still have no idea the amount of GSR *IT* deposited. With FULL KNOWLEDGE that LHO either fired 5 shots or zero shots, why does the table stop at 3 shots? Five shots would have allowed a direct comparison of LHO's GSR to the chart. Also, The MORE shots fired with the same weapon, the more accurate the computation of the average amount of GSR deposited. It is the AVERAGE amount deposited with EACH successive firing that matters, not the difference between individual shots. Was "Melon" Alvarez involved in this "testing"?

LHO's Smith & Wesson Victory snub nose .38 had been re-chambered from the original "S&W cartridge" to fire .38 Special cartridges. Despite what is constantly stated the re-chambering did NOT increase the diameter of the bore, it increased the length. Firing the SMALLER .357 diameter Specials through the .361 diameter bore would undoubtedly affect the emitted GSR. Surely the "reputable scientist" would have discovered this fact. Which one the five guns used in the tests was the re-chambered one?

The purpose of this thread was to evaluate Mr. Speer's allegation that LHO was 'more likely to have fired a pistol than a rifle, so he could have murdered JDT.'

Do not forget:

1. LHO's .38 could not be ballistically matched to the shots that killed Tippit

IIRC correctly, firing a .357 bullet through a .360 bore did not leave sufficient markings

2. LHO's prints were NOT found on the weapon

This morning I do not have the time to verify the above numbers, but I'm sure I have stated the overall issue correctly.

Much more to add, but I'm out of time.

Cue Robert P. our resident Gun-dude for any corrections to the above...

Edited by Tom Neal
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Oh boy, what a can of worms you have opened here, Tom!

Although I'm not big on handguns, I thought I understood the whole .38 Smith & Wesson vs, .38 Special thing, until I began delving into the history of these handguns.

The first thing I have to ask about Oswald's alleged revolver is, was it merely re-chambered for .38 Special ammo, or was it also re-barrelled for .38 Special?

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This study had nothing to do with Oswald, dudes. Look at the date of Guinn's report. There has been repeated speculation within this thread that the amount of residue found on a shooter's hand should be in proportion to the number of shots he's supposedly fired. I posted the charts so you could see that this has been tested and that it is not true.

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Oh boy, what a can of worms you have opened here, Tom!

Although I'm not big on handguns, I thought I understood the whole .38 Smith & Wesson vs, .38 Special thing, until I began delving into the history of these handguns.

The first thing I have to ask about Oswald's alleged revolver is, was it merely re-chambered for .38 Special ammo, or was it also re-barrelled for .38 Special?

Bob,

If memory serves, it was purchased in Quebec by Seaport Traders who sold this weapon to "Hidell." It was re-chambered for .38 special ammo and the barrel was shortened from its original 5" length to 2 1/4" but not replaced. And from my notes, the work was done by LM Johnson of Van Nuys, CA

When I have time I can do some research on this and why the gun wouldn't fire, as I have heard two different stories...

It's amazing to me that this has not been more thoroughly researched.

Tom

Edited by Tom Neal
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To understand why .38 calibre handguns shoot a bullet much smaller in diameter than .380 inches, we have to look at the evolution of revolvers and brass cartridges.

The original .38 calibre cartridge, the .38 Short Colt, came about when .36 calibre cap and ball Navy revolvers were being converted to shoot the newly developed self-contained brass cartridges. It just happened that the chambers in the revolving part of the .36 calibre revolvers were .374 inch in diameter, which was rounded off to .38 very quickly. This will likely leave most of you scratching your heads, as everyone knows a bullet is smaller in diameter than its cartridge. However, let me introduce you to an archaic bullet design known as a "heeled" bullet. They have all but disappeared, and are seen today only in .22 calibre rimfire ammunition.

200px-Modern_bullet_vs_heeled_bullet_dia

As seen above, a heeled bullet (right) has a stepped shoulder that allows it to be loaded into a brass cartridge of the same diameter as the widest part of the heeled bullet.

This worked well for many years but, with the introduction of smokeless powder, the heeled bullet design fell out of favor. The chamber size of the revolver was kept but the barrel reduced to shoot a new round, the .38 Smith & Wesson. This had a bullet diameter of .361 inch and an actual bore diameter (calibre) of, I believe, .352 inch, although I have been unable to confirm this. The .38 Special was nothing more than a souped up version of the .38 S & W that shot a slightly smaller bullet of .357 inches diameter.

From what we are told, this is what Oswald's alleged revolver was re-chambered for (.38 Special), and this was the ammo he was using. However, the story goes much deeper than this.

Following the First World War, the British Army wanted to move away from their ,455 calibre revolvers to something that shot a smaller cartridge, and finally settled on a cartridge referred to as the .38/200 Revolver Mk. I round; basically a modified .38 S & W round loaded with a 200 grain lead bullet. During the Lend-Lease Program of World War II, the Smith & Wesson Model 10 was manufactured in the USA for supply to British and British Commonwealth troops, to the tune of 570,000 revolvers. Their serial numbers ha a "V" prefix, and they were known as the Smith & Wesson Victory Model.

Following the war, many of these revolvers found their way back to North America as military surplus and, being cheap, entrepreneurs bought them up quickly and attempted to market them en masse. The only problem was that the .38 Special fired a bullet with a much greater velocity than the .38 S & W, and everyone wanted a .38 Special.

So, the S & W Victory Models were converted to shoot .38 Special cartridges by re-chambering. How they did this precisely is a bit of a mystery to me unless, of course, the .38 S & W revolving chamber was merely swapped out for a .38 Special revolving chamber. You see, they simply couldn't just drill the chambers out to a larger size, as the .38 S & W chamber was already .3855 inches in diameter, and the .38 Special chamber was a mere .379 inches in diameter. A chamber liner, possibly?

It gets better, though. The .38 Special barrel has a bore diameter of .350 inches, and a groove diameter of .357 inches, meaning it shoots a bullet .357 inches in diameter. HOWEVER, the .38 S & W and the British .38/200 both fired a bullet .361 inches in diameter, a full .004 inch larger than the .38 Special bullets.

Coincidentally, and quite an amazing coincidence at that, this is the same problem that plagued the vast numbers of Italian 6.5mm Carcano rifles that found their way onto the sporting market, following WW II. The vast majority of 6.5mm rifles had a groove diameter of .264 inches, and required a bullet that was also .264 inches in diameter. The 6.5mm Carcano, while retaining the same 6.5 mm calibre as other 6.5's, had extra deep rifling grooves, and required a bullet .268 inches in diameter for accuracy. Despite the vast amounts of misinformation posted on shooting forums by disinfo agents, shooting the smaller diameter bullets in the Carcano was one of the leading contributing factors to the development of the myth that Carcanos were inaccurate rifles.

Considering the shallow rifling grooves in a .38 S & W barrel, I would be surprised if the .38 Special bullets fired from Oswald's alleged revolver had rifling impressions on them that amounted to more than light scratches.

cd38smithandwesson.jpg

38spcl.gif

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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There has been repeated speculation within this thread that the amount of residue found on a shooter's hand should be in proportion to the number of shots he's supposedly fired. I posted the charts so you could see that this has been tested and that it is not true.

The results of the study as recorded in the chart (below) don't prove that GSR accumulation isn't linear. It proves that it is sporadic. And, on average, seemingly in a cumulative way. That's all it proves.

The barium deposited on one shooter's hand (or by one gun?) increased, not three-fold, but 13-fold by firing three shots rather than one!

Yet on another, the barium decreased 22% when firing three shots instead of one.

If you're thinking that averaging will give a true picture of how linear the accumulation is, well yes, that is true... if there were a few dozen test results to average. But five tests is too small a sample to get an accurate average.

BTW, does each row in the table represent a different shooter? Each of whom fires different guns? Or does each row represent a different gun? (The complete documentation would be most useful, hint, hint.)

GuinnTable4.png

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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