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The backyard photographs


Pat Speer
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It has come to my attention that Dave Perry is trying to "school" me on his website. I made an offhand comment about the Ricky and Geneva White story that somehow offended him, and for some reason he decided the best way to handle my incorrect statements was to make an example out of me. One of the reasons I joined this forum was to learn more about the JFK assassination. I was under the impression that only two different backyard poses were known to exist in 1963, and that a third pose came to light in the seventies, and that Geneva White (Dees) was responsible for this third pose coming to light. While Mr. Perry does his best to make me look stupid, I'm not sure he ever counters my basic argument, that the Dallas PD failed to give all the photographic evidence over to the FBI and the Warren Commission. He makes it sound like First Day Evidence, one of the few JFK books I fail to own, explains everything. I'd appreciate it if someone a bit less hostile than Mr. Perry would explain to me what I'm missing. Evidently, the HSCA executive session testimony of R.L. Studebaker on October 5, 1978 helps explain where the third pose came from and why it was never brought to light during the era of the Warren Report. If anyone has read this testimony, I would appreciate hearing his explanation, and also any known reason this testimony was given in executive session. Mr. Perry also uses the fact that both the Texas Attorney General and Oliver Stone rejected Ricky White's story, which I agree is opportunistic b.s., to try and imply that everything was on the up and up regarding the photograph. I don't see the connection. Why did Dallas police officers have copies of a photograph that was never shown to the Warren Commission? Was it just a mistake? If anyone can help shed some light on this I'd appreciate it. Here's the Perry article:

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A Conspiracy of Incompetence? 

In late September 2004 a Pat Speer posted the following to a the JFK Lancer Research Forum:

"What I find amazing is that while Ricky and Geneva White's stories have been called into question, and the Roscoe White diary debunked as a hoax, the photo Geneva White received from Roscoe White of Oswald was declared authentic by the HSCA. That's something that the Posners and Jennings of the world overlook. At the very least, it points to a conspiracy of incompetence among the DPD. After all, there were only two photographs of Oswald with the rifle found in the Paine's garage and entered into evidence, and here the wife of a former officer surfaces with a third one."

I guess forums such as Lancer's claiming to bask in "the free exchange of ideas" and the "need to educate the public" consider this unsubstantiated comment acceptable. And those with a legitimate interest who are new to the case end up scratching their heads. In my view, Speer, has not only jumped to conclusions but also altered history without checking the facts.

"What I find amazing is that . . . the Roscoe White diary [has been] debunked as a hoax"

OK, so which one of the three - that's right three - diaries is Speer talking about? Was it the one created by Geneva White using a felt tip pen? The one where she later broke down and admitted to the fakery because she needed money? Was it another that may be in the possession of J. Gary Shaw? That is the one described by The JFK Assassination Information Center as a "Witness Elimination Book." By Labor Day 1990, John Stockwell made a valiant effort to get Mr. Shaw to produce the "book" but Mr. Shaw declined to do so. And the third was never "debunked as a hoax" as Ricky claimed the FBI took it.

"there were only two photographs of Oswald with the rifle found in the Paine's garage and entered into evidence, and here the wife of a former officer surfaces with a third one."

Where does this claim come from? Certainly not from the historical record. And wouldn't it be better to at least identify the photograph in question? Not all readers are as cognizant of the details as others and may be prone to believe the statement.

Speer is talking about what is known as the third backyard photograph identified by the House Select Committee on Assassinations as CE-133c. And contrary to Speer's assertion, the surfacing of that photograph was not quite as claimed. Speer should have taken the time to check House Select Committee on Assassinations - Volume VI, page 180. One finds the following three photographs discussed:

CE-133a, CE-133b, and CE-133c.

Furthermore, the numbers CE-133a and c are attributed to Richard Stovall with another copy of CE-133c attributed to Dees (White). Therefore Geneva (White) Dees was NOT the sole person to provide the photograph in question. Furthermore, other police officers including Rusty Livingston had copies of that same photograph. Speer should review JFK First Day Evidence by Gary Savage (pp. 123 - 142) for all the details.

"That's something that the Posners and Jennings of the world overlook."

Wrong - Since the details don't lead to the self-serving conclusion Speer needs, the decision is made to overlook the true facts. The whole Roscoe White story was investigated by the Texas Attorney General's office as well as Oliver Stone!

The Texas Attorney General's conclusion:

"So far everything we have looked at has not given any credibility to anything these people have been trying to say about the documents and that whole affair."

Ron Dusek / State Attorney General Aide / February 1, 1991

Oliver Stone's conclusion:

From Oliver Stone's book JFK: The Book of the Film, page 20:

[Note: In what appears to be nothing more than a publicity- seeking hoax, a Texas group that included White's son and widow presented "evidence" in 1990 that White was the real assassin behind the picket fence. Many of their claims have been debunked. (See David B. Perry "Who Speaks for Roscoe White?," The Third Decade, November, 1991.)]

So it appears Speer is one of the minority thinking this tired fable has merit. I find it amusing that even Oliver Stone didn't buy onto this one. It would have made a more entertaining piece of fiction than JFK.

As to a "conspiracy of incompetence" in my opinion, it is often the researchers who are proven incompetent.

Dave Perry

09/30/04

Edited by Pat Speer
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Hi Pat,

You're absolutely correct in my view. Debating with Mr. Perry can be an "experience" :o

Read or download the email exchange between Dave Perry and Wim Dankbaar right here.

http://jfkmurdersolved.com/files1.htm

I too believe there is much more to the Roscoe White story than it has received credit for. I believe it was succesfully discredited, although not all may be true. If you send me an email I'll send you some docs and articles on it. The main question is: Why does the FBI not produce the original diary, if it is so clearly a hoax? Or maybe someone can show me a firm denial from the FBI that they didn't take it?

Wim

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Didn't someone find and release the raw materials used in the Oswald backyard photos? I seem to remember seeing background photos, with silhouettes cut, overlays, etc. They may have been a re-creation, but it seems to me they were the original paste-up components.

Does anyone else know to what I am referring?

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Didn't someone find and release the raw materials used in the Oswald backyard photos? I seem to remember seeing background photos, with silhouettes cut, overlays, etc. They may have been a re-creation, but it seems to me they were the original paste-up components.

Does anyone else know to what I am referring?

I remember something like that too. Seems like I saw that on a t.v. show a while back.

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Didn't someone find and release the raw materials used in the Oswald backyard photos? I seem to remember seeing background photos, with silhouettes cut, overlays, etc. They may have been a re-creation, but it seems to me they were the original paste-up components.

Does anyone else know to what I am referring?

I'm not at home right now, but I believe it was in Oswald Talked that a lot of that material was exposed. As I remember, the Dallas PD claimed they were merely using these mock-ups to test the shadows, and that they never made any fakes. While I still have my doubts, I'm not even disputing their claim. Right now, I'm just curious as to when the third pose was first made available to the Federal Government. If it was after 1963, why?

Edited by Pat Speer
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I have heard that too, regarding the cut frames found among DPD stuff, regarding the back yard photos.

What interests me more though is the photo obtained from Mrs. DeMohrenschildt after George committed "suicide" in Palm Beach county, FLA.

This appeared to be one of the same poses of the ones floating around earlier, however it was of a (far) better quality. I read somewhere that this meant that it was not taken with the same camera as the three other known photos...

Perhaps Marina used two Cameras when she was out back taking photos of Lee? Yeah right!

Also Marina testified (or was it Marguerite Oswald) that Marina had one of the backyard photos in her shoe when she was first taken down to the DPD. She later burned that photo, fearing it would further incriminate Lee (I don't recall if Marguerite gave her the idea of destroying it or what).

At any rate she burned that photo. Would it have been a fifth pose? In her testimony to the WC, Marina testified that she recalled taking one shot, when presented with several poses she eventually said she must have taken two or three.

Perhaps Jack White or someone who knows could tell us how many poses there were all in all, how many different cameras were used and how many copies of originials were officially entered as evidence.

I'm a bit confused, but the back yard photo deal sure is a weird one.

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I'm back at home now, and have re-read the sections of Oswald Talked about the matte prints found in the Dallas PD files. The excuse offered up by Detective Bobby Brown was that he was trying to superimpose Oswald's silhouette into a photo of the Neely backyard taken on November 29, 1963, to make sure it was the same backyard. This doesn't make a lot of sense. He also says that the photo of him recreating the pose of the photo eventually handed over by Roscoe White's widow, 133-c, was taken under the direction of the Secret Service, and that therefore the Secret Sevice knew of the third pose's existence in 1963. Interesting. Why both the Secret Service and the DPD failed to tell the WC about this photo is a mystery.

I also re-read the HSCA report on the backyard photographs. While it insists the photographs are legit, it raises a heck of a lot of questions about the behavior of the DPD.

1. It claims that 2 photographs and 1 negative were given to the Warren Commission, and acknowledges that 2 photographs and 2 negatives had been in the possession of the DPD, which jives with the Warren Commission testimony of Gus Rose. On HSCA V.6 p.139 it says "Only one negative was made available to the Warren Commission; the other one has never been accounted for." On p. 143 it re-iterates that "CE 749, the original negative to CE 133-B, was the only negative recovered from the possession of the Dallas Police Department." The tone of this comment seems to indicate a level of distrust.

2. Even more startling, however, is the HSCA's claim on p. 142-143 that 133-C (Dees) (the photo given over to the HSCA by the former Geneva White) and 133-C (Stovall), a photo of the same pose given over by Detective Stovall, one of the detectives present when the photos were found in the Paine's garage, are first generation prints. This means that, unless one is to believe that there were two photos of the third pose which both happened to be stolen by Dallas PD officers, the DPD had the negative to this photo. Still, since 133-A (Stovall) and 134, an enlargement made from 133-A and shown to Oswald, were also determined to be first generation prints, this means Dallas PD had the negative to 133-A as well. Which means they had all three negatives, only testified to two, and turned over only one to the Warren Commission. On p. 153 it alludes to the fact that in the executive session testimony of R.L. Studebaker on October 5, 1978 (someone please find this for me) he confessed to making a number of copies of these photographs for a number of police officers. Souvenirs. But Dave Perry disputes my assertion that these police were at the very least incompetent. He must have some friends on the DPD.

3. The HSCA report also reveals that the former Geneva White turned over her copy of 133-c on 12-30-1976, while Richard Stovall did not turn over his copy until April 14, 1978. This implies an ivestigation took place in-between. Has anyone seen any documents pertaining to this investigation? Perhaps it's hidden in the HSCA somewhere, but I haven't seen it. If I'm asking stupid questions, please humor me.

4. Yet another interesting tidbit in the HSCA report is its analysis on p. 172 of shadows on the Neely backyard, which led to the determination that 133-c was the first photo taken, then B, then A. Some time back, after reading the story that Oswald left his wedding ring at home on the day of the assassination, I became intrigued by the possibility it was planted after the fact by police. The early photos of Oswald after his arrest all reflect, however, that he was wearing his Marine ring and bracelet on that fateful day, which is intriguing in its own right. When one looks at the backyard photos in order, something even more intriguing is apparent.

On the first photo, 133 c, Oswald's right hand is blurred and his left reveals he's wearing what is almost undoubtedly his Marine ring. He is also wearing what looks to be a large wrist-watch on this hand. (Is there any other picture of him wearing a wristwatch?) On the second photo, 133-B, moments later, the Marine ring appears to be on his right hand, while the left hand is facing away from the camera. On the third photo, 133-A, both hands are visible, and neither hand appears to bear the ring, certainly not the right, and probably not the left. (If someone has a good copy of this and can tell otherwise, please pipe up.)

Why this is important is that Oswald supposedly always wore his wedding ring, and here he is on a Sunday clowning around and it's nowhere to be seen. Still, the resolution may not be sufficient to say for sure. But what's even more intriguing to me is the possibility of someone else's wedding ring being in the photos. For why else was Oswald's hand blurred out on the copies of 133-C? What else could be so damaging about a hand that someone would need to blur it out and make the negative disappear? Or was it just a coincidence? The fact that this photo was taken first and then disappeared, and then re-appeared with a blurry spot on the right hand makes me suspicious that Oswald's face was super-imposed on someone else's body, and that the photography forgers decided not to use it due to the fact their model left his wedding ring on.

5. While reading Stovall's testimony before the Warren Commission, I noticed that Richard S. Stovall was born in 1928, and was approximately 35 years old when he helped find the backyard photos. The testimony of Robert L. Stovall, Oswald's former boss at the photography lab of Jagger-Chiles Stovall, reflects that he was 43. Are these men brothers???? I looked through a number of JFK books and was unable to find any reference to their being related. I did a quick white pages check of Dallas and found there are 61 Stovalls listed in Dallas today. Since Dallas was approximately one third its current size in 1963, I propose there were maybe 20 listed in 1963. And since families were bigger back then and more centralized, I propose that those 20 represent maybe 3 families. Consequently, there's at least a 33 % chance these two Stovalls were brother or cousin to one another. Has anyone looked into this? Once again, if this is elementary, please humor me. Needless to say, it would be a staggering coincidence if one of the Detectives finding these mis-handled photos was related to a former employer of Oswald's, let alone the employer whose photography labs were believed to have been used by Oswald to fake his Hidell ID. That Jack Bowen reportedly worked for Stovall, and that Oswald used him as a reference on his library card, and that a John Bowen just so happened to be the fake name given by Oswald's Mexico bus companion Albert Osborne, makes this even more intriguing.

Still, the testimony of Marina and Marguerite indicate Marina took and Marguerite helped destroy a single photograph of Oswald in the backyard with his guns, albeit one taken of him in a different pose than the three remaining photographs. And the recent words of Michael Paine indicate he saw this photo as well. This makes me wonder if the Dallas PD, clued into the existence of the photograph by Michael Paine but frustrated by their inability to find the photograph, didn't decide to create a few of their own, in order to nail their man. Stovall says "you know my brother can help us out with this" or some such thing, and away they go. They come back the next day and "find" the pictures they made themselves that morning. PURE CONJECTURE, of course, but an honest attempt to address the available evidence.

I'm still wondering if the Dallas PD ever offered an explanation as to why at least two negatives were never given over to the Warren Commission. Does anyone know??

Edited by Pat Speer
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Thank you Pat, You are the man! Great Post on point.

Holding a copy of the Militant and the Mannlicher 6.5 duce piece,

Oswald's head is a little too small, floating on a shadow on his left neck that shouldn't be there as he photoed apparently in the more direct sun.

The easel was tipped, and thats a giveaway......

Marina Oswald was not a good witness.

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The number of originals and expanding set it was: rhymes with the thread on Autopsy Evidence Seminar.....two many good propaganda pieces that had served their purpose laying about and being introduced. Olfactory deduction./////

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Police captured the two burglars and returned the possessions which

included some of Roscoe White's photos - among them a shot taken by

Marina Oswald of her husband Lee Harvey Oswald holding a rifle in

the back yard of their Dallas home in 1963.

For nearly 15 years after the assassination only two such photos

were known. Roscoe White's became the third. In its final report,

the House Special Committee on Assassinations identified the photo

as coming from the family of a former Dallas policeman. According

to Ricky White and an investigator for the House committee, Geneva

White had contacted the FBI after the burglary. The FBI informed

the committee of the existence of the photo. The matter was not

pursued because committee investigators didn't know about White's

past relationship with Oswald or Geneva White's brief employment at

Jack Ruby's Carousel Club.

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Hey Jack,

I knew we could be mates on some issues! :D

I just got a contribution from Gary, your old mate:

Wim,

There was no burglary involving photographs - I checked the police records back in the early 90's and found this to be one of many phony stories. Geneva tried to sell those pictures - several cops had prints of various evidence photos after Oswald died - within weeks of Roscoe's death. I even interviewed the lawyer she hired to help try to market them.Later, Geneva contacted the FBI and the pictures were examined by investigators a year or so prior to the HSCA - that is how they were "found" by the Committee.

Gary Mack

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Gary, please send me an email claryfying WHICH other "several cops" had "various evidence photos"? And while you're at it, could you also tell me why they didn't think it was significant to turn them over the Warren Commission or the HSCA?

I'm now also a little confused: Did the unknown third backyard photo come from the Roscoe White household or not? And how did the police records show you this was a phoney story? Was the picture phoney too? Oh well, we "buffs" already know it's phoney, just like Lee did, but that's not what I mean. How did Geneva end up with this unknown backyard picture?, that's what I mean.

Cheers and awaiting,

Wim

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Oh and Gary, no records doesn't mean xxxx.

Can you find a record of Joe Ball and Frank Belcher sending Chauncey Holt, Joe Canty and others to their CIA safehouse in Acapulco?

Please find me also some police records of the arrests of Charles Harrelson, Charles Rogers and Chauncey. With fingerprints and mugshots please. Not the Gedney, Doyle, Abrams stuff.

Wim

Edited by Wim Dankbaar
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Does anyone know what the DPD's explanation was to why they failed to turn over the negatives? Or whether there was an investigation? or whether the Stovalls were related? Or what Studebaker said in his testimony? I'm still hoping someone knows. All help appreciated. I wouldn't want to have to give in and ask Dave Perry.

Edited by Pat Speer
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