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Josiah Thompson's brand new book LAST SECOND IN DALLAS


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Lobster magazine review.

https://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster81/lob81-last-second-in-dallas.pdf

Funny quote.

Quote

Last Second in Dallas is a study that does not leave Dealey Plaza. Yes, nearly sixty years later we are still on Elm Street. The jacket flap claims Thompson provides ‘incontrovertible proof that JFK was killed in a crossfire’. OK, back in 1966 we may not have had ‘incontrovertible’ proof that he was killed by crossfire but it was a pretty good surmise. It was time to move on to the Bigger Questions. Some of us did, some of us didn’t.

 

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On 2/21/2021 at 10:47 PM, Eddy Bainbridge said:

Thankyou for your post Mark. I don't understand your last sentence. I don't think you are saying the Zapruder film is the standard, but neither do I see much point matching shot testimony to  the Z film: 'Bang pause bangbang doesn't match", shot not heard by some (around Z150), followed by three shots doesn't match. Shot from the front to the throat, weak shot to the back, shot(or shots) to the head doesn't match(or at least not the Warren Report). Possibly worst of all is shot at Z150 (must have missed by a lot, injuring Tague?), shot around Z220(magically got through Kennedy's neck bones with no trace etc etc etc) and Z313(Caused bizarre momentary flash, caused bizarrely explained/unexplained reverse lurch by JFK).

No, I don't think the Zapruder film should be used as a standard because seen in isolation it's very misleading.  For example, when I see the Z-film I see the victims reacting twice, which implies only two shots were fired.  When I look a little closer I see a very noticeable jiggle from Z190-Z210 which tells me Zapruder was reacting to the first shot which was probably fired during Z180-Z185 (Charles Wyckoff suggested Z186 for the shot in 1967, and Luis Alvarez suggested Z177 for the shot in 1975, so I'm not alone in thinking this is an important aspect of the film).  However, the victims first react to their wounds at Z225-Z230 which is about two seconds after the first shot was fired which seems too long for such grievous wounds, so my current view is that two shots were fired between Z180 and Z220.

I think that's all the Z-film tells me about the shots because after Z318 the film is too erratic to tell us anything about late shots.  Any other blurs I see Z133-Z310 are quite minor and their evidential value is ambiguous: they may indicate a shot, they may not, so I don't think we can know for sure.  These are just my judgements, and others may disagree, but it's important to be clear about what the film alone tells us before we tackle the witnesses.

On 2/21/2021 at 10:47 PM, Eddy Bainbridge said:

Watch Patti Paschall, her statement of "bang....bang-bang" is entirely casual. It doesn't relate to a direct question and she doesn't appear to realise the signficance of what she says. The other witness I can remember on camera, again saying this, was one of the witnesses in the room directly below the snipers nest. From what I have read on ballistics I think these witnesses may have heard two shots (The 'bang-bang' in fact being one bullet exiting the muzzle (one bang) and then braking the sound barrier (second bang)., but that isn't very plausible.

I totally accept what Paschall says, as I do for all witnesses.  They are telling us what they recall from that very brief period of time.  However, as my previous post indicates, witnesses were sometimes distracted and missed one or more of the shots (especially when they were located some distance away from the TSBD).  Robert Hughes missed all of the gunshots Z180-Z220 as did Mary Moorman.  By contrast other camera operators like Charles Bronson and Orville Nix heard two early shots well before the head shot, which may well be the two shots between Z180 and Z220 that the Z-film implies.

Overall, no film tells us everything about the shots and no single witness saw or heard everything regarding the shots.  However, by combining all of the information we have, we can create a better understanding of the whole sequence, rather than using any single "gold standard" source which alone will mislead us.

So this leads me to the final double bang at the end of the shooting which so many witnesses described.  Mary Moorman, like most witnesses heard three shots in total.  The first shot she heard was about the time she took her photo at Z315, and she said another two shots were fired after this.  So for Mary Moorman the final double bang was after what we see at Z313 in the Z-film.  Thanks to her very specific photo and recollection we can nail the timing exactly, as she said the shooting was still continuing even after she fell to the ground.  According to the Muchmore film she was still standing around the time Z337 when that filmed finished so she thinks the final shot was fired well after this point:

muchmore591.jpg

Many other witnesses also support late shots like Moorman, but many researchers glibly dismiss this information as "wrong" or "mistaken" without properly explaining why.  You can't treat every word from the witnesses as gospel truth, but when a researcher disagrees with a group of witnesses they should properly explain why rather than just excluding inconvenient information because their favoured theory disallows a fourth shot.

In the case of Paschall she sadly doesn't give us enough information to know which part of the sequence she heard.  She could be like Moorman who heard shots after the head shot, or she could have heard the double bang at the head shot.  I don't think we can ever know, so her evidence is less useful than from the other examples where the camera operator was more specific.

Once all of the witness and film evidence is evaluated individually, then we can compare these items and look for corroboration such as I did with the 5 second gaps between shots in the Z-film and the witnesses like Malcolm Couch.  Once several things start matching up you can be certain that those things really did happen in Dealey Plaza, and witnesses weren't mistaken regarding double bangs or shot timings.  Bearing this is mind, these are the strongest witnesses who support the theory of the first shot being heard Z190-Z200 (as the jiggle in the Z-film suggests Zapruder was startled at this point):

Hugh Betzner was standing on the south side of Elm Street and took a photo at exactly Z186.  He said he heard the first shot immediately after, when he was winding his film on.

Phil Willis was standing on the south side of Elm Street and took a photo at exactly Z202.  He said he heard the first shot immediately before he snapped his photo.

AJ Millican was standing beside the lamppost on the north side of Elm Street and said the limo had just passed him when the first shot was fired.  The Betzner photo shows that the limo had just passed the lamppost at Z186:

betzner_3_crop.jpg

Gloria Calvery and Karen Westbrook were slightly further down Elm Street from Millican and said that the limo was in front of them when the first shot was fired.

All of these witnesses were directly in front of the TSBD and could not have missed the first shot.  They are all consistent within a fraction of a second as to when the first shot was fired, and this matches the Z-film jiggle perfectly.  The Z150 shot is a myth which distracts us from what really happened in Dealey Plaza.

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On 1/30/2021 at 6:20 AM, Cliff Varnell said:

An expression of my contempt for the “dictabelt evidence” and the provenance of CE399.

Knock yourself out.  I found Six Seconds in Dallas highly over-rated, positively obfuscatory when it came to the back and throat wounds.

Because I don’t respect these fields of inquiry.  Salandria and Fonzi established the root facts of the case ‘65’-‘66 but you’d never know that reading Tink Thompson.

JFK had a shallow wound in his back, the round didn’t exit, no round was recovered in autopsy.  He had a wound of entrance in his throat, no exit, no round found during autopsy.

6.5mm Full Metal Jacket rounds don’t leave shallow wounds in soft tissue.  CE399 is nothing but a distraction.

Thr central question which is routinely ignored by the JFKA Critical Master Class is  — what happened to the bullets that caused the back and throat wounds?

So Tink rehashes the dictabelt and the provenance of the magic bullet?  What, nothing of the NAA or the conflicting head wound/s evidence?

CAPA pitched this crap to an Oswald Mock Trial a few years back and failed to convince more than 5 jurors of LHO’s innocence.

But hey, I indulged in fake debate for many years so I get it.  Have fun.  Don’t let my cynicism be a buzz-kill.

RESPONSE by David Lifton (4/12/21):

Cliff,

We may have discussed this years ago — I simply do not remember our previous back-and-forth via email, or on the London Forum.  But let me remind all readers:  There were no wounds —i.e., no shallow puncture wounds — of President Kennedy’s back or shoulder reported at Parkland Hospital.  Every doctor was asked about this, under oath:  the response was always the same: No, I didn’t see any such thing.

That’s why it is all the more important to remember Perry’s testimony about Dr. Humes telephone call (to Perry) on Friday night (or Sat. morning); Perry testified that Humes ask him “if we had made any wounds in the back” (approx).

When I questioned Nurse Doris Nelson in December 1982 —when I was in Dallas for a radio appearance— Nelson told me there was no wound in the back.   Furthermore, after JFK was pronounced dead, two nurses sponged down the body, and in general cleaned it up before placing it in the Dallas coffin: neither reported any rear entry wound (and that would have been important news).

INSERT, 4/12/21 - 8:45 PM PDT: 

"Important news"?  That's an understatement. It would have been major news --headline news, worthy of front page treatment in all major newspapers --if the nurses who washed (i.e., "sponged down") JFK's body after the (Dallas) pronouncement of death observed any entrance wounds on the rear surface of his body.  But those reports are published --they are in the 26 Volumes of the Warren Commission (See "Price Exhibits" in Vol 20 or 21)--and there is no mention of any such entry wound on the rear surface of JFK's body-- either just above the shoulder blade, or several inches further down the back.  None.  Furthermore, I personally interviewed Nurse Doris Nelson in December 1982 (when in Dallas); and she assured me there was no such 'entry' wound in JFK's back.  Also note: Had there been any such (entry) wound on the rear surface of JFK's body in Dallas,  and had it been seen by any Parkland witness, any such report would have been major news, worthy of broadcast all over the media.  Furthermore: any Dallas witness --doctor, nurse, or medical tech--who saw any such wound would have received 'star witness' treatment in the media.  And justifiably so: that would have been critically important eyewitness evidence  --on the body of the deceased president--that he had been shot from behind. But there is no such evidence.  

The first time there was such news--and it did make headlines--was around December 11, 1963, when a Secret Service agent visited the Dallas doctors with a document whose conclusions had not yet been made public in the major media: the Bethesda autopsy report.  One at a time, the SS agent  showed each of them (each of the Dallas doctors) the Bethesda autopsy report, which reported two such "rear entries" --one at the bottom of the back of the head, the other atop the right shoulder blade.  That's when (and how) the Dallas doctors were shown documentary evidence of any entry wound on the rear surface of the body, entries  that they had not seen. And that story did indeed make headlines; in the Dallas newspapers dated December 12th, 1963. 

** ** ** **

Those new to the case —and even those who are “veterans” and perhaps need to be reminded: the first information (known to any Dallas doctor) that Kennedy had a “back ” wound surfaced in early December 1963 (12/11/63), when a Secret Service agent (Elmer Moore) visited Parkland Hospital — an agent who carried with him the Bethesda autopsy report.   At that point, Dr. Carrico was shown that report (the Bethesda autopsy), a report which specifically noted the existance of a small puncture wound on the rear surface of JFK’s body —in the back (or shoulder).

This was specifically pointed out to Caccico.  Carrico expressed surprise that he knew nothing about such an entry wound; but he didn’t dispute its existence —in the spirit of “well I’m not saying it wasn’t there; but I didn’t see it.”  (DSL; 3/03/21; Insert added 4/12/21)

Looking backwards --from today's vantage point, in 2021--this is a clumsy and ridiculous cover-up; but that's the chronology of what happened in Nov./Dec. 1963.  Also note: this situation--and all these details--are spelled out in Best Evidence (Chapters 5 - 7). END INSERT

Edited by David Lifton
Additional info, clarifying).
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1 hour ago, David Lifton said:

RESPONSE by David Lifton:

Cliff,

We may have discussed this years ago — I simply do not remember our previous back-and-forth via email, or on the London Forum.  But let me remind all readers:  There were no wounds —i.e., no shallow puncture wounds — of President Kennedy’s back or shoulder at Parkland Hospital.  Every doctor was asked about this, under oath:  the response was always the same: No, I didn’t see any such thing.

That’s why it is all the more important to remember Perry’s testimony about Dr. Humes telephone call (to Perry) on Friday night (or Sat. morning); Perry testified that Humes ask him “if we had made any wounds in the back” (approx).

When I questioned Nurse Doris Nelson in December 1982 —when I was in Dallas for a radio appearance— Nelson told me there was no wound in the back.   Furthermore, after JFK was pronounced dead, two nurses sponged down the body, and in general cleaned it up before placing the body in the Dallas coffin: neither reported any rear entry wound (and that would have been important news).

Those new to the case —and even those who are “veterans” and perhaps need to be reminded: the first information (known to any Dallas doctor) that Kennedy had a “back ” wound surfaced in early December 1963, when a Secret Service agent visited Parkland Hospital — an agent who had the Bethesda autopsy report.   At that point, Dr. Carrico was shown that report (the Bethesda autopsy), a report which specifically noted the existance of a small puncture wound on the rear surface of JFK’s body —in the back (or shoulder).

This was specifically pointed out to Caccico.  Carrico expressed surprise that he knew nothing about such an entry wound; but he didn’t dispute its existence —in the spirit of “well I’m not saying it wasn’t there; but I didn’t see it.”  (DSL; 3/03/21)

Hi David, I don't mind going over this again.

SS SA Glen Bennett wrote up an accurate description of the back wound on AF1.  The next day he wrote a more full official report.

Bennett wrote that after the turn onto Elm St. he was looking to his right.  Willis #5 (Z202) shows him facing to his right. 

Bennett wrote that he heard a firecracker-type sound, then turned to check out the President when he saw a bullet strike about four inches down on the shoulder right before the head shot.

Altgens 6 (Z255) shows Bennett with blurred features, consistent with his head moving.

The bullet holes in the clothes are four inches below the bottom of the collars.

Bennett described a "bang...bang bang" shooting sequence.  So did 55 other ear witnesses.

Glen Bennett's contemporaneous reports are the most thoroughly corroborated individual account in the entire case.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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On 2/17/2021 at 5:20 PM, Greg Doudna said:

Interesting Mark. On the shot originating from lower than the sixth floor, and also the evidence in your video clip that bullets shot through tree branches and leaves go straight and are not deflected, is it possible the shot was fired from the half-opened window, fourth from the right, on the second storey of TSBD facing Elm Street (the lower left window in this photo identified as taken at 12:42 pm Nov 22)? https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ad/f2/9b/adf29b8dd4e97d0f73cb1159303dc20f.jpgadf29b8dd4e97d0f73cb1159303dc20f.jpg

The reason that window in particular might be of interest is because it is the window of an office, locked and believed unoccupied and not in use on Fri Nov 22 the day of the assassination--into which, according to testimony to the Warren Commission, a Mauser rifle had been taken and temporarily stored two days prior to the assassination, on Wed Nov 20. That is the window of the office of Warren Caster, district manager of the Southwestern Publishing Company. Caster himself had an ironclad alibi the day of the assassination--he was in Denton. Caster testified that after taking the Mauser to his office after lunch on Wed Nov 20, that around 4 pm that day he took the Mauser back out of the TSBD with him to his car and home that night, and that it remained in his family years later. 

Caster testified that he had bought two rifles that day (Nov 20) on his lunch hour (the other being a .22 gift for his son)--giving verifiable specifics concerning name of the store and time--and then brought them in their cardboard packaging into the TSBD where he showed them and they were handled, before taking them to his office until he took them with him driving home after work that day.

It is possible to imagine a mechanism for how the Mauser that was taken into that Elm Street-facing office on Nov 20, could have been present in that office two days later on Nov 22, that is also consistent with Warren Caster's family years later having the same Mauser he bought during his lunch hour that day and brought home that day. If the Mauser that entered the TSBD and was taken to that office on Nov 20 was a different Mauser than the one Caster had purchased, and then Caster left that day with only one of the two rifles, the .22, and then took home both the .22 and the Mauser he had purchased (which under this thought scenario did not enter the TSBD) ... that could be a mechanism for the Mauser that was taken to that office on Nov 20 also being in that office on Nov 22 at the time the JFK motorcade passed.

A private office with the door locked, believed to be unoccupied, would make an excellent location for a shooter without being disturbed or seen. Since the Southwestern Publishing Company's offices were very close to the stairway at the SE corner of the TSBD which descended directly to the doorway entrance on Elm Street, it would be much easier for an assassin in the ca. 15-30 minutes between time of the shots and police thoroughly searching the floors of the TSBD, to make an unnoticed exit from the building. The locked unoccupied office of Warren Caster on the day of the assassination has received little attention as a possibility for the shooting that day, it seems because of three things: assumption that the window was closed; assumption that the tree in front of that window which largely blocked vision to Elm Street and the motorcade would also make line of fire to the motorcade impossible; and finally no good reason to doubt Warren Caster's testimony or character. In any case there never was further investigation of the circumstances of a Mauser having been taken into and temporarily stored in a private office on the second floor of the TSBD which had a window facing the motorcade on Elm Street two days before the assassination--a Mauser which had been displayed and shown to a few other TSBD employees including Oswald on Nov 20 and handled by some (though not handled by Oswald).

Warren Caster was a long-time Southwestern Publishing Company manager and he had solid alibis concerning both his whereabouts Nov 22 and the disposition of the two rifles he purchased on Nov 20. There also is testimony that one of the secretaries of the Southwestern Publishing Company remained in the publicly-accessible reception area next to Caster's locked office on Nov 22 at the time of the assassination, and never volunteered having heard the sound of a shot fired from what she would have assumed was the unoccupied office adjoining hers. Ian Griggs believed Warren Caster, believed there was nothing further to this story than freak coincidence. But it is troubling that it was not investigated further so that exculpation could have been established on the basis of fact rather than trust, in the manner that leads are run down and people cleared otherwise in a criminal investigation. As Griggs reported, Warren Caster told him (Griggs) that nobody ever even verified Caster's alibi in Denton that day! (Caster noted that to Griggs as a negative aspersion on the quality of the investigation.) The lack of running down other leads, such as this one, of course fits into police and FBI thinking, particularly after LHO's death on Sunday morning Nov 24, that there no longer was need or purpose served in running down any other leads, since the case was now believed to be clear and closed. All of the many 6th floor line-of-sight photos and trajectory reconstructions and calculations--compared to none (?) at all from that 2nd floor window ... this is what came to mind to me from your comments on trajectory and the video.

Very interesting post. Fascinating information. 

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I'm surprised that the new book does not go into the film and body

alteration issues. Thompson had been quite vocal in opposing

Horne's convincing account, with evidence, of Z film alteration. That

invalidates some of Thompson's assumptions.

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We shouldn't forget that Lifton's observations about body and film alteration predate Horne's by more than 20 years, that Lifton introduced Horne to the alteration evidence before he became associated with the ARRB, and that Lifton conferred regularly with Horne throughout the ARRB proceedings to share information and insights.  I've met both men and shared ideas with them over several years, and their contributions are undoubtedly of vital importance in understanding what happened and why, but each deserves credit for his contributions.  I am dismayed that the conversation about the orientation of JFK's head (facing toward the knoll) in order to allow the exhausting of blood & brain tissue out of the hole in the right rear of his head has been obscured by praise for Thompson's book, which makes its own vital contributions (especially regarding the ways that the audio evidence was manipulated and suppressed over many years).  The Zapruder film doesn't show the necessary orientation (by virtue of the laws of physics and especially fluid dynamics) of JFK's head at the time of the shot from the knoll, so it cannot possibly be an unaltered visual record of the "last seconds in Dallas" as Thompson and others claim it to be.  The truth will out only if we don't stop looking for it.

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On 2/21/2021 at 6:20 PM, Anthony Thorne said:

 

OK, back in 1966 we may not have had ‘incontrovertible’ proof that he was killed by crossfire but it was a pretty good surmise.

No, we had incontrovertrible proof of conspiracy in 1966.

https://www.maryferrell.org/pages/Featured_Fonzi-Specter_Interviews.html

When Gaeton Fonzi confronted Arlen Specter with the clothing evidence -- bullet holes in JFK's clothes too low to associate with his throat wound -- the author of the Single Bullet Theory had a nervous breakdown.

Instead of building on this breakthrough in the case, Tink Thompson and several generations of researchers ignored the physical evidence in order to promote their own "incontrovertible proofs."

Acknowledging the obvious doesn't sell any books or give fodder for conference speeches, so the JFKA Critical Community has largely pretended the physical evidence doesn't exist.

The JFK Assassination may be the only cold case murder in history where the physical evidence isn't given the greatest weight.

 

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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I wanted to see how Thompson dealt with those issues

and thought he would in his book, since he is a leading

dissenter from them and they affect any study of the

evidence. So I was surprised he doesn't address them in what

evidently is his final book.

Edited by Joseph McBride
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Looking at something through a tube enhances understanding of the space being examined, but just that.  It's a triumph if you're satisfied with that view and a contribution if you're not.

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On 2/19/2021 at 12:25 PM, Chris Davidson said:

Richard,

I just don't have any photos from that location. It makes it somewhat difficult to imagine what appears looking down from there. The best in terms of what I have is the reverse LOS of what is truly needed and the perpendicular side of the Dal-Tex building.

https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/26636-did-even-the-warren-commission-believe-howard-brennan/?do=findComment&comment=425996

It doesn't appear as if Connally could receive his wounds from your location because of the lateral bullet angle through his back into his left thigh, basing that on the assumption that one bullet did all the damage to him.

Other than that, any location from behind is very viable. imo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard,

Correct side of the building for you.

How many floors up?

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14zQ0hkmRSjV4ovhVV69_dzkg2Y60M8cJ/view?usp=sharing

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7 hours ago, Chris Davidson said:

Richard,

Correct side of the building for you.

How many floors up?

Yes, Chris that would be the correct side and according to Howard Brennan's testimony, the 2nd row of windows down from the top (6th floor-same as TSBD).  The man he saw was in the eastern most window.

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