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Is there or is there not a Minox camera in this DPD evidence photo?


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The photograph below is of the physical evidence collected by the Dallas Police Department from Ruth Paine's garage that first weekend, and was in the possession of Rusty Livingstone of the DPD Crime Lab until first published in 1993 in Gary Savage, First Day Evidence. This photograph should settle for good the debate over whether officer Gus Rose of the Dallas Police found a Minox camera that weekend as reported on the DPD inventory lists.

Either a Minox camera is in this photograph or not. This will be an up or down, yes or no, answer.

The Dallas Police said they found a Minox camera but no light meter, according to their lists. The FBI lab said the DPD had sent a Minox light meter but no Minox camera. The FBI said the Dallas Police must have made a mistake in identification, confused what actually was the light meter they sent as if was a camera (even though an FBI man signed off on receipt of the evidence list in Dallas before the evidence arrived to the FBI lab). The Dallas Police stuck by their story. So much debate.

This photograph will decide, for it is a DPD photograph of what the DPD actually had, never mind what their inventory list claimed. Nothing else matters. This photo settles the issue one way or the other.

First Day Evidence believes the Dallas Police Department was right and the FBI wrong on the Minox camera issue. First Day Evidence says there is a Minox camera in this photograph. The photograph appears on p. 208 and underneath it a caption reads: "in the center of the photo is the small Minox camera located on top of the open camera case".

Officer Gus Rose was shown this photo and thought he saw the Minox camera in this photo. 

"After I [Gary Savage] told Gus [Rose] about Rusty's photograph, he seemed pleasantly surprised. He told me that he had initialed the camera and asked if his initials were visible n the photograph. I told him I'd take a look. Although hard to see in a blowup of the photograph, an area does appear to have been marked by a dark pen. Later on, Rusty and I showed the photograph to Gus, and he stated that it appeared to be the camera that he found and initialed. He said that 'There was film still in it, and we examined it and looked at it and noted that there was film still in it. But after that, I never saw it again after we put it in the property room.'" (p. 212)

All parties agree that in the upper left of the bottom right quadrant of the photo is a Minox light meter inside an open Minox light meter case. All parties agree that in the middle of the photo about three-quarters up is an empty Minox camera case (that it is empty is clear in blowup). On those two points, no one disputes.

The dispute concerns that rectangular object above the camera case. First Day Evidence has a blowup of the area around the camera case on p. 209 which I am unable to show here.

The rectangular object above the empty camera case does not agree in size and shape with any Minox camera I see on Google Images. All the Minox miniature spy cameras I see appear longer and narrower than the rectangular object in the photo below, plus have dials and so forth which the unbroken flat surface of the rectangular object in the photo below does not.

But this is an answerable question. Either that rectangular object above the empty camera case is a Minox camera or it isn't. What is the truth about that rectangular item? Is it or isn't it? What do people here think?

 

1010219342_DPDFirstDayEvidence.jpeg.6e58f15dfd1841c115e9afd471bff21d.jpeg  

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I Googled 1960 Minox Spy Camera because that is when Oswald was a spy in Minsk.At first,I wanted to see a picture,and second,I wanted to see how big it was.Here is a picture showing the size to give us an idea.To answer your question,I am going to say no.Some of the attachments/accessories don't look like they are there either.

 

Image 1 - VINTAGE MINOX C SUBMARINE SPY CAMERA with LEATHER CASE

Edited by Michael Crane
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11 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

But this is an answerable question. Either that rectangular object above the empty camera case is a Minox camera or it isn't. What is the truth about that rectangular item? Is it or isn't it? What do people here think?

Greg and any other interested parties, I found this picture online.  Vintage Antique Minox B Spy Camera with Case | Vintage Subminiature  CameraVintage Subminiature Camera

I think the Minox camera is in the case to the right of the pocket watch.  I once owned one of these, but sold it.  I knew it was small, but couldn't remember the dimensions, so I looked it up.  The Minox was approximately 4"x1"x1/2" and the largest pocket watches were just under 2" (I looked this up also).  Therefore, if the Minox camera were left in its case it would be approximately the length of a large pocket watch in an open position.  This coincides with what we see in the picture.  If the police were trying to obfuscate, or just didn't care about complete documentation (since other pictures could be taken individually), they may have left it in the case.  Mine had a case just like the one shown, it just opened with a basic flap and the controls were usable to take pictures without taking it out of the case entirely.

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I bow to Richard's knowledge of the Minox camera, but I find the DPD evidence photograph extremely vague and ambiguous.  After the DPD were given "voluntarily" access to Oswald's possessions by Ruth Paine & Marina Oswald on the 22nd., & 23rd., nowhere is the Imperial Reflex camera that Marina reportedly used for the famous 'backyard photographs'.  Not found by the DPD, but reported by a Detective of the Irving police on the 23rd., but left as Irving Detective McCabe considered the camera in poor condition.  The Imperial Reflex was collected from the Paine's by Robert Oswald in early December '63 and only surrendered to investigators in February '64!

Even though FBI stated there was never a Minox in Oswald's possessions, DPD Detective Rose claimed he inspected the camera which definitely had a film in it.  One of the developed photos shows Oswald in Asia with an M16 rifle.  Did Lee get this Minox from the military?  It was certainly an expensive purchase even though commercially available.  Then we have Ruth Paine also claiming ownership of a Minox on behalf of husband Michael. In addition to the mysterious “spy camera,” other items retrieved from the Paine home included: an Ansco Camera flash assembly, several negatives and rolls of film, nine boxes of Kodaslide transparency slides, a booklet with instructions on how to develop film, lenses, filters for the Stereo Realist camera, a Sears Automatic tower slide projector, two stereo viewers, a pair of binoculars, a telescope, and numerous photographs.minox.jpg.fc1461af80f9106bb5005191d6f53549.jpg Picture of Minox camera with Minox light meter. 

I may agree with Richard, that the spy camera is visible in the DPD photograph, but what always troubles me in this case is the haphazard presentation of evidence, which reminds me of the late British comedian/magician Tommy Cooper's tricks!  (U.S. readers may need to check out You Tube vids of Tommy to see the similarities.)

 

Edited by Pete Mellor
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The story of the Minox camera has been settled for several decades.  The camera is at the National Archives and was held by John Armstrong while wearing white evidence gloves in the late 1990s. Here is John’s summary of what happened to the camera from this page of our website HarveyandLee.net:

A small German camera was found and initialed by Dallas Police Detectives Gus Rose and Richard Stovall during their search of the Paine's garage in Irving, TX. The small spy camera was listed on the detective's handwritten inventory, the DPD typed inventory, the joint Dallas Police/FBI inventory (item #375) and was one of the items of evidence photographed on 11/26/63. Rose said, “Among the property we found a little Minox minature camera and on checking it, it did have a little roll of film in it.” All items of evidence, including the 5 rolls of film used to photograph the evidence, were given to the FBI. The chain of custody for the small Minox camera from the Paine's garage to the FBI was complete. The 5 rolls of film were developed at FBI headquarters, but by the time copies of the film were returned to the Dallas Police many negatives were missing. One of the missing negatives was of the Minox camera. The FBI did not want to explain why a poor, common laborer, such as Oswald, possessed a very expensive Minox spy camera. Rumors were beginning to circulate that Oswald was working for the FBI as a confidential informant. Anything that hinted of a connection between Oswald and the intelligence community had to be suppressed. FBI agents Vincent Drain and Warren DeBrueys created a second inventory and changed the Minox camera to a Minox light meter. They then sent photographs of the “light meter” to the Dallas Police in an attempt to convince them that the item was a light meter and not a camera. FBI agents met with Gus Rose on three separate occasions and tried to convince him to change the item to a light meter. Rose discussed the problem with DPD Captain Fritz and, after getting his approval, refused to change the inventory. The FBI intentionally tried to change the Minox camera into a Minox light meter to make it appear that Oswald did not own an expensive spy camera. The Minox camera, however, did not disappear and today can be found at the National Archives. But to make sure that nobody could trace ownership of the camera by serial number, the small Minox was filled with a heavy unknown substance that prevents it from being opened and exposing the serial number. The FBI tried to “change” the Minox camera into a Minox light meter to suit their purpose. But they never explained the additional 9 rolls of Minox film found by the Dallas Police, initialed by the Police, listed on the DPD inventory, and listed on the joint FBI/DPD inventory.

All of the supporting documents for this summary are available at Baylor University’s online John Armstrong Collection, in a lengthy file at this address:

https://digitalcollections-baylor.quartexcollections.com/documents/mirador/686719

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21 minutes ago, Jim Hargrove said:

The FBI did not want to explain why a poor, common laborer, such as Oswald, possessed a very expensive Minox spy camera.

A "poor, common laborer" when? Presumably this camera was obtained during Oswald's time in Minsk, when he was making as much if not more money as the highest-paid employees at this workplace.

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4 minutes ago, Jonathan Cohen said:

A "poor, common laborer" when? Presumably this camera was obtained during Oswald's time in Minsk, when he was making as much if not more money as the highest-paid employees at this workplace.

Jonathan, researcher A.J. Weberman filed a F.O.I.A. to have photos released from the Minox.....as I understand it one of the images was of Oswald in Asia with an M16 rifle, indicating that the Minox was in Oswald's possession prior to his defection to the Soviet Union.

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41 minutes ago, Pete Mellor said:

Jonathan, researcher A.J. Weberman filed a F.O.I.A. to have photos released from the Minox.....as I understand it one of the images was of Oswald in Asia with an M16 rifle, indicating that the Minox was in Oswald's possession prior to his defection to the Soviet Union.

Interesting. But I'm pretty sure the M-16 was not standard issue when Oswald was in the Marines. Are you sure it was an M-16?

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2 hours ago, Pete Mellor said:

Jonathan, researcher A.J. Weberman filed a F.O.I.A. to have photos released from the Minox.....as I understand it one of the images was of Oswald in Asia with an M16 rifle, indicating that the Minox was in Oswald's possession prior to his defection to the Soviet Union.

 

1 hour ago, Pat Speer said:

Interesting. But I'm pretty sure the M-16 was not standard issue when Oswald was in the Marines. Are you sure it was an M-16?

Attached is the only picture of Oswald with a weapon that I could find in Weberman's book "The Oswald Code."

2015 edition, Pg 12.

 

lho weapon.JPG

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5 hours ago, Richard Price said:

Greg and any other interested parties, I found this picture online.  Vintage Antique Minox B Spy Camera with Case | Vintage Subminiature  CameraVintage Subminiature Camera

I think the Minox camera is in the case to the right of the pocket watch.  I once owned one of these, but sold it.  I knew it was small, but couldn't remember the dimensions, so I looked it up.  The Minox was approximately 4"x1"x1/2" and the largest pocket watches were just under 2" (I looked this up also).  Therefore, if the Minox camera were left in its case it would be approximately the length of a large pocket watch in an open position.  This coincides with what we see in the picture.  If the police were trying to obfuscate, or just didn't care about complete documentation (since other pictures could be taken individually), they may have left it in the case.  Mine had a case just like the one shown, it just opened with a basic flap and the controls were usable to take pictures without taking it out of the case entirely.

Richard a closeup of the photograph is definitive: the camera is not in the case. I have now found an image of that closeup:

1023192438_dpdevidencecloseup.jpeg.6c1fb998878e4195439b04386599d150.jpeg

 

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4 hours ago, Pete Mellor said:

I bow to Richard's knowledge of the Minox camera, but I find the DPD evidence photograph extremely vague and ambiguous.  After the DPD were given "voluntarily" access to Oswald's possessions by Ruth Paine & Marina Oswald on the 22nd., & 23rd., nowhere is the Imperial Reflex camera that Marina reportedly used for the famous 'backyard photographs'.  Not found by the DPD, but reported by a Detective of the Irving police on the 23rd., but left as Irving Detective McCabe considered the camera in poor condition.  The Imperial Reflex was collected from the Paine's by Robert Oswald in early December '63 and only surrendered to investigators in February '64!

Even though FBI stated there was never a Minox in Oswald's possessions, DPD Detective Rose claimed he inspected the camera which definitely had a film in it.  One of the developed photos shows Oswald in Asia with an M16 rifle. 

Pete I do not believe this is accurate. Could you document this? All information known to me says the photos found and developed collected by the police that weekend were identifiable as taken by Michael Paine, which is in agreement with Michael's identification, with no photo of Oswald in any photo which came from a Minox. 

4 hours ago, Pete Mellor said:

Did Lee get this Minox from the military? 

Unless a Minox camera can be found in the DPD evidence photograph, Lee had no Minox camera. But I think your question is based on the prior premise that there was a photo of Oswald among undeveloped Minox camera photographs, which cannot be accepted without documentation.

4 hours ago, Pete Mellor said:

I may agree with Richard, that the spy camera is visible in the DPD photograph, but what always troubles me in this case is the haphazard presentation of evidence, which reminds me of the late British comedian/magician Tommy Cooper's tricks!  (U.S. readers may need to check out You Tube vids of Tommy to see the similarities.)

Before something gets started, (a) Richard never claimed a Minox camera is visible in the photograph, and (b) it is definitively excluded that a camera could be located where Richard suggested, from the closeup.

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3 hours ago, Jim Hargrove said:

The story of the Minox camera has been settled for several decades.  The camera is at the National Archives and was held by John Armstrong while wearing white evidence gloves in the late 1990s. Here is John’s summary of what happened to the camera from this page of our website HarveyandLee.net:

Sorry Jim. The premise of what you post is that the Dallas Police Department inventory list claiming a Minox spy camera had been found and was sent to the FBI lab, was correct. The DPD evidence photograph--photograph of DPD's collected evidence prior to sending it to the FBI-- must show that Minox camera if it had been found. Where is it in the photograph? Either it is in the evidence photograph or it is not. Nothing else is decisive apart from this single point. 

All of the rest of the two cameras in the Warren Commission have good alternative narrative explanation but are other issues. Those are extraneous to the point here. It all goes back to whether the Dallas Police did or did not find a Minox camera that first weekend. The photograph tells. Either it is in that evidence photograph or it is not. 

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3 hours ago, David Boylan said:

AJ Weberman posted this. He said "photo of Hemming found in undeveloped film in Oswald minox by DPD. Hemming has Huk in garret.

 

May be a black-and-white image of 2 people and people standing

David, that is only Hemming saying this photo was found in an Oswald camera. If this photo comes from the film or undeveloped Minox film found by the Dallas police, it would be Michael Paine's pictures. Hemming has nothing to do with being an authority on identification of who was the owner of the camera that took those photos. 

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