Jump to content
The Education Forum

David R. Wrone


Recommended Posts

David R. Wrone was professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, where he taught American and Indian history. He has done extensive research on Native American Treaty rights, and on the Menominee and Stockbridge nations. 

Wrone is also an expert on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Books by him on the subject include The Assassination of John F. Kennedy: A Comprehensive Historical and Legal Bibliography, 1963-1979 (1980), Who's the Savage: The Documentary History of the Mistreatment of the Native North Americans (1982) and The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK's Assassination (2003).

His 40 years of research on the assassination have concentrated on the evidence found in files of the FBI and, he has sued the government for Zapruder Film records, especially relating to its acquisition and purchase.

Anyone like to comment on his book, The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK's Assassination.

post-7-1146755627_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not have the book. I am sure it contains some things of value.

But Wrone is on the record as regarding the Z film genuine, so I

doubt that he sheds much new light on anything.

Jack

That makes as much sense as someone saying they never have read "The Great Zapruder Film Hoax" and because Jack White is on record as saying the Zapruder film is a fake, then one doubts that TGZFH sheds much new light on anything. It might be wise to actually read a book before deciding whether or not it sheds new light on anything.

For the most part, Wrone did a pretty good job and the book was somewhat informative. David did get into some things that I felt took away from the impact of the book. One such distraction was his mentioning the possibility of the man in the doorway in Altgens #6 photograph may be Oswald. The notion that the man in Altgens photo could be Lee Oswald instead of Billy Lovelady had been long put to rest, so I was a bit surprised to see where Wrone even brought it up.

Bill

Edited by Bill Miller
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, Wrone does a great job highlighting the significance of the the views of Dr. Joseph Dolce who told the Warren Commission lawyers in April of 64 that the single bullet theory was not valid. The Colonel pointed out on a documentary done years later by Chip Selby, that even at low velocity the M-C ammo could not have done what was attributed to it. 'We proved that with experiments,' Dolce told Selby. Now this is the kind of expert the critics should have put in the spot light and established it as part of the alternative story. But even HSCA ignored Dolce when he tried to testify for them. Could prominent critics have imposed on HSCA to listen to Dolce. Why didn't Tanenbaum or Sprague bring him in? Or didn't they know about this excellent government employee with superb credentials? Dolce, Wrone points out was the Army's top authority on bullet wounds and the critics should have put his views prominently into the public mind. Instead some of those who garnered the mainstream media attention were chasing mafia ghosts and unsupported CIA/military conspiracies, diverting the public from government evidence which disproved the government's Warren Commission fiction.

Wrone also highlights Howard Roffman's excellent presentation of Oswald's alibi and one particular witness who would have been called had there been a trial: Carolyn Arnold. She saw LHO on the first floor just before the shooting. Oswald was seen in the vestible on second floor and Roffman makes clear that from the witness testimony he was coming from the first floor up to the second floor and not down from the sixth floor.

In pages 131-137 Wrone pretty much anihilates David Lifton's arguments about Z film alteration and alteration of JFK's body. He demonstrably shows all of the time involved precluded anyone ever taking the film or body and changing them. Besides the Z film proves conspiracy. It shows JFK being hit from the front and the first shot coming before any shot was possible from the sixth floor. If you have any argument about this, take it up with Wrone, not me. Argue with the master, not a former student of his. Challenge him fact by fact. Good luck.

In this book there is a Black Star photograph of a man putting up curtain rods in Oswald's apartment. Very revealing, huh? Maybe Oswald did need those curtain rods.

Wrone is also critical of Garrison whose effort he calls "misguided" with the "debacle" killing public interest in the case and "disillusioning many critics." He points out that Stone's JFK film "perpetuated numerous misconceptions and factual errors about the assassination." For Wrone, the Stone film "further confused an already thoroughly confused public."

In Chapters 15 and 16 Wrone summarizes all of the official documentary evidence that disprove the single bullet theory and put into question the validity of CE 399 as legitimate evidence. There is no "clearly defined chain of possession," and a "failure of every witness to the finding and delivery of the bullet to identify the bullet, and the failure to even try to establish that the rifle had been fired that day..."

Wrone also highlights the dissenting Warren Commissioners a major theme of this story that is largely unknown by the public. Was it ever possible to get this point across in all these years of criticism? So, for example, by 1968 Harold Weisberg was communicating with Richard Russell, showing him, to Russell's agreement, many problems with the evidence and the workings of the Commission. Wrone says that had Russell "lived longer, he would have been the key supporter for a reexamination of the assassination and its investigation." Now wouldn't that have made for interesting headlines? Especially now in a time when, in the mainstream media headlines, you have key generals criticizing Rumsfeld, or a while back Richard Clarke criticizing Dubya, etc. Russell urged Weisberg to disprove the Warren Report "he had been tricked into signing." But he died shortly thereafter. John Sherman Cooper and Hale Boggs also had doubts.

There's much more in this book, which I rank in my top ten of all time on this case. (The others being most of Weisberg's books, Sylvia Meagher's, Howard Roffman and Gerald McKnight.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not established that Lovelady was either the

Altgens doorwayman nor the DPDman. It all comes

down to the plaid shirt.

Jack

Jack, I believe I have seen some footage of Lovelady sitting in the DPD and he looks towards the camera while wearing the shirt that you claim cannot be his, so there is no question that it is Lovelady in that doorway and in the DPD photos.

post-1084-1146805531_thumb.jpg

The animated overlay below was created by me in my infancy at doing scaled overlays ... the plaid design on the man in the doorway's shirt and Lovelady's red shirt is the same. Also, a profiled view of Lovelady will make it appear that his shirt is buttoned at the collar, although there is nothing unusual about a person who enters into a government building wanting to button up his shirt so to be more presentable, especially in 1963. But in the flier there is an image of Lovelady in profile which makes his shirt look buttoned at the collar, but in the movie footage that the still image was taken from, Billy turns slightly at one point which exposes more of his white T-shirt, thus showing that his shirt wasn't actually buttoned as the profile look made it appear.

Bill

post-1084-1146805576_thumb.gif

Edited by Bill Miller
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thought members might be interested in reading David R. Wrone's review of Gerald Posner's Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, Journal of Southern History 6 (February 1995)

Gerald Posner argues that the Warren Commission properly investigated the assassination of JFK. He claims to have refuted the critics, purports to show what actually occurred, and asserts simple factual answers to explain complex problems that have plagued the subject for years. In the process he condemns all who do not agree with the official conclusions as theories driven by conjectures. At the same time his book is so theory driven, so rife with speculation, and so frequently unable to conform his text with the factual content in his sources that it stands as one of the stellar instances of irresponsible publishing on the subject.

Massive numbers of factual errors suffuse the book, which make it a veritable minefield. Random samples are the following: Pontchartrain is a lake not a river. The wounded James Tague stood twenty feet east, not under the triple underpass. There were three Philip Geracis, not one; he confuses the second and the third. A tiny fragment, not a bullet, entered Connally's thigh. The Army did the testing that he refers to the FBI. None, not three, commissioners heard at least half the hearings. The Warren Commission did not have any investigators. Captain Donovan is John, not Charles, and a lieutenant. The critics of the official findings are not leftists but include conservatives such as Cardinal Cushing, William Loeb, and former commissioner, Richard Russell.

Posner often presents the opposite of what the evidence says. In the presentation of a corrupt picture of Oswald's background, for example, he states that, under the name of Osborne, Oswald picked up leaflets he distributed from the Jones Printing Company and that the "receptionist" identified him. She in fact said that Oswald did not pick up the leaflets as the source that Posner cites indicates.

No credible evidence connects Oswald to the murder. All the data that Posner presents to do so is either shorn of context, corrupted, the opposite of what the sources actually say, or nonsourced. For example, 100 percent of the witness testimony and physical evidence exclude Oswald from carrying the rifle to work that day disguised as curtain rods. Posner manipulates with words to concoct a case against Oswald as with Linnie Mae Randle, who swore the package, as Oswald allegedly carried it, was twenty-eight inches long, far too short to have carried a rifle. He grasped its end, and it hung from his swinging arm to almost touch the ground. Posner converts this to "tucked under his armpit, and the other end did not quite touch the ground" (p. 225). The rifle was heavily oiled, but the paper sack discovered on the sixth floor had not a trace of oil. Posner excludes this vital fact.

To refute criticism that the first of three shots (the magic bullet) inflicted seven nonfatal wounds on two bodies in impossible physical and time constraints, he invents a second magic bullet. He asserts that Oswald fired the first bullet near frame 160 of the Zapruder film, fifty frames earlier than officially held, and missed. The bullet hit a twig or a branch or a tree, as he varies it, then separated into its copper sheath and lead composite core. The core did a right angle to fly west more than 200 feet to hit a curbstone and wound Tague while the sheath decided to disappear. The curb in fact had been damaged. He omits that analysis of the curb showed the bullet came from the west, which means the bullet would have had to have taken another sui generis turn of 135 degrees to get back west with sufficient force to smash concrete, which he pretends was not marred.

He asserts proof of a core hit because FBI analysis revealed "traces of [sic per reviewer] lead with a trace of antimony" (p. 325) in the damage. What he omits destroys his theory. He does not explain that a bullet core has several other metallic elements in its composition, not two, rendering his conclusion false. He further neglects to inform the reader that by May 1964 the damage had been covertly patched with a concrete paste and that in August, not July, 1964, the FBI tested the scrapings of the paste, not the damage, which gave the two metal results.

He says the second shot transited JFK's neck and caused the nonfatal wounds striking Connally at Zapruder film frame 224 where Connally is seen turned to his right, allegedly lining his body up with JFK's neck, thus sustaining the single bullet explanation. He finds proof that a bullet hit then in Connally's lapel that was flapping in that one frame as it passed through. But he does not conform to fact. Wind gusting to twenty miles per hour that day ruffled clothing. And, there is no bullet hole in the lapel but in the jacket body beneath the right nipple area.

Posner crowns his theory with the certainty of science by using one side of the computer-enhanced studies by Failure Analysis Associates of Menlo Park that his text implies he commissioned. The firm, however, lambastes his use as a distortion of the technology that it had developed for the American Bar Association's mock trial of Oswald where both sides used it.

Posner fails. I believe that irrefutable evidence shows conspirators, none of them Oswald, killed JFK. A mentally ill Jack Ruby, alone and unaided, shot Oswald. The federal inquiry knowingly collapsed and theorized a political solution. Its corruption spawned theorists who tout solutions rather than define the facts that are locked in the massively muddied evidentiary base and released only by hard work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In pages 131-137 Wrone pretty much anihilates David Lifton's arguments about Z film alteration and alteration of JFK's body. He demonstrably shows all of the time involved precluded anyone ever taking the film or body and changing them.

Wrone argues that no opportunity existed to steal the body while aboard Air Force One. He says that “steel wrapping cables were placed around and its lid” (p. 134), which would of course make it difficult to quickly remove the body. He cites no source on these cables. Posner and Bishop make similar claims in their books, with no sources cited. I have not found a single eyewitness account of cables or straps being used on the casket on AF1. That includes the accounts of pilot James Swindal and flight engineer Joe Chappell, who would have been directly responsible for any such securing of cargo.

Wrone says that “the majority of JFK’s aides and staff were not present” during the swearing-in ceremony and thus did not leave the casket unprotected (p. 135). But that is simply not true. Every single JFK aide and staff member on AF1 is accounted for in one or more of the photos that Cecil Stoughton took of the swearing-in, except for General McHugh, who stayed with the coffin and would thus be a party to any theft.

On the reported black hearse that brought a shipping casket to the rear of the hospital at Bethesda, Wrone says that “Lifton cites some navy men at Bethesda who said they saw an ambulance come up Fourteenth Street from Walter Reed.” Wrone says that no such street leads out from Walter Reed. But who actually said anything about Walter Reed? What Dennis David told Lifton was that one of the navy men said that the casket “came up Fourteenth Street and came in the back gate.” No one mentioned Walter Reed.

Wrone also says that a colonel found the back gate padlocked with no guard posted that afternoon, which was unusual since the colonel always used that gate as a shortcut home. Wrone says this would have made it “fairly difficult” to deliver the body through that gate. He doesn’t consider the possibility that the gate was padlocked and unguarded on that night of all nights because the conspirators wanted no traffic or guard around when they unlocked it to bring in the body.

As for the shipping casket story, Wrone says, “Nor was there any gray coffin used to spirit away JFK’s corpse, although such coffins used for interring deceased military personnel were hardly unusual at Bethesda. The fact remains – based on witness testimony – that JFK’s body was indeed transported in a bronze casket, from which it was not removed until its arrival at Bethesda” (p. 137).

Wrone refers to witness testimony regarding the bronze coffin. But what does he say about the witnesses (O’Connor, David, Riebe, Stover) to a shipping casket? He doesn’t say a single word. An uninformed reader of Wrone’s book will come away not even knowing that O’Connor and the others exist.

I haven’t read all of Wrone’s book, so I didn’t think it would be proper for me to review only part of it. His work on the Z film may be excellent. But since you brought up his discussion of Lifton regarding the body, I believe that your view that Wrone “annihilates” Lifton’s argument could not be more mistaken.

Edited by Ron Ecker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Bump..

I am just now reading this book

There is alot of information here, for as small of a thread as it is!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In pages 131-137 Wrone pretty much anihilates David Lifton's arguments about Z film alteration and alteration of JFK's body. He demonstrably shows all of the time involved precluded anyone ever taking the film or body and changing them.

Wrone argues that no opportunity existed to steal the body while aboard Air Force One. He says that “steel wrapping cables were placed around it and its lid” (p. 134), which would of course make it difficult to quickly remove the body. He cites no source on these cables. Posner and Bishop make similar claims in their books, with no sources cited. I have not found a single eyewitness account of cables or straps being used on the casket on AF1. That includes the accounts of pilot James Swindal and flight engineer Joe Chappell, who would have been directly responsible for any such securing of cargo.

Wrone says that “the majority of JFK’s aides and staff were not present” during the swearing-in ceremony and thus did not leave the casket unprotected (p. 135). But that is simply not true. Every single JFK aide and staff member on AF1 is accounted for in one or more of the photos that Cecil Stoughton took of the swearing-in, except for General McHugh, who stayed with the coffin and would thus be a party to any theft.

On the reported black hearse that brought a shipping casket to the rear of the hospital at Bethesda, Wrone says that “Lifton cites some navy men at Bethesda who said they saw an ambulance come up Fourteenth Street from Walter Reed.” Wrone says that no such street leads out from Walter Reed. But who actually said anything about Walter Reed? What Dennis David told Lifton was that one of the navy men said that the casket “came up Fourteenth Street and came in the back gate.” No one mentioned Walter Reed.

Wrone also says that a colonel found the back gate padlocked with no guard posted that afternoon, which was unusual since the colonel always used that gate as a shortcut home. Wrone says this would have made it “fairly difficult” to deliver the body through that gate. He doesn’t consider the possibility that the gate was padlocked and unguarded on that night of all nights because the conspirators wanted no traffic or guard around when they unlocked it to bring in the body.

As for the shipping casket story, Wrone says, “Nor was there any gray coffin used to spirit away JFK’s corpse, although such coffins used for interring deceased military personnel were hardly unusual at Bethesda. The fact remains – based on witness testimony – that JFK’s body was indeed transported in a bronze casket, from which it was not removed until its arrival at Bethesda” (p. 137).

Wrone refers to witness testimony regarding the bronze coffin. But what does he say about the witnesses (O’Connor, David, Riebe, Stover) to a shipping casket? He doesn’t say a single word. An uninformed reader of Wrone’s book will come away not even knowing that O’Connor and the others exist.

I haven’t read all of Wrone’s book, so I didn’t think it would be proper for me to review only part of it. His work on the Z film may be excellent. But since you brought up his discussion of Lifton regarding the body, I believe that your view that Wrone “annihilates” Lifton’s argument could not be more mistaken.

________________________________________

Interesting stuff, Ron. Have you finished reading the book yet? If so, does it have any other inaccuracies or error of omission you can point out to us?

Thanks,

--Thomas

________________________________________

Edited by Thomas Graves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Wrone: A mentally ill Jack Ruby, alone and unaided, shot Oswald.

I tend to think that Ruby is the sine qua non of intel/government conspiracy with other Kennedy-hostile interests, and that his associations, movements, and communications for at least a year prior to the assassination bear close examination and question.

Mental as anything? Not a career-killer among his colleagues, Sam De Stefano among them.

Ruby was pressured by the necessity of shooting a man he knew during the crime of the century, in return for redemption in his underworld low-life. In his remaining years in a cell, bewildered and cheated, he tried to drop revelations within an exculpating pose of insanity that surely ate at him, in the way that chemotherapy destroys healthy tissue.

He made a good job of feigning aggrievement and patriotism when arrested, and so reflected the two offended emotions trumpeted operatically by the Mob and Cuban interests he had been representing. Thus his defense found its lies in the truth, and in enacting that truth he became metaphorically, as well as literally and effectually, his masters' face and agent.

The Greeks would have made an agony mask of him, for actors to wear upon a stage.

Edited by David Andrews
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...