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The J.D. Tippit Shooting Evidence


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I have a vague memory of either reading or seeing a story about the evidence found at or near the Tippit murder, the items of real interest to me are the shell casings, the story that I speak of indicates markings on these shells that show that they were fired from an automatic weapon.

Oswald of course was found with a revolver which is not an automatic, can anyone shed any light on this for me?

Thanks, Scott

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Guest Stephen Turner
I have a vague memory of either reading or seeing a story about the evidence found at or near the Tippit murder, the items of real interest to me are the shell casings, the story that I speak of indicates markings on these shells that show that they were fired from an automatic weapon.

Oswald of course was found with a revolver which is not an automatic, can anyone shed any light on this for me?

Thanks, Scott

Scott, from memory, Both the W/C, and the HSCA concluded that the bullets COULD have been fired from Oswalds gun, but could in no way prove exclusivety in this important area. Again from memory I believe that LHO's pistol had been modified in some way which made matching bullets to gun even harder than usual. Steve.

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Is there ANY evidence or testimony in this case which is rock solid and irrefutable? Every aspect seems laden with "COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA" - EITHER/OR, NOT QUITE, VERY SIMILAR, IN THE SAME BALLPARK, NOT CONCLUSIVE, HE SAID SHE SAID, CAME UP MISSING, ACCIDENTALLY DESTROYED, NO NOTES TAKEN, NO RECORDS KEPT, NO RECOLLECTION, INACCURACIES ATTRIBUTED TO, LOCKED AWAY FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, ETC., ETC., ETC. ...

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Guest Stephen Turner
Is there ANY evidence or testimony in this case which is rock solid and irrefutable? Every aspect seems laden with "COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA" - EITHER/OR, NOT QUITE, VERY SIMILAR, IN THE SAME BALLPARK, NOT CONCLUSIVE, HE SAID SHE SAID, CAME UP MISSING, ACCIDENTALLY DESTROYED, NO NOTES TAKEN, NO RECORDS KEPT, NO RECOLLECTION, INACCURACIES ATTRIBUTED TO, LOCKED AWAY FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, ETC., ETC., ETC. ...

JL, I sometimes think that the only thing we know for certain is that John F Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America was assassinated in Dealy Plaza, Dallas Texas by person, or persons unknown, on the 22nd of November 1963. Unless, of course he's living it up on a tropical island with Bruce Lee, and Elvis B)

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Without doing all of "your" homework for you, the following information is provided:

1. The "standard" .38 Special Pistol is designed for a .357 inch diameter bullet (Irrelevant as to who makes the weapon.

2. The "standard" S&W .38 pistol is designed for a .360 inch diameter bullet.

3. The "standard" .38 S&W bullet WILL NOT fit into the .38 Special due to the bullet diameter being greater than the .38 Special.

4. The .38 Special bullet WILL NOT fit into the .38 S&W due to the .38 Special round being longer than the .38 S&W round.

Testimony as regards CE 143 states that the barrel had been "rechambered", as well as the fact that the cylinder had been re-worked and bored out to accept the longer .38 Special ammunition.

This same testimony indicates that the pistol, CE 143, which LHO utilized to kill Officer Tippit, was originally a .38 S&W pistol which had been modified to the newer and more popular .38 Special caliber.

Additional testimony indicates that the pistol was once in fact had a 5-inch barrel which was cut down to the 2+ inch length and with the change in caliber, the formerly .38 S&W pistol with a 5-inch length barrel, now became a stub-nose .38 Special as sold.

So, the "rechambering" work as done on the cylinder, now alowed the smaller diameter/longer length .38 Special round to function in the .38 S&W pistol.

Further testimony indicates that the reasoning that the bullets recovered from the "Tippit" body, could not be matched with test bullets that were fired from the same weapon,* was due to possible "wear" in the pistol barrel which allowed the bullet room within the barrel to actually wobble/not have a tight fit and seal, thus NOT leaving definitive markings on the bullets.

*Again, a rumor! Of two test bullets fired, (1 lead bullet & one lead bullet with copper (lubaloy) coating), the lead bullet was ABSOLUTELY matched to bullets fired from the weapon and recovered from the body of Officer Tippit.

Nevertheless, we are still stuck with the GREAT ENIGMA as to exactly how it is that this pistol barrel which (we assume) originally had only approximately .003 of an inch difference in size, could not produce bullets which in each and every case, could be traced back to the weapon.

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Without doing all of "your" homework for you, the following information is provided:

1. The "standard" .38 Special Pistol is designed for a .357 inch diameter bullet (Irrelevant as to who makes the weapon.

2. The "standard" S&W .38 pistol is designed for a .360 inch diameter bullet.

3. The "standard" .38 S&W bullet WILL NOT fit into the .38 Special due to the bullet diameter being greater than the .38 Special.

4. The .38 Special bullet WILL NOT fit into the .38 S&W due to the .38 Special round being longer than the .38 S&W round.

Testimony as regards CE 143 states that the barrel had been "rechambered", as well as the fact that the cylinder had been re-worked and bored out to accept the longer .38 Special ammunition.

This same testimony indicates that the pistol, CE 143, which LHO utilized to kill Officer Tippit, was originally a .38 S&W pistol which had been modified to the newer and more popular .38 Special caliber.

Additional testimony indicates that the pistol was once in fact had a 5-inch barrel which was cut down to the 2+ inch length and with the change in caliber, the formerly .38 S&W pistol with a 5-inch length barrel, now became a stub-nose .38 Special as sold.

So, the "rechambering" work as done on the cylinder, now alowed the smaller diameter/longer length .38 Special round to function in the .38 S&W pistol.

Further testimony indicates that the reasoning that the bullets recovered from the "Tippit" body, could not be matched with test bullets that were fired from the same weapon,* was due to possible "wear" in the pistol barrel which allowed the bullet room within the barrel to actually wobble/not have a tight fit and seal, thus NOT leaving definitive markings on the bullets.

*Again, a rumor! Of two test bullets fired, (1 lead bullet & one lead bullet with copper (lubaloy) coating), the lead bullet was ABSOLUTELY matched to bullets fired from the weapon and recovered from the body of Officer Tippit.

Nevertheless, we are still stuck with the GREAT ENIGMA as to exactly how it is that this pistol barrel which (we assume) originally had only approximately .003 of an inch difference in size, could not produce bullets which in each and every case, could be traced back to the weapon.

The "GREAT ENIGMA', not unlike any other enigma, is easily explained when all of the facts are gathered.

The "standard" .38 Special bullet is .357 inch in diameter and the pistol barrel is made accordingly to accept this size bullet.

The "standard" .38 S&W bullet is .360 inch in diameter and the pistol barrel is made accordingly to accept this size bullet.

CE 143's barrel was made to accept a bullet with an outside diameter of .380 inches.

Therefore, when one modifies the weapon to fire the slightly longerj .38 Special ammo, they are firing a round in a pistol, in which the inner barrel diameter was designed for a bullet which is approximately .023 of an inch larger than that bullet actually being fired.

EXTENUATING FACTS:[/b]

CE 143 is one of many thousands of weapons which were made by S&W and classified as their .38 S&W, and sold to the British Government.

These weapons were specifically ordered by the British, and the barrel size of these weapons was constructed to accomodate the British .38 caliber.

Prior to WWII, the British had first developed the Webley .38, which was designed on the old S&W black powder days .38 caliber round, which was in fact rated as .38 diameter bullet.

The Webley was thereafter replaced with the Enfield No. 2. Mark I pistol, which was also made in the .38 caliber.

This weapon, often referred to as the .38/200 due to caliber and weight of bullet, was a primary weapon of the British up to WWII.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enfield_Revolver

The S&W .38 IS NOT a pistol. It is in fact, a designation for a specific design bullet, as designed and manufactured by Smith & Wesson, who also designed the S&W .38 pistol to fire the bullet.

Those S&W 38 pistols which were specifically ordered by and provided to the British Government, were designed for the British .380 caliber bullets.

In size as well as configuration, the S&W .38 bullet could also be fired in these weapons, however, according to the records, the weapons produced were made for the British .380 diameter bullet.

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"Photographic suggest the S&W was popular with the LRDG. It was slightly more powerful due to a longer barrel and had less trigger pull making it easier to fire and more accurate. The revolver was chambered to accept the same .380 SAA 200 grain cartridge used in the other service revolvers. The round is also called the .380 Webley. "

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After these weapons became obsolete, the British Government sold off the surplus weapons to various arms dealers.

Due to the popularity of the now .357 (38 Special)/Snub Nose, many of these weapons were reworked in order to accept the longer 38 special round.

However, it must be recalled that the cylinder bore size for the .38 was also slightly larger than the actual 38 Special cartridge casing.

Nevertheless, with rechambering, and cutting the barrel down, the formerly British version of the .38 S&W pistol, which was made to accept a .380 caliber bullet, was now firing a .357 inch diameter bullet through a barrel designed to accomodate a .380 caliber bullet, in which approximately half of the barrel had in fact been cut off and removed from the weapon.

Therefore, the bullet being fired, was approximately .023 inch smaller than the weapon was designed to adequately fire, thus leaving .0115 inch of "slop" on each side of the bullet as it attempted to pass through the 2-1/2 remaining barrel.

Now, perhaps an understanding of the poor quality of the rifle markings on the CE 143 bullets can be understood.

Of the two test rounds fired, one bullet was lead, and the other was copper coated/guilded/lubaloy.

The lead test bullet was ABSOLUTELY matched to bullets recovered from the body of J.D. Tippit.

The reason for this is fully explained in that the forces behind the bullet actually compressed the lead and forced more of it outwards, thus expanding the lead to fill in the gap/space which existed as a result of firing undersized bullets in an oversized barrel.

Whereas, the copper coated rounds, which were fired into J.D. Tippit, more closely maintained their uniform size due to the lack of expansion of the metal against the lands and grooves of the pistol barrel.

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Explaining and understanding the "Aurora Borealis" is more complicated to understand than is this enigma!

Edited by Thomas H. Purvis
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Without doing all of "your" homework for you, the following information is provided:

Further testimony indicates that the reasoning that the bullets recovered from the "Tippit" body, could not be matched with test bullets that were fired from the same weapon,* was due to possible "wear" in the pistol barrel which allowed the bullet room within the barrel to actually wobble/not have a tight fit and seal, thus NOT leaving definitive markings on the bullets.

*Again, a rumor! Of two test bullets fired, (1 lead bullet & one lead bullet with copper (lubaloy) coating), the lead bullet was ABSOLUTELY matched to bullets fired from the weapon and recovered from the body of Officer Tippit.

I am not sure what you are getting at here. You seem to be suggesting that it has been proven that the bullets found in JD Tippit's body came from the Oswald revolver. That is most definitely NOT what the HSCA firearms panel concluded:

From the Committee's report on the firearms issues, in Volume 7.

Quote On

(202) Due to the inconsistent markings on the recovered bullets and on all the test-fired bullets, the panel concluded that the CE 602 through CE 605 bullets [The bullets in Tippit's body] could not be conclusively identified or eliminated as having been fired from the CE 143 revolver. (See figs. 31, 32, 33, 34, 35A, 35B, 35C, and 35D.) Quote Off.

In other words the Tippit bullets COULD have come from the Oswald revolver, or any other similar-type weapon.

I believe there was FBI testimony before the Warren Commission that, in 1963, there were about a million Victory Model S&W revolvers in the U.S.

Accordingly, speaking purely based on the ballistics evidence, there is about one chance in a million that JD Tippit was killed by the Oswald revolver (brings to mind the expression "close enough for government work").

Those odds would change dramatically if the expended cartridges left at the scene had matched the bullets in Tippit's body, but they do not. Three of the Tippit bullets were Western Cartridge Co. and one was Remington-Peters. Of the four cartridges found, by contrast, two were Western Cartridge and two were Remington-Peters. This is the famous Bullet-Cartridge mismatch that undermines the case against Lee Oswald and suggests a frame-up.

The ballistics evidence tells us that, If someone wanted to frame Lee Oswald for the Tippit murder, they would need to know what kind of revolver he owned, and what kind of ammunition. They then had to get their hands on expended cartridges fired from that revolver and drop them at the Tippit muder scene, while shooting Tippit with a revolver similar to Lee's. The shells would need to be dropped in such a way that they would be certain to be found.

It would require a very determined person or group to pull that off, but it certainly could be done. I suggest that the killer accidentally give the game away when he dropped the wrong cartridges at the crime scene.

Edited by J. Raymond Carroll
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Without doing all of "your" homework for you, the following information is provided:

Further testimony indicates that the reasoning that the bullets recovered from the "Tippit" body, could not be matched with test bullets that were fired from the same weapon,* was due to possible "wear" in the pistol barrel which allowed the bullet room within the barrel to actually wobble/not have a tight fit and seal, thus NOT leaving definitive markings on the bullets.

*Again, a rumor! Of two test bullets fired, (1 lead bullet & one lead bullet with copper (lubaloy) coating), the lead bullet was ABSOLUTELY matched to bullets fired from the weapon and recovered from the body of Officer Tippit.

I am not sure what you are getting at here. You seem to be suggesting that it has been proven that the bullets found in JD Tippit's body came from the Oswald revolver. That is most definitely NOT what the HSCA firearms panel concluded:

From the Committee's report on the firearms issues, in Volume 7.

Quote On

(202) Due to the inconsistent markings on the recovered bullets and on all the test-fired bullets, the panel concluded that the CE 602 through CE 605 bullets [The bullets in Tippit's body] could not be conclusively identified or eliminated as having been fired from the CE 143 revolver. (See figs. 31, 32, 33, 34, 35A, 35B, 35C, and 35D.) Quote Off.

In other words the Tippit bullets COULD have come from the Oswald revolver, or any other similar-type weapon.

I believe there was FBI testimony before the Warren Commission that, in 1963, there were about a million Victory Model S&W revolvers in the U.S.

Accordingly, speaking purely based on the ballistics evidence, there is about one chance in a million that JD Tippit was killed by the Oswald revolver (brings to mind the expression "close enough for government work").

Those odds would change dramatically if the expended cartridges left at the scene had matched the bullets in Tippit's body, but they do not. Three of the Tippit bullets were Western Cartridge Co. and one was Remington-Peters. Of the four cartridges found, by contrast, two were Western Cartridge and two were Remington-Peters. This is the famous Bullet-Cartridge mismatch that undermines the case against Lee Oswald and suggests a frame-up.

The ballistics evidence tells us that, If someone wanted to frame Lee Oswald for the Tippit murder, they would need to know what kind of revolver he owned, and what kind of ammunition. They then had to get their hands on expended cartridges fired from that revolver and drop them at the Tippit muder scene, while shooting Tippit with a revolver similar to Lee's. The shells would need to be dropped in such a way that they would be certain to be found.

It would require a very determined person or group to pull that off, but it certainly could be done. I suggest that the killer accidentally give the game away when he dropped the wrong cartridges at the crime scene.

CE143 represents the pistol which was recovered from Lee Harvey Oswald.

CE 606.--Two bullets test-fired by the FBI in the CE 143 revolver, as follows: One .38 special caliber lead, round-nose bullet consistent with Winchester Repeating Arms manufacture; and one .38 special caliber copper-coated (Lubaloy), lead, round-nose bullet consistent with Western Cartridge Co. manufacture. (See hearings before the Warren Commission, vol. 17, p. 271.)

The pure lead bullet in CE 606, which was fired from CE 143, was ballistically matched as to having been fired from the exact weapon, to the exclusion of all other weapons, as bullets recovered from the body of J.D. Tippit.

The bullets were a match.

CE 606 (lead Bullet) was known to have been fired from CE 143.

Therefore, bullets recovered from J. D. Tippit, were fired from the pistol (CE143), to the exclusion of ALL other weapons.

Besides the fact that the firing pin impressions in each and every one of the cartridge casings recovered, were an exact and perfect match, to the exclusion of all others, with the firing pin impressions created by CE 143.

The chain is complete!

Additionally, a civillian witness observed the shooter unload the shell casings, and he recovered them and gave them to the police.

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Thomas H. Purvis Posted Today, 03:04 AM

QUOTE(J. Raymond Carroll @ May 6 2006, 03:10 PM)

QUOTE(Thomas H. Purvis @ May 5 2006, 09:37 PM)

Without doing all of "your" homework for you, the following information is provided:

Further testimony indicates that the reasoning that the bullets recovered from the "Tippit" body, could not be matched with test bullets that were fired from the same weapon,* was due to possible "wear" in the pistol barrel which allowed the bullet room within the barrel to actually wobble/not have a tight fit and seal, thus NOT leaving definitive markings on the bullets.

*Again, a rumor! Of two test bullets fired, (1 lead bullet & one lead bullet with copper (lubaloy) coating), the lead bullet was ABSOLUTELY matched to bullets fired from the weapon and recovered from the body of Officer Tippit.

I am not sure what you are getting at here. You seem to be suggesting that it has been proven that the bullets found in JD Tippit's body came from the Oswald revolver. That is most definitely NOT what the HSCA firearms panel concluded:

From the Committee's report on the firearms issues, in Volume 7.

Quote On

(202) Due to the inconsistent markings on the recovered bullets and on all the test-fired bullets, the panel concluded that the CE 602 through CE 605 bullets [The bullets in Tippit's body] could not be conclusively identified or eliminated as having been fired from the CE 143 revolver. (See figs. 31, 32, 33, 34, 35A, 35B, 35C, and 35D.) Quote Off.

In other words the Tippit bullets COULD have come from the Oswald revolver, or any other similar-type weapon.

I believe there was FBI testimony before the Warren Commission that, in 1963, there were about a million Victory Model S&W revolvers in the U.S.

Accordingly, speaking purely based on the ballistics evidence, there is about one chance in a million that JD Tippit was killed by the Oswald revolver (brings to mind the expression "close enough for government work").

Those odds would change dramatically if the expended cartridges left at the scene had matched the bullets in Tippit's body, but they do not. Three of the Tippit bullets were Western Cartridge Co. and one was Remington-Peters. Of the four cartridges found, by contrast, two were Western Cartridge and two were Remington-Peters. This is the famous Bullet-Cartridge mismatch that undermines the case against Lee Oswald and suggests a frame-up.

The ballistics evidence tells us that, If someone wanted to frame Lee Oswald for the Tippit murder, they would need to know what kind of revolver he owned, and what kind of ammunition. They then had to get their hands on expended cartridges fired from that revolver and drop them at the Tippit muder scene, while shooting Tippit with a revolver similar to Lee's. The shells would need to be dropped in such a way that they would be certain to be found.

It would require a very determined person or group to pull that off, but it certainly could be done. I suggest that the killer accidentally give the game away when he dropped the wrong cartridges at the crime scene.

CE143 represents the pistol which was recovered from Lee Harvey Oswald.

CE 606.--Two bullets test-fired by the FBI in the CE 143 revolver, as follows: One .38 special caliber lead, round-nose bullet consistent with Winchester Repeating Arms manufacture; and one .38 special caliber copper-coated (Lubaloy), lead, round-nose bullet consistent with Western Cartridge Co. manufacture. (See hearings before the Warren Commission, vol. 17, p. 271.)

The pure lead bullet in CE 606, which was fired from CE 143, was ballistically matched as to having been fired from the exact weapon, to the exclusion of all other weapons, as bullets recovered from the body of J.D. Tippit.

The bullets were a match.

CE 606 (lead Bullet) was known to have been fired from CE 143.

Therefore, bullets recovered from J. D. Tippit, were fired from the pistol (CE143), to the exclusion of ALL other weapons.

Besides the fact that the firing pin impressions in each and every one of the cartridge casings recovered, were an exact and perfect match, to the exclusion of all others, with the firing pin impressions created by CE 143.

The chain is complete!

Additionally, a civillian witness observed the shooter unload the shell casings, and he recovered them and gave them to the police.

Additionally, to expand a little bit, one of the officers (Poe?) on the scene of the Tippit shooting, recalled that he took the recovered shells from the location, and marked them with his initials (as was customary for him to do).

However, later it turned out that these bullets did not have any markings on them. To complicate the issue, the officer could later not recall for sure if he had marked the shell casings.... probably because he couldn't explain how his markings could have disappeared.....

:ph34r:

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The pure lead bullet in CE 606, which was fired from CE 143, was ballistically matched as to having been fired from the exact weapon, to the exclusion of all other weapons, as bullets recovered from the body of J.D. Tippit.

The bullets were a match.

CE 606 (lead Bullet) was known to have been fired from CE 143.

Therefore, bullets recovered from J. D. Tippit, were fired from the pistol (CE143), to the exclusion of ALL other weapons.

Thomas, can you point me to the source(s) for this statement? I don't think it is mentioned by the HSCA panel, nor did I find it mentioned in the Warren Report itself. I did check WC Vol 17 p.271, but that only shows photos of the bullets. I would assume you are basing this statement on testimony of FBI experts, but whoever it is, I would greatly appreciate your pointing me to the source in question.

Thank you.

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The pure lead bullet in CE 606, which was fired from CE 143, was ballistically matched as to having been fired from the exact weapon, to the exclusion of all other weapons, as bullets recovered from the body of J.D. Tippit.

The bullets were a match.

CE 606 (lead Bullet) was known to have been fired from CE 143.

Therefore, bullets recovered from J. D. Tippit, were fired from the pistol (CE143), to the exclusion of ALL other weapons.

Thomas, can you point me to the source(s) for this statement? I don't think it is mentioned by the HSCA panel, nor did I find it mentioned in the Warren Report itself. I did check WC Vol 17 p.271, but that only shows photos of the bullets. I would assume you are basing this statement on testimony of FBI experts, but whoever it is, I would greatly appreciate your pointing me to the source in question.

Thank you.

As a follow-up, I just reviewed the ballistics section of Dale Myers' book With Malice. WM is considered the bible for those who accuse Lee Oswald of shooting Tippit. Like the Warren Commission, Myers cites Joseph D. Nicol, the one expert who claimed he could positively ID one of the Tippit bullets as having come from the Oswald revolver. The FBI experts said Nicol was wrong, and so did the HSCA panel.

As Myers concedes on Page 251 of WM, "[N]one of the other eight ballistics experts who have examined the bullets agree with Nicol's positive identification." [Where I come from, the benefit of doubt goes to the accused].

Thomas, it seems you have discovered something that neither the WC, HSCA, nor Dale Myers could discover, so it would be major news if it is true. Accordingly, I am very eager to know your source for the assertion that "Therefore, bullets recovered from J. D. Tippit, were fired from the pistol (CE143), to the exclusion of ALL other weapons."

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The pure lead bullet in CE 606, which was fired from CE 143, was ballistically matched as to having been fired from the exact weapon, to the exclusion of all other weapons, as bullets recovered from the body of J.D. Tippit.

The bullets were a match.

CE 606 (lead Bullet) was known to have been fired from CE 143.

Therefore, bullets recovered from J. D. Tippit, were fired from the pistol (CE143), to the exclusion of ALL other weapons.

Thomas, can you point me to the source(s) for this statement? I don't think it is mentioned by the HSCA panel, nor did I find it mentioned in the Warren Report itself. I did check WC Vol 17 p.271, but that only shows photos of the bullets. I would assume you are basing this statement on testimony of FBI experts, but whoever it is, I would greatly appreciate your pointing me to the source in question.

Thank you.

As a follow-up, I just reviewed the ballistics section of Dale Myers' book With Malice. WM is considered the bible for those who accuse Lee Oswald of shooting Tippit. Like the Warren Commission, Myers cites Joseph D. Nicol, the one expert who claimed he could positively ID one of the Tippit bullets as having come from the Oswald revolver. The FBI experts said Nicol was wrong, and so did the HSCA panel.

As Myers concedes on Page 251 of WM, "[N]one of the other eight ballistics experts who have examined the bullets agree with Nicol's positive identification." [Where I come from, the benefit of doubt goes to the accused].

Thomas, it seems you have discovered something that neither the WC, HSCA, nor Dale Myers could discover, so it would be major news if it is true. Accordingly, I am very eager to know your source for the assertion that "Therefore, bullets recovered from J. D. Tippit, were fired from the pistol (CE143), to the exclusion of ALL other weapons."

This is the correct source.

ABSOLUTELY NO bullet could be directly matched to the revolver!

This includes those bullets recovered from Tippit, as well as the lead test bullet fired from the weapon as well as the copper coated (lubaloy) test bullet fired from the weapon.

HOWEVER!

A. The test bullets, which were known absolutely to have been fired from the Oswald revolver, were matched ABSOLUTELY to one of the bullets recovered from Tippit, to the exclusion of all other weapons.

B. Since "A" the test bullet which is known to to have been fired from the revolver, is an ABSOLUTE MATCH, ballistically to a bullet recovered from Tippit, then:

C. Bullet recovered from Tippit was fired from the same weapon as the test bullet, to the exclusion of all other weapons.

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http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/nicol.htm

Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, finally I hand you a group of four bullets marked Commission Exhibits 602, 603, 604, and 605, which I state for the record were recovered from the body of Officer Tippit,

and a group of two bullets marked Commission Exhibit 606, which I state for the record were fired by the FBI through the revolver, Commission Exhibit 143.

Mr. EISENBERG. Are you familiar with all of those?

Mr. NICOL. Yes; I have seen and examined all of these

However, on specimen 602--I'm sorry--603, which I have designated as Q-502, I found sufficient individual characteristics to lead me to the conclusion that that projectile was fired in the same weapon that fired the projectiles in 606.

Mr. EISENBERG. That is to the exclusion of all other weapons?

Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.

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CE 603.--One .38 special caliber copper-coated (Lubaloy)lead, round-nose bullet removed from the body of Officer Tippit. The bullet is consistent with Western Cartridge Co. manufacture. The class characteristics are five lands and five grooves, right twist. The weight is 155.1 grains.

CE 606.--Two bullets test-fired by the FBI in the CE 143 revolver, as follows: One .38 special caliber lead, round-nose bullet consistent with Winchester Repeating Arms manufacture; and one .38 special caliber copper-coated (Lubaloy), lead, round-nose bullet consistent with Western Cartridge Co. manufacture. (See hearings before the Warren Commission, vol. 17, p. 271.)

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Mr. EISENBERG. You found enough similarities to satisfy yourself that there is an identification here?

Mr. NICOL. I am satisfied that the two projectiles came from the same weapon.

Mr. NICOL. The undersized bullet going through an oversized barrel of course presents some serious identification problems, because it does not go through with the same conformity as a projectile going through the proper-sized barrel, so that it is apt to, you might say, skip and bear more on one surface than on another in subsequent firings, so that the identification is made more complex and it is expected that more dissimilarities occur under those circumstances. However, at the points where it did reproduce at the land edges, as shown in this photograph, I found sufficient lines of identification to lead me to the conclusion that they had both been fired in the same weapon.

Mr. EISENBERG. Now, I was not clear whether you drew any conclusion on the other three bullets-- that is, did you definitely--find yourself definitely unable to identify those bullets, or did you reach a "probable" conclusion?

Mr. NICOL. I would say there was nothing, no major marks to preclude it. However, I was unable to find what would satisfy me to say that it positively came from that particular weapon. So that I would place it in the category of bullets which could have come from this particular weapon, but not to the exclusion of all others.

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Mr. EISENBERG. You found enough similarities to satisfy yourself that there is an identification here?

Mr. NICOL. I am satisfied that the two projectiles came from the same weapon.

Thank you Thomas.

For the benefit of anyone who is still confused about the ballistics evidence in the Tippit murder, the FBI experts told the Warren Commission that the bullets found in Tippit's body could not be traced to the Oswald revolver, although it was certainly possible that they were fired from that weapon.

The Commission then hired an outside expert, Mr. Nicol, who gave the opinion cited above. This was the only time the Warren Commission rejected the opinion of FBI experts. The House Select Committee on Assassinations hired a whole team of ballistic experts and every single expert agreed with the FBI and said that it is scientifically impossible to match the Tippit bullets to the Oswald revolver, although the Tippit bullets COULD have come from that revolver.

I respectfully submit that citing Nicol's opinion as though it was authoritative shows a lack of objectivity. Nicols opinion has been thoroughly and completely debunked, as even Dale Myers admits in his book With Malice.

I have a vague memory of either reading or seeing a story about the evidence found at or near the Tippit murder, the items of real interest to me are the shell casings, the story that I speak of indicates markings on these shells that show that they were fired from an automatic weapon.

Oswald of course was found with a revolver which is not an automatic, can anyone shed any light on this for me?

Thanks, Scott

There is no testimony that anyone saw markings on the shell casings that said they were from an automatic. One officer, Gerald Hill, radiod the dispatcher that the murder weapon was an automatic. This was a natural assumption for Hill to make since shell casings were found at the scene. A revolver does not eject empty cartridges whereas an automatic does. It never occurred to Hill that a gunman would be so stupid as to deliberately drop empty shell casings with indentations that could be definitively traced to his revolver to the exclusion of all other weapons.

With regard to officer Poe's supposed markings on the empty cartridges, this is really a question about Poe's memory. Poe later claimed that he had scratched his initials on two of the shell casings, but no other officer corroborated Poe, as far as I recall. Based on everything I have read about the fallibility of human memory, I personally have no doubt that Poe simply misremembered. We all do it. I could have sworn I turned off that stove before I left the house, etc.

I believe we can say with confidence that the ballistics evidence falls short of supporting the case against Lee Oswald in the murder of officer J.D. Tippit.

Edited by J. Raymond Carroll
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As I understand it, the distinction between revolver and automatic

cartridges is NOT a marking, but the configuration having to do

with EJECTION for the types of gun...one has a RIM at the rear

and the other (automatic?) is RIMLESS. Therefore a mere look

at the rim quickly identifies the type...no reading required. A

police officer would NOT MISTAKE the type.

Jack

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