Sunday, May 20, 2007

JFK Conspiracy Theory Body Slammed - Again

Powerline has reviewed a new book on the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of President John Fizgerald Kennedy. The book is "Reclaiming History" by Vincent Bugliosi. Bugliosi is the prosecutor who won convictions for the notorious Charles Manson gang who murdered Sharon Tate and several other people in 1969.

I read Gerald Posner's 1993 book on the same subject, "Case Closed" and found it to be an excellent refutation of the various conspiracy thories. Bugliosi's book is said to be even better. I have to read this book! The Kennedy Assassination conspiracy theories are a pet peeve of mine. I have never believed anything but the following: Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy, and he acted alone.

There is a university professor who put together a website that deals with all aspects of the Kennedy Assassination and refutes many of the conspiracy theories. It is "The Kennedy Assassination Page" by John McAdams. No matter what factoid of the assassination interests you, you can probably find a discussion of it here, e.g., the single bullet theory, the pristine bullet, the Grassy Knoll, the umbrella man, etc, etc. It is the best web reference going for this subject matter.

A conspiracist writes and I answer:
Burntoast:  You are ill informed. James Chaney the motorcycle cop riding closest to the Pres said that he saw JFK shot in the face. Jesse Curry who was the police chief came to accept the shot from the front--you can see his take on YouTube. Curry wrote a book calling attention to the TWO shells in the TSBD that DPD turned over to the FBI, also to the .45 caliber shell in the turf at Dealy. Prejudice is not intelligence!
My response:

Burntoast, you are the one who is misinformed.  I can't find a source for Chaney saying that; however, suppose he did.  No serious researcher would accept that as gospel without corroborating evidence, and there is none.  There is plenty of evidence to prove a rear, head shot, however, including Chaney's own testimony.  Per the JFK assassination page, here are the relevant testimonies of cops in the motorcade, including Chaney's:
Just prior to the shooting, two motorcycle policemen who had preceded the presidential limousine briefly slowed their cycles and waited for the slow-moving limousine to catch up with them. One was Officer Stavis “Steve” Ellis, who had just driven past the grassy knoll and turned around to face the President. "If there had been any shots fired from the grassy knoll," Ellis would state, "I couldn't have missed it since I was right even with that area when the shots were fired."

Ellis recalled:

During the shooting, my back or, more accurately, my left side was turned to the grassy knoll, but I was never more than about 100 feet from the spot where someone is supposed to have fired. Just an instant before, nobody was standing there, and I didn’t see anyone approaching. If a shot had come from that close to me, I would have known it. There was no shot fired from the grassy knoll. There were three shots fired, and all three came from back up toward the School Book Depository.

Motorcycle Officer William G. “Bill” Lumpkin had also turned around to face the President at the time the shots rang out. He recalled:

At the time [the shots were fired] I was facing east on Elm with the grassy knoll to my immediate left, and the corner of the stockade fence was less than 100 feet away. I saw nothing on that hill that looked in any way suspicious. I'm absolutely positive that there were only three shots, that they all came from back up Elm Street from the right rear of the President's limousine, and that no shot was fired from the grassy knoll. 

Officer James Chaney was riding a motorcycle only a few feet from the presidential limousine’s right rear fender, close enough for his uniform to be spattered with the President’s blood after the fatal head shot; Officer Douglas L. Jackson rode a motorcycle just to Chaney’s right. A shot from the grassy knoll would have come from the right of both men and passed directly in front of them. In a diary entry the evening of the assassination, Officer Jackson wrote, "I knew that the shooting was coming from my right rear [towards the Book Depository] and I looked back that way . . ."

“You did not see the person who fired the shot?” Officer Chaney was asked by ABC newsman Bill Lord within hours of the shooting. "No sir," Chaney replied, "it was back over my right shoulder."
As for Jesse Curry, he was the Chief of Police who was riding ahead of the motorcade. When the gunfire began, Curry thought the shots might have originated from the overpass in front of him. (He was undoubtedly hearing the echoes bouncing off the overpass.) However, Dealey Plaza is an echo chamber and many witnesses were confused as to the direction of the gunfire. Most of them, however, agree that there were three shots fired and that they came from the Texas School Book Depository.

It is therefore dishonest to claim that Curry "accepted the shot from the front,"  as if his initial, confused and mistaken impression constituted some sort of clear, irrefutable truth.  Balderdash.

As to the shells found in the TBSD, there were only three, all of the spent rounds from Oswald's rifle.  The spent .45 shell "found in Dealey Plaza" is a myth; it never happened. Go here and read it for yourself.

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