JUST THE FACTS:
ESTABLISHED FACTS ABOUT THE JFK ASSASSINATION
THAT POINT TO CONSPIRACY
Michael T. Griffith
@All Rights Reserved
Revised and Expanded on 3/5/2002
With all the controversy surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, it might be somewhat surprising to learn that there are many acknowledged facts about the case, facts that are so well established they aren't disputed by anyone who has seriously studied the case, and that point to conspiracy. Discussion about the JFK assassination usually centers on a specific area of the case. Sometimes, in focusing on a particular issue, we forget or overlook the obvious things. The acknowledged facts alone indicate the assassination resulted from a conspiracy, and that it was followed by an extensive cover-up. What are these facts? Here are some of them:
* J. Edgar Hoover informed Lyndon Johnson during a phone conversation the
day after the assassination that someone had been impersonating Lee Harvey
Oswald, the alleged single assassin, at the Soviet embassy in
* Silvia Odio, the American-educated daughter of
distinguished, prominent Cuban parents, gave testimony to federal investigators
which, if true, would constitute strong evidence there was a conspiracy to kill
President Kennedy. Mrs. Odio testified that two
anti-Castro Cubans and a man named "Leon Oswald" visited her
Mrs. Odio has checked out thoroughly. . . . The evidence is unanimously favorable. . . . [Mrs. Odio] is the most significant witness linking Oswald to the anti-Castro Cubans.
* In April 1963 an inflammatory flyer was sent to Cuban exiles in
Only through one development will you Cuban patriots ever live again in your homeland as freemen . . . if an inspired Act of God should place in the White House within weeks a Texan known to be a friend of all Latin Americans.
The flyer was signed "a Texan who resents the Oriental influence that has come to control, to degrade, to pollute and enslave his own people."
* On 10/1/63, Ernesto Castellanos, a Cuban exile
who took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion, was secretly tape-recorded at a John
Birch Society meeting in
* Within days of the assassination, the Secret Service learned from an
informant that an anti-Castro Cuban activist in the Chicago area, Homer S. Echevarria, in a discussion about an illegal arms sale a
short time before the President was killed, said that "his group had
'plenty of money' and that his backers would proceed [with the arms deal] Ďas soon as we take care of Kennedy.'"
This information prompted the agent in charge of the
* Two federal correctional officers said they heard Marcello admit to having been involved in Kennedy's assassination. An FBI informant said Marcello told him, after the assassination, that he had met with Jack Ruby and Oswald. Another informant said that prior to the assassination Marcello spoke of wanting to have Kennedy killed.
* Joseph Milteer, a wealthy radical right-wing
leader, told a
* Rose Cheramie, a prostitute who had contact with
underworld figures, told a doctor and a police officer two days before the
assassination that Kennedy was going to be killed in Dallas. Louisiana State
Police lieutenant Francis Fruge went to
According to Lt. Fruge, Miss Cheramie
told him on the way to the hospital that she "was going to, number one,
pick up some money, pick up her baby, and to kill Kennedy." Lt. Fruge told the HSCA that when Cheramie
related her story she appeared to be "quite lucid." According to Lt. Fruge, Miss Cheramie told him she
had been riding in a car with two "Italian-looking" men. When Lt. Fruge questioned her later, she told him the two men
traveling with her were from
During the 1967-1969 Jim Garrison investigation into the assassination, Lt. Fruge went to the bar where Miss Cheramie
had last been seen before she was injured. Fruge
reported that he showed the owner of the bar some photographs and mug shots to
identify, and that the bar owner chose the photos of a Cuban exile, Sergio Arcacha Smith, and another Cuban Fruge
believed to be named Osanto. (Arcacha
Smith is known to Kennedy assassination investigators as an anti-Castro Cuban
refugee who had been active in 1961 as the head of the New Orleans Cuban
Revolutionary Front. At that time, he befriended anti-Castro activist and rabid
Kennedy-hater David Ferrie. Ferrie
and Arcacha Smith were also believed to have had ties
Lt. Fruge took Miss Cheramie
* A retired
Nagell was arrested for walking into an El Paso bank and firing some shots into the ceiling on September 20, 1963. Nagell claimed he was merely trying to get arrested for his own safety because he believed he was being followed. Jim Bundren is one of the police officers who escorted Nagell during one of his hearings. Here is what Bundren reported to a researcher during a taped interview:
I was sitting next to Nagell at one of his preliminary hearings. I don't remember the exact date, but I know it was before the Kennedy assassination. Nagell looked over at me and said, "You're a pretty good cop, aren't you? You know, if I didn't want you to, you'd never have caught me."
I said, "You didn't want to rob that bank, did you?" He just looked at me for a moment. He's got that look that's unusual, the penetrating eyes, that scar down one side of his face. And he says, "What makes you say that?"
I said, "I saw the shots you fired in the bank. With your Army training and everything, I just felt like maybe it was some kind of a diversionary tactic."
Nagell just smiled and
said, "Well, Iím glad you caught me. I really don't want to be in
* A CIA document released in 1977 states that Jean Soutre,
a French assassin and member of the violent anti-Kennedy group called the OAS,
* During the forty days preceding the assassination, Oswald had little time to target practice.
* When asked to comment on Oswald's last rifle score as a Marine, Lt. Col. A. G. Folsom said Oswald's score of "Marksman" was indicative of someone who was "a rather poor shot."
* Oswald's best score in the Marines was just two points above the minimum required for the middle of three qualification levels, "Sharpshooter," and this was after weeks of practice and instruction.
* Nearly all of Oswald's fellow Marines who were asked to comment on his shooting ability expressed the view that he was not a very good shot. Several of them, in fact, said he was a very poor shot. (And apparently none of them described him as an excellent shot.)
* A WC staffer named Wesley Liebeler stated in an internal Commission memo that critical persons would not take the Commission's claims about Oswald's marksmanship seriously.
* Monty Lutz, a former member of the HSCA's firearms panel and an expert rifleman in his own right, stated during the 1986 mock Oswald trial sponsored by a British television company that to his knowledge no one had ever duplicated Oswald's alleged shooting feat.
* The WC leaned toward the view that its alleged lone gunman did not fire until frame 210 of the Zapruder film. If the supposed single assassin didn't fire until Z210, then he would have had between 4.8 and 5.6 seconds to score two hits out of three shots at a moving target using a bolt-action rifle. (Even lone-gunman theorist Jim Moore admits in his book Conspiracy of One that the WC clearly favored the view that the alleged lone gunman didn't fire until Z210.)
* The only way WC supporters can "expand" the alleged lone gunman's firing time from 5.8 to 8.2/8.4 seconds is to assume that he fired at around Z160 and that he completely missed, not only Kennedy, but the entire limousine. (The limousine was less than 140 feet from the sixth-floor gunman at Z160.)
* The WC expressed strong skepticism about the idea that its lone gunman would have missed the limousine with his first and closest shot.
* The world-class, Master-rated riflemen who took part in the WC's rifle tests expressed considerable criticism of the alleged murder weapon. They did not view it as a high quality rifle, and they found its bolt to be difficult and its trigger pull to be rather odd.
* In the 1967 CBS rifle test, which was designed to test "the Warren Commission's version of the shooting," not one of the eleven participating expert marksmen scored at least two hits out of three shots on his first attempt. Seven of them failed to do so on any of their attempts. Oswald would have had only one attempt.
* Oswald's notebook contained the word "microdots," a common spy technique of photographically reducing information to a small dot.
* An unregistered Minox camera was found among
Oswald's belongings. Cameras of this type were reportedly used in spy work.
Kurt Lohn, who was formerly in charge of Minox distribution in
* The day after the assassination a call was intercepted in
* When Oswald applied for a tourist card at the Mexican consulate in
* Gaudet told the HSCA that on one occasion he saw Oswald talking on a street corner with Guy Banister, an ultra-conservative former FBI agent with ties to the anti-Castro movement and the CIA.
* Several of Oswald's "Fair Play for
* According to an FBI report, G. W. Gill, an attorney for Mafia kingfish Carlos Marcello and Santos Trafficante, told David Ferrie's roommate, Layton Martens, that when Oswald was arrested by the Dallas police, Oswald was carrying a library card with Ferrie's name on it. The report was based on an interview with Martens himself. David Ferrie worked for Marcello, was involved with CIA-backed anti-Castro Cubans, and was a fanatical opponent of President Kennedy. On one occasion, Ferrie had to be removed from the podium in the middle of a speech for making virulent, inflammatory anti-Kennedy remarks. An FBI report observed that on occasion Ferrie had said Kennedy "ought to be shot."
* According to investigators from New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's office, Mrs. Doris Eames, a neighbor of Oswald's, told them that Ferrie came by her house after the assassination asking if she had any information regarding Oswald's library card. Mrs. Eames told British investigative journalist Anthony Summers in 1978 that Ferrie was so nervous he appeared nearly out of his mind. That same year, Mrs. Jesse Garner, Oswald's former landlady, told an HSCA investigator that Ferrie visited her home and asked if she had come across the library card Oswald had used when he was living in one of her apartments.
* In 1975, Penn Jones, a leading assassination researcher, received an
anonymously mailed envelope from
I would like information concerning my position.
I am asking only for information. I am suggesting that we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me or anyone else.
Lee Harvey Oswald
Handwriting experts retained by the HSCA were unable to come to a firm conclusion about the authenticity of the note. However, three private handwriting experts consulted by the Dallas Morning News unanimously concluded the writing was Oswald's.
The note was mailed from
* On November 9, 1963, Oswald wrote a letter to the Soviet Embassy in
* Jack Ruby killed Oswald while Oswald was being transferred in broad
daylight, in the middle of the day, in the basement of the
* The HSCA concluded Ruby's killing of Oswald was not "spontaneous," and that Ruby probably entered the basement with assistance.
* The HSCA found what it viewed as compelling evidence that Ruby had extensive ties with the Mafia. For the first few weeks after the shooting, Ruby was commonly characterized as a gangster, as a man who was involved with the Mafia. On 11/26/63, four days after the assassination, the Chicago Tribune ran a story on Ruby's Mafia activity and connections in that city.
* Mafia man Johnny Roselli reportedly met with Ruby twice in the two months leading up to the assassination. Roselli was involved with Mafia kingfish Santos Trafficante and Sam Giancana in the CIA-Mafia assassination plots against Fidel Castro.
* Two WC staffers wrote the following in an internal Commission memo:
In short, we believe that the possibility exists, based on evidence already available, that Ruby was involved in illegal dealings with Cuban elements who might have had contact with Oswald.
* According to an 11/25/63 Associated Press report, William Crowe, an entertainer who had performed at Ruby's Carousel Club, told an AP reporter he was "positive" he had seen Oswald in the club. Dallas Morning News reporter Kent Biffle said Crowe told him the same thing several days later.
* Karen Carlin, who had been a dancer at Ruby's club, told FBI agent Roger Warner on 11/24/63 that "she was under impression that Lee Oswald, Jack Ruby, and other individuals unknown to her, were involved in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy."
* Another Ruby dancer, Janet Conforto, told
* In 1990 the Attorney General of Texas, Jim Mattox, announced that his mother had told him she once saw Ruby and Oswald eating dinner together in the restaurant where she worked.
* The Secret Service failed to employ a number of standard protection
procedures for the
Surprisingly, the security measures used in the
prior motorcades during the same
In film footage of other presidential motorcades, it is seen that police
motorcycle escorts rode on both sides and in front of the limousine during
those events, forming a shield around the car and making it harder for a
potential assassin or assassins to shoot the president. This was not done
* One or more senior military officers chose three poorly qualified, inexperienced military doctors to perform President Kennedy's autopsy, when much more capable and experienced doctors were readily available.
* Dr. James Humes, the chief autopsy pathologist, burned the original autopsy report shortly after hearing Oswald was dead, and without making a photographic copy of it.
* The HSCA's medical panel concluded the autopsy on the President was inadequate. Private forensic experts have said the autopsy was a severely flawed post-mortem examination.
* One of the autopsy pathologists said under oath in the Clay Shaw trial in 1969 that a senior military officer prevented him from performing a crucial autopsy procedure.
* A role of film taken during the autopsy by a medical corpsman was seized and destroyed by a Secret Service agent.
* Important photographs taken during the autopsy, some of which were apparently mentioned by one of the autopsy pathologists, are missing. (The medical witness interviews conducted by the ARRB leave no doubt about this fact.)
* Dr. John Ebersole, the radiologist at the autopsy,
told HSCA investigators that a sizable fragment of occipital bone was missing
from Kennedy's head and arrived late that night from
* Over forty witnesses, many of them trained medical personnel, who saw President Kennedy's head wounds, said the large defect was in the right rear part of the head, in the right occipital-parietal region. A large wound in the back of the head indicates a shot from the front.
* Two federal agents who attended the autopsy told the ARRB that the autopsy photos of the back of the head were not accurate, and that they recalled seeing a large defect in the right rear part of the skull. The agents suggested a flap of scalp was pulled over the right-rear defect before the photos were taken.
* Dr. J. Thornton Boswell, one of the autopsy pathologists, told HSCA
investigators that the rear entry wound was right next to the external
occipital protuberance and that part of that wound was contained in a fragment
of bone that did not arrive from
* During an interview with HSCA investigators, Dr. Finck questioned how one of the alleged autopsy photos of the back of the head had been established as having been taken at the autopsy.
* Dr. George Burkley, the President's personal
doctor, communicated through his attorney to the HSCA's
chief counsel that he was aware of information that proved there must have been
more than one person involved in the assassination. Dr. Burkley
volunteered to disclose this information to the Committee. Dr. Burkley saw the President's body at
* The WC said the wound in President Kennedy's back was at the base of the neck. Dr. Humes placed the wound in this location, at the base of the neck, in the Rydberg Navy medical drawing. The HSCA, on the other hand, placed the wound nearly two inches lower than where it appears in the Rydberg drawing. The President's death certificate, which is marked "verified," places the wound at the third thoracic vertebra (T3). On the night of the autopsy, Dr. Boswell prepared an autopsy face sheet diagram in which he placed the wound at or near T3. The bullet holes in the back of the President's shirt and coat place the wound at or near T3. Several witnesses who saw the body said the back wound was well below the neck. One of those witnesses was Dr. Ebersole, who said the wound was at T4. Three federal agents who saw the body drew wound diagrams for the HSCA. Those diagrams were recently released, and all three place the back wound near T3. The current single-bullet theory, which is the cornerstone of the lone-gunman scenario, is based on the assumption that the back wound was no lower than where the HSCA placed it, that is, no lower than T1, and that Kennedy was leaning 20-25 degrees forward. If the single-bullet theory is invalid, then there had to be more than one gunman.
* The chief of the HSCA's forensic pathology
panel, Dr. Michael Baden, admitted the back wound was slightly below the throat wound. (He went on to
claim that the bullet still could have come from the TSBD's
sixth-floor window if Kennedy had been leaning markedly forward when the
missile struck. But no photo or footage shows Kennedy leaning as far forward as
* Dr. David Mantik, a highly qualified radiation oncologist and physicist, studied the original autopsy x-rays and photographs at the National Archives, and concluded no bullet could have gone straight from the back wound to the throat wound without smashing right through the spine or without causing massive lung damage. The x-rays show no such damage to the spine or lungs.
* The two persons who claimed to have found CE 399, which is the so-called "magic bullet" that allegedly went through Kennedy and Connally, both said the missile had a pointed tip, whereas CE 399 has a round tip.
* On the day of the assassination, Dr. Malcolm Perry, the surgeon who performed the tracheostomy on the President's throat, said twice on national television that the throat wound was an entrance wound. When interviewed a short time later, he was asked about the report that the alleged sole assassin fired from a building which was to the rear of the limousine. Dr. Perry replied by suggesting the President must have been turned toward the building when the bullet struck his throat.
* Dr. Charles Carrico, who saw the throat wound before the tracheostomy was performed over it, described the wound as a "penetrating wound" in his 11/22/63 medical report.
* On the night of the autopsy, all three of the autopsy pathologists concluded, after extensive, prolonged probing, both with fingers and with a surgical probe, that the back wound had no point of exit. About half of the probing was done after the chest organs had been removed. James Jenkins, one of the medical technicians at the autopsy who witnessed the procedure, has reported he could see the surgical probe pushing against the lining of the chest cavity. Says Jenkins,
I remember looking inside the chest cavity and I could see the probe . . . through the pleura [the lining of the chest cavity] . . . . You could actually see where it was making an indentation . . . where it was pushing the skin up. . . . There was no entry into the chest cavity. . . . No way that that [the bullet] could have exited in the front because it was then low in the chest cavity. . . .
* The New York Times, on 12/18/63, quoted a source it believed was familiar with the autopsy as saying that the bullet which struck the President in the back "penetrated two to three inches." Five weeks later, the Times said the bullet "hit the President in the back of his right shoulder, several inches below the collar line. that bullet lodged in his shoulder" (emphasis added). In accordance with this report, the Washington Post reported on 12/18/63 that during the autopsy a bullet "was found deep in his shoulder" (emphasis added).
* Two medical technicians at the autopsy have stated that a bullet rolled out from the area of the President's back when the body was removed from the casket prior to the autopsy. One of the med-techs said the bullet rolled out from the back, while the other says it rolled out from the sheets. A third med-tech from the autopsy has said he remembers personnel at the autopsy talking that night about a bullet that had fallen from the sheets.
* Admiral David P. Osborne, who was in attendance at the autopsy, reported that a bullet rolled out from the "clothing" that was wrapped around the President's body, and that he actually handled the missile. The HSCA asserted that Osborne "thought" he saw a bullet roll out, but that he later said he wasn't sure when told no one else at the autopsy recalled such an event. Admiral Osborne told researcher and author David Lifton that he and the HSCA had disagreed over the matter. Said Osborne,
. . . I told them [HSCA investigators] that this
was the way I remembered it, and they said: "Well, it must be wrong,
because the Secret Service testified that the bullet was found in the hospital
in Parkland, and brought back to
According to the official record of the chain of possession of the bullet
that was found at
The HSCA's claim that no one else at the autopsy recalled seeing a missile fall from the sheets wrapped around the body is incorrect. As mentioned above, a medical technician who was at the autopsy has said he remembers seeing this happen, while another med-tech says he recalls discussion among personnel at the autopsy about a bullet having fallen from the sheets.
Admiral Osborne told Lifton the bullet fell from the clothing wrapped around the body when the body was removed from the casket.
* HSCA polygraph experts studied Jack Ruby's polygraph and found it was very ineptly done. They found that the polygrapher ignored standard procedure in a way that made it harder to detect falsehood. Yet, even with the polygraph's sensitivity turned down (instead of up, as it should have been), the registered responses indicated Ruby was lying when he denied he had no role in the assassination. The HSCA polygraph experts stated the following in their report regarding the reaction to the question, "Did you assist Oswald in the assassination?":
In fact, the reactions to the preceding question--(Did you assist Oswald in the assassination?)--showed the largest valid GSR reaction in test series No. 1. In addition, there is a constant suppression of breathing and a rise in blood pressure at the time of this crucial relevant question. From this test, it appeared to the panel that Ruby was possibly lying when answering "no" to the question, "Did you assist Oswald in the assassination?" This is contrary to Herndon's opinion that Ruby was truthful when answering that question. (8 HSCA 217-218)
* Numerous witnesses complained that the transcripts of their interviews with the FBI and/or with WC staffers were inaccurate, and in some cases that the transcripts significantly misreported important parts of their testimony.
* Most of the witnesses in
* At least fifty
* Four policemen were told by bystanders that shots had come from the picket fence on the grassy knoll, which was to the right front of the limousine during the shooting.
* Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig and motorist Richard Robinson said they saw a man run down across the grassy incline in front of the Book Depository and get into a light-colored Rambler station wagon after the President had been shot.
* Richard Randolph Carr, watching from a nearby building, said he saw a man
in a tan jacket on the top floor of the TSBD shortly before the assassination, and
that he saw the same man a few minutes afterward walk "very fast"
* Three witnesses who saw a man in the southeast corner window of the sixth floor of the Book Depository said the man's hair was blond or light colored. Oswald's hair was brown.
* All five of the witnesses who reported seeing a gunman in the sixth-floor window of the TSBD said the man was wearing a light-colored shirt. But Oswald wore a rust-brown shirt to work that day, and a policeman saw Oswald wearing that shirt less than 90 seconds after that shots were fired.
Blakey, G. Robert and Richard Billings, Fatal Hour: The Assassination of President
Kennedy By Organized Crime,
John Davis, Mafia Kingfish: Carlos
Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Signet Edition,
DiEugenio, James, Destiny Betrayed: JFK,
Fetzer, James, editor, Assassination Science: Experts Speak Out on the Death Of JFK, Chicago: Catfeet Press, 1998. No path from back wound to throat wound in autopsy x-rays.
Fonzi, Gaeton, The Last Investigation,
Robert Groden and Harrison Edward Livingstone, High Treason: The Assassination of President
Kennedy and the New Evidence of Conspiracy,
Hurt, Henry, Reasonable Doubt: An
Investigation into the Assassination of John F. Kennedy,
Kurtz, Michael, Crime of the Century:
The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective,
Lifton, David S. Best Evidence, Carroll & Graf Edition,
Livingstone, Harrison Edward, High
Marrs, Jim, Crossfire,
Meagher, Sylvia, Accessories After the
Newman, John, Oswald and the CIA,
North, Mark, Act of Treason: The Role
of J. Edgar Hoover in the Assassination of President
O'Leary, Brad and Edward Lee, The Deaths of the Cold War Kings, Baltimore: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2000. The Jean Soutre who was detained in Dallas was most likely Mertz using Soutre's name. OAS was violent anti-Kennedy organization. CIA document on Soutre detention in Dallas and subsequent deportation. Marcello discussed wanting to have Kennedy killed before the assassination, and admitted to being involved in Kennedy's death and that he met with Ruby and Oswald.
Russell, Dick, The Man Who Knew Too
Summers, Not In Your Lifetime: The
Definitive Book on the JFK Assassination,
Thompson, Josiah, Six Seconds in Dallas, Bernard Geis Associates, 1967. Appearance of bullet found on stretcher. Witnesses in Dealey Plaza. Man seen fleeing Book Depository and jumping into waiting station wagon. Size and appearance of throat wound.
Weisberg, Harold, Never Again: The
Government Conspiracy in the JFK Assassination,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:† Michael
T. Griffith holds a Masterís degree in Theology from The Catholic Distance
University, a Graduate Certificate in Ancient and Classical History from
American Military University, a Bachelorís degree in Liberal Arts from
Excelsior College, and two Associate in Applied Science degrees from the
Community College of the Air Force.† He
also holds an Advanced Certificate of Civil War Studies and a Certificate of
Civil War Studies from