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‘Second JFK gunman’ theory revived

by Juan Lozano

TESTS on the type of ammu­ni­tion used in the 1963 assas­si­na­tion of US pres­i­dent John F Kennedy raise ques­tions about whether Lee Har­vey Oswald act­ed alone, accord­ing to a new sci­en­tif­ic study.

The War­ren Com­mis­sion con­clud­ed in 1964 that Oswald fired three shots from the Texas School Book Depos­i­to­ry in Dal­las at Kennedy’s motor­cade.

A fur­ther gov­ern­ment inquiry agreed in 1979, find­ing that the two bul­lets which hit Kennedy came from Oswald’s rifle.

The com­mit­tee’s find­ings were based in part on the tes­ti­mo­ny of the late foren­sic chemist Vin­cent Guinn, who said the recov­ered frag­ments came from only two bul­lets.

Mr Guinn tes­ti­fied that the bul­lets Oswald used were indi­vid­u­al­ly unique and that it would be pos­si­ble to dis­tin­guish one from anoth­er even if they both came from the same box.

But in the new study researchers found that frag­ments were not near­ly so unique and that bul­lets with­in the same box could match one anoth­er. One of the test bul­lets also matched one or more of the assas­si­na­tion frag­ments.

“This find­ing means that the bul­let frag­ments from the assas­si­na­tion that match could have come from three or more sep­a­rate bul­lets,” the researchers wrote in a paper detail­ing their study, which is to be pub­lished lat­er this year by the jour­nal Annals of Applied Sta­tis­tics.

“If the assas­si­na­tion frag­ments are derived from three or more sep­a­rate bul­lets, then a sec­ond assas­sin is like­ly, as the addi­tion­al bul­let would not be attrib­ut­able to the main sus­pect, Mr Oswald,” the report adds.

How­ev­er lead researcher Cliff Spiegel­man, of Texas A&M Uni­ver­si­ty, stressed: “We’re not say­ing there was a con­spir­a­cy. All we’re say­ing is the evi­dence that was pre­sent­ed as a slam-dunk for a sin­gle shoot­er is not a slam- dunk.”

Gary Mack, cura­tor of the Sixth Floor Muse­um in Dal­las, which is ded­i­cat­ed to Kennedy’s life and assas­si­na­tion, insist­ed: “Their study can’t answer any­thing about the assas­si­na­tion because they did­n’t test the actu­al frag­ments.”

Jim Marrs, author of Cross­fire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy, said: “Is this going to solve the case or change any­body’s mind? Prob­a­bly not, but it sup­ports the con­tentions of con­spir­a­cy researchers all through the years.“

A HOST of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries have devel­oped around the assas­si­na­tion of John F Kennedy, most of them stem­ming from the idea that Lee Har­vey Oswald could not have been a lone gun­man.

Some 35 wit­ness­es thought that shots were fired from the now-famous “Grassy Knoll”. More than 50 said they came from the Book Depos­i­to­ry, while five thought shots came from two direc­tions.

Accord­ing to var­i­ous con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, the CIA, the Mafia, the Sovi­et Union, Israel, anti-Cas­tro Cubans and/or Cuba were to blame.


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