Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Evaluating the Photo Evidence in the JFK Assassination


The problem with the photo evidence is that so far it has proved virtually nothing. Most of it is subject to interpretation and argument, even if the scientific method is employed.

In evaluating the still photo evidence in the assassination of President Kennedy the only thing that is clear is that the photo evidence is not decisive of very much, though it has told us a few critical things.

By decisive I mean irrefutable, undeniable and beyond argument, what James Jesus Angleton meant when he said you don’t argue over the evidence that is put into the serials.

While the Zapruder film of the assassination is often described as the most significant evidence in the assassination, it was spliced, edited, printed only in stills and the full version suppressed so it is also very controversial and debatable. Therefore I will save the moving film for separate analysis and the Z film for last.

To begin with the still photo evidence that is decisive and does tell us something significant we only have photos of the Sixth Floor window taken minutes after the shooting, and the photo of Lee Harvey Oswald and David Ferrie in the Civil Air Patrol, both of which offer decisive evidence that is not open to argument.

JFK PHOTO EVIDENCE SERIAL (JFK PES)  # 1 – Two photos of TSBD Sixth Floor Window.
Image result for TSBD Sixth Floor WIndows JFKImage result for TSBD Sixth Floor WIndows JFK Image result for TSBD Sixth Floor WIndows JFK

For starters, the two still photos of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) building that depict the Sixth Floor SE corner window from which a sniper was seen shooting at the motorcade indicates that the boxes were moved after the last shot.

When the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) photo committee of specialist reviewed these two photos, taken within minutes of the last shot and within minutes of each other, they concluded that the boxes in the window were moved between the time the first photo was taken and the second photo, that shows the boxes in a different position.

The conclusion that these boxes were moved in the minutes after the shooting indicates the sniper did not immediately leave the area, and as one witness (Brennan) said, he was not in a hurry but took his time.

This conclusion is also supported by the statement of the Court Clerk from across Houston Street who witnessed the assassination from a fifth floor Court House window, and stated that she saw a man in the sixth floor sniper’s window as long as three to four minutes after the last shot, clearly not Oswald.


Image result for Oswald and Ferrie at CAP

Another decisive photo is the picture of New Orleans Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Captain David Ferrie at a barbeque with other CAP cadets including Lee Harvey Oswald, which put to rest the debate over whether Oswald was in Ferrie’s unit or knew him at all. The Civil Air Patrol connection is significant, not only in associating Oswald and Ferrie, but the fact that D. H. Byrd, the owner of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) was an original founder of the CAP in Texas and an early airplane pioneer with Cord Meyer, Sr., the father of CIA officer Cord Meyer, Jr. That the CAP devised a program to have CAP cadets engage in clandestine intelligence operations against communists, including the infiltration of leftist organizations, supports the fact that Oswald’s CAP activities were just a part of a larger covert operational profile (COP) personality.


Image result for Oswald Backyard photosImage result for Oswald Backyard photosImage result for Oswald Backyard photos Hunter of Fascists

While the Backyard Photos are controversial, there are a number of them and each deserves its own analysis. Marina has admitted taking the photo – though she only recalls taking one and there are a number of them, that depict Oswald dressed in black, holding the rifle allegedly used in the assassination, with the pistol allegedly used to kill Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit, and two magazines – the Worker and the Militant, the official publications of the American Communist Party and the American Trotskyite Party.

The magazines are an important clue, as if you actually read those issues, they contain articles about the CIA’s maritime attacks on Cuba that originated at JMWAVE and Castro was complaining about at the time, shortly before the assassination.

It is now a key supposition that one of those anti-Castro Cuban teams, paid and trained by the CIA to kill Castro, redirected their fire to JFK at Dealey Plaza when their mission to kill Castro was “disapproved by higher authority” and they learned about the secret back channel negations JFK was conducting with Castro to renew official diplomatic relations and maintaining Castro in power.

I call the Backyard Photo a “Mission Photo” as it is very similar to the photos airmen take in front of their plane before or after a big mission, or like the Wild Bunch photo of the soldiers of fortune who were sent to Costa Rica to train the Contras to fight the Sandinistas in Nicaragua after the fall of Somoza, one of the Godfathers of the Bay of Pigs.

That this was such a “Mission Photo” is supported by the copy of the photo that Oswald gave to George deMohrenschildt, that Marina inscribed with the notation “Hunter of Fascists – Ha Ha,” the fascist being General Walker, who Oswald is also accused of shooting.

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That bring us to the photo Oswald allegedly took during his stakeout of General Walker’s Turtle Creek home, that includes a 1957 Chevy parked in the driveway. A copy of the photo in possession of Chief Curry shows the picture intact, but by the time the Warren Commission got it the license plate on the Chevy had been cut out, ostensibly so we wouldn’t learn the identity of the owner of the Chevy. While the Warren Commission concluded it was an associate of Walker, others now claim it was a Cuban. 


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The man purported to be Ed Lansdale is on the far right facing away from the camera. 

The photos of the so called Tramps has been one of the most controversial aspects of the assassination, and while I’m not interested in debating their identity, one of the photos is worthy of special attention because it pictures a man in a suit and tie with short hair walking away along the wall of the TSBD around the same time the Tramps were taken into custody.

According to Colonel Fletcher Prouty USAF, that person looks remarkably like General Lansdale, who ran CIA covert operations in Southeast Asia and Operation Mongoose against Castro. A researcher who was researching the travels of Lansdale said that he was in Fort Worth on the day before the assassination, so he could possibly have been at Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination. Normally I would not take such an identification seriously, but Prouty sent a copy of the photo to his Pentagon associate, General Krulak, and Krulak responded, and agreed that it did look remarkably like Lansdale.

"As to the photo no. 1. That is indeed a picture of Ed Lansdale. The haircut, the stoop, the twisted left hand, the large class ring. It's Lansdale. What in the world was he doing there? Has anyone ever asked him?" - Krulak 


Besides Lansdale, others have identified faces in the crowd who appear to be characters with key roles in the assassination drama, each one deserving further analysis, including Joseph Milteer, David Morales, Phil Ochs and others who I will list when I get around to it. 

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Milteer at Dealey Plaza 

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David Morales at Dealey Plaza 

Image result for Phil Ochs at Dealey PlazaImage result for Phil Ochs at Dealey PlazaImage result for Phil Ochs at Dealey Plaza
Phil Ochs at Dealey Plaza 

Image result for George Bush at Dealey Plaza
Not George Bush. This man has been identified though Bush was in Dallas that day. 


Image result for Badgeman on Grassy Knoll JFKImage result for Badgeman on Grassy Knoll JFK

Mary Mooreman's photo and the blowup of Badgeman behind the wall firing a weapon. Police patch on shoulder. 

In one photo of the assassination ( Mary Mooreman), there appears to be some interesting things happening behind the picket fence on the Grassy Knoll, and blow ups of the photo reveal what appears to be a policeman with a badge firing a rifle. This photo was made with a Poloroid camera that develops immediately, and fades quickly over time. The earlier copies of this photo show the blood splatter more clearly than other photos or later copies.

Image result for Photo of man in Mexico City JFKImage result for Photo of man in Mexico City JFK
Mystery Man in Mexico City Misidentified as Oswald 

One of the most controversial assassination photos originated from the CIA photo post outside the Cuban Embassy where a husky man with a crew cut was photographed leaving the embassy, and while clearly not Oswald, was misidentified as the accused assassin by the CIA. While they also say the man was not associated with Oswald or the assassination, I believe that he is a player in the Great Game, and that he should be positively identified, and can be even at this late date.


Image result for Oswalds Visa Application Mexico City photo

When Oswald was at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, Sylvia Duran gave him a visa application that he filled out that required a photo, but instead of getting a new photo he applied a picture of him taken in the USSR years earlier. Why?


Image result for Photo of Oswald next to Car in Minsk Square

While Oswald went from Helxinki to Moscow, a female Intourist Guide was assigned to him. He stayed at a hotel where he was interviewed by Priscilla Johnson McMillan, and after denied a permanent visa faked a suicide attempt before he was allowed to stay and sent to Minsk, where he was given an apartment and job at a radio factory. Although he lived in Minsk, Oswald traveled to Moscow on occasion, may have attended Gary Powers’ trial, and visited the US Embassy a few times before he was allowed to leave. Once while visiting Moscow, Oswald met three American women, two young girls, one of whom was Monica Kramer, and an older women, Mrs. Hyde, who the girls said wanted to travel around Russia and tagged along with them, all without an Introuist Guide.
Oswald must have mentioned he lived in Minsk and told them if they visited Minsk to look him up, because awhile later they did show up in Minsk and met Oswald, a rendezvous that I do not consider a coincidence. They must have planned on meeting twice in two different cities.

Their meeting in Minsk is even more suspicious and remarkable because a photo was taken of Oswald and the women standing around their car in the Minsk square, a photo that turned up in CIA files, probably compliments of Mrs. Hyde.

Michael Paine’s wife Ruth Hyde, was from Ohio, while Mrs. (Marie?) Hyde, who met Oswald in Moscow and Minsk, was from the West Coast, and they are probably not related, though someone could do a family tree of Ruth Hyde and see if she is connected to Mrs. Hyde of the West Coast.

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Lovelady in Doorway 

One controversial photo taken at the moment of the assassination shows TSBD employee Billy Lovelady on the TSBD steps watching the motorcade pass by, wearing a striped shirt similar to Oswald’s brown shirt, and to many people appearing to be Oswald. To make matters worse, Lovelady sold the shirt to someone as a souvenir, which fueled conspiracy theories. Since Lovelady has a very distinguishable bald spot on the top of his head, some speculated that it was Oswald in the doorway photo and Lovelady was the sixth floor assassin, as Amos Eunis said that the sixth floor shooter had a very distinguishing bald spot. To most every logical person however, the man in the doorway is Lovelady, and not Oswald.


Image result for Oswald distributing Leaflets in New OrleansImage result for Oswald distributing Leaflets in New Orleans

While there’s more than one controversial film of Oswald distributing the FPFCC leaflets at the New Orleans World Trade Center, the still photos have created more controversy, mainly because of those pictured with him. Oswald hired two kids to assist him but they must have split when Carlos Bruinguier, Steve Cruz and another Cuban from the DRE confronted Oswald, who they knew as the ex-Marine who offered his services to train the DRE in commando tactics a few days earlier. But before Bruinguier spoiled the party, Oswald  was photographed handing out the leaflets with a number of other men – one of whom has been misidentified as the Cuban father of the Senator from Texas who ran President. Trump falsely accused his father of being the man in the photo and being involved in the assassination.


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Prayer Man - on far left - is believed by many to be Oswald 

One of the more recent controversies concerns a man standing back in the shadows of the TSBD steps by the front door, behind where Lovelady was standing, This man seems to be holding something in his hands – and thus dubbed “Prayer Man,” by those who suspect he is Oswald. While one of the TSBD supervisors told a New York newspaper reporter that when he reentered the TSBD shortly after the assassination he saw Oswald standing by the storage cabinet under the steps leading to the second floor. The speculation is that Oswald could have been Prayer Man, reentered the building, was seen by the stairs, went up the stairs, through the secretary’s area and was seen by Officer Baker a minute and a half seconds after the shooting walking pass the 2nd Floor Lunchroom door, sparking the controversial encounter between Baker, Truly and Oswald.



Howard Brennan, who saw the Sixth Floor Sniper clearly, told police he was standing, but since the window sill was only six inches from the floor, the shooter had to be in a kneeling position, which just so happens to be the position a USMC soldier is seen firing during rifle practice in basic training. The soldier in that photo looks remarkably like Oswald, and was misidentified as Oswald for many years, until someone came forward and said that it was them, not Oswald. Another example of how the photo evidence can be easily 


Cigar chomping Paul Bentley takes Oswald under arrest from Texas Theater. San Diego ONI investigator Robert D. Steel was a personal friend of Bentley and wrote to him two days later to say: "Perhaps you are aware that ONI has quite a file on Oswald," a file that has since gone missing. 


Oswald walking into the USMC mess hall where John Wayne is seated having a meal.

MORE TO COME - ANY SUGGESTIONS? Billkelly3@gmail.com 

Image result for Barney Fife at Dealey PlazaImage result for Barney Fife at Dealey Plaza

To show the folly of trying to identify celebrities at Dealey Plaza I point to the same photo that includes the man mis-identified as George Bush - a motorcycle policeman in front of the TSBD who I call “Barney Fife..” I even found a photo of the TV character with a motorcycle helmet. 


In any case, most of the photo evidence has failed to produce any evidence that can be definitive of anything, though modern scientific advancements – such as facial recognition computer software, if applied to these photos, could make a difference. There is a new Federal FBI center in West Virginia that is dedicated to facial recognition and photo analysis and CAPA is planning on approaching them to see if they will assist in reviewing all of the photo evidence in the assassination to determine if modern technology can make a difference.


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