Holding a mirror up to a house of mirrors
What's Goin ' On?
scratch that, too. Before anyone convinced I am mistaken about the bag
in the press photos' not looking like the one in the archives spends one precious second trying to prove me wrong, they should help straighten out some
of the basic facts about the bag. Basic facts like...the actual
location of the initials on the bag visible in Warren Commission
see, I've studied both the bag in the press photos and the bag in the
archives photos, and I can't figure out where these initials could be
on the bag. Although the palm print depicted in the exhibit was
purportedly near the closed end of the bag, none of the press photos
showing the closed end of the bag, and none of the archives photos
showing the closed end of the bag, show these initials.
My inability to figure out where these initials are on the bag, or even where the section of bag depicted in Exhibit 632 is on the bag, makes me suspect that the palm print depicted in Exhibit 632 was not on either of these bags.
Let's see how this can be...
Perhaps the bag seen in the press photos was a bag found in the school book depository...that couldn't be linked to Oswald.
a second piece of paper was found, which could be linked to
Oswald...perhaps this was a piece of paper pulled from one of the
orders he'd pulled on 11-22. Or perhaps it was a piece of paper Oswald
touched at the police station.
Perhaps then Exhibit 632 is a close-up shot of this second piece of paper, and not of a bag.
so, well, then the bag currently in the archives was a bag created
after the shooting, most probably from paper removed from the building
on 11-22. Such a bag would not only be smaller than the bag shown Buell
Frazier on 11-22, and therefore easier to pass off as the bag Oswald
brought to work, but it would match the characteristics of the paper
used in the depository, and thereby make its use by anyone other than
Oswald seem unlikely.
Or not. While I could be making a mountain out of a molehill, there's definitely some dirt here...
I mean, just look at this mess...
And that their initials had been forged onto a different piece of paper entirely?
The Tell-Tale R?
This "R" was not in Studebaker's signature, however, but in the body of the memo which was written by Studebaker's boss, Lt. J.C. Day.
I then looked through all the memos, reports, and evidence photos signed by Day. And hit what might just be a bullseye. The "11-22-63" on Exhibit 637 bears a striking resemblance to the "11-22-63" on Exhibit 632. Now, admittedly, this is not proof Day forged the initials of those actually finding the bag on a second bag made from paper removed from the school book depository, in order to better implicate Oswald. If the date on the bag was written by Day, it could mean only that Studebaker had failed to write the date on the bag upon its discovery in the sniper's nest, and that Day had placed the date by Studebaker's initials later that night.
Perhaps then the bag's not being shown to Montgomery, Johnson, and Studebaker was just an over-sight.
Perhaps there's an innocent explanation.
Perhaps the Warren Commission counsel tasked with taking their testimony had simply left the bag behind in Washington...
Shining a Light on Day
Perhaps. The bag was indeed shown to the FBI's fingerprint analyst, Sebastian Latona, during his 4-2-64 testimony in Washington.
And it reappeared on 4-22-64, in Washington, during the testimony of Dallas Crime Lab Chief Lt. J.C. Day.
Mr. BELIN. Where was the sack found with relation to the pipes and that box?
Mr. BELIN. I will now hand you what has been marked as Commission Exhibit 626 and ask you to state if you know what this is, and also appears to be marked as Commission Exhibit 142.
Mr. DAY. This is the sack found on the sixth floor in the southeast corner of the building on November 22, 1963.
Mr. BELIN. Do you have any identification on that to so indicate?
Mr. DAY. It has my name on it, and it also has other writing that I put on there for the information of the FBI.
Mr. BELIN. Could you read what you wrote on there?
Mr. DAY. "Found next to the sixth floor window gun fired from. May have been used to carry gun. Lieutenant J. C. Day."
Mr. BELIN. When did you write that?
Mr. DAY. I wrote that at the time the sack was found before it left our possession.
writing "May have been used to carry gun", Day confirms that he did not
write this when he first arrived at the crime scene, as believed by
many single-assassin theorists. It would have made no sense for him to
write this, after all, unless he had reason to believe the gun was not
carried in and out of the building in a gun case. It follows, then,
that he wrote this sometime after the discovery of the rifle, which
came about ten minutes or so after he'd arrived at the sniper's nest.
This leads to more confusion. Both Day and his assistant Studebaker
testified that they photographed the shells in the sniper's nest before
photographing the gun. The bag was within a foot or so of Day and/or
Studebaker's position when they photographed these shells. So how could
they not have noticed the bag, and photographed it in place? Perhaps,
then, Montgomery and Johnson showed Studebaker the bag while Day was
photographing the shells from the other side. If so, then perhaps they
all signed the bag in the building and Day signed it later. It also
seems possible, since the bag was reportedly folded in half, and possibly in half again, that no
one paid it much attention until after Day and Studebaker were pulled
away to photograph the rifle. After taking these pictures, Day walked
the rifle over to the crime lab. This would leave the inexperienced
Studebaker alone to deal with the sniper's nest and the bag. This might explain why the bag
wasn't photographed in place. And this might explain why Day would
later claim he signed the bag before it left "our possession" --as
opposed to "my possession". In either case, the question remains as to
when Day actually signed the bag, and why the Commission never showed
the bag to Montgomery, Johnson, or Studebaker.)
Mr. DAY. When the sack was released on November 22 to the FBI about 11:45 p.m., I put further information to the FBI reading as follows: "FBI: Has been dusted with metallic magnetic powder on outside only. Inside has not been processed. Lieut J. C. Day."
Well, why is there no mention of the other men's initials on this sack?
Now consider the next bit of Day's testimony...
Mr. BELIN. Did you find anything, any print of any kind, in connection with the processing of this?
Mr. DAY. No legible prints were found with the powder, no.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know whether any legible prints were found by any other means or any other place?
Mr. DAY. There is a legible print on it now. They were on there when it was returned to me from the FBI on November 24.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know by what means they found these?
Mr. DAY. It is apparently silver nitrate. It could be another compound they have used. The sack had an orange color indicating it was silver nitrate.
Mr. BELIN. You mean the sack when it came back from the FBI had a----
Mr. DAY. Orange color. It is another method of processing paper for fingerprints.
Mr. BELIN. Was there anything inside the bag, if you know, when you found it?
Mr. DAY. I did not open the bag. I did not look inside of the bag at all.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do with the bag after you found it and you put this writing on after you dusted it?
Mr. DAY. I released it to the FBI agent.
Mr. BELIN. Did you take it down to the station with you?
Mr. DAY. I didn't take it with me. I left it with the men when I left. I left Detectives Hicks and Studebaker to bring this in with them when they brought other equipment in.
Mr. BELIN. By this you are referring to the bag itself?
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir.
Well, hold on there. Let's refresh. According to the reports of the Dallas Police (24H260) and the officers involved (24H314, 24H307) the paper bag by the sniper's nest was both discovered and brought in to the Dallas Police Crime Lab by Detectives L.D. Montgomery and Marvin Johnson. So why does Day, who has already IDed his initials on the bag, and failed to mention that they initialed it before him, fail to mention that they brought the bag into the Crime Lab, and instead mention Hicks and Studebaker? Is he really that forgetful? Or is he trying to hide something?
In his 3:45 PM April 6 testimony, in which he discussed picking up and dusting the bag, Detective Studebaker never mentioned Detectives Johnson and Montgomery. He also failed to mention Lt. Day in connection with the bag. (7H137-149) This echoes a 3-11-64 FBI report on an interview with Studebaker, in which he similarly took full credit for the "discovery" of the bag. (FBI file 105-82555, sec 142, p9) In his 4:00 PM April 6 testimony, just after Studebaker, moreover, Detective Johnson mentioned Montgomery's finding the bag and the bag's being dusted for fingerprints at the scene, but failed to mention who dusted the bag. (7H100-105) In his 4:50 PM April 6 testimony, Detective Montgomery mentioned his finding the bag and the bag's being dusted by Studebaker. Strangely, however, he was less sure than the others that the bag was laying on the floor in the corner. He testified: "Let's see--the paper sack--I don't recall for sure if it was on the floor or on the box, but I know it was just there----one of those pictures might show exactly where it was...I can't recall for sure if it was on one of the boxes or on the floor there." (Even stranger, years later, he told Larry Sneed "I don't remember exactly where I found the brown paper that Oswald had wrapped the rifle in...I recall that it was stuffed between the boxes, not lying out open on the floor as were the shell casings.") Montgomery's testimony was vague on other points as well. When asked if he picked the bag up off the ground upon discovery, as claimed by Johnson, he at first said "Yes" but then changed his answer to "Wait just a minute no; I didn't pick it up. I believe Mr. Studebaker did." (7H96-100) For his part, in his April 7 testimony, Detective Hicks not only expressed that he had no recollection of seeing the bag in the building, but seemed to know nothing of it at all, as if its existence had been kept a secret. (7H286-289). So why did Day think he left him holding the bag?
The testimony of another Dallas detective, Richard N. Sims, on the morning of April 6, 1964, only adds to the confusion. When asked if he'd seen the paper bag found in the depository, Sims testified:
Mr. SIMS. Well, we saw some wrappings--a brown wrapping there.
My, what a mess! Sims acknowledged that Johnson and Montgomery were stationed by the hulls (which were found by the sniper's nest) and seemed to be aware that they "found" the bag, but never mentioned witnessing the "discovery" of the bag, nor of Day or Studebaker's dusting the bag upon its discovery. Sims also described the "bag" as "loose paper," and not as a carefully folded and taped piece of wrapping paper in the shape of a gun case. He also "guessed" the location where the bag was found.This suggests then that Sims had but a vague recollection that some paper was found, but had no real recollection of its appearance or of its discovery, even though he had stood but a few feet from the bag's purported location when picking up the hulls from the sniper's nest, and had accompanied Lt. Day from this location after the discovery of the rifle on the other side of the building. This, in turn, reinforces that either no one placed much importance on the "bag" when it was first observed in the depository, and that its possible importance only became apparent later on, or that Sims was trying to support that a bag was found in the sniper's nest without actually having seen it. In support of this second, more disturbing, possibility, Detective Sims' report on his activities on the day of the assassination makes no mention whatsoever of the bag or its discovery. (24H319-322).
Now, if one should wish to believe Sims' testimony is authoritative, and clear evidence the bag was found in the sniper's nest as claimed, then one should be informed that Sims initially testified that he didn't know who took custody of the shells found in the sniper's nest, even though it was, according to others...HIM, and that, as a result, he was forced to return to the stand and claim he'd since been reminded that he'd carried the shells around in his pocket all day on 11-22, and that he now remembered his doing so.
What a witness!
The Blind Detective?
There are a number of other reasons to doubt Sims saw the bag in the building.
Capt. Will Fritz, Sims' boss, not only testified that Sims was with him when he left the Depository, but that he (Fritz, who was only in charge of the investigation) had no knowledge of the paper bag before they departed. (4H202-248) Yep, not only did Fritz claim that he "wasn't there" when the bag was "recovered," he said it was "recovered a little later," and that he "wasn't down there when that was found." Found. He said "found." Well, seeing as Fritz spent some time inspecting the sniper's nest before Lt. Day arrived, and was captured on film by newsman Tom Alyea standing mere feet from the open floor where Day and his assistant Studebaker would later claim the bag was found, Fritz's failure to recall seeing the bag pretty much rules out that it was just sitting there and that everyone had seen it but that no one had thought to pick it up before Montgomery did so.
Fritz's words then should make us suspect that the bag wasn't "found" where it was later claimed to have been found at all, but was in fact "found" somewhere else, sometime after the rifle was found.
This possibility is supported, moreover, by the cameraman, Tom Alyea, who arrived on the sixth floor well before the rifle was found. He filmed Fritz and others standing around the sniper's nest, the search for the rifle, the discovery of the rifle, the dusting of the rifle, the lunch sack found two windows over from the sniper's nest, and the dusting of the Dr. Pepper bottle found beside the lunch sack, and yet neither saw the paper bag supposedly found in the sniper's nest, nor heard mention of its existence, prior to his departure after 2 o'clock.
The possibility the bag was not found as claimed is further supported by the statements and testimony of Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney, who discovered the sniper's nest, Deputy Sheriff Ralph Walters, who was "approximately 8 feet" from Mooney when he made his discovery, Sgt. Gerald Hill, who joined Mooney and Walters moments later, Deputy Sheriff A. D. McCurley who rushed over after he heard Mooney yell, Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig, who arrived around the same time, and Detective Elmer Boyd, Sims' partner, who arrived on the scene with Detectives Fritz and Sims. It is also supported by the subsequent words of Deputy Sheriff Jack Faulkner, another of those first upon the sniper's nest, to researcher Larry Sneed. Neither Mooney, Walters, Hill, McCurley, Craig, Boyd, nor Faulkner had any recollection of seeing a large paper bag on the floor, even though they'd have to have been standing within a few feet of its location to see the shells they claimed to have seen, and would have been on the lookout for anything suspicious.
Now, it's not as if none of those viewing the sniper's nest shortly after its discovery recalled seeing a bag or sack, it's just that there's reason to believe it was a different bag or sack. The report of Harry Weatherford notes "I came down to the 6th floor, and while searching this floor, Deputy Luke Mooney said "here are some shells." I went over to where he was and saw 3 expended rifle shells, a sack on the floor and a partially eaten piece of chicken on top of one of the cartons which was used as a sort of barricade." This piece of chicken is believed to be the remnants of Bonnie Ray Williams' lunch, which was purportedly found several windows over from the sniper's nest window. It was found beside a Dr. Pepper bottle and a lunch sack filled with chicken bones. This lunch sack was captured on film by both news cameraman Tom Alyea and crime scene photographer Robert Studebaker. It is almost certainly the "sack" noted by Weatherford.
Now, this possibility the bag was not found as claimed runs into another minor roadblock with Kent Biffle, the only newsmen besides Alyea to get inside the building before the bulk of the police and to witness the subsequent search of the building. In an account written in May 1964, and subsequently published by his paper, the Dallas Morning News, on a CD-Rom commemorating the 40th anniversary of the assassination, Biffle claimed that after the rifle shells were found by the "ambush window", "We all stood around staring at the brown wrapping paper found nearby. It was a reasonable conclusion that it held the rifle." Note that he says it was found "nearby," and not right by the window, as later purported by Studebaker. Note also that he says "we all stood around staring" at the wrapping paper, an impossibility if the wrapping paper was sitting folded on the far side of the box purportedly used as a seat by the assassin, in the southeast corner of the building. As shown on the slide above, this was an incredibly confined space behind stacks of boxes. The "wrapping paper," should it actually have been found in this location, would not have been visible to more than a few people at a time. Perhaps, then, Biffle saw the bag sometime after it had originally been "found." Perhaps, after its initial "discovery" by Montgomery, wherever it was "discovered," Studebaker placed the bag on the floor in a more accessible location, where it was subsequently viewed by Biffle.
But there's a problem with this scenario as well. In his account, Biffle presents his observation of the bag before he presents the discovery of the rifle. Well, if this was so, why didn't Mooney, Walters, Hill, Craig, Faulkner, Boyd, Fritz or Alyea remember seeing the bag? Was it found after they left the area but before the rifle was found?
Well, if so, then, why didn't Day and Sims--who remained in the sniper's nest until the rifle was found--mention Montgomery's "discovery" of the bag? Studebaker was supposedly near Montgomery when the bag was found. Studebaker arrived with Day. Was the bag found somewhere other than the sniper's nest, while Day was busy in the sniper's nest?
Or was Biffle simply mistaken about the bag being found before the rifle?
It sure seems so. Biffle's published account does not begin with his entering the school book depository. Before that, he discusses his racing over to the grassy knoll after the shots. He then relates "The other side of the fence held no gunman. There was just a maze of railroad tracks and three dazed winos. 'What happened?' one asked me." Well, this is just not credible. None of the police officers claiming to have raced back behind the fence after the shots saw these "winos." If Biffle had talked to one of them, and had not bothered to point this man out to a police officer as a possible witness, then he was not much of a citizen, let alone a reporter. The so-called "Three tramps" found in a railroad car passing through town, it should be noted, were not discovered till almost 2:00, an hour and a half after the shooting, and were not arrested until a few minutes later. It only follows then that Biffle had used "artistic license" to incorporate them into his story, and that he may have used this same "license" to add the bag into his story. One certainly can't accept his account as credible when he says "we all" stood around staring at the bag, when none of those to first observe the sniper's nest, including his fellow newsman Tom Alyea, had ANY recollection of the bag. Perhaps the bag Biffle was thinking of, then, was not the bag supposedly used to carry Oswald's rifle, but the other bag reportedly found in the building, the lunch bag, which most all the sniper's nest witnesses remembered, which was also filmed by Alyea, and photographed by Studebaker.
Undoubtedly aware of the problems with the paper bag and its discovery, on April 9, 1964, Warren Commission counsel David Belin took the testimony of Dallas Motorcycle officers Clyde Haygood and E.D. Brewer, who claimed to have been on the sixth floor during the search of the depository, and to have seen an "approximately rifle length" and "relatively long" paper sack, respectively, in the southeast corner of the building. Unfortunately, however, their stories just further muddied the waters...
See any long bags which would be a foot or foot and a half or more long?
you got it. Belin pressed Haygood to see if he remembered seeing a bag a foot and a half or so long--the approximate length of the bag when folded over--and Haygood remembered the bag as being "approximately rifle length." This
suggests, then, that Haygood, as Biffle, only saw the bag after it
had been "discovered" and picked up by Montgomery, if at all...which does little to suggest it was actually on the floor of the sniper's nest as claimed.
Brewer was even less help.Mr. BELIN. Did you see anything else in the southeast corner?
Mr. BREWER. There was a paper, relatively long paper sack there.
Mr. BELIN. Where was that?
Mr. BREWER. It was there In the southeast corner.
Mr. BELIN. Under the window?
Mr. BREWER. No, sir. To the left of it. To the east of it.
Mr. BELIN. To the left as you faced the window?
Mr. BREWER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Did the window come right up next to the corner there, do you remember?
Mr. BREWER. No, sir; it didn't come up next to the corner. It was offset.
Mr. BELIN. Can you remember how far at all, or not?
Mr. BREWER. No, sir; I don't remember the exact distance of it.
Mr. BELIN. Was any part of the paper sack under the window, If you remember or not? That long paper sack?
Mr. BREWER. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Do you remember anything about what the sack looked like?
Mr. BREWER. Well, it was assumed at the time that it was the sack that the rifle was wrapped up in when it was brought into the building, and it appeared that it could have been used for that.
Mr. BELIN. Well, you mean you assumed that before you found the rifle?
Mr. BREWER. Yes, sir; I suppose. That was discussed.(6H302-308).
Notice that Brewer does not describe the bag, but "supposes" that people immediately assumed it had been used to carry the rifle. Well, where does he get that? If the bag was folded over, as claimed by Studebaker, or folded twice, as claimed by Johnson, people would not immediately associate it with having been used to carry a rifle, particularly in that the rifle had supposedly not yet been discovered, and could very well have been stashed in a gun case. It only makes sense, then, for us to believe the bag was found after the rifle was found on the north side of the building, when people would know the rifle was out of its case. As we've seen, Captain Fritz testified that the bag was not "found" or discussed while he was in the southeast corner of the building. He also indicated he was not aware of it at any time before leaving the building. His testimony, moreover, was supported by Detective Boyd, who arrived and left with Fritz, and who also had no recollection of the bag. If the bag had been discovered, dusted, and discussed before the discovery of the rifle, or even before Fritz left the building shortly thereafter, certainly someone more involved in the investigation than common motorcycle officers like Haygood and Brewer would have remembered this fact, and have remembered it long before 4 1/2 months after the assassination.
The sum of all this testimony then is that none of these men mention Day's initialing or dusting the bag in the depository, and that Montgomery and Studebaker specifically recall that Studebaker was the one who did the dusting. This, then, suggests either that Day was not present when the bag was discovered, which in turn suggests that the bag was "found" only after Day was called away to look at the rifle, OR that the bag was found elsewhere in the building.
Width, Not Length
No, scratch that. There's a third extremely teeny weenie possibility--the one the Warren Commission ultimately asked us to believe--the one blindly accepting that Fritz et al somehow overlooked the large brown bag on the floor by their feet, and that few outside a few motorcycle officers noticed the bag before it was discovered by Montgomery, and that, as recounted in the Warren Report, "At the time the bag was found, Lieutenant Day of the Dallas police wrote on it, "Found next to the sixth floor window gun fired from. May have been used to carry gun. Lt. J. C. Day."
That the Warren Commission had reason to disbelieve this scenario, but sadly failed to do so, moreover, is further demonstrated by Commission Exhibit 1302. This exhibit is a photo of the southeast corner of the sniper's nest, with a dotted line added in by Studebaker purportedly representing the location of the bag when "found." Well, no surprise, Studebaker's outline presents the bag as far too small. While his outline for the bag is around 18 inches long, very close to the length of the bag in the archives when doubled over (which is consistent with Studebaker's testimony), it is only about 5 inches wide. Hmmm... 5 x 18 = 90 square inches. The bag in the archives would be approx. 8.5 x 19 = 161.5 square inches. The bag in the press photos would be approx. 10.75 x 19 = 204.25 square inches. The box on which Oswald supposedly took a seat was 12 x 18 = 216 square inches. In other words, the outline drawn by Studebaker was barely half the size of the bag in the archives, and less than half the size of the bag in the press photos, and completely concealed that the bag, should it have been in the corner as claimed, would be nearly the size of the box so dominating the corner, and would be readily apparent...FREAKIN' OBVIOUS--to anyone even glimpsing at the corner.
That Studebaker failed to demonstrate this is presumably no coincidence. That the Warren Commission failed to double-check his outline for accuracy, and question those not seeing a bag in the corner how they could have missed something so obvious, is presumably no coincidence.
That they published Studebaker's exhibit in their report, and failed to note its inaccuracy, is presumably no coincidence.
There are just too many problems with the testimony regarding the bag for the Commission not to have known something was worng, er, wrong.
For example...Studebaker also claimed to have found a "partial print" on the bag, and to have put a piece of 1 inch clear tape over it to "preserve" the print. (7H137-149) The FBI's Sebastian Latona, who examined the bag the next morning, however, testified that he could tell the bag had been previously examined by the "black fingerprint powder" on its surface, and made no mention of the tape described by Studebaker. Latona noted further that "There was nothing visible in the way of any latent prints on there at that particular time". (4H1-48) Well, what happened to the partial print described by Studebaker? Why didn't the Warren Commission follow up on this?
Could the bag or sack removed from the sniper's nest (or wherever it was found) have been smudged with someone other than Oswald's fingerprints? The Dallas PD's Case Report claims Day lifted a print from the "paper rifle was wrapped in" (24H249). As we've seen Day testified "no legible print was found". Well, it follows then that an "illegible" print was found. If this is so, then what happened to it? Why are there no photos of it in the Dallas archives?
More to the point, could the sack found in the building by Montgomery, and dusted by Studebaker, be a different sack entirely than the one initialed by Day and placed into evidence by the FBI?
Amazingly, yes. Consider the next section of Lt. Day's testimony:
Mr. BELIN. Did you ever get the kind of sample used at the School Book Depository?
Shining a Light On Drain
"On June 9, 1964, Lieutenant J.C. Day of the Crime Laboratory of the Dallas Police Department, Dallas, Texas, was exhibited the wrapping-paper bag, C10, by Special Agent Vincent E. Drain, Federal Bureau of Investigation. After examining this bag, Lieutenant Day advised he could positively identify this bag as the one he and Detective R.L. Studebaker found on the Sixth Floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building immediately after the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Lieutenant Day stated this paper bag was marked on November 22, 1963 by him. This bag was subsequently delivered on November 22, 1963 to Special Agent Vincent E. Drain for transmittal to the Laboratory of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington D.C., for examination." (24H418).
Notice that there's no mention of Montgomery and Johnson, the detectives who, according to the Dallas Police Department's own records, found the bag and took it over to the crime lab. (24H260). Notice also that Day says only that he marked the bag on the 22nd, not that he marked it on the scene. Consider also that the agent tracing the chain of evidence, Vincent Drain, was the one who first took the bag to Washington, and the one who later claimed returning the paper sample to Dallas was unnecessary. Day's claim that he found the bag, and Drain's failure to track down Montgomery and Johnson, and even Studebaker--who'd previously testified that they'd found the bag--is undoubtedly suspicious to those even slightly prone to suspicion.
But, wait, it gets even more suspicious. Drain had discussed the bag with Day at an earlier time as well. An 11-30-63 report by Drain on an 11-29-63 interview of Day reveals:
"Lt. Carl Day, Dallas Police Department, stated he found the brown paper bag shaped like a gun case near the scene of the shooting on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building. He stated the manager, Mr. Truly, saw this bag at the time it was taken into possession by Lt. Day. Truly, according to Day, had not seen this bag before. No one else viewed it. Truly furnished similar brown paper from the roll that was used in packing books by the Texas School Book Depository. This paper was examined by the FBI Laboratory and found to have the same observable characteristics as the brown paper bag shaped like a gun case which was found near the scene of the shooting of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building. The Dallas Police have not exhibited this to anyone else. It was immediately locked up by Day, kept in his possession until it was turned over to FBI agent Drain for transmittal to the Laboratory. It was examined by the Laboratory, returned to the Dallas Police Department November 24, 1963, locked up in the Crime Laboratory. This bag was returned to Agent Drain on November 26, 1963, and taken back to the FBI Laboratory.
Lt. Day stated no one has identified this bag to the Dallas Police Department." (CD5, p129).
Beyond offering us yet another witness purported to have seen the bag in the depository not shown the bag at a later date by either the Warren Commission or FBI (Roy Truly) this report has numerous, undoubtedly suspicious, errors. The report makes out that Day himself found the bag. There's no mention at all of Montgomery, Johnson, and Studebaker, nor of Studebaker's claim in an 11-22 FBI report that he was the one to find the bag. (CD5, p128) The report also errs in that it says the bag was "immediately locked up by Day", and that it was not exhibited to anyone else. This conceals that on this same day, 11-29-63, Drain interviewed Dallas detective R.D. Lewis who acknowledged giving Buell Wesley Frazier a polygraph on 11-22 during which Frazier was shown the bag and refused to identify it as the bag he saw that morning. (CD7, p291). An 11-29 FBI memo never shown the Warren Commission, and found only in the FBI's HQ files, moreover, reinforces this point, and confirms that Alex Rosen, the assistant director tasked with establishing the basic facts of the crime, knew all about Frazier's failure to identify the bag, and that Drain's report was either grossly in error...or a lie. It states:
Carl Day, Dallas, Texas, Police Department Crime Laboratory, advised
that on November 22, 1963, he recovered a heavy brown sack appearing to
be homemade and appearing to have been folded together at one time.
This sack when laid out was about four feet long but when doubled was
about two feet long. Lt. Day recalls that on the evening of 11-22-63,
about 11:30 p.m., one of Capt. Fritz's officers requested that he show
this thick, brown sack to a man named Frazier. Lt. Day stated that
Frazier was unable to identify this sack and told him that a sack he
observed in possession of Oswald early that morning was definitely a
thin flimsy sack like one purchased in a dime store." (FBI file
62-109060, sec 14, p123.)
If not, however, then we have sufficient reason to believe Drain's deception was orchestrated from above. On 12-06, FBI HQ sent an airtel to Drain's direct superior, Gordon Shanklin, asking him to correct an "inaccurate statement" in a report. (FBI file 62-109060, sec 17, p213) On 12-18, Shanklin, in turn, sent a message back to the Bureau's headquarters telling them that, as a response to the Bureau's 12-06 airtel, he was sending headquarters and New Orleans "10 copies and 1 copy respectively of FD-302 reflecting interview by Vincent Drain with Lt. Carl Day, Dallas Police Department, on 11/29/63. It is requested that the Bureau and New Orleans insert the enclosed pages to replace page 129 of reference report. Appropriate changes are being made in the Dallas files." (FBI file 105-82555, sec 39, p7). The reference report is the Gemberling Report of 11/30. Page 129 is Drain's report on Day. Well, what was all this about, you might ask? Had someone caught the obvious error in Drain's report...that the bag was not shown to anyone?
Nope. An uncorrected version of this report was later discovered in the archives by researcher Gary Shaw. It revealed that the original version of Drain's report said the paper bag found in the depository was "found not to be identical" to the paper sample taken from the depository. Now this is mighty strange. Drain, who escorted the paper bag and sample from Dallas to the FBI's crime lab in Washington on 11-23, and then returned with the bag on 11-24, wrote a report saying the paper bag did not match the sample? And his report was then re-written to hide this "mistake"? While, at the same time, the equally obvious "mistake" (that being that the DPD failed to show the bag to anyone) was allowed to stand uncorrected? (The changing of this document is discussed in much greater detail, here.)
But if the FBI was lying about Day and the bag, they were certainly not alone.
Bad Hair Day
Perhaps they'd been lied to themselves...
In Lieutenant Day's official report on his activities on the day of the assassination, written up on 1-08-64, he completely fails to mention his "discovery" of the bag. Instead, he says he was pulled from the sniper's nest, where he'd been photographing the hulls, at 1:25 PM, to photograph and inspect the rifle found on the other side of the building. He then left the building at 2:00 PM in order to transport the rifle to the crime lab. According to this report he did not return to the building until 2:45 PM. (26H829-831) Big problem. The reports of detectives L.D. Montgomery and Marvin Johnson reflect that they transported the bag over to the crime lab about 2:30. (24H314, 24H307). This suggests that Day never even saw the bag in the depository. As there is a photograph of these men leaving the building, with Montgomery's watch reading 3:00, however, the possibility exists that Day saw the bag briefly upon his return to the building, but had not seen it or paid much attention to it before this time. Adding to this probability is that the 4-1-64 FBI report on Roy Truly's recollections of the bag reflects only that Truly remembered giving paper samples to Lt. Day "on the afternoon of November 22, 1963," but makes no mention of his being shown the paper bag found in the sniper's nest, as purported in Drain's 11-29 report. (FBI file 105-82555, sec 142, p15). From this one might gather Day was told of the bag or briefly shown the bag upon his return, and that he'd spoken to Truly and collected the paper samples only after the bag had left the building.
So why does Day not only fail to say as much in his testimony, but suggest another scenario entirely, one in which he not only finds the bag, but carries it around inside the depository?
Let's recall here that Day, while discussing the paper sample, told the Commission: "I had the bag...On the first floor of the Texas School Book Depository, and I noticed from their wrapping bench there was paper and tape of a similar--the tape was of the same width as this. I took the bag over and tried it, and I noticed that the tape was the same width as on the bag. I noticed from their wrapping bench there was paper and tape of a similar--the tape was of the same width as this. I took the bag over and tried it, and I noticed that the tape was the same width as on the bag." He was thereby claiming the bag was in his possession in the building.
That Day saw the bag upon his return to the building, just as it was leaving the building, however, is more than just conjecture. In one of the photos of Montgomery and Johnson outside the building holding, among other things, the bag, Lt. Day (or his doppelganger) can be seen standing next to the bag, staring in its general direction. (He appears to be looking past the bag, but it would have been impossible for him not to have noticed it under the circumstances.) In his subsequent reports, testimony, and statements, however, he never acknowledged this encounter. He never acknowledged seeing Montgomery and Johnson leave with the bag as he returned. In fact, as we've seen, in his testimony he acted as though Montgomery and Johnson had never even touched the bag, and insinuated instead that he'd found and signed the bag in the sniper's nest and that he'd left the bag with Detectives Hicks and Studebaker to bring in after he'd left the depository for the night. This reeks of an orchestrated lie. If so, what was he trying to hide? Was he afraid to admit that he didn't "discover" the bag, and that he, in fact, had never even seen it in the building?
Day's post-1964 statements on the bag, moreover, confirm that he was not actually present when the bag was "discovered". In 1992, when asked by researcher Denis Morissette if he knew who found the bag, Day responded: "I don't know. It was on the floor next to and north of the box Oswald was sitting on when I arrived at the 6th floor. My men and I collected the bag at this place. As far as I know it had not been moved by any officers." Note that he never describes his spotting or inspecting the bag, only that there was a bag, that it was collected by his men, and that it was found by...someone...north of the sniper's seat. (His testimony had been that it was south of the sniper's seat, directly in the corner.) In 1996, in an oral history recorded for The Sixth Floor Museum, moreover, Day had the chance to finally set the record straight and instead offered smoke. When asked why the bag hadn't been photographed, he responded "There should be a picture of it somewhere." When then asked by interviewer Bob Porter where the bag had been found, he replied "To the best of my knowledge, it was to the right on the floor of where he was sitting, on the box that I showed you a minute ago. It may have been the right, it may have been the left, but there was a bag there." When Porter pointed out that "left" would mean the corner (where Day had testified the bag was discovered), moreover, Day surprised him, and once again asserted that the bag had been found north of the sniper's seat. He responded "Yes, in the corner out back towards the north side of the building, where you headed up to it." He then admitted "I didn’t know anything about a bag at that time. There was a bag laying there...Later examination indicated that it was a bag had been made out of wrapping paper. It appeared to be shipping paper...Of course at that time, we didn’t know anything about Oswald, didn’t know anything about what happened. There was a bag there and it was collected." This, of course, supports that Day hadn't actually seen the bag where he claims it was found, and that others were, in fact, responsible for its collection in the depository. This likelihood is further supported by Day's recollection to Larry Sneed, published in 1998, that "Also found on the sixth floor, as I recall, near the shell area, was a paper bag. It should have been photographed, but for some reason, apparently wasn't."
In fact, in what was to become his final word on the subject, in a 7-11-06 interview with The Sixth Floor Museum, Day came as close to admitting perjury as one can come. In opposition to his Warren Commission testimony that he'd signed the paper bag or sack "at the time the sack was found," Day ultimately admitted that when he and Studebaker left the sniper's nest to go photograph the rifle found on the other side of the building "They had posted guards or something around it and they didn't have the sense to leave things alone. And they'd got in there and picked up a sack that was in this corner. And we didn't get a picture of it. But there was a sack right in that corner...the brown paper bag. It was the one he was supposed to have brought curtain rods in. Well, they picked it up while I was gone, and I didn't get a picture of it while it was sitting there." Hmmm...as Studebaker returned to the sniper's nest after photographing the gun, but Day did not, and as Montgomery, Johnson, and Studebaker were all present or nearby when the bag was "discovered," and made no mention of Day, it seems clear that the bag was "discovered" while Day was busy dusting the rifle or transporting the rifle over to the crime lab, and that he'd therefore never signed the paper bag or sack "at the time the sack was found," and hadn't in fact "left" the bag with others when he transported the rifle to the crime lab.
There are still other reasons to doubt the story recounted by Drain in his 11-30-63 report, repeated by Day in his testimony, and pushed by Warren Commission Counsel David Belin in his book November 22, 1963: You Are The Jury. It seems highly unlikely that Day could photograph, dust and study the rifle as purported, return to the sniper's nest, discover the bag, show the bag to Roy Truly, transport the bag downstairs, and get paper and tape samples from the shipping table--all in less than 35 minutes, mind you--and then decide to take the rifle over to the crime lab and leave the bag behind. It seems much more likely that he worked on the rifle exclusively before taking it to the crime lab, and that the story of his finding the bag and comparing the paper of the bag to the paper at the shipping table is an orchestrated lie.
I don't think this is a reckless charge. Let's recall that Day, in his testimony regarding the paper sample, claimed "I directed one of the officers standing by me, I don't know which, to get a piece of the tape and a piece of the paper from the wrapping bench" and that he was then asked if there was any other writing on the sample, and that he then, and only then, acknowledged that Detective Studebaker was with him at the time, and that he'd also signed the sample. Well, what's the problem with that, you might ask? Well, let's think about it. Day is in a photo of the bag as it was taken out the front of the building around 3 PM. This is just as Day is returning from his quick trip to the crime lab. So, for Day to have handled the bag in the building as claimed, he would have to have done so before he left for the crime lab around 2:00. Well, there's a problem with this. When asked during his testimony what he did "next" after photographing and inspecting the rifle on the sixth floor, Day said "I took the gun...to the office and locked it up in a box..." Now, this means that his journey to the first floor with the bag--if it actually took place--must have preceded the discovery of the rifle, right? Well, Day pretty much rules this out as well, as he testified that he arrived at the depository at "1:12," was directed to the sniper's nest upon reaching the sixth floor, photographed the sniper's nest, collected the three shells at "1:23," and was then "summonsed" to the northwest corner of the building to work on the newly discovered rifle. There simply was no time for him to be carrying the bag around. And the idea that both he and Studebaker--the only crime scene investigators on the premises--would wander away from the largely unexamined sixth floor crime scene down to the first floor in search of paper samples to match up to a bag that, according to Day, had no readily apparent prints upon its surface, and which might have nothing to do with the shooting--when the president's assassin was for all they knew still on the loose--is beyond belief. Pure moonshine.
That Day was pulling a fast one, moreover, is supported by his testimony that he "directed one of the officers standing by me, I don't know which" to get the tape and paper samples. This conveniently conceals that the person actually retrieving these samples was his assistant Studebaker--among the persons in the building least likely to be on the first floor when the bag was still in the building. It's hard to believe this was merely a coincidence, particularly in that Day acknowledged this person to be Studebaker when interviewed by the FBI on 4-2-64, less than three weeks before. (The report on this interview can be found in FBI file 102-82555 sec 142, p18. Studebaker's acknowledgment on 4-2 that he retrieved the samples at Day's direction can be found in a related FBI report. FBI file 102-82555 sec 142 p19.)
Perhaps, then, Day's story about having the bag with him when he obtained the sample was created to hide that Day took the paper sample later that afternoon, or that evening, after the paper bag found in the school book depository had already left the building. Perhaps he found this embarrassing. Perhaps he'd suspected that the the bag taken from the building had been made there, for whatever purpose, and had decided that having some "samples" for reference might help him prove this point. Perhaps Day was simply of the mind that simplifying the chain of evidence--and pretending that he'd found the bag, and had kept it in the possession of his crime scene team at all times--was the right thing to do. Or perhaps he was part of a conspiracy to fabricate evidence implicating the commie, Oswald, in the president's murder. We may never know.
There is an additional reason to believe the bag holds secrets, however. The only photo of the paper bag in the Dallas Police Archives is a photo in box 12 folder 7 file 1. It is shown on the Shining a Light on Day slide above.
The description for this photo in the DPD Archives reads "Photograph of the evidence sent to the FBI. Date unknown." The bag in this photo appears to be about 8 inches wide and could quite possibly be the bag in the FBI and Warren Commission photos. The bag appears to be discolored, however, which suggests that this is a photo of the bag after its return from the FBI Crime Laboratory, where it had been discolored by silver nitrate. Sure enough, this photo can also be found in the FBI files (62-109060 Sec EBF, Serial 1866, p73). Here, however, on the page just before, the back of the photo is presented, and bears the date 11-26-63.
Should one find that unconvincing, one should know that this photo also makes an appearance in Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry's 1969 book JFK Assassination File. Here it is listed as "Evidence released to the FBI Laboratory for tests." No date is provided. Fortunately, however, Curry lists all the items in the photograph, and this tells us what we need to know. Item #5 is listed as "Textile fibers found on the left side of the butt plate of the recovered rifle." These fibers were officially undetected in Dallas, and only discovered during an examination in the FBI Crime Lab on 11-23. This proves that this photograph was taken after the return of the evidence to Dallas. More telling, Item #2 is "Oswald's right palm print found on a book carton which was part of the sniper's perch in the book depository." This palm print wasn't provided the FBI till the 26th. A close look at the piece of cardboard holding this palm print, moreover, reveals that it has the signature of Lt. J.C. Day along the bottom. Photos taken on the 25th of the sniper's nest, with this piece of cardboard re-attached to its box, reveal that Day had not yet signed the cardboard. This proves it then, several times over--the only photo of the paper bag in the Dallas Archives is a photo of evidence shipped out on the 26th.
Should one still have doubts, however, one should consider the Warren Commission testimony of Lt. Day. When presenting this photo as exhibit CE 738, Day readily admitted he'd taken the photo on the 26th. The Warren Commission, in turn, entitled this exhibit "Photograph of property released by the Dallas Police Department to the FBI on November 26, 1963." So why did the Dallas crime scene investigators not only fail to photograph the paper bag when found on the scene in the school book depository, but at any time prior to Oswald's death?
Something's undoubtedly wrong here.
The mind-numbing level of this "wrongness" only gets stronger, however, when one reads the captions to the photos in Curry's book. Here, after confidently presenting evidence such as "the 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, C2766, with a four power scope which was recovered from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository", and captioning the fibers in the evidence photo mentioned above as "Textile fibers found on the left side of the butt plate of the recovered rifle," Curry equivocates on the status of the bag in the photo. He writes "A paper bag probably constructed from wrapping paper and tape at the Texas School Book Depository...This is probably the same bag which was found on the sixth floor by investigators." Yes, you read that right. He says "probably." If Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry doubted that the bag returned from Washington was the bag found in the building, then why the heck shouldn't we?
Sizing Up the Sample
There are still other suggestions the bag in the archives is not the bag found in the building.
When one looks at the early morning 11-23-63 FBI memo describing the evidence sent to Washington, and compares it to the FBI crime lab report on this evidence written later that day, one notices some subtle changes that may very well have meaning.
On the memo (found in FBI file 62-109060, Sec 1, p54) the bag is described as follows: "Brown paper which was found at what was believed to be the point of the firing of the fatal bullets used in the assassination. This paper possibly may have been used to carry above rifle to the scene of the building from which it was fired." Note that it is not described as a bag. Now look at how it's described later that day in the crime lab report (found in file 62-109060, Sec 21, p188): "Wrapping paper in shape of a large bag." Hmmm... Was it originally described as "brown paper" because it was not yet a "bag?"
There's also this to consider... On the memo, item 6 is listed as "Sample of brown paper used by Texas School Book Depository and sample of paper tape used by Texas School Book Depository." Although listed as one item, it seems clear this is really two items: a sample of paper and a sample of tape. Now look at how they're listed in the crime lab report: "K2--Paper and tape sample from shipping department, Texas Public School Book Depository." Sample. Singular.
Warren Commission, perhaps unaware of its significance, published a
photo of this paper and tape sample. As seen on the slide above, this photo shows a fairly small
piece of paper, not even 11 inches x 22 inches, with a piece of paper tape across the top. Since the FBI's earlier
reports revealed that the paper rolls at the depository were 24 inches
wide, this indicates that someone had done some cutting. Did Lt. Day
and/or the FBI make the paper bag placed into evidence--which appears to be far too
narrow to be the bag removed from the depository--from the paper and tape samples
he took on 11-22-63?
Was the paper and tape sample shown in Commission Exhibit 677 but a scrap left over from the newly-created "bag?"
Possibly. It certainly seems a bit of a coincidence that a paper bag in the shape of a gun case that was not photographed upon discovery, and whose exact measurements were not given in testimony: 1) was never shown to the three detectives who initialed it upon its discovery; 2) was not smeared with the fingerprints of one of these detectives, who'd left 18 finger and palm prints on the four boxes purportedly next to the bag; and 3) appears far different in the photographs taken by the press than in the subsequent photos taken by the FBI. Something is just funky about Day's brown bag. And I'm not talking 'bout Morris Day or James Brown.
to the craziness... Lt. Day talked about the paper sample one
last time when he was interviewed by Larry Sneed for his 1998 book No
More Silence. He said: "In the shipping room on the first floor, there
were one or two rolls of that paper. We took the end pieces off those
rolls for possible comparison with the bag that was found." He said
"rolls"...as in more than one. Even worse, he also told Sneed that,
beyond the palm print lift he'd failed to send the FBI on 11-22, "We
had a few other items around such as some
of his clothes and paper off the roll at the Book Depository that we
didn't do anything else with." Well, I'll be. What happened to this
"paper off the roll" never submitted to the FBI? And why was Day now
admitting they'd taken multiple samples? Was his memory in error?
Or had he simply forgotten the "official story"? The 11-29 FBI report on the paper bag and paper sample declares that Oswald's boss Roy Truly furnished Day "similar brown paper from the roll that was used in packing books by the Texas School Book Depository." (CD5 p129). A 4-1-64 FBI Airtel from Dallas to Washington, however, reveals that Day was interviewed the day before, and claimed that he "obtained samples wrapping paper...from four opened rolls mounted in Shipping Room." (FBI file 102-82555 sec 125 p62). When testifying before the Warren Commission on 4-22-64, moreover, Day was shown Exhibit 730 and asked if the roll of paper in the photo looked like the one from which he removed Exhibit 677. He replied: "Yes, sir. To the best of my knowledge that is the roll we tore the paper off of." The number of samples removed by Day had thus morphed from one on 11-29-63 to four on 3-31-64, back to one on 4-22-64, and then to two in his later years. If the "official" story is confusing and hard to believe it's due in part to men like Day, who just couldn't keep their stories straight.
In an effort to keep our story straight, however, it should be noted that the FBI caught Day's 4-1-64 reference to four samples and sprang into action. The next day, Washington wired Dallas and requested that since the paper sample in their possession was "only one piece of paper and one piece of tape advise if samples actually obtained from all four opened rolls...If additional paper and tape samples secured on November Twenty Two last...are available forward them to Bureau immediately." (FBI file 102-82555 sec 125 p64). This, in turn, led to an interview with Dallas Detective Robert Studebaker, whose statements appeared to answer the FBI's questions. The report in this interview notes that Studebaker "recalls obtaining a paper sample and a gummed tape sample at the instruction of Lt. Day from the wrapping table located on the main floor of the Depository Building... Studebaker noted that he recalled observing four rolls of the paper, one at each corner, and that he obtained the sample from the northeast corner as it was the most convenient. Studebaker advised he turned over these samples to the custody of Lt. Day. Studebaker advised he recalled he obtained only one sample of paper and one sample of tape at this time, and to the best of his recollection, these are the only samples obtained by his Department." (FBI file 102-82555 sec 142 p19).
what's the matter with this, you might ask? Day has a vague
recollection there were four samples, but Studebaker has a stronger
recollection there was but one. Case closed, you might say. Well, there is
a little problem. On the day Day told the FBI there'd been four
samples, the FBI also had a talk with Roy Truly, who'd purportedly
provided Day with the samples. The report of this interview reflects
that Truly "recalls Day obtained samples of wrapping paper from the rolls of Kraft wrapping paper mounted on racks in the shipping room." (FBI file 105-82555 sec 142 p15) Samples. Rolls. Racks.
Plural. It's intriguing that Day and Truly separately recall there
being more than one sample, and that the FBI then contacts Studebaker,
Day's underling, who tells them there was but one, and that Day then
testifies there was but one. It's as if someone was comparing notes.
Which brings us back to the FBI's interview of Studebaker. The report reads: "He advised to the best of his recollection this paper sample was obtained from a roll of Kraft wrapping paper, 24" in width, located at the northeast corner of the wrapping table." So here we have confirmation from a Dallas Detective of the FBI's previous claim that the paper in the depository was 24" wide. The bag placed into evidence, as we've seen, is about 17'' wide when split open. This means that, for the bag to have been made by Oswald from the paper found at the depository, he would have to have cut it along its length. Well, why would he have done this? Why wouldn't he have just folded it in third? And if he did this in the garage of the home where he'd spent the night before the shooting, as presumed, where oh where were the "scraps"? (Evidently, this same question occurred to Warren Commission counsel Wesley Liebeler, for he asked Michael Paine, in whose garage the rifle had been stored "Did anyone notice any scraps of paper or tape similar to the ones of which these sacks were constructed that we previously identified, particularly Commission 142?"...only to receive the unhelpful response "Not that I remember.") This cutting of the bag, then, suggests that whoever made the bag was concerned about its apparent size. This makes me suspect that whoever made the bag was trying to make it match Frazier's impression of the bag he saw in Oswald's possession.
This, of course, supports our earlier conclusion that the bag in the archives is either not the bag found in the building, or is a modified version of the bag.
There is more. At 10:01 on 11-23-63, but a few hours after the bag arrived at FBI headquarters, J. Edgar Hoover called President Johnson and gave him an update on the evidence against Oswald. Transcripts provided by the LBJ Library reflect that Hoover detailed:
Now, what do you think he meant by "accommodation will be made of that"? Might he not have meant "We're gonna make a bag out of this paper, and present it as evidence if necessary"? I don't know. That might be stretching it. But it sure is curious. So curious, apparently, that Max Holland, an ardent defender of the Warren Commission and the Oswald-did-it scenario, substituted the word "accommodation" with the words "(an inspection)" in the transcript to this phone call published in his book, The Kennedy Assassination Tapes. Now, perhaps Hoover really said, or meant to say, "an inspection," or perhaps even "an examination," which sounds more like "accommodation" than "an inspection." But Holland had no reason to think so, as he had admittedly never heard the tape.
You see, when this tape was to be duplicated for the National Archives in 1999, just prior to its being made more widely available to researchers, including Holland, Cutting Corporation, which was to have done the duplication, found it to have been, in the words of a memo made available to researcher Rex Bradford, and posted on his history matters website, "most likely...intentionally erased." So...did the FBI make the bag currently in the archives out of materials supplied by the DPD? I don't know, but there is certainly reason to suspect as much.
There is one last point which I would be remiss not to mention... Now, at first this might seem irrelevant, but consider this... The bag was roughly 38 inches in length. The rifle was, according to the testimony of the FBI's Robert Frazier, 40.2 inches in length. If the rifle was disassembled, so that its longest piece was the 34.8 inch rifle stock, however, it could be made to fit the bag. And so the FBI pushed that Oswald brought the rifle into the building disassembled, and put it together with a dime just before the shooting...
But there's a problem with this. Any shooter worth his salt knows it takes a few shots for a rifle to settle in after being re-assembled. Dismantling the rifle might very well have ruined Oswald's one chance at "success."
This should make us suspect, then, that the bag was supposed to conceal the rifle when fully assembled, and that it's being too small was an accident. This then leads to the possibility the bag was made without the rifle's being present. Perhaps Oswald made the bag at work, and nobody noticed, and then smuggled it home in his clothing, and nobody noticed. If this, in fact, occurred, the bag's being too small to conceal the fully-assembled rifle can be explained in two-ways: 1) Oswald didn't have the rifle in front of him when he made the bag, and had to rely on his memory; and 2) the rifle ordered by Oswald was 36" in length, but he was shipped the 40" model.
Let's think about this last point. If Oswald had simply brought home an insufficient amount of paper and tape, or a completed bag too small to conceal the rifle, as many theorize, one would think he would improvise and tape another piece of paper over the end, or some such thing. Anything to avoid dis-assembling the rifle... But if someone other than Oswald, after being told Klein's had found an order for a 36" rifle on the night of the shooting, had used the available paper and tape samples to make a bag to fit that rifle, not realizing the rifle in evidence was 40", well, he might not have had the opportunity to improvise. By the time he realized his mistake, the bag might already have been in the hands of someone not privy to his plan, or on its way to Washington.
And yes, I've looked into this. And yes, it appears that the FBI knew by 10 o'clock on the 22nd that the rifle found in the depository had been purchased by Klein's Sporting Goods of Chicago from a New York importer named Crescent Firearms, as part of a shipment of 36 inch rifles. Klein's confirmed the receipt of this rifle, moreover, around midnight, shortly before the evidence held by Lt. Day, apparently including the paper sample, was transferred to the FBI. While Klein's was reportedly unable to confirm Oswald's purchase of a 36 inch rifle--through his already discovered alias, Hidell--until approximately 4 o'clock in the morning, the 38 inch bag bearing Oswald's palm and fingerprint may already have been created, under the assumption such confirmation was forthcoming.
Or perhaps that's just too complicated. Perhaps Oswald's ordering a 36 inch rifle, which would have fit inside the bag, is just a coincidence. Perhaps the under-sized nature of the bag came as a result of something as simple as Day's grabbing too small a sample, and his or the FBI's reluctance to use materials not traceable to the book depository while creating the bag placed in evidence. We may never know.
But if one should make it through the paper bag minefield and come out convinced that all was on the up and up with the evidence presented to the commission, one should also consider that neither the FBI on its own or at the Warren Commission's request inspected the inside of a similar paper bag after it had carried the rifle around, if just, y'know, to see if there should have been marks inside the bag. The suggestion by the FBI's expert Cadigan that the rifle may have been wrapped in cloth inside the bag shouldn't have cut off such an inquiry, seeing as no cloth was found with the bag or in the sniper's nest.
Something happened there and we don't know what it was, now do we?