Chapter 4d: Boxing Day


Chapter 4d: Boxing Day


More on Day...



White Lies or a Dark Truth?

Yes, it's sad but true. Lt. Day's credibility regarding the sniper's nest evidence--and, yes, I mean all of the sniper's nest evidence-- is next to non-existent.

Here is the 4-6-64 sworn testimony of Day's assistant Robert Studebaker regarding the palm print purportedly discovered on a book carton purportedly found in the sniper's nest, and purportedly used by Oswald as a seat while he fired his shots.

Mr. BALL. You lifted a print off of a box?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Where was the box?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. The box was due north of the paper that was found, and it was, I believe, we have it that it was - I can read the measurements off of one of these things - how far it was.
Mr. BALL. Fine, do that.
Mr. STUDEBAKER. It was 16 1/2 inches from the - from this wall over here (Indicating).
Mr. BALL. Which wall are you talking about?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. It was from the south wall of the building.
Mr. BALL. Did you take a picture of that box in place before it was moved?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes.
Mr. BALL. The box from which you lifted the prints?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. This box never was moved.
Mr. BALL. That box never was moved?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. That box never was moved.
Mr. BALL. And you took a picture of it?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And that was the location of it when you lifted the print off it?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And may I have that, please, and we will mark it Exhibit G.
Mr. STUDEBAKER. I was with them in the corner all the time - they were with me rather, I guess Captain Fritz told them to stay with us and help us in case they were needed.
Mr. BALL. Johnson and Montgomery?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Johnson and Montgomery - they were with me all the time over in that one corner.

Mr. BALL. Now, we have here a picture which we will mark "G."
(Instrument marked by the reporter as "Studebaker Exhibit G" for identification.)
Mr. BALL. This is your No. 26, and that shows the box, does it?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And that was its location with reference to the corner?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir; that's the exact location.
Mr. BALL. Can you draw in there showing us where the paper sack was found?
(Witness Studebaker drew on instrument as requested by Counsel Ball.)
Mr. BALL. That would be directly south?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. That would be directly south of where the box was.
Mr. BALL. You have drawn an outline in ink on the map in the southeast corner. Now, that box is how many inches, as shown in this picture?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. It is 16 inches from the south wall.
Mr. BALL. You say you lifted a print there off of this box?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And now, is that shown in the picture?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. What shows in the picture, can you tell me what shows in the picture? Describe what you see there.
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Well, there is a box with a partial print on the - it would be the northwest corner of the box.
Mr. BALL. Was that a palm print or a fingerprint?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. A palm.
Mr. BALL. It was a palm print?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And does it show the direction of the palm?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Which way?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. West.
Mr. BALL. It would be made with the hand -
Mr. STUDEBAKER. With the right hand sitting on the box.
Mr. BALL. And the fingers pointed west, is that it?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Now, you outlined that before you took the picture, did you?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And that is the outline shown in this picture?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.

(When subsequently asked about the stack of boxes, A-C)
Mr. STUDEBAKER. ...I dusted these first, because I figured he might have stacked them up.
Mr. BALL. Did you find any prints?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. No prints, and then I was standing right there and I told Johnson and Montgomery that there should be a print, and I turned around and figured he might have been standing right in there, and I dusted all these poles here and there wasn't no prints on any of it and started dusting this big box, No. 1 here, and lifted the print off of that box.
Mr. BALL. Did you later examine that print that you lifted off of that box in your crime lab?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. I was up in that building until 1 o'clock that morning and got there at 1 and left at 1 and they had seized all of our evidence and I haven't seen it since. Lieutenant Day compared the print before it was released to Oswald's print.
Mr. BALL. He did?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. He compared it as Oswald's right palm print.
Mr. BALL. Did you put some masking tape over that bit of cardboard before you moved it?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. As soon as the print was lifted, you see, I taped it and then they took the print down there. They just took the top corner of this box down there.
Mr. BALL. They just took the top part of the box down there?
Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, and when we took this picture, we took it back - that stuff has been up there and back until I was so confused I don't know what was going on.

Well, okay. Studebaker says he discovered the print on Box D after he'd dusted the stack by the window--which was dusted at 1:30 PM at the earliest. Lt. Day was either working on the rifle at this time, or taking the rifle over to the crime lab. Well, this suggests Lt. Day was not around when the print was discovered. Note also that Studebaker says "they"--an apparent reference to Johnson and Montgomery--took the print down to the crime lab.

And here is the 4-22-64 testimony of Lt. Day regarding this same box.

Mr. BELIN. I want to turn for the moment to 729. I notice that the box on 729 appears to have a portion of it torn off and then replaced again. Is this correct or not?
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. I am going to hand you what has been marked as Commission Exhibit 649 and ask you to state if you know what this is.
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir. This is a portion torn from the box shown in 729.
Mr. BELIN. While you are holding that I'm going to hand you Commission Exhibit 648 and ask you to state if you know what this is.
Mr. DAY. That is the box shown in 729 at the center of the picture.
Mr. BELIN. Is that the box, 648, from which 649 was torn?
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. BELIN. Could you relate what transpired to cause 649 to be torn from 648?
Mr. DAY. After I returned to the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository after delivering the gun to my office, we processed the boxes in that area, in the area of the window where the shooting apparently occurred, with powder. This particular box was processed and a palmprint, a legible palmprint, developed on the northwest corner of the box, on the top of the box as it was sitting on the floor.
Mr. BELIN. Then what did you do when you developed this print?
Mr. DAY. I placed a piece of transparent tape, ordinary Scotch tape, which we use for fingerprint work, over the developed palmprint.
Mr. BELIN. And then what did you do?
Mr. DAY. I tore the cardboard from the box that contained the palmprint.
Mr. BELIN. Then what did you do?
Mr. DAY. The box was left in its position, but the palmprint was taken by me to the identification bureau.
Mr. BELIN. Did you make any identification of it?
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir. Later that night when I had a chance to get palmprints from Lee Harvey Oswald. I made a comparison with the palmprint off of the box, your 729, and determined that the palmprint on the box was made by the right palm of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. BELIN. Did you make any identification on Exhibit 649 which would indicate that this is the palmprint you took?
Mr. DAY. It has in my writing, "From top of box Oswald apparently sat on to fire gun. Lieut. J. C. Day," and it is marked "right palm of Oswald. Lieut. J. C. Day."
There is also an arrow indicating north and where the palmprint was found. It further has Detective Studebaker's name on it, and he also wrote on there, "From top of box subject sat on."
Mr. BELIN. Now, when was that placed on that exhibit, that writing of yours, when was it placed on there?
Mr. DAY. It was placed on there November 22, 1963.

Mr. BELIN. Can you identify by any way Commission Exhibit 648?
Mr. DAY. This has my name "J. C. Day" written on it. It also has "R. L. Studebaker" written on it. It has written in the corner in my writing, "Southwest corner box 18 inches from wall."
Mr. BELIN. I also see the name "W. H. Shelley" written on there. Do you know when this was put on?
Mr. DAY. W. H. Shelley is the assistant manager apparently of the Texas School Book Depository.
Mr. BELIN. Did he put it on at the time you found the box?
Mr. DAY. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know when that was placed on there?
Mr. DAY. That was placed there November 26. The box was not removed, just the cardboard was removed on November 22 excuse me, November 25 I should say that he put his name on there. I returned to the School Book Depository on November 25 and collected this box.

Now, let's be clear. Studebaker testified that he'd developed the print on Box D after dusting the window boxes (which we can take to mean sometime after 1:30 PM), and covered it with tape, and that "they"--presumably Det.s Johnson and Montgomery--took this print over to the crime lab (which would be shortly after 3:00 PM). And Day testified that "we" developed the print after he returned from bringing the rifle to the crime lab (which we can take to mean after 3:00 PM), and that he covered it with tape, and tore it from the box...and that he personally took it over to the crime lab when he next left the school book depository (which he claimed was around 6:00 PM).

One of them is lying. Or maybe both of them are lying...or just wrong. Since Day never specified that he personally discovered the palm print on the box and since neither Johnson nor Montgomery ever said anything about bringing the corner of the box back to the crime lab, it seems possible Studebaker found the print while Day was off with the rifle, and that Day taped it off and tore it from the box after taking the rifle to the crime lab and returning to the crime scene.

But there's more to it. Although Lt. Day, in his testimony, claimed he'd ripped the cardboard holding the palm print from the box and signed this piece of cardboard on the night of the shooting ...his writing is not apparent on the cardboard in the photographs of the re-construction three days later. It's just not there.

He flat-out lied. Well, it defies belief that Day would fail to sign this critical piece of cardboard if he was there when the print was discovered, or even the one to cover the print with tape, tear the cardboard holding this print from the box, and take it to the crime lab. And this leads me to suspect his whole story was a lie, and that it was Studebaker who discovered the print, and perhaps even gave it to Johnson and Montgomery to bring to the crime lab. 

And, if this is so--that Day pretended he'd helped discover a print that was discovered when he wasn't even in the building--well, it's probably not just him. Capt. Doughty, Day's boss, is reported to have told Vincent Drain on 8-31-64 that, yessirree, "The portion of the palm print that was raised by the use of fingerprint powder was cut out of the box on Friday afternoon, November 22, 1963, and brought to the Dallas Police Station by Lt. Day."

But, why would Day (and later Doughty) lie about such a thing? They would have to have known someone (like me) would come along and check this stuff, right?

Uh...no. When Day testified, in April 1964, it was far from clear his testimony would ever be published, let alone in the same volumes as Studebaker's testimony, and pictures of the evidence. It may have been that someone (read David Belin) coached Day into simplifying the "story" surrounding the sniper's nest evidence, for ease of digestion. And that Day thereby took credit for all of Studebaker's actions, and pretended he'd found the bag, and tore the palm print off the box, etc. And that Doughty played along with this.

That's the most "innocent" way one can spin this, of course. The reality may have been more sinister...

It could be, come to think of it, that Day--who claimed he identified the palm print on the box as Oswald's print on the evening of the shooting--knew it wasn't Oswald's print, and was so shocked the FBI said it was Oswald's print that he decided to make up some stories of his own.

Here's one of the reasons why this seems possible. Here is Warren Commission Exhibit 652 from the 4-2-64 testimony of the FBI's fingerprint expert Sebastian Latona:



This exhibit was supposed to show that the palm print on the torn-off section of a box is a match with Oswald's right palm. But there's a problem. The chart for the box print is a big black blob. It's clear from their other exhibit photos and the exhibit photos published in text books that the FBI and Commission could have presented a clear image of this chart if they'd wanted to, but it appears they didn't want to. And it's not just this print. The charts for the other prints supposedly proving Oswald's guilt are nearly all as murky.

There could be something to this, moreover ... Within the numerous FBI files found on the Mary Ferrell website are files for which Latona's exhibits were photocopied. Well, ironically, these photocopies are easier to read than Latona's exhibits as published by the Warren Commission. Here, see for yourself. 


Now, ask yourself, does this honestly look like a match? I, as you no doubt have guessed, have my doubts. It makes no sense to me that the central crease apparent on the Oswald print would be barely noticeable on the box print. I mean, the box print is presumed to have been created when Oswald put pressure on his right palm as he sat down on or got up off the box. Such an action would presumably amplify the width of this central crease, not give it the shrinks, right?

And then there's this...

Mr. EISENBERG. Again, without going into detail, Mr. Latona, could you show us some of the more salient points which led you to your conclusion that the print on 649 was the palmprint of Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. LATONA. The easiest points visible here, right offhand, point No. 11 which is a black line that goes upward and its relationship to point No. 10. This is known as the short ending ridge as is seen here. Its relation to point No. 8. Point No. 11 is a black line going upward. Point No. 8 is a black line going downward and there are one, two, three, ridges which are between the two. Over here in the latent print you find No. 11 which is a black line going upward. It is a short line to the other end of the point No. 10, and three ridges intervene between that and point No. 8, which is going downward. One ridge to the right and going in an upward direction is point No. 7--7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
Mr. DULLES. And you identified 11 points of similarity?
Mr. LATONA. That is right.
Mr. DULLES. Between the inked palmprint of Lee Harvey Oswald and this palmprint taken from this cardboard carton?
Mr. LATONA. That is right.
Mr. DULLES. What is this white line that goes up through each?
Mr. LATONA. This is a crease in the center of the palm, a flexure crease of that area.
Mr. DULLES. The palm did not touch the carton at that point?
Mr. LATONA. That is right.
Mr. DULLES. And those two creases are in approximately the same location in the photograph and in the latent palmprint?
Mr. LATONA. Very definitely.


What the? I mean, I don't entirely understand Latona's explanation as to why these prints are a match, but it sounds like it might be true. And then Dulles inserts something that seems totally disingenuous.

Dulles notes that the crease is in the same location on the two prints, but fails to point out the elephant in the room--that the crease on the Oswald print is much wider than the crease on the box print?

Well, this observation led me to spend way too much time trying to match the box print on Latona's exhibit with FBI photo 26 from CD 1, the clearest of the FBI's photo of the box print.  Now, I must admit that more than once I've convinced myself they don't match, but my current thinking is yep, they do.



But these photos matching has little bearing on the central issue--does the print on photo 26 match Oswald's right palm print?



I'm on the fence. The central crease still seems much too wide on Oswald's print and the ridges to the right of the crease are not at all convincing. Heck, the ridges in the upper right corner of the image above (that is, the ridges above the far right side of the sepia overlay of Oswald's print) don't even head the same direction as the ridges on Oswald's print. Now, is this a second print, smudged over the other? I don't know.

But there is certainly reason to doubt this print was a match, right?

Well, sorry to say, even if the answer is no, there is a stadium-sized-room for suspicion regarding the print.

To begin with, it seems quite likely that at least one of the fingerprint experts who ID'ed this print as Oswald's lied about his identification of this print...in sworn testimony, no less...before the Warren Commission.




Maybe...Maybe...Nope

Look at the bottom photo on the slide above. It's worthless, right? Now, read NYPD fingerprint expert Arthur Mandella's 4-2-64 testimony before the Warren Commission.

Mr. EISENBERG. Any other identifications?
Mr. MANDELLA. Yes; there is one more on box D, photo No. 13.
Mr. EISENBERG. That is Exhibit 655, which contains two photographs, and I will extract the photograph labeled "13."
Mr. MANDELLA. Commission Exhibit 655, photo No. 13, the right palmprint of Lee Harvey Oswald. The section here is at the heel of the palm in the center.
Mr. EISENBERG. In the center of the palm?
Mr. MANDELLA. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. You were just pointing to the lower portion of the palm, which you refer to as the heel?
Mr. MANDELLA. Yes; this is the portion of Oswald's palm.
Mr. EISENBERG. Is there handwriting or printing on the back of that photograph?
Mr. MANDELLA. Yes; there is. "Right palm-Oswald-heel of hand."
Mr. EISENBERG. And that is your handwriting, is it, Mr. Mandella?
Mr. MANDELLA. Yes; it is.
Mr. EISENBERG. So you made a total of six identifications?
Mr. MANDELLA. Yes; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now when you made these identifications-or, I should say, when you received the photographs and when you made the identifications, did you have any knowledge of any kind as to how many, if any, prints of Oswald's were found among the many impressions which were given to you?
Mr. MANDELLA. I had no idea, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. Were you aware in any way of the conclusions of any other body concerning these impressions?
Mr. MANDELLA. I knew nothing about any examination by anyone.

Mr. EISENBERG. At an unofficial level, had you seen anything in the newspapers which would indicate any information on these?
Mr. MANDELLA. In the newspaper several months ago there was reference to a - I don't even recall whether it was fingerprints or paimprints or both but there was some reference in the newspaper I had seen, and that is all.
Mr. EISENBERG. That is all you recall about it?
Mr. MANDELLA. That is all I recall.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you pay any attention to that in making. your identifications?
Mr. MANDELLA. No; it didn't affect me at all, nothing to do with the identifications.
Mr. EISENBERG. What is your general attitude toward items you see like this in the newspapers, by the way?
Mr. MANDELLA. In the newspapers? It doesn't mean a thing. Attitude relative to fingerprints?
Mr. EISENBERG. I am trying to determine how far this might influence you in your evaluation, and I wonder as a police officer what your opinion is when you read accounts in newspapers of evidence in crimes.
Mr. MANDELLA. No; it doesn't affect me other than for general information purposes.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did I transmit to you any information whatsoever concerning these prints?
Mr. MANDELLA. You did not, other than giving me the photographs.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did I tell you that any of these prints might be Lee Harvey Oswald's?
Mr. MANDELLA. You made no indication as to that it could have been his.

Mr. EISENBERG. Do you know now, apart from your own identification, have you acquired any information at this point, subsequent to your identification but prior to your appearance here, as to these prints, other than your own identifications?
Mr. MANDELLA. I have no knowledge as to what has been done with these prints at all by anyone.
Mr. EISENBERG. Are you absolutely sure as to each of these identifications, Mr. Mandella?
Mr. MANDELLA. I am positive.

Eisenberg and Mandella then went through the exhibits and photos one by one.

Mr. EISENBERG. 655?
Mr. MANDELLA. 655.
Mr. EISENBERG. Box D.
Mr. MANDELLA. Photo No. 13, the right palmprint of Oswald, and there is eight points of identity on that one.

Now, glance back at the slide above. If the General Printing Office tasked with publishing the government's reports was able to publish a clear image of photo 26 from the FBI's 12-9-63 report to the President (CD 1), why does the bottom image of the photo supposedly used by Mandella to effect an identification of Oswald's right palm print on CE 649 (the piece of cardboard torn from Box D) look like a glop of burnt chocolate? It makes no sense, right? Based on this image alone, then, it seems likely Mandella was lying when he said he ID'ed the "print" on the torn off piece of Box D as Oswald's.

And quite possibly lying when he ID'ed the other prints as well...




What's Up, Mandella?

The six prints ID'ed by Mandella as Oswald's prints are hidden in the black blobs on the slide above. These exhibits come from the Mary Ferrell Foundation website, but are nearly identical to these exhibits as presented in the Warren Commission's volumes on the website of the National Archives.

Aside from the slight possibility the images viewed by Mandella were crystal clear images, and that someone at the Warren Commission or General Printing Office deliberately mucked up the images placed into evidence with his testimony, it seems highly unlikely Mandella could have actually mirrored the FBI's ID of prints on these images.

Now, to be fair, it seems probable Melvin Eisenberg caught how all this looked, and tried to make Mandella's testimony less troublesome. You see, at the very last minute, on 9-17-64, just as the commission's report was going to print, Eisenberg arranged for Mandella to return to Washington and be shown the actual exhibits on which Oswald's prints were supposedly found, i.e., the bag, the cardboard torn from Box D, Box A, and the lift supposedly lifted from Oswald's rifle. That way the commission could say, hey, Mandella ID'ed Oswald's prints after studying the actual prints, and not just the black and blurry photos presented in his testimony.

Mandella did this, of course.

But that does little to change that Mandella initially ID'ed Oswald's prints based upon some FBI photos provided him by the Warren Commission, and that these photos were then published, and that the photos as published showed these prints to be...illegible.
 
Now here's another reason to doubt the forensic value of the print on Box D... Along with the paper bag supposedly found in the sniper's nest, NO photographs were taken by the Dallas Police of Box D with (or even without) the palm print on 11-22-63. This would be surprising under normal circumstances. I mean, they supposedly notice a box that may have been used as a seat by a person shooting at the president. They then dust this box, and stand there and watch as a palm print becomes visible. But it never occurs to them to photograph this box in situ, with the palm print still on the box? Really? This is a professional organization with trained crime scene analysts. They take dozens of photographs of the crime scene and building on 11-22-63. They take numerous photographs of the rifle as it was discovered. But they fail to take even one photograph of the only box on which they found an identifiable print within the building?

I don't believe it, and you shouldn't either. This leads me to wonder... Who's to say they didn't tear the cardboard from the box, and only later that night, after failing to find any prints on the rifle, add the palm print to the cardboard?

Now it shouldn't come as a surprise that I've looked into this, and such a scenario is entirely plausible. From roughly 2006-2016, I read dozens of articles on fingerprinting, and fingerprint fabrication. And these revealed that virtually every documented or suspected case of fingerprint fabrication has been performed by an over-zealous policeman or crime scene investigator. One such policemen was so brazen even as to submit photocopies of fingerprints taken from fingerprint cards and claim they were prints he'd discovered at crime scenes. He did this for years before being caught. Other policeman were a bit smarter than that, and had suspects put their hands on the hoods or roofs of their police cars while conducting a search. They then lifted the prints off their cars, and then claimed they were lifted from a crime scene.

But I wasn't sure how this could have been done by the Dallas Police...until I read Scene of the Crime (1992) by former crime scene investigator Anne Wingate in 2018. From page 111:



Wingate then describes her personal reaction when she first heard of this... From page 112:



So...is there anything else about this print that might lead us to suspect it was fabricated in such a manner?

Yep. Take another look at CE 649.



Notice that the tape overlays Studebaker's signature. Well, assuming the print is legit, this suggests that as soon as Studebaker developed this print, his first instinct was to sign his name right next to it, and not protect the print. One would think a crime scene investigator would cover the print before signing the cardboard. And yet, in this instance, it appears that Studebaker signed the cardboard before the tape was added.

And this even though Studebaker testified to taping the print "as soon as the print was lifted." His choice of words is interesting here, moreover, as "lifting" a print is a term used to describe the act of pressing tape down on an object holding a print (including, yes, a photocopy of a print), and then pulling the tape taut, thereby "lifting" the print from its former home. "Lifting" is, for that matter, not a term used to describe the discovery of a print via the application of fingerprint powder. The term for that is "raising," as in "we sprinkled some fingerprint powder on the package, and raised a print by the return address" or "developing," as in "we developed a print on the package."

And that's not the only conclusion one can draw from Studebaker's signature being under the tape. Think about it. Although it seems unlikely Studebaker would raise a print on the box, sign his name by the print, and then cover the print and signature with tape, this becomes far more problematic should one accept it was Day who raised the print.  I mean, really, Day raises a print, Studebaker rushes over and signs his name by it, and then Day slaps some tape over the print and Studebaker's signature, but fails to sign it himself?  Spare me.

This reminds me...


Shining a Light on B.S. 2

The Day Kennedy Was Shot by Jim Bishop (1968) is yet another Oswald-did-it book designed to defend President Johnson, the Dallas Police, and the Warren Commission. While writing his book, Bishop spoke to dozens of witnesses, including members of the Dallas Police and President Johnson. And yet he still managed to get some important stuff really really wrong.

Here, then, is Bishop's account of Lt. Day's actions upon his return to the school book depository, circa 3:00, after depositing the rifle at the station.

"The entire sixth floor had been isolated by policeman. Day and his assistants went to work in that corner window where the empty cartridges had been found. They dusted the bricks on the ledge; they examined the heating pipes behind the assassin's seat on a cardboard box. The man moved about gingerly, disturbing nothing. They got nothing until they brushed the top of the box lying in front of the window. This, it was assumed, would be the low seat for the killer. On the front edge, facing the window, they saw a palm print come up clearly.

It was the first technological discovery, and yet it proved nothing. Anyone could have been sitting near that window, and anyone could have leaned on a box. The case against Oswald was to be built of chips and bits of evidence, the whole weighing more than the sum of its parts. The lieutenant backed his men away from the print, took strips of Scotch Tape and pressed it down on top of the white palm print. Then Day wrote on the box: 'From top of box Oswald apparently sat on to fire gun. Lieut. J.C. Day.' He tore the top off and took it back to headquarters."

So, in but one paragraph, Bishop gets five things wrong: 1) it's highly unlikely Studenaker held off dusting the sniper's nest until after Day returned from the Crime Lab, 2) It's doubtful Day taped off the print on the box found in the sniper's nest, 3) the print found on the box wasn't "white", 4) Day never wrote the words quoted by Bishop on the top of the box, and 5) it's doubtful it was Day who tore the top off the box.

Now look at a close up view of where this corner of the box was torn from Box D.


Well, heck. As revealed to me by my 8 year-old son, cardboard consists of three layers--a stiff sheet of paper on top, a middle ruffled layer, and a stiff sheet of paper on bottom. As shown above, the bottom layer of the cardboard in the area where CE 649 was torn from the box remained intact, as did much of the middle ruffled layer. Well, this proves that whoever tore the print off the box failed to tear or cut the cardboard all the way through the bottom flap of the box, and just half-assed it, whereby much of CE 649 is only paper thin. And this means that, officially, Studebaker (or Day, if you believe Day) not only failed to take a picture of the one print found on a cardboard box in the sniper's nest, but then tore this print off its box in a half-assed manner, and came damn close to tearing right through the print.

And no, I'm not joking, or trying to pull a fast one. Here, take a look at CE 649, as photographed by the Dallas Police (in the photo at the top of this page) before being sent to the FBI .





Look at the shadow along the bottom. Look at the crease at the bottom of the right side. CE 649 is paper thin, folks. so paper thin even that FBI fingerprint expert Sebastain Latona repeatedly described it as a piece of paper in his 4-3-64 testimony before the Warren Commission. 

Here, see for yourself...

Mr. EISENBERG. If there are no further questions on the carton 641. I will move on to another exhibit. I now hand you a carton, somewhat larger in area than the 641 which we were just discussing, with various markings on it which I won't discuss, but which is marked Box "D" in red pencil at the upper left-hand corner of the bottom of the box. Are you familiar with this carton, Mr. Latona?
Mr. DULLES. Has that been admitted?
Mr. EISENBERG. It has not so far been admitted.
Mr. LATONA. This Box D, I received this along with Box A for purposes of examining for latent prints.
Mr. EISENBERG. Was that examined by you or under your supervision for that purpose?
Mr. LATONA. Yes, it was.
Mr. EISENBERG. When was that received?
Mr. LATONA. That was received on the 27th of November 1963.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, may I have this admitted as 648?
Mr. DULLES. What date?
Mr. LATONA. 27th.
Mr. EISENBERG. That is 5 days after the assassination?
Mr. LATONA. Yes.
Mr. EISENBERG. May I have this admitted as 648?
Mr. DULLES. It shall be admitted.
(The box referred to was marked Commission Exhibit Number 648, and received in evidence.)
Mr. DULLES. Can you identify it in some further way? I think there are some markings on here.
Mr. EISENBERG. There is "Box D." It is a little hard to read. It says "1 40 N TH&DO"---
Mr. DULLES. "New People and Progress."
Mr. EISENBERG. Apparently referring to the name of the textbook. This is not a Rolling Reader carton.
Mr. DULLES. No.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Latona, when you received this box, could you tell whether it had been previously examined for latent fingerprints?
Mr. LATONA. A portion of it had.
Mr. EISENBERG. And can you tell us what portion had been?
Mr. LATONA. The bottom evidently, because a piece had been cut out.
Mr. EISENBERG. You are pointing to a place on the bottom of the box which is to the left of the point at which I have affixed the sticker "Commission Exhibit Number 648," immediately to the left of that point?
Mr. LATONA. That is correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. Was that portion of the box given to you?
Mr. LATONA. Yes, it was.
Mr. EISENBERG. With the box?
Mr. LATONA. At the time we got the box.
Mr. EISENBERG. I think I have that. I now hand you what appears to be a portion of a cardboard carton and a piece of tape with various writings, included among which is "From top of box Oswald apparently sat on to fire gun." Do you recognize this piece of paper, Mr. Latona?
Mr. LATONA. Yes, I do. This is a piece of paper that evidently had been cut from the box.
Mr. EISENBERG. Does that fit into the box?
Mr. LATONA. It does.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, may I have this admitted as 649?
Mr. DULLES. It shall be admitted as 649.
(The piece of carton referred to was marked Commission Exhibit Number 649, and received in evidence.)
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Latona, did you find any identifiable prints on the cardboard carton 648?
Mr. LATONA. Yes; in addition to this one which has been cut out and which had been covered by a piece of lifting tape, there were, two fingerprints developed in addition to that one.
Mr. EISENBERG. Two identifiable fingerprints?
Mr. LATONA. That is right.
Mr. EISENBERG. Palmprints?
Mr. LATONA. No; they were fingerprints.
Mr. EISENBERG. I mean were there any palmprints?
Mr. LATONA. There were no palmprints.
Mr. EISENBERG. How did you process this box?
Mr. LATONA. By the use of iodine fumes and silver nitrate solution.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you find evidence of processing prior to your receipt apart from the exhibit which is now 649?
Mr. LATONA. Yes; this particular area which has been cut out had been processed with powder.
Mr. EISENBERG. Was there powder on other areas of the box?
Mr. LATONA. I don't believe there was.

Now, that's interesting. Not content with repeatedly claiming CE 649 was a "piece of paper," Latona also claimed, and claimed repeatedly, that it was "cut out" from Box D.

What's that about?

Well, which makes more sense to you--that Studebaker/Day would casually tear an important piece of evidence from a box in this manner? Or that he/they would casually tear off a section of a box found in the sniper's nest just in case, y'know, they needed to make use of it later?

It's reasonable to assume, then, that the "cut out" story was not just a mistake, or a daily cookie designed to assuage our hunger for conspiracy. It seems possible, even, that the "cut out" story was designed and developed to help Lt. J.C. Day sell the bona fides of CE 649.

Let's recall that Vincent Drain, in his 8-31-64 memo on his meeting with Day's and Studebaker's boss, Capt. Doughty, claimed Doughty told him ""The portion of the palm print that was raised by the use of fingerprint powder was cut out of the box."

And here's the Warren Report on this print: "This print which had been cut out of the box was also forwarded to the FBI." (WR, pages 140-141) The footnote for this passage points to Latona, moreover, which means they disregarded the statements and testimony of the men who removed the print from the box in favor of a man who only saw the print after it had been removed.

Cutting was, undoubtedly, the preferred method of removing a piece of cardboard containing evidence from a box. By tearing the cardboard from the box, Studebaker/Day called into question the legitimacy of this evidence. It's may not be a coincidence, then, that the FBI and Warren Commission came to pretend CE 649 had been "cut out" of the box.

Let's refresh. We have identified significant problems (forensically speaking) with the fibers found on the rifle butt, the paper bag supposedly used as a gun case, and Box D, the box upon which Oswald was purported to have been sitting while firing his rifle. This leaves us with Box A, the top box of the two boxes stacked by the window, and the rifle itself, as the only remaining pieces of evidence tying Oswald to the sniper's nest.

Well, guess what?



The Disappearing Act

Box A is also problematic. Presumably unbeknownst to the Dallas PD, FBI agents Robert Barrett and Ivan Lee gained access to the sniper's nest on the morning of 11-23-63. Their pictures of the nest were then published in an 11-30-63 FBI report (CD5). Well, these pictures reveal but TWO boxes stacked up by the sniper's nest window, when the pictures from the day before showed THREE boxes stacked up by the sniper's nest window. Box A--the only box from the stack that could ever be linked to Oswald (via a subsequently discovered fingerprint and palm print)--was missing!

This did not go unnoticed, moreover. On 11-29-63, FBI agents Robert Barrett and Ivan Lee (who'd taken the 11-23 photographs) wrote a 4-page memo on the photographic evidence (the aforementioned memo found in the Weisberg Archives). It reveals that they'd forwarded Dallas Police crime scene photos to the FBI on the 27th, and that "All PD photographs of the pertinent crime scene area on the sixth floor were taken on 11/22/63, between the hours of 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM."

It further reveals: "A comparison of photographs taken by the PD, 11/22/63, of the sixth floor as they found it, and photographs taken by the FBI, 11/23/63, definitely shows that some items have been moved or removed, during the interim."

And that was it. The FBI failed to follow-up and conduct detailed interviews regarding the removal of a key piece of the crime scene prior to their photographing the scene the next day.

Perhaps they assumed the missing box had been taken to the crime lab.

But that's not all the memo reveals...



Oh, Yeah... Come to Think of It...

The memo also reveals that when the Dallas Police gave the FBI copies of its crime scene photos on 11-26, it failed (I'd write forgot, but that seems unlikely) to tell them that the most revealing of the sniper's nest photos they gave them were photos of a re-created sniper's nest taken on 11-25.

This failure was not without its ramifications, moreover. As a result of this failure, Warren Commission Document 1 (the 12-9-63 summary report for the President provided the Warren Commission), and Warren Commission Document 5, a collection of the initial evidence compiled by agent Robert Gemberling, misrepresented a re-created photograph taken on 11-25 as a photo of the sniper's nest as found.

A deception was afoot. The earliest reference to this photo being a re-creation, and acknowledgement that most of the sniper's nest photos were re-creations, for that matter, came in a 12-5-63 Vincent Drain memo built upon a 12-2-63 interview with Lt. Day.

Had Day simply forgot to tell Agents Barrett and Lee that he'd taken some boxes to the lab on the 22nd, and returned them on the 25th, and that some of the photos he gave them on the 26th were re-creations?

No. It's worse than that.

For photo 40 in Drain's memo--this is the photo that had twice been misrepresented in the FBI's reports, mind you--it was claimed that the photo was taken while "Standing on top of boxes looking down towards boxes that were used in shooting."

And this just isn't true--at least one of the boxes used in the re-enactment was not a box "used in shooting."

You see, not only did Day not tell the FBI most of his sniper's nest photos were re-creations when first providing them with copies, he also failed to admit--ever--that the Box A used in his re-created photos was not the original Box A.

I kid you not.

First, let's read the 4-6-64 testimony of Robert Studebaker (in which he discusses a photo that would become Studebaker Exhibit J, a photo of his and Lt. Day's 11-25-63 re-creation of the sniper's nest)...

Mr. BALL. The picture of the boxes; this is after they were moved?

Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir; they were moved there. This is exactly the position they were in.

Mr. BALL. It is?

Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes - not - this was after they were moved, but I put them in the same exact position.

Mr. BALL. Were they that close - that was about the position?

Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes.

Mr. BALL. Let's take one of these pictures and mark it the next number, which will be "Exhibit J."

(Instrument marked by the reporter as "Studebaker Exhibit J," for identification)

Mr. BALL. After the boxes of Rolling Readers had been moved, you put them in the same position?

Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes.

Mr. BALL. And took a picture?

Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. And this is Exhibit J, is it, is that right?

Mr. STUDEBAKER. Exhibit J, yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. Now, the box that had the print on it is shown?

Mr. STUDEBAKER. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. Was there any other indentation on that box besides that which is shown in the circle on 3?

Mr. STUDEBAKER. No.


And now let's read the 4-22-64 testimony of Lt. Day (in which he discusses CE 733, a different print of this same photo)...

Mr. BELIN. When you came back on the 25th where did you find this box, 641?

Mr. DAY. They were still in the area of the window but had been moved from their original position.

Mr. BELIN. Does that scar appear on the box in 733?

Mr. DAY. Yes, sir.

Mr. BELIN. I see there was one box in the window which you have reconstructed as being box 653, am I correct on that?

Mr. DAY. Yes, sir.

Mr. BELIN. And then there is a box which is stacked on top of another box, the upper box of that two-box stack is 641, is that correct?

Mr. DAY. Yes, sir.

Mr. BELIN. And there is a scar on top of that. Is this the same one that you referred to at the top of 641?

Mr. DAY. Yes, sir.


Well, the sum of Studebaker and Day's testimony is that the boxes used in the re-enactment were the boxes found (and dusted) on 11-22-63. And that the indentation or scar on Box A (CE 641) is apparent in re-enactment photos Studebaker Exhibit J and CE 733 (which are actually two prints of the same photo.)
 
There's just one problem with this. They were lying.




The Tell-Tale "Scar"

As demonstrated above, the "scar" on Box A in the re-enactment photo (at M) is not the "scar" on Box A in the original crime scene photo (at L), nor the "scar" on Box A currently in the archives (at R).

Well, it follows from this that the "Box A' used in the re-enactment was not the real Box A, and that the re-enactment was essentially a sham.

I mean, think about it. That the "scar" on Box A was re-created for the re-enactment photos seems obvious, and suggests the use of the "wrong" box in the re-enactment was not only not an accident, but a deliberate deception. That Box A was missing in the FBI photos taken but two days before, moreover, further feeds the probability something smelly was afoot. 

And, yes, I know. Some of you are thinking the "scar" on the box in CE 733 could be the "scar" in the other photos, only filmed from a different angle, etc.

But the "scar" is not the only problem with the box in CE 733.

Here, see for yourself. Here is Box A as photographed in the sniper's nest on 11-22-63.


And here is "Box A" as photographed during Day and Studebaker's re-creation of the sniper's nest, on 11-25-63..


There are a number of differences between these two boxes. These include:

1. The "scar" is different on the two boxes, with the "scar" on the first box having a deeper gouge..
2. There is a dark mark on the top of the box photographed on the 22nd, that is not visible on the box photographed on the 25th.
3. The rectangular stamp on the side of the box facing the camera is aligned differently with the circular shape above it on the first box, than on the second box. To be clear, the left side of this stamp lines up below the right side of the circle on the first box, and the left side of the circle on the second box.
4. The ink on the left side of this stamp is much thicker on the box photographed on the 22nd than it is on the box photographed on the 25th.
5. There is a line within this stamp that is visible on the box photographed on the 22nd (the real Box A, if you will) that is not apparent on the box photographed on the 25th.
6. There is a dark line to the right of this stamp on the second box that is much less complete on the first box.

And that's not all. Look at the two pieces of tape along the shadowy side of the box in the re-enactment photo above. The piece of tape on the left is slightly higher than the piece of tape on the right side. Now look at what is supposedly the same two pieces of tape in Archives photo 33-3374a, the National Archives' most recent photo of this box. (Note that the arrow in this photo is purported to point to where a print of Oswald's right index finger was found on this box, and that this was thereby the west-facing side of the box.)


The tape on the right is higher. And not only that, the printed letters above the tape on the right in the re-enactment photo are nowhere to be seen.

Now I know some of you are skeptical. So here's the other side of Box A, in Archives photo 33-3375a.



The bottom of the tape on the right is well below the bottom of the tape on the left. This stands in opposition to the box in the re-enactment photo, in which the bottoms of the right side and left side are at the same level.

It's clear then. It's not the same box!
 
So what was up? Why would the Dallas Police use a replacement box for the photos re-creating the sniper's nest, and then send the original box on to Washington?

Well, the thought occurs that the original Box A was unavailable on the 22nd. As this box was subsequently found to bear Oswald's prints, of course, the additional thought occurs that it was unavailable on the 25th due to its being in the possession of some person (or organization) involved in planting these prints on the box.

Now, this was a huge problem for the Warren Commission.  Day and Studebaker's probable complicity in the faking of the "scar" on the box A used in the 11-25 re-enactment undermined its entire case against Oswald.

I mean, if Day and Studebaker would so brazenly lie about the boxes why wouldn't they also lie about the bag? Or any and all of the evidence compiled by their department against Oswald?

It should come as no surprise, then, that Warren Commission counsel Ball and Belin either failed to catch their deceptions or failed to confront them about these deceptions on the record, and the problems with Exhibits 729 (which proves Day lied about Box D) and 733 (which proves Day and Studebaker lied about Box A) slipped under everybody's radar until I noticed them decades later.

So, yeah, it's not wild at all to assume Day lied about the bag...




Demolishing the Reconstruction

And that Studebaker was in on it...

We've already revealed that Studebaker Exhibit J, from the 4-6-64 testimony of Det. Robert Studebaker in Dallas, and CE 733, from the 4-22-64 testimony of Lt. J.C. Day in Washington, are two different prints of the same sniper's nest re-enactment photo.

But we haven't noted the differences between these photos. As shown on the slide above, the copies of the Dallas Police crime scene photos brought by Det. Studebaker to his 4-6-64 testimony portrayed the sniper's nest boxes as filthy, and covered with fingerprint powder. This was in stark contrast to the appearance of the boxes in the photos placed into evidence during Lt. Day's 4-22-64 testimony in Washington. Those copies came from the FBI, which had received a set of re-enactment photos back in November.

So what happened? The appearance of fingerprint powder in the photos provided by Studebaker could not have come from their being copies of copies, or anything like that. Unlike the FBI, Studebaker had access to the original negatives. It follows that, if anything, the boxes in Studebaker J should have had a cleaner appearance than the boxes in CE 733.

Well, then, maybe the boxes in CE 733 were cleaned up.

Nope, that doesn't work either. The DPD re-enactment photos were eventually digitized and published on the University of North Texas website. Box B in UNT's digitization of the negative for the photo (that was subsequently published by the Warren Commission as Studebaker Exhibit J and CE 733) is presented below, alongside Box B in Studebaker Exhibit J. For comparison purposes, of course.


The boxes were not filthy and covered with fingerprint powder, but appeared to be so in the exhibits prepared by Studebaker.

Well, it follows then that someone, almost certainly Studebaker himself, took some liberties while processing the photos provided the commission, and tried to make it look like the boxes in these photos were covered with fingerprint powder.

But why?

Here's one possibility...




Dumb Luck?

There is yet another jarring fact about Box A. And that is that Robert Studebaker's signature is featured front and center in all the photos taken of the palm print determined to have been Oswald's palm print. Now, it's unclear when Studebaker placed his signature on this box. At one point I would have assumed that he signed this box on 11-25-63, when he took this box from the school book depository down to the crime lab. But, this box wasn't actually in the depository on the 25th, now was it?

So where was it? I have an innocent explanation that's not so innocent. But it's the best I can come up with. When Studebaker was questioned by the HSCA in 1978 he made a surprising admission. Not only had he made numerous copies of various evidence photos and handed them out as souvenirs to a number of Dallas detectives, he'd made a complete set for himself, which he attempted to sell for 30,000 dollars (which translates to roughly 100,000 dollars in 2018), via Johny Grizzaffi, a Dallas figure affiliated with organized crime.

So where was this box on the 25th? It seems possible that Studebaker, after dusting Box A and declaring it free of prints, took it home as a souvenir. This was the box, after all, with the scar, which many believed was created by the movement of the rifle during the shooting. It would have fetched quite a bundle on the collector's market.

If this is so, then, Studebaker returned this box after being told the FBI wanted it and that it was going to be sent to Washington.

We should recall here that, when Boxes A-D were sent to Washington, the FBI found only 2 prints (the palm print and fingerprint on Box A) that they could link to Oswald, but found another 25 prints that they believed could be identified. We should recall as well that they never got around to identifying these prints until 9 months later, after being pressured to do so by the Warren Commission. When they made this attempt, furthermore, they identified but 24 of these prints, leaving a palm print on Box B unidentified. On Box D, they found 2 prints which they attributed to FBI clerk Forrest Lucy. On Box C they found 2 prints which they attributed to Studebaker, and 1 which they attributed to Lucy. On Box B they found 6 prints attributed to Studebaker, and 2 which they attributed to Lucy. And On Box A they found...10 prints which they attributed to Studebaker, and 1 print which they attributed to Lucy.

So Studebaker spent a lot of time with Box A.

Now, the problem with this theory--that Studebaker took Box A but then returned it, and "dirtied" up the boxes in the re-enactment photos supplied the Warren Commission to hide that Box A was a different Box A that had never been dusted--is that I don't believe it's as simple as that. I just don't.

And why don't I believe it? Well, the story goes that Box D was dusted by Studebaker, and a palm print was discovered along its edge. It only makes sense then that Studebaker would sign the cardboard by the print. And the story goes that a palm print was found on the paper bag, right by Studebaker's initials. Now, Studebaker testified that he found a print on this bag--and one might be tempted to think the print by his initials was that print--except that Studebaker said he taped off that print, and Latona testified there were no taped-off prints on the bag when it reached Washington. So the story goes that Studebaker's placing his initials right by the palm print was just a coincidence, an incredible coincidence. I know that's tough to believe. But now consider that Studebaker signed Box A right across the middle of the box, and that--you guessed it--it turned out he'd signed his name across the only palm print of Oswald's found on the box.

So that's three for three. Three palm prints attributed to Oswald are purported to have been found in the sniper's nest. And all three of them were found by Studebaker's signature or initials...even though two of these three prints were not discovered until after Studebaker signed or initialed the evidence.

Such a coincidence is a defense attorney's wet dream, folks. Present these facts. Then season the story with some facts about how easy it is to add a suspect's fingerprints onto an object once you get access to his fingerprints. And then recall Studebaker's subsequent admission he tried to sell copies of the crime scene evidence for money.

That's a recipe for acquittal.





More of the Same

Still--a quick reminder--no matter how suspicious the actions, statements, and testimony of the Dallas Police on the assassination, they were not alone, as the FBI, Secret Service, and Warren Commission all spread their own fair share of manure.

Take, for example, Commission Exhibit 1301, a copy of one of the Dallas Police Department's re-enactment photos with notations added to designate the locations of the fingerprints and palm prints found in the sniper's nest.

Should one have any doubt the Warren Commission's misrepresentation of the prints on the paper bag was part of a deliberate pattern, one only has to look at the location of the prints on Box A in Commission Exhibit 1301. Because...ding ding ding... the location of these prints was once again misrepresented. And...ding ding ding...their misrepresentation once again helped sell that Oswald left these prints while preparing to shoot the President.

I mean, think about it... a left palm print in the bottom left corner of the top of a box and a right index fingerprint on the opposite corner suggests Oswald was sitting there with his hands on the top of the box, anxiously watching the motorcade... while a left palm print towards the middle of this box destroys this illusion.


A, B, But Not C...
Or D?

Now, here's another little problem, that might signify a larger problem.

Here's a crop from a recent archives photo showing the signatures on Box A.


Note that Robert Studebaker signed the box below the current location of a white sticker pointing out the one-time location of the palm print, and that Studebaker's bosses, George Doughty and J.C. Day left their marks on the box above the current location of this sticker.

Now, here's a close-up of the signatures on Box B.


Well, there they are again--Doughty at the top, then Day, and then Studebaker's signature.

Now, look at the end of Box C, which was purportedly on top on 11-22-63.


Now this is admittedly hard to make out. So here's a close-up view of the only area in which I detect signatures or initials.


Where in the world are Doughty's and Day's marks? Studebaker marked it twice. He wrote RLS with a red pen--presumably the same pen with which he designated the direction the box was facing. And he also signed the box. Beneath his signature, moreover, is the upside down mark of FBI agent Vincent Drain, who supervised the collection of these boxes from the DPD. Drain's mark can be found on all the boxes, at various distances from the marks of the DPD.

But Doughty and Day signed Box A, Box B, and the cardboard ripped from Box D within an inch or so of Studebaker's marks. It's as if they didn't want him to get credit, or be put on the hot seat, whatever. But, as far as I can tell, they failed to mark Box C...anywhere on the box.

Let's reflect. Studebaker is purported to have dusted the boxes in the sniper's nest on 11-22-63 and to have found but one print--on Box D. It's purported, furthermore, that this print was then torn from the box. Well, think about it, this means that, as far as the DPD was concerned on 11-25, when they purportedly packed up Boxes A-D for shipment to the FBI, all four of these boxes were of equal stature, and equally likely to reveal Oswald's prints after being processed using silver nitrate.

So why did Day and Doughty fail to sign Box C?

And why did Studebaker fail to sign Box D? (I'd write Day, Doughty, and Studebaker but accept the possibility Doughty and Day's marks are somewhere on the image below. Not so Studebaker.)




Did they know the FBI wouldn't find any prints of value on these boxes? And did they know this because, yikes, they were the ones adding Oswald's prints to the boxes?

Let's recall here a surprising slip by Sebastian Latona.

Mr. EISENBERG. Did you find evidence of processing prior to your receipt apart from the exhibit which is now 649?
Mr. LATONA. Yes; this particular area which has been cut out had been processed with powder.
Mr. EISENBERG. Was there powder on other areas of the box?
Mr. LATONA. I don't believe there was.

Now, to be clear, Latona told the commission he saw no signs any of the boxes had been dusted with fingerprint powder. He noted powder on the piece of cardboard ripped from Box D, the bag supposedly found in the building, and the rifle found in the northwest corner of the building, but did not recall there being any powder on this boxes. Hmmm... This seems like something he would have noticed, should these boxes have been as heavily powdered as depicted in Studebaker Exhibit J.

Here again is Studebaker Exhibit J (in which powder seems apparent, on R) alongside a digitized version of the DPD's original negative for that photo.



Note that in Studebaker J the front of Box B (the window box), the whole of Box D (the seat box), and the upper left hand corner of the nearest side of Box A (the rifle rest box) appear to be covered with powder. And then look at the original version of this photo at its left. Someone monkeyed with Studebaker J to make it look like these boxes had been dusted, right?

Now, let's jump to what the HSCA's investigators claimed Lt. Day told them...

"On arrival, on the sixth floor, he went over to the Southeast corner and observed three "Hulls" on the floor. There were cardboard boxes stacked around the window. He believes that Captain Fritz was already at the scene, when he arrived. Lieut. Day took photographs of the scene and was able to lift a palm print from the top of a cardboard box stacked by the window at the S.E. corner.- Lieut. Day removed (cut out) the piece of cardboard with the print on it. This palm print was later, positively identified as belonging to Oswald. He stated that he believes Captain Fritz told him that the rifle had been found. Lieut Day went back to the area of the freight elevator and observed the rifle between some boxes..."

The report then discusses Day's work on the rifle and journey to the crime lab. It then relates...

"The F.B.I, agent took Lieut. Day back to the T.S.B.D. where he took photographs and measurements until about five or six o'clock."

Well, let's stop right there. Not only does this report suggest that Lt. Day told the investigators he'd cut the cardboard from the box, it suggests that he'd done as much before he even heard about the rifle..

Now let's look at what Lt. Day told Larry Sneed...

"One of those boxes near the window had a palm print on it. Looking out the window, it was in just the right place where you'd rest your palm if you were sitting on a box. We used a metallic powder and got a palm print which later turned out to be Oswald's.

All those boxes which had his fingerprints on them didn't mean that much to me at the time because the man worked there and handled the boxes. I didn't take all those with me. The prints that we got from the box he was sitting on meant something to me because there weren't any prints on the side of it, just on the top of the corner, indicating that he had not picked it up during the normal course of work. We just tore that off and didn't take the whole box with us." (No More Silence, 1998, p.234)

And Bob Porter, in an 8-15-96 Sixth Floor Museum Oral History...

"That palm print, this part of the palm, was right on the corner of that box. It popped up pretty good. I say it popped up, it appeared pretty good when we put powder on it. Whoever had put it there used a lot of pressure and got a lot of oil off his hand on the box. We didn't at that time find prints on any other boxes that I remember. Of course, powder is not the best way to check a print on a cardboard box. You need a chemical there. We did find that one using the powder, and we selected that print because it looked like it might have been left by someone sitting on the box."

And then, later, when talking to Porter...

"Prints at that time didn't mean too much to me because he worked there. But the one box which somebody had apparently been sitting on, that palm print, did mean something. The way it was on there, it didn't look like somebody had picked it up. It looked like they was just resting on it. And they really put pressure on it to put a lot of grease, oil on their hand. About three or four days later, two days something, I don't remember, but I got another directive from the chief's office...release everything you have to the FBI. I hadn't done anything with any of that other stuff. I think they did have us go back and collect those boxes, many of those  boxes down there. I don't remember exactly when that was. But they were given to the FBI also. It was my understanding that they did find prints on those boxes belonging to Oswald, but they used a chemical rather than a powder. But I never got around to using chemicals."

So...take this for a spin. If (per Latona) Box D wasn't dusted with fingerprint powder, and (per Day's interview with the HSCA investigators) Day retrieved the box top before working on the rifle, and (per Day's subsequent statements to Sneed and Porter) Day "selected" the palm print on the seat box because he thought it "meant something," well, this suggests that Day/Studebaker decided to take the box top as an insurance policy, should the FBI fail to find any prints on the boxes with chemicals, or on the rifle, using powder.

Now, add into this that Day and Doughty signed Boxes A and B, but failed to sign Box C (and maybe D). Well, this suggests that Day, Doughty and Studebaker knew Oswald's prints would not be found on Boxes C and D.

Doughty, we should add, was in charge of fingerprinting suspects. Day, of course, was in charge of finding latent prints, and matching these prints to suspects. Studebaker was in charge of the crime scene in Day's absence. The thought occurs, then, that the three of them were capable of conjuring up evidence should they wish to do so, and of making this evidence stick.

And, yes, I know it would be cherry-picking to say this is how it went down, or anything like that, but the point is that we really know very little, as too many holes were left in the official story, and too many lies told and mistakes committed, to come to a firm conclusion beyond that the government's case against Oswald was weak weak sauce that may very well have evaporated when placed under a microscope by a gifted defense attorney.

I mean, just think of it. The President is murdered. And the crime scene investigator tasked with building a case against his suspected assassin fails to take pictures of not one but two important pieces of evidence, and instead parades evidence before the media, and gives tours of the crime scene. He then takes a few days off, during which he fails to perform any of the comparisons or tests he knows can shed further light on his case.

And not only that, he tells numerous lies about the evidence.

At what point does one assume the case against Oswald was bullshit?

It's maddening, isn't it? Every bit of evidence against Oswald seems tainted by strange circumstance or misrepresentation. It 's hard to get beyond it.

And, yeah, I know some of you are thinking I've forgotten all about the seemingly damning fact Oswald's palm print was supposedly found on the rifle.

Nope.


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