Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Prayer Man" at the TSBD

Thanks to Randy Sorensen for putting this composite together. 

The photo on the upper left is a frame from a film taken by a reporter who was in the press car, a convertible in the motorcade. It shows the front door to the Texas School Book Depository moments after the last shot, and the film includes scenes of Dallas motorcyle policemen Marion Baker running to the front door where he will pass the man standing on the top step to the left of the door.

Under interrogation Oswald claimed that he was in the first floor lunchroomat the time of the shooting, then went out front to see what all the commotion was about.

While this person, dubbed "Prayer Man" because of the way his hands are folded in front of him, could be Oswald, it also could be Buel Wesley Frazer, the young man who gave Oswald a ride to work that morning.

For more on Frazer, see him interviewed at http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/LeeHarv  in which he sticks to his story that the package Oswald carried into work that day was too small to be the rifle. He also claims that Capt. Fritz tried to get him to sign a "confession" that was drawn up by the police, which he refused to do.

If the man in the film is Oswald, or if Oswald was telling the truth as to his whereabouts at the time of the assassination - and he was last seen on the first floor by three other employees, then it seems like he went up the front stairs to the second floor and encountered Baker and Roy Truly in the lunchroom where he went to buy a coke.

Oswald then left the second floor lunchroom the same way he entered it, and then encountered Mrs. Reid in the office, where she saw Oswald walking with his coke.

Wesley Frazier 

Frazier at DPD on 11/22/63 in same clothes he wore that day
Despite Gary Mack's certainty that William Shelley is Prayer Man, Shelley is pictured in photos as wearing a suit and tie and testified that he and Lovelady immediately went across the street to the traffic island where he looked back and observed Officer Baker enter the front door. So it can't be Shelley. It is also troubling that Frazer can't identify himself in the photo, especially if he is Prayer Man, as I suspect.
On Sept. 19, 2013 Gary Mack wrote: The Prayer Man question has probably been answered.  I recently sent the Couch and Darnell frames to Buell Frazier and asked what he thought.  First, he wouldn’t confirm himself being on the top step because the image isn’t clear enough.  He then re-confirmed that Lovelady and Shelley were out on the steps with him, just as he has always said, but  he couldnt confirm Shelley, either, due to the image quality. 
Next I asked about Shelley’s appearance and learned he was a little taller than Lovelady (who was 5’8”), had red hair and a slender build.  When I asked if Shelley usually wore a coat and tie to work Buell said no, he “dressed daily in slacks and sport shirts.”  And he repeated that he, Lovelady and Shelley stayed on the steps for “a short time” after the last shot, but he didn’t estimate how long.
So unless Buell Frazier is still part of the cover-up plot, TSBD “Miscellaneous Department” manager William Shelley, by elimination, must be Prayer Man.  According to Shelley’s testimony, “I didn’t do anything for a minute” following the last shot, so the man was standing on the steps before, during and after the time Darnell and Couch filmed those brief scenes.
Gary Mack

Monday, August 12, 2013

Case for a New Autopsy

By William Kelly (billkelly3@gmail.com)

The victim was murdered, gunned down on the street in broad daylight in front of hundreds of witnesses.

The cause of death - a bullet to the head, was determined by an autopsy. But after that fact was clearly established, there is complete legal confusion - as the body was improperly removed from the state where the murder occurred before there was a proper forensic autopsy, as required by law. Rather than a proper forensic autopsy – which creates certified evidence that can be used in a court of law, a less thorough regular autopsy was performed, the purpose of which was to determine the cause of death - gunshot to the head.

But there were three different autopsy reports prepared, the doctors who conducted the autopsy did not talk about the wounds with the emergency room doctors who treated them, and there were two brain exams, one of a brain that was not that of the victim.

The photos, x-rays and reports of the autopsy could not be introduced as evidence in a court of law because the technicians who took the photos and x-rays could not identify them as the ones they created, so the provenance - the chain of evidence from the scene of the crime to the grave, is broken and lost, much like our history.

If the victim was an unknown bum found dead in a street gutter and his death was considered suspicious, his remains would be routinely exhumed and given a proper forensic autopsy - one that would produce photos, x-rays and reports that could be introduced as evidence in a court of law.

But justice has been thwarted in this case because the victim was the President of the United States named John F. Kennedy, and political forces have intervened to prevent a proper legal resolution of the case and keep the truth from being known.

The details of the original, botched autopsy are well known. When the doctors in the emergency room at Parkland Hospital in Dallas viewed the wounds within minutes after they were inflicted, they only examined the throat and head wounds. The throat wound they assumed, because of its small size, to be one of entrance, and it was enlarged to insert breathing tubes.

The head wound, as all the Parkland doctors agreed, was a large, grapefruit sized whole in the back of the head, indicating an exit wound, and a flap of bone and flesh on the side of the head above the ear exposed the brain. The large, gaping hole in the back of the President’s head was also confirmed by Secret Service agent Clint Hill, who twice viewed it and confirmed its existence.

Because the President was lying on his back on the hospital gurney,and the nature of the head wounds precluded his survival, the Parkland doctors didn’t turn him over and didn't know there was also an entrance wound in the back, about six inches below the neck.

They did however, find a nearly pristine bullet on a gurney that may have been used by to wheel the President or Texas Governor John Connally into the emergency room.

The autopsy doctors, when they discovered the entrance wound in the back, found that the bullet only penetrated a few inches, less than a finger, and the bullet probably fell out and was the one discovered on the gurney at Parkland. A four star military general ordered the doctors not to track the full extent of the back wound.

The next day the autopsy doctors were surprised to learn that the Parkland emergency doctors had enlarged an already existing throat wound – which they believed to be an entrance wound, so it was realized that, even though their conclusion as to the cause of death - gunshot to the head, was correct, the rest of their report was invalid as more information became available from witnesses at Parkland.

Eventually the official report on the assassination concluded that the back wound was not a superficial, two inch deep wound, but did in fact transit the victim and exited his throat, and then inflicted all of the wounds on Governor Connally in the jump seat in front of the President, creating the “Single Bullet Theory,” which is required if all of the wounds were by one gunman shooting from behind.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigated the murder in the late 1970s and in the 1990s the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) questioned the doctors, photographers and x-ray technicians. They testified that could not recognize their work, sometimes explaining that the photos in evidence could not have been the ones they took because they were of a different type of film and not from the angles of the photos they took.

In retrospect, everyone with any knowledge of the Bethesda Naval Hospital autopsy agrees that it was a medical and legal abortion, and all of the autopsy reports, exams, x-rays and photos have lost their chain of possession and the provenance necessary for them to be introduced into evidence in a court of law.

 Because the cause of death was a “gunshot to the head,” and therefore a murder, this case certainly meets the “suspicious death” threshold necessary for the law to require a new, proper forensic autopsy, one that would answer all outstanding questions and recreate the lost provenance of the chain of evidence in the case.

But since the victim is not an ordinary American citizen, but the President of the United States, the laws, rules and standards are considered different - and rather than give the President the best and most thorough autopsy he deserves, observance of the law is relegated to the feelings of the Kennedy family.

In a press release for the NOVA TV science program Cold Case JFK it is noted that, “Renowned JFK assassination expert and professor John McAdamas weighs in on the findings of the Warren Commission , the deficiencies of the medical and autopsy evidence, and the lack of understanding on the part of the Kennedy camp on the need for a forensic autopsy at the time..”

Indeed, a forensic autopsy is what is needed, and it is one that can and should be done today, in honor of the president on the fiftieth anniversary of his murder.

Society gives the family primary control over the body of the deceased, yet in many cases a coroner, district attorney or grand jury has the power to order the exhumation of a body for a forensic autopsy, especially in the case of a suspicious death or homicide.

In an academic presentation on the subject of a new autopsy at a 2003 Conference, the topic should have been presented in an objective, unbiased fashion, but instead, an emotional appeal was made to respect the Kennedy family, to honor the revered dead and let them rest in peace.

Well, the revered dead are turning over in their graves and will never rest in peace, and neither will we, until the total truth is determined, including the answers to the many questions concerning the medical evidence and botched autopsy of the President.

The first objection to a proper forensic autopsy is the feelings of the Kennedy family, and like the decision of the Connally family at the death of John Connally, not to permit an autopsy, it has always been assumed that the Kennedy family would also oppose a new, proper forensic autopsy.

John Connally and his wife were sitting just in front of President Kennedy and he was wounded in the same barrage of bullets. They never believed the “single bullet theory,” and it has been suggested that there is more lead in Connally's wrist than is missing from the so-called “magic bullet.”

When Connally died the Justice Department requested the bullet fragments be removed, but the request was denied by the Connally family.

When the Department of Justice agreed to request of John T. Orr, Jr. one of the most respected federal attorneys, to subject bullet fragments CE567 to further tests, they also noted in a memo for the record that: “...It is our view that the Department (of Justice) has retained investigative jurisdiction over the assassination, though such investigation is restricted to activities which are not based upon the expectation of an eventual federal prosecution. Thus, the examination of evidence in federal possession is seemingly appropriate, [while] obtaining evidence by grand jury subpoena would likely be inappropriate. This position was adopted by the Division and endorsed b the Office of the Deputy Attorney General when we declined to seek a court order for exhumation of former Governor Connally’s body following allegations that bullet fragments remaining in his body from the incident would reveal, by weight or composition, the existence of additional bullets.”  [For more on CE567 see: http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2012/03/re-wc-ce-567-bullet-fragment-found.html]

Though no one has actually asked them, like the Connallys, it has always been assumed that the Kennedys will deny such a request as well.

That may have been the case with the previous generation who witnessed the public exhumation and butchering of the body of Lee Harvey Oswald, which was done to positively establish his identity.

But today a proper forensic autopsy can be conducted with dignity, it can answer many of the outstanding questions, legally reestablish the provenance of the medical evidence in the case and reconnect the truth to history.

In fact, with today's modern scientific techniques and equipment, the body can be photographed, x-rayed and given MRI and similar non-intrusive surveys so that the body does not have to be touched or probed. These photographs, x-rays and scans will not be gruesome, but are like works of art, and will be studied by forensic science students for generations into the future.

Now that the Kennedy family is led by a new generation who are interested in public service, they should allow for the legal process, established by the Constitution, to function as it should, and permit a proper forensic autopsy, not only in the interest of the Kennedy family, but in the best interests of the nation.


               Your discussion re the original JFK autopsy and the legal /forensic scientific basis for proposing an exhumation examination are quite valid and clearly stated.

               Based upon my 51 years as a practicing forensic pathologist who has performed approximately 18,000 autopsies and reviewed, supervised, or has been consulted on approximately 36.000 other post-mortem examinations, I can state that you are correct in your assertion that such an exhumation and repeat autopsy would be undertaken if the scenario you have set forth involved some “run-of-the-mill” citizen. [In fact, I have personally performed about 30-36 such examinations in my years of practice].

               Although I very much doubt that either the Kennedy family [i.e., Caroline] or the US government will ever agree to have this done, there is no reason why the well-reasoned argument you have set forth should not be proposed in appropriate fashion, i.e., with utmost respect and buttressed with solid, unarguable forensic scientific/legal reasoning.

               MRI and CT Scan in a virtual autopsy fashion. Along with careful, detailed, precisely measured visual external examination could provide us with all the necessary information without having to perform any further dissection.

               As part of such a dignified “campaign”, why not also pursue the mystery of the missing brain?  Since I publicly revealed this in August 1972, nobody has officially and formally accounted for the “disappearance” of this vital piece of evidence.

               Keep me posted on how you intend to pursue this matter.

               Best wishes.
Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.

Also thanks to Gary Mack for this note and calling our attention to the cemetery's policy that permits reinterment by order of a court with proper jurisdiction or with permission of the family, and without any cost to the government. While an order from a court is more likely, if the family permits, the costs would be offset by most of those involved working pro bono.

Gary Mack notes:

While she's alive it cannot happen without Caroline's approval and Bill's payment of all costs involved:  http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=13664  And here are the pages with the relevant legal information: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-1998-title38-vol1/pdf/CFR-1998-title38-vol1-sec1-621.pdf

It seems to me we've had 50 years of personal interpretations of what documents and information mean to CTs, but there's no significant proof of anything other than Oswald being the killer and having a really strange history that may not have been fully revealed.

By the way, the only reason the Connally family declined an autopsy was because they were asked AT the grave site services.  Had the request gotten to them sooner, and the FBI did make a very good effort as a result of a plea from or through Jim Lesar, they would have considered it.  And yes, I've asked that question of a family member and another very closely connected to Governor Connally.

For more on Lesar and FBI inquiry see:
JFKCountercoup2: Connally Bullet Fragments

Gary Mack

Department of Veterans Affairs (p.75)

1.621 Disinterment from national cemeteries.
(a) Interments of eligible decedents in national cemeteries are considered permanent and final. Disinterment will be permitted only for cogent reasons and with the prior written authorization of the National Cemetery Area Office Director or Cemetery Director responsible for the cemetery involved. Disinterment from a national cemetery will be approved only when all living immediate family members of the decedent, and the person who initiated the interment (whether or not he or she is a member of the immediate family), give their written consent, or when a court order or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction directs the disinterment.

For purposes of this section, “immediate family members” are defined as surviving spuse, whether or not he or she is married; all adult children of the decedent; the appointed guardian(s) of minor children; and the appointed guardian(s) of the surviving spouse or of the adult child(ren) of the decedent. If the surviving spouse and all of the children of the decedent are deceased, the decedent's parents will be considered “immediate family members.”
(b) All requests for authority to disinter remains will be submitted on VA Form 40-4970. Reauests for Disinterment, and will include the following information:
  1. A full statement of reasons for the proposed disinterment.
  2. Notarized statement(s) by all living immediate family members of the decedent, and the person who initiated the interment (whether or not he or she is a member of the immediate family), that they consent to the proposed disinterment.
  3. A notarized statement by the person requesting the disinterment that those who supplied affidavits comprise all of the living immediate family members of the deceased.
(Authority :38 U.S.C.2404 lieu of the documents required in paragraph (b) of this section, an order of a court of competent jurisdiction will be considered.

    (d) Any disinterment that may be authorized under this section must be accomplished without expense to the government.
    (The reporting and record keeping requirements in paragraph (b) have been approved by the Office of Management under OMB control number 2900-0365)   

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

JFK and Atlantic City

                                  JFK Bust at Kennedy Plaza on the Atlantic City Boardwalk

JFK and Atlantic City
by William Kelly

                                  Skinny D'Amato and JFK during the 1960 Campaign

As the nation and the world reflect on the legacy of President John F. Kennedy in the course of the media frenzy building up for the 50th anniversary of his murder, Atlantic City's role in the Kennedy Story should be recognized and recorded for the record.

In looking back over time since the assassination of President Kennedy, it's quite clear
that Atlantic City played a major role in the evolving course of events and some of its residents were major characters in the Kennedy drama, which was sometimes comic and other times tragic.

John Martino, Skinny D'Amato, Charles Ford and Carroll Rosenbloom were all Atlantic City natives who became entwined in the JFK assassination story.

Although you wouldn't know it, the boardwalk in front of Boardwalk Hall is officially known as Kennedy Plaza, and if you look for it, back against the rail, there's a life-sized statute, a shoulders and head bust of President Kennedy by renown sculpture Evangelos Frudakis.

Unveiled by New Jersey Governor Richard Hughes at the time of the 1964 Democratic National Convention, held at Boardwalk Hall, then known as Convention Hall, the beautifully sculptured bust is much more attractive than the bland monument to JFK erected by the city of Dallas.

Not to be left alone, JFK's bust has been more recently joined by other lesser known local political figures, but JFK stand there today as a reminder of what might have been had he not been murdered in Dallas fifty years ago this November.

If JFK was not killed he most certainly would have been re-nominated as the Democratic Party's candidate for President, and Atlantic City would have been the place to celebrate and party, with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the Rat Pack at the Five, Sammy Davis, Jr. at the Club Harlem and the Beatles at Steel Pier, it would have been a blast, but the fates intervened.

Even though he was a Republican, "Hap" Farley, the political boss of Atlantic City who succeeded Nucky Johnson, promoted the idea of Atlantic City hosting the Democratic Convention. Farley wanted to impress the Democrats by giving them a good time and then try to get both the Democratic and Republican Conventions in 1968,

The deal for the '64 convention coming to Atlantic City was sealed when Frank Sinatra and Sam Giancana, through Skinny D'Amato, owner of Atlantic City's 500 Club, helped swing the West Virginia Democratic primary in Kennedy's favor, defeating Hubert Humphrey, thus ensuring him the party's nomination on the first ballot at the 1960 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles.

Sinatra contributed his song "High Hopes," which became Kennedy's official campaign song, while Skinny helped Kennedy by greasing the West Virginia Sheriff's association, who held their annual meeting in Atlantic City. Then Sam Giancana, the Chicago mob boss, at the request of Sinatra and Old Man Joe Kennedy, is said to have gotten the dead to vote for Kennedy in the general election, which JFK won by only a few hundred thousand votes, the closest election ever.

Kennedy asked Sinatra to make the entertainment arrangements for his Inaugural Ball in Washington, and Sinatra began making plans for the re-nomination party at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, which was to be held in Atlantic City.

                                                      Frank and Jack at the Inaugural Ball

The Inaugural Ball was a smashing affair, but a lot happened in the aftermath, as JFK appointed his brother Bobby Attorney General, and RFK had his Justice Department go after organized crime, especially targeting Sam Giancana and his mob associates - Johnny Rosselli, Carlos Marcello of New Orleans and Santo Traficante of Tampa and Havana, Cuba.

And a lot of what happened had to do with Cuba as Fidel Castro's revolution finally succeed on New Year's eve 1959, and Castro began to eliminate the Havana gangster elements who ran the casinos under the corrupt Batista regime.

With the proceeds of profits made smuggling and bootlegging liquor during prohibition, the national syndicate of organized crime - led by the Commission, which was formed in Atlantic City in April 1929, had invested heavily in casino gambling in Las Vegas, Florida and Havana.

In 1958, after three decades of running Havana like Nucky Johnson ran Atlantic City, Lansky decided to bail out and cash in his chips, possibly leery of Fidel Castro's revolution. Lansky, the Syndicate's treasurer, sold his Hotel Nacional casino in Havana to Mike McLaney, one of JFK's golfing partners, and Carroll Rosenbloom, the owner of the Baltimore Colts NFL football team, who lived at the Jersey Shore in Margate.

John Martino, a Ducktown, Atlantic City bookie, became a casino security specialist who Santo Traficante sent to Havana to help run his casino, but Castro had Martino arrested as a spy, though most of the other gangsters got out with their shirts and whatever cash they could carry.

Sam Giancana had been involved with the CIA in the plots to kill Castro since 1959, when Eisenhower was president, and the gangsters thought their assistance in getting JFK elected and helping the CIA kill Castro would be enough to get them off the hook for any minor legal transgressions. But Attorney General RFK kept pursing them even though his brother, the president, was sharing a bed with mob moll Judith Campbell Exner, Sinatra and Giancana. Frank, Sam, Judy and Jack were all in bed together, both literally and figuratively.

Charles Ford, an Atlantic City native, was the CIA's middle man between the Kennedy brothers and the mobsters. Ford attended local high school and Princeton before becoming a CIA training officer, pulled from instructional chores to serve as RFK's CIA liaison with the mobsters during the CIA plots to get rid of Castro.

When John Martino finally got out of Cuban prison, exchanged with the Bay of Pigs veterans, he wrote a book, "I Was Castro's Prisoner," and for awhile became room mates with John Rosselli, who oversaw the mob's business in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and whose CIA case officer William Harvey, was known as "America's James Bond."

At the CIA's University of Miami's JMWAVE station Rosselli was known as "Colonel Rosselli" and ran one of the anti-Castro Cuban commando raider teams that was trying to kill Castro. One of the plots they hatched was to kill Castro with a high powered rifle from a  tall building while he rode in an open jeep, but then President Kennedy was killed in Dallas while riding in an open limousine through Dealey Plaza.

On the morning of November 22, 1963, John Martino told his wife that Kennedy would never leave Dallas alive, that he would be killed by a sniper and a patsy would be arrested to take the blame.

The following August, Kennedy's successor President Lyndon B. Johnson was paranoid. He knew that shortly after the Democratic convention, his hand picked commission would conclude that President Kennedy was killed by a lone assassin, and there was no conspiracy, but he was scared. LBJ was afraid that the still simmering sympathy for the slain president would lead to Robert F. Kennedy being spontaneously drafted as the Democrat Party's candidate, a distinct possibility at an open convention.

To make sure that didn't happen LBJ postponed the planned tribute to JFK until the end of the convention, after he was safely nominated, selecting Humbert Humphrey as his running mate. LBJ also had Bobby Kennedy's phone tapped and in order to avoid the bugs he suspected RFK or the FBI had placed in his own Atlantic City hotel room, he instead stayed at the Margate beach house of Carroll Rosenbloom.

While Rosenbloom may have lost his shirt in Havana when Castro confiscated his casino without compensation, he was a gambler and the side bets he had placed on LBJ had come up big.

Once LBJ had the nomination in hand, they showed a film depicting the Kennedy presidency and then RFK took the podium. After an extended twenty-two minute standing ovation RFK delivered a now famous speech in which he quoted a line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that the widow Jackie had written on a piece of paper and slipped to him. "When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little starts, and he will make the face of heaven so fine and all the world will be in love with night, and pay no worship to the garish sun."

The week of the convention Sinatra kept his end of the deal and appeared at Skinny D'Amato's 500 Club, but it just wasn't the way they planned it.

Skinny and his wife outside the FIVE. Bandleader Pete Miller's son Pete Miller is the Margate literary agent for Vincent Bugliosi, whose book on the Kennedy assassination is being made into a Tom Hanks film "Parkland."

For Atlantic City the 1964 Democratic Convention was a public relations disaster, as the national press corps and international radio and TV journalists reported on the true state of Atlantic City - America's Playground was the pits. Just as the Kennedy-Sinatra relationship had "high hopes,' but went sour after the election, Atlantic City was not the same place it was in it's hey days, when all of the boardwalk hotels were first class establishments and all the guests were treated royally. By the early 1960s the old hotels were falling apart, with pealing paint, broken plumbing, electric lights that didn't work and employees who treated the guests shabbily, like Shoebes.

Although it would take another decade, the sad state of affairs on the boardwalk eventually led to the casino gambling legislation that would level most of the old hotels and in their place build modern hotel casinos that would reinvigorate Atlantic City into another era.

Today, the bust of JFK at Kennedy Plaza is about the only historical remnant left to remind us of that time and place, what might have been had JFK lived and Camelot came to Atlantic City.

35th President 
of the 
May 29 1917 
Nov 22 1963

[Bill Kelly can be reached at billkelly3@gmail.com or 609-425-6297]

Photo caps:

1) JFK confers with Skinny D'Amato during the 1960 election campaign in Camden County.

2) Frank and Jack at the Inagural Ball in Washington.

3) Skinny and his wife outside the 500 Club. House band leader Pete Miller's son Peter is the New York literary agent for Vincent Bugliosi, whose book "Reclaiming History" is being made into a Tom Hanks movie "Parkland."

4)  JFK Bust at Kennedy Plaza, in front of Boardwalk Hall