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Why on earth would Boyd have to identify cartridges that he had already identified two months earlier ?

The absence of copper on the bullets speaks for itself, so I'd like to comment on the corrosion on the shells. My experience has taught me that such corrosion is caused by moisture being trapped between the leather holder and the shell and it occurs over an extended length of time.

If you look at the bullets in the gun belt, you can see that the shells are covered by the holder in exactly the same position as the red box above.

The corrosion reveals that the shells were in either a bullet slide ( above, top right ) or a gun belt ( above, bottom right ) for a long period of time.

In fact, no evidence exists that Oswald either owned a bullet slide or a gun belt and neither was ever found by authorities among Oswald's possessions.

But such items WERE used by police. In addition, the unfired bullets allegedly found on Oswald's person were .38 Specials, the choice among police departments.

During testimony regarding the unfired .38 rounds, Warren Commissioner Hale Boggs seems to take a line of questioning suggesting that police had planted the bullets on Oswald. Giving the testimony is the FBI's Firearms ID expert Cortlandt Cunningham:

Representative BOGGS. Is this a police weapon as well?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Yes; and a very good one. Not in that particular caliber. In other words, the caliber----

Representative BOGGS. That is what I meant.

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. 38 S&W is not a popular cartridge in this country. The .38 Special is.

Representative BOGGS. 38 Special is?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Yes, sir. That cartridge.

Representative BOGGS. With police forces?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. We use it. Most of your larger police forces use the .38 Special. It is a better cartridge.

( 3 H 478 )

Then Commission counsel Eisenberg changes the subject before this line of questioning can continue.

There appears to be more problems with these unfired rounds. Like so much of the other evidence in this case, there's a problem with the chain of custody. During his testimony, Dallas Police Detective Elmer Boyd testified that he had removed the unfired rounds from Oswald's pants pocket as they were getting ready to enter the showup room for the first lineup.

The first lineup was at 4pm. Oswald was arrested at 1:47pm. Why did the Dallas Police wait over two hours to search Oswald's person ?

Boyd testified that he removed the rounds from Oswald's pocket and put them in his own. He further stated that he marked the shells when he returned to the office and identified those shells ( CE 592 ) in his testimony by his mark. ( 7 H 126 )

But what happened to them next is interesting. Boyd testifies that he turned them over to "someone in the police department":

Mr. BALL. And turned them over to whom?

Mr. BOYD. Well, let me see---it seems like we had a drawer there where we had some more property, where we put it all in there you know, where they had the other stuff--I have forgotten just exactly where it would be.

Mr. BALL. You turned them over to someone in the police department?

Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.

( 7 H 126 )

Who that "someone" was is anybody's guess. For Boyd to testify that Police had "a drawer" where all the evidence was kept but he "forgot" where it was located sounds dubious. All evidence in the case should have been secured in a single location and kept under the tightest security.Anyone and everyone who handled the evidence should have marked it and such handling should have been documented with the date, time and signature of the person handling it.

But this was not apparently done.

Detective Richard Simms, Boyd's partner who was present during the search of Oswald, likewise could shed no light on what happened to the unfired rounds:

Mr. BALL. And what about the five rounds of live ammunition, what did you do with those?

Mr. SIMS. It was also placed in the envelope.

Mr. BALL. And turned over to whom--Fritz?

Mr. SIMS. I don't know who that was turned over to.

( 7 H 173 )

So here we have a serious problem with the chain of custody.

In fact, FBI Headquarters didn't receive the unfired rounds until November 30th, eight days after the assassination.They received them from the Dallas Office of the FBI. The FBI's expert, Cortlandt Cunningham, testified that he had "no first hand knowledge" whether or not the shells actually originated with the Dallas Police, but the FBI report stated that they had:

Mr. EISENBERG. Can you tell us who you received them from?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. The Dallas office of the FBI. I have no first-hand knowledge. I know that they were received from the Dallas Police Department--but that was due to what I have read in an FBI investigative report. The laboratory received them from the Dallas office on November 30.

( 3 H 460 )

How could Cunningham have expressed such doubt as to the origin of the shells if Elmer Boyd had marked them as he said he did ? Shouldn't Cunningham have seen Boyd's marks ? Shouldn't Cunningham have noted the marks in his description of the shells ?

Mr. EISENBERG. Could you describe the bullets in Exhibit 592, Mr. Cunningham?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Yes, sir; all five of them are Western .38 Special cartridges, which are loaded with copper-coated lead bullets.

( 3 H 459 )

Period. That's it. No marks, no initials, just the shells.

Here's something else interesting.

Boyd gave his testimony identifying the unfired rounds on April 6, 1964 at 11am. That testimony is found in 7 H 119. Two months later, on June 12, 1964, Boyd is again shown the shells by Dallas FBI agent Bardwell Odum and identifies his mark and the shells as the ones he took from Oswald.

"Five additional live cartridges were found in Oswald's pocket, all of which were Western .38 Specials, loaded with copper-coated bullets.. The Western and Remington-Peters .38 Special cartridges are virtually identical--the copper coating on the Western bullets is not a full jacket, but only a gilding metal, put on principally for sales appeal."

( Report, pg. 559 )

There are two main problems that I see with this evidence. The first is that although the photograph is in color, there appears to be no copper coating on the bullets. The second involves the corrosion on the shells. Type your paragraph here.

Bullets in the pocket


"Insinuations that Dallas police officials and District Attorney Henry M. Wade fabricated or altered evidence to establish the guilt of Oswald were baseless." ( WC Report, pg. 654 )


The "Misfired" Round

Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested inside the Texas Theater at about 1:47 PM on November 22, 1963 after a scuffle with police during which the police allege that Oswald pulled a .38 caliber handgun and attempted to kill the arresting officers.

One of those Dallas Police officers, N.M. McDonald, testified in Volume 3 page 301, that he examined the six unfired cartridges that were in the chambers of Oswald's revolver after his arrest and that one of them had a dent in the primer, indicating Oswald had pulled the trigger but the weapon misfired.

 Mr. BALL. And did you look at the ammunition in the revolver, the six rounds in the cylinder?

Mr. McDONALD. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. Did you notice anything unusual about any one of them?

Mr. McDONALD. I noticed on the primer of one of the shells it had an indentation on it, but not one that had been fired or anything--not that strong of an indentation.

On the next page, McDonald identifies one of the bullets in Commission Exhibit 145 as the bullet with the indentation:

Mr. BALL. And there are two cartridges that have been marked as Commission Exhibit 145 that the witness is also examining. Now, on one of the cartridges that have come from Commission's Exhibit 145, consisting of two cartridges, one of these you identify as a cartridge with a dent in it?

Mr. McDONALD. Yes, sir.

Mr. BALL. How can you tell this?

Mr. McDONALD. From the center of this-of the primer there-it is a small indentation, and some of the metal is blurred or not polished.

Cortland Cunningham of the FBI agreed that there was a mark on the primer of one cartridge, but that it was not made by a firing pin:

Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Cunningham, returning to Exhibit 145, do either of the two cartridges in Exhibit 145 bear any signs of having suffered an impact from the firing pin in the revolver, Exhibit 143?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. An examination of these two cartridges, the primers of these two cartridges, reveals no marks that could be associated with the firing pin in Commission Exhibit 143, OR ANY OTHER WEAPON.

Mr. EISENBERG. Are there any nicks on either of those cartridges?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Yes. There is a small nick, an indentation, up near the edge of the primer in the Remington-Peters .38 Special cartridge.

Mr. EISENBERG. Could this nick have been caused by the firing pin?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. There was no indication, from an examination, that that nick had been so caused by a firing pin. First of all, it is in the wrong position, it is not in the center of the primer. And, also, a microscopic examination of that nick gave no indication that it was made by a firing pin.

( 3 H 460 )

On page 463, Cunningham repeats his conclusion:

Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Officer McDonald's statement that the primer of one round was dented on misfire: as far as you can tell, could this statement be confirmed?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. No, sir; we found nothing to indicate that this weapon's firing pin had struck the primer of any of these cartridges.

The significance of this testimony is that there is a cartridge with a marking on the primer THAT WAS NOT CAUSED BY THE FIRING PIN OF OSWALD'S REVOLVER or for that matter, ANY OTHER WEAPON.

We can only conclude, from the evidence and FBI testimony provided, that the handgun did NOT misfire in the Texas Theater. That conclusion is supported by the testing conducted by the FBI on it:

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. I personally have fired this weapon numerous times, as well as Special Agents Robert Frazier and Charles Killion. At no time did we ever attempt to fire this weapon that it misfired. It operated excellently and every time we have tried to fire it, it has fired.

( ibid. )

 In their Report, the Warren Commission did acknowledge that the hammer never touched the shell in the firing chamber ( Chapter 4, pg. 179 ), but they never mentioned the mark on the primer nor did they investigate who or what was responsible for it being there.

Since the unfired rounds were solely in the possession of the Dallas Police from the time Oswald was disarmed in the Texas Theater, the testimony indicates to me that this particular piece of evidence was tampered with by the Dallas Police.

The tampering resulted in a mark being placed on the primer with an object other than a firing pin, off center and light enough so that it would not detonate the round, in order to create the image of Lee Harvey Oswald as a homicidal maniac bent on killing anyone and everyone who stood in his way and that the only thing that prevented him from success was that his weapon misfired.

An image which was a complete and total lie