2012-01-02 22:42:32 UTC
" ... The most convincing evidence relating to the number of shots was
provided by the presence on the sixth floor of three spent cartridges
which were demonstrated to have been fired by the same rifle that fired
the bullets which caused the wounds.It is possible that the assassin
carried an empty shell in the rifle and fired only two shots, with the
witnesses hearing multiple noises made by the same shot."
Most people say three. Supposedly, one (the first) shot missed, one shot
hit JFK in the neck, passed through Connally and became the alleged
magic-bullet. And the third was the fatal shot that hit the president in
The Warren Wizards said: "The consensus among the witnesses at the scene
was that three shots were fired. However, some heard only two shots. The
most convincing evidence relating to the number of shots was provided by
the presence on the sixth floor of three spent cartridges. This led the
Commission to conclude that there were three shots...." WR 110-111.
But, later they said, "The physical and other evidence examined by the
Commission compels the conclusion that AT LEAST TWO SHOTS WERE FIRED... It
is possible that the assassin carried an EMPTY SHELL IN THE RIFLE and
fired only two shots ...." WR 111
Summing up. One shot missed the car completely and there is no record of
recovering any of its remains. One shot allegedly passed through Kennedy
and Connally and magically remained NEAR (but not ) pristine and ended up
at Parkland Hospital.
This bullet weighed 161 grains before it was fired at the motorcade.
When recovered it weighed 158.6 grains which means that very little was
lost in its destructive journey.
A fragment weighing 0.5 grains was allegedly recovered from Connally's
Audrey Bell, the operating nurse, stated that there were four or five
fragments "anywhere from three to four millimeters in length and a couple
of millimeters wide. " These fragments disappeared at the later.: She
recalled receiving "three to five fragments, perhaps four" from the body
of Governor Connally, more than are currently in evidence...
In addition, what happened to the fragment found in Connally's leg
wound? Also, there was a fragment in the governor's chest that was never
recovered. He died with fragments still in his body that weighed more that
the alleged two to three missing grains from C-399 that was described as
NEAR pristine. (And the Warrens say, "The Governor's wrist wound WAS NOT
CAUSED BY A PRISTINE BULLET." p.94
So this leaves one bullet and it had to be the fatal projectile that
removed part of the president's skull and much of his brains.
After the coup, two bullet fragments were found in the Lincoln.
According to Warren , the two fragments weighed 44.6 and 21.0 grains
respectively."The heavier fragment was a portion of a bullet's nose
area... the lighter fragment consisted of a bullet's base... the two
fragments were both mutilated, and it was not possible to determine from
the fragments themselves whether they comprised the base and nose of one
bullet or of two separate bullets."
If one bullet missed the car completely and one ended up at Parkland
almost (but not) pristine, the last bullet had to be the bullet that hit
JFK in the head and both fragments were from the same projectile.
I KINDA think that, with the angle of the neck shot, the above fragments
would remain in the car, ergo, the remains of the single bullet ,.... and
the head shot bullet probably ended up in tiny bits in Dealey Plaza.
Some say that Tague was hit by the first MISSED shot, but he heard shots
before he was hit by a very tiny fragment. So, he was probably hit by a
fragment from the third shot instead of the ALLEGED MISSED FIRST SHOT.
I personally do not believe there was a missed shot. If I were the
master-mind of the coup, I would be sure to provide evidence that would
assure the connection to the rifle and its owner, And since I could not
rely on the future condition of the bullets actually fired at the
occupants of the limousine, I would fire a bullet through the barrel of
the murder weapon before 11-22-63 and be sure to leave it where it would
Enter Jack Ruby and the Parkland slug.
As Ass't DA Alexander said, "The single bullet is like the Immaculate
Conception. Either you believe it or you don't."
I do believe that a single bullet transited both men thus the single
bullet, but I will never believe that the Parkland bullet is one and the
same bullet. I believe that the JFK /Connally bullet remained in the car
and the Parkland bullet was planted on the wrong stretcher, at Parkland,
by Jack Ruby, when he failed to plant it in the limousine in Dealey Plaza
because the car went on to the hospital.
Some researchers, including George Michael Evica, believe that a shot from
a pistol was fired into the air from behind the fence, on the Grassy
Knoll, to divert the attention of the crowd and the authorities away from
the TSBD to give the shooter time to fire the fatal shots at the president
and make his escape from the rear of the building. It worked.
And, despite the testimonies putting Ruby in the Dallas Morning News, he
WAS in Dealey Plaza at the time of the shooting.
THE DENTED BULLET SHELL:
HARD EVIDENCE OF CONSPIRACY IN THE JFK ASSASSINATION?
Michael T. Griffith
@All Rights Reserved
Revised on 4/26/2001
Could the dented bullet shell (CE 543) that was reportedly found next
to the sniper's window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book
Depository Building (TSBD) have been used to fire a bullet on 22
November 1963, i.e., the day of the assassination? This is a crucial
question. Why? Because if that cartridge case couldn't have been used
to fire a bullet during the assassination, then there must have been
more than one gunman. According to ballistics and firearms expert
Howard Donahue, the dented shell could not have fired a bullet, as
Bonar Menninger reports:
It was true that three spent Carcano shells were found on the floor of
the Book Depository. . . . Yet one of the shells was dented and showed
numerous marks from the carrier, the large spring in the Carcano clip
that pushed the bullet up to the chamber. Donahue did not believe this
dented shell could have been used to fire a bullet that day. The gun
would not have functioned properly. (Mortal Error, New York: St.
Martin's Press, 1991, p. 114)
As mentioned, three shells were found in the sniper's nest, from which
the alleged lone gunman fired. But if one of those shells could not
have been used to fire a bullet during the shooting, then the sixth-
floor gunman could have only fired two shots. However, it's certain
that at least three shots were fired at President Kennedy. The single-
assassin theory demands that the alleged lone gunman fired three
shots. In other words, if the dented shell could not have been used to
fire a bullet at President Kennedy, then there must have been more
than one gunman.
Gerald Posner, author of the book Case Closed, says the House Select
Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) proved the dented shell could have
been dented this badly when it was ejected, and therefore that it
could have been used to fire a bullet on the day of the assassination:
Another shell [of the three found on the sixth floor] was dented on
the rim, raising doubts that it could have been fired from a rifle in
that condition. In experiments by the House Select Committee, rapid
firing of the Carcano resulted in some shells being dented in the
exact same location upon ejection (HSCA, Vol. 1, pp. 435, 454, 534).
(Case Closed, New York: Random House, 1992, p. 270)
I asked Howard Donahue about Posner's assertion. Donahue was a court-
certified firearms expert and a world-class marksman. He was invited
to participate in the famous 1967 CBS rifle test and achieved the best
score of the simulation. He testified in several cases as an expert
witness on firearms issues. Here is what Donahue said about Posner's
claim (all emphasis is original):
Dear Mike: Sept. 11, 1996
Concerning the case with the damaged lip. Posner claims it could have
held a projectile at that time. Let me explain something about Posner.
He will tell you anything to make a point. There were no shells dented
in that manner by the HSCA. I will refer you to Professor Thompson's
book, Six Seconds in Dallas, page 144, exhibit no. 543. Dr. Thompson
discovered this case had been fired (dry fired) at least three times.
He also tried to dent the cases by throwing them against a wall, to no
avail. Just to prove this, I am enclosing a fired 6.5 mm Carcano case.
Throw it around any way you wish and try to dent it. These cases are
very strong. It could have only been dented by feeding the case into
the breech of the gun with great force. This would be from the
clip. . . .
In closing, I have never seen a case dented like this. Dr. Thompson
never saw any cases so deformed. So Posner says the HSCA had several
empties dented like these???
Thanks for your interest--please keep in touch.
Howard Donahue, Firearms Examiner
British researcher Chris Mills likewise has concluded the dented shell
could not have been used to fire a bullet during the assassination, as
a result of his own experiments with a Carcano rifle. I quote from an
e-mail message Mills sent to me on this subject:
Ian Griggs has forwarded a posting which you wrote for the
jfk.sharegroup. In this you discuss the dented shell casing.
Ian forwarded this on to me because of my recent experiments with my
own Mannlicher Carcano. Quite by accident I recently dented a shell in
exactly the same manner as that which is shown in the photographs
showing the shell purportedly found on the sixth floor.
My M/C [Mannlicher-Carcano rifle] is deactivated and I was
experimenting with empty shells. The very first one produced the dent
on the rim. I had to repeat the operation about 60 more times before
the results were reproduced.
But the damage was exactly the same. It seems that when using a hull
that has previously been fired, the lip of the case expands slightly
and can catch on a lip below the barrel opening in the breech. This
can only happen with an empty case that has already been fired and
even then only occasionally.
This means that at least one of the cartridge cases found on 11.22.63
was not fired from that window.
In a subsequent message, Mills elaborated on his statement that one of
the cartridge cases found in the sixth-floor sniper's nest could not
have been fired from the window:
One of the cases [of the three reportedly removed from the sniper's
nest] was found with an inward facing dent on the lip of the casing.
This could not have happened before a missile left the shell as the
dent would preclude the shell actually holding the bullet. It must
have occurred at some time after this particular shell was fired.
Several researchers have tried to duplicate the damage by standing on
the case, throwing it against walls, etc., but to no avail. The case
cannot be similarly damaged by loading a live round into the chamber
either, as it is protected and guided into the breech by the bullet
What I found, by accident, is that similar damage can be caused by
loading an empty case into the weapon. It appeared to me that the more
times this was attempted, the more likely the damage was to occur.
This led me to the apparent conclusion that unless the person in the
6th floor fired the weapon, ejected the shell, picked it up and then
reloaded it (a pointless activity, as I'm sure you will agree), this
particular case had been fired at some earlier time, then reloaded
empty, probably several times. I consider that this is what caused the
This left me wondering why (a) practice with an empty shell case? and
(b) why leave an extra case behind?
Question A: At first I thought it may be to practice with the weapon
but I guess that would be just as effective without a shell case in. I
now think it more likely that the empty case was fed through several
times in order that it could be matched (by scratch marks on its
surface) to the M/C, whether or not the original bullet was really
fired from that weapon.
Which brings me to Question B: As I said in my last letter, if you
plant a missile which is supposed to have come from the murder weapon,
you must have a shell casing to go with it at the murder scene. If
not, more missiles may turn up than cases found. Hence the dumped
case, whoever did it being unaware of the damage to its lip.
Dr. Michael Kurtz says there's no doubt that CE 543, i.e., the dented
shell, could not have fired a bullet on the day of the assassination,
and, moreover, that it could not have been fired from the rifle that
Oswald allegedly used:
The third cartridge case, Commission Exhibit 543, contained a dent in
the opening so large that it could not have held a bullet in it. . . .
In a letter to the Warren Commission of 2 June 1964, J. Edgar Hoover
noted that Commission Exhibit 543 (FBI Number C6), the case with the
dent, had "three sets of marks on the base of this cartridge case
which were not found [on the other casings]." The case, according to
Hoover, had also been loaded into and extracted from a weapon three
times. The only marks linking the case to Oswald's rifle were marks
from the magazine follower. As noted above, Case 543 could not have
obtained the marks from the magazine follower on 22 November, since
the last round in the clip must have been the unfired one in the
chamber. Furthermore, Commission Exhibit 543 lacks the characteristic
indentation on the side made by the firing chamber of Oswald's rifle.
Dr. E. Forrest Chapman, forensic pathologist, who in 1973 was given
access to the assassination materials in the National Archives, noted
that Case 543 was probably "dry loaded" into a rifle. Since the dent
was too large for the case to have contained a bullet on 22 November,
it was never fired from Oswald's rifle. The empty case, however, for
some unknown reason cold have been loaded into a rifle, the trigger
pulled, and the bolt operated. Dr. Chapman discovered this phenomenon
through experiments of his own.
Dr. Chapman also noted that Case 543 had a deeper and more concave
indentation on its base, at the primer, where the firing pin strikes
the case. Only empty cases exhibit such characteristics. The FBI also
reproduced the effect. Commission Exhibit 557 is a test cartridge
case, fired empty from Oswald's rifle by the FBI for ballistics
comparison purposes. It, too, contains the dent in the lip and deep
primer impression similar to Case 543.
Thus, the evidence proves conclusively that Commission Exhibit 543
could not have been fired from Oswald's rifle. . . . (Crime of the
Century, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1982, pp. 50-51,
Based on Donahue's and Mills' and Kurtz's research, the dented shell
would appear to be hard evidence that more than one gunman fired at
President Kennedy, and hence that there was a conspiracy. However, a
few lone-gunman theorists insist they have similarly dented Carcano
shells and that they were able to use those shells to fire bullets. To
my knowledge, these single-assassin theorists did not videotape their
experiments, so there is no proof of their claims. The HSCA
experiments, which supposedly produced a number of similarly dented
shells that were able to fire bullets, weren't filmed, either.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael T. Griffith holds a Master’s degree in
Theology from The Catholic Distance University, a Graduate Certificate
in Ancient and Classical History from American Military University, a
Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College, and two
Associate in Applied Science degrees from the Community College of the
Air Force. He also holds an Advanced Certificate of Civil War Studies
and a Certificate of Civil War Studies from Carroll College. He is a
graduate in Arabic and Hebrew of the Defense Language Institute in
Monterey, California, and of the U.S. Air Force Technical Training
School in San Angelo, Texas. In addition, he has completed Advanced
Hebrew programs at Haifa University in Israel and at the Spiro
Institute in London, England. He is the author of five books on
Mormonism and ancient texts, including How Firm A Foundation, A Ready
Reply, and One Lord, One Faith. He is also the author of a book on
the JFK assassination titled Compelling Evidence (JFK Lancer, 1996).