Bugliosi Was Wrong


Proof the FBI Changed Documents, and Vincent Bugliosi Was Wrong

by Pat Speer
13 Apr 2009

In 2007, the legendary true crime writer Vincent Bugliosi released Reclaiming History, a Bible-sized book designed to answer all the questions regarding a possible conspiracy in the murder of President John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, his “answers” provoked more questions. This short essay examines both the way Bugliosi dealt with one controversial matter, and the truth about this matter, as recently discovered by the author.

Although it is not mentioned in the text itself, on Reclaiming History's accompanying CD-ROM Bugliosi tackles a particularly troublesome question related to a pair of conflicting FBI reports. Intriguingly, these reports were written on the finding of a paper bag in the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD), the workplace of alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. The Warren Commission had concluded that Oswald had made this bag from paper materials available in the shipping room of the building, (Warren Report, p. 136)

on the surface of the fiber the texture of the fiber the felting pattern * * * I found that the paper sack found on the sixth floor * * * and the sample * * * had the 
same observable characteristics both under the microscope and all the visual tests that I could conduct The papers I also found were similar in fiber composition therefore in addition to the visual characteristics microscopic and UV [ultra violet] characteristics Mr 
Cadigan concluded that the paper and tape from the bag were identical in all respects to the sample paper and tape taken from the Texas School Book Depository shipping room on November 22 1963.192 On December 1 1963 a replica 
bag was made from materials found on that date in the shipping room This was done as an investiga tory aid since the original bag had been discolored during various laboratory examinations and could not be used for valid identification 
by witnesses.193 Cadigan found that the paper used to make this replica sack had different characteristics from the paper in the origi nal bag.194 The science of paper analysis enabled him to distinguish between different rolls of paper even though 
they were produced by the same manufacturer.195 Since the Depository normally used approximately one roll of paper every 3 working days,196 it was not surprising that the replica sack made on December 1 1963 had different characteristics from both the 
actual bag and the sample taken on November 22 On the other hand since two rolls could be made from the same batch of paper one cannot estimate when prier to November 22 Oswald made the paper bag However the 
complete identity of characteristics between the paper and tape in the bag found on the sixth floor and the paper and tape found in the shipping room of the Depository on Novem ber 22 enabled the Commission to conclude that 
the bag was made from these materials The Depository shipping department was on the first floor to which Oswald had access in the normal performance of his duties filling orders 197 Fibers in paper bag matched fibers in blamket..When Paul 
M Stombaugh of the FBI Laboratory examined the paper bag he found on the inside a single brown delustered viscose fiber and several light green cotton fibers.193 The blanket in which the rifle was stored was composed of brown and 
green cotton viscose and woolen fibers.199 The single brown viscose fiber found in the bag matched some of the brown viscose fibers from the blanket in all observable char acteristics.200 The green cotton fibers found in the paper bag matched 
some of the green cotton fibers in the blanket "in all observable micro


 and had then used this bag to carry his rifle into the building. But the Commission had failed to uncover and reveal an important problem with the purported match between the paper used to create this bag, and the paper then in use in the building. Bugliosi compounds this mistake. On page 405 of his endnotes, Bugliosi discusses this problem and offers an explanation:

In a 1980 article in Penn Jones Jr.’s conspiracy newsletter, Continuing Inquiry, critic Jack White claimed that the FBI had “sanitized” a document relating to the FBI’s examination of the paper and tape used to construct the bag found in the Depository, and hence, was part of the “cover-up” to hide the truth about the assassination. White reported that two nearly identically worded FBI documents, found by a researcher at the National Archives, offered two opposite conclusions regarding the source of the paper Oswald allegedly used to construct the bag. One version stated that paper samples obtained from the Depository shipping area on November 22 were found to have the same observable characteristics as the brown paper bag recovered from the sixth-floor sniper’s nest. A second version said that the paper samples were found “not to be identical” with the paper gun sack discovered at the scene of the shooting. (Jack White, “The Case of Q-10 or the FBI Cover-Up Is in the Bag,” Continuing Inquiry, February 22, 1980, pp.1–2)



Paper bag being carried from TSBD.

Although White crowed that the documents “cast doubt on the credibility of the official story,” and his allegations have subsequently been used by a parade of critics in many conspiracy books, magazine articles, and Internet postings as “proof ” of the FBI’s willingness to alter evidence in the Kennedy case, the two documents are no doubt examples of a misunderstanding that was cleared up by the Warren Commission in early 1964. In a March 12, 1964, letter, Warren Commission general counsel J. Lee Rankin asked FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to settle the two ostensibly contradictory FBI reports. Rankin wrote, “We are in doubt. Please submit a report . . . as to the tests made and the conclusions drawn.” (FBI Record 124-10045-10081, Letter from J. Lee Rankin to J. Edgar Hoover, March 12, 1964, p.1;


Mr J Edgar Hoover Director Federal Bureau of Investigation Department of Justice Washington D C 20535 Dear Mr Hoover Re As-sassination of President Kennedy As of Dece ber 27 1963 the FBI Laboratory advised that the paper bag mar ed 
Q-10 was not the same type of paper as was used in specimen -52 Q-10 is identified as the brown wrapping paper in the shape of a long bag which was found near the window from which the shots were 
fired K-52 is a replica paper sack made from paper and tape available in the shipping room of the Texas School Book Depository The report states "it was determined that the paper and tape used for specimen K-52 is different 
from the paper and tape used for the Q-10 paper bag that was previously sub mitted in this case. (Gemberling 1/7/64 "FBI Laboratory Exami nations, page 47.) To the contrary the supplemental report of the FBI dated January 13 1964 
at page 4 says "The FBI Laboratory examined the brown wrapping paper in the shape of a long bag which was found near the window from which the shots were fired It was determined that the wrapping paper and the 
three-inch manila tape used to construct the bag were the same as that used by the Texas School Book Depository. k2 ()-i)  We are in doubt Please submit a report in writing from the laboratory as to the tests 
made and the conclusions drawn DS NOT RECORDS 199 MAR 2419M ti r +oaf .wa .:.a { io MAR 1964 -s''


see also FBI Record 124-10022-10200) A week later, on March 19, Hoover responded that both reports were correct. The first report, dated January 7, 1964,

"~-~~ /A/llilIo liirl/~~ryi/i./',.~ .U./rnl''i'!4~Il~h /1'1~..((1"/I II)Illrll~~!I~Y1~!~ ~j~l~//~I~irV III~~.Ii~IYr~~ J t r ~~ / "~~i~~i~ / ... ~~Y/IL i r p . 1!~P'~4~4'Jib,~~"r~~i~~~.u1,1!XYJ:/!Ia(l'~~rYJ~/~,4.~q~~~ ~7:f,~ ~ ~OIA/p~~1iPA~A~A?~Kd'qu~q,9'/ISY~"norf~~i~l~~~~/~(Ins..,q',19'Yfi'~Il~d~h(in~~iquy4u~l~Iq"bp~'7Yp~bl4~ 1 DL 100-10461 RPG:gmf Under date of December 27 1963 the FBI Laboratory furnished 
the following information concerning a document examination requested by the.Dallas Office on December 13 1963 "Specimens received 12/20/63 152 A replica sack made at the Texas School Book Depository Building from paper and tape available in the shipping room of 
the Texas School Book Depository Result of examination It was determined that the paper and tape used for specimen 152 is different from the paper and tape used for the Q10 paper bag that was previously submitted in this case.


referred to samples obtained from the Depository on December 1, 1963 (nine days after the assassination). By then, the shipping department had replaced its roll of wrapping paper with a fresh roll, since the fall period was its “heavy shipping season.” Consequently, the samples obtained by the FBI in December did not match the characteristics of the paper bag found on the day of the shooting. The second report, dated January 13, 1964,


a could make a positive determination of what the object is It was concluded however that the image seen does not depict the form of a person or persons and is possibly a stack of boxes later determined to have 
been in the room When Oswald was interviewed on November 23 1963 regarding the photograph which portrays him holding a rifle and wearing a holstered pistol he would not discuss the photograph without the advice of an attorney He admitted 
that the head of the individual in the photograph could be his but suggested the possibility that the police had superimposed this part of the photograph over the body of someone else However Marina Oswald when questioned regarding this photograph 
stated that she had taken it (Exhibit 9) The FBI Laboratory has examined this photograph and has concluded that while the rifle in the photograph is similar in appearance to the assassination weapon and while there are no apparent differences 
between them there is insufficient detail to identify the rifle in the photograph as the assassination weapon C E=ailg The FBI Laboratory examined the brown wrapping paper in the shape of a long bag which was found near the window 
from which the shots were fired It was determined that the wrapping paper and the three-inch manila tape used to construct the bag were the same as that used by the Texas School Book Depository -4

 related to samples taken from the Depository on November 22, the day of the assassination. These samples were found to be “similar in color to [the bag recovered from the sixth floor]” and were “similar in appearance under ultraviolet fluorescence, as well as in microscopic and all other observable physical characteristics.” However, Hoover noted that while the paper bag found on the sixth floor could have been made from the materials available at the Depository, the paper and tape did not contain any watermarks or other significant, unique, identifying features. Consequently, the paper bag could have been constructed from similar materials “obtained from many paper dealers, or from other users.” (FBI Record 124-10022-10199, Letter from J. Edgar Hoover to J. Lee Rankin, March 19, 1964,

on the Assassination of President Kennedy SUBJECT Emigration and Travel of Soviet Nationals Soviet nationals seeking to emigrate from the Soviet Union or even to travel abroad are subjected to a thorough screening before receiving permission to go abroad They 
are not permitted to emigrate if they are in a position to endanger the national security of the USSR In order to go abroad a Soviet citizen must withstand a detailed investigation of his overall record and background He must 
submit numerous applications references and other supporting docu ments and he must undergo personal interviews conducted by government officials The KGB has the major responsibility for approving or denying requests for emigration or foreign travel It investigates all applicants and 
its recommendation is given great weight by the Exit Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union  the agency which makes the final decision Thomas H Karameesines Acting Deputy Director for Plans COMMISSION EXHIBIT 
No 2722 Honorable J Lee Rankin General Counsel The President's Commission 200 Maryland Avenue N E Washington D C Dear Mr Rankin Reference is made to your letter of March 12 1964 concerning the paper bag marked Q 10 identified 
as brown wrapping paper in the shape of a long bag which was found near the window from which the shots were fired Your letter refers to paper examinations described in the report of Special Agent Gemberling January 7 1964 
page 47 and in a supplemental report of this Bureau dated January 13 1964 It is pointed out that these two reports relate respectively to the examinations of two different known samples of material one of which was found to 
be similar to the material of the bag Q 10 and the other different as noted in your letter and as set forth below Both of these known samples of material together with the original paper bag Q 10 were 
delivered to representatives of the Commission on March 11 1964 as shown in this Bureau's letter of March 12 1964 On the one hand a supplemental FBI report dated January 13 1964 covers a comparison of the paper bag Q 
10 with a known sample of paper and tape obtained from the first floor of the Texas School Book Depository on November 22 1963 and designated as K 2 As stated in this report the paper and tape used to 
construct the bag Q 10 were found to be similar to the known sample materials from the Texas School Book Depository (K 2) The result of this comparison is also set forth on page 165 of the report of Special 
Agent Gemberling dated November 30 1963 a copy of which has previously been furnished to the Commission On the other hand the report of Special Agent Gemberling dated January 7 1964 refers to a specimen designated as K 52 a 
replica sack COMMISSION EXHIBIT No 2723


pp.1–2; see also FBI Record 124-10045-10082; CD 897, pp.157–168; CE 1965, 23 H 816)

Bugliosi's explanation is both incredibly deceptive and incredibly wrong.

This is easy to see, once you know where to look. The article to which Bugliosi refers is a February 22, 1980 essay on the probable changing of a document provided the Warren Commission as part of an 11-30-63 FBI report (see Commission Document 5, p. 129,


1) J r FD"to9 ploy 3.x4 91 FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGAAN Date  11/30/63 Lt CARL DAY Dallas Police Department stated he found the brown paper he & Ahwped like a gun cams near the scene of the shooting on 
the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building Bid stated the manager Ir TROUT saw this bag at the time it was taken into,posssasign by Lt DAY TRULY according to DAY had not seen this bag before No 
one else viewed it TRULY furnished similar brown paper from the roll that was used in packing books by the Texas School Book Depository This paper was examined by the FBI Laboratory and found to have the use observable characteristics 
with* brown paper bag -shaped like  a gun case which wain found near the scene of the shooting on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building The Dallas police have not exhibited this to anyone else 
It was immediately locked up by IY kept in his possession until it wail turned over to FBI Agent MAIN for transmittal to the Laboratory It was examined by the Laboratory returned to the Dallas Police Department November 24 1963 
looked up in the.Criss Laboratory .This bag was returned.to Agent DRAIN on November 26 1963 and taken back to the FBI Laboratory Lt DAY stated no one has identified this bag to the Dallas Police Department on  11/29/63 at 
Dallas Texas File # DL 89-43 by Special Agent `INNG_SNT I.. ,ILIC$~Y/~'`~ Date dictated  11/29/63   129 This decumbent ocelot= neither r000mmnoadatioas ace eoaolu.Ioao of two FBI It is the property of the FBI and is lesasd to Mar 
svtaoyt it tad its aasisats arc sot to be distributed *steads your avoaay

 shown at right). What Bugliosi either fails to notice or fails to tell his readers, however, is the first thing he should have noticed: the date on the document. As displayed on the cover of the 1980 article dismissed by Bugliosi, and therefore presumably read by Bugliosi, both versions of the document were dictated on 11/29/63. This date is problematic. By Bugliosi's own account, the paper samples that did not match the characteristics of the paper bag were obtained on 12-1-63. So...how can a report refer to the results of a test that has not yet been performed, on an object that has not yet been procured? It can't. One might venture then that Bugliosi's "explanation" is little more than smoke, and that he really has no clue how to refute Jack White's article.

Alternate 11/30/63 FBI report discovered in National Archives by
Gary Shaw, stating that the TSBD-furnished paper was "found
not to be identical with the paper gun case."'
Reprinted in Henry Hurt's "Reasonable Doubt."

But, if so, he's not the first to run from this issue. Although it's widely presumed the document saying the paper and bag were not identical was first discovered in 1980, it was actually found years earlier, and brought to the government's attention at a time when it could easily have been investigated. Courageously, the discoverer of this document, J. Gary Shaw, discussed the document’s existence at a 9-17-77 conference sponsored by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and suggested they interview FBI agent Vincent Drain, the author of the documents.



While the HSCA, sadly, failed to heed Shaw's request, we can still take comfort that Shaw found some outside interest, and that a series of researchers were able to ask and answer many of the questions the HSCA ignored. In 1981, researcher Ed Tatro, inspired by Jack White’s 1980 article on Shaw’s discovery, contacted the FBI seeking an explanation for the two conflicting documents. The Bureau's initial response explained nothing. In 1984, however, Tatro asked again, and this time received what is as close to an “official” explanation as we are likely to receive. As recounted by Tatro in an article in the January 1985 issue of The Third Decade,

THIRD DECADE 19 4H438 444 20 26E772 21 10E54 22 81I45 23 8H 145`  24 8H145 25 10E38 26 2511117  THE PAPER BAG AN FBI BLUEPRINT FOR REVISED DOCUMENTS by Edgar P.Tatro Although the House Select Committee 
on Assassinations claimed It would place emphasis on scientific findings to draw its conclusions one major piece of physical evidence which they adroitly avoided was the long paper bag found at the alleged sniper's perch The Warren Commission had concluded 
that Lee Harvey Oswald had transported his rifle from a blanket in the Paine garage in Irving to the Texas School Book Depository by means of the iefamous paper gun case Harold Weisberg Leo Sauvage Mark Lane Richard Sprague Sylvia 
Meagher and other researchers have disputed this conclusion for years A brief summary of some of these skepticisms about the paper hag follows 1,innie Mae Randle and Wesley Frazier who said they saw Oswald carrying a paper hag that morning 
were convinced that the bag shown to them by authorities was too long to be the one they saw in Oswald's possession Oswald's hag resembled a bag not a taped package Jack Dougherty who a3w Oswald enter the Depository that 
morning did not see any hag in his hands No evidence exists that Oswald made a bag in the Texas School Book Depository or took materials from the TSBD to make a bag elsewhere The testimony which does exist particularly 
that of Troy Eugene West regarding his work habits and the spafifie means by which his machine dispensed wet tape refute both suggestions The FBI's investigation revealed that there was no evidence of the "well oiled rifle having been inside 
the blanket which had not been checked for seven weeks prior to the assassination or the hag which remarkably had no marks abxsions or scratches Also there was no evidence of bag particles on the rifle The only association between 
the rifle the blanket and the bag was the discovery of two very common fibers out of a possible thirhy similar to the blanket but net necessarily from the blanket inside the bag There is a Dallas police photograph Commission 
Exhibit 738 which shows the hag aacta.1ly touching the blanket which might account for this association anyway it also indicates police carelessness or worse There is no photo of the bag in its alleged discovered position and police discrepancies Abound 
as to who when and where the hag was discovered Luke Mooney Gerald Hill J.R {ticks and Roger Craig never saw the bag and Craig wrote to me that he had "searched with the gusto of a hound dog. Testimony 
of bag fingerprint discrepancies exists Detective R.L Studebaker's assertion of a via>ible partial print which he protected by placing


the FBI’s Assistant Director of the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, William Baker, offered that the document discovered by Shaw was found to be “inaccurate” upon review at FBI headquarters, and that “The Dallas office was instructed to make corrections at that time.” To the question of how Shaw was able to find an uncorrected copy in the files, Baker explained further that the FBI sent two copies of the 11-30-63 master report to the Warren Commission, one on 12-20-63 and one three days later, and that the first copy had the uncorrected copy of page 129 later discovered by Shaw. As Shaw confirmed to this writer that he found the document in the Warren Commission’s files, and not the FBI’s files, this actually makes sense.

But this explanation also raises some questions. In 1980, after the appearance of Jack White’s article in The Continuing Inquiry, journalist Earl Golz asked the supposed author of these reports, FBI agent Vincent Drain, about the two conflicting reports bearing his name. Now, if Drain’s words were consistent with Baker’s subsequent explanation, one might reasonably conclude that the “mystery” surrounding the conflicting documents had mostly been solved. As reported by Jerry Rose in the March 1985 issue of The Third Decade,

Itef.rcnce bureau atrial to tall, 12,:Al tunas atrttl to the la.:tau 12/11/6) and report of Sa k :t Ai 1 cr~uul+~ 11/30/63 at rollaa I closed herewith for the 13artau a_.6 En Orleans are 10 copse and1 copy respectively of 
FD-302 n'lectinj Interview by VINCENT E .."Alit vlth Lt CATL DAY toll's Toltec Dr=ar~:ent on 11/29/63 It la rc;_estel that the Duress end New Orleans Insert the tncloae3 pr .:,t to replica ps.ct 129 of reference report 1ppropriate changes are 
tiaras rate to W t>allaa 26 fat "1 THE THIRD DECADE two FBI agents at the TSBD on December 1 1963 (By the way 12/1/63 was a Sunday and the TSBD did not operate on Sundays) The supposed purpose of 
this O.r. 12 na/o)  Traa.~n lia 411..rry I  AIRTU Via .Il 1 744 f.sir  -f --. .. l  files r~~ ,rte t ~ ` i ad.a) ~:".a Pec,v NOT Ps=IX:O Dareao (Del 10) a  Pell 
Orleans (tnel I) 2  Dallas ICEE:EJD fJ ri .a a ,1 1 -It ;&3;q-e-C replica sack---made with the "real sack at hand---was to show to witnesses for color since the real one had been severely discolored by FBI fingerprint 
analysis Fishy sounding perhaps but possible When Golz was asked for his copy of Hoover's reply to Rankin he volunteered an even more interesting document on the subject his record of his own interview in 1980 with Vincent Drain the 
FBI agent whose report was supposedly "corrected at the instigation of FBI headquarters Golz sent Drain the two versions of p 129 and Drain expressed shock at seeing these and said he was as "puzzled as Golz about them If 
Drain was truthful it casts grave doubt on the validity of what Baker told Tatro was the process of the document's alteration since it seems nearly impossible to believe that an agent who made such a monumental "mistake would not 
have been made aware of


however, Drain’s answers were at odds with what Baker told Tatro. While Drain, in order to align with Baker’s subsequent explanation, should have admitted something along the lines of “I screwed up, and was asked to rewrite my report” he instead “expressed shock at seeing” the documents and “said he was as ‘puzzled’ as Golz about them.” Even more problematic, in light of what Baker was to reveal, Drain “expressed certainty that the copy saying the materials tested were the same was the original document,” and speculated that the document discovered by Shaw, and subsequently acknowledged by the FBI’s Assistant Director to be the de facto original document, was a “fake.”

If Drain, who had no way of knowing what Baker was to tell Tatro, was deliberately deceiving Golz, he was at least consistent. In 1984, author Henry Hurt asked Drain about the documents a second time, and gave him a second chance to admit he’d mistakenly written an “inaccurate” report, as later claimed by Baker. But Drain once again held firm. According to Hurt, Drain responded "I am certainly as perplexed as you are" and then claimed the report saying the paper bag and paper sample had the same observable characteristics was correct. (p. 98 of Reasonable Doubt, by Henry Hurt, Henry Holt and Co., 1985). (As a conclusion that the bag and sample were not identical would have cast doubt on the "official story" holding that Oswald created the bag at his work, Drain's proposal that the correct document was the one claiming the bag and sample matched was not exactly a surprise.)

The smoking file: 12-18-63 airtel from Shanklin to HQ.
Click image to view full document page.

Buried deep within the FBI’s files, however, there was a surprise. In the first part of Rose’s article in the March 1985 issue of The Third Decade he revealed that researcher Paul Hoch had uncovered a document demonstrating once and for all that Drain had indeed originally wrote that the paper sample and bag were "found not to be identical", and that this had later been changed upon orders from headquarters. This "smoking gun" document, so to speak, can be found in FBI File 105-82555, section 39, page 7. It is a 12-18-63 airtel from the Dallas Special-Agent-in-Charge, J. Gordon Shanklin back to FBI Headquarters, reporting that he is replacing page 129 of the FBI's 11-30-63 report with a different page, and is sending out additional copies of this page so that the page can be replaced in every copy of the report.

Should that document have not proved fatal to Drain’s story, however, two documents subsequently uncovered by Jerry Rose helped bury it completely. As revealed in the May 1985 issue of The Third Decade, the first of these documents, a 12-6-63 airtel from FBI Director Hoover’s office to Dallas, makes note that Drain’s report on page 129 of the 11-30-63 Report contains an “inaccurate statement” and orders the Dallas Special-Agent-in-Charge Shanklin to “handle corrections.”

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The second document, from 12-11-63, is an airtel from Dallas back to Washington reporting Shanklin’s progress, and notes that the “necessary actions to correct inaccuracy” are “being taken.”


Necessary actions to correct inaccuracy being taken .Number 12 ".~ same be searched through the National Stolen Property Indices . Number .10.  ~,. .  ~ ! s ".t' s  r  `,-` :" Investigation in progress "~` 
'r ~. *   9" =Ft j ";j'   Number 11 rs ESSIE.-J ~W Imo 342~_1PestrFiith_Stres ,  Irving,_Texas advised t e i not know LEE HARVEY  " ~,.   OSWALD 'She stated she and her husband 
have been visiting  with her daughter but her husband bad to enter the hospital and this caused a change in plans and has prolonged their visit She stated that on the morning of November 22 1963 she did get 
a glimpse of a man through the kitchen window -14:...! while they were having breakfast around 7:15 AM She inquired  "as to who this man was and her son BUELL advised that it was     ''LEE 
She did not see this person carrying anything and stated %I" w`""  she could not furnish any information concerning OSWALD or the  . -;. brown bag he supposedly had been carrying prior to her seeing   biro 
She stated that she only got a quick glimpse of OSWALD " and stated she could furnish no further information regarding ~ hie movements on November 22 1963 " "-.. -s "~ Xrs L~N NIE RAND  2439 West Fifth 
Street Irving Texas advise at she has previously furnished all information that she knows regarding LEE HARVEY OSWALD She advised that her mother Mrs WILLIAMS does not know OSWALD and did not see him with a brown package on the 
morning of November 22 1963


From these documents, then, one can only conclude that Drain, who’d only escorted the first day evidence from Dallas to Washington, and then flown it back, had either inaccurately represented the FBI Laboratory’s findings on an important piece of this evidence, or had accurately represented the Laboratory’s findings after a decision had been made not to do so. The former is suggested by reports and testimony claiming that the paper bag and sample had “the same observable characteristics.” The latter is suggested by the strange fact that Drain, for what would have to have been considered a monumental mistake, apparently received no reprimand, and that Hoover and Shanklin, in their correspondence on the “inaccurate statement” in Drain’s report, expressed no interest whatsoever on how he came to make such a statement.

While one could go on from here to discuss which version of Drain’s report was actually “accurate”, we’ll stop here instead and focus on the simple, unavoidable fact that the three documents just cited prove beyond any doubt that the FBI did, at least on occasion, change reports, even after they had been signed, dated, typed-up, and circulated.

For those studying U.S. history, this creates a problem. Historians, of all stripes and shapes, operate under the assumption the documents they are studying are written on the day they are dated, and are written by those signing the document. If Vincent Drain, when given the chance, had simply admitted he'd screwed up, and that his superiors had forced him to rewrite an inaccurate report, and that this was the only time this happened, perhaps we might still feel confident this holds true of FBI documents. Drain's initials, after all, appear on the revised document. But he did not. He either lied or forgot entirely about what would have to be considered a major mistake on his part.

As a consequence, we are left to wonder...did the paper sample have the "same observable characteristics" as the bag, or were the paper sample and bag "found not to be identical"?

And, more importantly…what other archive documents have been re-written weeks or months after the fact, and re-inserted in the record as if they were the original documents?

We await Bugliosi’s “answer.”




Proof the FBI Changed Documents »

In a new essay entitled Proof the FBI Changed Documents, and Vincent Bugliosi Was Wrong, Pat Speer traces the history of an important finding which casts a question mark over the sanctity of the documentary record in the JFK assassination case.

The focus of the essay is a pair of FBI memos regarding tests made on a paper bag recovered from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). In one memo, tests of paper taken from the TSBD's shipping area showed it to have "the same observable characteristics" as the paper bag, and this has been cited as evidence that Oswald fabricated the bag himself and brought the rifle into the TSBD in it.

But in 1977 researcher Gary Shaw found at the National Archives an almost identical memo, with the same date, in which tests showed the bag “not to be identical” with TSBD paper. In this essay, Speer retraces the work of Shaw and others, and finds the explanation offered by author Vincent Bugliosi to explain this discrepancy wanting. He also presents an FBI memo directing that all copies of a report featuring the "not to be identical" memo have that page replaced with the alternate version; proof that the FBI was not above altering its own reports after the fact.

Dealey Plaza Echo - Volume 12, Issue 1 »

The March 2008 issue of Dealey Plaza Echo, the outstanding Kennedy assassination research journal published by the Dealey Plaza UK group, is now available online.

This issue, in addition to news and other segments, contains several original essays:

The Mary Ferrell Foundation has an ongoing agreement with Dealey Plaza UK to publish each issue of Dealey Plaza Echo after the paper version has been out for one year.




Contact Information  tomnln@cox.net

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