McAdams training class





here's a gathering of McAdams' students>. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCpdWNENafc


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POSC 191 - Logic of Social Inquiry:

The Kennedy Assassination

Spring 2009

Prof. John McAdams

417 Physics

Phone: 288-3425

Office Hours: MW 10:30-noon, W 2:30-5:30

(and by appointment)


Course Objectives:

The course will examine the question of who killed John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas , Texas . Both the Warren Commission conclusion that a single gunman killed Kennedy, and a variety of conspiracy theories will be critically evaluated.

The single most important objective of the course will be to sharpen students’ analytical skills in the context of evaluating competing theories, with particular emphasis on critical evaluation of evidence, and theorizing in the face of conflicting data.



Warren Commission, The Warren Commission Report

Jim Marrs, Crossfire (Carrol & Graf)

Robert Groden, The Killing of a President (Viking) – No reading assignments, bring to class. This is very difficult to find, but well worth getting if you can find it.



Attendance is optional, although it will be extremely difficult to achieve a good grade without regular attendance. All readings are required. All are available on library reserve. Most will be made available in a packet supplied to students at cost.

Students will be required to view the movie “JFK.” This can be done in an optional evening session, or the student may do it at his or her convenience and submit a threepage

reaction paper by Wednesday, Jan. 21. All papers are to be submitted in 12 point Courier type, double spaced, with one-inch margins all around.



Exams (two): 20% each

Final 25%

Critical Book Report 15%

Research Project 20%

Exams will consist of essays, some of which will be one-half to one page in length, and some which will be longer. A study guide will be distributed in advance of each exam and the final. The research project will examine a particular, fairly narrow

issue concerning the assassination (example: “Was Frank Sturgis on the Grassy Knoll”) in light of the evidence. All research papers should be discussed with the instructor by mid-term. Papers are due at 4:00 p.m. of the Friday, April 24th. (Some extensions will

be given for students who have difficulty getting sources.) Length will typically be five to seven pages, but longer with some kinds of projects. Research projects should use primary sources. There is an option to count this as a “writing development” course.

If interested, see the instructor. The book report should be seven to nine pages, should critically evaluate the book, and is due February 18th. A list of suggested books for reports will be distributed. All books for reports must be cleared by the instructor by February 4th. There will be a penalty for late book reports and research projects,

or for failure to discuss research projects or clear a book for a book report with the instructor by the assigned date.


Course Outline:

Video Assignment: Oliver Stone’s JFK

I. Shooting in Dealey Plaza – Witnesses Testimony.

WCR, Chapter II (“The Assassination”) and Chapter III (“The Shots

from the Texas School Book Depository”).

Marrs, Pages 1-89, 313-333, 361-378, 435-458

HSCA Report, pp. 41-58.

David Perry, “Rambler Man” (reserve)

HSCA - VI, pp. 1-138, 289-293.

HSCA - XII, pp. 1-32

Classroom Videos: “Two Men in Dallas

“Four Days in November”


Testimony / Affidavits of:

Howard Brennan Lee Bowers Emmett Hudson

Roger Craig Jean Hill

Julia Ann Mercer Phil Willis

John Connally Nellie Connally


II. Medical & Scientific Evidence

John K. Lattimer and Paul Heneghan, "Experimental Duplication of the Important Physical Evidence . . . ," Journal of the American College of Surgeons, May 1994.

Dale K. Myers, “Badge Man,” Secrets of a Homicide,


 Pop-corn, optional for above cartoon

HSCA Report, pp. 65-93.

HSCA - VII, pp. 1-137, VI, pp. 225-242.


Classroom Videos: “Nova - Who Shot President Kennedy”

Mid-Term Exam: Wednesday March 4.


III. Tippit Shooting & Arrest

WCR, portion of Chapter IV, “The Killing of Patrolman J.D. Tippit”

Marrs, pp. 340-360  

http://whokilledjfk.net/tippit.htm  (I Added)

Documents and Testimony:

Helen Markham Julia Postal

Johnny Calvin Brewer William Scoggins


IV. Oswald

WCR, Chapters IV, VII, Appendix XIII, Appendix XIV.

HSCA Report, pp. 59-63; VI, 138-225, 273-285.

Mark Zaid, “Oswald & VD: An Intelligence Connection?” in The Third

Decade, July, 1992.

Marrs, pp. 539-554

“Another Oswald Sighting Allegations of Lee Harvey Oswald in Alice ,

Texas ,” online at: http://www.jfk-online.com/alicelho.html


V. Alleged Conspirators – “The Usual Suspects”

CIA / FBI / Military / KGB / Anti-Castro Cubans / Mafia


Contact Information  tomnln@cox.net

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