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«NOVEMBER 22, 1963 (Friday) 12:00 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Nine Secret Service agents drinking at Pat Kirkwood’s bar the “Cellar Door” in Fort Worth, ...»

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March 26, 2001 LONDON (AP) - Sounds heard on police recordings from the killing of President Kennedy are consistent with a shot being fired from Dallas’ famed grassy knoll, according to a new scientific article. Recordings of police radio traffic at the time of the 1963 assassination include loud noises which some investigators believe were gunfire. There has also been persistent speculation about the possibility that someone fired from the knoll in front of the president, instead of the sixth-floor window behind him used by Lee Harvey Oswald, identified by the Warren Commission as the sole assassin. ``Whatever their origin, the gunshot-like sounds occur exactly synchronous with the shooting,’’ says the author, D.B. Thomas, who works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Weslaco, Texas. Thomas has a doctorate in entomology and focuses his research on fruit fly ecology, according to the USDA. His article was published in the Science & Justice, the journal of Britain’s Forensic Science Society. The 1964 report by an official commission headed by Earl Warren, then chief justice of the Supreme Court, concluded at least two shots were fired at Kennedy, both by Oswald from the Texas School Book Depository building, located behind the motorcade. The commission rejected the suggestion that anyone other than Oswald had fired. “There is no credible evidence that the shots were fired from the Triple Underpass, ahead of the motorcade, or from any other location,’’ the Warren Commission said. The underpass is near the grassy knoll. The police recordings have a number of loud noises which might be identified as gunfire. Thomas says there are five sounds ``that have the acoustic waveform of Dealey Plaza gunfire.’’ ``One of the sounds matches the echo pattern of a test shot fired from the grassy knoll,’’ he wrote. Thomas’ analysis is the latest done on the recorded police radio transmissions. The transmissions were on two channels: One, for routine calls, was preserved on a sound-activated Dictaphone belt. A second frequency, dedicated to the motorcade, was recorded on a sound-activated disc machine, Thomas wrote. In 1978, the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations hired a Massachusetts agency to analyze the police recordings. Specialists fired test shots in Dealey Plaza, with 36 microphones placed in various locations to examine the possibility of a shot from the knoll. The committee concluded that sounds heard on an open microphone, apparently on a police motorcycle, could be shots from the grassy knoll. The Computer Sciences Department of City University, New York, also examined the recordings and concluded the sound could be a shot. In 1980, the Justice Department asked the National Research Council to analyze the data again.

That review concluded there was a 78 percent probability that at least one of the bangs was a gunshot from the knoll. But the review also concluded the suspect noises were a minute later than the time Kennedy was shot. Thomas argues the National Research Council reached that conclusion because it erred in its attempts to synchronize the two police recordings. He says the council used a phrase hold everything secure’’ - which is heard on both tapes - to synchronize the timing of events. But he said that phrase was a poor marker because problems with one of the tapes make it unclear. Thomas worked from another, clearer bit of talk from Dallas patrolman S.Q.

Bellah, who is heard asking: ``You want me to hold this traffic on Stemmons until we find out something, or let it go?’’ That phrase appears 180 seconds after the suspected shots on one recording, and 171 seconds later on the other recording. Allowing for a difference in tape speed of 5 percent, Thomas says the recordings match.

September 11, 2001 NEW YORK (AP) - An estimated 40,000 negatives of images taken by President John F. Kennedy’s personal photographer are believed to have been destroyed in a bank vault beneath the World Trade Center. One of Jacques Lowe’s most famous images shows Kennedy leaning against his White House desk in November 1961. Lowe died in May at age 71. Lowe’s daughter, Thomasina Lowe, said her father kept his collection of negatives in a safe-deposit vault at the JP Morgan Chase bank branch at 5 World Trade Center, a nine-story building that was heavily damaged in the attack that destroyed center’s twin towers. She said they were probably worth $2 million, and were not insured. Chase officials told customers in September they would try to retrieve the safe-deposit boxes. But in a Dec. 3 letter, the bank said an inspection concluded that the weight of the debris and subsequent fires had destroyed the estimated 1,000 boxes and their contents. Lowe’s agent, Woody Camp, said the negatives recorded ``everything that related to the Kennedys. There were photographs of meetings during the Bay of Pigs.... Historically, there’s a lot that’s not there any more.’’ Lowe’s daughter said she is heartbroken by the loss. ``I’m not being unreasonable. I know what happened on Sept. 11,’’ she said. ``I just don’t understand why they can’t demolish the building and then sift through what’s left.’’ Charlie Maikish, executive vice president for global real estate at JP Morgan Chase, said approximately $500,000 was spent in an effort to retrieve the vault. He said once the building is demolished, workers will make another attempt. In 1956, Lowe was assigned to photograph Robert F. Kennedy, then a young Washington lawyer. He liked Lowe’s pictures and gave one to his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, who was so impressed that he asked Lowe to photograph John F. Kennedy and his wife. Three years later, Lowe became the official photographer of John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. After Kennedy was elected president, he asked Lowe to stay on as his personal photographer. His pictures of the Kennedys have appeared in 200 magazines and compilations.

January 13, 2002 WASHINGTON (AP) - Sirhan Sirhan loses a Supreme Court appeal Monday that sought to overturn his conviction in the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. The justices refuse without comment to consider claims that Sirhan’s defense lawyer was secretly working with the government to win his conviction. Sirhan’s new attorney, Lawrence Teeter of Los Angeles, also argued unsuccessfully that a California judge who was a prosecutor in Sirhan’s trial had tainted his appeals. Teeter said that colleagues of U.S. District Judge William Matthew Byrne Jr. should have been disqualified from considering his filings in lower courts.

``What is at stake is not simply (Sirhan Sirhan’s) constitutional rights but the integrity of the judicial system and the appearance of justice as the judicial system confronts the truth about an event that changed the entire world,’’ Teeter told justices in court paperwork. Sirhan is serving a life sentence for killing the New York Democrat just moments after Kennedy declared victory in the California presidential primary. Sirhan claims that he was hypnotized at the time and that a second gunman might have actually killed Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The case is Sirhan v. U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 02-7246.

February 28, 2002 WASHINGTON (Reuters) President Richard Nixon sought to paint the would-be assassin of White House hopeful George Wallace in 1972 as a backer of rival Democratic candidates, audio tapes made public on Thursday show. Nixon, a Republican, was maneuvering at the time -- before the Watergate scandal broke -- to beat back a Democratic challenge in the November 1972 presidential elections. “Look, can we play the game a little smart for a change?” he barked at aides on May 15, 1972, hours after the assassination attempt by loner Arthur Bremer left Wallace paralyzed below the waist. Wallace, who died in 1998, was a longtime Alabama governor and avowed segregationist who entered the 1972 Democratic presidential primaries. Nixon’s tape-recorded conversation in the Old Executive Office Building was provided on Thursday by the National Archives, the U.S. document keeper. It was part of about 500 hours of newly released White House tape recordings from the Nixon presidency, the third of five chronological segments and the largest such opening of its kind by the archives. In the conversation with top aides, Nixon suggested that the Democrats had somehow smeared U.S. conservatives by pinning on the “right wing,” as he put it, the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

A commission chaired by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren concluded in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine who once defected to the Soviet Union, acted alone in killing Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. “And it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated,” Nixon said without making clear why he considered the Warren Commission findings a sham. Turning back to the wounding of Wallace in Laurel, Maryland, he added: “And I respectfully suggest, can we pin this on one of theirs?” Nixon was speaking to H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, then his chief of staff, and Charles Colson, then a special counsel to the president. “Just say he (the shooter) was a supporter of McGovern and Kennedy,” Nixon ordered, referring to Democrats George McGovern of South Dakota, who lost the 1972 election in a landslide to the incumbent, and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, who went on to make a brief White House run in 1980. “Now, just put that out!” Nixon said, his voice rising for emphasis. “Just say you have it on unmistakable evidence.” Haldeman interrupts Nixon to say that the suspect had been arrested previously “so there ought to be a record on him.” “Screw the record!” Nixon shot back. “Just say he was a supporter of that nut, and put it out.” The president did not make clear whom he meant by that “nut.” “Just say we have an authenticated report,” he went on. Turning to Colson, Nixon urged that the story be relayed via Kenneth Clawson, a White House aide, to an unspecified “friend” in the media. “Bob,” he added, addressing Haldeman, “the moment you get into the business of whether it’s authenticated or not, you’re dead.” Nixon made clear that he disliked Wallace, a controversial figure because of his support for racial segregation. “Incidentally, Wallace is an evil man,” he said at one point. “McGovern is too...

because McGovern believes in evil... Wallace uses evil.” Wallace ran a strong third-party race in 1968 when Nixon barely edged out Democrat Hubert Humphrey for the presidency and was considered a major candidate in 1972 when he was shot. Nixon became the only president to resign his office on Aug. 9, 1974, after he was implicated in a cover-up of the June, 17, 1972, break-in at Democratic National Committee (news - web sites) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington. Bremer, now 51, was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 53 years in prison, which he is currently serving in Maryland. The 170 newly released White House tapes covered a wide range of domestic and foreign topics, including preparations for Nixon’s groundbreaking trip to China on Feb. 17, 1972 and discussions with Henry Kissinger on the ramifications of losing the Vietnam War. Also included is the so-called smoking gun conversation about the Watergate break-in and the conversation with an 18-1/2 minute gap that helped doom Nixon’s presidency.

April 4, 2002 The FBI in Florida is looking into claims by a minister that his father, not James Earl Ray, was the triggerman in the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Rev. Ronald Denton Wilson, 61, said Wednesday that his father, Henry Clay Wilson, shot King on April 4, 1968. Wilson, whose father died in 1990, said he wanted to “clear my conscience” and no longer could stay silent after 34 years. Wilson offered no documents, photographs or witnesses to corroborate his story. FBI agents from Jacksonville interviewed Wilson and his family for three hours early Wednesday to try to determine if his story was credible. FBI agent George Bolds in Memphis, Tenn., where King was assassinated, said the bureau knew nothing about Henry Clay Wilson and wasn’t investigating any claims concerning him and the King murder. John Campbell, an assistant prosecutor in Memphis, handled the state’s opposition to Ray’s attempts to recant his guilty plea and said he never had heard of Henry Clay Wilson. Campbell said he has no doubts about Ray’s guilt. Wilson claimed he was with his father, Henry Clay Wilson, and two other men as they plotted in March 1968 in Gainesville to kill King. The younger Wilson was 27. Wilson said he saw a rifle and $100,000 cash in a suitcase when his father and the other two men met in Gainesville. Wilson said the men were Ku Klux Klan members and killed King because they believed he was a communist.

June 22, 2002 Madeleine Duncan Brown dies. LBJ’s former mistress. BM&P n July 23, 2002 A second Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is filed in the California Supreme Court seeking a new trial for Sirhan Sirhan, maintaining that he was wrongfully convicted for the Los Angeles assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968. The petition maintains that federal prosecutors blackmailed Sirhan’s trial lawyer, the late Grant Cooper, into throwing the case and helping the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office achieve a conviction and death verdict. Shortly after agreeing to represent Sirhan, Cooper was allegedly discovered in possession of stolen federal grand jury transcripts by a federal Prosecutor in another case.

Long-secret LAPD documents reveal that on December 23, 1968, police were advised that an announcement concerning Cooper’s indictment was “expected in the next day or two.” On January 3, 1969, the FBI agent assigned to an interagency task force in the Sirhan case reported that he was monitoring “Grant Cooper’s dilemma.” On January 6, 1969, Cooper advised the Sirhan trial judge that he had discussed the matter with the U. S. Attorney in Los Angeles and had been told that no decision had been made as to whether he would be indicted after all. Cooper added that he could “not conceive” that he would be indicted. The trial judge never advised Sirhan of the possibility that federal prosecutors involved with the case were pressuring his lawyer and never gave the defendant a chance to request a new lawyer.

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