JFK believe it or not: Oswald wasn’t even a shooter!

“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices – to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to . . . The Twilight Zone.” — Rod Serling, 1960


by Richard Hooke (with Jim Fetzer)


As we approach the 49th observance of the assassination of JFK, I have been invited to speak at The Roxie Theatre in San Francisco on 22 November 2012 and explain what Oliver Stone got right and got wrong in his monumental film, “JFK”.  Most of the film is right, where Oliver Stone has given us the most accurate, complete and comprehensive presentation of what actually happened in Dealey Plaza on 22 November 1963 that has ever been provided to the American public though the mass media. 

But Oliver Stone had three rather important points wrong, which were that he believed (1) the home movies of the assassination, especially the Zapruder film, were authentic, when they were actually revisions of original films; (2) that there were only three teams of shooters, when there were actually six, surrounding the “kill zone”; and, perhaps most importantly,  (3) he did not know that the alleged assassin was “out with Bill Shelley in front”, as Lee explained to Homicide Detective Will Fritz during his interrogation, which means there is direct proof of his innocence beyond the circumstantial.  The third may be the most important, since it demonstrates the utter corruption of the official account of the death of our 35th president.

That the film is a fabrication has been proven on multiple grounds.  Those who study the eyewitness reports will find that more than 60 of them reported observing the limousine either slow dramatically or come to a complete halt, where it had to slow dramatically as it came to a complete halt.  The limo stop was such an obvious indication of Secret Service complicity that it had to be removed, which left no time for Clint Hill to rush forward, climb over the trunk, push Jackie down and lie across their bodies, while peering down into the fist-sized hole in the back of JFK’s head, which led him to give a “thumbs down” to his colleagues–all before the limo reached the Triple Underpass! We know from John P. Costella’s brilliant studies of the extant version that it was recreated using original film, but where mistakes were made in the process.  And we know from Douglas Horne where it was done and how the substitution of the fabrication was made for the original.

About these matters there can be no doubt.  But even serious students of the assassination still balk at the suggestion that Lee Oswald was out in front of the Book Depository with Bill Shelly and others, straining to catch a glimpse of JFK and Jackie–just like almost everyone else who worked there.  We know from testimony by co-workers that he was in and around the lunchroom on the 2nd floor at 11:50, Noon, 12:15 and as late as 12:25, where the assassination took place at 12:30.  He was then confronted by a motorcycle patrolman named “Marrion Baker” within 90 seconds of the shooting, where Baker held him in his sights until Roy Truly, his supervisor, came over to assure him that the man was an employee who belonged there.  This should by now be well-known to every serious student of the death of JFK.  Yet some persist in denial that Lee cannot have been a shooter, no matter how strong the evidence.  And the evidence, once it has been noticed, is extraordinarily strong.  Consider this close-up of the crucial area of the most famous photos taken in Dealey Plaza at the time:

Taken by James “Ike” Altgens and technically known as “Altgens6” as the sixth of a series of seven photographs purportedly taken by him on that occasion,  this close-up shows the man in the doorway at the center left, where his left shoulder is anomalously missing.  The man beside him, wearing a black tie, is simultaneously both in front of him and behind him, which is physically impossible.  His torso and shirt are partially obscured by the extremely strange image of the right profile of a black man’s head. And the face of a man to his left/front (right/front as we view the image) has been crudely obscured.  There would have been no reason to have altered the photograph unless someone had been there who should not have been there, where the only candidate is Lee Oswald.  These oddities are so blatant that, once they have been remarked, it is rather difficult to imagine why anyone would persist in denying that Altgens6 was altered.  But one could still deny that Lee Oswald was in the doorway by insisting it was someone else.  This article demonstrates how one of the most ingenious forgeries in history was pulled off by experts who knew what they were doing.  Read it and weep at the massiveness of the lies our government has told us!

“JFK Special 6: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”


by Richard Hooke (with Jim Fetzer)

Earlier this summer Dr. Ralph Cinque, Professor Fetzer, Professor David Wrone, and I, Richard Hooke, founded the Oswald Innocence Campaign that is a gathering of researchers, and concerned individuals, committed to spreading the truth that Lee Harvey Oswald was the “Man in the Doorway” in the famous photo, by Ike Altgens, which thereby exonerates Oswald of having shot at President Kennedy.   In this case, a picture really is worth a million words, since it trumps the massive media effort to the contrary.  We are taking a stand for what, upon close examination, the photo clearly reveals and cannot be denied by rational thinking people.  The founding of the OIC marks a sea change in JFK research.  A new breed of JFK researcher has emerged.  Nevertheless, there are those on the internet, such S.V. Anderson and other “lone gunman” shills, who comb internet forums and cannot quite figure out why I, and others, of this new breed of conspiracy theorist, are so persistent and will not be silenced.  The moment for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth has come.

The explanation is that enough time has passed that ‘The Power of Officialdom” has long since worn off and we are now sensing the warm rays of truth beginning to break through–and at an ever increasing rate.  We are no longer content to shuffle around the same familiar arguments.  The assassination of JFK happened a long time ago and nearly a world away, yet for many of us, born in the 1940s and 50s, it seems just like yesterday.  We have lived nearly our entire lives being told conflicting and crazy explanations of the of deaths JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald and we are tired of it.  We are not going to be content passing our lives without knowing what really happened to our President and to the enigmatic Lee Harvey Oswald on that fateful November day.  We realize that if we can get more Americans to face what really happened, no matter how painful that may be, we will be leaving the world a better place for our children.  In the course of human events, it was inevitable that the argument would swing back toward truth.  Our very existence demands it, and “the vector of truth”, as it might be called, is now pointing at the “Man in the Doorway” in the Altgens6.

The light has finally dawned that the question of whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald was the man in the Texas School Book Depository doorway can be answered. At 12:30 PM, on 22 November 1963, the famous Altgens6 photo by Dallas Associated Press photographer James “Ike” Altgens, shows JFK as the Presidential limousine passes the TSBD, with his arms crossed and hands near his throat, as he reacts to being shot by a bullet that passed through the windshield.  You can see the bullet hole itself, which is the dark spot at the center of a while, spiral nebula, where his left ear would be were it visible.  Altgens ran east to west, across the grass, toward the south curb of Elm, stopped across from the Plaza’s north colonnade, and snapped his photo approximately 295 feet south of the depository’s doorway with his 35mm Nikkorex-F single-lens-reflex camera, with 105mm telephoto lens.  The Altgens6 has been assumed to corresponds to frame 255 of the Zapruder film, where the film, like the photo, has been revised.  Altgens’ picture was allegedly “on the wire” within minutes (12:57 PM) of the assassination and forwarded to the AP in New York. It was among the first assassination photos widely printed in newspapers across the nation.  The negative remained at the Dallas AP office but was subsequently “lost”, one of many reasons that controversy has dogged the Altgens6 photo from the beginning.

The Secret Service would later substitute another windshield with a spider-web-like configuration for the original, which had a dark hole in the center of the white, spiral nebula, in another blatant example of the alteration of evidence.

Points of Comparison

The official line, for nearly 50 years, has been that another TSBD employee, Billy Lovelady, was the real man in the doorway.  Not the least of the problems with that story is that, on 2 March 1964, Billy Lovelady told the FBI that he had been wearing a red and white, vertically striped, short sleeved shirt buttoned near his neck–and the FBI took photographs of Billy wearing it.  Lee Oswald, by comparison, had on a long sleeve, brown tweed over shirt, which was unbuttoned more than halfway down his torso. Beneath it, he was wearing a white under shirt (or “t-shirt”) with collar stretched into a V.  His clothing, his stance and posture, his right ear, his left eye and brow, his mouth, expression, chin, and facial bone structure, points of light and shadow, and hair are the same as those features of Doorman (as this article explains).  There are multiple unique and identifiable features of Doorman and Oswald’s shirt, collar and lapels, alone.  First consider his left lapel and then consider the right, as follows:

George H.W. Bush once spoke of “a thousand points of light”.  But in this case we can settle for 27 points of similarity between Doorman and Oswald.  If you were to assume that two different people, taken at random, might share one of these features in common at one time in ten–which is probably an exaggeration, but useful for calculation–then the probability that they would share 27 features in common would be equal to 1/10 times itself 27 times, which is a one over a one followed by twenty seven zeros or 1/1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000, which we would all agree is a very small number.  If these similarities are not assumed to be occurring merely by chance because Doorman and Oswald were the same person, however, then the probability that they would have 27 features in common approximates the value of one.  Since an hypothesis is preferable when its probability (technically, its likelihood) is greater than an alternative, unless one is a value that is smaller than 1/1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000, the Oswald = Doorman hypothesis has been confirmed:

It wasn’t Billy Lovelady

Critics have noticed that Billy Lovelady was pictured in the Warren Commission documents in the short sleeve, red and white, striped shirt that he had told the FBI he had worn on 22 November 1963.  Obviously, if that had been the shirt that he had been wearing, then if the choice was between Lovelady and Oswald, Doorman had to be Oswald.  So, in 1967, Lovelady changed his story.  He claimed that it was all a misunderstanding and that he had actually not posed for the FBI in the shirt that he had actually worn, despite it having been unbuttoned and folded over in order to expose his undershirt, in an obvious attempt to simulate Altgens6 Doorman. Here are the photos that were taken by the FBI, where they described the shirt in their own report back to FBI Headquarters:

In 1967, Billy and his wife, Mrs. Lovelady, began claiming that he had worn a red, black, and white long sleeve checked shirt.  Well, anyone can see the second shirt Lovelady claimed to have worn did not a match Doorman either and that it is very difficult to imaging that Doorman’s shirt to have been a red-and-black check (with a white fleck) shirt with a very delineated horizontal and vertical pattern.  Their contention was reinforced by the claim that Billy had inadvertently been captured in footage taken as Oswald was escorted through the offices of the Dallas Police Department and that he had likewise been filmed in front of the depository, where Professor Fetzer also believes that features of the image on the left were slightly altered to make him look more like Oswald, which is not far-fetched (see below):

Approaching the HSCA investigation of 1977-78, film clips began to surface providing additional evidence Lovelady was wearing a long sleeve red-and-black check (with a white fleck) shirt on the day of the assassination.  Images of Lovelady appear to have been superimposed into the Martin, Hughs, Dallas PD and Dave Wiegman films to provide bogus, after-the-fact, evidence that Billy Lovelady had been in the TSBD doorway wearing a long sleeve, red-black-and-white check shirt.  A frame of the Martin film shows a phony Lovelady (in this bogus check shirt) in the doorway with his shirt buttoned clear up to his neck, yet a frame of the Hugh’s film (supposedly depicting Lovelady at the same moment in time) shows Lovelady with his shirt sprawled wide–clearly a blunder in attempting to imitate the man in the doorway.  The difference are virtually those of a Dr. Jekyll and a Mr. Hyde, where Jekyll looked normal but Hyde looked like a gorilla:

More Proof it wasn’t Billy

Photos of Billy Lovelady were never provided for the public and no one on the Warren Commission ever saw Lovelady.  The only authentic photo of Billy we have from the approximate time of the assassination was taken by attorney Mark Lane in the 1964-65, which was included in Forgive My Grief (1966), by Penn Jones Jr.  It is included here and, as you can see, Lovelady was far too bald to be Doorman, and his cranium and facial bone structure do not look like Doorman’s:

Even the ears of Doorman can be compared with those of Oswald and of Lovelady, where again the features (indistinct as they may be) favor Oswald and undermine Lovelady.  But those who were working with the photo took measures to create ambiguity about the face of the man in the doorway, where it was Ralph Cinque’s astute observation that the clothing was the decisive indicator of the identity of Doorman, not the face itself, that cracked the case wide open, but which, upon closer, minute inspection, the other comparable features of their faces provides extraordinary additional proof.

Rearranging Doorman’s Face

Careful scrutiny and extensive study of the Altgens6 reveals that it was tampered with, where features of Lee Oswald’s face were changed to resemble Billy Lovelady.  The photograph proceeded through a series of stages until it was judged to be “good enough” to fool the public, which would remain the case until 2012, when a series of studies were published here at Veterans Today that lay out the case for alteration and obfuscation:  “JFK Special: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”, “JFK Special 2: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”, “JFK Special 3: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”, “JFK Special 4: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”, and “JFK Special 5: Oswald was in the doorway, after all!”  The case for Oswald as Doorman, which we are summarizing here, is simply overwhelming.

They were not completely successful, however, because a careful comparison of the left eyes of Oswald and of Lovelady demonstrates that the features of Doorman’s left are the same as those of Oswald’s left eye but differ from those of Lovelady.  It becomes a question of how much proof is required to concede the point that the man in the doorway was Lee and not Billy, where we are increasingly concerned about the sincerity of those who continue to deny their identity, when it has been established by multiple, convergent lines of proof.

“Out with Billy Shelley in front”

It was astonishing to Professor Fetzer to learn–only last year, 2011–that the Assassination Records Review Board had discovered the handwritten interrogation notes of Will Fritz, the DPD Homicide Detective who had questioned Lee Oswald, which the ARRB had been released back in 2007. Those notes reported that Oswald had told Detective Fritz that he had been “out with Bill Shelley in front” during the assassination. Some of our critics, however, have claimed Lee was not talking about his location during the shooting but some time thereafter.  That makes no sense at all, however, since we know he was observed in and around the lunchroom at 11:50 AM, Noon, 12:15 PM and as late as 12:25 PM, the latter occasions by Carolyn Arnold, the executive secretary to the Vice President of the TSBD.

So, Oswald could not have been referring to being outside with Bill Shelly before the shooting. Within 90 seconds following the assassination, he was accosted in the lunchroom by Roy Truly and Motorcycle Officer Marion Baker.  Oswald could not have meant he was “out with Bill Shelly in front” after the shooting, because Bill Shelly had left immediately with Billy Lovelady and  walked down to the railroad tracks to look around.  When they (Lovelady and Shelly) returned, they re-entered the building through the backdoor of the TSBD and gone to the base of the back stairwell (in the northwest corner (rear) of the building).  So, Bill Shelly was definitely not out in front when Oswald was leaving leaving the building. What could make more sense than that, when his co-workers were outside watching the motorcade of the two most famous people in the word, that Lee would not have joined them?

It would have been unbelievably remiss of Detective Fritz, moreover, not to have asked Lee Oswald where he was at the time of the shooting–that is the most pertinent question Will Fritz would have needed to ask.  That led me (Jim Fetzer) to revisit the Doorman question, even though it had long been written off, not only by “lone-nutters” but by most conspiracy theorists.  And that led to discussions with Dr. Ralph Cinque about the remarkable match in the clothing of Oswald and Doorman.  The uniqueness of Oswald’s clothing had never been seriously addressed before.  When you compare the clothing of Lee Oswald and Doorman in detail, however, you realize it has to be the same clothing, which means it had to be the same man.  The chance that Billy Lovelady just happened to dress himself exactly the same way as Lee Oswald that particular day, after all, is preposterous and has to have a probability of approximately zero.  Here is some of Ralph’s reasoning from an earlier presentation that already has most of it right:

Visible Proof that Oswald was Innocent

More on rearranging Altgens6

We know the acquisition of new evidence or of novel hypotheses can make a difference to the likelihood of even the best supported alternatives.  But as more and more genuine evidence is acquired–even in the course of proving fakery–when an hypothesis is true, then the strength of its support should increase and be borne out by additional studies. That is the primary reason why every serious scientist should support further research.  It is like using a telescope to confirm findings that were originally made with the naked eye–which could be further explored using a radio telescope.  If those original findings were correct, then they will be confirmed, which remains the case no matter how controversial the subject: where it might involve determining the parentage of a child by means of DNA, confirming the precision of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity by means of atomic clocks, or re-investigating the guilt of a felon on death row for murder.  No matter how controversial the question or how surprising the results, the truth deserves to be pursued, nonetheless.  And, in this case, we have ascertained that the transformation of Altgens6 to neutralize it as proof of Oswald’s innocence involved several steps or stages of these unexpected kinds:

Billy was in the doorway, but in the background, where his presence could be easily obscured.  The crucial consideration was to obfuscate the short-sleeved, red and white vertically stripped shirt he was wearing, where they could simply black out his face and his cap.  Since they were obliterating the face of the man immediately in front of him and to his right (whom we now believe to have been Bill Shelley), while leaving his arms raised to protect his view from the Sun, darkening his image was a piece of cake.  But they had to obfuscate that distinctive left lapel on Doorman’s over shirt, which they did by moving most of the image of Fedora Man (whom we now believe to have been Jack Ruby) to conceal it, hoping that no one would notice that, in the process, they had obliterated Doorman’s left shoulder:

Publishing the Altered Altgens

Once the photo had been edited, it was a simple matter to put it out via the AP, where Roy Schaeffer was at work at a Dayton newspaper and took it off the AP wire on Saturday, 23 November 1963. Here is a scan of my (Richard Hooke) own personal copy of the Oakland Tribune ‘EXTRA’ edition, which was printed the evening of 22 November 1963 and, assuming it is authentic and not a substitution to create a false record of its first publication, appears to have been the initial release of the Altgens6. Notice that President Kennedy’s head has been altered, apparently to accent its location.  The black hole at the center of the white, spiral nebula has been obscured.  Black Tie Man has been moved, Doorman’s left shoulder is missing, the black man’s profile has been added, Shelley’s face has been obscured and Billy is opaque–all features we find in later and better versions of the photograph.

The caption, of course, is not correct, since it asserts that he is grasping his chest, when he is reaching for his throat, and this was only the second hit and not the fatal shot.  But the key points we have made should have been apparent from the beginning.  The photo has been altered; his left shoulder is missing; a face has been obfuscated; another has been introduced.  How much proof do we need to conclude that Altgens6 was reworked–just as the autopsy X-rays, the autopsy photographs, the backyard photos and the Zapruder film were revised?  They were going to do whatever they had to do to conceal the true causes of the death of our 35th president, which, as Douglas Horne, Inside the ARRB (2009), would reveal, even went to the extent to taking a cranial saw to the skull of JFK and enlarging it to make it look more like the effect of a shot from above and behind.  Altering the Altgens6 would have been an obvious thing to do–as obvious as Lee Oswald stepping out to watch the most famous couple in the world.

Why, after all, would Lee have said that he was “out front with Bill Shelley” if it were not true?  What convinced me (Jim Fetzer) that he had to have been there, however, is that surely they would only have altered the Altgens6, committing photographic fraud, because someone had been there who should not have been, where the only candidate for that role is the man they were planning to frame for the murder of President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, the designated “patsy”.  Otherwise, the probability of altering the photo in the doorway area would have been zero.  It would not do to have “the lone assassin” in a photo watching JFK pass by in the motorcade, which was taken at the same time the president was being shot, since Oswald, like the rest of us, could not have been in two places at the same time. That does not mean everyone is therefore going to accept the fact that Altgens6 has been altered, but it creates the presumption that those who persist in their denial are either unfamiliar with the evidence or cognitively impaired.

NOTE: Those who want to pursue these issues further and support research on JFK should visit The Oswald Innocence Campaign.

Richard M. Hooke, a student of anthropology at UC Santa Barbara and former computer systems analyst for Bank of America, is also a writer and researcher regarding the death of President John F. Kennedy.

James H. Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth and a columnist for Veterans Today, where his most recent studies of the assassination of JFK can be found.

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