Thursday, May 17, 2007, 8:56 am
New Analysis Places Doubt on Kennedy Assassination Lone Gunman Theory
John Solomon for WaPo reports:
In a collision of 21st-century science and decades-old conspiracy theories, a research team that includes a former top FBI scientist is challenging the bullet analysis used by the government to conclude that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot the two bullets that struck and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963.via Steve Soto
The "evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed," concludes a new article in the Annals of Applied Statistics written by former FBI lab metallurgist William A. Tobin and Texas A&M University researchers Cliff Spiegelman and William D. James.
The researchers' re-analysis involved new statistical calculations and a modern chemical analysis of bullets from the same batch Oswald is purported to have used. They reached no conclusion about whether more than one gunman was involved, but urged that authorities conduct a new and complete forensic re-analysis of the five bullet fragments left from the assassination in Dallas.
Using new guidelines set forth by the National Academy of Sciences for proper bullet analysis, Tobin and his colleagues at Texas A&M re-analyzed the bullet evidence provided to the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations to support the conclusion that only one shooter, Oswald, fired the shots that killed Kennedy.
They found that the scientific and statistical assumptions Guinn used -- and the government accepted at the time -- to conclude that the fragments came from just two bullets fired from Oswald's gun were wrong.
"This finding means that the bullet fragments from the assassination that match could have come from three or more separate bullets," the researchers said. "If the assassination fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely," the researchers said. If the five fragments came from three or more bullets, that would mean a second gunman's bullet would have had to strike the president, the researchers explained.