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by Allan Eaglesham
4.1. Were Shots Fired from the "Sniper's Nest"?
To adequately address this question would take another article as long as this one. Perhaps the most persuasive direct evidence of a sniper at the southeast window of the sixth floor of the TSBD was the observation by Bob Jackson, cameraman for the Dallas Times Herald -- immediately after shots were fired-of what appeared to be a "half of" a rifle being drawn back into the building . When Jackson exclaimed, "There's the rifle" or words to that effect, his colleague in the car, Mal Couch, news cameraman for WFAA-TV, looked up and saw "about a foot of a rifle" being pulled back into the open window . According to the Warren Report , Tom Dillard, Dallas Morning News, and James Underwood, KRLD-TV, also heard Jackson's exclamation. Amazingly, however, none of these newsmen acted immediately on this information; not one of them collared a police officer to report the location of a sniper. Compare this with the tenacious "newshound" ethic of Tom Alyea, who ignored an order to exit the sixth floor of the TSBD in order to record history in the making! In a recent series of two articles in this journal, Carleton Sterling made a persuasive case that the accounts of Jackson and company qualify as "recovered memories" -- slanting reports to support the official story-line .
What thinking underpinned the removal of the stack of book cartons to the east of the late-afternoon "sniper's nest" (shaded in Figure 5) before the photographs of the official "sniper's nest" were taken on 11/25/63? Those cartons were heavy (approximately 50 lbs) and significant effort was involved in getting them out of the way. One possibility-a probability in my opinion-was to make a more persuasive case that this was, indeed, the location from which shots were fired. The figure of a sniper in Figure 23 demonstrates that there was little space in which to maneuver. It is possible that, on the morning of 11/25/63, it was discovered that it would have been impossible for a sniper to operate without more elbow room, hence the cartons had to come out. Luckily a figure is present in Figure 28 to suggest that if he were to use the boxes in front of him as a "rifle rest," he would have to kneel on the floor. Yet, Figure 23 reveals how little kneeling space there was. In contrast, Figure 11, with the "rifle-rest" boxes further to the west and the east stack of cartons gone, shows adequate space for an assassin to have done the dirty deed.
Tom Alyea describes the spent cartridges as being positioned no more that 2 feet from each other; all three could have been covered by a small hand towel (see Figure 26). Robert Frazier's tests of the rifle revealed that cartridges landed within a 47-inch circle, located at right angles to the ejection port, or 90 degrees from the line of sight, and at a distance of 80 inches from the ejection port . After bouncing on the floor within this circle, momentum carried the cartridges from 8 inches up to 15 feet . In view of the ranges in angle of ejection and in momentum from cartridge to cartridge, it is inconceivable that any three would have landed as observed by Tom Alyea. Captain Fritz may have compromised the putative crime scene because he did not want Alyea to record the unlikely cluster of cartridges.
Throughout this article I have placed the words "snipers nest" and "rifle rest" in quotes because I am unconvinced that shots were fired from there. I suspect that the "rifle rest" was constructed and Mannlicher-Carcano cartridges were placed there as part of an elaborate scheme to frame Lee Oswald. In 2001, a fingerprint on the Rolling Readers box was reported by Walt Brown to be a 34-point match with that of hit-man Malcolm "Mac" Wallace .
However you, the reader, choose to interpret the information presented here, it is undeniable that members of the Dallas Police Department manipulated evidence in constructing the false crime scene in Figures 2, 10 and 11. Film footage may yet come to light to establish beyond any doubt that the deception was even more significant, per hand-scattered cartridge cases in Figures 14 and 15, revealing perjury on the part of J.W. Fritz, captain of the Dallas Police Department Homicide and Robbery Bureau and other law-enforcement officers.
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