April 18, 2013
Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination by Richard Belzer and David Wayne, is a unique and welcome addition to the massive trove of JFK Assassination literature.
There is no conjecture here, just the facts surrounding fifty mysterious witness deaths presented in an easy-to-read format. Warren Commission apologists are reduced to irrelevancy; the proof of conspiracy is overwhelming and beyond any doubt. The authors cite my probability analysis as background information.
The 1973 film Executive Action depicted a conspiracy to assassinate JFK and revealed that an actuary engaged by the London Sunday Times calculated the probability of 18 material witnesses dying within three years of the JFK assassination as 1 in 100,000 TRILLION.
Assuming the data and calculation methodology were essentially correct, then it was clear proof of a conspiracy and refuted the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin. A comprehensive probability analysis shows that the actuary’s odds were conservative. There were many more than 18 suspicious deaths.
The proof is in the post Executive Action: JFK Witness Deaths and the London Times Actuary which links to the JFK Witness Database Spreadsheet Model.
The probability analysis is straightforward; it is not a theoretical exercise. It is a mathematical proof of conspiracy based on factual data (552 Warren Commission witnesses, at least 14 unnatural deaths, corresponding mortality rates) and the Poisson probability formula. The numbers and probabilities speak for themselves. This is a challenge to those who still claim that the deaths do not prove a conspiracy: To substantiate your claim, you must refute the data (i.e., the Warren Commission witness list), the unnatural mortality rates and the use of the Poisson formula.
There were approximately 1400 JFK-related witnesses. In 1964-1977, at least 70 died unnaturally (homicide, suicide, accidental, unknown) and 34 deaths were suspiciously timed heart attacks, cancers, etc. Normally 11 unnatural deaths would be expected.
Some have questioned the relevance of the unnatural and suspicious witness deaths related to the assassination. There are 71 unnatural deaths out of the 107 deaths in the spreadsheet database. Of the 107, 24 testified at the Warren Commission, 12 were sought or testified at the Clay Shaw trial by prosecutor Jim Garrison, 4 by the Church Senate Committee, 17 by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). Of the 57, 9 testified or were sought to testify by two of the four groups. Therefore, at least 48 witnesses in the database of 107 are indisputably relevant.
What are the odds that 48 witnesses called to testify (out of 1400 material witnesses) would meet unnatural deaths- before OR after testifying?
P= 2.67E-39 (less than 1 in a TRILLION TRILLION TRILLION).
The probability of exactly n deaths among N witnesses over T years given mortality rate R is calculated using the Poisson function: P (n) = Poisson (n, N*T*R, false)
The probability of at least n deaths is P (n) = 1- Poisson (n-1, N*T*R, true)
The following table displays the unnatural cause of death and corresponding mortality rate, expected number of deaths among the 1400 JFK witnesses, the actual number of deaths, and the probability.
Cause……..rate; expected; actual; probability
suicide……. 0.000107; 2.1; 7; 1 in 170
homicide…. 0.000062; 1.2; 40; 1 in 1 BILLION TRILLION TRILLION TRILLION
accidental.. 0.000359; 7.0; 23; 1 in 2.3 MILLION
unknown… 0.000014; 0.3; 5; 1 in 5 THOUSAND
TOTAL UNNATURAL..0.000542; 10.6; 70; 1 in 700 MILLION TRILLION TRILLION
To those who say there were many more than 1400 material witnesses, which means the probabilities are too low, consider 10,000 witnesses and 72 unnatural deaths from 1964-77. The probability is 1.3E-16 or 1 in 8,000 TRILLION, very close to the Sunday London Times actuary. For 3 years and 34 unnatural deaths, it is 7E-18 or 1 in 40,000 TRILLION.
This graph shows the long-term trend in U.S. homicide rate. Note that in 1963 the rate was approximately 6 per 100,000 (0.000062 is used in the homicide probability calculation).
Assuming 1400 JFK-related witnesses and the mortality rates above, the probability of at least
- 15 UNNATURAL deaths within ONE year of the assassination: 1 in 167 TRILLION.
- 33 UNNATURAL deaths within THREE years: less than 1 in 100 TRILLION TRILLION.
- 70 UNNATURAL deaths from 1964-77: 1 in 700 MILLION TRILLION TRILLION.
- 40 HOMICIDES from 1964-77: 1 in a BILLION TRILLION TRILLION TRILLION.
Of the 552 Warren Commission witnesses, there were at least fourteen unnatural deaths: 3 suicides, 5 homicides and 6 accidents. Nine others were suspicious. The probability of at least 22 UNNATURAL/SUSPICIOUS deaths and 1 attempted murder is 1 in 7 BILLION. If the “suicides” and “accidents” were actually HOMICIDES, then the probability of at least 14 HOMICIDES among the 552 witnesses is 1 in 2 THOUSAND TRILLION.