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Monthly Archives: July 2013

JFK Assassination Paradigm Shift: Deaths of Witnesses Called to Testify

JFK Assassination Paradigm Shift: Deaths of Witnesses Called to Testify

Richard Charnin
July 18, 2013
Updated: Dec.30,2014

Click Reclaiming Science:The JFK Conspiracy to look inside the book.

JFK Blog Posts
JFK Calc Spreadsheet Database

This post will describe the methodology used to calculate mortality rates and associated probabilities of the deaths of witnesses who testified or were sought in four JFK-related investigations. The method represents a paradigm shift in analyzing witness deaths and is mathematical proof of a conspiracy beyond any doubt. The only relevant variables needed for calculating probabilities are the number (N) called to testify, the number (n) who died unnaturally, the time period (T), and the unnatural mortality rate (R).

Note: I posted this on John McAdams’ JFK assassination site. His only response is that I am afraid to have this analysis peer-reviewed. In effect, he has given up the ghost since he himself cannot refute it. https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/alt.assassination.jfk/gy1LY3aTm60

The irrefutable probabilities of witness deaths confirms what we already know and closes the book on academic, media and entertainment shills who, despite 50 years of overwhelming evidence – eyewitness, forensic, medical, photographic, ballistic, acoustic, etc. – combined with the recorded death-bed confessions of participants in the conspiracy, continue to perpetuate the insane Magic Bullet Theory and that Oswald lied when he said he was “just a patsy”.

Warren Commission (WC) apologists and “coincidence” theorists (CTs) have offered tortured explanations to refute the relevance of witness deaths by challenging the witness connection to the assassination and/or cause of death. But their explanations are an exercise in futility; they miss the forest for the trees. Focusing on any particular death is an irrelevant distraction. First, they are debunked by the known number of witnesses who testified or were sought to testify in the four investigations. Second, the fact they were sought is obvious proof that they were relevant. Coincidence theorists (CTs) and WC apologists avoid and/or are ignorant of the mathematical analysis required for calculating the probability of a given number of unnatural deaths occurring in a known universe of witnesses.

The witness death controversy was ignited by the 1973 film Executive Action in which it was disclosed that an actuary engaged by the London Sunday Times calculated 100,000 trillion to 1 odds that 18 material witnesses would die in the three years following the assassination. If the calculation was valid, then it was clear proof of a conspiracy to eliminate witnesses and would destroy the Warren Commission’s conclusion that there was no conspiracy.

The HSCA designated statistician dismissed the calculation as invalid, claiming it was impossible to determine a known universe of witnesses. But this conclusion is easily debunked by the known universe of witnesses called to testify at the Warren Commission, Garrison/Shaw trial, Church Senate Intelligence hearings and House Select Committee (HSCA). The number of witnesses sought is obviously a known quantity. And the Warren Commission apologists are debunked: they were material and connected to the assassination, otherwise they would never have been called to testify in the first place.

The HSCA noted just 21 witness deaths. http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/jfkdeaths.htm

Here are the graphs and probability calculations which prove a conspiracy: https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/jfk-witness-deaths-graphical-proof-of-a-conspiracy/

The Probability Formula
The only relevant factors are the number of witnesses (N) called to testify, the number (n) who died, the time period (T) and the appropriate mortality rate (R). Given these factors, we have all the information we need to calculate E, the expected number of deaths: E = N * T * R. Given the expected number, the Poisson formula calculates the probability of n deaths:
P(n) = E^n * exp(-E) / n!
P = Poisson (n, E, false) is the probability function for exactly n deaths.
P = 1 – Poisson (n-1, E, true) is the probability function for at least n deaths.

This is a sensitivity analysis of unnatural witness deaths.

Warren Commission witnesses
A total of N=552 witnesses were interviewed. At least 30 died suspiciously (n=18 unnaturally) in the T=15 years from 1964-1978. Only 1 or 2 unnatural deaths is expected.

Using the annual national homicide rate (0.000084), we would expect zero or one homicide among the 552 Warren Commission witnesses from 1964-1978. But there were at least 11 homicides. The probability of at least 11 homicides is:
P = 1 – Poisson (n-1, E, true)
P = 1 – Poisson (10, 0.70, true)
P = 2.54E-10 = 1 in 4 billion

Four Investigations
Approximately 1100 material witnesses were sought to testify in four JFK-related investigations from 1964-78: 552 testified at the Warren Commission. The others were sought to testify at the Garrison/Shaw Trial, Senate Intelligence Hearings and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

At least 67 of the 1100 died under suspicious circumstances and are included in the JFK Calc 122 witness database. It is obvious that the 30 WC witnesses who died unnaturally and suspiciously were relevant; they all testified. The vast majority of the other 37 witnesses who were sought in the three investigations that followed died suspiciously shortly before they could testify.

Of the 67 deaths, 46 were officially ruled unnatural, including 18 homicides. The other 21 died from suspiciously timed heart attacks, illnesses and natural causes.

David Ferrie supposedly committed suicide a few days before he was scheduled to testify before a grand jury at the Clay Shaw trial in 1967. Sam Giancana was murdered before he had a chance to testify at the Church Senate hearings in 1975. George de Morenschildt supposedly shot himself the day he was notified of his interview by the HSCA. Seven (7) top FBI officials died within a six month period in 1977 prior to their scheduled testimony at the HSCA. And there were many more.

1400 Material Witnesses: 78 Official Unnatural Deaths
Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination is a reference text of 1400+ suspects, witnesses, law enforcement officials and investigators. The JFK Calc spreadsheet includes 122 material witnesses of whom 78 died unnaturally (34 homicides, 24 accidents, 16 suicides, 4 unknown). The 44 “natural” deaths include 25 suspicious (induced?) heart attacks.

Only 17 unnatural deaths would normally be expected among 1400 material witnesses in the 15 year period – but there were at least 78. The probability is ZERO.

Nearly half of the unnatural deaths occurred during two major investigations in just over two years: 16 in 1964 (Warren Commission)and 22 in 1977-78 (HSCA). Timing is everything.

Unweighted and Weighted Mortality Rates

Nationally, accidents comprised 66% of unnatural deaths compared to 11% for homicides. But 34 of 78 (44%) JFK witness unnatural deaths were homicides; therefore we need to weight the JFK-witness rates by cause of death to calculate probabilities. In fact, if the analysis was restricted to homicides the mathematical proof would be simpler and even more powerful.

The weighted rate is the sum-product of the individual unnatural rates and corresponding deaths:
R = 0.000247 = (34*0.000825 + 16*0.000130 + 24*0.000594 + 3* 0.00001)/78

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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in JFK

 

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Debunking John McAdams’ “Debunking” of Jim Marrs’ JFK Witness List

Debunking John McAdams’ “Debunking” of Jim Marrs’ JFK Witness List

Richard Charnin
July 8, 2013
Updated: June 11, 2013

Click Reclaiming Science:The JFK Conspiracy to look inside the book.

JFK Blog Posts
JFK Calc Spreadsheet Database

John McAdams is the foremost Warren Commission apologist and Lone Nutter. He has spawned a number of wannabees who parrot his writings on internet forums dedicated to the JFK Assassination. To McAdams, JFK researchers seeking the truth are “conspiracy buffs” who are wrong to believe scores of eyewitnesses, Parkland doctors, photographic and acoustic evidence.

McAdams astounding propensity to obfuscate is best illustrated in his attempt to debunk Jim Marrs’ list in “Strange” and “Convenient” Deaths Surrounding the Assassination: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/deaths.htm.

McAdams’ disinformation has been thoroughly debunked by many researchers: http://richardcharnin.com/JMLaughingStock.html

This post will prove that McAdams’ decades-long effort to refute the relevance of the JFK witnesses is an exercise in futility.

The following logical analysis represents a profound PARADIGM SHIFT in analyzing the significance of the “convenient” witness deaths. To prove a conspiracy, it does not matter one iota if individual witnesses were related or material to the assassination (even though they obviously were). Witness relevance and connection to JFK becomes obvious after the fact.

The salient point is that the number of witnesses called to testify in four investigations and died unnaturally by homicide, accident or suicide (or suspiciously timed heart-attacks) far exceeded the mathematical expectation. The probability is essentially ZERO that the number of unnatural deaths would occur in each investigation (as well as collectively in four). Therefore, if the deaths were not coincidental, there had to be a connection which means there was a conspiracy. It is no longer debatable.

This straightforward probability analysis closes the book on McAdams’ decades-old barrage of disinformation and utter disregard for the truth. As a professor of political science, one would expect McAdams to seek the truth with an honest scientific evaluation of the facts. His avoidance – or inability – of engaging in an honest analysis cannot be attributed totally to pure ignorance. His agenda is obvious to anyone paying attention. He has been exposed time and again as an illogical coincidence theorist (CT). The “tell” is his inability to refute the basic mathematical analysis which proves that there was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK. He reveals his ignorance of logic and probability theory here: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/logic.htm

Apparently, McAdams had a limited math background, otherwise he would have done the analysis. His total ignorance of probability theory is shown by his feeble, pathetic attempt to refute the testimony of eyewitnesses and medical doctors at Parkland Hospital. The man has no shame. And this is a university professor? http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/logic2.htm

We will teach you, “professor”.This is a sensitivity analysis of unnatural witness deaths.

Facts, logic and mathematical proof are the bane of the disinformationist. Knowing the unnatural mortality rate (R) for (n) witness unnatural deaths in a group of (N) individuals over a given time period (T) is all that is required in order to calculate the probability of (n) deaths. The first step is to calculate R, the weighted average unnatural mortality rate:
R = (homicide rate* homicides + accidental death rate* accidents + Suicide rate*suicides+unknown rate* unknowns)/unnatural deaths

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjAk1JUWDMyRdDFSU3NVd29xWWNyekd2X1ZJYllKTnc#gid=0

As a quantitative analyst/software developer working in defense/aerospace and Wall Street investment banking, I had the pleasure of programming mathematical models that were much more complex than calculating probabilities of JFK witness unnatural deaths. https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/jfk-mysterious-witness-deaths-london-sunday-times-and-hsca-cover-up/

JFK Calc is an online spreadsheet that contains a database of 122 JFK-related suspicious deaths, mortality rates, probability calculations, Dealey Plaza witness testimonies, graphs and links to data sources. JFK Calc has all the information required for a robust analysis: a) known witness groups, b) official cause of death, c) unnatural mortality rates and d) 1,3 and 15 year probability calculations (1964-1978).

Of the 122 witness deaths; 95 are included in the reference Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination. The text contains summaries of 1400+ individuals (witnesses, suspects, police, FBI, CIA, Mafia, anti-Castro Cubans, reporters, etc.) material to the assassination.

There were approximately 67 suspicious deaths from 1964-78 among approximately 1100 witnesses called to testify at the 1964 Warren Commission, 1969 Garrison/Shaw trial, 1975 Church Senate Intelligence Hearings and 1977-79 HSCA investigation. At least 47 deaths were unnatural, of which 17 were official ruled homicides, a very conservative number, since the number of official accidents, suicides and heart attacks were statistically implausible. Based on morality rates, 14 unnatural deaths and one homicide would have been expected during the 15 year period following the assassination. The probability of 47 unnatural deaths is E-49 (less than 1 in a trillion trillion trillion trillion).

Convenient deaths spiked in 1964 (Warren Commission) and 1977 (House Select Committee).

This is a link to the latest mysterious witness death probabilities and and graphics.

These graphs are mathematical proof of a conspiracy.

552 Warren Commission witnesses
To illustrate, consider the N=552 witnesses who testified at the Warren Commission (in person or affidavit) in the 15 year period from 1964 to 1978. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjAk1JUWDMyRdDFSU3NVd29xWWNyekd2X1ZJYllKTnc#gid=22

There were at least 30 suspicious deaths among the 552 witnesses. At least 21 died unnaturally. Only 7 unnatural deaths would have been expected statistically. The probability of at least 21 unnatural deaths is E-20 (1 in 10 billion trillion).

There were at least 122 suspicious deaths among an estimated 1400 JFK material witnesses of which at least 78 were ruled unnatural (only 17 would normally be expected). Given the 1964-1978 JFK-weighted average unnatural mortality rate (0.000247), the probability of 78 unnatural deaths is E-62. But how many “accidents”, “suicides” and suspicious “natural” deaths were actually homicides? The probabilities would be lower still.

I should stop right here. Consider it a PARADIGM SHIFT in analyzing the problem. There is no question about the relevance of witnesses by definition; they were important enough to be called to testify. But even more important, the conspiracy is proved by a simple calculation strictly based on expected and actual unnatural mortality for a given universe of 552 Warren Commission witnesses. This puts the lie to the canard that the universe of witnesses is unknowable. The Poisson function does not include a motive or connection variable. The connection is proven by the infinitesimal probability that at least 21 would die unnaturally.

25,000 FBI Interviews?
Warren Commission apologists claimed that 25,000 were interviewed in the FBI “investigation”. But how many were material? Only about 1400 according to the reference “Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination”. In 1964-78, the average national HOMICIDE rate was 0.000084. The probability of 80 homicides among a plausible 1400 material witnesses in 15 years (1964-1978): P = E-53= 1 in 1000 trillion trillion trillion trillion

But even assuming the impossible: 25,000 material witnesses were interviewed. The probability of 38 homicides in 1964-1966 is E-23. The probability of at least 80 homicides in 1964-1978 is E-13: 1 in 2 trillion.

My comments follow McAdams.

JM
If there really was the vast conspiracy that the buffs claim, then a lot of people have to know about it. Indeed, a lot of people have to have been part of it — not to speak of the people who must have been intimidated, bribed, or otherwise forced to cooperate by giving false testimony, covering up key evidence, or keeping quiet about some sinister thing they knew.”

RC
Yes, that is true. It was a really big conspiracy.

JM
So why have no credible witnesses come forward with the evidence necessary to blow open the coverup? For the hard-core conspiracy believers, it’s because a “clean-up squad” is going around the country killing off people who might “blow the whistle!”

RC
Many have come forward such as E.Howard Hunt, Dr.Charles Crenshaw (Conspiracy of Silence), Chauncy Holt, Marita Lorenz (read Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial), Sylvia Odio, Abrahan Bolder (The Echo from Dealey Plaza) and Judyth Baker (Me and Lee). But many more were were eliminated.

JM
This theme was first taken up by Penn Jones, Jr., publisher of the Midlothian Mirror, a small-town Texas paper. The most widely cited current list of “mystery deaths” was published by author Jim Marrs (who also released the book Alien Agenda about UFOs). His book Crossfire contains a list of 103 people who have supposedly died “strange” or “convenient” or “mysterious” deaths. As Marrs puts it: “This section has been entitled “Convenient Deaths” because these deaths certainly would have been convenient for anyone not wishing the truth of the JFK assassination to become public”. Unfortunately for Marrs and other conspiracy authors, the logical problems with this whole argument are many and massive.

RC
I have posted probability analysis of witness deaths extensively on my website, blog and various JFK forums which prove that the “convenient” deaths were not just coincidental occurrences. https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/category/jfk/

JM
If the purpose of the “clean-up squad” is to eliminate people who have knowledge of a conspiracy, recruiting people into a “clean-up squad” is a counter-productive activity. Each person recruited becomes yet another person who has knowledge of a conspiracy and might “spill the beans.”

Marrs’ list is drawn from a pool of literally thousands of people — a few of whom had a clear connection with the assassination, many of whom had some tangential connection with the assassination, and some of whom had no connection with the assassination at all.

For example, Marrs’ list includes one woman who was one of Kennedy’s mistresses, but had no known connection with the assassination. It includes a man who was mayor of New Orleans (but who had no known connection with the assassination), and it includes the Chief Steward on Air Force One!

RC
Wrong. Not thousands. Hundreds. Approximately 60 witnesses on Marrs’ list were among an estimated 1100 called to testify in four investigations. If McAdams is referring to Mary Pinchot Meyer, he should have mentioned that she was divorced from Cord Meyer. According to E. Howard Hunt in his deathbed confession, Cord Meyer was approached by LBJ to come up with a plan for the assassination.

JM
The list includes people who were merely connected to the Mafia, the CIA, anti-Castro Cubans, or Time-Life, Incorporated. Marrs is assuming that all these groups were connected with the assassination. In other words, he assumes a conspiracy involving all these groups, tabulates deaths, and then announces that the large number of deaths supports the idea of a conspiracy! Circular logic.

RC
But elements from each group – and others- were involved. Many died unnaturally. The timing of many deaths was suspicious, occurring shortly before they were due to testify. In 1977, seven FBI officials died within a six month period just prior to their scheduled testimony at HSCA. Coincidence? And 14 others never got the chance, either.

JM
Most well-known conspiracy witnesses and authors are still alive. For example, of the best-known conspiracy authors who wrote books in the 1960s, Mark Lane, Edward J. Epstein, and Josiah Thompson are still alive. Sylvia Meagher is dead, but not even Marrs lists her death as “suspicious.” Penn Jones died in January 1998 in a nursing home at the age of 83 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Harold Weisberg likewise died in February of 2002 after a long period of failing health. The most prominent conspiracy authors from the 70s and early 80s like David Lifton, Robert Groden, Henry Hurt, Anthony Summers, and Harrison Edward Livingstone are all still alive.

RC
But a number of reporters died unnaturally, including Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe, who just happened to meet in Ruby’s apartment on Nov. 24, 1963. And there were others- like Dorothy Kilgallen, Lisa Howard, Leonard Pullin, C.D. Jackson…

JM
The star conspiracy witnesses who are seen in all the videos had long lives. Beverly Oliver is still alive. Malcolm Summers died on October 8, 2004, Ed Hoffman passed away in 2010. Jean Hill passed away on November 7, 2000. All three witnesses died after having decades to give their testimony to anybody who would listen, and not even their conspiracist supporters claim their deaths were sinister.

RC
But they tried to give testimony – and no one would listen. Or they were told that they were “mistaken”. They were told that they did not hear more than three shots or they did not see gunman behind the grassy knoll.

JM
If a conspiracy was going around killing people who knew things that were dangerous to it, it would make sense that all the key witnesses would be killed quickly. But Marrs’ list includes people who died as late as 1984. Given that many people associated with the assassination were at the peak of their professional careers at the time of the shooting, it’s not surprising that many of them would have died within twenty years.

RC
No, professor. What is surprising is that at least 81 died unnaturally (homicide, accident, suicide, unknown) in the 14 year period following the assassination and that the deaths spiked at convenient times.

Sixteen material witnesses died in 1964 during the Warren Commission. Another 22 died in 1977-1978 during the HSCA. Timing is everything.

JM
Marrs’ list is laced with people who have a larger than average chance of a violent death: law officers, people on the edges of the underworld (strippers), people very much part of the underworld (Mafia figures), and people with a clear history of alcohol or drug abuse, or of mental illness (Rose Cheramie, Lou Staples, George de Mohrenschildt).

RC
Strippers? Mental illness? Come on, John McAdams. You are really reaching now.

JM
About half the people on Marrs’ list died of natural causes. Marrs assures his readers that of course the CIA can kill people and make the death look “natural” (Crossfire, p. 556-557). This raises the question of why the conspirators allowed any of the deaths to seem violent or suspicious.

RC
Not true. Approximately 70% died of unnatural causes (homicide, suicide, accident,unknown). The rest were mostly heart attacks. John asks: why not induce them all with heart attacks? Hmm…

JM
In virtually every case, there is no evidence that the person had any information on the assassination not already given in Warren Commission testimony, statements to police and the media, and interviews with private researchers. The logic seems to be that they must have known something, since, after all, they were killed.

RC
But they did know something, that’s why they were called to testify – and that’s why they had to be eliminated.

JM
People who supported the Warren Commission version of events, or whose testimony was used by the Warren Commission to help convict Oswald, are well-represented on the list. Why would a conspiracy want to kill off those people?

RC
Testimony which exonerated Oswald and exposed the Single Bullet Theory was misrepresented or ignored by the WC. They wanted to insure the silence of these witnesses while at the same time intimidate others from talking.

JM
Many of these objections can be answered by positing on ongoing surveillance of witnesses. Maybe a witness, after many years of concealing the truth, has finally decided to go public and “blow the whistle.” Conspirators, learning of this, then proceed to kill the person. What’s wrong with this is obvious: it vastly complicates the problem discussed in 1. (above). For every witness who might potentially “spill the beans,” a team of conspiracy operatives must keep a close surveillance in order to catch the moment when the person decides to talk, and then promptly kill the witness. This would require an entire army of assassins!

RC
An entire army? Surely, you jest. A pro can do one hit a month.

JM
Marrs tries to argue for the sinister nature of his list by saying:” Of course, it is impossible to state with any certainty which of these deaths resulted from natural causes and which did not. . . The area of convenient deaths leads one into a well of paranoia, yet the long list of deaths cannot be summarily dismissed”.

Given the immensely large pool from which the hundred or so people on Marrs’ list are drawn, one of two things must be true. Either: (1) many hundreds or thousands of deaths have escaped Marrs’ notice, or (2) being associated with the Kennedy assassination is a guarantee of a very long life!

RC
Large pool? Read the “Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination”. There were approximately 1400 material witnesses, of whom at least 96 died unnaturally from 1964-1978. Go ahead John, figure the odds -if you can.

JM
Let’s Look at Specifics. The death of Lee Bowers seemed “strange” to Oliver Stone, Geraldo Rivera, and Jim Marrs. David Perry is an insurance investigator by profession, and an assassination buff by avocation. See what he concluded when he investigated this issue.

RC
Come on, John. Bowers was a witness to activity on the Grassy Knoll from his vantage point. Yes, a one-car crash is very strange.

JM
Another “mysterious” death was that of David Ferrie. Did he commit suicide to avoid being prosecuted for Kennedy’s murder by DA Garrison? Was he killed by minions of The Conspiracy? In this essay, Dr. Robert Artwohl discusses Jim Garrison’s contention that Ferrie died of an overdose of Proloid, a thyroid medication, and Garrison’s apparent mishandling of evidence. Ferrie left two supposed “suicide notes,” however on close inspection it’s not at all clear they are in fact suicide notes. The official autopsy produced a clear finding of natural death.

RC
Natural death? He was struck on the head causing a brain aneurysm. David Ferrie was murdered the day after he was released from protective custody. Just a coincidence?

JM
Eladio del Valle, a Cuban who died on the same night as David Ferrie, is another of those “mystery deaths.” Conspiracy books imply that he had all sorts of “links” to the assassination, but there are some other things about him that make his death seem not so mysterious. Click here for documents on del Valle. Conspiracy books never tell you, but the Dade County authorities indicted a man for del Valle’s murder. More information can be found on Gordon Winslow’s web site.

RC
Del Valle, an associate of Ferrie, was a prospective witness in the Clay Shaw trial. He just happened to die the same day as Ferrie by an axe to the skull. Coincidence?

JM
Dorothy Kilgallen, a reporter and quiz show personality, is always among those on the “mysterious deaths” lists. Supposedly, she was about to “blow the lid” off the conspiracy. In this essay, historian Eric Paddon does not discuss the circumstances of her death (which the medical examiner didn’t consider sinister), but rather the question of whether she actually knew anything that might threaten a supposed conspiracy. Had she learned something new about the assassination, or was she just repeating standard conspiracy buff stuff? How might Kilgallen have gotten critical information that would have allowed her to “blow” the conspiracy? According to Gary Wills and Ovid Demaris, (Jack Ruby, page 72):

Conspiratorialists of the wilder variety believe that Dorothy Kilgallen had a private interview [with Jack Ruby], one that caused her death. This tete-a-tete never took place: she leaned over the rail and talked to Jack in the open courtroom during a break in the proceedings. Lawyer Joe Tonahill, who hoped to collaborate with Miss Kilgallen on a book, arranged the brief exchange, and was present at it.

But the important thing, as John Leyden has pointed out, is that Kilgallen didn’t die “mysteriously” until 20 months after the interview. Darn patient reporter who can sit on a big story that long.

RC
In the book “Hit List”, there is a detailed chapter on Kilgallen. She was the only reporter who was granted an exclusive interview with Ruby in jail. She openly attacked the coverup in her New York Journal American columns on 2/2/64 and 9/3/65. She reported a meeting between Ruby, Tippit and a Texas oilman, revealed that Oswald was in too many places at one time, had links to U.S. intelligence and that Oswald’s true story was known to just a few government agents. She told her friends that in five days, she would “bust this case wide open”, but died on 11/8/65 shortly after returning from Dallas where she met with Ruby and had secret transcripts of his testimony. She was gathering information for a book “Murder One” and gave her notes and manuscripts to her friend Florence Pritchett Smith for safekeeping. Smith died within few days of Kilgallen. None of the manuscripts were recovered. How do you explain that? Just a coincidence?

JM
Colonel Daniel Marvin told an explosive story in the most recent installment of The Men Who Killed Kennedy. He claimed to have been asked by a CIA operative to kill a supposed autopsy witness named William B. Pitzer. If true, it’s hard evidence of a conspiracy “clean-up squad” killing witnesses. Researchers Robin Palmer and Allan Eaglesham have worked closely with Marvin, and have come to doubt his story. Their “Letter to Dr. J.D. Rose” lays out the details. Eaglesham, who initially believed the death was “suspicious,” has now concluded that it wasn’t. A diligent and honest researcher, he continued investigating even after reaching that conclusion, and that research solidified his view that the death was indeed a suicide.

RC
Not suspicious? A suicide? So we are to believe Pitzer decided to take his own life just before retiring with a good pension and lucrative job opportunities? Give us all a break, John. Have you no shame? http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKpitzerW.htm

JM
Umpteen Trillion to One Odds? The conspiracy literature occasionally still quotes a supposed study done by the London Sunday Times which found that “the odds against these [assassination] witnesses being dead by February 1967, were one hundred thousand trillion to one.” The House Select Committee on Assassinations asked the newspaper where they got that number. The paper replied with the following letter.

“The Editor has passed me your letter of 25th April. Our piece about the odds against the deaths of the Kennedy witnesses was, I regret to say, based on a careless journalistic mistake and should not have been published. This was realized by The Sunday Times’ editorial staff after the first edition — the one which goes to the United States and which I believe you have — had gone out, and later editions were amended.

There was no question of our actuary having got his answer wrong. It was simply that we asked him the wrong question. He was asked what were the odds against 15 named people out of the population of the United States dying within a short period of time to which he replied — correctly — that they were very high. However, if one asks what are the odds against 15 of those included in the Warren Commission index dying within a given period, the answer is, of course, that they are much lower. Our mistake was to treat the reply to the former question as if it dealt with the latter — hence the fundamental error in our first edition report, for which we apologize.

None of the editorial staff involved in this story can remember the name of the actuary we consulted, but in view of what happened you will, I imagine, agree that his identity is hardly material”.
Yours sincerely,
Antony Whitaker,
Legal Manager.
(4 HSCA 464-65)

RC
The actuary’s name is hardly material? In the film Executive Action we learned that the actuary determined that “In the three-year period which followed the murder of President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, 18 material witnesses died – six by gunfire, three in motor accidents, two by suicide, one from a cut throat, one from a karate chop to the neck, three from heart attacks and two from natural causes”.

Well, the actuary was correct in calculating the 1 in 100,000 trillion probability. It is confirmed by applying the 0.000544 weighted mortality rate (calculated from the mix of 8 homicides, 3 accidents, 2 suicides, 3 heart attacks, 2 natural causes) and assuming 552 witnesses (same as the Warren Commission). Only one unnatural death would normally be expected, but there were at least 13. The spreadsheet probability calculation is:
P = Poisson (18,0.90, false) = 9.60E-18 (1 in 100,000 trillion)

But the actuary’s odds were conservative. He/she had an incomplete list of 18 witness deaths. In fact, there were at least 47 (45 were unnatural deaths, including 38 homicides). The probability is much lower assuming 1400 material witnesses.

JM
George de Mohrenschildt was one of Lee Oswald’s most interesting friends. His testimony before the Warren Commission said nothing that suggested a conspiracy, but in later years he started to give a much more “interesting” account. de Mohrenschildt’s suicide in 1977 has seemed quite “suspicious” to conspiracy buffs. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Death Investigation on de Mohrenschildt’s passing is extremely detailed. See whether there is any evidence of murder.

RC
Sure John, de Morenschildt just happened to shoot himself the day he was to be interviewed by Gaeton Fonzi of HSCA. Just a coincidence? He had GW Bush’s phone number in his wallet. He was scared and wrote to Bush asking for help. How come you don’t mention that little factoid?

JM
John M. Crawford is yet another of those people on the “mystery deaths” lists. Did he really have the “connections” to Wes Frazier and Jack Ruby that conspiracy authors claim? See David Perry’s assessment of this case.

RC
According to Penn Jones, Jack Ruby carried John Crawford’s phone number in his pocket at all times.

JM
Roger Craig told a variety of “interesting” stories about the assassination, most of which clearly indicated a conspiracy. So it might seem quite logical that a conspiracy would want to silence him. And indeed Craig’s death at age 39 in 1975 by suicide (conspiracy books usually put quotes around “suicide”) might seem suspicious. But do the details of his death actually seem suspicious?

RC
They tried to kill Craig at least three times, so yes, John McAdams, I would say his “suicide” is very suspicious. But even if it was a suicide, why would he do it? For you to suggest that his death was not suspicious is quite disingenuous. But it does not diminish your credibility because you have none left. Roger Craig was a hero (RIP). He is interviewed by Mark Lane in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFEx8hjD8kE

JM
What happens when a real investigator (Jacqueline Hess of the House Select Committee) tackles the issue of “mysterious deaths” and enlists the services of people who specialize in working out the probability that any particular person will die in a year, or two, or ten? In other words, enlists the service of actuaries? Hess’ testimony before the House Select Committee outlines the results of her investigation.

RC
Hess is debunked using facts, logic and math. Her analysis was incomplete, misleading and incorrect. She never mentioned unnatural mortality rates which are fundamental in an analysis of homicides, suicides and accidental deaths – by definition.

I won’t dwell on McAdams lame explanations to try and refute the convenient deaths; his pattern of obfuscation is established. Why beat a dead horse? I will just note that he makes no attempt to even discuss the number of witnesses who died conveniently that were called to testify in four investigations. If McAdams (or the HSCA) had done the analysis and calculated the probabilities, obfuscation and disinformation would be impossible. After all, he has a reputation to protect.

JM
Let’s Just Think About This, OK?
Excerpted from “The Case of the Grassy Knoll: The Romance of Conspiracy” by John Kaplan; printed in The Historian As Detective, Winks, editor; originally published as “The Assassins” in Stanford Law Review (May 1967).
[Regarding the “mysterious” deaths of “witnesses” to the assassination], even the most cursory examination of the stories shows how essentially foolish they are. A good many of the deaths hardly seem mysterious in that they were caused by auto accidents, heart attacks, and other phenomena that afflict our entire population. Moreover, before we could tell whether the number of these deaths is in any way unusual, we would have to know the number of equally “mysterious” deaths that occurred to people completely unconnected with the WR. But even apart from any statistical refutation, the theory that a set of conspirators is now devoted to wiping out a host of unimportant witnesses is almost too silly to be put forth. There is not the slightest indication that any of the “victims” have had anything to tell that they had not already told, and indeed the deaths seem concentrated among those who bore only the most peripheral relation to the assassination. When one stops to consider that almost each one of the “mysterious” deaths requires the recruitment of at least one and often several new conspirators, it would seem that, like the pyramid club, the conspiracy would be getting bigger and bigger rather than smaller. One would think that in light of what had happened to those who knew too much it would get very difficult to recruit new members into the conspiracy. Most important, however, it is hard to say why the supposed killers are taking whatever chances these murders entail when it is so obvious that, whoever the conspirators are, they have already gotten off scot-free.

RC
McAdams cribs from a load of asinine talking points. As shown above, the relevance of the witnesses is a moot point. But that they were absolutely relevant is indisputable because a) they were important enough that at least 63 were called to testify in the four investigations. There were 49 unnatural deaths an E-51 probability. Even more astounding, seven (7) FBI officials died during a 6 month period in 1977 just prior to their HSCA testimony – a 1 in 114,000 TRILLION probability. That is very close to the actuary’s odds of 18 material witness deaths in three years. Now THAT is very relevant. It proves a conspiracy beyond any doubt. Of course, McAdams will disregard these facts, the logic and math, claiming it was all just a coincidence. John, consider yourself debunked.

Now let’s consider this, ok?

No one has come forward to refute the JFK-related witness unnatural death probabilities. McAdams could have called upon the mathematics faculty at Marquette University or any professional statistician, actuary or quantitative analyst. He has yet to do so. That says it all.

The reference text Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination includes 1400+ material witnesses.

Fifty material witness deaths are described in depth in Hit List: an In-Depth Investigation Into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination. All are in the JFK Calc spreadsheet database. The book includes my initial probability calculation for 15 unnatural deaths in the year following the assassination.

In John Simkin’s Index of 656 JFK-related individuals, 70 died suspiciously over the 15 year period from 1964-1978. Forty-four (44) deaths were unnatural, including 22 homicides. The probability of 44 unnatural deaths among the 656 is P= E-41 (one in one trillion trillion trillion). The probability of 22 homicides given the 0.000084 national homicide rate is P= 6.4E-24 (one in 150 billion trillion). If we triple the homicide rate (over 50 witnesses were from the Dallas area), the probability is P= 4.3E-14 (one in 23 trillion).

Based on mortality rates for causes of death, the statistical expectation is that approximately 26 of the 44 officially ruled accidents, suicides, heart attacks and sudden cancers were actually HOMICIDES, so that there were approximately 48 homicides among the 70 suspicious deaths. The probability of 48 homicides is less than 1 in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion! https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/jfk-related-unnatural-and-suspicious-deaths-in-the-jfk-calc-spreadsheet-and-simkins-jfk-index/

My witness death analysis is referenced by Jim Marrs’ in his updated version of “Crossfire”. Marrs cites my rebuttal of HSCA and Bugliosi’s attempt to refute the London Times actuary. My work is also cited in Judyth Baker’s “David Ferrie” and Philip Nelson’s “LBJ: From Mastermind to Colossus”.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in JFK

 

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JFK Mysterious Witness Deaths: London Sunday Times and HSCA Cover-up

JFK Mysterious Witness Deaths: London Sunday Times and HSCA Cover-up

Richard Charnin
July 1, 2013
Updated: July 30, 2014

Click Reclaiming Science:The JFK Conspiracy to look inside the book.

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JFK Calc Spreadsheet Database

In 1964, the Warren_Commission ignored the testimony of 51 eyewitnesses who claimed that the shots came from the Grassy Knoll area. Just 32 said they came from the Texas School Book Depository while 38 had no opinion. In 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was forced to conclude that there was a “probable” conspiracy based on acoustic evidence – a 96% probability of at least four shots (including at least one from the Grassy Knoll). The physical evidence indicates more than four shots. Some shooters probably used silencers.

Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, the HSCA was not about to refute the Warren Commission’s outrageous Single Bullet Theory. It still maintained that Oswald fired from the TSBD – and the other shooter(s) must have missed. Incredibly, the HSCA floated the canard that the shooters may have acted independently.

These graphs and tables are mathematical proof of a conspiracy beyond any doubt.

So it is not surprising that prior to the presentation of the acoustic evidence, the HSCA would use obfuscation and factual omission in an attempt to refute an actuary’s calculation of 100,000 trillion to 1 odds of 18 material witness deaths in the three years following the assassination. If the odds were essentially correct, it would force the HSCA to conclude a conspiracy. The HSCA statistician claimed – incorrectly- that it was impossible to determine a known universe of witnesses.

There was a defined universe of an estimated 1100 witnesses who were called in 1964-78 to testify: 552 by the Warren Commission, the others at the Garrison/Shaw trial, Church Senate hearings and HSCA. At least 67 died (46 unnaturally). The probability of 46 unnatural deaths is 4.9E-45 (less than 1 in a TRILLION TRILLION TRILLION).

Many died just before their scheduled testimony. For example, in 1977 seven FBI officials called to testify at HSCA died suspiciously (5 heart attacks, 2 accidents) in a 6 month period. The following table displays the probabilities of 1) 7 heart attacks, 2) 5 heart attacks, 2 accidents, and 3) 7 homicides for various assumptions of FBI officials called to testify.

FBI 7 heart, 5/2 mix, 7 homicides
8.. 6.63E-17; 8.72E-18; 1.81E-28
20. 3.95E-14; 5.23E-15; 1.11E-25
30. 6.61E-13; 8.79E-14; 1.89E-24
100 2.61E-09; 3.61E-10; 8.61E-21

There were at least 122 unnatural and suspicious deaths in the 15 year period from 1964-1978. Notice the spikes in 1964 (Warren Commission) and 1977 (HSCA).

The HSCA noted just 21 witness deaths. http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/jfkdeaths.htm

Ms. HESS (HSCA statistician)
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. The issue of mysterious deaths, that is, that a statistically improbable number of individuals with some direct or peripheral association with the Kennedy assassination died as a result of that assassination, thereby raising the specter of conspiracy, was first brought to national attention as the result of a promotional campaign for the movie “Executive Action” which was based on Mark Lane’s novel, “Rush to Judgment.” Mr. Chairman, I would direct your attention to JFK exhibit F-544 and ask that it be admitted into the record at this time.

Chairman STOKES – Without objection.

JFK EXHIBIT F-544
Ms. HESS
It is a blowup of an advertisement for the movie Executive Action. As you can see, it states that an actuary engaged by the London Sunday Times concluded that on November 22, the odds against 18 material witnesses being dead within a three year period were 100,000 trillion to 1. Since the publication of that figure, it has turned up in articles, letters, books, and conversation as anywhere from 1,000-to-1 to 1 billion-to-1. Very few people seem to know what it is that they are quoting, but they do have a sense of some enormous odds existing with respect to the deaths of a group of Kennedy-assassination-related witnesses.

Illustrative of the widespread concern over this issue is the query President Fidel Castro made during the interview of him by this committee in Cuba on April 3, 1978: “If I may ask you, is there anything true, or how much could be true about those publications which state that many people who could have had a part in Kennedy’s death have died in accidents and things like that?”

On April 27, 1978, the committee obtained a copy of an article printed in the London Sunday Times on February 26, 1967. Mr. Chairman, at this time I ask that the article be admitted into the record as JFK exhibit F-54], and I direct your attention to the enlargement of the article which is on the easel. The chart in the article lists 19 individuals as being the victims of mysterious deaths, including Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. It states that the London Sunday Times asked an actuary to compute the life expectancy of 15 of these individuals. It further states that the actuary concluded that on November 22, 1963, the odds against all 15 being dead by February 1967 were about 1 in 10 to the 29th power, or 100,000 trillion to 1.


RC
The calculation has been confirmed assuming 552 Warren Commission witnesses. The CIA said there were 418. The Warren Commission Index has 2479 names, including presidents Washington, Lincoln and hundreds of others with no connection to the case. The actuary understood the problem; it’s what he did for a living. The probability is E-17 or 0.0000000000 0000001.

In the 15 years from 1964-78, 21 Warren Commission witnesses died unnaturally (an additional 10 deaths were suspicious heat attacks, sudden cancers and other illnesses). The probability of 21 unnatural deaths among 552 witnesses is 1 in 20 million trillion.

The probabilities are calculated in the JFK Witness spreadsheet database.

Ms. HESS
On April 28, 1978, the committee sent a letter to the London Sunday Times requesting a copy of the actuarial study and of all documents used in the preparation of the study. I would now ask that that letter, JFK exhibit F–542, be admitted into the record.

Chairman STOKES – Without objection JFK exhibits F-541 and F-542 may be entered into the record.

JFK EXHIBIT F–541
Select Committee on Assassinations
U.S. House of Representatives 3331 House Office Building, Annex 2
Washington, D.C. 20515
April 25, 1978
Librarian
London Sunday Times
P. O. Box 7
200 Gray’s Inn Road
London, England WCIX 8E2

Dear Sir:
In connection with its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of President Kennedy, the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives requests a copy Of the actuarial study referenced in the attached February 26, 1967 London Sunday Times article and of all documents relating to the preparation of the study.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this request. We appreciate the cooperation of your Washington and New York offices, particularly that of Ms. Katherine Grayson of the Washington Office.

Sincerely,
G. Robert Blakey
Chief Counsel and Director
G RB: jhd
Enclosure
cc: Katherine Grayson
JFK EXHIBIT F-542

Ms. HESS
On May 19, 1978, the committee received a response from the London Sunday Times. I direct your attention again to the easel, to JFK exhibit F-543, an enlargement of that letter. I would now like to read that letter into the record. It is directed to Mr. G. Robert Blakey, chief counsel and director, Select Committee on Assassinations, and it is entitled, Kennedy deaths statistics–

The Sunday Times, February 26, 1967.
The Editor has passed me your letter of 25th April. Our piece about the odds against the deaths of the Kennedy witnesses was, I regret to say, based on a careless journalistic mistake and should not have been published. This was realized by The Sunday Times’ editorial staff after the first edition–the one which goes to the United States and which I believe you have–had gone out, and later editions were amended.

There was no question of our actuary having got his answer wrong: It was simply that we asked him the wrong question. He was asked what were the odds against 15 named people out of the population of the United States dying within a short period of time to which he replied–correctly–that they were very high. However, if one asks what are the odds against 15 of those included in the Warren Commission index dying within a given period, the answer is, of course, that they are much lower. Our mistake was to treat the reply to the former question as if it dealt with the latter–hence the fundamental error in our first edition report, for which we apologize.

None of the editorial staff involved in this story can remember the name of the actuary we consulted, but in view of what happened you will, I imagine, agree that his identity is hardly material.

Yours sincerely,
Antony Whitaker, Legal Manager.


RC
There is no record of the actuary’s name? It’s “hardly material”?

Ms. HESS
Even though the London Sunday Times had not structured its actuarial inquiry properly and, therefore, the 100,000 trillion to 1 odds were invalid, the committee staff looked into the possibility of conducting a valid study, contracting with our own actuarial firms here in the District of Columbia: Edward H. Friend & Co., Towers Perrin, Forster & Co., and the Wyatt Co.

RC
Invalid? Not true. The actuary’s calculation methodology and his name were never revealed. Ten of the 552 witnesses who testified at the Warren Commission died unnaturally in the three years after the assassination. The probability is 1 in 44 billion. The actuary’s 100,000 trillion to 1 odds were confirmed for 18 material witness deaths over a three year period. Where are the HSCA calculations?

Ms. HESS
We then had meetings with representatives of each company and each subsequently submitted a proposal, addressing both the general issue of which actuarial principles did or did not apply, and the specific issue of the practical problems which would be encountered in attempting to apply those principles to this particular case. As a result of these conversations and of a review of the proposals, we determined the following facts concerning the validity and feasibility of attempting to apply actuarial odds to the group of deaths.

RC
Why didn’t Hess, a statistician, confirm the calculation herself? Perhaps it was because spreadsheets or personal computers did not exist in 1977. But minicomputers were available. The problem is actually quite simple. It requires use of the Poisson distribution formula for calculating the probability of rare events.

Ms. HESS
One, to compute valid actuarial statistics, one must be able to determine to a reasonable degree of specificity, the universe of individuals to which the specific group is being compared. In other words, we would have to determine the total number of individuals who exist in each of the categories into which those individuals who have mysteriously died, fall. This means that we would need to establish the number of individuals who in any manner could be considered witnesses to the assassination of President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, the number of individuals who had any contact with Oswald or Ruby or with Ruby’s nightclubs, the number of individuals who professed to have material knowledge of the case or of the major figures in the case, all news reporters who had expressed interest, taken interviews or investigated the case, and all Members of Congress who sought to introduce legislation concerning the investigation of the case. This, as you can imagine, would have been an impossible task.

RC
An impossible task? On the contrary, we have a defined universe of approximately 1100 witnesses who were called to testify at the Warren Commission, Garrison/Shaw trial, Church Senate hearings and the HSCA. At least 67 died (46 unnaturally), most before their scheduled testimony. The probability of 46 unnatural deaths among the witnesses called is 1 in less than 1 in a TRILLION TRILLION TRILLION.

Ms. HESS
Two, in addition, for each of the individuals identified in the groups I have just listed, we would have to establish age, sex, race, occupation, geographical location, and any other extraordinary factors which have to be taken into consideration in order to compute mortality rates. Again, this was judged to be an impossible job.

RC
An impossible job? The statement is a cop-out. There was a fixed universe of approximately 1100 witnesses who were called to testify in four investigations. The only relevant factor is that at least at least 46 died unnaturally. Just 14 would normally be expected. The Poisson probability calculation is based on two factors: expected and actual deaths.

In the 1964-78 period, the average national homicide rate was 0.000084 (8 per 100,000). The average unweighted unnatural mortality rate was 0.000818 (82 per 100,000). The 0.000247 weighted unnatural mortality rate (based on JFK witness homicides, accidents and suicides) was used to calculate the probability.

Ms. HESS
Three, we would need to determine the number of individuals in these categories who have, in fact, died and the number of individuals who, according to actuarial mortality rates, should have died.

RC
That’s easy. Just count the unnatural deaths in the defined groups as I did and apply the corresponding mortality rates.

Ms. HESS
We had thus established the impossibility of attempting establish through the application of actuarial principles, any meaningful implications about the existence or absence of a conspiracy. Despite the fact that an inference of conspiracy, as here postulated by the critics, did not exist, we nevertheless decided not to dismiss the cited deaths out of hand, but rather, to look more closely at the nature of certain specific deaths to determine whether or not they could individually be considered mysterious or in some other manner a reflection of some sort of conspiracy.

RC
The mathematical odds prove a conspiracy and are independent of witness connections to the case. Only the number and cause of the unnatural deaths are material, since we know the number of witnesses who were called to testify. The Poisson probability function is strictly based on the expected number and actual number of deaths. Why the witnesses died is irrelevant. It is a simple math problem.

Ms. HESS
In an attempt to investigate the circumstances of the deaths individually, we did several things. First, we compiled a more comprehensive list of those individuals whose deaths were considered by the critics to be mysterious. In some cases, it proved difficult to determine which deaths the critics considered mysterious. In many cases, instead of statements of fact, we found unsubstantiated inference and innuendo, with little concrete information provided.

For example, David Goldstein and FNU Levens are both included in Sylvia Meagher’s book, “Accessories After the fact,” as mysterious deaths. Goldstein is described as having helped the FBI trace the revolver used in the murder of Officer Tippit. Levens is described as a Fort Worth burlesque theater operator who employed some of the same entertainers as Jack Ruby. Meagher notes that both of their deaths have been officially ascribed to natural causes and lists the places of death as unknown. No conspiracy theory which would include Goldstein and Levens is put forth; it is unclear why their deaths are to be considered mysterious.

RC
Hess cherry-picked Goldstein and Levens, both questionable. But there were at least 42 unnatural deaths in the three years – and at least 78 officially ruled in the 15 year period from 1964 (Warren Commission) to 1978 (HSCA).

Ms. HESS
And while Ms. Meagher may have had no way of knowing it, the FBI’s file on the Kennedy case includes dozens of reports and letters from citizens offering clues in the identification of the revolver in question, as, of course, there are undoubtedly a number of persons who would have employed some of the same entertainers as Ruby.

Penn Jones in his book, “Forgive My Grief,” volume I, states that Earlene Robert’s, the manager of the rooming house in which Lee Harvey Oswald lived at the time of the assassination, died. He then states that she had important evidence to contribute. The implication is that Mrs. Roberts’ death is mysterious. While it is clear that Mrs. Roberts did indeed have important evidence to contribute, there is no indication in the records relating to her death, or in Mr. Jones’ book, as to what exactly was mysterious about a 61-year-old woman with large calcium deposits and a case of pneumonia, dying of acute heart failure.

The same is the case with other deaths cited in the same book. For example Dr. Nicholas Chetta, the coroner who served at David Ferrie’s death, and Thomas Howard. Jack Ruby’s attorney, both of whom died of heart attacks.

RC
Heart attacks can be induced. Earlene Roberts was warned by the FBI to keep silent. Howard was in Ruby’s apartment on Nov. 24 with two reporters. All died within one year. David Ferrie was named as a witness in 1967. He died from a cerebral hemorrhage (according to Chetta) the day after he was released from protective custody by Garrison. Ferrie’s associate Eladio del Valle was also due to testify. He was murdered within a few hours of Ferrie. Just a coincidence?

Ms. HESS
Despite this problem, we compiled a list of individuals from the books and articles of Meagher, Jones, Bernard Fensterwald, David Martindale, and David Welsh. We added to the list Sam Giancana and John Roselli, both of whom had died too recently to be included in most of the critical literature.

We then asked the Library of Congress to compile all newspaper articles which had appeared concerning any and all of the individuals. We further asked them to give us their evaluation of the critical literature and the press accounts on each individual and to make recommendations with respect to further investigation in each case. Independently, we sent requests to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, the medical examiners’ offices and the police departments in the jurisdiction in which each death was believed to have occurred, for the death certificates, medical records, police reports, and any other documents which might exist concerning the death. Because there were many cases in which there was no information indicating the appropriate jurisdiction, we sent letters to the pertinent offices in Dallas and Fort Worth, Tex., in New Orleans, La., and in Miami, Fla., listing all the names on which we desired information. In the case of some of the individuals, information was requested from Federal investigative agencies. In the cases of Roselli and Giancana, we requested and received a briefing on the Justice Department investigations of those deaths. In the cases in which further investigation was deemed necessary, it was initiated.

Our final conclusion on the issue is that the available evidence does not establish anything about the nature of these deaths which would indicate that the deaths were in same manner, either direct or peripheral, caused by the assassination of President Kennedy or by any aspect of the subsequent investigation.

RC
The HSCA failed to
1) consider that an estimated 1100 witnesses were called to testify in four investigations
2) categorize a list of witnesses based on cause of death
3) consider unnatural mortality rates (homicides, suicides and accidents)
4) calculate the expected number of unnatural deaths over 1, 3 and 15 year periods
5) consider that 7 top FBI officials called to testify at HSCA died within 6 months in 1977

Chairman STOKES – Is your report completed?
Ms. HESS – Yes; it is.
Chairman STOKES – The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Ford.
Mr. FORD – I have no questions. I will yield back my time to the Chair.
Chairman STOKES – The gentleman from Indiana.
Mr. FITHIAN – Just one question, Miss Hess, is it your feeling, having gone through this, there is no statistical significance to this? Is that what I am to understand?
Ms. HESS – That is correct.
Mr. FITHIAN – Is it possible, then that any death which is remotely related to this gets reported more than others therefore there is an appearance of a kind of unusual gathering of deaths?
Ms. HESS
It is possible. That is one of the bases for the development of the issue; yes. You understand the problem in establishing the statistical inference is that you cannot establish any type of universe. While it may seem like these people come from a very small group of people, they come from a very, very large universe of people.

RC
But we have several finite witnesses groups: Warren Commission, Garrison/Clay Shaw trial, Church senate – and the HSCA. There were at least 67 deaths among approximately 1100 witnesses in the four investigations.

Mr. FITHIAN – I have no other questions, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES – The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Devine.
Mr. DEVINE – No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES – The gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Edgar.
Mr. EDGAR – Will you provide for the record a detailed listing of the 21 names and the evidence you have found relating to their deaths?
Ms. HESS – Yes. Do you want me to read them for the record?
Mr. EDGAR – It might be helpful.
Ms. HESS
– Edward Benavides, Albert Guy Bogard, Hale Boggs, Lee Bowers, Jr., Bill Chesher, Nicholas J. Chetta, David Goldstein, Thomas Hale Howard, William Hunter, Clyde Johnson, Dorothy Kilgallen, Thomas Henry Killam, Jim Koethe, FNU Levens, Nancy Jane Mooney, Teresa Norton, Earlene Roberts, Harold Russell, Marilyn April Walle, a.k.a. Betty McDonald, William W. Whaley, James R. Worrell, Sam Giancana, John Roselli.

RC
Ah, the (abbreviated) list. But where is Oswald, Tippit, Ruby? They were very significant witnesses –along with at least 80 others. And no mention of the seven top FBI officials who died in a 6 month period just before their scheduled testimony at HSCA. What are the odds of that?

Mr. EDGAR – Thank you. I think it very helpful for the record that those names be included. Can you indicate why Mr. DeMohrenschildt’s name was not included?
Ms. HESS
His was one of those which deemed further investigation and became part of a great investigative effort.

RC
This was hardly a “great investigative effort”. There no mention of De Morenschildt’s ties to Oswald and George Bush or that he supposedly shot himself the day he was to be interviewed by HSCA.

Mr. EDGAR – That was not part of the exact study?
Ms. HESS
It was in terms of the compilation of data. I compiled the data on his death and any police reports, et cetera, as part of this project. But then in terms of subsequent investigation that was done by the investigators.

RC
So where are the investigators? No excuse.

Mr. EDGAR – I think it would be helpful in terms of our final analysis to have a chance to review the material you compiled. I thank you for your report.

RC
It must have been a very cursory review. There was no mention of approximately 20 witnesses sought by HSCA in 1977 but died before they could testify.

Chairman STOKES – The time of the gentleman has expired. Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER – No Questions.
Chairman STOKES – There being nothing further, Miss Hess, thank you very much for your testimony. You are excused. The Chair will suspend for just a moment. Because of a heavy schedule tomorrow of witnesses, along with the fact the committee must vacate the room at an early hour for an affair to be held in this room later tomorrow evening, the committee today will adjourn until 8:30 tomorrow morning.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in JFK

 

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