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Debunking a JFK Mysterious Witness Death Lone Nutter

06 Aug

Debunking a JFK Mysterious Witness Death Lone Nutter

Richard Charnin
Aug. 6, 2013
Updated: March 8, 2014

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

JFK Blog Posts
JFK Calc Spreadsheet Database

This post will debunk the following article on JFK witness deaths: http://www.vectorsite.net/twjfk_32.html

The author writes:
As something of a footnote, conspiracists have long played up the number of “mysterious deaths” associated with the JFK assassination, though an inspection of the list makes it seem substantially less mysterious. In any case, the bottom line of a half-century’s investigation of the assassination is that we are left with the conclusion that was apparent from the start: JFK was killed by a lone assassin named Lee Harvey Oswald.

One of the most preposterous claims of the conspiracists is that there have been large numbers of “mysterious deaths” of witnesses relevant to the JFK assassination. Jim Marrs, in his 1993 book (sic 1989) CROSSFIRE, cited 103 “mysterious deaths” up to 1984.

Conspiracists assert that odds of such groupings of deaths are so low that it is impossible to believe they couldn’t have been part of a plan, in particular citing a 1967 LONDON SUNDAY TIMES article with an early “mysterious deaths” list accompanied by a claim that an actuary had calculated the odds to be “a hundred thousand trillion to one”.

The HSCA found this citation of odds a little hard to believe. The list of people who could be connected to the JFK assassination was long, easily running to thousands, and the idea that a portion of them might have died over some period of years hardly seemed that improbable. The HSCA contacted the TIMES and got back a sheepish answer. It turned out that the question the paper had asked of an actuary was effectively:

Name 15 specific adults selected at random from the population of the USA. What are the odds that all 15 of these named people will be dead within a few years?

The odds are not at all good. Assume that adults in a population have, on the average, a 1 in 10 probability of dying in some given number of years. If 15 adults are selected at random from that population, the odds of all 15 dying to that time would be 1 in 10^15, a thousand trillion to one.

However, anybody with even a simple understanding of probability would know that was asking the wrong question. The right question was obviously: Given a group of several thousand people, what are the odds that at least 15 unspecified members of that group will be dead in a few years?

The answer was that one could bet on it and easily win. Given 1 in 10 odds of an adult in a population dying in some given number of years, we would expect in that time that, duh, roughly a tenth of the population would be dead. The TIMES apologized to the HSCA for the blunder.

——————————————————

The article is a total fiasco

The Lone Nutter’s ignorance and naivete is confirmed by this utterly false statement: “However, anybody with even a simple understanding of probability would know that was asking the wrong question. The right question was obviously: Given a group of several thousand people, what are the odds that at least 15 unspecified members of that group will be dead in a few years? The answer was that one could bet on it and easily win. Given 1 in 10 odds of an adult in a population dying in some given number of years, we would expect in that time that, duh, roughly a tenth of the population would be dead.”

The author calls legitimate seekers of the truth “conspiracists”. But he does not understand the problem, much less the math. This is the correct definition: Given a group of N people, what is the probability that at least n members of the group will die unnaturally (homicide, accident or suicide) within T years?

He just repeats the usual Warren Commission apologist talking points. The mathematical proof of a conspiracy relegates his screed as pure propaganda. Lone Nutters are shameless and have no regard for the truth.

The author’s lack of specificity is the “tell”. He fails to consider any of the following critical factors: the total number of material witnesses in the group, the number and cause of unnatural deaths, the time interval, unnatural mortality rates. All are necessary input for the probability calculation.

This LN does not even qualify as an amateur. But that’s understandable. After all, he’s a Lone Nutter, who by definition is incapable of rational analysis.

His logical errors and omission of key factors in his “analysis” include:
1) not assuming a specific number of witnesses in the target group,
2) invention of a 1 in 10 probability of dying,
3) not assuming a definitive time period,
4) failure to consider unnatural deaths and related mortality stats,
5) use of a pathetically, unscientific probability calculation,
6) naively states that “roughly a tenth of the population would be dead”.
7) failure to refute the relevance of 100 “convenient” deaths
8) failure to consider the more than 60 deaths of witnesses sought to testify.
9) failure to correctly calculate the expected number of unnatural deaths:
E=N*T*R, where N =total witnesses in the group, T= time period, R= weighted average mortality rate.
10) failure to consider the “paradigm shift”: why the witnesses died is a non-factor. The only relevant factors are how many died unnaturally, the time interval and the universe of material witnesses or the number of witnesses called to testify.

There are 120 dead material witnesses in the JFK Calc spreadsheet database based on a 1400+ total universe. Of the 120, 63 were sought to testify at the Warren Commission, Garrison trial, Church Senate and HSCA.

The author does not consider that the number of UNNATURAL deaths among the 1400+ witnesses is the key factor – not total deaths. There was a STATISTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE 77 OFFICIALLY RULED UNNATURAL DEATHS (34 homicides, 24 accidents, 16 suicides, 3 unknown).

In fact, 25 of the 40 accidents and suicides were actually HOMICIDES – based on the STATISTICAL EXPECTATION of 12 accidents and 3 suicides – so we are up to 59 homicides among the 77 unnatural deaths. But by the same reasoning, there was a statistically impossible number of “natural deaths”: HEART ATTACKS and SUDDEN CANCERS. Therefore, the 34 OFFICIAL homicides UNDERSTATES the true number (estimated as 90+) based on STATISTICAL EXPECTATION.

These graphs are mathematical proof of a conspiracy.

The Paradigm Shift
But his most fundamental flaw was focusing on the relevance of individual witnesses in Marrs’ list without considering the paradigm shift: WHY the witnesses died is IRRELEVANT.

The relevant factors are how many witnesses were called to testify, how many died, their cause of death and the time period. In fact, from 1964-78, approximately 1100 witnesses were called to testify in four investigations. At least 63 died (38 unnaturally, including 27 homicides).

The author claims there were thousands of witnesses. In fact, the FBI claimed to have interviewed 25,000 (only about 1400 were material). But let’s assume there were 25,000.

There were at least 25 homicides of material witnesses from 1964-66. The probability of at least 25 homicides among the 25,000 is 1 in 38 BILLION (2.6E-11). The average homicide rate for 1964-66 was 0.000061.

There were at least 83 homicides from 1964-78. The probability of 83 homicides among the 25,000 is 1 in 43 TRILLION (2.32E-14). Only 32 homicides would normally be expected. The average homicide rate for 1964-78 was 0.000084.

The data and probabilities are displayed in JFK Calc: A Spreadsheet/Database of Mysterious Witness Deaths.

Statistically expected number of unnatural deaths
Expected unnatural deaths: E = N*T*R, where
N = 1400 material witnesses
T = 15 years (1964-78)
R = .000818 average unweighted unnatural mortality rate

JFK Material witnesses unnatural mortality
Among 1400 material witnesses from 1964-78, 77 deaths were officially ruled as unnatural – but only 17 were statistically expected: 34 homicides (2 expected); 24 accidents (12 expected); 16 suicides (3 expected) and 3 unknown (0.2 expected). There were 40 deaths officially ruled as accidental or suicide – but only 15 were expected. Therefore it is likely that approximately 25 (40-15) accidents and suicides were actually homicides.

Expected vs. Official Unnatural Death (1964-78)

Cause Expected Official Mortality Rate
homicide 1.76 34 0.000084 44%
suicide. 2.91 16 0.000130 21%
accident 12.47 24 0.000594 31%
unknown. 0.21 3 0.000010 4%
Total 17.35 77 0.000818 100%

Warren Commission
According to the CIA, N= 418 witnesses testified, but the total was 552 including affidavits and depositions.

There were at least n= 18 unnatural deaths over T= 15 years (1964-78). The probability of at least 10 unnatural deaths among the witnesses in 3 years is:
P = 1 – poisson(9, 1.06, true) = 1.81E-07 (1 in 5,509,693)
(based on the 0.000842 national unnatural rate)
P = 1 – poisson(9, 0.31, true) = 1.53E-12 (1 in 652,270,204,558)
(based on the 0.000245 JFK witness-weighted unnatural rate)

The London Sunday Times Actuary
The actuary’s 100,000 trillion to one odds of 18 material witness deaths in three years (13 were unnatural) is matched by assuming 459 witnesses and the 0.000207 weighted unnatural mortality rate. Only one unnatural death would normally be expected among 459 witnesses in the three year period.
The probability is:
P= POISSON (13, 0.29, false) = 9.96E-18 (1 in 100,000 TRILLION)

This is a sensitivity analysis of unnatural witness deaths.

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

 
23 Comments

Posted by on August 6, 2013 in JFK

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

23 responses to “Debunking a JFK Mysterious Witness Death Lone Nutter

  1. L. Abbott

    December 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Shouldn’t the database of witnesses that died ONLY contain those who would have said something *contrary* th the official story as opposed to witnesses that would have gone along with it?

     
    • Richard Charnin

      December 3, 2013 at 3:03 am

      Not necessarily. They all had info. Obviously, many were sought to testify and killed beforehand. No one could guarantee their silence. That made them vulnerable.

       
  2. Hank Sienzant

    March 2, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Define “Material Witness” as used here: “In fact, the FBI claimed to have interviewed 25,000 (only about 1400 were material). But let’s assume there were 25,000. There were at least 24 homicides of material witnesses from 1963-66”.

    What definition are you using that fits 1400 out of 25,000?

    Please advise.

     
    • Richard Charnin

      March 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Henry, are you at it again? I know you read my posts. So why do you waste my time?
      http://www.amazon.com/Whos-Who-The-JFK-Assassination/dp/0806514442

      Read the subheading of the book.

       
      • L. Abbott

        March 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm

        Why are you surprised, Richard? Hank wastes people’s time everywhere he shows up.

         
      • Hank Sienzant

        March 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm

        Thank you L.Abbott.
        I am simply looking for a clarification on what Richard Charnin is calling ‘material witnesses’.
        I don’t think that’s wasting anyone’s time.
        I don’t see that definition in the above article nor in any of his responses.

        Thanks for your patience in this regard.

        Hank

         
      • Hank Sienzant

        March 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm

        Still waiting for a definition of material witness that fits 1400 out of 25000 persons interviewed by the FBI.

         
    • L. Abbott

      March 3, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Many or those *suspicious* deaths weren’t classified as homicides such as Lee Bowers’, for example.

       
      • Hank Sienzant

        March 4, 2014 at 6:52 pm

        What is ‘suspicious’ about Lee Bower’s death and why would conspirators want to off him three years after the assassination when the Warren Commission had already concluded their investigation & deliberations?

         
      • Richard Charnin

        March 4, 2014 at 7:46 pm

        Hank, this will be the last time I will let you post a silly question. Don’t play games with me. I know all about you and who you front for from our “discussions” on Amazon. I will not get drawn into debates with a Lone Nutter. It’s a waste of my time. Got that?

         
  3. Richard Charnin

    March 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Hank, are you blind? Look above!

    Read the subheading for the 1400+ witnesses. And then go back to sleep.

     
    • Hank Sienzant

      March 5, 2014 at 6:47 am

      Still not seeing a definition of “material witness” that fits 1400 people out of 25,000.
      Can you advise what that definition is?

      Thanks much!

      Hank

       
    • Richard Charnin

      March 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      I deleted your comment because it is typical Lone Nutter bullshit. I will leave this one up there to show all viewers how pathetic you are.

      You are questioning just two witnesses. Benavadis’ brother was murdered which caused him to change is testimony. Benavadis’ father was shot two weeks later. Just a coincidence?
      Jeez, didn’t we go through this on Amazon a year ago?

      Chetta was called to testify at the Garrison trial. That makes him important.

      Your comments are totally weak. I am not going to spend any time with you. I learned my lesson on the Amazon JFK forum where you and your ridiculously incompetent and stupid cohorts had to pack up and leave after you and they were made to look like fools with an obvious agenda to tire me out with your non-answers and avoidance of the content of my posts.

      Now, unless you are prepared to go through each and every one of the other 118 witnesses to explain why they were not JFK-related, don’t bother to even post. Because it will be trashed. THERE WILL BE NO MORE TIME WASTED WITH A LONE NUTTER TROLL ON MY BLOG. YOU HAVE THE DATA, YOU HAVE THE MATH. BUT YOU ARE UNABLE AND/OR UNWILLING TO DO THE WORK.

      To make it easier for you, you can start with the 63 that were related and relevant enough to be called to testify (29 at the Warren Commmission). They are in Column D, Mr. Lone Nutter. Go ahead. Knock yourself out.

      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjAk1JUWDMyRdDFSU3NVd29xWWNyekd2X1ZJYllKTnc#gid=55

       
  4. Hank Sienzant

    March 5, 2014 at 6:49 am

    What is silly about this question?

    What is ‘suspicious’ about Lee Bower’s death and why would conspirators want to off him three years after the assassination when the Warren Commission had already concluded their investigation & deliberations?

    Is it non-factual?
    Besides the point?

    Please advise how and why it is “silly”.

    Thanks much!

    Hank

     
    • L. Abbott

      March 5, 2014 at 7:25 am

      Far more important than Lee Bowers, do you have a “logical” explanation for the statistics indicating an undeniable “spike” of deaths during the time of the Warren Commission as well as the HSCA?

       
  5. Hank Sienzant

    March 5, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Typical. I remind you that YOU brought up Lee Bowers. Asked a simple question about Bowers, you now want to resort to the logical fallacy of a red herring, i.e., changing the subject.

    Do you recall making this statement: ‘Many or those *suspicious* deaths weren’t classified as homicides such as Lee Bowers’, for example.’

    So I’m still awaiting a reasonable answer to the question I asked, “What is ‘suspicious’ about Lee Bower’s death and why would conspirators want to off him three years after the assassination when the Warren Commission had already concluded their investigation & deliberations?”

    Got anything, or do you intend to change the subject again?

    Hank

     
    • L. Abbott

      March 5, 2014 at 8:40 am

      Dear God! Not your every ready Idiot’s Guide of the Fallacies of Logic, yet AGAIN?? You know full-well that one can be found in nearly every statement, and this is why you’re considered a waste of time. You don’t visit blogs and forums to share or discuss what happened in Dallas, but rather to “win” nonsensical arguments. Good for you, Hank and continued success…just don’t expect me and others that know your MO to enable your pointless little hobby.

      And don’t think it wasn’t noticed how you avoided an important issue regarding the frequency of deaths at certain times during the 1960s and 70s in favor of pursuing a moot point. Yes, I know I pushed you first which I’ll admit when you report me to the teacher then sent to the principal’s office. Perhaps my punishment will be writing, “Do not waste time engaging Hank Sienzant in any form of discourse,” 100 times on the blackboard.

       
      • Hank Sienzant

        March 5, 2014 at 8:57 am

        Hilarious. You raise a point, I ask a question about that point, and you run from a response, trying to change the subject instead of answering the question.

        Then you berate me for failing to answer your second point (“And don’t think it wasn’t noticed how you avoided an important issue regarding the frequency of deaths at certain times during the 1960s and 70s in favor of pursuing a moot point”), when you still haven’t responded to my first. There’s a reason it’s best to eliminate logical fallacies from your posts. It helps to weed out the nonsense and helps to stick to the subject. It appears you’re not too eager to pursue your original point at all. You remember, the one about Bowers.

        Why is that? Because your point doesn’t withstand scrutiny? Why is the Bowers issue YOU raised now being called a MOOT POINT by you?

        Can you provide a simple answer (or even a complex one) to my question about Bowers, or do you just intend to berate me some more for asking?

        So I’m still awaiting a reasonable answer to the question I originally asked, “What is ‘suspicious’ about Lee Bower’s death and why would conspirators want to off him three years after the assassination when the Warren Commission had already concluded their investigation & deliberations?”

        Hank

         
      • Hank Sienzant

        March 5, 2014 at 9:32 am

        So you can’t even explain why you brought up Bowers originally, and you think that’s meaningless?

        And you think my questioning you about Bowers is babish [sic] – I think you mean “babyish”.
        The problem is you don’t see any responses that question your *assumptions* about the case as legitimate. You can’t rebut them, you can’t explain why you think what you do, but you’re more than willing to dismiss any responses that question those assumptions as besides the point.

        But those assumptions you bring to the table are exactly what needs to be discussed.

        You say I’m unwilling to discuss Dallas and the assassination, but that’s exactly what I’m trying to discuss but you keep avoiding.

        Here’s my original question once more: “What is ‘suspicious’ about Lee Bower’s death and why would conspirators want to off him three years after the assassination when the Warren Commission had already concluded their investigation & deliberations?”

        Care to venture a response?

        Hank

         
      • L. Abbott

        March 5, 2014 at 10:25 am

        Is there no limit to your babyish behavior, Hank? Now you want to win an argument over a misspelled word? Check you Idiot’s Guide and I believe you’ll find that under “Red Herrings”. What’s the deal? Does this go back to childhood when you found it necessary convincing mommy to give you an extra cookie?

        And it’s a riot that you suggested I “desperately want to change the subject” as if I could possibly care what a professional obstructionist thinks.

        Yes, I have an explanation why it’s “reasonably possible” Bowers may have been murdered in relation to his statement while observing the motorcade, albeit 3 years prior to his death. I admit, however, it’s nothing more than speculation because I wasn’t there when he drove off the road, either on his own or with some encouragement.

        I’m no longer interested in your opinion about the glaring high number of witnesses’ deaths from 11/22/63 until the WR was made public roughly 10 months later and also around the years the HSCA convened. Why would I suddenly pay any attention to your acutely slanted views?

        Good day to you, sir.

         
  6. Hank Sienzant

    March 5, 2014 at 9:01 am

    If the Bowers issue was a moot point to begin with, why’d YOU bring it up originally?

    It’s only being called a moot point by you because you’re stuck for an answer, and want desperately to change the subject to something else you think you can field better.

     
    • L. Abbott

      March 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

      As if I didn’t predict that would be your babish reply.

      Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Hank thinks he won an argument, regardless of how meaningless.

      Bye-bye…can you say bye-bye?

       
      • Hank Sienzant

        March 5, 2014 at 10:08 am

        PS: I’m trying to engage you in an adult conversation, and you’re responding with name calling (babish), and childish responses like “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! ” and reference being reported to the teacher and being sent to the principal’s office (“Yes, I know I pushed you first which I’ll admit when you report me to the teacher then sent to the principal’s office…”)

        Do you care to respond to, and defend, the point you first brought up, or will you insist on name-calling, childish responses, and changing the subject?

        Here’s my original question once more: “What is ‘suspicious’ about Lee Bower’s death and why would conspirators want to off him three years after the assassination when the Warren Commission had already concluded their investigation & deliberations?”

        Hank

         

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