JFK Dealey Plaza Witnesses: John McAdams Strange List

26 Feb

JFK Dealey Plaza Witnesses: John McAdams Strange List

Richard Charnin
Feb.26, 2014
Updated: May 10, 2014

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JFK Blog Posts
JFK Calc Spreadsheet Database
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The JFK Calc spreadsheet was originally created to analyze unnatural material witness death probabilities. The spreadsheet has been enhanced to include Dealey Plaza witness observations of the origin of the shots, the Limo stop and the “Double Bang” (two near simultaneous shots). The statistical analysis proves there were at least two shooters.

In the four surveys of Dealey Plaza witness observations on the source of shots, only John McAdams’ indicates that the majority came from the Texas School Book Depository. This survey is the one quoted in Wikipedia.

This post analyzes the discrepancies in witness observations between McAdams (37 Knoll) and the “Adjusted” (93 Knoll) survey. The data is based on Warren Commission testimony and witnesses who were not called to testify.

In McAdams survey 21 had no opinion, 14 were not asked, 14 said the shots came from the TSBD. These were classified as Grassy Knoll witnesses in the “Adjusted” survey.

In JFK Calc, the data can be sorted by witness name, observation and group. Code “1” in column B denotes a difference between Feldman, McAdams, Galanor and the Adjusted list.

Dallas Deputy Sheriffs (19)
Fifteen (15) said shots were from the Grassy Knoll and 4 were not asked.
But according to McAdams, 5 had no opinion and 12 were not asked.

Dallas Police (14)
The adjusted list has 4 TSBD, 6 Grassy Knoll, 1 both. 2 no opinion, 1 not asked.
McAdams has 6 TSBD and 2 Grassy Knoll.

Secret Service (17)
The adjusted list has 6 TSBD, 4 GK, 1 both TSBD and GK, 5 no opinion, 1 not asked.
McAdams has 10 TSBD, 1 GK, 1 both, 2 no opinion, 3 not asked.
Not a single agent specifically said shots came from the TSBD.

Note: SS agent Roy Kellerman implied that there was at least one Grassy Knoll shooter. He said “President Kennedy had four wounds, two in the head and shoulder and the neck. Governor Connally, from our reports, had three. There have got to be more than three shots”. This is amazing testimony that no one talks about. McAdams claims Kellerman said the shots were fired from the TSBD – a clear contradiction of his WC testimony.

SS agent Clint Hill has maintained for 50 years that he saw a massive gaping wound at the right rear of JFK’s head. This implies a shot from the front, contradicting the autopsy photos. McAdams claims Hill said shots were fired from the TSBD – a contradiction of his testimony.

TSBD Employees (22)
The adjusted group has 11 GK, 6 TSBD, 1 elsewhere, 2 no opinion, 2 not asked.
McAdams had 8 Grassy Knoll, 7 TSBD, 1 no opinion, 2 not asked.

Reporters (5)
Mary Woodward is a McAdams Grassy Knoll witness. But McAdams does not include three reporters standing with Woodward: Alonzo, Brown and Donaldson or Mike Brownlow, another reporter.

Other witnesses
Charles Brehm was initially quoted in the Dallas Times: “The shots came from in front of or beside the President.” McAdams clains that Brehm said they cane from the TSBD.
Abraham Zapruder testified: “Shots came from in back of me”. McAdams said Zapruder had no opinion and only “inferred” that the shots came from the knoll because the right side of Kennedy’s head exploded, and he saw people were running up the knoll.
J.C. Price said “shots were from behind the wooden fence at the triple overpass” and was not called by the Warren Commission. McAdams said that Price did not give an opinion.

These witnesses were not mentioned by McAdams or called by the Warren Commission:
Beverly Oliver Massagee, the “Babushka Lady”, testified at ARRB.
Julia Ann Mercer saw a man carrying a rifle up the knoll.
Ed Hoffman saw two men at the fence, smoke and a rifle.

In John McAdams Dealey Plaza witness survey, he writes: “Over the years, several students of the assassination have tabulated testimony of witnesses who heard the shots in Dealey Plaza. This sounds like a precise and scientific way of going about analyzing evidence, but in reality the tabulations have differed radically in the results they have produced. Not surprisingly, students who believe there were multiple shooters have found more witnesses who heard shots from the Knoll, and fewer who heard shots from the Depository. People who believe that Oswald was the only shooter have consistently found more witnesses who heard shots from the Depository than from the Grassy Knoll.

The table below shows the assessments of four different scholars who have tabulated earwitness testimony. In addition, I have included my own assessment — based on a thorough canvass of testimony by my students — in the next-to-last column. In making any tabulation, a scholar must face a variety of problems and challenges. In producing my own assessment, I have used the following rules.”

Although McAdams’ students did the survey, he had the final word on interpreting the results. Not surprisingly, the majority of witnesses in his survey claimed they heard shots from the Texas Book Depository.

Links to Surveys and WC testimony
Warren Commission:
Galanor .

In this article, Galanor discusses the McAdams and HSCA surveys: In 1977, the HSCA interviewed 178 witnesses based on FBI reports and the Warren Commission. Of the 178, 49 said shots were from the TSBD and only 21 from the Knoll. The HSCA failed to reveal who the witnesses were!


Charnin (adjusted):

Stewart Galanor on the Warren Commission and HSCA
The Art and Science of Misrepresenting Evidence
How the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations manipulated evidence to dismiss witness accounts of the assassination.

Over six hundred people witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy. The FBI acting on behalf of the Warren Commission interviewed at least two hundred of them.
Regrettably, the Commission seemed unconcerned that the FBI reports on seventy of these interviews did not reveal if the witness had an opinion on the source of the shots. Nor did the Commission conduct an analysis of witness accounts or give any credence to those accounts of witnesses who thought the shots came from the grassy knoll.

Analysis of 178 Witnesses
In 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations analyzed the accounts of the witnesses taken by the Warren Commission and from FBI reports published in the 26 Volumes of Hearings and Exhibits that accompanied the Warren Report. In analyzing witness accounts, a diligent investigator would consider various issues that the House Committee failed to address.

Witnesses Not Called
According to the HSCA, 692 witnesses “were present in the Plaza during the assassination.” Most of them were never called to testify by either the Warren Commission or the HSCA. (8HSCA139)

Ed Johnson, a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram who was riding in the motorcade, wrote for his paper the next day, “Some of us saw little puffs of white smoke that seemed to hit the grassy area in the esplanade that divides Dallas’ main downtown streets.” He was never interviewed by any government agency.

Overzealous Analysis
Any analysis of the 216 witnesses is inherently biased towards producing an unrealistically high percentage of Depository witnesses. Of the 216 witnesses who were interviewed by the FBI or the Warren Commission, 73 of them were Dallas Police Officers, Dallas Deputy Sheriffs, Secret Service Agents and other government employees who traditionally tend to identify with the government’s case. Thus, the tabulation of 216 witnesses (culled from the Warren Commission’s 26 Volumes and from Commission Documents stored in the National Archives) does not constitute a random sample of the witnesses to the assassination. Hence, it cannot be the basis for an accurate statistical analysis of witness accounts. What happens if we separate out the 73 government employees from the 143 nongovernment employees?

143 Non-government Employees
Depository 22; Knoll 44

73 Government Employees
Depository 26; Knoll 8

In the nongovernment group, the number of Knoll witnesses is two times larger than the Depository witnesses, while in the government group, the number of Depository witnesses is three times larger than the number of Knoll witnesses.

The House Committee’s analysis of witness accounts is a disingenuous attempt to dismiss and discredit evidence that the shots were fired from at least two locations. The evidence of a shooter firing from behind the fence is staggering, not least of which is the testimony of witnesses who heard shots or saw smoke on the grassy knoll.

What does it all mean? The testimony of Dealey Plaza eyewitnesses is, by itself, overwhelming evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was just a patsy. Along with the astronomical odds against 100 unnatural material witness deaths, we have proven two conspiracies: the planning of the assassination and the cover-up. If Lee Harvey Oswald was a Lone-nut assassin as John McAdams and Warren Commission apologists claim, there would not be anything to “clean-up”, would there?

This 1964 article by Vincent Salandria, one of the original assassination researchers, is an excellent summary of the evidence.
Data Summary

Survey... Feldman McAdams Galanor Adjusted
Total Witnesses 121 241 216 224
Opinion..........83 100 109 133
Source of Shots:
Grassy Knoll.....51 35 52 84
Book Depository..32 61 48 36
Both TB and GK....0 2 5 9
Other locations...0 2 4 4
No Opinion.......38 69 37 36
Not asked.........0 72 70 54
Grassy Knoll....61% 35% 48% 63%
Book Depository.39% 61% 44% 27%
GK / (GK+TB)....61% 36% 52% 70%


100 of 273 witnesses gave an opinion (52 GK, 48 TSBD)
44 GK (84.6% of 52 GK total witnesses)
22 TSBD (45.8% of 48 TSBD total witnesses)
34 GOVT:
8 GK (15.4% of 52 total GK witnesses; 17.7 (52%) expected)
26 TSBD (54.2% of 48 total TSBD witnesses; 16.3 (48%) expected)

Z-Score =4.43
P= 0.000004779 or 1 in 209,250

66 Non-government witnesses
TSBD GK 1 in
22 44 209,250 (actual)
26 40 142
30 36 4
32 34 2


Posted by on February 26, 2014 in JFK


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4 responses to “JFK Dealey Plaza Witnesses: John McAdams Strange List

  1. anon

    March 27, 2014 at 1:06 am

    What would the statistics show if you weighted the witness data by distance from the grassy knoll?

    • Richard Charnin

      March 27, 2014 at 1:23 am

      The closer a witness to the Knoll, the more likely he/she would say the shots came from there. But a number of witnesses at the TSBD said shots came from the Knoll.


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