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JFK: Confirming the London Sunday Times Actuary’s 100,000 Trillion to One Odds

JFK: Confirming the London Sunday Times Actuary’s 100,000 Trillion to One Odds

Richard Charnin
Sept.1, 2014
Updated Oct.1, 2014

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

JFK Blog Posts
JFK Calc Spreadsheet Database
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An actuary engaged by the London Sunday Times calculated 100,000 trillion to one odds against 18 JFK material witnesses dying in the three year period ending in Feb. 1967. The odds were displayed in the 1972 film “Executive Action”. Watch the film:

“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”.

The calculation has been the source of much controversy. Assuming the data and calculation methodology were essentially correct, then it was clear proof of a conspiracy and refuted the Warren Commission conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin. Penn Jones was the first independent researcher to investigate unnatural deaths:

The actuary’s odds are matched assuming 454 witnesses, very close to the 552 who testified at the Warren Commission. There were 13 unnatural deaths among the 18 material witnesses. We will ignore the five suspicious natural deaths.

It is important to note that the actuary worked with limited information. There were actually at least 42 unnatural JFK-related deaths in the three years following the assassination. View the JFK Calc spreadsheet:

There were at least 10 unnatural deaths among the 418 witnesses who testified in person at the Warren Commission in the three years ending Feb. 1967. The probability is:P= 2.4E-15 = 1 in 400 trillion

There were 20 unnatural deaths among the 552 total witnesses in the 15 years from 1964-78. The probability is:P= 6.35E-16 = 1 in 1500 trillion

In 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigated the allegation (based on the actuary) 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.

The HSCA declared that the actuary’s calculation was invalid, claiming that the universe (number of witnesses) was unknowable. Warren Commission defenders (Bugliosi, McAdams, Posner, etc.) have questioned the relevance of witness connections to the assassination. The HSCA made a number of errors in coming to that conclusion, It did not cite the
1. suspicious deaths of anti-Castro, CIA, mafia, Dallas police
2. unnatural witness deaths, the key statistic in the analysis
3. known universe of 552 Warren Commission witnesses
4. 500+ called to testify by Garrison, Church and HSCA
5. identity of the actuary
6. methodology used by the actuary
7. 100+ suspicious deaths
8. deaths of Oswald, Ruby, DeMorenschildt, Ferrie, Craig etc.
9. 7 FBI officials due to testify at HSCA died in a 6 month period in 1977.

Unnatural Mortality Rates and Expected Deaths
U.S. National Center for Health Statistics

In order to calculate the probability of a given number of unnatural deaths in a given group, we must first determine the expected number (E) of unnatural deaths.

E= N*T*R, where N is the size of the witness universe, T the time period under study in years, and R the average unnatural mortality rate.

Let H = the number of homicides, A = accidental deaths, S = suicides.
The actuary’s 13 unnatural deaths consist of:
H=8 homicides, A=3 accidents and S=2 suicides.

The corresponding average mortality rates for the period from 1964-66:
HR= 0.000061, AR= 0.000658, SR = 0.000128
The total unnatural rate (unweighted):
RT = HR+ AR+ SR = 0.000847

The total number ET of expected unnatural deaths:
ET = 1.15 = 454*3*0.000847
Only one unnatural death would be expected! But there were 13.

The weighted average mortality rate R is:
R = (H*HR + A*AR + S*SR)/ (H+A+S)
The average weighted unnatural rate:
R = .000209 = (8*0.000061+ 3*0.000658+ 2*0.000128)/13

The expected number E of unnatural deaths is based on the weighted rate:
E = 0.285 = 454*3*0.000209

The Poisson Probability Function
The Poisson function calculates the probability of 13 unnatural deaths in three years assuming 454 witnesses to match the actuary’s odds.
P = Poisson (13, 0.285, false)
P = 9.83E-18 = 1 in 100,000 trillion

If the 3 accidents and 2 suicides were actually homicides, then applying the 0.000061 average homicide rate, we have 13 homicides among 454 witnesses over three years.
E= 0.083= 454*3*0.000061
P= Poisson (13, 0.083, false)
P = 1.33E-24= 1 in 750 million trillion

Data Source
The reference Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination contains information on 1400+ JFK-related suspects, victims, witnesses,Law Enforcement officials and investigators. Approximately 100 died suspiciously in 1964-78 and are listed in the JFK Calc spreadsheet database.

Crossfire, by Jim Marrs, includes a list of 103 “convenient deaths”.

There are 122 suspicious deaths (78 officially ruled unnatural) listed in the spreadsheet JFK Calc. The probability of 78 unnatural deaths is 1 in trillions.

The Simkin JFK Spartacus Education website contains biographies of 656 JFK-related individuals. Approximately 70 died suspiciously (4 unnatutally, included 22 homicides). The probability is 1 in trillions. View the complete Simkin list and the 70 unnatural deaths in JFK Calc.

HSCA Testimony
The chief of research of the HSCA, Jacqueline Hess, testified:
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 some manner, either direct or peripheral, caused by the assassination of President Kennedy or by any aspect of the subsequent investigation.

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.

This was an incorrect statement. The universe of witnesses could be the four investigations in which at least 67 died suspiciously from 1964-78.

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.

Another incorrect statement. Natural mortality rates (heart attack, cancer, etc.) are age adjusted. Unnatural death rates are not age-related.

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.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.

Impossible to determine an approximate number of JFK-related individuals who died suspiciously? That is a canard. All the HSCA had to do was view the list of those called to testify in four JFK investigations – including the HSCA. It ignored 100+ deaths, including 7 top FBI officials who died suspiciously within 6 months in 1977, De Morenschildt and others who were due to testify at HSCA. Note: Hess noted 23 names, including two key Mafia figures (Sam Giancana and John Roselli). But the two were not included in the detailed report requested by the HSCA interrogator. Strange.

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.

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.

Actuary – 18 material witness deaths
M=homicide, A=accident, S=suicide, H=heart attack, O=other
W = testified at WC
Note:* No anti-Castro; CIA; Mafia; Dallas police in HSCA list of 21 deaths

M 6405 GARY UNDERHILL * CIA/Life magazine, predicted his death


O 6606 FRANK MARTIN W * Dallas Policeman (sudden cancer)
M 6610 WILLIAM PITZER * Navy autopsy photographer, near retirement

O 6701 JACK RUBY W * Connected to Dallas PD, mob (sudden cancer)
M 6702 DAVID FERRIE * CIA, knew Oswald
M 6702 ELADIO DEL VALLE * anti-Castro, knew Ferrie

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


Posted by on September 1, 2014 in JFK


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JFK Witness Unnatural Deaths: A Statistical Summary

JFK Witness Unnatural Deaths: A Statistical Summary

Richard Charnin
Sept. 30, 2013
Updated: April 26,2014

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

JFK Blog Posts
JFK Calc Spreadsheet Database

This is a summary overview of JFK-related witness death statistics and probabilities. The focus is on unnatural deaths (homicides, accidents, suicides, unknown), but many suspicious (natural) deaths may have been homicides. Witness categories include FBI, CIA, Dallas police, anti-Castro Cubans, Mafia, Ruby and Oswald associates, reporters and eyewitnesses.

The JFK Calc spreadsheet is updated frequently. There were 122 suspicious deaths among approximately 1400+ JFK-related witnesses from 1964-1978. At least 78 deaths (including 34 homicides) were officially ruled unnatural. But approximately 25 accidents and suicides were likely homicides.

These graphs and tables are mathematical proof of a conspiracy.

Warren Commission apologists have claimed that the witnesses were self-selected. That is not true. All were material and related to the assassination. At least 67 were sought to testify in one or more investigations; the others were highly relevant (see the selected list below).

Given that there were approximately 1400 individuals related to the assassination, why would at least 78 die unnaturally when just 18 would be expected? The probability of 78 unnatural deaths is 2.76E-62 or less than 1 in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion!!!

Therefore the probability threshold of beyond a reasonable doubt is met by just 6 official homicides!

Witness Deaths
Cause: Expected Official (mortality rate)

Heart attack.. 8.7 25 (0.004913)
Cancer........ 3.5 5 (0.001991)
Other......... 4.6 14 (0.002480)
Accident...... 1.0 24 (0.000594)
Suicide....... 0.23 16 (0.000130)
Homicide...... 0.15 34 (0.000084)
Unknown........0.03 4 (0.000014)

TOTAL..........18 122 (0.010207)
Who’s Who in the JFK assassination by Michael Benson, is a comprehensive encyclopedia of 1400+ JFK related witnesses. JFK Calc includes 97 of the 126 suspicious deaths listed in JFK Calc.

Crossfire by Jim Marrs is a comprehensive study of the assassination that lists 103 “convenient deaths”.

Hit List by Richard Belzer and David Wayne, is a detailed study of 50 mysterious witness deaths (42 homicides, 1 suicide, 7 heart attacks). All are included in the JFK Calc database.

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

Four investigations
In 1964-78, approximately 1100 witnesses were sought to testify in four JFK-related investigations, 552 testified at the Warren Commission and the rest were sought at the Garrison-Shaw trial, Church Committee and HSCA. Sixty-seven (67) are included in JFK Calc. At least 39 of the 63 were unnatural deaths (including 28 homicides). The others were suspiciously timed heart attacks and illnesses.

Paradigm Shift
The 67 witnesses in JFK Calc who were called to testify in the four investigations were obviously relevant. But their relationship to the assassination is a moot point; motive and connections are not parameters in the probability calculations. These are: a) number of witnesses (N), b) the number who died unnaturally (n), c) the cause of death, d) relevant time period (T), e) the average unnatural mortality rate (R). That is all the information that we need to calculate the probability of n unnatural deaths among a group of N people over a period of T years.

Distribution of unnatural deaths in JFK Calc vs. National Average
JFK-related homicides comprised 34 of 78 (44%) unnatural deaths, far exceeding the 10% National share. This anomaly lowered the unnatural mortality rate from the National average (0.000822) to the JFK-weighted average (0.000247). In any case, 78 JFK-related unnatural deaths among 1400 material witnesses from 1964-1978 is statistically impossible and proves a conspiracy.

FBI officials scheduled to testify at HSCA
Seven (7) died within a 6 month period in 1977: 2 unnaturally (gunshot, fall) and 5 from “heart attacks”. If 8 FBI were called to testify, the probability of 7 deaths in 6 MONTHS is almost equal to the London Sunday Times actuary’s probability (wrongly declared “invalid” by the HSCA statistician) of 18 material witness deaths in 3 years. Using the spreadsheet probability function:

P = Poisson(7,0.01,false)
P= 1 in 114,000 TRILLION (8.7E-18)

If an impossible 100 FBI were called, the probability is 1 in 2.7 BILLION (3.6E-10). Assuming all 7 deaths were HOMICIDES, applying the 1977 HOMICIDE RATE (0.000092), the probability is 1 in 100 MILLION TRILLION (8.6E-21)!

This is a table of probabilities for 1) 7 heart attacks, 2) 5 heart attacks; 2 accidents, 3) 7 homicides for a range of FBI 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

JFK-weighted average unnatural rate
The JFK-weighted rate R is the product sum:
R= 0.000247 =(0.000084*34 + 0.000594*24 + 0.00013*`16 + 0.000014*4)/78

Probability calculations
– National unnatural mortality rate- conservative, does not reflect actual JFK witness data
– JFK-weighted mortality rate – accounts for distribution of JFK witnesses cause of death
– Homicide rate – probability of homicides
Note: the applicable probability is the lower of the JFK-weighted and Homicide rates.

Poisson distribution
Calculates the probability of unlikely events. It requires the actual and expected number. We have the actual number (n) of unnatural deaths. The expected number is N*T*R, where N is number in group, T is time period in years, R is annual unnatural mortality rate.

The actuary calculated the probability of 18 witness deaths within three years of the assassination as 1 in 100,000 trillion. Thirteen (13) of the 18 deaths were unnatural: 8 homicides, 3 accidents, 2 suicides. The calculation is confirmed assuming 454 witnesses:
N witnesses: 454
n unnatural deaths: 13
T years: 3
R mortality rate: 0.000209
a = R*N*T=expected deaths = 0.28
The probability of n unnatural deaths: P(n) = a^n * exp (-a) / n! = 9.83E-18

Using the Poisson spreadsheet function:
P = POISSON(13, 0.28, false) = 9.83E-18
P = 1 in 101,774,317,639,149,952

To appreciate the magnitude of the probabilities, consider that there are an estimated 10^23 stars in the universe and 10^20 grains of sand on the earth.

Sensitivity Analysis
Calculates probabilities over a range of n deaths and N group size:

Selected JFK-related convenient deaths of witnesses not called to testify
Robert F. Kennedy-Message to Moscow emissary: “We know it was a high-level domestic political conspiracy”.
Lee Oswald-FBI informant, CIA connected, shot by Jack Ruby; “just a patsy”; no interrogation notes.
J.D. Tippit-Dallas cop. WC said he was shot at 1:16 pm. Roger Craig said he heard news at 1:06.
Mac Wallace-Texas assassin, close to LBJ; suspected shooter; fingerprint found in TSBD.
Dorothy Kilgallen-Columnist, interviewed Ruby; to “break the case wide open”; notes/manuscript disappeared.

Dorothy Hunt-Wife of E. Howard Hunt (CIA/ Watergate) who believed she was murdered in plane crash.
John D. Sullivan-Former FBI, worked under Banister and for Senator Eastland’s committee.
C.D. Jackson-Life Mag Sr VP; bought Zapruder film; Oswald rifle photo; Bilderberg /intel connections.
Tom Howard-Ruby’s lawyer. Tried to sell photo of JFK murder to LIFE.
James Chaney-Dallas motorcycle officer; “struck in the face” with bullet

Ralph Yates-Gave ride to Oswald on Nov.20 (claimed he had curtain rods).
Winston Scott-CIA officer; to discuss book on 4/30/71 with CIA Dir Helms; died April 4; manuscript stolen
Manuel Rodriguez-Pres. of Alpha 66; Military coordinator; anti-Castro group; worked with Guy Banister
Jim Koethe-Reporter in Ruby’s apartment on 11/24/63.
Florence Smith-Friend of Kilgallen, JFK, died ONE day after Kilgallen; copies of DK’s notes disappeared.

Marilyn Walle-Ruby dancer. Working on a book on the assassination.
Bill Hunter-Reporter in Ruby’s apartment on 11/24/63.
Roscoe White-Dallas policeman. In diary claimed he shot JFK with 7.65 Mauser and killed Tippit.
Nancy Tyler-Worked for Bobby Baker. Told him that JFK would replace LBJ.
John Crawford-Close friend of Ruby and Wesley Frazier, who drove Oswald to work on 11/22/63.

William Pitzer-Autopsy radiologist/photographer; planned to expose autopsy.
Mary  Meyer-JFK “special” friend. Called WC a “whitewash”; would reveal all in book; diary taken by CIA.
Jack Zangretti-Mobster predicted: 3 JFK shooters, Ruby to kill Oswald, Sinatra child kidnapped 12/63.
Gary Underhill-CIA agent, claimed Agency was involved; predicted he would be killed.
Hank Killam-Husband of Ruby employee, claimed knowledge of assassination. FBI/CIA documents withheld.

Mary Sherman-Ferrie associate on covert cancer research; killed same day WC came to New Orleans.
Paul Dyer-New Orleans Police Lt.; first to question Ferrie about Oswald. Sudden cancer death in 28 days.
Charles Cabell-CIA deputy director connected to anti-Castro Cubans, brother of Dallas mayor.
Lisa Howard-Journalist/TV news (ABC). Worked on JFK/Castro negotiations; hosted party for Che Guevara
Grant Stockdale-Close friend of JFK, told attorney “people are trying to get me” day before “suicide”.

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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in JFK


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