The JFK 100

"As of 1991, the Justice Department Has Done Nothing."

Oh, really?


Oliver Stone's JFK ends with this statement, set against a black screen:


A Congressional Investigation from 1976-1979 found a "probable conspiracy" in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and recommended the Justice Department investigate further. As of 1991, the Justice Department has done nothing.


Let's examine the facts.

In 1979, the House Select Committee investigating the assassination released their Final Report.

Its primary conclusions were that:



The "scientific acoustical evidence" was a police Dictabelt recording made through a radio transmitter that had been stuck open for a brief period of time on a police motorcycle. The theory was that if the motorcycle with the open microphone happened to be in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination, it would have picked up the sounds of the gun shots. However, no shots were audible on the tape.

The House Committee had the recording subjected to a novel experimental technique that purported to graphically depict the sounds on the tape, then sought to match them to graphical depictions of test shots fired by investigators in Dealey Plaza. The Committee's conclusion was that the graphical data proved there were four shots on the recording, with a "95% probability" of the third being from the grassy knoll area.

The Department of Justice, rather than doing "nothing," as Oliver Stone seems to believe, commissioned a scientific evaluation of the Committee's findings. In 1982, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released their report, which is available in its entirety online.

Its conclusions were:


  1. The acoustic analyses do not demonstrate that there was a grassy knoll shot and in particular there is no acoustic basis for the claim of a 95% probability of such a shot.

  2. The acoustic impulses attributed to gunshots were recorded about one minute after the President had been shot and the motorcade had been instructed to go to the hospital. [Emphasis added.]

  3. Therefore, reliable acoustic data do not support a conclusion that there was a second gunman.


It has yet to be proved that the open microphone was even in Dealey Plaza during the assassination; as Dallas Sheriff James C. Bowles has convincingly argued, the evidence strongly suggests it was not.

Today, even devout believers in conspiracy almost universally reject the acoustical evidence theory as invalid.

As usual, Oliver Stone simply has not done his homework. Certainly, one does not see him endorsing the Committee's first finding, that "Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at President John F. Kennedy. The second and third shots he fired struck the President. The third shot he fired killed the President."

The Committee had scientific evidence to back that conclusion up, and that evidence has withstood the test of time. Oliver Stone could be educating people about that.

But as of 2001, Oliver Stone has done nothing.


Click here for an online archive of resources
and links on the acoustical evidence



Copyright © 2001 by David Reitzes


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