Lee Harvey Oswald and the Sports Drome Rifle RangeFrom: email@example.com (Dave Reitzes)
Newsgroup posts by Dave Reitzes, Russ Burr and Bill Banks
Subject: Re: My "Two Oswalds" site
Date: 02 Nov 1999 00:00:00 GMT
I would suggest that we consider Gus Russo's new evidence relating to the Sports Drome Rifle Range sightings, discussed below. I also would suggest that we give serious consideration to the idea that, in November 1963, Lee might have been able to drive better than Ruth Paine knows. I would not rule out the possibility that Oswald went for that famous test drive at Downtown Lincoln Mercury. I also believe there is reason -- despite Marina's denials -- to consider the possibility that she and Oswald indeed appeared at Edith Whitworth's store that day, and that Oswald indeed had work done on a rifle -- though not necessarily the M-C -- at the shop where Dial Ryder worked. I have posted at length about the Whitworth-Hunter episode, and would be glad to repost it. I also have some material on the Downtown Lincoln Mercury incident, though it's probably not much more extensive than what one can read in the early conspiracy books.
I think it should be acknowledged that the Warren Commission might have seriously goofed in these areas; I also would suggest that the DPD and/or FBI, possibly with the witting participation of the Warren Commission, let these incidents go without full investigations for several non-sinister reasons. As Gus Russo has shown, some witnesses who could have tightened the case against Oswald seem to have been protected from exposure to an extent. Other incidents, if confirmed, might have impeached the credibility of Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine, two witnesses whose testimony was crucial to the WC.
Again, there does not have to be anything sinister about this; the Commission staff was composed of lawyers, and lawyers have been known to gloss over things that could hurt their case, particularly if the details do not strike them as pertinent. For example, placing Oswald at the car dealership would have called Ruth Paine's testimony about Oswald's driving skills into question, and since she and Marina were certain Oswald was with them that day, it could have also raised doubts about the women's reliability -- possibly unwarranted ones.
If someone was inclined to think that Oswald sneaked away and took that test drive without anyone knowing, it might have seemed a good idea to simply not open that door. Because behind that door would have been other sightings involving Oswald driving, and other sightings that were ruled out solely on the basis of Marina and Mrs. Paine's testimonies. Were those other sightings valid? Probably not. But the WC did not have several years in which to run them all down. They dealt with the most pressing ones -- Oswald reported at the Carousel Club, for instance, and might have felt the need to sweep the others under the carpet.
Here's some info I've previously posted about the Sports Drome Rifle Range sightings, with a few updates.
On Saturday, September 28, with Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City, someone later identified as Oswald arrived after dark at the Sports Drome Rifle Range in Dallas, Texas, for the first of numerous sightings that would be reported of Oswald at the rifle range. On this occasion Oswald was said to have been driving a 1940 or 1941 Model Ford. He asked Malcolm H. Price, Jr., a friend of the owner of the facility, to help him sight in his rifle.
If researcher Gus Russo is correct, and it was actually Oswald himself at the rifle range in October and November, this September sighting should not be overlooked. It is clear from the start that we cannot claim 100% credibility for these witnesses.
("Sighting in" a rifle is an adjustment of the telescopic sight. When a rifle has been disassembled, treated roughly, or gone unused for an extended period of time, its scope must be readjusted or else it cannot be aimed properly. The process simply involves aiming at a target, and repeatedly firing while adjusting the scope until the target can be hit accurately and consistently; the process may be expected to consume about a dozen rounds of ammunition. Critics of the lone assassin theory point out that had Oswald carried the disassembled Mannlicher-Carcano into the Texas School Book Depository, its telescopic sight would be useless; the gunman would have to remove the sight and aim with the rifle's iron sights. The telescopic sight was, of course, mounted permanently on the alleged murder weapon.)
Mr. PRICE. . . . [H]e set up the target himself and I drove my car and turned my headlights on the target as I proceeded to set the rifle. I fired the rifle approximately 12 to 18 times, I would say, and I zeroed in on it a hundred yards . . .
Mr. LIEBELER. Now, did this man fire the rifle himself?
Mr. PRICE. . . . He fired three shots and scored bull's eyes with all three -- a very tight pattern. He said, "Well, I am completely satisfied."
Mr. LIEBELER. . . . Did you have any other conversation with this fellow at that time?
Mr. PRICE. No, that was all. It was rather abrupt. He didn't talk too much, and I was kind of surprised that he didn't fire the rifle more. He just fired three shots and he said, "Well, that's good enough," and he got up and left.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he leave the shell casings lying there at the range or did he take them with him?
Mr. PRICE. No, he took them with him -- he picked them all up after the rifle was fired and took the shell casings along with him.
Mr. LIEBELER. . . . Was it light, up at the rifle range, from where you fired?
Mr. PRICE. Oh, yes, we have neon lights there.
Mr. LIEBELER. So you didn't have any difficulty in seeing this fellow?
Mr. PRICE. No -- no difficulty at all.(1)
On Sunday, November 10, while Oswald was at the Paines' in Irving, an Oswald was again at the Sports Drome Rifle Range in Dallas, where Garland Slack saw him.(2)
On Sunday, November 17, Oswald was again at the Sports Drome Rifle Range.
Mr. SLACK. He was there on Sunday, November 17, 1963. Sunday, November 10, 1963, was the turkey shoot.(3)
Slack is confusing the events of November 10 and 17; he recalls the 10th as the day of the Thanksgiving turkey shoot, but this was actually November 17, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Lucille (Mrs. Garland) Slack later confirmed to A. J. Weberman that she, her husband, and Lee Harvey Oswald were at the rifle range on both the 10th and the 17th, and the 17th was the day of the turkey shoot when Oswald and her husband got in an argument.
Mr. SLACK. I contacted him [Oswald] three or four times trying to get him to pay a dollar and get in the turkey shoot. Ten men were paying a dollar a shoot, and he commented he could win the turkey, but he didn't have the dollar. . . . Sunday, November 17, 1963, is where he and I had the run-in, where he shot my target. [This is the correct date.] I paid two bits and put up a target, and before I got ready to shoot it, somebody would shoot a hole in it. So Lucille, my wife, she was with me. She was keeping score. We got to noticing who it was . . . and I raised the devil. I didn't see why I had to pay my two bits and pay for a new target sheet . . . and the rifle range operator came and told him not to shoot at my target after that, and that is how I remembered the part in his hair, and the look on his face. And I told him, I said, "You are not going to win no turkey shooting rapid fire."
He shot rapid fire about three or four times, and they had a cap full of shells and they were shooting -- I mean he was burning up the ammunition. And I talked about this [with my wife] on the way back [home] because somebody is going to get hurt, because everybody's shooting at everybody else's target. . . . And I remember when I told him that, he gave me a look that I would never forget. That is the only reason I remember him when they showed him on television. I made me sick, and I tried to figure it out. It took me a day to figure out where I had seen him. . . . And I went to the rifle range and these four or five other people knew he had been there, but they were afraid to say anything about it.
But when I asked the manager, I said, "Oswald was over here," and he said, "Yes, I know he was." And they was afraid it would hurt their business." [It did.]
Mr. LIEBELER. . . . You mentioned there were other people out at the range who saw Oswald. Do you remember their names?
Mr. SLACK. No, sir; because I was not taking their names. . . . Vernon Stone [Slack's brother-in-law] was with me and Jimbo [Stone], he is 12 years old, the boy, and when it dawned on me where I saw him, and I knew that I had my son-in-law take my gun, my custom-made gun out of Oswald's, take it out of his hand and put it in the car, because I was afraid he would steal it, and I told Vernon by long distance on the telephone, and Vernon did too, well, he had already made up his mind that he never had seen that fellow. He didn't want to remember, anything, and Jimbo doesn't either. He didn't want to remember.(4)
Apparently Slack is confusing dates again, because Lucille Slack told A. J. Weberman that her brother and his son had visited from November 9 to the 11th, and had accompanied Slack and herself to the rifle range on November 9 and 10. Slack also remembered that Oswald wasn't alone.
Mr. SLACK. . . . [He wrapped up his rifle -- which was a Mannlicher-Carcano similar but not the same as the so-called "Oswald" rifle] and handed it over the fence, but they had two other guns that type. They had no scopes on them.
Mr. LIEBELER. Was there somebody else?
Mr. SLACK. That Sunday [November 10] there sure was . . . Lucille remembers the boy handing the guns over the fence, and they were throwing the guns in the back of an old-model car and taking off like they did. . . . [A] gun, a good gun, you are not supposed -- they just threw those old guns in that car . . . one was wrapped up in a blanket, a dirty-looking old gray blanket that had a red trim . . .
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you remember what kind of car these fellows drove?
Mr. SLACK. No . . . A four-door sedan, and it was a dark color, and he left there like a crazy bunch of hoodlums. And Lucille would remember that because she made a remark to me. You know how boys take off and make dust fly.
When shown a photograph of Carousel Club employee Larry Crafard, Slack said it wasn't the guy he saw. Liebeler then showed him a picture of Oswald, and Slack said that it showed the man from the rifle range, except the man he saw had slightly longer hair. He may be describing Southern-born Lee Oswald.
Lucille Slack told the FBI that she herself did not see Lee Harvey Oswald at the rifle range, although she did remember someone shooting at her husband's target on the 17th of November. She added that she accompanied her husband back to rifle range following the assassination to talk to the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Davis, and that the Davises didn't want to talk about Oswald because they were afraid it would hurt their business. She also remembered that a dentist and his son had been at the rifle range, and had seen Oswald one day when the Slacks had been there.(5)
Malcolm Price was also at the rifle range on November 17th.
Mr. PRICE. . . . I do understand there was a hassle between him and Mr. [Garland] Slack over shooting the wrong target or something like that. I was over at the opposite end shooting at a target for the turkey shoot, and I didn't pay attention to that. That was their business. . . . he did have the same gun. And I asked him if it was still doing the job, if it was still set, and he said it was shooting just fine, and Mr. Slack was there at the time . . . they were sitting right next to one another -- Mr. Slack was in Booth 9 and Oswald was in Booth 8, and [Oswald] commented on his telescope. . . . he asked me to look through it, and he said, "It's one of the clearest telescopes that I have ever seen -- one of the brightest." He said, "It's a Japanese scope, and I gave $18 for it. . . . he remarked that it was a four-power telescope, and he said it was mounted on Redfield mounts . . . we compared it with two scopes that Mr. Slack had on his gun[s], and a fellow that was shooting on the right side in Booth 7 -- I don't know who that was [the Commission never identified this witness], but we compared it with three different American-made scopes and his [Oswald's] telescope was brighter and clearer by far. . . . He said he got it from a gunsmith in Cedar Hill for a debt, the gun, and that he bought the scope and the gunsmith mounted it for him.
Mr. LIEBELER. . . . And that was in Cedar Hill?
Mr. PRICE. It might be, but I don't know of any gunsmith in Cedar Hill. . . .(6)
There was no gunsmith in Cedar Hill,(7)) although Cedar Hill is where Mrs. Lovell Penn said she saw Oswald firing on her property with two other men.
Mr. PRICE. I said, "I didn't know there was a gunsmith in Cedar Hill." He said, "Yes, one over there, and he owed me some money, and he gave me his gun to settle the debt," and he said, "I bought the scope, and he mounted it and boresighted it."(8)
Price described the rifle, a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5 caliber, in detail, then was shown photographs of the alleged assassination rifle; he observed it was similar to the gun he saw, but not exactly the same.
Sports Drome witness Malcolm Price saw Oswald with an old model Chevrolet; Mrs. Lovell Penn had seen Oswald and two other men with a 1957 black and white Chevrolet with Texas plates.
Price recalled that the last time he saw Oswald at the rifle range, Garland Slack was present, as well as a doctor and his son, who we will meet shortly.
Floyd Guy Davis, the owner of the rifle range, denied to the FBI and the Warren Commission that he'd ever seen Lee Harvey Oswald, acknowledging only the Price and Slack had mentioned seeing him on several occasions, and that he did remember an incident where someone was shooting at Slack's target on the day of the turkey shoot, which he confirms was November 17th. He came out to see what was going on, and spoke to those present. When shown photos of Oswald and Larry Crafard, Davis rejected the Crafard photo, then admitted that the picture of Oswald resembled the man at the rifle range.
Mr. DAVIS. It sure looks like him. . . . Mr. Price helped him sight that rifle in. . . .
Mr. LIEBELER. How long have you known Mr. Price? . . . In your opinion, is he a reliable fellow?
Mr. DAVIS. He is very reliable or I wouldn't have him down there [working on the range] . . . he was afraid -- he had five children, and he was afraid that it [the assassination] was some Communist plot or some gang that had done this, and he was afraid for his children or he would have called [the FBI] sooner.
Mr. LIEBELER. He is not a publicity seeker?
Mr. DAVIS. No, he wasn't. I would say he is very sincere of this. . . . There was also some doctor or lawyer in Oak Cliff, and his son, that he said he saw him out there on November 17, 1963.
Mr. LIEBELER. . . . Was that Doctor Wood?
Mr. DAVIS. I believe it was. . . . He might be a dentist.
(9) Dr. Homer Wood, a dentist, reported that his thirteen-year-old son Sterling was shooting at a target next to a man who had an unusual rifle that expelled what Dr. Wood called a "ball of fire" when he shot.(10) Wood jokingly warned his son to watch out for the "105 Howitzer," but Sterling said it was all right, that it was only an Italian carbine. He also pointed out what a good shot the man was; Dr. Wood looked at Oswald's target, and saw that Oswald was indeed shooting extremely well. Sterling Wood knew a lot about guns, and asked Oswald if his rifle was a 6.5 caliber Italian carbine with a four-power scope; Oswald replied that it was.(11)
When Dr. Wood saw Oswald on television following the assassination, he immediately told his wife that it looked like the man from the rifle range.(12) Mrs. Wood was skeptical. A half hour or so later, Sterling Wood entered the room; neither Dr. nor Mrs. Wood said a word about Oswald to him. Sterling saw Oswald on TV and immediately said, "Daddy, that is the fellow that was sitting next to me out on the rifle range."(13)
Gus Russo writes:
Dr. Homer Wood told Frontline's W. Scott Malone in 1993, "This guy, if he was Oswald, and I think he was, was an incredible shot with that old junky rifle -- incredible!" Wood also told Malone that the FBI interview of his son Sterling made the young boy cry. Sterling told his father, "I don't want to go back with them [the FBI agents] anymore."(14)
Accompanying Sterling Wood to the range that Saturday was his friend Ken Longley, also 13 years-old. Longley recently recalled that he also saw the man with the old "bolt-action" rifle, and also remembered him as about 5'9", although he didn't recall the man's face. "I was watching the result, not the shooter," said Longley. "The man I saw shooting could have done it [the assassination]."(15)
Homer and Sterling Wood each testified separately before the Warren Commission. First, both men were shown photographs of another man, a Carousel Club employee, Jack Crafard. Dr. Wood and Sterling each said it wasn't the man. Each unhesitatingly identified photos of Lee Harvey Oswald as the man at the rifle range. Sterling also identified a photograph of the Mannlicher-Carcano found in the Book Depository as the rifle Oswald had that day -- except Sterling, the young gun aficionado, noticed the telescopic sight was different.(16)
He reaffirmed that the man had been an excellent shot, "the most accurate of all" the sportsmen at the range that day. He mentioned that later he saw Oswald leave the range "with a man in a newer model car," possibly a Ford.(17) The other man drove.
As Gus Russo reports, there may have been more to the Woods' story than they wished to tell at the time.
In 1993 . . . Sterling Wood was reluctant to meet, let alone repeat the story he had told [researcher Dave] Perry. . . . After many weeks of haggling, Wood tentatively agreed to talk to the author. He had avoided interviews, he said, because, within a year of the assassination, he had been attacked and hospitalized -- and almost died -- with the permanent physical result being the implantation of a metal plate in his skull. It should be realized that in the wake of the assassination, paranoia gripped Dallas even more than the rest of the country. Every act of violence in Dallas was viewed initially as connected to the violence of that tragic weekend.
Finally agreeing to the interview, Wood stated, "I'll be bringing some things that will blow your mind. Do you know that Marina later contacted us so that we might help forward letters to her family in Minsk? Do you know about 'the ride'?"
As it turned out, Wood backtracked on his decision to be interviewed. His family, especially his father, was dead set against it. . . . However, the salient points of his conversation with Perry and others are known: Sterling and his father had another reason to be certain that the talented shooter they saw was Lee Oswald -- a reason they failed to tell the Warren Commission.
On one occasion, they drove Oswald home from the range. And not only did they drive him to Oak Cliff, where Oswald's Beckley Street apartment was located, but they spoke to him of Minsk, where the Wood family had relatives. After the assassination, the Woods received letters from Oswald's widow, hoping the Wood family would forward them to Minsk. . . .(18)
Several reports indicate that Oswald was not always alone at the rifle range, and it's possible, as Russo discusses, that his companion's identity was kept a secret for his own protection once the authorities decided he was not involved. If true, it might help explain one of the most enduring mysteries of all in the case. But if this person is who at least one witness says he is, he declines to admit it to this day. See Gus Russo, Live by the Sword for more information.
Subject: Sports Drome Rifle Range -- Addendum
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Reitzes)
Date: 2/27/01 12:12 PM Eastern Standard Time
A researcher who requests anonymity has apprised me of a conversation he had with Marina Oswald that bears heavily upon some information I've posted on several occasions.
As I have posted, Gus Russo's Live by the Sword presents a reevaluation of the eyewitness testimony allegedly placing Lee Harvey Oswald at the Sports Drome Rifle Range in November 1963. I also posted the relevant eyewitness testimony from the Warren Commission volumes, arguing that the witnesses may well be credible.
Russo's theory is based primarily on two things -- the eyewitness testimony documented in 1963-64 and a new story related to David Perry by eyewitness Sterling Wood, one of the original witnesses.
The main question in my mind about Sterling Wood's story regards a witness he alleges could corroborate his story. Gus Russo writes:
In 1993 . . . Sterling Wood was reluctant to meet, let alone repeat the story he had told [researcher Dave] Perry. . . . After many weeks of haggling, Wood tentatively agreed to talk to the author. He had avoided interviews, he said, because, within a year of the assassination, he had been attacked and hospitalized -- and almost died -- with the permanent physical result being the implantation of a metal plate in his skull. It should be realized that in the wake of the assassination, paranoia gripped Dallas even more than the rest of the country. Every act of violence in Dallas was viewed initially as connected to the violence of that tragic weekend. Finally agreeing to the interview, Wood stated, "I'll be bringing some things that will blow your mind. Do you know that Marina later contacted us so that we might help forward letters to her family in Minsk? Do you know about 'the ride'?" As it turned out, Wood backtracked on his decision to be interviewed. His family, especially his father, was dead set against it. . . . However, the salient points of his conversation with Perry and others are known: Sterling and his father had another reason to be certain that the talented shooter they saw was Lee Oswald -- a reason they failed to tell the Warren Commission. On one occasion, they drove Oswald home from the range. And not only did they drive him to Oak Cliff, where Oswald's Beckley Street apartment was located, but they spoke to him of Minsk, where the Wood family had relatives. After the assassination, the Woods received letters from Oswald's widow, hoping the Wood family would forward them to Minsk. . . .(19)The question of how credible the Sports Drome witnesses are in general, I've suggested, would instantly become moot if Marina were to confirm Sterling Wood's story.
Alas, it is not to be. Marina has now said she has no recollection of the Wood family (though she says the name sounds familiar). She knows nothing about whether or not the Woods or anyone else ever drove her husband home from any shooting range. Notably, she says that she never had anyone assist her in sending mail to her relatives in Russia, and that she didn't even start writing her family until the late Sixties. While a 40-year-old memory is of dubious value, I accept her statements as true and reasonably accurate.
So unless Sterling Wood is ever able to produce some evidence to corroborate his story, it's his word against Marina's. Which, then, brings interested parties back to the original question: How credible are the Sports Drome witnesses?
Subject: Re: Sports Drome Rifle Range -- Addendum #2
From: Russ Burr Russ_member@newsguy.com
Date: 3/2/01 10:10 AM Eastern Standard Time
I contacted Dave Perry and ran by what your researcher who requested anonymity had shared with you. I felt that it would be interesting to go to the source of the story.
Here is my version.
Back in the summer of 1990 I was working as a volunteer behind the counter at the JFK Assassination Information Center in Dallas' West End. Now this was before the big falling out I had with Messieurs Howard, Harris and Shaw over the Roscoe White story. One night J. Gary Shaw was tied up with a group of visitors who he was entertaining in the Penn Jones Theater. Neither Howard nor Harris was in so I was alone at the desk. At some point a young man accompanied by a drop dead gorgeous girl stopped in. The young man asked me if we had a copy of the Warren Report. I provided one and he proceeded to show the girl that his name was in the volume. It turned out he was Sterling Wood.
Not wishing to let the opportunity pass I started asking him some questions. He then spoke of the fact that the real reason he and his father knew it was Oswald was because they drove Oswald home! Obviously I was somewhat surprised. I quizzed him a little more and to paraphrase:
While at the rifle range Sterling's dad, Homer, began to feel sorry for Oswald and struck up a conversation with him. Somehow it was discovered that Oswald lived in Oak Cliff. Homer asked him if he wanted a ride home from the rifle range. Oswald accepted the invitation. With the Woods in the front and Oswald in the back the trip began. At some point along Marsalis, Oswald asked to be let out. Wood indicated he felt the reason for Oswald's action was to prevent the Woods from finding out exactly where he lived.
Sterling explained that during the trip for some reason the subject of Minsk came up. It was related to the fact that one of Sterling''s grandparents lived in Minsk. It was then that Oswald mentioned he lived there to. Unfortunately, I failed to determine if it was Sterling's paternal or maternal grandparents.
At that point J. Gary Shaw came out of the Penn Jones Theater. I introduced him to Wood and almost immediately Shaw, Wood and his "girlfriend" went into the theater. Wood and the girl exited about five minutes later. Wood seemed upset. I tried to speak to him again but had little success. He did accept one of my business cards and I told him I would contact him later. Within a week I started making calls but he refused to talk to me.
In the end I decided to write the experience off as nothing more that an attempt on Wood's part to impress his date. I wondered if he embellished or created the story on the spot to dazzle her.
The only people I confided the story to were Gerald Posner and Gus Russo. While working on his book, Posner called both Sterling and Homer. He pressed them both with little success. On one attempt to reach Homer he spoke with Homer's wife who confirmed one set of their parents (I forget which) did live in Minsk. Posner went so far as to send registered letters asking both Sterling and Homer to confirm or deny Sterling's comments to me. They never responded and without confirmation Posner decided against publishing the story.
In 1993 Russo was in town with Scott Malone doing background for a PBS special. On Saturday April 28, 1993, I was with Scott working on the Walker shooting. Scott heard about my Sterling story from Gus. Scott and I made several attempts to contact Sterling all unsuccessful. We did a cold call on Homer and found him at home. He refused to talk and referred us back to Sterling. I remember when Scott and I tried the doorbell and got no response we walked around back only to be confronted by couple of vicious, at least to me, dogs.
If I remember correctly we discovered Sterling was a podiatrist. Scott actually set up and appointment to get in to see Sterling. I understand when Sterling discovered Scott's purpose he clamed up.
Bottom line ~ I still wonder if this story was an invention of Sterling's originally presented to impress his girlfriend. It may have gone awry when he told it in my presence, not realizing that I might pursue it.
Dave, I hope this adds to the fascinating thread you started. I guess it's up to you or anyone as to whether the Sterling Wood story was true.
Many thanks to Dave Perry for the background on this story.
PS: Thanks Dave R. for your requests, if you know what I mean;-)
Subject: Re: How Did LHO Manage The Shots?
From: email@example.com (Llliibb) [Bill Banks]
Date: 2/4/01 9:14 AM Eastern Standard Time
A few comments on Sports Drome piece.
Most unlikely that Price helped sight in a Carcano. That would be remembered because scope is offset left to accomodate the clip. On the scope are two knobs to adjust for windage and elevation, ordnarily on top and right. But because of the mount, Klein's Carcano rifles had the scope turned so that the knobs were top and left. Trust me (or ask John in VA or Skeat 97), anyone who actually sighted in such a rig would remember it well.
When a quality scope is discussed, light gathering properties come up. Given ace lighting, it may be that the "Oswald scope" could be used after dark. Could be, that is. It's kind of strange to use headlights to sight in, as that would be done at 100 yards ordnarily . . . (Note there is no reference to whether there was one clip loaded several times or several clips.) Like scopes exist and the proposition is testable. My guess: doubtful.
Which shifts from the scope to the mount. If the scope is junk (check prices in contemporary gun 'zine), the mount is garbage. Ryder and his clerk both commented on the feeble nature of the mount, which is strictly factual. Also factual is that gov't experts did not.
To compare a Japanese scope of 1963 and find it superior to US is, uh, low probability event. Nothing made in US was as cheap -- in both senses. Moreover, a Redfield mount could not be employed on any Carcano because of the design particulars. No one who could find the safety catch on a Carcano could possibly have mistaken the mount for a Redfield.
As for "fire" from the muzzled, this would likely represent unburned powder. Nothing special on this line was reported by WC or Lattimer. However, a number of 7.65 Mausers were cut down to shorter length barrels and bore a good resemblance to Carcano. This would reasonably produce more blast.
Note that none of the witnesses ever offers the term "clip." And the Carcano won't work without one. So all that rapid shooting, it's reload the one each time or keep whipping out new ones -- either way, an impression should have been left.
Back then, NRA had 5 grades for used rifles. Least was unsafe to shoot, assuming it could be done. One step up from this sounds like the mechanical condition of the Oswald rifle to me. And even the next grade meant well worn. No matter how good the shooter, no one can make the rifle shoot better than it can -- and "Oswald" was the best shot on the range?
Finally, let's go back to that initial night zeroing. Oswald is said to have driven up in a 1940 or 1941 Ford. This was a big hump backed car -- very much a standout in 1963. Manual transmission and lack of power steering and night would have made the vehicle that much harder for a new driver to handle.
Nor am I much impressed with Woods' story.
Best arguments that there was something to this:
If not Oswald, this coincidentally similar person coincidentally vanished at the "proper" timeMy guess remains someone else with a different rifle.
Oswald did have distinctly long hair on Dallas standard
Conspirators would want Oswald placed on range.
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1. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 370.
2. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 370.
3. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 370.
4. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 370.
5. FBI Doc. #62-109060-3765; cited at A. J. Weberman Web site.
6. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 370.
7. Warren Commission Report, p. 320.
8. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 371.
9. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 370.
10. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 386.
11. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 386.
12. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 387.
13. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 386.
14. Gus Russo, Live by the Sword (Baltimore: Bancroft, 1998), p. 262.
15. Gus Russo, Live by the Sword (Baltimore: Bancroft, 1998), p. 262.
16. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 396.
17. Warren Commission Hearings Vol. X, p. 393.
18. Gus Russo, Live by the Sword (Baltimore: Bancroft, 1998), p. 263.
19. Gus Russo, Live by the Sword (Baltimore: Bancroft, 1998), p. 263.
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