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The JFK War: The Challenging Case of Robert Groden

by Jim Fetzer

 

“The most productive mindset you can have is simply this: always, always, always have a belief system that doesn’t resist change. Go wherever the information leads you, without fear, because surely the truth is never something to dread.” – Darryl Sloan, Reality Check
 

Air Force One landing at Love Field, Dallas, TX

On the eve of the 50th observance of the death of JFK, it would appear to be timely to make an assessment, not only of what we know now that we didn’t know then, but of the contributions of some of the most admired figures in the history of assassination research.  One of those, Josiah Thompson, has been the subject of an earlier study, “JFK, the CIA and The New York Times”, which suggests that he has been preparing to disavow the existence of a conspiracy in the assassination of our 35th president. 

Another, Robert Groden, however, presents a more challenging case, because so much of his work has been impressive and has made important contributions to understanding the events of 22 November 1963, including a JFK video series.  An evaluation of Groden’s contributions, especially the positions he has adopted that appear to be mistaken, requires an appreciation of the logical and evidentiary connections and relationships between the witness reports, the available photos and films, and especially the medical evidence.

Groden’s Contributions 

 

I personally have greatly valued his books and other contributions, where we agree on many aspects of the events in Dealey Plaza, including a shooting sequence that entailed eight, nine or ten shots, including as many as four misses, as he lays it out in The Killing of a President (1993), pages 18-40, which is comparable to my analysis of eight, nine or ten shots with at least three misses.  While we differ on the sequence in which the shots were fired and order of the wounds they inflicted, he and I are very close on the mechanics of the assassination.  Where we differ concerns the authenticity of the evidence, including the Zapruder film and the Altgens6, which appears  to be consistent with his endorsement of the Altgens7, where the evidence I shall review suggests that he is wrong:

(1) Groden denies the existence of a bullet hole in the windshield;

(2) he defends a set of autopsy photos that seem to be fabrications;

(3) he claims the Zapruder film is authentic, which may explain (1);

(4) he maintains that the Altgens6 photograph is also authentic;

(5) he denies Oswald was in the doorway during the shooting; but

(6) he offers an alternative explanation of his location at the time;

(7) which also implies that Lee cannot have been on the 6th floor.

While it may have been reasonable for Groden to maintain these positions in the past, research conducted since the publication of The Killing of a President (1993) published in Assassination Science (1989), Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000), The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003) and articles that have appeared in Veterans Today render (1) through (6) indefensible, even though (7) is true. of Since rationality of belief requires us to change our minds on the basis of new evidence or alternative hypotheses, which I am going to summarize here–which displays the complex inter-relations between photographic, medical, and witness evidence–Groden ought to respond with appropriate adjustments to his (1) to (6), which are no longer defensible, given the available relevant evidence.


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The windshield bullet hole

 
According to Robert Groden, The Killing of a President (1963), page 36,  the photo taken by AP photographer James “Ike” Altgens (technically known as the “Altgens6″) displays no signs of a bullet hole in the windshield, where has a larger image that exhibits spider-web cracks that he, in agreement with the Secret Service, claims to have been caused by a fragment of a bullet that was fired from behind, not by a shot that was fired from in front:

There are many problems with this position, however, including that the bullet hole IS visible in the Altgens6, that multiple witnesses reporting observing it at Parkland, and that, as he explained in his chapter on the limo in Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000), Doug Weldon, J.D., recently deceased, tracked down the official at Ford who had been responsible for replacing the windshield, who confirmed that the original had a through-and-through hole:

This research, which as been available since 2000, has been confirmed by more recent studies by Doug Horne, “Photographic Evidence of Bullet Hole in JFK Windhsield” (4 June 2012) and “JFK Conspiracy: The Bullet Hole in the Windshield” (28 June 2012) and, even more recently, by Dennis Cimino, “Tampering with the limo in the Altgens6″ (20 March 2013).  Indeed, as other students have observed, it can also be seen in Zapruder frame 225:

Moreover, as I explain in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003), page 436, Jim Lewis has been traveling through the South and firing high-velocity rounds through the windshields of junked car to determine whether or not he could hit a dummy in the back seat.  Not only have they created small, white spiral nebulae with a dark hole at the center but, passing through, they have made the sound of a firecracker, which many witnesses reported hearing.

The mortician’s confirmation

 
Perhaps most interesting of all, the mortician, Thomas Evan Robinson, discovered that the body had several tiny shrapnel wounds in the face from which embalming fluid leaked, where David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., inferred that they resulted from small shards of glass that broke off when the bullet passed through the windshield, which means that the medical evidence, including the wound to the throat that JFK sustained, supports the conclusion.

Indeed, Charles Crenshaw, M.D., drew diagrams of the wound to the throat both before and after a tracheostomy incision was made by Malcolm Perry, M.D., who described it three times during the Parkland Press Conference that afternoon as a wound of entry.  It was a small, clean puncture wound, where the transcript of the meeting, which was not provided to the Warren Commission, is an appendix of Assassination Science (1998).

Comparison between the Crenshaw diagrams from Parkland (top) and the autopsy photo from Bethesda (bottom/ left) and the HSCA version of the head wound (bottom/right)–where the small wound in the right temple should not be confounded with the skull flap, which is conspicuous on the bottom/right)–makes it difficult to deny the thesis of David Lifton, Best Evidence (1980), that either the body was subject to alteration or autopsy photos were faked.

The dubious autopsy photographs

 
It is difficult to imagine why anyone, much less Robert Groden, would persist in denying the bullet hole in the windshield when the only evidence to the contrary are photographs from which it has been removed.  Perhaps as extraordinary has been Groden’s insistence that photographs showing a mass of brains and gunk on the top of the head are authentic, when they are grossly inconsistent with the observations of the Parkland physicians as well as diagrams and photos of the House Select Committee on Assassinations Final Report (1979), which, if anything, are even more bizarre and indefensible.  Compare the Groden photographs with the HSCA versions:

The extraordinary contrast  led the Assassinations Record Review Board (ARRB) to ask James Humes, the US Navy medical officer in charge of the autopsy, whether the body had been given a shampoo and a haircut during the procedure, to which he had replied, “No, no, no, no, no, . . . .” Obviously, both sets of photographs cannot be authentic, although they could both be fabrications–which, as I shall explain, appears to be the case.  I have been troubled by the realization that the performance of the HSCA medical panel is completely indefensible, not least of all because it completely ignores the Harper fragment found in the grass the day after the shooting:

Notice the skull flap extending from the right side of the head in both the HSCA photograph and drawing.  This is the defect that the mortician, Thomas Evan Robinson, was describing when he told Joe West that, in addition to the “large, gaping hole” in the back of his head–an exit wound–there was a smaller wound in the right temple–which Charles Crenshaw, M.D., would confirm as an entry wound in a TV interview–and a “crescent shape(d), flapped down (3)” skull flap that had been blown open by the shock waves generated by the explosion of the frangible bullet entering there–which is clearly not the Harper fragment, for which the HSCA cannot account.

The back-of-the-head wound

 
The HSCA photograph and diagram not only ignore the Harper fragment but contradict the Bethesda autopsy report and are inconsistent with the Parkland physicians observations, which was of a fist-sized blow-out at the back of the head and slightly to the right.  These diagrams were drawn by Robert McClellan, M.D. (on the left) and by Charles Crenshaw, M.D. (on the right), who were  present in Trauma Room #1 during JFK’s treatment:
 

 
Just two days later, Dr. Crenshaw would be responsible for the treatment of his alleged assassin, Lee Oswald, in Trauma Room #2.)  They were discounted on the ground that the autopsy X-rays did not confirm them.  However, as the extraordinary research by David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., Assassination Science (1998), on the basis of meticulous optical densitometry studies have  established, those X-rays were “patched” to conceal the blow out,
 

 
which has now been confirmed by my discovery of the visible blow-out in late frame 374, which I emphasized in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003).  Notice how closely “Area P” (for “patch”) defined by the series of broken lines corresponds to the blow out as seen in that frame. For those who prefer evidence-based history, there is no longer any room for doubt who got it right–the Parkland physicians, the Bethesda pathologists, or the HSCA!

The evidence intersects

 
What this means–believe it or not!–is that the medical evidence in the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy has undergone an astounding evolution from the appearance of the wounds to thoroughly competent and highly experiences physicians at Parkland Hospital–who were used to dealing with gunshot victims–to the Bethesda autopsy report–by physicians who had never dealt with one–and then was unjustifiably contracted by the HSCA:

Indeed, we now know from depositions conducted by the ARRB, that Humes took a cranial saw to the skull of JFK and enlarged the wound to make it more consistent with the appearance of (what could have been) a shot fired from behind, since the Parkland observations were obviously of an exit wound from a shot fired from in front.  Humes performed that grisly task in front of two witnesses, one of whom was Thomas Evan Robinson, the mortician.

This comparison of earlier frames with frame 374 demonstrates that the blow-out observed at Parkland was taken out by the simple expedient of painting over the wound in black–as the Hollywood restoration experts have confirmed. This means that the film is not even internally consistent, which makes it all the more incredible that experts on film and photos, such as Robert Groden, would persist in contending the film is authentic, when it is provably false.

Zapruder film authenticity

 

So much proof that the film is a fabrication has been published–where some of those proofs are as simple and straightforward as the one I have just presented–that I shall simply summarize some of the most important proofs that have appeared since the publication of The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003), where it is beyond belief that any serious student of the assassination of JFK, much less experts on film and photos, would continued to deny them:

 

(1) We have more than 60 witnesses who reported seeing the limo slow dramatically or come to a complete stop, where it slowed dramatically AS it came to a complete stop, where those witnesses include all four of the motorcycle escort officers:  See “What happened on Elm Street? The Eyewitnesses Speak” compiled by John P. Costella, Ph.D.

(2)  We also know that Officer James Chaney motored forward to inform Chief Curry the president had been shot, which was confirmed by Chief of  Police Jesse Curry, Secret Service Agents Winston Lawson and Forrest Sorrels, as well as Motorcycle Officers Bobby Hargis, James Chaney, and Marrion Baker:  See “New Proof of JFK Film Fakery”.

(3)  We know that, for nearly 50 years, Clint Hill has described climbing on the trunk, pushing Jackie down, lying across their bodies, peering into the wound, observing a fist-sized blow-out and giving a “thumbs down”, all before the limo had reached the Triple Underpass:  See “JFK: Who’s telling the truth: Clint Hill or the Zapruder film?”


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(4) We know that the original 8mm, already split film developed in Dallas, was taken to the NPIC on Saturday, the 23rd, and that a substitute 16mm, unsplit film, developed in Rochester, was taken there on Sunday, the 24th, where two different teams worked on the different versions: See ”US Government Official: JFK Cover-Up, Film Fabrication”.

(5) We also know that a half-dozen or more have viewed another film, apparently the original, including William Reymond, Rich DellaRosa, Gregory Burnham and several others, where Rich DellaRosa’s description of its content appears as an Appendix to The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003): See “Did Zapruder film ‘the Zapruder film’?”

(6) We have John Costella’s precise visual tutorial about evidence internal to the film that explains how we can know that the film is a fabrication, where all of its frames had to be reshot to create the right sequence of “ghost panels”:  See “The JFK Assassination Film Hoax: An Introduction”. Here’s an informal discussion of his research on the film:


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(7) We know that they not only removed the limo stop but painted over the blow-out in early frames and that the “blob” and the blood spray were painted in, but that they overlooked that in later frames, especially in Frame 374, the blow-out can be seen, as I explain in many places, including “What happened to JFK–and why it matters today”:

(8) More recently, in  “The Two NPIC Zapruder Film Events: Signposts Pointing to the Film’s Alteration”(2012) and “The Two NPIC Zapruder Film Events: Analysis and Implications” (2012), Doug Horne has substantiated that the original was taken to the NPIC on Saturday, the 23rd, and the substitute was brought there on Sunday, the 24th.

The timeline argument–that there was no opportunity for the film to have been faked, which Josiah Thompson has endlessly promoted–has no basis in fact and was merely a gambit.  We know that the film was altered, which can be proven by multiple lines of argument.  We also know when and where it was altered and when and where the fake film was substituted for the original.  Since rationality requires that we revise our beliefs with the acquisition of new evidence and alternative hypotheses, the time has come to abandon the fantasy that the Zapruder film is authentic.

What about the Altgens6? 

 

The proof that the Altgens6 was altered may be even more obvious and compelling than the proof that the Zapruder film was fabricated, where each frame had to be reshot in the laboratory to create a new sequence of “ghost panels”, in the absence of which the fakery would have been conspicuous. We have another time-line argument about this photo, which also has no merit.  When there is proof that a photo or film has been faked, there must have been time to fake.  You don’t have to be a philosopher to appreciate that whatever is actual must be something that is possible.  In this case, however, the CIA took extraordinary measures to conceal that Oswald had been in the doorway at the time of the shooting, which has to be the most direct and obvious proof that The Warren Report (1964) is a sham.

My research on the Altgens6 began when I belatedly discovered that the ARRB had released notes that Will Fritz, the homicide detective who had interrogated them, had taken, during which Lee Oswald had told him he was “out with Bill Shelley in front”, which led me to take a closer look to see if he had been caught in this famous photo (above). I discovered a collage on a John McAdams web site, in which it was apparent that a face had been obfuscated.  It was my initial inference that this had to have been Lee’s face, since there was no obvious reason to have removed anyone else’s.  But I was soon contacted by Ralph Cinque, who explained I had the right conclusion for the wrong reasons, an area in which he possessed considerable relevant expertise, given his background as a professional chiropractor.

Ralph convinced me that the key to unraveling the ambiguity is their clothing, not their faces, where the shirt that Doorman is wearing is strikingly similar to the shirt that Lee was wearing when he was arrested.  We would publish a series of sequels:  we explained that Lovelady visited the FBI and showed them the shirt that he had been wearing, which was a red-and-white, vertically striped short-sleeved shirt; that a man near the doorway in a checkered shirt, who has been claimed to have been Lovelady, has very different cranial and facial features and does not resemble him; that Doorman is missing his left shoulder and that “Black Tie Man” is both in front of him and behind him at the same time and that several videos were doctored to place “Checkered Shirt Man” in the Dallas Police Department.

Just as we know the actual must be possible, we also know that the impossible cannot be actual. Since anyone can see that Doorman is missing his left shoulder and that Black Tie Man is both in front of him and behind him at the same time, I have become incredulous that any serious student of the assassination could deny the Altgens6 has been altered.  Indeed, Richard Hooke has done a series of studies that place the identity of Doorman as Oswald beyond a reasonable doubt, since no alternative explanation is reasonable.  This study of the right eyes of Billy and Lee lends further support to that conclusion, but also exposes the duplicity of the HSCA in reversing Oswald’s image to make it less obvious that he had been the man in the doorway.  Many other measures would be taken to obfuscate that fact.

How it was done

 
Even Billy Lovelady explained to a reporter that it was a mistake to confuse him with Lee Oswald, because he was 3″ shorter and 15-20 lbs. heavier.  And, indeed, that appears to be true of the figure we call “Black Hole Man” because his face has been turn into a black hole.  He not only appears to be about 3″ shorter and 15-20 lbs. heavier than the man in the doorway, but he also appears to be wearing a short-sleeved shirt!  Richard has also suggested that the man whose face was obfuscated–whom I originally mistook for Oswald–was Bill Shelley, no doubt because, had Shelley actually been there, it might have raised too many questions about whether what Lee had told Fritz was true. The series of moves that were involved here thus appear to have involved several moves using figures in the photo:

A recent study by Larry Rivera has revealed why Buell Wesley Frazier’s image was removed from a location right in the midst of the crowd in front of the doorway, because once they turned Billy into Doorman, they needed someone to replace Billy–even if only in a vaguely defined fashion. And Ralph Cinque has done a reenactment of the Altgens6, which has proven to be revealing in several respects, including that the visual image of a man in a checkered shirt would have been very different than what we find in the Altgens6.  One of the most remarkable ramifications of the study of these questions has been that Robert Groden, The Killing of a President (1993), pages 186-187, has taken several photos of Billy and has promoted the impression that he was Doorman and was wearing a checkered shirt.

One of Larry Rivera’s most remarkable discoveries was that the entry way to the Dallas School Book Depository was remodeled, apparently to create space for Buell Wesley Frazier to have stood and leave it vague as to whether or not the “official account” requires him to have been Black Hole Man, where there wasn’t originally space for any other inference to be drawn. Most stunning of all, after some of those opposed to the alteration thesis found newspapers that seemed to showing the Alrgens6 had been published on 22 November 1963, Ralph discovered two “EXTRA” issues of the Beacon Hill News-Paladium (22 November 1963), which is a small community of around 10,000 in Michigan. So not only has the agency altered photographs and films, but it has spared no expense in concealing the truth from the American people, even to the extent of fabricating fake issues of obscure newspapers at taxpayer expense!

Groden’s Slight-of-Hand 

 
On pages 186-187 of The Killing of a President (1963), Robert Groden not only endorses Billy Lovelady as Doorman, but he asserts (beside photos of Billy in a checkered shirt), “I interviewed Billy in 1976.  Lovelady took our the shirt he had worn in Dealey Plaza (he had packed it away for safekeeping) and put it on for the first time in years”.  Moreover, he asserts (below the photographs of Billy in the short-sleeved shirt he had worn for his visit to the FBI, “When the FBI called Lovelady to come down and be photographed, they told him not to bother to wear same shirt.  When they released the photographs, they stated that it was the same shirt, creating the controversy over whether it was Oswald or Lovelady in the Depository doorway”.  But what Robert Groden is claiming in both cases is false.

These photographs are extremely important, not only because Groden is concealing that the statement that Billy had been wearing this shirt on 22 November 1963 was in the formal FBI report to J. Edgar Hoover, Director, but that Billy himself had told them that this was the shirt he had been at the assassination, which is clear from the report itself. He also ignores that Billy had been interviewed by Jones Harris in Dallas and that Lovelady had confirmed to Jones that the short-sleeved, red-and-white vertically striped short sleeved shirt was the one that he had been wearing:

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Notice that Billy’s height is given as 5’8″, while Lee was around 5’10″ or even 5’11″, which corresponds with Billy’s statement that he was 3″ shorter and 10-15 lbs. heavier than Lee Oswald, who was slight of build, while Billy was quite a bit stockier.  Although Groden publishes profile photos of Checkered Shirt Man just above the FBI photos, he does not observe that  they look nothing alike:  Billy has an ordinary facial profile and normal cranium, while those of Checkered Shirt Man make him look like a gorilla!  They are not remotely the same, which we have emphasized in many of our studies. Ralph consulted with nine experts, who unanimously agreed they were not the same man.  Here is one of Richard Hooke’s collages, which makes the point so clearly that it is unreasonable to deny:

That a point is unreasonable to deny does not mean that otherwise reasonable people might not still deny it, especially if they have an agenda! The crucial distinction must be drawn between rationality of belief and rationality of action, where those who have specific aims, goals or objectives–such as persuading a target audience that something true is actually false, as with swindlers, con-men and disinfo ops–may deny that something is true even when the evidence is abundant, objective and compelling.  You do not have to be an expert in photography or film to discern that these are photographs of two different persons.  And in The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald (1995), page 159, Groden takes another step in the wrong direction by offering a frame from a film into which Checkered Shirt Man has been introduced.

What about Geneva Hine? 

 
It was therefore fascinating for me–and, independently, Richard Hooke, during a separate interview–to discover that Jones Harris had been called down to Time-Life in Rockefeller Center by Josiah Thompson, who was working for the company at the time, where he showed Jones some of the footage with Checkered Shirt man at the DPD.  This suggests to me that Josiah was “on the job” even earlier than some have surmised, although Vincent Salandria was quite explicit in calling him out when his book, Six Seconds in Dallas (1967), first appeared, because in the final paragraph of the text, he disclaims that his book proved the existence of a conspiracy in the assassination of JFK, even though the proof it presents is abundant and compelling.  So Groden is reinforcing Thompson on this point.

In this context, therefore, I have been intrigued to discover that Robert Groden claims to have “new proof” that Lee was innocent of the crime, which derives from a source–now deceased–who is unavailable for confirmation. Her name is Geneva Hine.  Groden made the following remarks during a 17 September 2009 interview on BlackOpRadio:

I actually found a woman some years ago. She was terrified. She did not want to come forward. And she finally agreed to give an interview, and I did interview her. When the shots actually went off, she was talking to Lee Oswald on the second floor. We always assumed that Lee had the change, that he had had the change for the machine. He didn’t. He went into the office across from the snack room with a dollar bill and asked for change. He said, “No pennies, please.” And, as the change was being counted out into his hand, the shots went off. And they looked at each other, this woman and Lee, and [asked], “What was that?” Backfires, firecrack[ers], who knew?

He got the rest of the change, walked back across the hall, bought the Coke and then just a little over a minute later there was a gun in his ribs held by Officer Baker. Lee had an airtight alibi. He could not possibly have done this. She told this story to the Warren Commission. They told her to keep her mouth shut. And she did. She told very few people. Very few people. I was one of the few that she did. So I got to speak to her because I had a friend who knew a friend of hers. I had to promise her I would never reveal any of this until after she was gone. And now she is. The whole story, including her name, will be in the next book.

The “next book” has apparently been sent to the printer, according to an interview on 18 October 2012,

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So it may be worthwhile to consider whether or not Robert Groden has found a “smoking gun” in the form of the testimony of Geneva Hine.  It would resolve questions about the time line for Oswald to have rushed from the 6th floor to the 2nd floor lunchroom and would explain why he was drinking a coke when he was confronted by Officer Marrion Baker.  The time line is problematic, because several of Oswald’s co-workers had observed him in and around the lunchroom shortly before the shooting and, according to the official account–which in this respect appears to be accurate–he was confronted by Officer Baker within 90 seconds of the shooting, which his supervisor, Roy Truly, confirmed:

 Has Groden “cracked the case”?

 
Observe that, if Lee was inside the building obtaining change from Geneva Hine, he cannot have also been in the doorway watching the motorcade as it passed by. Like those who suggest Doorman was someone other than Lee Oswald, their remarkable convergence in their height, build, shirt and other features would defy the odds. The probability of the evidence we have adduced, on the hypothesis that Doorman was Oswald, is extremely high, while the likelihood that it was someone else is extremely low.  There is no good reason to suppose that we are wrong, given the available evidence.  His claim about Hine is new evidence and a new hypothesis. If Groden is right, then we are wrong.  But it seems implausible on its face.  Geneva Hine was interviewed by the FBI on 18 March 1964,

Her Warren Commission testimony on 7 April 1964 also contradicts Groden’s position.  She acknowledges that she knew Oswald but denied that she had seen him at the time of the shooting.  Here are her most interesting comments:

Mr. BALL. Were you alone then at this time?
Miss HINE. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Did you stay at your desk?
Miss HINE. Yes, sir: I was alone until the lights all went out and the phones became dead because the motorcade was coming near us and no one was calling so I got up and thought I could see it from the east window in our office.
Mr. BALL. The east window?
Miss HINE. Yes, sir; going north on Houston Street. I saw it turn left and I saw the President’s car coming and I saw the President and saw him waving his hand in greeting up in the air and I saw his wife and I saw him turn the corner and after he turned the corner I looked and I saw the next car coming. Just at the instant I saw the next car coming up was when I heard the shots.
Mr. BALL. How many did you hear?
Miss HINE. Three.
Mr. BALL Could you tell where the shots were coming from?
Miss HINE. Yes, sir; they came from inside the building.
Mr. BALL. How do you know that?
Miss HINE. Because the building vibrated from the result of the
explosion coming in.
Mr. BALL. Did you know they were shots at the time?
Miss HINE. Yes, sir; they sounded almost like cannon shots they were so terrific. . . .

The part about hearing three shots and that they sounded as though they had come from inside the building are not very persuasive, but suppose we give her the benefit of the doubt.  There appears to be nothing here that would inspire confidence in Groden’s story about what she had confided in him. And given the evidence we have amassed that Lee was in the doorway at time time–which also explains how he could have reached the lunchroom for a coke in such a short time–we have to weigh Groden’s credibility against his track record, which is what we have been doing here. So how credible is Robert Groden based upon the evidence we have presented in our discussion of his work above?

The Groden Score Card

 
I find it painful to draw the conclusions that follow from this evaluation, because they are highly unfavorable to his claims to be dedicated to exposing falsehoods and revealing truths about the assassination of JFK.  Robert Groden has done a great deal of good for JFK research, including being the first person to arrange for the extant Zapruder film to be broadcast on television. He has testified before Congress and he advised Oliver Stone on “JFK”, where, alas, he conveyed the false positions that the film is authentic and that Doorman was Billy Lovelady. This article provides him with an opportunity for him to reconsider our findings:

(1) Groden denies the existence of a bullet hole in the windshield; but the evidence for the through-and-through hole is readily accessible and he has to know better.  This suggests he is covering it up.

(2) He defends a set of autopsy photos that seem to be fabrications; indeed, they are as fake as those presented by the HSCA, which indicates that the performance of the HSCA deserves more scrutiny.

(3) He claims the Zapruder film is authentic, which may explain (2); but there are multiple lines of argument, each of which supports the other in the conclusion that the extant film is a fabrication.

(4) He maintains that the Altgens6 photograph is also authentic; but it includes impossible features that make its alteration beyond dispute:  no authentic photograph can include impossible features. 

(5) He denies Oswald was in the doorway during the shooting; but comparisons of the height, build, and shirt with the incompatible properties of the alternatives make it beyond a reasonable doubt.

(6) He offers an alternative explanation of Oswald’s location at the time; but the available evidence in relation to Geneva Hine’s prior testimony makes that very difficult to accept, especially given (1)-(5). 

(7) While this new account also implies that Lee cannot have been on the 6th floor and could not have been a shooter, it pales in comparison with the proof we have adduced that he was in the doorway.


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If Robert Groden is rational with respect to his beliefs, then he will take these arguments into account and revise his present beliefs.  But, if he has an agenda to ignore reason and promote beliefs that are no longer justifiable, that will be a telling sign that he, like Josiah Thompson, does not deserve continuation of the admiration that he has enjoyed in the past.  So this article is an invitation for him to take stock of his past positions and consider revising them.  As a token of my own appreciation for much of what he has done, I conclude with a video about Robert Groden’s efforts to make the case for conspiracy in Dealey Plaza. No matter how much we disagree on the facts of the case, here he has clearly excelled.

 

 Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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12 Comments for “The JFK War: The Challenging Case of Robert Groden”

  1. Presumably the windshield bullet hole would have to have come from ahead of the vehicle, which location is considered the most likely?

    • An above-ground sewer opening half-way between the road way and the top of the Triple Underpass. Doug Weldon, J.D., contributed a brilliant chapter about all of this to MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000).

  2. It’s been many years since Groden’s former writing partner Harrison Livingstone denounced Groden as an alleged disinformationalist working for the “other side”. At the time I thought the charge was likely mere hyperbole borne out of a bitter disagreement over minutiae. However, Groden’s disturbing, irrational defence of the now thorougly discredited Zapruder forgery ought to rekindle some serious interest in that old accusation.

    And then there’s the comparably suspicious, recent misbehaviour of the internet photo-troll who calls himself “Dallas GoldBug” and makes detailed claims (to give himself “conspiracy cred”) of having been closely associated with Groden during his amazing, mainstream period of 1990s commercial success at publishing deluxe “coffee table books” about Oswald.

    • When reviewing researchers (such as Robert Groden) who hold ideas severely at odds with science, we must adjust our default settings and categorize them as agents of disinformation until proven otherwise. Jim Fetzer is a gentleman and probably doesn’t want to step down front and center and specifically refer to Groden as a paid CIA hack or lackey. But I can do this and will.

      I have done the same with CTKA’s own Jim DiEugenio who through his hitman “Seamus Coogan” has made various pathetic smears of John Hankey’s groundbreaking work on Bush Complicity in JFK assassination. DiEugenio has even gone on record of defending George H W Bush relative to JFK murder. As far as I know he is the only researcher who puts any stock in the alibi that “Bush was giving a speech in Tyler, TX at the time of the murder”.

      In fact it would probably be an accurate estimate that the “Bush in Tyler” excuse was first given to DiEugenio for the initial dissemination of the lie. In response to Russ Baker’s research in “Family Of Secrets”. There are no living witnesses to the “Bush in Tyler” Rotary Club speech, 1963 and the alibi was only entered some 45 YEARS AFTER Bush’s claims of “no recollection” to the of events surrounding JFK murder. Thus like Robert Groden we really have to call out these paid lackeys of CIA on their B/S. Seems very apparent to me that both Groden and DiEugenio work very closely with the dark side. That their efforts are the top shelf resources CIA will turn to try and throw the research community off balance.

      So it’s fairly easy to point out these agents of disinformation. Like picking low hanging apples. There’s usually something very unprofessional in their ways ie Robert Groden, Gary Mack, Jim DiEugenio and his henchman Seamus Coogan. Not to mention John McAdams and ESPECIALLY Vincent Busgliosi.

  3. Jim, please look carefully into the JFK Library fire/explosion (explosion reported by workers Rachel Flor and Paul Yazbeck) and what was damaged on the same day the Boston marathon was bombed. This was a substantial fire. http://screen.yahoo.com/fire-smoke-jfk-library-224853261.html

    Thank you.

    • Yes, a fire in any library is highly unusual–and in the JFK Library is truly extraordinary.

      The key will be to determined exactly what was destroyed and its importance as evidence.

  4. Whenever I think of Groden I think of the mantra “There was a conspiracy to kill the president”. Yeah, how about that. But we’re not in 3rd grade anymore, and it’s OK to grow up and say that the fascist core of our U.S. government, basically the same people who collaborated with the Nazis from the 1930′s on and who brought them into U.S. intelligence and the defense/NASA business after the war – they murdered Kennedy, and took over then, later killing Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy and others, and winning the new Civil War for the South. Of all the presidents elected after 1961 and before Obama – that’s 48 years! – not one came from the North, the most populated region of the U.S. Expressing it as Mark Lane once heard (or imagined) a CIA goon saying: “Yeah, we killed the S.O.B. Whaddya wanna do about it?”

  5. All these years llater there are still those trying to prevent the truth from emerging.

    Although people still care, and are scarred by this hideous tragedy, you continue to trudge onward and present magnificent evidence pointing to logic, and common sense.

    It would be so much better for these cowards to come forward and speak the truth. It would be like taking a good bath to cleanse themselves. I, if I had the power, would promise them amnesty from prosecution, if they would just tell the truth. Most of the ones involved are dead and gone. From those who planned it, pperformed it and benefitted from it.

    To continue on our current path only perpetutates the misery and the hurt.

    You Mr. Fetzer persist in pounding out the truth, and I respect you very much for it. What these cowards did to JFK so they could get into the war, keep their oil depletion allowance and install LBJ who would give them whatever they wanted, and so the CIA wouldn’t be scattered to the wind is an embarrassment. But covering it all up 50 years later is even more cowardice. Thank you! I only wish I could do more to unravel all the lies, deception, chicanery and tomfoolery.

  6. Robbie the Pict

    Hi Jim,

    One line bothered me in the Ball-Hine interview above.

    “Mr. BALL. How do you know that?
    Miss HINE. Because the building vibrated from the result of the explosion coming in.”

    Could she be sub-consciously right, in that some form of ordnance, of sufficient potency to make a building vibrate, was actually fired INTO the depository, to consolidate the impression in the occupants’ minds that their buiding was without doubt the source of the assassin’s gunfire. It would seem hard to get a big ole brick building to vibrate by firing a rifle out an upper story window.

    I haven’t read all the material so please excuse me if this has already been dealt with.

    With best regards,
    Robbie.

    • There are no indications that any shots were fired into the Book Depository.

      In fact, the evidence supports the conclusion that no shots were fired from
      the alleged “assassin’s lair” on the 6th floor.

      However, it appears to be the case that three shots were fired from the Dal-
      Tex at about the same level that Geneva Hine was observing the motorcade. I
      believe these were the only un-silenced shots that were fired and that they
      were made using a Mannlicher-Carcano. The vibrations from those shots in
      such close proximity might very well have induced what she experienced. I
      am glad you asked the question for which this appears to be the explanation.

  7. Wow, what an in-depth article Professor, amazing stuff. In one of your presentations on Mr. Costella’s YT page, you clearly show 4-versions of the Zapruder film, how anyone can deny that it was massively tampered with is astonishing. It appears that Mr. Groden’s clearer version is the same one utilized in Bill Cooper’s documentaries and interestingly they had a shit-storm fight over their respective analyses.

    There is so much tampering with photos and videos and so much dis-information out there, that it is difficult to determine where the full truth lies. I thank you Professor for all your work, as I believe that yours and Doug Horne’s information is the best that there is.

    • For those who may not appreciate what you are talking about, there are major differences in the number of pixels in different versions of the film, which therefore differ in the amount of information they present. If we compare David Lifton’s “‘Z’ film” (undated), Macmillan’s CD, “JFK Assassination: A Visual Investigation”, Groden’s “The Assassination Films” (1995), and MPI’s “Image of an Assassination” (1998), then we find that Lifton’s is 620 x 360, Macmillan’s 645 x 445, Groden’s 674 x 451, and MPI’s 671 x 484, but MPI’s includes the sprocket areas, which the others do not, which adds an additional 273 x 317.

      MPI’s might therefore appear to be the “best bet” for serious research. But the MPI version (a) has reversed the order of frames 331 and 332, (b) does not include what should be frames 341, 350, and 486, (c) does not include frames 155 and 156, and (d) does not include frames 208, 209, 210, and 211. These deficiencies are overcome in the Costella “Combined Cut”, which is accessible on my public issues web site, http://assassinationscience.com, where he has also removed aspect ration and pin cushion distortion. It is available to the public at no charge. For more, see The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003).

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