Tag Archives: Investigation

FORENSIC HYPNOSIS FOR MEMORY ENHANCEMENT

A6Forensic hypnosis is the scientific application of memory enhancement—an investigational aid to law enforcement leads and admissible courtroom evidence. Hypnotic recall assists witnesses to reliably relay hidden details of events and descriptions that aren’t extracted through conventional interview techniques.

In my police career, I’ve had many cases using hypnotic memory enhancement. Several had amazing success.

A5I’m fascinated with the human mind. I think modern medicine and psychiatry are just beginning to understand the complexity of how our consciousness works. Hypnosis is a tool to assist in entering our subconscious and unlock the vault where memory is stored. Its magic is the ability to alter the subject’s state of consciousness which is what Shamanism is all about. But, then, Shamanism is for another discussion.

The best forensic hypnotherapist I’ve had the pleasure to work with is Dr. Lee Pulos of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Here’s how Dr. Pulos explains it.

A1“Hypnosis is a natural state of consciousness that we drift in and out of quite regularly. For example, while driving along a highway and then suddenly discovering that you ‘lost’ several miles without being aware of it. This can also happen during reading when you may notice that you have ‘read’ a chapter or two without being mindful of the content. Hypnosis is basically a technique for focusing consciousness by entering a deep state of absorption. It allows you to shift from your outer to inner awareness and tap deeper levels of consciousness so we can re-educate and reprogram the subconscious with empowering suggestions or beliefs.”

The word hypnosis comes from the name of a Greek god Hypnos, who presided over sleep. In the late1700s, Anton Mesmer brought the technique into popular consciousness in Europe and in 1843 Scottish physician James Braid coined the term hypnotism for the experience that was passing in many circles as animal magnetism.

A8Hypnosis places a person in a trance state that can resemble sleep, but instead is an altered state of consciousness more akin to lucid dreams. Often, people in a trance are quite alert but focused in a way that differs from their normal conscious state. Contrary to popular notions, subjects in a light trance are aware of everything going on.

A7I’ve seen a rough and tough biker-witness under hypnosis who was instructed to play “patty-cake” by clapping his hands on his knees.  He couldn’t stop laughing at the fact that he couldn’t control his hands, though he seemed perfectly conscious in a way that ought to have enabled him to resist the instruction. His hands changed to patting his head and stomach at the hypnotist’s instruction. They looked at each other the whole time and even had a conversation with his hands patting about.

The trance-state, which has its own ebb and flow, is the result of a trusting and cooperative process between the subject and the hypnotist. It’s not one person controlling another and there’s no way the hypnotist can make the subject do something they would not do while they’re in a normal state, such as an illegal or immoral act.

A9“Hypnosis,” says Kevin McConkey, President of the Australian Psychological Society and co-author of Hypnosis, Memory, and Behavior in Criminal Investigation, “is essentially a phenomenon that reflects genuinely experienced alterations of reality in response to suggestions administered by a hypnotist. The subject’s testimony is what confirms the trance, although susceptibility varies among individuals. Those who are highly suggestive will behave as if going through truly significant cognitive alterations.”

Hypnosis involves concentration that is heightened to the point where one can recall details that seemed to elude that same person in a conscious state. It’s a powerful forensic tool for criminal investigation, although some researchers challenge the notion that hypnosis leads to significant increases in memory.

There are two basic purposes for using forensic hypnosis.

The most common is inducing relaxation when anxiety and stress may obstruct a witness’s ability to recall as much information as possible. The second occurs when retrieval of information from witnesses cannot be acquired through other means.

A4The first court case involving forensic hypnosis was Cornell v. Superior Court of San Diego in 1959. Although forensic hypnosis is mostly used by prosecutors, in this particular court case, it was the defense that used hypnosis as an aid in preparing its strategy. Since then, many famous cases have used hypnosis as an aid, including the Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy, and Sam Sheperd.

Currently, no overriding judgment has been handed down regarding the admissibility of evidence achieved through forensic hypnosis and the use of hypnotic evidence varies between jurisdictions. Adding to the reliability problem is that solid evidence can be devalued as a result of unprofessional circumstances in obtaining evidence through hypnosis.

I remember one judge rejecting evidence from a witness who had been subject to hypnotic recall stating “There’s nothing more unreliable than an eyewitness, never mind one who is tainted by hocus-pocus.” One the other hand, I recall another judge being fascinated by the process and readily accepting witness evidence, particularly because the information obtained under hypnosis was corroborated by independent facts.

As in all types of evidence, the key is reliability.

To ensure solid forensic hypnosis used in criminal investigations is not devalued, it’s become standard and vital operating procedure that all hypnosis sessions are video/audio recorded and the session is witnessed by independent observers. To strengthen the case, the hypnosis must be performed by a trained forensic hypnotist.

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Before a forensic hypnotist is allowed to begin a session, one very important condition must be met. The subject must be assured that during the hypnotic session no attempt shall be made to elicit any information that is not directly relevant to the investigation. In addition, the forensic hypnotist must also assure the subject that no information retrieved will lead to self-incrimination.

Critics of forensic hypnotism center their attacks on the accuracy and reliability of the evidence that’s obtained. The concern is that suggestion(s) implanted during hypnotism may create false memories through the use of leading questions.

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One thing that a forensic hypnotist cannot do, and is never called to do, is to help a suspect confess to a crime. Not only is this impossible, but any confession arrived at through hypnosis would never be admissible in court.

Here’s a true case I investigated where forensic hypnosis for memory enhancement led to a break through in solving the crime. It was conducted by Dr. Lee Pulos.

A12In wintery April, a lady was alone in her cabin on a remote gold claim in northern British Columbia. A masked man with a handgun appeared at her door, demanding she hand over her gold stash. She refused. He proceeded to blindfold and hog-tie her, then began torturing by burning her hands and ribs with a red-hot knife heated on her wood stove.

Now this lady was one tough old bird, as you’d expect a gold miner to be. She later stated she’d worked so hard to build her gold stash that she’d “rather die than turn it over to this asshole.” Realizing his interrogation technique was going nowhere, the bad guy quit in frustration. He set the cabin on fire with her still tied, blindfolded, and left her to die. She was able to wiggle over and boot the door, then crawl outside where she laid in excruciating pain on the snow in sub-zero temperature until her husband returned.

Because this was such a horrific crime, we “pulled the stops”.

A13We flew her to Vancouver to undergo hypnosis with Lee Pulos. He was able to extract two things that led to solving the case. One, she recalled the bad guy was using a two-way radio or ‘communicator’, as she called it. Second, he used the term for her gold stash as being ‘squirreled away’.

A14Now knowing an accomplice was involved, we focused the investigation on a neighbor who’d been involved with a gold claim boundary dispute. We identified the suspect as a Hells Angels striker who’d been hired by the neighbor, so we ran a wiretap which caught him using the term ‘squirreled away’. This led to an elaborate, clandestine sting operation resulting in his confession to an undercover agent. He was convicted and got twenty years.

Like I said, I’ve always been fascinated with how the human mind works. One thing I’m positive about—there’s more to consciousness than modern medicine and psychiatry know—except for the Shamans.

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Dr. Leslie Gray is a professor at UCLA Berkley and the Core Shaman who’s altered states of consciousness teachings inspired “No Witnesses To Nothing”. Her website is www.WoodfishInstitute.com in San Fransisco.

But, then, Shamanism is for another discussion.

THE MAGIC BULLET IN THE JFK ASSASSINATION

118. Painting Of A NightmareUnited States President John F. Kennedy suffered two gunshot wounds during his assassination in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. The fatal bullet struck Kennedy in the top of his head and, literally, blew out his brains. Most people have seen frame 313 of the Zapruder Film that shows the president’s head exploding and there’s little dispute in the timing, nor placement, of this shot. The other bullet—the one that got Kennedy in the back, at the base of his neck—is far more controversial.

A1Officially, this bullet is known as Warren Commission Exhibit 399 and was said to strike JFK approximately 4.92 seconds earlier. This bullet allegedly cut clean through his neck, exited below his Adam’s Apple, and carried on to severely wound Texas Governor John Connally who was seated ahead of the President in the limousine. It was later recovered intact on a hospital stretcher in what’s been described as “pristine” condition and became the cornerstone of the Warren Commission’s Single Bullet Theory that postulates one bullet did tremendous damage to two men and came out looking like new.

LHO Backyard 2This “perfect” bullet has been held as proof of conspiracy in the JFK Assassination for over fifty years. To this day, three-quarters of Americans believe it’s impossible for one missile to perform incredible feats of altering trajectory, piercing seventeen layers of clothing, four layers of skin, fifteen inches of flesh, smash a rib and a wrist bone before coming to rest entirely intact in a thigh, then be suspiciously found and conclusively matched to the alleged assassin’s rifle. It had to be planted, conspiracy theorists tell you—set up to frame Lee Harvey Oswald—or else the bullet had to be magic.

But was it? Here’s what the investigation, ballistic design, and forensic science tell us about CE399—the “magic” bullet.

Dealey Plaza

At 12:30 pm the Kennedy motorcade rounded a tight left turn from Houston Street and headed west onto Elm Street in Dealey Plaza, right below the southeast, sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository where Lee Oswald was concealed with his 6.5 X 52 mm Mannlicher-Carcano military surplus rifle.

TSBD Shots

Oswald fired his first shot from a distance of about 77 feet and missed. The best guess is that it hit a traffic light and deflected. Oswald’s second shot was fired approximately 6.57 seconds later from a 21-degree downward angle, at 189 feet, and is purported to have wounded both Kennedy and Connally. Oswald’s third shot was from 265 feet and it killed Kennedy. An estimated 11.49 seconds elapsed from the first trigger pull and allowed Oswald plenty of time to reload the bolt-action rifle twice. Oswald fled, leaving his rifle and three expended cartridges behind.

Parkland Hospital

A3The motorcade rushed to Parkland Hospital, five minutes away. Connally remained conscious and was partly able to stand. He was put onto a stretcher and wheeled into the Emergency Room, then transferred to an operating theater and surgically treated for wounds to his chest, wrist, and thigh. Kennedy was unconscious with a massive head wound, a punctured neck, and in the last gasps of life. He was laid on a different stretcher, taken to another part of the ER where, despite a gallant resuscitation effort, President Kennedy was declared dead at 1:00 pm.

Most of the medical staff who treated JFK observed a tiny hole in his throat that they assumed was a bullet’s entrance wound. The perforation was partly obliterated during an emergency tracheostomy and the president’s body was not rolled to inspect for a back wound.

A2Around 2:00 pm a Parkland hospital worker found an intact bullet between the pad and metal side flange on one of the Kennedy entourage stretchers. The bullet had obviously been fired as it displayed the engraved striations from the lands and grooves of a rifle barrel. Evidence put before the Warren Commission could not positively establish if the bullet was found on Kennedy’s stretcher or Connally’s and the bullet’s chain of custody was not clearly recorded. It passed between at least five people before coming into possession of the FBI firearms examiner who forensically matched it with Oswald’s sixth-floor rifle to “the exclusion of all other firearms”. This bullet weighed 158.60 grains and was entered into the Warren Commission’s evidence as Exhibit 399 and is now stored in the National Archives in Washington.

Kennedy’s Autopsy

President Kennedy’s body was shipped to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington where a postmortem exam was performed that evening. As history would come to regret, the examining pathologists were hospitalists and not trained in forensic methods, although one doctor was somewhat experienced with World War II battlefield gunshot wounds.

There were serious errors made in interpreting and recording JFK’s neck/back wound during the autopsy.

JFK Throat Exit

JFK Back WoundThe pathologists failed to notice the throat hole due to the tracheostomy incision and they failed to dissect this wound’s path from rear to front. They were correct in interpreting the defect in Kennedy’s back as a downward entrance wound due to the elliptical shape and the inward fold of the skin as well as the presence of circular bruising known as an abrasion collar. The pathologists attempted to probe the wound path with a metal rod but were blocked by rigor mortis of the scapular muscles. They speculated the bullet may have entered JFK’s back, then stopped and was worked out during the chest compressions during Parkland CPR.

The Bethesda pathologists used two anatomical reference points to record the back wound location—the acromion process which is the tip of the right shoulder and the mastoid process which is the bony protuberance below the right ear. They also anatomically referenced the entrance point to the right of the first thoracic vertebrae which is located at the top of the shoulder at the base of the neck.

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The pathologists seemed to overlook that the mastoid and acromion process points are valueless in fixing another anatomical location as both the acromion and mastoid are flexible parts of the body and can be moved with the twist of the head or rotation of the shoulder. To compound the location reference errors, Kennedy’s personal physician mistakenly signed the death certificate with the back wound identified at the third thoracic vertebrae—some three inches lower. This incorrect entrance location made the geometry of the suspected trajectory from the sixth-floor window appear impossible, thereby adding to conspiracy theories.

Kennedy’s Clothing

A5The FBI examined JFK’s suit jacket, his shirt, and his tie. The jacket displayed a defect in the rear which was also ovoid, indicating a downward angle of impact, and the fibers were bent inward. Traces of metallic contamination corroborated that it was a bullet hole. The shirt also showed a similar hole in the back and another in the front of the collar with outwardly pushed fibers. A corresponding nick in the tie knot also supported a back-to-front bullet travel but more confusion arose when the perforation in the suit jacket failed to line up with the hole in the shirt back.

This added more fuel to the conspiracy cover-up theories until years later when a photo was discovered taken moments before the shooting that showed JFK’s jacket being ridden or “bunched-up” his back. Taking this natural tendency for a jacket to rise up while the wearer is in a sitting position, the holes matched perfectly.

Connally’s Surgery

JFK Connally woundsGovernor Connally was treated for three separate injuries. He’d been shot from the rear with a similar caliber bullet as Kennedy with it striking below his right armpit, also in a downward angle but with a more elongated, ovoid entrance hole. This bullet traversed his chest and smashed five inches of his fifth rib before blowing out a two-inch diameter exit hole below his right nipple.

Connally suffered a secondary elongated entrance wound to the back of his right wrist with the bullet smashing through his radius bone and exiting with a nearly round hole. Four fragments of lead weighing 0.59 grains were recovered from the wrist and became Commission Exhibit 842.

The third wound was to Connally’s left thigh. It, too, was round and consistent with a 6.5 mm missile, however this void was shallow and contained only traces of lead too small to recover.

Connally’s Clothing

A8Another mistake in the JFK investigation was a failure to seize Connally’s suit jacket, shirt, undershirt, and pants at the hospital. By the time investigator’s realized their importance, Connally’s staff had them laundered and any trace of forensic gunshot evidence was erased. The holes were still obvious, though, and hadn’t been mended. Noteworthy was the shape of the perforations and the later-known, important fact that the exit hole in the front of Connally’s jacket was in the lapel.

The Warren Commission

The Warren Commission Members

The Warren Commission Members

The Single Bullet Theorythe SBT in JFK Assassination terminology—was crucial to supporting the Commission’s explanation of how Oswald pulled off the shots that first wounded, then killed President Kennedy, and did the collateral damage to Governor Connally. Transcripts of the hearings show the Commissioners struggled more with CE399 as a piece of evidence than anything else and they were not in unanimous agreement that the first shot missed and the second hit both men, although they had no doubt three rounds were fired and the last shot was the fatal impact to the President’s head.

A11So, according to the inquiry headed by the Chief Judge of the United States Supreme Court, it appeared the same bullet that blasted through President John Kennedy did the same to Governor John Connally—then disappeared—somehow to turn up on a random hospital stretcher—perfectly intact and in pristine condition with beautiful rifling marks that conclusively matched to a rifle proven to be owned by Lee Harvey Oswald.

“Bullshit!” say the conspiracy buffs. “CE399’s an obvious fake. Planted to set up a patsy.”

“How could this be?” ask those without tinfoil hats. “To do all that damage and still appear perfect? It seems like magic!”

But the SBT has officially stood the test of time and survived a reinvestigation of the assassination in 1978 as well as a modern computer-animated reconstruction of what went down in Dealey.

Live 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano Cartidge From My Personal Firearms Collection

Live 6.5 X 52 mm Full Metal Jacket Mannlicher-Carcano Cartridge From My Personal Firearm Collection

A13Well, I have to admit that I doubted 399’s authenticity until one day—when I was already an experienced homicide investigator with a court-recognized expertise in the operation and identification of firearms—I was at the Firearms Section of the RCMP’s forensic laboratory and got a “JFK Ballistics 101” lesson from an examiner from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms. He explained the construction of a 6.5 mm Carcano bullet and how it behaved in the JFK case.

Twenty years later, when I was researching a book on the JFK Assassination, I was further tutored on the Single Bullet Theory ballistics by Larry Sturdivan, a firearms expert who testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations that revisited the JFK murder in 1978.

Understanding how CE399 behaved scientifically is the key to unlocking the SBT and ultimately leading to the truth in knowing how President Kennedy was murdered.

Bullet Construction

CE399 is a typical 6.5-millimeter diameter, 161 grain, round nosed, full metal jacket, military bullet that was one of four million made by the US Western Cartridge Company in the 1950’s and destined for the Korean war. Thousands were released to the civilian sporting market with many 6.5’s chambered to World War II Italian Mannlicher-Carcano rifles. Oswald bought his rifle through mail order in 1963, complete with a scope, for twenty bucks.

A15Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) bullets were mandated by the Geneva Conventions at the turn of the nineteenth century as a means of minimizing battlefield casualties. Up to then, mostly lead and partially metal-clad bullets were used that created massive damage to soldiers who were ripped apart by fragmenting projectiles. FMJ bullets were designed to minimize break-up. They were made to remain intact and pass through a body—effectively taking the soldier out of combat and tying up other resources in treating an injury, rather than having grotesque carnage on the battlefield.

A14FMJ bullets are built like an egg with a hard, outer shell composed of copper-zinc and an inner core of lead, usually mixed with zinc, silver, and antimony for hardness. But despite how sturdy bullets are built, they all have a point of fracture known as yield threshold. It’s based on a bullet’s density (hardness), its mass (weight), velocity (speed), and resistance (the medium of force acting against it like air, flesh, or bone).

CE399 was designed to be fired from Oswald’s Carcano at a muzzle velocity of 2,160 feet per second—far under the threshold where air resistance could cause its break-up. With diminishing velocity, the bullet became far less susceptible to the forces of distortion that could make it elastic (bending but recovering shape), plastic (permanently altering shape), or destruct (fragmenting or coming apart).

A17Another factor in bullet design is its gyroscopic stability—the spin set upon it by the lands and grooves of barrel riflings—much like a child’s top or quarterback Tom Brady’s football pass. Once a bullet is in-flight, it’s governed by gravity, the mediums of resistance, and a peculiarity called ballistic coefficient or its ability to overcome medium drag.

The 6.5 mm Carcano bullet has an exceptionally high ballistic coefficient based on its heavy mass (an average of 161 grains) relative to its small diameter. It’s a long, lean missile with an intentionally designed ability to overcome its break-up yield threshold and pass through mediums like air, cloth, skin, muscle tissue, ribs, wrists, and thighs while remaining intact.

Bullet Terms

A2Knowing about yield threshold and diminishing velocity are not enough to understand how CE399 behaved in the JFK Assassination. Factors like tipping (deflecting from a straight line and altering course), tumbling (going end-over-end), yaw (changing angle in flight), and presentation (going from nose-first to sideways as presented to a point of contact) all came into play in how CE399 ended up in it’s spent condition.

Victim Alignment

A7Much has been made of the “Magic Bullet” having to zig-zag in flight to align with the wounds evident in Kennedy and Connally. The Oliver Stone movie “JFK” was a terrible offender in perpetuating misinformation about how the trajectories were impossible based on the limousine layout.

A6Stone and other conspiracy theorists failed to study the seating arrangements where Connally was not directly in front of JFK, rather he was in a jump seat below and inward of the President. Taking the true picture, the trajectory in the limo accounts perfectly for the properly recorded wounds.

Sniper’s Nest Alignment

Dale Myers is the Emmy-Award winning producer of Secrets Of A Homicide where he developed a computer-generated 3D recreation for the 40th anniversary of the JFK Assassination. Myers took precise measurements of Dealey Plaza and combined them with known photographs and films taken of the murder to recreate exactly what happened.

A19Myers conclusively demonstrated how all the shots came from the sniper’s nest in the Depository, and how the second shot accounted for CE399’s trajectory, diminishing velocity, and how the SBT matches exactly with the frames of the famous 8-millimeter home movie of the assassination taken by Abraham Zapruder.

Zapruder Film

Aside from the ballistic and wound evidence of the Single Bullet Theory, the Zapruder film stands as a timeless witness as to how JFK and Connally were both shot at the same time.

A20Zapruder stood on a concrete pedestal near the nefarious Grassy Knoll and activated his camera once the Kennedy motorcade was well into Dealey Plaza on Elm Street, approaching him. With all due respect to Dale Myers, who thought Zapruder caught evidence of the first missed shot on film, this does not appear to be true and Oswald’s shot that probably hit the traffic light happened before Zapruder started rolling.

But what Zapruder did capture was conclusive evidence of the simultaneous strike that photographically corroborates the SBT.

It’s important to know there are many frames in the “Z” film and that it was shot at 18.3 frames per second. There was no sound. Frame 313 is the most sensational—by far—and it show the third 6.5 mm Carcano FMJ bullet exceeding its yield threshold by fragmenting and blowing pinkish gray matter into the air. In frame 313, the bullet did exactly what it was constructed to do.

223-224 FullBut, backing-up to frames 223—224, there’s a clear picture of one bullet striking two men at the same time.

In Z-223 the limo is seen emerging from behind the Stemmons Freeway sign. Everything’s fine, but Connally seems to be looking over his right shoulder to identify the location of the first gunshot as he said in his Warren Commission testimony.

Z-224 is captured 0.0546 of a second later. Connally’s jacket lapel has “flipped” or bulged as the bullet passes through him and is exposed as a dark image covering over his white shirt, right where the exit wound on his chest was. His right shoulder is clearly forced forward from the bullet’s impact.

By Z-225, the lapel is back to its original shape but Connally’s expression is changing and you can just see the first image of JFK emerging from the sign with his fists and elbows rising. The President had already been shot in the back.

Larry Sturdivan’s Reconstruction

A1There comes a point in any criminal investigation where evidence is put before a jury that requires an expert opinion to interpret it. The Kennedy case is no different. While I have a limited amount of recognized expertise in firearms and ballistics, as well as far more knowledge about John Kennedy’s murder than the vast majority of people, I’m going to defer to Larry Sturdivan who truly knows what he’s speaking of.

This paraphrases Larry’s explanation for how CE399 acted.

“Oswald fired his second shot—a 161 grain, 6.5 mm, FMJ Carcano bullet—when the limo was moving directly away from his sight picture at a combined downward incline of over 21 degrees.
The bullet discharged at 2160 fps and traveled 189 feet through the air, losing 135 fps and hitting Kennedy’s suit coat at 2015 fps—staying intact. It entered the soft mediums of cloth and flesh well below the 2400 fps velocity these mediums would need to break the bullet into pieces. Inside Kennedy’s neck, the bullet’s force created a pressure vacuum called a “temporary cavity” which altered its flight course by about 5 degrees upward.
The intact and unaltered bullet cut through the front of Kennedy’s neck, stretching the skin and—shored by the collar and tie—returned to appear as a tiny hole, much smaller than its 6.5 mm diameter. It now slowed to around 1840 fps and was beginning to tumble, altering its nose from a direct gyroscopic flight path to a sideways presentation.
The bullet hit Connally’s armpit in a 70-degree yaw and left the elongated hole in his clothes and skin. Now moving at 1450 fps, right below the yield threshold of being broken by bone, the bullet presented itself sideways to his rib and permanently deformed into a plastic state, neither pristine nor fragmented, but the bent and crushed base you see in CE399’s photos.
It blew out below Connally’s right nipple in a near backward position and entered his right wrist at + or – 500 fps with enough energy left to fracture the radius bone and deposit some lead fragments from the bullet’s open base. It was like squeezing toothpaste from a tube.
With almost no energy remaining—still near full weight and going only 135 fps—it cut the Governor’s pants and pushed a bit into his left thigh. No wonder it fell out, intact.”

A21By now you might buy into the Single Bullet Theory and that CE399 was capable of performing the “magical” feats it’s accused of. But I know you’re asking “How do you prove 399—reportedly found on whatever stretcher at Parkland—was the same bullet Oswald fired and did the damage?” The proof is in 399’s molecular composition and what it left behind in John Connally’s wrist.

Neutron Activation Analysis

A22NAA is the DNA of the JFK investigation. Unfortunately, DNA was unheard of in 1963 when the stretcher bullet was found. Despite 399’s multi-handling, today’s DNA sophistication would likely be able to identify Kennedy and Connally genetics on this little missile if it, in fact, passed through both. That would be the end of it—the Single Bullet Theory would be a fact and we could all go home.

But wait—genetics isn’t the only molecular forensic science available and there’s a lot of proof about CE399’s validity that turned up in the molecules of metallurgy.

In 1964, the FBI turned to a then-new science of non-destructive testing called Neutron Activation Analysis where they took the stretcher bullet,CE399, and Connally’s CE842 wrist fragments, and did a chemical signature much the same as today’s DNA analysis checks for biological signatures.

It was inconclusive.

But by 1978, NAA science had advanced and the bullet evidence was re-evaluated in the HSCA investigation of the JFK Assassination. The chemical ratio of antimony in CE399’s lead core was found to be so consistent with the antimony in Connally’s wrist fragments that the statistical probability of them coming from two different sources is virtually impossible.

In my opinion, the Single Bullet Theory is the single bullet fact and if CE399 behaved in any other way than in what it was designed to do—then it really would be a magic bullet.

*   *   *

Here are links to credible sites with information on the Single Bullet Theory:

Dale Myers – Secrets Of A Homicide Computerized Reconstruction Website Click Here

Dale Myers – Reconstruction Video  Click Here

Zapruder Film – Enhanced & Stabilized  Click Here

Warren Report – Chapter Three – Shots From The Texas School Book Depository  Click Here

WHO REALLY KILLED JONBENET RAMSEY?

A41On December 26, 1996, the beaten and strangled body of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found hidden in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado, home. Immediately, police and media suspicion focused on her wealthy parents, John Bennet Ramsey and Patricia (Patsy) Ramsey, as being responsible. Nowtwenty years laterthe child beauty queen’s cold case has little new to offer except for the recent suggestion that JonBenet never really died and that she’s actually the current pop-star, Katy Perry.

A31Setting stupid conspiracy theories aside, the fact remains that someone viciously slaughtered JonBenet. The little girl became a cultural obsession and the person or persons guilty of JonBenet’s death were never prosecuted. Was it a lack of viable suspects? Lack of admissible evidence? A homicide investigation mishandled right from the start? Or was it failure to properly decipher the murder mystery’s most important clue?

Here’s a look at what the case facts tell us about who really killed JonBenet Ramsey.

Patsy Ramsey claimed to have come downstairs to the kitchen at five o’clock on Boxing Day morning and found a two-and-a-half page, hand-written ransom note on the landing of their secondary staircase. The author directed the letter at John Ramsey and claimed to represent a group of individuals from a foreign faction who were “in possession” of JonBenet. The note demanded a ransom of $118,000 be paid in certain bills or JonBenet would die.

A2Boulder Police recorded Patsy Ramsey’s report being phoned in at 5:51 am. Two patrol officers attended and took basic information but did not treat the Ramsey house as a crime scene. It was not secured, nor searched, and an unrecorded number of people had access to the residence until early afternoon when a detective took over and asked a family friend to assist John Ramsey to search the house for “anything unusual”.

The recorded events are confusing but it’s said John Ramsey located JonBenet’s dead body in a far corner of a basement wine cellar, covered with her bedroom blanket. She had a ligature cord around her neck, her hands were bound above her head, and her mouth was sealed with duct tape. John Ramsey apparently removed the tape and carried the body up to the living room where it was laid in front of the Christmas tree. The police were called back and the case began being treated as a homicide.

A32A forensic crime scene examination identified several points of unsecured ingress to the house but no sign of forced entry nor anything to clearly suggest an unauthorized intruder had been present.

Prominent was the ligature or cord around JonBenet’s neck that was tied to a wooden handle, described as a “garrote”. It was physically matched to a broken paint brush handle in Patsy’s art room which was in the basement, near the wine cellar. Similar pieces of cord were also found in the home. As well, the pad which the note-paper originated from was located on the main floor, as was the pen used to write it.

The Ramsey parents were not formally interviewed, no statements were taken, and continuity of the note—being a prime piece of evidence—as well as its forensic treatment was questionably handled.

A10The pathologist attended the residence at 6 pm and did a cursory examination of JonBenet’s body before removing her to the morgue. She was dressed in a white nightie and white panties with white tights overtop. The panties and tights were soaked in urine. Postmortem changes were advanced with rigor mortis already passing and early decomposition presenting.

Though the stages of mortis are not precise science for conclusively identifying the time of death, the body’s physical condition suggested that JonBenet had been dead for a considerable time, estimated between 10 pm the previous evening and no later than 5:51 am when the police report was received.

In pathologist John E. Meyer’s words — “Far closer to 10 pm than to 5 am.”

JonBenet’s autopsy determined her cause of death as “asphyxia by strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma” and the medical diagnosis was:

I. Ligature strangulation

  1. Circumferential ligature with associated ligature furrow of neck
  2. Abrasions and petechial hemorrhages, neck
  3. Petechial hemorrhages, conjunctival surfaces of eyes and skin of face

II. Craniocerebral injuries

  1. Scalp contusion
  2. Linear comminuted fracture of right skull
  3. Linear pattern of contusions of right cerebral hemisphere
  4. Subarachnoid and subdural hemorrhage
  5. Small contusions, tips of temporal lobes

III. Abrasion of right cheek

IV. Abrasion/contusion, posterior right shoulder

V. Abrasions of lower left back and posterior left lower leg

VI. Abrasion and vascular congestion of vaginal mucosa

VII. Ligature of right wrist

VIII. Toxicology

  1. Blood ethanol – none detected
  2. Blood drug screen – no drugs detected

A23From reading this, it’s clear JonBenet received a massive blow to the upper right of her head from contact with a blunt object, approximately an hour or more before death. This is supported by the contusion (bruise, not a laceration or cut) to her scalp, the linear fractures to her skull, and the subdural (underlying) hemorrhaging (bleeding) in her brain. This cannot occur after death and the known pathology established a considerable time period elapsed between when the blow was administered and when the cardiovascular system stopped functioning. The pathologist opinioned that JonBenet was alive but unconscious for an hour, possibly an hour-and-a-half, before she was strangled.

It’s also clear that ligature asphyxia (strangling with the cord) was her death’s triggering mechanism and this is corroborated by the presence of petechial hemorrhages (tiny bloodspots) in her eyes and on her face. This is a classic symptom of mechanical strangulation and is peculiar to the airway being violently interrupted.

A16The presence of various abrasions and contusions are evident of physical violence being inflicted on JonBenet prior to death, as is the violation of her vaginal area. Her cheek abrasion is consistent with a slap to the face, her shoulder and legs marks are consistent with her still-alive body being roughly handled as if dragged, but caution must be taken in interpreting her vaginal injury as being consistent with sexual assault.

There was no presence of semen, however some blood spotting was noted in her underwear. Later forensic examination would identify a foreign pubic hair on her blanket and an unknown DNA sample on her underwear that was consistent with a male contributor.

The police and district attorney’s investigation focused on the improbability that a total stranger would break into the home, severely wound JonBenet, then kill her at least an hour later after packing her body from an upper bedroom and down two floors to the basement of a house in which three others were present—all the while hanging around to write a lengthy note.

A27From the start, Patsy Ramsey’s behavior was suspect—as was her husband’s. Though there was no suggestion of previous child abuse in the home, it was well known Patsy Ramsey selfishly promoted her daughter like a trophy doll who she desperately wanted to shine in fame and fortune.

As police and media attention centered on the Ramseys, they limited their contact with investigators and quickly “lawyered-up” until a controlled, counter-offensive in the media could be established.

A3The evidence against the Ramseys was examined by a grand jury empaneled during a ten-month period in 1998. The jury returned an indictment against John and Patsy Ramsey on charges of child abuse resulting in JonBenet’s death but was quashed by the district attorney who felt there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction. The grand jury’s findings were sealed and only released to the public in 2013, seven years after Patsy Ramsay’s death from cancer.

To this day, the smoking gun in JonBenet’s homicide is the alleged ransom note.

If the note is legitimate, then it’s a kidnapping that went sideways. If it’s fraudulent, it’s a murder staged to look like a kidnapping. Regardless, there’s no doubt the note’s author is responsible for killing JonBenet and it’s within the note where the killer reveals their true identity.

Let’s look at it:

A12

The note needs to be examined in three ways.

First—was there any forensic evidence present to physically identify the author? I can’t imagine it not being fingerprinted nor examined for DNA, however I can’t find any internet reference one way or the other and existing photos don’t show the normal discoloration associated with chemically checking for fingerprints on paper.

A33Second—what do forensic handwriting analysists say about the writer? A number of document examiners have analyzed the note and have eliminated John Ramsey as well as fifty-three other subjects as the author. But, they cannot rule Patsy Ramsay out as penning it. To be fair, no one conclusively states she was the writer but all agree the author intentionally attempted to disguise themselves.

Third—what does the science of statement analysis tell us? It’s here where the killer’s identity is revealed.

Let’s look at the note again:

*   *   *

Mr. Ramsey,

Listen carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction. We don respect your bussiness but not the country that it serves. At this time we have your daughter in our posession. She is safe and unharmed and if you want her to see 1997, you must follow our instructions to the letter.

You will withdraw $118,000.00 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills. Make sure that you bring an adequate size attache to the bank. When you get home you will put the money in a brown paper bag. I will call you between 8 and 10 am tomorrow to instruct you on delivery. The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested. If we monitor you getting the money early, we might call you early to arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence a earlierdelivery pick-up of your daughter.

Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of your daughter. You will also be denied her remains for proper burial. The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them. Speaking to anyone about your situation, such as Police, F.B.I., etc., will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies. If you alert bank authorities, she dies. If the money is in any way marked or tampered with, she dies. You will be scanned for electronic devices and if any are found, she dies. You can try to deceive us but be warned that we are familiar with Law enforcement countermeasures and tactics. You stand a 99% chance of killing your daughter if you try to out smart us. Follow our instructions and you stand a 100% chance of getting her back.

You and your family are under constant scrutiny as well as the authorities. Don’t try to grow a brain John. You are not the only fat cat around so don’t think that killing will be difficult. Don’t underestimate us John. Use that good southern common sense of yours. It is up to you now John!

Victory!

S.B.T.C

*   *   *

A34

 

The first thing that comes to my mind when reading the note is that it’s nonsense.

A37It’s complete and utter bullshit and here’s why:

A35

  • It’s very long with a lot of unnecessary, redundant information. It’s written on three pieces of paper which took a considerable amount of time to compose. True ransom notes are exceptionally rare and all are short and to the point: “We have your daughter! We will kill her if you don’t give us X-amount of money by __!. Wait for instructions!! DO NOT call the police or she dies!!!
  • The writer introduces themself as representing a “group of individuals from a small foreign faction“. Foreign? Faction? Who calls themselves a foreign faction?
  • Patsy had been up an hour before calling police

    Patsy had been up an hour before calling police

    The writer states to not respect Ramsey’s business, but not his country then changes the message by striking out “don’t” to reflect a friendlier tone.

  • The asking sum of $118,000.00 is a bizarre number. Some examiners equate it to a similar salary bonus amount John Ramsey recently collected but how would a foreigner know if it’s even in his bank account never mind how much?
  • Calling “tomorrow between 8 and 10 am” indicates the note was written before midnight on December 25th.
  • “The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be well rested” indicates someone thinking about a lack of sleep before the event is exposed.
  • And hence” is a unique phrase that’s rarely used except in very formal correspondence or in biblical phrases.
  • A18There are obvious misspellings in common words like “possession” and “business” while more easily erred words such as “adequate”, “attache (with the accent)”, “deceive”, “deviation”, and “scrutiny”. Otherwise, the writer uses proper punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure which indicates an attempt at disguise by a person with a fair degree of education.
  • The use of exclamation points in only the opening and closing is not realistic of a desperate person’s threat. You’d expect emphasis being put on the instructions to get money and threats to retaliate.
  • Beheaded” and “stray dog” indicate a feint towards some sort of middle-eastern ethnic decoy.
  • Proper burial” is indicative of someone who knew what JonBenet’s final disposal would be. Burial was the accepted practice in the Ramsays’ religious faith, rather than cremation.
  • The phrase “two gentlemen watching over” stands right out. “Gentlemen” being a term used in a ransom note? Totally unrealistic. And “watching over” is another term like “and hence” where it doesn’t remotely resemble normal speech, rather it reflects a biblical overtone where “God watches over”.
  • A44I advise you not to provoke them” and “I advise you to be rested” are passive statements and reflect a feminine touch.
  • Four times the writer uses the phrase “she dies.” If JonBenet was still alive when the note was written, the author would likely use the term “she will die”. This indicates the writer knew JonBenet was already dead.
  • The note’s address changes from “Mr. Ramsey” being used once to “John” being repeated three times. This is far too familiar for an unknown kidnapper and strongly indicates the writer knew John Ramsey personally.
  • The closing terms “Victory!” and “S.B.T.Cappear cryptic and of some personal, religious significance to the writer.

*   *   *

A45A principle behind the science of statement analysis is that truthful people rarely use synonyms. They remain consistent in language whereas deceitful people change language and weave in synonyms to distract. Another principle is that people expose their psychological profile in their writing.

So what does the JonBenet Ramsay note say about the author?

It’s clearly a deceitful attempt to distort the facts, using unrealistic, bizarre, and unbelievable demands to shift attention from the reality of the situation. It’s apparently written by a woman of higher education, with a religious background, familiar with John Ramsey, who can’t bear to bring JonBenet’s name into the equation, yet cryptically reveals a personal message.

A47It’s written in characters that can’t be eliminated from Patsy Ramsey’s known handwriting and it was written with a Sharpie pen and foolscap paper found in her home—the home in which JonBenet was murdered and who’s body was stashed on the cold basement floor.

Patsy Ramsey denied culpability until her death but denials are cheaper than a thrift store suit. A look at her psychological profile is telling.

A48Patsy Ramsay was a beauty queen, herself—crowned Miss West Virginia in 1977. She graduated from university with a B.A. in journalism and was a devout member of the Episcopalian church and a wealthy socialite in her community. Perversely, she flaunted an air of modest integrity while flogging every chance to sexually exploit her six-year-old daughter in front of every pageant and camera she could find.

Patsy Ramsey was an educated, articulate, and calculating woman. She was also very religious.

It’s in the Bible where the key to the ransom note’s lock is hidden.

The terms “watching over” and “and hence” are consistent with a religious mindset and they are known to be used in the Ramsey family Christmas message which Patsy wrote the year after JonBenet’s death.

The numeric figure “118” is highly revealing and it fits with a notable Bible passage recognized by the Episcopalian faith. It’s found in Corinthians 1:18.

For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

A46Significant are the note’s closings—“Victory!” and “S.B.T.C”. Victory is well established as a Christian slogan which refers to Christ’s triumph by rising from the dead and symbolizing the triumph of good over evil and the forgiveness and everlasting salvation of a soul from sin. “S.B.T.C” is the well-known acronym for “Saved By The Cross.”

The “Victory” reference is also revealed in Corinthians 15:51-57.

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must be put on the imperishable, and this mortal must be put on immortality… then will come about the saying that is written “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In my opinion, a convincing case is made that Patsy Ramsay was the author of the ransom note and, therefore, the person who really killed JonBenet.

A25It’s also likely that John Ramsey had some knowledge and was covering up for his wife. He’s already had a previous daughter die—now a second—and he couldn’t bear to lose the rest of the family. Only he will know.

But this still leaves the question of why Patsy Ramsey killed her daughter? What were the horrific circumstances that led to such a senseless, barbaric crime?

I think the best theory is offered by Steve Thomas who is the original Boulder detective who investigated the case and wrote the book “JonBenet—Inside The Ramsey Murder Investigation“.

Detective Thomas postulates that Patsy and John Ramsey returned to their home around 10 pm Christmas Day after a social event. Patsy checked on JonBenet and found she’d been bed-wetting again. At the time, Patsy was already on emotional overload—about to pop a breaker. She was under severe psychological stress with heavy socialite commitments, seasonal depression, struggling to face her fortieth birthday, keeping the perfect faceand… who knows what all else.

A50With temper stretched, Patsy severely admonished JonBenet for the urinary mess and likely did an aggressive wiping simulation on her daughter’s crotch, accounting for the “abrasion and vascular congestion of vaginal mucosa”. This escalated to a violent event where JonBenet’s head was smashed into a hard, blunt surface such as a doorframe or piece of furniture which rendered her unconscious with a potentially lethal brain injury.

Possibly thinking JonBenet was dead and probably panicking, Patsy went into damage control which may have involved John Ramsey at this point. It’s inconceivable to think he didn’t know or at least suspect something.

Somewhere during the next hour to an hour-and-a-half, JonBenet was finished off with a garrote fashioned from available materials, her body was moved, and the stage was set to simulate a ritualistic killing. A plan was then devised to deceive the authorities by way of a concocted ransom note which contained a cryptic justification with some hope of divine reconciliation.

A4But what’s really evident to me—why I truly believe both Patricia and John Ramsey were culpable in JonBenet’s murder—is the date on the inscription they jointly approved for the headstone on their daughter’s grave. 

They knew she was dead before midnight.