Tuesday, 31 August 2010 14:40

The Impossible One Day Journey of CE 399

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Jim DiEugenio presents the currently known issues in the chain of possession of CE 399, the so-called Magic Bullet, which undermine claims it is authentic.


(with a little help from J. Edgar Hoover)

In 1966, Ray Marcus wrote a very important monograph called The Bastard Bullet. It detailed the journey of the bullet found by hospital attendant Darrell Tomlinson and chief of security O. P. Wright at Parkland Hospital to FBI headquarters on the evening of November 22, 1963. Marcus’ work was exemplary for that time. But since then, and with help from the Assassination Records Review Board, more information has emerged that fills in some of the cracks and crevices in that incredible journey. Specifically this is the work of Gary Aguilar and Josiah Thompson in the essay entitled “The Magical Bullet of the Kennedy Assassination” (The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease) and two essays at the JFK Lancer site by John Hunt: “Phantom Identification of the Magic Bullet” and “The Mystery of the 7:30 Bullet”.

With this new work in mind, let us update the work of Ray Marcus in regard to the impossible journey of CE 399 on the day President Kenendy was shot. Keeping in mind, that as Dr. Cyril Wecht has noted, the Single Bullet Theory is the “sine que non” of the Warren Commission. Without it, the Commission’s verdict collapses and you hae a conspiracy. And without the Commission’s shiny copper coated, virtually pristine CE 399, there is no Single Bullet Theory.

  1. CE 399 begins its magical journey at Parkland Hospital. A bullet rolls out from under a mat and lodges against the side of the gurney. (Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment, p. 79) Question: How did it get under the mat? Remember, the Commission will later say this bullet was in John Connally’s body last. No one has ever answered this question.
  2. Even Vincent Bugliosi admits that the stretcher it originated from is under question. (Reclaiming History, End Notes, p. 426) But Bugliosi understates the problem here. The weight of the evidence says that the gurney it was found on belonged to neither President Kennedy nor Governor John Connally. (Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact, pgs. 174-176; Josiah Thompson, Six Seconds in Dallas, pgs. 154-64) It would be a physical impossibility for the bullet to somehow jump from Ron Fuller's stretcher—where Thompson concludes it was found on- to someone else's.
  3. When hospital attendant Darrell Tomlinson notices it, the bullet has no blood or tissue on it. (Meagher, p. 173) Yet the Commission will say that this bullet went through two men and caused seven wounds.
  4. But yet, it’s even worse than that. Why? Because the Commission will eventually say that the last resting place of this bullet was in the thigh of Governor Connally. How could 1.) The bullet reverse trajectory and work its way out? 2.) How could it emerge out of a wound it already made? Most pathologists will tell you that entry wounds slightly shrink afterwards. 3.) Further, how could it have no blood or tissue on it if it traversed backwards?
  5. Tomlinson picks up the bullet at about 1:45 PM and takes it to security officer O. P. Wright. (Thompson, p. 156) Wright is very familiar with firearms since he was with the sheriff's office previously. (ibid, p. 175) Wright gets a good look at the bullet, he notes it as a lead colored, pointed nosed, hunting round. (ibid) This is extremely important since this bullet will change shape and color by the end of its journey.
  6. This bullet will be passed through to Secret Service officers Richard Johnsen and Jim Rowley. (Hunt, “The Mystery of the 7:30 Bullet; http://www.jfklancer.com/hunt/mystery.html) Yet neither of them will initial the bullet. (Hunt, “Phantom Identification of the Magic Bullet”; http://jfklancer.com/hunt/phantom.htm) And later, neither positively identified it. (Aguilar, p. 282)
  7. At the White House, Rowley turns a bullet over to FBI agent Elmer Todd. They sign a receipt. The time of the transfer is 8:50 PM on the 22nd. (Hunt, “The Mystery of the 7:30 Bullet”)
  8. Yet as John Hunt shows, agent Robert Frazier at the FBI lab enters the stretcher bullet’s arrival into his notes at 7:30! (ibid) As Hunt notes, if Frazier and Todd can both tell time, something is really wrong here. Frazier has received a bullet that Todd has not given him yet.
  9. But it’s even worse. For in an FBI document it says that Todd's initials are on the bullet. (CE 2011, at WC Vol. 24, p. 412) Yet as Hunt has amply demonstrated, they are not there. (Hunt, “Phantom Identification of the Magic Bullet”) In other words, no one who carried this bullet in transit for law enforcement purposes--Johnsen, Rowley, Todd--put their initials on it. When that is what they are trained to do.
  10. Later on, J. Edgar Hoover realizes he has a problem. So he writes up a document saying that agent Bardwell Odum visited Parkland, and Wright and Tomlinson did identify the bullet in June of 1964. (Aguilar, p. 282)
  11. But later, when visited by Gary Aguilar and Tink Thompson, this is exposed as another in the long line of Hoover generated lies in this case. For Odum did no such thing, and he says he would have recalled doing so since he and Wright were friends. (ibid, p. 284)
  12. The night of the assassination, the FBI calls Tomlinson about midnight. They tell him to be quiet about what he found that day. Since what he found that day was a lead colored, sharp nosed hunting round, they must not want him to tell anyone about the bullet. (Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 365; David Lifton, Best Evidence, p. 591) A natural question to ask is: Why? A natural answer is: Because they have realized that the original bullet will not match the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle now attributed to Oswald.
  13. When Wright composes his affidavit for the WC, incredibly, he leaves out his co-discovery of the bullet and his giving it to the Secret Service. (Lifton, ibid) Even though Johnsen recorded this and its in the volumes. (Thompson, p. 155) Since he was a former law enforcement officer, to leave something like that out, he was probably directed to.
  14. When it comes time to write the Warren Report, Wright's name is not in it. And there is no evidence Arlen Specter interviewed him.
  15. In late 1966, we find out why Specter avoided him. Thompson interviews him and he rejects CE 399 as the bullet he gave Johnsen. Twice. (Thompson, p.175) Interestingly, in Reclaiming History, Vincent Bugliosi leaves this powerful incident out of his discussion of the issue. (Bugliosi, End Notes, pgs. 426-27, 544-45)

To say that the chain of evidence rule has been violated in this case is a monumental understatement. Former Chief of Homicide in New York, attorney Bob Tanenbaum once said that it would be embarrassing to present this material to a jury for the prosecution. For me, the most incriminating elements is the evidence that the FBI knew that CE 399 was not the original bullet i.e. the call to Tomlinson, the fake Odum document, possibly the influence over Wright to leave it out of his affidavit, Specter avoiding Wright in the Commission inquiry.

So from the beginning, with its reverse trajectory out of the thigh of Connally, to its incredible tunneling under a mat, to its leaping out of Ron Fuller's stretcher and magically knowing it has to be on the governor’s, to its shocking ability to alter its form and color, and then to actually crack the time barrier and be in Frazier's office before Todd gives it to him, the Impossible Journey of CE 399 is even more magical than anyone ever could imagine.

What is truly incredible about the above demonstration is that I have left all the other arguments about the Magic Bullet out i.e. weight and trajectory etc. To me, in the face of the above, they are irrelevant. The CE 399 we know was not found at Parkland. And that ends this argument.

Everything else—the computer simulations, the drawings etc.—is irrelevant. As Shakespeare said, it is sound and fury signifying nothing. At the time of the assassination, CE 399 as we know it today, did not exist.

Last modified on Monday, 31 October 2016 01:09
James DiEugenio

One of the most respected researchers and writers on the political assassinations of the 1960s, Jim DiEugenio is the author of two books, Destiny Betrayed (1992/2012) and Reclaiming Parkland (2013/2016), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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