Friday, August 16, 2013

Connally Bullet Fragments

Jim Lesar Writes:

...In connection with the issue of the fragments in Gov. Connally's wrist and thigh at the time of his death. Shortly before he died, I was made aware that he was expected to die shortly. On behalf of Dr. Cyril Wecht, Dr. Gary Aguilar and two or three other doctors, I wrote a letter petitioning Attorney General Janet Reno to have the fragments extracted from Connally, weighted and scientifically examined before he was interred. My recollection is that I had to leave for San Francisco on a trip to Singapore before I completed my draft of the letter. I faxed it back to a young kid, Jonathan Meyers, who had started working for the AARC. ..... He thought he knew all the answers to the JFK assassination. I gave him instructions to deliver the letter tot he Justice Department and get copies out to the press, including George Lardner of the Washington post. He balked at that. He didn't want to have anything to do with George Lardner, who he considered evil incarnate and part of the conspiracy. I told him in no uncertain terms to get it delivered to George Lardner and the next morning the Post ran a front-page story on it. A copy is attached below. The morning the story appeared, I was contacted by ABC-TV. I stopped by their studio and gave an interview, then got on the plane for the trip to Singapore. Arriving in Singapore a day later, my wife and I went to stay at the home of one of her sisters. The story made the front page of the Singapore Straights-Times, Singapore's leading English language newspaper, duly impressed my relatives.

[BK Notes: Removed from this note is Jim Lesar's contention that he recalled Jonathan Meyers had some connection to COPA, but as a founding member of COPA I never heard of this person, and neither has any of the other founding members.]

The Washington Post article:

Reno Is Urged to Recover Bullet Pieces From Connally

By George Lardner, Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer

John F. Kennedy assassination researchers asked the Justice Department yesterday to try to recover bullet fragments from the body of the late Texas governor John B. Connally befoe he is buried.

Connally was wounded while riding with President Kennedy when he was killed in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. The Warren Commission concluded that one shot hit both men almost simultaneously before Kennedy was hit by another, fatal, bullet.

In a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, the head of the non-profit Assassinations Archives and Research Center, James H. Lesar, said that if this one bullet did not cause all the wounds the two sustained before the fatal shot, “then more than one assassin must have hit the president.” Lesar pointed out that Connally himself maintained that he and Kennedy were hit by separate bullets.

Lear was joined in his request by Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist and longtime critic of the Warren Commission's work, and five other doctors. They said that neutron activation analysis and other tests of
the fragments “may be able to resolve the controversy as to whether President Kennedy was assassinated as the result of conspiracy.”

The “single bullet” theory is crucial to the Warren Commission's findings because one gunman could not have wounded both Kennedy and Connally with separate shots in the chaotic, split-second interval when they were hit.

Tests for the House assassinations committee in 1978 matched fragments of the metal taken from Connally's wrist with the nearly intact bullet that was found on a stretcher at Parkland Hospital and was believed to have dropped out of Connally's thigh. But questions about the authenticity of those fragments arouse because they did not match any of the fragments tested years earlier, by the FBI. The FBI fragments had disappeared.

Gary Mack has informed us that the Connally family was not averse to having the bullet fragments removed, but the request only arrived at the grave site, but according to family members, it would have been seriously considered and possibly agreed to if the request had come in earlier.

Gary Mack:

Connally died Tuesday, June 15, 1993 and was buried about 48 hours later, so events moved very fast. The request, which I think originated with Larry Howard, proprietor of the local JFK Assassination Information Center, was picked up by his partner Gary Shaw, and relayed to Jim, Mark and Charles who asked Attorney General Janet Reno, who apparently referred it to the FBI:
Julian Read confirmed to me recently that word reached the family at the gravesite, and that's what his quote says.

The New York Times article:

F.B.I. Backs Plan to Remove Connally Bullet Fragments
By David Johnston
Published June 18, 1993

The FBI today endorsed the idea of removing bullet fragments from John B. Connally, former Texas Governor who died Tuesday, in the hope of laying to rest the controversy over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Mr. Connally, who was buried today at a state cemetery near Austin, Tex., was wounded in the back, wrist and thigh while riding with Kennedy in a Dallas motorcade when the President was killed on November 22, 1963.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation here and in Dallas said they favored exhuming the body and trying to recover the fragments if the Connally family consented. “If the family will allow this to be done, we could put this to rest,” said Olvier B. Revell, the head of the F.B.I. Office in Dallas. “Conspiracy theorists are not going to let this go away.”

Mr. Revell said there was a fragment in one of Mr. Connally's thighs and perhaps some traces in a wrist. An examination of the fragments could test the single-bullet theory accepted by the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination. The panel concluded that a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired all the shots that hit the President and Mr. Connally as they rode in the motorcade in Dallas.

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