Longtime readers of my work on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy know that I point to the evidence establishing the fraudulent autopsy that was conducted on JFK’s body to convict the U.S. military establishment of criminal complicity in the assassination itself. That’s because there is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy. Once one concludes that the autopsy that the military conducted on JFK’s body was fraudulent, one has automatically concluded that the military establishment was criminally complicit in the assassination itself. There is no way around that.
The evidence of autopsy fraud is set forth in my books The Kennedy Autopsy, The Kennedy Autopsy 2, and An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story. It is detailed to a much greater extent in Douglas Horne’s watershed five-volume book on the Kennedy assassination Inside the Assassination Records Review Board.
But what about the CIA? Is there evidence that convicts the CIA beyond a reasonable doubt of criminal complicity in the JFK assassination? Yes, there is. That evidence consists of the altered, fraudulent copy of the famous Zapruder film that the CIA secretly produced at its top-secret Hawkeyeworks photographic operation in Rochester, New York, on the weekend of the assassination.
Just as there is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy, there is also no innocent explanation for an altered, fraudulent copy of the film of the assassination. Once one concludes that the famous Zapruder film is an altered, fraudulent copy of the original Zapruder film, one has automatically concluded that the CIA was criminally complicit in the assassination of President Kennedy. There is no way around that.
Yes, I am thoroughly familiar with the CIA’s standard response: “Conspiracy theory, Jacob! Conspiracy theory!”
Some readers may not know that I began my professional career as a civil and criminal trial attorney in Texas. I was trained to think like a lawyer. During the twelve years of my law career, I tried both jury and non-jury cases, in both state and federal courts. Given such, I naturally think in terms of evidence, not theories. No criminal-defense trial lawyer goes into court and tells a jury that he has a theory of the case. He tells the jury that the evidence will establish (or fail to establish) the defendant’s guilt.
I detail the evidence of what the CIA did to produce a fraudulent, altered copy of the original Zapruder film in my book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story.
Essentially, what the CIA did was secretly transport the original Zapruder film on November 23, 1963 (the day after the assassination) to the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in Washington, D.C.
The next day, November 24, it then transported the original film to its top-secret photographic operation called Hawkeyeworks, which was secretly located within Kodak’s research and development section of its corporate headquarters in Rochester, where it was copied and altered.
The altered, fraudulent copy of the Zapruder film was then shipped back to NPIC in Washington, where it was presented as the original film. (Note: While Kodak had secretly partnered with the CIA to establish Hawkeyeworks within its Rochester facility, there is no evidence that Kodak was part of the CIA’s criminal activity with respect to the Zapruder film.)
Among the things that the CIA did with its altered copy was to delete frames that tended to establish the criminal culpability of the national-security establishment, including elements of the Secret Service, in the assassination.
For example, consider the route of the presidential limousine as it approached Dealey Plaza. The presidential motorcade comes down Main Street in downtown Dallas, proceeding in a westerly direction. It then turns right onto Houston Street. It then makes an extremely wide turn onto Elm Street — so wide, in fact, that it violated Secret Service protocols on making turns. Some witnesses said that the limousine had so much difficulty making the turn that it actually went onto the sidewalk or almost onto the sidewalk to navigate the turn.
Obviously, such a turn would slow JFK’s limousine to a crawl, which would make it easier for an assassin to shoot the president. Thus, that wide turn onto Elm Street is naturally something that the CIA would want to eliminate in its altered, fraudulent copy of the Zapruder film.
The extant film (that is, the film that purports to be an original) shows something highly unusual. It show motorcycle cops making the turn onto Elm Street but then suddenly jumps to show JFK’s limousine already coming down Elm Street. In other words, it doesn’t show the presidential limousine making that extremely wide turn onto Elm Street.
In her book Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film, Abraham Zapruder’s granddaughter Alexandria Zapruder wrote that Zapruder didn’t film the president’s turn onto Elm Street because, she said, Zapruder wanted to be sure that he didn’t run out of film before the president was approaching where Zapruder was standing.
But how logical is that? Zapruder was about as professional a home movie-maker as an amateur could be. He had been taking home movies for many years. He knew exactly what he was doing.
If he had decided to wait until the presidential limousine was near him on Elm Street, then why would he have filmed the motorcycle cops making the turn onto Elm Street? If he was concerned about running out of film, why waste film on the motorcycle cops?
Moreover, Dealey Plaza was the end of the motorcade. Zapruder’s partner Irwin Schwartz had told him that the motorcade would likely be exiting Dealey Plaza at a high rate of speed. Given such, how likely is it that Zapruder would have waited until the president was already on Elm Street to begin filming, rather than begin filming the motorcade as it made the turn onto Elm Street and then continue filming as the limousine approached him until he ran out of film? After all, Zapruder would have had little interest in filming the back of the president after he had already passed him by.
But that’s all logic and common sense. I can already hear the “Conspiracy theory, Jacob!” crowd crying, “Where is the evidence, Jacob, to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the CIA produced an altered, fraudulent copy of the original Zapruder film?”
Fair enough. I detail that evidence in my book An Encounter with Evil. But let’s examine just a small part of that evidence in this article.
1. Consider, first, this short film of television news reporter Dan Rather. Rather saw the original Zapruder film on Monday morning, November 25, in Zapruder’s office. He immediately left Zapruder’s office and rushed out to make this filmed report about what he had just seen a few minutes before. In this film, Rather states: “The film shows President Kennedy’s open black limousine making a left turn off Houston Street onto Elm Street on the fringe of downtown Dallas.”
2. Consider, second, this film of LIFE magazine reporter Richard Stolley, who viewed the original film multiple times on the weekend of the assassination. In fact, it was Stolley who negotiated the sale of the Zapruder film to LIFE magazine. Go to 6:40 of the film, where Stolley describes what the original Zapruder film showed: “And you see the motorcade snaking around Dealey Plaza….”
The extant Zapruder film shows the presidential limousine coming down Elm Street in a straight line — that is, there is no “snaking around.” Stolley’s statement establishes that the original film included the wide turn onto Elm Street because that is the only way that the presidential limousine could be described as “snaking around.”
3. Consider, third, this filmed interview of Marilyn Sitzman, Zapruder’s trusted assistant, who was with him when he filmed the assassination.
Go to 3:40.
The interviewer states: “When … there is part of something that’s been uncovered that he tried out a little bit of the film ahead of time to be sure the camera was working all right and caught some of the motorcycle policemen. Do you remember — do you recall that — kind of testing the first few feet of film?”
Sitzman responds: “No. I know he took a picture of me as I walked up. Then we stood up there. He may have taken the shots to see what his view was. I only remember that when they started to make their first turn, turning into the street, and he says ‘Okay, here we go’ or something to that effect. That’s when I remember we started actually doing the filming.”
4. Consider, fourth, this other filmed interview with Sitzman. Go to 27:25. Sitzman states: “And he started filming about, oh, just before they came around the corner….”
5. Consider, fifth, another interview that Sitzman gave to an interviewer named Wes Wise, where she stated, “I only remember when they started to make their first turn … turning into the street, he said, ‘OK, here we go.…’ or something to that effect. That’s when I remember he started actually doing the filming.”
6. Consider, sixth, this filmed interview of Abraham Zapruder himself shortly after the assassination. Go to 00:30, where Zapruder states, “As I was shooting, as the President was coming down from Houston Street making his turn, it was about a half-way down there, I heard a shot….”
7. Consider, seventh, an interview that Zapruder gave to an interviewer named Marvin Scott, where Zapruder stated, “And then I watched for the arrival of the, uh, cars, I saw the motorcycles, and then the car approached. As they turned I started shooting the pictures, that turned from Houston Street to Elm Street, and I was shooting as they were coming along….”
8. Consider, eighth, the sworn testimony that Zapruder gave at the Clay Shaw trial in 1969, where he stated under oath, “I started shooting — when the motorcade started coming in, I believe I started and wanted to get it coming in from Houston Street.”
What does the CIA say about all this evidence that unquestionably proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the CIA secretly produced an altered, fraudulent copy of the Zapruder film on the weekend of the assassination at its top-secret Hawkeye facility at Kodak’s headquarters in Rochester, New York?
We all know what the CIA’s response is. It’s their standard response. “Conspiracy theory, Jacob! Conspiracy theory!”
I rest my case. The CIA’s production of an altered, fraudulent copy of the famous Zapruder film establishes beyond a reasonable doubt the CIA’s criminal culpability in the assassination of President Kennedy.
Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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