Testimony of Jim Marrs

Dallas, Texas -- November 18, 1994 Hearing
MR. MARWELL: Is Mr. Jim Marrs here? Mr. Marrs.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Good morning, Mr. Marrs.

MR. MARRS: Good morning.

Mr. Chairman, lady and gentlemen, first off, my name is Jim Marrs. I am a native of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. I am a journalist and as such I have worked for several Texas newspapers including more than a decade at the nearby Fort Worth Star Telegram.

During my career, I had the opportunity to meet many of the key characters of the JFK assassination saga. As a college student, I was in the Carousel Club and met Jack Ruby prior to the assassination, also have interviewed Marguerite Oswald, Marina Oswald, John DeMohrenschildt, General Edmund Walker, and many others including Dealey Plaza witnesses, police and government officials.

Since 1976, I have taught a course on the Kennedy assassination at the University of Texas at Arlington and, of course, my book Crossfire: The Plot to Kill Kennedy was a basis for the Oliver Stone movie JFK.

Now having established who I am, let me, since I am up to the plate first, let me welcome you to Dallas and, if you have not been here before, let me assure you that you are going to find Dallas a very hospitable and friendly place, and I hope that your stay here is very enjoyable.

As I am sure you all are becoming very aware, the JFK assassination is, indeed, one of the world's greatest murder mysteries. The more you study this case, the less you know for certain. The medical evidence, which should be the best evidence, is in total disarray, even imminent medical authorities cannot agree on what this evidence is much less what it means. Living eyewitnesses have had their testimony challenged due to the number of years that have passed. Even the physical evidence and primary FBI reports have come under fire and rightly so.

In my own investigations, I have found too numerous instances of FBI reports which do not accurately reflect what witnesses tried to tell them and other activities which were conducted in a manner to incriminate Lee Harvey Oswald. But to get to the crux of the case, I would like to present you this morning with what I consider to be the smoking gun of this case, and it is available right now, it is in the public record, and it can be found on page 193 of the Warren Commission transcript of January 27th, 1964. This is well before they got into their investigative phase, well before they reached any permanent conclusions.

Understand that the Zapruder film established that the shooting sequence occurred within six seconds and the FBI laboratory established that it took two seconds just to cock and fire the Oswald rifle. This means that it was only possible for three shots to be fired within the timeframe of the shooting. One shot struck Kennedy in the head, reportedly, and fragmented, and a second shot reportedly missed and nicked a bystander by the name of James Teague near the triple underpass. This leaves only one shot to account for seven wounds to both Kennedy and Connolly. Now this one bullet strike known as the Single Bullet Theory is pretty ridiculous, but for the sake of argument let's look at this government's premise.

The Warren Commission report stated: President Kennedy was first struck by a bullet which entered the back of his neck and exited through the lower front portion of his neck. The bullet passed through Kennedy's neck and struck Connolly. They even show us a nice little diagram of the bullet passing through Kennedy's neck.

The problem here is that at no time did a bullet traverse President Kennedy's neck. You can see the death certificate plainly states that a wound occurred in the posterior back at the level of the third vorasic vertebrae, which is between the shoulder blades. This is marked on the autopsy face sheet clearly, and is marked at the bottom verified and signed by Dr. George Burkley, Kennedy's personal physician.

Seibert O'Neill's FBI report of the autopsy says Dr. Humes located an opening which appeared to be a bullet hole which was below the shoulders and two inches to the right of the middle line of the spinal column. It is all right there.

Secret Service Agent Glenn Bennett in his typed notes made from handwritten notes made less than an hour after the shooting said, I saw the shot hit the President about four inches down from the right shoulder, the exact location.

Officer Clint Hill from the Secret Service, who was the only agent to react that day, to the Warren Commission said -- they asked: Did you see any other wound than the head wound? He said: Yes, sir. I saw an opening in the back about six inches below the neckline to the right hand side of the spinal column.

Available today in the National Archives are Kennedy's bloody shirt and jacket, both of which show a bullet hole low in the back to the right of the midline of the spinal column. The bullet struck President Kennedy in the back.

Now back to page 193, January 27, 1964, Warren Report, we hear their own Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin state: It seems quite apparent now, since we have a picture of where the bullet entered in the back, that the bullet entered below the shoulder blade to the right of the backbone, which is below the place where the picture shows the bullet came out of the neckband of the shirt in front.

You have a bullet low in the back and you have a bullet wound in the throat. If you connect these two wounds, and I assure you they do not connect -- but, again, I am going with the government's own documents here -- if you connect those that is an upwards trajectory. As anybody knows, simple physics, a high-powered supersonic missile cannot travel upward and then twist in midair and come back down and strike Governor Connolly.

This document not only shows the lie of the Single Bullet Theory, but shows that the Warren Commission, an official body of the U.S. Government knew it was a lie in January of 1964, and yet they chose to show us a little diagram of a bullet going through the neck and report to us that the bullet went through the neck and did not pose any problems.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of this point because if the Single Bullet Theory falls, as it does based on the statement from the Warren Commission's own Chief Counsel, then the lone assassin theory also falls and we are into conspiracy just like the House Select Committee on Assassinations included in the 1970s.

It is this type of information which has trickled out over the past 31 years and has led researchers and the vast majority of the American public to disbelieve the government's lone assassin theory. So now we must treat the subject of conspiracy seriously, and for this reason it is especially important for you people on the Assassination Records Review Board to look closely at the question of conspiracy and the government records which might contain evidence of such.

I think, lady and gentlemen, you are going to find you are dealing with two conspiracies here. One was the conspiracy to kill the President, and it obviously was quite successful. Who did it, who committed it, how many gunmen, from which trajectory, how many shots, we don't know. That is what is being debated. I am not sure that you are going to find the answers to those questions in these government records that you are looking for.

But the second conspiracy was the conspiracy to cover-up the truth of the first conspiracy, and this one was not quite so successful. Today there is very much evidence to show that officials high within the U.S. Government committed acts designed not to find truthful answers but rather to hide the truth from the American public.

For example, consider yourselves detectives. You arrive on the crime scene and here is the victim's body. The uniformed police present you with four suspects. By the way, they tell you, we caught Suspect Number 4 destroying evidence, withholding evidence, altering evidence, fabricating evidence and intimidating witnesses. Now who are you going to believe committed the crime? Suspect Number 4. In this case Suspect Number 4 represents persons within the Federal Government of the United States. The crimes mentioned have been documented. So the government that we turn to for information on this case includes some of the very suspects in the case.

With this in mind, I would ask you to watch very carefully for misdirection, obfuscation, deceit when dealing with these government documents.

Now briefly I would like to turn to the central character of the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald. The Government and its apologists continue to claim that any investigation into the Kennedy assassination is a waste of time because Lee Oswald acting alone was the person responsible for the assassination. If this is true, and I hope I just disproved that by showing you that it was impossible for the Single Bullet Theory to work and therefore it is impossible for one single assassination, but if it is true, then why should there be anything classified in this case. If it was one lone nut at the wrong place at the wrong time, the Cold War is over and any intelligence agents from the 1960s have probably already retired. There is no longer any need for secrecy in this case, or is there?

Let me share with you this brief thing. First, I want to point to two documents. The first is a memo from J. Edgar Hoover to the Office of Security at the State Department, it is dated June 3rd, 1960. In this memo, which was also sent to the Office of Naval Intelligence, Hoover writes: Since there is a possibility that an imposter is using Oswald's birth certificate, any current information the Department of State may have concerning subject will be appreciated.

What a bombshell. We were told that nobody within the government paid much attention to Oswald, and yet here is a document showing that no less than J. Edgar Hoover personally was aware of Lee Harvey Oswald three years before the assassination, and that he had reason to suspect that someone was posing as Oswald, indicating a possible intelligence connection.

Now listen to the words of Oswald's mother, Marguerite, in an interview reprinted in Exhibit 1808 of the Warren Commission volumes: Lee was 16 years old when he wanted to enlist in the Marines. The circumstances in which he chose this least branch of service, in my opinion, are in glaring contradictions to the reports according to which Lee frequented with Communists at this time and was himself a Red and admirer of Karl Marx. For my part, in taking into consideration what I know about the life of my son, I think that on the contrary he was recruited by the CIA and he was sent by this organization to Russia and then to Dallas to infiltrate subversive organizations and, who knows, to expose a conspiracy against Kennedy.

Now there is evidence to support this idea. It is well documented that Oswald left a note styled as a warning with the FBI two weeks prior to the assassination, despite claims that the note warned FBI agents to leave Oswald's wife alone or he would take action, it has been established that an FBI official in Dallas ordered this note destroyed after the assassination. This was a blatant act of destruction of evidence and leaves the impression that the note must have contained something other than a threat against the FBI, because if it had I think we all know it would have been printed on the front cover of Life Magazine.

Now, Mrs. Oswald adds: This is a theory, but it seems to me that it conforms to my son's conduct on the day in 1954 when he came home accompanied by an officer in uniform. This officer told me that the country needed boys like Lee, alert, educated and loyal, and that I should let him enlist in the Marines despite his youth. I hesitated a little and then gave my consent.

This sounds like the start of a career in intelligence and other bits of evidence only give further support to this idea. I have a list of these and I will leave this with you, the 201 File, Personnel File, that was discovered within the CIA. The recently released documents from the Soviet Union which clearly show that the Soviets considered Oswald a spy. The ease with which Oswald received passports, both before and after his trip to Russia. The fact that he used the word "microdots" in conversation with his coworkers, which is a method, a spy method, of course. His possession of a tiny Minox spy camera which carried a serial number that showed it was not commercially available.

So we see that beginning with the 1960 Hoover warning we see the very real possibility that there may have been more than one Lee Harvey Oswald. Within the Warren Commission volumes there are school records showing that during the fall semester of 1953, Oswald attended 89 days at Beauregard Junior High School in New Orleans missing only one day, yet there are also records showing that during this same period Oswald attended 66 days at Public School Number 44 in New York City. One person cannot be in two separate places at the same time.

Officially the Oswalds moved from New York to New Orleans in early '54, and yet there are some people, including a Mr. William Timmer, who has told us that as a youngster he met Oswald when he lived in Stanley, North Dakota. Now Timmer and others may have been mistaken, but on two separate occasions in a Moscow interview with reporter Aline Mosby and in talking to New Orleans Police Lieutenant Francis Martello in the summer of 1963, Oswald himself referred to his move to North Dakota, and yet there is no record in the official record. There is no notice of him being in North Dakota.

Finally, I will leave you the story of Oswald attending W.C. Stripling Junior High School in Fort Worth, both his mother and his brother Robert told the Warren Commission that Lee entered junior high school in Fort Worth, and Robert specifically named Stripling Junior High School, and yet records presented by the Commission clearly show that Lee entered junior high school in New York where he and his mother had moved in August of 1952. There was no further mention of Stripling Junior High. However, just very recently we located and spoke with a Mr. Frank Kudlaty who now lives in Waco just south of here. In 1963, Mr. Kudlaty was the Assistant Principal at W.C. Stripling High School. He said that the day after the assassination, a Saturday, his principal ordered him to go to the school and provide FBI agents with records on Lee Harvey Oswald. He said he handed over a file of school records to the FBI. There is no mention of these records in the Warren Commission Report or volumes.

Mr. Kudlaty told us that this was the first time since 1963 that anyone had even asked him about these records, and lady and gentlemen, this is one of my main points. There has yet to be a true and full investigation of this case.

So I hope you see now how extremely vital it is to release all the records pertaining to Oswald, even things so minute as his school records. There are thousands -- your job is not as investigators, however there are thousands of investigators in this country, private citizens who are spending their own time and money to solve this case. They deserve full disclosure from their own government, especially in light of the fact that the government and its apologists still maintain that there is nothing amiss with the assassination story.

I hope in my own small way I have shown you the need to produce the documents necessary to bring the assassination case to a truthful conclusion, particularly we need Oswald's early school records in Fort Worth, New York and New Orleans. We need all medical records, all military records, all employment and Social Security and tax records. I know there has been some controversy over where his tax forms have been released. Surely we could see his tax forms. The Cold War is over, there can no longer be any justifiable excuse of national security in holding back assassination material. The only possible security involved would be for those who do not want the truth of the assassination revealed to the public. Its time for consideration of embarrassment to the FBI or the CIA or the Pentagon has long passed. It is now time for the government to open its files on one of the most traumatic events in this nation's history. And you people are the ones, I think, who can effect this turn to full and honest disclosure, and I thank you for your time and attention.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you, Mr. Marrs.

Do members of the Board have any questions?

[No response.]

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you very much. We appreciate your being here today.

MR. MARRS: Thank you.

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