Business as usual or meet the lone gunman(UA-66627984-1)


JFK Lancer 2023 Conference

JFK Lancer 2023 Conference

  Below some pictures of the crowd at the JFK Lancer Conference while my presentation was on in Dallas on Nov 19th 2023.

With thanks to Peter Antill for the photographs.

And here is the video of it, added Nov 24th.

The Opperman Report

The Opperman Report

  I spoke with Ed Opperman on Sept 25th about Prayer Man.

You can listen to it on Spreaker HERE.


Out Of The Blank #1495

Thanks to Robbie Robertson for featuring me again on his out of the Blank podcast.


Also my book Prayer Man More Than A Fuzzy Picture is now also available through Barnes & Noble.

JFK Lancer 2023

JFK Lancer Conference 2023


I will be doing a one hour presentation remotely at the 27th Annual JFK Lancer Conference!
This event is being held on November 17th – 19th, 2023 at the Lorenzo Hotel, Dallas, Texas.

I shall be speaking about some of my key findings from my book Prayer Man: More Than a Fuzzy Picture.

The Book

The Book


So when I finished my papers last year in June Malcolm Blunt said to me “you should do a book”. And that was something I had not planned on doing at all. I was completely against it when I set off on this ‘journey’ of writing it all down in 2016. I enjoyed the approach of the interactive papers with its inserted evidence right there and then.

Had it been anyone else I would not have heeded much notice to that remark, but in this case I did nothing until September 2022 and then started to look into what needed to be done to add and turn it into a book. Producing a book is not really something I have done before, it’s my first.

So here goes….

Since Autumn 2022; the fingerprints, palm prints and nitrate tests have been dug into. Oswald’s psych reports at Youth House in 1953 as well. There will be partial transcripts of interviews done by Ed Ledoux  with Roy Edward Lewis in 2018 & 2022.  On top of that some serious finds added purely based on the documented evidence at hand from the Malcolm Blunt archive and not brought forward before on  this website or anywhere else.

The e-book version will have all its evidence ( 1,200 foot notes) linked but for the hard copy book version I refer you to this website’s special section of the book. Which is a set of pages that has the book chapters’ numbered links to all evidence neatly organised for those that are interested. So you can use your electronic device at the same time to check out the foot notes while reading on that particular page of your hard copy.

This section I put together instead of having to go back and forth within book.

The book will have three chapters:

  1. Prayer Man.
  2. Inside the TSBD.
  3. The Interrogations.

Setting up this whole thing is virgin territory to me and took a few weeks longer than originally thought, but now I hope to release the e-book by July 10th and the hard copy version to be released a week later.

Out of the Blank #1366

I had a chat with Robbie Robertson two weeks ago. Was not really in the mood, but got ‘chatted’ into doing it. I ended up talking about the fingerprints, palm prints and the nitrate tests and also a bit on Oswald at Youth House. An article on that is in the works. It is an element that had to be added to the interrogations chapter.

Furthermore I am working hard on the book. I hope to have it done in electronic form in about 2-3 weeks (famous last words….). A physical copy follows in and around May/June. There will be some exclusive content in that book. Watch this space.

Also I am doing another Quick Hits show with Doug Campbell and Rob Clark in April, so more to come.

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Palm Prints

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Palm Prints.


The palm print is of major interest and that is because eventually Oswald’s palm print was linked to the rifle, but before it got to that it went through some interesting moves. I will share all my available information that I have managed to gather and my special thanks go to Malcolm Blunt for some of the documentation, Terry Martin for the scans of the hallway photographs. Also NARAMFFAARC and UNT. And additional research by Michael T GriffithHarold WeisbergHenry Hurt and David Lifton. Sylvia Meagher is one of the very first ones, in Dec. 1964, who writes about this.

The palm print cards.

There are two sets of Nov. 22nd palm prints known to me. Both signed by Hicks, and referred to as CE 735 & 736. A better quality set is also at the Malcolm Blunt archive in a FBI report from May 19 1978.

Then at UNT, the second set (left & right) is also signed again by Hicks and the images are referred to as the Commission Exhibits. This means that these photos come from the WC and are not reproductions from the DPD themselves. The black edging and numbering give that away. These sets are not originals.

These sets differ from each other once you check the annotations and the positions of the printed fingers of the palm prints in the photographic reproductions.

Carl Day and the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.

Taking a closer look at Carl Day and his statements about the alleged palm print lift. It was allegedly underneath the barrel and ‘protected’ by the wood stock. Day was the only person who handled the rifle.

Lieutenant Day is seen in this Helmer Reenberg compilation of various clips handling the weapon on the sixth floor of the TSBD, near the front entrance and inside the third floor corridor of the DPD. Below a set of photos of Day in the third floor corridor on his way to Room 317 of Robbery & Homicide which was Will Fritz’s office and where Marina Oswald was to be shown the rifle for identification. She was of no help to them. There are no reports of Marina positively identifying the rifle there and then.

In his W.C. testimony he explains where he found the print and what happened during the process of developing the palm print.

Mr. DAY. I took it to the office and tried to bring out the two prints I had seen on the side of the gun at the bookstore. They still were rather unclear. Due to the roughness of the metal, I photographed them rather than try to lift them. I could also see a trace of a print on the side of the barrel that extended under the woodstock. I started to take the woodstock off and noted traces of a palmprint near the firing end of the barrel about 3 inches under the wood-stock when I took the woodstock loose.
Mr. BELIN. You mean 3 inches from the small end of the woodstock?
Mr. DAY. Right–yes, sir.
Mr. McCLOY. From the firing end of the barrel, you mean the muzzle?
Mr. DAY. The muzzle; yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Let me clarify the record. By that you mean you found it on the metal or you mean you found it on the wood?
Mr. DAY. On the metal, after removing the wood.
Mr. BELIN. The wood. You removed the wood, and then underneath the wood is where you found the print?
Mr. DAY. On the bottom side of the barrel which was covered by the wood, I found traces of a palmprint. I dusted these and tried lifting them, the prints, with scotch tape in the usual manner. A faint palmprint came off. I could still see traces of the print under the barrel and was going to try to use photography to bring off or bring out a better print. About this time I received instructions from the chief’s office to go no further with the processing, it was to be released to the FBI for them to complete. I did not process the underside of the barrel under the scopic sight, did not get to this area of the gun.

Mr. BELIN. At what time did these same photographs which are the same as Commission Exhibit 720 and 721 of this print—-
Mr. DAY. About 8 o’clock, somewhere around 8 o’clock, in that neighbourhood.
Mr. BELIN. Of what date?
Mr. DAY. November 22, 1963.
Mr. BELIN. What about the lift which has previously been marked as Commission Exhibit 637?
Mr. DAY. About what?
Mr. BELIN. When did you turn that over to the FBI?
Mr. DAY. I released that to them on November 26, 1963. I did not release this—-
Mr. BELIN. You are referring now—-
Mr. DAY. On November 22.
Mr. BELIN. You are referring to Commission Exhibit 637?
Mr. DAY. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Is there any particular reason why this was not released on the 22d?
Mr. DAY. The gun was being sent in to them for process of prints. Actually I thought the print on the gun was their best bet, still remained on there, and, too, there was another print, I thought possibly under the wood part up near the trigger housing.
Mr. BELIN. You mean the remaining traces of the powder you had when you got the lift, Exhibit 637, is that what you mean by the lift of the remaining print on the gun?
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir. Actually it was dried ridges on there. There were traces of ridges still on the gun barrel.
Mr. BELIN. Can you tell the circumstances under which you sent Commission Exhibit No. 637 to the FBI?
Mr. DAY. We released certain evidence to the FBI, including the gun, on November 22. It was returned to us on November 24. Then on November 26 we received instructions to send back to the FBI everything that we had.
Mr. BELIN. Did you do that?
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir; and at that time I sent the lift marked—-
Mr. BELIN. 637.

But then Day admits photographing the rifle again. He had another chance to photograph the rifle but did not bother about that all important lift again!

Mr. BELIN. I am now going to hand you No. 737 and ask you to state if you know what this is.
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir. This is the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository November 22, 1963.
Mr. BELIN. Who took that picture?
Mr. DAY. I took it myself.
Mr. BELIN. When?
Mr. DAY. About 9 or 9:30 p.m., November 22, on the fourth floor of the City Hall in my office.

Carl Day and the Mannlicher Carcano. Click to enlarge.

Day will not confirm for 100% that Oswald’s palm print is CE 637 without checking it first.

Mr. BELIN. Based on your experience, I will ask you now for a definitive statement as to whether or not you can positively identify the print shown on Commission Commission Exhibit No. 637 as being from the right palm of Lee Harvey Oswald as shown on Commission Exhibit 629?
Mr. DAY. Maybe I shouldn’t absolutely make a positive statement without further checking that. I think it is his, but I would have to sit down and take two glasses to make an additional comparison before I would say absolutely, excluding all possibility, it is. I think it is, but I would have to do some more work on that.

He is questioned about the palm print at the very end by John J McCloy and his statement is very telling.

Mr. McCLOY. Can you restate again for the record what you can positively identify in terms of fingerprints or palm prints and Oswald’s—-
Mr. DAY. The palmprint on the box he apparently sat on I can definitely say it is his without being in fear of any error. The other, I think it is his, but I couldn’t say definitely on a witness stand.
Mr. McCLOY. By the other, you mean the other palmprint?
Mr. DAY. The palmprint and that tracer print aside the trigger housing or the magazine housing.

In an FBI interview from Sept. 9 1964 J.C. Day states on page 4: It appeared probable these prints were from the right palm and fingers of Lee Harvey Oswald, but the rifle was released to the FBI, to be sent to Washington, D .C. before the examination was completed and positive identification of the prints could be made. The prints were not very good for comparison purposes.

Later on he states that after the palm print lift he only told Jessy Curry and Will Fritz about it that evening. He was not able to state the exact time of the discovery nor when he relayed the result to Curry and Fritz. He only knows it is prior Vincent Drain’s collection of the evidence. Yet Curry is asked about the fingerprints that same evening and Will Fritz early on the 23rd and both answered negative.

Hard to believe this as Fritz would have used this there and then since he had nothing that tied Oswald to the rifle at that time. On Dec. 23 1963 Will Fritz has a report made up about the evidence and the palm print is briefly summarised in it. All irregularities are swept under the carpet.

Carl Day and the Mannlicher-Carcano. Click to enlarge.

In Carl Day’s HSCA interview on Oct. 18 1977 he states that Will Fritz ordered him to bring it downstairs and display it to Marina Oswald. Day could not understand whether she recognised the rifle or not. Only after his return to the fourth floor does he ‘discover’ part of a print on the metal bit underneath the barrel where it sits on the stock.

Will Fritz tells him twice to stop as the FBI is taking the rifle with them. No mention of Jesse Curry who was originally stated as the man who told Day to cease his work on the rifle.

He did not give the FBI the print lift as he thought the FBI would do a better job. When the rifle returns to Dallas, Day is disappointed that the FBI did not find the print on the barrel. And once the FBI requires the rifle to be sent back again. Day sent the print lift alongside with the rifle.

He did not make a positive ID with the print he lifted off the barrel as belonging to Oswald. He felt (!) it was Oswald’s, but would not have testified that it was, under oath without further examination.

 Henry Hurt for his book Reasonable Doubt interviewed Carl Day and Vince Drain in 1984 (page 109). Day remains adamant that the Oswald print was on the rifle when he first examined it a few hours after the shooting. Moreover, Day stated that when he gave the rifle to Agent Drain, he pointed out to the FBI man both the area where the print could be seen and the fingerprint dust used to bring it out. Lieutenant Day states that he cautioned Drain to be sure the area was not disturbed while the rifle was in transit to the FBI laboratory. Drain flatly disputes this, claiming that Day never showed him such a print. “I just don’t believe there was ever a print,” said Drain. He noted that there was increasing pressure on the Dallas police to build evidence in the case. Asked to explain what might have happened, Agent Drain stated, “All I can figure is that it [Oswald’s print] was some sort of cushion, because they were getting a lot of heat by Sunday night. You could take the print off Oswald’s card and put it on the rifle. Something like that happened.”

In First Day Evidence by Gary Savage & Rusty Livingstone Savage writes Captain Doughty came in at about 20:30 – 21:00 hrs and told Day to stop working on the rifle (p 108).

Also in the book, on page 108, “He then placed a strip of 2” scotch tape over the developed print and rubbed it down before finally lifting the tape containing the print off and placed it on a card. He said he then compared the lift to Oswald’s palm print card and was certain (!) that it was Oswald’s. He also said that after the lift, he could still see an impression of the palm print left on the barrel.

This is hard to believe when Day stated previously stated that he did not do such a thing.

Next, Lieutenant Day had intended to photograph the area of the rifle barrel from which the palm print lift had been made, but was again interrupted by Captain Doughty at about 10:00 pm. He was told once again to stop working on the gun and release it to FBI Agent Drain, who would arrive about 11:30 pm. Lieutenant Day did not have time to write any reports about what he had found, but did have time to reassemble the rifle before Drain arrived.

 So we have a third person entering the fold as to teling Day to stop working on the rifle! He is at first told by Will Fritz to cease working on the rifle, then Max Doughty tells him twice at 22:00 and then in a statement made by Day to the FBI (page 5) he said that the call from Jesse Curry to get the evidence ready for the FBI to collect came just before midnight! Curry btw makes no mention of this in any of his WC testimony.

Day said that a few days after the evidence was turned over, an FBI agent came to his house. He wanted too know when Lieutenant Day had lifted the palm print included in the evidence they had received because they had positively identified it themselves as Oswald’s palm print. Lieutenant Day got the impression that they had missed it and he could “envision J Edgar Hoover going into orbit.” (pages 109&110).

Lieutenant Day believed at the time that he had not completely obliterated the palm print on the barrel after his lift and later stated he had pointed out the area of the palm print to FBI agent Drain when turning the rifle over to him. Drain on the other hand did not recall being show the palm print (page 110).

 In this ARRB document from Dec. 19 1996 they question the course of the narrative regarding the palm print and the lack of contemporaneous evidence and wonder whether they should question Carl Day again.

Henry Wade.

It is Dallas DA Henry Wade who mentions the alleged palm prints first and that is during the press conference on Nov 24, while Oswald is dead.

 The FBI.

he FBI‘s Vincent Drain collects the rifle. Day and others reports state that he handed the rifle over to Drain at 23:45. This time is hard to accept as being correct. When Oswald speaks to the press at 00:15 he is still wearing his shirt. That shirt was part of the collection of evidence taken by Drain to Washington. Furthermore Henry Wade held a press conference after Oswald’s and Drain is seen standing next to Wade. The earliest Drain could have collected it and taken it away with him would have been 00:30.

The FBI (J Edgar Hoover) writes on Nov. 23rd to DPD Chief Jesse Curry and have found nothing. He states the following on page 7: The latent prints appearing in the photograph taken of the rifle K1, by the Dallas Police Department, are too fragmentary and indistinct to be of any value for identification purposes. Photographs of this weapon taken by this Bureau have failed to produce prints of sufficient legibility for comparison purposes.

After processing the rifle the FBI returns the rifle to the Dallas Police on Nov. 24. The FBI could not find anything, but the DPD produces a palm print lift four days after the evidence has travelled back and forth from Dallas to Washington already.

Then the evidence is turned back over to the FBI by Carl Day to Vincent Drain on Nov. 26th. And this time the palm print lift is included with the rest of the evidence. The official report by Day.

The FBI states in a report, titled “LATENT FINGERPRINTS EXAMINATIONS”, from Nov. 28 that fingerprints and palm prints have been discovered on certain items, but there is no mention of any found on the rifle.

On Nov 29. 1963 the rifle is back in FBI custody after it had been back in DPD custody from Nov 24.

In this report by the ARRB all rifle transporations are logged.

The FBI on Feb. 23 1964 questions the initial missing photographs of the palm print (page 2).

Sebastian Latona.

Sebastian Latona, who is the FBI’s supervisor of the latent fingerprint section of the identity division, in his WC testimony states the following about the quality of the weapon and its connection to fingerprints:


Representative BOGGS. Now, does a weapon lend itself to retaining fingerprints?

Mr. LATONA. This particular weapon here, first of all, in my opinion, the metal is very poorly finished. It is absorbent. Believe it or not, there is a certain amount of absorption into this metal itself. It is not finished in the sense that it is highly polished.

Representative BOGGS. So this would be conducive to getting a good print, or would it?

Mr. LATONA. It would not.

Representative BOGGS. I see-because it would absorb the moisture.

Mr. LATONA. That’s right. Now, there are other guns-for example, Smith and Wesson, which have exceptionally nice finishes, the blue metal finishes are better surfaces for latent prints. Where you have a nickel-plated or silver plated revolvers, where it is smooth-they are much more conducive to latent prints than some of these other things, say like the army type, the weapons used in wartime that are dull, to avoid reflection-things of that type-they are not as good.

Latona has various photographs taken of the rifle and also looks for any other prints.

So I made arrangements to immediately have a photographer come in and see if he could improve on the photographs that were taken by the Dallas Police Department. Well, we spent, between the two of us, setting up the camera, looking at prints,… highlighting, sidelighting, every type of lighting that we could conceivably think of, checking back and forth in the darkroom-we could not improve the condition of these latent prints. So, accordingly, the final conclusion was simply that the latent print on this gun was of no value, the fragments that were there. After that had been determined, I then proceeded to completely process the entire rifle, to see if there were any other prints of any significance or value any prints of value I would not know what the significance would be, but to see if there were any other prints. I completely covered the rifle.

Then he is asked whether he dusted the rifle himself.

Mr. EISENBERG. We will get other evidence in the record at a subsequent time to shon those were the prints of Oswald. Mr. Latona you were saying that you had worked over that rifle by applying a gray powder to it. Did you develop any fingerprints?

Mr. LATONA. I was not successful in developing any prints at all on the weapon. I also had one of the firearms examiners dismantle the weapon and I processed the complete weapon, all parts, everything else. And no latent prints of value were developed.

When it comes to the palm print Latona’s testimony confirms that they had no knowledge of it until seven days after the murder. They only knew of the trigger guard prints wrapped in cellophane. Nor did he see any trace of markings of a lifting on the gun.

Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Latona, as I understand it, on November 23, ‘therefore, the FBI had not succeeded in making an identification of a fingerprint or palmprint on the rifle, but several days later virtue of the receipt of this lift, which did not come with the weapon originally, the FBI did succeed in identifying a print on Exhibit 1303

Mr. LATONA. That is right.

Mr. EISENBERG. Which may explain any inconsistent or apparently inconsistent statements, which I believe appeared in the press, as to an identification?

Mr. LATONA. We had no personal knowledge of any palmprint having been developed on the rifle. The only prints that we knew of were the fragmentary prints which I previously pointed out had been indicated by the cellophane on the trigger guard. There was no indication on this rifle as to the existence of any other prints. This print which indicates it came from the underside of the gun barrel, evidently the lifting had heen so complete that there was nothing left to show any marking on the gun itself as to the existence of such even an attempt on the part of anyone else to process the rifle.

Mr. DULLES. Do I understand then that if there is a lifting of this kind, that it may obliterate—

Mr. LATONA. Completely.

Mr. DULLES. The original print?

Mr. LATONA. That is right.

Mr. EISENBERG. So that you personally,

Mr. Latona, did not know anything about a print being on the rifle which was identifiable until you received, actually received the lift, Exhibit 637?

Mr. LATONA. On the 29th of November.

Mr. EISENBERG. Seven days after the assassination. And in the intervening period, correspondicgly, the FBI had no such knowledge?

Mr. LATONA. As far as I know.

The WC and the FBI try to iron out the creases.

On Aug 28 1964 Wesley Liebeler reports to J Lee Rankin and mentions the Carl Day’s WC testimony and points out the issues regarding the lift of the palm print. He makes mention of FBI agent Sebastian Latona who makes contradicting statements about the barrel, the fingerprint powder, the prints and the lack thereof.

On Aug 28 1964 in a FBI document to Alan Belmont it is noted that the Warren Commission has some questions about the timing of the actual lift of the palm print. They also wonder aloud whether Day had taken actual photographs of the lift or the barrel and this is something he had not done.

In WC Exhibit 2637, a letter from J Edgar Hoover on Sep 4 1964 to J Lee Rankin. Hoover states that the attached photos of the palm print are the ones that were found under the barrel of the rifle.

In a DOJ document of Sep 11 1964 Day is mentioned as having lifted the palm print and that it belonged to Oswald. And that the FBI also tested it and came to the same conclusion. This record is based on the Sep 9 interview (see previous paragraph) of Carl Day by the FBI.

And when the Warren report is published the whole ‘discovery of the palm print’ is rubber stamped.



Related: Lee Harvey Oswald’s Fingerprints.

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Fingerprints

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Fingerprints.


Updated Dec 12 2022 with Nov 23 fingerprint info.

Updated Dec 14 2022 I have sectioned the piece and grouped content and also added some more additional text.

This is a chapter I, at first, did not want to write, and it shows as I started to type some things down on this matter over four years ago. This is part 1 of 3 about Lee Harvey Oswald’s fingerprints. The palm prints and the nitrate test are the other two. In this I will share all my available information that I have managed to gather and my special thanks go to Malcolm Blunt for the documentation, Terry Martin for the scans of the hallway photographs. Also NARA, MFF, AARC, History Matters and UNT. And research by Michael T Griffith, Harold Weisberg, Henry Hurt and David Lifton.

In this WC draft document (pages 1-3) they present their side of this fake story. Here’s mine.

There have been quite a few researchers discussing the finger prints in conjunction with the rifle. A good one is a letter from Michael T Griffith to the ARRB in Dec 1996, this shows how there were no finger & palm prints that evening tying the rifle to Lee Oswald!

In the 1980’s Jerry D. Rose tried to dig into this with articles in Penn Jones’ The Continuing Inquiry in April 1984 and also in a follow up article in The Third Decade in May of 1985. The annotations are not mine in case you are wondering. They are Harry Livingstone’s. By reading both these articles and combining these with the photographs of the fingerprints that are now available from UNT we are a little wiser, yet some issues remain.

Oswald is being visited in Will Fritz’s office by Captain George “Max” Doughty, Detective J.B. “Johnny” Hicks and Sergeant William E “Pete” Barnes. They arrived to take Oswald’s finger and palm prints, but also apply a nitrate test to determine whether he had fired a rifle.

The Search for the Original Fingerprints sets.

Only a few of the fingerprint sets are available to see publicly in archives and as Warren Commission Exhibits. Original sets that have been digitally reproduced are yellowish in colour. Some are at The Portal to Texas History. Further investigation of those sets shows that not one of the Oswald inked & original fingerprint sets seem to be from Nov 22nd. They only have reproductions of WC exhibits in their archives for that date.

One of the first to report on any fingerprints is Nat Pinkston in his late afternoon report of the 22nd. Day has found a partial print and he wishes to photograph it before it gets lifted.

There is a set of photos made by Jim Murray/Blackstar of the three above mentioned policemen holding Oswald’s fingerprints, palm prints and paraffin test tools. They are paraded around the third floor corridor for the world press to see. The policemen appear out of Room 317 one at a time. W.E. Barnes holds the palm prints, George Doughty shows two fingerprint cards and J.B. Hicks carries an empty tin of wax a brush, a small jar and a scraper.

Careful study of the fingerprint sets put on display by the DPD in the third floor corridor show these sets in enough detail of the prints themselves to ascertain where they are positioned on the fingerprint card. This is based on the comparison with the 5 rows wide and 2 rows down squares printed on the cards and the positions of certain fingerprints of Oswald on these cards.

At first, with just the above linked photos available, I was under the impression that Doughty showed off just one set of fingerprints.

Captain George Doughty with Lee Harvey Oswald’s finger print cards. Photos: Jim Murray/Black Star. Scans by Terry Martin for ROKC from the National Archives in the Richard E. Sprague Collection. Click to enlarge.

A video of this scene in the 3rd floor corridor shows that there are two cards shown. But I can only see one set due to the angle of the camera.

As luck would have it, in Malcolm Blunt’s archive, in a folder titled ‘Newspapers’, I come across the second set. Photographed up close by a news photographer from that opposite angle. And again that set of prints cannot be reconciled with any of the known fingerprint cards that are publicly available in any archive, nor are they presented as Commission Exhibits.

Lt. George Doughty showing off the second set of fingerprints. Thanks to Malcolm Blunt. Click to enlarge.

I came across another set of finger prints also signed by J.B. Hicks, this set is known as CE 627, but is not part of one of the sets shown that evening to the press.

While the HSCA was active a record is made on Jul 7 1978. It states that the original fingerprints and palm prints cannot be found in the archives. While scanning documents from Malcolm Blunt I came across three pages of which two were RIF sheets (ending with 48 and 49) and a cover sheet which states that the files have been withdrawn. After looking at these more carefully I can state that the RIF sheet ending with 49 is the same as the file stored online at the National Archives. But the RIF sheets are not equal as to the font used, check for yourself and compare the one below with the one at the link. The file with the RIF number ending with 48 is nowhere to be found. It gets no mention in Google and this in combination with cover sheet that the file consisting of four pages has been withdrawn by the F.B.I.  Now what is so compromising in those four pages for the file to disappear?

From thereon a search ensues and some are eventually found. The find of these fingerprints, shown on the next page, and the palm prints in the FBI archives described in this undated FBI document is quite something and you wonder whether the other two sets suffered a similar fate and not re-appearing.

During Carl Day’s W.C. testimony however it appears that he had these original sets with him. So what happened to the originals?

Mr. BELIN. With the permission of Commissioner McCloy, would it be possible to have Xerox copies substituted for these so that the original can go back with Lieutenant Day?
Mr. McCLOY. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. As I understand it, these are the last original copies you have of palm prints of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. DAY. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Were you there when these prints were made?
Mr. DAY. No, sir. The prints that were made in my presence, which I compared with these, I can state are his, were sent to the FBI.
Mr. BELIN. Would these be the same prints as shown on Commission Exhibit 628 and 629?
Mr. DAY. No, sir. They are still not the originals. They had my name on it when I saw them sign it. But I did compare these with ones I saw made personally of Oswald, and I can say this is his left hand, his left palm, and his right palm.
Mr. BELIN. So you are saying 735 and 736 are his right and left palms. What about 628 and 629?
Mr. DAY. 629 is the right palm, and 628 is the left palm of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. BELIN. What about 627, can you state what that is, if you know?
Mr. DAY. That is a set of fingerprints, standard set of fingerprints, of Lee Harvey Oswald taken by Detective J. B. Hicks on November 22, 1963.
Mr. BELIN. You have just examined these with your magnifying glass, is that correct?
Mr. DAY. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. And you so identify these?
Mr. DAY. They are the fingerprints of Lee Harvey Oswald, whose palm prints appear in 735 and 736.

Fingerprints of Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov 22 signed by J.B. Hicks. Undated FBI document (page 6) from the Malcolm Blunt archives.

The signature of Lee Harvey Oswald on that card, is not his own. Oswald would not sign any of the fingerprint cards, so the DPD did it for him.

W.E Barnes in his WC testimony.

Mr. BELIN. Did he request that he have an attorney present at all, or not?
Mr. BARNES. He didn’t request one. He would not sign the fingerprint card when I asked him. We have a place on this card for the prisoner’s signature, and I asked him would he please sign that, and he said he wouldn’t sign anything until he talked to an attorney.
Mr. BELIN. Did he ask for an attorney or say anything about an attorney when you took the paraffin test?
Mr. BARNES. None to me.
Mr. BELIN. What did you say when he said he would not sign the fingerprint card?
Mr. BARNES. That was all right with me.

Mr. BELIN. Did you just take the palm prints, or did you also take fingerprints?
Mr. BARNES. We took both.

Then there are inkless fingerprints, of which there is a set at UNT, these were also made by J.B. Hicks.

Lee Harvey Oswald – Ink free fingerprint set. from UNT. Click pic to enlarge.

He makes mention of taking these inkless prints during his WC testimony.

Mr. HICKS. Let me see now, I took a set of Oswald’s prints from him that night some time. I do not recall.
Mr. BALL. 9 o’clock or so?
Mr. HICKS. It was some time in that area.
Mr. BALL. Where were you when you took the prints?
Mr. HICKS. I was in Captain Fritz’s office. In other words, I made those on an inkless pad. That’s a pad we use for fingerprinting people without the black ink that they make for the records.

Mr. BALL. Did you do any identification work on either the assassination of President Kennedy or the investigation of Tippit’s murder?
Mr. HICKS. Do you mean as far as fingerprints?
Mr. BALL. Yes; and things of that sort.
Mr. HICKS. Let me see now, I took a set of Oswald’s prints from him that night some time. I do not recall.
Mr. BALL. 9 o’clock or so?
Mr. HICKS. It was some time in that area.
Mr. BALL. Where were you when you took the prints?
Mr. HICKS. I was in Captain Fritz’ office. In other words, I made those on an inkless pad. That’s a pad we use for fingerprinting people without the black ink that they make for the records.

Things get even more peculiar when I come across an inkless set in the book First Day Evidence by Gary Savage & Rusty Livingstone. This set differs from the one at UNT, simply by comparing the positions of Hicks’ signature on both. This set is also not known outside this book, it’s unique. it looks like a reproduction of an original to me and dare I say it that this set has been ‘taken’ from the evidence locker, since there is no other archival / online presence of this set of prints. A souvenir.

Reproduction of the fingerprint card inside First Day Evidence by Gary Savage & Rusty Livingstone..



The inkless set, from the book First Day Evidence by Gary Savage & Rusty Livingstone further above in this article, is ascribed to being taken at Parkland on Nov 25th when Oswald is in the morgue.

Fingerprints Lee Harvey Oswald from Nov 25 1963. From: Getty Images. Click to enlarge.

Oswald’s fingerprints from the morgue are taken early on Nov 25th 1963. Paul Groody, a Dallas mortician, in a sworn statement on Oct 23 1979 (pages 26 & 27) states:

Q: While the body was in the prep room did the FBI or the Secret Service come into the prep room?

A: Yes, I am not sure which, but members of those kind of company, those kind of departments, did arrive with photographic equipment and fingerprinting equipment and go in and fingerprint because we had to clean the fingers off afterwards, and therefore there was that further work done by some authorities.

Q: Did you have to clean each finger on each hand?

A: If I remember correctly, we did. I am not positive on that but at least we know they took fingerprints. We were used to it.

Q: The substance they use is a black, very noticeable substance is that not correct?

A: Yes, that’s true. The black ink they use, and all usually. Its quiet difficult to get good prints, especially after embalming, and especially this one because they don’t come out so good. There is a lot of wrinkling and a lot of drying, you might say, and they wouldn’t have been great prints. I am sure of that, but could be distinguishable.

In a video from the movie The Men Who Killed Kennedy in 1988, Groody states that “agents would come” early on the 25th and that they had fingerprinting equipment with them and had left ink on Lee Harvey’s hands. Showing that they had finger and palm printed him. And they had to remove this ink to make the body be ready for burial.

In Henry Hurt’s book Reasonable Doubt (page 107). In 1983 FBI Agent Drain, who was closely involved in the investigation stated in an interview (with Hurt-BK) that he could not think of any logical reason that the FBI would want further prints from Oswald, since they had already taken sufficient ones for the case. What was even more puzzling to Drain was the report that the agents went to the funeral home, when there had been ample earlier opportunities.

It is hard to believe that the men that were either USSS or FBI agents since both agencies used the widely available set i their documentation. The next two sets from the Secret Service Report are identical to the ones above. These have additional type info added. I have enhanced these two images as they were in quite a bad state on the Mary Ferrell website.

Lee Oswald’s fingerprints in Secret Service CD 78. Pic. from Mary Ferrell. Click to enlarge.


Lee Oswald’s fingerprints in Secret Service CD 78. Pic. from Mary Ferrell. Click to enlarge.

In First Day Evidence by Gary Savage & Rusty Livingstone Savage writes on page 111 Rusty and J.B. Hicks rolled at least three inkless cards and inked card of Oswald that Sunday night in the Parkland morgue.

If the FBI or the USSS did take fingerprints besides the DPD then these have not been shared publicly. And why did they just stick with the same copies shared by the DPD in their documentation? Groody tactfully avoids who they were that walked in with fingerprint equipment.

The Trigger Housing of the Carcano.

Further in the book First Day Evidence by Gary Savage & Rusty Livingstone Savage writes on page 105 “Crime Lab detective Barnes was in the office at the time Lieutenant Day photographed the trigger-housing fingerprints. He later compared the trigger-housing photographs himself to a card of Oswald and told us that he found 3 points of identity. Pete told Rusty and me that there was no doubt in his mind that it was Oswald’s fingerprint.” That by itself is nothing short of astonishing as Barnes never uttered anything of the sort in his WC interview. Besides, three points of identity are not enough anywhere in the USA. A minimum of 10-12 would be ok. The FBI, in 1959, aimed for twelve points of identity. So three points of identity amounts to not much.

The Media.

Dallas newsmen Joe Long and Gary DeLaune of KlIF radio station (RG272 E19 Reel 20 at NARA) both broadcast reports that the rifle contained no fingerprints. “Once again, that late report from police headquarters. No fingerprints found on the weapon which had been located in the building from which the fatal shots were fired. The…rifle, turned over to the FBI, is being sent to Washington …but this is a big disappointment to those investigating today’s assassination.”  I have tried to find the statement on any of the YouTube videos of available recordings.

On Saturday when Captain Fritz was asked by WFAA (RG272 E19 Reel 20 at NARA): “Were Oswald’s prints found on the rifle?” He replied “No, Sir.” From: Best Evidence by David Lifton (page 354).

Vincent Drain

After the press conference Oswald is being searched again, has his shirt taken away for the F.B.I. to take with them. It is Vincent Drain who leaves with the rifle, the pistol, fingerprints, palm prints and some of other Oswald’s belongings on a special military plane towards Washington. Drain took possession of the evidence after Henry Wade’s press conference at about 00:30, and not at 23:45 as officially stated by everyone. At 23:30 Vincent Drain is spotted seen behind Wade and Fritz (scroll to bottom) while they talk to the gathered press in front of Room 317 of Robbery & Homicide. Then there is Oswald’s brief press conference at 00:15 and he is still wearing his shirt that becomes part of the evidence that Drain took with him to Washington. Then Oswald has been moved upstairs to the fourth floor to be processed and hands his shirt over. At the same time Henry Wade is giving his press conference with Drain seen standing next to him.

Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade giving his press conference after Oswald’s. Pic.: Fort Worth Star Telegram. Click to enlarge.

Drain handed it over at Headquarters. J Edgar Hoover wrote to DPD Chief Jesse Curry and listed the evidence received in Wa. on Nov 23rd. Oswald has his finger & palm prints taken again since all fingerprint and palm print cards were taken by the FBI. There are two original fingerprint original fingerprint cards at UNT. These sets that are marked Nov 23rd. The signature belongs to Karl P Knight who was the head of the fingerprint division (page 19). The first set below is not dated, but the second one is. Again it appears that Oswald refused to sign the fingerprint cards.

On Nov 29 1963 Vincent Drain creates a report, confirming what Hoover wrote on the 23rd, listing all items of evidence that were taken early on Nov 23. The latent prints appearing in the photograph taken of the rifle, k1, by the Dallas Police Department, are too fragmentary and indistinct to be of any value for identification purposes. Photographs of this weapon taken by this Bureau also failed to produce prints of sufficient legibility for comparison purposes.

Carl Day.

Carl Day in his WC testimony is not sure and would need to further investigate when he knows that the quality of them is not up to sufficient quality.

Mr. McCLOY. Am I to understand your testimony, Lieutenant, about the fingerprints to be you said you were positive—you couldn’t make a positive identification, but it was your opinion that these were the fingerprints of Lee Oswald?
Mr. DAY. Well, actually in fingerprinting it either is or is not the man. So I wouldn’t say those were his prints. They appeared similar to these two, certainly bore further investigation to see if I could bring them out better. But from what I had I could not make a positive identification as being his prints.

When Carl Day passed the rifle on to Vincent Drain he had no positive ID from what he had found near the trigger guard of the rifle and the fingerprints of Oswald delivered to him that evening by Hicks and Barnes. Day was not holding back since he was under oath. He also states this in his statement from Jan 8th. 1964.


Related: Lee Harvey Oswald’s Palm Prints.