PSC404, Spring 2001
Assignment 3, due Friday 9 February 2001
Warren Report Chaps. III–V
Warren Commission Report Chapters III–V.
1. Name the persons who saw the rifle being fired from the sixth-floor window or being withdrawn after the shooting. Who saw the most?
2. Describe the bullet fragments found in the presidential limousine. Which ones were traced ballistically to C2766? Were any traced to another weapon?
3. How was the windshield of the presidential limousine damaged, and what does the nature of the damage imply about the direction of the shot?
4. Describe how the nearly whole bullet was found in Parkland Hospital. What did the Commission conclude about its origin, and why? What was the condition of this bullet? Was it “pristine”?
5. Why did the autopsy physicians conclude that the tiny rear wound in JFK’s head was one of entrance, and that the large wound on the right side was one of exit?
6. Using the appropriate diagram (with timings derived from the Zapruder film), show why the Warren Commission felt that the body wounds to Kennedy and Connally had to have been produced by the same bullet (the single-bullet theory). Can you think of any other evidence pro or con?
7. The commission laid out the evidence against Oswald in the following sequence. Very briefly note the strengths and weaknesses of each piece of evidence.
a. He owned and possessed the rifle that shot all bullets that were recovered (and maybe all the tiny fragments, too—but that’s another story).
b. He brought that rifle to the TSBD on the morning of 22 November 1963.
c. He was on the sixth floor of the TSBD a half-hour before the assassination.
d. He was seen firing one or more shots from the southeast window, pausing a moment to observe his handiwork, and then withdrawing the rifle.
e. Six months earlier, he had used the same rifle to try to kill retired Army General Edwin H. Walker in cold blood, but just missed when the general moved at the last moment.
f. Two weeks after the Walker incident, Oswald set out to kill Richard M. Nixon while Nixon was visiting Dallas, but was physically restrained by his wife Marina.
g. He was a good enough shot to potentially succeed at all these attempts.
8. Describe the security precautions taken by the DPD for the transfer of Oswald to the County Jail. What might the police have overlooked?
9. How did Jack Ruby enter the basement of the DPD building? Is there any evidence that he was assisted in doing so?
10. Discuss the timing of Ruby’s arrival in the DPD basement Sunday morning relative to his earlier activities that morning. What does this say about a possible conspiracy involving Ruby?
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