A ten-step program for understanding the evidence on the JFK assassination
November 2000


The vast majority of students of the JFK assassination have started before they were properly prepared. It is a cruel fact of the JFK assassination that fully understanding the power of its evidence requires far more of the student than most crimes do. To illustrate this critical point, I have prepared a preliminary list of steps that potential researchers must follow if they are to properly interpret the evidence. All steps are required—eliminating even one will seriously weaken the resulting interpretation. Although some parts of the sequence may be rearranged, this order is close to the optimal one. Roughly speaking, the first five steps are preparatory and the last five are actual.

  1. Vow to find the truth, wherever it lies (become a genuine inquirer).
  2. Understand the academic perspective and take it.
  3. Learn about the types of evidence and how to deal with them.
  4. Learn the procedures of critical thinking, including how to spot logical fallacies.
  5. Learn how police departments investigate crimes, and adopt their sequence.
  6. Assemble all the physical evidence from the JFK assassination.
  7. Learn the basics of ballistics, wound ballistics, physics, and the Zapruder film.
  8. Learn the basics of neutron-activation analysis applied to bullet fragments.
  9. Determine which of the JFK evidence matters and which doesn't.
  10. Establish a working hypothesis for the assassination by carefully applying the procedure for critical thinking to the central physical evidence. 

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