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Warren Commission Report Analysis:
Gaeton Fonzi Interview of Vincent Salandria
Originally recorded late June / early July 1966, Philadelphia; original transcript published by David Giglio at Our Hidden History, November 10, 2017. Extended presentation published in rat haus reality press, September 21, 2018.
Editor’s note: Marie Fonzi provided the following: “Gaet met with Vince to prepare for the first Specter meeting. Gaeton then met with Vince after each meeting with Specter to review his explanation and get Vince’s input for the subsequent meeting.” Recordings of the three meetings between Gaeton Fonzi and Arlen Specter are available at the Mary Ferrell Foundation; the dates-and-times were June 28 10:35 a.m., June 29 7:30 p.m., and July 8 11:20 a.m. Judging by the established rapport between Vincent Salandria and Gaeton Fonzi this interview likely occurred after June 29 and before July 8.
composite of Vincent Salandria and Gaeton Fonzi
Complete MP3 recording (1:40:06, 70 MB)
Gaeton Fonzi [Arlen] Specter... I was surprised when reading—surprised is a mild word—when I was reading the Epstein book [Inquest]. I was telling your wife I had heard a lot about Specter. I assumed he had a lot of ambition, I was told and a very aggressive man. I was tremendously impressed with the job he did on the [Teamster leader] Roy Cohen trial. That’s about all I knew of him. But I had assumed that he was a man of intellectual honesty.
Vincent Salandria I would like to say, Gaeton, that you have to think in terms of levels of integrity here. And you have to think of rules. And I’m sure that Specter is a man of intellectual honesty and integrity. It’s a question of first things first and which loyalties come first here.
I think Specter made some very serious errors in his interpretation of the shots, trajectories, and wounds in the assassination of Kennedy. I think that Specter is an enormously intelligent young man, and consequently I would have to believe that he knew some of the problems of the evidence.
Excuse me.
[unrelated phone call]
So I have to conclude that since he is indeed an intelligent man that he knew there were problems here. I have to conclude that he recognized the need for three shots and one assassin. And that he recognized his task and his job to be representing the Commission, which in turn by its mandate represented the president.
Gaeton Fonzi Right there is where you lost me. Your first statement and your second statement—when you say “he recognized”—he recognized the need for...
Vincent Salandria Yes. It’s a question of loyalties. And I’m suggesting, Gaeton, that his first loyalty was to the Commission, which in turn had the job of representing the president with respect to the investigation of the assassination.
Well there are other loyalties a man can have. For example: loyalties to fundamental truth no matter where it goes. I think that came—fundamental concrete objective truth, what actually happened—that must’ve come somewhere secondary to the other loyalties.
But that doesn’t mean that Mr. Specter doesn’t have integrity. It means that he has loyalties to a job which supersede the hunt for fundamental truth. And I think that the loyalties superseded the hunt for truth. That confuses you.
Well it confuses me too, because I’m a peasant type. When I look at evidence, I try to think in terms of what happened. I try to think in terms of something concrete having happened. And if it was an objective happening, the ascertainable facts are there which if you dig hard enough you will find. And from those facts you can draw certain inferences.
I suggest that Specter and the Commission—at least part of the Commission and certainly Specter, were working out, on this evidence—had a pre-determined predisposition to arrive at certain inferences, irrespective of what the evidence was. And you consider that lacking in integrity. Well I think that’s one way of looking at it.
But I think that if you put yourself in the role of Specter at this time—and so far as I can empathize with that kind of position—he took a job. He conceived of himself as working for a governmental organization which in turn represented the president and had a specific task. And within that framework, he worked. And in that role he saw himself. And in that role he did a job which he considered a good one, and which was entirely consistent because he had an assignment. And that assignment was—I’m afraid had to be—that there was one assassin, one gun, stationed in the rear of the Texas Book Depository building. And that therefore no matter what the evidence, the ultimate inference would be that. That’s how I see Specter’s role here. In a certain context, he has integrity. He served his employer.
He thinks he served the country. I think he served the government.
Gaeton Fonzi In effect though he put his name to a document—so far only from what I can judge from having read the Epstein book and your article in The Legal [Intelligencer], which I and everyone else had assumed would present all the evidence and then drew our conclusions from that evidence. But it didn’t do this equivocally.
Vincent Salandria It certainly did not do that. I think I can point out to you here evidence which is so dramatic, I’ll show you, that was not considered at all by Specter. And yet was within his province which I’m afraid he had to see. Because no one can look and not see this evidence. And yet it was not seen. It was not considered. I have to think that this failure to see and this failure to consider was deliberate.
But it was within a context of a role he saw himself playing. He was serving a governmental organization, which, notwithstanding any other contentions—in my opinion at any rate—had a purpose. A specific purpose which was not to investigate all aspects of the assassination. But on the contrary was to conclude that this was an assassination which was apolitical, in effect, and was the act of one man.
This is the role which he did brilliantly. But it had nothing to do with the evidence. The evidence, which in any way contradicted this inference of one assassin—and that was very, very weighty and I think ultimately compelling and conclusive evidence to the effect that there was more than one assassin—any such evidence was ignored.
Let me show you one specific point which I think will help to clear this up. You’ll have to turn that off for me. [Referring to the tape recorder, apparently to make room on the desk where V.S. lays out books and documents, beginning with Epstein’ Inquest.]
[recorder off/on]
The essence of the book turns on the matter which I discussed in my article in the March Liberation, 1965 which shows that the autopsy face sheet—[page 17 of the 20-page document:] Commission Exhibit 397—indicates
Commission Exhibit 397, p.45  
a back hit which is lower than a neck hit which is the front hit. And there in lieu of the x-rays and photographs—which were the primary evidence and the only admissible evidence in any court room—in lieu thereof which were never shown to the Commission, they produce Commission Exhibits 385 and 386 which contradicted the face sheet, contradicted the FBI evidence with respect to where the holes were in the clothing in the shirt and the coat of the president, contradicted the Secret Service agents who saw the blood going in. [Secret Service Agent] Glen A. Bennett says it’s four inches below the shoulder. Clinton Hill, who was a Secret Service agent at the autopsy, will indicate that the bullet wound was six inches down from the neck. Kellerman and Greer—Secret Service agents also present at the autopsy. Now this is pretty dramatic and Epstein builds his whole book on this point.
Commission Exhibit 385
Commission Exhibit 385
    Commission Exhibit 342
Commission Exhibit 386
But there’s even more dramatic materials he never considered—which is something curious about Epstein’s book, I think. But look, the killing shot on the president was the head hit. The head hit is dramatically shown by Abraham Zapruder’s motion pictures, frame 313. Now [Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits] Volume 18, of the notes and testimony, indicate the Zapruder film, Commission Exhibit 885.
Zapruder film frame 313
Now 313 thereof shows you the president being hit. 313. Now that’s a crucial picture because the Commission concluded that that was the fatal hit. LIFE Magazine carried that very dramatically in it’s issue which was filed subsequent to the Commission report, October 2nd, 1964. And here is that picture. Here, 313. I looked at that magazine, knowing that the head hit was the crucial hit and read the caption [number 6, p. 42] relating to that hit: “The assassin’s shot struck the right rear portion of the president’s skull causing a massive wound and snapping his head to one side.”
There was a problem there because the hit is supposed to come from the rear. It’s supposed to make him fall and then the [inaudible 00:12:14, possible break in the recording] this, it shows it in [Commission Exhibit] 386, which hole [referring to an the small entry wound shown in Exhibit 386] incidentally is not seen by 10 out of the 10 doctors who inspected the back of the skull at Parkland Hospital and one nurse out of one nurse. We don’t see this all at. But the Commission absolutely needs it because that hole... then you have an entry on the side and no entry in the back and therefore you have more than one assassin.
Well LIFE Magazine says that head was snapped to one side. Which is curious, because, according to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, any action has an equal and opposite reaction. And the opposite reaction to a hit registering from the back would be a forward motion. But there was a snap to the side.
Now LIFE Magazine recognized they had such a problem because—well this doesn’t show it—but it changed the caption. [See LIFE’s Three Versions] “The assassin’s shot struck the right rear portion of the president’s skull causing a massive wound and snapping his head to one side”. See the same magazine, the same caption, and that’s a different caption. That’s not all. Now if you turn that off [the recorder], I’ll get you another magazine.
[inaudible] because you see the same magazine—they’ve over-corrected because here you see what actually happens. You see they removed the 313 picture and now insert another one. Now what I think is the most dramatic refutation of the Commission case, because now you see the direction which the president is going. And I went to Washington and examined the films at the Archives for a whole day and saw, very dramatically, the president thus before the hit. And then they see in that hit and pivoting leftward... backward... propping him up against the back of the car and leaned into this wife’s arm. Pretty clearly from the hit delivered right forward. Otherwise, you violate Newton’s third law of physics, and—
Gaeton Fonzi I’m not sure—
Vincent Salandria Now let me show you.
Gaeton Fonzi Just start from the beginning.
Vincent Salandria Okay.
Gaeton Fonzi Well this is where he supposedly got ... Well this is what I don’t understand, this—
Vincent Salandria Well the president was first struck, the Commission says, in the back. Now if you read my articles you find out that this represents serious problems because you see he’s erect in the Zapruder films and Willis films and [Mary] Muchmore films and [Orville] Nix film and all—this is the most photographed assassination in history of man. But you know—
Gaeton Fonzi Yeah, go ahead. The Commission says the president was—this is the first bullet.
Vincent Salandria Yes. And my contention is that this represents two hits. One in the back and one in the front.
Gaeton Fonzi Well according to the Commission, this is the first bullet. This is the—
Vincent Salandria Yes. According to the Commission.
Gaeton Fonzi It’s also where [Texas Governor] Connally is supposed to have gotten hit.
Vincent Salandria Right. Well I’ve written three articles on the Connally hit. This is Specter’s unique contribution and this had nothing to do with the head hit. I’m willing to go into this, but would you mind if I just deal with the head hit just one [----] and then I’ll go right over to that? Now lets ... Excuse me.
[phone rings]
Gaeton Fonzi Sure.
Vincent Salandria Hello.
[recorder off/on]
[inaudible] with this head hit, if you looked after 313, you’ll see what’s happening to the president. He is pivoting. You see him pivoting there? And then you get a picture here and ultimately ends up on his side, thusly. And the hit—which impacts on his skull and explodes his skull out. Now I’ll illustrate. This is ... take that [a set books Salandria seems to set on the edge of his desk] [----] as the president’s fall. These books get hit in the back. They fall like they must. Forward. The only thing that would drive them left and backward is a hit from that direction. It’s a question of fundamental physics.
Gaeton Fonzi Well wouldn’t a hit here—
Vincent Salandria Yes.
Gaeton Fonzi Coming from an angle—
Vincent Salandria No. It’s essentially a right backward, the hit. No it could not. The best it could do is drive him in that direction, but not back. That’s impossible. Utterly impossible. I’ve consulted with physicists and it’s just high school physics as they describe in my articles. It’s not complicated physics. It’s Newton’s Third Law of Motion.
Now this is a problem for the Commission, yet the Commission never considered this problem. Never discussed it. And yet there it is. And I’m sure Mr. Specter saw it. And since this was his province he saw the motion pictures, here they are. And LIFE Magazine recognized the problem, by mid-course switching the captions and the pictures, you’ll notice.
Gaeton Fonzi Have you spoken with anyone at LIFE?
Vincent Salandria I had a letter directed to them on the basis of two magazines indicating that there was a difference in the pictures, not discussing the captions. And they gave me a reply saying that they thought they would at first put this picture in and they recognized how important this picture is, and they put that picture in. But never discussing the caption changes and not giving any explanation to encompass those. And I didn’t provide them with the additional information that they had changed their captions. And they evidently assumed that I didn’t have that additional information.
[Later in 1966, after this recording was made, there was an exchange between Vincent Salandria and LIFE editor, Ed Kern about the captions.]
This is, I think, a very dramatic thing. And there are of course many other problems with respect to this head hit. As I pointed out to you, if you read this article, there are 10 doctors indicated here, who discuss that [entry wound] hole in the back that doesn’t exist. And each one of them says “no” to Specter, each one. Systematically.
Gaeton Fonzi The Commission’s own testimony.
Vincent Salandria Own testimony. All of this is.
In addition, you have in the Autopsy proper the statement that, “The complexity of these fractures and the fragments thus produced tax satisfactory verbal description and are better appreciated in photographs and roetgenograms which are prepared.” Yet we know, that the Commission never saw these photographs and never saw the x-rays. And later when Commander Humes who signed as the chief pathologist on this autopsy—signed this autopsy—is asked by Specter: “Were the photographs made available then, Dr. Humes when Exhibit 388 [the head hit] was prepared?” And Humes says, “No Sir.” Specter says, “All right.” Dismissed.
This becomes a serious problem. This dramatic head hit, which propels the president leftward and backward, against Newton’s Third Law of Physics if you’re saying the bullet came from the rear. It is never discussed as a problem by the Commission. Now how can that be if they’re amplifying the facts that explain the assassination?
Gaeton Fonzi Okay. Alright now, what is your assumption based on this?
Vincent Salandria Well I don’t think you have to make assumptions. I think you can conclude based on the evidence—which is all Commission evidence—that there was an assassin, right front, positioned on the grassy knoll, who killed the president with a head hit that impacted—as all the Secret Service agents who see it happen, state—on the right front of the president’s head or on the right parietal area.
Gaeton Fonzi Which is here?
Vincent Salandria Yes.
Gaeton Fonzi The grassy knoll is in that direction?
Vincent Salandria North in direction, yes.
Further, there is material which indicates perhaps even photographic evidence of this occurring. We know from the Commission testimony that 51 witnesses, preliminarily and now even more with the Secret Service reports that had been issued recently, indicate that the shots came from the knoll. Now I believe shots came from the Texas Repository Building and I think shots came from the knoll. These are not mutually exclusive ideas. But the majority of witnesses say the shots came from the knoll. This was ignored. The Commission said there was no credible evidence of any other assassin in any other position. Which is, from the evidence, just impossible to see how one can say this fairly, infer this fairly from the evidence. People smelled smoke in the knoll area, smelled gun smoke, saw gun smoke, heard shots and I think maybe even the cameras picked up what might very well be evidence of what they saw.
There’s the first Moorman shot which is no where to be found in the Commission evidence, no where. They just ignore this which went all over the world. But here there’s a fuzzy area on the knoll, Gaeton. And here you see another, this is the Nix film, this is not the Moorman film, there it is again. And that’s exactly where—and there it is not—exactly where a puff of smoke was said to have been seen by many witnesses who testified to the Commission.
Gaeton Fonzi What is this over here? This is a—
Vincent Salandria This is a—
Gaeton Fonzi This is it here.
Vincent Salandria Yeah. This is more clearly what you see there. I took that picture.
Gaeton Fonzi Okay. It’s a walk way.
Vincent Salandria Yes, and this is the grassy knoll and this is the arcade, from which many people ... My wife is standing there essentially, where that puff of smoke ultimately appears, what appeared down here. I also had my wife kneeling here. This is a very low area, 34 inches in height. I never [inaudible 00:23:50] for specific reason because I thought I saw a man in the Moorman shot, also kneeling, and this is tough to see Gaeton, but see where my ... My wife’s head is not there, here. And on the same scale, you see what could be a light shirt, a forehead and a face, not looking at the president at this point being struck in the head and driven over. Can you see anything there Gaeton?
Gaeton Fonzi I see that there’s light...
Vincent Salandria Now let me tell you that, I can show you evidence of an affidavit to the effect that a man in a building saw somebody running away with a white open shirt. And with a head piece in his hand. And there’s a black cloud, do you see a black cloud in there? My wife is face in front, but this man seems to have almost the profile: face, forehead, white shirt, no?
Gaeton Fonzi No.
Vincent Salandria No.
Gaeton Fonzi I don’t.
[unrelated phone call]
Vincent Salandria Well that’s nearly not so important Gaeton. I think that really what you need is light and ... You see my wife’s face there?
Gaeton Fonzi Yeah.
Vincent Salandria She’s very definitely there. Now you see what could be a face here and a forehead there and a, sorry, a shirt open and a black glove there and a black glove there. If you don’t, you don’t.
Gaeton Fonzi No, I see that white—
Vincent Salandria Okay, that’s the shirt. Now my wife is not that tall apparently, and what she’s doing is thus, look. She’s here, but this guy’s shirt is open and he’s looking in that direction and they’re black gloves here. But if you don’t see it you don’t see. At any rate ... It’s tough, it really is. But once you see it, you see it. It’s below there, see when I do that, you have a shadow. Look, see that black glove?
Gaeton Fonzi Yeah, I see that black line.
Vincent Salandria There’s another here, but think of it in terms of a forehead, and think of this as a white forehead and this is a face. And this is a shirt.
Gaeton Fonzi No.
Vincent Salandria Okay. Well when it comes it comes. At any rate, there’s evidence and I have affidavits. When I say I have affidavits, only their affidavits.
Here again it’s the same scene. If you don’t see that you probably won’t see this, but in here, this is enlarged. See anything there? Now there’s man there, he’s standing. The other guy is fuzzy here.
Gaeton Fonzi This is an enlargement of?
Vincent Salandria This.
Gaeton Fonzi Right.
Vincent Salandria Well, some people have—they see a face there, shoulders, hands. See my face it’s more clear.
Gaeton Fonzi Yeah, I see yeah. I see the face there.
Vincent Salandria Face here right, and hands and some kind of triangular thing here. This right beside him—and you don’t see him here because it comes off at another angle—is, what I think is—
Gaeton Fonzi Is this the same photograph as this?
Vincent Salandria Yeah, same photograph. Is what I can see in the guy I see. And incidentally this appeared all over Europe, was published there. I didn’t publish it because I like to hang to harder stuff, Gaeton, than this when I write. But I think in line with this evidence, which is ... you don’t see it. This evidence, the testimony with respect to automobiles reconnoitering in this area before the assassination, the affidavits in the Commission records indicating gunmen going up this knoll with a gun case. And a woman’s stocking hat.
Willis Slide, #5, © 1964 Phil Willis
Evidence here, this is in the Willis shot. This is the point, just the point at which president’s receiving his first hit. Look here over the wall. There’s some kind of figure there. I don’t know what it is. But look immediately after the hit—
Gaeton Fonzi Where’s the president’s car?
Vincent Salandria The president’s car is down here. There it is, there’s the president’s car. And look here. Gone. They’re the Willis slides.
Willis Slide, #6, © 1964 Phil Willis
Gaeton Fonzi No possibility that this could be the [inaudible 00:29:06]?
Vincent Salandria No, no. It’s different, it was that tree, same tree. Now this is evidence and there’s lots of evidence in the reports that I can pull affidavits for you right now and I will if you want to see them. It will take me a minute. And the fact that there’s lots going on this wall. And after all, minimum 51 witnesses said the shots came from there. After all, the witnesses saw smoke. Photographic evidence is picked up of possible smoke. There are people who testified to people on this area, in this arcade at that time. And despite all of this, the Commission concluded that no shot came from any other direction.
On the other hand, the Specter contribution, which you referred to earlier, was that the president and Connally were hit by the same first shot that hits the president. Now that has any number of problems.
First of course the holes in the shirt as indicated by the pictures found in Epstein’s book and in ... Epstein’s book is upstairs. But let me show you. You’ve seen them. The holes in the shirt are down. Oh here it is. Yeah, are down.
[FBI Agent Robert A.] Frazier describes the holes down. The hole in the coat too. Of course the ... you’ll see ... down there, proceeding down at an angle of 17.9 degrees into the back, from behind, would end up coming out somewhere in the abdomen. Not neck tie knot, which is higher than that point. And they explained that the president’s coat is crumpled, which it is not.
You can see in the Willis shot [#5] when the President is being struck. There’s no evidence of that. How do you explain that the shirt was crumpled to the extent there? How would be possible, where the bullets would emerge, there, there, when the hole is down here?
Why Specter did not ask for the x-rays and photographs, he said it was a question of taste. Well if you go through the evidence you’ll find that the discovery was horrible, ruled. That the Commission could have seen those documents and presented them to the Archives where they’d been seen only by scholars. The Commission did not see these. Specter doesn’t tell us whether or not he saw them. There’s no evidence of whether he saw them. In any event, they are not presented to the Commission.
But then you have that as an initial problem. You have the problem that if it went in here, and it came out here, the bullet would be flying upward. And then it had to be turned downward in order to hit Connally. There’s no evidence at all that Connally is hit when the president is hit. You have the problem here of—
Gaeton Fonzi Well if this is the first shot?
Vincent Salandria This is not the first shot at this point. I think there’s dramatic evidence that two hits into the President before you see a third hit, on that shirt. He’s supposed to be hit as he’s emerging from the sign. I think that he’s hit before that. And I think that there’s good evidence to that effect too. But again, Gaeton, in one afternoon I can’t give you all this. But he’s certainly hit at this point, the Commission concludes, and he’s grasping for his throat.
Gaeton Fonzi Right.
Vincent Salandria Now I see at the Archives, when these pictures are projected to me, he’s grasping for his throat, this way, and then suddenly up, a heaving upward of the shoulders. And you’ll see it here. Look. And you’ll see it here. Extremely high heaving up. By the first motion,... excuse me
Hello Salandria. Yes John...
[recorder off/on]
A hit in the neck. And then the hit in the back. Which are separate and apart. But of course if you accept a hit in the neck, while the president’s facing forward and it could not be delivered from the back and therefore there’s another assassin up there, popping away in the front of the president. And they reject a hit in the neck as having anything other than resulting from the hit in the back.
Now they have a problem there as I indicated in [The FBI Dissents section of] my [The Separate Connally Shot] article. The problem is that the FBI report states that the hit in the back did not emerge.
[unrelated phone call]
I guess you’ve seen this in Epstein’s book. I also dealt with it here, and here’s the applicable quote from the FBI report.
[unrelated phone call]
Now in addition, Epstein of course got the files of one of the counsel, which indicated that not only was the initial, December 9th FBI report, contrary to this double hit concept, but that there was a subsequent report filed, which also supported this proposition. And this report was, I think, January 13th of ’64, which was essentially a month later. And Specter’s explanation that the FBI men dashed out and made a call, has to be mistaken. Because that conceivably could explain why the FBI blundered and without having an autopsy and without having its evidence under consideration, made a hasty judgment that there was no exit on the basis of what somebody said in an autopsy, which was pretty impressive because he was prodding away. Colonel Finck was prodding away there and said there’s no exit to this wound. Assume that the FBI made that mistake without an autopsy, made a finding. Could it have done that a month later, more than a month later? Highly dubious. Yet Specter gave that as an explanation. I think it’s a totally inadequate explanation.
In addition, [---] the shirt speaks for itself. The [---] speaks for itself. The trajectory speaks for itself. The fact that the bullet had to turn in mid air speaks for itself. The fact that no eye witness at all suggested that Connally was hit by the same first bullet speaks for itself. The fact that Connally said he was not hit by the same first bullet. Mrs. Connally said he was not hit by the same first bullet. The Zapruder films show that Connally doesn’t seem to be suffering any ill effects on the hit, which is registered very severely, on Kennedy there. And not only that, but Connally, I wish to point out, was hit ... and for this you’ll have to use my [The Impossible Tasks of One Assassination Bullet] article here. Was hit thusly: under the right shoulder, the entry was. Now under those circumstances, you have a tremendous impact, which drives through the fifth rib—
Gaeton Fonzi Can you see it?
Vincent Salandria It’s clear through, under the right nipple. And yet he makes a turn right against that. He turns all the way around as you’ll notice, all the way around, and faces the president. Again, the hit, here again validating, Newton’s Third Law of physics, which says that to turn against such a force, you would—the probability would be you would go in that direction as opposed to turning.
Gaeton Fonzi He was not hit here or was he?
Vincent Salandria No, he’s supposed to be hit substantially before that. He’s supposed to be hit way before that. He’s supposed to be hit at 225 in Zapruder film, which is best seen by 18, here it is. At 225 they agree that the president was struck. Let me just look at ...
[unrelated phone call]
Now exactly when Connally’s hit is a question for dispute. I happen to think he’s hit flush up against the Kennedy head hit. But one of the last—there’s no evidence at all in support of the proposition, which Specter invented, that there was a double hit. Yet without that double hit, that is the same thing as saying it was more than one assassin because as soon as you get more than three bullets, Gaeton, you then get a picture of more than one assassin.
[unrelated phone call]
Now that is kind of bizarre. I’m not saying that on my own authority. I really have to quote back the arms expert Robert A. Frazier, and he’s talking about the double hit: “I myself don’t have any technical evidence which would permit me to say one way or the other, in other words, which would support it as far as my rendering an opinion as an expert in court.” In other words, the FBI has no technical evidence of this double hit.
There’s an enormous amount of technical evidence against such a proposition. And yet the Commission and this, Specter takes fulls credit for, invented the double hit concept and say that single assassin was here, against all the evidence and I mean all the evidence. They have not walked down one eye witness, and there are hundreds, that they were hit at the same time. They can’t get Connally to say that he was hit at the same time. His wife. The FBI to say they have any technical evidence of it.
They got a curious bullet which I go in detail and I asking you, kindly read my articles for that. This [Commission Exhibit 399] is the bullet which was supposed to have rendered all that damage. Pierced the president through ... Excuse me.
Commission Exhibit 399
[unrelated phone call]
Now that bullet, Gaeton, I would like to tell you, pierced the president, pierced Connally’s fifth rib, shattered his radial bone in the wrist. Incidentally and you can’t see that wrist at the time Kennedy is hit. The Connally wrist is nowhere to be seen. Let’s shift [---] view. I’ll show you a reconstruction. This is supposed to be a reconstruction, a reenactment by the FBI, right? In 225, at which time the president is clutching his throat and is supposed to be hit. Connally’s wrist is nowhere to be seen. So this bullet pierces an invisible wrist and shatters it and the radial bone in the wrist is a particularly durable heavy construction bone. It then deposits a fragment in the femur.
There are fragments strewn throughout Connally in the fifth rib area and the radial bone of the wrist and in the femur and some were left there and some are taken out. And the bullet is supposed to look like that, with its riffling still showing beautifully, weighing 158.6 grains, which Frazier tells us there need not be anything missing from this bullet on the basis of its weight. The maximum weight of any bullet that they weighed of this caliber, was no more than 2.9 grains heavier than this. But this is within the range of an average bullet.
What happened to those fragments? How could they have shaved off there, and from that bullet, which did all that damage and this bullet turned out to weight 158.6 grains, plus the fragments which I have accumulated the evidence, indicating far more than three grains. That violates a fundamental law of physics called the law of conversation of mass, which says that the parts of any particular mass cannot weigh more than the whole of it. No problem. The Commission went right ahead and concluded that this was the bullet that went down into Kennedy’s back, up through his neck, down in mid air, changed direction, went down a steep angle and in Connally shattered ribs, shattered bone, shattered in the femur, shattered itself and came out looking so beautiful.
First said to be on Kennedy’s stretcher. But then realizing that it had to be on Connally’s stretcher to accomplish this thing. Specter concluded it came from Connally’s stretcher. And no good evidence of this.
Now this was the invention of Specter. I suggest to you that does this indicate integrity? I don’t even go into the question of integrity. It certainly had nothing to do with what happened with in the assassination, that’s what I’ll tell you. And the evidence is overwhelmingly against this double hit. The evidence is conclusive against the double hit. And once the double hit is destroyed, and I think my articles have destroyed it, the single assassin theory is finished.
Incidentally, the easy way of settling this would be of course for the government to produce the x-rays and photographs at the Archives. I mean, just put the photographs and x-rays in the Archives where they belong. So scholars can go and look at them.
Gaeton Fonzi The x-rays and photographs of what?
Vincent Salandria Taken at Bethesda, the autopsy, which have never been produced. No law court in the land would have permitted any evidence on this subject, until those x-rays and photographs were produced. No drawings, schematic drawings, done by an artist would have ever have permitted in any court of law, because they are secondary evidence. The primary evidence were the x-rays and photographs taken at Bethesda and they were never produced.
Gaeton Fonzi Of the autopsy?
Vincent Salandria Yeah. I demanded, in my third article, that they be produced. The first I noticed they were missing was from the notes of testimony, and that was in the March [1965] Liberation article. And I have been demanding them since, to no avail, Gaeton.
Gaeton Fonzi Whom has them and whose jurisdiction are they under now?
Vincent Salandria It’s suggested in the Epstein book that Robert Kennedy has the photographs, or had the photographs. The Secret Service, last known, had them. On that score, let me say this, okay. The Secret Service agents told the Commission certain things, that if it believed—and they had certainly a job of protecting their chief, and therefore good reason to tell the truth—if believed, would have destroyed the Commission conclusion of one assassin.
For example, that Kellerman said there were certainly more than three shots. He was in the right front seat of the presidential car. Clinton Hill of course said that the shot in the back was six inches down. Greer confirmed this. Kellerman also confirmed this. Secret Service Agent Kinney said the hit came from the, impacted on the right of the head.
Many other Secret Service agents confirmed this. If the Secret Service was believed, the Commission could not have—if one of them was believed—could not have found the way it did. If the doctors at Parkland were believed on the question of the hole in the back, which was non existent according to them, the Commission could not have found the way it did. If the Commission had paid any attention to the forces and these alter forces and the propulsion of the president’s body, it could not have found what they did. The Commission ignored whole series of evidence, items of evidence because this evidence was inconsistent with [inaudible 00:50:58].
Mrs. Salandria Excuse me. Have you heard from [inaudible]?
Vincent Salandria No [---] He’s in good hands I’m sure. Check around.
Mrs. Salandria I did.
Vincent Salandria Pardon me, but we’re taping this.
Gaeton Fonzi I’m not going to play it for anyone.
Vincent Salandria What were you going to say?
Gaeton Fonzi Just aside from all this, I’m interested in your own work. When you first started with this and how it all came about.
Vincent Salandria Well, I first undertook work when I went to Dallas late June of ’64, before the report was issued.
Gaeton Fonzi Why did you do that?
Vincent Salandria Because the hearings had been secret, which I thought were incompatible with a democratic process and an open society. That the newspaper accounts leaked by sources close to the Commission or close to White House, these were phrases employed constantly, contradicted one another drastically.
Gaeton Fonzi For instance can you recall?
Vincent Salandria For example, well Gaeton, the first newspaper accounts indicated that there was indeed a [---] (Everything I’ve told you, you can ask me for and I can give you documentation for it. Where I said there are newspaper accounts, I’ll produce them for you, if you ask me. I hope to. If you ask me for these things, I’ll give them to you when you’re through.) That the bullet hole entered the front of the neck, one hole, and that the president therefore had been turning around facing the Book Depository Building. Indeed, films indicate the contrary. This was abandoned. And there was of course the idea that the bullet went in the back and stopped there. That was in the newspapers, stopped there, which is the ultimate FBI finding. Now this of course was incompatible with the double hit idea, because if it never got to the back, the back hit then it could not have gone through the neck and therefore could not have hit Connally.
Gaeton Fonzi We’re talking about June now?
Vincent Salandria No, this is before June.
Gaeton Fonzi Before June.
Vincent Salandria The New York Herald Tribune ran a story indicating that there was a man who looked like Oswald on the doorsteps, interested me. This was, the Commission said, William Lovelady, Billy Lovelady, who worked in the Book Depository Building, and never showed us any pictures, the newspapers, of Billy Lovelady so I was highly dubious of this.
I was finally convinced that the Commission had an impossible job if they were going to conclude a single assassin concept when I read I think in April, a newspaper account, to the effect, that a third man was wounded at the assassination site, James T. Tague, a bystander. When I read that, I read almost simultaneously with it the suggestion that there was a double hit.
I’ve always felt that the necessity for a double hit came about as a consequence of the Tague hit. Because you can’t have a hit on the president in the back, an unexplained hit in the front, the hits on Connally (which could be explained on the basis of one bullet), the hit on the president’s head, and another hit on somebody else, with three bullets. Especially since the Tague hit was substantially far from where the president and the governor were hit. 270 feet from the spot designated at the 313 frame, where you see the head hit register on the president. 270 feet from that, Tague is hit. All from another street. Not on Elm Street, but between Main and Congress he’s standing.
When this happened, when I heard of the Tague hit, I was convinced that the case for a single assassin was fast disappearing. And that they apprised us of the Tague hit so late caused me deep concern. I at that point felt that if they were to issue any of the evidence, I would make a particular study of the hard evidence and the shot evidence, because they were going to have particular difficulties in this score if they were going to spell out one assassin. At that point I determined that I would go to Dallas and inspect the site myself and interview some witnesses if I could.
Gaeton Fonzi But, apparently, you haven’t explained, there are, you know, how many other Philadelphia lawyers who were thinking, or who read this stuff about the assassination in the newspapers, and who probably said to themselves, “While that’s interesting, why don’t I wait until the report comes out and find out what they say?”
Vincent Salandria Well, I think there’s always a danger in the assassination of political figures in a country and if individuals don’t get immediately interested. Because I thought of this assassination, I heard back to the killing back of Giacomo Matteotti, 1923 in Italy, the socialist leader there. The Italian people were outraged but did not press for the killers. Mussolini was very pleasantly surprised to find that there—he considered the possibility of a need to resign his power at that time, because of the outrage that resulted from the assassination—but because there was no pressure on the government, from the private citizens, who actually produced the killers, he was more involved by this condition, so that in 1927 he went in the Italian parliament, and for the first time used the word dictatorship. For the first time, he abolished all the legal opposition in the country, and the fascist party became the only legal party in Italy.
I trace the rise of the fascists as the sole power in Italy to the killing of Matteotti and the silencing of the opposition. In 1927, he was willing to take responsibility and he did; historical responsibility for the killing of Matteotti. By then it was too late. But because there wasn’t pressure by the Italian citizens, because the fascist party wasn’t pinned with the responsibility prior to that time, their power was able to build and as a consequence, the direction of the Italian government was fixed fast.
I thought, you could not wait for the government. You could not depend on the government, on any government, in this kind of situation. I thought that you have to be objective about this. That if this had happened in Smolensk or Minsk or Moscow, no American would have believed the story that was evolving about a single assassin with all the contradictions built into the facts. But because it happened in Dallas which happens to be within the confines of the American border, too many Philadelphia lawyers and American citizens accepted it.
Now it’s not true that the Philadelphia Bar accepted it, Gaeton. No. I left out for you the letter I sent with the manuscript to the-then Chancellor, Voorhees. And Voorhees said that no matter what the Commission said, and he said this prior to its issuance, no matter what they said, he would never believe that one man killed the president. And he said this on WPAN.
Gaeton Fonzi When was that? Do you recall when he said that?
Vincent Salandria We can get the exact date. It was pretty early, something like January ’64. So it can’t be said that the Philadelphia Bar had swallowed this story whole. As a matter of fact, when I spoke to Specter and I addressed questions to him at the Bar Association meeting, the overwhelming majority of questioners were overwhelmingly skeptical and the Bulletin wrote the next day, about how deep the skepticism ran in the Philadelphia Bar. Now I’m sure I’m the only Philadelphia lawyer who went to Dallas. Why is that? I’m particularly sensitive to problems of possibility of governments not being as diligent as they should be in situations of this sort.
Why am I particularly sensitive? I guess it comes from my Italian peasant background, that you always dispute governmental actions of this kind. And always be skeptical, which I think is quite in keeping with democratic citizenry. We have to be skeptical. We have to think in terms of the individual being important in a democratic society as the individual being able to accomplish something. And being able to think his way as clearly as governmental experts and perhaps more clearly, because we haven’t got ourselves enmeshed in the interests of governmental power.
I was sensitive, particularly sensitive, you’re right, to the problems here. But not without a basis. As the newspaper reports unfolded, I found them very contradictory, full of problems, indicating that the government itself was full of problems and resolving this as a single assassin concept.
In addition, from the very beginning, even before the shot evidence looked to me to be implausible, in fitting into a pattern of a single assassin, the person designated as an assassin didn’t quite make sense to me. Oswald did not make sense to me as depicted by the government. I immediately began to see the possibilities that Oswald was somehow or other implicated with the government. Perhaps serving as an agent of the government. I at least felt that should be considered as a hypothesis.
And on that score, there was evidence evolving which it got written up by a brother-in-law of mine, Harold Feldman, in The Nation, “Oswald and the FBI”, which Gerald Ford in his book, Portrait of an Assassin, says was the basis for secret executive meetings by the Commission. Because they too were deeply disturbed by this problem. And Epstein also indicates, this was more than rumor.
I felt the personality of Oswald was never adequately explained. The background of Oswald was never adequately explained. And the hypothesis that he was connected with the United States government was not fully explored. That concerned me first of all. My original thought was perhaps this was a CIA and/or FBI agent gone awry, having committed the assassination, ultra vires, outside of the scope of his authority. It was my initial impression.
I did not seriously question the shot evidence, until I read newspaper accounts and I kept careful files. Then I realized the government had very serious problems on their hard core shot evidence. Shot trajectories and wounds were causing them the fits. This was of course Specter’s area. I did not know this. That this was Specter’s area.
Epstein says that this was the crux of the case. It was the crux of the case. I recognized it would have to be because I knew that in family law cases, sometimes you’re not entirely sure whether your client is in fact sticking to what actually happened as closely as he could. What tells you whether he is or not are the minute tiny aspects of the evidence. Which if a person is fabricating the evidence, you cannot think of all details and therefore the details get in the way. That’s been my experience.
My feeling was that this was a simple assassination according to governmental view. Three shots, one assassin, one vantage point. That the facts could come together very neatly if that were the case. However, if there was more than one assassin, then the details would not fit. And the details, Gaeton, do not fit. They fly away from that hypothesis. And that hypothesis is left bare of any facts. It’s left standing there alone as a theory, as a speculation.
And history will determine that the president was killed by ambush and that the Warren Commission evidence indicates this. The secret service evidence indicates this. The FBI evidence indicates this. The wound evidence, just as given by Parkland doctors indicates this. The actual people in the motorcade indicated this. And in fact, the people wounded and all the eye witnesses indicate this. That the idea of a single assassin is a theory, a theory bereft of factual covering. An invention of which Specter takes pride, held together, glued together by the gluing together of wounds in the double hit. The weaving together of wounds, holds this structure together. But the facts do not. [inaudible 01:06:27].
Gaeton Fonzi What did you do in Dallas?
Vincent Salandria Well, I visited Marguerite;, for example, Marguerite Oswald. We went and found a witness to the Tippet killing. She and I were the first ones apparently to interview this witness. Her name was Acquilla Clemmons. And she gave a story of the Tippet killing, which indicated more than one person was involved.
We called this information in to Rankin. Marguerite did it from my presence—Rankin was the chief counsel—reading from my file card. Rankin directed a letter in July, after hearing Mark Lane give this evidence, to Hoover I think, asking whether any governmental agency had ever been advised of this other witness? And the letter came back saying, no governmental agency ever was advised. And therefore, this took the form of a speculation in the report. Speculation to the effect of another witness to the Tippit killing. No governmental agency was ever advised. Rankin was advised. In my presence, by Marguerite. That I think caused me deep concern as to whether the Commission had any interest in finding any evidence, which in any way implicated more than one person in this crime.
Gaeton Fonzi Did they interview this witness, the government?
Vincent Salandria Apparently not. Although she said to me that the FBI had interviewed her. I don’t know whether this is a fact.
Gaeton Fonzi Before you met the witness?
Vincent Salandria Yeah. This was later written up, I would not mention her name. I considered it a confidence because she’s a colored woman in Dallas. But it was written up by Pat and George Nash, Patricia and George Nash, in their Leader articles. Therefore, I mention her name now. Her name was given in that.
Gaeton Fonzi What were the circumstances beyond that? How did you come across her?
Vincent Salandria Marguerite had information. Marguerite was investigating in her own part. She’d never seen her but she knew the name.
Gaeton Fonzi Oswald’s mother?
Vincent Salandria Yes. Knew where to find her and we went there and found her.
Gaeton Fonzi She lived around where the killing occurred?
Vincent Salandria Marguerite lived in Fort Worth. Acquilla Clemmons, yes lived nearby but she was working on the same block as the killing. Actually across the street, same block. She saw it.
Gaeton Fonzi She saw the killing?
Vincent Salandria Yes.
Gaeton Fonzi And she said there was someone else?
Vincent Salandria Yes.
Gaeton Fonzi Present?
Vincent Salandria Yes. Two people involved. Which was perhaps born out by fact that there’s two types of cartridges found at the scene.
Gaeton Fonzi Tippit’s killing?
Vincent Salandria Yeah.
Gaeton Fonzi Where’s that evidence?
Vincent Salandria It’s in the report. All this evidence is in the report.
Gaeton Fonzi What else did you do in Dallas?
Vincent Salandria I should really look at my notes. Well we tried to retrace the route of Oswald. Timing of the vehicles, the time it took us, timing our trip, it was very difficult. It had to be done on double, but conceivable. We scrutinized the assassination site. Took some pictures. Tried to interview the government’s main witness to the Tippit killing. I interviewed her, Helen Louise Markham. She said that she’d be happy to talk to me but I’d have to come back because there was a babysitting problem. And when I came back, there were, in the afternoon, there were two station wagon loads of Dallas policeman pulling away from her house, and she at that point, refused to talk to me.
Interesting because when I went back a year later. I just wanted to see whether she still was living at the same house. And she saw me and she said, “Did you want to talk to me?” And I said, “No, Ms. Markham, I do not want to talk to you.” “Well if you want to talk to me I got a babysitting problem.” Well I said, “I’m afraid I’ve heard that routine before.” And I left without trying to talk to her. She seems to be a pathetic woman. Ball, one of the assistant counsel to the Commission, has called her a screwball. Perhaps that’s harsh language. Let’s say she’s a woman under tremendous pressure.
She advised me that she had—her son advised me afterwards. He walked me down the first time I saw her, down the steps, and was willing to talk to me and did talk to me. And said that after I had, excuse me, talked to her and left and instead of trying to settle her babysitting problems, she had called first the FBI and the Secret Service and the Dallas police. So she wasn’t really interested in talking to me.
What else did we do? We looked at the various spots where Oswald was supposed to have been after the assassination. Tried to talk to the people who had witnessed him running away. What was alleged to be Oswald running away from 10th and Patton, the scene of the Tippit killing.
Talked to Marguerite extensively about Oswald’s background. She was convinced, you know, that he was a CIA agent. Checked out some of the business about whether he had actually read Capital when he was 16 years of age. Found out that unless Capital has been reduced from the multi-volume work into a pamphlet size, then he never did read Capital, as was reported in the press.
We found out his avocation was purely and simply to become a US marine. That he had in fact been approached by a warrant officer in the marines very early, and apparently groomed for enlistment purposes. Only aspiration that he ever had. The family had been extremely patriotic and very good military service records.
Tried to determine what the, tried to piece together some aspects of his life. Stayed a number of days with Marguerite. Listened to what she had to say, what her theories were. Did what I could within a limited amount of time, in a very hot Dallas, to find out from witnesses what happened in the assassination. Didn’t find too much.
Gaeton Fonzi How long were you there?
Vincent Salandria 10 days. The whole trip was 10 days so we were there probably about seven, eight.
Gaeton Fonzi Speak to any witnesses who say the actual assassination?
Vincent Salandria No. I did not. The Book Depository was closed to visitors. It was not what I thought would be most useful work. I expected that we would be hearing eventually what those witnesses said and we have complete records on their interrogations by the FBI and the Secret Service.
Gaeton Fonzi You did nothing then after you came back, until after the report came in?
Vincent Salandria No. No, Gaeton. I was, I felt I had to wait. I wrote to congressmen, a senator, asking that in Congress, the question of the long delay and the secret hearings, be raised. But to no avail.
Gaeton Fonzi You wrote to whom?
Vincent Salandria Well Gaeton, I’d rather not put any particular senator on the spot. But I was corresponding over a period of time with a senator on the case. No response from him. No response until after articles. I started to publish articles, then responses.
Gaeton Fonzi What were your first articles?
Vincent Salandria First article was in [Nov 1964] Legal Intelligencer. Then the January [1965] Liberation, [March 1965 Liberation,] March [1966] MINORITY of One, and then April ’66 MINORITY of One.
Gaeton Fonzi How about the, I saw the carbon in there of your letter to Voorhees. You said something about him telling you in a nice way to mind your manners.
Vincent Salandria Oh that. Oh you saw that article.
Gaeton Fonzi Yeah.
Vincent Salandria That wasn’t the first one. Well my original manuscript, I can get it out, took issue with Specter on what the job of the citizen is in a democracy. [shuffling of papers] I don’t know if I still have that manuscript. Maybe I don’t.
Gaeton Fonzi This was are you talking about a manuscript prior to the first Legal article?
Vincent Salandria Yeah. It took issue with Specter who said that the public would have to accept the status of the Commission and be guided by that.
Gaeton Fonzi You mention that in your Legal article.
Vincent Salandria Yeah. I mentioned that in the Legal, it but I did it more strongly than that. And he asked that I [inaudible 01:19:20]. I don’t think personalities have much to do with this, Gaeton. I would not like to suggest here that this is a matter of personalities. It is not. For example, I’ll make a perhaps unhappy analogy. In the thirties there were purge trials in Russia, of the Trotskyists or people designated as Trotskyists. Now, held in Moscow. I like to think that the people designated as the culprits by the Russian government were doing, no matter what evidence there was or was not against them, and no matter who the prosector was, the result was ultimately the same. So I, too, think that with respect to the Warren Commission, it’s not important who did that work. The result would have been the same.
Gaeton Fonzi After your articles began being published, did you get any correspondence from anyone connected with the Commission at all or the staff?
Vincent Salandria No.
Gaeton Fonzi Did you write any letters to Rankin or to anyone else on the staff, asking them for explanations of this?
Vincent Salandria Well I know that these articles were, I have letters from the staff members which I can show you. The articles were forwarded by other people. If you want, I’ll show you one from Cooper. “No evidence of any other assassin” was the uniform response. They considered it all, there’s no evidence. I wrote to—we had the same barber, Specter, and I knew he was busy with an election. And he agreed with the barber that he’d see me after the election. And I directed a letter to Specter saying, I’m ready now, after the election. Ignored.
Gaeton Fonzi You wrote to him?
Vincent Salandria Yeah.
Gaeton Fonzi After the election?
Vincent Salandria Inviting him to dinner.
Gaeton Fonzi Inviting him to dinner.
Vincent Salandria Yeah. No answer.
Gaeton Fonzi Have you seen him since?
Vincent Salandria Well I bumped into him, I don’t think he recognized me, at the Bar Association cocktail party yesterday.
Gaeton Fonzi Yesterday.
Vincent Salandria Yeah.
Gaeton Fonzi Well, you didn’t go up to him and...
Vincent Salandria No, no. I know that people have tried to arrange discussions with him and me, once at a synagogue. I know that WCAU at Harvey Show was trying to do it at one point. But I’m very willing to discuss this at any time, anywhere with him, preferably in private. But I don’t think there’s any interest.
Gaeton Fonzi Well the only comment I’ve ever seen by him is that New York Times article on the Epstein book in which he claims he hasn’t read the book.
Vincent Salandria The 26 volumes.
Gaeton Fonzi No, the Epstein book.
Vincent Salandria Yeah, he hasn’t read the book. Oh I see.
Gaeton Fonzi Yeah. I believe that was the only quote.
Vincent Salandria No, he said that if Epstein had read the 26 volumes he ...
Gaeton Fonzi Oh did he?
Vincent Salandria Yeah, something to that effect. He said that—no he said that on TV. You should know that he made a statement on TV. But the evidence indicates one assassin.
Well I read the 26 volumes. The evidence indicates more than one assassin. The evidence indicates conclusively more than one assassin. I mentioned this head hit. I don’t know whether, there’s a lot more to it than what I’ve discussed. I tried to be more graphic and involve myself in the minutia there. The wounds are extremely interesting. Because there’s no small hole. There’s an enormous gaping avulsive hole, the back of the head is gone. And I can prove this from all the evidence. But the back of head gone means an exit wound. You’ll see some indication of that in the last part of my March article in Liberation.
Let’s get those details. The important thing is that the president was shot backward and leftward, propelled that way. That was never considered by the Commission. Now they were supposed to have considered all the evidence. The staff, Specter was supposed to have considered. That is something that’s so patent, so dramatic, that if that was never discussed, how can they argue that, The critics are failing to recognize all the evidence. If we had seen all the evidence, we would be, it was their job to present all the evidence as it was, to the American public.
They are holding, the government is withholding one out of every three documents, from the Archives. They’re not available to the Archives. Still. One out of three documents. I can show you a microfilm of the index and you’ll see checks, checks, withheld. If this was such a simple assassination, if in fact it was one disenchanted individual, if not demented then certainly maladjusted, who alone, without any co-conspirators, shot the president, then there’s certainly no need for concealment. But there’s extensive concealment still. Not peripheral concealment. Basic stuff like the x-rays and photographs. Fundamental basic material, without which no prosecution could ever prove any case for even petty larceny in any court of law. It is absent here and continues to be absent.
And the handling of the evidence is grotesque, as I point out. And the Connally clothing was dry cleaned. It’s just a rough equivalent of wiping off finger prints from the murder weapon. Humes certified to burning his autopsy notes. He describes them as burning of preliminary draft notes. The burning of a preliminary draft autopsy. Now this is inexcusable. This is vital historical evidence. The more and more it seems clear that what was burned was the original autopsy, on which the FBI had to base it’s findings. I can’t believe that the FBI would be so stupid that to conclude that that bullet never exited, without asking to see the autopsy. It looks more and more like government agents burned the autopsy, the first autopsy.
Gaeton Fonzi Has anyone else been working with you on this?
Vincent Salandria Not until now. But Ira Einhorn and certain of his friends, have now approached me and we were thinking of undertaking an analysis of a report, the combination which will look at the report and measure it up against solid scientific methodology. What would the report have done and how should it have been written? How should it have considered the evidence, if it had been conformed to scientific methodology? And contrast that with what actually the report does look like and the form it did take. Then to try to reconstruct, in a kind of literary inquest, what the evidence shows actually did happen at the assassination site at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, November 22, 1963.
What actually did happen as is indicated by the evidence and for that purpose, we’re going to examine material in the archive and reexamine all the evidence dealing with the shots trajectories and wounds and try and put together the actual picture of a crossfire, which actually did happen. And a combination of assassins firing on the president and killing him. Which was the case. And which is born out by the Warren Commission evidence. We don’t intend to use anything but the Warren Commission evidence. It’s all there, they just chose to ignore it. Chose to overlook it. And where problems could not be overlooked or ignored, evidence was excluded, and other evidence fabricated.
Gaeton Fonzi Have you had any indications that ... Have you had any indications or have you been actually contacted by any government agency?
Vincent Salandria No. No contact and no harassment. No problems at all. And no support, no opposition. No contact. No interest apparently, and I consider that fine. I could not ask for better treatment on that score.
Gaeton Fonzi I noticed also one of your materials, a letter to Clark. Senator Clark.
Vincent Salandria Were you looking for some material that I showed you there?
Gaeton Fonzi The material that you had left here.
Vincent Salandria Okay, I didn’t know that was there. What was that about?
Gaeton Fonzi Just asking him for a reply, I believe. You had not gotten a reply yet from him, to something you sent him.
Vincent Salandria Let’s see it. That was there by mistake. That’s a different matter. That’s very early isn’t it? November 4th.
Gaeton Fonzi November 4th. This was prior to the publishing of the Legal Article.
Vincent Salandria Yeah.
Gaeton Fonzi But I imagine you had worked up—
Vincent Salandria That was correspondence with him.
Gaeton Fonzi Have you had any answer at all from him?
Vincent Salandria Yes I’ve gotten answers since.
Gaeton Fonzi What did he say?
Vincent Salandria Gee you know, Gaeton, I should show you letters. He was always very courteous. Gives me credit for vast knowledge of the assassination. But last count on the subject of who did it, which was pretty early, “still predisposed” quote him, “To believe the Warren Commission.” Still predisposed to believe the Warren Commission. But Gaeton, he hasn’t figured in any way other than may I say, I asked him to clear the way for me into the Archives to do research. And he took steps to make it possible for me to go there. And cooperated in this respect. No complaints about him either. That letter just got shuffled into there.
At that time, I had written him a whole series of letters from which I got no response. And that was the last one I think on that score. From then on I have been answered all the time—when the articles started to appear.
I have not received any letter or communication by phone or personal communication from anybody which was in any way adverse or critical. I think that says something about our society. The fact that I have taken to say to the American public, that the Commission organized by it’s government, has done a terrible botch and the American public is willing to let people say that, and the people who know this and I suppose there are sizable and substantial [number] that know I’ve been working on it. Not one of them has seen fit to in any way harass me. I think that says something about the mood of the American people. It’s pretty healthy.
I wish the government trusted the American people substantially enough so that it could level with them on matters such as an assassination of head of state. Because I have enormous trust in the American people. I think they are good, solid, skeptical citizens. I think that if you get a cross section of the American public, in many respects, the people who are interviewed by the FBI, the Secret Service and the Commission attorneys, represent that professional man, working people, middle class people, the medical doctors, the police agents, the Secret Service agents, the governor, pretty big cross section, that those people please me enormously. I don’t think there’s any country in the world that has gotten so many people telling so much of the truth to a governmental agency which pretty clearly were not interested in it. That’s remarkable, really remarkable that the truth means so much to individual American citizens.
That despite the fact that the official version of this story was promptly given to the whole world, and they knew they were flying in the face of this official version, by giving the evidence as they saw it. They in fact courageously went in and told the Commission it was mistaken. Not only private citizens, but Secret Service agents. Secret Service agents, who continued their connection with the government, did this. I defy anybody to come up quickly with another country where it’s secret police would act in that fashion.
So my faith in the American people as a consequence of doing this work, has been enormously bolstered. I’m pleased with what I find in the individual American citizen. In fact I’m not totally displeased with what I find in the police agents of this state, who are willing to go in and like Kellerman told the Commission, Gentleman there was certainly more than three shots. Of course they were quick, Specter was quick to show him how he was mistaken. I think he was very right. But this takes a rare kind of courage, and you find it in Americans.
So I was indeed also pleased by the way the government treated the critics. Let the critics go along their way. No critic has been hurt to my knowledge. No investigator has been seriously harassed to my knowledge. There has been not even a semblance of a threat made. And that speaks well for the government. I like to think that the government was split on this subject. I cannot think otherwise, in view of the issuance of the 26 volumes and the establishment of an archives, even the information in the Archives, even though it’s stripped of much of it’s vital content, nonetheless what is there, so fractures the governmental case, that I cannot think otherwise than the government is split on this. Otherwise, this material would not be available to private citizens.
Gaeton Fonzi Well, certainly given me enough to digest for—
Vincent Salandria Oh Gaeton, I’m here.You’ve really got a problem. This stuff is, it’s not impossible to figure, but it’s going to take work on your part. Are you really interested in the correspondence? I’ll dig stuff out if that interests you.
Gaeton Fonzi Well let me...
Vincent Salandria You shouldn’t identify senators I think. I have a letter from a congressman who was essentially convinced, very early. But I wouldn’t want to mention, I don’t know which way you want to approach this.
Gaeton Fonzi Well this is what I’m going to have to figure out.
Vincent Salandria I’ve got lots of material, tons of material.
Gaeton Fonzi Suppose I sit down with what I have now and just get the basics of the thing.
Vincent Salandria May I suggest how absolutely reckless it is to try to understand the shots, trajectories before you really, will read Epstein’s book. But, I don’t want to be arrogant. But Epstein, you know, has been consulting with me. And what he did was just take one little segment of an article of mine, and he admitted this is what he did and he promised to give full credit but didn’t. But that’s not important. The point is that he’s just discussing one facet of the shots, trajectories and that is the hole in the back of the neck, not even to Connally. So I urge you to read the articles and at least come to grips with what I’ve been trying to do in terms of digging up what Specter did. He happened to do it, you know. And coming to an entirely different conclusion on it.
Gaeton Fonzi Okay. I really appreciate you taking all this time.
Vincent Salandria I’m sorry I kept you all this time. Have you a car?
Gaeton Fonzi Yeah, and the fact that it just struck my mind that I hope I’m not in a tow away zone. I’m parked on—
Vincent Salandria Where are you parked?
[recorder off]
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