CRMJ 430: Crime Scene Investigation
JFK Assassination 1
November 22, 1963 is considered one of the darkest days in the history of the United States. Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas was the setting for one of the most horrific moments ever captured on video, in what has become one of the most controversial topics in US history. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy has raised many theories about what exactly happened that day in the fall of 1963. Many wonder if the lone gunmen theory published by The Warren Commission is the truth, or better yet was even possible? Other questions such as why was certain evidence overlooked and in the case of the President’s limousine and clothing, why were they washed and repaired before the proper investigation could be performed on them? Many books have been written on the subject of the JFK assassination, and I in fact would have to end up writing a book just to mention and discuss all of them. Simply to avoid that, I chose to discuss only a few topics and give my own two cents on what could have been done better to investigate the assassination of the 35th President of the United States. I first want to focus on the mishandling of critical evidence that many experts say would easily answer certain questions. For example the mishandling of evidence that might have proven that there was more than one shooter, and where exactly the shots came from. Second, I want to look at how that evidence would have helped in answering those questions and how they may have directed us towards a guilty suspect or suspects. I have heard investigators say that you only get one shot at a crime scene, and once it is gone, you never get a second chance to redo it over ever again. It’s important to keep that in mind as regards to the JFK assassination because the lack of proper
JFK Assassination 2
investigating is what has lead to there being so many myths about the assassination becoming fact, and the truth slowly being drowned underneath. Obviously, I will not be able to solve this case today, but I’d like to think that if I was given a fair and honest chance to be there in Dealey Plaza on the 22nd of November 1963, I could have provided our country the closure that its been looking for, for over 40 years now. Mishandled Evidence
Video footage, eyewitnesses, firearm, bullets and casings, police on the scene during the crime, and most important of all, they immediately had a suspect. So why couldn’t the Dallas police department solve the most infamous murder of the 20th century? Disregarding all of the conspiracy theories and focusing on the crime scene investigation aspect, it seems that this case was all but in the bag when it was dropped into the lap of the Dallas police department. Poor mishandling of evidence seems to be the main contributor as to why so much speculation arises when the JFK assassination topic comes up. A famous picture from that day is of a detective holding up what at first was thought to be a German-made 7.65-caliber Mauser, but was later identified to be an Italian Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-caliber carbine (Lancer, 1996). The interesting detail in this picture is that the detective is holding the Italian Mannlicher-Carcano...