Research the JFK (John F. Kennedy) Murder Investigation from the perspective of a forensic or crime scene investigator. Then answer the questions below.
What do you find unusual or of interest as a forensic or crime scene investigator working in today’s technological environment? What in your opinion was mishandled in this case based upon what you have read regarding the case in your text? In your opinion, do you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted as a lone assassin or do you think that he had someone helping him assassinate President Kennedy? From the perspective of the crime scenes resulting from this assassination, what aspect would you consider the most critical or important?
|Subject||Law and governance||Pages||5||Style||APA|
JFK Murder Investigation
On the 22nd day of November 1963, John F. Kennedy; the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated while riding in an open limousine in Dallas. Two days later, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with the murder of the president (Nalli, 2018). It was alleged that Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse window while overlooking the president’s motorcade route. The case has; however, presented several questions as to who actually killed the president and whether it was a lone killer or multiple killers. Additionally, there are questions as to the position of the killer and the direction that the bullets came from. According to Posner (2013), although modern ballistic technology could have been applied to the existing forensic evidence to solve the mystery of who killed the president, such technology did not exist at the time. This paper provides an examination of the murder investigation of FFK highlighting the unusual aspects or a crime scene investigator and aspects which were mishandled in the case.
What I Find Unusual or Of Interest
As a forensic or crime scene investigator working in today’s technological environment, I find various interesting and unusual aspects emanating from the investigation into the murder of Kennedy. One of those is the lack of documented physical evidence which could be used in the identification of what happened and the individuals who were involved. Additionally, I find it interesting that the path of the bullet could not be traced as well as the shooter’s angle and even distance from the victim (Nalli, 2018). Moreover, it is unusual that it could not be determined whether the wound found in Kennedy was due to the exit or entry of the bullet. With the current technology, multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) could help determine the path of the bullets while “frangible ballistic head” could be used in the recreation of the crime scenes.
It is unusual that the number of shots fired cannot be established as well as the number of shooters. Additionally, since the Texas Governor Connelly was sited in front of the president, then I find it unusual that a determination could not be made for certain as to whether the same bullet shot both of them. It is very interesting that the type of bullets used could not be established and whether one gun was used to shoot and thus rule out the presence of multiple shooters (DeRonja & Holland, 2016). It is interesting that the investigations relied on flawed forensic science to reach their conclusions instead of seeking more forensic evidence which could lead to the closure of the investigations.
Issues Mishandled In the Case
Based on what I have read regarding the murder investigation of JFK, one of the issues which I find to have been mishandled is on the crime scene investigation. In specific, the investigators failed to properly document the crime scene so that the information could be used in the analysis. There does not seem to have been any initial theories developed by the investigators based on visual examination. The crime scene investigators did not properly document the scene as; although photographs were taken, there were no notes or sketches which could be used to determine where the bullets came from and the distance of the shooter from the victim (Nalli, 2018). There was no video walkthrough taken by the CSI which depicts not only incompetency but lack of experience as to the conduct of crime scene investigations.
Apart from the mishandling of the documentation of the crime scene, although an autopsy was conducted at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, the findings were inconclusive. Despite the report in the autopsy revealing that JFK was shot in the head and in the shoulder, there was no information as to whether the wound was certainly the entry or exit points for the bullet. The autopsy was mishandled considering that the reports were incorrect and did not even match up. For instance, the individuals handling the autopsy records did not even keep track of the pictures they had taken. Additionally, according to DeRonja & Holland (2016), the pathologists were not experienced enough to understand ways that they could have determined how the bullets went in and exited. As a result, the documentation of the crime scene and the performance of the autopsy are two aspects which were mishandled in the case.
Whether Lee Harvey Oswald Acted As a Lone Assassin
The investigators into the murder of Kennedy concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, was responsible for the firing of three bullets from the sixth floor of a depository building. However, in my opinion, Oswald did not act as a lone assassin but was aided by someone else in assassinating the president. The reason for this position is that there exist many contradictions about the number of shots and from where the shots were fired. Based on the report from the Warren Commission, it has been claimed that Oswald fired three shots in just 8.6 seconds. It is claimed that the first shot missed, the second struck the president in the back, and exited through the throat and finally hit Texas Governor John Connally. Interestingly, the government suffered a broken rib, shattered wrist, and the right thigh injury (Nalli, 2018). It is improbable that one bullet could have such a large impact on an occasion such damage and thus implying that there was another assassin. The so-called magic bullet could not have struck President Kennedy and then go on to seriously injure the Texas governor who was behind him without even shedding its full metal covering (DeRonja & Holland, 2016). There existed no forensic evidence as to the fingerprints of Oswald on the gun or his whereabouts in the period leading up to the assassination. The lack of conclusive and convincing evidence on the matter makes me believe that he was not a lone assassin but was helped by another person.
Most Critical or Important Aspect from the Perspective of the Crime Scenes
Every crime scene has the ability to provide various unique obstacles for the investigator. The scene of death contains the facts of the story. Irrespective of the existing physical evidence, the scene tells a portion of the story and thus demanding every scene to be worked on not only cautiously and slowly but also methodically. In the perspective of the crime scene, the most important aspect is crime scene documentation. In specific, it is vital to examine vantage point as well as the targeting range of the carrying out of the assassination of the president. The exact location and range should be well documented based on where President Kennedy was located, the direction that the bullets came from, and the probable location of the assassin. Preliminary survey and documentation of the crime scene would be vital as it would aid in detailing the location of the sniper who killed the president (Nalli, 2018). As a result, the direction from where the shots came from and the location of the shooter would be most important in establishing where the shots were fired and possibly the person who fired the shots. Additionally, it would be most critical to document the physical evidence as it would be the basis for forensic analysis to determine the type of guns used to shoot, the person who possessed it at the time, and the one who fired the shots.
In conclusion, the assassination of JFK has elicited many conspiracy theories and questions as to whether he was assassinated by one shooter or more. From the murder investigation of President Kennedy, I find it interesting that it could not be established in a certain manner how many shots were fired and the type of guns which was used to shoot. Additionally, there is no conclusive determination as to whether it was a lone shooter or the assassin was helped by another person. The crime scene investigators mishandled the investigation as they did not properly document the scene. Additionally, those conducting autopsy failed to examine every aspect and thus come to the right conclusions. In my opinion, the President was not shot by a lone assassin based on the lack of clarity as to the direction that the shots were fired. From the crime scene perspective, the most important aspects are the location of the shooter and the physical evidence which could be used for forensic analysis.
DeRonja, F. S., & Holland, M. (2016). Lucien Haag’s Flawed Analysis of the First Shot Fired in the JFK Assassination.
Nalli, N. R. (2018). Sniper Target Tracking Analysis of John F. Kennedy Assassination. J Assoc Crime Scene Reconstr, 22.
Posner, G. (2013). Case closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the assassination of JFK. Open Road Media.