Thursday, January 5, 2017

How Jack White Helped to Kill Harvey & Lee

Jack White was a well known JFK researcher who disagreed with the findings of the Warren Commission and believed in a conspiracy
Note: This article first appeared on the Internet in 2015 and has been rewritten.

Jack White, who passed away in 2012, was a well-known JFK researcher who disagreed with the findings of the Warren Commission and believed in a conspiracy. He was an enthusiastic supporter of John Armstrong's Harvey & Lee theory and worked closely with Armstrong through the years. This article discusses my experiences with White on the JFK Research forum and my disagreement with his assertions concerning the photos of Oswald’s skull from his 1981 exhumation. It also documents my contention that White misrepresented what the photos showed and took advantage of the fact that only he and a few others had access to the photos for several years. This article is not intended to be a "hit piece" on Jack White, the man. There is no doubt that White was a fine person who probably acted as he did in regards to the JFK case because he believed in "the cause." So, before I take White to task, let's look at the some of the high points of his life-and there were many.

White was born in 1927 in Texas. He served in the US Navy during World War II and graduated from Texas Christian University in 1949 with a BA in Journalism. He soon began a successful career in advertising, rising from copywriter to part owner at the Yates Agency in Fort Worth. He later formed his own company, specializing in free-lance art and photography. White also had an interest in historical photographs of Fort Worth and helped to acquire historical prints for an exhibit at the Fort Worth National Bank in the seventies. He was recognized as an expert on the JFK assassination and was a contributor to three books on the subject. White was a consultant to the HSCA in the late seventies as well as on the Oliver Stone film JFK in 1991.

My introduction to White came in 2000 via the old JFK Research Forum run by Rich Dellarosa. After introducing myself to the forum, White (who was given nearly free reign by Dellarosa) immediately and without proof branded me a "provocateur" who was employed by the CIA for the purpose of disrupting the forum. I was also exposed to a maxim by White and others, "anyone who purports to have studied the JFK case and doesn't see that there was a conspiracy is either cognitively impaired or an apologist for the plotters" or words to that effect. I was also asked (looking back I shouldn't have done this) to list how many books on the assassination I had read to see if I was "qualified" to post there. My total of 50 books read up to that time was ridiculed. My website (which I paid for myself at the time) also came under scrutiny and was again accused of being a CIA effort. So it wasn't a rosy beginning and at best I would say he tolerated my presence.

One issue that we thoroughly disagreed about was the 1981 exhumation of LHO. White's position, which never really varied through the years, was explained by this 1997 post from the alt.conspiracy.jfk forum (the original was in all caps):

Some researchers think Marguerite's burial provided opportunity for someone to access the vault for some unknown sort of tampering. I believe that the LHO in the grave had no mastoidectomy scar, which it needed. I think the body was accessed and a fake indentation carved into the mastoid bone. I have showed photos of the exhumed skull to several doctors, and they say what is seen is not a believable effect of an 18-year old operation (the bone should have grown back smoothly, and not be a jagged, gouged defect).

But White was wrong about the mastoid defect as this quote from the Norton Report shows:

The mastoid prominence of the left temporal bone revealed an irregularly ovoid 1.0- by 0.5-cm defect pene­trating to the interior of the mastoid bone with the defect edges rounded and smooth.

In his 2016 book, Morgue: A Life in Death, Vincent DiMaio, one of the four exhumation physicians, agreed:

Its man-made edges were rounded and smooth, healed but not natural. It was an old lesion that couldn’t be faked.

How did the conspirators gain access to the skull in order to do their dirty work? White had a theory about this too, which I dubbed the "Head in the Box" theory. White explained it this way at the JFK Research Forum:

There was much opposition to the exhumation by ROBERT OSWALD until MARGUERITE DIED.  After her death, Robert suddenly dropped his opposition.  When MARGUERITE was BURIED NEXT TO LEE, there were only a few inches of dirt separating the MARGUERITE HOLE and the LEE CASKET.  A mortuary tent was placed over the site as is usual.  Then later, the exhumation occurred.  Several weeks after the exhumation, I received an anonymous phone call.  The caller would not give his name because of violation of his secrecy oath.  He said he was a FORMER AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE OFFICER who was stationed at CAFB in Fort Worth.  He said he wanted me to know that AT THE TIME OF THE MARGUERITE DEATH, A SECRET AIR FORCE FLIGHT LANDED AT CARSWELL AFB.  He was part of the security detail.  Unloaded from the air force plane was a small wooden crate about the size of a hatbox.  Oddly it was loaded into a HEARSE.  That was his story.  He said he follows the JFK case, and had heard of the CRANIOTOMY PROBLEM, and wondered if there was any connection.  Draw your own conclusions.

I found White's assertions, which were primarily based on the observations of his friend, mortician Paul Groody and an alleged phone call, to be speculative and without merit. However, posts such as these made it clear that White had gained access to the exhumation photos at some point. It turns out that access was afforded to him by Armstrong who obtained copies of the exhumation photos and x-rays from Marina in 1994 according to information in Armstrong's Baylor files.

I became determined to see these photos and pestered White at the forum until he finally relented and posted the photos on October 1, 2000 (unbeknownst to me he had apparently posted them previously as well). White had maintained for some time that the photos did not show the craniotomy and I therefore assumed that they didn't. I presumed that tissue was covering the craniotomy and was planning to use that argument. However, I was shocked when I saw the photos and while tissue was indeed obscuring much of the skull, just to the left of the card used to ID the specimen was a horizontal line. Now, horizontal lines do not normally occur in nature and certainly not on skulls. I was even more amazed by the comments White posted with the photos:

If a CRAINIOTOMY were performed (it was), then these photos should show some evidence of it. They said it is unlikely that the "skull cap" should still have been in place, especially given the handling of the remains. Some opponents claim that the mummified scalp holds it securely in place. The photos conflict with statements of undertaker Paul Groody, who said that the skull was mostly bare bone, with little skin or hair.

Unbelievably, with the photos right in front of him and with the craniotomy line clearly visible, White was still denying the craniotomy and using the statements of Paul Groody as the "best evidence" of  the condition of the skull at the exhumation. I decided I needed to tread carefully with my reply:

Couldn't the line that appears just to the left of the LHO "label" in the left photo be consistent with a craniotomy cut?

White replied:

Yes. But why is it seen nowhere else, especially on the opposite side, where only bare bone is seen?

White was wrong about this and the photo in question does not show "bare bone" at all. And when I asked Vincent DiMaio if the photos showed the craniotomy cut, he confirmed it:

The facts are that Jack White had access to the exhumation photos since 1994 and had been telling people there was no craniotomy on LHO's skull for years when he knew otherwise. And the skull switch White postulated never happened. I know this because the Norton Report states that the head was cut away from the body. I also spoke to a witness who saw a copy of a video tape made at the examination with Marina's permission by Hampton Hall. The witness stated that the head was cut away in full view of the camera as the Norton report says. The bottom line is, Jack White was not being fully honest with researchers concerning the exhumation of Lee Harvey Oswald and relied too much on the recollections of his friend Paul Groody rather than the scientific evidence provided by the experts who conducted the examination. And ironically, by releasing the exhumation photos of Lee Harvey Oswald’s skull on the Internet, Jack White did more to refute the Harvey & Lee theory than anyone.


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