"Creating Mysteries where None Existed" (Mel Ayton)
Recently I viewed the much ballyhooed Oliver Stone's "JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass" film shown on Showtime (Streaming) here in the U.S. This is the 2-Hour version written by James DiEugenio. There will be a 4-Hour sequel airing sometime in February, next year.
Before I express my opinion of this film, I fully expected it to be very one-sided, unbalanced, all conspiracy based view of the Kennedy Assassination. True to my skepticism, they didn't disappoint.
First let's give filmmaker Oliver Stone some credit. There are vintage film clips that are shown in the film that are well done. Also some graphic representations are professionally well prepared (except the laughable Cyril Wecht Cartoon). There's no doubt that Oliver Stone is a good filmmaker staying true to his craft. There will be viewers impressed by this film content framed in this manner.
However it's the content of the film that is highly questionable. In this article, I will illustrate just one portion of the film that viewers need to consider when evaluating whether the truth is expressed fully in this film.
Indulge with this author a quick analogy.
Imagine you are buying a used car. The salesman points out all the good features of the vehicle to convince you to buy the car. Excellent tires, no body damage, interior in immaculate shape, all clean and ready to drive off the lot. You buy the car, and one week later, the water pump goes out, then the head gasket gets blown, there's an oil leak and the transmission has problems shifting gears. Feeling duped, the buyer regrets not having the vehicle checked by a certified mechanic, to get a 2nd opinion.
Such is the case here in this film. There is no 2nd opinion. The film is trying to sell the viewer on believing there was a conspiracy to kill the President, using dubious methods.
Prints on the Rifle
Respecting the Film Company's copyrights, I am unable to show the film or portions thereof. So I refer you to the 31:00 minute mark of the film, where Oliver Stone asks Brian Edwards whether there were prints on Oswald's rifle. Now I should say, Mr. Edwards does answer truthfully, it's how Stone and his Editor present this to give a false impression.
First let's give a little background on the rifle. It was found on the 6th floor, and Lt. Carl Day of Dallas Police Crime Scene Services examined the rifle, along with Homicide Captain Will Fritz. As seen in the Alyea film, Fritz and Day are examine the rifle, holding it by the strap. Next they hold a magnifying glass up to see if there are any visible prints. Then Day takes the rifle over to the window on the 6th floor (in sunlight) and starts dusting for prints.
Lt. J.C. Day dusting rifle for prints. Photo Credit: Tulsa World Newspaper article, Tom Alyea
Eventually Lt. Day takes the rifle back to the Crime Lab at City Hall and begins further examination. Later on that evening, instructions were given to the Dallas Police to turn over certain physical evidence to the FBI. SA FBI Vince Drain took possession of the rifle and flew it back to the FBI Crime Lab. It was examined by FBI Finger Print Analyst, Sebastian Latona the following day (November 23rd).
As Brian Edwards explains in the film, Sebastian Latona began his examination for prints. Edwards states, correctly, that Latona could not find any "usable prints" on the rifle. That is true. Then Edwards mentions the print lifted by DPD Lt. Carl Day.
Then Edwards makes a point about the Palm Print lifted by Day, saying Latona "there was no evidence that the print was even taken." Sounds sinister, right? Of course Stone zeroed in on that comment to arouse suspicions of his viewers. So let's see what Sebastian Latona said about it in his Warren Commission Testimony.
Mr. Eisenberg. Mr. Latona, could you describe to us what a lift is?
Mr. Latona. A lift is merely a piece of adhesive material which is used for purposes of removing a print that has been previously developed on an object, onto the adhesive material. Then the adhesive material is placed on a hacking, in this case which happens to be the card. The adhesive material utilized here is similar to scotch tape. There are different types of lifting material. Some of them are known as opaque lifters, which are made of rubber, like a black rubber and white rubber, which has an adhesive material affixed to it, and this material is simply laid on a print which has been previously developed on an object and the full print is merely removed from the object.
Mr. Eisenberg. When you say "the print" is removed, actually the powder----
Mr. Latona. The powder that adhered to the original latent print is picked off of the object.
Mr. Eisenberg. So that the impression actually is removed?
Mr. Latona. That is right.
Representative Ford. Is that a recognized technique?
Mr. Latona. Yes; it is.
Representative Ford. In the fingerprinting business?
Mr. Latona. It is very common, one of the most common methods of recording latent prints.
Mr. Eisenberg. Who did you get this exhibit, this lift from?
Mr. Latona. This lift was referred to us by the FBI Dallas office.
Mr. Eisenberg. And were you told anything about its origin?
Mr. Latona. We were advised that this print had been developed by the Dallas Police Department, and, as the lift itself indicates, from the underside of the gun barrel near the end of the foregrip.
Mr. Eisenberg. Now, may I say for the record that at a subsequent point we will have the testimony of the police officer of the Dallas police who developed this print, and made the lift; and I believe that the print was taken from underneath the portion of the barrel which is covered by the stock. Now, did you attempt to identify this print which shows on the lift Exhibit 637?
Mr. Latona. Yes; I did.
Mr. Eisenberg. Did you succeed in making identification?
Mr. Latona. On the basis of my comparison, I did effect an identification.
Mr. Eisenberg. And whose print was that, Mr. Latona?
Mr. Latona. The palmprint which appears on the lift was identified by me as the right palmprint of LEE HARVEY OSWALD1
As you can see of course there was no evidence of the print being lifted, because the dusting powder on the print is totally lifted off with the cellophane. To a casual viewer, the impression Stone implies, there was no evidence of a print EVEN BEING LIFTED.
Creating mysteries where none existed.
You can read the entire Sebastian Latona Warren Commission Testimony here: https://www.jfk-assassination.eu/warren/wch/vol4/page1.php
This is the kind of chicanery Oliver Stone and his staff engaged in this film. It's better known as "lifting out of context" or "isolating the evidence".
In the Latona WC testimony link provided, the reader will learn that Latona made a positive ID of Oswald's prints on the Rifle Bag just previous into discussing the CE139 Rifle prints. Somehow Stone just didn't want that in his film.
My recommendation and opinion of this film is to be highly, and I emphasize highly, skeptical of Stone and this non-factual Train Wreck of a film.
1 - Warren Commission Testimony of Sebastian Latona, Vol. 4, pages 23-24