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Press Reports

No JFK Shirt Material on Bullets

.c The Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) - Material found on the bullet that killed
President Kennedy did not come from the clothing of Kennedy
or John B. Connally, according to tests conducted to shed
light on whether a second shooter fired at the president.

A scientific panel concluded in a report released today by
the National Archives that material on the nose of a bullet
retrieved from Kennedy's limousine consisted of paper fibers
and nontextile material that could not have come from Kennedy
or Connally's shirt.

If it had, that would have supported theories that a second
gunman was involved.

The Justice Department asked the FBI to test the fragments to
determine whether the materials had any relevance to the
Warren Commission's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the
lone gunman.

Connally, the Texas governor, was riding in Kennedy's
limousine in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, when the president was
shot and killed. One of three shots hit Kennedy and then
Connally. The Warren Commission, which conducted the official
U.S. government investigation of Kennedy's slaying, concluded
that Oswald was the sole gunman. Connally died in 1993.

If the material was from Kennedy's shirt, tie or tie liner,
there might have been a ``different trajectory than that
previously identified'' by the commission, said John Keeney,
acting assistant attorney general, in a January 1996 letter
to FBI Director Louis Freeh requesting a bureau investigation
of the bullet fragments. The letter was released by the
Archives along with the bullet report.

The bullet fragments had been stored for years in a metal can
lined with cotton, but tests showed that material
found on the bullet was not the same as the cotton from the

Government scientists also found human skin and tissue on
four bullet fragments, ``but it was not possible to
establish the precise body areas of origin (e.g. scalp,
torso, limb),'' the report said. DNA analysis of the material
was inconclusive.

The panel of scientists from the Archives, the FBI
Laboratory, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner and the
Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory had considered
getting DNA samples from Kennedy and Connally family members
for comparison, but ruled that out after DNA analysis proved

The tests were a piece of unfinished business in the
investigation of Kennedy's assassination. The firearms-
examination panel of the House Select Committee on
Assassinations had recommended the analysis in 1979, but the
recommendation was left out of the committee's final report
and the tests were never done.

The tests on the fragments, which are government property,
began in September 1998 and were completed
last fall.

AP-NY-01-21-00 1120EST


Lab Test on JFK Evidence
U.S. Newswire
19 Feb 1999

National Archives Statement on Status of Lab Test on Kennedy
Assassination Evidence
To: National Desk
Contact: National Archives and Records Administration,
Office of Public Affairs, 301-713-6000

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement
today by the National Archives and Records Administration on the
status of lab test on Kennedy Assassination evidence:

On August 12, 1998, the National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA) announced that it was working with the John F.
Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board to arrange the analysis in
an FBI laboratory of a piece of evidence in NARA's custody from the
assassination of the former president.

The current status of the investigation is as follows:

Examination of four small pieces of possibly organic material
showed that the material consisted of human tissue in varying states
of preservation. Samples were taken from each of the four pieces and
were submitted to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory for
mitochondrial DNA analysis. The initial tests were inconclusive, so
additional samples were submitted for analysis. NARA has monitored
the testing and awaits the final results of the tests. Results of
these tests may be compared to DNA samples from other Warren
Commission exhibits.

/U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
02/19 18:30

Friday, August 14, 1998

FBI To Test JFK Bullet Fragments

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) The FBI soon should resolve a lingering question about
the bullet that killed John F. Kennedy.

An FBI crime lab will try to identify a thread-like material found on a fragment of
the bullet in one of the Assassination Review Board's last moves to shed light on
the events of Nov. 22, 1963.

Officials from the National Archives, which has custody of all evidence from the
assassination and announced the new testing Thursday, said the material's
relevance to investigations of the assassination was unknown. The examination is
aimed at clearing up a discrepancy left over from a previous inquiry.

The Firearms Examination Panel of the House Select Committee on
Assassinations in 1979 recommended testing the material found on the nose of the
bullet in the panel's initial typed report. That recommendation was omitted from the
committee's final printed report, and the Review Board says it was unable
determine the cause of that omission.

"We're following up on a recommendation made almost 20 years ago," said
Review Board spokeswoman Eileen Sullivan. "We would like to see that the record
is complete regarding commission exhibit No. 567."

The FBI most likely will test the material next month at its Washington laboratory,
Archives official Steven Tilley said.

Gerald Posner, author of a 1993 book, "Case Closed," which investigated
Kennedy's death and the inquiries around it, said he doubted the testing would
shed new light on the case. But he said the testing could help alleviate a public
impression that the government "has dragged its feet" in releasing all information
on the assassination.

"Even if it's a big so-what, if it adds some small answer about physical evidence to
the record, then great," Posner said.

The Archives itself took more than 18 months to decide to let the bullet undergo
examination after the Review Board requested the test. Tilley said preservationists
had to determine first whether the tests were worth risking deterioration of what
they consider to be a piece of history.

The bullet, which tore through Kennedy's head and caused the fatal injury, was dug
out of the president's limousine by the Secret Service shortly after the
assassination. To assassination buffs, it is known as the "seat bullet." A second
shot, the so-called "magic bullet," hit Kennedy and then Texas Governor John
Connally, while a third hit a nearby curb.

The bullet, now in five fragments, is kept in a plastic bag inside an acid-free
wooden box at an Archives facility outside Washington.

National Archives preservationists are unwilling to speculate publicly on what
exactly the fibrous material is, Tilley said. It is unclear from FBI photos taken at
the time of the shooting whether the material adhered to the bullet fragment after it
was retrieved, perhaps from the cotton wadding that originally contained it.

Also to be examined are four other fragments, pieces of unidentified organic
material that were at one point considered part of the bullet. Archives
preservationists believe they could be wax, perhaps the kind used to hold displays
for photographers. They know only that the fragments are not metal.

Tilley stressed that like the Review Board, the National Archives' concern is only to
make public all information about the assassination.

"We're not in the business of trying to reinvestigate the assassination," he said.
"What effect it may have on the interpretation of what happened in Dallas is, I
think, up to others."

The Review Board, created by Congress in 1992 to increase public access to the
assassination's records, will close Sept. 30, regardless of the new test's results,
Sullivan said. She added that it was important the testing take place "before we