plain talk twelve plain talk twelve plain talk twelve plain talk twelve plain talk twelve pl
On using the De’us Ex Machina
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Reflections on DeWayne Wolfer’s Log : Why were the William Weisel, Paul Schrade and Elizabeth Evans bullets NOT turned over to LAPD criminalist DeWayne Wolfer? Why was the wrong Item number recorded for Sirhan gun in Wolfer’s log? Why wasn’t the gun’s serial number recorded in Wolfer’s log? Why no ID markings recorded for Robert F. Kennedy neck bullet and Goldstein bullet in Wolfer’s log?
I have published a number of reports which revealed the Sirhan gun serial number was absent in the earliest official documents. This shocking information, for whatever reason, failed to interest the media. So it went ignored until the miracle of the internet.
That is not to say I must accept such selective thinking, the internet is my vehicle to get my research out before the public. Here is Plain Talk Twelve:
Problems with De Wayne Wolfer’s Log:
The more I examined the earliest official records relating to Sirhan evidence the more convinced I became something is just not right. And so I thought a good place to focus on would be LAPD criminalist De Wayne Wolfer’s log. This is what I found:
On June 5, 1968 Wolfer records receiving Item #22 as being an Iver Johnson Rev. However, the number Item #22 is incorrect - - it should read Item #11. Could be an innocent typo - maybe. Also, no serial number for the “Sirhan” gun was recorded in Wolfer’s log. Why not?
The official records reveal that every time the “Sirhan” gun was transferred from one location to another the serial number of the gun was NOT recorded. (with the exception of in-house transfer cards which reveal Iver Johnson revolver #H53725 was transferred to SUS on 8-24-68. The transfer cards are stamped CONFIDENTIAL). One must ask what was going on with the murder weapon?
Why wasn’t there a chain of custody for Sirhan evidence? When I brought this charge to criminalist Lowell Bradford’s attention he agreed with me in writing.
How does one explain the omission of the “Sirhan” gun serial number in Wolfer’s log??? How would anyone in the future know with an absolute certainty the correct serial number of the gun purported to be the murder weapon which was given to Wolfer? And that raises another question - why didn’t Wolfer record test firing the gun given to him in his log? That is important because he would have filled out an evidence envelope with the date, make, model and serial number of the gun he used for test firing bullets (Peo.55?)
We know evidence envelope Peo.55 lists the wrong serial number (H18602) for the gun used for test purposes on June 5/6, 1968 by Wolfer - so why not record the test firing in his log?. And remember the ONLY official link Peo. 55 evidence envelope has to the Sirhan case is when Peo. 55 was stipulated into evidence at Sirhan trial with absolutely no informational foundation of the writings on the envelope. NOTHING was read into the record for Peo. 55 !! In short, there is nothing in the Sirhan Trial transcript which tells us what is WRITTEN on Peo. 55 envelope. For all intent and purposes Peo. 55 envelope is one giant BLANK !!!How can that be?
Next came the Los Angeles County Grand Jury on 6-7-68 at which time the Sirhan gun was received in evidence Shortly after the Sirhan trial concluded in 1969 I met criminalist William Harper and it was Harper who gave me a copy of LACGJ transcript o examine.
What I discovered was a shocker. The LACGJ did NOT record the serial number of the gun received in evidence. What I am declaring is the LACGJ transcript does not contain the gun’s serial number !!!
A cover-up of a cover-up.
When Patrick Garland failed to record the gun’s serial number in the official Evidence Inventory you just knew something was rotten. Here we have Judge Wenke granting a re- examination of the ballistics evidence and the main character (the gun serial number) is a non-show. Doesn’t anybody see that as being odd? I know if Harper was alive he bloody well would scream like hell about it.
Let us attempt to follow these records. There is no evidence envelope and no LACGJ tag for the Iver Johnson revolver - serial #H53725 -in the custody of the California State Archives , Robert F. Kennedy Assassination Collection in Sacramento, Ca.
Here is something worth having the court take a look at: There is an evidence envelope for Iver Johnson rev. in Patrick Garland’s 1975 Evidence Inventory. That is POSITIVELY a false and fraudulent envelope. Why?
Examine Garland’s Evidence Inventory and under Peo. Ex. 6 we see there is NO serial number recorded thereon. When I asked archivist Nancy Zimmelman for the evidence envelope for the gun and also for the Grand Jury tag #7 (because I wanted to photograph them with the gun) Zimmelman’s response was they never received them.
The DDA Trapp/Howard Memorandum 100% corroborates the fact that there is no evidence envelope and no Grand Jury tag for the gun.
If Brecht’s character “Judge” Azdak could step out of the pages of The Caucasion Chalk Circle I’d ask him to take this matter up with the court : that there is no serial number for the gun in LACGJ transcript; no gun serial # in Patrick Garland Evidence Inventory ; no gun serial # in De Wayne Wolfer’s log and there is no evidence envelope for the gun in the California State Archives.
There isn’t a court in this country which would ignore such an insult to the judicial system. I can only guess the court is unaware of these irrefutable facts.
It is extremely unfortunate Wolfer didn’t record the gun’s serial number in his log . That of course raised a red flag right out of the gate. But not to worry - those slippery little devils at SUS had their very own De’us Ex Machina at the ready. It was of course Sirhan trial transcript page 3967 - their very own fix-all God Machine. And we all know from the ancient Greeks, nothing trumps the De’us Ex Machina. Not even our courts.
The following day, June 6, 1968 we see an entry for 3:15 p.m. “Received Kennedy bullet from Rampart Detectives”.
Then, later that day at 9:00 p.m. we see : “Comparison of Kennedy and Goldstein bullets”
Here is where we see another problem. Wolfer failed to record the ID engravings on either the Kennedy or the Goldstein bullets. That was unfortunate.
Without recorded ID markings in Wolfer’s log for either Kennedy neck bullet or for Goldstein bullet we cannot know if they were authentic or bogus bullets on 6-6-68. And that doesn’t help Pepper/Dusek. Arguendo, let us assume for a moment the Kennedy/Goldstein bullets in Wolfer’s hands on 6-6-68 were the substitute bullets depicted in Special Exhibit 10 -does that prove beyond a doubt that these are the very same bullets which were stipulated into evidence during the Sirhan’s trial? Of course not. Why? Because, when Dr. Noguchi testified on the following day, 6-7-68, before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury he identified his engraving TN31 on the Kennedy neck bullet base (Peo. 47). Beyond a doubt the actual ID engraving on the base of the Kennedy neck bullet in Wolfer’s lab on 6-6-68 is one of the major questions in the entire Robert F. Kennedy/Sirhan case.
Good test bullet v. poor test bullet
We see victim bullets Stroll, Goldstein, Kennedy neck and the fatal Kennedy bullet plus a fragment were recorded in Wolfer’s log. Missing in the log was the near perfect Weisel bullet, the badly damaged Evans bullet and the fragmented Schrade bullet.
Again, for comparison purposes the Weisel bullet was in near perfect condition. Had Wolfer received this bullet he most assuredly would have agreed with the findings of Harper and Baggett - that Weisel bullet was not fired from the same gun as the Kennedy neck bullet. Additionally, I recall Harper telling me that Peo. 47 bullet was fired from a gun with sharper rifling marks than Weisel bullet.
A quick review:
Peo’ 47 is marked TN31 at autopsy the morning of 6-6-68.
Later that same day Wolfer receives Peo. 47 but does not record its engraving in his log.
The following day, 6-7-68, Dr. Noguchi is called to testify before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury at which time he confirms seeing his engraving TN31 on the base of Kennedy neck bullet (Peo. 47)
Dr. Noguchi’s testimony during the Sirhan trial was unceremoniously cut short. He wasn’t even allowed to examine the Kennedy neck bullet! In fact he was swiftly excused.
Was he there for window dressing? - with a closed mouth? It seems so.
Here’s where it gets interesting:
Next in time came criminalist William Harper who gained access to Sirhan evidence bullets in 1970. Unfortunately, he focused on the bullet striations which would indicate a second gun in the Ambassador Hotel pantry. He too didn’t examine Kennedy neck bullet base for its engraving.
In 1974 during the Baxter Ward Hearings Dr. Noguchi is again shown the Kennedy neck bullet. He clearly sees his engraving TN31 on the bullet base.
Then in 1975 as a result of the Judge Robert Wenke Court Order which authorized a re-examination of Sirhan ballistics evidence we see Criminalist Patrick Garland’s Evidence Inventory reveals that nearly all of the evidence bullets had the wrong ID engravings. Nearly all of the evidence bullets given to the examiners in 1975 were actually imposter bullets.
It will be remembered the Kennedy neck bullet ID engraving should read “TN31” and not the fake “DW””TN” recorded in the 1975 Patrick Garland Evidence Inventory on that bullet’s base. And the Goldstein bullet should have an “X” engraved on its base and not the fake “6”.
Revisiting the Bullet Worksheets (because they were poorly written)
I want to again voice my strong criticism with respect to the seven examiners’ Bullet Worksheets in 1975. It will be remembered it was Patrick Garland who ALONE examined all of the evidence bullets for their ID markings and where these identifiction engravings were located on each bullet. This information was then incorporated in Garland’s 1975 Official Evidence Inventory. I ask - why wasn’t a separate column created on each of the examiners’ Bullet Worksheet where he would record the engraved ID markings of the bullet he was examining?
Admittedly I’m just a researcher - not a criminalist. I know those were very bright examiners and I feel they must have been fooled
What I found most extraordinary is the fact that there is no record of Wolfer’s receiving the Weisel, Evans, or Schrade bullets. While the Schrade and Evans bullets are of interest they are not as valuable as the Weisel bullet because Weisel bullet was an abdominal shot never striking a bone - therefore that bullet was in near perfect condition. It had an ideal soft landing.
Withholding the near perfect Weisel bullet from Wolfer is hard to understand. Had Wolfer been given the Weisel bullet (which he certainly should have received) Wolfer would immediately have seen that the Weisel bullet and the Kennedy neck bullet were NOT fired from the same gun. This is what Harper writes:
“The mean value of 132 separate readings which we obtained on the RFK bullet (Exh. #47) is 181 minutes; the mean value of 132 separate readings on the Weisel bullet is 158 minutes, thus giving a difference of 23 minutes. Since the rifling angle is a basic class characteristic of a fired bullet, it i my contention that such a difference would rule out the possibility of those bullets having been fired in the same weapon.”
William Harper and LAPD’s consulting criminalist Larry Baggett - independtly - examined the Balliscan camera photographs depicting the striations on Kennedy neck and Weisel bullets. They concluded that the Kennedy neck bullet and the Weisel bullet were not fired from the same gun. .
In Harper’s October 6, 1975 Declaration we see Harper turned over four Balliscan camera negatives, two of Ex. 54 (Weisel bullet) and two of Ex. 47 (Kennedy neck bullet) to Scott Hoffman and from there to ????
I find the date of Harper’s Declaration most curious since it takes place in the same time frame as the ballistics examination by the seven examiners.
I ask, why were the seven examiners given Harper’s 1970 Balliscan photographs (depicting Weisel and Kennedy neck bullet) and Baxter Ward 1974 Balliscan photographs (also depicting Weisel and Kennedy neck bullet) and not a copy of the Larry Baggett memo? And then to add insult to injury, the seven examiners (in 1975) were not given the coronor’s Balliscan camera for them to photograph for themselves the Kennedy neck bullet given to them - with the wrong ID engraving on its base !!!!!!
If only those examiners would have taken their own Balliscan camera photograph of the Kennedy neck bullet they received (with “DW””TN” engraving instead of the correct TN31 engraving). I would like to have had it COMPARED with Harper Balliscan photograph and Baxter Ward Balliscan photograph.
It is extremely unfortunate that the seven examiners did not take their own Balliscan camera photographs of Peo. 47 and Peo.54. If I repeat myself it’s due to my disbelief at what took place in that examining room. Wasn’t anyone paying attention? They were all aware of Harper’s charges. I certainly do not suggest the examiners were acting in bad faith. Still, the switched bullets didn’t deface themselves by changing their ID engravings by themselves.
Someone did it - but who? Don’t we deserve answers?
A look at traditional photographs v. Balliscan camera photographs:
Kennedy neck bullet was compared with Goldstein bullet in the Special Exhibit 10 PHOTOGRAPHIC depiction as viewed under a comparison microscope in the LAPD Crime Lab (not a Balliscan camera photo). My question: why would Wolfer choose the damaged Goldstein bullet over the near perfect Weisel bullet for test purposes?
The other photographs in question are the Balliscan camera photographs which depict a DIFFERENT comparison bullet. This time around Peo. 47 was compared with the Weisel bullet (Peo.54) and not the Goldstein bullet as seen in Special Exhibit 10
I hope the reader understands we are dealing with two different animals. One is Special Exhibit 10 which is a photograph of two proven imposter bullets (fake Goldstein and fake Kennedy neck bullet because they have the wrong ID markings on their bases)
The other animal is the Balliscan Camera photograph (s) - one Balliscan Camera photograph depicts Kennedy neck bullet and the other Balliscan Camera photograph depicts the Weisel bullet in two separate photographs!
Simply stated, Kennedy neck bullet was compared with two different “test” bullets. (Goldstein bullet in Spec’ Ex 10 photograph and the Weisel bullet in the newly developed Balliscan Camera photograph) - these are two entirely different cameras.
Withholding the better Weisel bullet from Wolfer explains why Wolfer compared the Kennedy/Goldstein bullets instead of the ideal Kennedy/Weisel bullets. Why would he choose to use a damaged bullet for comparison purposes if he had a near perfect bullet in his possession? As stated above IF Wolfer compared Kennedy neck bullet with Weisel bullet he would most assuredly have reported Kennedy neck bullet and Weisel bullet were fired from two different guns - just as both Harper and Baggett concluded.
Let me share something of interest - in the same time frame that Wolfer was being bamboozled (by not turning over Weisel bullet to him) William Harper was acting as a consultant for Hycon (I believe in Monrovia) in their development of the Balliscan camera!! That odd twist of fate made it possible for Harper to photograph Weisel, Peo. 55 and Kennedy neck bullets for posterity.
Of all of the ironies in this case the Kennedy/Weisel Balliscan camera story tops them all.
I want to add this important information: Wolfer received the Kennedy neck bullet in the official coroner’s evidence envelope which had been filled out earlier that morning (6-6-68) by L.A.C. Coroner Dr. Thomas Noguchi. He (Wolfer) followed correct protocol by placing his initials on this official coroner’s evidence envelope at the time he took possession of it. He had no reason what-so-ever to doubt the authenticity of the Kennedy neck bullet in the coroner’s envelope.That undoubtedly explains why Wolfer failed to record Peo.47 ID markings in his log. He just didn’t question it. Why would he?
In 1970 when Harper received the Kennedy neck bullet from the court clerk the bullet was in the official coroner’s evidence envelope. He therefore assumed Kennedy neck bullet was authentic and he too didn’t examine or record the bullet ID markings on the bullet base.
Both Harper and Wolfer were very smart. It was in the early 1990s when I discovered the wrong ID markings on most of the evidence bullets while examining the official Patrick Garland Evidence Report . My reports were the very first time the story of bullet switching was made public
How would Wolfer and Harper have known that the bullets were switched in 1968 and 1970 (since I didn’t make these discoveries until the early 1990s)?
Unquestionably, Wolfer did not switch either the bullets or the murder weapon. And as for the gun, to this day its provenance has never satisfactorally been established.
This report is not fictional - it is based on actual court records, official documents , letters and information passed on to me by criminalist William W. Harper - without whom the RFK assassination investigation would most certainly never have taken place. He and I worked well together until his health made him slow down.
Then, in 1992 Adel and I began to work together.
Rose Lynn Mangan June 5, 2012