Plain Talk Six
This section will tidy up a number of issues concerning the Sirhan evidence. (please Click here for all exhibits cited in this work)
# 1 - One of which is the William Price interview which includes Price’s description of the Sirhan gun box lining. Additionally, and far more important , Price ( Erhard’s friend) accompanied Erhard when they drove up to the Howard Street address to sell Erhard’s gun to fellow employee Joe from Nash’s Department store. Price witnessed the sale of Erhard’s gun to “Joe” (Munir Sirhan used the name Joe). Price is clear that it was Joe who bought the gun from George Erhard. Unfortunately, George Erhard failed to issue a receipt of that transaction (which would have memorialized the gun’s serial number). On one of my visits with Sirhan I did in fact ask him if he remembered ever examining the gun for its serial number. His response was “no”.
# 2 - While I’m on the subject of the Sirhan gun box I want to state my reasons for strongly disagreeing with Lowell Bradford’s conclusions of a specific question I sought: “Did the torn gun box label come from the Sirhan gun box? “ Bradford’s examination (Report of Evaluation - No. 7182) consisted of his placing the torn gun label on top of the gun box in the location where a gun label had once been. So what is wrong with that? Well, the gun label (#H53725 ) suffers from a MISSING piece of the label located at the upper left hand corner. Therefore, it is not an intact label. Furthermore, that missing piece of the torn gun label was not affixed to the gun box. So, how could anyone declare with an absolute certainty that the torn gun label came from that gun box ? Additionally, as I pointed out in an earlier report Bradford did not perform any scientific tests on the paper/glue residue from both the gun box and the underside of the gun label. Then too, Bradford does not make any mention in his report that there is a missing piece of the torn gun label and that the missing piece is not affixed to the gun box. That evidentiary information is extremely important and clearly, Bradford should have included that information in his report. But, unfortunately, he did not.
( I was standing right next to Bradford in the CSA examining room and observed him place the torn gun label on top of the Sirhan gun box (where a gun label had once been affixed). I clearly observed there appeared to be a few traces of paper/glue residue on the gun box - I repeat - the missing portion of the torn gun label was not present on the gun box)
But there is more to this affair: I am also somewhat displeased with Bradford for refusing to take photographs of the grease-like coating he observed on both the sides and the bases of the Sirhan evidence bullets. I am including two letters from Bradford to me in which he specifically states he will “ make a photographic record of the findings”. Both Teeter and I asked him several times to please photograph the condition of the bullets (specifically showing the grease on the sides and bases of the bullets). After Bradford observed the grease on the bullets he abruptly terminated the examination with these words: “There goes your evidence - down the drain” - and at the same time -up went his arms and he moved his chair away from the examining table. His body language said it all -” this examination is TERMINATED !” When our party , who was observing the proceedings through a large window outside the examining room saw what was taking place, complete chaos erupted and they burst into the examining room. In came Paul Nellen, a reporter who had flown in from Hamburg, Germany and the other invited observers CSA rules be damned, they wanted to see for themselves what was happening.
(The guests who were invited to witness the examination in progress were first cleared with CSA staff and were barred , as an extra precaution, from entering the examining room. The only persons permitted in the examining room while the examination was in progress were the examiner, archive staff, their assistants , the law enforcement officer and the person who requested the examination ( myself) My son Gary McQueary was permitted in the examining room to film only portions of the proceedings. At the outset, Bradford made it very clear to my son that he (Bradford) was in charge of what Gary would be permitted to film (that was the reason for the starts and stops in Gary’s film). And with that caveat in place Gary remained in the examination room but stayed a good distance away from the evidence. Thus it was that the observers were restricted to watching the examination through the large window. And so when they clearly saw Bradford’s strange and sudden reaction ( his raising his arms up while pushing away his chair from the examining table) all rules and regulations went out the window. It almost looked like a free-for-all. Nellen suddenly burst into the room holding his camera equipment and at that point Gary left his assigned position and joined Nellen. We (I joined in placing Peo. 47 in its upright position) were actually handling and positioning Peo. 47 which would allow filming the bullet base up close. That is how it came about that both Nellen and my son were able to take up-close photographs of the grease on the Kennedy neck bullet - Peo. Ex. 47s. There is no question they acted as they did because Bradford appeared to freeze when he saw the grease -smeared bullets and refused outright to proceed further. His examination was at an end and though his assignment called for providing me with photographs of the bullets his finding of grease on the bullets changed everything. I believe he should have photographed the altered and damaged condition of the evidence before him.
I think what happened is that Bradford saw that Larry was getting in over his head and he wanted no active role in this sorry case A limited passive role was OK. Bradford led a happy ,successful and contented life ; he didn’t need this troublesome headache.
I couldn’t speak up at the time of the examination - and besides who was I going to complain to? Who on earth was going to listen to me ? There is no question about it , this is a dirty case.
I also want to add that Bradford failed to mention in his report that I requested he take photographs of his bullet examination and that agreed to do so, and also that he would bring the necessary camera equipment for the purpose.
It is not my wish to disparage Bradford’s impressive reputation. I am not. I simply disagree with his “examination “ due to the fact that he reached his conclusion within a matter of a few minutes, an examination which I feel should have included the removal of a small sample of the paper/glue residue from the gun box and from the underside of the torn gun label ( for scientific comparison tests) . In short, Bradford’s report lacks the necessary scientific data without which he cannot conclusively declare that the gun label indeed belonged to the Sirhan gun box.
# 3 - In an earlier report I made a brief reference to a few pages from the Judge Wenke Hearing Transcripts which I discovered in Dep. A.G. Lou Karlin’s Informal Response. Those few pages contained the extraordinary information of a custodial gap of the Sirhan evidence - from : “…at least 1968 through ’73...” (it should correctly read 1969 through ’73 because 1969 is the year the trial ended). Now we see the post -trial custodial gap in the chain of custody of the Sirhan Trial Evidence was eclipsed by far more serious problems . Therefore, I now ask: Where was the Sirhan Trial Evidence stored during that four year custodial gap? Was the evidence safely stored? Under whose control was the evidence from 1969 through 1973? What was the reason for the custodial gap? I am shocked at such total and uncontrolled power. (and bear in mind the custodial gap followed on the heels of the Judge Loring/Judge Walker toothless court order).
# 4 - Also contained in the Judge Wenke Hearing Transcripts is a portion of LAPD criminalist DeWayne Wolfer’s testimony. His testimony revealed the information that different agencies were involved in making the decision to block the Neutron Activation Analyses Tests. Unfortunately, Wolfer’s peers were unaware of that meeting and as a result they believed the decision to block NAA tests was made by him.
On pages 82 and 83 of the above referenced Judge Wenke Hearing Transcripts we see Wolfer response to Attorney Levine’s questions about the NAA test. Wolfer testimony is as follows: (Attorney Levine asked Wolfer: “With whom did you discuss it?”) Wolfer’s response was : “With several. I discussed that with the District Attorney, the Attorney General, everbody in the room, the FBI, our chief, the District Attorneys, the whole works.” Here we clearly see it was not Wolfer who made the decision to block NAA tests.
I am including copies of several pages from Harper’s research files which bear on the subject of the NAA test. During our numerous meetings, Harper frequently complained to me about SUS/LADA “shutting Dr. Noguchi’s mouth”. It is my firm belief that if Harper had known about that assembled meeting Wolfer testified about - he would never have placed the blame (for NAA test denial) on Wolfer’s head. I say this with confidence because Harper often spoke so highly about Wolfer. And now we see his bitterness toward Wolfer (re NAA test denial) was tragically misplaced. “Shutting” Dr. Noguchi’s mouth was probably the one thing that upset Harper the most. He respected nearly everyone “in the business” and they held him in the highest esteem.
# 5 - Dr. Noguchi’s testimony at the Supervisor Baxter Ward Hearings reads : “…retained during the course of the autopsy…” this, no doubt, is a reference to the “missing” 6x3x2 mm bullet fragment which was removed during the autopsy and which : “…corresponds to the largest bullet fragment…” reported by Dr. Noguchi in his Robert F. Kennedy Autopsy Report. It was that small bullet fragment which was to have been used in the NAA test to compare with the Kennedy fatal bullet (Peo. 48) and which was “retained” for that purpose.
It is my belief that the knowledge of the existence of the fragment measuring 6x3x2 mm was the reason the NAA test was turned down in the meeting referenced by Wolfer during his testimony in the Judge Wenke Hearing. What could have been so important for all of those agencies to be called together to shut down NAA tests? And on June 7th (the date of Wolfer’s testimony before the LA County Grand Jury) What were they so afraid it might prove?