Plain Talk Nine
Plain Talk Nine Consists of Two Separate Reports - and with an added comment.
The first report covers newly discovered evidence which has all of the hallmarks of a fraud with respect to Peo. Ex. 55 “evidence” envelope and with the Jake Williams gun (ser. # H18602). The fraud charge I make is based on a recent discovery which reveals that no foundation exists in the Sirhan trial records for either Peo. 55 or for gun H18602 (documents enclosed)
The second report contains a careful re-examination of the Wenke panel members’ two separate reports - written one day apart , Oct. 3rd and Oct. 4th , yet separated in the Garland Report by some 56 and 85 pages respectively, from a closing statement which plainly refutes the Oct. 3 report !! There is exists a serious contradiction on the final page of Patrick Garland ‘s Report which specifically addresses the panel members’ examination and conclusions of Balliscan camera photographs ( Oct. 3). (documents enclosed).
This first report covers a re-examination of what is purported to be Peo. Ex. 55 evidence envelope containing three test bullets and two shell casings bearing the Jake Williams gun ser # H18602 (instead of Sirhan gun ser. # H53725.)
In one of my earlier reports I focused on the Jake Williams gun and its link to Peo. 55 evidence envelope. At the time I wrote that brief outline report there was no reason to question the authenticity of the Williams gun. And not anticipating its use in court I did not include official source material. Then, just a week or so ago while re-examining some Jake Williams documents for a newsman from a major television network I decided to take a closer look to see if I could find an iron-clad chain -of -custody in the records for Peo. 55 and also for the Jake Williams gun (H18602). I wanted to learn exactly how these two items of evidence first arrived in the Sirhan case.
I therefore went back to LAPD Criminilist De Wayne Wolfer’s trial testimony in the Sirhan trial transcript (pages 4155-4157) This time my attention was focused on the minutest detail which might help to shed some light on Peo. 55 provenance and how it became trial evidence.
Truly, I was not prepared for the surprise that awaited me.
During the trial when Peo. 55 envelope was stipulated into evidence I discovered something most unusual took place. There was no mention of the writings on Peo. 55 envelope!! Literally, nothing was read into the record about any of the writings on Peo. Ex 55 envelope !! Not a word . And so Peo. 55 evidence envelope appears in the Sirhan trial transcript as a phantom - a blank - literally with no foundational information in the record.(documents enclosed)
Following the trial numerous records list three test bullets and two shell casings in Peo. 55 envelope. One of the official records which attest to there also being two shell casings in Peo. 55 envelope is found in the June 7, 1971 MEMORANDUM To: John Howard, Chief Deputy District Attorney From: Sidney D. Trapp, Jr. Deputy District Attorney, p.3. But that sharply contradicts Wolfer’s trial testimony. Prosecutor Fitts asked Wolfer the following question: “what does it contain?” (referencing Peo 55) to which Wolfer responds as follows: (documents enclosed)
“It contains three of the test shots that I took from People’s No. 6, the weapon, and this was from the water recovery tank, and that would be three test shots I used for comparison purposes.”
However, that is not what I found when I examined - and photographed - Peo. 55 and its contents at CSA. I saw three test bullets and two shell casings. How does one explain that serious discrepancy?
Here we see what is written on Peo. Ex. 55 evidence envelope currently stored at the CSA:
“LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPT.
Name: Sirhan, S.B. Date 6-6-68
Make: I7J Cal.: 22 Type: Rev.
No. : H18602 DR: 68-521466
Crime: 187 P.C. Officer: “(this is left blank)
Written at the bottom on the left of Peo. 55 envelope the following is written “ H-18602 - Cadet Model”
It should be noted the handwritten number “ 55 “ is written at the top. (document enclosed)
Handwriting expert LAPD Officer Woodward examined Peo. Ex 55 and found the handwriting to be Wolfer’s. Woodward also reported the letter “B” appeared at the bottom right of Peo. 55 envelope. Today that letter is no longer visible.
How would anyone distinguish Peo. 55 evidence envelope (in the trial records) from a blank envelope? It is an impossibility and for that reason I must reject its authenticity. We see from the trial transcript Peo. 55 is an unproven evidence envelope. Therefore, the Jake Williams gun number H18602 , which is written on Peo. 55 envelope , also has a questionable legitimacy. We see this in the fact that gun number H18602 was never at any time read into the trial record. I repeat, there is nothing containing any identifying information which appears in Sirhan trial transcript for Peo. 55 or for gun #H18602. How can this be?
In the end, Wolfer’s stunningly brief testimony calls for renewed examination. Why is there no identifying /foundational information in the Sirhan trial transcript for either Peo. 55 or H18602? How is such a thing possible? (for something this important to have absolutely no foundational aspects what-so-ever begs credulity)
Recently, the subject of the seven Wenke panel members’ Oct 3rd report was brought to my attention.(same newsman)
Patrick V. Garland was one of the seven panel members in the 1975 re-examination of Sirhan ballistics evidence. It is Garland’s official report “The Re-Examination of Firearms Evidence in the Robert F. Kennedy Assassination” in the AFTE JOURNAL Special Edition which I now took a closer look at. I was interested in the panel members’ examination and report of the Harper/Ward Hearing Balliscan photographs and before long I found the following:
“Special Hearing Exhibit 10, a photomicrograph depicting a bullet comparison, was found to be a comparison between PN 2 (Ex. 47) and PN 6 (Ex. 52). This was determined by a matching of the surface defects in the photomicrograph and those appearing microscopically on PN 2 (Ex. 47) and PN 6 (Ex. 52). On the basis of such comparisons, it does not appear that PN 2 (Ex. 47) and PN 6 (Ex. 52) have changed appreciably between June 6, 1968 (when the photomicrograph was taken) and the present date.
“A microscopic examination of PN 2 (Ex. 47), PN 8 (Ex. 54), A, B, and C (Ex. 55) revealed the presence of microscopic indentations, which measure approximately .003” in diameter. These indentions, do not appear in the original “Harper Balliscan photographs,” taken in 1970. However, these indentations appear in the Balliscan photographs taken in April 1974 for the “Kennedy Hearing.” The source of these indentations has not been determined from a microscopic examination of these impressions.
“Based on the above examinations, there is no evidence to indicate that more than one gun was used to fire the items examined”
The above appeared in the panel members’ Oct 3rd Report and on the following day (Oct. 4) we see a second report written by the panel members - “Comprehensive Joint Report of the Firearms Examiners”. ( both reports were signed by all seven panel members)
(as previously noted the above two reports - Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 - are separated by numerous pages which I found to be unnecessarily confusing.)
Then, something most unusual takes place. On the final page of Garland’s Report in AFTE we see the following:
“The panel recognizes that the original issue was raised after Balliscan photographs of the Kennedy, Weisel, and test bullet had been studied. It is felt that final judgments should be based on an examination of original evidence, not photographs of the evidence. To this end, two panel members (Berg and Turner) conducted independent and joint measurements on known test shots fired from Sirhan’s gun, the Kennedy bullet, and the Weisel bullet. These measurements indicated generl or apparent agreement insofar as rifling pitch is concerned. It is pointed out, however, that the panel does not have at its disposal, tested empirical data to support or reject conclusions based on these observations. Furthermore, these measurements, while probably more accurate than measurements made from photographs, were made with a Wild reticule eyepiece which only permits estimates of angles to be an accuracy of 10-20 minutes. The panel attempted to obtain a more precise instrument, Gaertner protractor eyepiece, but could not locate one in the Los Angeles area during the period of its work. Therefore the panel recommends the following additional work:” (documents enclosed)
When I re-read the two reports (Oct 3 and Oct 4) and compared both reports with the final page of the Garland Report I thought - the left hand giveth and the right hand taketh. The finding in the final page clearly contradicts the Oct. 3 report. So why, I ask, was it allowed to remain in Garland’s report in the first place????
I say that for the following reasons: Harper told me along with a number of other people on numerous occasions that the 1975 Wenke Examination was a “FIX”. Additionally, he angrily disagreed with the panel members’ examination and their conclusions of Balliscan photographs. I would say Harper fumed and in fact he wrote about his sharp disagreement with the panel members’ findings.
The problems with Peo. 55 are these:
After all of these years of not doubting the authenticity of Peo. 55 I admit to belatedly searching for a chain -of - custody for both Peo. 55 and for the Jake Williams gun - H18602. What I found was a silent record.
The catalyst of course were the questions posed to me by the above mentioned newsman: what I knew about the Jake Williams gun and what I had to say about the Oct. 3rd report?
I therefore turned to what I had written about this gun a few years ago in my “Part Two, (section L) Report:
“Additionally, it was not the Sirhan gun which was used for comparison test bullets (with victim bullets), it was the Jake Williams gun H18602 - and this is seen on evidence envelope People’s 55 during Sirhan trial but bearing the Williams gun number on the 6-6-68 water recovery test.”
Well, that made me think - I SHOULD have researched Sirhan records back then for Peo. 55 and Jake Williams gun chain -of- custody. The simple fact is I did not do so because I did not question the authenticity of Peo. 55 or the Williams gun. I relied on these items to be what they were purported to be. In short I erred.
But it was not too late to do it now:
Since there is no chain of custody for Peo. 55 “evidence” envelope - I have to question if the Jake Williams gun was actually involved in this case. Why? That is because gun number H18602 is written on the Peo. 55 evidence envelope now housed at the California State Archives, in Sacramento, Ca. And also, the Jake Williams Property Report was tampered with. This type of thing happened before in this case - when the evidence envelope - for the fatal Kennedy bullet- was proven to have been tampered with and I testified to this discovery in the Scott Enyart trial.
But, remember, the identifying writings on Peo. 55 were never read into the trial court record during Wolfer’s testimony. Therefore, since Peo. 55 can not be proven to have a true chain- of -custody and H18602 allegedly was written on it -how can anyone state with an absolute certainty that gun #H18602 is IN FACT connected to Sirhan case???
Then too, there is this to consider - the official Jake Williams Property Report , dated 3-18-67 was IN FACT TAMPERED WITH. Here is my reason : The original Jake Williams Property Report (Spec Exh #14) is a clear copy which does not have the white outs and the stamp “Destroyed Jul 1968” on it. The altered copy clearly shows proof of evidence tampering. (documents enclosed)
In conclusion, I want to state that after I carefully examined the above reports and records I arrived at the only logical conclusion - that there is nothing in the Sirhan trial transcript which even remotely connects Peo. 55 to the Jake Williams gun or to the Sirhan case. And then there is the matter of the wrong information concerning Peo. 55 contents ( the omission of the two shell casings). How to explain these things?
Additionally, it will be remembered, there is the problem of the Garland Evidence Inventory which revealed numerous evidence bullets were switched , e.g., “DW””TN” in the place of TN31.
The above misadventures are more that disturbing, they are a serious blow to justice. And we should care about it. If it can happen to one person, even though he is hated, it can happen to anyone - everyone.
Rose Lynn Mangan, 2-2-2012