Top 10 Proofs That Oswald Was the Lone Assassin - And Why They're Not


Proof 2 - Ballistics Evidence - Discussion

by Rex Bradford


Lee Harvey Oswald owned the rifle that fired all the shots in Dealey Plaza. A whole bullet found after the shooting was matched to that Mannlicher-Carcano gun, to the exclusion of all others. Two fragments retrieved from the Presidential limousine had also been fired from the same rifle. Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) proves that the single bullet theory is correct, and thus the extant ballistics evidence accounts for all the victims.

Three cartridge cases found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository had all been ejected from the rifle, and Oswald's palmprint was found on it. The rifle was traced to Klein's Sporting Goods of Chicago, which produced an order form signed by Oswald; the rifle was mailed to a P.O. Box in the name of A. Hidell, a known alias of Oswald's. The rifle had been brought into work by Oswald on the morning of the assassination in a paper bag.

The ballistics evidence is all tied to Oswald and Oswald alone.


The ballistics evidence is said by some to prove that all bullets fired in Dealey Plaza came from a rifle owned by Lee Harvey Oswald, and thus this is very strong evidence that he alone killed Kennedy. But indications that some of this evidence was planted - the finding of the "magic bullet" on a stretcher at Parkland Hospital and its near-pristine condition, the testimony that Oswald's package was too small to hold even the disassembled rifle, and more - this evidence bears closer examination. The most general relevant ballistics questions are:

  • Did Oswald own the rifle, bring it to the TSBD, and fire it?
  • Did all the bullets (including cartridge cases and recovered fragments) fired in Dealey Plaza come from that rifle?

The first question seeks to determine whether Oswald fired the rifle found in the TSBD, or whether someone used his rifle to frame him. The second question attempts to determine whether other guns were used in the shooting. As we shall see, the answers to these questions are not straightforward.

Starting Points

Further resources may be found on the page Proof 2 - Ballistics Evidence.

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