countered with the argument that tests have proven that
it was not impossible for a bullet to remain in good
condition under such circumstances and that it was also
possible that there would be no evidence of blood or
tissue. As such, the debate has remained in stalemate
for nearly half a century. But in more recent times, a
far stronger case against the legitimacy of CE399 has
emerged. As we shall see, it also happens to be a
conclusive indictment of the integrity of J. Edgar
Our study begins at Parkland hospital with the discovery
of a bullet by orderly, Daryl Tomlinson. Tomlinson told
the Warren Commission that he returned Governor
Connally's stretcher from the second floor back to the
ground floor, and then parked it behind another
stretcher that was in front of the door to a rest room.
During his testimony, he illustrated the positions of
the two stretchers, producing the following diagram:
Tomlinson labelled the two stretchers, "A" and "B", in
response to Specter's request:
Mr. SPECTER. Will you mark with a
"B" the stretcher which was present at the time you
pushed stretcher "A" off of the elevator?
Specter also asked him to label the rest room in the
diagram as "C" and explain how he acquired the bullet,
Mr. SPECTER. Where is the men's
room located on this diagram?
It would be right there (indicating) beside the "B"
Would you draw in ink there the outline of that room
in a general way?
Well, I really don't know.
And would you mark that with the letter "C"?
That's fine. What happened when that gentleman came
to use the men's room?
Well, he pushed the stretcher out from the wall to
get in, and then when he came out he just walked off
and didn't push the stretcher back up against the
wall, so I pushed it out of the way where we would
have clear area in front of the elevator.
And where did you push it to?
I pushed it back up against the wall.
What, if anything, happened then?
I bumped the wall and a spent cartridge or bullet
rolled out that apparently had been lodged under the
edge of the mat.
And that was from which stretcher?
I believe that it was "B".
Clearly, Tomlinson was stating that the bullet was on a
different stretcher than the one he brought down on the
elevator. Nonetheless, Specter repeatedly badgered him
to change his story, but could only manage to get his
inconvenient witness to say that he wasn't sure. But
Tomlinson further confirmed what happened, in this CBS
documentary, narrated by Walter Cronkite. (move the timeline to
Tomlinson passed the bullet to his supervisor, Mr. O.P.
Wright who also examined it and in an interview with
Josiah Thompson, was adamant that it was shaped much
differently than CE-399. This is from Josiah Thompson's
classic book, Six
Seconds in Dallas
Before any photos were shown or
he was asked for any description of #399 (Wright)
had a pointed tip.' I said, 'Pointed tip?' He said,
'Yeah, I'll show you.
It was like
this one here,' he said, reaching into his desk and
pulling out the .30 caliber
pictured in Six Seconds. After Thompson showed
Wright the various bullet photos
#399, Wright asked, "Is that the bullet I was
supposed to have had?".
Wright's and Tomlinson's unanimous rejection of CE-399
was further confirmed by this top secret FBI airtel,
which was never shown to the Warren Commission.
WFO (FBI Washington Field
Office), neither DARRELL C. TOMLINSON,
bullet at Parkland Hospital, Dallas, nor O. P.
Parkland Hospital, who obtained bullet from
TOMLINSON and gave
Service, at Dallas 11/22/63, can identify bullet.
Instead, the FBI told the commission that the two
civilians had been interviewed by special agent Bardwell
Odum, who was told by the men, that the stretcher bullet
"appears to be the same one". But when Josiah Thompson
and Dr. Gary Aguilar contacted the National Archives,
they found no record of such an interview, in spite of
the fact that the FBI was required to document
interviews like that. And when they contacted Bardwell
Odum in person, he denied ever conducting such an
interview and stated that he had never even seen CE399.
According to FBI chief examiner Robert Frazier's notes,
the FBI received large bullet fragments that were found
in the front of the limousine at 11:50 PM on the night
of the assassination. They were labelled Q2 and Q3. Of
course, the lab was on duty and working all night.
Notes of FBI lead investigator, Robert
demonstrate that they received bullet
fragments from the limo
at 11:50 PM. (discovered by John
These fragments were deemed by the FBI to be substantial
enough to confirm that they were consistent with
Oswald's rifle and forensics experts who testified
before the Warren Commission confirmed that. Of course,
considering the FBI's track record, it's hard to say
whether they provided the actual fragments or not, but
one thing seems quite certain - the fragments they
received did not match the bullet that Tomlinson found.
Considering the time zones, it was between 90 minutes
and 2 hours after the arrival of those fragments at the
FBI labs, that Tomlinson was awakened by someone from
the FBI, demanding that he "keep his mouth shut
" about the bullet
he found at Parkland hospital. This is from the recorded
1967 interview of Tomlinson by Ray Marcus. The interview
is also documented in the HSCA records.
Tomlinson: On Friday morning
about 12:30 to 1 o'clock - uh, excuse me, that's
Saturday morning - after the assassination, the FBI
woke me up on the phone and told me to to keep my
the circumstances of your finding the bullet?
is (one short word, unintelligible) what I found…
understand exactly what you mean, when they call
you, it's pretty authoritative. But the thing is
this, did they say - was there any particular
thing about what they said or they just didn't want
you to talk about it period?
don't talk about it period.
As we will see, the FBI found a better solution to their
problem making lemonade out of this nasty lemon. Instead
of threatening a key witness, they seem to have simply
decided to replace the inconvenient bullet with one that
did indeed come from Oswald's rifle. And as is often the
case, one lie requires a multitude of other lies to
Wright gave the bullet to Secret Service agent, Richard
Johnsen, who in turn, passed it on to his supervisor,
James Rowley. Not surprisingly, both of those men also
refused to corroborate CE399, a fact which even the FBI
had to admit, stating in Commission exhibit 2011, that
the two agents "could not identify" it. It is
interesting that the FBI never reported the reason why
the two agents refused to corroborate this dubious piece
of evidence. Like FBI agents, Secret Service agents were
required to initial forensic evidence, and it is hard to
imagine them being negligent in such an important case.
Further corroboration that at least Johnsen marked the
bullet, came from ex-Secret Service agent, Gerald
Blaine, who is a close friend of SA Clint Hill. In an
email to David Von Pein, he stated that Hill had spoken
with agent Johnsen, who told him that he did indeed,
mark the bullet. This is from that email.
The bullet found on the
stretcher was retrieved and marked by SA Richard
Johnsen and submitted as evidence.
Von Pein, an avid Warren Commissioner defender, replied
to Blaine, warning him that this disclosure would prove
that CE399 was not the actual bullet that Tomlinson
found, and Blaine promptly amended his statement,
claiming that Johnsen must have meant that he initialed
the envelope the bullet was in, rather than the bullet
itself. As it turned out however, researcher John Hunt
had photographed that envelope and Johnsen's signature
was not on it. In his final fallback position, Von Pein
made the rather dubious claim that what Johnsen really
meant when he said he marked the bullet, was that he had
typed up a memo that had been attached to the envelope.
Obviously, the explanation for Johnsen and Rowley's
rejection of CE399 is that not only did the stretcher
bullet look much different than the original, but their
initials were nowhere to be found on it. And they were
not the only ones whose initials were missing.
The next step in the chain of possession took place when
Rowley passed the bullet to FBI agent, Elmer Todd. Todd
was adamant that he initialed the stretcher bullet, as
he was required to do. But when researcher, John Hunt
examined extreme closeup photos of CE-399, he was able
to identify initials that were written in later, but
could find no trace of Todd's. This is from his article
on the subject:
There is no question but that
only three sets of initials appear on CE-399. There
is likewise no question that they have all
been positively identified: RF was Robert Frazier,
CK was Charles Killion, and JH was Cortland
Cunningham. (See Figure 5.) It can be stated as a
fact that SA Elmer Lee Todd's mark is not on the
historical CE-399 bullet.
The entire article can be found here:
After looking around the web a bit, I was able to
find a considerably better copy of the CE399 photos and
after sharpening the image a bit, and blowing it up,
managed to produce a much clearer image. Not
surprisingly, there was no trace of Todd's initials.
The only logical conclusion which can be drawn from this
evidence is that the bullet Tomlinson found on the
stretcher in front of the rest room door had nothing to
do with the assassination. Parkland was (and is) the
largest hospital in Dallas and processes hundreds of
gunshot victims every year. Doctor McClelland testified
"receives all of the indigent patients of this county,
many of whom are involved frequently in shooting
altercations, so that we do see a large number of that
type patient almost daily".
But it appears that the FBI didn't think about that when
they received the stretcher bullet at their labs on
Friday night. And when they discovered that the bullet
didn't match Oswald's rifle, they panicked. It was quite
simple to fire a round from the alleged murder weapon
into water or cotton wading and use that bullet to
replace the one that Tomlinson found. That would explain
the near pristine condition of the bullet, the absence
of blood and tissue, the missing initials of SA Todd,
and those of the two Secret Service agents, as well as
the adamant rejection of that bullet by Tomlinson and
But there is an even better reason why we can be quite
certain that CE399 was not the bullet that wounded
Governor Connally. The real bullet was found on the
second floor and recovered by a nurse, who then passed
it on to officer Bobby Nolan, who then delivered it to
the Dallas Police department. The confirmation of this
begins with Governor Connally. This is from his
autobiography entitled, "In History's shadow".
"..the most curious discovery of
all took place when they rolled me off the
stretcher, and onto the examining table. A metal
object fell to the floor, with a click no louder
than a wedding band. The nurse picked it up and
slipped it into her pocket. It was the bullet from
my body, the one that passed though my back, chest
and wrist and worked itself loose from my thigh.
There was enormous significance
to that scrap of metal, but I can't be certain how
many years later I understood the importance of it.
I have always believed that three bullets found
their mark. What happened in the hospital
demonstrated how easily a bullet could have been
swept aside and lost.."
What the governor obviously didn't realize however, is
that the bullet was not "swept aside". Certainly, the
nurse who recovered it would not have just discarded the
most important piece of forensic evidence she had ever
handled. As it turned out, the Dallas District attorney
arrived at the hospital, eager to find out how his old
friend, governor Connally was doing. It seems that he
arrived at about the same time that the surgery on the
governor was completed, when he ran into that same nurse
who found the bullet. This is from an interview of
Dallas District attorney, Henry Wade, by the Dallas
I also went out to see (Gov.
John) Connally, but he was in the operating room.
Some nurse had
a bullet in
her hand, and said this was on the gurney that
Connally was on. I talked with Nellie
while and then went on home.
Q: What did you
do with the bullet? Is this the famous pristine
bullet people have talked about?
A: I told her
to give it to the police, which she said she would.
I assume that's the pristine bullet.
The nurse promptly carried out the district attorney's
instructions, passing the bullet to the nearest
uniformed officer in sight, who happened to be
Patrolman, Bobby Nolan, who was working security for
Governor Connally and standing in the hallway talking to
Connally aide, Bill Stinson. This is from my interview
of Nolan in 2010.
Nolan: I was talking to a man who
was one of governor Connally's aides. His name
was - I think
it was either Stinton or Stimmons (Bill Stinson).
And he was an
aide to the
Governor. And she came up and told him that she had
that came off
of the gurney.
Now I don't
know what gurney. I think they meant Governor
And she said,
"What do you want me to do with it?" He and I were
there in the
hallway talking to me and said, "Give it to him"
Q. Was it a
bullet fragment or a complete bullet?
Nolan: I don't
know. It was a - they told me that is was a
And I don't
know if it was a fragment of a bullet or a whole
bullet because it was
in a little,
small brown envelope. And it was sealed and it was
about, I'd say 2 by 3
inches. And it
was in that envelope when I got it and I never did
look at it or anything."
Q. Now when the
nurse gave it to you, did she describe it as a
bullet fragment or as
Nolan: Uh no.
She just said it was a bullet. That's all.
Nolan delivered the bullet to the Dallas Police
department that evening, and the next morning, was
interviewed by the FBI, who reported (emphasis is mine),
Bobby M. Nolan, Texas highway
patrolman, Tyler district, was interviewed relative
to a bullet
fragment removed from the left thigh of Governor Connally,
turned over to
him at Parkland Hospital in Dallas for delivery to
his instructions were apparently not clear at the
outset and that following
his superior officers while at the Dallas Police
Department, he turned the
fragment over to Captain Will Fritz [Dallas Police
Department.] at approximately
7:50 p.m. He
stated he had no further information concerning the
matter and that his
participation in this series of events was the
acceptance of the fragment and delivery
of same to
Obviously, Nolan told the FBI, exactly what the nurse
told him - that the envelope contained a bullet from
Governor Connally's gurney, which as the Governor
himself stated, had fallen out from the wound in his
Bill Stinson further corroborated the other witnesses,
when he was interviewed by the now defunct, Ramparts
"Before the Commission
discredited Connally's testimony they should at
least have heard all the important witnesses.
Ramparts found one the Commission never talked to;
they never even asked him for an affidavit. He is
William Stinson, an aide to Governor Connally at the
time of the assassination. Today, although
officially employed by the Veterans Administraton,
he has an office in the White House. Stinson told us
he was in the operating room, wearing a sterile
uniform, when the doctors operated on Connally at
Parkland Hospital. 'The
last thing they did,' said Stinson, 'was to remove the
bullet from the governor's thigh---because that
was the least thing that was wrong with him.'".
The entire article can be seen here,
Stinson was mistaken about the bullet being removed
during surgery. He had been permitted to stand in the
operating room then, but it is unlikely that he would
have been permitted to get close enough to examine the
fragments as they were being removed. It makes perfect
sense however, that he would assume that it came from
surgery, when shortly afterward, the nurse came out, in
scrubs, and told him and Nolan that she had an envelope
containing a bullet from Connally's thigh.
So, by Saturday, the FBI had already received the bullet
that Tomlinson found and had plenty of time to analyze
it and confirm that it was not from Oswald's rifle. A
second Connally bullet would provide indisputable proof
of multiple snipers.
At roughly the same time that this nurse was passing the
bullet from Connally's thigh to Nolan, nursing
supervisor Audrey M. Bell was processing four tiny
fragments that were removed from the governor's wrist by
Dr. Gregory. She told the HSCA and later, the ARRB that
she removed the fragments from a container the scrub
nurse had placed on her desk and put them into a clear,
plastic box which she then inserted into a small
envelope. She filled the envelope out, writing that it
contained "fragments" from Connally's "right arm" and
then gave it to two plain clothed agents who came into
her office. She was unsure whether they were from the
Secret Service or the FBI, but was certain they were not
in uniform. She said that both she and one of the
agents, initialed the envelope and that the two of them
then signed a receipt. All of this was standard
operating procedure at Parkland, which Bell had carried
out hundreds of times in the past.
Audrey Bell was interviewed the next day (11/23/63) by
the FBI, as she herself confirmed in her ARRB interview.
But when she was shown a copy of the associated FBI
report, she was adamant that it contained false claims.
This is from ARRB document MD184, which summarized her
When shown an FBI FD-302 dated
November 23,1963 (Agency File Number 000919, Record
0090-10270), she felt it was inaccurate in two
respects: it quotes her as turning over
fragment (singular),” whereas she is positive it was
multiple fragments - it says she
the fragment to a Texas State Trooper, whereas she
recalls turning it over to
Federal agents who were either FBI or Secret
To corroborate her denial, Bell suggested that they look
at the receipt she was required to fill out, which she
had passed on to Parkland administrator, Jack Price.
That receipt was an important verification of the chain
of possession and something the FBI had to have
confiscated. It would contain the name of the agent who
Bell gave it to. This is more from MD184,
She independently recalled
filling out a receipt on 1l/22/63 for the fragments,
with red lettering in the letterhead, which was
signed for by one of two men in civilian
she thought were Federal agents) who accepted the
fragments. She said she personally
original of this receipt to Parkland Hospital
Administrator Jack Price. (ARRB staff
try to locate this document, and promised that if
located, we would mail her a photocopy
But according to the National Archives, there is no
record of the ARRB ever finding that receipt and the
Archives were not able to find it either. So Bell's
receipt, which would have confirmed the name of at least
one of the men she gave the envelope to, and which had
to have been taken by the FBI, seems to have evaporated.
This is the FBI report, allegedly from their interview
dated, 11/23/63 with Audrey Bell.
One thing that is beyond dispute is
that the FBI's references to a single fragment,
could not be true. It makes no sense that Bell told
them that. Even if we speculate that she was
hopelessly confused, the envelope which the FBI
tells us was filled out by Bell, clearly states that
it contained "Bullet
fragments" from Connally's "Right arm".
And we can easily see that the clear plastic
container that was in the envelope, contained four
The only logical explanation for
why the FBI would have deliberately misrepresented
Bell by claiming she reported only a single fragment
is that the interviewer was not really concerned
about the envelope that she actually handled. They
were much more concerned about another envelope
which did indeed, contain a single bullet or
fragment (very likely, a badly mangled bullet) from
Governor Connally's thigh. In order to make that
inconvenient bullet and envelope go away, they only
needed to claim that the envelope Bell gave to one
of their agents, was the one that Nolan received.
All that was missing was the three capital letters
from Nolan's initials, which could be easily forged
and copied onto CE-842.
The other FBI claim that Bell denied, was that she
passed the envelope to the fully uniformed officer
Nolan. If we believe the FBI, then we must believe
that Bell not only forgot that she gave her envelope
to Nolan on 11/22, but that she also forgot that she
told the FBI that, the next day. She also would have
to have suffered the delusion that she gave the
envelope to plain clothed officers who came into her
All of these discrepancies have to have been the
result of either deliberate deception by the FBI or
a hopelessly incompetent and forgetful Audrey Bell.
If Bell was the problem, then she not only forgot
virtually every aspect of how she processed those
bullet fragments on 11/22/63, but during the minutes
between filling out that envelope and her encounters
with DA Wade and officer Nolan, she forgot that she
had just written "bullet fragments" from the "Right arm"
and told both of those men that it contained a
single bullet from Governor Connally's gurney, that
originated in his left thigh. And then Nolan somehow
didn't notice that the envelope he carried around
the rest of the day and turned in to the DPD, was
clearly labelled as containing multiple fragments
from the right arm.
As we ponder the possibility that
this was a scam on the part of the FBI, we might
think that the people who worked with nurse Bell
would provide an answer for us. Surely, if she had
really told the FBI that she gave the fragments to
Nolan, others would have known about it. But as I
looked at the statements by those who should have
known, I found absolutely no one who claimed either
first hand knowledge, one way or the other, or even
a second hand claim that Bell told them who she gave
them too. This is what Dr. Charles Gregory told the
Mr. SPECTER -
What did you do, Dr. Gregory, with the missile
from his wrists?
Dr. GREGORY -
Those were turned over to the operating room nurse
instructions that they should be presented to the
appropriate authorities present,
member of the Texas Rangers, but that is as far as
I went with it myself.
And this is from an FBI report, dated 11/30/1963
Gregory) stated he did not on his own knowledge
know, however, but he
advised [that] Miss Bell obtained a receipt from
State Trooper Bob Nolan
[a State of
Texas highway patrol officer] and transferred the
metal fragment to him in
with instructions from the Governor's office at
As a full time emergency room physician, at
Parkland, it seems strange that he could never
provide a straight answer, regarding this nurse who
worked with him every day. Why is it that he could
only answer that he "had been advised"? And why was the
source of his advice, unnamed?
At the request of Dr. Burkley, the President's
physician, Parkland Doctor, Kemp Clark researched
and prepared a report on 11/23/1963, describing
events at the hospital related to the treatment of
Connally and President Kennedy. For many years, it
was filed away as "Top Secret". In this section, he
describes what Drs. Shires and Duke, who assisted
Gregory, told him. In the first sentence of the
cited segment, "he" refers to Shires.
It seems that Shires' initial
statement, which was later altered, was that officer
Nolan was given a single fragment from the "thigh",
since the word was later crossed out and replaced by
"wrist". But look at the oblique description of how
Dr. Clark and Dr. Duke, came to the politically
correct conclusion that Nolan was given wrist
called Dr. Duke, the resident who was present when
I talked with Dr.
had heard our conversation, and had assisted
Dr. Shires with
this part of
the surgery. Two of us conferred, and together
agreed to release
Wright the information that according to Dr.
Shires, only one bullet
in Governor Connally's injury and that the
fragment of this
was removed by Dr. Gregory from the wrist was in
The wording here is fascinating and much more
informative for what it doesn't say than what it
does. Notice that there is no straightforward
declaration that Bell passed the wrist fragments to
Nolan - only that the doctors, "agreed to release to Mrs.
Wright the information that..". And why was
there, just one day after the assassination, this
concern that "only
one bullet was involved in Governor Connally's
injury"? That sounds much more like
something the FBI would be worried about than the
And why were they parroting the FBI's mistaken claim
that this was just a single fragment, rather that
multiple fragments, as was clearly written on the
envelope Bell was supposed to have filled out?
And why is there no mention anywhere in the report
about what supervisor, Audrey Bell had to say? She
was on duty that day and just a buzz on the
intercom, away. Why wasn't she asked? Had she
actually said what the FBI claimed she said, she
would have been eager to confirm that she gave the
wrist fragments to Nolan.
It would not have been possible for the FBI to have
pulled this scam, without the help of a least a
doctor or two and probably, the nurse who actually
recovered the Connally bullet. Of course, the notion
that Parkland doctors or nurses were involved in a
sinister coverup, is absurd. What is not so absurd
however, is that like many others, they were told
that if the investigation proved that there was a
conspiracy, it would point to Fidel Castro and lead
us into a crisis that could incite a nuclear, world
war. In 1963, nuclear war was a fear that we all had
to live with, every day of our lives. It was
powerful enough to make even the most honest person,
tell a little white lie if he was convinced that it
was for the benefit of humanity.
The notion that Bell handed over an envelope
containing Connally's wrist fragments to officer
Nolan, fails in pretty much every conceivable way.
Not only does that contradict what both Bell and
Nolan told us, but there is no statement on record
by any of her coworkers that she did such a thing,
and no record of any of them even claiming that she
said she did
such a thing. But perhaps, what is stranger yet, is
that no one claims to have even asked her.
What is easily proven however, is that the FBI
falsely claimed that Bell was processing only a
single fragment. It is preposterous to think that
she told them such a thing. What makes infinitely
more sense is, that they needed to make an envelope
go away, which really DID contain a single, large fragment
or bullet. But they could not do that if her
envelope only contained tiny, almost microscopic
particles. And so they falsely quoted her, saying
that she dealt with a single, metal fragment. And of
course, their claim that she stated that she turned
her single fragment over to officer Nolan, is
Nolan's envelope was turned in at approximately
8:30PM on 11/22/63. From then on, the FBI had
unrestricted access to the evidence and the right to
open and inspect it. Whatever was really in Nolan's
envelope, had to have been known to the FBI, prior
to their interviews of Nolan and Bell. If it had
really contained tiny particles, they certainly
would have said so, instead of referring to what
could only have been, the singular content of the
envelope Nolan delivered.
The nurse who spoke to district attorney Wade and
gave an envelope to Nolan could not have been Audrey
Bell. Three men, Governor Connally, DA Henry Wade,
and officer Bobby Nolan, all confirmed that this
nurse recovered a bullet from Connally's gurney and
then showed it to Wade, before turning it over to
officer Nolan. The envelope Bell processed, was
given to an FBI agent, which is why it was never
delivered to the Dallas police department, or at
least, why there is no surviving record that it was.
In contrast to all of these very solid
corroborations, we have 100% denial by the four men
who examined the bullet that Tomlinson found, that
it was CE399. Unlike many other issues related to
the case, this one is not a tough call. It seems
that J. Edgar Hoover agreed, because in recordings
of telephone conversations between him and LBJ, he
suggested that Connally was wounded because he came
between the President and an assassin, and that if
Connally had not come between them, JFK would have
taken his bullet.
LBJ: How did it happen they hit
JEH: Connally turned to the President,
when the first shot was fired
and I think that in turning.. it was where he got
LBJ: If he hadn't turned he probably
wouldn't have gotten hit?
JEH: I think that is very likely.
LBJ: Would the President've gotten hit
by the second one?
JEH: No, the President wasn't hit with
the second one.
LBJ: I say, if Connally hadn't been in
JEH: Oh, yes, yes. The President would
no doubt have been hit!
Today, we know that that scenario
was not correct, but it is hard to imagine Hoover
believing that Connally was hit by a different
assassin, unless he had seen evidence for such a
thing. The bullet or large fragment that Nolan
turned in, was obviously, not from Oswald's rifle.
If it was, the FBI would have flaunted it as
absolute proof of the accused assassin's guilt.
Instead, it provided absolute proof that Connally
was hit by a bullet from a different assassin. Until
recently, only Hoover and a handful of others, were
aware of that.