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News Archive - Sep 2008

Barefoot Sanders Dead at 83

September 22, 2008: Judge Barefoot Sanders died yesterday at the age of 83, according to the Dallas Morning News. A U.S. Attorney appointed by Kennedy in 1961, Sanders brought injured bystander James Tague to the attention of the Warren Commission in July 1964; Tague had been neglected up to that late date but was finally interviewed by Commission staff on July 23. Sanders was active in other aspects of the assassination story, including being the recipient of a letter in Feb 1967 from Secret Service Chief Rowley detailing the chain-of-custody of the JFK autopsy report. Unexplained in that letter is the discrepancy that the autopsy report went missing while in RFK's custody in 1965-66, but then subsequently it inexplicably re-appeared in Secret Service files in 1967. See ARRB staffer Doug Horne's chain-of-custody study and a follow-up.

Conference: Making Sense of the Sixties

September 15, 2008: This Oct 3-5 the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law will be holding a symposium entitled "Making Sense of the Sixties," devoted to analysis of the political murders of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Held in Pittsburgh at Duquesne University, conference speakers will include Dr. Wecht, Peter Dale Scott, William Pepper, James Lesar, Judge Joe Brown, David Talbot, Ted Charach, Robert Kaiser, Lisa Pease, Robert Joling, Gary Aguilar, Joan Mellen, Henry Lee, and many others. See the full 3-day schedule.

Continuing education credits are available, and the symposium is available to the public on a single-day or full-conference basis - see this registration page for more details.

The Wecht Institute hosted a conference five years ago in 2003, devoted to the JFK assassination, which attracted over 1000 attendees.

Texas A & M Researchers Win Award

September 14, 2008: Three Texas A & M researchers whose 2007 paper debunked Dr. Vincent Guinn's Neutron Activation Analysis work supporting for the single-bullet theory have won the American Statistical Association's "2008 Statistics in Chemistry Award." The Dallas Morning News quoted Sixth Floor Museum curator Gary Mack: "The no-conspiracy folks, they accepted [Dr. Guinn's] analysis without too much questioning...But others wondered whether he knew what he was talking about. And the sharp ones were very skeptical that [the one-shooter findings] could be so definitive." The 2007 paper which won the award, entitled "Chemical and Forensic Analysis of JFK Assassination Bullet Lots: Is a Second Shooter Possible?", was co-authored by Dr. Cliff Spiegelman, Dr. Simon J. Sheather, and Dr. William D. James, and published in the Annals of Applied Statistics 2007, Volume 1, Number 2.

Lawsuit Filed to Ensure Cheney Papers Made Public

September 8, 2008: A lawsuit is being filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, asking a federal judge to declare that Vice-President Cheney's records are covered by the Presidential Records Act of 1978 and cannot be destroyed, taken or withheld without proper review, according to the Washington Post. There is concern that the papers of the office of VP Cheney, who has had a more active role in shaping policy than any Vice-President in history, might be destroyed or withheld from the National Archives. In part this is due to Cheney's past comments that he does not consider himself part of the Executive branch of government. Also, a 2001 executive order by President Bush regarding the Presidential Records Act stated that the statute "applies to the executive records of the Vice President," leading some to question whether Cheney will assert that some of his records are not "executive records."

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