15. The photographs of Oswald are real.

Oswald had his wife, Marina, take a series of photos of him in the backyard of their rental property on Sunday, March 31, 1963. Dressed all in black, Lee is sporting the rifle he would later use to murder President Kennedy and the pistol he would later use to murder Officer Tippit, along with a issues of the radical leftist papers, the Worker and the Militant.

After laughing at him, Marina asked what Lee was going to do with the photos and he said he would mail them to the Militant to prove that he was, “ready for anything.” Sylvia Weinstein, an employee at the Militant, later reported that she did in fact receive copies of these photos from Oswald and that he looked, “kooky,” in her opinion. She also thought that Oswald must be, “really dumb and totally naive,” since the Militant and the Worker were bitter rivals at the time, with sharp ideological differences about communism’s past, present, and future.

In his craziest act of all, Lee printed a copy of one shot and wrote on the back, “For Junie, from Papa.” Marian asked, “Why would Junie,” their one year old daughter, “want a picture with guns?” Lee said, “To remember Papa by sometime.”

After his death, Life magazine would use one of the shots on its cover, forever searing it in the minds of the public.

When the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) reinvestigated President Kennedy’s death in the late 70s, one of the big questions from conspiracy theorists that they set out to answer was, “Were the photographs real or fake?” Jim Marrs, a particularly dishonest conspiracist, reported that Maj. John Pickard, of the photographic department at the Canadian Defense Department, said the photos, “have the earmarks of being faked.” But when the HSCA’s panel of photographic experts examined the images in microscopic detail, they could find no evidence of fakery, and they also noted that, “[Pickard] had performed no scientific tests on the photos and that he had spent less than an hour examining the ‘very poor copies’ that were submitted to him.”

This, of course, is typical of the sloppy and fraudulent manner in which conspiracy theorists promulgate their false stories and pass them off as facts.

After I wrote an article about JFK’s assassination for Skeptic magazine, I came across a review of my work by blogger Brane Space that is too full of nonsense to even get into, but one point is very relevant here. Space claims that, “one need look no further than the Oswald “ghost” photo recovered at the Dallas P.D.,” to prove the police were in on it. Here is the “recovered” photo that somehow the Warren Commission, the HSCA, and countless reporters and others have failed to ever notice:

Space then goes on to claim: “The blank offered a perfect template with which to work photographic mischief and misdirection, but clearly Lambert isn’t clever enough to see it, or grasp that the technical capacity was indeed available at the time.” How this phony image proves anything about the technical capacity of the time is beyond me, but I guess that’s because I’m just not clever enough to see it.

I looked around for awhile trying to figure out where Space might have come up with this less than compelling piece of evidence and finally found one other blogger at, The Conspiracy Zone, who shared roughly the same image and a variation on Space’s claim.

“Next you can see a “ghost” Oswald which was found by the House Assassinations committee in FBI files which proves they were doctoring the photos with blank imaging which they later filled in with fake Oswald pictures.” At least, that’s the Zone’s version of the story. It seems doubly remarkable that if the HSCA had found this image in FBI files that they were not able to conclude the photos were faked and they never even mentioned the “ghost” image in their report. But there I go again, not being clever enough to see the Emperor’s new clothes.

One more note on Mr. Space. He claims that, “Canadian Defense Dept. Photographic specialist Maj. John Pickard noted the 99% probability the LIFE cover photo was a fake…” Where he got that figure from is as mysterious as the origins of the “ghost” image, but par for the course at this point. Conspiracy theorists can say anything they like with little accountability. Government investigators, like serious journalists and historians do not have such luxury to make up reality.

Even with today’s technology, photographs, and particularly old fashioned negatives, cannot be convincingly faked. Not in a way that would stand up to scientific scrutiny. Yet conspiracy theorists act like it no big deal. Hell, they’ve seen it in the movies and on TV, hundreds of times, so it must be true, right? Don’t let them fool you with their bold boasts of certainty. Instead, ask how it is that only they have been able to “prove” these alleged forgeries are not genuine photos?


Return to the complete list of 55 reasons to accept that Oswald acted alone.

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