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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. III - Page 496« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Cortlandt Cunningham Resumed)

Mr. Eisenberg.
So the casts as they are now don't show anything except white paraffin?
Mr. Cunningham.
That is correct.
Mr. Dulles.
You have no further questions?
Mr. Murray.
No, thank you, sir.
Mr. Dulles.
Thank you very much, Mr. Cunningham. Thank you very much, sir.

Joseph D. Nicol

Testimony of Joseph D. Nicol

Mr. Dulles.
Mr. Nicol, I am presiding at the request of the Chief Justice.
Will you kindly raise your right hand. Do you swear the testimony you will give before this Commission is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you.
Mr. Nicol.
I do.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Mr. Nicol, would you state your name and position?
Mr. Nicol.
Joseph D. Nicol, Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for the State of Illinois.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Could you briefly describe your qualifications in the field of firearms investigation?
Mr. Nicol.
I began studying this field in 1941 in the Chicago Police Crime Laboratory under Charles Wilson, remained there as a firearms technician for approximately 9 years, and then moved to Pittsburgh, where I directed and set up the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Crime Laboratory, also working in the field of ballistics.
Then I went to Miami, Fla., and set up the Dade County Crime Laboratory and worked there for 5 years. I went to Michigan State and taught for 4 and now I am back in Illinois, in Springfield, as Superintendent of the Bureau.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Could you tell us approximately how many bullets and cartridge cases you have examined to identify them or attempt to identify them to suspect weapons?
Mr. Nicol.
This would number in the thousands, I do not have an exact figure, but our caseload in Chicago is approximately 4,000 guns annually, of which we would make approximately between 10 and a dozen comparisons, so the comparisons that would be conducted by myself or those under my direct supervision would be approximately 50,000 a year. Now this is just a rough figure.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Do you have any publications or lectures?
Mr. Nicol.
I have one minor publication in the field of firearms. Most of my publication work has been with the "Journal of Criminology" in the area of the technical note and abstract section.
I do not have any major publications in the firearms field.
Mr. Eisenberg.
What is your association with that journal?
Mr. Nicol.
I am associate editor of the "Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology."
Mr. Eisenberg.
Do you lecture on any regular basis?
Mr. Nicol.
At the present time I am lecturing with the University of Illinois in criminal investigation, at the Chicago campus, and prior to that I had been on the staff at Michigan State University for approximately 4 years.
Mr. Eisenberg.
What was your education before you went into this field?
Mr. Nicol.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Northwestern, and during the period that I was with the Chicago Crime Laboratory I got a Master's in Physics also from Northwestern.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Mr. Chairman, I would like permission to take Mr. Nicol's testimony as an expert witness in the field of firearms identification.
Mr. Dulles.
You may proceed.
Mr. Eisenberg.
Now, Mr. Nicol, I will hand you 3 exhibits, 3 items, Commission Exhibits 399, 567, and 569, which I will describe for the record as being a bullet and 2 bullet fragments, and I ask you whether you are familiar with those 3 Commission Exhibits?
Mr. Nicol.
May I examine them?
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