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Warren Commission Report: Page 125« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER IV - The Assassin)

indicates that he continued wearing the same shirt which he was wearing all morning and which he was still wearing when arrested.
In light of these findings the Commission evaluated the additional testimony of Stombaugh that the fibers were caught in the crevice of the rifle's butt plate "in the recent past."76 Although Stombaugh was unable to estimate the period of time the fibers were on the rifle he said that the fibers "were clean, they had good color to them, there was no grease on them and they were not fragmented. They looked as if they had just been picked up." 77 The relative freshness of the fibers is strong evidence that they were caught on the rifle on the morning of the assassination or during the preceding evening. For 10 days prior to the eve of the assassination Oswald had not been present at Ruth Paine's house in Irving, Tex.,78 where the rifle was kept. 79 Moreover, the Commission found no reliable evidence that Oswald used the rifle at any time between September 23, when it was transported from New Orleans, and November 22, the day of the assassination.80 The fact that on the morning of the assassination Oswald was wearing the shirt from which these relatively fresh fibers most probably originated, provides some evidence that they were placed on the rifle that day since there was limited, if any, opportunity for Oswald to handle the weapon during the 2 months prior to November 22.


On the other hand Stombaugh pointed out that fibers might retain their freshness if the rifle had been "put aside" after catching the fibers. The rifle used in the assassination probably had been wrapped in a blanket for about 8 weeks prior to November 22.81 Because the relative freshness of these fibers might be explained by the continuous storage of the rifle in the blanket, the Commission was unable to reach any firm conclusion as to when the fibers were caught in the rifle. The Commission was able to conclude, however, that the fibers most probably came from Oswald's shirt. This adds to the conviction of the Commission that Oswald owned and handled the weapon used in the assassination.

Photograph of Oswald With Rifle

During the period from March 2, 1963, to April 24, 1963, the Oswalds lived on Neely Street in Dallas in a rented house which had a small back yard.32 One Sunday, while his wife was hanging diapers, Oswald asked her to take a picture of him holding a rifle, a pistol and issues of two newspapers later identified as the Worker and the Militant.83 Two pictures were taken. The Commission has concluded that the rifle shown in these pictures is the same rifle which was found on the sixth floor of the Depository Building on November 22, 1963. (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 133-A and 133-B, p. 126.)


One of these pictures, Exhibit No. 133-A, shows most of the rifle's configuration.84 Special Agent Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt, a photography expert with the FBI, photographed the rifle used in the assassination, attempting to duplicate the position of the rifle and the lighting in Exhibit No. 133-A.85 After comparing the rifle in the simulated

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