Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Shot That Missed JFK: A New Forensic Study


The respected father-and-son forensic team of Luke and Michael Haag has been debunking popular conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK assassination for the better part of two years using 3D laser scanners, Doppler radar, and other high-end forensic equipment.

In 2013, the duo hit the national stage when they used the latest technology to re-examine the idea that one bullet hit President John F. Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally for the PBS series Nova in a documentary called “Cold Case: JFK.”

In the year and a half since that broadcast, these two forensic scientists have continued to add to our knowledge of the assassination case with a high level of expertise.

The father-and-son team

Lucien C. “Luke” Haag has had more than 100 peer reviewed articles published since 1974 in The AFTE Journal, the official publication of The Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners.

Here’s a small sample of some of the titles:
  • “Bullet Ricochet: An Imperical Study and a Device For Measuring Ricochet Angle” (1975)
  • “The Use of Ballistic Calculations in the Solution of a Crime” (1976)
  • “The Forensic Use of Exterior Ballistic Calculations” (1979)
  • “A Preliminary Inquiry into the Application of Sound Spectography to the Characterizations of Gunshots” (1979)
  • “The Measurement of Bullet Deflection by Intervening Objects and the Study of Bullet Behavior After Impact” (1987)
  • “Bullet Penetration and Perforation of Sheet Metal” (1997)
  • “The Sound of Bullets” (2002)
  • “Sequence of Shots Through Tempered Glass” (2004)
  • “Muzzle Flash: One Witness Sees It, the Other Does Not” (2007)
  • “Firearms Sound Levels and Measurements: An Impulse Sound Control Source for dB Measurements of Gunshots Parts 1 & 2” (2009)
  • “The Exterior Ballistic Performance of Ricocheted and Destabilized Bullets” (2013)
  • “The Production and Persistence of Gunpowder Tattooing and Stippling of Living Human Skin” (2014)
  • “Bullet Entry Holes in Fabric: Fibers, Facts, and Fallacies” (2014)
Luke’s son, Michael G. Haag, has also established himself as one of the southwest’s leading forensic experts covering a wide-range of related subjects including firearms and tool mark identification; firearm design, operability, defects, alterations, conversions and modifications; cartridge manufacture; external and terminal ballistic calculations and determinations; gunshot residue deposits; and more.

A forensic investigative series

Beginning in the spring of 2014, The AFTE Journal published three outstanding articles detailing Luke and Michael Haag’s investigation into the forensic aspects of the JFK murder. The first in the series, “Tracking the ‘Magic’ Bullet in the JFK Assassination” (2014 Volume 46, Number 2, Spring, pages 104 thru 113) took readers through a step-by-step analysis of the so-called ‘magic’ bullet, its seemingly amazing journey and an evaluation and interpretation of its physical condition with the end result that there is nothing magic about the ‘magic’ bullet once one acquires an understanding of this novel bullet’s exterior, terminal and wound ballistic properties.

The second in the series, “President Kennedy’s Fatal Gunshot Wound and the Seemingly Anomalous Behavior of the Fatal Bullet” (2014 Volume 46, Number 3, Summer, pages 218 thru 223) examined the differences between the two wounds suffered by President Kennedy – the non-fatal neck wound and the fatal headshot. Haag points out that the Western Cartridge Company 6.5mm Carcano bullet that produced Kennedy’s second and fatal gunshot wound exhibited very different wound ballistic behavior than the WCC full metal-jacketed 6.5mm Carcano bullet that produced his first gunshot wound. This perforating wound through the President’s upper right back left no bullet fragments along its nominal 6-inch wound track and left a small, round exit wound in his throat. In contrast, the subsequent fatal head wound produced massive disruption of the President’s brain and skull along with fragmentation of the bullet. This article explains the seemingly contradictory behavior of the very unusual and uncommon 6.5mm Carcano bullets involved in this historic case.

The third in the series, “President Kennedy’s Fatal Head Wound and his Rearward Head ‘Snap’ ” (2014 Volume 46, Number 4, Fall, pages 279 thru 289) offered an explanation based on the laws of physics for the abrupt, rearward movement of President Kennedy’s head in the fractions of a second after he sustained his fatal head wound. While there may be other factors involved or explanations for the rearward head ‘snap’, a frontal gunshot wound proposed by a number of conspiracy advocates is not one of them.

All three of these articles are sobering, instructive, and a must read for anyone interested in the science behind bullet ballistics and in particular, the JFK case.

The latest installment

And now comes the fourth article in the series, “The Missing Bullet in the JFK Assassination” (2015 Volume 47, Number 2, Spring, pages 67 thru 78) whose forthcoming publication was mentioned in the December 2014 blog post “Ignoring Evidence: Fifty-one years of deception and lies in the JFK assassination.”

This time, the Haag team tackles the shot that missed the President. Ballistic evidence clearly supports the proposition that Oswald fired three shots from the sixth floor, southeast corner window of the Texas School Book Depository building with his 91/38 6.5mm Carcano rifle. Two of these three shots struck President Kennedy. The bullet from one of these two shots also struck Texas Governor Connally.

Unaccounted for is the fate of the bullet from the missed shot, its order in the three shot sequence and its flight path. This outstanding article presents a step-by-step forensic review and analysis of the assassination, as well as the exterior and terminal ballistics of the 160-grain 6.5mm WCC Carcano ammunition.

The Haag team’s conclusion? The missing shot was the first shot fired and self-destructed when it struck the asphalt of Elm Street at a relatively steep angle.

Luke Haag not only builds a solid, scientific case for these conclusions, but forensically destroys the theory that the first shot ricocheted off the traffic mast pole at Elm and Houston and went on to superficially wound bystander James Tague – a theory proposed by writer Max Holland and which has gotten considerable mainstream attention over the past seven years despite being debunked again and again on the pages of this blog.

And no, I don’t believe for a minute that the debate over this issue will come to an end in the wake of Haag’s lucid and expert analysis. For some people, headlines (even if they are fairy tales) are more important than reality.

If you’re new to the arguments surrounding the missed shot, you can catch up here:

http://jfkfiles.blogspot.com/2007/06/max-hollands-11-seconds-in-dallas.html http://jfkfiles.blogspot.com/2007/12/holland-dj-vu_27.html
http://jfkfiles.blogspot.com/2008/12/cherry-picking-evidence-of-first-shot.html http://jfkfiles.blogspot.com/2012/01/mr-hollands-opus-max-holland-and.html 

In a nutshell

If you prefer to cut to the chase, here are the Haag team’s latest conclusions in a nutshell:

Oswald’s first shot, fired shortly after the presidential limousine turned from Houston Street onto Elm Street, failed to strike the President, the limousine, or any other occupants of the limousine. 

No physical evidence has ever been found that this first bullet struck the traffic signal, the traffic signal back plate, or the traffic signal support pole. Had a 160 grain 6.5mm Carcano bullet struck one of these objects in any substantial way, it would have produced obvious and lasting damage. No such damage was ever reported or found in the weeks, months, or even years following the assassination.

Holland’s hypothesis destroyed

Author Max Holland suggested in the September 2011 National Geographic television program The Lost Bullet, that the metal back plate of the traffic signal might have been hit by the bullet and been deflected.

The Haag team tested that hypothesis by shooting at duplicate aluminum and steel back plates. These tests quickly revealed that whether aluminum or steel, the bullet damage (in the form of elliptical holes and missing paint) was obvious and would have been noticed in the weeks, months and years following the assassination. The bullets that emerged from the aluminum backing plates remained intact but destabilized with minor deflection angles of about 0.6 degrees. Perforation of the steel back plates consistently resulted in the bullet breaking into two pieces producing a pair of deflection angles totaling 2.3 degrees (+/- 1.7 degrees).

Consequently, according to the Haag team, even if the first shot struck the traffic signal backing plate (and again, there is not one minute piece of evidence that it did), the exiting bullet or bullet fragments would likely have struck the presidential limousine or one of its occupants, including the President. Bullet damage to the limousine would have been easy to find given the bullet/fragments high residual velocity. More important, and central to Holland’s hypothesis, neither a bullet or bullet fragments could have emerged from the backing plate with an angular change of 40-degrees which would have been required for any bullet or fragment to go on to strike the area near James Tague.

According to the Haag team, Holland’s initial hypothesis (as presented in The Lost Bullet) was “easily disproved with just a little testing and basic understanding of exterior and terminal ballistics. In fact, he had an excellent assistant in this television program; Larry Sturdivan, who had a degree in physics and a lifelong career in wound ballistics, and who undoubtedly pointed out the fallacy of Mr. Holland’s hypothesis.

“Mr. Sturdivan’s statement on page 143 of his book, The JFK Myths, is worth committing to memory because it is so true: ‘A bullet traveling at moderate to high velocity (e.g., 600 fps and above) cannot abruptly deflect and remain intact.’ Mr. Holland either failed to understand this, or simply could not let go of his idea…” [Haag, Lucien C., “The Missing Bullet in the JFK Assassination” (The AFTE Journal, 2015 Volume 47, Number 2, Spring), page 73]

Holland returned with a revised hypothesis in the November 28, 2014, issue of Newsweek magazine. His passion to explain Tague’s injury by a deflected first shot (and thereby substantiate his claim that Zapruder failed to capture the entire shooting sequence as nearly everyone has surmised) now focused on the cylindrical steel support beam from which the traffic signal was suspended.

Fortunately, the support beam still exists. Holland and retired FBI metallurgist Frank DeRonja examined it in a storage facility owned by the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department. They never found any physical damage to the support beam that was consistent with the impact of a 160-grain WCC Carcano bullet, but nevertheless went on to opine that a very slight graze, which did not deform the metal, might no longer be obvious given the considerable passage of time and re-painting of the support beam.

The Newsweek article alludes to tests conducted on “exact replicas” of the support beam at the H.P. White Laboratory, however no specifics were given, no photographs of the “replicas” were shown, nor were any means to measure deflection angles and velocity loss presented by Mr. Holland. Yet, Holland provided a “trajectory reconstruction” illustration in the Newsweek article purporting to show a post-impact flight path from the traffic signal support beam to an area near and in front of James Tague.

“Notably missing from this [reconstruction illustration] and the text of the article,” Haag wrote, “are the angular components of the 6th floor bullet’s intercept with the steel support beam, its departure angle and the angular change (degree of deflection) that would have to occur to justify Holland’s [reconstruction].” [emphasis in original, Haag, “The Missing Bullet in the JFK Assassination” page 74] 

Luke Haag also personally examined the original steel support beam housed by the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department. His own tests on similar support beams demonstrated “that an impact by anything other than the most shallow of grazing strikes by a 6.5mm Carcano bullet would leave obvious and lasting physical damage – none of it evident in the actual steel support beam that was present on the day of the assassination.

Haag wrote that while he did not fault Mr. Holland and his thought process in trying to account for Oswald’s first shot; “it is his unfounded and undemonstrated conclusion that are very bothersome. Indeed, a reading between the lines of his own testing very likely disproves his hypothesis, and a full disclosure of the H.P. White shooting tests should confirm this.

“This writer wishes that the bullet did strike the beam and leave a dimensional record of its flight path,” Haag continued. “Had it done so, the mystery surrounding Oswald’s first shot would effectively be solved. But there is absolutely no evidence that it did strike the steel support beam, and Mr. Holland’s [reconstruction illustration] in the Newsweek article is a failed notion lacking in facts, supporting data, or any published test results. Indeed, as a scientific proposition, it is excluded by some fundamental laws of physics and the ballistic testing carried out and illustrated by this writer.” [emphasis in original, Haag, “The Missing Bullet in the JFK Assassination” page 74]

Deflecting tree branches?

The Haag team considered the possibility that Tague’s superficial injury was caused by the first shot striking and being deflected by one or more branches of the Southern Live Oak tree as it interrupted Oswald’s view of the presidential limousine and its occupants.

However, the testing performed and presented by the Haag team showed small deflection angles, minor velocity losses and very obvious and lasting damage to bullet-struck branches effectively eliminating this explanation for Tague’s injury. In fact, even if an errant shot struck the branches of the Live Oak tree, it would have remained intact but destabilized and gone into the Elm Street asphalt with sufficient velocity to self-destruct.

Probable fate of the missed first shot

The only reasonable remaining choice for the fate of Oswald’s first shot, which also has a sound basis in terminal ballistics, is that his initial shot went directly into the asphalt of Elm Street, where the bullet underwent total self-destruction and the crater produced by this strike quickly morphed into nothing more than a vague depression in the asphalt.

This hypothesis can be and was tested by the Haag team. Utilizing a 3D laser scan of Dealey Plaza, the team determined that the intercept angle with Elm Street at the time of the first shot would have been 30 degrees.

Multiple shots were fired into sections of roadway asphalt set at that angle with the same surprising result: The Carcano bullets were completely and totally destroyed with not one single, recognizable bullet fragment to be found in the nominal 1-inch deep impact craters. 

“This may seem difficult to believe,” Luke Haag wrote, “but the answer and reason lies in the extreme ‘g’ forces acting on the bullet during the deceleration process. This phenomenon of total bullet destruction has been studied and explained in a previous article by this writer. [Haag, L.C. and A. Jason, “Where are the Bullets?” AFTE Journal, Vol.44: No.3, Summer 2012, pp.196-207]

“In this case, a bullet traveling approximately 2100 f/s (1,432 miles per hour) comes to a complete stop in about 1 inch of travel in asphalt. A rough calculation of the decelerating forces acting on this bullet, expressed as gravities (g), yields a value of 1.6 million g. The relatively soft copper jacket disintegrates into minute fragments and the very soft lead core essentially vaporizes.

“The next surprise,” writes Haag, “is the relatively confined, conical ejection of the pulverized asphaltic material that departs the surface of the asphalt along an angle that is orthogonal to the surface. This cone of debris is so tightly confined, that a person or object could be standing within as little as 2 feet of the impact site and not be struck by any of this ejected debris.” [emphasis in original, Haag, “The Missing Bullet in the JFK Assassination” page 75] 

Obviously, any efforts that might have been made in an attempt to locate bullet fragments near any “fresh” damage site in the asphalt on the day of the assassination would have been doomed to failure.

So, what of Tague’s superficial injury? The Haag team concluded that Tague’s injury was likely due to a bullet fragment ejected from the headshot – the only remaining, viable explanation.

Full circle

And so once again, we come full circle regarding the events in Dealey Plaza: One errant first shot and two hits made by one shooter in the Texas School Book Depository.

What’s old is new again – this time with considerable more forensic bite, thanks to the groundbreaking forensic efforts of Luke and Mike Haag. No fairy tales needed. [END]

Luke Haag will present his forensic findings in the JFK case at the 46th Annual AFTE Training Seminar and Conference in Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Sources: The AFTE Journal

Sunday, May 3, 2015

William F. “Bill” Alexander dead at 95


He was a colorful character – shrewd, sharp, and street-smart – the kind of person anyone would want as a friend and fear as an enemy.

William F. “Bill” Alexander, the former Dallas County assistant district attorney turned U.S. attorney, died Sunday, April 26, at his Dallas home of congestive heart failure. He was ninety-five.

I met and interviewed Alexander more than thirty years ago about his connections to the Kennedy assassination investigation and those interviews easily rank as the most memorable of the many interviews I’ve conducted over the years.

He was born William Franklin Alexander in Wichita Falls, Texas, on February 8, 1920, to Edgar B. and Mary E. “Mamie” (nee Green) Alexander.

He attended public school until he was fifteen and graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute in 1937. He attended the University of Arkansas where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1940 and a law degree from Southern Methodist University in 1941.

He was licensed to practice law in January 1942 but a month later was inducted into the Army as a second Lieutenant. He served in the infantry during WWII in France, Italy, Nigeria, and Germany and rose to the rank of Captain.

Alexander became an assistant district attorney in Dallas in 1952, and during his first eight years tried about sixty murder cases, prosecuted gamblers, and managed special grand jury investigations. By late 1963, he was the chief felony trial attorney at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, where he secured more than a dozen death penalty convictions following appeals.

November 22nd

On November 22, 1963, Alexander took an early lunch in Oak Cliff and stopped at a hardware store to gear up for an expected deer hunting trip. Returning across the Houston Street viaduct, he was near the Dallas Morning News building when he heard the sounds of sirens. He thought there had been an industrial accident.

“I parked down on what they used to call ‘investigators row’ on Market Street,” Alexander told me in a 1983 telephone interview, “and I could see that traffic was absolutely jammed on Commerce Street. As I made my way toward the Records Building, where our offices were, a lawyer that I knew was running east and he said, ‘The president’s been shot!’ “

He made his way to the Texas School Book Depository to gain more information and was standing in front when he heard T.F. Bowley’s urgent broadcast that a police officer had been shot on Tenth Street in Oak Cliff.

Alexander joined Dallas police officers en route to the scene and like many other police officers and reporters involved in the investigation that day decided that the two shootings had to be connected.

Upon arrival, Alexander drew his gun and joined officers searching two second-hand furniture stores on east Jefferson. Alexander later told author Larry Sneed,” I always carried a gun because I didn’t want to have to go home and get one. If something happened, it’s a lot easier to explain to twelve jurors than it is to six pallbearers.”

Alexander was with officers in the alley in back of the Texas Theater when they received word that the Tippit suspect, later identified as Lee Harvey Oswald, had been apprehended inside and was en route to city hall.

He returned to police headquarters and soon obtained and was present for the execution of a search warrant at Oswald’s rooming house. He and Captain J.W. "Will" Fritz conducted interrogations of Oswald, and Bill personally prepared the indictment against Oswald that same evening.

Two days later, Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald during his transfer to the Dallas County Jail. Bill became the chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Jack Ruby and successfully secured a conviction of murder with malice and the death penalty.

He was Past President of the Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a Past Master of East Dallas Masonic Lodge No. 1200, a Past District Deputy Grand Master, a 33° Scottish Rite Mason, and served for many years on the Jurisprudence Committee of The Grand Lodge of Texas.

He very much enjoyed the practice of law for more than 60 years as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in State and Federal courts.

Never completely satisfied

Alexander was never completely satisfied with the Warren Commission’s version of Oswald’s escape route. The Commission concluded that Oswald walked to the Tippit crime scene and was walking east when the patrolman who was driving east pulled up behind him.

“I know what I thought [in 1963],” Alexander told me twenty years later, “I know what I believed, I know what the witnesses say – I believe that Oswald was walking west and that Tippit was driving east.”

House Select Committee investigators wrote in a 1978 report that Alexander had claimed that Oswald was walking east however this is clearly an error. Alexander was always puzzled by Oswald’s western direction of travel and couldn’t understand how Oswald had managed to get to Tenth Street in the time allotted without being seen. He suspected he had gotten a ride by some innocent, unsuspecting citizen.

“Beats the hell out of me [how he got over there],” Alexander said with frustration. “I have no idea. We walked it, we ran it, we tried to figure out bus schedules and – this is opinion, not fact – there are enough old people that live in that neighborhood that are at home, that in order to make that distance, he would have to have doubled-timed a big part of the way, thus drawing attention to himself. Somebody would have seen him. Negative. I don’t know how he got there, and nobody else does either.”

War between the States

In 1985, friend and fellow writer John Lusk and I met with Alexander personally in his Dallas office while he was serving in the U.S. District Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Texas. By then I had become convinced that Dallas law enforcement investigators had been short changed by the media and told him so when arranging the interview. He later told me I wouldn’t have gotten the interview if I hadn’t handled myself the way I did.

Lusk and I were greeted in the outer office and led back to Alexander’s inner sanctum where he calmly whittled at a Styrofoam coffee cup as we talked.

Occasionally, when we hit a sore spot, Alexander would stop whittling, lean forward, and deliver a stern, measured answer to our inquiry. Then, he would lean back, relax and joke with us again, like we were good friends. He was a colorful fellow.

And there was certainly no love lost between the former Dallas County assistant district attorney and the media – especially northern-based reporters who had written stories over the years.

“The war between the States ended in 1865, but goddamn, it almost started again in 1963. Those Yankees come down here with unchristian Communist names and think we’re all a bunch of inbred, Mongoloid idiots. I say, f**k ‘em! Just f**k ‘em! Those Yankee motherf**kers.”

Alexander told us that for all intent and purposes, the investigation into the assassination was wrapped up Friday night, November 22nd, and that the next two days only added detail to an already tight case against Oswald.

“Even subsequent investigations have only added to what the Dallas police had gathered by Friday night,” he said.

Oswald under fire

Bill said that Captain Will Fritz was one of the best interrogators of “all time” and that “any police department would have been proud to have him.”

Alexander said that Fritz was “kindly” in his approach, but not weak; courteous, but shrewd.

“A lot of people took Fritz’s approach as a sign of weakness,” Alexander said, “but they were reading the man wrong. Fritz had a high IQ and was very sharp. His approach was light-handed, but this was only in a disarming fashion. He remained in control at all times. And if Fritz was questioning a suspect, you kept your mouth shut!”

He described Oswald as “pretty cool under fire” and nearly always answered a question with a question.

He said the only time he saw Oswald lose his cool was when FBI agent James P. Hosty, Jr., entered the interrogation room. Oswald shouted at Hosty for “accosting” his wife, Marina.

God bless J. Edgar Hoover

It was Alexander who found Oswald’s address book during the search of Oswald’s room in Oak Cliff. He noted that it contained Hosty’s name and office telephone number in it and when he returned to police headquarters he saw Hosty standing in the Homicide and Robbery Bureau outer office. He pulled him aside and waved the address book under Hosty’s nose.

“I grabbed Mr. Hosty by the arm,” Bill told us, “and said, ‘Mr. Hosty, I have something here that I want to show you. Now, you may look at this, but you can’t keep it. You can hold it, but you’re going to give it back. Now, god bless J. Edgar Hoover and god bless the FBI, but goddamn I know how you boys operate. Now, I want you to answer a question. What is your name doing in Oswald’s address book?’ “

Alexander told us that Hosty “him’d and haw’d” – seemingly surprised that his name was in the address book. Hosty suspected that Marina had given the information to Oswald after one of Hosty’s visits to see her.

Alexander said that he suspected that Hosty and Oswald knew each other, though he had no evidence to prove such an allegation. He seemed to be basing his belief on the fact that the FBI had an open file on Oswald at the time of the assassination that Hosty’s name was in Oswald’s address book, and that Oswald reacted to Hosty when he entered the interrogation room.

Of course, nothing has come to light to indicate that Hosty ever met Oswald prior to November 22nd.

An international Communist conspiracy

When I asked how the story that Oswald was going to be charged with being part of an international communist conspiracy, Alexander said that he had gotten a call Friday night from Joe Goulden, who was on the city desk of Philadelphia Inquirer. Goulden asked him if Oswald was going to be charged with killing the president.

“Yea, we’re getting ready to file on the son-of-a-bitch,” Bill told him.

Goulden said that he needed something “more substantial” than that for his editor. Goulden’s comment really miffed Alexander.

“Well, how about charging him with being part of an international Communist conspiracy, then?” Alexander replied.

Goulden said thanks, and hung up.

Of course, anyone with any brains knew that there was no such charge. That didn’t matter. Within the hour, Alexander’s sarcastic remark was being broadcast nationally, bringing the ire of the White House, the FBI, and pundits everywhere down on the Dallas district attorney’s office and the police department.

I asked if there was anything he would have changed as far as the way Oswald was handled?

“Yea, I would clear the halls,” Alexander answered.

I said that I had heard the situation described “like Grand Central Station at rush hour,” and he shot back, “That’s an understatement.”

A gathering of circumstances

As far as Jack Ruby’s role in the assassination events, Alexander was succinct and to the point.

“Jack just operated in a different area than we did,” Bill explained. “I know of no believeable evidence to suggest that Ruby was involved in any kind of conspiracy or that any person motivated him to kill Oswald. I do not think that that was a ‘double cut-out’ as they say in the trade. I think it was just a gathering of circumstances. He happened to be at the place, at the time, had a pistol and was just overcome by the totality of the situation. And, as I said, I know of no evidence – now, I’ve got an open mind on a lot of things – you show it to me, prove it to me, and I’ll go for it. But, up to this point, I know of no believable evidence to suggest that Ruby was any part of a conspiracy to kill the President or to promote anti-American interests or to specifically kill Oswald.”

After about an hour, Bill Alexander ushered us to the elevator and saw us off. He seemed genuinely pleased that we had gotten together. I think he liked talking about the old days. It got his blood up.

I found him very sharp and always a step ahead. His language was frank, earthy, and at times a bit guarded.

“This subject has made me paranoid as hell,” he told me. “And it’s made me hate a good portion of the media – the irresponsible bastards. It’s also made me appreciate the good people; the intellectually honest investigative reporters. But then you've got a whole class of people that have made a living writing bullshit and half-lies. I despise them.”

It was refreshing to get a first hand look behind the scenes of one of history’s most tragic events with one of its most colorful characters as tour guide.

I liked Bill Alexander. But then, I was never on his wrong side. [END]