U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Assistant Attorney General
Washington, D.C. 20530
January 23, 1996
Louis J. Freeh
Federal Bureau of Investigation
John C. Keeney
Acting Assistant Attorney General
SUBJECT: John F. Kennedy Assassination
As you are aware, the Department, with the support and encouragement of the Congress, has continued to review evidence and analyses submitted from a wide range of sources regarding the John F. Kennedy assassination, and has undertaken further investigation in response to potentially meritorious information or analyses to the extent that the expenditure of resources is deemed justified by the anticipated value of the results. John T. Orr, Jr., Chief of the Antitrust Division’s Atlanta Field Office, has submitted an extensive analysis of assassination evidence in this matter to the Attorney General, and it is our opinion that Mr. Orr’s observations, as reported in the attached document prepared by Mr. Orr, justify the performance of certain modest preliminary investigative measures to test the foundation of his assassination conspiracy theory. We would also appreciate recommendations from the Bureau regarding any further investigative measures which might be appropriate to address Mr. Orr’s observations.
It is requested that the Bureau initiate an inquiry into specific aspects of Mr. Orr’s assassination theory related to collected bullet fragments and residue now in the possession of the Federal Government. In particular, it is request that the bullet and bullet fragments housed at the National Archives be examined, as recommended in the attached memorandum from the General Litigation and Legal Advice Section and in Mr. Orr’s attached report, to identify the nature of any foreign matter contamination. Alleged fiber evidence embedded in the bullet nose recovered from the front seat of the limousine should be consistent with the President’s shirt collar, tie, and tie liner—this establishing a different trajectory than that identified—according to Mr. Orr’s observations.
A comparison of suspected pieces of the same bullet is also requested. If Mr. Orr’s theory is correct, evaluation of identified wounds and bullet fragments should confirm the use of two very different types of ammunition. Both the fragments at the impact point of the “third shot” and the debris pattern visible in the skull x-rays should prove consistent only with a soft-nose or hollow-point ammunition, significantly different from the full-metal-jacket, military-style ammunition previously identified as the ammunition used for the assassination. In particular, the reported circular bullet fragment visible between the scalp and skull of the President in x-rays should be reevaluated to determine whether it is consistent with the copper base of a soft-nose or hollow-point bullet, and is thus inconsistent with the full-metal-jacket ammunition believed to have been fired by Oswald.
Finally, if the fabric evidence confirms Mr. Orr’s view of the likely trajectory of the “first shot” and the ammunition “footprint” and residue confirm that one round (the “third shot”) was very different in composition from the others, we request that the Bureau consider whether further investigation of aspects of the assassination to test Mr. Orr’s theory is warranted, and, if so, what measures would be most productive.
The General Litigation and Legal Advice Section of the Criminal Division is familiar with this matter. Please have your staff contract Terry Lord, Acting Chief of that Section at (202) 514-1026, or Mr. Orr at (404) 331-7116 if additional information is needed. Please refer resulting investigative reports directly to the General Litigation and Legal Advice Section. Thank you.
(Signed) Jeff Vogel 514-1122
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