Walt Brown, CBS, and Dan Rather

Back on April 9, 2004 I expressed concern over Dr. Walt Brown's assertion in The Guilty Men that not only was Malcolm Wallace in the Texas School Book Depository 6th floor sniper's nest on November 22, 1963 but an active participant in the assassination as well.

As proof Dr. Brown provided documentation and commentary from his fingerprint expert, Nathan Darby. My concern was with the "evidence" Mr. Darby used.

To quote from Mr. Darby's summary:

"7. "Recently I received a photocopy of an inked print along with a photocopy of a latent print from [Texas researcher]. After careful and extended examination of the inked print photocopy and the latent print photocopy given me. I have their identifying characteristics marked and numbered. The inked print is Exhibit DAN #3, and the latent print is Exhibit DAN #4." (The emphasis on the word photocopy was mine.)

At the time I opined that "Dr. Brown's [claim] that the fingerprint match is a 'slam dunk' belies the fact that photocopies rather than original photographs were used for the comparison."

The recent flap over the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian's purported letter concerning President Bush's National Guard military service brings Dr. Brown's allegations and Mr. Darby's authentication to the forefront once more. It seems that CBS News and Dan Rather were responsible for turning their "evidence" over to several document examiners. One was a Board Certified Forensic Document Examiner named Linda James. Ms. James, from Plano, TX just north of Dallas, is also certified by the National Association of Document Examiners and the National Questioned Document Association.

She is quoted with respect to the document(s) she was asked to examine:

"I did not authenticate anything and I don't want it to be misunderstood that I did," James said. "And that's why I have come forth to talk about it because I don't want anybody to think I did authenticate these documents." (emphasis mine)

So why did she refuse to authenticate the documents?

Simply because they were photocopies and not originals.


Dave Perry

September 15, 2004