Goodbye Justice 2,
I confess, I was prompted to write this Report as a result of my taking issue with my son Brad McQueary , who is really very smart so I was puzzled when he lightly dismissed Fitts’ incorrectly telling the court there were two vials – and that Fitts’ misinformation was only a matter of semantics. (what?, what?)
Fitts’ incorrect description of a “vial” actually referred to the hospital specimen jar that contains the Robert F. Kennedy death bullet fragment and so I gave Brad no quarter - no one should make such a serious mistake. And that difference of opinion lead to my writing this Report - really for my son Brad, a modern day Dr. Pangloss.
(in other words his semantics cop out raised the war cry)
However, in Brad’s defense I will say this, in the recent past my sometimes (gullible?) son Brad asked question after question about a particularly challenging piece of evidence. While I had no problem understanding that document I assumed every one else also understood it. But not so, and as a result of Brad’s persistent questioning I realized that particular piece of research badly needed to be better explained, made easier for the reader to understand. (enough about our friendly fight)
(A note of warning, my sources come from official documents and records so be prepared for a very dry read.)
July 17, 2010, Part 7, click 7-2d for very clear photo of hospital specimen jar
January 2008 Update (Part 2) (Q) for photo of renumbering on evidence envelope
“What you will find on this website”, then scroll down to “ #10, Additional Materials…”
Note Peo. 49 is a negative depicting the fatal bullet which was first identified as Item # 24 as seen on the hospital specimen jar and on the LAPD Property Report (before the Sirhan trial) and then at the trial the fatal bullet became Peo 48.
Important to note Peo. 49 shows the knob- like portion at the upper right of the fatal bullet before it fell away.
Closely examine the photographs in above cited exhibits where it will be seen the contents in the hospital specimen jar “#24” contains a gauze pad, the largest piece of the fatal bullet, four smaller bullet fragments and seven plus pieces of Robert F. Kennedy skull bone fragments.
There is simply no possibility that all of the above listed items of evidence in the hospital specimen jar including the largest fragment of the fatal bullet would fit in the (small) vial that Prosecutor Fitts placed in evidence at the Sirhan trial.
Here is the background story of the hospital specimen jar and why it is so important:
I hired Criminalist Alan Gilmore, formerly with the FBI to accompany me to the California State Archives on March 11, 1994 to examine and photograph all of the Sirhan trial bullets for me - including the official associated documents.
The fatal bullet - originally identified as Item # 24 (Peo. 48) in a hospital specimen jar was wrongly received in evidence as Item # 26 (Peo. 48) in a vial at the trial.
But bear in mind upon its removal in the operating room the largest fatal bullet fragment plus additional smaller bullet fragments, bone fragments and a square of hospital gauze were all placed in a hospital specimen jar with ID writings on it and not in/on the vial Fitts described at the trial.
It is virtually impossible to mistake the larger hospital specimen jar containing its numerous contents with a small glass vial.
Now let us examine the time line:
In the last week of February, 1969 Prosecutor Fitts placed in evidence two vials that he told the court contained the largest fatal bullet fragment plus a small bullet fragment. These bullet fragments were incorrectly identified as Item # 26 and Item # 27 (Peo. 48).
On that day in February, 1969 no one imagined a monumental fraud was taking place in the Sirhan court.
Then, after twenty years wherein SUS sealed the Sirhan evidence, the public was finally allowed to examine microfilm files. However, no one had access to the evidence itself.
But a strange thing happened without my prompting
Sirhan signed a document that legally appointed his brother Adel Sirhan and me to be his official researchers. It was in that capacity that I wrote to John Burns, the Chief archivist at CSA that I wanted to examine and photograph the Sirhan evidence bullets including their official documents.
Proof of a fraud
It was the photographs of the bullets, their containers and associated documents taken at my request by criminalist Alan Gilmore in March, 1994 that I carefully examined. No one else was even aware of the existence of this photograph that depicted the hospital specimen jar, and not a vial that actually contained the largest fragment of the fatal bullet. No question, this was an extremely important piece of evidence.
But for my Gilmore photograph of that hospital specimen jar containing the numerous bullet and bone fragments in addition to the hospital gauze – no one would have known Fitts’ description of two vials in the Sirhan court was patently untrue. (also, the contents of that hospital specimen jar could not fit in a small vial)
It will be remembered I testified at the Jamie Scott Enyart trial that the Evidence tag in addition to the LAPD Property Report recorded Item # 24 (and not Item # 26) to be the largest fatal bullet fragment and Item # 25 (and not Item # 27) to be the small bullet fragment. But inexplicably, at the very SAME TIME Item # 24 and Item # 25 were ALSO the same identification numbers that was assigned to the George Ross Clayton photographs and film canister (containing the later stolen negatives at the Enyart trial!)
And remember, Patrick Garland’s 1975 Evidence Inventory also reported there were two vials (for the large fatal bullet and the small fragment). Garland simply omitted any mention of the hospital specimen jar in connection with the fatal bullet.
This told me there were serious evidence problems with the chain of custody. And, it will be remembered I brought my concerns to Lowell Bradford’s attention (he was one of the 1975 examiners.)
Bradford fully agreed with my conclusion that the large RFK fatal bullet fragment plus the small fragment did not have adequate chain of custody records. He was good enough to send me a letter confirming my conclusion.. (this letter is on my web site)
Outside of Enyart’s lead attorney Alvin Greenwald, no one connected the dots and my Gilmore photograph was quietly received in evidence.
I suspect Fitts was unaware of the switch of the fatal bullet identification at the Sirhan trial. But for my Gilmore photograph no one would have known about the existence of the hospital specimen jar. (that photograph turned the chain of custody issue on its head).
Here are some important facts to keep in mind should there ever be a granting of a re-examination of Sirhan ballistics:
To begin with the condition of the bullets are of questionable value.
Then there is the problem that the 1975 test shell casings from test firing gun # H53725 were stolen. They were never delivered to the California State Archives. Who stole them? Who had such liberties to tamper with the evidence?
Then there is the extraordinary problem that there are no test shell casings in GJ5B evidence envelope from test firing gun H53725 on 6-5-68. It is truly unimaginable to believe a ballistics examiner would EXCLUDE the test shell casings from the test firing evidence envelope. What possible explanation can there be that there are no test shell casings in GJ5B?
And consider this
The Sirhan trial transcript does NOT record the two test shell casings in Peo. 55 evidence envelope from the test firing of the LAPD gun #H18602 on 6-6-68. The fact is someone withheld those two shell casings from the Sirhan Trial Transcript. That is a true fact.
No TEST shell casings were received in evidence in the June 7, 1968 Los Angeles County Grand Jury Hearing !!! And remember, no spent TEST shell casings from gun # H18602 was received in evidence at the Sirhan trial !!! That is truly an unbelievable fact.
I repeat – no test shell casings were recorded in the 6-7-68 Grand Jury Transcript and no test shell casings were recorded in the Sirhan Trial Transcript!!! Stop and think, test bullets from two guns in evidence but not a trace of their test shell casings – give me a break.
I repeat, there were NO test shell casings in evidence at the Grand Jury Hearing and NO test shell casings in evidence at the Sirhan trial !!!!!!!!!
There simply are no test shell casings in the Sirhan court records - and if that isn’t enough, the eight crime scene shell casings were unmarked and then placed in an evidence envelope that does not record the gun serial number, does not record the make or model of gun nor is the Officer’s name or badge number recorded.
In other words, there are no test shell casings from gun # H53725 and no test shell casings from gun # H18602. in the court records !
There is also this roadblock - the test shell casings from Officer Druly’s test firing of gun # H18602 in March, 1967 were destroyed. (Both Sirhan attorney Lawrence Teeter and I were informed by the LADA of the destruction of the Officer Druly test bullets and shell casings.)
This is too stunning for words:
Unbelievably, there are no reports in Special Unit Senator records of any comparison tests ever having been performed with the eight (unmarked) crime scene shell casings (CCI). Stop and think how could that be? Who is going to believe that? But it’s true – there is no record in SUS that those eight crime scene shell casings were compared with any spent test shell casings. Period.
And, let us not forget nearly all of the bullets given to the 1975 examiners were switched bullets as evidenced by the substitution of the ID markings on the bases of Peo. 47 and Peo. 52.
Additionally, there is the problem that not all of the bullets were marked with PID numbers in Patrick Garland’s Evidence Inventory. And, nearly all of the evidence envelopes were either unmarked or substituted.
Wait – there is more trickery underfoot
Then there is this truly extraordinary incident – in 1994 at my request criminalist Lowell Bradford accompanied me to the CSA to examine and photograph the Sirhan bullets. As Bradford began to examine the bullets he saw that the bullets were smeared all over with a “grease like substance”. As a result of this new damage to the bullets, Bradford’s examination came to an abrupt end. He declared the bullets were unexaminable. That is a true fact. (Lowell Bradford’s Report of this shocking incident is on my web site.)
With the above information in mind and taking into consideration the present condition of the Sirhan bullets you have to ask what if any tests are possible to make? Unless, unless a certain piece of evidence suddenly reappears from its long hibernation. Then, at long last the NAA test can finally be performed on the largest bullet fragment in the hospital specimen jar marked “PID-3, # 24, Bullet Fragment, (date) 6-13, DW” and that little sleeper . (at this point it is prudent that I hold my tongue)
Realistically, I do not see the granting of a court order that calls for the re-examination of the Sirhan evidence. The numerous frauds – now public knowledge are out there for all to see.. And what judge in his/her right mind would stick their neck out for a replay of the Judge Wenke Court Order fiasco?
Let’s face it - we are stuck with a pile of junk evidence and the worn out cover-ups won’t work anymore.
Rose Lynn Mangan , 6- 22 - 2016