An Amateur Sleuth Fights A 'Civil War'

When Ray Marcus got wind several weeks ago of a photographic study "disproving" the existence of a second Kennedy assassin (seen as a white blotch that resembled a gunman atop a station wagon), he instantly telephoned the authors of the study, a corporation called ITEK. He told them he was just a half-hour away from their offices in Lexington and was prepared to show them another possible assassin further to the right in the same picture. The man from ITEK said he was interested and would call Marcus back.

But he never did. That same day ITEK released its report - and newspaper headlines across the country proclaimed, "No Second Assassin," and "Study Rebuffs Warren Critics." Only the New York Times, which has steadfastly ignored all the critics of the Warren Report (including the one who is currently District Attorney of New Orleans) failed to give the ITEK story big play.

For Marcus it was a familiar experience. Like the other amateur sleuths enveloped in the Kennedy assassination (a small band whose numbers are impossible to determine), he has grown accustomed to a disinterested, onesided press. And more than most of them, Marcus has persisted in his efforts to get coverage -- for a bizzare compilation of photographic evidence (see pictures and description pp. 9 and 11) suggesting a great deal but, even by his own admission, proving nothing.

Marcus says he first became interested in the photographs "three or four days" after the assassination. He followed closely as the newspapers and the government slowly shifted from entrance wound to exit wound and to the remarkable "single-bullet" theory.

"When you started clipping stuff," says Marcus, "you saw that somebody was lying." Of course not everyone who sensed contradictions in the weeks following President Kennedy's assassination proceeded to devote the next three years to intensive study of it. Marcus never really explains why the subject so fascinated him, and still does now. But if he's right, even in part, then maybe the rest of us owe him the explanations.

Lifton's Experience

In any case, Marcus's evidence is simple, perhaps deceptively so. The first of his "images"--discovered by a man named David Lifton from Los Angeles--are in a picture of the legendary grassy knoll. A Dallas woman who no longer lists her telephone number -- Mary Anne Moorman -- took the photograph moments after the fatal bullet struck President Kennedy. Lifton and Marcus observed a total of five possible human images behind the wall in the background, including two (designated nos. 2 and 5) in which one can see a suggestion of a gun. Although the other three images are more questionable, Marcus is certain both 2 and 5 are valid. For each he has what he considers independent corroboration--a faint suggestion of a figure in the ITEK photo for the #5 man and an unmistakeable silhouette in yet another picture for the #2 man. The silhouette is from a picture taken by Philip Willis--a retired Air Force major from Dallas--and is perhaps the hardest to refute of the lot. It shows no rifle, or even a hint of one, but it does suggest a man standing in almost the same position as Moorman #2, around the time of the first shot by Willis' own recollection. The Warren Commission has found no evidence to show anyone standing behind the wall (which guards a private parking lot) and insists the area was off-limits on the day of the assassination.

The possible corroborating figure in the ITEK photo is much less convincing than the Willis, but taken together with Moorman #5 it does seem to show a balding man grasping a straight object in his right hand and resting it on his left forearm.

Obviously these images can be evaluated more precisely with the kind of resources which ITEK used in exploring the station-wagon killer image (which Marcus contends no "reputable" Warren critic ever believed for a minute). But ITEK refused to look at what Marcus wanted to show them. A close study of the Nix film (the 8 mm. film taken by David Nix from which the ITEK photo was extracted), would probably, show whether1