Former FBI Special Agent Donald Adams has spent years researching and compiling information about the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
What Adams has discovered (and now knows) contradicts the findings of the official investigations and the report completed by The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, commonly referred to as the Warren Commission. That 888-page report was released to the public on September 27, 1964, less than a year after the President was killed. The crux of the report names Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone shooter – firing three shots in 7-1/2 seconds from the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository building using a bolt action rifle – in the killing of President Kennedy and the wounding of Texas Gov. John Connally.
Since that time, the inconsistencies and untruths in that report and surrounding the assassination have multiplied exponentially.
“There were approximately 11 shots fired in Dealey Plaza at the time of the President’s murder. The first shot hit the pavement between the presidential limo and the Secret Service backup car. A second shot from the grassy knoll went through the limo’s windshield and struck President Kennedy in the throat. This was a frontal shot. A third shot hit the President in his back, five inches below the top of his spine and two inches to the right The fourth shot ….” – Donald A. Adams
Rather then assuring the American public of the efficacy of the Warren Commission report, these inconsistencies and untruths have led to more questions.
“Once Oswald was named as the lone assassin, the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy was not handled properly. Witnesses were not questioned; standard operating investigative procedure was not followed; forensic evidence was altered or destroyed; basic investigative technique was disregarded; and the truth of what really happened has never been revealed. There are still so many questions that need to be answered, especially after all his time.”
Ponder these questions – some of the many Donald Adams has been asking – and trying to answer.
(1) Once ordered by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, on the authority of President Lyndon Johnson, did the FBI go into the very basics of any murder investigation, let alone the investigation into the murder of President John F. Kennedy? No.
(2) Did the FBI conduct a detailed and thorough investigation once those basics were established? No.
(3) Were investigating FBI agents made aware that five separate threats to kill President Kennedy occurred within one month of the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination? No.
(4) Were investigating FBI agents made aware of the October 1963 threat made in Indianapolis, Indiana, by Joseph Adams Milteer and others to kill the President as he left Homestead Air Force Base in Florida enroute to the Kennedy Compound in Palm Beach Florida, or that there was a backup plan to kill him from an office or apartment building located directly across from the White House? No.
(5) Were investigating agents made aware of the Nov. 9, 1963, tape recording by the Miami Police Department Intelligence Unit which exposed Joseph Adams Milteer as a person who made a recorded threat on that date to kill the President from an office building with a high-powered rifle? No.
(6) Were investigating agents made aware of a similar threat to be carried out in Chicago on Nov. 2, 1963? No.
(7) Were investigating agents made aware of a similar threat to be carried out in Tampa, Florida in November 1963, two weeks before the President’s trip to Dallas? No.
(8) What was done and by whom regarding each of the above named threats? Were there reports prepared on each of the threats? No.
(9) Was there an appropriate and detailed investigation conducted regarding each of the above threats and/or on any of the people involved? No.
(10) Were any of the above threats considered a “Special” or a priority type investigation? No.
(11) Were teams of agents assigned to work a “Special” investigation on each threat? No.
(12) Are results of any separate investigations on any of these threats in the National Archives? None available.
(13) If agents did work on these matters, how many did so and what was the duration of their investigations? Unknown.
(14) Were there investigations conducted to determine if there was a connection between any or all of the threats and by all interested offices? No.
Author’s Note: During the time of the Kennedy murder, the FBI was operating through field offices and resident agencies. A field office typically covered a specific area, most often a number of counties within a state. The size and population of the state dictated the number of field offices there. For example, Texas had four field offices – Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio and Houston. Because it is a large state, geographically, and because the population was spread out, the four offices had to cover a large number of people within the cities and surrounding counties. Comparatively, Ohio is much smaller geographically and the state’s population is more concentrated, so Ohio operated with two field offices, Cleveland and Cincinnati.
A resident agency was set up within and responsible to a field office. The number of counties assigned to each agent within a resident agency depended upon the number of agents assigned to that particular resident agency.
FBI report writing is a standard operating procedure throughout the Bureau. All administrative reports or paperwork were written by the agents in rough draft form and then typed by secretaries in the field office. Once the reports were typed and approved by the case agent, copies were provided to FBI headquarters, all interested offices and to the resident agency from where the report originated.
(15) Were photographs provided to all interested offices of any persons identified as suspects or subjects in any threats? No.
(16) Did any of the field offices located where the threats had been made contact or correspond with FBI headquarters or any other offices (Dallas in particular) once the assassination occurred? Unknown.
(17) Once the focus was placed on Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin, why were all of the above ignored, played down or not done? Leads or evidence, such as the five threats to the President’s life, were either set aside, ignored or completely forgotten. Why?
(18) Had any of the field office investigations disclosed any other suspects or subjects who were being investigated other than Oswald? Unknown.
(19) Were the investigations which should have been conducted, in fact, conducted? No.
(20) Why hasn’t the general public become aware of Joseph Adams Milteer as a prime suspect in the JFK assassination? The public is not familiar with Milteer or with the threats he made against the President. On the orders of the FBI, all information on Milteer was ordered into the National Archives. Why?
(21) Why hasn’t the public been made aware of the fact that Milteer was a much greater threat to President Kennedy than Oswald was prior to the assassination in 1963?
(22) Once the Atlanta FBI office had all of the information on the known and recorded threats, why wasn’t a “Special” set up with a team of agents doing a complete workup on Milteer in early November?
(23) Why wasn’t Special Agent Adams made aware of the Nov. 9 threat or threats when he was assigned in November to investigate Milteer? Why did he, as the investigating agent, not learn of those threats until 30 years later? Unknown.
(24) Why wasn’t a proper investigation conducted concerning Milteer in 1963 and/or afterwards?
(25) Why was Special Agent Adams instructed to ask only certain questions when and if Milteer was located and interviewed after the assassination? Unknown.
(26) Why was Special Agent Adams not informed that his partner, Special Agent Royal McGraw, and Quitman Chief of Police Bill Elliott had done a complete investigation on Milteer in 1962?
(27) Why have the full facts concerning Milteer been withheld by the FBI from the public for almost 50 years?
(28) Are not the American people entitled to know the full truth of the involvement of President Lyndon Johnson, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Atlanta SAC James McMahon, FBI Supervisor Charles Harding, FBI Special Agent Royal McGraw, etc. regarding Joseph A. Milteer and others? Yes.
(29) Why was information intentionally hidden or destroyed concerning threats against the President or the involvement of Joseph A. Milteer in the assassination? Unknown.
Author’s Note: Scant information has been written about Milteer for nearly 50 years.
(30) When the Nov. 9 tape-recorded threats on the President’s life were reported by the media, why wasn’t a follow up investigation conducted by that media? Unknown.
(31) When archive documents revealing facts of an earlier investigation on Milteer were discovered, why didn’t FBI Special Agent Royal McGraw or Quitman Chief of Police Bill Elliott inform Special Agent Adams that they had worked on a Milteer investigation in 1962? Unknown.
(32) Immediately following the assassination of the President, why did FBI Special Agent Royal McGraw tell Atlanta field office Supervisor Charles Harding that “Milteer was in Quitman, Georgia,” when Special Agent Adams had just left McGraw to try to locate Milteer as requested by the Agent in Charge in Atlanta for the Secret Service? Unknown.
Author’s Note: Milteer was never located until Nov. 27, 1963, five days after the assassination. That was five days after the Atlanta office had been informed that Milteer was in Quitman, Ga.
(33) Why are the complete reports and supporting evidence prepared by FBI Special Agent Adams regarding his investigation of Milteer missing, destroyed or used by Supervisor Harding and Agent McGraw in their reports? A review of records for those reports by Special Agent Adams disclosed little information to be in existence. Unknown.
(34) Why do reports by McGraw and Harding in December 1963 and January 1964 include investigative results done by Special Agent Adams, including the interview of Milteer? Unknown.
(35) Why does investigative information completed by Special Agent Adams show up in McGraw’s and Harding’s report without any acknowledgment or reference to Adams’ original report and/or documents? Unknown.
Author’s Note: This is a very important point. McGraw and Harding’s FBI reports omit any mention of Agent Adams’ investigations except for the FD 302 interview of Milteer by Adams and Agent Kenneth Williams. Further, none of the documents, interviews and/or copies of records accompanying SA Adams’ report are attributed to Adams’ investigation. All were attributed to McGraw and Harding in their reports, now on file at the National Archives. For example, there is no record in the National Archives that it was Special Agent Adams and Chief Bill Elliott who obtained Milteer’s fingerprints from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s office, Valdosta, Ga.
(36) Why do the National Archives records show only one document attributed to Special Agent Adams, the FD 302 report of the Milteer interview? Unknown.
Author’s Note: This is a very important question, especially in view of all of the information obtained by Special Agent Adams and Chief Elliott during the course of their investigation commencing Nov. 13, 1963, nine days before the President was assassinated. This information was compiled in the report that was hand-delivered by Adams to the Atlanta Field Office.
(37) In the National Archives copy of the FD 302 relating to the Milteer interview, the names on the report of Special Agent Adams and Special Agent Williams are reversed. Also, there are two different dates referred to in copies of that document. The original FD 302, filed by S. A. Adams, did not have these differences.
Author’s Note: Why is this important? Special Agent Adams was the assigned case agent with SA Kenneth Williams assisting. Adams’ name should appear first in the FD302, per FBI established procedures. As the case agent, Adams would be interviewed by higher authority if the Milteer interview or other evidence was called into question. Reversing the names of Adams and Williams and using two different dates in the body of the text proves that the documents were tampered with and falsified. Why was this done? The truth must become known.
(38) The 1962 report filed by Special Agent McGraw indicates that McGraw knew that Milteer was known to possess and carry weapons. McGraw did not inform Special Agent Adams at any time that Milteer should be considered “Armed and Dangerous.” Why?
Author’s Note: Failing to do that placed the lives of Adams, Chief of Police Bill Elliott and Special Agent Williams in serious jeopardy. This is a direct violation of the very basic procedures of the FBI. An “Armed and Dangerous” statement by Bureau rules should have been recorded on each and every communication concerning Milteer. All FBI personnel know this.
(39) Following the assassination, it was reported that the FBI had between 365 and 385 agents working on the investigation of the murder of President Kennedy. Why weren’t a majority of the most important leads investigated thoroughly and the murder solved?
(40) After threatening the President’s life (recorded in a Miami Police Department tape-recording of Nov. 9, 1963), Milteer was photographed on Nov. 22, 1963, at Dealey Plaza on Houston Street in Dallas. He was watching the Presidential limousine pass by just seconds prior to the murder of the President and wounding of Gov. Connally. Why has this not been investigated thoroughly for almost 50 years?
Author’s Note: For most, the name Joseph A. Milteer has no relevance to the JFK assassination. Most people are not aware of the recorded threats he made to kill the President. Most people are not aware that he was in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22. In fact, the FBI report by Special Agent Royal McGraw for the Atlanta office contradicts this evidence of Milteer’s actual location that day. It also contradicts evidence of a phone call Milteer made to FBI informant William Somersett at 10 a.m. on Nov. 22, 1963. Milteer was quoted in the phone call as saying, “I am in jack rabbit country [Texas], and your friend [JFK] is coming here today.” Reportedly, he then said, “You will never see him again in Miami.”
(41) Did J. Gordon Shanklin, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI operations in Dallas and also in charge of overseeing the entire assassination investigation, see to it that the logical leads that should have been covered in Dallas and all other locations throughout the United States were covered? No.
(42) Were comprehensive investigations undertaken concerning each and every shot fired in Dealey Plaza that day? No.
(43) What happened to the testimony of witnesses who heard shots coming from the “grassy knoll”? Were comprehensive investigations undertaken to interview all of those witnesses? No.
(44) How many shooters were involved in Dallas and what was their location when President Kennedy was murdered? Unknown.
(45) How did the assassins move in and out of their positions without being seen? Unknown.
(46) What happened to the weapons used in those shootings? Unknown.
(47) Where did the assassins disappear to? Unknown.
(48) Doctors and medical staff at Parkland Hospital (who first saw the President following the shootings) reported one of the President’s head wounds resulted in the cerebellum being exposed. Were these witnesses interviewed in detail? If so what happened to the interview reports? Unknown.
(49) Some of the doctors who were in Trauma Room One at Parkland Hospital said the president had an entrance wound in his throat. This is in direct conflict with the findings in the Warren Commission Report. Why was the information ignored?
Author’s Note: An entrance wound in the President’s throat is irrefutable evidence that eliminates Lee Harvey Oswald as a lone shooter. It was only years later that a U.S. House of Representatives Assassinations Committee acknowledged that a shot had come from the “grassy knoll” facing Dealey Plaza. This was known even before Oswald was identified as the shooter, yet he was still arrested.
(50) In violation of investigative procedures and protocol, the President’s limousine was washed down and cleaned by Secret Service agents at Parkland Hospital immediately following his body’s arrival at the hospital, thus destroying whatever evidence it contained. Why was this done and on whose orders? Was an in-depth investigation conducted by the FBI to ascertain the facts surrounding this unprecedented action? No.
(51) The Warren Commission determined that the second bullet allegedly fired by Oswald hit President Kennedy in his back and also wounded Gov. Connally in five locations. However, that bullet was found in “pristine” condition on a stretcher at Parkland Hospital. Was an in-depth investigation undertaken at the time of the discovery of this evidence at Parkland? Unknown.
(52) How does a bullet travel though flesh and bone and remain “pristine”? Impossible.
(53) There is at least one photograph of law enforcement personnel holding a Mauser rifle which was allegedly recovered from the Texas Book Depository after the assassination. Yet this is a different weapon than the one allegedly used by Oswald in the assassination. Why was the difference never investigated?
(54) Who was in charge overall in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy? Was it J. Edgar Hoover or J. Gordon Shanklin?
(55) Where was the assassination command center established and how many agents and clerical personnel worked out of that location? Exact information and numbers are unknown.
(56) Who oversaw the distribution of leads of value as they were uncovered?
(57) Which other person or persons were responsible to ensure that those and all leads of value were covered, results obtained and recorded in appropriate communications? Unknown.
(58) Who was in charge of seeing that the steno pool took care of all typing? Unknown.
(59) Who was in charge of all teletypes that arrived and were sent? Unknown.
(60) Who was in charge of the work schedule for all supervisory and agent personnel? Unknown.
(61) Who was in charge of all evidence that was gathered and the securing of that evidence? Unknown.
(62) Who was in charge of all documentation located in the Kennedy and Oswald rooms located in the FBI office and the establishment of proper recordkeeping? Unknown.
(63) Who was in charge regarding interviews of all key people, including Mrs. Kennedy, Gov. and Mrs. Connelly, Jack Ruby, his associates, law enforcement officials, Mr. Zapruder and other witnesses? Unknown.
(64) Was there a detailed FBI investigation conducted concerning the” three bums” in the railroad yard? No.
(65) Who interviewed the Secret Service agents and law enforcement personnel who worked the Presidential Protection Detail prior to the assassination and those who were involved in the assassination investigation afterwards? Unknown.
(66) Why was the Secret Service Agent on the back of the Presidential limousine waved off the car as it left Love Field ? Unknown.
(67) Who interviewed Marina Oswald as well as other Oswald associates? Unknown.
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg about the handling of the JFK assassination investigation. They are listed here to give the general public an overview of just how extensive an investigation should have been conducted.
“I know that the investigation was riddled with numerous mistakes and I believe that many of those mistakes were intentionally made. The most important question though is why? Why was the investigation of the assassination of the 35th President of the United States bungled and why don’t we – almost 50 years later – have the answers to all these and many more questions? – Donald A. Adams