Fifty-four years in 2017 after JFK’s assassination, released classified documents state that the FBI reportedly lost Oswald’s fingerprints that authorities lifted from the rifle found in the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) after the president was assassinated in Dallas.
According to the documents, Dallas Police claimed they submitted the original fingerprints to the FBI, and those prints were never returned to the police. Now, FBI files dated from July 1978 indicate the fingerprints are also missing from the agency’s vast archives. How convenient.
At the time of the investigation in 1963, agents and outside experts concluded that a palm print taken from the barrel of the rifle belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald. In “Faulty Evidence,” author Michael T. Griffith reported that Dallas police claimed Oswald’s prints had NOT been found on the weapon. When the FBI’s Latona examined the Carcano on Nov. 23, he did not find Oswald’s prints on the weapon. Moreover, Latona said the rifle’s barrel did NOT look as though it had even been processed for prints.
No fingerprints were found on any of the three empty bullet shells found in the TSBD, or on the intact bullet. Nor were any prints found on the rifle clip that held the intact bullet and into which the shells must have been loaded by hand [Warren Commission Hearings, vol.4, pp.253, 258–60].
Supposedly Lieutenant J.C. Day of the Dallas police examined the rifle and found faint traces of two fingerprints on the metal housing by the trigger. He took photographs and applied a protective layer of cellophane to the area [Warren Report, pp.122f].
Another theory is that the palm print was obtained from Oswald’s dead body at the morgue, or later at the funeral home [Lifton 354-356 n; cf. Meagher 120-127]. So suspicious was the palm print that even the Warren Commission privately had doubts about using this narrative in their cover up [Garrison 113; Marrs 445; cf. Lane 153-158].
It now appears that they went instead with misdirecting any “real” Oswald fingerprint with this crock about losing or misplacing it. WinterWatch’s takeaway is that Oswald never laid hands on the Carcano.
Johnny on the Spot: The Activities of Special Agent Vincent Drain
The three-page report on the 1978 FBI discovery of the lost prints is disjointed. There is little paper trail of names and, to a thinking person, it’s not just unprofessional but a criminal cover up. However, the ’78 report does state Dallas Police turned over the prints to FBI special agent “V.E. Drain.” Vince Drain later said “there was no print.” Yet, here is the document showing what Drain delivered, including finger and palm prints.
Vince Drain is mentioned in Vincent Bugliosi’s book “Parkland” as the individual who picked up the Dallas evidence on the assassination.
Drain is shown below hauling off the “evidence.” He stated that he discussed the borrowing with the police chief and “told him that we’d keep the chain of evidence intact and that I would pick them up there myself and wait for them until they were examined in Washington then bring them back.”
Drain said he talked to J. Edgar Hoover briefly and then watched them do a lot of the experiments, such as firing the rifle, looking for prints, ballistic markings, hairs, fibers and blood stains. He claims he then went back to the police department and turned over the evidence to the police chief on Sunday morning, at the time Oswald was killed by Ruby. They then had full custody of it, according to Drain.
Drain also interviewed Oswald’s wife, Marina. In 1963, she was surrounded by U.S. intelligence, including Drain. Her English was poor, and she was forced into being a marionette for the LBJ-controlled government. At the hands of agents like Drain, Marina was forced to do some spectacular lying in the early days.
Decades later, as the surveillance and control net gradually was loosened, she was a much more believable person, such as when she was interviewed by Jesse Ventura in 2010 for his TV show. This interview of late appears entirely scrubbed from the web. I can attest to watching it.
Drain was a central figure before the Warren Commission. He also ran a “keep ’em in line” investigation into “discrepancies” and abuses within the Dallas Police Department. There are signs that Oswald was roughed up.
Drain attended meetings with the Secret Service in the days before JFK’s arrival into the kill zone. He had knowledge of Oswald as a person of interest but did not consider him a threat. Drain claimed Oswald was never an informant, which is now largely debunked. He pushed the narrative that Jack Ruby was likely an informant but viewed him as a “harmless individual.”
Drain was in the Parkland trauma emergency room where JFK was taken. He said that he observed the surgery, but wasn’t up close to the body. He claimed the head was badly damaged from the lower right base across the top extending across the top of the ear. He was part of the misdirection about the direction of the shot.
“It appeared to me as though the bullet traveled upward and had taken off the right portion of his skull,” he said.
Drain took a portion of the skull, which he said “was about the size of a teacup, much larger than a silver dollar.” Apparently, the explosion had jerked it because the hair was still on it. Drain says he carried the skull piece back to Washington later that night and turned it over to the FBI laboratory. Curiously, the skull piece is not on the receipt shown above. During JFK’s autopsy, staff indicated that 10 x 17 centimeter section of skull was missing and was not present in the autopsy room.
At Parkland, Drain observed the Secret Service taking possession of JFK’s body over the protests of local jurisdiction. He followed the Secret Service with the body to Love Airport. He “observed” the body being loaded on to Air Force One.
Drain went to the Dallas police HQ and was present when Oswald was brought out. He says he observed Jack Ruby in the second row. After Oswald was taken back, he spoke briefly with Ruby.
Drain’s father-in-law was the founder of Ashland Oil Company. He was a personal friend of Sam Rayburn and consequently knew LBJ. He said, “The last time I had seen the president was when I sat with the Rayburn family at the funeral of Sam Rayburn in 1961. I was with the president at the church, at the cemetery and then at the Rayburn home.”
Winter Watch Takeaway: Vince Drain was a dicey character, seemingly compartmentalized to handle evidence, including skull fragments, and to run cover up interference. He was Johnnie on the Spot throughout the post-assassination events. He was responsible for the chain of custody for important evidence, which newly released document now shows was conveniently “lost.” He is a textbook template for how these cover ups have been run ever since.