Author Topic: Colin McLaren & 'The Smoking Gun'  (Read 5667 times)

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Offline Dillon Rankine

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Colin McLaren & 'The Smoking Gun'
« on: April 07, 2015, 06:29:24 PM »
Colin McLaren & 'The Smoking Gun'

[It should be Noted by the Reader this is not a Reveiw of "JFK: The Smoking Gun" but is a reveiw of, partly the theory, & the bias actions of Colin McLaren]

In 2013, Colin McLaren, a former Austrilain detective who investigated some of Austrialia's most famous crimes, tuned his sights to the JFK Assassination. His interests first spiked to the case when he was traveling New York in 1992 & decided to have a book to read for the long flight. McLaren had chosen a book by Kansas Jounrilist Bonar Menninger called Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK which was based on the theory of ballistics expert Howard Donahue.
McLaren read the entire book on his trip & was determined to help prove Donahue & Menninger's thesis. The world was introduced to McLaren in his November 2013 documentary, JFK: The Smoking Gun aired on REELZ channel.

Mortal Error

Howard Donahue was a ballistics expert & gun-buff. Donahue was, in a 1967 test of on CBS, the only sharpshooter to fire 3 shots from the "Mannlicher-Carcano" rifle in less than 5.6 seconds. Even he proved it could be done, Donhue was unsure. For a men's magazine article, he was asked to back the Warren Commission's finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone firing 3 shots from the Texas School Book Depository. Donahue examined that report of the Commission but also the workings of the critics, the most compelling to him was Josiah Thompson, professor of philosophy & private detective who authored Six Seconds in Dallas. Donahue's belief in the Warren Commission was damaged by the truthfulness of the critics but he noticed there lack of knowledge about firearms. He also did not subscribe to Thompson's theory that 3 shooters fired 4 shots, the last two of which struck JFK in the head nearly simultaneously. His own research concluded that there was a 2nd Gunmen in play on November 22nd. His theory was the subject of the book Mortal Error by Bonar Menninger, which chronicles Donahue's research. The thesis was that the Warren Commission had 1 shooter; Lee Harvey Oswald, their 1 of the murder weapons; 6.54 Carcano & 2 bullets of the 3 Donahue says was fired his thesis is as follows:
The first shot fired by Lee Harvey Oswald from the Sixth-Floor Window missed & hit the street near the Kennedy Limo, knocking up bullet fragments to hit JFK in the back of the head & shout "My God, I'm Hit!" The bullet itself ricochetted to injured bystander James Tague. The second shot, also fired by Oswald with his 6.5 hit JFK in the upper back/neck & exited his throat, moving forward to strike JBC in the back, right wrist & left thigh - the "Single Bullet Theory." Donahue contended the SBT was correct but it happened slightly later. The third shot was not fired intentionally by Oswald with a 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano but it was fired accidentally by Secret Service agent George Hickey with a 5.56 AR-15 from the S. S. Follow-Up Car. This shot, an exploding frangable bullet, struck Kennedy in the head. (All Donahue, Menninger & McLaren enforced this.)

The Smoking Gun (Documentary)

JFK: The Smoking Gun the documentary launched on REELZ on November 3rd 2013, shortly before the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of JFK presenting evidence for the 3 shot, 2 shooter, 1 accident theory. The programme presumed the original WC version of the shooting; that the first shot was the SBT, the second shot missed & the third was fatal. Strangely, the show does'nt mention James Tague, the distant bystander who was injured by a ricochet fragment from a missed shot. The documentary in the USA & Austrialia was 90 minutes long with the same title, the European & British versions were only 45 minutes & were called JFK's Secret Killer: The Evidence which included less 'evidence', witness accounts & explanation. It also cut out an interview with Donahue's daughter. The programme for the most part was well done with reanactments to show witness testimony & a computer simulation to show the theory & witness locations. It does however present only the views of those presenting the theory & none of its criticisms, such as the fact witnesses say the saw an agent stand up with an AR-15 in hand but no one who watched agent saw him fire. They also use witnesses who said they saw or smelled gun smoke coming off the grassy knoll  by saying the witnesses saw or smelled gun smoke at street level - indicating a shot from the a Secret Service Follow-Up Car.
They also explored the evidence that the type of round used in Hickey's AR-15 Assualt Rifle used was the only type of round which could have caused the headshot which to a certain extent is true. (Evidence suggests it was fired from the right-front.)
By the end of the documentary, virtually everyone, except a small handful of people (mainly longtime researchers like Jim Marrs, Robert Groden etc.), Beleived that there was no conspiracy to kill JFK but that there was a conspiracy to cover-up the existence of a the second accidental shooter. All polls conducted about public belief in the Assassination were conducted prior to documentary so now, if the 'Average Joe' was asked about the shooting of Kennedy they would probably answer something like 'the Secret Service agent shot him.'
The bias nature of the information presented in the show made it seem plausible, even Mortal Error, the original book approached the case with more logic intact that the more detailed account by McLaren in his book.

The Smoking Gun (Book) & The Power of Biaism
 
Those who read, such as myself, wanted the more detailed account; with twice as much evidence & explanation, and there was more detail, enough detail to understand that the theory was entirely wrong. Many researchers decided to switch to his side due to his film, but the book is riddled with errors.
To start McLaren makes a contradictory statement as he states that he was looking into the case from a forensic investigation point of view, basically meaning that he would look over all statements, evidence etc. in the case & draw a conclusion from that, however he also stated at he was "determined" to prove Donahue Wright. This was a stumbling block as it clearly affected his Veiw of the evidence & the case. Social Constructavism is a phenomena reported by sociologists that states that people often, perhaps unconsciously for one reason or another, sort the facts & evidence into a pre-arranged conclusion. Thi seems to fit perfectly with the way McLaren dealt with the JFK Case, so convinced that Donahue was wright, as his theory was unique. Inside he wanted to prove the theory. Social Constructivism also says that a person will place the influence for their actions at the highest, McLaren shows signs of this, calling his chapter on Donahue & Russell Fisher "TWO CLEVER MEN."
There are many things McLaren writes that show he is virtually clueless on the Assassination. Firstly, any detective knows that eyewitness testimony can be flakey & unreliable yet McLaren states that to find out a crime "invariably, you find it out through your witnesses, they'll solve it for you." He also says that one of the most reliable websites was John McAdams bias "jfkassassination.net".
The most appolling section of his knowledge come to his extremely poor knowledge of the evidence offered by the critics, for example he says that the JFK Lancer (fails to name them but understands they meet every November in Dallas) conference brags about the fact that Jack Ruby went to Cuba 3 times & that they theorise that he spoke with CASTRO who funded the hit, with the CIA, Mafia, LBJ & Lee Harvey Oswald all involved, yet IN REALITY they speak about the factual evidence. His knowledge of the critics themselves is even worse as he says he was shocked that Mark Lane was allowed to testify before the WC. McLaren did read all WC & ARRB documents, but rarely anything in between other than Menninger's book, so he was not knowledgeable enough to know that Lane represented the interests of Oswald. He actually said the Lane "wasted pages" of the WC's report ranting on about his "conspiracy theories" & that it was "inconceivable" why he should be alowe to give testimony. Another shocking error in his 'facts' are that Lane testified as a form a preparation for his "books he would write in later years" & genuinely called the book "Rush for Justice [&] A Cititzens Decent" while Lane's books were actually called Rush to Judgement & Citizen Lane. Of course he doesn't mention Lane's book Pluasible Denial where he recounts his trial against E. Howard Hunt which he won & in which he told the jury that Hunt & the CIA were involved a plot to kill Kennedy. He claimed that Lane was guilty of  "misquoting witnesses" even though Lane released a film - the first conspiracy documentary - titled the same as his first book on the subject, Rush to Judgement which can be viewed on YouTube, in which Lane interviews witnesses for the camera, the key ones that prove conspiracy, the ones which McLaren claim he misquoted. Later in the book after fully presenting the theory he further describes Lane as an "oddball." His poor knowledge of New Orleasns DA Jim Garrision was just as bad, claiming that Garrison attacked New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw simply because he was a homosexual, not becuase of the evidence to which McLaren States there is none, even though Garrison presented, at the Trial of Clay Shaw - the only trial ever brought in the JFK Case where the entire focus of the trial was on JFK - many eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen Shaw, Oswald & a CIA/Mafia pilot named David W. Ferrie together. Again McLaren ignores this in its entirety, incorrectly stating that Ferrie died 3 years after the Asssassination & that Garrison publicly stated wild theories about Ferrie's death as well. If McLaren had really looked, into witness accounts unbiased then he should have concluded there was a conspiracy as he makes absoloutely NO mention of the accounts of people who saw men claiming to be S. S. Agents where none were officially supposed to be. McLaren does mention the testimony of witnesses who either saw the assassin in the western window of the TSBD or people who saw two men in the window, but predictably he does not mention that they saw the assassin in another window or that there were 2 assassin's. He also claims that all witnesses to the Tippit Shooting identified Oswald, while only Helen Markham, who was in hysterics after witnessing a murder, first said she saw a short, chunky man with bushy hair, this was the most common description of the shooter when Oswald had a receding hairline, was tall & "painfully" skinny. Warren Reynolds who chased Tippit's assassin said first it wasn't Oswald but then after someone broke into his home & shot him in the head (a wound he survived) he suddenly changed his statements from not seeing Lee Harvey Oswald to seeing Oswald. McLaren also doesn't even mention the possible existence of the acoustic evidence which proved 5 shots. He also neglected to mention the majority of the evidence. McLaren's claim that his conclusions were unbiasly reached is nothing short of false. His description of earwitness testimony is shocking, in short he does not mention that people heard gunfire from the Grassy Knoll - he also leads the reader to believe that Mark Lane coined the term 'Grassy Knoll.' If a witness claimed to have heard a shot fired from the Knoll he wouldn't mention that they heard a shot from the Knoll or fen that they thought they heard a shot from the Knoll - he immediately says that they "heard reverberations from the [Triple] Underpass." Despite that not one person in Dealey Plaza came forward to say they heard a shot from the follow-up car, he also fully endorses people who heard a shot from the Depository, apparently it never crossed his mind that they might be hearing reverberations. Also, the "echo-chamber" theory has long been disputed with the HSCA's Earshot experiment in 1978 (there, like with most experiments, strengths & weaknesses).
McLaren's constant stating that people saw or smelled gunpowder is also irratating. Even though witnesses saw a puff of white smoke, they saw come from behind the fence on the Knoll. People who smelled powder, all but one said it came from the Knoll or they smelled it upon running up the Knoll. The one person who also smelled gunpowder but not in Dealey Plaza, was a police officer - Earl Brown - who was on a bridge just ahead of the Underpass. He said as the cars raced under his bridge he smelled gunpowder. This seems strange, but it's likely he smelled exhaust fumes from the several speeding cars, those still in Dealey Plaza, however, behind the picket fence couldn't be smelling exhaust fumes. McLaren uses Brown's statements to say that his smelling gunpowder clearly showed a gun had been discharged in the follow-up car, although this was debunked REELZ channel special with Bill Kurtis. The special, called JFK: Inside the Evidence (can be watched for free at the REELZ website), a ballistics expert tells McLaren & Mennigner who was also present that "there's no way gunpowder clings to a car" to which Menninger futilely attempts to rebunk his case. McLaren says that witnesses who saw or smelled gunpowder near the Knoll smelled it at "street level." They way he speaks about the Grassy Knoll show how Truely bais he is. He speaks of the short grassy incline like one may speak of an associate they extremely dislike, not mentioning at all that people rushed the Knoll after the shooting or that anyone reported seeing or hearing anything Suspisous. On that note, I think the best way to sum this up would be through his nutty speculation about the first statements of Jean Hill.
Most people in Assassination Research know the name Jean Hill, but it's her first statement & only her first statement that McLaren seems to be aware of, either that or he is deliberately suppressing evidence as its unfavourable to his side. Hill's first statement, when she & her friend Mary Ann Moorman were in TV after the shooting, was that she "saw men in plain clothes shooting back," McLaren's speculation about this statement is laughable. Though McLaren is actually honest about the fact Hill said she heard "between 4 & 6 shots" he forgets that Hill made many, many later statements. McLaren, obviously interprets this as that she saw the S. S. Agent accidentally shooting JFK! But when going into this in more depth years later (admitabley there are some credibility problems) she said that saw movement (or someone fire) behind the picket fence atop the Knoll. But the fact he's obsessed by Hill's remark is more than strange. Of course any LNer should ask themselves the same question McLaren did: 'What was Jean Hill talking about whe she said she saw men in plainclothes shooting back?' McLaren further ignores the photographich evidence that Hickey didn't pick up the Assualt Rifle  until after the shots, though a photo taken just as the follow-up car exits Underpass shows Hickey has not even began to reach for the weapon yet, though S. M. Holland said he saw Hickey pick up the rifle after the shots and wave it toward the Grassy Knoll.

McLaren & this theory are shattered, this theory has long been shattered & the credibility of McLaren in this case has been shattered after the release of his book & documentary. 

Offline Jim Hawthorn

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Re: Colin McLaren & 'The Smoking Gun'
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 10:48:01 PM »
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