The Missing Link

The Warren Commission took testimony from Victoria Adams in Dallas on April 7, 1964. Her later words to me, plus other corroborating evidence, seemed to indicate she was right when she said a key element in her testimony had been altered in order to discredit what she was saying. In an effort to find out, I searched for the original stenographic tape of her deposition. I figured while copies of her testimony could possibly “evolve,” so to speak, as they made their way to publication, it would be much more difficult to change the coded and continuous train of paper produced by a stenographic machine and typed that afternoon by court reporter Helen Laidrich. I discovered there are 16 boxes in the National Archives containing the original, accordion-style steno tapes, plus notes and other related material, of the 552 witnesses officially questioned by the Commission. The boxes — most of the tapes inside still unopened — are cataloged by the dates the depositions were taken, not by the names of those deposed. Below is a list furnished by the National Archives of the boxes in question. Notice that April 7, the date depositions were taken of Vicki Adams, as well as controversial witnesses Billy Lovelady and William Shelley, is missing. And below that is another document, also from the National Archives, that may explain why. Comments anyone?

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One response to “The Missing Link

  1. PKM

    The obvious questions that the document raises are, among others: 1) Why destroy these steno tapes/notes and not others; and 2) Are there similar instructions or notations about proposed destruction that apply to any other such documents? One wonders whether this is destruction of potential evidence, or a sudden spasm of thrift to save space. We know that boxes of stenographic notations survived, as evidenced by the listing that excludes the date in question. (See WC Appendix 5: List of Witnesses.) Documents compiled by the taxpayer-funded commission would presumably be public property. I’ve read that the transcript of a final executive session in which Sen. Russell dissented has not been located and is presumed destroyed. But routine testimony by percipient witnesses?

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