THE PAPER BAG THAT NEVER WAS!

BY IAN GRIGGS

One of the most questionable of all Warren Commission exhibits has to be CE 1302. This is the photograph, which purports to show "Approximate location wrapping paper per bag ...near window in southeast corner." The index to Volume 22 of the Warren Commission's 26 Volumes of Hearings and Exhibits, in which this appears on page 479, describes this exhibit as "Photograph of southeast corner of sixth floor of Texas School Book Depository Building, showing approximate location of wrapping paper bag and location of palm print on carton."

From those positive and uncomplicated descriptions, we would expect to see a photograph showing a bag made out of wrapping paper. In reality, the photograph shows no paper bag ­ just a dotted line rectangle which has been printed on the photograph and which bears the legend:

"APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF WRAPPING PAPER BAG."

In accordance with normal police practice, other items of potential evidential value were photographed where they lay ­ for example the rifle, the spent cartridges and the book carton with the palm print on it. Why, then, was the paper bag not afforded this attention? May I be as bold as to suggest that this most vital piece of 'evidence' did not actually exist at the time? It is my earnest belief that it was made up (in both senses) some time later.

In this paper I will examine the reasons for the bag becoming such a vital piece of evidence against Lee Harvey Oswald, the circumstances under which it was allegedly found, my unsuccessful attempts to establish who found it and the method by which Oswald is alleged to have used it to bring a rifle into the building. I will also address the infamous 'curtain rods' story, discuss where the bag is claimed to have been made and question why those investigating the case felt it necessary for a 'replica' bag to be constructed...

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