JFK Breakthrough?

Text by John Kelin; photograph Copyright © 1998 by Mike Blackwell

A Texas-based assassination research group has identified a man believed to have left a previously unidentified fingerprint on a box making up the alleged "sniper's nest" on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, from which President Kennedy was allegedly assassinated in 1963.

Researcher Walt Brown, speaking on behalf of the Texas group, said at a May 29 press conference in Dallas that the fingerprints belong to Malcolm E. "Mac" Wallace, a convicted killer with ties to Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Walt Brown presenting fingerprint data

Brown presented data showing a 14-point match between Wallace's fingerprint card, obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the previously unidentified print, a copy of which was kept in the National Archives. The match was made by A. Nathan Darby, an expert with certification by the International Association of Identifiers.

DPD print (left) matched by Darby to unidentified print from TSBD (right)

According to members of the research group, this new evidence has been in the hands of the Dallas Police Department since May 12. The DPD passed it on to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Malcolm Wallace, convicted in a 1951 murder and suspected in others, was reportedly killed in an automobile accident in 1971. He has been linked to the death of Texas Agriculture Department investigator Henry Marshall, said to be close to uncovering felonious behavior by Billy Sol Estes and Lyndon Johnson.

The fact of Wallace's fingerprint in the so-called "sniper's nest" does not, of course, mean he pulled a trigger that day. Brown cited FBI fingerprint expert Sebastion Latona's testimony to the Warren Commission, in which Latona stated that fingerprints can only be taken from a surface like cardboard within 24 hours of its origin.

Furthermore, "Wallace's print at the crime scene is hard evidence that corroborates the circumstantial evidence of Loy Factor's eyewitness account of Wallace's presence," said Texas researcher Richard Bartholomew. Loy Factor has claimed that he, Wallace, Lee Oswald, and a woman identified as "Ruth Ann" were present on the TSBD sixth floor as part of an assassination team.

According to Bartholomew, the same question was raised by the Dallas police on May 12. "The FBI's own textbook on fingerprint science teaches the basic concept of fingerprint evidence used in criminal investigation," he said. "Those who have an innocent reason to have handled the objects in question are eliminated from suspicion if their latent prints are present. Did Wallace have an innocent reason? No."

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