TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH D. NICOL

Mr. DULLES. Mr. Nicol, I am presiding at the request of the Chief Justice. Will you kindly raise your right hand. Do you swear the testimony you will give before this Commission is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you.
Mr. NICOL. I do.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, would you state your name and position?
Mr. NICOL. Joseph D. Nicol, Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for the State of Illinois.
Mr. EISENBERG. Could you briefly describe your qualifications in the field of firearms investigation?
Mr. NICOL. I began studying this field in 1941 in the Chicago Police Crime Laboratory under Charles Wilson, remained there as a firearms technician for approximately 9 years, and then moved to Pittsburgh, where I directed and set up the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Crime Laboratory, also working in the field of ballistics. Then I went to Miami, Fla., and set up the Dade County Crime Laboratory and worked there for 5 years. I went to Michigan State and taught for 4 and now I am back in Illinois, in Springfield, as Superintendent of the Bureau.
Mr. EISENBERG. Could you tell us approximately how many bullets and cartridge cases you have examined to identify them or attempt to identify them to suspect weapons?
Mr. NICOL. This would number in the thousands, I do not have an exact figure, but our caseload in Chicago is approximately 4,000 guns annually, of which we would make approximately between 10 and a dozen comparisons, so the comparisons that would be conducted by myself or those under my direct supervision would be approximately 50,000 a year. Now this is just a rough figure.
Mr. EISENBERG. Do you have any publications or lectures?
Mr. NICOL. I have one minor publication in the field of firearms. Most of my publication work has been with the "Journal of Criminology" in the area of the technical note and abstract section. I do not have any major publications in the firearms field.
Mr. EISENBERG. What is your association with that journal?
Mr. NICOL. I am associate editor of the "Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology."
Mr. EISENBERG. Do you lecture on any regular basis?
Mr. NICOL. At the present time I am lecturing with the University of Illinois in criminal investigation, at the Chicago campus, and prior to that I had been on the staff at Michigan State University for approximately 4 years.
Mr. EISENBERG. What was your education before you went into this field?
Mr. NICOL. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Northwestern, and during the period that I was with the Chicago Crime Laboratory I got a Master's in Physics also from Northwestern.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I would like permission to take Mr. Nicol's testimony as an expert witness in the field of firearms identification.
Mr. DULLES. You may proceed.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Nicol, I will hand you 3 exhibits, 3 items, Commission Exhibits 399, 567, and 569, which I will describe for the record as being a bullet and 2 bullet fragments, and I ask you whether you are familiar with those 3 Commission Exhibits?
Mr. NICOL. May I examine them?

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Mr. EISENBERG. Yes, you may.
Mr. NICOL. Yes, this was the exhibit that was given to me as Q-1 in the original transmission.
Mr. EISENBERG. This being which Commission exhibit?
Mr. NICOL. This being 399. Exhibit 567, this was referred to as Q-2, and also accompanied the other exhibit. Commission Exhibit 569, this is Q-3.
Mr. EISENBERG. Are your marks on those exhibits?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, I have marked my initials on an unrifled portion of each one of these exhibits. There were also other marks on it at the time I received the specimens.
Mr. EISENBERG. I don't know whether you gentlemen have seen these. These are rifle bullets and bullet fragments.
Mr. DULLES. Is this the one that was found on the stretcher?
Mr. EISENBERG. Exhibit 399 is the bullet that was found on the stretcher. Exhibits 567 and 569 were found in the front portion of the President's car.
Mr. DULLES. These are pretty badly mutilated, aren't they?
Mr. NICOL. Apparently they are separated so that one can't tell whether they come from a single bullet or from two separate projectiles. One is a nose portion and the other is a base.
Mr. DULLES. Is this the one that is the nose portion?
Mr. EISENBERG. You are handing, Mr. Dulles is handing Mr. Nicol Commission Exhibit 569.
Mr. NICOL. No, that would be the base portion.
Mr. DULLES. That is what I thought. Are those different parts of the same bullet possibly?
Mr. NICOL. That is possible, because there appears to be an interval of ap proximately an eighth of an inch that is not present, so that the area where one begins is not even with the other, so it is not possible to tell, at least I couldn't to express an opinion.
Mr. EISENBERG. That is, they might be two separate bullets or two parts of the same bullet?
Mr. NICOL. Two parts of the same or separate bullets, that is right.
Mr. EISENBERG. I hand you Commission Exhibit 572, which for the record consists of two bullets, and ask you whether you are familiar with those bullets?
Mr. NICOL. These are the two projectiles which were given to me as K-l, and were used by me as standards or tests.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, when you say "standards or tests," could, you amplify that?
Mr. NICOL. On the basis of information on the cartridge, or on the envelope, rather, it was my understanding that these had been fired from a weapon. I have not any personal knowledge of the weapon from which they were fired, but they were used as comparison standards to be compared against rifling impressions on the other three exhibits.
Mr. EISENBERG. Can you tell us how you obtained these four exhibits which you have just looked at?
Mr. NICOL. All these exhibits were obtained from Mr. Eisenberg on March 24, here in this office.
Mr. EISENBERG. And for the record, I obtained these items from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and transmitted them directly to Mr. Nicol for his examination. Now, Mr. Nicol, you therefore did not fire the two test bullets which you used in your comparison?
Mr. NICOL. No, sir; I did. not.
Mr. EISENBERG. And can you go into that at any length as to--do you have any reason for that?
Mr. NICOL. Well, probably two very basic reasons. One, the matter of time, and secondly the fact that I did not have facilities in the area where I was working for the collection of such tests from a high- powered weapon.

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There is the other problem, as developed later, it was apparent that the weapon, even in the firing of this small sequence, was undergoing some changes, and it was my understanding that several shots had been fired since these tests were fired and there might be some likelihood of transitory changes which would make these the best specimens rather than those I might fire now after this series.
Mr. EISENBERG. Again for the record, I had been informed by the FBI that some 50 or more bullets had been fired from the rifle, and that the firing of this many bullets from a high-velocity weapon would seriously alter the characteristics of the barrel.
Representative FORD. Would that be your conclusion, too?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, it would be. It has been my experience that there is a rapid erosion with the high pressures and high temperatures that are involved in a weapon of that velocity.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Nicol, did you examine the three exhibits which were given to you as Q-1, Q-2, and Q-3, and which are now, I believe 567, 569, and 399?
Mr. NICOL. Yes sir; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. To determine whether or not they had come from the identical barrel as that in which the two--the bullets in Exhibit 572 had been fired?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. Can you give us your conclusions?
Mr. NICOL. Yes. It is my opinion that the same weapon that fired Commission's Exhibit 572 also fired the projectiles in Commission's Exhibits 569, 567, and 399.
Mr. EISENBERG. That would be to the exclusion of all other weapons?
Mr. NICOL. Correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you take photographs of the test and suspect items?
Mr. NICOL. Yes; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. Under the comparison microscope?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. And have you brought those photographs with you?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; I have. I might say in passing that this was done in Philadelphia with equipment that I was not thoroughly conversant with, that is, a type that I have used, but each piece has some idiosyncrasy, and considering the time element I do not offer these as the best quality that could be produced under the circumstances.
Representative FORD. Does that make any difference in your judgment or opinion?
Mr. NICOL. No, sir; it doesn't, because my opinion is based upon a visual examination. That is, photography is not an integral part of arriving at the conclusion, except in one facet which I will discuss later.
Mr. EISENBERG. On that subject, have you testified in court on firearms identification?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; many times.
Mr. EISENBERG. Do you usually use photographs when you testify?
Mr. NICOL. No. As a matter of fact, I can't recall an instance in which I have.
Mr. EISENBERG. And why were these prepared?
Mr. NICOL. These were prepared at your request so that there would be documentary evidence of what I was observing. However--and this one, for example, will serve to illustrate the type of photography that is involved.
Mr. EISENBERG. Excuse me a second. You are holding up a photograph labeled Q-l, K-1. Did you take that photograph, Mr. Nicol?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, this was taken under a comparison microscope.
Mr. EISENBERG. And Q-1 is one of the bullets which I have called the suspect bullets, and K-1 is the test bullet?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, Q-1 would be 399, and K-1 would be one of the projectiles in 572.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, may I have this photograph admitted as Commission Exhibit No. 608?

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Mr. DULLES. It may be admitted.
(The photograph referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 608 and received in evidence.)
Mr. EISENBERG. Using this photograph, Mr. Nicol, could you explain some of the markings which led you to the conclusion that Q-1 or Exhibit 399 had been fired from the same barrel through which K-1 was fired?
Mr. DULLES. Before you do that, just for an amateur, would you explain what this is a photograph of, the inside of the barrel?
Mr. NICOL. No, this is a photograph of two projectiles.
Mr. DULLES. Projectiles?
Mr. NICOL. This is the dividing line of the comparison bridge actually. You see a portion of one, of K-1 on one side and Q-1 on the other.
Mr. DULLES. Yes.
Mr. EISENBERG. Is that groove on the right a cannelure?
Mr. NICOL. There is a cannelure, that would be the position at which the projectile is crimped and held in the cartridge-case.
Representative FORD. Why wouldn't that show on Q-1?
Mr. NICOL. It would be over here on the other side. You see you only see this much of Q-l, and it may show on Q-l, but it will be over underneath, and you only see this much of it--in half the field.
Representative FORD. This is an overlay in effect?
Mr. NICOL. In a sense, yes, and you are actually masking off half of each one that is represented over here and masking off half of the K-1 over here.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. EISENBERG. What is the magnification of these photographs, by the way?
Mr. NICOL. These were taken on five by seven, I would estimate about 30 diameter.
Mr. EISENBERG. And is the magnification of Q-1 the same as the magnification of K-1?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; the optics are carefully matched in order that they magnify identically.
Mr. EISENBERG. Will that statement be true of all the comparison photographs that will be shown?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir. They may not be at the same magnification because I took some of the subsequent ones on a different unit which had different optics.
Mr. EISENBERG. But the left and right side of the pictures would be at the same magnification as each other?
Mr. NICOL. They will be at matched magnification, correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. Why don't you continue.
Mr. NICOL. Starting up at the top you will notice a white patch which represents a land impression on the two projectiles. Immediately below that a large patch with a similarity of the contours of the edges.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, do you think you could circle that and mark it "1" so that people looking at the record in the future will know what you are referring to? Circle it or make an arrow?
Mr. NICOL. All right. Below that in approximately this position you will see a line on Q-1 that is found over in the comparable position on K-1. Below that at a point representing an imperfection on Q-l, slight damage to the projectile, you will notice a line which continues across. Below that a pair of lines, and then a larger line, below that a pair of fairly deep impressions, and below that another pair of single broad grooves, and then another pair, one of the lines is not in the same size, and then as one gets further down the match is--the bullets are no longer in a match relation ship, simply because Q-1 is somewhat distorted as a result of having struck some hard object at the base portion, so that it is oval. In the case here we are comparing two surfaces of different radii so that they do not--looking at them as a projection they do not match up. But in this particular region, from approximately this fill-in in the cannelure, there is a sufficient number of points of identification to lead me to the conclusion they were both fired in the same weapon.

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Mr. EISENBERG. Could you mark that, that you mention as "2"?
Mr. DULLES. This again, at least the "Q" part of this, is the bullet that was found in the stretcher?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; this specimen here.
Mr. DULLES. That is on the left-hand side, is it?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. "Q," as Mr. Cunningham stated, is the FBI mark for "questioned," whereas "K" is the FBI mark for "known."
Mr. NICOL. I retained the same nomenclature so I would not add any unnecessary marks.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now do you have another photograph?
Mr. NICOL. Yes. I took three different positions of Q-1 and K-1. This would be now with the same projectiles under the comparison microscope but rotated to a new position. Each one of these positions shows a similar rotation. Do you want to mark these?
Mr. EISENBERG. This photograph was also taken by you, Mr. Nicol?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. May I have this admitted as 609?
Mr. DULLES. It shall be admitted.
(The photograph referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 609, and was received in evidence.)
Mr. EISENBERG. This is also marked Q-1 and K-1. That will be Commission Exhibit 609. Would you discuss that photograph briefly, Mr. Nicol?
Mr. NICOL. This represents a new position of Q-1 and K-1 in a match relationship. Both have been rotated simultaneously through the same angle, and looking at the bottom this time, the large broad area represents a land impression. Then coming up to a point approximately a half inch above the land edge there is a deep groove paired up with several other deep indentations. These are worth noting because these represented very prominent index marks on both Q-l, Q-2, and Q-3. This was used as, you might say, a point of departure in lining up the projectiles. And again this shows what I would consider evidence of similarity between the rifling impressions on both projectiles.
Mr. DULLES. You wouldn't go further than that--"evidence of similarity"?
Mr. NICOL. Well, I would go so far as to say that based upon the individual characteristics that I observed, these, plus those shown on the other photograph, would lead me to the opinion that they were fired in the same gun. When I refer to similarities, these would be individual characteristics which would be in the same category as the individual points of identification on a fingerprint. This would be tantamount to the fingerprint of that particular weapon.
Mr. EISENBERG. This is the third photograph?
Mr. NICOL. This is a third photograph of another very prominent mark on both projectiles.
Mr. EISENBERG. Taken by you, Mr. Nicol?
Mr. NICOL. Right.
Mr. EISENBERG. May I have this admitted as Commission Exhibit 610?
Mr. DULLES. It will be admitted.
(The photograph referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 610 and, was received in evidence.)
Representative FORD. (addressing Mr. Eisenberg). Now both Q-1 and K-1 were fired from the Commission Exhibit 139?
Mr. EISENBERG. 139, yes. The FBI fired K-1 from Exhibit 139. Mr. Nicol has now identified Q-1 as having been fired from the same source as K-l, and, therefore, from Exhibit 139.
Representative FORD. Yes.
Mr. NICOL. This represents a third position of Q-1 and K-l, and, in this third position, of course, the first two positions still are in match relationship, that is to say in a relative sense; because of mutilation of Q- 1 they would not be precise, there would be some mild adjustments. What I am illustrating here is a very prominent groove. In this particular

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case, Q-1 has displaced slightly in the mechanics of photography so that the lower broad shoulder that you see here of this heavy line does not match up. This should come up just slightly above. The photographer in printing chose this negative rather than another one which would have been superior, and I apologize for this particular photograph. But this groove, along with the other pattern shown on 609, also appear prominently on Q-2 and Q-3 as prominent index marks.
Mr. DULLES. I don't quite understand 610. This is the last one we have just admitted. Are these ridges the same? This wouldn't be very clear for the record--this is 609 that I have here.
Mr. NICOL. No, this is not the same view.
Mr. DULLES. That is not the same view at all. It is a different part of the bullet.
Mr. NICOL. This is rotated, both of them rotated simultaneously the same amount to bring those into position here.
Mr. DULLES. Now on 610, I don't see anything comparable on the Q-1 bullet, a ridge comparable on the Q-1 bullet to the one I find on the K-1 bullet.
Mr. NICOL. The dividing-line is right through here.
Mr. DULLES. Yes,
Mr. NICOL. And it is this big groove gouged through there.
Mr. DULLES. It stops there at that point?
Mr. NICOL. It stops right here. This is the base of the bullet. The lead is protruding, that is what you see down here.
Mr. DULLES. I see.
Mr. EISENBERG. Could you circle the mark you are discussing now?
Mr. NICOL. That comprises the three positions of the comparison of Q-1 and K-1.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you also take photographs of Q-2, which is our Commission number 567?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; this particular position is a comparison of Q-2 and Q-1.
Mr. EISENBERG. You took this photograph, Mr. Nicol?
Mr. NICOL. Right.
Mr. EISENBERG. May I have this admitted as 611?
Mr. DULLES. Yes.
(The photograph referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 611 for identification and received in evidence.)
Mr. NICOL. Due to the extent of mutilation of these two projectiles, I found it more advantageous to compare Q-1 and Q-2 rather than comparing Q-2 and K-1.
Mr. EISENBERG. In other words, you took Q-l, which you had already identified as having been fired through--from the same rifle as K-l, and compared it with Q-2 in the photograph?
Mr. NICOL. Right.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, in determining whether Q-2 had been fired from the same rifle as K-l, that is, in determining whether the suspect bullet had been fired from the same rifle as the test bullet, did you match up Q-2, against the test bullet or against Q-l?
Mr. NICOL. I did both. But photographically, I could get a better illustration between Q-1 and Q-2 rather than K-l, because what was apparent was that the heavy groove here, which would be a projection in the barrel, and, of course, being outstanding, would be subject to rapid wear, had changed somewhat be tween the Q specimens and the K specimens. And so in order to get closer to the actual time of the original firing, it was advantageous to make a comparison of Q-1 and Q-2.
Mr. EISENBERG. But you arrived at a conclusion independently also on the basis of K-1?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, also on the basis of other striations which are not as easily illustrated photographically, the reason being the mutilation of the projectile. And here we are comparing a curved surface with a flat surface, or a curved surface that is flattened out, and the geometry is no longer the same.

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Mr. EISENBERG. But you did compare Q-2 to K-1 under the microscope?
Mr. NICOL. Yes.
Mr. EISENBERG. And did you arrive at a positive conclusion?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, I did. It is my conclusion that the same weapon that fired K-1 fired Q-2.
Mr. EISENBERG. So the photograph that compares Q-1 and Q-2 is only for illustrative purposes?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.
Mr. DULLES. For clarification purposes, am I correct that Q-2 is the mutilated fractured bullet that was found in the car?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.
Mr. DULLES. And was Q-3 in such a situation that it furnished any useful test or not?
Mr. NICOL. Yes; I could use it for comparison.
Mr. DULLES. That was the other part, or separate part found in the President's car?
Mr. NICOL. Q-2 is the nose.
Mr. DULLES. Yes, I remember that. I looked at that.
Mr. NICOL. You see, what I have to work with is this flat back portion there, as against the round part, and of course the geometry is just not the same.
Mr. EISENBERG. You were pointing just now to--
Mr. NICOL. Q-2.
Mr. DULLES. Q-2 is the nose and Q-3 is the base?
Mr. NICOL. Base portion, correct.
Mr. DULLES. Of the fractured bullet.
Mr. NICOL. Or bullets.
Mr. DULLES. Or bullets.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, you had just begun to show us photograph 611.
Mr. NICOL. 611 represents, for purposes of illustration--it represents Q-1 on the right and Q-2 on the left, and the major mark that I referred to on the comparison of K-1 and Q-1 is represented by this deep gouge across the field here. There are also other smaller striations that are in the match, above it.
Mr. EISENBERG. You now show me a photograph of Q-1 and Q-3?
Mr. NICOL. Right.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you take this photograph?
Mr. NICOL. I did.
Mr. DULLES. It will be admitted as Commission Exhibit 612.
(The photograph referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 612 and received in evidence.)
Mr. EISENBERG. Again I ask, Mr. Nicol, whether in arriving at your conclusion you made a comparison of Q-3 directly against K-1?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; I did. And the purpose here, as expressed before, is that the illustration seemed to be better between Q-1 and Q-3, as far as the photographic presentation was concerned. We have here Q-1 on the right and Q-3 on the left. Just down at the base portion of Q-l, just the small portion visible here, there is a group of very prominent marks that are in a match relationship there. These are the same group referred to in--
Mr. DULLES. That is Q-1 and Q-3 that Mr. Rhyne is looking at?
Mr. RHYNE. Yes.
Mr. NICOL. It would be the same area as referred to in 609.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, does that complete your photographs of the three bullets in Exhibits 399, 567, and 5697
Mr. NICOL. That's right--against Commission Exhibit 572.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Nicol, I hand you Commission Exhibit 573 and I ask you whether you are familiar with this item, which I state for the record is a bullet found inside the Walker residence after the attempted assassination of General Walker.
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; I have seen this.
Mr. EISENBERG. Is your mark on that?

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Mr. NICOL. Correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, did you make an examination of Commission Exhibit 573 to determine whether it was fired from the same rifle as Commission Exhibit 572, which we have one of which we have also been calling K-l?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. And what was your conclusion?
Mr. NICOL. I found that within the limits that Commission Exhibit 573 is badly mutilated as a result of having struck some hard object on the side that the class characteristics generally correspond, that is to say it would be fired from a weapon of comparable rifling to Commission Exhibit 572. Then looking at an area which I can best describe on 609 as being a burr that develops along the edge of the rifling, I found both on the upper surface, which would be the groove impression, and along on the shoulder, quite a few points, individual characteristics, which matched up in each of the positions which were visible. Because of the mutilation I was not able to put these in the kind of a match relationship that would suggest a positive identification. However, I did not find anything on Commission Exhibit 573 that was incompatible with Commission Exhibit 572, so without going to the degree of saying that there is a positive identification, I would express it this way--that there is a fair prob ability that Commission Exhibit 573 was fired from the same weapon that fired 572.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Nicol, we had testimony from a Mr. Frazier yesterday of the FBI Firearms Section, and he testified that the FBI does not make probable identifications, but merely positive or negative identifications.
Mr. NICOL. I am aware of their position. This is not, I am sure, arrived at without careful consideration. However, to say that because one does not find sufficient marks for identification that it is a negative, I think is going over board in the other direction. And for purposes of probative value, for whatever it might be worth, in the absence of very definite negative evidence, I think it is permissible to say that in an exhibit such as 573 there is enough on it to say that it could have come, and even perhaps a little stronger, to say that it probably came from this, without going so far as to say to the exclusion of all other guns. This I could not do.
Mr. DULLES. (Addressing Mr. Eisenberg). Would you refresh my memory as to this other exhibit--I don't remember---is 573 the actual bullet that was fired and mutilated in the Walker attempt?
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes.
Mr. DULLES. And 572 is what?
Mr. EISENBERG. Those are the test bullets fired by the FBI.
Mr. DULLES. I was a little puzzled by the order.
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes. That is just the order in which they were introduced in evidence.
Mr. DULLES. And really 573 came before 572 in terms of time.
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes.
Mr. DULLES. That clears it up for me.
Mr. NICOL. This is the condition of the bullet.
Mr. DULLES. I have seen the bullet, yes.
Mr. NICOL. It is in sad shape, to say the least.
Mr. EISENBERG. As I understand your testimony, therefore, you feel that there are sufficient identical microscopic characteristics on 572 and 573 to say that they were probably fired from the same weapon, but not enough to say that they were definitely fired from the same weapon.
Mr. NICOL. Yes. My opinion would be based upon the finding of families of lines that would be of the order of two to four fine striations on the burr that I referred to. For a stronger identification, I would want a larger group, I would want perhaps five or six in a given area, all matching in terms of contour as well as position. But this I did not find. And so for that reason, I would not want to express this as a positive finding. However, I would not want to be misunderstood or suggest that this could not have come from that particular gun.

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Mr. EISENBERG. Now, you say burr. This is a burr in the barrel of the rifle which produced--
Mr. NICOL. No, I believe it is the result of a displacement of metal as the land impresses into the jacket material, and actually machines up a burr along here on the driving edge.
Mr. EISENBERG. So is there an extrusion on--on the rifle barrel which would produce that?
Mr. NICOL. It may have been true at one time. It appeared at some point in the passage through the barrel, this portion of the jacket curled up and subsequently before it left the barrel was touched by the rifling, so that it is now flat and even. When I refer to it as a burr, it is not raised up. It is even with the rest of this surface. But you can see the definite outline of that burr at the land edge.
(At this point the Chairman entered the hearing room.)
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, would this be caused by an extrusion in the barrel or a concavity in the barrel?
Mr. NICOL. It is probably the result of erosion back at the chamber, back at the rear of the barrel, along the land edge here, and then as the bullet gets to the end of the barrel, pressures decrease, so erosion also decreases, and therefore there is still rifling enough left to press this clown and make some impression on the projectile itself.
Mr. EISENBERG. And does this lie within a land impression, or the edge of a land impression?
Mr. NICOL. It would, be actually in the groove impression.
Mr. EISENBERG. In the groove impression of the bullet?
Mr. NICOL. Of the bullet.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, you found this same mark on the Walker bullet as you found on the bullets that were
Mr. NICOL. All the Q specimens and the K specimens had this characteristic burr. Now, I could not honestly say that this would not be found, the burr would not be found on other weapons of similar construction, similar velocity. However, the fine lines that you can see visible in this photograph, by which an identification could be made, would be the same individual characteristics as any other fine lines on the rifling impression.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, Mr. Nicol, was this burr in the same position in its relation to the edge of the groove on what we have been calling the Walker bullet as it was in the other bullets?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir. And, as a matter of fact, repeated in about the same extent in those land positions and groove positions which are still visible on that projectile.
Mr. EISENBERG. So that you not only have the existence of the burr, but you have it at a characteristic distance from the edge of a groove impression?
Mr. NICOL. Correct. And while the contour matched, this is not as significant, because any two guns manufactured with the same rifling cutter, as perhaps a production wealth like this would be, would have the same contour characteristics. So this would not necessarily be definitive. But the presence of those individual characteristics which are referred to, although not sufficient for a positive, certainly would indicate that there is a possibility that this is fired from that particular gun.
Mr. EISENBERG. Were you able to secure photographs of this Walker bullet under the microscope?
Mr. NICOL. No; I could not, because what I would be comparing would be a curved surface that is flattened out with the test bullets, which would be still in curved geometry. So that while I might get one point in match, the others, you see, would be spread out. So that--actually, an identification of that kind is made in a dynamic fashion. That is to say, one bullet is slid and the other bullet is rotated. So that it is in a sense unfolding the curved bullet so teat it resembles in a progressive way the flattened out projectile.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, I now hand you Commission Exhibit--well, before I go into that, is there any further testimony you wish to give on the subject of the rifle bullets?

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Mr. NICOL. No. The only other work I did on it was with respect to an examination of the nose of Q-1 to ascertain whether there was any evidence of ricochet or perhaps contact with fabric and so on. However, although there were some fine striations on there, there was nothing of such a nature that it would, suggest a pattern, like a weave pattern or anything of that nature. So that except for the nick, which I understand has been explained as a site where spectrographic tests were conducted no further tests were run on either of those projectiles.
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes. For the record, the nick which Mr. Nicol refers to was in the nose of what was given to you as Q-l--and which I have been informed was a bit of metal that was taken out by the FBI to make a spectrographic test on the chemical composition of the bullet, and therefore was not produced in the process of firing the bullet. Now, Mr. Nicol, I hand you Commission Exhibits 545, 543, and 544, which for the record consist of three shells, three rifle cartridge cases, which were found on the sixth floor of the TSBD building at the easternmost corner of the south face. I ask you whether you are familiar with those shells?
Mr. DULLES. They bear your mark?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.; there is a little JDN inscribed very lightly under the Q position.
Mr. EISENBERG. You are familiar with these shells?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir. And these were given to me by you on the same day I received the projectiles.
Mr. EISENBERG. I hand you Commission Exhibit 557, which also consists of--which consists of two expended shells, and I ask you whether you are familiar with them.
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir. These are the specimens, the two shells which I used as standards or tests to compare against the other three fired cartridge cases.
Mr. EISENBERG. And you obtained those from what source?
Mr. NICOL. I obtained these from Mr. Eisenberg on the 24th of March here in this office.
Mr. EISENBERG. Again for the record, I obtained these shells from the FBI and turned them over directly to Mr. Nicol, and they have been identified earlier as having been fired by the FBI from Exhibit 139, the rifle found on the sixth floor of the TSBD building. Now, Mr. Nicol, did you examine the shells in Exhibits 543, 544, and 545 to determine whether they had been fired from the same rifle as fired the shells in Exhibit 557?
Mr. NICOL. Yes; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. And what was your conclusion?
Mr. NICOL. Based upon the similarity of the firing-pin impressions and the breech-block markings, as well as ejector and extractor marks, it is my opinion that all three of the exhibits, 545, 543, and 544, were fired in the same weapon as fired Exhibit 557.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, did you take photographs of the various shells under the microscope?
Mr. NICOL. I took photographs of the specimen which I referred to, or was referred to, as Q-48, which would be this.
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes. That is Commission Exhibit 545.
Mr. NICOL. These were also taken under the comparison microscope in the same fashion as the other specimens.
Mr. EISENBERG. And these were taken by you?
Mr. NICOL. These were taken by me.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I ask permission to introduce this as Exhibit 613.
Mr. DULLES. It may be received.
(The photograph referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 613 and received in evidence.)
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, you have extra copies of this photograph?
Mr. NICOL. Yes; I do.

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Mr. EISENBERG. By use of this photograph, could you explain some of the markings on Q-48, which is illustrated on the left-hand side and which is Commission Exhibit 545, and K-l, which is on the right-hand side, which is the test cartridge, which led you to the conclusion that both shells were fired from the same rifle?
Mr. DULLES. 545 is one of the shells found on the sixth floor?
Mr. EISENBERG. That's correct.
Mr. NICOL. This was the lone one that was found, I understand.
Mr. EISENBERG. L-o-n-e?
Mr. NICOL. Right.
Mr. EISENBERG. Again, for the record, what Mr. Nicol is referring to is that for some reason the shells were grouped into a group of two and a group of one shells by the Dallas police, apparently on the basis that two shells were very close together, and the third shell was a little further away. But they were actually all within a quite small area. And this is just an arbitrary grouping.
Mr. NICOL. Now, although this compares--is a comparison of Q-48 and K-l, Commission Exhibits 545 and 572--I'm sorry, 557--the same would apply to comparable regions on Exhibits 543 and 544. I have placed arrows just for fiduciary marks so we can be looking at the same area. Taking the top arrow, the area running across there is rather broad, an eroded or corroded band, a valley. Below it is a fairly distinct mark. The two small marks appear below it. And then on the projectile, at the middle arrow, there is a broad flat plane. This plane has an irregular contour, and what I have attempted to do is match a projection at the lower portion of this--you also see that the contour at the top is equivalent, insofar as the spacial area. Below, there are at the lower arrow some additional marks. These begin to come to the edge of the primer. What we are looking at here is actually the primer of the cartridge case, and the marks are the breech-block markings as the result of the pressure of the set-back of the shell. I have a sequence of these where the division moves across. Do you want to introduce all of them?
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes; I think we should mark them in evidence.
Mr. NICOL. All right. This would be the dividing line of the comparison bridge moved over a small portion. You see the entire flat area here, but the match has now shifted over slightly.
Mr. EISENBERG. I am holding two photographs, both marked Q-48 and K-1. You took both photographs?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.
Mr. DULLES. I wonder if, for clarification, we could take one of those shells and see from what angle the photograph is taken and what is covered in the photograph. I am a little confused. It doesn't make any difference which one.
Mr. NICOL. All right, sir. The area shown between this dark ring would represent the area between these two grooves right here. Actually, it is the entire primer. This is the firing-pin impression you are looking at right here.
Mr. DULLES. Thank you.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, may I have these admitted, these last photographs, as 614 and 615?
Mr. DULLES. 614 and 615, exhibits as described, will be admitted.
(The photographs referred to were marked Commission Exhibits Nos. 614 and 615 and received in evidence.)
Mr. NICOL. Now, this again illustrates Q-48 and K-1 with the position now such that the division of the field is moved over approximately a sixteenth of an inch from the position we looked at previously. And again at the points indicated by the arrow, there are individual characteristics running across the dividing line of the comparison in both the top and bottom region.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, from the position of the firing-pin hole on Q-48, on this

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last exhibit, it appears that it is not perfectly aligned with the position of the firing-pin hole on K-l, Mr. Nicol. I am looking at the mark on the right-hand side of Q-48.
Mr. NICOL. Yes. And the purpose for the misalignment was in order to show these smaller marks that appear right at the edge of the firing-pin impression.
Mr. EISENBERG. So that at the top the markings on Q-48 and K-1 will not run into each other, as well as on the bottom?
Mr. NICOL. If they are divergent, of course, they will not. If they are parallel, it makes no difference where the position is. Now, this is another setting, going to the opposite side of the firing-pin impression, just translating the two cartridge cases the same distance, so that we are now looking at a division at the other side, and a comparison of the breech-block markings on the other side of the two shells.
Mr. EISENBERG. Again marked Q-48 and K-1. You took this photograph?
Mr. NICOL. I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. May I have permission to mark this 615?
Mr. DULLES. It shall be admitted.
(The photograph referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 615 and received in evidence.)
Mr. NICOL. Looking at the position of the upper arrow, there is a pair of diagonal marks, a small mark immediately below it going down to the lower part of the breech-block markings. There are a series of parallel lines at approximately a 45-degree angle to the division of the bridge. These were duplicated on both- all of the cartridge cases submitted.
Mr. DULLES. I am not entirely clear in my mind what this demonstrates.
Mr. NICOL. This is the basis upon which I arrived at the conclusion that the two cartridge cases, K-1 and Q-48, were fired in the same weapon. Actually, we could take a good match, such as shown here, or even this one, and this would be sufficient. All I have done here is repeat this by moving the two bullets, or the two cartridge cases together the same translated distance, and then taking a series of photographs at each particular position. So they represent actually the same thing in each one.
Mr. DULLES. As the hammer comes down on the cartridge, it makes a distinctive mark, is that the idea?
Mr. NICOL. No. I have not compared the firing-pin impression. What this is is the setback of the shell against the breech face, against the rear of the chamber.
Mr. DULLES. The breech face makes an impression on the shell, and that is a distinctive impression?
Mr. NICOL. Very definitely, just as individual as a fingerprint.
Mr. EISENBERG. These are two further photographs that you took, Mr. Nicol?
Mr. NICOL. Yes.
Mr. EISENBERG. And they both illustrate the same cartridge case, the same two cartridge cases, the one questioned and the one known?
Mr. NICOL. Right.
Mr. EISENBERG. And you have moved the hairline somewhat over to the right?
Mr. NICOL. Right.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, may I introduce these as 616 and 617?
Mr. DULLES. They shall be admitted.
(The photographs described were marked Commission Exhibits Nos. 616 and 617 and were received in evidence.)
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I suggest that in the interest of time, since these two photographs are merely continuations of the first series, we go on to the next. Mr. Nicol, you have further photographs now. These are marked Q-48 and K-1, and these are separate photographs?
Mr. NICOL. Same photographs.
Mr. EISENBERG. That is submitted as 618, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. DULLES. It shall be admitted.
(The photograph referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 618 and received in evidence.)

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Mr. EISENBERG. Now, was this photograph taken to show the same point as the previous photographs?
Mr. NICOL. Not exactly. This shows the rim of the two cartridge cases. K-1 is just barely visible. Q-48 represents the other half of the picture. And what we are looking at here in the match relationship, at the point of the arrow, is a patch which represents the extractor riding around the rim of the shell at the time that the cartridge was introduced into the chamber. I might qualify that by saying this: in order to be certain of the exact factor which produced this, I would have had to examine the weapon and conducted some tests to ascertain whether this was the extractor or the bolt pushing the cartridge into the chamber when the mechanism was operated. In any case, the same tool, whether it be the extractor or the bolt, produced this pattern of lines on both the known and the unknown cartridge cases.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, did you find that mark repeated on the cartridge case in other places?
Mr. NICOL. This was repeated on Q-6 and 7. However, what you may be referring to is another series which was only found on Q-6.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, could you get to that photograph you just mentioned, Q-6?
Mr. NICOL. I photographed the Q-6 in three different positions, which I designated as 1, 2, and 3.
Mr. DULLES. Have we identified Q--6 before on the record?
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes. Q-6, I think it is stated on the record, is the equivalent of our Commission Exhibit 543.
Mr. DULLES. What is 543?
Mr. EISENBERG. 543 is a shell found in the TSBD building.
Mr. NICOL. This is a photograph I took of the head--a portion of the head of Q-6, or Commission Exhibit 543.
Mr. EISENBERG. May I have this admitted as 619, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. DULLES. It shall be admitted as 619.
(The photograph described was marked Commission Exhibit No. 619 and received in evidence.)
Mr. NICOL. It might be well to introduce these, too. These are the same as the ones, which are mounted, except that I have cut them for the purpose of matching them.
Mr. EISENBERG. I would like to introduce these two photographs--also taken by you, Mr. Nicol?
Mr. NICOL. Right.
Mr. EISENBERG. Which are similar, or taken from this photograph. That will be 620 and 621, Mr. Reporter.
Mr. DULLES. Exhibits 620 and 621 as described will be admitted.
(The photographs described were marked Commission Exhibits Nos. 620 and 621 and were received in evidence.)
Mr. NICOL. Perhaps in order to illustrate this we ought to get all the three in, or at least another set, so I can show the match relationship photographically--so that this represents another position of Q-6, or 543.
Mr. EISENBERG. And this is a photograph which has not been admitted yet?
Mr. NICOL. No.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, may I have this admitted as 622, please?
Mr. DULLES. 622 and 623.
(The items referred to were marked Commission Exhibits Nos. 622 and 623, and received in evidence.)
Mr. DULLES. Would you just briefly describe these?
Mr. NICOL. This represents another position of the cartridge case, the head of the case--you are looking at the rim, and this is the portion of the head stamp representing millimeter. This was a 6.5 millimeter. You see just a portion of the "5." And what I will be talking about is the marks down against the rim in all of these exhibits. Now, this is the same cartridge as represented by these other two photo graphs, with a slight rotation. Now, we have only one which we might have to pass around. But if the photograph

508


621 is placed in a position corresponding to the arrows, a match of the fine striations, the pairs of broad lines as well as the fine lines, can be seen. The reason that this could not be taken under the comparison microscope is that because of course we cannot divide the cartridge case, so that this had to be done photographically rather than being done on a comparison basis. Now, this illustrates the fact that the same operation occurred twice on this particular cartridge case. Do you want to introduce the third at this time?
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes. This is a photograph taken by you?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. Of the same cartridge case?
Mr. NICOL. Same cartridge case in a different position, rotated in a different position.
Mr. EISENBERG. May I have permission to introduce this as 624, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. DULLES. It may be admitted.
(The photograph described was marked Commission Exhibit No. 624 and was received in evidence.)
Mr. NICOL. If we compare 624 and 621 in the same general fashion, again we we have a match of the individual characteristics. So that again the same mechanical operation occurred on this cartridge case, 543, three different times, and in a rather random fashion. They are not the angular relationship between each of these sets of patterns--it is not divisible by any particular number. It is just a random occurrence. Associated with this is another mark that occurs on all three of the positions, however not in any particular relationship to the group. of lines, and perhaps not as definitive. And it was on the basis of the match of these patterns that I would conclude that this cartridge had been introduced into a chamber at least three times prior to its final firing. So that this would represent, you might say, a practice or dry-run loading the gun and unloading it for purpose of either determining its--how it functions, or whether it was in proper function, or just for practice.
Mr. EISENBERG. Just to review this testimony, Mr. Nicol, this is a mark which occurs on the base of the cartridge case, is that correct?
Mr. NICOL. That is correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. And are you able to say definitely whether it is an extractor or an ejection mark or a chambering mark?
Mr. NICOL. It appears to me to be an extractor mark, although I was not able to identify this as similar to any extractor mark or any other marks on either Q-7 or 544 or any of the tests, 557.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did extractor marks appear on those other cartridge cases?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. And when you say you were not able to identify them, do you mean that they were not identical to or--
Mr. NICOL. They were absent.
Mr. EISENBERG. They were absent?
Mr. NICOL. Absent in all the other cases.
Mr. EISENBERG. So that extractor marks did not appear in the other cases?
Mr. NICOL. Extractor marks appeared, but these marks did not appear.
Mr. EISENBERG. Well, two sets of extractor marks have been put on--
Mr. NICOL. This would be possible perhaps the violence with which the weapon was activated in this particular incident--or it might be the result of something not associated with the internal mechanism of the weapon, but might be the result of the charger or the cartridge carrier that is introduced into--the way the cartridges are introduced into the magazine.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, what led you to the conclusion that this was an ex tractor mark?
Mr. NICOL. Only that it appears at the location of the cartridge case where an extractor mark would normally be found. That is to say, this would be the mark where the extractor strikes the edge of the case, and then springs around as the cartridge is driven into the chamber.
Mr. EISENBERG. But you could not definitely say whether it is an extractor

509


mark produced by the rifle through which the test bullets you were given were fired?
Mr. NICOL. No, sir; I could not.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, I am not quite clear as to why another set of marks should have appeared on the other cases, which you also think are extractor marks.
Mr. NICOL. I cannot say that this could not have been produced by another gun.
Mr. EISENBERG. That might have been produced by another gun?
Mr. NICOL. Yes.
Mr. EISENBERG. But it was produced by the same source, whether it was this gun or another gun, three different times?
Mr. NICOL. Correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. Somebody had done one operation, in your opinion, with this cartridge at three different times?
Mr. NICOL. Right.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, just to set this in context, I have taken the bolt from Commission Exhibit 139, the rifle found on the sixth floor, and could you show the Commission what the extractor is on this bolt?
Mr. NICOL. The extractor is this semicircular piece extending back in the bolt, and its purpose is to withdraw the cartridge from the chamber at the time that the bolt is drawn back. It rides in the extractor groove, which is machined in the head of the cartridge case. At the time that the weapon is loaded, oftentimes this springs around, it first contacts the rim of the cartridge case, and then springs around the rim of the cartridge and produces marks such as these, or marks such as I have illustrated on the three sets.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, is it possible that the reason the marks were present on this cartridge but not on the other cartridge case on this cartridge case but not on the other cartridge cases you examined--is because these marks were produced by dry firing as opposed to actual firing?
Mr. NICOL. This is possible. The weight of the empty shell would be different of course from one which had a projectile in it, so that its dynamics might be different, and it might produce a different mark-- although in the absence of accessibility of the weapon, or the absence of these marks on the tests, I really am unable to say what is the precise origin of those marks, except to speculate that they are probably from the extractor, and that the second mark that appears here, which I have indicated with a similar number, is probably an ejector mark. Now, this, I might add, is a different type of ejector mark than the mark found on the rim from the normal firing of these tests and the evidence cartridges.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, you stated that another mark appeared in all three associated in juxtaposition with the three marks you have been describing?
Mr. NICOL. Yes; and in the same angular relationship to a radii through the center of the head.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, again, if it is an ejector mark, might the difference have been caused by the fact that it may have been associated with a dry firing rather than an actual firing?
Mr. NICOL. That might be possible.
Mr. EISENBERG. Do you think a person would apply a different bolt pressure in a dry firing as opposed to an actual firing?
Mr. NICOL. Well, since this is a manually operated weapon, it is quite possible that no two operations are done with exactly the same force. However, with reasonable reproduceability, all these marks appear to the same depth and to the same extent, so that it would appear that whatever produced them operated in identically the same fashion.
Mr. EISENBERG. Do you have anything you would like to add to your testimony on the rifle bullets or the rifle cartridge cases, Mr. Nicol?
Mr. NICOL. No, sir; I don't think so.
Mr. EISENBERG. If there are no further questions on that particular subject, I will proceed to the Tippit bullets and cartridge cases.
Mr. DULLES. Off the record.

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(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. DULLES. Back on the record.
Mr. EISENBERG. I hand you, Mr. Nicol, a group of four cartridge cases marked Commission Exhibit 594, which, for the record, are cartridge cases found in the area of the Tippit crime scene, and ask you whether you are familiar with those cartridge eases?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; these are cartridge cases which were given to me on March 26th by Mr. Eisenberg.
Mr. EISENBERG. They have your mark on them?
Mr. NICOL. No; I made notes of the FBI designations, and. these are the same they have the JH and the CK and RF and the Q designations that were placed on there by the FBI.
Mr. EISENBERG. Those initials are initials apparently of examining agents?
Mr. NICOL. I presume so.
Mr. EISENBERG. I hand you Commission Exhibit 595 and ask you whether you are familiar with the cartridge cases contained in that exhibit?
Mr. NICOL. Yes; these are two fired cartridge cases designated K-3 by the FBI and marked with their identification marks--CK, JH, and RF.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, for the record, these cartridge cases were earlier identified as having been fired by the FBI in Commission Exhibit No. 143, the revolver believed to have been used to kill Officer Tippit. Also for the record, I obtained these cartridge cases, both Exhibit 595, which are test cases, and Exhibit 594, which are cases from the murder scene, from the FBI, and transmitted them directly to Mr. Nicol for his examination.
Mr. Nicol, did you examine the cartridge cases in Exhibit 594 to determine whether they bad been fired from the weapon in which the cartridge cases in Exhibit 595 had been fired?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. And can you give us your conclusions?
Mr. NICOL. It is my opinion, based upon the similarity of class and individual characteristics, that the four cartridge cases in 594 were fired in the same weapon as produced the cartridge cases in 595.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, did you take photographs of the comparisons?
Mr. NICOL. No, sir; I did not.
Mr. EISENBERG. However, you are certain in your own mind of the identification?
Mr. NICOL. Yes; the marks on the firing pin particularly were very definitive. Apparently this firing pin had been subjected to some rather severe abuse, and there were numerous small and large striations which could be matched up very easily.
Mr. DULLES. What do you mean by severe abuse?
Mr. NICOL. It appeared as though it had either been touched up with a file, or in the initial manufacture the finishing operation was rather crude. It was not what I would consider a well-finished firing pin.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, just to review your earlier testimony, as I recall you stated that you do not use photographs to make your identification, and usually do not testify with photographs?
Mr. NICOL. That's correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. But that the other photographs were made as an accommodation to us, at my request, so that the Commission could see them?
Mr. NICOL. The material I am just talking about could well have been illustrated. However, I ran out of time.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, finally I hand you a group of four bullets marked Commission Exhibits 602, 603, 604, and 605, which I state for the record were recovered from the body of Officer Tippit, and a group of two bullets marked Commission Exhibit 606, which I state for the record were fired by the FBI through the revolver, Commission Exhibit 143. I ask you whether you are familiar with this group of exhibits.
Mr. NICOL. These two are fired lead projectiles that were designated by the FBI as K-3, companions to the tests in 595.
Mr. EISENBERG. When you say companions, you mean they were given to you

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Mr. NICOL. They were given to me simultaneously in an envelope, at that time wrapped in cotton.
Mr. EISENBERG. And the other Exhibits?
Mr. NICOL. This was the projectile designated by the FBI, I believe, as Q-13. This is a .38 Special projectile designated Q-502. That would correspond to Commission Exhibit 603.
Mr. EISENBERG. And the item you just identified?
Mr. NICOL. Q-13 would correspond with 602. This is Q-501, corresponding to Exhibit 604. This is Q-500, corresponding to Exhibit 605.
Mr. EISENBERG. Are you familiar with all of those?
Mr. NICOL. Yes; I have seen and examined all of these.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you examine Exhibits 602 through 605 to determine whether they have been fired from the same weapon as fired 606?
Mr. NICOL. Yes; I did.
Mr. EISENBERG. What was your conclusion?
Mr. NICOL. Due to mutilation, I was not able to determine whether 605, 604, and 602 were fired in the same weapon. There were similarity of class characteristics-that is to say, there is nothing evident that would exclude the weapon. However, due to mutilation and apparent variance between the size of the barrel and the size of the projectile, the reproduction of individual characteristics was not good, and therefore I was unable to arrive at a conclusion beyond that of saying that the few lines that were found would indicate a modest possibility. But I would not by any means say that I could be positive. However, on specimen 602--I'm sorry--603, which I have designated as Q-502, I found sufficient individual characteristics to lead me to the conclusion that that projectile was fired in the same weapon that fired the projectiles in 606.
Mr. EISENBERG. That is to the exclusion of all other weapons?
Mr. NICOL. Yes, sir.
Mr. EISENBERG. By the way, on the cartridge cases, that was also to the exclusion of all other weapons?
Mr. NICOL. Correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. Did you take a photograph of this identified missile?
Mr. NICOL. I took a photograph of one position, and that is shown here as a comparison of K-3 and what I designated as Q-502.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Chairman, may I have this admitted? That would be 625.
(The item described was marked Commission Exhibit No. 625 and received in evidence.)
Mr. EISENBERG. These arrows, Mr. Nicol, can you explain why they are different?
Mr. NICOL. This was one I made up originally and then decided that the illustration would be ample with one arrow in that one position.
Mr. DULLES. The one that is being admitted is the one-arrow photograph.
Mr. EISENBERG. The arrows are placed on mechanically after the photograph is developed?
Mr. NICOL. That is correct.
Mr. EISENBERG. And therefore it can vary?
Mr. NICOL. Yes. This is not a part of the photographic process.
Mr. EISENBERG. What is the magnification here, Mr. Nicol?
Mr. NICOL. It would be pretty close to 25 to 30 diameters. I cannot measure exactly the magnification.
Mr. NICOL. This illustrates some of the lines, not all of them, that I saw on a comparison of 502 and K-3. At the position of the arrow, you are looking at the top of the groove; adjacent to it in the lower portion is a land impression. And on that shoulder there are approximately five or six matching lines. They are very fine striations. These would be indicative of the fact that the same portion of the barrel had ridden on both projectiles.
Mr. EISENBERG. Well, now, there seems to be significantly less markings here than on the bullets which were seen earlier, which had come from the rifle. Does that same condition pertain when the bullet is viewed under the microscope?

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Mr. NICOL. Yes. Of course, we are dealing with two different types of ammunition. One is a lead projectile, and the other is a metal-case projectile. And the ability of the metal-case projectile to pick up and retain fine striations, even in spite of distortion and mutilation, far exceeds what the lead projectile will do. Furthermore, the lead being a soft and low-melting-point material is more subject to erosion of hot gases. So that there are many more variables in the reproduction in terms of a lead projectile as over against a metal-case projectile.
Mr. EISENBERG. You found enough similarities to satisfy yourself that there is an identification here?
Mr. NICOL. I am satisfied that the two projectiles came from the same weapon.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, we have received testimony that the weapon which is marked Commission Exhibit 143 was rechambered but not rebarreled, so that a .38 Special bullet fired through the barrel would be slightly undersized.
Mr. NICOL. Of course I have not had a chance to examine the weapon. But on the information that you gave me, this was originally manufactured for English ammunition, and has been rechambered for American domestic ammunition, is that correct?
Mr. EISENBERG. Yes.
Mr. NICOL. The undersized bullet going through an oversized barrel of course presents some serious identification problems, because it does not go through with the same conformity as a projectile going through the proper-sized barrel, so that it is apt to, you might say, skip and bear more on one surface than on another in subsequent firings, so that the identification is made more complex and it is expected that more dissimilarities occur under those circumstances. However, at the points where it did reproduce at the land edges, as shown in this photograph, I found sufficient lines of identification to lead me to the conclusion that they had both been fired in the same weapon.
Mr. EISENBERG. Is it consistent with the markings you found on this bullet that it had been fired in a slightly oversized barrel?
Mr. NICOL. Slight. However, due to the malleability of lead, it does accommodate itself more than a metal-case projectile, and therefore, the evidence of being fired in an oversized barrel is not as pronounced as it would be if it were fired, let's say, a .32-20 fired in a .38 Special, which would be possible, and would give very distinct evidence of the difference in the size of the bullet and the barrel. However, in neither case is an identification completely precluded. What is necessary is that tests are available which have borne on the same surface. If this is true, and if the marks have not been mutilated, then an identification is still possible.
Mr. EISENBERG. When you say the bullet will accommodate itself, you mean it will expand to fill out all or part of the lands and grooves?
Mr. NICOL. Yes. Actually, with the pressure on the base and the inertia of the bullet, it is in a sense shorter and expanded in diameter to accommodate for the larger-sized barrel.
Mr. EISENBERG. Now, I was not clear whether you drew any conclusion on the other three bullets-- that is, did you definitely--find yourself definitely unable to identify those bullets, or did you reach a "probable" conclusion?
Mr. NICOL. I would say there was nothing, no major marks to preclude it. However, I was unable to find what would satisfy me to say that it positively came from that particular weapon. So that I would place it in the category of bullets which could have come from this particular weapon, but not to the exclusion of all others.
Mr. EISENBERG. Is this short of the "probable" category in which you placed the Walker bullets, or is it in the same category?
Mr. NICOL. This is in a gray area between black and white, and it is some what nebulous to pin it down to a precise percentage dimension.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, were you able to identify the type of bullet which is involved in each of these four exhibits--that is, the manufacturer of 603, 602, 604, and 605?
Mr. NICOL. No; I did not attempt this, because I did not have an adequate reference collection against which to make the comparison.
Mr. EISENBERG. I do not have any further questions, Mr. Chairman.

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The CHAIRMAN. I have no questions.
Mr. RHYNE. No questions.
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Nicol, do you have anything you would like to add before we conclude?
Mr. NICOL. No; I think I have covered everything.
Mr. DULLES. We want to thank you very much.
Mr. EISENBERG. There is one further question I have. When you made your examination, were you aware of the conclusions which any other examining agent or body had come to?
Mr. NICOL. No. I of course was aware of the fact that tests were conducted. However, I was not aware either through the press or any other media as to the conclusions. This represents my own personal conclusions without benefit of any other knowledge.
Mr. EISENBERG. And do you know at this point what any other body has come to in the way of conclusions?
Mr. NICOL. No, sir.
Mr. DULLES. I wonder if you would be willing to give us your views as to the effectiveness of paraffin tests?
Mr. NICOL. I have used the paraffin test both in case work and in experiments, as an investigative aid. However, I have a very low level of confidence in it either as a positive or negative, as far as that's concerned. Experimentally, as the literature well demonstrates, it is possible to fire a gun and get nothing on the hands. It is also possible to take people at random off the street and test them with the reagent which is not specific for powder and find all kinds of reactions. And while there are some "experts" who--and I say that with quotes- who allege that they can differentiate one product from another, actually the end product of the oxidation of diphenylamine is a definite quinoid structure, which has only one blue color, and I am not sure how they make this differentiation. I cannot do it. I have used it as an investigative aid with positive results if and when I find in the cast a particle of powder that I can definitely identify as powder--not just simply the reaction, but something I can take out, put it under the microscope and I can say this is a particle of powder. Then I will say that this hand has been in the presence of the discharge of a weapon.
Mr. DULLES. You do not need a paraffin test for that, do you?
Mr. NICOL. I don't think so. I think if you actually examine the subject's hands, you probably can find that. Although as a rule in the laboratory we do not see the subject, and so this is the medium by which we get a look at the surface of the hand. Sometime ago in Los Angeles a series of experiments was conducted whereby--and this was on shooting victims, including only those where they could be certain by other investigative means as to the exact status of the case. One of the technicians placed the paraffin on the hand. This was presented to the other technician who had no knowledge of the case whatsoever. And that I guess must have included both the controls of non- shooting victims as well as shooting victims. And the net result was if this fellow almost flipped a coin he could be in the ball park as far as whether or not this person had actually fired a weapon. It just is not particularly accurate. I might go further to say that there have been several cases in which I would say a fair amount of injustice was done to the defendant or the suspect in the case simply because people have gone overboard on the application of the paraffin test. It is one of these areas in which everyone would like a nice test. It would certainly be beneficial. But it is not one in which a competent technician places much confidence.
Mr. DULLES. I understand that pipe smokers are quite likely to get caught on these, on these tests.
Mr. NICOL. Or someone who strikes a kitchen match, or in the spring, a man fertilizing his lawn. A man working in the meatpacking industry, where they preserve meats with nitrates, might also have difficulties. Certain of the common things, such as urine, I think can be discounted, because the diffused

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pattern can be easily determined. But as far as pinpoints of striking a match, I could not differentiate one from the other.
Mr. DULLES. Thank you very much.
Mr. NICOL. I realize this doesn't help.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Nicol, thank you very much, sir, for helping us. You have been very helpful.
Mr. NICOL. Thank you, sir.
Mr. DULLES. We will recess at this time until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 5:10 p.m., the President's Commission recessed.)

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