Digital copy of audio tape could finally unlock secrets of JFK's assassination

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The Independent US

One of America's most enduring and bitterly-debated controversies - whether Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin who killed President Kennedy more than 40 years ago - could be finally resolved.

One of America's most enduring and bitterly debated controversies ­ whether Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin who killed President Kennedy more than 40 years ago ­ could finally be resolved.

Scientists are to produce a digital copy of the only known audio recording of the assassination to allow researchers to analyse the sound of the gun-shots captured on the recording.

The original, preserved on an analogue tape, has not been played since the early 80s because it is so fragile. The recording was made through the microphone of a motorcycle policeman's radio and captured on a portable tape recorder back at headquarters.

The Warren Commission concluded in 1964 that Oswald acted alone, firing three shots from the Texas Book Depository building.

But a Congressional investigation in 1979 concluded that an analysis of the recording revealed four shots were fired, including three from the book depository and one from another location. This gave rise to all manner of theories, most famously that there was a second gunman on the infamous grassy knoll on the edge of the plaza.

Experts will use a digital optical camera to replicate the sounds by scanning the grooves of the tape. The sound could then be cleaned up, peeling away layers of static as well as the sound of the motorcycle engine.

Leslie Waffen, an archivist with the National Archives, which holds the tape told
the New York Times: "This is big. That's why we
called the experts in."

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