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Lee Harvey Oswald Photo Authenticity Confirmed By Dartmouth Researchers

Lee Harvey Oswald Arrest Photo

The authenticity of the famous picture of Lee Harvey Oswald holding the same type of rifle used to assassinate U.S. President John F. Kennedy has been confirmed in a new study of Dartmouth College.

Researchers behind the study–published in the Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law–employed a new digital image forensics technique and a 3D model that they developed of the alleged JFK shooter to disprove claims that the picture is a hoax because of the physical implausibility of his pose — a pose in which he appears to be off-balance.

Refuting the notion that it’s a fake, the study’s senior author Hany Farid, a computer science professor who pioneers research into digital forensics, noted that “detailed analysis” of not only Oswald’s pose, but the lighting, shadows and rifle in his hand dismiss the notion that the photo was tampered with.

Our detailed analysis of Oswald’s pose, the lighting and shadows and the rifle in his hands refutes the argument of photo tampering

Among other things, Farid’s team develops computational techniques to detect whether or not photos, videos, audios or documents have been tampered with.

Lee Harvey Oswald Rifle "Backyard Photo"

The photo in question (above): Lee Harvey Oswald holding the same type of rifle used to shoot President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

When Oswald was first arrested for Kennedy’s assassination, he claimed that the particularly damning photo was fake.

The lighting and shadows in the photo have long been argued to be inconsistent and the same can be said for the alleged shooter’s facial features, as there are those who claim that they’re inconsistent with his other photographs. There are also claims that rifle’s length is off based on the model’s known length and as stated previously, the physically implausible pose.

As for the pose, the team of Dartmouth researchers constructed a physiologically plausible 3D model that was adapted to fit the pose in the backyard photo. By accounting for the mass of each of the model’s parts, they were able to determine that while he appears off-balance, his stance is stable.

As for the length of the rifle, the study found it to be consistent with the length of the rifle which was used to shoot and kill Kennedy.

Prior studies into the photograph’s authenticity conducted by Farid refuted the claim of inconsistent lighting and shadows.

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