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The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

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The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by Martin Hay on Mon 01 Jul 2013, 6:25 am

OK, I've been really busy this week and was hoping to start some MLK assassination posts this weekend. But yesterday I landed a gig that requires me to learn around 20 songs by Thursday so I haven't had the time. However, I found this graphic that I put together a while ago and thought I'd share as food for thought.

For the uninitiated, the State's case holds that James Earl Ray fired the fatal shot from the bathroom window of Bessie Brewer's flophouse at 422½ Main Street, opposite the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was staying. Both buildings are now part of the National Civil Rights Museum.


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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by greg parker on Tue 02 Jul 2013, 9:30 pm

Martin,

I come from a very limited knowledge base with this, but as far as I recall, wasn't there a problem relating to determining trajectory due to a missed procedure at autopsy?

Any idea when the bathroom was "fixed up"?

Do you know if anyone has questioned authorities about it - and if so - what response was given?

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
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The Cold War ran on bullshit.
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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by Martin Hay on Tue 02 Jul 2013, 11:39 pm

greg parker wrote:Martin,

I come from a very limited knowledge base with this, but as far as I recall, wasn't there a problem relating to determining trajectory due to a missed procedure at autopsy?

Any idea when the bathroom was "fixed up"?

Do you know if anyone has questioned authorities about it - and if so - what response was given?

Yes, that's right. The autopsy doctor, Jerry Francisco, didn't dissect the path of the bullet. Nor did he take into account the fact that Dr. King was leaning over the balcony and talking to someone down on the ground when he was shot. The HSCA reported that all they could say from the available evidence was that the bullet could have come from the bathroom window or it could have come from the shrubbery below - shrubbery that was razed to the ground the morning after the assassination before a proper forensic examination could be undertaken.

I don't know when they altered that bathroom. It would be interesting to find out. I've been to the Civil Rights Museum twice and I kick myself for not having asked someone that question. Might be worth just sending an email and seeing what response I get.

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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by Hasan Yusuf on Wed 03 Jul 2013, 7:21 am

Good of you to post those exhibits, Martin. He didn't dissect the wound? Now where have I heard that before. Let me Finck about it.

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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by greg parker on Wed 03 Jul 2013, 7:25 am

lol!

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by Martin Hay on Thu 04 Jul 2013, 5:25 am

Ok, so assuming the bathroom at the Civil Rights Museum has been deliberately "fixed up", why?

Here's the answer.

The State's case maintains that James Earl Ray stood in the bath tub, rested his rifle on the windowsill and fired the fatal shot. But when a team from Paris Match magazine visited the scene and tried to recreate Ray's alleged position, they encountered a big problem: The deeply slanting back. As you may or may not have noticed in the above photos, the bath tub in the current exhibit is not the original one. The original was sold to Memphis Judge D'Army Bailey in 1983 who in turn sold it to Golden Palace Casino in 2006. Here is a picture of the tub from the casino's website:



As Paris Match found, this deeply slanting back made it impossible for a sniper to stand in the tub and fire a rifle out of the window. The best they could do is shown in this photo from their issue of April 20, 1968:



This photo practically destroys the State's case. The position the gunman would have to have been in is incredibly awkward. Not only would he be precariously balanced on the edge of the tub (can you imagine firing a rifle like that?!!), not only would he have to turn his head on its side making aiming very difficult, but he's now so high up that he has to raise the window. And as this official crime scene photo shows, the window was only open by a few inches on the day of the assassination:



So doing what the State alleges Ray did is actually impossible.

Which, to me, appears to explain why the City of Memphis has used an entirely different style of bath tub and lowered the window for its exhibit.

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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by greg parker on Sat 06 Jul 2013, 10:26 am

Martin,

I may be missing something here, but I really don't get how lowering the window supports the lone gunman case. it seems to actually make it worse, doesn't it?

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by Martin Hay on Sat 06 Jul 2013, 3:12 pm

greg parker wrote:Martin,

I may be missing something here, but I really don't get how lowering the window supports the lone gunman case. it seems to actually make it worse, doesn't it?

How do you mean?

I would say that by lowering the window and changing the tub they've made it seem possible for a gunman to kneel or crouch in the bath and fire through the partially open window.

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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by greg parker on Sat 06 Jul 2013, 3:20 pm

Embarassed  That's what I was missing... the ability to kneel or crouch...!

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

Post by Martin Hay on Sat 06 Jul 2013, 10:02 pm

greg parker wrote:Embarassed  That's what I was missing... the ability to kneel or crouch...!

 LOL

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Re: The Bathroom Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum

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