The FBI lost fingerprints taken from the rifle agents found in the Texas School Book Depository after the president was assassinated in Dallas, new files have revealed.
At the time of the investigation in 1963, agents and outside experts concluded that a palm print taken from the barrel off the rifle belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald.
But 15 years later in July 1978, the agency revealed that the fingerprints had gone missing in their vast archives.
Dallas Police say they sent over the original fingerprints to the FBI, and that those prints were never returned to them.
‘Unable to discover any pertinent information’: The files reveal the scramble to locate the original fingerprints taken from the rifle
Moriarty said that George Foster, who was the FBI Unit Chief of Congressional Inquiries, claims he did not know the location of the prints – but the policy of the Bureau was to return the originals to the source.
The memo adds that Foster admitted finding the prints would ‘amount to a mammoth research effort’.
The report says: ‘He checked with their latent fingerprint section and although he was unable to discover any pertinent information RE the current location of these lifts, he was informed of the long existing bureau policy which has always been to return the originals to the source after they have photographed submitted material of this type.’