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50 years of questions -- the JFK assassination

When I first heard that my colleagues and I were going to be part of the team producing a new HD television special for the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, I immediately had flashbacks to the program our unit produced 10 years ago. 

I knew it was going to be a lot of hard work, because there are no short cuts with this story. You have to dig through years of investigations and facts, combing through layers of testimony and reports.

I'm referring to all the research analysis and critique of the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission Report. 

There are no short cuts with this story. You have to dig through years of investigations and facts, combing through layers of testimony and reports.

Fast forward to today, and there are so many new studies and modern tests associated with this murder. 

Depending on whom you talk to, they will tell you either it was a conspiracy, or it wasn't. There is no real middle ground here. And everybody you interview is confident they are correct.

While this story is 50 years old, you may ask is there anything new? Is there something that someone could have missed or withheld from the investigators? I can report to you, there is plenty. 

So how does one begin the process?

You start by talking to qualified experts in this field. People who know the story better than they know their own families, like Gary Mack, the curator at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dealey Plaza and our own Fox News Contributor, Michael Baden, M.D., who was head of the forensic panel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970s. 

This government panel actually re-investigated the case because the original Warren Commission Report was so mistrusted.

Another source was Gary Cornwell, the co-deputy chairman of the HSCA, who believes the Mob is the strongest connection to the assassination, and he doesn't like to mince words; "The Warren Commission just flat a**ed lied to us."

But someone we found who has been flying under the radar for the last 18 years is John T. Orr. He put together an in-depth report in 1995 as a private citizen while working for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department in Atlanta. 

He wrote an analysis that is so comprehensive that I encourage all JFK assassination buffs to read it. It is now available on our website.

Orr is also one of the few private citizens who was given access to all the evidence that is still stored in the National Archives. After writing his report, "Analysis of Gunshots in Dealey Plaza, November 22, 1963", on his own time, he sent it to his boss, Attorney General Janet Reno, who then sent it over to the FBI.

The FBI initially considered many tests for the recovered limousine bullet fragments in 1996, but when the tests were actually conducted a few years later, the lab tests fell short. 

They never tested all the fibrous material Orr noticed attached to one of the bullet fragments found in the crease of the front seat of the car (CE-567) or adequately tested the human skin and muscle tissue investigators discovered on the alleged fatal third bullet by comparing it to the president's bloody clothes for DNA. 

If these tests are ever finally completed, it could shed new light on what really happened on Friday, November 22, 1963, 50 years ago.

My partners on this "Fox News Reporting" special were producers Melanie Dadourian and Iraida O'Callaghan who provided some great segments and helped me bring this tremendous project to the finish line.

Two other people I need to thank for their tireless contributions to the project are John Stanitz and Julie Pisano. John was our craft editor who assembled the JFK program and Julie was our 3-D computer animation artist who designed and brought to life the critical details of the Orr Report, by illustrating the bullet trajectory using the Zapruder film and the rare 35mm enlargements, we located in the National Archives.

Peter Russo is a senior producer for Fox News Channel.