Monday, March 12, 2012

A.S.K. (Assassination Symposium on John F. Kennedy) ~ 1992

The first annual Assassination Symposium on John F. Kennedy (known as the A.S.K. or ASK conference) was held in Dallas in November 1991.

I began examining President Abraham Lincoln's assassination in the late 1950s. Then in the 1960s, I was impacted by JFK's death and read intensively about it.  Much later in my career, as a university fulltime researcher, due to my projects on suicidal psychology in the mid-1980s through early 1990s, I began, concurrently to my university work, to research and write about the alleged "suicides" and mystery deaths of JFK assassination eyewitnesses. 

Mary Ferrell (October 26, 1926 - February 20, 2004)

Being a friend and correspondent of Mary Elizabeth McHughes Ferrell, who first wrote to me because of my Fortean articles, I was invited to speak on one of the panels ("Strange & Convienient Deaths") at the second A.S.K. conference, and a later one. I met lots of individuals important to JFK assassination research at the 1992 conference. I was able to join researchers/authors similar to myself, like Jim Marrs, there for the first time. (Later, years later, I would talk to Jim again at an entirely different kind of conference in Nevada.) 

Marina and Lee Harvey Oswald, with their daughter, October 1963.

I found the 1992 gathering to be a remarkable experience. For a JFK assassination researcher, I appreciated that Mary Ferrell personally introduced me to Marina Oswald-Porter and Jim Leavelle. I was able to have individual, personal chats with them. Nothing deep and insightful was discussed, but it is always good to meet people outside the glare of the media focus. Oswald-Porter, Leavelle, and others whom I got to know there, separately and quite differently, of course, appeared to be similar, seemingly ordinary people whose "moment in history" had forever thrust them into an entirely changed life. 

Dallas Police Department Homicide Detective Jim Leavelle (in light hat and light suit) is handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald, as Jack Ruby shoots Oswald, November 24, 1963.

I want to recapture, for my records, the names of as many people whom I was able to meet at that conference - an incredible list to look at, 20 years later. (I found the following overview written by Kathy Cunningham.) Therefore, wishing to share it with the readers of this blog, here is a flashback to that significant gathering's agenda and speakers:

Assassination Symposium on John F. Kennedy, Dallas, Texas: 1992
Bus tour of related sites                              
  JFK 101-an overview for the novice                      
  Investigative techniques workshop-lead by Mary Ferrell  
  Keynote-Mary Ferrell with Marina Oswald-Porter          
  Eyewitness Panel-featuring Jean Hill, Jim Leavelle,    
Beverly Oliver, & Mr & Mrs Phil Willis                    
  Medical Evidence Panel-featuring Gary Aguilar, Dr Charles
Crenshaw, David Lifton & Paul O'Connor                    
  Tippit Workshop-lead by Larry Ray Harris                
  Vietnam Workshop-lead by John Newman                    
  Oswald in Russia, Japan & Mexico City Panel-Bob Dorff,  
Mary Ferrell, Dick Russell and Hal Verb                  
  Ballistics Workshop-lead by George Michael Evica        
  Zapruder Workshop-lead by David Lifton                  
  Mafia/CIA/Cuban Panel-Jim Oliver, John Davis, George    
Michael Evica & Gordon Winslow                            
  Dallas Police Workshop-lead by Jerry Rose              
  Medical Evidence Workshop-lead by Wallace Milam        
  Strange & Convienient Deaths Panel-Dave Tucker, Robert  
Chapman, Loren Coleman, Jim Marrs and Matt Smith          
  Cuban Exiles Workshop-lead by Gordon Winslow            
  Research Techniques Worshop-lead by Mary Ferrell        
  FBI/Hoover Cover-up Panel-Bob Dorff, Mark North, J Gary
Shaw and William Turner                                  
  Garrison Workshop-lead by Jim DiEugenio                
  Oswald Workshop-lead by Dick Russell                    
  Media Cover-up Then & Now Panel-Jim Oliver, John Newman,
Allan Stone, Jim Marrs & Roger B. Feinman                
  CIA & JFK Workshop-lead by William Turner              
  Medical Evidence Workshop (repeated)-lead by Wallace Milam
   Several of the workshops were repeated. There was also a
reception for the panelists, a presentation by a forensic
handwriting expert, a presentation by forensic artist Lois
Gibson, there was a dance Saturday night, a huge formal  
meeting designed to give the group as a whole direction, and
a tour of Dealey Plaza hosted by the Assassination Informa-
tion Center in Dallas. Then there was ASK Mart-where various
researchers and vendors sold related materials of support.


Anonymous said...

I was at this, Loren. Did we meet then?

MT Douthit said...

Does anyone have any video copies of this conference? If so, email me at Thanks!