The FBI reported in 1964 that all the fingerprints from "Box A" that
were identifiable had in fact been identified.
The one actually unidentified print was a palmprint.
Can you show that the print your group "identified" as Mac Wallace has
not already been identified -- perhaps as Studebaker's?
>German responded as follows. German has kindly given me permission to post
>this message here.
>>Okay, Sir, I don't know you, but I will bite on this one. You
>>have caught my interest. Is this a joke? The two fingerprints on the
>>web page you cited (http://www.njmetronet.com/jfkdpq/postpresscon.html)
>>don't look like an identification from the binary, poor quality image
>>posted there. For starters, look for yourself and count the number of
>>intervening ridges between the points marked 4 and 6. There are a
>>number of other discrepancies in this binary image depiction... such as
>>the difference in the ridge length between points 6 and 7... the number
>>of intervening ridges between point 6 and the crease below it (the
>>crease between the middle and last joints of the finger).
I also noticed that on the box print, if you count 3 ridges to the right
of the bifurcation (where a ridge line forks into two) pointed to by line
3, and 2 ridges up, you come to another bifurcation. This bifurcation is
not on the Wallace print.
It looks like this "Wallace fingerprint" business is shaping up to be
another "6-groove bullet" fiasco.
I received, earlier today, a message from an e-mail correspondent who asked
a bona fide print expert to comment on the Mac Wallace fingerprint
The correspondent wrote the following message to Ed German.
>> Dear Mr. German:
>> Recently there has been a claim that a latent fingerprint
>> developed on a cardboard box found in the Texas School Book
>> Depository in 1963 has been identified as belonging to one
>> Malcolm Wallace. Some details are at
>> The examiner has been identified as A. Nathan Darby, reportedly
>> certified by the I.A.I. as a Latent Print Examiner. Can you
>> verify for me that a person by this name is in fact so certified?
German responded as follows. German has kindly given me permission to post
this message here.
>This message is my opinion, and does not purport to reflect the position
>of the US Army Crime Lab, where I am the senior ranking military Special
>Agent, and am certified by the Army as a Latent Print Examiner.
>It also does not purport to reflect the position of the FBI Laboratory's
>Technical Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and
>Technology, where I Chaired the Quality Assurance Committee previously
>and currently chair the Friction Ridge Automation Committee.
>And, it also doesn't purport to reflect the position of the
>International Association for Identification (IAI) where I currently
>chair the Fingerprint Identification Subcommittee. (I served on the
>IAI, Latent Print Certification Board which oversees the Certified
>Latent Print Examiner program for all the state and regional
>Certification Committees during 1982-87.)
>Okay, Sir, I don't know you, but I will bite on this one. You
>have caught my interest. Is this a joke? The two fingerprints on the
>web page you cited (http://www.njmetronet.com/jfkdpq/postpresscon.html)
>don't look like an identification from the binary, poor quality image
>posted there. For starters, look for yourself and count the number of
>intervening ridges between the points marked 4 and 6. There are a
>number of other discrepancies in this binary image depiction... such as
>the difference in the ridge length between points 6 and 7... the number
>of intervening ridges between point 6 and the crease below it (the
>crease between the middle and last joints of the finger).
>I will try to verify Darby's IAI, CLPE status, but it doesn't
>necessarily lend any credibility to his expertise. He could be the BEST
>fingerprint expert in the world, or he could be another one of the many
>IAI, CLPE's who was grandfathered into CLPE status and has never
>actually taken and passed the certification exam (less than 50% of those
>paying the $100 fee for the six hour test pass it).
>The more experience he has (especially if he has over 20 years) the
>greater the chance that he belongs to the group of IAI, CLPE's that has
>never passed the qualifying exam. Many (and this probably includes
>Darby if he is an old-timer who was certified when the CLPE program
>started in the '70's) have not actually ever been tested whatsoever
>insofar as their expertise. In the early days of CLPE application,
>"experts" were grandfathered into CLPE status and did not have to take
>the test that has since been instituted to test expertise.
>Some experienced examiners (like me) where grandfathered into CLPE
>status in the '70's, but have since voluntarily passed the CLPE exam.
>Many CLPE's (like me) also participate in the annual proficiency testing
>program for Latent Print Examiners administered by Collaborative Testing
>Services in accordance with guidelines of the American Society of Crime
>Laboratory Directors. Darby may participate in proficiency testing just
>like me... maybe not. The purpose of annual proficiency testing is to
>check for the development of bad habits, failing skills as an expert,
>etc. I have known very excellent CLPE's whose skills deteriorated with
>The www link you cited erroneously states there are some 700 IAI
>members... there are probably more than ten times that, especially
>considering state, regional and international chartered IAI division
>members. My guess is that there are probably 700 to 900 CLPE's holding
>current certification (it is reissued each three years, at which time
>the CLPE must show proof they have attended fingerprint related
>conferences or training during the past three years).
>Sir, I am NOT saying the identification depicted on the web site
>is a "bum" identification... but it sure looks like one from the binary
>image I saw there. In January 1984, I was the Training and Applications
>Coordinator for the Illinois State Police's seven crime laboratories and
>a CLPE (tested examiner, not grandfathered) from the Quincy, Illinois
>Police Department brought me a court chart he had already testified to
>twice... once at a preliminary hearing and once at a parole revocation
>hearing. That CLPE had charted out 14 matching points (like your web
>site "matching" prints), yet he had failed to consider the obvious
>discrepancies present in the unit relationships. It was a "bum" ident
>and he was decertified by the IAI, Latent Print Certification Board
>because of it.
>The District Attorney, Judge and everyone in the courtroom (except the
>defendant) probably believed the CLPE's erroneous testimony (both times)
>because a neat, side-by-side chart with 14 "matching" points presented
>by a college educated CLPE with years of experience looks convincing...
>especially since experts make valid identifications on as few as 7 or 8
>matching points in some cases. Close examination of the Quincy,
>Illinois court chart actually showed no more than 3 matching points in a
>similar unit relationship when the discrepancy ridge counts and other
>factors were taken into consideration. That CLPE was very skillful at
>finding similarities between fingerprints... but was not skillful
>insofar as interpreting discrepancies in smudged or unclear ridge detail
>so as to differentiate slight distortions from unexplainable
>differences. Even one unexplainable difference normally negates an
>If any CLPE makes a "bum" ident and it comes into public knowledge,
>someone will normally write the IAI, Latent Print Certification Board
>and ask that CLPE status be revoked for bringing the science of
>fingerprint identification into disrepute. I have done so twice... once
>in the Quincy, Illinois case and once involving a 30 year veteran CLPE
>with experience from LAPD and the Illinois State Police. Both were my
>friends before I filed against them. It would have been a code of
>ethics violation for me not to have filed.
>If you are really "into" conspiracy theories and such stuff, you may
>doubt what I say in this e-mail. I know of no way to convince you that
>I have no interest one way or the other about whether it is a valid
>identification. If you are interested in a cross-sampling of opinions
>from fingerprint experts around the world, bring clear photos of the two
>prints to the IAI Annual Educational Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas
>next month and you will have a collection of probably over 600
>fingerprint experts from around the world. I don't believe there's any
>way a conspiracy could get such a large number of international experts
>to all lie, and you could personally display the photos on a board
>during a poster session to listen to opinions from dozens of experts
>from Scotland Yard, Israel, Japan, Canada, etc. The fingerprint chart
>copies the man is holding in the image:
>http://www.njmetronet.com/jfkdpq/waltconf.JPG appear to have sufficient
>clarity to enable a definitive conclusion as to ident or non-ident.
>Info on the July IAI Conference is at
>Some folks think that persons pushing strongly on conspiracy theories
>are like pro-wrestling promoters... keeping things stirred-up to make a
>profit from curiosity seekers. If the folks pushing the Malcolm Wallace
>fingerprint identification are interested in proving to the world it is
>valid, they should bring their best copies of the prints to the IAI
>Conference. If they just want to keep folks interested and don't care
>whether or not it's a bogus fingerprint identification, they should stay
>away from that conference.
>The bottom line is that even if it is a "bum" identification, it does
>NOT mean that Malcolm Wallace (or any other person) did not touch that
>box. With latent fingerprints WE CAN NEVER PROVE THAT SOMEONE DID NOT
>TOUCH SOMETHING... we can only identify those latent fingerprints having
>(by chance) enough continuous and clear ridge detail to effect an
>identification. There are usually a number of latent prints on evidence
>which include tiny fragments of one or two ridges and which can never be
>conclusively compared (identified or eliminated) with anyone. These
>prints are ignored as being of no evidentiary value (we don't photograph
>or otherwise preserve them)... because they cannot identify anyone and
>whether or not the exact same characteristics are present on any
>specific person's hands, does not prove that person did touch the item.
>I hope this long message is perhaps clearer than mud. It sounds like
>there is a lot of interesting thought being put into the JFK
>investigation still. That's great! Eventually all the truth may be
>known. All the truth is seldom known in any criminal investigation...
>and justice is the figment of twelve men and women's imagination.