Online Collection

Photograph of spent rifle shells found on the floor

Object Number: 2002.002.0049
Category: Photographs
Photographer: J. C. Day
Photographer: Robert L. Studebaker
Type of Object: Photograph (b&w)
Dimensions: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
Medium: Paper
Black and white photographic print taken by the Dallas police crime lab of three spent shell casings found in the southeast corner of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.

All crime scene photos taken inside the Texas School Book Depository that day were shot either by Detective Robert L. Studebaker or, in a few cases, the head of the Dallas Police Crime Scene Search Unit, Lt. J. C. "Carl" Day. R. W. "Rusty" Livingston, also an employee of the police crime lab, developed many of the images taken by Studebaker and Day. This collection of prints is a first-generation set of copies he kept for himself.
Curator's Notes

This photograph, which shows the boxes in the position they were first found, is the only known picture showing all three empty rifle shells. The shells were matched ballistically to Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle, which was also found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Poor quality copies of this picture led to some mistakenly thinking the shell closest to the camera had not been fired which, therefore, suggested that three shots were not fired from the Depository window. But this clearer image reveals there was a piece of paper or debris under the end of the shell and it did not hold a complete bullet. - Gary Mack, Curator

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