Science proves the Oswald backyard photo authentic

Lee Harvey Oswald, backyard photo
The infamous “backyard photo” of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Marina Oswald snapped a photo of her husband holding a rifle and two communist newspapers in the backyard of their Oak Cliff duplex in the spring of 1963.

The photo of Lee Harvey Oswald ran on the cover of Life magazine in February 1964, and the Detroit Free Press ran it the same month. Discrepancies between the printed images in two publications immediately set conspiracy theorists wild with speculation that the photo had been doctored.

Computer scientists at Dartmouth University recently used 3-D imaging to prove that the photo wasn’t molested.

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neelypicPrevious studies of the photo refuted claims that the lighting and shadows are off. The Dartmouth study, published  in the Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law, focused on claims that Oswald appears to be standing in an implausible way. The full report is available here.

The scientists created a virtual 3-D model resembling Oswald in the photo and then calculated angles and realistic body movements to determine that the pose in the photo is realistic. And that’s not all:

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…our 3-D model of Oswald and his surroundings provide further evidence refuting other claims of photo tampering: the lighting and shadows are physically consistent, and the length of the rifle in Oswald’s hands is consistent with the length of this type of rifle.

The house where the photo was taken, on West Neely, looks good today. James Franco and company filmed there about a week ago, and it looks like the owners are making improvements. A recently renovated 1960s apartment complex across the street is California cute with its brick exterior painted contrasting black and turquoise. And a brand-new modern house recently was built adjacent, facing Elsbeth. A drive-by Tuesday found that the owners have pulled a permit to make repairs and install new fixtures.

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