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Monroe Man Who Testified One Bullet Killed JFK Died Feb. 5

By Staff | Feb 16, 2011

Dr. Alfred Garipay Olivier

It was in November 1963 that Dr. Alfred Garipay Olivier testified before the Warren Commission that just one bullet killed President John F. Kennedy.

Years later, the expert witness took up residence in Monroe County.

Olivier died Feb. 5 at age 89 in Sardis and was buried Feb. 10 in the St. Sylvester Catholic Church cemetery in Woodsfield.

While Olivier’s “one shot” theory gained notoriety during the investigation of Kennedy’s death, Olivier himself lived a less-public life, according to neighbors.

“He has lived here just outside Sardis since 1977, and most people didn’t know” he was the expert witness who testified before the Warren Commission, said Brian Turner of Bauer-Turner Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Woodsfield. “He was a low-key man.

“His wife (Peg) also was a doctor,” Turner added. “They were close friends around here.

Olivier was born in New Hampshire and was a veteran of World War II. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school and first worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Later, he was hired by the Edgewood Arsenal Proving Grounds in Maryland, where he oversaw the goat herds in the wound ballistics and biophysics departments.

The Warren Commission sought assistance from Olivier and Edgewood in determining the circumstances surrounding Kennedy’s death, as well as the wounding of then-Gov. John Connally of Texas, who had been shot while sitting next to Kennedy.

According to the Warren Commission Report, the Edgewood scientists “simulated the portion of the president’s neck through which the bullet passed.” The tissue was simulated through the use of three blocks, consisting of various compounds such as gelatin and animal tissue, the report states.

Using the same Mannlicher-Carcano rifle and bullets believed used in the shootings, Edgewood scientists fired 10 shots at a reconstructed skull they created to simulate the assassination. Olivier is listed as the scientist who supervised the experiments. He testified that results of the tests showed that just one bullet was responsible for killing Kennedy and for striking Connally in the chest and wrist.