Forty years ago, George Miller and Vince Guinn were scientists conducting research in a small basement at UC Irvine, when a stranger walked in, a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist.
The basement was filled with a small nuclear reactor, a machine that Miller and Guinn used to conduct the atomic analysis of, among other things, heavy metals.
The briefcase was filled with fragments of the world’s most controversial bullet.
The bullet fragments were so tiny that they were “little more than dust,” recalls Miller, now 80. But, tiny as they were, the fragments were clues in one of the biggest mysteries in American history — the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
They’d been collected 14 years earlier by government investigators, the man with the briefcase explained. Now, their government had a request for Miller and Guinn:
Would they use the school’s reactor and their scientific skills to answer the question that still loomed over the Kennedy assassination — did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?Pretty cool little story. (Spoiler alert: Oswald did it.)