Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Goverment Ordered Kent State Students Murdered caught on newly released tape

KENT, Ohio -- Three survivors of the 1970 Ohio National Guard gunfire that killed four Kent State University students arranged a campus reunion Tuesday to call for a new investigation in view of a recently uncovered audio tape purportedly showing a command was issued ordering Guardsmen to fire.

"Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!" comes the command in a crisp style indicating that a Guard officer's order led to the crack of gunfire that also wounded nine students during an anti-war protest, according to Alan Canfora, 58, who was wounded in the wrist.

Canfora and two other victims, Tom Grace and Joseph Lewis, were holding a news conference to release the tape found several months ago by Canfora in Yale University archives while doing research.

A familiar face also agreed to take part in the gathering: Mary Ann Vecchio, whose iconic image kneeling over slain student Jeffrey Miller, her arms outstretched in grief, became emblematic of the anti-war emotions of the Vietnam era. John Filo's photo won a Pulitzer Prize.

Canfora said he wanted a renewed investigation to get to the truth of how the shootings happened, but wasn't interested in pursuing the shooters. Eight Guardsmen were acquitted of federal civil rights charges four years after the shootings.

After the shooting, the FBI investigated whether an order had been given to fire, and said it could only speculate. One theory was that a Guardsman panicked or fired intentionally at a student and that others fired when they heard the shot.

Scott Wilson, a spokesman with the FBI in Cleveland, said Tuesday that he was unaware of any request to look into the matter. The Ohio National Guard had no comment on the tape's release, spokesman James Sims said Tuesday.

Canfora said the reel-to-reel audio recording was made by Terry Strubbe, a student who placed a microphone at a windowsill of his dormitory that overlooked the anti-war rally. Strubbe turned the tape over to the FBI, which kept a copy.

Strubbe, who still lives near Kent, keeps the original tape in a safe deposit box, said Canfora, who heads a nonprofit organization at Kent State that leads a candlelight vigil every May 4 to mark the anniversary of the shootings. Friday will mark the 37th anniversary.

Canfora said only a small portion of the tape was reviewed during various investigations.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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