35th President Of The United States
Born: May 29, 1917
Assassinated: November 22, 1963
that JFK's head moves forward first.
This is from the impact of a bullet that hits JFK
in the back
of the head. A split second later, the head moves
up and then back and to the left from the impact of
bullet fired from the front [sewer drain] into his
Date: November 22, 1963
The Time: 12:30 PM
David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace
John F. Kennedy was shot to death during a midday motorcade
in Dallas, Texas. It was a tragedy that shook the nation
and the world.
The presidential party had arrived at Love Field under
a clearing sky. Kennedy took time to shake hands with
the spectators gathered at the airport to greet him;
the crowd seemed amiable and receptive to the President,
who was apprehensive about this visit to Texas.
The Secret Service had been lining up the automobiles
for the upcoming parade through the streets of the city.
Each car was tagged with a small square of paper bearing
a number which indicated the planned position of that
particular car in the motorcade. Kennedy was to ride
in the open 1961 Lincoln Continental limousine marked
with the number "7." But the limousine was
placed 2nd in line, due apparently to a mix-up.
When the parade started, the Lincoln (sans bubble-top
because of Kennedy's own request to leave it off if
the weather was nice) was preceded by a 1963 Ford sedan
bearing Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry and other local
officials. Directly behind the presidential limousine
was the Secret Service's follow-up car a 1959 Cadillac.
Although the press vehicle (usually directly in front
of the President's car to facilitate photographing the
President) was numbered "6," it was lined
up last (14th) in the motorcade. For this reason the
photographers in that vehicle were unable to photograph
any footage of the assassination that was about to occur--footage
that would have been of great evidential value.
The parade proceeded from Love Field through the central
part of Dallas. The entourage was approaching the end
of its ride to the World Trade Center, where Kennedy
was to speak that day.
As the 8,000-lb. presidential vehicle lumbered off of
Houston Street, making a left turn onto Elm Street,
it nearly had to stop completely in negotiating the
turn. The motorcade was now in Dealy Plaza.
Mr. Abraham Zapruder was stationed on Elm Street, perched
atop a block of granite some 72' from the middle of
the street. He was holding his 8-millimeter Bell &
Howell movie camera which was set on "telephoto"
to film the President as he rode by. This film became
the single most important piece of evidence in the case
of the assassination of President Kennedy, as Zapruder
was the only one of several photographers to capture
the incident from an angle clearly showing Kennedy.
He had test-shot a few frames of his secretary in his
office. She was now bracing him so that he would not
fall from his vantage point on the piece of stone.
First Zapruder filmed 2 motorcycles as they rolled down
the street to clear the way for the President's parade.
He knew that Kennedy's car would approach him at any
moment. From the instant the driver of Kennedy's car,
Will Greer, slowed to make the turn into Elm Street,
until it disappeared beneath an overpass at the end
of the street, Zapruder filmed the car.
Zapruder film was purchased immediately after the assassination
for a large amount of money by Life magazine,but was
never released in its full form by that corporation.
In 1975, Life returned the film to the Zapruder family.
The only copies that exist officially were made for
the Secret Service and the FBI. These 2 government copies
are locked in the National Archives until the year 2039
by virtue of Johnson's Executive Order 11130. However,
in 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison accused
a Mr. Clay Shaw of being a part of a conspiracy to kill
President Kennedy and the FBI copy was supoenaed as
evidence for the ensuing trial. At that time, Garrison
obtained the film, copied it, and thus became the source
of the film for the many researchers and investigators
who now have copies. The film is of even more importance
when it is studied in the context of the official report
regarding the assassination, the Report of the President's
Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy,
also called the Warren Commission because its chairman
was Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Zapruder's camera was running as the President's limousine
approached him. Kennedy can be seen waving to the crowd
with his right hand. Then he briefly disappears from
camera view, as his vehicle moves farther down the street
behind a freeway1 sign when he emerges from behind the
sign in the Zapruder film, his hands arc rising, fists
clenched, in front of his neck, his elbows pointing
to the other side of the street. At this moment, he
has already been shot once. The 1st bullet entered the
President's back approximately 5½" below
his collar line.
Another shot is now fired, and the Warren Commission
has contended that this 2nd bullet went wild, striking
the curb near a spectator named James T. Tague. That
bullet sprayed Tague's foot and cheek with chips of
concrete from the curb and with fragments of lead.
The Warren Commission also stated that a 3rd bullet
was fired, striking Kennedy in the head and killing
him. The majority of witnesses agreed that the last
shot fired hit Kennedy in the head, although there was
much dispute as to the direction from which that bullet
It has been the position of the commission that one
man, Lee Harvey Oswald, was stationed at the eastern
most window on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book
Depository Building, which is located on Elm Street.
It has also been the official government opinion that
Oswald acted alone in murdering John F. Kennedy and
that there was no conspiracy of any kind behind the
crime. A rifle was found on the 6th floor of the building.
This 6.5-mm bolt-action, c1ip fed, 1938 Mannlicher-Carcano
belonged to Oswald. Keeping in mind the Warren Commission's
hypothesis that the 2nd shot went astray near Tague,
and that the last bullet was the fatal shot striking
the head, only one bullet is left as the cause of all
other gunshot damage. Only 3 shots at most could have
been fired using this rifle in the 5.6 seconds that
elapsed from the last possible moment that Kennedy could
have received the 1st wound (when he emerges, hit, from
behind the sign in the Zapruder film), to the easily
recognizable moment of the last fatal shot to the head
(Kennedy reacts violently in the film at the moment
Sitting directly in front of the President in the Lincoln
limousine was Gov. John B. Connally of Texas. He was
sitting in one jump seat and his wife, Nellie, was in
the jump seat next to him, directly in front of Mrs.
Kennedy. Governor Connally was hit in the back, the
bullet exiting from the right side of his chest, transiting
his right wrist, and lodging in his left thigh. If the
Commission is right about the number of bullets, the
same bullet that struck Connally must have struck Kennedy
1st. That is to say, the bullet that hit Kennedy in
the back would have had to exit from his body and gone
on to strike Connally.
If Oswald was firing from the 6th floor of the building,
the angle of trajectory would be 17 degrees, 43 minutes,
30 seconds, in a downward direction. That bullet entered
Kennedy's back, 5½" from his collar line--yet
the only wound on the President's body, in addition
the wound in his head and the entry wound his back,
was a small slit in his throat. The Warren Commission
theorized that this slit was caused by the exit of the
bullet that entered Kennedy's back and continued on
to hit Governor Conally. But since this bullet struck
no bone in the President's body which might have deflected
it's angle of trajectory but exited in an upward direction,
it seems very apparent that the single bullet theory
of the Warren Commission is a geometric impossibility.
This fact, coupled with the time element involved, suggests
there was more than one gunman in Dealey Plaza that
fateful day. The time lapse was determined by a frame-by-frame
analysis of the Zapruder film. When Kennedy emerged
from behind the sign in the film, he had already been
shot. This is frame #225. When he disappeared in the
film, at frame #207, he was waving to the crowd naturally.
He could not have been hit at any time prior to moving
behind the the sign. John Connally testified that he
heard the shot that hit Kennedy, turned around and looked
over his right shoulder, and was then hit by a subsequent
bullet. His testimony is substantiated by the Zapruder
film, which shows him looking over his shoulder and
then, before he can look over the other shoulder (as
he claimed he was attempting to do), his is shot at
a point no sooner than frame #235. Zapruder's camera
operated at 18.3 frames per second. The 10 frames between
the latest point Kennedy could have been hit (frame
#225) and the earliest point Connally is struck (frame
#235), represents a time value of .546488 secondsjust
over a half second. A bullet fired from the Oswald weapon
and passing through the neck of John Kennedy, as the
Warren Commission claimed that this one did, would move
at a speed of 1.772' to 1.779' per second according
to the Warren Report and the FBI expert's testimony.
Since it is impossible that a bullet virtually waited
in midair for that half second, simple mathematics casts
substantial doubt on the Commission's conclusion that
one bullet caused all 7 wounds in Kennedy and Connally.
Special Agent Robert A. Frazier of the FBI testified
as a firearms expert be fore the Warren Commission.
He stated that the bolt action of the ancient Italian
rifle took at least 2.3 seconds according to tests run
by expert riflemen. Therefore, it is impossible that
the weapon was fired twice within the half-second time
slot. This means there is no possibility that Kennedy
was hit by an earlier Oswald bullet at the moment of
his disappearance behind the freeway sign and that a
later shot hit Connally, because the time lapse between
frames #207 (Kennedy's disappearance) and #235 Connally's
reaction is only 1.5 seconds and 2.3 seconds would have
been needed to fire 2 shots.
After the 1st shot, the President was leaning forward
slightly, his wife aware that he'd been the victim of
a bullet. She had moved closer to him and was looking
at his face when a bullet struck the President in the
head, exploding in a pink-red glow of blood, brain matter
and skull fragments. Terrified, Mrs. Kennedy then climbed
from the seat of the limousine onto the trunk but was
stopped there by Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill.
Hill pushed Mrs. Kennedy back into the seat and shielded
her body with his own as the Lincoln roared off.
None of this escaped the watchful eye of Zapruder's
camera, making the Zapruder film an invaluable piece
of hard evidence worthy of note in the event of conflicting
conclusions by member of the Warren Commission.
It is a Newtonian law of motion that when an object
is struck by a missile, that object will move in the
same direction as that taken by the missile. This means
that if Kennedy were hit by a gunman (presumably Oswald)
situated in a window 280· behind him, his head
would move forward from he impact of the bullet. The
Zapruder film clearly depicts the President's head snapping
BACKWARD with great violence. Applying the scientific
laws governing the situation there can be no doubt that
Kennedy is reacting to a bullet fired from a position
in front of the limousine. This is strong evidence that
the lone assassin theory of the Commission is fallacious.
It is interesting to note that a certain area in front
of the limousine at the time the fatal shot was fired
was an excellent vantage point for a gunman. It is referred
to by Dallas residents as the grassy knoll. At the top
of this knoll, there is a wooden fence. There is a very
small space between the top of that fence and the lowest
foliage on the trees whic line the inside of this fence.
The knoll provides a spot where a gunman would be hidden
Two police officers who flanked the presidential limousine
on motorcycles, Billy Martin and Robert Hargis, were
so sure that the fatal shot had come from the knoll
that they went directly up the embankment and peered
over the fence. They saw a police officer there and,
thinking the area covered; the pair left to orders on
what to do next. Minutes later pictures were taken of
an officeror a man dressed as an officer leaving
the grassy area. His uniform was unlike those worn by
the Dallas Police Force. His weaponry and specifics
also differed sharply from those officers in Dealey
Plaza that day, indicating that this man was not an
officer at all. This has yet to be fully investigated.
Witness Richard Carr was one of the closest observers
of the fatal shot. Carr indicated that the shot came
over his right shoulder or from the grassy knoll area.
His testimony at the Clay Shaw proceeding in 1969 included
the following exchange:
Q: As a result of the conversations with the FBI, what
did you do?
A: I done as I was instructed, I shut my mouth.
Q: Were you called to testify before the Warren Commission?
A: No, sir.
It seems that the investigatory work in this case not
only failed to meet the generally accepted standards
for the gathering of truth, but it also served to stifle
a full disclosure. These points of evidence seem to
emphasize grave inconsistencies in the official government
account of the events of November 22, 1963. If, in fact,
there was more than one gunman shooting at the President,
as the evidence seems to indicate, there is a question
as to why the plentiful clues were ignored by the Warren
Commission. One member of the Commission wrote an article
for Life magazine and also book which supported the
conclusions of the Warren Report-the lone-assassin Single-bullet
theory. This man is today the President of the U.S.,
Gerald R. Ford.
In determining the motives of the assassin and those
of the Warren Commission which failed to deal with the
available evidence in depth, an obligation that it had
to the American people--we are faced with problems.
If we begin by suspecting that someone had a possible
interest in having the President dead in 1963, we will
find ourselves dealing with far too many people. And
obviously no person or group of persons will ever admit
an antipathy for the man in the face of a major investigation:
de mortuis nil nisi bonum (of the dead say nothing but
good). Yet investigation must come about if the facts
of this case are ever to be made public. And the American
people have the right to a full disclosure of this situation
in which it is possible that someone murdered a President
of the U.S. and got away with it.