Dec 6 1963: Life magazine addresses JFK “rumors” with bad reporting

The national media, much less diverse and fragmented in 1963 than today, joined the campaign to assuage doubts and dispel “rumors” about JFK’s assassination. Pollsters were already finding that a majority of Americans suspected conspiracy. Life Magazine’s Dec. 6 issue was devoted primarily to photo coverage of the Kennedy funeral, but also included a piece by Paul Mandel entitled “End to Nagging Rumors: The Six Critical Seconds.”

Life Magazine

The article began with a quote from Dallas DA Henry Wade: “I would say without any doubt that he is the killer”, and referred to Oswald as “the assassin.”

Life Magazine had earlier purchased rights to Abraham Zapruder’s famous home movie of the murder in Dealey Plaza, and in a November 29 issue had shown frames from that film in black-and-white. Now the Mandel article tried to reconcile the film with Oswald’s guilt.

In a press conference in the aftermath of the assassination, Dallas Parkland Hospital’s Dr. Malcolm Perry had referred to “an entrance wound in the neck,” adding “It appeared to be coming at him.” Given that the Texas School Book Depository from which Oswald allegedly fired shots was behind Kennedy, not in front, Perry’s statement presented a dilemma.

Mandel’s article offered an answer: “…the 8mm film shows the President turning his body far around to the right as he waves to someone in the crowd. His throat is exposed – toward the sniper’s nest, just before he clutches it.”

The Warren Commission would later grapple with the fact that the Zapruder film shows no such thing.

See “JFK: How the Media Assassinated the Real Story” by Robert Hennelly and Jerry Policoff for more on Life Magazine and the assassination.


  1. Listen very closely. In Dec., 1963, the Secret Service sent SS agent Elmer Moore over to Parkland Hospital and specifically to Dr. Malcolm Perry and told him to shut the hell up about a shot hitting JFK in the throat from the front.

    Also, the video of Dr. Malcolm Perry making those statements three times on 11/22/63 has mysterious vanished – poof – gone forever, although his words are on the record. Dr. Perry on 11/22/63 called a friend of mine, a reporter Connie Kritzberg (about age 80 today in 2012) and told her about the neck wounds to JFK.

    The FBI was literally editing her copy that night adding a sentence saying that all wounds to JFK could have been caused by one shot. Ridiculous.

    It seems clear to me that the murderers of JFK were involved in the non-investigation of his death. And by that I mean both Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover as plotters in collusion with CIA/military intelligence who did the actual shooting.

    “graduate student, James Gochenaur, revealed to both the Church Committee and to the HSCA in the mid-1970s that Secret Service Agent Elmer Moore had confessed to him in 1970 that he had “leaned on Dr. Perry” shortly after the Bethesda autopsy to get him to stop describing the bullet wound in President Kennedy’s throat as an entrance wound. (The Bethesda autopsy report concluded it was an exit wound.) According to Gochenaur, Moore also told him that the Secret Service had to investigate the assassination in an expected, predetermined way or they would “get their heads chopped off.” Moore, unfortunately, also told Gochenaur that sometimes he thought President Kennedy was “a traitor” because he was “giving things away to the Russians.””

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  2. Google: “The importance of Connie Kritzberg, reporter for Dallas Times Herald on 11/22/63″ and read about how the FBI was editing her copy literally on the NIGHT of the JFK assassination – adding a sentence: A DOCTOR ADMITTED THAT IT WAS POSSIBLE THERE WAS ONLY ONE WOUND.” to her copy.

    So, obviously, the priority of the FBI at that very early time was covering up the JFK assassination, not finding out who killed JFK. And that tells me Hoover, a long time friend and neighbor of LBJ for 19 years, was either in on the plot or immediately became an accessory after the fact to the murder of John Kennedy.

    I vote for in on the plot.

    “Connie Kritzberg, who was a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald at the time of the assassination, had interviewed Dr. Malcolm Perry, who had said the throat wound had been an extrance wound, which would have indicated a shot from the front. When Kritzberg wrote an article about the assassination, she found that the FBI had added a sentence to her article after she turned it in on 11/22/63 to her editors for the 11/23/63 afternoon edition (Dallas Times Herald was the afternoon paper; the Dallas Morning News was the morning paper.) The FBI had added the sentence A DOCTOR ADMITTED THAT IT WAS POSSIBLE THERE WAS ONLY ONE WOUND.” to her copy. The FBI did this sometime after 6PM on Friday 11/22 and sometime before the running of the presses on Saturday morning. Midnight 12AM might be a good guess at when an FBI agent added this sentence to her copy.”

    Web link:

  3. Paul Turner says:

    Hoover was a real bad guy in the JFK Asassination story. According to James Tague’s book LBJ AND THE KENNEDY KILLING, Hoover was discussing the cover-up strategy the night before, at the “meeting” at the home of Clint Murchison, that was attended by LBJ and others who knowingly and/or presumably had roles in the asassination and coverup. Tague reports on the Kritzberg incident, showing how soon the cover-up began.

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