A few things are known for sure. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, 34 years old and dressed in a U.S.-made knock off of a pink Chanel suit, was looking at her husband’s face with concern from inches away when a bullet shattered his head.
After that horrible moment, Jackie had to pull herself together, give Jack the funeral he deserved. She assumed that her husband’s enemies had killed him. A week after the assassination, she and her brother-in-law Robert Kennedy confided in a friend, William Walton. They said they believed Dallas was the work of a high-level domestic plot, meaning JFK’s enemies on the political right.
But mostly Jackie didn’t want to think about who killed Jack. She was close to insane with grief, clutching to her brother-in-law who was devastated as well. She was often suicidal. And so Jackie fades from the crime story. The men who dominate the discussions of JFK conspiracy theories are often united in ignoring the views of the woman closest to the crime.
And here is the real fascination of this film. It’s just not that simple. It’s not as easy as dismissing Robert Groden as a nutcase. He’s weird. He’s way unusual. He’s obsessive as hell. But how do we know — Do we know? — that obsession is automatically or always wrong or destructive? What if he’s right?
Jean Hill saw JFK’s assassination up close. A few hours later, she told a Dallas TV interviewer what she saw. Her account is notable for its errors, illustrating the problem with eyewitness testimony in the JFK assassination story. Read more
This photograph, courtesy of Duncan MacDonald, taken several minutes after President Kennedy was shot to death, shows a crowd of people, including newsman RobertMacNeil (later host of MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour), rushing to look at the railroad tracks and parking lot overlooking the motorcade route on November 22, 1963.
There is no disputing that they rushed to that area, known as “the grassy knoll,” because they thought one of the gunshots had come from there. No gunman was ever found there.
Reader David Regan asks if anyone has information regarding the story below, in which the Dallas police allegedly encountered a group of men engaging in “target practice” on the Grassy Knoll on November 20, 1963: Has anyone come across confirmation on this? “Target Practice in Dealey Plaza” — from “Mafia Kingfish,” by John Davis (paperback Signet Books edition, 1989):
Four young photographers working for the daily newspaper Dallas Times Herald in 1963 were assigned to the team tasked with capturing the President’s much-anticipated visit to Dallas. They’ll be talking about their memories of that day on Tuesday, November 17 at 7 pm at The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas.