Another JFK motorcade reconstruction and the limits of forensic evidence

While reviewing Mark Tyler’s Motorcade 63, I thought of Dale Myers’ 3D animation reconstruction of President Kennedy’s motorcade on November 22, 1963. Myer’s work is the most sophisticated effort to update the official story of the Warren Commission that a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, killed the president for no reason.

While visually elegant, Myer’s presentation still suffers from a fundamental defect. As a forensic presentation, it cannot answer why the president was killed. But its conclusive claims that Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman are part and parcel of the argument that nature of the gunfire in Dealey Plaza had nothing do with the subsequent murder of Oswald, the FBI’s destruction of evidence, the FBI’s twisting of eyewitness testimony, and the CIA cover-up of just how much certain senior operations officers knew about Oswald’s travels, politics, and contacts in the weeks before JFK was killed. That strikes me as highly improbable.

If the case was so simple forensically, why so much duplicity? Compared to a truly forensically simple case like the attempted assassination of Presidennt Ronald Reagan, the JFK’s assassination is quite complex. The desire to simplify it, while understandable emotionally and politically, needs to be resisted for factual reasons.

If Oswald truly acted alone, any one of those things might have happened–The fact that they all happened–and that the CIA is still withholding thousands of JFK files–strike me as a pretty strong indicator that the government has something to hide about the gunfire in Dealey Plaza. If the government has nothing to hide, why is it they hiding so much decades later?

Myer’s reconstruction, while visually elegant, does not quite explain the physical or the eyewitness evidence. The claim that wounds in the two men lined up in a way that makes the dubious “single bullet theory” theoretically possible is presented as scientific fact. It isn’t. The reconstruction shows it is possible that the wounds were caused by one bullet. But the bullet that allegedly caused seven wounds in the two men was hardly damaged. And Texas Governor John Connally and his wife were both quite certain that the two men were hit by two different bullets. In other words, it’s possible that Myer’s reconstruction of the gunfire is wrong.

Tyler’s 2D presentation–while I think it scants the evidence of a shot from a front (such as the testimony of the late Dr. Robert McClelland)–makes more modest claims and leaves room for different interpretations.

7 thoughts on “Another JFK motorcade reconstruction and the limits of forensic evidence”

  1. October 22, 2021, “The Whitehouse announced late Friday that the JFK Assassination documents release would be delayed . . .”

    So much for “We, the people . . .”

    Jefferson, thank you for continuing to keep this issue alive(?).

    Leads one to believe we are “victims” of a cabal.


  2. It’s curious to me that Myers shows us the truth while the voice-over tells us something different — that the single-bullet story has been confirmed. We know Connally’s right wrist was fractured by the bullet that struck him. Yet Myers’s animation clearly shows Connally holding his Stetson comfortably in his right hand for several seconds beyond the moment (Z-224) JFK is wounded at the neck.

    The Zapruder film shows exactly that as well, and to the point where the Governor can been seen holding his Stetson as late as Z-279. Furthermore Connally always insisted he was thrown forward by the force of being hit in the back. Neither his posture nor his handling of his hat will square with him having been struck any earlier than Z-285. That much can be discerned by watching a good copy of the original film. Myers’s rendition only brings the same set of facts into sharp relief.

    And I would say the same thing about every one of the expensive video productions I’ve seen where they employ a lot of high tech to perform a “reenactment”. They invariably DISPROVE the Warren Commission (if you watch carefully enough and maybe get into some deft stop-action) while the narrator and the participants congratulate themselves that the Commission has been vindicated.

    It makes you wonder if the hand of the CIA isn’t in there somewhere requisitioning these productions with a specific purpose in mind, and as part of a disinformation/black propaganda campaign upon the American People.

    1. Unlike JFK, we know the bullet which struck Connally did pass through his body. Consequently, only a fraction of the bullet’s momentum was transferred to Connally. Since the bullet identified as 399 essentially retains its original proportions, its velocity could not have been abruptly halted at any point in its trajectory. Lead is just too soft and copper is not steel. Contributors much smarter than I am create virtual diagrams depicting how the shot which struck Kennedy’s back behaved. Since these virtual depictions demonstrate what happened, in effect they prove it did not happen in the manner prescribed for a single bullet scenario. Most people miss what is before there eyes. Also, Connally’s lapel bulges out–but this occurs several inches above where the bullet exited his torso.

  3. The Discovery Channel attempted a recreation of the single-bullet trajectory using anatomical models made of ballistic gel.

    While the replicated shot was close to where the bullet entered Kennedy’s back, the exit was considerably lower than the throat wound, more like the upper chest.

    Assuming the painstaking efforts to replicate the geometry are even approximately correct, if the single bullet theory is correct, it means that it could not have come from the 6th floor of the TSBD.

    This is why the drawings in the Warren Commission Report showed JFK leaning about 30 degrees forward and Dale Meyers gives JFK a goose-neck appearance to make the trajectory work.

    The relevant part of the video is between 1:16:00 and 1:17:00.

  4. Anders Sellstedt

    But if the second Bullet didn’t hit the governor, where did it go? 1st one missed, 2nd one hit jfk in the back, exited thru the throat. Then there is a fourth one if I read between the lines of what you think, and the fourth one was the killshot. Owning to the angle between the car and the snipers nest, it must have been lodged into the back of the car seat that the governor was sitting in if it didn’t him and me knowingly there is nothing to support that.

    I’ve dony my fair of shooting, with military grade bullets (ex.soldier) and the way bullet no 2 behaved is what I would say expected behavior. It first hits Kennedy in the back, exits thru the throat. It is already unstable so when it hits the governor it is at an angle, exits below his right nipple, enters his hand, exits hand and gets lodged into leg. There are many other things that are way more strange than that so in my opinion, that is probably what happened.

    The question, in my opinion, is the killshot, not the 2nd shot, and that one is a little bit harder to debunk because I can never win an argument about if evidence has been tampered with etc but the 2nd shot is all plausible.

  5. you are right Jeff ! since 56 years they are too many firewalls , too many lies … put across everywhere to access at the true , Only inside powerful people can do that for so long . Did you read the last book of Nobel prize Vargas Llosa “Tiempos recios” ( only in spanish now ) about the assassination in 1957 of Guatemala president Castillo Armas ?The modus – operandi of the crime have many similitudes with JFK , the killer a you communist who kill himself just after , the Allan Dulles and CIA involvement to prepare and to cover the crime …Castillo Armas death is still a mystery . Vargas llosa wrote that Allan Dulles use Rafael Trujillo secret service gun for hire to do the job : Johnny Abbes and Henry Pugibet . May be some of the true is in that direction

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