‘At least two of the shots…came from behind me’

“I have read the Warren Commission Report in its entirety and dozens of other books as well, I am sorry to say the only thing I am absolutely sure of today is that at least two of the shots fired that day in Dealey Plaza came from behind where I stood on the knoll, not from the book depository.”

–Cheryl McKinnon,a journalism major who witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy. McKinnon went on to become a newspaper reporter for the San Diego Star News.

Here’s her account of what she saw and heard, published in the Star News on November 20, 1981.

See also:

“What was going through my mind was that shot was coming right over the top of our heads” (JFK Facts, Nov. 22, 2103(

“21 JFK cops who heard a grassy knoll shot, “(Sept. 24, 2013).

Was there a gunshot from the grassy knoll? (JFK Facts, March 20, 2013)



75 thoughts on “‘At least two of the shots…came from behind me’”

  1. I’ve been (mildly) obsessed with the JFK assassination since seeing Stone’s movie in high school. I’ve since read a number of books on the subject including Professor Newman’s book on the CIA and Oswald and Anthony Summers’ Conspiracy which, from what I can tell, are highly regarded amongst the pro- and anti-conspiracy communities. I’ve also read Marrs’ 1988 book which, with his writings on alien mind control and the like, probably doesn’t carry the weight it once did (certainly not the weight to support a Hollywood movie on the subject). Regardless, in the twenty years of my, admittedly, limited reading, two things have recently begun to bother me concerning the conspiracy scenario (at least, a conspiracy scenario involving a grassy knoll shooter):
    1) Lee Bowers’ refutation to Lane and his colleague during the interview for 1967’s Rush to Judgment that there was anyone behind the picket fence in that general area that could have feasibly been firing a rifle, etc. This was not included in the Bowers interview segments in the movie (but is included in the transcript of those inteviews) and the implication, in the Mitrohkin Archive, that Lane was directly or indirectly being financed by the KGB further clouds the issue (not that this should be accepted at face value, although there is evidence that the Hunt-Oswald letter, which was a photographic exhibit in Marrs’ book, was a KGB disinformation tool meant to fuel conspiracy narratives);
    2) Assuming the Zapruder film hasn’t been altered, (or if it has, assuming this portion hasn’t been altered), when the car emerges from behind the Stemmons Freeway sign, and JFK raises his arms to his throat, at that same time, Governor Connolly clearly reacts to being hit. Also, those seconds where JFK appears immobilized (that some imaginative conspiracy proponents once speculated was the result of a dart with a paralytic agent being fired into JFK by the Umbrella Man) looks to be the result, simply , of Mrs. Kennedy grasping his left arm or shoulder (not watching the Zapruder film as I write this, so I can’t recall precisely which one) and leaning in with concern which pulls him forward slightly before the head shot.

    This, combined with overwhelming evidence of Oswald’s guilt (that even Mr. Summers concedes) and his capacity for violent behavior (Edwin Walker attempt), suggests that while there may have been a cover-up concerning CIA’s knowledge of Oswald and operations to discredit the FPCC (e.g. Mexico City), the tantalizing prospect of some grand mover of 20th Century history who fired the fatal shot on the grassy knoll is, however compelling, unlikely.

    How does one get around the Bowers’ denial? I’ve read the Warren Commission testimony (and his affidavit to the DPD), and it just doesn’t support a grassy knoll shooter. Granted, just because he didn’t see it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but surely there we would be something more in the evidentiary record if someone dressed as a Dallas cop fired a high-powered rifle from behind the picket fence. Not challenging anyone. Just curious as to how to reconcile these issues with the grassy knoll theory. If I sound like an amateur in these areas, it’s because I am, and I appreciate your indulgence if you’d care to extend it. Just would like to settle the thing in my mind.

  2. Photon
    According to the Washington Times, November 21, 2013, the statistics you quoted, about people changing their minds about Oswald acting alone are quite the reverse – most thought at the beginning of the course that LHO did it alone but only 12 per cent thought LHO acted alone BY THE END of the course. There were 12 students taking the course on JFK, according to the newspaper article.

  3. Photon, I made an exception this time and actually read your reply. In my opinion, its the Same old pablum. It’s never been a constructive use of my time, but I’m a little Pollyannish and hold out hope.

    BTW, nice spin attempt, but what the study really shows is that 42% of the students parroted what they knew the instructor wanted to hear in order to get a good grade. Like McAdam’s students most likely do.

    Also note, 58% still weren’t buying the Warren BS, and that’s after months of presenting them with factoids. And these were people that probably weren’t even alive when JFK was murdered, those of us that were know better.

    To us, you and the McAdams “Lone Nutter” Buffs sound just like Charlie Brown’s teacher “wha wha wha.

    I guess they think that if they say it with enough confidence and authority it will morph into the truth, problem is that only works with the intellectually slothful who don’t cross checked their “facts.”

    BTW many of those people that you mentioned as having changing their “original” statements found out later that their original statements were written and mischaracterized by the FBI. So that’s not really the same now is it? But you know that or wouldn’t have tried to spin it that way.

    As The “Lone Nutter” Buffs know they have no actual legally admissible evidence that Oswald shot JFK. None, Nada, Zip, Zero, Ziltch!

    But to their credit they have been very successful in spinning it otherwise for decades. Trouble is time, technology and an informed electorate is not their ally. That’s a tough row to hoe, and damn near possible to do with a straight face. If it weren’t so tragic, the Single Bullet Theory would be a good stand up comedy routine.

    Its probably best, for propaganda purposes, that you folks stick with trying to spin the uninitiated. But as noted above even that’s not really working anymore is it?

    It’s an unenviable task, “Lone Nut” Buffs have to try and spin gold from straw. I actually feel for their side and wonder aren’t there better and more honorable ways to make money or advance careers? I wonder how much does a conscience & dignity sell for these days? Just curious.

    Since you brought it up Photon, once again you might want to get your “facts” straight, but its the Posners and Bugliosi types who are the “researchers” who have made the big bucks off selling books about JFK’s murder. Aided and abetted by our illustrious corporate controlled media of course. But you know that too, or you surely wouldn’t have omitted that now would you?

    The “Lone Nut” Buff benefactors must not be pleased with with paltry success of their minions. Polls still show the vast majority of Americans aren’t buying the Warren Myth and that’s after 5 decades worth of people have died off. That’s a really piss poor investment in their propagandists. I would suggest they learn a new trade or at least how to say with conviction, “do you want fries with that?”

    The “Lone Nutter” Buffs must despise the mavericks that circumvent the corporate media via the Internet. Must be like shepherding cats for them.

    BTW it isn’t “the conspiracy crowd” that “is eager to limit debate,” it’s your side and the CIA that doesn’t want the files that would allegedly “prove” Oswald’s “overwhelming guilt” to be released for almost 51 years now. That’s kind of JFK 101. Just so you know… 😉

    “Lone Nutter” Buff should put their money where their mouth is, If the evidence is so overwhelming then demand the release of all the files and let the chips fall where they may. But you can’t do that can you?, because once you pull one single strand of the Warren Myth the whole damn thing unravels. I pity your soul, thats a tough gig.

    In my humble opinion, the “Lone Nutter” Buffs reminds me of our former illustrious Vice President Dick “chicken hawk” Cheney, who “hunts” wingless quail (real sporting), drunk, from the back seat of a limousine – lame and seemingly without conscience.

    If you listen closely you can actually hear future generations mocking the “Lone Nutter” Buffs.

    Good luck with that! 🙂

  4. “Best New Website” JFK Facts April 21,2013.
    This post by Mr. Morley highlighted the American University JFK Assassination Study group and the website resulting from that study. Mind you, American University is a highly competitive school with a great reputation.
    Prior to the study, only 12% of the students believed that Oswald acted alone.
    Following months of study with full examination of the facts the percentage of “Oswald alone” supporters went up to 64%.
    What this shows is that when supplied with the facts intelligent people can learn the truth. Previous misconceptions based on personal beliefs or inaccurate information can be changed when those beliefs are confronted with real evidence, not false witnesses like Gordon Arnold, Cheryl McKinnon, Ernest Brandt, Beverly Oliver- none of whom have ever produced any physical evidence that they were in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. Many of those same witnesses produced statements that contradicted prior claims when confronted with evidence impeaching their original presentations. Unfortunately many conspiracy believers not only do not know about the inconsistencies associated with these ” witnesses”, they do NOT want to know about them.
    I think that you will find that the number of serious researchers who initially believed in a conspiracy and later came to the conclusion that Oswald acted alone far exceeds the number that went the other way.
    I personally feel that is why the conspiracy crowd is so eager to limit debate to only pro-conspiracy viewpoints. Any serious questioning of the conspiracy ” facts” might lead to an individual to actually look at those facts and discover that most conspiracy theories have virtually no real evidence to support them. And then the books don’t get published, the books don’t sell, the conferences dry up and the bottom line is that the “researchers” stop making money.

    1. Who ran the study and decided exactly what constituted a “full examination of the facts”? For example, were they played the video interview of Dino Brugioni by Doug Horne? There is a “fact”, or rather a collection of facts, that somehow I doubt they were presented with. If they were and they dismissed it, then I would very much like to know why.

      What I imagine is it was some canned regurgitation of the Warren Commission material and the kids swallowed it to get an A.

    2. You of course – as usual – refuse to comment on my numerous DOCUMENTED examples of witnesses who were there & would have provided that documentation if there had been a trial of Lee Oswald.

      If you noticed – I support Photon & you in regards to Cheryl McKinnon but you refuse to comment on & refute my examples of witness statements – the reality for you is because you can’t!

    3. Photon: “I personally feel that is why the conspiracy crowd is so eager to limit debate to only pro-conspiracy viewpoints.”

      That’s a straw man argument.

      I don’t make a dime off the JFK assassination, never have. I’m interested in the case in the same way I’m interested in US history in general. You would probably tag me as being part of the ‘conspiracy crowd’ yet I don’t align myself with the 9/11 truthers, nor do I just “believe” things. I’m a proponent of the Age of Reason, not the Age of Aquarius. I’m proud of the fact that with reason, with science, we landed on the Moon and returned safely to the Earth, several times. I’m proud of the fact that the Union side won the Civil War, and slavery, once thought to be “the natural law backed up by the Bible” was finally abolished. And unlike your friend John McAdams, I think the science is in on global warming, which needs to be stemmed. Reason will always triumph over ignorance, but with the JFK assassination, as the suppressed information comes to light, and as the case is examined objectively, the holes in Allen Dulles’ version of events show up just as quickly as the CIA’s lies to Senator Feinstein about surveillance of the Senate get exposed.

  5. In my humble opinion& To be completely honest whenever I see something posted by people like photon, McAdams and others of their ilk, I just skip right over it. I didnt use to, but it doesn’t take long to figure Out that their factoids and ad hominum arguments are ludicrous. I suspect most other people skip right over their posts too, especially Anyone who has conducted their own research. The precision in which they omit inconvient facts cannot be an accident. People like them have no interest in being objective. I actually laugh when McAdams post links back to his own site and the information is typically a factoid or ad hominid spin. Which he in turn accuses others of once they point out his multiple willful errors. Life is too short to waste another minute on people like them that are being willfully ignorant. I have noticed that they seem to be monitoring multiple sites and only reply to items that especially point out how pathetically weak the “official” government conclusions are. Which tells me they are getting nervous. I used to wonder why people like them frequent sites like this if they are so convinced that they are right. Don’t they have lives? For example, I don’t believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, yet have never felt compelled even once to try to convert those that do. I suspect people like them have a financial or career interest in tying to perpetuate the Warren myth. I kind of feel sad for them, they have a futile task, the truth is slowly coming out and they are not on the right side of the truth. And they have staked their entire personal and professional reputations and life’s work on something they must, by now know is false. Just as history mocks and has cast members of the Flat Earth Society onto the trash heap so too will it happen to the Warren Myth Defenders. But then again it is their choice to squander their time. The only part about what they do that irritates me, aside from their callous indifference to the murder of JFK, which is pretty cold blooded, is that it slows down newbies, but that doesn’t last long either. In fact, once the newbies do figure out their schtick, the photons and McAdams type actually strengthen the conviction and resolve of those they tried to deceive. Again, In my humble opinion. Lastly, to be completely candid, I wish Oswald was guilty, because that would mean all was and is right in this country, sadly that is not the case. “Truth crushed to the ground will rise again.” Dr. Martin Luther King, another person that we later found out was not murdered by a “Lone Nut.”

  6. Photon makes reference to witnesses who were “unable to come forward” with their accounts. Of those people, The WC made sure they would not be called as witnesses, that’s why.

    1. It’s pretty well documented that all those that witnessed the assassination were not known or not sought out by the Warren Commission – as you stated – many of the witnesses known by the WC were not questioned because their statements did not support the FBI & commission’s conclusions.

      I’m not sure what is meant by “that’s why” – Photon’s quote of “unable to come forward” is too vague & needs further explanation – some witnesses were not so much “made sure they would not be called” but were never identified & never came forward for whatever reason & certainly intimidation was a factor in some cases ex. Aqulla Clemons.

      It is not exactly clear why Doris Mumford never came forward as her daughter indicated but the horror of being a close eyewitness & seeing JFK brutally murdered might be enough for some people.

  7. In regards to Cheryl McKinnon, she has been placed at the grassy knoll by an article that she wrote about 20 years after the JFK event. A reporter at the time, Gary Mack, evidently matched the photo of a woman laying on the grassy knoll by the Newman family to this article with no substantiative data connecting the two items. It has been around for some 30 years as a connection when, in fact, Cheryl McKinnon may have indeed been somewhere on the knoll but the photo/video in Wiegman, Bell, Stoughton, etc. is indeed Doris Mumford. I know that because Doris Mumford is my Mother.


    You can read some of my story at the above link.

    I hope this helps to clarify the situation as it only came to light for me in 2013. I never imagined that another name would have been associated with my Mother in my wildest dreams. Where Ms. McKinnon was situated, I have no idea.

    Thank you for allowing me to continue to put this matter to rest.


    1. Eyewitness testimony is used in court cases & in life all the time. If a person is at a particular event & another is not & there are no complete films or photos depicting the event – ear & eyewitness testimony would certainly be used in conjunction with other evidence. Louis Stokes of the House Select Committe on Assassinations made it very clear that the corroborating witness testimony of at least one shot from the knoll area was a factor in their conclusion of a conspiracy to kill the president.

      Other evidence that indicates shots emanated from the front that Stokes was referring to include the reaction of Officer Joe Marshall Smith (stationed in front of the Book Depository) who ran to the knoll confronted a man behind the fence who flashed SS ID but was dressed like an auto mechanic & had dirty fingernails. Smith stated that he could smell gunpowder behind the fence & numerous people in the motorcade smelled gunpowder at the street level. SS agents Forrest Sorrels (& his friend – eye witness Orrville Nix) & Paul Landis both thought shots came from the right front.

      RR switching tower operator Lee Bpwers saw two men & a flash of light or smoke behind the fence. RR Supervisor Sam Holland & Sheriff Seymour Weitzman saw footprints indicating a man was pacing back & forth behind the fence & had stood on the bumper of a car & the wooden railing of the fence & wiped mud on to both. Holland, James Simmons, Richard Dodd all three were on the overpass & all saw smoke coming from behind the fence during the shooting & ran behind the fence confirming what Doris Mumford saw.

      Motorcycle Policeman James Chaney rode just to the rear of the president & stated the president was shot in the face. William Newman & his wife both confirmed they saw the president struck in the right temple. Roy Kellerman SS agent riding in the front seat of the president’s car stated he saw a small wound & blood in the right temple – he also believed there were more than three shots. Roy Truly & OV Campell president & vice president of the Book Depository were two of many people in or near the Book Depository who believed that the shots came from the knoll & NOT from the depository.

      Jean Hill, Mary Moorman, & Malcom Summers were all standing across from the knoll along with Orrville Nix & all three believed shots came from the knoll. James Tague who was wounded by a shot that missed & was standing on Commerce St. under the overpass also thought shots came from the knoll. This is just a partial list of those who would have testified in a trial if Lee Oswald had lived to determine if he was just a a patsy as he claimed.

      There were many witnesses to the assassination who were never identified & their recollections were never documented until years later & some have never come forward. Doris Mumford certainly appears to be one of them – as of this time Cheryl McKinnon has to provide more documentation of where she was in Dealy Plaza – that is one of the few arguments that Photon makes that makes ANY sense.

      Plots & conspiracies are common in history & in everyday life – all that has to be done is to read a little bit of history & the news & court cases once in a while. Had Oswald lived all of these witness statements would have been considered along with the nurses & doctors at Parkland & the disputed autopsy results & the questionable authenticity of Zapruder & Nix films as well as other pertinent evidence.

  8. I was in dealey plaza on the 50th anniversary of that tragic day.my observation and everyone I talked to talk there also agreed that the grassy knoll area is way smaller in Person than it appears on film.i was fortunate to talk to several eye witnesses from nov1963 and each one said that two shots were in rapid succession which means bye bye line nut theory.each eye witness stated to me that sound that first heard was no doubt gunfire.why didNot one secret service agent guarding the president react to the first shot,if un trained people heard them.dealeyplaza is like a natural amphitheater and the gun is magnified much louder.if you have any doubts about this go to dealey plaza yourself.go to the 6th floor tbd and see what everyone else can see and that is if lone nut why pass up an easy shot coming towards you in Houston st and slowing down to turn onto elm st???denying multiple shooters at this time means your just in denial of numerous facts of 11-22-1963

  9. If Photon would spend less time trying to wreck Jeff’s endeavors & read back through the topics Jeff posted he’d run across a call for unknown by name witnesses to contact him here at his website & tell their story; a very generous opportunity in light of media lack of interest in pursuing witnesses that were never identified or came forward with their experiences during the assassination. One couple Jeff specifically asked information on was the black couple Marilyn Sitzman told Josiah Thompson she saw sitting on the bench a few yards from she & Abe Zapruder during the ambush.

    It appears to me in your many ‘Oswald did it’ postings here that Jeff’s progress is hitting a nerve with you, Photon. Perhaps he doesn’t banish you in order to let your own words sink your own anonymous LN ship?

    1. I post facts. This “witness” was a fraud. If that is uncomfortable to you I am sorry, but frankly Jeff jumped the shark on this topic by claiming that this work of fiction was proof of anything.
      I am amazed at how terrified some of the conspiracy community seem to be that people might actually look at evidence instead of accepting unsubstantiated claims without a critical eye.
      What almost certainly will happen is that in 2 or 3 months another conspiracy theorist will post this exact same story as a proven fact, assuming that the readers will never actually know the truth, just as in the manner of the Carlos Hathcock lie that has circulated on this blog at least twice in the last 12 months.
      People have wondered who I am. I am simply an interested individual with access to a computer and common sense.

      1. Whatever the provenance of Cheryl McKinnon’s account, which should be pursued diligently, let’s not overlook the account of Doris Mumford (as confirmed by her daughter Karen Moore in jfkassassinationforum): “…she said, “I heard three shots and saw the life leave the President’s face.” She said the shots came from behind her.”

        Three shots coming from BEHIND her location (facing JFK) on the north curb of Elm St. would be coming from the northwest (aka Grassy Knoll area). Doris Mumford therefore concurred with the lengthy list of dozens of earwitnesses who heard shots coming from elsewhere than the TSBD.

        1. Very good point.

          Just like Zapruder and/or Sitzman said that they heard a shot or shots from BEHIND them (so not the TSBD).

      2. @Photon: “I post facts. This “witness” was a fraud.”

        Actually no. That is a conclusion. A conclusion is not a fact, as you should know. For a conclusion to be valid, it must be supported by facts.

        @Photon: “…but frankly Jeff jumped the shark on this topic…”.

        That too, is a conclusion expressed as an opinion.
        If ‘jump the shark’implies a loss of credibility, I differ. Mr. Morley has not lost credibility with me. Perhaps he has with you. But was that solely because of this article? That is hard to believe.

        You may have a point on the author’s estimates of the number of people she saw. But that is a different issue from her statement about where the shots came from. Regardless of how many people stood on the grassy knoll, this woman claims to have heard two shots from the rear.

        To counter her assertion, you offer yet another unsupported conclusion. You claim without evidence the author was NEVER in Dealey Plaza. How do you know that?

        Do you have facts about the author to support that conclusion? Do you have personal knowledge? Or are you basing your conclusion solely on the issues you have with her article?

        It seems a great leap. One does not necessarily follow another. If I assume you’re correct on crowd size, it does not necessarily follow that the woman was never in Dealey Plaza. And if she was in Dealey Plaza that day, then her statement regarding the origin of the shots and the appearance of white smoke needs to be weighed with other evidence from that event.

        So you’ve given us your opinion Photon. Thanks for contributing.

      3. Caravello, Mike

        Interesting posts. We all know there was never a trial for Oswald. In most countries of the free world, they don’t put dead men on trial. Had he been given proper protection, and representation, he would have been able to defend himself with his witnesses and evidence. After decades of repeating the Warren Commision report, I for one, am sick and tired of people pretending that the “Report” was a trial! Any good prosecutor would know there was a broken chain of evidence, starting with Oswald’s Dallas p.o. box. The money order exhibited in the report, does not show the flip side, which would have shown who cashed it, and the back chain.

  10. On this thread B Binnie wrote:

    “There is no doubt that shooters dressed as Policemen and Secret Service personel with the most advanced possible rifles and bullets were behind the fence and on the overpass and fired the fatal shot- Multiple people saw them before and after”.

    Now, I’m sure I’m going to regret asking this, but can you please give us some evidence (i.e. documented sources) to support these claims?

    1. Pure and simple. There isn’t any. It just another piece of nonsense put out by conspiracy theorists because it is easier to invent stories than to post facts. This whole McKinnon fiction should stand out as to what lengths the conspiracy community is willing to go to believe anything that supports its position, even to the point of ignoring easily identifiable falsehoods in a story that I dismantled in 24 hours.
      All I had to do was read the whole thing- which apparently none of the conspiracy authors that fell in love with the story bothered to do over the last two decades.
      I am still waiting for evidence that a Cheryl McKinnon even existed. She appears to have been the invention of a frustrated “reporter” who could get published only in a free throwaway suburban paper.

      1. There were spectators and a policeman who said they were confronted by a SSA.

        If this didn’t happen, the WC wouldn’t have investigated it in the first place.

        Please don’t try to re-write history.

    2. I think what we can say is that there is evidence to state that someone may have been impersonating a secret service agent in this area. From the WC testimony of Joe Marshall Smith, Dallas Police Department Officer:

      Smith: There was some Deputy Sheriff with me, and I believe one Secret Service man when I got there. I pulled my pistol from my holster, and I thought, this is silly, I don’t know who I am looking for, and I put it back. Just as I did he showed me that he was a secret service agent.
      Q : Did you accost this man?
      Smith: Well, he saw me coming with my pistol and right away he showed me who he was.
      Q : Do you remember who it was?
      Smith : No Sir, I don’t.

      As far as I am aware the secret service stated they had no agents in that area, and all their agents were accounted for.

      1. Officer Harkness also reported an encounter with ‘Secret Service Agents’behind the TSBD. Don’t recall who he told that to, but it’s a second officer with such an encounter. From my recollection, no agents were on scene until Sorrels (sp) returned from Parkland Hospital.

  11. Let me throw out a challenge .
    Can anybody find any documentation aside from this single neighborhood newspaper article that this person even existed? Is there any evidence that there is a single mention of this person anywhere prior to Nov,1981?
    Jeff, do you remember Janet Cooke?

    1. Other thanthe fact that she said something you don’t like, do you have evidence she was not there? Do you think the San Diego newspaper did no editing?

      1. The onus of proving somebody is a witness is on the person that claims that person is a witness. The fact that there is no evidence this person was even in Dallas should have been a red flag to the conspiracy crowd that has used her article repeatedly and claimed that pictures showed her in Dealey Plaza.
        I have no idea what the editorial policies of the Chula Vista Star News were in the 1980s, when it was a twice weekly community paper.i I believe it was free then; it is now. I suspect that they were not very rigorous when it came to human interest stories, as this work of fiction reveals.

        1. I think a serious researcher would be perfectly willing to let this case be classified as “interesting but unable to be authenticated.” I know I am.

          The argument of shots from the front doesn’t stand or fall based on this women’s article.

          1. Then why have so many conspiracy theorists been eager to use her as a reference? Why have several falsely claimed that the pictures of Doris Mumford were her? Why have conspiracy authors claimed that she was an SMU student when that isn’t even mentioned in the article?
            Lastly, why did Jeff think that her article was important enough to be highlighted on this blog when it seems that there is no other evidence that she exists?

    2. If the WC didn’t name Ernest Brandt, does that mean he never existed until he appeared on anniversaries in DP?

  12. Films and photos show a large number of persons — men, women, cops — raced up the grassy incline toward the picket fence within moments after the last shot. Some saw and some smelled smoke, gun smoke.

    The comments here about earwitness testimony are inapposite. The facts speak for themselves.

    1. I find McKinnon’s statements very interesting, since they support O’Donnell, Powers,the Newman’s, SSA Landis, J. Hill, Curry, Sorrells, Holland,Simmons, Dodd,Altgens,Brehm and others, that many of the closest witnesses initial impressions is hearing at least one shot coming from up on the the grassy knoll, not the TSBD, or surrounding buildings, or the south knoll area. When combined with the ZFilm, the Parkland, and Bethesda Medical personnel’s observations I find that compelling.

    2. a large number of persons — men, women, cops — raced up the grassy incline toward the picket fence within moments after the last shot.

      No, not within moments.

      Only after Clyde Haygood (who was far back and the motorcade) got off his bike and run up the slope to the corner of the Stockade Fence and the Triple Underpass.

  13. Given the latest forensic ideas about a cone of trajectory encompassing the South Knoll, the puffs of smoke and bangs on the North Knoll would make sense as pyrotechnic distractions.

    If so it certainly worked to get everyone including the police, the public, and therefore the photographers all intensely focused on that area, perhaps exactly opposite to where the shots may have come from on the South Knoll. It would also eliminate the need to evacuate a shooter unseen since there wouldn’t actually be one up there. Just the guy or guys who set them off. It would also be consistent with Bower’s observations of a couple of people, a flash or smoke, but no gun or shooter.

    1. I doubt they would want to create a diversion from the knoll, if the intent was to frame Oswald on the TSBD.

      I also doubt they would go to the trouble of having a fake SSA there to keep bystanders out when they needed cover to shoot and ‘run’.

      1. Yes, probably true, no need for the SSA impostor then. Another factor against a distraction is the acoustic “finger print” of the open mike recorded shots, one of which registered on the tape as being from the GK. Pyrotechnics would not have registered on the tape like rifle fire did. I wonder in retrospect if they wish they had never fired a GK shot, since it appears they had achieved their goal with fire from the rear. It just drew the attention of all the witnesses who heard it.

  14. As soon as McKinnon wrote that there were “hundreds” of people on the Grassy Knoll her story went down the drain, as any serious researcher knows. Her story smacks of being invented after reading about the event but not knowing that the Grassy Knoll was virtually empty. Aside from the article in what I believe was the Chula Vista Star News at the time this person doesn’t appear again, except in books and articles that publish verbatim from the same article.
    Not only is there no proof for her claims as reported in the article, there is no proof that she was ever in Dallas or attended SMU.
    Is this another “factoid”- a statement unsupported by any facts that gets accepted as Gospel after being published in a neighborhood biweekly and then regurgitated verbatim in the conspiracy literature? It appears so.

    1. Photon implies that McKinnon attended SMU, but forgot to re-read the article, which just says she is a journalism major at school. The name of her school is not in the article.

  15. Robert Fernandez

    I always wonder what people are trying to demonstrate by presenting this kind of evidence. Eyewitnesses get things wrong constantly, and singling out one of hundreds smacks of confirmation bias. I don’t know what college student with no known experience with forensics or firearms has to add to our knowledge of what happened that day.

    1. The greatest example of confirmation bias is the work of the Warren Commission and the way information was gathered (and rejected) to support a lone gunman conclusion.

      She sounds reasonable and balanced to me. She says she saw smoke so it’s not just what she heard. She wasn’t alone in her observations.

      1. Lots of people are “reasonable and balanced” and quite capable of being mistaken about something. I’m sure she’s a perfectly nice person, but quite irrelevant to knowing what happened that day.

        1. Too dismissive. There were many others who claimed to have heard shots from that direction. Some from both directions.

          If she was the only person, and the rest said echoes, than perhaps you can say she’s wrong, but this isn’t the case here.

  16. Wondering when JFK made the decision not to use the clear bubble top that covered the back seat of his limousine. Was that bulletproof? Would be assassins may not have been able to plan for that not being present. A frontal shot might have been necessary for the plot, although I don’t recall ever seeing JFK use the bubble top.

    But thanks for the link to McKinnon. I did not know of her before.

    1. This is a good point.

      The planners would have had to prepare for a number of scenarios, including the use of the bubble top and the actual seating positions of people in the car. Therefore, a triangulated set of shooters makes sense, even if one knows nothing – ahem – about the mechanics of sniping. For example: behind the car, to the right (Grassy Knoll) and to the left (South Knoll). The President must not be allowed to escape alive. The kill would have been planned with shots only from the rear – to fit in with the patsy set-up – but the others would have been used as backup if needed (as indeed they were).

      Over many years of reading, I have come to my own conclusion that the Grassy Knoll was too exposed for snipers with rifles and so therefore any shooters in that location would probably have used hand-held guns which could be easily concealed afterwards. I still don’t know for sure if any shots came from there. As Stanley suggests elsewhere on this thread, the GN was probably used as a distraction for the real snipers (with rifles) located both behind the car and on the South Knoll. Pyrotechnics of some religion could be used there to create light, sound and smoke and would leave almost no trace behind.

      Of course, this is all hypothetical but this scenario seem to fit the observed evidence, including that presented over many years by Sherry Fiester.

      1. Why couldnt the President leave Dallas alive? The more you consider it, the more it is very reasonable. The Patsy had some awareness of the plot it seems. What if he was told that someone was going to take some pot shots at JFK while LHO hung out in the lunch room and then afterward LHO would leave the building , hook up up with confederates and disappear for a while, knowing that when a phony trail of evidence pointed to the shooter absconding to Cuba, JFK would have no choice but to invade Cuba and put Castro out to pasture. When LHO hears that JFK has actually been slaughtered and his ride doesnt materialize, he gets rather manic and needs to get a hand gun pronto- Maybe LHO is double crossed but since he is part of something, he cannot spill his guts and is very interested in getting representation ASAP to learn how to navigate the maze he is lost in- There is no doubt that shooters dressed as Policemen and Secret Service personel with the most advanced possible rifles and bullets were behind the fence and on the overpass and fired the fatal shot- Multiple people saw them before and after- When confronted they could easily be portayed as first responders in the Dallas Police Parking Area. And we know that Ruby is using ordinance that turns LHO internal organs into jelly so only one shot is needed-

    2. Tom, from what I’ve read, the bubbletop was not bulletproof, but it still would have presented quite a challenge for a shooter from where Oswald, Wallace, and Factor were(or perhaps it was just Wallace and Factor).

  17. The photo claimed by others to show Ms. McKinnon in Dealey Plaza was actually Doris Mumford.
    Her statements suggest that her story is a fraud

  18. At what point do people realize that “earwitness” testimony is virtually worthless, particularly in the Dealey Plaza echo chamber?
    This observation can be countered by many more who state the opposite. If you want real evidence of where people felt the shot came from at the time look at contemporary pictures, the Altgens photo being the most striking.
    Miss McKinnon stated that ” hundreds” of people were standing on the Grassy Knoll. Hundreds.
    They is absolutely no photographic evidence for that statement.
    There is no evidence at all for that statement.
    You couldn’t put ” hundreds” of people on the Grassy Knoll – It isn’t that big.Was she even there in the first place? If someone makes a demonstrably false statement, why believe anything she says?

    1. It would be like if Zapruder said “I stood, along with hundreds of others, on the concrete pedestal in Dealey Plaza, waiting for just one chance…etc.” Obviously he would not mean hundreds of others were on the concrete pedestal with him, but instead that there were hundreds of other people waiting with him in the sector of the city known as Dealey Plaza. Clearly that is what she meant.

    2. …Except of course for the eyewitness testimony that identifies Oswald as the shooter on the 6th floor which just happens to be wildly inaccurate yet matches the decription on the CIA report on “Oswald” in Mexico City.

      1. At least you can prove that witness was in Dealey Plaza and correctly identified that Oswald was wearing a different color shirt when shooting JFK than when he was arrested.
        There is absolutely no evidence that this woman was even in Dallas on Nov 22, 1963.

    3. Bugliosi would say that she must be recalling the hundreds who ran up to the knoll after the shots were fired.

      I have film footage compiled by Groden that shows hundreds of people racing to the knoll (so that you can fit that many people up around there).

      You can’t entirely dismiss ear-witness testimony. Only the Warren Commission or their proponent would say that, but not a court of law following rules of evidence, unless said witness can be reasonably rebutted.

      Do you know if the WC conducted echo tests to prove their dismissive hypothesis? As far as I know, they didn’t.

      Her account of puffs of smoke is corroborated by others, including the smell of gunpowder claim by Senator Yarborough who said that you can only sense that upwind (so hardly doubt it came from the TBSD).

    4. Photon,

      She does not say hundreds were on the Grassy Knoll. She simply states “dozens were nearby”. I’m sure you are quite aware of the truth of that statement even though you have spun it twice. She clearly DOES NOT state dozens or hundreds were on the Grassy Knoll

    5. “Earwitness testimony is virtually worthless”

      However one may (Paul May) value any witness testimony, it always rises higher than non witness testimony (someone who didn’t witness anything). As we know, in a Court of Law, a witnesses testimony is weighed for believability. A commentator doesn’t even make it to the witness stand.

      Oh, and by the way, “hundreds” of people do stand on the Grassy Knoll during COPA’s Moments of Silence held previously on 22 November. So as the commentator says,

      “If someone makes a demonstrably false statement, why believe anything she says?” There you have it. The commentator actually saying, “don’t believe anything I say”. You sir, have know lost any creditably that may have ever had.

  19. There are multiple witnesses who thought a shot may have come from the grassy knoll including 21 cops as highlighted on this site previously.
    When I think of a shot from the grassy knoll, I think of the testimony of the Dallas Motorcycle Cop Joe Marshall Smith. When he searched the picket fence area he found a man who identified himself as a secret service agent, and apparently flashed him a card. As I understand it, the seceret service stated they had no agents in that location.

    1. According to Dallas detective, Seymour Weitzman, Bernard Barker (Watergate burglar) was the man on the Grassy Knoll who was showing Secret Service identification and ordering people out of the area.

      1. The source known as Deep Throat provided a kind of road map through the scandal. His one consistent message was that the Watergate burglary was just the tip of the iceberg.


        (I’ve been told ‘of the Kennedy Assassination’).

    1. Never read about her myself but my initial impression is it’s legit. Though I’ve been fooled before. Not one of the big city newspapers in a time when newspapers were a major source of news for those interested. Pretty well a local item. But easily duplicated in this day and time.
      I’m not a researcher with time and funds but this should be checked out pretty easily. Local Colleges retain alumni info.
      Is she still alive in Arizona? Would she consent to an interview? Can her children confirm anything? Where was she standing?
      Shot’s from a rifle over head/over your shoulder/behind you would be something a witness would find definitive in a persons memory. She seems pretty sure of herself on this point.
      Her statements tend to confirm those of others, especially the Newman’s who dove to the ground to protect their children.

      1. If the article is bogus, who done it ? A conspiracy theorist? She has not come forward for any $$$ or attention. The CIA ??? They really need a shooter from the right front to solidify the Government Sanctioned Version.

        1. “Dealey Plaza … Sits in the heart of the downtown area…”
          No it doesn’t- it is at the West End and nowhere near the heart of downtown Dallas.
          “… Enjoy their lunch under a tree…”
          Except that there weren’t any trees at the time of the assassination – look at the photos.
          ” Myself and dozens of others standing nearby turned in horror to the back of the grassy knoll …”
          Except there weren’t dozens of people on the grassy knoll and there isn’t a single photograph of anybody looking back at the knoll until the limo had left the area.
          This whole article is nothing but a poorly researched attempt at a narrative created by somebody who obviously was never in Dealey Plaza and had no idea that only a handful of people were on the knoll.
          Why did she do it? Well she got published- which apparently never happened again. She became famous- at least as Cheryl McKinnon, with multiple conspiracy authors inventing educational backgrounds and employment histories for her out of whole cloth.

          1. If this was Bugliosi’s witness, he’d argue that you’re knit-picking over inconsequential details and that her story basically corroborates what other’s felt were shots from the knoll.

            The knoll just isn’t the grassy areas immediately south or west of the picket fence but west and south of the concrete wall and pergola; so there were more people than just the few everybody knows stood near that sidewalk as they watched the motorcade.

            Look it, Ernest Brandt claims to be the guy watching the motorcade wearing a dark suit and his fedora (which he still sports on every anniversary), yet the Warren Commission never called him. He kept a low profile, as did others over the years (some more so than him).

            Cheryl McKinnon kept a low profile and only spoke about it in a local paper. She wasn’t seeking attention or profit. She doesn’t even accuse the government of a conspiracy. She still claims there were three shots, as did a majority of witnesses, not some wacky account.

            Some lone assassin proponents are so dismissive of any witness who kept a low profile, yet they will accept those promoting Oswald as the lone assassin even though those accounts have changed or were totally opposite of their WC testimonies after being grilled by the FBI.

            How do you know that the guy who Ernest Brandt claims is him with his back to Zapruder, while standing on the sidewalk, truly is Ernest Brandt?

          2. The Warren Commision never called Ernest Brandt because he was never identified as a witness. To this day there is no proof that he was the man seen in the Zapruder film and he has made statements inconsistent with him being that man.
            To believe that a total stranger who was standing next to him for 5 minutes or less could identify him 30 years later is ridiculous, yet that is the supposed proof he was there. After making the claim 30 years after the event Mr. Brandt began a second career as a professional witness, even to the point of leading tours of the Sixth Floor Museum. I believe he was eventually asked to leave when his inaccurate statements caught up with him. Put him with Cheryl, Gordon Arnold, Beverly Oliver and others yet to come forward as “witnesses” totally unable to prove that they were in Dealey Plaza, let alone actual witnesses to the shooting.
            Gerry, I believe that you have been in contact with Mr. Brandt. Did you ask what tree he ran to?

          3. @ Photon August 19, 2014 at 8:02 am

            Hello Photon,

            I’ve met Ernst Brandt a few times over the course of several days back in 2003 for the 40th anniversary.

            He brings a photo album and points to a picture of himself wearing a dark suit and fedora. He wears that fedora in DP.

            He says he heard three shots from behind him, that is, from the TSBD.

            So he is a lone assassin witness.

            I’m unaware of inconsistent statements by him but the Zapruder film DOES show a man wearing a suit with a fedora with his back to us, standing to the left of the Stemmons Freeway Sign, IIRC.

            You sound like you’re doubting his story.

            Here is a pic of Ernst Brandt showing his album to the late James Tague (that’s me grinning in the background in between these gents).


          4. He is a fraud. His initial story in 1993 was that JFK was hit “60 to 70” feet away. The first shot sounded like “an elephant gun ” and reverberated throughout the plaza. When he realized that few if any witnesses that heard a shot recognized it as gunfire he changed his story to suit the usual narrative of a suspected motorcycle backfire.
            As the “60 to 70” feet distance claim became untenable based on actual review of the contemporary photos he had to change his story. Within 18 months he had moved to within “10-20″ feet of JFK when he was hit- by the first shot.
            After he heard the initial shots he got scared and ran to ” a large tree on the hill.” What tree? What hill? While running for the tree he did not see the head shot. Yet no contemporary pictures show anybody running anywhere prior to the last shot.
            High resolution images of the “Fedora Man ” suggest that he has
            a pipe or cigar protruding from his mouth. Despite this Brandt has stated that he has never smoked in his life.
            Even with having 30 years to come up with a story he still couldn’t get it right on the first attempt, so he changed it to fit better with the known facts. If you read some of his posts you get the idea.
            He became famous-at least in assassination circles.

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