In this report, CBS News seeks to portray the single bullet theory as “single bullet science” — and mostly fails.
The report, on the findings of a longer PBS program, “Cold Case JFK” that airs tonight, Nov. 13, is perhaps most interesting as a specimen of JFK denialism. It springs from the understandable impulse to deny the troubling and contradictory nature of the evidence of JFK’s assassination in favor of a factually challenged but reassuring narrative of a lone gunman.
What is JFK denialism?
One of the defining traits of JFK denialism is the impulse to refute stupid JFK conspiracy theorists. This is a worthy impulse because there are more than a few stupid JFK conspiracy theorists, and they are worthy debunking.
But the impulse leads PBS’s ballistic experts, Luke and Michael Haag, into a classic red herring argument. To the CBS news reporters Luke Haag proclaims that a Carcano bullet could pass through two people — a point that no serious JFK researcher disputes. The question is not whether the bullet could cause seven non-fatal wounds in two men but whether it did. The notorious single bullet theory notwithstanding, there is good evidence that it did not.
Another defining trait of JFK denialism is the comforting but unsubstantiated claim. The Zapruder film shows that gunfire took place over the course of about seven seconds. Michael Haag says he easily could have fired the three shots as Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly did. But we don’t see Haag do it. And he makes no reference to the multiple failures of experienced marksmen to do so when enlisted by the Warren Commission in 1964.
The Commission’s attempts to recreate Oswald’s alleged marksmanship are recounted in Volume III of the Commission Hearings. With shooters ranked as “master marksmen” — a skill level Oswald never achieved — the Commission still could not consistently duplicate what Oswald allegedly did. Shooters recruited by CBS News in 1967 had much the same experience. The most one can say is that shooters more skilled and practiced than Oswald could occasionally, but not consistently, do what the accused assassin allegedly did on the first try.
Several well-informed readers debate the issue in the comments section of a recent JFK Facts posting. Decide for yourself who has the better case. I hope the issue will be aired as fully and fairly in the full-length PBS program.
(I was interviewed for this program about CIA secrecy and JFK’s assassination; I was not asked to comment on the show’s forensic findings.)
What Nellie Connally saw
A third feature of JFK denialism, common among defenders of the single bullet theory, is the studious ignoring of the testimony of two people seated next to JFK. The Haags and CBS News could not bring themselves to mention the fact in this segment but it is still a fact: the people closest to the gunfire disputed the single bullet theory.
Texas Governor John Connally said he he heard the sound of the first shot that did not him, and then the sound of a second shot that did. Since Connally was not looking at JFK at the time of the first shot, it is theoretically possible that the first shot missed altogether, and the second shot was the single bullet that wounded them both.
But his wife, Nellie Connally, was looking at JFK and she was quite clear and consistent in her testimony: She said Kennedy was hit by the first shot and her husband was hit by the second.
Logically and journalistically, Nellie Connally’s testimony requires explanation. It gets neither on the CBS segment.
If Nellie Connally was right, the single bullet theory is wrong. If Nellie Connally was wrong, single bullet theorists should supply an explanation of why the closest eyewitness to the event was mistaken in what she saw occur three feet away from her. The Haags offered none, at least not in this appearance.
A more balanced approach would seek to recreate the scenario that the Connallys described and then compare it to the single bullet theory to see which is more plausible. Apparently, that was not done.
The mother of invention
The reality of the crime scene creeps into this antiseptic presentation only once when Luke Haag says “there is one bullet that is unaccounted for.”
No one follows up on the comment but Haag was referring to the bullet that overshot JFK’s limousine and hit a curb nearby. A piece of flying debris struck a bystander, James Tague, in the face causing a superficial injury. No explanation is offered for that shot, perhaps because of a lack of time.
Or perhaps it was because accounting for the missing shot would require telling the curious but true story that the Dallas police and the FBI initially dismissed Tague’s story because it complicated their efforts to blame the crime on Oswald alone. When Tague’s story could not be dismissed, Arlen Specter, the ambitious young Warren Commission attorney, came up with single bullet theory as a way of reconciling the shot that missed and Oswald’s sole responsibility. In other words, the necessity of convicting Oswald was the mother of inventing of the single bullet theory.
In the end, even CBS news anchor Charlie Rose seems unconvinced by the Haags’ claims.
“Why is there so much skepticism” about the single bullet theory? asks Rose, wrinkling his nose at his guests.
Here Luke Haag retreat into the last refuge of the JFK denialist; the unsubstantiated cliche.
“It’s human nature. We want to think there’s more to it,” he says. “… a Marxist who hated this country … there’s nothing more to it than that.”
Its all very comforting. JFK was killed by a nut. The CIA and the FBI didn’t fail to protect the president. The Warren Commission wasn’t deceived. Mainstream news organizations didn’t blow the story. The only problem was some guy “who hated this country.”
The problem with this hoary claim is that there is little evidence that Oswald hated this country in 1963. It is true that he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 out of admiration for communism. It also true that he disliked the Soviet Union so much he returned in 1962. In fact, unlike most Americans Oswald actually chose to live in the United States.
The notion that Oswald “hated” America is a distortion of his mildly leftist political views. When Oswald spoke about the Cuba issue on radio and TV in the summer of 1963, he criticized U.S. policy, not in hateful or even revolutionary terms, but in the earnest tones of left-wing autodidact. The pamphlets he handed out said nothing more radical than “Hands Off Cuba.” The notion that someone who opposed U.S. policy of overthrowing Fidel Castro “hated” America is an anachronistic sound bite of Cold War vintage. It is not an accurate description of Oswald’s political beliefs.
The CBS segment was merely a report on a PBS Nova show that airs tonight. Perhaps the lack of balance and selective use of evidence is not representative of the full show. I’ll be watching the hour-long program to see if it offers a more credible treatment of the still-dubious single bullet theory.
“RIP: Arlen Specter and his Single Bullet Theory” (JFK Facts, October 22, 2012)
“Fox News on a Dallas travesty: eyewitness to JFK’s death is shut out of anniversary event” (JFK Facts, Nov. 11, 2013)
126 thoughts on “The single bullet theory and the perils of JFK denialism”
CE 399 is a fake. Robert Frazier’s testimony to the Warren Commission clearly proves this.
As for the CBS rehash of the tumbling bullet theory, yet again, A. The point of entry in JFK’ back shown in the cartoon bears no relation to reality.
B. The evidence given by the Parkland’s surgeon who tracked the chest wound is totally ignored.
A 3 odd centimetre bullet travelling end over end through it’s axis through a human chest, to supposedly hit the front of the rib cage sideways, would leave a rather large and nasty trail of destruction behind it. It would leave a tear varying in size as it tumbled, as large as its full length when vertical and briefly as narrow as its alleged 6.5 circumference when horizontal. In short a very irregular track in size.
I remember it was Gregory who did the wrist wound, Dr Shaw I believe tracked the chest wound. His description of the wound to an unhappy WC. “A small tunnelling wound.” Totally not what the WC wanted to hear, as a tumbling bullet could not and would not leave a small tunnelling wound.
Never fear, there’s always a way out of incontrovertible testimony from an inconvenient gunshot expert. Bring in Doc number two who’s name I confess to have forgotten for the moment. He had seen the entry wound but unlike Shaw had not tracked it. Did he think the entry wound might have been caused by a tumbling bullet. He thought it unlikely, but there is always the WC argument clincher. “Yes, but might it have been?” “Well, it might have been yes.” The man who had actually tracked the wound’s evidence is now irrelevant because the man who did not track the wound said “It might have been.” Not for the first or the last time the WC then followed it’s favourite maxim when faced with an evidential problem.. It might have been, so screw the incontrovertible evidence that it wasn’t. An utter disgrace of a way to dismiss evidence and reach bogus conclusions.
A small tunnelling wound is not consistent with a tumbling bullet and that ridiculous deception is due nothing but a long overdue grave.
I am always amused by the lengths LN’s will go to deny or ignore all evidence that Oswald ever had his lunch as he claimed. Put on the spot by Oswald’s claim that Junior (Jarman) and a short black man (Harold Norman) came in to the domino room around 12.15, both conceded that they did. Both also admitted somebody else was in there but they didn’t notice who it was. Well since Oswald was the only one who could place those two in there at that time, it kind of narrows it down who was actually in there doesn’t it campers. He was also seen down there by Piper and by Shelley at the phone. So why deny the blatantly obvious that Oswald ate his lunch? What’s the big deal you might ask? He could still have nipped upstairs, put a rifle together, compose himself and do the business right? No they can never concede that for the crucial reason that Oswald always brought in his own lunch in a lunch sack. Oswald was only seen carrying one paper bag. Bringing his lunch would mean he had to have two papers sacks if he had a rifle as well. Only one answer to that poser. Ignore or deny all evidence that Oswald had lunch. They may be shameless but they aren’t totally stupid.
On the subject of when people had their lunch. Both Jarman and Norman claimed the reason they went into the domino room together around 12.15 was to pick up their lunch bags. Check both their testimonies on when they separately picked up their lunch sacks and tucked in much earlier to the WC. The contrast in the two accounts from November 63 is immediately obvious. Either they lied about why they went in to that room when put on the spot by Oswald, or they lied through their teeth to the WC. Either way, why?
Dulles was suspect because he faced forced retirement by JFK but was still involved with the investigation. Hoover was also facing forced retirement by JFK at the end of JFK’s first term on January 1st, 1965 when Hoover turned 70, mandatory age for government retirement. Johnson stopped that 5 1/2 months after the assassination while Hoover was still working with the W. C. investigating for a conspiracy. Johnson made him lifetime Director. I can understand justification for evidence being tainted.
It was brought up where did the bullet that went through President Kennedy go if it did not go through Connalley. If the President was shot from the front as the Doctors at Parkland first thought than would it not have been lost out the back? I have heard theories that the throat shot was to tell him he was never going to talk again and the back of the head shot in almost the same spot as Lincoln’s if not the same was also a message that that is what they do to those that help the blacks as Lincoln and Kennedy were willing to do. If this is true than the second shot missed and went thru Connalley causing a third shot to be taken to hit JFK?
Jens Mohr Thygesen is mad. He used a low resolution 4. generation copy of the Moorman photo (found on the internet) and claims that his software can detect a shooter in the shadows. On a high resolution 1. generation copy it is absolutely clear that nothing is present in the shadows where he marked it:
And his claim that the sun was in the back of the shooter (which created a contrast he found) is also wrong. The sun was not behind the shooter at the grassy knoll but coming from the left. The notion that some high tech mysterious software can solve the JFK case plays brings out people high tech fear but really the same effect he claims can be done found by changing contrast in photo shop which shows just how technological out of date he is.
I live in Dallas and watched coverage of the 50th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination with great interest.
I could not find a single media outlet covering any conspiracy theories. They were all pushing the lone-gunman theory as fact.
I couldn’t understand this singular viewpoint and wondered if the event had now somehow become politicized (hence the monolithic coverage). I felt I was transported back to the ’60s, with the media carrying the government line.
I even heard an expert on “The Michael Medved Show” (Medved is a fervent lone-gunman proponent) say the shots from TSBD echoed and reverberated off the buildings surrounding Dealey Plaza, thereby causing eye witnesses to erroneously conclude shots were fired from the Grassy Knoll. (Medved concurred.)
The only problem is there are no buildings surrounding Dealey Plaza. To the north, south and west there is grass, a small open-air pavilion and open skies.
The sole building is TSBD east of Dealey Plaza.
Yet the reverberation theory is accepted and pushed by the mainstream media.
To counterbalance the lack of coverage, there is a stellar 9-part series by the History Channel, “The Men Who Killed Kennedy.” It’s a compilation of classic interviews of those who lived and also analyzed the event, plus the mysterious facts surrounding it. A treasure trove, it encapsulates and preserves for posterity the myriad of question marks haunting the assassination.
Here is the link:
Part of my text in the first reply was missing. So here goes again.
The best way to solve crimes is often to investigate who would benefit the most from the Crime.
In this case JFK had many enemies on the right wing in politics, including the mafia, and the military industrial complex who wanted to step up the war in Vietnam. JFK was an obstacle for that.
But these groups would gain nothing from the killing if the finger afterwards pointed directly towards them as responsible. Consequently the killing of JFK would have to be organised very precisely so the finger would point to a lone lunetic.
More important, failure could not be an option. Too much was at stake here. A single shooter was excluded.
Now, every investigation so far has demonstrated no more than one shooter. This is either true or a very clever cover up. If we actually prove there was more than one shooter now it means that the investigations has been a cover up.
It is here the Danish doctor and eye – surgeon Jens Mohr Thygesens discovery is important.
Analysing pictures of eyes for diabetes a picture from the killing of JFK accidentally was misplaced and also analysed by the new apparatus. It can distinguish variations in light down to nano – meters, which is more accurate that former machines, and Jens Mohr discovered something.
The machine demonstrated variations in the light, not seen on older machines. The equipment gives irrefutible photografic evidence of two gunmen on the Grassy Knoll. One left handeded, one right handed.
As a scientist I know the equipment used bye Jens Mohr. It is true, that observe variations in light even in a dark area of a picture. I believe he has found something very important.
In his new book : President Kennedy’s High Noon in Dallas Jens Mohr explains why a picture of the killing of JFK by chance ended in his experimental equipment for eye surgeons.
I actually think he solved the question : Was there more than one shooter ? The answer is yes.
The best way to solve crimes is often to investigate who would benefit the most from the Crime.
In this scenario, I think the Danish doctor and eye – surgeon Jens Mohr Thygesen. In his new book : President Kennedy´s High Noon in Dallas he explans why a picture of the killing of JFK by chance ended in his experimental equipment for eye surgeons.
He was looking for diabetes in the center of an eye and ended up solving the killing of JFK. I am absolutely certain that the evidence is correct, as I know what this type of elektronic apparatus can do extract information from light. What a pity they did not have it 1963 and nobody has been thinking of using it.
The equipment gives irrefutible photografic evidence of two gunmen on the Grassy Knoll. Case closed.
This constant rhetoric on the death of JFK and who was responsible is so tedious and design to deflect. If you think – based on the Warren Commission report that a lone gunman was responsible, then you’re an idiot and good little sheep citizens. There are too many witness reports and witness reports that were ignored/not included in the report. This was a planned turkey shoot. Based on the footage alone it is obvious… watch it again WITHOUT looking at JFK… wake up America or you will never be free.
In a case of supreme irony, the clip from CBS actually DISPROVES the lone gunman theory. You will notice that the above illustration clearly shows, that for the bullet to be exiting the front of the throat, because of the angle of the shot, it had to enter at the top of Kennedy’s back collar. The problem, of course, is that ALL of the actual physical evidence contradicts this. Kennedy’s coat and shirt both show a bullet hole at least 6″ below the collar. The autopsy drawing (made at the time,and made long before anyone made up the single bullet theory) shows a bullet wound in the same place. The wound was described as being at the 3rd thoracic level, again, the same place. The FBI agents both reported a back wound between the shoulder blades. No autopsy photo (faked or not) shows a bullet wound at the top of the collar in back.
Because this obvious physical evidence is in contradiction to the single bullet theory, the single bullet theory is disproved. Thank you, CBS.
Nellie Connally? Yes, we all know how reliable eyewitness testimony is. I can ask ten people in my office what they heard a minute ago and get ten different answers. And NO ONE can tell where shots are coming from, in an urban canyon setting. Whatever. 9-11 never happened either I guess.
A JFK program on CNN tonight showed a brief 11/23/1963 Dallas Morning News clipping that I was able to find online. Headlined “Officials Recall Sniper Shooting at Walker Home,” it begins, “Police Friday were not overlooking a possibility that President Kenney’s assassin may have been the mysterious sniper who shot at Maj. A. [sic] Walker last April 10.”
So this speculation was out there the next day.
Thank you Jean. That was my original question. Now I am wondering if the German newspaper merely speculated, or did their story shift to a definite claim by the 29th? Of course you can guess my next hypothesis: was the speculation in the DMN deliberately planted? It certainly added to the backstory of Oswald as a random political assassin. There is subtlety in this type of propaganda (similar to the immediate reports on Oswald out of Florida) that will be lost on those unwilling to consider alternative theories relating to the murder of Kennedy. I began considering those when the official version began to break down very early on. I’m curious why those advocating that Oswald was a lone assassin didn’t do the same.
I found 2 photos of the referenced Deutsche National Zeitung article, purportedly mailed to Jesse Curry, and used in a 20 Dec. 1963 KWKH radio (Shreveport, La.) interview by Edwin Walker, himself. I can’t vouch for the German-English translation rendered here:
Here is an image of page 1 of his KWKH radio transcript…
… links to the other pages of this interview, or most of them, can be found at
A few of the links on this page are dead links unfortunately but not all of them. There might be more to the article than what is shown in the above images… it appears to have been physically pasted into a larger presentation which includes the English translation.
“The Walker shooting was an unsolved crime with political implications, and the German paper wasn’t the first to suggest a connection.”
Jean, can you identify what other news media suggested a connection prior to Marina’s statement?
“Possibly this is where the German newspaper got the idea.”
Of all the newspapers in all the world, is it not of interest that a publication involving former Nazis based in Munich might have tilted the examination of Oswald’s background in the immediate (within a week) aftermath of the assassination? Were they in fact monitoring him anyway? As has been stated, Oswald was never charged with the attempt on Walker, and yet this kind of coverage sealed for many the likelihood that Oswald was a crazed assassin on the loose as early as the Spring of 1963. If he was indeed being tracked by US intelligence, where were they the evening of the Walker shooting? Did they observe Oswald firing through the window at the former general?
You’re *assuming* that the German publication may have had an influence “in the immediate aftermath of the assassination.” Where’s the evidence for that, Leslie? I can’t find ANY mention of this German story in the online archives of the Dallas Morning News or the NY Times. The only mention of it I found at the Mary Ferrell site were a few FBI pages from May 1964.
You could search the JFK records for yourself on this page:
There is evidence that Oswald shot at Walker, including the photos taken with his camera before the event. The HSCA concluded that the Walker bullet was probably a M-C bullet and that the evidence “strongly suggested that Oswald attempted to murder General Walker.”
It is endlessly fascinating to me that many conspiracy theorists will accuse “anybody but Oswald” based on suspicion and conjecture alone, but will turn a blind eye to evidence that implicates their favorite “patsy.” Someday maybe I’ll understand why that is, but I doubt it.
Context and subtlety are essential considerations when studying the facts.
The more subtle significance of the Munich newspaper, aside from painting Oswald as a political assassin on the loose, is their instant access to Edwin Walker who was not even at his home phone on the 23rd, but was at a segregationist gathering in Shreveport. Their interview with Walker should be considered in context: either they knew Walker directly, or knew people in Dallas who knew where he could be located on the 22nd/23rd. Does this matter? Only when considered in the context of political animosity toward Kennedy in Dallas in the early ’60’s.
“I can’t find ANY mention of this German story in the online archives of the Dallas Morning News or the NY Times.” For clarification: I was asking if the Walker story which was reported in Munich had appeared in any other news media prior to the 29th; I wasn’t asking if the “German” story had been carried in the News or the Times. There is a subtle, significant difference.
I am not arguing whether or not Oswald shot at Walker. Given that Kennedy and Walker shared little in common but the planet, I do not see the significance. I am questioning: 1) who knew that Oswald was a suspect in the Walker shooting and when did they know it? 2) how would a Munich-based paper get the story within a week of the president’s assassination when Marina had not disclosed the information? 3) if Munich had the “scoop,” who within the DPD or FBI provided it? because according to Walker, he did not do so on the 23rd. If a Dallas or NY news agency was the source for the Munich story, did any US media publish the information prior to the 29th?
I’m not blind to the evidence against Oswald, I question its provenance.
The reporter who asked Curry about the Walker shooting on 11/23 didn’t have to have inside information, nor did the German writer. An unsolved assassination attempt in Dallas with a rifle — anyone could speculate about a possible connection.
Walker and JFK did have something in common: they opposed Castro.
It will never be said that you “question the provenance” of the evidence against Walker, the German neo-Nazis, or your other numerous suspects, Leslie. There isn’t any!
My understanding is that the German paper did not speculate, but made the statement that Oswald was the shooter in the Walker incident. Someone gave them that information.
It is a stretch to claim that John Kennedy and Edwin Walker shared any ideology. Kennedy was being guided in his concern about Castro; he was also being encouraged to consider Castro as a potential democratic leader in the earliest days of the revolution. Kennedy had Walker investigated for indoctrination of troops, didn’t he?
I did not suggest that Walker or his colleagues should be direct suspects in the Kennedy assassination. I did propose that they fomented an atmosphere of hatred of Kennedy in the city of Dallas where he was assassinated.
If not Single Bullet Theory, then where did the bullet go?
SBT supporters argue if the nonfatal bullet which hit JFK didn’t hit Connally then where did that bullet go? That’s assuming the bullet even transited JFK’s neck. Where is the evidence it even exited? A more likely scenario is that CE 399 is the bullet that lodged in JFK’s BACK and fell out during cardiac massage as Humes indicated. At least part of the fragments found in the car could have been from the separate Connally bullet, and not just the JFK head shot. JFK’s throat wound could have been caused by a fragment from the headshot or a bullet or glass fragments ricochet from the windshield. The throat wound was never dissected the alleged transit was inferred.
The throat wound was dissected when the tracheostomy was performed. If you think that any round more powerful than a .22 would not go through tissue equivalent to two boneless chicken breasts you have no knowledge of ballistics or frankly common sense.
Rather than reply to any one particular comment in this thread, I thought I would post some general information about Oswald’s ability with a rifle.
In the late 1950s, these were the categories and standards by which Marines were ranked:
Expert: a score of 220 to 250.
Sharpshooter: 210 to 219.
Marksman: 190 to 209.
Oswald was tested twice while in the Marines. In December 1956, after what the Warren Report described as “a very intensive 3 weeks’ training period” (presumably just after Basic Training), Oswald scored a 212, i.e., the low end of the very narrow Sharpshooter category. Apparently, his only other test was in May 1959. At that time he scored 191, which is just barely above the minimum.
The Warren Commission had an expert, one Colonel Allison Folsom (a man as it happens) interpret these scores for them (emphasis added):
The Marine Corps consider that any reasonable application of the instructions given to Marines should permit them to become qualified at least as a marksman. To become qualified as a sharpshooter, the Marine Corps is of the opinion that most Marines with a reasonable amount of adaptability to weapons firing can become so qualified. Consequently, a low marksman qualification indicates a rather poor “shot” and a sharpshooter qualification indicates a fairly good “shot.”
Two further points:
1) Oswald was a radar operator, and I would consequently think that he and the others in his unit probably spent a lot less time on the shooting range than the average Marine — if that is not the case and they did practice as much as the others, then he really must have been pretty bad;
2) All of this shooting, both practice and testing, would have been done with an M1 rifle, a semi-automatic that did not require the shooter to operate a bolt mechanism.
You can make of point no. 2 what you will. It’s hardly ever discussed when assessing how good or bad a shot Oswald was, which is remarkable when you consider how much of a difference the type of rifle used makes to shooting speed and accuracy.
I would assume these tests are also against stationary targets with no time pressure. The interesting thing is that the consensus seems to be among lone nutters that Oswald missed his first shot, which is the shot where he had the most time to aim and didn’t have to operate the bolt immediately before taking aim and firing. And if this early miss is supposed to be the Tague bullet, then you have a guy that missed very, very badly on the easiest shot. This doesn’t add up.
Great point Jason L.
And, if my memory serves me right, this is exactly why Senator Russell of the WC was reluctant to put his name to the single bullet theory.
I am sure I have seen a documentary where he can be heard on tape saying that how can someone miss so badly with one shot, then be so accurate.
Charles Whitman had exactly the same Sharpshooter badge in the U.S.M.C as did Oswald and he killed 11 moving targets and wounded 32 others from a much greater distance than Oswald. To claim that Oswald was not capable of the Dealey Plaza shooting is simply nonsense.Obviously you have never heard the term “Every Marine a Rifleman.” If you think that Oswald’s May 1959 range record reveals anything about his skills you are ignoring that at that time he was trying to get out of the Marines and didn’t give a damn what score he had.
Photon, you keep making assertions that are completely made up. You now claim to know what Oswald was thinking when shooting his rifle during a test? Seriously?
Whitman was shooting from the observation deck of the top floor (28th) of UT tower. He had an extraordinarily wide, unobstructed view of a large area, as you might guess from the words “observation deck.” Plus, he was able to keep shooting for about an hour and a half. He had a large stash of rifles (including an M1 carbine), all of which were far superior in quality to the rifle Oswald supposedly used.
There is nothing even remotely similar in the circumstances surrounding Dealey Plaza in 1963 and the UT campus massacre that Whitman perpetrated.
Except that both were done by holders of the U.S.M.C. Sharpshooter badge.
So what? That’s a pointless statement, along the lines of they’re both having the same eye or hair color, or both having been left handed or right handed.
Keep on arguing this point if you want to waste time.
Which means what? What goes through the mind of somebody when they try to shoot another human being? Hesitation? Self-doubt? Nerves? Maybe his heart was beating too fast to hold still- who knows?
How often do marksmen miss with the first shot? Any statistics?
Again, look up Buck Fever.
BTW, those moving targets Whitman hit? None of them were in motor vehicles. Most of them were walking. They were hit early on and were far enough away from other victims that they had no idea what was going on until it was too late. Or they were in the process of dragging wounded victims to safety when Whitman shot them.
BTW, I think it’s unseemly in the extreme for you to mention that Marine Corps slogan in this context.
The implication was that since Oswald was a radar operator he didn’t need to be proficient in marksmanship. That is a false assumption,as every Marine has to qualify- except musicians, who don’t even have to go to boot camp.
Did not Gerald Ford move the location of Kennedy’s wound?
No, Gerald Ford did not move the location of the back wound. That’s yet another JFK myth.
Ford rewrote an unclear sentence in an early draft of the WR, but he did a poor job of it and his revision was rewritten by someone else.
When it came to the specific location, the Warren Report put JFK’s back wound exactly where the autopsy report put it, approximately 5 1/2 inches (14 cm) below the tip of the mastoid process:
You’re getting picky about calling the back/neck change a “myth”. The wording ends up deceptive. It buttresses an interpretation of data that Ford and Co. may have felt came across as dubious. It shouldn’t necessarily be a problem that the author’s of the Warren Report decided to call the back wound the base of the neck, though.
What is problematic is Dr. Humes okaying the Rydberg drawing with a wound clearly above the shoulder and Boswell doing the same in that newspaper drawing years later (on McAdams site). If they thought they were telling a white lie to buttress a theory they knew to be true, I can accept that as more or less reasonable behavior as well.
But, I don’t trust either of them anymore. And after reading the various statements of Dr. Humes over the years, he really doesn’t inspire confidence anyway.
He most certainly did. In his handwriting, he changed the word “back” to “neck.” That is no “myth.”
Don’t forget, the WC claimed it based its report on the investigation of the FBI; the FBI reported 3 shots, first hit JFK; second, Connolly; third, JFK. I’ve always enjoyed hearing Hoover – the next day (23rd) – telling LBJ that had Connolly “not moved” then JFK would have been hit by all 3 shots. How could Connolly, sitting in front of JFK, have “moved” in such a way that a shot from BEHIND, would hit HIM and not JFK?
You can almost hear Hoover panting with his quick solving of the case.
Ford’s version actually did not end up in the report. Rather, a compromised wording was used.
Ford didn’t simply change “back” to “neck.” The sentence he changed was,”A bullet had entered his back at a point slightly above the shoulder to the right of the spine.”
Where would that be, people? A point “slightly above the shoulder” is either in the neck or it’s in thin air. Ford later said he was trying to “be more precise,” but he got it wrong. The final revision of that particular sentence was “A bullet had entered the base of the back of his neck slightly to the right of his spine.” This was in an introductory chapter, not in the section specifically describing the wounds.
Humes testified about the limitations of the Rydberg drawing, and it didn’t appear in the Warren Report, only in the exhibits. People seem to forget that every person involved in this case was fallible — including Hoover, who got a lot of things wrong in his first conversations with LBJ.
The back photo shows where the wound was:
The profile view of JFK there shows that moving the wound up to the back of his neck wouldn’t “buttress” the SBT at all. That’s ANOTHER myth. On the contrary, the angle from a neck entry to the exit at the tie knot would’ve been too steep to hit near Connally’s armpit. The trajectory from the 6th floor at that point was around 18 degrees. Try measuring that angle on the Croft photo, e.g.:
“The back photo shows where the wound was…”
I don’t think so. The wound in the autopsy photo is clearly below the shoulder, while the comparison photo you link to suggests otherwise. That is then simply one of many deceptive diagrams which have attempted to bolster the SBT – starting with the Rydberg drawing in 1964. Dr Humes appeared on national television in 1967 and claimed that the Rydberg drawing was an exact match to the autopsy photos. He was lying.
The back wound is too low for the SBT to work and that has always been the case.
Jeff, I don’t understand what you mean when you say that the comparison photo I linked to “suggested otherwise.” *Of course* the wound is “clearly below the shoulder.”
Could you quote Humes’ 1967 comment on the Rydberg drawing? Here is part of what he said in 1964:
Commander HUMES – I must state these drawings are in part schematic. The artist had but a brief period of some 2 days to prepare these. He had no photographs from which to work, and had to work under our description, verbal description, of what we had observed.
Mr. SPECTER – Would it be helpful to the artist, in redefining the drawings if that should become necessary, to have available to him the photographs or X-rays of the President?
Commander HUMES – If it were necessary to have them absolutely true to scale. I think it would be virtually impossible for him to do this without the photographs.
The back photo shows where the wound was. In the upper back, not in the neck.
“The back wound is too low for the SBT to work and that has always been the case.”
That theory might have had some validity if the bullet entered under the scapula and perforated a lung.
But in fact the bullet entered above the scapula, travelled over it, slightly injuring the tip of the pleura and exiting low in the throat.
Let’s be clear – the bullet wound alleged to align from the back to the front of JFK was never tracked and so any claims of correlation between the wounds is entirely speculative.
From CBS News Inquiry The Warren Report 1967:
Humes: (lifting Rydberg CE385) Now the second drawing which you mentioned was prepared rather schematically and as accurately as we possibly could depict the story for the members of the Warren Commission.
Dan Rather: In this drawing you were trying to be precise?
Humes: Yes sir, we were. We were trying to be precise and refer back to the measurements which we had made. Also, of course, since this time, we had opportunity to review the photographs which we made. These photographs show very clearly that the wound was exactly where we stated it to be in our testimony before the Warren Commission.
Rather: (pointing to CE385) Your re-examination of the photographs verify that the wounds were as shown here?
Humes: Yes, sir, they do.
“Where did the bullet that exited JFK’s neck go?” The experts had told him that it should have hit someone or something in the limo with considerable force, but no such damage was discovered. If it didn’t hit Connally, what *did* it hit?”
There was damage to the metal strip above the windshield in the limo that could’ve been caused by the bullet that exited Kennedy’s neck…
The round exiting JFK’s throat was traveling down, not up. To reach the windshield it would have had to turn up and move laterally-akin to the path that Stone ridiculed in “JFK”.
Neil, I disagree. It’s doubtful that a bullet exiting at JFK’s tie knot could have missed Connally and gone upward enough to hit the windshield frame. Look at this photo, e.g.:
Also, the FBI’s Frazier testified that the damage to the windshield and frame were caused by fragments (from the head shot) that were traveling at a slower velocity than that of the whole bullet that exited JFK’s neck.
If a fragment from the headshot could’ve caused the windshield damage then so too could a fragment or bullet exiting Kennedy’s throat.
And you know this how?
It seems to me that the WC came up with the SBT because it had already made up its mind that LHO was guilty.
When you look at the evidence then I feel that the SBT is the least likely explanation.
You have the Zabpruder film, highly suggestive of a head shot to the front.
You have multiple witnesses who think that shots may have been fired from the grassy knoll, including 21 cops.
You have the testimony of Nellie Connally, who has always maintained that the shot which hit her husband was not the shot which hit the president. She was in the car, so she is in a better position than any of us to say what happened.
You have the testimony of the motorcycle cop who states someone presented themselves to him as a secret service agent on the grassy knoll, flashing him a secret service agent card.
You have the Parkland Doctor describing JFK’s neck wound as a wound of entry in the initial press conference, and Dr Mclelland stating that the rear of JFK’s head was blown away.
The gentleman on the video states that the reason no one believes the SBT is because people don’t want to accept that one man, an insignificant loser killed the president. I would suggest it is because there is a wealth of evidence which contradicts the SBT. Also, people now know how the CIA lied to and misled the official investigations. The suspicious behaviour of senior CIA operatives is yet to be explained.
Finally, the last investigation, the HSCA, concluded that there was a probable conspiracy to kill the president.
It’s a myth that Arlen Specter came up with the single bullet theory in order to explain Tague’s injury. The chronology proves that that’s not what happened. Specter was asking witnesses hypothetical questions about a SBT no later than April 1964 — in the testimony of Connally’s doctors Shaw and Gregory, e.g.
Then, during the May 24 re-enactment in Dallas, this famous photo was taken:
Tague’s story was published in a Dallas newspaper on June 5 and he testified in July:
Specter later told Life magazine that the SBT was devised to answer this question: “Where did the bullet that exited JFK’s neck go?” The experts had told him that it should have hit someone or something in the limo with considerable force, but no such damage was discovered. If it didn’t hit Connally, what *did* it hit?
Also, the WC didn’t need to invent the SB to explain Tague’s wound. Like Josiah Thompson in “Six Seconds in Dallas,” the WR suggested that Tague might’ve been hit by a fragment from the head shot bullet:
This is largely correct. It seems that some of the WC members, including Sen. Russell, weren’t even aware of the Tague wounding, and he wasn’t even deposed until late July 1964.
The reason the SBT had to be invented was the following:
(1) The WC started from the premise that Oswald was the lone assassin and fired at least 2 and most likely 3 shots, and these shots caused all injuries to JFK and Connally. This is clear for a lot of reasons, not least that Specter doesn’t seem to consider that the neck wound could have been an entry wound (which there was ample evidence for).
(2) It is clear from the Z film that if Connally and JFK were hit by separate shots, it would invalidate premise (1) because there wasn’t time for one shooter to shoot both men separately.
The Tague wounding was never seriously addressed (which is obviously rather curious). And if the missed shot (assuming only one) was around Z160, as could be the case, it seems hard to see how this shot could have hit the curb where Tague was standing. Indeed, one witness saw a shot “spark” off the pavement on the JFK side of the limo. That would leave CE399, which had about 2 grains missing (presumably in Connally’s body), and then the other bullet, which was largely found in only 2 pieces (with a bunch of other fragments supposedly in JFK’s head). So we’re supposed to believe that a fragment the size of just a few grains ricocheted out of the limo and dented the curb next to Tague and glanced off it and knicked his cheek? This seems wildly unlikely to me.
Frankly, I think it’s much more likely the curb and Tague were hit by a near miss from someone shooting from behind from a lower position than Oswald. I think it’s also rather hard to explain the dent in the molding of the front windshield of the limo from Oswald’s vantage point, especially if the bullet that left this mark supposedly came from the head shot that then caused Tague’s wound.
Conspiracy author Josiah Thompson published this chart showing how well Tague’s position lines up with a shot from the TSBD at Z313:
Thompson also pointed out that the mark on the curb was consistent with a low-velocity lead fragment. A direct hit from an M-C or similar weapon would’ve probably caused more damage.
The head shot fragments found in the limo (not CE399) had many grains missing.
If you take out the point of deflection – which of course is hypothetical, the dotted line goes back to the Dal Tex.
More importantly, did this bullet fragment leap over the windshield and then careen down into a curb? Or did it go through the windshield that supposedly have no holes?
I guess then what we need is a ballistics analysis of how bullets fragment. Let’s assume that the head shot was from behind from the 6th floor of the SBD, with the MC 6.5mm. We have a situation where the final shot fragments in a way that the previous round apparently did not (see JFK head x-ray). Why? Also, how do the remaining fragments deflect upward like that? If you look at various programs that have tried to duplicate the shot, you don’t see this. JFK’s head moves downward at a severe angle before the back and to the left movement. Why wouldn’t this bullet (or fragments of it) come out on that trajectory and hit the seat in front? Instead, we have damage to the windscreen/molding area of the limo and the Tague wounding. And even if it happened this way, would really small fragments travel as far as Tague and make the damage noted on the curb? Would it have enough remaining energy?
Some say it was Oswald’s missed shot that glanced off a tree or the overhead traffic- light standard and went downrange towards Tague’s position.. that the bullet struck the curb and sent a fragment of bullet or concrete that nicked Tague’s cheek… not frags from the head shot.
The bullet fragmented in the head shot since it struck the hard bone of the back of the skull dead-on. The bullet that injured both JFK and JBC did not strike any bones nose-first.
Here is some interesting information regarding bullet wound forensics:
Firearm Injury Forensic Ballistics
Peculiar effects of Fire-Arms:
(3) Multiple wounds of Entrance and Exit from a single shot:
A bullet may transfix an arm and pass through the chest so that four wounds are produced. A bullet passing through the chest or abdomen and thigh and lower legs produce six wounds. This occurs when the person is running or sitting in an unusual position.
Skull: In the skull, the wound of entrance shows a punched-in hole in the outer table and the opening on the inner table is large and shows beveling. Pieces of bone from wound of entrance are often driven into the cranial cavity. At the point of exit, a punched-out opening is produced in the inner table and beveled opening on the outer table.
1. Exit Wounds: They vary in size and appearance. When the weapon is fired in contact and close range, the exit wound is usually smaller than the entry wound. With high velocity bullets the two wounds may be of same size. The edges of the exit wound may be puckered or torn. It is usually larger than entrance wound due to deformity of bullet or secondary missiles (i.e. bone)
Dr. Joseph Dolce, a consultant to the Warren Commission and chair of the Army’s Wounds Ballistic Board told filmmaker Chip Selby, for his documentary on the single bullet theory, Reasonable Doubt (1988): “When the ar-legal personnel could get, could not get us to agree with them, they said well, we think you ought to go back to Edgewood and carry out some tests. And so they gave us the original rifle, the Mannlicher-Carcano, plus a hundred bullets, 6.5 millimeters, and we went, and we shot the cadaver wrists…and in every instance the front, or the tip of the bullet was smashed.”
Dolce wasn’t called before the Warren Commission. I’m sure some will respond about who was, but if you do, I already have my reply.
They never slowed the bullet velocity down to the true velocity of the bullet when it hit Connolly’s. wrist. Ergo, the tests were meaningless.
Photon – have you seen the documentation of these tests, or are you repeating what others have assumed about the tests? By all accounts, Dolce was a serious studied man and he seemed quite unequivocal about the results of his work in this case. And the Warren Commission had to do some digging to find an “expert” willing to say what they wanted on this issue.
Because the slower a bullet is traveling, the less likely it is to be deformed, no matter how many bones it breaks! Only the government could expect people to believe such nonsense.
And let’s not forget that the metal missing from the nose and base of CE399 were removed by the FBI for their ballistics tests.
Exactly TLR, I am glad that you have picked up some knowledge of ballistics and physics. The slower the round, the less energy available to deform a full metal jacket round. As the round was tumbling it is unlikely that the nose of the round struck the wrist, making the Dolce cadaver shots invalid recreations of events.
Connally’s surgeon Dr Shaw noted that the entrance wound on Connally’s back had characteristics which suggested the bullet was “slightly tumbling” or else was a tangential hit. Lone assassin theorists have bent this observation so as to assert the bullet was fully tumbling, and have studiously ignored the highly likely consideration that it was instead a tangential strike. The weight of all the evidence, of course, supports the latter. Connally’s wrist, one of the densest bones in the body, was shattered, not just deflected from. And these theories require one to ignore the alleged exit wound in JFK’s neck which, according to the Parkland doctors, would have been smaller in circunference than the entrance wound – completely atypical behavior for the Carcano bullets. And, of course, the entrance wound is in JFK’s back, not his neck. There’s been almost five decades of deceptive diagrams produced in attempts to tap dance around that fact. The SBT falls apart, when examined, in myriad ways.
A tangential round that traversed the thorax, fractured a rib, tore out a circular wound on the anterior chest wall, created a sucking chest wound while still having enough velocity to fracture the wrist? There is nothing tangential about that . A neck exit wound would have been smaller than an entrance wound? Where did you get that idea? The wounds on JFK’s neck where nearly equal in size – not hard to understand in view of the fact that his tissues at the exit site were compressed by his shirt collar. The Parkland doctors never saw the back wound, so it is understandable that the initial perceptions were that the throat wound could have been an entrance wound. As the bullet that went through JFK’s neck never hit anything more substantial than muscle tissue equivalent to two boneless chicken breasts what is so atypical about the Carcano bullet’s behavior- or any similar full metal jacketed round?
Photon – there was simply not the track of a bullet leading from Kennedy’s back wound to the neck wound. The medical literature, as established by researcher Pat Speer, shows that the passing bullet should have caused “shearing and rupturing of blood vessels, wide cavitation along the wound track…and major damage to the larynx or trachea”. None of this was observed at the autopsy, causing Dr Humes to later assume that the bullet “slid” between two muscles. How could Humes assume this? Because he had never previously handled a case involving gunshot wounds.
The Parkland doctors determined an entrance wound in Kennedy’s throat because it had all the characteristics of an entrance wound. Whether they knew of a back wound or not is irrelevant to that determination.
And read again your list of Connally’s wounds and honestly ask yourself how such damage could be caused by a bullet SBT proponents argue is losing momentum; how a bullet could do this and end up only somewhat flattened; and how Connally’s reaction to these wounds is somehow delayed.
What makes Pat Speer a medical expert? He never went to medical school, never took a class in anatomy, never saw an autopsy, has no idea how to read x-ray films, never saw a real bullet wound or examined a cadaver. To claim that he has anything but a superficial grasp of medicine or pathology is ridiculous.
” Whether they knew of a back wound or not is irrelevant” flies in the face of basic physical diagnosis-which any forensic pathologist could tell you.
The list of Connolly’s wounds is duplicated by rounds that have lost momentum nearly every day in ERs across this country. It is simply not unusual to see bullets doing similar damage as they lose velocity.
Pat Speer was quoting from medical textbooks – “medical literature”. Surely, with your authority, you don’t believe the bullet “slid” between muscles?
The Dallas doctors were not forensic pathologists. They were emergency room doctors who observed an entrance wound in JFK’s throat. These doctors gave testimony to the Warren Commission why they were doubtful that what they observed was an exit wound related to the wound in the back.
Once again, Dr Dolce – pre eminent ballistics expert of the day – was adamant that a Carcano bullet could not do the damage seen in Connally and emerge like CE399.
Humes, Fink, and Boswell went to medical school and a lot of good that did them.
Neutron activation tests suggest that Connolly’s wrist fragments match #399.
It is not clear to me that enough material was in the wrist to make a firm conclusion, but the fragments were only postage stamp weight.
Jeffc’s, exactly what textbooks was Speer quoting from?
Can bullets “slide” between muscles? Why not? When a round enters tissue it tends to follow a path of least resistance unless it is deflected. It is not inconceivable that the fascia covering the belly of a muscle would be strong enough to direct the round to go between close muscles than directly penetrate the muscle fibers themselves. At any rate ERs in this country are full of patients shot through the neck like JFK was that don’t have significant damage to organs of the neck. There are hundreds of victims annually with gunshot wounds to the neck or back that suffer major damage to the organs of the neck- it is merely the luck of the draw what outcome happens. It is entirely conceivable that JFK’s neck wound was a fatal wound- the C6 vertebral fracture suggests cervical cord trauma, as does his elbow and wrist posture. He probably had phrenic nerve paralysis , diaphragmatic dysfunction and no resperations .
Pat Speer – in Chapter 11 of his online book at his eponymous website – quotes from “Management of Gunshot Wounds” and “Gunshot Wounds: Pathophysiology and Management”. I recommend anyone interested in these issues to check out Speer’s excellent work.
Here’s another quote provided by Speer from “Management of Gunshot Wounds: “In the author’s experience, up to 100% of patients with high-velocity bullet wounds of the neck have major structural damage requiring surgery.” Kennedy did not exhibit major structural damage in the neck region.
The Neutron Activation techniques used to identify and correlate bullet fragments were shown to be faulty in two peer-reviewed papers published in the past 7 years. These results are no longer deemed trustworthy.
Jeffc, I refer you to the refereed journal J Trauma 1985 Mar,25(3) 238-46.
110 Bullet Wounds to the Neck.
The co-author wrote a text titled “Management of Gunshot Wounds”- is it Speer’s reference?
31 wounds were explored.
79 were observed.
Mortality was 2.7 %, compared to 2%-6% in the literature.
Speer’s 100% quote is pure crap.
Photon writes:”Jeffc, I refer you to the refereed journal J Trauma 1985 Mar,25(3) 238-46.
110 Bullet Wounds to the Neck.
The co-author wrote a text titled “Management of Gunshot Wounds”- is it Speer’s reference?
31 wounds were explored.
79 were observed.
Mortality was 2.7 %, compared to 2%-6% in the literature.
Speer’s 100% quote is pure crap.”
Photon owes me an apology. Not only did he call a direct quote from a medical textbook “Speer’s quote” he pulled a switcheroo in order to support his nonsense. The quote I supplied was regarding high-velocity bullet wounds to the neck (RIFLE wounds), and he posted a summary of an article regarding 110 bullet wounds to the neck (most certainly handgun wounds). In the eyes of the experts, there is a huge difference between a handgun wound to the neck and a rifle wound to the neck.
There is an extensive discussion of this in the Speed Trap section of Chapter 11 at patspeer.com.
It’s not “nonsense” at all, TLR, it’s what the ballistics experts say is true. Read the testimony of Larry Sturdivan, e.g.
“C.E. 856 is a bullet that was shot directly into a cadaver wrist without passing through anything before it hit. It is characteristic of the kind of deformation that you would expect of a bullet that strikes at high velocity. In other words, this was direct proof that the bullet that struck Governor Connally’s wrist was not at high velocity; that is, CE-399 was not at high velocity. Otherwise, it would have been deformed as this bullet was in striking dense bone.” UNQUOTE
These two ballistics experts agree with that explanation:
You can search their testimony for the word “wrist” or whatever.
Other wound ballistics professionals like Martin L. Fackler and Duncan MacPherson also have no problem with the condition of the “single bullet.” Fackler published a paper about it in a ballistics journal.
Jean, the testimony obviously starts with the premise that CE399 caused all wounds, rather than exploring other, perhaps more likely, possibilities. I mean, it could be direct proof of a lot of things, if not for this assumption, no? So, the real question is, is this assumption really justified? For example, were fragments found in the bodies of JFK and Connally actually matched to this bullet?
I went back and looked at some of the testimony around this, and if you look at Dr. Olivier of the Edgewood Arsenal’s testimony, he took into account the slowed velocity and the tumbling nature of the round. He didn’t believe that CE399 was the bullet that caused these wounds (presumably because a tumbling round striking a dense bone is more likely to fragment than a round that strikes nose on, though it isn’t totally clear).
It’s pretty clear when you review the testimony, a lot of pretty experienced doctors and ballistics people disbelieved CE399 was the bullet that made all 7 wounds. It’s also fairly clear that the fragments in Connally’s body added up to more mass than the missing mass of CE399 (2-3 grains).
The best evidence that Nellie Connally was wrong about President Kennedy and her husband being wounded by two DIFFERENT shots is the Zapruder film which shows the two men reacting almost simultaneously, and four or five frames earlier than when the Connally’s told the Warren Commission they believe the Governor was wounded.
I believe the Zapruder film makes a good case for the Connallys believing the Governor was wounded by the second shot, as he vividly remembers. It also makes a good case for Mrs. Connally being mistaken about JFK being wounded by the FIRST shot.
Is that what you see, or what you have been told you see by the likes of Dale Myers? The usual contention by Myers, Posner, and Von Pain is that both men are struck at fame 225. They can’t have it later than that or JFK’S clear distress would make them a laughing stock. Lacking any reaction from Connally at all until frame 230 they substitute a coat lapel blown up by the wind for a physical reaction.
At frame 224 JFK’s hands have already moved inwards and started upwards towards his throat. It is obvious therefore that the bullet struck JFK before the hands began to move inward and up, rendering the claim that JFK was struck at 225 impossible. The instant of impact was clearly while JFK is out of sight behind the sign, the only real question is how many frames back from 224? Only two frames back from 225 at one 18th of a second per frame makes nonsense of the idea that both men were struck by the same bullet at the same time. A bullet travelling at 2.000 feet per second cannot possibly take a time span of 2 18ths of a second or more to pass through two men only 4 feet or so apart. Do the maths. I’ll help you. To travel 75 feet only takes 1 16th of a second. 37 and a half feet 1 32nd of a second. Even adding on a couple of feet for the width of both men’s torsos it’s still a near instantaneous event of no more than 1 130th of a second. How could Jfk’s hands have already have started inwards and upwards towards his throat in frame 224 and the instant of entry be 1 18th of a second after that? It’s mathematically absurd and total denial of what the frames actually show.
Hilariously I have to correct my own maths, but in my own favour. That should have been 125 feet in 1 16th of a second. 62 and a half feet in 1 32nd of a second and therefore 31 and a quarter feet in 1 64th. So by the time you progress to travelling a distance of 7 feet or so the bullet has to be through JFK and hitting Connally in no more than 1 250th of a second. Apologies for my carelessness but not for the conclusion. There is no way JFK’s hands can already be seen reacting to a bullet strike in 224 and have been struck at 225.
Much is claimed of instantaneous reflex reactions to bullet strikes when it suits. There you go then, you have an instantaneous reaction starting somewhere prior to 224, so how can the bullet have not struck until after the earliest sign of reaction?
” It is true that he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 out of admiration for communism.” Morley, please do not say that is true. You have no hard evidence of that. However, there is a vast amount of literature by the likes of John Newman and Philip Melanson, that, whether you acknowledge it or not, points to Oswald being part of the U.S. phony defector program and an intelligence agent for the country he loved. Dr. Ernst Titovits, Oswald’s closest friend in Minsk, has written and discussed how Oswald strongly defended the U.S. while he was in Minsk. As you know, Oswald legally nor technically defected to the USSR, so please do not write that he did. Flipping your passport to a CIA agent (Snyder) in a U.S. embassy is not defecting. You are very loose with these terms and words. You should be more careful. I hate to see when the MSM drops the word “alleged” when describing Oswald as the assassin. This being a JFK “facts” website, you are by design holding yourself to a higher standard, I assume, than the MSM regarding the JFK killing.
Oswald could have been genuinely defecting AND an unwitting part of an Agency operation. I think that may be more consistent with the facts. I find it a little hard to swallow that Oswald kept up his Pro Communist front for everyone he spoke to about politics for years. He even wanted the lawyer, Abt, who had worked for left wing causes AFTER the point that we presume he was left out to dry. Why continue to keep up your left wing ruse when your handlers have vanished? Richard Case Nagell and John Martino both believed Oswald to be a witting participant in the murder, and their word means something to me.
This isn’t simple stuff, for sure.
Btw, everyone defends their homeland when they’re abroad. Doesn’t matter how mad you may be or whether you defected, you don’t want some jerk who’s never been there insulting your home.
Jeff, surely you jest. CBS long history! “The history of the CIA’s involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception” . . . . The CIA and the Media by Carl Bernstein, Rolling Stone, Oct. 20, 1977. Your colleague in journalism.
What I was referring to earlier was really only the half of it, even if you could theoretically prove the single bullet theory The other half is summarized brilliantly by Vince Palamara in Survivor’s Guilt pgs. 194-199. The 3 witnesses who described a pointed tip bullet-Wright,Tomlinson, Pool,& the uncertainty regarding the stretcher, along with the clear lack of chain of possession ,including no conclusive evidence that a bullet traversed Kennedy’s back and exited his neck.
Jeff, what is a “master marksman”? How does that compare to Marine “Sharpshooter”, a level that Oswald achieved?
People forget that Oswald hit his target only with one shot out of three, a score consistently achieved by marksmen over the years.He wasn’t aiming at JFK’s neck.
Actually the shooters in the 1967 recreation did pretty well- in much less time than Oswald actually had, as we have seen from study of the Zapruder film. Connolly said he heard the first shot, which missed. JFK’s actions suggest he heard it, too.
Kennedy was struck by a bullet before the limousine disappears behind the Stemmons Freeway sign as seen in the Zapruder film, two seconds or so before the impact claimed for the SBT. This was a finding of the HSCA’s photographic panel, and is bolstered by eyewitness accounts of multiple persons. The easiest way of understanding this is by observing the reactions of Jackie Kennedy. Her account, again backed up by multiple eyewitnesses, has her turning to face her husband immediately after he was first hit. In the Zapruder film, as the limousine emerges from behind the sign – where the SBT shot is claimed- Jackie Kennedy can be seen already turned to her husband.
The lion’s share of the evidence puts the back wound at T3, the 2 FBI Agents report, the death certificate, the Autopsy face sheet, so if the tests don’t utilize the T3 marker it won’t be accurate. You have to use live ammunition, show the damage to the bullet, and make sure the reenactment height is from 6 floors up and the sniper’s nest to the right of JFK making sure the trajectories are precise in all respects to have any validity. The Fox news simulation with John Orr, and Cyril Wecht, showed Kennedy, and Connally, to be out of position for the single bullet theory to work. The slightest movement, or positioning not factored in, makes something possible or impossible.
If the bullet that hit JFK didn’t hit Connolly, where did it go?
John Orr has concluded that the back shot hit one JFK’s transverse processes (C6 or T1, I forget which) and proceeded upwards at about 11 degrees to exit the throat, barely miss Connally’s left ear and hit the chrome strip above the windshield breaking into 3 pieces.
Neither of us would be able to demonstrate whether he is right or wrong. But, he has spent some time on the case and was a US Attorney.
His feeling that the headshot came from a non full metal jacket bullet sounds persuasive as well. The little reading I’ve done on the topic implies a dilemma: either an FMJ bullet does not break up upon entering a skull and leaves no path of lead fragments OR, rarely, it breaks up upon entering the skull AND does not leave a little neat entrance wound.
This is one of a hundred problems with an Oswald did it alone scenario.
The HSCA noted that there was X-ray evidence damage to a process of the C6 vertebra, so the T3 entrance was in error. Besides, the same committee noted that the wound was 14 cm below the ear, which corresponds to the 14 cm below the recognized anatomic landmark mastoid process as noted on the autopsy report. Your conclusion is not supported by the documented facts.
yes, it seems that last nights NOVA moved the back wound to the neck. making all this plausible. the presidents suit jacket and shirt show the bullet hole to be way below the neck, right? is it true that the bullet “hole” in the governors suit jacket is more a bullet in the state of yaw ? I wonder if his entry wound in his back or side was a hole or a length of a bullet. the actual bullet in evidence showed it was squashed some.But if it did hit bone , in the governors wrist, i would think it would mushroom some… I remember reading there was still some lead in his wirst for the rest of his life.
The problem with that is that in frame 225 JFK’s right elbow is still on the right side of the car,not in the air as it was after he was shot.Both of JFK’s arms are rising at the same time as the lapel flap on Connolly’s coat jumps up. Are you claiming that JFK had no reaction to being shot for two seconds? More important, are you claiming that the neuromuscular reflex that precipitated his arm and wrist positions was delayed for two seconds?
“both of JFK’s arms are rising at the same time as the lapel flap on Connally’s coat jumps up…”
But here you suggest that Kennedy is already reacting to a shot while it is allegedly passing through the Governor. Hardly possible. Kennedy’s reaction witnessed moments earlier was a slump to his left, not the rise of his arms which followed. It is the reaction of Mrs Kennedy which is most telling – she turned to face her husband in reaction to the first shot which struck him – and she has clearly turned to him by frame 225. Clearly JFK was struck before frames 223-225, which is the point claimed for the SBT.
Why couldn’t JFK react before Connolly? He was hit before Connolly- that is consistent with a single bullet.
The bullet would have been travelling at a speed somewhere between 1200 and 1800 feet per second, so an alleged strike described as the SBT would have resulted in the two men being struck at almost virtually the same instant. Furthermore, the damage to Connally – smashed rib producing a “sucking wound” and a smashed wrist – would have, one might assume, resulted in highly visible reflexive body movement, which is not visible in those frames or the immediate successive frames.
If Jean Davison is right that the first shot occurred around Z160 and missed (and there is solid evidence that a shot this early may have missed), then given CE399 and the bullet fragments found in the limo, it seems hard to account for the Tague wounding without a 4th shot.
Also, if JFK was hit right before he goes behind the sign (before Z210), then it also seems unlikely that the SBT is correct, because Connally (by his own testimony) isn’t hit until about Z234. It seems unlikely it would take him nearly 2 seconds to react to being wounded 7 times.
And let’s face it, CE399 itself is evidence that something is rotten in Denmark. The WC had tests done to fire multiple MC 6.5 mm rounds into the wrists of human cadavers, and the bullets all were seriously deformed. Shots fired into cotton, however, were often found to resemble CE399. The doctors who treated Connally didn’t believe CE399 caused his wounds, sensibly.
3 members of the warren Commission didn’t believe magic bullet theory.
When It comes to MSM best to ignore anything they say on JFK assassination.
Indeed. Richard Russell apparently didn’t even know about the Tague wounding, and he still seriously doubted the SBT and wanted to dissent in the Warren Report.
Witnesses inteviewed on the current spate of TV specials almost uniformly state that there was little time interval between the last two shots they heard. A frequent recitation of the shooting sequence is first shot, pause, second and third shots with much shorter inverval. The shorter time between the final two shots would have not allowed for recycling the bolt action rifle and the final shot could not have come from the ‘Oswald rifle’.
But that testimony is no more dispositive as to what actually happened than the testimony of witnesses who recalled that the shots were evenly spaced, or, in the case of Mrs. Connally and a few others, that the first and second shots were closer together than were the second and third.
Whenever eyewitness testimony is contradicted by other eyewitness testimony it increases the imperative to look for affirmations or contraindications from other sources, preferably from physical evidence.
All of the witnesses on recent TV shows have described the shots as first shot, pause, second and third shots closer together. U.S. Senator Ralph Yarborough described the shots this way as well in an affidavit under oath he provided the Warren Commission.
“All of the witnesses on recent TV shows” do not represent “all of the witnesses who were in Dealey Plaza” on 11/22/63 do they?
Testimony sworn under oath that supports your beliefs about the Kennedy assassination is of no greater credibility than testimony sworn under oath that contradicts your beliefs about the Kennedy assassination. What is it about that statement you do not understand?
Here is another possibility you should one day prepare yourself for. IF (and “if” means “”if”) it is ever proven beyond all possibility of doubt that there were three shots and ONLY three shots, AND that the initial wounding of JFK and Gov. Connally at approximately frame 223 and the fatal head shot at frame 313 are, in fact, the second and third shots respectively, then witness impressions about the timing of the last two shots and all the affidavits in the world won’t matter. The frame rate of Zapruder’s camera will tell us the time between the second and third shots.
And, of course, we have that time interval now. It’s just a fraction under five seconds.
But since you obviously tend to believe those who have testified to the last two shots being in extremely rapid succession, when, in your opinion, did they occur? One was at frame 313, obviously.
When was the other one? Before or after frame 313? Other than witness testimony, what is the evidence that convinces you of that?
Few mainstream media ever mention, too, that Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry, after his retirement, disputed the single bullet theory in his book and in video interviews. The man closest to all the evidence didn’t believe the Warren Commission’s conclusions.
That said, I still have never seen ANY conspiracy theorist lay out a plausible scenario how Oswald was either set-up as the patsy or joined forces with others that day.
Issues such as:
o If Oswald was so important to be in the TSBD that day, why doesn’t someone give him a ride to work other than leaving it to a neighbor of the Paines?
o If Oswald is the patsy, how do you get him to stay in the second floor lunchroom and not go out to the sidewalk to see the motorcade?
o If Oswald is the patsy, why does he leave his wedding ring and most of his money with his wife?
Until someone can explain these and other nagging questions about the logistics of Dealey, it will be tough to decide one way or the other.
Oswald was almost certainly involved in the plot in some unknowing/manipulated way – in a compartmentalized operation, this is how you can have a fairly large conspiracy with most of the people only knowing their little assignments (Jack Ruby is a good example).
Oswald probably had a handler (David Atlee Phillips?) who told him some false story – maybe there would be a demonstration against JFK, or a fake assassination attempt to gain sympathy for him, or provoke an invasion of Cuba. Maybe he is even told it will happen at the Trade Mart, not outside his workplace. Oswald plays along, not suspecting he is going to be blamed. Maybe he is told to wait by the phone in the first floor warehouse for a call around 12:30. The caller tells him to go to the Texas Theater and meet a contact. Oswald then goes up to the second floor lunchroom to get a Coke.
This is all speculation, but it’s not hard to imagine ways in which LHO was manipulated and used. Which is why he had that look on his face in custody that said, “I’ve been screwed over.”
Interesting hypothesis re the phone call.
These are excellent questions and I’m going to take a stab at them:
o If Oswald was so important to be in the TSBD that day, why doesn’t someone give him a ride to work other than leaving it to a neighbor of the Paines?
If Oswald is driven to work by someone other than a known and customary person (Frazier) then a conspiracy becomes obvious since the driver would become a mystery person and this would be suspicious. Therefore plotters must make things appear as normal as possible in Oswald’s life (co-conspirators not in evidence) to pull this off.
o If Oswald is the patsy, how do you get him to stay in the second floor lunchroom and not go out to the sidewalk to see the motorcade?
This is a good question but also essential that he not be seen outside in order to blow the cover story that he was a shooter. As someone mentioned he may have been given a false reason to make him stay in the lunchroom, which is also potentially risky because someone might have seen him there at the time of the shooting. Was he instructed to stay “out of sight” when the motorcade drove by? Hard to say.
o If Oswald is the patsy, why does he leave his wedding ring and most of his money with his wife?
This signals some kind of finality but it is unclear what for. I find this fact in apparent contradiction with denying that he committed the crime.
I’d like to hear other people’s ideas but it must always be remembered there can still be a conspiracy with Oswald shooting and to me the strongest evidence of conspiracy resides with what the CIA and FBI knew about Oswald prior to Nov 22 and the implications of that knowledge.
Issue 1: If Oswald had been picked up by anyone else that morning, there would have been a number of witnesses who could ID the driver, including Marina, Ruth Paine, and anyone who might happen to see them at the TSBD when Oswald was dropped off. Too conspicuous. Too risky.
Issue 2: Assuming Oswald was a witting member of the conspiracy (which I believe he was just not a shooter), he would avoid going outside for the simple reason that once the shooting started, the bullets and/or fragments thereof can go anywhere (e.g., Mr. Tague’s slight flesh wound). Best to stay inside. This Don’t Go Where You Know Bullets Are Going To Fly rule applies to LBJ as well, if he knew what was going to happen and went through the ambush area anyway he was either incredibly stupid or just plain nuts.
Issue 3: Oswald was expecting he’d be leaving town with his confederates. Besides, Marina apparently had told him she wanted out of the marriage. And he probably figured she needed a few bucks, was feeling guilty, etc. He still had a fair amount of cash on him when captured — $13 and change is about $65-75 in today’s money.
BTW, it’s entirely possible Oswald was framed in such a way that he’d look suspicious enough to arrest, only to have the case collapse once it went to trial. Had there in fact been a trial, it’s hard to believe he’d have been convicted.
In this scenario, if I’m Oswald, I spill the beans on the confederates ASAP after what they did to me. Don’t I?
I don’t see how that logically follows. Please explain if you can. Besides, it isn’t as if Oswald had much time to figure out what had happened. He was murdered less than 48 hours after he was taken into custody.
Exactly- More susinctly, if LHO is the pure Patsy, he should not even be alive at 12 noon- he should already be cold and gone- If he is a willing co conspirator when does he get converted to Patsy? Why is he leaving the DSBD and surely drawing unneeded attention to himself- There was 2 or 3 shooters in Dallas and it seems unlikely LHO was one of them. BUT every thing we KNOW that he said and did makes it strongly appear that he was a lone nut assassin did not have much planned out other than shooting at the motorcade. Something is missing since we know Ruby was all ready to Kill him on the first night if he got the chance-
You might look at it this way. The honest weight of the evidence is that Oswald wasn’t a shooter. The crime scene and evidence collection were hopelessly muddled. As Chief Curry said, no one could put Oswald on the 6th floor at the relevant time with a gun in his hands. There is testimony that Oswald was downstairs at the time. The single bullet theory is a farce. No one has ever duplicated Oswald’s alleged feat exactly. There’s always an edge given to the recreators of the shoooting, or they claim that because they could get off three shots in the allotted time, it could have happened therefore it did happen. That isn’t proof of anything substantive. The idea seems to be that if you can’t prove other than the WC’s conclusion, then you have to accept it. No. The fact that they were provably wrong means that they were wrong, with or without proving an aleternate scenario. It means that the case is still wide open.