James Tague, key JFK assassination witness, dies

JFK Postcard

The original theory of JFK gunfire favored by the Warren Commission was debunked by the testimony of the late James Tague.

From Yahoo News:  James Tague, key JFK assassination witness, dies –

Why is Tague’s testimony “key”?

Because his wound strongly suggests that at least four gunshots were fired at the presidential motorcade on November 22, 1963.

From the story:

“JFK researcher Debra Conway said the commission was initially going to settle with two shots hitting the president and one hitting the governor. [ as seen in the 1964 postcard shown above]

“But because Mr. Tague was near the missed shot and was wounded … they had to account for the missed shot,” said Conway, president of JFK Lancer, a historical research group. “Jim is a very important witness.”

In a disgraceful and revealing maneuver, the organizers of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death did not invited Tague to the attend the ceremony in Dealey Plaza last November.

RIP James Tague.




  1. Thomas Joseph says:

    I do hope the voters in Dallas take note of the city’s mayor refusing James Tague a pass to attend the 50th Celebration this past November & vote the uncompassionate scoundrel out of office. He was at the time the last surviving wounded victim from the ambush of JFK. Tague’s biggest contribution to the puzzle of the murder of President Kennedy has & will remain to be the bullet strike to the curb near his feet that contained no copper. The Lee Oswald ammo was all copper coated, meaning a different, non-copper coated bullet stuck the curb near Mr. Tague.

  2. Jean Davison says:

    The WC didn’t come up with the SBT because of Tague. Specter was asking witnesses hypothetical questions about a SBT well before Tague’s appearance. Furthermore, the WC didn’t require a separate shot to account for Tague’s injury. After noting that the mark on the curb near Tague contained lead but not copper (indicating that it was caused by a lead fragment, not a whole copper-jacketed bullet), the WR says:

    “…the mark on the curb cannot be identified conclusively with any of the three shots fired. Under the circumstances it might have come from the bullet which hit the President’s head, or it might have been a [fragment] of the missed shot.” (p.117)


    IOW, the WC wasn’t *forced* into a SBT to account for Tague. Josiah Thompson also concluded that Tague was probably hit by a head-shot bullet fragment. Whether that’s correct or not, Tague didn’t require the creation of the SBT.

    • Melvin Fromme says:

      The Warren Commission avoided telling its readers the bullet strike to the curb near James Tague contained no copper. That information is buried in an FBI analysis within the report, so of course they could not associate it with the ‘Oswald bullet’s that were all copper coated. For Josiah Thompson’s theory to be correct would require an ‘Oswald bullet’ to shatter on impact and a piece of it completely without any of its copper coating travel forward to strike the curb near Mr. Tague, thus leaving no copper traces. PBS ‘Cold Case JFK’ & several other tests over the decades have demonstrated carcano bullets do not shatter on impact. They are designed to penetrate great distances. Had an ‘Oswald bullet’ struck JFK in the head it most likely would have traveled completely through it & forward until it struck something. Whatever it struck should have traces of copper. Josiah Thompson is wrong.

      • Jean Davison says:


        Actually the WR said “the absence of copper precluded the possibility that the mark on the curbing section was made by an unmutilated [FMJ] bullet” like those fired by the M-C. (p.116) Thompson pointed out that a bullet of that type striking the curb directly would’ve caused much more damage than it did.

        However, I don’t want to wander too far from my point, which is simply that the WC didn’t have to create the SBT in order to account for Tague.

        • Jason L. says:

          I believe this is correct. The WC didn’t even talk to Tague until July 1963, well after the SBT was formulated. It is not even clear that a lot of the members of the WC were even aware of Tague before the report came out. The SBT was necessary because of the timing of the shots for there to be only one gunman.

          On Jean’s quote, you could either take that as meaning that the head shot fragments had to be the source of the Tague wound (which seems farfetched), or that the wound was caused by a different type of ammo/gun.

          It seems like from Oswald’s vantage point that a miss high of the vehicle would have stopped in the grass south of Elm, so that seems to rule out the first (missed) shot. A low miss seems unlikely to ricochet all the way to Tague, especially with the car in between. A study/discussion about rifle ricochets obviously seems like a place the WC should have gone, but I’m not aware of anything that has been done in this area.

    • Mike says:

      Michael Griffith give a more credible answer to this question here: http://www.mtgriffith.com/web_documents/tague.htm

    • Neil says:

      The idea that a bullet fragment that struck Kennedy’s head could’ve cleared the limo without hitting anyone else inside or the windshield and then change direction(travel upward then downward) and strike the curb with enough force to wound James Tague seems highly implausible…

    • Jonathan says:

      Tague’s wound may not have dictated the SBT, as you write. But the SBT dictates a missed shot, if as the WC maintained only three shots were fired.

      So, no matter how you slice it or dice it, you’re left with the SBT and a missed shot.

      Senator Richard Russell disagreed with the SBT, as he told LBJ by phone, because he found it impossible to believe LHO nailed JFK and JBC with a total of two well-placed shots and then completely missed everything a target with his third shot.

      • Jeremy Faust says:

        I read in an online discussion on this topic several years ago that because the FBI took too long to analyze the James Tague Main Street curb bullet strike, the Dallas weather it was exposed to before the curb section was removed caused the copper traces to vanish by ‘washing out’. Dallas is known to routinely receive heavy rain, ice & snow in the winter months. The strike appears to be a direct hit in the photos; had a Carcano bullet hit the asphalt 1st it most likely would have exploded & vaporized as demonstrated in the recent PBS TV special ‘Cold Case: JFK’. What seems to be the most popular explanation for the existence of the James Tague bullet strike is it originated from the Dal-Tex building from a silenced weapon or it originated from the TSBD & the copper was lost to the weather & time.
        A test using carcano bullets fired into a curb section obviously needs to be done to help clarify the topic IMO.

  3. Neil says:

    Had Tague not been wounded that day, it would be nearly impossible to seriously question the official number of shots fired…

  4. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Bless Mr. Tague for speaking up at the time and writing about is later.

    • James Tague’s book was excellent, I felt. He covered a lot of details in the asassination-not all of them of course, but many-and it was the kind of book you could read all in one day if you believe the asassination involved more than just Oswald, as I do.

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