Josiah Thompson on how to think about November 22

Josiah Thompson, known to friends as Tink, is the JFK researcher emeritus. As a philosophy graduate student in 1966, he was the first person (outside the CIA) to make a serious forensic analysis of Abraham Zapruder’s film of the assassination of President Kennedy. As a private investigator, he had a fascinating 30 year career.

Now Thompson is back with a new book, “Last Second in Dallas,” revising his findings in his classic “Six Seconds In Dallas.” I haven’t read the new book but this review is good and it highlights something I, and many other learned from him: how to think about the JFK story.

Tink Thompson

Josiah “Tink” Thompson, JFK researcher emeritus.

Thompson’s evidence-based approach is grounded in basic logic. Kennedy’s assassination happened in only one way; therefore, all the evidence should point to the same conclusion. “Events happen in one way rather than another,” Thompson says. “This happened in one way rather than another. And if the event happened one way rather than another, all the evidence should be compatible with all the other evidence.”

There were a series of disappointing TV specials on the 50th anniversary of the assassination in 2013 that treated as canonical the notion that Oswald was the lone assassin. They even suggested that people who believed something different were motivated by emotional need.

“The idea is that Kennedy was such a towering figure that we can’t believe that a lowlife like Oswald could have killed such a figure,” Thompson says. “Talk about amateur psychoanalysis.”

Source: Josiah Thompson is back to tell us what really happened to JFK in 1963 | Datebook

Postscript: The Warren Commission did a cursory, results-driven analysis that might called  forensic but did not qualify as scientific. The analysis of the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center was scientific but it was mostly kept secret.


  1. JohnDelaney says:

    Ok here I go, Lee Harvey Oswald if he was in the 6th floor School Book Depository (book store) why, would he not shoot JFK in the forehead ,coming up Houston Street .The picture of Dealy Plaza reveals this for someone in that window, was the best shot or as the car turns left on elm street the very best shot would be right under the window .But no,Oswald let’s the Lincoln car meander past the book store on a curvey sloped road so he can contort his body in an unnatural position to fire rounds at the President with a cheap Italian rifle ,oh this makes sense to me.I know at that angle the gun barrel would of been visible at only 60 feet from street level as he leaned to see the car ,but no one saw the gun barrel or identified LHO as the person in that window.
    So three shots fired at only 6 floors up as the Warren Commission says is at best a fairy tale and you can go on ,the cops took a photo of a German MAUSER RIFLE in on the same 6th floor location and then denied it ever existed.
    Something is rotten in Denmark.
    Finally the result of Jack’s brutal murder has scarred America.

  2. vernon Kepner says:

    After hearing Josiah Tink Thompson and his comments about 2 head shots on JFK. I am even more confused about the “grassy knoll”…. If a shot was fired from there, can you answer something that I have never heard anything about.
    was there Secret Service agents on the grassy knoll or behind the book store? If not, have they identified WHO these men were?
    Joe Marshall Smith A Dallas Police Officer who was stationed on the corner of Elm and Huston Streets, Would say that he ran into someone on the Grassy Knoll who clamed to be a Secret Service agent.

    Dallas Police Officer D. V. Harkness: There were “some” Secret Service agents there. I didn’t get “them” identified. “They” told me they were Secret Service.


    Hoping you can explain this for me..

  3. Diane Gilhula says:

    Josiah Thompson says in Last Second both sides were right. There was a shot to JFK’s head from the back, but also a
    second shot to the head from the front. The shots didnt stop at Frame 313 with a second shot to the head one second later. Shots from two directions. Conspiracy. He doesnt believe there was a shot to the throat.

  4. Mary says:

    I spent hours watching the Zapruder films frame by frame, and the idea that Oswald made the “kill shot” from behind, is prepostuous. JFK’s head went back & to the left, and it defies physics to hit something from behind and have the hit object go backwards 1st! The kill shot came from the grassy knoll. And having visited the spot, it is clear to see that Oswald had to shoot from behind first, to draw attention away from the knoll so the attention would be directed away from the actual killer. When you see the area behind the wall it becomes clear how easy it would have been for the killer to slip away in all the confusion. It was a train yard and parking lot.

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