Tag Archive for Life Magazine

Dec 6 1963: Life magazine addresses JFK “rumors” with bad reporting

The national media, much less diverse and fragmented in 1963 than today, joined the campaign to assuage doubts and dispel “rumors” about JFK’s assassination. Pollsters were already finding that a majority of Americans suspected conspiracy. Life Magazine’s Dec. 6 issue was devoted primarily to photo coverage of the Kennedy funeral, but also included a piece by Paul Mandel entitled “End to Nagging Rumors: The Six Critical Seconds.”

Life Magazine

The article began with a quote from Dallas DA Henry Wade: “I would say without any doubt that he is the killer”, and referred to Oswald as “the assassin.”

Life Magazine had earlier purchased rights to Abraham Zapruder’s famous home movie of the murder in Dealey Plaza, and in a November 29 issue had shown frames from that film in black-and-white. Now the Mandel article tried to reconcile the film with Oswald’s guilt.
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Comment of the week

By Josiah Thompson – November 15


Why would he have ”procured a .30 caliber unfired projectile that WE had placed on the stretcher cart in our reenactment.”

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Where did the most famous JFK assassination film come from?

A 26-second home movie taken of the assassination of President John Kennedy on November 22, 1963, has become one of the most famous pieces of film ever. There are countless versions on YouTube, viewed by tens of millions of people.

Where did this amazing imagery come from? Is it an authentic depiction of the assassination of a U.S. president?

To answer such questions, I sought out a man who could answer them better than almost anyone: Richard Stolley, a former editor at LIFE Magazine, the immensely popular photographic magazine of the 1960s.

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Nov. 23, 1963, 6 pm: ‘This is not my picture’

Oswald was interrogated at 6 pm Saturday evening in the office of Captain Will Fritz of the Dallas Police Department: Oswald was shown a photograph seized earlier that day from his house.

He said the photographs had been faked, a claim repeated by some conspiracy theorists. Two subsequent examinations concluded the photographs had not been faked.

Oswald said:

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A plausible explanation of Life’s Zapruder film fail

In reponse to a poignant HuffPo piece, Jean Davison says the late Paul Mandel of Life magazine was wrong, but not necessarily lying, when he mistated some facts about JFK’s assassination.   Read more

Stupid JFK conspiracy theorists–and their mainstream enablers

Peter Mandel, author of children’s books, has a sad piece in the Huffington Post about how happy memories of his father who died when he was eight have been clouded by JFK conspiracy theorists. One can only sympathize. The sins of the father should never be visited upon the son.

Mandel’s father, Paul Mandel, was a Life magazine staff reporter who wrote an erroneous story about Abraham Zapruder’s film of JFK’s assassination in 1963. Some unprofessional writers jumped his mistake and published stupid, unsubstantiated claims about him and even stupider claims about his death from cancer in 1965. Megan Knuth usefully picks apart this rubbish at John McAdams’ JFK Web site.

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