What did Dealey Plaza witnesses say about the origins of the gunfire that killed JFK?

Here’s the most comprehensive compilation of eyewitness testimony from the Dealey Plaza crime scene, courtesy of Stewart Galanor and the Mary Farrell Foundation.

More about the witnesses to JFK’s assassination:

VIDEO: Was there a gunshot from the grassy knoll? (Feb. 1, 2013)

‘What was going through my mind was that shot was coming right over the top of our heads’ (Nov. 22, 2013)

Missing JFK witnesses: two African-Americans on the grassy knoll (Nov. 20, 2013)

History Matters: What 216 witnesses to the assassination said about the origins of the gunshots.

14 thoughts on “What did Dealey Plaza witnesses say about the origins of the gunfire that killed JFK?”

  1. Jeremy Gilbert

    Unfortunately for those who argue for a knoll assassin, the ear witness testimony, combined with the testimony of the sniper seen at the TSBD, basically proves all the shots came from the TSBD. While many have obsessed over how many said “knoll” and how many said “TSBD” (often falsely labeling witnesses like Bill Newman as “knoll” witnesses), the pertinent questions are: How many shots were fired? Some ~95% said three or fewer; How many sources of gunfire did you hear? Again, some ~95% said the shots came from a single direction.

    Since about 10 witnesses reported either seeing shots fired from the TSBD, or a rifle in the window, or hearing bullets fired and casings dropping over above their heads, and with additional witnesses who heard some of these witnesses spontaneously say they see or just saw a rifle, we KNOW the source for at least some of the shots heard was the TSBD. Indeed, while most conspiracy theorists doubt Oswald had a role, most nevertheless agree shots were indeed fired from that location. Further, since ear witnesses, nearly all of whom said 3 or fewer shots were fired, were obviously all hearing the SAME shots being fired, AND reported a single direction, those who thought the shots came from the knoll, the underpass, or the planet Mars, were likely incorrect. If this was not so, we’d have to accept a highly convoluted scenario where the TSBD witnesses somehow heard only the shots from there and not from the knoll, and the knoll witnesses somehow heard only the shots from there and not from the TSBD.

    To accept this rather sensible accounting of the ear witness reports, one need only take as a given that people were confused about the direction the shots came from. A point many who have examined the acoustics of the location have repeatedly underlined, as have others who cite the uncertainty of establishing direction of shots via ear witness testimony in general. Since there are about 20 reported locations from where the shots came from, yet virtually all witnesses said the shots came from one direction, I’m not sure how we can come to any other conclusion. That’s because to accept the alternate – that people were correct about the shots coming from the knoll AND the TSBD, we’d have to accept that somehow, in the open plaza that Deally Plaza is, those witnesses somehow failed to hear the shots from the other location, a claim which is implausible on its face.

  2. Regarding witness intimidation, Secret Service Agent Elmer Moore admitting to such with Dr. Perry… Norman, Williams, Givens…”new” evidence to the SS” (as opposed to what they told the FBI). He also talked with Rubyenstien.

    1. “Three of the witnesses interviewed Norman, Williams Givens gave totally new evidence to Moore & Co. that conflicted dramatically with earlier statements by each of them to the FBI”
      pg. 327.

  3. Why did they not interview 70 of the “known” witnesses? Too time consuming? Not “Important” enough. Just the blatant public daylight Assassination of the President. I’d think Every comment from a witness at the time would be important. First impressions are most important according to some.

  4. Michael Tyrrell

    The witnesses couldn’t see the bullets -we will never really know.
    What we do know is that Clint Hill and many of the attending surgeons saw
    a big hole in the RIGHT REAR of JFK’s head, with zero damage to the left front
    Of his head. We know for fact, based on the ZFilm, that the president turned his body
    left In his seat and then his head further left. If you draw a line between the damage points
    (Either front to back, or back to front) the trajectory leads to either the South Knoll or the left
    SWesterly end of the TSBD. The surgeons seemed to think (on record) that the sounds
    Were entry wounds. So it’s not unreasonable to conclude that the grassy knoll shot, and
    Oswald’s supposed position were staged elements -a subterfuge- to an elaborate and
    cunning plot. If you don’t think Umbrella Man and Dark Complected Man weren’t signalmen…
    If you don’t think Commerce Street was left open to traffic… It’s not counterproductive to
    Imagine these scenarios. Getting a better grip on what happen takes some degree of
    hypothesis… Just say’n.

  5. Of the 216 witnesses mentioned 70 were not asked, 37 couldn’t tell. That leaves 109 with an opinion that did think they knew the direction the shots came from (actually 105, 4 just said elsewhere). Of them we have 52 knoll, 48 TSBD, 5 both and the 4 elsewhere. So, 57 said there was a shot from the knoll, 53 from the TSBD. Good case for both, literally or at the minimum a distraction shots, from both?. Though not many people ran to the TSBD after the shots as opposed to the grassy knoll/parking lot/railroad yards. Though none ran to Dal-Tex or the South Knoll either.
    As a buff or Conspiracy Realist I’m naturally suspicious of some who said TSBD months after their observation and/ or with ties to official organizations. E.G. Mayor and wife Cabell a ways back in the parade, brother of General Earle Cabell of the CIA, fired by JFK after the Bay of Pigs. Then I wonder about some of the Secret Service Agents riding in the same follow up car as JFK aides Dave Powers and Kenny O’Donnell who ultimately said the knoll to speaker of the House Tip O’Neil. Admitting the FBI persuaded them to change their testimony for the Warren Omission at the time.

  6. Other than ‘shots were fired’ , I find the earwitness evidence completely inconclusive. I accept a gun firing a bullet makes more than one blast noise. I accept there may have been echoes. I accept that a silenced gun in fact merely restricts the conical spread of the noise. In other words you can hear it if you’re standing almost in front of the shooter. I accept you can get a puff of smoke from fired gun, but maybe you wont.

    The strongest elements connected to conspiracy in my view are; firstly that witnesses were leaned on to say the shots came from the TSBD, and secondly I am certain that analysis of the spread of shot locations witnessed would show a suspicious pattern. That is a pattern that would be hard to match with merely echoes to explain other perceived shot locations. Finally the testimony of eyewitnesses to persons behind the picket fence does support the aftermath reactions to a perceived shot/shots from that direction.

  7. Michael Tyrrell

    JFK Fact: Of the Commercial Street motorists, stopped and idling to watch the Presidential motorcade, and having a close range view of JFK’s murder, none were queried or interviewed concerning what they saw or from where the shots emanated.

  8. christian saucier

    ok so i have to do a 25 page research paper on the JFK assassination. so how many book sources do i need to have. PS i am in AP ENGLISH I

    1. Hi Christian. In a paper of that length you should talk about up to five books in your paper. Edmai me at editor-AT-JFKFacts.org, if you want more guidance.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top