Assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Lee H. Oswald


by Lew Rockwell, Lew Rockwell:

I think the facts of the assassination of President Kennedy are really very clear.  It takes only time, persistence and attention to detail, a careful perusal of the Warren Commission testimonies of key persons, the Zapruder Film (especially), together with the five or six videos of the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald that exist.  Then all should eventually come into focus clearly.  Needless to say, we can come to a more complete knowledge of the facts behind this 1963 crime from more use of these same sources.  At some point, anyone who comes to a clear and real understanding will have surpassed the “experts” who claim to understand much but have not understood the details.  The information available is abundant, more than enough to understand.


Where should one start?  No shots came from the grassy knoll.  Gov. John Connally and Senator Ralph Yarorough, who was two cars behind the president’s limousine, recognized the rifle sounds immediately.  The driver of the President’s limousine and the top agent next to him doubted that it was a rifle sound.  They thought it also sounded like a motorcycle backfire.  Nobody from the Warren Commission asked the driver, William Greer, why he lowered the speed of the limousine after he heard the shots.  Yarborough wrote in his affidavit to the Commission that the motorcade came to what seemed either a complete or almost a complete stop, that it accelerated only after the last shot had been fired, emphasizing this point.  Both Connally and Yarborough said that the three shots they heard came from behind them and to the right.  Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson was sitting in between her husband and Sen. Yarborough, and she also told the Commission that she heard three shots which originated from behind and to the right.  She showed more presence of mind in this than her husband, Lyndon Johnson, who wrote in his Statement to the Commission that he didn’t know how many shots were fired or where they came from.

Regarding the notion of shots originating from the grassy knoll location, it’s illogical to say some shot came from there while also saying Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy.  A “patsy” is supposed to take the place of an actual perpetrator, meaning any shots must come from where the patsy is at, or close to him.  However, the testimonies of Yarborough and Connally in this regard should be enough. Both said they were well-familiar with rifle sounds.  In harmony with what they affirmed, one concludes the shots came from the TSBD building or from the building across the street yet on the same side as the TSBD building.  Those two buildings best fit the description ‘from behind and to the right’.

Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy’s testimony before the Commission is very important due to her close position with the best view of President Kennedy, and it caused me to reconsider the Zapruder film.  She could not remember climbing on top of the car nor the third shot.  The first loud shot which was heard and recognized well by Connally and Yarborough was to her the second shot.  Why so?  Earlier, she testified that she saw a piece of his skull.  She testified precisely the following:  “And just as I turned and looked at him, I could see a piece of his skull and I remember it was flesh colored.  I remember thinking he just looked as if he had a slight headache.  And I just remember seeing that. No blood or anything.”  Okay, this account where he looked as if he had a slight headache cannot be about the first loud shot that caused Kennedy to raise both hands close to his throat.  Looking at the Zapruder film again with her account in view, one notices her eyes did become fixated on her husband just before the limousine disappeared from our view – behind the sign – and that she did not stop looking in the direction of her husband until she was distracted by the Governor’s reaction to the first loud shot, which Connally always insisted hit the President only.  She said to the Commission:about the first loud shot all heard:  “I heard Governor Connally yelling and that made me turn around, and as I turned to the right my husband was doing this [indicating with hand at neck].  He was receiving a bullet.  And those are the only two I remember.  And I read there was a third shot.  But I don’t know.  Just those two.”  Just those two, let’s remember that.  The note in brackets is from the Commission.  The words “that made me turn around” mean from continuing to look at the President (as is seen in the Zapruder film).  Notice that the words “he was receiving a bullet” in no way refer to her earlier description about seeing “a piece of his skull” and/or to him looking as if he had a “headache”.  She then stated:  “…there were pictures later on of me climbing out the back.  But I don’t remember that at all.” She had a shocked memory of the terrible event, yes, but real too.  There is no reason to ignore her account.  It has to be checked with the Zapruder film.  Even independently from what she said about first noticing “a piece of his skull”, an observer will reckon it’s likely that the first shot would have been aimed at the head, so I watched the film again paying attention to her account to see if the Zapruder film supports it.  When Pres. Kennedy emerges into view (after the sign), there are already signs that he may have been shot not once but twice prior to reappearing into our view.

To be clear on this, I understand five shots were fired based on the Zapruder film and witness testimonies.  I believe there’s something like a 99.99% chance that the President was hit in the head just prior to disappearing from view behind the traffic sign, a shot whose effect only Mrs. Kennedy saw, an unheard shot that came from a silenced rifle.  We know the second shot, heard by all, happened while his face was still hidden from our view by the traffic sign.  There was definitely a third shot, which we see happened about a second or less after the first loud shot ‘everybody’ heard.  This third shot convulsed his upper body and it undoubtedly happened after the loud shot which caused both of the President’s hands to reach close to his neck. This unheard third shot, which to my knowledge has gone unnoticed, definitely came from a silenced rifle.  I believe this third shot also hit the extended right wrist of Governor Connally.  This can be noticed in the Zapruder film and it confirms this third shot, too.  Thus, I believe the fourth (second loud) shot hit Governor Connally in his back and then hit only his left thigh when it exited his chest.  Then came the fifth and final shot that made the right side of the President’s face explode.  (I link below, in the end, the Zapruder film I used where this can be observed well.)  Notice that when the president reemerges into view, his right hand is still in a high position and almost at the same angle in which it disappeared from our view behind the sign, indicating, possibly, a loss of motor control from a shot nobody heard but whose effect she described.  Watch closely just before his head disappears behind the sign.  And when you see both of his hands raised close to his throat, notice that it was only his left hand which was lifted from waist level, because his right hand had remained raised up there, very possibly as the effect of a first – silenced – rifle shot.  His right hand basically reappears to our sight in the same place and angle as when it disappeared from our sight.

To recapitulate, the loud first shot occurred when we still could not see his face because of the sign.  When his face appears fully into view, both hands are seen moving close to his neck. The subsequent, very visible third shot which convulsed his upper body came definitely from a silenced rifle because no one heard that shot.  Rifles with silencers existed in 1963. They were used by snipers in WWII.

I must thus explain the bullet that hit the right wrist of Governor Connally.  I added a speed of 2.5 to the slow motion Zapruder film linked below.  Notice (later, hopefully) that when the Governor heard the first audible shot and before getting hit himself, he lifted his right fist from below – you can see his closed right fist.  Note that his body shifted abruptly/violently towards the left at the same time that the president’s upper body was convulsed by the third shot (silenced rifle shot).  To be more specific, it was the right, visible fist of Connally which moved abruptly towards the left and his body with  it, after his wrist was hit by the same third shot that convulsed the upper back of the President.  Even after the Governor was subsequently hit by a bullet in his back, he didn’t know a bullet had hit his wrist before; Connally said he found this out at the hospital on Sunday.

Now, the trajectory of the bullet that hit Connally in the back becomes clear:  He had shifted to the right to look at Pres. Kennedy and when he was returning to his original position with the idea of turning back from his left side, another bullet (fourth bullet) hit him, entering close to his right armpit and exiting two inches below his right nipple and to the left.  When turning in a car seat like he did, the left leg is naturally moved to the right also so as to make the turn better – more easily – and that’s how that bullet landed in his left thigh.  The original one-bullet theory of the Commission was contradicted by both John and Nelly Connally.  That theory said a bullet bounced from Connally’s rib, which explained how from there it hit his right wrist, and then how it hit his left thigh could not really be explained.  See the problem that happened from missing a shot clearly seen on film.  Later, Senator Specter said that “some facts are stranger than fiction”, but it was a theory contradicted by people in the presidential car and by closer observation of the Zapruder film.

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