Post by bigdog Post by Allan G. Johnson Post by bigdog Post by Steve M. Galbraith Post by bigdog Post by Mark Post by bigdog
Thanksgiving Day will mark the 55th anniversary of the assassination of
JFK. In those 55 years, no credible evidence of a conspiracy has ever
surfaced. ALL the credible evidence points to Lee Harvey Oswald as the
assassin. None of the credible evidence is incompatible with that
conclusion and there is no credible evidence that anyone other than Oswald
took part in the crime. Still, belief that there was a conspiracy and
subsequent cover up persists among a dwindling majority of Americans even
though most of them don't know the most rudimentary facts of the
assassination and barely give it a thought during the course of a normal
The hard core conspiracy hobbyists will tell us the reason for the state
of the evidence is proof of the effectiveness of the cover up. They of
course ignore the very real and far more likely reason for the state of
the evidence is that there was no conspiracy or cover up.
There is absolutely no reason why the assassination could not have been
carried out by one disgruntled loner with a cheap rifle. He had the means
to smuggle that rifle into work. Circumstances allowed him to have sole
access to the 6th floor of the TSBD at the time the motorcade arrived in
Dealey Plaza. The shots were not terribly difficult. They were well within
the capabilities of both Oswald and his rifle. All the recovered bullets
and all the recovered shells were matched to Oswald's rifle to the
exclusion of all other firearms in the world. The medical evidence reveals
no wounds which could not have been inflicted by a shot from above and
behind JFK. There is ample forensic evidence and an eyewitness that puts
Oswald in the sniper's nest at the time of the assassination.
So that's what we are faced with. A choice of two distinct and
incompatible explanations for the crime. One in which the assassination
was carried out by one man with no assistance from anyone and one in which
the assassination was the result of a grand scheme which has remained
unproven over the years because of a multi-generational cover up involving
at least three departments of the executive branch of the federal
government, local law enforcement investigators, and two independent crime
labs as well as complicity from most of the major news sources in the
United States. One explanation accepts the validity of the evidence and
the other requires us to believe most if not all of the available evidence
is fraudulent. For those who opt for the latter, no amount of reason or
logic will dissuade them from their beliefs. Widespread belief that JFK
was the victim of a conspiracy will continue to persist in this country
long after we are all dead and gone.
I'm sure there are many other anniversary articles I haven't seen, but I
just came across this one on the New York Post website.
It must have been at least 30 years ago that 60 Minutes did a feature on
Clint Hill and he still believed he could have saved JFK if he had reacted
more quickly. I've read in recent years he has come to realize that there
was nothing he could have done and was more at peace with himself. I
believe he had bouts with both depression and alcoholism before finding
I've always wondered why he didn't hear that first shot? What could be the
It's a phenomenon I have noticed in other facets of my life, particularly
on athletic fields. Sometimes when a person is intently focused on
something sounds don't register with them. For example there were times I
would notice a defensive player out of position just before the ball was
snapped and I would yell at him at the top of my lungs to get him to move.
He might be less than 10 yards from where I was standing so there was no
question the sound of my voice was reaching him but he was so focused on
the ball about to be snapped that I wasn't getting through to him. I've
had similar experiences as a sports official trying to get through to a
fellow official and getting no response even though I know he could hear
me. The sound reaches the ears but not always the brain. As the limo
turned onto Elm St. It is likely Hill's attention was focused on the few
people in the grass median. That's where he seems to be looking in the
Altgens photo. I'm sure the sound of the first shot reached his ears but
apparently did not register with him.
Post by Steve M. Galbraith
From his 11/22 report: "The motorcade made a left hand turn from Elm
Street toward an underpass. We were traveling about 12 to 15 miles per
hour. On the left hand side was a grass area with a few people scattered
along it observing the motorcade passing, and I was visually scanning
these people when I heard a noise similar to a firecracker. The sound came
from my right rear and I immediately moved my head in that direction. In
so doing, my eyes had to cross the Presidential automobile and I saw the
President hunch forward and then slump to his left. I jumped from the
Follow-up car and ran toward the Presidential automobile. I heard a second
firecracker type noise but it had a different sound-- like the sound of
shooting a revolver into something hard. I saw the President slump more
toward his left.
I have little doubt that the first shot he remembered hearing was the
second shot he actually heard. The first one simply didn't register in his
Post by Steve M. Galbraith
I jumped onto the left rear step of the Presidential automobile. Mrs.
Kennedy shouted, "They've shot his head off".....
That's the recollection he believes and has been consistent with it
ever since he started talking about it. I heard him repeat it in person
at one of his personal appearances. I don't think he is covering up
anything, it's just the way it registered in his head. He remembers
seeing JFK raising his arms and leaning to the left and to him that was
the first shot.
The visual evidence does not support that as the way it happened. The
Altgens photo clearly shows JFK reaching for his throat (the second shot)
and Hill still riding on the running board, making no move. On the
Zapruder film, Kennedy is hit with the third shot at 313 and Hill is many
steps away. On the Nix film you can actually see he still has his right
arm on the followup car while in the act of jumping off just as Kennedy's
head exploded. The third shot didn't happen AFTER he jumped off the
followup car, but AS he was jumping off.
This is why ALL witness accounts should be taken with a grain of salt,
even SS agents. Becoming a cop or a federal agent doesn't endow someone
with greater powers of perception. These people are as fallible as anybody
else. Typically in and event like this, witnesses are going to correctly
remember some aspects and be incorrect about others. Some witnesses will
have better recall than others, but we shouldn't assume anybody got
Connally seems to be one of the best witnesses because much of what he
recalled can be confirmed by the Z-film although he did get some elements
Yes, and he saw the Zapruder film when most people did not. And he did
not believe in the Single Bullet Theory.
Post by bigdog
wrong. For example in his hospital interview with Martin Agronsky, he said
he turned to his left when he heard the first shot when the film shows he
turned to his right. In his later accounts he correctly says he turned to
his right, possibly because he had seen in the Z-film which way he turned.
I believe he also said on that initial turn he saw the president slumped.
The Z-film shows on his initial turn he didn't turn far enough to see JFK.
It showed he didn't make the full turn to the rear until after he had been
shot which was his second turn to the right. He remembered seeing JFK
slump but was wrong about the sequence of the events.
Yes, but some have misquoted it, as I pointed out in my article:
Did Connally turn left or right?
One of the problems with the book Assassination Science is that some
authors misuse or misquote eyewitness testimony. It is bad enough that
eyewitness testimony is already acknowledged to be the most unreliable
form of evidence. But it is made worse when sloppy researchers misquote
eyewitness testimony to support insupportable conclusions. But it is even
worse when a researcher simply makes up an eyewitness statement from his
imagination in order to support his pre-conceived conclusion. On page 214
Jack White lists his observations of the Zapruder film which he thinks
prove that the film is a fake. In Observation 5, Jack White states that,
"Connally said he turned to his left to look at the President, then turned
to his right. The film does not show this." Jack White does not provide
any footnotes for his chapter, so the reader can not find out where this
statement came from. After repeated questioning Jack finally admitted that
he had based that on an article by Milicent Cranor. He did not bother to
fact check it himself.
Throughout his life John Connally had always testified consistently
that he heard a shot, turned to his right to look at the President, then
started to turn to his left when he was hit facing approximately forward.
The only account that differs from that is his bedside interview from
November 27, 1963. Milicent Cranor, one of Jack's defenders, points out in
her article in The Fourth Decade (July 1994, pages 3839) that CBS and
later NOVA cut several words out of the rebroadcast of Connally's
statement, specifically Connally's reference to turning left. She points
out that Martin Agronsky of the New York Times preserved the reference to
the left turn in his November 28, 1963 report. But does she faithfully
quote what the New York Times wrote? I doubt it. Here is what she wrote:
We heard a shot. I turned to my left and the President had slumped.
He had said nothing. Almost simultaneously, as I turned I was hit . . .
But according to the account in Josiah Thompson's book Six Seconds in
Dallas on page 65, the New York Times quote was longer.
Compare that to the NOVA version:
So, can we then rely on Josiah Thompson's version? Not exactly. Look at
the second sentence. Does it make any sense for Connally to say, "I turned
to my left in the back seat." when Connally was not in the back seat, but
was in the jump seat? Hardly. It appears that Josiah Thompson made a
copying error and left out the words, "to look". I really doubt that he
would have done so in order to bolster the SBT as CBS and NOVA did. If we
can't rely on other researchers for the authoritative version, then on
whom can we rely? We need to go back to the original source. Not just the
New York Times, but also the original recording of Connally's statement.
Here is how the New York Times transcribed Connally's statement on page 23
of the November 23, 1963 edition:
New York Times, November 28, 1963, p. 23, col. 1.
This scan from a microfilm copy is hard to read so I will type in the
We had just turned the cor-
ner. we heard a shot. I turned
to my left, and the President
had slumped. He said noth-
ing. As I turned, I was hit,
and I knew I had been hit
But can we even rely on this official transcript provided by the New
York Times? Not exactly.
As Cranor had pointed out, both CBS and NOVA used edited versions of
Connally's bedside interview in an attempt to preserve the SBT.
Fortunately, other researchers have pointed out that this segment of the
original statement was preserved in toto on other videotapes, such as the
Italian documentary "The Two Kennedys" and "Kennedy in Texas." "The Two
Kennedys" is rare and hard to find now, but I was able to find a copy at a
small video store called Hollywood Express. I was going to record that
segment into my computer, but I found that someone had already done so and
posted it to the Web as a . WAV file. "Kennedy in Texas" can be ordered
from JFK Lancer. I transcribed verbatim the original Connally bedside
statement. And you can also listen to the original statement to compare it
to my transcription:
We heard a shot. I turned to my left -- I was sitting in the jump
I turned to my left to look in the back seat. The President was
Ah, he had said nothing. Almost simultaneously, as I turned, I was
and I knew I'd been hit badly.
So, where is the left, then right turn which Jack White cites? Nowhere to
be found. It is always best to go back to the original statement of an
eyewitness, but it does no good when the researcher misquotes the original
statement. Never in his life did Connally say that he first turned to his
left and then turned to his right. Jack simply made it up from his
imagination. Many of the researchers who are promoting bizarre theories
feel that they need to claim that the Zapruder film is a fake and will do
anything, including making up fictitious eyewitness statements, to bolster
In every other statement Connally made, he consistently reported
that he turned to his right and then started to turn to his left. In his
Warren Commission testimony , Connally stated:
We had--we had gone, I guess, 150 feet, maybe 200 feet, I don't recall how
far it was, heading down to get on the freeway, the Stemmons Freeway, to
go out to the hall where we were going to have lunch and, as I say, the
crowds had begun to thin, and we could--I was anticipating that we were
going to be at the hall in approximately 5 minutes from the time we turned
on Elm Street.
We had just made the turn, well, when I heard what I thought was a shot. I
heard this noise which I immediately took to be a rifle shot. I
instinctively turned to my right because the sound appeared to come from
over my right shoulder, so I turned to look back over my right shoulder,
and I saw nothing unusual except just people in the crowd, but I did not
catch the President in the corner of my eye, and I was interested, because
once I heard the shot in my own mind I identified it as a rifle shot, and
I immediately--the only thought that crossed my mind was that this is an
So I looked, failing to see him, I was turning to look back over my left
shoulder into the back seat, but I never got that far in my turn. I got
about in the position I am in now facing you, looking a little bit to the
left of center, and then I felt like someone had hit me in the back.
In his testimony before the HSCA , Connally repeated essentially the
same sequence of events:
Mr. CORNWELL. Thank you, very much. Governor, let me ask you the same
question. What is your memory of the
events? What did you see and hear? What happened after the limousine
started down Elm Street and passed underneath the Texas School Book
Mr. CONNALLY. Mr. Cornwell, we had just turned to Elm. We had gone, I
suspect, oh, 150, 200 feet when I heard what I thought was a rifle shot
and I thought it came from--I was seated right, as you know, the jump seat
right in front of the President, and they have a fairly straight back on
them so I was sitting up fairly erect. I thought the shot came from back
over my right shoulder, so I turned to see if I could catch a sight of the
President out of the corner of my eye because I immediately had, frankly,
had fear of an assassination because I thought it was a rifle shot.
I didn't think it was a blowout or explosion of any kind. I didn't
see the President out of the corner of my eye, so I was in the process of,
at least I was turning to look over my left shoulder into the back seat to
see if I could see him. I never looked, I never made the full turn. About
the time I turned back where I was facing more or less straight ahead, the
way the car was moving, I was hit. I was knocked over, just doubled over
by the force of the bullet. It went in my back and came out my chest about
2 inches below and the left of my right nipple. The force of the bullet
drove my body over almost double and when I looked, immediately I could
see I was just drenched with blood. So, I knew I had been badly hit and I
more or less straightened up. At about this time, Nelly reached over and
pulled me down into her lap.
Connally was interviewed for the 1992 CBS episode of "48 Hours" entitled
"Who Killed JFK?: Facts Not Fiction," but CBS intertwined the interview
with a previous interview, circa 1963. In the transcription below I have
used normal text for the 1992 portion and italicized text for the
"I heard the shot and I turned, thinking that the shot had come
from back over my right shoulder. And I turned to look in that direction.
And I was in the process of turning to the left to look in the back
seat and I had no more than straightened up and I felt a blow, as if
someone had just hit me in the back, a sharp blow, with a doubled-up fist.
Again, I heard the first shot. I had time to try to see what had happened.
I was in the process of turning again before I felt the impact of a
bullet. And I was lying there and heard the third shot. I assume that it
hit the President."
Again, Connally was consistent in testifying that he heard a shot,
turned to his right to look at the President, then started to turn to his
left when he was hit. This may seem like a minor point, but it is
important for three reasons. First, every author must be willing to defend
what he writes and back up his statements with sources and references.
Second, this is how myths are generated and perpetuated when no one
challenges unproved statements. Third, no researcher should rely on
eyewitness testimony to impeach physical evidence. Eyewitness testimony is
the most unreliable form of evidence. It is even worse when the sloppy
researcher simply makes up fictitious quotes to support his pre-conceived
conclusion that the Zapruder film is a fake. More likely the researcher is