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Pat Speer

Did the limo stop? Really?

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I searched for the words "stop" and "halt" in chapters 5, 7, 7b and 8 of my website, which collect the statements of those watching the motorcade from the south side of the plaza, on Elm or on the railroad bridge, and this is what I came up with.

S.M. Holland stood on the railroad bridge. (11-24-63 FBI report, CD5 p. 49-50)"When the first shot was fired, Holland stated that a motorcycle officer behind the car stopped his motor."

Hmmm, why did he only mention Chaney's stopping? If the limo had come to a full stop as well, wouldn't he have mentioned it?

Clemon Johnson stood on the railroad bridge. (Interview in No More Silence, published 1998) "The car they were in…you could see it speed up and then stop, then speed up, and you could see it stop while they threw Mrs. Kennedy back up in the car."

Since no one believes "they" threw Mrs. K in the car, it seems likely Mr. Johnson's latter day comments are not entirely reliable.

Earle V. Brown stood on the south end of the railroad bridge. (4-7-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 6H231-236) "the first I noticed the car was when it stopped...After it made the turn and when the shots were fired, it stopped." (When asked if it made a complete stop) "That I couldn't swear to."

Unsure if it stopped or merely slowed.

Jack Franzen stood on the south side of Elm on the grass across from the grassy knoll. (Family interview recorded 6-18-97 available online) "About that time, the Presidential car was turning the corner right there at the School Book Depository, and almost came to a stop as it turned the corner... and about that time there were two explosions. They sounded like fireworks and - to my memory - there were some kind of feathers or confetti or something, uh, stirred around the car. The limousine driver and the guy in the front seat almost - momentarily - stopped the car and he turned his head and everything was alright, so he turned back and proceeded to come on down toward us. The car was moving very slowly. "

He says they "almost-momentarily--stopped the car." That doesn't sound like a complete stop.

Malcolm Summers was yards east of Franzen. (From an 11-22-2003 WBAP radio program posted on Youtube) "I thought someone had threw a firecracker down on the ground, just to be smart. But then the procession kept coming. And then the second and the third shot rang out. Well, I knew it was being shot at...The car got to right beside me where I was at. And it actually stopped momentarily."

Note that he failed to mention this before 2003. Note also that he thinks it stopped after the final shot, not before.

James Altgens was just east of Summers. He kept his eye on the limo throughout the shooting sequence, while taking pictures. (7-22-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 7H517-525) "(On the head shot) “up to that time I didn’t know that the President had been shot previously. I still thought up until that time that all I heard was fireworks and that they were giving some sort of celebration to the President by popping these fireworks. It stunned me so at what I saw that I failed to do my duty and make the picture I was hoping to make. The car never did stop. It was proceeding along in a slow pace and I stepped out in the curb area and made another picture as the Secret Service man stepped upon the rear step of the Presidential car and went to Mrs. Kennedy's aid..."

Never stopped.

Toni Foster was on the grass on the south side of the street. (Article and interview in the Summer 2000 Kennedy Assassination Chronicles) "For some reason the car stopped. It did stop for seconds. I don't even know why it stopped and all of a sudden it sped up and they went under the underpass. I could never figure out why the car stopped."

No statements before 2000. Her credibility is undercut by her claim it stopped for seconds, something no one else seems to remember.

William Newman was on the north side of the street at the foot of the knoll.((The Kennedy Assassination Tapes, 1979) (These are probably not his exact words, as the author Jim Bowles took so many liberties with the witness statements in his book that he used fake names. Newman was Civilian L.) "They seemed more like firecrackers. However, I did notice a change in President Kennedy, his arm went up and he seemed to stiffen. Just after the two sounds…the limousine stopped for an instant, a large man in the right front seat picked up what looked to be a telephone, and then the car shot forward again. Some of the agents on the following car got off…From a distance of 12-to 15 feet…we saw the bullet hit the President from the right rear and literally tear away the side of his scalp and right ear…"

Note that Newman failed to claim the limo stopped in his earliest statements.

Mary Moorman was on the south side of the street across from Newman. (3:16 PM 11-22-63 WBAP interview, available on Youtube) (When asked the reactions of others) “Uh, they hesitated just for a moment ‘cause I think they were like I was, you know—Was that a shot or was it just a backfire, or just what? And then, of course, he clutched himself and they immediately sped up, real fast, you know, like to get out of there. And, uh the police, there were several motorcycles around him, and uh, they stopped, and uh—one or two must have went with him." (11-23-63 FBI, report, 22H838) "She recalls that the President’s car was moving at the time she took the second picture, and when she heard the shots, and has the impression that the car either stopped momentarily or hesitated and then drove off in a hurry.”(5-24-11 interview conducted live on iantique.com)(When asked if the limo slowed down.) "It slowed down almost if not to a stop, and I saw Jackie. She hollered 'Oh, my God, he's been shot!'

Note that Moorman felt the motorcycles stopped but that the limo may have only "hesitated." In other words, she's not sure if it stopped.

Jean Hill stood next to Moorman. (3:30 PM 11-22-63 KRLD interview, transcribed by David Lifton and posted online by Jack White, 2-16-07)"The motorcade was stunned after the first two shots, and it came to a momentary halt, and about that time 4 more uh, 3 to 4 more shots again rang out, and I guess it just didn’t register with me. Mary was, huh, had gotten down on the ground and was pulling at my leg, saying “Get, get down, they’re shooting, get down, they’re shooting, and I didn’t even realize it. And I just kept sitting there looking. And just about that time, well, of course, some of the motorcycles pulled away. And some of them pulled over to the side and started running up the bank. There’s a hill on the other side…And the shots came from there. After they were momentarily stopped—after the first two shots—then they sped away real quickly.” (11-22-63 WFAA interview, quoted in Pictures of the Pain) “just as the car came right in line with us, the President looked up and just as he looked up two shots rang out and he grabbed his chest and this real odd look came over his face and he pitched forward onto her lap…the motorcade momentarily halted and three or four more shots rang out and they sped away real quickly.”(11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H479, 24H212) "There was an instant pause between the first two shots and the motorcade seemingly halted for a second and three or four more shots rang out and the motorcade sped away.” (Interview on Black Op Radio, 6-15-00)"(When asked if she saw the limousine stop during the shooting) "I know it was hardly moving, if not stopped at one point."

Hill, as Moorman, was sure the motorcycles stopped, but unsure about the limo.

Charles Brehm was yards to the east of Hill. (11-25-63 FBI report, 22H837-838) "Brehm expressed the opinion that between the first and third shots, the president’s car only traveled some 10 to 12 feet. It seemed to him that the automobile almost came to a halt after the first shot, but of this he is not certain. After the third shot, the car in which the president was riding increased its speed and went under the freeway underpass.”

It almost came to a halt, i.e. it never did stop.

Beverly Oliver claims to have been nearby. (From her 1996 book Nightmare in Dallas) “Beverly heard a pop, pop sound coming from the direction she faced….How rude that some parents would let their kids throw sidewalk poppers near the President, she thought. Then she heard another pop. Hold steady. The car was moving about twelve miles an hour as it passed directly in front of her. It then seemed to come to a stop. She continued filming wishing President Kennedy would turn around, then a loud, boom-boom sounded, and the President’s head was violently thrown backward as a spray of crimson blood spouted from the back of his head."

Oliver is not particularly credible, but even she claimed the limo "seemed" to come to a stop. In other words, she wasn't sure.

Jean Newman was on the north side of street to the east of the Stemmons Freeway sign. (11-22-63 statement to the Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H489, 24H218) "The motorcade had just passed me when I heard something that I thought was a firecracker at first, and the President had just passed me, because after he had just passed, there was a loud report, it just scared me, and I noticed that the President jumped, he sort of ducked his head down, and I thought at the time that it probably scared him too, just like it did me, because he flinched like he jumped. I saw him put his elbows like this, with his hands on his chest...the motorcade never did stop, and the President fell to his left, and his wife jumped up on her knees…I just heard two shots."

Never did stop.

Peggy Burney (Online article by Vince Palamara referencing 11-24-63 Dallas Times Herald article) “she stated that JFK’s car had come to a stop.”

Not a direct quote. Too vague.

Peggy Hawkins (I suspect this to be the same person as Peggy Burney) (3-26-64 FBI report, CD897 p.35-36) "She estimated that the President was less than fifty feet away from her when he was shot, that the car slowed down almost coming to a full stop and then started off again.”

Never did stop.

Mary Woodward was near the Stemmons Freeway sign on the north side of Elm. (11-23-63 newspaper article Witness From the News Describes Assassination written by Woodward for the Dallas Morning News) "My first reaction, and also my friends', was that as a joke someone had backfired their car. Apparently, the driver and occupants of the President's car had the same impression, because instead of speeding up, the car came almost to a halt...I don't believe anyone was hit with the first bullet. The President and Mrs. Kennedy turned and looked around, as if they, too, didn't believe the noise was really coming from a gun...Then after a moment's pause, there was another shot and I saw the President start slumping in the car. This was followed rapidly by another shot. Mrs. Kennedy stood up in the car, turned halfway around, then fell on top of her husband’s body…The cars behind stopped and several men--Secret Service men,--I suppose-- got out and started rushing forward, obstructing our view of the car."

She noted that the cars behind the limo stopped, not the limo, which she said almost came to a halt after the first shot. Still, her view of the limo stop may have been obstructed by the men she saw running forward.

Hugh Betzner was on the south side of Elm Street, near the corner of Houston and Elm. (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H467) "I started to wind my film again and I heard a loud noise. I looked up and it seemed like there was another loud noise in the matter of a few seconds. I looked down the street and I could see the President’s car and another one and they looked like the cars were stopped...I walked down toward where the President's car had stopped.”

Betzner was a good distance away, but believed the limo stopped.

Pierce Allman was back at the corner of Houston and Elm, on the south side. (11-22-63 eyewitness report on WFAA, between 1:45 and 2:00 PM CST) “Right after Mr. Kennedy passed in front of me I heard one big explosion and my immediate thought like most of the people standing around me was “this is firecrackers, but it’s in pretty poor taste”. I looked and saw the president, I thought, duck. Evidently, he was slumping at the time. The car immediately sped on...(When asked if the car stopped at that time) "No, the car kept going. The car did not stop."

Never did stop.

Ochus Campbell was standing out in front of the school book depository. (11-24-63 FBI report, 22H845) “After hearing two more such reports, he realized that they must have been rifle shots and since President Kennedy’s car had advanced just out of his vision, he went forward a few feet to observe this automobile, inasmuch as he feared that the rifle shots were in connection with an attempt upon President Kennedy’s life. He then observed the car bearing President Kennedy to slow down, a near stop, and a motorcycle policeman rushed up. Immediately, following this, he observed the car rush away from the scene.”

Campbell claimed it was a near stop. Not sure what to make of his statement about the motorcycle officer. Perhaps he thought Officer Chaney had slammed on his brakes after rushing up to see what had happened.

Roy Truly stood near Campbell. (3-24-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 3H212-241) "And immediately after two more explosions, which I realized that I thought was a gun, a rifle of some kind. The President’s—I saw the President’s car swerve to the left and stop somewheres down in this area… And that is the last I saw of the car, because this crowd, when the third shot rang out…they began screaming and falling to the ground.”

Truly thought the limo stopped after the shots, not during or before.

D.V. Harkness was a traffic officer standing near Main and Houston.(4-9-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 6H308-315) "When asked how many shots he heard) “Three” (and if he knew they were shots) “Yes, sir…When I heard the first shot and saw the President's car almost come to a stop and some of the agents piling off the car, I went back to the intersection to get my motorcycle."

Almost came to a stop, i.e. it did not stop.

Mrs. Rose Clark watched the shooting from a window of the courthouse on the north side of Houston and Main. (1-10-64 FBI report, 24H533) "she noticed that the president’s automobile came almost to a halt following the three shots before it picked up speed and drove away.”

Almost came to a halt, i.e. it did not stop.

Ruth Smith was on the balcony of the old courthouse on the southeast side of Houston and Elm. (12-21-63 FBI interview, CD206 p.9) “She looked back toward President Kennedy’s car after the first shot and thinks he raised his hands to his face. The car seemed to slow or perhaps stop after the first shot and then just after the third shot a Secret Service man from the second car ran up…and threw himself into the rear seat.”

It slowed or perhaps stopped. Unsure.

Charles Bronson filmed the shooting from the south side of the plaza. (Letter to his sister, 11-24-63, as quoted in Pictures of the Pain, p.283) “they were about halfway down to the underpass. And then it happened! My first impression was parade—celebration—fireworks when I heard the first two shots ring out in rapid succession and a slight pause before the third shot rang out…I remarked to Frances, “Is that fireworks or someone shooting?...right after my remark, Frances said “President Kennedy is bent over and Jackie has her arm around him and Governor Connally is lying down.” Then I looked and saw a few people lay flat on the ground just as the presidential car stopped for a split second and then take off.”

Stopped for a split second...after the shots.

If it stopped, moreover, then why did so few of those closer to the shooting note with any certainty that it stopped, and why did still others feel sure it did not stop?

It is far from clear from studying the statements of the witnesses that the limo stopped, and those pushing that it is not only clear, but PROOF the Z-film is fake, are blowing smoke.

That's my take anyway. Feel free to disagree, or add any statements regarding a limo stop I may have missed.

Edited by Pat Speer

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Guest Robert Morrow

JFK's limo did NOT stop. It slowed down to about 5 mph as per Robert Groden and the Zapruder Film.

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Personally i beleive the Limo slowed to a crawl momentarily in order to allow Clint Hill to catch up, He did manage to get up in his first attempt. but then Hills foot slipped off the step, he was still holding on to the grab rail.as the Limo started to pick up speed.

his arms wer fully outstreched while running flat out behind it.

At the same time the follow up car and the motorcycles appear to come to a near stop,

possibly in an attempt not to run Hill down should he stumble and fall, hill finally mounts the limo.and greer hits the accelerator.

I don't see any evidence in Muchmore or Nix that the limo actually came to a dead STOP !

What does peek my curiousity about the Zapruder film is why we don't see the momentary "deceleration" as Hill reaches the Limo, OR the rapid "acceleration" once Hill was aboard .

Stabilized Nix GIF

Stabilized Using the corner of the retaining wall

At least two of the motorcycle officers appear to come to an abrupt stop as the Limo takes off and the other two

as well as the SS follow up car have slowed down to a crawl.

It also appears to me that Jackie doesn't actually rise out of her seat, until Hill's hand hits the grab rail.

Animation_Nix_Fullframe.gif

Edited by Robin Unger

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If memory serves correctly, there's a good feature on this in one of the books Jim Fetzer edited. I don't remember though if it was Assassination Science or Murder in Dealey Plaza though. I think the article was written by Vince Palamara but I might be wrong about that.

It seems to me that to use the Z film to say that the limo did not stop, is begging the question. It's been claimed that the fact that the film does not show the stop is one of the reasons to suspect its authenticity.

David Lifton mentioned this in his presentation to the Zapruder film alteration symposium in Duluth in 2003.

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I believe that people depending on where they were located may have thought the limo stopped. A car moving towards or away from someone will appear stopped even when slowing rolling along.

I also feel that what people called a stop was in reference to its dramatic slowing from its previous pace. Those descriptions are left to interpretation. Asking them if the assassination films reflect what they recalled would have ended much of those interpretations from being an issue. Not once have I read where the limo stopping promoters ever bothered to ask the witness a direct question as to whether the films accurately reflect the message they were trying to relay.

I am glad that someone like Pat took the time to archive the statements.

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If memory serves correctly, there's a good feature on this in one of the books Jim Fetzer edited. I don't remember though if it was Assassination Science or Murder in Dealey Plaza though. I think the article was written by Vince Palamara but I might be wrong about that.

It seems to me that to use the Z film to say that the limo did not stop, is begging the question. It's been claimed that the fact that the film does not show the stop is one of the reasons to suspect its authenticity.

David Lifton mentioned this in his presentation to the Zapruder film alteration symposium in Duluth in 2003.

I wouldn't take the usual suspects too seriously, Martin. It's not exactly a secret what they're about: Scratch an anti-alterationist, and you tend to find a Warren Commission lawyer at work:

Apparently the witnesses were mistaken in remembering that the car stopped; motion pictures, according to the Commission, contradicted them. Yet it seems clear from the way counsel led witnesses that the Commission had considerable resistance to inferences which might be drawn from evidence that the car had stopped at the first shot. “Stopped” was transformed into “seemed to stop” and then “into slowed down.” Such leading of witnesses, which would have been challenged in a courtroom, was facilitated by the Commission’s closed hearings…

The films of the assassination have not been released for public showing, although it is possible to see the most important one, the Zapruder film…at the National Archives. That film does not seem to support the witnesses who said that the car stopped dead. This being so, it is baffling that counsel conducted the questioning somewhat improperly and why the Report presents this evidence with some lack of impartiality…

Sylvia Meagher. Accessories After the Fact: The Warren Commission, The Authorities & The Report (NY: Vintage Books, June 1992 reprint), pp.4-5.

Know them by their lineage.

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Yes Paul, good point. The method of questioning used in the WC hearings does often mean that you can't take a witnesses testimony at face value. You certainly can't take it out of context.

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I searched for the word "stop" in chapters 7 and 7b of my website, which collect the statements of those watching the motorcade on Elm or on the railroad bridge, and this is what I came up with.

If it stopped, however, then why did so few of those closer to the shooting note with any certainty that it stopped, and why did still others feel sure it did not stop?

It is far from clear from studying the statements of the witnesses that the limo stopped, and those pushing that it is not only clear, but PROOF the Z-film is fake, are blowing smoke.

That's my take anyway. Feel free to disagree, or add any statements regarding a limo stop I may have missed.

As always, this is a hermeneutical problem. How do we arrive at the truth? Either the limo stopped or it didn't. There is conflict in the record, and so evaluations are made (Toni Foster not credible etc.)on whom to believe. Good questions, Pat. I would only add that in Palamara's article in MIDP a number of motorcycle officers are quoted as saying the limo stopped. I listed some of the names in the other thread. Would hope David Lifton would enter the discussion, since he interviewed witnesses in 1971 and worked with Patrica Lambert on limo stop witnesses. Logically, if the limo stopped, the Z-film is certainly fake, so the issue is of paramount importance, and I am glad that the issue is not left to die. So thanks for bringing it up. Regards, Daniel

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I created this NIX GIF so we can better see into the dark shadows.

It may take a while to fully load.

I haven't stabilized this version.

Animation_Nix_lightened.gif

Edited by Robin Unger

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I searched for the word "stop" in chapters 7 and 7b of my website, which collect the statements of those watching the motorcade on Elm or on the railroad bridge, and this is what I came up with.

If it stopped, however, then why did so few of those closer to the shooting note with any certainty that it stopped, and why did still others feel sure it did not stop?

It is far from clear from studying the statements of the witnesses that the limo stopped, and those pushing that it is not only clear, but PROOF the Z-film is fake, are blowing smoke.

That's my take anyway. Feel free to disagree, or add any statements regarding a limo stop I may have missed.

As always, this is a hermeneutical problem. How do we arrive at the truth? Either the limo stopped or it didn't. There is conflict in the record, and so evaluations are made (Toni Foster not credible etc.)on whom to believe. Good questions, Pat. I would only add that in Palamara's article in MIDP a number of motorcycle officers are quoted as saying the limo stopped. I listed some of the names in the other thread. Would hope David Lifton would enter the discussion, since he interviewed witnesses in 1971 and worked with Patrica Lambert on limo stop witnesses. Logically, if the limo stopped, the Z-film is certainly fake, so the issue is of paramount importance, and I am glad that the issue is not left to die. So thanks for bringing it up. Regards, Daniel

Quote:

Logically, if the limo stopped, the Z-film is certainly fake, so the issue is of paramount importance.

Not just the Z - Film

Zapruder / Nix / Muchmore / Bronson

Jackies white glove flip

Corresponding frame numbers shown

Animationcombinedzn.gif

Edited by Robin Unger

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Robin,

In your GIF, I believe we see John Ready contemplating jumping down from Halfback. This is the first time I've seen this or any evidence of it beyond his own statement.

Thanks,

Martin

EDIT: on a second view, we can actually see his feet hit the ground, so he really did get down from the running board.

Edited by Martin White

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Robin,

In your GIF, I believe we see John Ready contemplating jumping down from Halfback. This is the first time I've seen this or any evidence of it beyond his own statement.

Thanks,

Martin

EDIT: on a second view, we can actually see his feet hit the ground, so he really did get down from the running board.

Yes Martin

when looking under the SS follow up car, I belive we can just make out Ready's foot hitting the ground.

Quote

At about 12:30 p.m. we began the approach to the Thornton Freeway traveling about 20-25 MPH in a slight incline. I was about 25-30 feet from President Kennedy who was located in the right rear seat. I heard what appeared to be fire crackers going off from my position. I immediately turned to my right rear trying to locate the source but was not able to determine the exact location.

At this time the U.S. Secret Service follow-up car seemed to slow and I heard someone from inside this car say: ''he's shot". I left the follow-up car in the direction of the President's car but was recalled by ATSAIC Emory Roberts (Secret Service) as the cars increased their speeds. I got back on the car and seated myself beside Mr. Roberts in the right front seat. The cars proceeded to the hospital several miles distance.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/m_j_russ/Sa-ready.htm

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Personally i beleive the Limo slowed to a crawl momentarily in order to allow Clint Hill to catch up

Robin,

What do you base that on? In both his original report and WC testimony, Greer says he looked back after the second shot and knew something was wrong because he saw Connally fall and he immediately sped away. He makes no mention of Hill and it would appear that he was not even aware of Hill. He just looked back, saw Connally, and took off.

Of course Greer could have cited Hill as a good excuse for slowing down like he did, but he didn't.

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Personally i beleive the Limo slowed to a crawl momentarily in order to allow Clint Hill to catch up

Robin,

What do you base that on? In both his original report and WC testimony, Greer says he looked back after the second shot and knew something was wrong because he saw Connally fall and he immediately sped away. He makes no mention of Hill and it would appear that he was not even aware of Hill. He just looked back, saw Connally, and took off.

Of course Greer could have cited Hill as a good excuse for slowing down like he did, but he didn't.

Hi Ron.

As Hill hit the grab rail, jackie jumped up and reached out across the back of the Limo.

Did Greer really take off not knowing that Jackie was spread eagle acrosss rhe back of the Limo. ?

Quote:

Personally i beleive the Limo slowed to a crawl momentarily in order to allow Clint Hill to catch up

I should clarify, that Hill already had a hold of the grab rail at this point, but as the lightened NIX Gif shows

he was having a hell of a time trying to get back up onto the step.

Edited by Robin Unger

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Did Greer really take off not knowing that Jackie was spread eagle acrosss rhe back of the Limo. ?

I don't know, we can only go by what he testified to, though we know he was a xxxx. I personally think he slowed down almost to a stop to make it easy for the shooters and not get hit himself. (Connally got hit and might just as well have said, "My God, you should have slowed down more!") Greer didn't give a damn about Jackie or Hill.

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