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Clint Hill - First shot hit the president


Guest Duncan MacRae
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Hey Duncan,

Do you think this demonstrates that the limo didn't stop because it took a little time for Hill to get to it?

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And Hill wasn't alone. Pretty much everyone who saw Kennedy respond to the first shot said he was either hit by the shot, or reacted to the shot beyond calmly waving to his right (the reaction pushed by those holding the first shot missed circa frame 160 of the Zapruder film). This highly suggests (proves, as far as eyewitness testimony can be relied upon) that the first shot rang out after frame 180 (when he waves) but prior to Kennedy's heading behind the sign. As none of those claiming he reacted to the first shot said there was another shot just after that appeared to hit him, moreover, it is clear-cut evidence that the first shot hit JFK.

From patspeer.com, chapter 5:

Remote Viewers--those noting the impact of the shots from buildings looking down on Dealey Plaza (all listed witnesses heard three shots unless otherwise noted):

Ruth Smith (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.”

Lillian Mooneyham (1-10-64 FBI report, 24H531) “Mrs. Mooneyham heard a gunshot and observed President Kennedy slump to the left of the seat of his car."

Cecil Ault (1-10-64 FBI report, 24H534) “Following the first shot Mr. Ault noted that President Kennedy appeared to raise up in his seat.”

Dr. Samuel Paternostro (1-20-64 FBI report, 24H536) “He said he estimated several seconds, possibly four or five more, elapsed between the first report and the second and third reports. He said he observed President John F. Kennedy when he appeared to grab his head and thought at the time he is “well-trained;” then, when the other reports followed in quick succession, he realized that the President had been shot.”

Harold Norman (3-24-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 3H186-198) "I can’t remember what the exact time was but I know I heard a shot, and then after I heard a shot, well, it seems as though the President, you know, slumped or something."

James Jarman (11-24-63 FBI report, CD5 p334-335) “He said that he heard a shot and then saw President Kennedy move his right hand up to his head."

So, we're just beginning and the score is already 6-0. All these witnesses heard three shots and all of them believed Kennedy responded to the first shot.

Eastsiders--those noting the impact of the shots from a location in the Plaza to the east of the limousine:

TE Moore (1-10-64 FBI report, 24H534) “By the time President Kennedy had reached the Thornton Freeway sign, a shot was fired and Mr. Moore observed the President slump forward in the Presidential car."

Mrs. Ruby Henderson (12-6-63 FBI report, 24H524) “at the time the motorcade passed where she was standing, she heard what she initially thought was a firecracker, and saw what she thought was paper fly out of the Presidential car. She said she now realized it was a shot she heard and what she thought was paper was probably flesh." (If so, she thought the first of the four shots she heard was the head shot. This seems highly unlikely, in light of all the other statements. It seems probable then that she was mistaken on this point.)

Welcome Eugene Barnett (7-23-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 7H539-544) “I was looking at the President when the first shot was fired, and I thought I saw him slump down, but I am not sure, and I didn’t look any more then. I thought he was ducking down."

Pierce Allman (11-22-63 eyewitness report on WFAA radio, 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."

Phil Willis (7-22-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 7H492-497) "When I took slide No. 4, the President was smiling and waving and looking straight ahead, and Mrs. Kennedy was likewise smiling and facing more to my side of the street. When the first shot was fired, her head seemed to just snap in that direction, and he more or less faced the other side of the street and slumped forward.”

Linda Willis (7-22-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 7H498-499) (When asked if she heard shots) “Yes; I heard one. Then there was a little bit of time, and then there were two real fast bullets together. When the first one hit, well, the President turned from waving to the people, and he grabbed his throat, and he kind of slumped forward."

Patricia Lawrence (11-24-63 FBI Report, 22H841): “When the motorcade passed she stated she was looking at Mrs. Kennedy who was looking to the other side of the car. The President was looking in her direction and she had waved. She heard the shot fired as the president was waving." (The president was not waving at frame 160 of the Zapruder film--the moment of the purported first shot miss--but was waving by frame 180, a second or so later. Still, as she does not specifically say the president stopped waving after the shot, it's difficult to say for sure that she is describing a first shot hit.)

Mary Woodward (11-23-63 newspaper article Witness From the News Describes Assassination written by Woodward for the Dallas Morning News) "After acknowledging our cheers, he [JFK] faced forward again and suddenly there was a horrible, ear-splitting noise coming from behind us and a little to the right. My first reaction, and also my friends', was that as a joke someone had backfired their car...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." (Kennedy, of course, does not turn and look around after frame 160, but resumes waving. What Woodward called "turning" then is almost certainly a reaction to the first shot's impact.)

Jean Newman (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." (Only heard two shots.)

June Dishong (Letter written on 11-22-63, as read by her daughter on CNN, 11-21-2003, and featured on the Sixth Floor Museum website) “here come the president and his wife…His arm in the air waving…He drops his arm as they go by, possibly 20 feet. Suddenly--a sound. Gun shots? So hard to tell above the clamor of the crowd. The president bent forward into his wife’s lap as his arm slipped off the side of the car."

While we can't rightly count Mrs. Henderson, Ms. Lawrence or Ms. Newman as first shot hit witnesses, the statements of the other 7 witnesses definitely support that Kennedy was hit by the first shot. This makes the score 13-0. Unfortunately, things get a little more confusing when we move on to discuss the statements of those on the west end of the plaza.

Westsiders--those noting the impact of the shots from a location in the plaza to the west of the limousine:

S.M. Holland (11-22-63 statement to Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, 19H480, 24H212) “the President’s car was coming down Elm Street and when they got just about to the Arcade I heard what I thought for the moment was a fire cracker and he slumped over...After the first shot the President slumped over and Mrs. Kennedy jumped up." (Apparently, he thought the first shot was the head shot.)

Stavis Ellis (HSCA Vol. XII, p.23) “On August 5, 1978...Ellis said that just as he started down the hill of Elm Street, he looked back toward President Kennedy’s car and saw debris come up from the ground at a nearby curb. Ellis thought it was a fragment grenade. Ellis also said that President Kennedy turned around and looked over his shoulder." (Even though Ellis believed the first shot missed, his description of Kennedy's actions by no means matches the behavior of Kennedy observed between frames 160 and 190 of the Zapruder film, and instead suggests the first shot hit. The "fragment grenade" observed by Ellis was most logically a piece of Kennedy's skull, which would suggest the first shot heard by Ellis was the head shot. It also seems possible Ellis heard less than three shots.)

Dallas County Sheriff Bill Decker (Undated 1963-1964 statement included with Decker Exhibit 5323, 19H458) “I distinctly remember hearing 2 shots. As I heard the first retort, I looked back over my shoulder and saw what appeared to be a spray of water come out of the rear seat of the President’s car." (Only heard two shots, the first of which was most probably the head shot.)

Jack Franzen (11-24-63 FBI report, 22H840) “He said he heard the sound of an explosion which appeared to him to come from the President’s car and noticed small fragments flying inside the car and immediately assumed someone had tossed a firecracker inside the automobile." (Once again, the first shot he describes is the head shot.)

Mrs. Jack Franzen (11-25-63 FBI report, 24H525) “She advised shortly after the President’s automobile passed by on Elm Street near where she and her family were standing, she heard a noise which sounded to her to as if someone had thrown a firecracker into the President’s automobile. She advised at approximately the same time she noticed dust or small pieces of debris flying from the President’s automobile." (Her statement mimics her husband's. Once again, the first shot is the head shot.)

Malcolm Summers (11-23-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H500) “The President’s car had just come up in front of me when I heard a shot and saw the President slump down in the car and heard Mrs. Kennedy say, “Oh, no,” then a second shot and then I hit the ground as I realized these were shots." (Only recalled hearing two shots, with the first one most probably the head shot.)

Emmett Hudson (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H481) “At the same time the President’s car was directly in front of us, I heard a shot and I saw the President fall over in the seat." (First shot head shot.)

Mary Moorman (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H487, 24H217) “As President Kennedy was opposite me, I took a picture of him. As I snapped the picture of President Kennedy, I heard a shot ring out. President Kennedy kind of slumped over." (Moorman's photo depicts the head shot. Once again...first shot, head shot.)

Jean Hill (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H479, 24H212) “Just as Mary Moorman started to take a picture we were looking at the President and Jackie in the back seat…Just as the President looked up toward us two shots rang out and I saw the President grab his chest and fall forward across Jackie’s lap." (Once again...first shot, head shot.)

Well, this is a surprise. Here, we have nine witnesses from the west end of the plaza--all of them recalling at least two shots--and ALL of them describing the events observed in the Zapruder film at the time of the head shot as the events they observed at the time of the FIRST shot. Now, this is curious, and suggests that (as Kennedy was obviously hit at least once before the head shot) not only did the first shot not miss, but that the second shot was the head shot. This, in turn, suggests it was the THIRD shot that missed. (Now we can call it either 22-0 or keep it at 13-0. You decide.)

Centrists--those noting the impact of the shots from the center of the plaza.

Abraham Zapruder (2:10 PM 11-22-63 interview on WFAA) “as I was shooting, as the President was coming down from Houston Street making his turn, it was about a half-way down there, I heard a shot, and he slumped to the side, like this. Then I heard another shot or two, I couldn't say it was one or two, and I saw his head practically open up, all blood and everything, and I kept on shooting.” (Only heard two definite shots, but felt certain Kennedy was hit by the first one.)

Marilyn Sitzman (11-29-66 interview with Josiah Thompson) “There was nothing unusual until the first sound, which I thought was a firecracker, mainly because of the reaction of President Kennedy. He put his hands up to guard his face and leaned to the left." (Only heard two shots.)

William Newman (11-22-63 interview on WFAA) “we were at the edge of the curb, getting ready to wave at the President when we heard the first shot and the President.....I don't know who was hit first but the President jumped up in his seat, and I thought it scared him, I thought it was a firecracker, cause he looked....you know, fear." (Only heard two shots.)

Frances Gayle Newman (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 24H218) “When President Kennedy’s car was about ten feet from us, I heard a noise that sounded like a firecracker going off. President Kennedy kind of jumped like he was startled and then covered his head with his hands and then raised up."

Charles Brehm (11-22-63 NBC television interview first broadcast around 3:15 CST, as shown in Rush to Judgment) “He was coming down the Street and my five-year old boy and myself were by ourselves on the grass there on Commerce Street. And I asked Joe to wave to him and Joe waved and I waved (breaks up)…as he was waving back, the shot rang out and he slumped down in his seat."

John Chism (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H471) "When I saw the motorcade round the corner, the President was standing and waving to the crowd. And just as he got just about in front of me, he turned and waved to the crowd on this side of the street, the right side; at this point I heard what sounded like one shot, and I saw him “The President,” sit back in his seat and lean his head to his left side." (Only heard two shots.)

Marvin Faye Chism (11-22-63 statement to the Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H472) “As the President was coming through, I heard this first shot, and the President fell to his left." (Only heard two shots.)

Well, this is also interesting. Why did so few of those in the middle of the plaza hear three shots? The thought occurs that one of the shots was harder to hear than the others. Counting only those initially claiming to have heard three shots, then, the score is now 24-0 or 15-0.

The motorcade witnesses:

Paul Landis (11-27-63 report, 18H758-759) “At this moment, I heard what sounded like the report of a high powered rifle behind me. My first glance was at the President, as my eyes were almost straight ahead at that time. I did not realize that the President was hit at that point. I saw him moving and thought he was turning in the direction of the sound." (Only heard two shots, but saw Kennedy react to the first sound.)

Glen Bennett (notes written on 11-22-63, 24H541-542) "At this point I heard a noise that immediately reminded me of a firecracker. I immediately, upon hearing the supposed firecracker, looked at the boss's car. At this exact time I saw a shot that hit the boss about 4 inches down from the right shoulder. A second shoot followed immediately and hit the right rear high of the boss's head." (While the precise meaning of Bennett's words are open to debate, they do on first glance suggest that he felt the first shot missed. Since he did not see Kennedy's reaction to the first shot, but only saw him at the "exact time" he received the second shot, it seems possible the blood seen by Bennett came from the first shot. But we'll call this one a first shot miss.)

George Hickey (11-22-63 report, 18H765) “As 100-X made the turn and proceeded a short distance, I heard what seemed to me that a firecracker exploded to the right and rear. I stood partially up and turned to the rear to see if I could observe anything. Nothing was observed and I turned around and looked at the President’s car. The President was slumped to the left in the car."

David Powers (5-18-64 affidavit, 7H472-474) “the first shot went off and it sounded to me as if it were a firecracker. I noticed then that the President moved quite far to his left after the shot from the extreme right hand side where he had been sitting."

Clint Hill (11-30-63 report, 18H740-745) “The noise 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." (Only heard two shots, but saw the President react to the first one.)

Sam Kinney (11-22-63 report, 18H732) “The first shot was fired as we were going into an underpass…it appeared that he (the President) had been shot because he slumped to the left."

Emory Roberts (11-29-63 report, 18H733-738) “12:30 PM: First of three shots fired, at which time I saw the President lean toward Mrs. Kennedy."

B.J. Martin (4-3-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 6H289-293) “one of the agents got off of the car after the first shot…I looked to my right (after the first shot)…I looked at the President after I heard the (first) shot and he was leaning forward—I could see the left side of his face."

Bobby W. Hargis (11-22-63 article in Dallas Times-Herald) “About halfway down between Houston and the underpass I heard the first shot. It sounded like a real loud firecracker. When I heard the sound, the first thing I thought about was a gunshot. I looked around and about then Governor Connally turned around and looked at the President with a real surprised look on his face…The President bent over to hear what the Governor had to say." (Only heard two shots, but he saw the President respond to the first one.)

James Chaney (11-22-63 interview on WFAA, as shown on Youtube) “We heard the first shot. I thought it was a motorcycle backfiring and uh I looked back over to my left and also President Kennedy looked back over his left shoulder." (By saying the President turned to his left after the first shot-which only happens after Kennedy had obviously been hit--Chaney suggests he was hit by the first shot.)

Roy Kellerman (12-10-63 FBI report, CD7 p.3-11) (11-22-63 FBI interview) “he advised he heard a shot and immediately turned around, looking past Governor Connally…to the President. He observed the President slump forward."

First Lady of Texas Nellie Connally (Notes written on 12-2-63, as reprinted in her book From Love Field, 2003) “then I heard a loud, terrifying noise…I turned and looked toward the President just in time to see him clutch his neck and see him sink down in his seat."

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (11-29-63 interview with Theodore White, notes released 5-26-95) “They were gunning the motorcycles; there were these little backfires; there was one noise like that; I thought it was a backfire. Then next I saw Connally grabbing his arm and saying no no nononono, with his fist beating—then Jack turned and I turned." (Only heard two shots, but thought her husband responded to the first one.)

So...a final tally. When one performs even a cursory review of the statements regarding the movements within the limousine at the time of the first shot, one finds that 42 of these indicated Kennedy had a reaction to the first shot. Not one indicated he just sat there waving, or looked around and resumed waving. While Agent Bennett's statement indicated that Kennedy was not hit until the second shot, he does not describe Kennedy's behavior after the first shot, so that his movements can be compared to the Zapruder film. This makes it hard to discern just when Bennett looked at Kennedy, and just how accurate are his recollections. Even if one includes Bennett as a firm witness for a first shot miss, however, and arbitrarily dismisses the statements of those hearing only two shots under the assumption they failed to hear the first shot, and the statements of those claiming the first shot was the head shot under the assumption their recollections are just not credible, the score remains 23-1 in favor of statements indicating that three shots were fired and the first one hit, vs. statements indicating that three shots were fired and the first one missed. Unless someone can come up with a reason why all these witnesses were wrong while Bennett, who was not even asked to testify to clarify his statements, was right, the evidence is overwhelming that the first shot hit.

Edited by Pat Speer
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And Hill wasn't alone. Pretty much everyone who saw Kennedy respond to the first shot said he was either hit by the shot, or reacted to the shot beyond calmly waving to his right (the reaction pushed by those holding the first shot missed circa frame 160 of the Zapruder film). This highly suggests (proves, as far as eyewitness testimony can be relied upon) that the first shot rang out after frame 180 (when he waves) but prior to Kennedy's heading behind the sign. As none of those claiming he reacted to the first shot said there was another shot just after that appeared to hit him, moreover, it is clear-cut evidence that the first shot hit JFK.

From patspeer.com, chapter 5:

Remote Viewers--those noting the impact of the shots from buildings looking down on Dealey Plaza (all listed witnesses heard three shots unless otherwise noted):

Ruth Smith (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.”

Lillian Mooneyham (1-10-64 FBI report, 24H531) “Mrs. Mooneyham heard a gunshot and observed President Kennedy slump to the left of the seat of his car."

Cecil Ault (1-10-64 FBI report, 24H534) “Following the first shot Mr. Ault noted that President Kennedy appeared to raise up in his seat.”

Dr. Samuel Paternostro (1-20-64 FBI report, 24H536) “He said he estimated several seconds, possibly four or five more, elapsed between the first report and the second and third reports. He said he observed President John F. Kennedy when he appeared to grab his head and thought at the time he is “well-trained;” then, when the other reports followed in quick succession, he realized that the President had been shot.”

Harold Norman (3-24-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 3H186-198) "I can’t remember what the exact time was but I know I heard a shot, and then after I heard a shot, well, it seems as though the President, you know, slumped or something."

James Jarman (11-24-63 FBI report, CD5 p334-335) “He said that he heard a shot and then saw President Kennedy move his right hand up to his head."

So, we're just beginning and the score is already 6-0. All these witnesses heard three shots and all of them believed Kennedy responded to the first shot.

Eastsiders--those noting the impact of the shots from a location in the Plaza to the east of the limousine:

TE Moore (1-10-64 FBI report, 24H534) “By the time President Kennedy had reached the Thornton Freeway sign, a shot was fired and Mr. Moore observed the President slump forward in the Presidential car."

Mrs. Ruby Henderson (12-6-63 FBI report, 24H524) “at the time the motorcade passed where she was standing, she heard what she initially thought was a firecracker, and saw what she thought was paper fly out of the Presidential car. She said she now realized it was a shot she heard and what she thought was paper was probably flesh." (If so, she thought the first of the four shots she heard was the head shot. This seems highly unlikely, in light of all the other statements. It seems probable then that she was mistaken on this point.)

Welcome Eugene Barnett (7-23-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 7H539-544) “I was looking at the President when the first shot was fired, and I thought I saw him slump down, but I am not sure, and I didn’t look any more then. I thought he was ducking down."

Pierce Allman (11-22-63 eyewitness report on WFAA radio, 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."

Phil Willis (7-22-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 7H492-497) "When I took slide No. 4, the President was smiling and waving and looking straight ahead, and Mrs. Kennedy was likewise smiling and facing more to my side of the street. When the first shot was fired, her head seemed to just snap in that direction, and he more or less faced the other side of the street and slumped forward.”

Linda Willis (7-22-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 7H498-499) (When asked if she heard shots) “Yes; I heard one. Then there was a little bit of time, and then there were two real fast bullets together. When the first one hit, well, the President turned from waving to the people, and he grabbed his throat, and he kind of slumped forward."

Patricia Lawrence (11-24-63 FBI Report, 22H841): “When the motorcade passed she stated she was looking at Mrs. Kennedy who was looking to the other side of the car. The President was looking in her direction and she had waved. She heard the shot fired as the president was waving." (The president was not waving at frame 160 of the Zapruder film--the moment of the purported first shot miss--but was waving by frame 180, a second or so later. Still, as she does not specifically say the president stopped waving after the shot, it's difficult to say for sure that she is describing a first shot hit.)

Mary Woodward (11-23-63 newspaper article Witness From the News Describes Assassination written by Woodward for the Dallas Morning News) "After acknowledging our cheers, he [JFK] faced forward again and suddenly there was a horrible, ear-splitting noise coming from behind us and a little to the right. My first reaction, and also my friends', was that as a joke someone had backfired their car...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." (Kennedy, of course, does not turn and look around after frame 160, but resumes waving. What Woodward called "turning" then is almost certainly a reaction to the first shot's impact.)

Jean Newman (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." (Only heard two shots.)

June Dishong (Letter written on 11-22-63, as read by her daughter on CNN, 11-21-2003, and featured on the Sixth Floor Museum website) “here come the president and his wife…His arm in the air waving…He drops his arm as they go by, possibly 20 feet. Suddenly--a sound. Gun shots? So hard to tell above the clamor of the crowd. The president bent forward into his wife’s lap as his arm slipped off the side of the car."

While we can't rightly count Mrs. Henderson, Ms. Lawrence or Ms. Newman as first shot hit witnesses, the statements of the other 7 witnesses definitely support that Kennedy was hit by the first shot. This makes the score 13-0. Unfortunately, things get a little more confusing when we move on to discuss the statements of those on the west end of the plaza.

Westsiders--those noting the impact of the shots from a location in the plaza to the west of the limousine:

S.M. Holland (11-22-63 statement to Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, 19H480, 24H212) “the President’s car was coming down Elm Street and when they got just about to the Arcade I heard what I thought for the moment was a fire cracker and he slumped over...After the first shot the President slumped over and Mrs. Kennedy jumped up." (Apparently, he thought the first shot was the head shot.)

Stavis Ellis (HSCA Vol. XII, p.23) “On August 5, 1978...Ellis said that just as he started down the hill of Elm Street, he looked back toward President Kennedy’s car and saw debris come up from the ground at a nearby curb. Ellis thought it was a fragment grenade. Ellis also said that President Kennedy turned around and looked over his shoulder." (Even though Ellis believed the first shot missed, his description of Kennedy's actions by no means matches the behavior of Kennedy observed between frames 160 and 190 of the Zapruder film, and instead suggests the first shot hit. The "fragment grenade" observed by Ellis was most logically a piece of Kennedy's skull, which would suggest the first shot heard by Ellis was the head shot. It also seems possible Ellis heard less than three shots.)

Dallas County Sheriff Bill Decker (Undated 1963-1964 statement included with Decker Exhibit 5323, 19H458) “I distinctly remember hearing 2 shots. As I heard the first retort, I looked back over my shoulder and saw what appeared to be a spray of water come out of the rear seat of the President’s car." (Only heard two shots, the first of which was most probably the head shot.)

Jack Franzen (11-24-63 FBI report, 22H840) “He said he heard the sound of an explosion which appeared to him to come from the President’s car and noticed small fragments flying inside the car and immediately assumed someone had tossed a firecracker inside the automobile." (Once again, the first shot he describes is the head shot.)

Mrs. Jack Franzen (11-25-63 FBI report, 24H525) “She advised shortly after the President’s automobile passed by on Elm Street near where she and her family were standing, she heard a noise which sounded to her to as if someone had thrown a firecracker into the President’s automobile. She advised at approximately the same time she noticed dust or small pieces of debris flying from the President’s automobile." (Her statement mimics her husband's. Once again, the first shot is the head shot.)

Malcolm Summers (11-23-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H500) “The President’s car had just come up in front of me when I heard a shot and saw the President slump down in the car and heard Mrs. Kennedy say, “Oh, no,” then a second shot and then I hit the ground as I realized these were shots." (Only recalled hearing two shots, with the first one most probably the head shot.)

Emmett Hudson (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H481) “At the same time the President’s car was directly in front of us, I heard a shot and I saw the President fall over in the seat." (First shot head shot.)

Mary Moorman (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H487, 24H217) “As President Kennedy was opposite me, I took a picture of him. As I snapped the picture of President Kennedy, I heard a shot ring out. President Kennedy kind of slumped over." (Moorman's photo depicts the head shot. Once again...first shot, head shot.)

Jean Hill (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H479, 24H212) “Just as Mary Moorman started to take a picture we were looking at the President and Jackie in the back seat…Just as the President looked up toward us two shots rang out and I saw the President grab his chest and fall forward across Jackie’s lap." (Once again...first shot, head shot.)

Well, this is a surprise. Here, we have nine witnesses from the west end of the plaza--all of them recalling at least two shots--and ALL of them describing the events observed in the Zapruder film at the time of the head shot as the events they observed at the time of the FIRST shot. Now, this is curious, and suggests that (as Kennedy was obviously hit at least once before the head shot) not only did the first shot not miss, but that the second shot was the head shot. This, in turn, suggests it was the THIRD shot that missed. (Now we can call it either 22-0 or keep it at 13-0. You decide.)

Centrists--those noting the impact of the shots from the center of the plaza.

Abraham Zapruder (2:10 PM 11-22-63 interview on WFAA) “as I was shooting, as the President was coming down from Houston Street making his turn, it was about a half-way down there, I heard a shot, and he slumped to the side, like this. Then I heard another shot or two, I couldn't say it was one or two, and I saw his head practically open up, all blood and everything, and I kept on shooting.” (Only heard two definite shots, but felt certain Kennedy was hit by the first one.)

Marilyn Sitzman (11-29-66 interview with Josiah Thompson) “There was nothing unusual until the first sound, which I thought was a firecracker, mainly because of the reaction of President Kennedy. He put his hands up to guard his face and leaned to the left." (Only heard two shots.)

William Newman (11-22-63 interview on WFAA) “we were at the edge of the curb, getting ready to wave at the President when we heard the first shot and the President.....I don't know who was hit first but the President jumped up in his seat, and I thought it scared him, I thought it was a firecracker, cause he looked....you know, fear." (Only heard two shots.)

Frances Gayle Newman (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 24H218) “When President Kennedy’s car was about ten feet from us, I heard a noise that sounded like a firecracker going off. President Kennedy kind of jumped like he was startled and then covered his head with his hands and then raised up."

Charles Brehm (11-22-63 NBC television interview first broadcast around 3:15 CST, as shown in Rush to Judgment) “He was coming down the Street and my five-year old boy and myself were by ourselves on the grass there on Commerce Street. And I asked Joe to wave to him and Joe waved and I waved (breaks up)…as he was waving back, the shot rang out and he slumped down in his seat."

John Chism (11-22-63 statement to Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H471) "When I saw the motorcade round the corner, the President was standing and waving to the crowd. And just as he got just about in front of me, he turned and waved to the crowd on this side of the street, the right side; at this point I heard what sounded like one shot, and I saw him “The President,” sit back in his seat and lean his head to his left side." (Only heard two shots.)

Marvin Faye Chism (11-22-63 statement to the Dallas Sheriff’s Department, 19H472) “As the President was coming through, I heard this first shot, and the President fell to his left." (Only heard two shots.)

Well, this is also interesting. Why did so few of those in the middle of the plaza hear three shots? The thought occurs that one of the shots was harder to hear than the others. Counting only those initially claiming to have heard three shots, then, the score is now 24-0 or 15-0.

The motorcade witnesses:

Paul Landis (11-27-63 report, 18H758-759) “At this moment, I heard what sounded like the report of a high powered rifle behind me. My first glance was at the President, as my eyes were almost straight ahead at that time. I did not realize that the President was hit at that point. I saw him moving and thought he was turning in the direction of the sound." (Only heard two shots, but saw Kennedy react to the first sound.)

Glen Bennett (notes written on 11-22-63, 24H541-542) "At this point I heard a noise that immediately reminded me of a firecracker. I immediately, upon hearing the supposed firecracker, looked at the boss's car. At this exact time I saw a shot that hit the boss about 4 inches down from the right shoulder. A second shoot followed immediately and hit the right rear high of the boss's head." (While the precise meaning of Bennett's words are open to debate, they do on first glance suggest that he felt the first shot missed. Since he did not see Kennedy's reaction to the first shot, but only saw him at the "exact time" he received the second shot, it seems possible the blood seen by Bennett came from the first shot. But we'll call this one a first shot miss.)

George Hickey (11-22-63 report, 18H765) “As 100-X made the turn and proceeded a short distance, I heard what seemed to me that a firecracker exploded to the right and rear. I stood partially up and turned to the rear to see if I could observe anything. Nothing was observed and I turned around and looked at the President’s car. The President was slumped to the left in the car."

David Powers (5-18-64 affidavit, 7H472-474) “the first shot went off and it sounded to me as if it were a firecracker. I noticed then that the President moved quite far to his left after the shot from the extreme right hand side where he had been sitting."

Clint Hill (11-30-63 report, 18H740-745) “The noise 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." (Only heard two shots, but saw the President react to the first one.)

Sam Kinney (11-22-63 report, 18H732) “The first shot was fired as we were going into an underpass…it appeared that he (the President) had been shot because he slumped to the left."

Emory Roberts (11-29-63 report, 18H733-738) “12:30 PM: First of three shots fired, at which time I saw the President lean toward Mrs. Kennedy."

B.J. Martin (4-3-64 testimony before the Warren Commission, 6H289-293) “one of the agents got off of the car after the first shot…I looked to my right (after the first shot)…I looked at the President after I heard the (first) shot and he was leaning forward—I could see the left side of his face."

Bobby W. Hargis (11-22-63 article in Dallas Times-Herald) “About halfway down between Houston and the underpass I heard the first shot. It sounded like a real loud firecracker. When I heard the sound, the first thing I thought about was a gunshot. I looked around and about then Governor Connally turned around and looked at the President with a real surprised look on his face…The President bent over to hear what the Governor had to say." (Only heard two shots, but he saw the President respond to the first one.)

James Chaney (11-22-63 interview on WFAA, as shown on Youtube) “We heard the first shot. I thought it was a motorcycle backfiring and uh I looked back over to my left and also President Kennedy looked back over his left shoulder." (By saying the President turned to his left after the first shot-which only happens after Kennedy had obviously been hit--Chaney suggests he was hit by the first shot.)

Roy Kellerman (12-10-63 FBI report, CD7 p.3-11) (11-22-63 FBI interview) “he advised he heard a shot and immediately turned around, looking past Governor Connally…to the President. He observed the President slump forward."

First Lady of Texas Nellie Connally (Notes written on 12-2-63, as reprinted in her book From Love Field, 2003) “then I heard a loud, terrifying noise…I turned and looked toward the President just in time to see him clutch his neck and see him sink down in his seat."

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (11-29-63 interview with Theodore White, notes released 5-26-95) “They were gunning the motorcycles; there were these little backfires; there was one noise like that; I thought it was a backfire. Then next I saw Connally grabbing his arm and saying no no nononono, with his fist beating—then Jack turned and I turned." (Only heard two shots, but thought her husband responded to the first one.)

So...a final tally. When one performs even a cursory review of the statements regarding the movements within the limousine at the time of the first shot, one finds that 42 of these indicated Kennedy had a reaction to the first shot. Not one indicated he just sat there waving, or looked around and resumed waving. While Agent Bennett's statement indicated that Kennedy was not hit until the second shot, he does not describe Kennedy's behavior after the first shot, so that his movements can be compared to the Zapruder film. This makes it hard to discern just when Bennett looked at Kennedy, and just how accurate are his recollections. Even if one includes Bennett as a firm witness for a first shot miss, however, and arbitrarily dismisses the statements of those hearing only two shots under the assumption they failed to hear the first shot, and the statements of those claiming the first shot was the head shot under the assumption their recollections are just not credible, the score remains 23-1 in favor of statements indicating that three shots were fired and the first one hit, vs. statements indicating that three shots were fired and the first one missed. Unless someone can come up with a reason why all these witnesses were wrong while Bennett, who was not even asked to testify to clarify his statements, was right, the evidence is overwhelming that the first shot hit.

Pat,

That is some good stuff right there!

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Quote:

George Hickey (11-22-63 report, 18H765) “As 100-X made the turn and proceeded a short distance, I heard what seemed to me that a firecracker exploded to the right and rear. I stood partially up and turned to the rear to see if I could observe anything. Nothing was observed and I turned around and looked at the President’s car. The President was slumped to the left in the car."

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Hi Duncan.

In your video Clint Hill describes STARTING TO TURN TO HIS RIGHT when his eye catches the president.

Is appears to me that Altgens 6 may shows this. ?

Ready ,Landis, Bennett, and McIntyre are already looking in the direction of the TSBD.

Clint hill isn't !

Attached Image: Altgens 6 Large 1.65MB

Click on image to view FULL SIZE

Edited by Robin Unger
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Hi Duncan.

In your video Clint Hill describes STARTING TO TURN TO HIS RIGHT when his eye catches the president.

Is appears to me that Altgens 6 may shows this. ?

Ready ,Landis, Bennett, and McIntyre are already looking in the direction of the TSBD.

Clint hill isn't !

Robin, both Hickey and Hill--and apparently the rest of those in the SS car- had heard only one shot at the time of the Altgens photo. This supports what is clear from the bulk of their testimony--that the last two shots were bunched together around the time of the head shot.

This, of course, is problematic for the LN theory, in that not only does such a bunching undermine that Oswald fired the shots with a bolt-action rifle, but that a close study of the Z-film shows Kennedy and Connally react to shots at two different times BEFORE the Altgens photo was taken.

This led me to explore the possibility that at least one of these shots was fired from a silenced or sub-sonic weapon.

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Hi Duncan.

In your video Clint Hill describes STARTING TO TURN TO HIS RIGHT when his eye catches the president.

Is appears to me that Altgens 6 may shows this. ?

Ready ,Landis, Bennett, and McIntyre are already looking in the direction of the TSBD.

Clint hill isn't !

Robin, both Hickey and Hill--and apparently the rest of those in the SS car- had heard only one shot at the time of the Altgens photo. This supports what is clear from the bulk of their testimony--that the last two shots were bunched together around the time of the head shot.

This, of course, is problematic for the LN theory, in that not only does such a bunching undermine that Oswald fired the shots with a bolt-action rifle, but that a close study of the Z-film shows Kennedy and Connally react to shots at two different times BEFORE the Altgens photo was taken.

This led me to explore the possibility that at least one of these shots was fired from a silenced or sub-sonic weapon.

Thanks Pat.

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Like many others, including Brehm, Moorman and J Hill, Clint Hill did not hear any of the early shots. Look at him in the Altgens photo, taken at Z255. He is the ONLY agent on the running boards who is not looking back or reacting.

He leaped from the running board almost simultaneous with the shot at 312-313, in reaction to a shot that was immediately prior to that. And he thought (mistakenly of course), that JFK first reacted, almost simultaneous with him jumping,

Representative FORD. Did you see the President put his hands to his throat and chest while you were still on the followup car, or after you had left it?

Mr. HILL. As I was leaving..

Hill jumped from the running board in reaction to the shot at 285, thinking that was the first shot and that JFK had just started to react. Nothing else makes sense.

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Hi Duncan.

In your video Clint Hill describes STARTING TO TURN TO HIS RIGHT when his eye catches the president.

Is appears to me that Altgens 6 may shows this. ?

Ready ,Landis, Bennett, and McIntyre are already looking in the direction of the TSBD.

Clint hill isn't !

Robin, both Hickey and Hill--and apparently the rest of those in the SS car- had heard only one shot at the time of the Altgens photo. This supports what is clear from the bulk of their testimony--that the last two shots were bunched together around the time of the head shot.

This, of course, is problematic for the LN theory, in that not only does such a bunching undermine that Oswald fired the shots with a bolt-action rifle, but that a close study of the Z-film shows Kennedy and Connally react to shots at two different times BEFORE the Altgens photo was taken.

This led me to explore the possibility that at least one of these shots was fired from a silenced or sub-sonic weapon.

You are correct that Hickey and most of the other agents heard a "noise" prior to the Altgens photo, but Clint Hill had not.

He told the WC (mistakenly) that JFK first reacted at the same time he leaped from the running board (see the cite in my previous post), which was almost simultaneous with the 312 shot. He could only have been reacting to the shot at 285. Consider this, from his original report,

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 ONLY group which matches that description is Brehm, his son, BL, Jean H and Moorman.

In the wide version of the Zfilm we can see that throughout the film, he was never scanning people on the left side of the road, up to the point where we lose sight of him, just before 250. But in the Altgens photo, we can see that he has turned a considerable distance to his left, since our last sighting of him the film. Ergo, at that instant he was in the act of turning toward the south side of Elm.

That put him right on schedule to be "scanning" Brehm & co at 285. And at 285, the President passes within a tad less than 20 feet of Brehm, who stated that day, that JFK was "15-20 feet" from him when he heard the first of several shots.

Standing to his left Jean Hill said the limo was "almost abreast" of her position when she heard the shot. Mary Moorman stated,

As I snapped the picture of President Kennedy, I heard a shot ring out. President Kennedy kind of slumped over. Then I heard another shot ring out and Mrs. Kennedy jumped up in the car and said, "My God he had been shot." When I heard these shots ring out, I fell to the ground to keep from being hit myself. I heard three or four shots in all.

Greer said the final shots were almost simultaneous; Kellerman said they were like a "flurry" and likened them to a pair of sonic booms from a jet plane.

Even the WC admitted that MOST witnesses reported a single early shot and then closely bunched shots at the end. Why do people have such a hard time grasping that there were shots at 285 and 312?

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Even if one includes Bennett as a firm witness for a first shot miss, however, and arbitrarily dismisses the statements of those hearing only two shots under the assumption they failed to hear the first shot, and the statements of those claiming the first shot was the head shot under the assumption their recollections are just not credible, the score remains 23-1 in favor of statements indicating that three shots were fired and the first one hit, vs. statements indicating that three shots were fired and the first one missed. Unless someone can come up with a reason why all these witnesses were wrong while Bennett, who was not even asked to testify to clarify his statements, was right, the evidence is overwhelming that the first shot hit.

Pat, you are wrong.

First, do a tally of the witnesses who were watching Jackie durng the early Zfilm. Everyone I am aware of, said she was looking to her left when the first shot was fired - including her. And she began to react by 170, turning toward her husband, never looking to the left side of the road again.

There was a shot fired circa 160 which was heard by some witnesses - perhaps because it made a noise when it shattered on the pavement. We see both Jackie and JFK react to it simultaneously. But no-one heard the shot at 223, including John Connally. That's because the early shots were fired from a suppressed weapon. Nor did they hear the shot that was fired during the Towner film. Now, before anyone laughs at that suggestion, PLEASE watch this video or at least, the first part of it. If JFK was not reacting to a gunshot then, then what was he reacting to??

http://www.jfkhistory.com/ALL/ALL.mov

If is also available on Youtube,

http://www.youtube.com/user/bobharris77#p/u/8/gkAc76n8q44

Edited by Robert Harris
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Like many others, including Brehm, Moorman and J Hill, Clint Hill did not hear any of the early shots. Look at him in the Altgens photo, taken at Z255. He is the ONLY agent on the running boards who is not looking back or reacting.

He leaped from the running board almost simultaneous with the shot at 312-313, in reaction to a shot that was immediately prior to that. And he thought (mistakenly of course), that JFK first reacted, almost simultaneous with him jumping,

Representative FORD. Did you see the President put his hands to his throat and chest while you were still on the followup car, or after you had left it?

Mr. HILL. As I was leaving..

Hill jumped from the running board in reaction to the shot at 285, thinking that was the first shot and that JFK had just started to react. Nothing else makes sense.

This is really silly, Robert. If Hill saw Kennedy put his hands to his throat, he saw him BEFORE Z-285, and the shot he heard BEFORE he saw Kennedy reach for his throat was therefore seconds BEFORE Z-285. Your trying to spin him as a witness for a shot at Z-285 just doesn't work.

Hill, like HARGIS and a number of others, heard two shots--an early one to which Kennedy reacted, and a second one they associated with the large head wound. Many more thought there were two shots, bang-bang, around the time Kennedy was struck in the head. If you're gonna argue for a shot at Z-285, your best bet is to argue that it was the first of the two shots people heard as bang-bang, and Hill (and others) heard as one sound.

But that's also problematic. Most of the closest witnesses--Brehm, Moorman, Hill, Hudson, Summers--heard a shot after the headshot, which suggests the headshot was the first of the two shots heard as bang-bang by so many, and not the second.

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Even if one includes Bennett as a firm witness for a first shot miss, however, and arbitrarily dismisses the statements of those hearing only two shots under the assumption they failed to hear the first shot, and the statements of those claiming the first shot was the head shot under the assumption their recollections are just not credible, the score remains 23-1 in favor of statements indicating that three shots were fired and the first one hit, vs. statements indicating that three shots were fired and the first one missed. Unless someone can come up with a reason why all these witnesses were wrong while Bennett, who was not even asked to testify to clarify his statements, was right, the evidence is overwhelming that the first shot hit.

Pat, you are wrong.

First, do a tally of the witnesses who were watching Jackie durng the early Zfilm. Everyone I am aware of, said she was looking to her left when the first shot was fired - including her. And she began to react by 170, turning toward her husband, never looking to the left side of the road again.

There was a shot fired circa 160 which was heard by some witnesses - perhaps because it made a noise when it shattered on the pavement. We see both Jackie and JFK react to it simultaneously. But no-one heard the shot at 223, including John Connally. That's because the early shots were fired from a suppressed weapon. Nor did they hear the shot that was fired during the Towner film. Now, before anyone laughs at that suggestion, PLEASE watch this video or at least, the first part of it. If JFK was not reacting to a gunshot then, then what was he reacting to??

http://www.jfkhistory.com/ALL/ALL.mov

If is also available on Youtube,

http://www.youtube.com/user/bobharris77#p/u/8/gkAc76n8q44

There may have been a shot fired at 160, but it most definitely was not the first of the three shots heard by most witnesses. The "we know when the shots struck because the occupants of the car turned argument" is a failed one. Mary Woodward said the occupants turned to look at her when she and her friends yelled out. Connally said he turned to his left and back real fast because he was stretching. In short, we don't know why they turned, and pretending we can discern shots by the reactions of but a few people, when dozens of witnesses, including those whose reactions we are judging, disagree with the conclusion the first shot was fired at frame 160, and that Kennedy calmly resumed waving to his right after the first shot, is silly.

The first shot miss at frame 160 is an absolute myth. I discuss this throughout chapters 5 thru 9b. A quick summary was already posted on this thread. In chapter 9b I go through Bugliosi's witnesses for a first shot miss, and show how he lies about almost all of them. You may want to take a look.

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What would have kept a conspirator from tossing a single firecracker from a window or roof near Houston and Elm, just to condition the crowd or loyal SS to other small explosions to follow?

That said, I appreciated Bob Harris' video very much.

Edited by David Andrews
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What would have kept a conspirator from tossing a single firecracker from a window or roof near Houston and Elm, just to condition the crowd or loyal SS to other small explosions to follow?

That said, I appreciated Bob Harris' video very much.

David, my study of the eyewitnesses suggested the last shot or sound came from west of the TSBD. My study had also suggested that no shooter was seen in that area, however. I also had concerns about the smoke several witnesses saw on the knoll. This led me to wonder if someone had exploded a firecracker in the area.

I gained confidence that this was indeed the case after reading some U.S. Army publications from WW2, which told of German and Japanese snipers using firecrackers as diversionary devices. A sniper would fire from one location, light a long fused firecracker, and then make his way to another location. While opposing forces closed in on their former location, the snipers could either escape or take a second shot from a new and unexpected vantage point. If there were shooters in the TSBD and Dal-Tex, having someone light a firecracker on the Elm Street extension behind the knoll would have been quite helpful in diverting attention from their locations.

Edited by Pat Speer
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