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Jackie Makes Assassination Film


William Kelly
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From The Kennedy Detail (Blaine, J. Gallery Books, S&S, 2010, p. 130-131)

…One of the White House photographers, Robert Knudsen, was taking films of the group on the cruise, and both the children and the adults were hamming it up. Mrs. Kennedy truly seemed to be enjoying the outing.

By the time the Honey Fitz returned to the pier at Hammersmith Farm, it was late afternoon. Godfrey and Blaine were waiting on the dock, with Agents Paul Landis and Roy Kellerman standing by to follow the presidential party back to the house, when Mrs. Kennedy came walking briskly toward them. Her hair was windblown from the cruise and she’d gotten just a hint of color on her cheeks and nose from the afternoon on the water. She was practically beaming.

“Mr. Kellerman? Would you please do us a favor?”

“Sure. What do you need, Mrs. Kennedy?” Roy Kellerman asked.

“We’re making a film about the president’s murder and we’d like you and the other agents to drive up to the front of the house, then jump out and run toward the door.”

“You want us to drive up now?” Kellerman asked.

“No, just as soon as Mr. Kundsen is ready,” she said, her soft voice filled with enthusiasm.

It was a strange request, but it was nice to see her smiling for a change.

She turned around and practically skipped back toward the rest of the group.

Jerry Blaine thought he must have misheard what Mrs. Kennedy had asked. He gave Art Godfrey a quizzical look.

Godfrey laughed. “She sure seems to be enjoying herself,” he said.

“Art, get your shift ready,” Kellerman called to Godfrey. “When we get to the house, we’re being featured in a film classic.”

The cars had been placed at the end of the long pier, and as the agents piled into the black sedan that served as the follow-up car, Blaine looked over to see Paul Landis shaking his head, chuckling.

“Clint was telling me she loves making movies,” Blaine said with a laugh as he started the engine. “I think down deep she really wants to be a director.”

The short drive on the dirt road from the pier up to the house was one of the few places President Kennedy could actually drive his own car, and he thoroughly enjoyed these short bursts of freedom. The president got into the driver’s seat of the white Lincoln convertible as Jackie and their guests piled in, with the kids giggling as they climbed aboard the top of the backseat for the bumpy ride to the mansion.

The agents dutifully put on their sunglasses, primed for the scene, and followed the convertible for the short drive.

President Kennedy pulled up to the front of the house and the kids who were riding on the back were the top folded down slid off the trunk and raced to the front door, laughing and yelling. Everyone was having a wonderful time. The president and his guests picked up the gear they had taken to the boat and went inside while Mrs. Kennedy stayed outside with Kundsen.

Kundsen had apparently been briefed on the plan and called out directions to the agents in the follow-up car.

“Okay, drive the car up from the command post and pull up to the front of the house, and make a mad dash for the door,” Knudsen directed as Mrs. Kennedy nodded in agreement.

“Look desperate, like you heard shots and are concerned that the president might be hurt and you need to respond fast,” she added.

Blaine backed up the car to the designated starting point, a way down the dirt road. Then, as he drove toward the house, he turned, pressed his foot down hard on the gas, and slammed on the breaks, bringing the car to a screeching halt right in front of the house. The photographer focused on the agents as they jumped out of the car and ran up the porch stairs to the front door.

Mrs. Kennedy clapped her hands and looked at Kundsen.

“That was great! Did you get it?”

“Got it,” he said. “Great action sequence.”

“Thank you gentlemen,” Mrs. Kennedy said as she and Knudsen walked into the house to finish the film.

Godfrey turned to Kellerman. “I don’t believe we have a starring role, but at least she got authentic character actors.”

“Wonder what that was all about?” Blaine asked.

“She said something about the president being murdered,” Roy said.

“By who?”

“She didn’t say,” Roy said as he walked back to the car to drive it back to the command post.

“All in a day’s work,” Godfrey said with a chuckle. The agents laughed as they separated to their assigned posts around the property.

They all agreed it was certainly refreshing to see her in good spirits, having fun with the president….

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Bill,

As always, I truly appreciate you posting this kind of stuff. The "mock death" of JFK movie has always intrigued me. Has anyone ever seen this alleged film? To be honest, I find it very hard to believe that the Kennedys would think about doing such a thing. Kind of like it's always been hard for me to accept that those who are about to be assassinated just happen to mention the possibility of this, right before it actually happens. JFK was no exception here, supposedly talking about how easy it would be to shoot him, mentioning a high rise building, etc.

Well, I guess if this is indeed true, it still wouldn't be as incomprehensibly ironic as Lee Harvey Oswald's only known appearance in a personal home video occuring on November 22, 1962. Just imagine the odds there....

Again, maybe I missed something, but has anyone ever seen this "mock death" of JFK film?

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