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A key factor in the shooting


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I'm sure this has been gone over before many times - but I'm a relative newby. Taking in to consideration that the "head on" shot with the president coming right at you (as a lone assassin) prior to turning away from the TSBD and going away and downhill to the left...and dealing with a tree...why would you (as a lone assassin) not take the earlier shot?

Any fool would take the earlier shot. It was easier (by far) and it would give a better second shot (if necessary) since at that semi-blocked in space the motorcade would still be coming at the shooter.

So obviously, the lone assassin would have set himself up for the oncoming shot - and something had to prevent that (scare him?) and get him to have to quickly regroup his senses to fire the three shots downrange at a president in a car moving away, on a slight curve, and going downhill.

I think (if it were a single shooter - Oswald) that something had to take him away from his primary "shooting lane" and force him into plan B. With all the video footage and pictures there should be a clue as to what spooked Oswald off the best shot.

Of course - I personally don't think there ever was an attempt to shoot at the pre-turn point when the target was approaching the 6th floor TSBD...the best shot for a LONE shooter...still, for those who believe in that - I would say - what caused Oswald to not make the easiest shot? :huh:

There should be some sort of anomally in that segment of the motorcade trip that would cause the shooter to not take his easiest/best shot and instead shoot at a much harder - receding and turning a bit downhill target.

Edited by David S. Brownlee
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I'm sure this has been gone over before many times - but I'm a relative newby. Taking in to consideration that the "head on" shot with the president coming right at you (as a lone assassin) prior to turning away from the TSBD and going away and downhill to the left...and dealing with a tree...why would you (as a lone assassin) not take the earlier shot?

Any fool would take the earlier shot. It was easier (by far) and it would give a better second shot (if necessary) since at that semi-blocked in space the motorcade would still be coming at the shooter.

So obviously, the lone assassin would have set himself up for the oncoming shot - and something had to prevent that (scare him?) and get him to have to quickly regroup his senses to fire the three shots downrange at a president in a car moving away, on a slight curve, and going downhill.

I think (if it were a single shooter - Oswald) that something had to take him away from his primary "shooting lane" and force him into plan B. With all the video footage and pictures there should be a clue as to what spooked Oswald off the best shot.

Of course - I personally don't think there ever was an attempt to shoot at the pre-turn point when the target was approaching the 6th floor TSBD...the best shot for a LONE shooter...still, for those who believe in that - I would say - what caused Oswald to not make the easiest shot? :huh:

There should be some sort of anomally in that segment of the motorcade trip that would cause the shooter to not take his easiest/best shot and instead shoot at a much harder - receding and turning a bit downhill target.

David

The actual car that Kennedy was in at the time of the assassination had an overhead bow that the bubble roof would have attached to. In the straight on shot the shooter would have had the view of the windshield and this metal piece obstructing the shot. In the reenactments that were done the car did not have this added piece of hardware and many people have seen that reenactment and thought the same as you. Add the piece and it is a major obstruction.

Jim Root

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Oswald was not at the 6th floor window when the car turned onto Houston or any other time after 11:55 that day. If he was, and was indeed a LONE ASSASSIN, then common sense does suggest he would have taken his first and best shot as JFK approached him

I think this illustrates pretty well that as the limo approaches there is plenty of time in which the angle of the shot is steep enough to clear anything that may be in the way like the windshield or bow.

The "Anomaly" would be that a triangulation of fire was awaiting him off Elm Street halfway down Dealey Plaza with a final gunman not 30 yards from him at the GK.

David... first, place Oswald at the window when the shots were fired... if you can do that then we can talk about what he may or may not have done and why.

If you can't get him there when the motorcade was SUPPOSED to have passed that window, in the midst of the other armed men seen on the 6th floor at the time, why bother talking about what he did there?

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Oswald was not at the 6th floor window when the car turned onto Houston or any other time after 11:55 that day. If he was, and was indeed a LONE ASSASSIN, then common sense does suggest he would have taken his first and best shot as JFK approached him

I think this illustrates pretty well that as the limo approaches there is plenty of time in which the angle of the shot is steep enough to clear anything that may be in the way like the windshield or bow.

The "Anomaly" would be that a triangulation of fire was awaiting him off Elm Street halfway down Dealey Plaza with a final gunman not 30 yards from him at the GK.

David... first, place Oswald at the window when the shots were fired... if you can do that then we can talk about what he may or may not have done and why.

If you can't get him there when the motorcade was SUPPOSED to have passed that window, in the midst of the other armed men seen on the 6th floor at the time, why bother talking about what he did there?

I actually checked this out with an officer in Special Forces, who, in turn, checked it out with a sniper unit.

And we're wrong. The best shot is not with the car coming toward the shooter. The best shot is one in which the target is moving the least relative to the sniper, and which affords the sniper a chance to escape. In this case, it would be from the upper floors of the Dal-Tex, firing straight down Elm as the limo headed toward the overpass. The sixth floor window was almost as good.

So it depends on the objective of the shooter. If the sole goal was to kill Kennedy, then shooting straight down at him as he turned onto Elm was the right shot. If the goal was shooting him and getting away, however, then the shooter or shooter took the right shots.

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that's a great point Pat.... "...which affords the sniper a chance to escape"

Given the MASSIVE amount of incriminating evidence conveniently left behind the previous 3 months, and given the assumption that Oswald was indeed a LONE NUT ASSASSIN... the only inconsistency is his attempting to escape at all. The crazed, lone nut killer left himself COMLETELY DEFENSELESS by dropping the rifle with its one bullet left?

Whether it be the 2nd floor or the roof of Dal-Tex - shooting down Elm not only is the best shot and escape location but conveniently lines up with a 6th floor SE corner shot (Dal-Tex roof that is).

I seem to remember that Dal-Tex was "Searched" but very limited at best... anyone go up to the roof? My point being that a shooter there wouldn't even have to leave in a hurry like the mysterious men leaving the back of the TSBD right afterward...

And let us not forget that while standing at the South face of the Picket Fence, JFK just gets closer and bigger with each second.

DJ

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Oswald was not at the 6th floor window when the car turned onto Houston or any other time after 11:55 that day. If he was, and was indeed a LONE ASSASSIN, then common sense does suggest he would have taken his first and best shot as JFK approached him

I think this illustrates pretty well that as the limo approaches there is plenty of time in which the angle of the shot is steep enough to clear anything that may be in the way like the windshield or bow.

The "Anomaly" would be that a triangulation of fire was awaiting him off Elm Street halfway down Dealey Plaza with a final gunman not 30 yards from him at the GK.

David... first, place Oswald at the window when the shots were fired... if you can do that then we can talk about what he may or may not have done and why.

If you can't get him there when the motorcade was SUPPOSED to have passed that window, in the midst of the other armed men seen on the 6th floor at the time, why bother talking about what he did there?

I actually checked this out with an officer in Special Forces, who, in turn, checked it out with a sniper unit.

And we're wrong. The best shot is not with the car coming toward the shooter. The best shot is one in which the target is moving the least relative to the sniper, and which affords the sniper a chance to escape. In this case, it would be from the upper floors of the Dal-Tex, firing straight down Elm as the limo headed toward the overpass. The sixth floor window was almost as good.

So it depends on the objective of the shooter. If the sole goal was to kill Kennedy, then shooting straight down at him as he turned onto Elm was the right shot. If the goal was shooting him and getting away, however, then the shooter or shooter took the right shots.

wrong? B.S. Frankly, Carlos Hathcock observations (a man who sniped-shot and killed nearly 100 with a rifle, and escaped EVERYTIME) are a bit more germane than that of a SOF officer whom had to check it out with a sniper unit... (and Hathcock had much to say)

On further study, I'd be surprised if you DIDN'T find that those whom attempt (and lived) to shoot and kill a head-of-state, they fully expect to die during the process.

Edited by David G. Healy
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DH...

didn't Hathcock usually shot from 500 to 2000 yards from his target... there was nothing to get away from in many cases.

Besides, there is also the fact that on Houston, all eyes that followed JFK would be looking directly at the TSBD whereas down the road a bit all eyes on JFK makes it less likely that a 6th floor sniper would be seen or identified other than what might be considered "plants"... 30, 5'10", 165 lbs...

and again... and again... and again.

If he can't be placed at the window, and he can't, what does it matter what he MIGHT have done or SHOULD have done.

The real assasins, who were in place and ready to fire from about 12:10 on (just about when JFK was supposed to pass by) waited until JFK was in the kill zone with the knowledge that a shooter would be no more than 20-40 yards away for the last 3-5 seconds of the DP trip.

AND IT STILL TOOK A NUMBER OF SHOTS TO FINALLY HIT HIM IN THE HEAD....

So the real question is whether or not the back, throat and JC shots were intended or simply poor marksmanship?

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Whether it be the 2nd floor or the roof of Dal-Tex - shooting down Elm not only is the best shot and escape location but conveniently lines up with a 6th floor SE corner shot (Dal-Tex roof that is).

I seem to remember that Dal-Tex was "Searched" but very limited at best... anyone go up to the roof? My point being that a shooter there wouldn't even have to leave in a hurry like the mysterious men leaving the back of the TSBD right afterward...

DJ

Baker testified that he went into the TSBD because he “had it in mind that the shots came from the top of this building.”

Baker also testified that his initial impression was that the shot might have even come from the top of the building “on the northeast corner” of Houston and Elm, which would be the Dal-Tex Building.

“I had a feeling that it came from the building either right in front of me or the one across to the right of it,” he testified.

In his affidavit on November 22, 1963, Baker stated, “I realized these shots were rifle shots and I began to try to figure out where they came from.”

A person firing from the roof of the Dal-Tex building would not have been seen, and people could easily mistake the sound as coming from the east end of the Texas School Book Depository. When it was officially said that the assassin was in the sixth-floor window of the Book Depository, some people just went along with the idea that the sounds came from there.

Euins and Brennan made sure there would be no search for anyone other than a sixth-floor TSBD shooter. They both immediately told law enforcement officers that there was only one assassin and that he was firing from the sixth-floor window at the east end of the Texas School Book Depository so that everyone would stop looking around in the area of the railroad yards that were west of the Book Depository.

Euins testified to the Warren Commission that he “ran” and “told the policeman I had seen the shot, because they were looking at the railroad tracks.”

Euins’ co-witness, Howard Brennan, testified, “I knew I had to get to someone quick to tell them where the man was . . . . It appeared to me that they were searching in the wrong direction for the man that did the shooting.”

As far as Euins and Brennan were concerned, everyone running to the railroad yards and the overpass was wrong. Euins and Brennan are apparently the very first people to say that there was only one assassin; that he was on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository; and that there was no conspiracy.

Euins and Brennan did a very poor job of implicating Oswald following the shooting, but they both obviously did an excellent job of ending the search and directing everyone’s attention to the Texas School Book Depository.

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Thanks Frank...

Curious though... why not seal the building then go to the 6th floor window FIRST and work their way from there.

They went floor by floor from the bottom up, other than Baker who of course found nothing but that unidentified man coming down the steps between the 3rd and 4th floors.

Even Sawyer, who is there very early, simply runs up to the 4th floor with 2 other officers, looks around and comes down, alone... what was that???

The funneling of people to the TSBD conclusion was indeed very interesting in the moments after the assassination.

Dispatcher 12:30 p.m. KKB 364.

1 (Chief of Police Jesse E. Curry) Go to the hospital - Parkland Hospital. Have them stand by.

1 (Chief of Police Jesse E. Curry) Get a man on top of that triple underpass and see what happened up there.

1 (Chief of Police Jesse E. Curry) Have Parkland stand by.

Dallas 1 (Sheriff J.E. "Bill" Decker) I am sure it's going to take some time to get your man in there. Pull every one of my men in there.

Dispatcher Dallas 1, repeat, I didn't get all of it. I didn't quite understand all of it.

Dallas 1 (Sheriff J.E. "Bill" Decker) Have my office move all available men out of my office into the railroad yard to try to determine what happened in there and hold everything secure until Homicide and other investigators should get there.

Well at least the Chief and the Sheriff got it right!

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Thanks Bernice...that is an angle I hadn't seen before. Still, the shot that likely went through JFK's neck was a shot from behind (TSBD or DALTEX). Having shot rifles in Colorado on inclines and declines I learned that a high powered bullet doesn't drop as much as you would expect just because it's going up hill...and...it still drops when going downhill (unless you are shooting straight down into some sort of cavern).

Still...even very good shooters who have been trained on the flats have a tendency to think a bullet will drop less going downhill. That's why a friend of mine missed a trophy Elk from long range going downhill and hit dirt between his legs.

Of course that was a 200 yard shot. The miss in this case was actually a VERY GOOD shot if you take out the drop...right on line with the head but not fatal since the bullet dropped into the neck area. It was online to blow out the back of the head but due to the drop and the slight left turn it missed just a bit - missed the head due to the drop and missed the spine due to the mild left turn which caused it to hit an inch or so to the right - and by the angle enter a bit to the right - miss the spinal cord - and come out through the throat.

Obviously a shot of this skill (although a miss as far as fatality) wasn't performed by a Manlicher/Carcano...it was likely from a .257 Weatherby. I would expect a .257 Weatherby because of the ability to shoot through wind. I would guess the 30 yard shot from the grassy knoll was with the same gun - or maybe a .240 Weatherby. They had the highest muzzle velocity at that time...(flattest shooting guns)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Long range rifles are chambered for an assortment of popular cartridges. The .270 Winchester shooting a 130 grain bullet has long been the standard of comparison for long range rifle cartridges. A .270 with this weight bullet is nearly ideal as a general purpose long range rifle. But the .243 Winchester with 95 grain bullets, 6mm Remington with 95-100 grain bullets, .25-06 with 100 grain bullets, 6.5mm Rem. Mag. with 120 grain bullets, 6.5x68 with 140 grain bullets, .270 WSM with 140-150 grain bullets, 7x64 with 140 grain bullets, .280 Remington with 140 grain bullets, 7mm Rem. SAUM and 7mm Rem. Mag. with 150 grain bullets, .300 Rem. SAUM with 165 grain bullets, .300 WSM and .300 Win. Mag. with 165-180 grain bullets, .300 Wby. Mag. with 200 grain bullets, .300 Ultra Mag. with 200 grain bullets, 8x68S with 170 grain bullets, and 8mm Rem. Mag. with 170-180 grain bullets all have a similar trajectory (assuming bullets with similar ballistic coefficients). These cartridges and loads all offer muzzle velocities of 3000 fps to about 3150 fps. There are other cartridges and loads that have similar trajectories, but those named above are representative of typical long range hunting cartridges.

These cartridges have a trajectory flat enough to allow a point blank range (where the bullet neither rises nor falls more than 3" above or below the line of sight) extending from the muzzle to somewhere around 296-306 yards. Zero a scoped rifle so that the bullet hits about 2.5 high at 100 yards and it will strike about 3" high at 150 yards, roughly 2.3" high at 200 yards, and about 3" low at 300 yards. This will allow solid hits without "holding over" on medium size big game animals (like most North American deer) out to approximately 300 yards or a little farther.

Edited by David S. Brownlee
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The actual car that Kennedy was in at the time of the assassination had an overhead bow that the bubble roof would have attached to. In the straight on shot the shooter would have had the view of the windshield and this metal piece obstructing the shot. In the reenactments that were done the car did not have this added piece of hardware and many people have seen that reenactment and thought the same as you. Add the piece and it is a major obstruction.

There's no doubt in my mind that the cross-bar would've been an obstruction at an acute angle - i.e., while the vehicle was farther away and the angle low to the target - but the closer it got, the less of an obstruction it became as the angle to the target increased, i.e., became more of an "overhead" view.

This seems like something of a "throwaway" answer, Jim; something that sounds sensible but doesn't mean a thing. You been reading Posner lately? (grin)

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... Besides, there is also the fact that on Houston, all eyes that followed JFK would be looking directly at the TSBD whereas down the road a bit all eyes on JFK makes it less likely that a 6th floor sniper would be seen or identified other than what might be considered "plants"... 30, 5'10", 165 lbs...

... If he can't be placed at the window, and he can't, what does it matter what he MIGHT have done or SHOULD have done.

The real assasins, who were in place and ready to fire from about 12:10 on (just about when JFK was supposed to pass by) waited until JFK was in the kill zone with the knowledge that a shooter would be no more than 20-40 yards away for the last 3-5 seconds of the DP trip. ...

... This leaves three shots from the sixth floor, one of which may have hit JFK in the back of the head at Z-327 (I'm not convinced), one that hit Connally at Z-224 and the one that missed and hit the street behind the limo at Z-175. With two, possibly all three of his shots missing their intended target, it seems to me that the sixth floor shooter was the only poor marksman.

Which curiously enough fits with what we know about Oswald's abilities.

It doesn't matter how bad the shots from a particular location were, or how much we might be able to equate them with an individual's abilities, you still have to put that individual in the place where the shots were fired from.

I'll submit to y'all for your consideration the following:

After Bill Shelley let the flooring crew break early for lunch, the boys had an "elevator race" and went to the lavatory to wash up. Bonnie Ray Williams was among them, but oddly enough, by the time he'd emerged from "washing up," everybody had already gone outside to watch the parade. This entailed a significant number of people having eaten their lunches including Shelley, Junior Jarman, Hank Norman and Billy Lovelady, among others. They're the ones I'm recalling off the top of my head; there may have been others as well (Danny Arce, Bill Shelley, et al.). Each of them described their actions prior to going outside, encompassing several minutes.

When Bonnie Ray came out of the wash room, they were already done and outside, meaning that he was "occupied" there long enough for everyone else to have their lunch. Since none of them were around when he got out and they'd discussed earlier going upstairs to watch the parade, he figured they'd gone upstairs, so up he went. As we know, he didn't find any of the guys he'd expected to on the fifth floor, went up to the sixth - likewise vacant - and ate his lunch there. Later, he went downstairs and met up with Hank and Junior on the fifth floor where they all watched the parade and the shooting.

Here's where it gets interesting.

Both Junior and Hank said that they'd gone upstairs after they'd heard that the motorcade was on Main Street. The first mention on police radios of the motorcade being on Main Street was at 12:26. They walked around the building, went in the back door, and rode the freight elevator up to the fifth floor, then went to the window. According to two out of three of them (Hank said he wasn't sure), Bonnie Ray came to the fifth floor and the window after the other two had already gotten there.

This means that Bonnie Ray was on the sixth floor as late as 12:28.

If he was there, he was within 20 unobstructed feet of the "sniper's nest" window (unobstructed, that is, from where he'd said he was sitting, where the hand truck was "parked": in police photos of the scene, you can see all the way along the wall from the southwest to the southeast corners, and the hand truck was almost right next to the wall). He claimed he heard and saw nobody, yet he was within ear- and eye-shot of where Oswald supposedly was.

Likewise, Jack Dougherty was supposedly working on both the fifth and sixth floors during this part of the lunch break, "getting stock" to fill orders, (one would think) a fairly noisy operation, yet none of these three men saw or heard him at any time. Bonnie Ray said it was deadly silent, and testimony would suggest that it was so if, in fact, the three men could hear the sound of empty cartidges hitting the floor above them. (They also did not hear the sound of "Oswald running" or stowing the rifle despite the silence and his supposedly being directly above them.)

At the time of the shooting, Jack said that he was ten feet from the west elevator when he thought he heard a "backfire." This put him directly in the path of a fleeing Oswald, yet Jack neither saw nor heard anything of the sort. He was apparently still there when Roy Truly looked up the elevator shaft and saw the bottoms of both elevators at the fifth floor (Bonnie Ray had ridden the east elevator up to six and down to five, and it couldn't be moved except by someone inside the cab) as he and Marrion Baker were beginning their trek up to the top floors. But the west elevator was gone by the time they arrived at the fifth floor. They didn't see Jack or any of the three black men while they were on the fifth floor and walked across the elevator area to the east elevator, which they rode past six and up to seven.

Truly actually conceded that the elevator "might have been" used by Jack as he and Baker were going upward, but any further questions that might have reasonably arisen were left unasked and unexplored.

So why didn't Bonnie Ray just come out and say that he'd been on the sixth floor until Oswald got there, and why didn't Jack mention seeing or at least hearing Oswald on his flight back down?

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FWIW I wasn't suggesting that Oswald was the sixth floor shooter - I don't believe he was - just noting a curiosity.

I didn't think you were. It's interesting, tho', how nobody's glommed onto what I described over the years, and how few responses there have ever been to it. Is it some sort of stumper or something?

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  • 7 months later...

I actually checked this out with an officer in Special Forces, who, in turn, checked it out with a sniper unit.

And we're wrong. The best shot is not with the car coming toward the shooter. The best shot is one in which the target is moving the least relative to the sniper, and which affords the sniper a chance to escape. In this case, it would be from the upper floors of the Dal-Tex, firing straight down Elm as the limo headed toward the overpass. The sixth floor window was almost as good.

So it depends on the objective of the shooter. If the sole goal was to kill Kennedy, then shooting straight down at him as he turned onto Elm was the right shot. If the goal was shooting him and getting away, however, then the shooter or shooter took the right shots.

Good logic. The thing is - if Oswald was the lone shooter and wanted to get away - why was he not out of town instead of milling around on his own turf and then hiding in a Movie Theatre? I will give him credit for getting away from the scene of the crime - but wouldn't you want some form of transportation to get you WAY away from the search? A simple cheap used motorcycle could have done that...

...and if you weren't really worried about getting away...why not take the easy shot....conundrum :blink:

Edited by David S. Brownlee
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