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Why the best conspiracy theories about JFK’s assassination don’t stand up to scrutiny.


Blair Dobson
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Two quotations from the impressionistic and poorly-written article:

1) Then, in November 2003, on the murder’s 40th anniversary, I watched an ABC News documentary called The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy. In one segment, the producers showed the actual car in which the president and the others had been riding that day. One feature of the car, which I’d never heard or read about before, made my jaw literally drop. The back seat, where JFK rode, was three inches higher than the front seat, where Connally rode. Once that adjustment was made, the line from Oswald’s rifle to Kennedy’s upper back to Connally’s ribcage and wrist appeared absolutely straight. There was no need for a magic bullet.

2) I went back to the library and scoured the Warren hearings. There I found neurologists testifying that a nerve ending can explode when hit by a bullet and that the two trajectories—where the bullet came from and which way the nerve fragments fly—are not necessarily related. Experiments from the 1940s, in which bullets were fired into the heads of live goats, revealed this fact. So, the evidence of Frame 313 was at least ambiguous; it said nothing, one way or the other, about the plausibility of a second-gunman theory.

However, in 1975, CBS News, which was doing a documentary on the assassination, hired a tech firm to conduct a high-resolution analysis of the Zapruder film, using instruments that hadn’t existed in the Warren Commission’s day. The firm discovered that, on Frame 312, Kennedy’s head slammed a tiny bit forward, and much more quickly than it jolted backward an instant later on Frame 313. The implication: The bullet hit his head from behind, pushing him forward, then a nerve exploded, which happened to push him backward.

I notice that Slate no longer lets users post commentary on stories to the webpages - you have to respond on Twitter or other. I think the intellectual and political heat became too much for them.

"which way the nerve fragments fly" Yeah, that's the ticket. Call Arlen Specter.

Edited by David Andrews
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Wasn't it Josiah Thompson who now says that the tiny forward movement of JFK's head was actually a movement of Zapruder's camera?

The person quoted by David knows very little about the case. No neurologists were consulted by the Warren Commission, for example.

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