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The JFK "head snap" --revisited (recently, in Denver)

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Fox News reported yesterday a situation in Denver where a hostage taker was shot dead (from the front) as he exited a 7-11 with his hostage in front of him, and at gunpoint.

The headline: VIDEO: Swat Team Takes Down Man Who Used Woman as Human Shield

Here’s what the reporter said, as he narrated the sequence:

“. . .they dropped him with a single shot. His head snaps back, he falls to the ground, the hostage runs to safety. Her first name is ‘Betty.’”

The Swat member was located to the front of the hostage taker.

I guess if a SWAT team fires to “rescue. . Betty” the laws of physics apply, but if assassins fired to murder Kennedy, they do not.

My own (personal) reaction: Only in the world of JFK lone nutters (and assorted conspiracy denialists) does the head snap backwards, after being shot from behind. That was nonsense in 1964, when I first got interested in the JFK case; it is nonsense today.

Of course, the Von Pein’s of the world, and other assorted denialists (and liars) attempting to sell a false version of history (not to mention physics) will trot out their various arcane and nonsensical arguments. (Wasn’t it Dr. Baden who had the gall to say that “only in the movies” does the head snap backwards when shot from the front? Its hard to believe that man is paid for his “expertise.”)

Another thought: can anyone point to a movie made anywhere—Hollywood or anywhere else—where, when victims are forced to dig their own graves prior to being executed, that they are told to stand “behind” (rather “in front of”) the grave they have dug for themselves—and then are shot from the front, on the theory that they will fall “towards” the shooter?


1/14/14; 6 p.m.

Los Angeles, California

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The amount of head reaction will depend upon the amount of energy in the bullet (mass x speed) and how much of that energy is absorbed as the bullet travels through the head. A FMJ bullet will transfer the least energy, as it does not expand much, and you should see the least head snap. On the other end of the spectrum are hollow point, frangible and fragmenting bullets. Some of these transmit so much energy, they stop altogether and do not exit the head.

Just because JFK had a large hole in the back of his head, does not mean a bullet exited his head there.

P.S. Those Denver SWAT snipers were likely using the latest in frangible bullet technology:


These bullets are actually compressed metal (non-lead) powder encased in a copper alloy jacket and are, if you look closely, hollow points. These bullets will penetrate skull, leaving a small entrance wound, and begin opening up as liquid pressure from brain matter fills the hollow point. As the hollow point opens, the frangible core turns back to powder form and becomes a deadly front of energy that will destroy all in front of it. It will NOT exit, and the victim's brain will suffer massive damage. Blowouts will occur on the skull if internal cranial pressures exceed the breaking point of the skull bones.

JFK may very well have been shot with a bullet of this type.

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