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The First X in the Plaza


Pat Speer
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While almost everyone visiting Dealey Plaza notes and photographs the X in the street marking Kennedy's location at frame 313 of the Zapruder film, there is usually a second X in the Plaza, noting Kennedy's location when first hit. Does anyone know what frame of the Zapruder film this X is supposed to represent, and if it has changed since 2011? I'll explain why I'm asking once I figure this out.

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IF the first X is supposed to indicate where the first shot hit JFK, then I suppose one would need to go back to one of the original surveys done by Robert West and look at the points indicated by the survey...and THEN try to determine EXACTLY where JFK was initially hit from some source OTHER than the Z-film, since JFK was first hit before he emerged from behind the Stemmons Freeway sign.

Not an easy task to pinpoint the location.

Especially since the data in the blocks on the survey in the WC report is different from the data that West and company wrote in those blocks.

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It depends on who one asks, Pat. Some say it's where Robert Groden places the X on Elm Street. This equates to the 1st Elm Street X being placed by Robert Groden in a spot Groden believes the 1st shot occurred. What if Groden is wrong?

Over the years, I have seen a couple of spectacular arguments over where visitors & street vendors believe the 1st X SHOULD be while visiting Dealey Plaza. FWIW, some believe the 1st X corresponds with frame 224 of the Z-film, others say it belongs where the HSCA placed the 1st shot (somewhere around Z-190, I seem to recall), the Dale Meyers camp puts it closer to z-160 & the Max Holland camp believes the first X should be on the traffic light or mast that the 6th floor shooter allegedly struck by accident during a time JFK's limo was either not filmed negotiating the tur from Houston St. onto Elm St. (or the film was edited at that point). The John Connally camp believes the 1st X should be just after the limo turned the corner (where JBC stated such from his 1st hospital bed interview Nov 27, 1963. This would put it near the traffic light by the concrete divider). Some use the Towner film as a guide for the first X and others use the Croft photo that corresponds to Z-160/161 (some claim to see a bullet hole in JFK's jacket visible in the photo). Some researchers that believe the Towner film was edited to hide a Dal-Tex silenced shot place the 1st X where the film splice appears in the film. Phil Willis believed his 5th slide was taken at the moment of the 1st shot. His slide corresponds to z-202. Those reviewing old original CBS TV broadcasts will hear & see Dan Rather pointing out that the 1st shot occurred in front of the TSBD front entrance doorway.

To further compound the issue, Zapruder's testimony to the WC is vague on where in his film the 1st shot occurred. The WC never asked Marilyn Sitzman about it either (Marilyn could see the shooting better than Zapruder did; she was taller & did not have a movie camera obstructing her face). The few who interviewed Marilyn failed to screen the Zapruder film for her & ask her where the 1st shot occurred. The 6th Floor museum also failed to nail that issue down in its last oral history interview with Marilyn Sitzman shortly before she died.

I often refer back to Mrs. Rodgers in the JFK murder saga. She was my former middle school teacher that broke the news to her class that JFK had been shot & killed in Dallas. When we returned to classes the next week, Mrs. Rodgers had us gathered around her desk looking at the newspaper coverage. When the Nov 29, 1963 Life magazine issue was put on sale, she showed us the Zapruder black & white images. She had a problem with them: Dan Rather had been reporting over the assassination weekend that Lee Oswald had 1st shot JFK when his car was directly in front of the TSBD front entrance doorway. On Wednesday, 27 Nov 1963, John Connally gave his first TV hospital interview in which he stated he heard the 1st shot just as the JFK parade car had turned the corner. The two reports appeared to match.

What was the problem? On Friday after Connally's interview Life magazine was claiming the 1st shot was fired at JFK just as the President emerged from the Stemmons freeway sign. She showed us the distance difference. Why was Life magazine going against what the Texas Governor & Dan Rather reported? Something smelled fishy to Mrs. Rodgers in Life Magazine's narrative. It would get even worse.

Confused? Does all of that sound to you like nobody really knows for sure when the first shot occurred & if it struck JFK or not?

How is that possible after 52 years of global research analysis on such a important historical crime packed with on site witnesses? As it stands now, there is no universal acceptance of when & where the 1st shot occurred nor if it hit JFK or missed him. This makes visits to the plaza frustrating for visitors.

Like Mark stated, we now know the surveys were fudged for the WC, rendering the data unreliable.

I suspect as time goes on & newer, younger interest of the case grows, the temptation for someone to follow in Max Holland's footsteps may again move the location of the 1st shot even further back; maybe as far back as where the JFK parade car 1st entered Dealey Plaza by turning right onto Houston Street from Main Street. I hope someone straightens things out before another 'Lost Bullet' TV documentary confuses even more people than the first one did. It's self evident that moving the location for the first X back aids the alleged 6th floor TSBD shooter while at the same time causes people to question why JFK's guards failed to help him with the alleged additional time & distance they had available to them to take protective action.

The fatal X spot on Elm Street also has a cloud hanging over it, Pat. Some of those that believe the Z-film was monkeyed with also have no faith in the z-313 headshot depiction. What did Hoover believe? According to the marking strings on Hoover's FBI Dealey Plaza model on display in the museum & presented in an FBI photo booklet to the WC, the FBI originally placed the fatal headshot across from the North Pergola sidewalk steps and not at Z-313.

I find the entire issue quite frustrating. Not all historical questions have acceptable answers. Visit the Alamo & ask tour guides where exactly Davy Crocket was murdered & count the different answers. Or, read the different accounts of the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde & compare the differences of how the slaughter occurred & how the doomed pair's bodies were found & handled.

For troubling JFK questions, I usually seek shelter in what I was taught earlier in life; all knowledge will be revealed to us when we pass from this life. This suggests to me that those who passed on did not have to work as hard as I did I high school & in college. Those souls have an advantage I don't have.

I suppose I'll have to be patient for answers to the 5 journalism 'W's (who, what, when, where & why) as pertains to President Kennedy's ambush & murder if all of the mortals involved failed at answering the most basic question of all: where on Elm Street did the 1st shot occur?. Is the street X that is there in Dealey Plaza an accurate depiction of it?

BM

Edited by Brad Milch
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  • 1 month later...

While almost everyone visiting Dealey Plaza notes and photographs the X in the street marking Kennedy's location at frame 313 of the Zapruder film, there is usually a second X in the Plaza, noting Kennedy's location when first hit. Does anyone know what frame of the Zapruder film this X is supposed to represent, and if it has changed since 2011? I'll explain why I'm asking once I figure this out.

Do you know where the x is relative to Dealy Plaza landmarks? If so, we can compare to the frames.

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