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Who is this in the Back Seat beside Jackie?


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z453.jpg

z456.jpg

z461.jpg

z462.jpg

These four stills, z453, z456, z461 and z462, are from the tail end of the Zapruder film, and show the limo just before it passes under the Triple Underpass.

Clint Hill can be seen still riding on the rear bumper and John Connally is lying on the floor with his wife Nellie.

Who is the man sitting upright in the back seat beside Jackie and, if it is JFK, what is keeping his head upright?

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To me it looks like Jackie is again sitting where she was before crawling out on the rear part of the car. But instead of sitting upright, she seems to be leaning far to her right. And JFK's head is propped up on the top of her head. He is sitting upright, but his head is tilted a little to his left... resting on Jackie's head.

I know that sounds a bit odd, but that's what I see.

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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I don't think it's him. I think it's Connally. Look at this photo:




See how tight it was back there? If you note in those frames you posted, she's looking downward at him and I think when she climbed back in she's kind of hovering over him. Plus, I think he was such a mess with blood and gore everywhere, I really don't think she would have tried to prop him up like that.


Also, as tiny as the Zapruder frames are, they did capture some pretty decent detail and I think we'd see a few blotches of blood on the head area.


So I really think it was Connally. He was critically injured but I think he could still move around back there.

Edited by Michael Walton
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Well, that's a possibility but, according to Nellie Connally, John Connally was lying on the floor with her, and this figure's head is definitely higher than the figure that can only be Jackie.

Beside that, this figure is also most definitely right up against the junction of the back seat and the trunk, and I don't believe Connally climbed into the back seat at any point.

As Jackie left the rear seat and climbed out on the trunk lid, it only makes sense that JFK would have fallen down to where his head would have been lying on the spot Jackie's butt had been occupying. This is evidenced by photos showing a massive amount of JFK's blood at this location. When she got back in the car, she would not be able to sit down until JFK was moved out of her spot. It would be very easy for a young adrenalin-charged woman to push her husband back up into a sitting position, and this is why I believe we can see Jackie's pink suit leaning toward the upright figure, still holding him upright.

That part is fairly straightforward. What baffles me is, what is keeping JFK's head erect, and why can we not see a massive amount of damage to his head?

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I just looked at the frames again and have changed my mind. Look at the third frame and enlarge it quite a bit.

What I see is JFK sitting up on the far right of the bench. Jackie is on her hands and knees, on the bench, facing JFK. But her head is behind JFK's head. So his head must be tilting face-down to some extent.

I suspect that Jackie has her arms around JFK... otherwise she'd be in an unstable position and would fall forward should the driver put on the brake. Her right arm must be down around JFK's butt area... otherwise her weight would only serve to pull him forward too, should the driver put on the brake.

I suspect that Jackie's left arm is wrapped around JFK's neck, under his chin, and that is what is holding his head up.

EDIT: I looked once again and I don't think the dark thing above JFK's shoulders is his head. (The dark thing is something else in the car.) I think his head is tilted far down forward. Jackie, on her hands and knees, has her head ABOVE his and she is looking down at the top of his head or at his face.

EDIT: I can see Jackie's right (white-gloved) hand. It is on JFK's left shoulder.

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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I just looked at the frames again and have changed my mind. Look at the third frame and enlarge it quite a bit.

What I see is JFK sitting up on the far right of the bench. Jackie is on her hands and knees, on the bench, facing JFK. But her head is behind JFK's head. So his head must be tilting face-down to some extent.

I suspect that Jackie has her arms around JFK... otherwise she'd be in an unstable position and would fall forward should the driver put on the brake. Her right arm must be down around JFK's butt area... otherwise her weight would only serve to pull him forward too, should the driver put on the brake.

I suspect that Jackie's left arm is wrapped around JFK's neck, under his chin, and that is what is holding his head up.

EDIT: I looked once again and I don't think the dark thing above JFK's back is his head. I think his head is tilted far down forward. Jackie, on her hands and knees, has her head ABOVE his and she is looking down at the top of his head or at his face.

Hi Sandy

What are you using to enlarge this frame with? I tried saving it to a file and enlarging it but it became too grainy very quickly.

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I just looked at the frames again and have changed my mind. Look at the third frame and enlarge it quite a bit.

What I see is JFK sitting up on the far right of the bench. Jackie is on her hands and knees, on the bench, facing JFK. But her head is behind JFK's head. So his head must be tilting face-down to some extent.

I suspect that Jackie has her arms around JFK... otherwise she'd be in an unstable position and would fall forward should the driver put on the brake. Her right arm must be down around JFK's butt area... otherwise her weight would only serve to pull him forward too, should the driver put on the brake.

I suspect that Jackie's left arm is wrapped around JFK's neck, under his chin, and that is what is holding his head up.

EDIT: I looked once again and I don't think the dark thing above JFK's back is his head. I think his head is tilted far down forward. Jackie, on her hands and knees, has her head ABOVE his and she is looking down at the top of his head or at his face.

Hi Sandy

What are you using to enlarge this frame with? I tried saving it to a file and enlarging it but it became too grainy very quickly.

Robert,

First click the image to get the enlarged view. Then try zooming in with your browser.

I have Firefox and I zoom in and out by holding down the Ctrl key and hitting the + (zoom in) or - (zoom out) key.

If those keys don't work for you, click VIEW in the menu bar and look for a zoom control.

BTW, in the third frame you can see Jackie's white-gloved right hand. It is on JFK's shoulder.

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Interesting. How would she be able to keep his head erect with her head?


She's not. Look at her head, Bob. Her head is tilted downward as if facing her husband down on the seat.


Yes, Connally's wife said she cradled her husband, but it doesn't mean she cradled him the second he got shot until the Parkland arrival. As a matter of fact, watch the Zapruder film - as soon as the head shots are over, Connally actually kind of rolls over and looks into the back of the car. No one ever said that happened in any testimony but we know it happened because of the film.


There's no way Jackie would have ever pushed her husband out of the seat with blood and brain pouring out of the side and back of his head. The frames you're asking about are an anomaly because of the angle. It looks like him because of the very tight space that was in the back area.


Look at the overhead photo again and you'll see how if you took that photo and made it 3D and looked at it from the back, and then looked at it through the Zapruder camera's cheap lens, it compresses the shot.

Edited by Michael Walton
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It seems that Nellie Connally disagrees with you, Michael, and that her husband cannot be the one we see sitting upright at this point.

From the Warren Commission testimony of Mrs. John B. Connally, JR.:

"Mrs. CONNALLY. In fact the receptions had been. so good every place that I had showed much restraint by not mentioning something about it before.

I could resist no longer. When we got past this area I did turn to the President and said, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you."
Then I don't know how soon, it seems to me it was very soon, that I heard a noise, and not being an expert rifleman, I was not aware that it was a rifle. It was just a frightening noise, and it came from the right.
I turned over my right shoulder and looked back, and saw the President as he had both hands at his neck.
Mr. SPECTER. And you are indicating with your own hands, two hands crossing over gripping your own neck?
Mrs. CONNALLY. Yes; and it seemed to me there was--he made no utterance, no cry. I saw no blood, no anything. It was just sort of nothing, the expression on his face, and he just sort of slumped down.
Then very soon there was the second shot that hit John. As the first shot was hit, and I turned to look at the same time, I recall John saying, "Oh, no, no, no." Then there was a second shot, and it hit John, and as he recoiled to the right, just crumpled like a wounded animal to the right, he said, "My God, they are going to kill us all."
I never again----
Mr. DULLES. To the right was into your arms more or less?
Mrs. CONNALLY. No, he turned away from me. I was pretending that I was him. I never again looked in the back seat of the car after my husband was shot. My concern was for him, and I remember that he turned to the right and then just slumped down into the seat, so that I reached over to pull him toward me. X was trying to get him down and me down. The jump seats were not very roomy, so that there were reports that he slid into the seat of the car, which he did not; that he fell over into my lap, which he did not.
I just pulled him over into my arms because it would have been impossible to get us really both down with me sitting and me holding him. So that I looked out, I mean as he was in my arms, I put my head down over his head so that his head and my head were right together, and all I could see, too, were the people flashing by. I didn't look back any more. The third shot that I heard I felt, it felt like spent buckshot falling all over us, and then, of course, I too could see that it was the matter, brain tissue, or whatever, just human matter, all over the car and both of us.
I thought John had been killed, and then there was some imperceptible movement, just some little something that let me know that there was still some life, and that is when I started saying to him, "It's all right. Be still." "

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Can we reconcile this at all with still photos of the limo emerging from the underpass? I'm thinking of the ones with the Old Charter billboard visible.

Yes, Andrew. I was trying to find them but was having difficulties. Can you produce them?

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In frame 382, when Jackie is getting back in her seat, we see JFK lying down sideways with his head resting on the backs of Jackie's legs:

z382.jpg

In 393 (0.6 seconds later), JFK is still in that position as Jackie lowers herself onto the seat. We can no longer see his head as it is now lower (possibly still on Jackie's legs), but we can still see his shoulder.

z393.jpg

From 393 and 421 (a span of 1.6 seconds) Jackie manages to turn around, let her husband's head slip down off her legs, and sit down:

z421.jpg

From 422 to 456 (a span of 1.9 seconds) Jackie stays put, while it is difficult to see what is happening to JFK. Presumably he is still lying down sideways with his head again in Jackie's lap.

z456.jpg

From 457 to 460 (a span of 0.17 seconds) it's hard to make anything out. But that's a very short time span, so very little could have happened.

However, in frame 461 we see that Jackie has spread out across the bench seat, and JFK is again in an upright position with his head hanging face-down. We see just his shoulders.

So apparently Jackie has pushed JFK back up, and that is why she is stretched out. It's doubtful she did that in a mere 0.17 seconds. She likely began pushing him up a bit earlier, before frame 457. Here she is stretched out in frame 461:

z461.jpg

Earlier I thought that Jackie was on her hands and knees, and her head was over JFK's. But now I realize that what I thought was her pink hat is really light shining through the car's windshield.

Now I believe that Jackie is just stretched out across the bench seat, ....

EDIT: I'm still studying this final frame!

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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Hi Sandy

Good work analyzing this. I tried doing what you said by using the "Ctrl" key and the "+" and "-" keys to zoom in and out. It worked on the first photo I tried but hasn't worked since.

I actually brought this subject up again in the hopes someone with highly refined tools and skills could tell us exactly what we are looking at, and display blow ups for us.

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