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The first "missed shot"


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Jean Hill reported that a secret service agent told her that a bullet kicked up dust right by her feet;

Mrs. HILL - Then, he asked me I was asked did I know that a bullet struck at my feet and I said, "No; I didn't." And he said, "What do you think that dust was?" And I said, "I didn't see any dust."

Jean Hill's feet bullet is almost certainly the Ellis missile;

On August 5, 1978, the committee received information from former Dallas policeman Starvis Ellis that Ellis had also seen a missile hit the ground in the area of the motorcade at the time of the assassination. Ellis said he rode on a motorcycle alongside the first car in the motorcade, approximately 100 to 125 feet in front of the car carrying President Kennedy.(351) Ellis said that just as he started down the hill of Elm Street, he looked back toward President Kennedy's car and saw debris come up from the ground at a nearby curb.

The Jean Hill feet bullet and the Ellis missile is almost certainly the Rackley bullet;

In an FBI interview on November 24, 1963, Mrs. Virgie Baker (nee Rackley) reported that at the time she heard the first shot, she looked in the direction of the triple underpass and saw what she presumed to be a bullet bouncing off the pavement.

The Jean Hill, Ellis and Rackley bullet is almost certainly the Chism bullet;

The Sixth Floor Museum interview with Ricky Chism recounting what his mother told him;

Ricky Chism: The first shot hit the ground and ricocheted off the ground

Fagin: She actually saw sparks on the ground?

Ricky Chism: Yes, she seen the spark hit the ground

What we can now determine, is that at the moment of the first audible shot, a bullet hit the pavement right by Jean Hill's feet.

 

Edited by Tony Krome
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  • Tony Krome changed the title to The first "missed shot"
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20 hours ago, Tony Krome said:

Jean Hill reported that a secret service agent told her that a bullet kicked up dust right by her feet;

Mrs. HILL - Then, he asked me I was asked did I know that a bullet struck at my feet and I said, "No; I didn't." And he said, "What do you think that dust was?" And I said, "I didn't see any dust."

Thanks Tony, this is an important detail I must have overlooked before.  I found Jean Hill to be very straightfoward and honest in her 1963/4 statements and interviews.  If she thought something, she would happily say it, however embarrassing that might be to her or anyone else.  If she said somebody mentioned to her that a bullet hit the ground near her, I'm sure that's exactly what happened.  I re-read the testimony but sadly no full name was mentioned regarding who told her this, although she did mention "Decker" who may be Bill Decker who did indeed see some dust fly up off the road, as quoted by the Dallas Times-Herald on the day of the assassination:

"The Sheriff said he heard two shots and 'may have seen one of the bullets hit the concrete and bounce.'"

Jean Hill's Warren Commission testimony is a treasure trove of detail, so for those who haven't read it, have a look here (see page 221 for the part about the shot and "Decker"):

https://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh6/html/WC_Vol6_0108a.htm

I have noticed some researchers dismiss Jean Hill's early statements based on her unreliable statements 25-30 years after the event.  I think this is a mistake.  Later statements 20+ years after 1963 from *ALL* witnesses should be treated with caution, and should never trump the early and comprehensive statements which can probably be trusted (especially if they are corroborated independently, as with Jean Hill's statements about the shots).

20 hours ago, Tony Krome said:

What we can now determine, is that at the moment of the first audible shot, a bullet hit the pavement right by Jean Hill's feet.

I would also add the testimony from Royce Skelton to your list:

"Mr Skelton noticed that as an open limousine turned on Elm Street, it had moved approximately one hundred feet at which time he noticed dust spray up from the street in front of the car on the driver's side."

FBI interview December 1963 CD205 - https://www.history-matters.com/analysis/witness/witnessMap/documents/wcd/wcd_0087a.gif

Notice how the drivers side would indeed be on the side of the road towards Jean Hill, and also matches the location mentioned by Virgie Baker/Rackley (she even marked it on a map).  Crucially he said this was the first pair of shots so he must be referring to the same event as Baker/Rackley:

6H237 - https://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh6/pdf/WH6_Skelton.pdf

Mr. SKELTON. Just about the same time the car straightened up---got around the corner---I heard two shots, but I didn’t know at that time they were shots.
Mr. BALL. Where did they seem to come from?
Mr. SKELTON. Well. I couldn’t tell then, they were still so far from where I was.
Mr. BALL. Did the shots sound like they came from where you were standing?
Mr. SKELTON. No, sir; definitely not. It sounded like they were right there more or less like motorcycle backfire, but I thought that they were these dumbballs that they throw at the cement because I could see the smoke coming up off the cement.
Mr. BALL. You saw some smoke come off of the cement?
Mr. SKELTON. Yes.

Notice how he refers to two shots at the beginning (just like Jean Hill did).  The shot that hit the road couldn't possibly be the shot that hit JFK & Connally so this proves that two shots were fired at the beginning in the first burst of gunfire.

If two shots were fired in the first burst, then we have the head shot being the third shot, with at least one other shot fired after the head shot, which totals four shots fired in Dealey Plaza as a minimum.  That's enough to prove a second gunman was firing shots, and also vindicates Jean Hill who said 4-6 shots were fired in total.

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20 minutes ago, Mark Tyler said:

Notice how he refers to two shots at the beginning (just like Jean Hill did).  The shot that hit the road couldn't possibly be the shot that hit JFK & Connally so this proves that two shots were fired at the beginning in the first burst of gunfire.

So now we bring in Toni Foster. She's walking up behind Jean Hill. The first thing she heard was "click click, they were just that fast".

Yes, I have the "missed shot" along a strip of pavement by the curb between Jean Hill and the driver's side of the limo. I believe it may have been Sorrels via Decker that told Jean Hill. Sorrels escorted witnesses over to the Sheriff's office. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Joseph McBride said:

Jean Hill is an unreliable source. She constantly changed and embellished on her

statements.

The earliest witness statements, I've found, are usually more accurate. A later "embellishment" example would be Frazier where we have him seeing a man placing a rifle into the trunk of car parked on the Elm St extension minutes after the shootings.

As far as the "missed shot" is concerned, Jean Hill certainly has corroboration with many others witnessing a pavement strike.

One early criticism of Jean Hill, was the "white dog" she thought she saw between the Kennedys lying on the seat. It turned out to be white flowers, but in some photos I've seen at Love field, the flower arrangement does resemble a stuffed toy. Yet, she did see something white, and that tells us just how close she was. She was able to see right down into the middle of the back seat. Jean Hill made the "white dog" statement that afternoon, before she could have known there was anything white there in existence.

The above critic example, is what can be used to totally discredit an otherwise valuable witness. Researchers read the critic, then switch off the witness entirely. Not wise.

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I prefer witnesses such as Bill and Gayle Newman and Mary Ann Moorman,

honest people who don't change their stories or speculate on things they don't know. I agree that earlier statements are

usually more reliable than later ones, but Jean Hill was all over the map. I was going

to challenge her on these inconsistencies, but she backed out of our interview after

agreeing to it. There was a shot that struck the grass near the manhole

cover not far from Hill, Moorman, and the Babushka Lady, as I am sure

we all know.

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1 hour ago, Joseph McBride said:

I prefer witnesses such as Bill and Gayle Newman

Great witnesses, interviewed within 30 minutes. Bill Newman has all sounds heard coming from directly behind his position. He says all sounds came from "behind us" "top of the hill" the "mall" the "mound" the "garden".

Yet, what does he and his wife do? They protect their infant children by facing them in the direction of where they thought the sounds came from. This could possibly be explained in that they saw blood and mayhem in front, so they spun away from scene.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQmNPWHWR5Zz4UuW7XkdBP

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSaBNX2-51UDBsOUboUvGQ

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The Last Dissenting Witness is worth reading, take it with a grain of salt, as with everything related.  Bill Newman is legit from Boom.  He dove and yelled for his wife to get down and they took their children down with them.  Boom came over his right shoulder and he saw it's effect. 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Mark Tyler said:

Thanks Tony, this is an important detail I must have overlooked before.  I found Jean Hill to be very straightfoward and honest in her 1963/4 statements and interviews.  If she thought something, she would happily say it, however embarrassing that might be to her or anyone else.  If she said somebody mentioned to her that a bullet hit the ground near her, I'm sure that's exactly what happened.  I re-read the testimony but sadly no full name was mentioned regarding who told her this, although she did mention "Decker" who may be Bill Decker who did indeed see some dust fly up off the road, as quoted by the Dallas Times-Herald on the day of the assassination:

"The Sheriff said he heard two shots and 'may have seen one of the bullets hit the concrete and bounce.'"

Jean Hill's Warren Commission testimony is a treasure trove of detail, so for those who haven't read it, have a look here (see page 221 for the part about the shot and "Decker"):

https://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh6/html/WC_Vol6_0108a.htm

I have noticed some researchers dismiss Jean Hill's early statements based on her unreliable statements 25-30 years after the event.  I think this is a mistake.  Later statements 20+ years after 1963 from *ALL* witnesses should be treated with caution, and should never trump the early and comprehensive statements which can probably be trusted (especially if they are corroborated independently, as with Jean Hill's statements about the shots).

Mark,

I also think Jean Hill was an honest and strait forward witness.  However, her WC testimony discredits her in the eyes of most researchers (I would say 99%).  She said some things that directly contradict the "known" facts of the assassination.  This doesn't have anything to do with how many shots or where they landed.  It has to do with her location.

She said she was somewhere other than where the films and photos show her to be.  And, what she said about Kennedy's location when shooting occurred is not something people find credible.  After all, there are films and photos that show Mary and Jean down by the Grassy Knoll just forward of the steps coming down to the street on the south side of Elm.  This is where most people think the assassination occurred as portrayed in the Zapruder film, the Muchmore film, the Nix film, and other media.  

She said something different as recorded by Arlen Specter.  Specter recorded this information on what he called Hill Exhibit No. 5.  This information was so damning that he classified it as Top Secret and hid it away for years, until the time of the ARRB.  So, what is Hill Exhibit No. 5 courtesy of Arlen Specter.

Jean-Hill-Sketch.jpg    

Jean said she and Mary were not in front of the Grassy Knoll, but rather they were across the street from the Southwest corner of the TSBD.  Furthermore, she said the p. limo was not in the middle of the street, but closer to her when shooting occurred.  Her location as noted above was at the Southwest corner of the intersection of Elm and Houston.  This is really not that legible particularly when it comes to discussing the 5 letters (A, B, C, D, and E) indicating places described.  So, this maybe helpful:

hill-no-5-exhibit-crop-and-mag.jpg

On this you can see where A, X, B, C, and E are marked.  And, their location in relation to the TSBD.  Her testimony is as follows concerning where she was at.

Jean Hill- WC testimony, 24 March 1964

Mr. SPECTER - Would you draw a diagram for me in rough outline, starting with Houston Street---
Mrs. HILL - Yes; but I can't do this very well.
Mr. SPECTER - Permit me to draw an outline, then, to get your bearing here and realizing that I want your recollection, and I'll ask you the questions. Assume that Houston Street is the street which I am marking Houston. Assume that this is Main Street. Assume that Elm Street curves down in the manner that I am drawing and marking.
Mrs. HILL - All right.
Mr. SPECTER - Assume that the Texas School Book Depository is this large building which I will mark "TSBD." Now, would you place with the letter "A" where you were at the time the President went by?
Mrs. HILL - Well, I would have to place the President first.
Mr. SPECTER - Fine---place him with the letter "X".
Mrs. HILL - All right--if he were here---
Mr. SPECTER - Now, was he in the center of the street or on the side of the street?
Mrs. HILL - He was on the side he wasn't just completely over there, but he was past the center of the street and we were---
Mr. SPECTER - Now, place yourself with the letter "A".
Mrs. HILL - Right there [indicating].
Mr. SPECTER - Make it a big printed "A" for us.

Mrs. HILL - Okay. [Complied with request of counsel Specter.]
Mr. SPECTER - Now, would you place the position you ran to after the President's car went by?
Mrs. HILL - By that time, I'm sure the car was here it was on down a little way and I ran behind here.
Mr. SPECTER - Draw a line to where you ran.
Mrs. HILL - All right--I don't know whether I've got this just right--but I ran approximately right up through here.
Mr. SPECTER - Put a "B" here where you were when you came to a stop on the other side of the street.
Mrs. HILL - These steps.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, where were you when you first noticed the
Mrs. HILL - These steps that go up--I guess you've looked at the site, there are some steps down there that go up to that promenade, or whatever you call it.
Mr. SPECTER - That go in a generally westerly direction?
Mrs. HILL - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Beyond the Texas School Book Depository Building?
Mrs. HILL - Yes; and I was just on this side
Mr. SPECTER - "This side"---you are meaning---the east of it?
Mrs. HILL - The east of it.
Mr. SPECTER - Were you beyond the westernmost point of the Texas School Book Depository Building?
Mrs. HILL - No.
Mr. SPECTER - You were still in front of that building?
Mrs. HILL - That's right.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, is the letter "B" now in the position where you were when you first saw that man?
Mrs. HILL - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Where was that man, indicating with the letter "C," where he was? He was very close to you?
Mrs. HILL - Well, he was at the top of this hill---you don't leave me any space in here I mean, there's a distance in here greater than what is shown here.
Mr. SPECTER - He was between Elm Street and the Depository Building?
Mrs. HILL - Yes.

Mr. SPECTER - And where did you see him going?
Mrs. HILL - I saw him go toward the tracks, toward the railroad tracks to the west?

….

Mr. SPECTER - For the purposes of the record, this diagram which was used during the deposition of Mrs. Hill will be marked Hill Exhibit No. 5.
(Instrument referred to marked by the reporter as Hill Exhibit No. 5, for identification.)

This discredits her more than anything she may have said later in the eyes of researchers.  It completely contradicts the "known" facts of the assassination.

 

Edited by John Butler
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1 hour ago, John Butler said:

Jean said she and Mary were not in front of the Grassy Knoll, but rather they were across the street from the Southwest corner of the TSBD.

It was Specter that drew the TSBD building on that rough map. Note that he has drawn the building as an obvious rectangle, not a square. The lower part of the building running down the Elm Street extension ends right behind the pergola as seen on the map below.

 

download?token=4CzYfyIm

Jean-Hill-Sketch.jpg

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7 hours ago, John Butler said:

I also think Jean Hill was an honest and strait forward witness.  However, her WC testimony discredits her in the eyes of most researchers (I would say 99%).  She said some things that directly contradict the "known" facts of the assassination.  This doesn't have anything to do with how many shots or where they landed.  It has to do with her location.

Indeed, Jean Hill seems awfully unpopular with researchers but I'm not sure what all of the fuss is about.  Her early statements seem fine to me, and her TV interviews are crystal clear about what she saw and heard.  If we had to ignore each witness whose statements contained errors or omissions we wouldn't listen to any of the witnesses at all!  Yes, the lurid rubbish she came out with in the 1980's and later was pretty embarrassing, but why pick on Jean Hill?  Many other witnesses seemed to radically change their stories over time such as Pierce Allman:

It's rather interesting how some witnesses changed their stories to be more conspiracy or lone nut oriented.  I think it's best to ignore all of the late statements and focus on the early comments from 1963/4.

3 hours ago, Richard Price said:

Further corroboration of Jean Hill's testimony in pictures (without Arlen Specter's obfuscation).  Notice the lady in red at the top of the stairs above/beyond the "Babushka" lady.

This looks good to me Richard.  A photo visualisation always helps explain things more clearly!  The "red stuff" comment is interesting and probably relates to some drinks bottles that were smashed as two young people ran away just after the shots were fired.  It is suspected that the dark patch in the bottom left of the Darnell frame is what Hill and others saw:

Darnell_1.jpg

Here is Jean Hill's quote:

"When I looked down on the ground, I mean, as I was running up the hill to catch that man, I looked down and saw some red stuff and I thought, "Oh, they got him, he's bleeding," and this is embarrassing, but it turned out to be Koolade or some sort of red drink."

Once again a seemingly strange comment has a basis in fact.

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Bill Newman interview by Griggs, Law and Rowe;

"... when the first two shots rang out. And it was a boom boom. They were very close together, and I remember thinking, Boy, thats a poor thing to do. I thought someone had thrown a couple of fireworks at the President's car".

Similar to Toni Foster. The first thing she heard was "click click, they were just that fast".

A similar flurry of noises were heard about 5 seconds later by Kellerman and others.

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