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Who is "them" that Zapruder refers to?


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What do you make of Zapruder's testimony below where they are talking about the Stemmons Sign? Who was them that Zapruder told that he (Zapruder) was going to get the whole view?

Abbreviated version, and without Liebeler's interuption;

Mr. LIEBELER - ......It appears that a sign starts to come in the picture .....
Mr. ZAPRUDER - Yes; there were signs there ... I told them I was going to get the whole view and I must have neglected one part .......

Here is the complete version;

Mr. LIEBELER - Now, I've got a list of them here that I want to ask you about--picture 207 and turn on over to this picture. It appears that a sign starts to come in the picture--there was a sign in the picture.
Mr. ZAPRUDER - Yes; there were signs there also and trees and-somehow--I told them I was going to get the whole view and I must have.
Mr. LIEBELER - But the sign was in the way?
Mr. ZAPRUDER - Yes; but I must have neglected one part--I know what has happened--I think this was after that happened- -something had happened.

It appears Zapruder, prior to filming, told people that he was going to capture an unimpeded view of the motorcade as it went down Elm St, but he neglected one part, the Stemmons Sign.

Thoughts?

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Tony, just shooting from the hip here, but I read that Marylin Sitzman convinced Zapruder to go back to the office and get his camera.  Could the "them" refer to people in the office?  BTW, I don't discount the idea that Zap was being "run" by some people...

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Paul, Lillian (Zapruder's wife) said that he came home for the camera.

Lillian: "He came running home to get his camera".

So we can discount his wife, otherwise, it would be "I told my wife I was going to get the whole view"

"Them" would be 2 people or more that he told at the same time before filming. I have considered the Hesters, but they were right there and it would be obvious to them that the Stemmon's Sign would be in the way. So saying that to them and then choosing a place where the sign was an obstacle just seems nonsensical. Why would Zapruder then relay what he said to the Hesters to Liebeler?

The context in the way he told Liebeler is very strange. He's almost apologetic.

 

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Lillian said that Zapruder phoned her at 8pm Friday night from Eastman Kodak, and told her, "your not going to believe this, mine is the only film of the assassination." Where did that information come from?

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Well, to play the devil's advocate.  Perhaps someone told him that something was going to happen in the motorcade at that point and there was money to be made by having it on film.  It could have been as simple as a protest/assassination attempt or real assassination.  He could have been lured in simply by the "money to be made" and had no foreknowledge of what was going to happen.  This someone would have had to have knowledge of at least two things:  1)  the assassination attempt, whether real or staged failure and 2)  that there would be no film (placement at the last minute of the press truck way behind the limo as opposed to it's regular position in front of the limo).

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Richard Price said:

Well, to play the devil's advocate.  Perhaps someone told him that something was going to happen in the motorcade at that point and there was money to be made by having it on film.  It could have been as simple as a protest/assassination attempt or real assassination.  He could have been lured in simply by the "money to be made" and had no foreknowledge of what was going to happen.  This someone would have had to have knowledge of at least two things:  1)  the assassination attempt, whether real or staged failure and 2)  that there would be no film (placement at the last minute of the press truck way behind the limo as opposed to it's regular position in front of the limo).

Lets take that further. There's two people on the pedestal. Zapruder is close to the front edge, pivoting with a camera. He hears a shot, sees the reaction from JFK, keeps filming, he hears another shot, JFK's "head opens up", he keeps filming all the way to the underpass.

He's supposedly on zoom, the gunshots, the reactions, the head opening up didn't phase him. If he was "lured", I'd say he was forewarned to expect carnage.

Zapruder was composed on that pedestal. He knew as he panned that the President was as good as dead; "I was walking toward--back toward my office and screaming, "They killed him, they killed him"

An effort worthy of a wartime photographer on the front line

Edited by Tony Krome
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1 hour ago, Tony Krome said:

An effort worthy of a wartime photographer on the front line

Tony, I didn't go that far in my initial post in order to elicit other members opinion.  I agree, once the head explosion shot occured, any "normal" person's first instinct would have been to drop the camera from a filming position or at least let up on the trigger, thereby not capturing the continuing flight of the limo.  This, of course is considering the date of the event.  I'm not sure how our current "normal" person would react, but this is nearly 58 years removed and in a highly visualized new reality.  As an aside comment:  With my recent review of Howard Brennan's testimony/statements and the realization that he was pointing out a gunman in the Dal-Tex building sixth floor eastern most window, Zapruder's part in this whole situation is in my mind, brought into question somewhat.  His business was located in that building as well.  Naturally, with its proximity, this is not damning, but another "coincidence" to add to the large quantity already in evidence.

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FWIW, gents, I believe Zapruder was almost certainly talking about Marilyn Sitzman, his receptionist, and Lillian Rogers, his secretary/PA, who were instrumental in getting him to return home to get his camera on the morning of the assassination (Ref. David Wrone's "The Zapruder Film - Reframing JFK's Assassination", 2003, p. 9; Richard Trask's "National Nightmare on six feet of film", 2005, pp. 29-30) . 

For Tony Krome: Tony, any idea where that quote from Lillian Zapruder about Mr. Z's phone call from Kodak at 8pm on the night of the assassination comes from, please? I haven't come across that one before. Any information would be much appreciated, thanks.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Paul Bacon said:

Tony, just shooting from the hip here, but I read that Marylin Sitzman convinced Zapruder to go back to the office and get his camera.  Could the "them" refer to people in the office?  BTW, I don't discount the idea that Zap was being "run" by some people...

I don't either.  Simply because there was only one film of the passenger side of the p. limo allowed.  There are 5 or six cameras seen in the Croft photo and further down the Betzner photo has about 3 in the Betzner photo.  Phil Willis slide 5 has 3.  Put altogether there may have been 8 or more extra cameras in that area that Zapuder was filming.  

Who was those people and what happened to there film?

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1 hour ago, Chris Scally said:

For Tony Krome: Tony, any idea where that quote from Lillian Zapruder about Mr. Z's phone call from Kodak at 8pm on the night of the assassination comes from, please? I haven't come across that one before. Any information would be much appreciated, thanks.

During the Reagan years, around the time he was shot, an historical society in Dallas interviewed Lillian. She also said that they kept the original of the Zapruder film. She said that based on the fact that their copy retained the private family footage at the beginning of the roll. So this was many years later that she was interviewed, and she has the idea that their copy was original, so I would assume her husband had indicated it was, or it was never discussed between them and she assumed wrong.

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Many thanks, Tony. Yes, now that you mention it, I do recall hearing something about the interview in the historical society journal, but I never managed to get a copy of it. I'll renew my efforts to find it!

Many thanks again.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

We see Sitzman has been suggested as part of "them". Sitzman was on the pedestal and could see the back of the Stemmons Sign blocking part of Elm.

The location for attaining the "whole view" was supposedly chosen after three attempts;

A: 12:15 p.m. I was looking for a place where to stand so I would be able to take pictures of the arrival of the President. 
Q: Was anybody with you at this time? 
A: Yes, one of my secretaries. 
Q: Did you find such a location? 
A: After three attempts, yes. 

So this would be after Zapruder, it has been suggested, told Sitzman he was going to get the whole view. You would think that Sitzman would tap him on the shoulder and point out that the sign obstacle is contrary to what she had just been told, keeping in mind that his previous attempts to find a location was an effort to find a unobstructed view.

It was not like Zapruder was running out of time to find an ultimate location. He practised by filming the Hesters and Sitzman from the pedestal before the motorcade arrived. We see them casually interacting.

 

Edited by Tony Krome
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Interesting to note:

If the first bullet, the one that caused JFK to raise his arms, had of caused JFK's head to "open up", that moment would have been obstructed by the Stemmons Sign. Further, no existing moving film, that is known, would have captured that moment. There would have been no further point in additional shots as the "head opening up" would have been obvious to the telescoped eye or spotter. Remarkably, the sign that Zapruder "neglected" to take into account when he told "them" that he was going to get the whole view, could have masked the fatal head shot that killed JFK.

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15 minutes ago, Tony Krome said:

Interesting to note:

If the first bullet, the one that caused JFK to raise his arms, had of caused JFK's head to "open up", that moment would have been obstructed by the Stemmons Sign. Further, no existing moving film, that is known, would have captured that moment. There would have been no further point in additional shots as the "head opening up" would have been obvious to the telescoped eye or spotter. Remarkably, the sign that Zapruder "neglected" to take into account when he told "them" that he was going to get the whole view, could have masked the fatal head shot that killed JFK.

Very good point, Tony. I am still on the fence about the ‘throat shot’ as to whether it was a ‘kill shot’ or something to debilitate JFK. Mainly because I think the deviation through a windscreen could be predicted in a reasonably accurate way. The shot would have been 100m perhaps from the south knoll fence, maybe slightly more. 
i have raised the issue before as to whether a higher calibre bullet would have shattered or caused more of a spider web effect on the presidential limo windscreen. ie would a lower calibre bullet have passed through in a less noticeable way? JFK having a fatal shot at that point may have made it easier to blame it on Oswald, he is closer, easier shot but, there is also a higher population density closer to the SBD than further down when JFK suffers the fatal wound(s). 
 

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2 hours ago, Chris Barnard said:

Very good point, Tony. I am still on the fence about the ‘throat shot’ as to whether it was a ‘kill shot’ or something to debilitate JFK. Mainly because I think the deviation through a windscreen could be predicted in a reasonably accurate way. The shot would have been 100m perhaps from the south knoll fence, maybe slightly more. 
i have raised the issue before as to whether a higher calibre bullet would have shattered or caused more of a spider web effect on the presidential limo windscreen. ie would a lower calibre bullet have passed through in a less noticeable way? JFK having a fatal shot at that point may have made it easier to blame it on Oswald, he is closer, easier shot but, there is also a higher population density closer to the SBD than further down when JFK suffers the fatal wound(s). 
 

Yes, the deviation through the windshield would have been a careful consideration. The only thing I have, and I've mentioned it before, is that both the Kennedys looked momentarily at the middle of their seat, then JFK raised his head (behind the sign) as the shot was fired (re Jean Hill's testimony). Therefore an intended forehead shot became a throat shot.

Another point I'd like to make, is that the idea was to assassinate the President, not wound him. A possible scenario could have presented itself whereby Jackie pulled her husband down to protect him after the first shot, just like Nellie did with Connally. In that case, any further shots to JFK would have been an impossibility. An opportunity lost.

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