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The Back Wound Considered

Ashton Gray

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On forum page 15 in another thread, Where were the shooters, I set up an experiment in a 3D model of Dealey Plaza to consider a possible trajectory for the head shot based on what appears to be a mass of ejecta from the head wound in Zapruder frame 314.

Without repeating the methods of that experiment, tracing the trajectory back led to this window in the County Records building.


Later in that same thread, I briefly considered the possibilities of that location also having been the source for the shot to JFK's back, which, for reasons I stated there, I set up with the limo in this location, with the Stemmons freeway sign between JFK and Zapruder:


I've since found a bit of time to explore this back shot possibility in greater detail.

To do that, I created a trajectory from that top right window in the County Records building to the approximate location of the wound in JFK's back that has been described as follows:

  • During the latter stages of this autopsy, Dr. Humes located an opening which appeared to be a bullet hole which was below the shoulders and two inches to the right of the middle line of the spinal column.
    This opening was probed by Dr. Humes with the finger, at which time it was determined that the trajectory of the missile entering at this point had entered at a downward position of 45 to 60 degrees. Further probing determined that the distance traveled by this missile was a short distance inasmuch as the end of the opening could be felt with the finger.
    James W. Sibert and Francis X. O'Neill, FD 302 report (22nd November, 1963)

Although there has been not inconsiderable dispute about the actual location of the back shot, some have put it not just below the shoulders, but around the level of the shoulder blades. I opted for that location.

Creating a trajectory from the County Records rendered this, as seen from behind and somewhat to the left:


Looking from that location on the back up towards the County Records building top window rendered this:


Just as in the case of the head shot, I found nothing to argue against a back shot from that location. The firing lane is clear and unobstructed.

Next, I wanted to address the angle of entry. In the FBI 302 report excerpted above, it says it was determined that the bullet had entered at "a downward position of 45 to 60 degrees."

Assuming that this meant from the vertical, I set up a view behind the JFK figure in the model with perspective turned off and measured the angle of the trajectory. Here is what I got:


Ashton Gray

Edited by Ashton Gray
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