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Gerald Posner: Single Bullet, Single Gunman


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February 21, 2007

Op-Ed Contributor

The New York Times

Single Bullet, Single Gunman

By GERALD POSNER

THE ability to use advanced forensics and minuscule traces of DNA to solve crimes, even cold cases decades old, has turned many Americans into armchair sleuths seeking to “solve” the unexpected deaths of people like Princess Diana and Anna Nicole Smith. But sometimes, old-fashioned evidence is as useful in solving puzzles as anything under a nuclear microscope.

Last weekend, a never-before-seen home movie was made public showing President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade just before his assassination. An amateur photographer, George Jefferies, took the footage and held onto it for more than 40 years before casually mentioning it to his son-in-law, who persuaded him to donate it to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. The silent 8-millimeter color film was of interest to most people simply because it showed perhaps the clearest close-up of Jacqueline Kennedy taken that morning.

But to assassination researchers, the footage definitively resolves one of the case’s enduring controversies: that the bullet wound on Kennedy’s back, as documented and photographed during the autopsy, did not match up with the location of the bullet hole on the back of his suit jacket and shirt. The discrepancy has given conspiracy theorists fodder to argue that the autopsy photos had been retouched and the report fabricated.

This is more than an academic debate among ballistics buffs. It is critical because if the bullet did enter where shown on the autopsy photos, the trajectory lines up correctly for the famous “single bullet” theory — the Warren Commission hypothesis that one bullet inflicted wounds to both Kennedy and Gov. John Connally of Texas. However, if the hole in the clothing was the accurate mark of where the bullet entered, it would have been too low for a single bullet to have inflicted all the wounds, and would provide evidence of a second assassin.

For years, those of us who concluded that the single-bullet theory was sound, still had to speculate that Kennedy’s suit had bunched up during the ride, causing the hole to be lower in the fabric than one would expect. Because the holes in the shirt and jacket align perfectly, if the jacket was elevated when the shot struck, the shirt also had to have been raised.

Some previously published photos taken at the pivotal moment showed Kennedy’s jacket slightly pushed up, but nothing was definitive. Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists have done everything to disprove that the jacket was bunched. Some used grainy photos or film clips to measure minute distances between Kennedy’s hairline and his shirt, what they dubbed the “hair-to-in-shoot distance.”

The new film has finally resolved the issue. At the end of the clip, as the camera focuses on the backs of the president and first lady, Kennedy’s suit is significantly bunched up, with several layers creased together. Only 90 seconds before Lee Harvey Oswald fired the first shot, Kennedy’s suit jacket was precisely in the position to misrepresent the bullet’s entry point.

While the film solves one mystery, it leaves another open: estimates are that at least 150,000 people lined the Dallas motorcade route that fateful day, so there must be many other films and photographs out there that have never come to light. Those who have them should bear in mind that even the most innocuous-seeming artifacts, like the Jefferies tape, can sometimes put enduring controversies to rest. As Gary Mack, the curator of the Sixth Floor Museum said the other day, “The bottom line is, don’t throw anything away.”

Gerald Posner is the author of “Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of J.F.K.”

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February 21, 2007

Op-Ed Contributor

The New York Times

Single Bullet, Single Gunman

By GERALD POSNER

THE ability to use advanced forensics and minuscule traces of DNA to solve crimes, even cold cases decades old, has turned many Americans into armchair sleuths seeking to “solve” the unexpected deaths of people like Princess Diana and Anna Nicole Smith. But sometimes, old-fashioned evidence is as useful in solving puzzles as anything under a nuclear microscope.

Last weekend, a never-before-seen home movie was made public showing President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade just before his assassination. An amateur photographer, George Jefferies, took the footage and held onto it for more than 40 years before casually mentioning it to his son-in-law, who persuaded him to donate it to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. The silent 8-millimeter color film was of interest to most people simply because it showed perhaps the clearest close-up of Jacqueline Kennedy taken that morning.

But to assassination researchers, the footage definitively resolves one of the case’s enduring controversies: that the bullet wound on Kennedy’s back, as documented and photographed during the autopsy, did not match up with the location of the bullet hole on the back of his suit jacket and shirt. The discrepancy has given conspiracy theorists fodder to argue that the autopsy photos had been retouched and the report fabricated.

This is more than an academic debate among ballistics buffs. It is critical because if the bullet did enter where shown on the autopsy photos, the trajectory lines up correctly for the famous “single bullet” theory — the Warren Commission hypothesis that one bullet inflicted wounds to both Kennedy and Gov. John Connally of Texas. However, if the hole in the clothing was the accurate mark of where the bullet entered, it would have been too low for a single bullet to have inflicted all the wounds, and would provide evidence of a second assassin.

For years, those of us who concluded that the single-bullet theory was sound, still had to speculate that Kennedy’s suit had bunched up during the ride, causing the hole to be lower in the fabric than one would expect. Because the holes in the shirt and jacket align perfectly, if the jacket was elevated when the shot struck, the shirt also had to have been raised.

Some previously published photos taken at the pivotal moment showed Kennedy’s jacket slightly pushed up, but nothing was definitive. Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists have done everything to disprove that the jacket was bunched. Some used grainy photos or film clips to measure minute distances between Kennedy’s hairline and his shirt, what they dubbed the “hair-to-in-shoot distance.”

It's telling that Posner scoffs at taking actual measurements.

Does dear Gerald recognize the difference between 3 millimeters and 3 inches,

especially in this context?

Nothing grainy about this photo, taken at Love Field, which shows JFK's 1.25"

jacket collar at the nape of his neck.

It shows the top of the jacket collar a fraction of an inch below the top of his

shirt collar.

It shows the top of the shirt collar about an inch below the hairline.

Photo_jfkl-01_0060-C420-20-63.jpg

Why does Posner scoff at these measurements?

Because the SBT requires JFK's shirt and jacket to have elevated in tandem

a good 3 inches -- a location well above JFK's hairline.

That's 6 inches of clothing fabric "bunched up" entirely above the C7 SBT

in-shoot.

Is that what the Dealey Plaza photos show?

The new film has finally resolved the issue. At the end of the clip, as the camera focuses on the backs of the president and first lady, Kennedy’s suit is significantly bunched up, with several layers creased together. Only 90 seconds before Lee Harvey Oswald fired the first shot, Kennedy’s suit jacket was precisely in the position to misrepresent the bullet’s entry point.
And what is Posner's methodology for making this "precise" determination?

He doesn't have any. We are expected to take his word for it.

What do the motorcade photos actually show?

The photo on the right is of JFK in Fort Worth 11/22/63, the photo on the

left was taken on Main St. within seconds of the "new" footage.

tkoap.jpg

Note that JFK's shirt collar is visible in the photo on the right, but not

in the left.

Note JFK's posture on Main St. -- head turned to the right, right arm waving.

This posture is similar to his posture in Betzner #3 at Z186.

In Betzner -- as with all the Elm St. images -- the shirt collar is clearly visible

at the left back of his neck.

Betzner_Large.jpg

It has been pointed out that the white band at the base of JFK's neck may

be skin -- either way, the jacket is clearly elevated no more than a fraction

of an inch.

The obvious conclusion: JFK's jacket dropped in Dealey Plaza!

Any good copy of the Houston St. segment of the Nix film shows

the jacket collar dropping, exposing the shirt collar. (I'm currently

working on getting these images up.)

While the film solves one mystery,

This is the Bunch Non Sequitur, upon which Lone Assassin Theory is based:

1) The SBT requires JFK's shirt and jacket to have elevated 3 inches

each in tandem.

2) Some motorcade photos show JFK's jacket "bunched up."

3) Therefore, JFK's shirt and jacket were elevated 3" in tandem.

Will Gerald Posner -- or John Hunt, for that matter -- defend this with any

sort of fact based argument?

Of course not. They never do.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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I hear ya, Cliff. I'm still trying to figure out how Posner has the cojones to state the wound in the autopsy photo lines up with the SBT. The HSCA FPP determined that Kennedy must have been doubled over. He wasn't doubled over. Case Closed.

In his book, in his defense of the SBT, Posner ignores the FPP and cites Dr. Lattimer left and right. Lattimer was as wacky as the wackiest CT. He insisted the autopsy photos proved the back wound was higher on the neck than in the Rydberg drawings. Even worse, when you read the fine print, you see that Lattimer based his impression of the neck wound on the X-RAYS. In other words, he ignored what was obvious--that the wound is on the back--and determined that the bullet entered Kennedy's neck, based on his interpretation of the x-rays. Even though the photos showed it to be on the back. Even though the doctors measured it on the back.

Posner's assertion that this footage proves anything is sickening. The color Croft photo, taken seconds before the first shot, is THE PROOF that the bunching was minimal. The sharp point of the bunch when seen in profile is not in the middle of Kennedy's back, but his right shoulder. The clothing where the bullet entered is lifted an inch or so total, not the 3 inches necessary to align the entrance with a throat exit. Maddening.

How do we get in the Times to rebut him?

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I hear ya, Cliff. I'm still trying to figure out how Posner has the cojones to state the wound in the autopsy photo lines up with the SBT. The HSCA FPP determined that Kennedy must have been doubled over. He wasn't doubled over. Case Closed.

In his book, in his defense of the SBT, Posner ignores the FPP and cites Dr. Lattimer left and right. Lattimer was as wacky as the wackiest CT. He insisted the autopsy photos proved the back wound was higher on the neck than in the Rydberg drawings. Even worse, when you read the fine print, you see that Lattimer based his impression of the neck wound on the X-RAYS. In other words, he ignored what was obvious--that the wound is on the back--and determined that the bullet entered Kennedy's neck, based on his interpretation of the x-rays. Even though the photos showed it to be on the back. Even though the doctors measured it on the back.

Posner's assertion that this footage proves anything is sickening. The color Croft photo, taken seconds before the first shot, is THE PROOF that the bunching was minimal.

Croft shows a 3/4" jacket fold bowed OUT.

But Croft is irrelevant due to the fact that JFK's posture changed circa Z176

when he turned to the right and raised his right arm to wave.

This posture change knocked the 3/4" fold down about a half-inch.

Please note the fabric was bowed OUT in Croft, but there is SHADOW

in that location in Betzner.

IOW, the sunshine would have caught the fabric if it had been bowed out.

Betzner #3 trumps all other photos. The jacket was elevated 1/8" in

a location consistent with the well-corroborated wound at T3.

Who's gonna tell the Times?

I feel like the Dennis Hopper character in APOCALYPSE NOW...

"Who's gonna tell 'em?? ME?? Wrong!!"

B)

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I find it absolutely irrational to think that any semi-educated person, who has read the previous revelations of Gerald Posner, could have anything other than the highest praise for this true patriot of the United States.

After all it was he who very bravely confronted the foaming mad conspiracy theorists and proved to them, that as far as the U.S. government, the U.S. President, the Director of the FBI., the Director of Central Intelligence, the Presidential Commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, and the HSCA are concerned, this is and has been merely an issue of "Case Closed". He even received the instantaneous and ever continuing praise of all of the Major Media within the U.S.

How can this "Government Made Millionaire" even be remotely considered as an object not worthy of his people's highest praises.

I feel that there is a nationwide lack of gratitude that exists within the U.S. A seeming determination to not know "THE TRUTH". Disgusting !

A psychologist would probably refer to this unhealthy attitude as ACUTE DENIAL !

Charlie Black

Charlie Black

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Mr. Black:

I assume you are joking.

If not I'll go ahead and foam, perhaps illiberally.

Funny how quick Mr Posner was on the trigger of the Times press. And who could be surprised? Case Closed was given so much coverage in the national mediathat it was impossible to miss. For many it is the only book on the assassination that they have read. This probably account for the 23% or so who believe the Lone Nut gospels. I have never met anyone who has read Posner AND ANOTHER book that comes down on the conspiracy side of the ledger who end up agreeing with Posner.

But there is more to my scepticism than that personal experience. You see, I am a school teacher, and we indoctirinate the youngsters-- perhaps misleadingl

at this stage of controlled american journalism-- with a quote from the enlightenment:"I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" The NYT simply does not allow any meaningful refutation of the Posner Gospels that they peddle page one.

When was the last time you saw a pro-conspiracy article on an op ed page of a major US newspaper? I have never seen one. And why should a respectable publisher alow a "buff" into the public forum anyway? Posner uses the term buff as an all-encompasing term to describe anyone from myself to Professor John Newman. Peter Dale Scott--buff. Anthony Summers--buff. Professor Gerald McNight--buff who somehow enjoys exposing himself to ridicule in academic journals by snide professors who have learned to avoid such low status knowlede as the Kennedy Assassination. After all, everytime they read about it in the

Nation the word buff is bandied and branded liberaly.

Just so the platonists walk the plank of thier flat earth. These Inquisitors of Mass Circulation would not have given Gallileo half a column inch. Empiricism, it was just-- so vulgar!

When can we expect to read Posner seriously? When the Times will allow a rebuttal, when they in short begin acting like a newspaper in a democracy.

When a book critical of the official government explanation is given one thousandth of the exposure of Case Closeted.

Until then the Times meager answer to to Enlightenment plea for the maintainance of a public sphere for rational debate may as well be the Oscar Wilde quote I read on someones sinature line here on the forum: "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and sometimes quite convincing"

Perhaps that should be boxed and mastheaded top of page one, Newspaper of (governement) Record.

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In his book, in his defense of the SBT, Posner ignores the FPP and cites Dr. Lattimer left and right. Lattimer was as wacky as the wackiest CT. He insisted the autopsy photos proved the back wound was higher on the neck than in the Rydberg drawings. Even worse, when you read the fine print, you see that Lattimer based his impression of the neck wound on the X-RAYS. In other words, he ignored what was obvious--that the wound is on the back--and determined that the bullet entered Kennedy's neck, based on his interpretation of the x-rays. Even though the photos showed it to be on the back. Even though the doctors measured it on the back.

That is an EXCELLENT POINT! Since we know that the neck wound, if NOT an exit wound as the SBT/Warren Commission crowd believe, then it must have been an ENTRANCE wound fired from the front. That is of course consistent with what many of the witnesses at Parkland Memorial Hospital saw, a small wound in the neck which they clearly thought was an entrance wound.

So, Lattimer was seeing the X-ray bullet trace through the neck. It had to exit and Lattimer saw it.

You should ask why no one saw the exit in the back of the neck but with a hole the size of a grapefruit in the back of Kennedy's head, few would ever notice a small wound to the back of the neck. The area around the back of his neck was covered in blood and would probably would have concealed that wound.

Thank you for making that clear!

OF course the wound to JFK's back was found at the autopsy to be a shallow wound that went down as anyone would expect. Listen to one of the FBI agents who was at the autopsy say, no point of exit.

Now you notice FOX NEWS along with many others say, OH, they simply failed to properly trace the bullet path.... No actually they did trace the bullet path correctly, it was shallow and it went no where. Ask me WHY that's true and you'll understand the hardest part of the assassination to understand, the third shot which hit Kennedy in the back.

Regards

Bill

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This was Posner two weeks after 9-11, as reported rather sceptically on Slate's Chatterbox:

...in the wake of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, "President Bush has come alive in a way I did not think possible. It was as though the attack on America--which he rightly called an 'act of war' from the start--gave him a focus and clarity I had not earlier seen." This "focus and clarity" either persuaded Posner that Bush really did win Florida, or persuaded Posner not to care whether Bush had won or not. If Posner means the latter, Chatterbox isn't inclined to quibble. In times of national crisis, it does indeed seem foolish to quarrel over murky election results, especially when the outcome can't be changed.

But what evidence does Posner present of a new "focus and clarity"? Not much more than he had to argue for a revote in Florida. Posner notes that Bush last week gave a strong speech to the country. Chatterbox hopes it isn't unpatriotic to note that Bush always demonstrates more "focus and clarity" when he's reading from a prepared text than when he's ad-libbing; Bush's chief speechwriter, Michael Gerson, happens to be a very gifted writer (click here to purchase Gerson's thoughtful and elegant Barry Goldwater obituary in US News & World Report). "I had always found Mr. Bush stiff in his scripted speeches," Posner writes. "But last Thursday he was infused with passion and outrage." Chatterbox has never found Bush stiff in his scripted speeches, and it was widely noted last January in the Liberal-Dominated Media that Bush hit a home run with his inaugural address. (It's the press conferences Bush tends to flub.) The fact that Bush was infused last Thursday with "passion and outrage" does not distinguish him from any other person of Chatterbox's acquaintance. "President Bush showed all of us who doubted him, and who voted against him, that he is indeed a leader," Posner writes. Oh, please. He's the president of the United States. Being a leader is his job. Is he a good leader? Chatterbox certainly hopes he will be from now on, but the proof certainly won't be a single speech.

Note that by September 25th, Posner felt able to express with certainty that Bush was "right" to view 9-11 as an "act of war".

That's not careful, scholarly analysis. That's playing the role of pack leader, echoing the angry calls of other 'warcons' in a veangeful chorus designed to appeal to the very lowest aspects of western culture: arrogance, self-righteousness, vindictiveness, bigotry and outright thuggery

The article also refers to Posner's involvement in the Gore-Lieberman push for the Presidency in 2000.

Apparently Posner was on Gore's side.

Unfortunately (or perhaps not), around this time Gore began to back away from his earlier desire for the Presidency, preferring to forge a decent career as environmental activist extraordinaire.

Perhaps Gore had decided by then he'd rather not end up like JFK at roughly the same time of life - with the likes of Posner penning best-selling accounts of his assassination by Islamic extremists?

Edited by Sid Walker
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In response to Gerald Posner's Op Ed piece in the Wasington Post (Feb. 21, 2007) "Single Bullet Single Gunman."

Certainly those who have additional evidence in the murder of John F. Kennedy should not throw it away, as former New Orleans DA tried to do with the Garrison/Shaw Grand Jury records, or they tired to do with the Andrews AFB log, or as they actually did with the DOD files on the accused assassin or the Secret Service records AFTER the Congresional passage of the JFK Act.

Those with such evidence shouldn't give it to the 6th Floor Museum however, they should turn it over to the prosecutor or District Attorney responsible for investigating such homicides for proper development of the evidence.

As for what the new film indicates questions whether such film, photos or x-rays should be used to determine ballistics, but rather, the victim should be given a regular forensic autopsy that would positively determine such things.

In addition, it should be noted that the so-called single-bullet did not kill the President. That was the result of a bullet shot to the head that killed him instantly.

Even if the single-bullet theory is correct, which a proper forensic autopsy would determine, and the murder was the work of a single shooter, if that gunman was Lee Harvey Oswald then it was most certainly a conspiracy and probably a coup.

If Lee Harvey Oswald is the gunman, he is the greatest assassin in history, and certainly not the deranged lone leftist loser Posner portrays. If the gunman was the Oswald who served in the Civil Air Patrol, USMC, U2 base in Japan and behind the iron curtain at the height of the Cold War, then he fits the covert intelligence operative personality and his actions were part of a clandestine operation conducted by a national security network that remains unidentified and unpursued.

Single-bullet or lone gunman matters little to the larger fact that citizens of the United States will not regain their government or heritage until all the evidence is in, all the records are declassified, a proper forensic autopsy is performed and a grand jury determines if there is enough evidence to convict someone for crimes related to the assassination.

William Kelly

Edited by William Kelly
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  • 2 weeks later...

In response to Gerald Posner's Op Ed piece in the Wasington Post (Feb. 21, 2007) "Single Bullet Single Gunman."

Certainly those who have additional evidence in the murder of John F. Kennedy should not throw it away, as former New Orleans DA tried to do with the Garrison/Shaw Grand Jury records, or they tired to do with the Andrews AFB log, or as they actually did with the DOD files on the accused assassin or the Secret Service records AFTER the Congresional passage of the JFK Act.

Those with such evidence shouldn't give it to the 6th Floor Museum however, they should turn it over to the prosecutor or District Attorney responsible for investigating such homicides for proper development of the evidence.

As for what the new film indicates questions whether such film, photos or x-rays should be used to determine ballistics, but rather, the victim should be given a regular forensic autopsy that would positively determine such things.

In addition, it should be noted that the so-called single-bullet did not kill the President. That was the result of a bullet shot to the head that killed him instantly.

Even if the single-bullet theory is correct, which a proper forensic autopsy would determine, and the murder was the work of a single shooter, if that gunman was Lee Harvey Oswald then it was most certainly a conspiracy and probably a coup.

If Lee Harvey Oswald is the gunman, he is the greatest assassin in history, and certainly not the deranged lone leftist loser Posner portrays. If the gunman was the Oswald who served in the Civil Air Patrol, USMC, U2 base in Japan and behind the iron curtain at the height of the Cold War, then he fits the covert intelligence operative personality and his actions were part of a clandestine operation conducted by a national security network that remains unidentified and unpursued.

Single-bullet or lone gunman matters little to the larger fact that citizens of the United States will not regain their government or heritage until all the evidence is in, all the records are declassified, a proper forensic autopsy is performed and a grand jury determines if there is enough evidence to convict someone for crimes related to the assassination.

William Kelly

Posner also falsely claimed that autopsists Humes and Boswell changed their placement of a rear head entry wound, to where it is seen in the official autopsy photos. He said they agreed that the wound was four inches higher than where they placed it in the autopsy report. Both denied ever changing their original placement of the wound, and Boswell told Gary Aguilar that he never even spoke to Posner. What a fraud the man is.

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In response to Gerald Posner's Op Ed piece in the Wasington Post (Feb. 21, 2007) "Single Bullet Single Gunman."

Certainly those who have additional evidence in the murder of John F. Kennedy should not throw it away, as former New Orleans DA tried to do with the Garrison/Shaw Grand Jury records, or they tired to do with the Andrews AFB log, or as they actually did with the DOD files on the accused assassin or the Secret Service records AFTER the Congresional passage of the JFK Act.

Those with such evidence shouldn't give it to the 6th Floor Museum however, they should turn it over to the prosecutor or District Attorney responsible for investigating such homicides for proper development of the evidence.

As for what the new film indicates questions whether such film, photos or x-rays should be used to determine ballistics, but rather, the victim should be given a regular forensic autopsy that would positively determine such things.

In addition, it should be noted that the so-called single-bullet did not kill the President. That was the result of a bullet shot to the head that killed him instantly.

Even if the single-bullet theory is correct, which a proper forensic autopsy would determine, and the murder was the work of a single shooter, if that gunman was Lee Harvey Oswald then it was most certainly a conspiracy and probably a coup.

If Lee Harvey Oswald is the gunman, he is the greatest assassin in history, and certainly not the deranged lone leftist loser Posner portrays. If the gunman was the Oswald who served in the Civil Air Patrol, USMC, U2 base in Japan and behind the iron curtain at the height of the Cold War, then he fits the covert intelligence operative personality and his actions were part of a clandestine operation conducted by a national security network that remains unidentified and unpursued.

Single-bullet or lone gunman matters little to the larger fact that citizens of the United States will not regain their government or heritage until all the evidence is in, all the records are declassified, a proper forensic autopsy is performed and a grand jury determines if there is enough evidence to convict someone for crimes related to the assassination.

William Kelly

Posner also falsely claimed that autopsists Humes and Boswell changed their placement of a rear head entry wound, to where it is seen in the official autopsy photos. He said they agreed that the wound was four inches higher than where they placed it in the autopsy report. Both denied ever changing their original placement of the wound, and Boswell told Gary Aguilar that he never even spoke to Posner. What a fraud the man is.

Brian-- Do you have any links or pagenumbers to offer re your last 2 sentence. I would like to post this on some threads attacking Posner that I have started on some other threads. I think its important that we deligitimate Posner BEFORE THE MASSES because that is where he is pushed lika a drug. Specifically any links to Humes and Boswell denying they had ever changed their original placement of the wound. Thanx

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