.. second and third shots right after the other (WC IV 146). Mr. Connally doesnt recall the second shot but heard the first and third. He described them as being rifle shots (WC IV 129).
Due to the rapidity of the shots, his first impression at the scene was that there were either multiple gunmen or a lone gunman with an automatic rifle (Conspiracy 19). Agent Sorrels also believes that the second and third shots were fired very close together (WC VII 332). At least closer than the first and second shots. Several other witnesses in the motorcade also believed that the last two shots came almost one on top of the other. According to the Warren Report, it was the third shot that hit President Kennedy in the back of the head. Agent Hill heard the first shot but disregarded it as a firecracker popping (WC II 132).
Once he realized that it was a gunshot he ran from the follow-up car to the back of the presidential limousine. He did not hear the second shot but as he attempted to climb onto the back bumper of the limousine he heard what he thought was a second shot and then a popping sound (WC II 132). He then looked up and realized that President Kennedy had been shot in the head (WC II 132). Mrs. Kennedy after the third shot climbed onto the trunk of the limousine to retrieve a piece of the Presidents skull.
Agent Hill on his second attempt to climb aboard the limousine helped push Mrs. Kennedy back into her seat. It was at this point that the motorcade began to accelerate on their way to Parkland hospital. The information gathered from the participants in the motorcade presented a series of inconsistencies. The Warren Report as well as the author of Case Closed, Gerald Posner, concluded that a lone gunman assassinated the President. From the testimonies of the witnesses in the motorcade, several of their conclusions could be seen as inaccurate or incorrectly inferred.
For example, Posner in his book Case Closed concludes that the first shot hit not only President Kennedy but also Governor Connally (Case Closed 326). Governor Connallys testimony to the Warren Commission contrasts this conclusion. His testimony says that after the first shot, which he at the time believed to be a rifle report, came from over his right shoulder. He turned around to the right to see the origin of the shot. Simultaneously, he tried to turn even farther around to see the condition of the President.
He could not get a view of the President turned in this direction so he began to turn around to his left. Before he could turn around far enough for view, he reported that he was hit in the back, and began to hunch over. Although he did not hear a second shot, most would assume that he was truly hit by the second fired shot. Gerald Posner dismisses much of the Governors testimony in his book. How could Governor Connally not feel the bullet hit him or the wounds he sustained from the bullet until a couple seconds at least after he had supposedly been shot? It was plausible that he did not here the second shot and only the first and third because the second shot would have struck him before the sound of the bullet reached his ears. In Mrs.
Connallys testimony to the Warren Commission, who sat right next to Governor Connallys on his left, said that the first shot fired hit President Kennedy in the neck (WC IV 146). The second bullet she says hit her husband because it was then that he slouched over and she pulled him into her lap. If Mr. and Mrs. Connally were accurate, the determination of a fourth shot would be undeniable.
This is because it has been established that presumably the second of the three total bullets that were fired missed and hit a curb next to the underpass on Elm. The first bullet fired was inarguably the bullet that hit President Kennedy in the neck and the third shot is undisputedly the shot that hit President Kennedy in the head. So it would seem that Posner is missing a fourth shot. This might be able to be explained by the large number of witnesses who say that the second and third shots that they heard were extremely close together. Agent Kellerman testified that he heard the second and third shots as a double bang-bang (WC II 61).
Mrs. Connally testified that the second and third shot were closer together than the first and second shot (WC IV 146). Agent Greer also believes that he heard the third shot just after the second (WC II 112). Agent Sorrels testified to the same thing (WC VII 332). A shot heard right after the other, within a second or even a second and a half concludes that there was a second gunman. After a series of tests, the FBI concluded that it takes a minimum of 2.3 seconds to recycle the chamber of Oswalds bolt action rifle (JFK MOVIE).
This means that the second and third shots had to be at least 2.3 seconds apart without aiming but just loading the weapon. This leaves a reasonable doubt to whether the Warren Commission and Posners conclusions are really accurate. Another doubt in Posners conclusions presented itself through the testimony of several witnesses in the motorcade who say they heard shots from the right rather than from behind them and to the right. Gerald Posner concludes that all three shots had to have come from the book depository building only. Contradictively, Mrs.
Connally testified that her impression of where the shots came from was to the right of the car (WC IV 146). At the time the shots were fired, the grassy knoll area would have been to the right of the car implying a second gunman. David F. Powers, who sat two cars behind the presidential limousine, attested that he thought the shots came from his right and possible from over by the underpass (WC VII 472). Dallas County sheriff Bill Decker believed that the shots came from possibly the knoll area or behind it in the railroad yards because he immediately radioed Notify station five to move all available men out of my department back into the railroad yards (Conspiracy 24). Sheriff Bill Decker sat in the back seat of the lead car and was only one car ahead of President Kennedy. Although there are witnesses who believe the shots came from over their head and to their right (area of book depository), there are too many witnesses who testify otherwise to just ignore their opinions.
After reviewing the testimonies of the witnesses involved in the motorcade, I believe this aspect of the case must be left open to argument. Many Americans rightly demand the simple truths to what happened that November day in Dealy Plaza; but this is not possible. There are to many holes presented by witness testimony that keep the answers buried. For now this case cannot be closed. Until more evidence is uncovered, the American public will wait in agony to hear the true story of what happened on November 22, 1963 when The President of the United States was gunned down in cold blood while visiting Dallas. Bibliography Work Cited Books Sources: Marrs, Jim (1989).
Crossfire: The plot that killed Kennedy. New York: Dahl. Posner, Gerald (1993). Case Closed. New York: Anchor Books.
Summers, Anthony (1989). Conspiracy. New York: Paragon House. Government Sources: United States. Warren Commission.
Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: Hearings before the Presidents Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. Washington, D.C. : U.S. G.P.O., c1964.
United States. Warren Commission. Report of the Presidents Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Washington, U.S. G.P.O.
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