President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy Minutes Before His Assassination, 22 Nov 1963

So did Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, kill President John F. Kennedy from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository on November 22, 1963?

     No, he didn’t.

     How can I be so sure? Is there any evidence of conspiracy?

     Yes, I think there is.

Keep in mind, what I’m saying is that if he did shoot the President then he wasn’t alone. He could have been one of the shooters, but there had to have been at least one other person who shot at the Kennedy limousine that day.

There are two numbers that are key to the case I’m making: 18.3, and 2.3.

According to the Warren Commission, Oswald fired 3 shots. One hit Kennedy in the back of the neck, exited his throat, entered Governor Connally’s back near his right shoulder, broke his rib, exited his chest, shattered his wrist and ultimately lodged in his thigh, before being recovered virtually intact from a stretcher at Parkland hospital, in spite of leaving fragments behind in Connally’s wrist and thigh. This is the so-called “single bullet”, or “magic bullet” theory. One of the other shots missed, and the third and final shot, the “fatal head shot”, ultimately killed the President. This was the official conclusion of the Warren Commission. Three shots, as described above, all fired by Oswald, no one else involved.

The two people closest to the action that day who have told their stories on tape were Governor John Connally of Texas and his wife, Nellie Connally. The Connallys were seated immediately in front of the Kennedys in the presidential limousine. As described above, John Connally was seriously wounded himself and almost died. Let’s see how the Connallys recount what happened:

johnconnally
nellieconnally
johnandnellieconnally 

Notice how their stories perfectly complement each other, how they remained completely consistent over the course of their lives, and how unequivocal they are in describing that Kennedy and Connally were hit by separate bullets. Connally had enough time to wheel himself around to take a look, before beginning to turn to his left, when he was hit. He couldn’t have done all this if he was hit at the same time as Kennedy.

Now let’s see if their story matches the visual record we have of the assassination. Here are two Youtube uploads of the Zapruder film:

zapruder1
zapruder2

You’ll notice the second video gives you the exact numbers for each frame of film. This is relevant to one of the numbers I mentioned above. What I’d like you to do, is play each video, and see if you can pick out, based on the Connallys’ testimony, exactly when you think Governor Connally was hit. To my eye, this moment is easy to pick out – it is at no later than frame 296, or maybe 295.

Now identify the moment of impact for Kennedy’s head shot. On the second video, it’s no later than frame 314 or 315 (in fact, I believe the Warren Commission identified it as frame 313, which is probably more accurate).

How fast did film move through Zapruder’s camera?: 18.3 frames per second:

6thfloormuseumzapruderchron

What that means, is that if Connally was hit at roughly frame 296 and Kennedy was hit at frame 314 or 315 (or frame 313), then they were hit almost exactly one second apart.

How does this prove a second shooter? Easy. Oswald’s weapon was a 6.5 mm Mannlicher Carcano bolt-action rifle, made in Italy in 1940. It was a cheap, mail-order weapon. The rifle was tested by the FBI and it was determined that it could not fire consecutive shots in less than 2.3 seconds:

warrenreport

So, assuming Oswald as one of the shooters, he couldn’t have fired both the shot that wounded Connally and the final head shot that killed Kennedy. A second shooter is required.

There is more evidence of a second shooter in the possibility of a fourth shot having been fired that day (according to the Warren Commission, Oswald fired only 3 times) – the so-called “Tague bullet”, which supposedly hit a curb some distance from the motorcade and dislodged a cement fragment which injured bystander James Tague in the cheek.

The reason the Warren Commission insisted on the “single bullet” theory, was to avoid the obvious conclusion that, as I’ve described, there had to be another shooter. That way they didn’t have to worry about a fourth bullet or the 1-second time between the Connally shot and the Kennedy head shot. The Warren Commission was determined to label Oswald as the sole assassin in order to avoid looking into the possibility of a conspiracy.

Why would the distinguished members of the Warren Commission be engaged in a coverup? We’ll explore that in an upcoming post.