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The JFK assassination.

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Here it had all happened. The world's most powerful man, the youngest U.S. president ever elected with a beautiful woman by his side, shot dead in full view -- the third US president to die by an assassin's bullet. Twenty-seven years before, right on this street, a car full of people was ambushed by a killer or killers. Here, rolling down Elm Street at ten or twelve miles an hour, comes the presidential car SS100X , the black, stretch Lincoln Continental limousine, twenty-one feet long, over three tons in weight. I could see Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill leaping in desperation for the back of the open car; Mrs. Kennedy leaning over towards him --reaching out in a futile gesture to recover part of her husband's head, blown away by a bullet. It would lie in the street until the next day when it was recovered by a medical student, Billy Harper, and handed in to the authorities. People everywhere, screaming and shouting, throwing themselves down onto the grass to avoid the fields of fire. And up on a four-foot-high concrete block to the right of the John Neely Bryan Pergola steps, Abraham Zapruder, hefting a 8mm Bell and Howell Movie Camera, being steadied by his receptionist, Marilyn Sitzman, shooting a 26-second, 500-frame film that would become the holy grail for what New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison would come to call the "murder at the heart of the American dream." The killing of Kennedy was the quintessential assassination that became the benchmark against which all other conspiratorial murders would be measured. Probably more words have been written about his death than any other in history. His apparent killer was arrested within hours, only himself to fall victim to a bullet within forty-eight hours. This second killing would create and generate an aura of confusion and suspicion that demanded explanation, but never really received it. ...read more.


Kennedy was reaching out vainly to recover part of her husband's head, which had been blown away by the gunshot. She, in fact, had no recollection of her actions in those few, desperate seconds. As these few moments were unfolding, Roy Kellerman was radioing the lead car, "Let's get out of here; we are hit. Get us to the hospital immediately." Dallas Police Chief Jesse E. Curry in the lead car and police motor cyclists led the way to Parkland Hospital, which lay four miles or five minutes away at high speed across the Stemmons Freeway and Harry Hines Boulevard. At the hospital, two trauma rooms had been prepared and twelve doctors were on stand bye to receive the two wounded men. In the case of the President, it soon became obvious that there was no surgery possible that would be able to resuscitate him, and at approximately 1 p.m., Dr. William Kemp Clark, the chief neurologist, pronounced the President dead. As the one team of surgeons worked to save the President, another group labored over Governor Connally. He had received a large, sucking wound to the right chest, and an elliptical wound in the back. He also had wounds to the right wrist and palm, and a wound in the left thigh. By 5 p.m. that evening, the operations were complete and he was in a stable condition. At 2:15 p.m. the same afternoon, the body of the President enclosed in a casket was loaded into Air Force One. At 2:38 p.m., before the aircraft departed for Washington, Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore in Lyndon Baines Johnson as the 36th President of the United States. At least seventy-five amateur and professional photographers were taking over 500 exposures in and around Dealey Plaza on that day. Small groups of people scattered about the verge of Elm Street, crouched or lay down on the grass. ...read more.


Since the bullet that caused the throat wound also punctured the windpipe, it seems medically highly improbable that the President would have been able to speak after he received the throat wound. In essence, the Commission found that Oswald had fired at least three shots. One had missed the motorcade, ricocheted off the sidewalk and injured a spectator, James Tague. The second bullet exploded off part of the President's head. Then, wondrously, another bullet had entered his back on a downward trajectory, and then channelled itself upwards at least five inches, exited, tumbling out of Kennedy's throat. This incredible bullet left a small wound, made a right upward turn, pausing in mid-air for two seconds before making a left and steep downward curve, careened across into Governor Connally's back near his right armpit crashing through a rib, through his chest, back out into the fresh air then somersaulted like an acrobat falling off a high wire, down into his right wrist, finally finding its way out of there and making one last frenzied attack in a left and downward direction before finding a home in his left thigh, where small fragments remained until the day he died. No one bothered to explain how the bullet that injured Tague if fired from the Book Depository was at least twenty feet off target if intended for the President. Tague was standing almost a block away on Main Street; a line marking the path of the bullet from the curb stone to the sixth floor of the Book Depository followed a pathway above the Presidential convoy. However, a line drawn from the same position on the footpath, back and close to the head of President Kennedy and then continued on takes it into the second floor of the Dal-Tex building directly across Houston Street from the Book Depository building and a potential sniper's site with no obstruction to the line of fire. The next day, the curb stone was removed and replaced. Just one of the hundreds of loose ends that dangle, frustratingly out of reach. ...read more.

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