In my work on Infamy, I’ve avoided detailed analysis, especially for the Kennedy assassination. Other investigators have worked through the evidence carefully. Still, after one reads through many accounts, you want to simplify and summarize the findings, to keep the sound conclusions in mind.
I’ve been reading Roger Stone’s The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ. It’s one of the best sellers that came out in 2013, the crime’s fiftieth anniversary. It’s a good book – I’ll leave it at that.
Stone summarizes evidence for the bullets that hit the presidential limousine. A lot of the forensic analysis covers the total number of shots fired at the president, but in the end we’re most interested in the ones that hit the people in the car. By Stone’s analysis, four bullets hit the navy blue Lincoln as it travelled down Elm Street in Dealey plaza:
|Bullet number||Direction of fire||Person hit and response||Wounds|
|1||Behind: about six o’clock||Kennedy: “My God, I am hit.”||Back, below the neck and near the right shoulder blade (no exit wound)|
|2||Front: twelve to two o’clock||Kennedy: Fists drawn to throat||Throat, just above the necktie – exit wound unclear|
|3||Right: about two o’clock||Connally: Turns to look at Kennedy, hit shortly after Kennedy is hit||Entry wound in the back near the right shoulder, exit wound in the chest, shattered left wrist, bullet fragment in left thigh|
|4||Right: about two o’clock||Kennedy: head snaps back, explodes from bullet’s impact||Bullet enters right front portion of the skull, exits right rear portion of the skull|
Douglas Horne and others carefully analyze the exit wound in Kennedy’s head. It bears analysis, as the official crime report concludes that the assassin’s bullet entered Kennedy’s head from the rear and exited from the front. When you examine the evidence, the conclusion is clearly incorrect.
One question about the trajectory of the bullet’s path through Kennedy’s head has not received enough attention. We know that Mrs. Kennedy retrieved a piece of her husband’s brain tissue from the rear of the limousine. In fact, a great deal of tissue, blood, and bone sprayed from Kennedy’s head toward the left rear of the car. If the fatal shot entered the right front portion of Kennedy’s head, and if the bullet sprayed skull fragments and brain tissue onto the left rear portion of the car, then why is the exit wound in the upper right portion of Kennedy’s skull, in the rear, rather than the upper left portion of the skull, in the rear?
Robert Harris offers the best explanation for the exit wound that sprayed tissue to the left rear of the car, so far that it pelted the motorcycle policemen located there. He argues that a second head shot, which followed the first one by less than a second, shattered the back of the president’s skull. By the time the second shot hit, Kennedy’s head was in a position that the bullet would exit from the top rear of the skull, and spray tissue in the indicated direction – that is, to the left rear of the car.
Note: The table above summarizes Stone’s analysis. It does not incorporate Harris’s argument that a second bullet hit Kennedy’s head at almost the same time the first one hit.
We have a great deal of forensic evidence relevant to Kennedy’s death. The evidence did not make it into the government’s crime report. Given what we know about how the government conducted its investigation, material included in the report cannot even be called evidence, though it is dressed up as such. For competent analysis, I recommend Robert Harris’s video presentations. They contain what the government’s report should have contained.
The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, by Roger Stone