20/20 Essay of JFK Assassination
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth United States President, was assassinated on 22nd November, 1963, at 12.30pm in Dallas, Texas. The President’s fatal gunshot wounds came when he was riding in a motorcade in Dealey Plaza, with one bullet striking his head. The Governor of Texas, John Connally, who was in front of Kennedy, was also hit and critically injured. Kennedy was rushed to the emergency room of Parkland Memorial Hospital, where it was confirmed that he had no chance of survival. He was pronounced dead 35 minutes after the shooting. Governor Connally survived.
Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, set up the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. Over a period of 10 months, the Commission, informally known as the Warren Commission, undertook an official investigation into the assassination. Its report, published in September 1964, concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee of the nearby Texas School Book Depository, was the assassin, acting alone. This theory is often referred to as the Lone Gunman Theory.
The report has been widely recognised to contain many blatant inaccuracies. Among the many inaccuracies are two important conclusions made in the report: ‘the Commission has concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin of President Kennedy,’ and ‘The Commission has concluded that the shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connelly were fired from the sixth-floor window at the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository Building.’ These two conclusions sum up the lone gunman theory, and are very unlikely to be true, due largely to the ‘magic bullet theory’ that this alludes to; records showing that Lee Harvey Oswald was incapable of firing the fatal shots; and much controversy concerning Oswald’s whereabouts at the time of the shooting.
Perhaps the major factor in the rejection of the Warren Commission report’s findings is the infamous ‘magic bullet theory.’ The theory was designed to account for the alleged fact that there were only three bullets fired from the Texas School Book Depository, the first of which missed the limousine completely, the last of which struck Kennedy’s head, while the second one caused some of Kennedy’s and all of Governor Connally’s injuries. It was contrived by Arlen Specter, one of the Warren Commission’s lawyers, and states that the bullet:
· hit the president
· passed through his back,
· exited through his lower throat,
· entered Governor Connally’s back,
· broke one of his ribs,
· exited and slammed into his right wrist,
· exited again and became embedded in his thigh.
The alleged path of the ‘magic bullet’ is shown in Figures 1 and 2.
Photographic and medical evidence indicates that for this theory to be true, the bullet would have had to: make a right and upward turn on leaving Kennedy’s throat; paused in midair for just under two seconds; made a left and downward turn on entering Connally’s back;...