WASHINGTON, D.C. – The authors of two studies of the JFK assassination presented scientific evidence they believe conclusively shows three shooters fired five shots at the president’s motorcade Nov. 22, 1963.
The papers were presented at a conference in the nation’s capital over the weekend hosted by the Assassination Archives and Research Center to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Warren Commission Report.
The Warren Commission famously concluded in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
Donald Byron Thomas, author of the 2010 book “Hear No Evil: Social Constructivism & the Forensic Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination,” presented evidence a Dictabelt audio recording made by Dallas Police Officer H.B. McLain that picked up what sounded like five separate shots is authentic.
The Dictabelt recording persuaded the House Select Committee on Assassinations, HSCA, to conclude in 1978 that there was “a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy,” meaning Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy,” rejecting the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin.
In a 2001 study, “Echo correlation analysis and the acoustic evidence in the Kennedy assassination revisited,” published in the scientific peer-reviewed journal Science & Justice, Thomas synchronized the Dictabelt recording with a verified Dallas Police channel recording at the same time to argue with a 96.3 percent certainty that the impulses recorded on the Dictabelt were the sounds of the gunshots fired in Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963.
In a phone interview with WND, Thomas engaged a point debated for decades now with critics of the Dictabelt evidence, including Dale Myers, that McLean was not in Dealey Plaza when the shots were fired.
“If you look at positive evidence, there is no film or photograph that shows precisely where Officer McLain’s motorcycle was at every moment moving through Dealey Plaza,” Thomas said.
“But there are enough photos of McLain’s motorcycle on Houston and Elm streets that by the process of elimination we know McLain had to be very close to where the physical evidence on the Dictabelt requires that he had to be, if the open microphone broadcast came from him,” Thomas said.
At the conference, Dr. Randolph Robertson, a board-certified radiologist, built on Thomas’ findings to correlate the gunshot acoustics heard on the Dallas Police Dictabelt with the Zapruder film video recording of the assassination to conclude five shots were fired by three shooters:
- One shooter located on the second floor of the Dal-Tex building behind the JFK limo when the shooting started as the limo traveled down Elm Street toward the triple underpass;
- One located in the sixth floor of the Texas School Depository where the Warren Commission had placed Oswald;
- And the third standing behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll to the front of the JFK limo on Elm Street.
Robertson produced a video [embedded at the beginning of this article] that synchronized the sounds of the gunfire from the Dallas Police Dictabelt with the Zapruder film, allowing the viewer to see and hear the JFK assassination as it happened.
The video shows the second shot coming quickly after the first shot, followed by an interval and then the third and fourth shots hitting JFK’s head almost simultaneously, followed closely by a final fifth shot.
Shot No. 1
Drawing on a Power-Point presentation from his jfkproject.org website, Robertson argued the first shot occurred at Zapruder frame 201 and was fired from the Dal-Tex building, hitting JFK in the back, deflecting up from a rib and exiting his throat.
The first shot, Robertson contended, flew up over the limo after exiting Kennedy’s neck, struck the curb under the triple underpass and scattered into tiny fragments that hit bystander James Tague on the cheek.
Robertson buttressed his argument by correlating the speed of the sound waves of each shot to the distances from the muzzle blast to the motorcycle with the open microphone, the limo containing JFK and the distance from various witnesses observed in the Zapruder film.
The mathematical calculations enabled him to determine the time required for the gunshot sound waves to reach participants and observers, including Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connelly, who was injured by gunshot as he sat in the limo jump seat in front of the president. Robertson explained both the voluntary and involuntary reactions of the various participants as evidenced in the Zapruder film.
Table 1 shows Robertson’s calculations for the first shot.
In Table 2, Robertson produced a map that showed the direct line from the Dal-Tex building to the position of the JFK limo, as seen in Zapruder film frame 201, and the location of James Tague, who watched the motorcade from the triple underpass.
Robertson calculated the second shot, as seen in Table 3, was fired from the Texas School Book Depository, establishing a path that coursed through Connelly’s body, entering in his back below the right shoulder blade and exiting through his chest at a 23-degree angle consistent with the downward trajectory from the building’s sixth floor.
This shot, Robertson argued, continued downward after exiting Connelly’s chest, lodging finally in his left thigh.
Shot No. 3
Robertson calculated the third shot was fired from the Dal-Tex Building, hitting Kennedy’s head from behind. The bullet caused a “head-flap” exit wound, as seen in Zapruder frame 313, with the bullet fragmenting on exiting JFK’s head and striking the front windshield.
The bullet fragment that hit the windshield deformed the glass, causing a flash of light as the sun reflected off of it, as recorded by Zapruder’s 16-mm movie camera.
The third shot caused Kennedy’s head to begin moving forward from the impact.
A bullet fragment from shot No. 3, separate from the bullet fragment that deformed the glass of the limousine front windshield and fractured Connelly’s right wrist at Zapruder frame 313.
Shot No. 4
The fourth shot, Robertson calculated, was fired from the grassy knoll to the right front of the Kennedy limousine, entering the president’s head through the exit wound caused by the third shot and causing a massive blowout of the back of Kennedy’s skull that resulted in a skull fragment, known as the “Delta fragment,” to land on the trunk at the back of the limousine.
Robertson produced a video using a segment of the Zapruder film that shows the fragment that exited JFK’s head is what Jackie Kennedy climbed out of the limousine to retrieve.
Shot No. 5
Shot No. 5, the second shot fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, missed both JFK and Connelly, striking instead the frame of the front windshield and producing another windshield flare that can be seen in Zapruder frame 328.
Robertson argued that after denting the frame of the front windshield, the fifth shot flew over the hood of the limousine, causing turf damage further down the road at Zapruder frame 328 and damaging a manhole cover on Elm Street.
This is the shot Robertson believes was recovered after the investigation by Dallas Police searching the grass for bullet and skull fragments.
Ironically, Robertson’s analysis would indicate that neither of the two shots fired from the Texas School Book Depository hit JFK, with the second shot hitting Connelly in the back and the fifth hitting the limousine’s front windshield frame.