Editorial by John Ziegler

How Lee Harvey Oswald Killed J.F.K.


How Lee Harvey Oswald Killed J.F.K.

The Warren Commission got it 'right' by accident. They got the right man (only because they desperately wanted Oswald to be guilty), but when it came to HOW it happened they were WAY off base. Here is a short outline of what the Warren Commission thought happened on November 22, 1963 and what I, after extensive thought/research and a dramatic evolution of belief (I used to believe strongly that Oswald was a patsy), think really transpired on that fateful Dallas day.

Warren Commission findings:

-- Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy by himself (essentially true).

-- Oswald fired three shots from the 6th floor of the School Book Depository Building where three shell casings matching Oswald's rifle where found (true).

-- Oswald's first shot misses limousine completely, hits pavement, shatters, and grazes a witness across the road (didn't happen).

-- Second shot hits Kennedy in the back, goes through his throat/neck, hits John Connelly in the back, ribs, wrist, and lodges in his leg, later to be found in 'pristine' condition and be called the 'magic' bullet (didn't happen).

-- Third shot hits Kennedy in the head, blows out his skull, and kills the President (true).

What REALLY happened:

Oswald acted alone, probably inadvertently urged on by wannabe revolutionaries David Ferrie, Guy Bannister and perhaps Clay Shaw (the major characters in Oliver Stone's otherwise totally wrong 'J.F.K').

The First shot was fired slightly earlier than the Warren Commission concluded (the entire shooting took closer to 7 seconds rather 6 seconds; a little girl chasing the limo just feet from the President in the Zapruder film suddenly stops on a dime and looks up to towards the 6th floor of the depository building just BEFORE the Commission claimed the first shot took place) and was described by the secret service agents and others as sounding like a 'backfire.' The shot, likely with old/bad ammunition, lodged only a couple of inches into JFK's back and elicited a slightly delayed reaction from the President.

This shot would not have killed JFK and the misconstruing of his reaction to it is the KEY to many experts? false conclusions about the nature of the shooting. Contrary to popular belief, JFK NEVER EVER comes CLOSE to grabbing his throat (because a bullet never passed through there), but rather clinches his fists with his elbows out, which is consistent with a nearly involuntary neuromuscular reaction caused by the bullet lodged in his back.

This first bullet would later fall out of JFK's back at the hospital (a Parkland doctor reported sticking his finger in the back wound and feeling the end of it, but no bullet) later to be found on his stretcher and be misidentified as the pristine 'magic bullet' which had supposedly fallen out of Connelly. This confusion occurred because, in the chaos at the hospital, no one kept track of which stretcher was JFK's and which was Connelly's and there is literally a 50/50 chance that they identified the stretchers incorrectly.

A key fact that supports this theory is that both John Connelly and his wife went to their deaths POSITIVE that they saw JFK reacting to being hit by the first shot (saying nothing about his throat wound or him grabbing his throat) before Connelly was hit. The Warren Commission chose to ignore this vital bit of information because Arlen Specter could not make the timing of three shots work to insure that Oswald was the only shooter (which was clearly everyone's goal from the start of the investigation) unless both Kennedy and Connelly where hit by the same bullet.

The second shot missed JFK completely and created all of the many wounds in Connelly likely getting largely 'lost' through Connelly's damaged bones and body with the remnants never being found (which is not unusual in normal crime scenes).

The third shot hit JFK in the head and blew out the contents of his skull forcing his head in what admittedly appears to be an odd direction when being hit by a shot from the angle from which Oswald would have been shooting. However, there is other evidence to support this theory. There is a very clear photo from in front of the limo that shows both Kennedy and Connelly reacting to being hit by the first two shots (again, no throat wound in JFK). In that photo there is NO crack in the front windshield of the limo. AFTER the assassination there IS a clear crack in the windshield on the DRIVER's side of the limo (keeping a direct line from Oswald's sniper nest) and there were two bullet fragments found in the front of the Limo.

The lack of a throat wound is the key to the whole theory and why is that there has been so much confusion and false conclusions. A series of coincidences contributed to this phenomenon. First, JFK APPEARS to grab his throat but does not. Secondly, JKF DID have a VERY small hole in his throat when he got to the hospital. The hole was MUCH too small to be an exit wound from a shot from behind and did not line up with the initial reports of the hole in JFK's back. Thirdly, because of the convenient placement of the small hole the doctors as Parkland opened it up to use as a tracheotomy in an effort to save JFK's life, thus destroying much of its evidentiary value.

It is important to note here that JFK did have VERY small holes in his shirt and tie right at the throat. However, there were NO traces of metal found in any of those holes. So where did the holes come from? Quite possible they came from a bone fragment that was splintered when the third shot shattered JFK's skull.

Of course, if true, all this theory of the case shows is that SOMEONE acted alone in firing three shots to kill JFK and that, theoretically it could have been someone other than Oswald. However, Oswald was the only bookstore employee who did not show up for role call after the shooting and he was seen coming into work that day with a package consistent with his dismantled rifle which he had clearly purchased and that was found on the 6th floor with shell casings matching the rifle.

Oswald was seen after the shooting on a different floor than where the shooting took place, but he had PLENTY of time to get there before anyone realized what had happened. Also, Oswald's behavior the day of the shooting (before and after) is perfectly consistent with him being the shooter and there is not one shred of evidence identifying anyone else.

I am still mystified as to why Oswald never took credit for the assignation. Obviously we will never know why that was the case. However, I believe that the theory as to HOW he did it outlined here is the only one proposed that does not conflict with any of the known evidence in the case. This theory has been run by the author of the preeminent work of assassination research 'Case Closed,' Gerald Posner, and he could find no apparent holes in it.

Return to Editorials >>

Search JohnZiegler.com