The magic bullet theory refers to the theory that JFK and Texas governor John Connally were both hit by the same shot which hit Kennedy in the upper back, passed out through his neck and proceeded to cause five separate wounds to Connally. Connally was sitting in front of Kennedy in that fated limousine.
Connally fought for his life in hospital, but he survived. Many Kennedy researchers have argued, convincingly, that the trajectory alone was physically impossible. It would have had to change direction in mid flight, among many other problems. Hence the derogatory name, the Warren commission’s Magic Bullet, the bullet that defied the laws of physics and of ballistics – and solved all the Warren commission’s forensic difficulties with establishing Lee Harvey Oswald’s guilt
The ‘Magic bullet’ is the most famous, but far from only, fake fact promoted by the Warren commission in pushing its theory of a lone gunman. Note that the magic bullet was not the kill shot. That separate, somewhat later shot – which spliced through Kennedy’s brain and did not hit Connally – is also controversial, but for different reasons. We’ll see in the next blog post. So if there was no magic bullet, what happened? Most likely that Connally and Kennedy were hit by separate bullets. Connally always insisted he was hit, later, separately by another bullet (different from both the magic bullet and the killshot) than the one that hit Kennedy.
The stills from the Zapruder film would seem to support that contention. In 1966, Connally, fully recovered, was allowed to the Time Life copy of the film (they sequestered it in their vaults for a decade) and, while it was run in slow motion, frame by frame, Connally and was able to point out how very clearly one could see how Kennedy and Connally reacted to being hit at different times. Kennedy was hit for the first time in the throat during Zapruder frames 210 to 225 – somewhere there in between, hard to know which exactly as the limousine was, for a second, obscured from Zapruder’s camera by a highway sign.
When the limousine emerged from behind the highway sign – from Zapruder’s perspective – at Zapruder frame 225 Kennedy was clutching his throat with both hands. Already hit. Looking at his expression and recalling the moment to the reporteres of Life magazine who sat with him while he relived the moment through the Zapruder film, John Connally said that he himself sitting in front of Kennedy had not been hit at that moment yet, and wasn’t hit until frame 234. The Zapruder film ran at approximately 19 frames per second. If we assume that Kennedy was hit at the most favourable moment from the Warren commission perspective – frame 210 – than that means there is still only 24 frames between JFK being hit, non fatally, in the first of two wounds (the second was the killshot to the head) and Connally being hit (by his reckoning) at frame 234. In other words, there is a 24 frame, or 1.2 second, difference between the two woundings – too long to be one bullet, magic or otherwise, too short to be Oswald – or whoever was the sixth floor assassin – to be firing two successive shorts. It was physically impossible to fire his Mannlicher Carcano rifle faster than 2.3 seconds between shots, longer still if you had to aim the thing. And we won’t even mention Oswald’s weaknesses as a marksman and the purported rifle’s limited unsuitability. In other words, if there were two shots, if Kennedy and Connally were wounded by separate bullets, then there were two gunmen.
“You can see my leftward movement clearly,” Connally told Life’s reporters as he studied the frames back in 1966. “I had turned to the right when the limousine was behind the sign. Now I’m turning back again. I know that I made that turn to the left before I was hit. You can see the grimace on the president’s face. You cannot see it in mine. There is no question about it. I haven’t been hit yet.”
Connally said to reporters he would not change his mind.“They talk about the ‘one-bullet or two-bullet theory,’” he concluded, “but as far as I’m concerned, there is no ‘theory.’ There is my absolute knowledge, and Nellie’s too, that one bullet caused the president’s first wound, then an entirely separate shot struck me.”
Here is the Warren Commission testimony of Mrs Nellie Connally, sitting next to governor John Connally in the jump seat of the limousine. She was very clear that they were separate shots, one that hit JFK, and one that hit her husband.
Mrs CONNALLY: ….I turned over my right shoulder and looked back, and saw the President as he had both hands at his neck.
Mr. SPECTER. And you are indicating with your own hands, two hands crossing over gripping your own neck?
Mrs. CONNALLY. Yes; and it seemed to me there was–he made no utterance, no cry. I saw no blood, no anything. It was just sort of nothing, the expression on his face, and he just sort of slumped down.
…..Then there was a second shot, and it hit John [husband], and as he recoiled to the right, just crumpled like a wounded animal to the right, he said, “My God, they are going to kill us all.”
So, as Nancy Connally’s testimony indicates: separate bullets hitting JFK and John Connally.
However, the Warren commission basically ignored Mr and Mrs Connally’s story, which they maintained to their deaths: One can see why. That would mean at least four bullets involved in the killing – too many shots, in too short a time, for it to have been one gunman, Oswald. Too many shots for the three shell casings lined neatly up on the window sill in the sixth floor sniper’s nest. If there was no magic bullet that penetrated both Kennedy and Connally. There had to have been another gunman – a gunman from the grassy knoll.
These timing issues are not the only problem with the Magic Bullet theory. According to the Warren commission, the non fatal bullet entered at the back of the neck and exited via the throat, before entering Connally’s body and beginning its complicated journey there. See the figure to the left.
But the Warren commission got it completely wrong. The so called exit wound in the throat bore all the hallmarks of a non fatal entry wound from an additional shot from the front – alsi probably the grassy knoll – that has not been properly categorised. This was the shot that had Kennedy clutching his throat.
The so called entry wound in the neck was also wrong informarion. It was actually situated much lower, and this at a wrong angle to be able to penetrate at the throat at the same time.. In other words, Kennedy was likely hit by at least three shots: two non penetrating shots, one in the back, and one in the throat, which were both conflated into one shot by the Warren commission that penetrated the neck (sic) and exited via the throat before going through Connally at various angles. That latter shot, as we have established, simply did not happen. But fifty years later it is still part of the official lie. Look at this bogus trajectory in the picture of the official diagram
In the official diagram, above, the neck. But this is a falsification. It was actually in the upper back
This sketch was done by Burkley the personal physician. It is much lower than the neck diagram above The location of this entry wounds is further confirmed by photographs of jacket and shirt. Kennedy was sitting straight when shot and tightly tailored shirts did not bunch up, as some have suggested
The photo of the jacket/shirt confirm the upper right hand back location – against, inconsistent with the WC:
This rear bullet hole wasn’t discovered until Kennedy’s body was shipped to Washington on the evening of 22 November. His body was turned over, his naked torso exposed for the first time. Doctors poked their fingers in it and it stopped after a short distance. It did not penetrate the pleura. So not only was it in the wrong location – the back – to exit via the throat, a test showed it onlyu went a short way in.
One can see, though, why the Warren commission placed it there: otherwise the hole on the other side, in the throat (which in reality of course was an entry wound) couldn’t play its Warren designated role as an exit wound for the Magic Bullet that went on to wound John Connally in five different places. What happened quite simply was that Gerald Ford, then a congressman and member of the commission, later a president, simply, in the commission’s report, moved the the location of wound from the back up to the neck to fit.
Given that the bullet holes don’t match up, the trajectores don’t match up, and frnt hole is covered up as a front exit hole and given that Connally resolutely rebutted the single bullet theory, there is not much left of the theory – you’d think. Amazingly, the Warren commission’s working still has something of the status of official theory.
And we haven’t even seen the strongest bit of forensic evidence yet. The falsification of the evidence around the kill shot. That is for the next post