John B. Connally's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Connally was in the middle right seat directly in front of JFK)
Mr. SPECTER. As the automobile turned left onto Elm from Houston, what did occur there, Governor?
Governor CONNALLY. We had--we had gone, I guess, 150 feet, maybe 200 feet, I don't recall how far it was, heading down to get on the freeway, the Stemmons Freeway, to go out to the hall where we were going to have lunch and, as I say, the crowds had begun to thin, and we could--I was anticipating that we were going to be at the hall in approximately 5 minutes from the time we turned on Elm Street.
We had just made the turn, well, when I heard what I thought was a shot. I heard this noise which I immediately took to be a rifle shot. I instinctively turned to my right because the sound appeared to come from over my right shoulder, so I turned to look back over my right shoulder, and I saw nothing unusual except just people in the crowd, but I did not catch the President in the corner of my eye, and I was interested, because once I heard the shot in my own mind I identified it as a rifle shot, and I immediately--the only thought that crossed my mind was that this is an assassination attempt.
So I looked, failing to see him, I was turning to look back over my left shoulder into the back seat, but I never got that far in my turn. I got about in the position I am in now facing you, looking a little bit to the left of center, and then I felt like someone had hit me in the back.
Mr. SPECTER. What is the best estimate that you have as to the time span between the sound of the first shot and the feeling of someone hitting you in the back which you just described?
Governor CONNALLY. A very, very brief span of time. Again my trend of thought just happened to be, I suppose along this line, I immediately thought that this--that I had been shot. I knew it when I just looked down and I was covered with blood, and the thought immediately passed through my mind that there were either two or three people involved or more in this or someone was shooting with an automatic rifle. These were just thoughts that went through my mind because of the rapidity of these two, of the first shot plus the blow that I took, and I knew I had been hit, and I immediately assumed, because of the amount of blood, and in fact, that it had obviously passed through my chest. that I had probably been fatally hit.
So I merely doubled up, and then turned to my right again and began to--I just sat there, and Mrs. Connally pulled me over to her lap. She was sitting, of course, on the jump seat, so I reclined with my head in her lap, conscious all the time, and with my eyes open; and then, of course, the third shot sounded, and I heard the shot very clearly. I heard it hit him. I heard the shot hit something, and I assumed again--it never entered my mind that it ever hit anybody but the President. I heard it hit. It was a very loud noise, just that audible, very clear.
Immediately I could see on my clothes, my clothing, I could see on the interior of the car which, as I recall, was a pale blue, brain tissue, which I immediately recognized, and I recall very well, on my trousers there was one chunk of brain tissue as big as almost my thumb, thumbnail, and again I did not see the President at any time either after the first, second, or third shots, but I assumed always that it was he who was hit and no one else.
I immediately, when I was hit, I said, "Oh, no, no, no." And then I said, "My God, they are going to kill us all." Nellie, when she pulled me over into her lap----
Mr. SPECTER. Nellie is Mrs. Connally?
Governor CONNALLY. Mrs. Connally. When she pulled me over into her lap, she could tell I was still breathing and moving, and she said, "Don't worry, Be quiet. You are going to be all right." She Just kept telling me I was going to be all right.
After the third shot, and I heard Roy Kellerman tell the driver, "Bill, get out of line." And then I saw him move, and I assumed he was moving a button or something on the panel of the automobile, and he said, "Get us to a hospital quick." I assumed he was saying this to the patrolman, the motorcycle police who were leading us.
At about that time, we began to pull out of the cavalcade, out of the line, and I lost consciousness and didn't regain consciousness until we got to the hospital.
Mr. SPECTER. Governor Connally, I hand you a photograph, marked Commission Exhibit 699, which is an overhead shot of Dealey Plaza depicting the intersection of Houston and Elm, and ask you if you would take a look at that photograph and mark for us, if you would, with one of the red pencils at your right, the position of the President's automobile as nearly as you can where it was at the time the shooting first started.
Governor CONNALLY. I would say it would be about where this truck is here. It looks like a truck. I would say about in that neighborhood.
Governor, you have described hearing a first shot and a third shot. Did you hear a second shot?
Governor CONNALLY. No; I did not.
Mr. SPECTER. What is your best estimate as to the timespan between the first shot which you heard and the shot which you heretofore characterized as the third shot?
Governor CONNALLY. It was a very brief span of time; oh, I would have to say a matter of seconds. I don't know, 10, 12 seconds. It was extremely rapid, so much so that again I thought that whoever was firing must be firing with an automatic rifle because of the rapidity of the shots; a very short period of time.
Mr. SPECTER. What was your impression then as to the source of the shot?
Governor CONNALLY. From back over my right shoulder which, again, was where immediately when I heard the first shot I identified the sound as coming back over my right-shoulder.
Mr. SPECTER. At an elevation?
Governor CONNALLY. At an elevation. I would have guessed at an elevation.
Mr. SPECTER. Excuse me.
Governor CONNALLY. Well, that is all.
Mr. SPECTER. Did you have an impression as to the source of the third shot?
Governor CONNALLY. The same. I would say the same.
[later in his testimony]
Mr. SPECTER. In your view, which bullet caused the injury to your chest, Governor Connally?
Governor CONNALLY. The second one.
Mr. SPECTER. And what is your reason for that conclusion, sir?
Governor CONNALLY. Well, in my judgment, it just couldn't conceivably have been the first one because I heard the sound of the shot, In the first place, don't know anything about the velocity of this particular bullet, but any rifle has a velocity that exceeds the speed of sound, and when I heard the sound of that first shot, that bullet had already reached where I was, or it had reached that far, and after I heard that shot, I had the time to turn to my right, and start to turn to my left before I felt anything.
It is not conceivable to me that I could have been hit by the first bullet, and then I felt the blow from something which was obviously a bullet, which I assumed was a bullet, and I never heard the second shot, didn't hear it. I didn't hear but two shots. I think I heard the first shot and the third shot.
Mr. SPECTER. Do you have any idea as to why you did not hear the second shot?
Governor CONNALLY. Well, first, again I assume the bullet was traveling faster than the sound. I was hit by the bullet prior to the time the sound reached me, and I was in either a state of shock or the impact was such that the sound didn't even register on me, but I was never conscious of hearing the second shot at all.
Obviously, at least the major wound that I took in the shoulder through the chest couldn't have been anything but the second shot. Obviously, it couldn't have been the third, because when the third shot was fired I was in a reclining position, and heard it, saw it and the effects of it, rather--I didn't see it, I saw the effects of it--so it obviously could not have been the third, and couldn't have been the first, in my judgment.
Posner - The Governor's testimony is very consistent with Posner's theory. He does use the term automatic fire, which is inconsistent with a bolt action rifle, but he claims that he had enough time after the first shot to turn to his right and begin turning back to his left before he was hit by the second shot. He also claims that the time span between the first and the third shot was about ten seconds, plenty of time to fire three shots from a bolt action rifle.
Harris - His testimony is completely at odds with Harris's theory.
Click here for the text of a debate that I had with Harris in the newsgroup alt.assassination.jfk
Nellie Connally's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Nellie was in the left middle seat of the presidential Limo)
Mrs. CONNALLY. In fact the receptions had been. so good every place that I had showed much restraint by not mentioning something about it before.
I could resist no longer. When we got past this area I did turn to the President and said, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you."
Then I don't know how soon, it seems to me it was very soon, that I heard a noise, and not being an expert rifleman, I was not aware that it was a rifle. It was just a frightening noise, and it came from the right.
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 very soon there was the second shot that hit John. As the first shot was hit, and I turned to look at the same time, I recall John saying, "Oh, no, no, no." Then there was a second shot, and it hit John, 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."
I never again----
Mr. DULLES. To the right was into your arms more or less?
Mrs. CONNALLY. No, he turned away from me. I was pretending that I was him. I never again looked in the back seat of the car after my husband was shot. My concern was for him, and I remember that he turned to the right and then just slumped down into the seat, so that I reached over to pull him toward me. I was trying to get him down and me down. The jump seats were not very roomy, so that there were reports that he slid into the seat of the car, which he did not; that he fell over into my lap, which he did not.
I just pulled him over into my arms because it would have been impossible to get us really both down with me sitting and me holding him. So that I looked out, I mean as he was in my arms, I put my head down over his head so that his head and my head were right together, and all I could see, too, were the people flashing by. I didn't look back any more. The third shot that I heard I felt, it felt like spent buckshot falling all over us, and then, of course, I too could see that it was the matter, brain tissue, or whatever, just human matter, all over the car and both of us.
I thought John had been killed, and then there was some imperceptible movement, just some little something that let me know that there was still some life, and that is when I started saying to him, "It's all right. Be still."
Now, I did hear the Secret Service man say, "Pull out of the motorcade. Take us to the nearest hospital," and then we took out very rapidly to the hospital.
Just before we got to Parkland, we made a right-hand turn, he must have been going very fast, because as he turned the weight of my husband's body almost toppled us both.
Mr. SPECTER. Mrs. Connally, what was your impression, if any, as to the source of the shots?
Mrs. CONNALLY. Well, I had no thought of whether they were high or low or where. They just came from the right; sounded like they were to my right.
Mr. SPECTER. How many did you hear in all?
Mrs. CONNALLY. I heard three.
Mr. SPECTER. What is your best estimate on the time that passed from the first to the last shot?
Mrs. CONNALLY. Very short. It seemed to me that there was less time between the first and the second than between the second and the third.
Mr. SPECTER. About how fast do you think the car was going then?
Mrs. CONNALLY. I don't really know. Not too fast. It was sort of a letdown time for us. We could relax for, we thought we could, for just a minute.
Mr. SPECTER. And you mean by that since the major part of the crowd had been passed?
Mrs. CONNALLY. We had gone by them. The underpass was in sight, and I knew that as soon as we passed through the underpass that then we would be going straight to the Trade Mart for the luncheon, and I felt, like we would then be moving fast and not have people on all sides of us.
Mr. SPECTER. Did you see the films this morning here in the Commission office?
Mrs. CONNALLY. Yes, I did.
Mr. SPECTER. Did you have an opinion as to which frame it was that Governor Connally was shot?
Mrs. CONNALLY. Yes. I was in agreement with the Governor. I am not sure I remember the numbers so correct me, but I thought at the time that it was that 229--it could have been then through the next three or four frames.
Mr. SPECTER. Do you have anything----
Mrs. CONNALLY. They were blurred.
Mr. SPECTER. With respect to the source, you say you thought it was to the right---did you have any reaction as to whether they were from the front, rear or side?
Mrs. CONNALLY. I thought it was from back of us.
Mr. SPECTER. To the rear?
Mrs. CONNALLY. To the right; that is right.
Mr. SPECTER. Did you have any reaction as to the question of elevation or level?
Mrs. CONNALLY. No, I didn't.
Posner - Nellie's Testimony is problematic for both men, because they both believe Kennedy and Connally were hit by the same bullet, while Nellie believes it was two separate shots. Both men point out that Nellie's testimony is inconsistent with her husbands on one critical point. She claims he said Oh, no, no, no before he was shot, while He claims that he said that after he was shot. Obviously the governor would know when he said this, and Nellie didn't realize the governor was shot until well after it happened. Both men agree that the Zapruder film shows Nellie starting to turn at about frame Z-230. Posner has a plausible theory, that Nellie is actually responding to the second shot at Z-223. Posner's problem is that Nellie also testifies that there was another shot that hit the governor. It certainly is possible that she was not aware that her husband was shot, but his only way to explain that second shot, is to say she was just confused and she actually turned after the second shot.
Harris - Harris tries to claim that the second shot Nellie heard was the Z-285 shot, and he points to a turn that Nellie makes towards the rear in the late 280's as proof, but there are some timing problems with that. Nellie saw the film and claimed the second shot was at 229. She also claims this shot was between when the Governor said Oh, no, no, no and when he said My God, they are going to kill us all. The Governor claims he made both of these statements immediately after he was hit.
Roy Kellerman's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Kellerman was in the front passenger seat of the presidential Limo.)
Mr. SPECTER - All right. Now, describe what occurred as you proceeded down Elm Street after turning off of Houston.
Mr. KELLERMAN - As we turned off Houston onto Elm and made the short little dip to the left going down grade, as I said, we were away from buildings, and were there was a sign on the side of the road which I don't recall what it was or what it said, but we no more than passed that and you are out in the open, and there is a report like a firecracker, pop. And I turned my head to the right because whatever this noise was I was sure that it came from the right and perhaps into the rear, and as I turned my head to the right to view whatever it was or see whatever it was, I heard a voice from the back seat and I firmly believe it was the President's, "My God, I am hit," and I turned around and he has got his hands up here like this.
Mr. SPECTER - Indicating right hand up toward his neck?
Mr. KELLERMAN - That is right, sir. In fact, both hands were up in that direction.
Mr. KELLERMAN - Yes. Good. There was enough for me to verify that the man was hit. So, in the same motion I come right back and grabbed the speaker and said to the driver, "Let's get out of here; we are hit," and grabbed the mike and I said, "Lawson, this is Kellerman,"--this is Lawson, who is in the front car. "We are hit; get us to the hospital immediately." Now, in the seconds that I talked just now, a flurry of shells come into the car. I then looked back and this time Mr. Hill, who was riding on the left front bumper of our follow-up car, was on the back trunk of that car; the President was sideways down into. the back seat.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, in your prior testimony you described a flurry of shells into the car. How many shots did you hear after the first noise which you described as sounding like a firecracker?
Mr. KELLERMAN - Mr. Specter, these shells came in all together.
Mr. SPECTER - Are you able to say how many you heard?
Mr. KELLERMAN - I am going to say two, and it was like a double bang--bang, bang.
Mr. SPECTER - You mean now two shots in addition to the first noise?
Mr. KELLERMAN - Yes, sir; yes, sir; at least.
Mr. SPECTER - What is your best estimate of the time, in seconds, from the first noise sounding like a firecracker until the second noise which you heard?
Mr. KELLERMAN - This was instantaneous.
Mr. SPECTER - No; let me repeat the question so I am sure you understand it. From the time you first heard the noise coming to your right rear, which you described as sounding like a firecracker, until you heard the flurry of shots?
Mr. KELLERMAN - This is about how long it took, sir. As I am viewing, trying to determine this noise, I turned to my right and I heard the voice and I came back and I verify it and speak to the driver, grab the mike, these shots come in.
Mr. SPECTER - Well, you have described it as 3 to 4 seconds from the time--
Mr. KELLERMAN - No more.
Mr. SPECTER - From the time of the first noise--wait a minute--until you gave the instruction to Mr. Greer and then as you made the statement to Special Agent Lawson over the microphone that was an instantaneous timespan as you have described it.
Mr. KELLERMAN - Yes, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - How soon thereafter did the flurry of shots come?
Mr. KELLERMAN - They came in, Mr. Specter, while I am delivering that radio message.
Mr. SPECTER - To Mr. Lawson. All right. Was there any timespan which you could discern between the first and second shots and what you have described as the flurry?
Mr. KELLERMAN - I will estimate 5 seconds, if that.
Representative FORD. But this flurry took place while you were occupied with these other activities; is that correct?
Mr. KELLERMAN - That is right, sir.
Representative FORD. You don't recall precisely a second shot and a third shot such as you did in the case of the first?
Mr. KELLERMAN - Let me give you an illustration, sir, before I can give you an answer. You have heard the sound barrier, of a plane breaking the sound barrier, bang, bang? That is it.
Representative FORD. This is for the second and the third, or the flurry as you described it?
Mr. KELLERMAN - That is right; that is right, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - On your 5-second estimate, was that in reference, Mr. Kellerman, to the total timespan from the first noise until the flurry ended?
Mr. KELLERMAN - That is right; that is right.
Mr. SPECTER - The question which I had then started to ask you was whether you had any impression at the time of the second and third shots, which you described as a flurry of shots, as to the point of origin or source of those shots.
Mr. KELLERMAN - The only answer I can give to that is that they would have to come from the rear.
Mr. SPECTER - Well, is that the impression or reaction you had at the time of the flurry?
Mr. KELLERMAN - That is right, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you ever, since the time of the assassination to this date, had any contrary impression, reaction, or view that the shots came from the front of the President?
Mr. KELLERMAN - No.
Posner - The term flurry, and the comparison of a plane going through the sound barrier certainly rules out Posner's theory. If Kellerman totally missed the first shot, the five second gap would be consistent with Posner's theory. A possible explanation for the flurry could be that a shot fired at supersonic speed will make two noises. The sound of the muzzle blast, and the higher pitched sound of the bullet itself passing through the sound barrier. This latter sound is more discernable as the distance from the rifle increases. Of course Kellerman claims he heard this flurry on the final shot, when he was farthest from the Depository. Kellerman is alone in stating that the President said "My God, I am hit", after the first shot. Of course Governor Connally testified to saying, "My God, they are going to kill us all" after the second shot. This could indicate that Kellerman mistook The Governor's voice for the President's and that he missed the first shot completely.
Harris - Kellerman's testimony is also inconsistent with Harris's 1.5 second gap. It might be consistent with his .6 second gap for the fourth shot, but Harris believes that shot came from the front and Kellerman testified that all of the shots came from the rear. That would also mean that Kellerman totally missed the Z-285 shot.
William Greer's Warren Commission testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Greer was driving the Presidential Limo.)
Mr. SPECTER - Now, would you tell us just what occurred as you were proceeding down Elm Street at that time?
Mr. GREER - Well, when we were going down Elm Street, I heard a noise that I thought was a backfire of one of the motorcycle policemen. And I didn't--it did not affect me like anything else. I just thought that it is what it was. We had had so many motorcycles around us. So I heard this noise. And I thought that is what it was. And then I heard it again. And I glanced over my shoulder. And I saw Governor Connally like he was starting to fall. Then I realized there was something wrong. I tramped on the accelerator, and at the same time Mr. Kellerman said to me, "Get out of here fast." And I cannot remember even the other shots or noises that was. I cannot quite remember any more. I did not see anything happen behind me any more, because I was occupied with getting away.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, how many shots, or how many noises have you just described that you heard?
Mr. GREER - I know there was three that I heard--three. But I cannot remember any more than probably three. I know there was three anyway that I heard.
Mr. SPECTER - Do you have an independent recollection at this moment of having heard three shots at that time?
Mr. GREER - I knew that after I heard the second one, that is when I looked over my shoulder, and I was conscious that there was something wrong, because that is when I saw Governor Connally. And when I turned around again, to the best of my recollection there was another one, right immediately after.
Mr. SPECTER - To the best of your ability to recollect and estimate, how much time elapsed from the first noise which you have described as being similar to the backfire of a motor vehicle until you heard the second noise?
Mr. GREER - It seems a matter of seconds, I really couldn't say. Three or four seconds.
Mr. SPECTER - How much time elapsed, to the best of your ability to estimate and recollect, between the time of the second noise and the time of the third noise?
Mr. GREER - The last two seemed to be just simultaneously, one behind the other, but I don't recollect just how much, how many seconds were between the two. I couldn't really say.
Mr. SPECTER - Describe as best you can the types of sound of the second report, as distinguished from the first noise which you said was similar to a motorcycle backfire?
Mr. GREER - The second one didn't sound any different much than the first one but I kind of got, by turning around, I don't know whether I got a little concussion of it, maybe when it hit something or not, I may have gotten a little concussion that made me think there was something different to it. But so far as the noise is concerned, I haven't got any memory of any difference in them at all.
Mr. SPECTER - Describe as best you can the sound of the third noise.
Mr. GREER - Just, to me it was similar, to the first two. They all sounded practically the same to me.
Mr. SPECTER - You testified that at the second noise you glanced over your shoulder.
Mr. GREER - Yes, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - Which shoulder did you glance over?
Mr. GREER - Right shoulder.
Mr. SPECTER - And describe or indicate how far you turned your head to the right at that time?
Mr. GREER - Just so that my eyes over, caught the Governor, I could see, I couldn't see the President. I just could see the Governor. I made a quick glance and back again.
Mr. SPECTER - Was the movement of your head just then approximately the same?
Mr. GREER - Yes, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - As the time?
Mr. GREER - Yes, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - You just indicated the turn of your head slightly to the right.
Mr. GREER - My eyes slightly more than my head. My eyes went more than my head around. I had vision real quick of it.
Mr. SPECTER - Exactly where was Governor Connally when you first caught him out of the corner of your eye?
Mr. GREER - He was--he seemed to be falling a little bit toward Mrs. Connally, to the left. He started to go over a little bit to the left.
Mr. SPECTER - And how far did you catch his movement during the time you were able to observe him?
Mr. GREER - Just a second. He probably hadn't gotten his shoulder, he hadn't fell down or anything. He probably was in a position such as I am now.
Mr. SPECTER - Did he fall to the rear or to the side or how?
Mr. GREER - In my opinion, he fell toward Mrs. Connally which would be to his left or to his side.
Mr. SPECTER - Did he fall then on his left shoulder and arm or in some other way?
Mr. GREER - He appeared to me to be falling on his left shoulder when I glanced. He had only started to move that way whenever he--when I saw him.
Mr. SPECTER - Were you able to see anything of President Kennedy as you glanced to the rear?
Mr. GREER - No, sir; I didn't see anything of the President, I didn't look, I wasn't far enough around to see the President.
Mr. SPECTER - When you started that glance, are you able to recollect whether you started to glance before, exactly simultaneously with or after that second shot?
Mr. GREER - It was almost simultaneously that he had--something had hit, you know, when I had seen him. It seemed like in the same second almost that something had hit, you know, whenever I turned around. I saw him start to fall.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you step on the accelerator before, simultaneously or after Mr. Kellerman instructed you to accelerate?
Mr. GREER - It was about simultaneously.
Mr. SPECTER - So that it was your reaction to accelerate prior to the time--
Mr. GREER - Yes, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - You had gotten that instruction?
Mr. GREER - Yes, sir; it was my reaction that caused me to accelerate.
Mr. SPECTER - Do you recollect whether you accelerated before or at the same time or after the third shot?
Mr. GREER - I couldn't really say. Just as soon as I turned my head back from the second shot, right away I accelerated right then. It was a matter of my reflexes to the accelerator.
Mr. SPECTER - Was it at about that time that you heard the third shot?
Mr. GREER - Yes, sir; just as soon as I turned my head.
Mr. SPECTER - Going back to the shots themselves, Mr. Greer, do you have any reaction as to the direction from which the shots came?
Mr. GREER - They sounded like they were behind me, to the right rear of me.
Mr. SPECTER - Would that be as to all three shots?
Mr. GREER - Yes, sir. They sounded, everything sounded, behind me, to me. That was my thought, train of thought, that they were behind me.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you ever had any reaction or thought at any time since the assassination that the shots came from the front of the car?
Mr. GREER - No, sir; I had never even the least thought that they could come. There was no thought in my mind other than that they were behind me.
Mr. SPECTER - Yes, sir.
The Chairman. Congressman Boggs, are there any questions you would like to ask the agent?
Representative BOGGS. I don't think so, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. Congressman Ford.
Representative FORD. Did you ever have any thought there were more than three shots?
Mr. GREER - No, sir: I never did.
Representative FORD. Did you positively identify the fact that there were one, two, three, or was there one, and then a delay, and then a flurry?
Mr. GREER - To the best of my recollection, Congressman, was that the last two were closer together than the first one. It seemed like the first one, and then there was, you know, bang, bang, just right behind it almost. The two seemed, the last two seemed, closer to me than the other.
Representative Boggs. Did you speed up after you heard the first shot?
Mr. GREER - After I heard the second. The first one didn't sink into me, didn't give me the thought that it was a shot. I thought it was the backfire of a motorcycle. But when I heard the second one and glanced over my shoulder, I knew something was wrong then. I didn't know how bad anyone was injured or anything, but I knew there was something wrong, and right away after the second one I accelerated as fast as I could.
Posner - Greer's timing does not match Posner's theory, but Greer testifies that, after the second shot he had time to turn around and view the governor and turn back, before he heard the third shot. That certainly would contradict his own testimony that the shots were simultaneous. His testimony is also inconsistent with the Zapruder film, because he can be seen turning to his right twice. Once at approximately Z-260 and then a quick turn at Z-301. The 260 turn would help support Posner.
Harris - Greer's testimony taken together with the 301 turn is strong support for the Harris's theory concerning the Z-285 shot. The term simultaneous is inconsistent with a 1.5 second gap, but would support for the fourth shot. So his testimony could possibly support either the third shot, or the fourth shot, but it does not support both.
Jacqueline Kennedy's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Jackie was seated to JFK's left)
Mr. RANKIN -Now, do you remember as you turned off of the main street onto Houston Street?
Mrs. KENNEDY -I don't know the name of the street.
Mr. RANKIN -That is that one block before you get to the Depository Building.
Mrs. KENNEDY -Well, I remember whenever it was, Mrs. Connally said, "We will soon be there." We could see a tunnel in front of us. Everything was really slow then. And I remember thinking it would be so cool under that tunnel.
Mr. RANKIN -And then do you remember as you turned off of Houston onto Elm right by the Depository Building?
Mrs. KENNEDY -Well, I don't know the names of the streets, but I suppose right by the Depository is what you are talking about?
Mr. RANKIN -Yes; that is the street that sort of curves as you go down under the underpass.
Mrs. KENNEDY -Yes; well, that is when she said to President Kennedy, "You certainly can't say that the people of Dallas haven't given you a nice welcome.
Mr. RANKIN -What did he say?
Mrs. KENNEDY -I think he said-I don't know if I remember it or I have read it, "No, you certainly can't," or something. And you know then the car was very slow and there weren't very many people around. And then--do you want me to tell you what happened?
Mr. RANKIN -Yes; if you would, please.
Mrs. KENNEDY -You know, there is always noise in a motorcade and there are always motorcycles, besides us, a lot of them backfiring. So I was looking to the left. I guess there was a noise, but it didn't seem like any different noise really because there is so much noise, motorcycles and things. But then suddenly Governor Connally was yelling, "Oh, no, no, no."
Mr. RANKIN -Did he turn toward you?
Mrs. KENNEDY -No; I was looking this way, to the left, and I heard these terrible noises. You know. And my husband never made any sound. So I turned to the right. And all I remember is seeing my husband, he had this sort of quizzical look on his face, and his hand was up, it must have been his left hand. And just as I turned and looked at him, I could see a piece of his skull and I remember it was flesh colored. I remember thinking he just looked as if he had a slight headache. And I just remember seeing that. No blood or anything. And then he sort of did this [indicating], put his hand to his forehead and fell in my lap. And then I just remember falling on him and saying, "Oh, no, no, no," I mean, "Oh, my God, they have shot my husband." And "I love you, Jack," I remember I was shouting. And just being down in the car with his head in my lap. And it just seemed an eternity. You know, then, there were pictures later on of me climbing out the back. But I don't remember that at all.
Mr. RANKIN -Do you remember Mr. Hill coming to try to help on the car?
Mrs. KENNEDY -I don't remember anything. I was just down like that. And finally I remember a voice behind me, or something, and then I remember the people in the front seat, or somebody, finally knew something was wrong, and a voice yelling, which must have been Mr. Hill, "Get to the hospital," or maybe it was Mr. Kellerman, in the front seat. But someone yelling. I was just down and holding him. [Reference to wounds deleted.]
Mr. RANKIN -Do you have any recollection of whether there were one or more shots?
Mrs. KENNEDY -Well, there must have been two because the one that made me turn around was Governor Connally yelling. And it used to confuse me because first I remembered there were three and I used to think my husband didn't make any sound when he was shot. And Governor Connally screamed. And then I read the other day that it was the same shot that hit them both. But I used to think if I only had been looking to the right I would have seen the first shot hit him, then I could have pulled him down, and then the second shot would not have hit him. But I heard Governor Connally yelling and that made me turn around, and as I turned to the right my husband was doing this [indicating with hand at neck]. He was receiving a bullet. And those are the only two I remember.
And I read there was a third shot. But I don't know. Just those two.
Mr. RANKIN -Do you have any recollection generally of the speed that you were going, not any precise amount.
Mrs. KENNEDY -We were really slowing turning the corner. And there were very few people.
Mr. RANKIN -And did you stop at any time after the shots, or proceed about the same way?
Mrs. KENNEDY -I don't know, because--I don't think we stopped. But there was such confusion. And I was down in the car and everyone was yelling to get to the hospital and you could hear them on the radio, and then suddenly I remember a sensation of enormous speed, which must have been when we took off.
Mr. RANKIN -And then from there you proceeded as rapidly as possible to the hospital, is that right?
Mrs. KENNEDY -Yes.
Mr. RANKIN -Do you recall anyone saying anything else during the time of the shooting?
Mrs. KENNEDY -No; there weren't any words. There was just Governor Connally's. And then I suppose Mrs. Connally was sort of crying and covering her husband. But I don't remember any words. And there was a big windshield between--you know--I think. Isn't there?
Mr. RANKIN -Between the seats.
Mrs. KENNEDY -So you know, those poor men in the front, you couldn't hear them.
Mr. RANKIN -Can you think of anything more?
The CHAIRMAN - No; I think not. I think that is the story and that is what we came for. We thank you very much, Mrs. Kennedy.
Mr. RANKIN -I would just like to ask if you recall Special Agent Kellerman saying anything to you as you came down the street after you turned that corner that you referred to.
Mrs. KENNEDY -You mean before the shots?
Mr. RANKIN -Yes.
Mrs. KENNEDY -Well, I don't, because you know, it is very hard for them to talk. But I do not remember, just as I don't recall climbing out on the back of the car.
Mr. RANKIN -Yes. You have told us what you remember about the entire period as far as you can recall, have you?
Mrs. KENNEDY -Yes. The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mrs. Kennedy.
Posner - If you assume that Jackie missed the first shot completely, her testimony supports Posner. She heard Governor Connally claiming Oh, no, no, no after the shot that hit both JFK and Connally, and by the time she turned to JFK he was responding to that shot. Then she saw the results of the shot that hit the president.
Harris - Harris believes that when Jackie answers Rankin's question "Did he turn toward you?" with the answer, "No; I was looking this way, to the left," she means a slight turn to the left at Zapruder film frame Z-257, and that the turn to the right she describes is actually the slight turn at Z-290, which would have come after his Z-285 shot. This seems very unlikely to me since it is pretty obvious that Jackie is aware there is something wrong with JFK well before frame Z-285. She only remembered two shots, and she thought her husband was hit by the first shot. It is hard to believe that she didn't think he was shot until frame Z-285.
Clint Hill's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Hill was on the running board of the presidential follow up car)
Mr. SPECTER - Now, as the motorcade proceeded at that point, tell us what happened.
Mr. HILL - Well, as we came out of the curve, and began to straighten up, I was viewing the area which looked to be a park. There were people scattered throughout the entire park. And I heard a noise from my right rear, which to me seemed to be a firecracker. I immediately looked to my right and, in so doing, my eyes had to cross the Presidential limousine and I saw President Kennedy grab at himself and lurch forward and to the left.
Mr. SPECTER - Why don't you just proceed, in narrative form, to tell us?
Representative Boggs. This was the first shot?
Mr. HILL - This is the first sound that I heard; yes, sir. I jumped from the car, realizing that something was wrong, ran to the Presidential limousine. Just about as I reached it, there was another sound, which was different than the first sound. I think I described it in my statement as though someone was shooting a revolver into a hard object--it seemed to have some type of an echo. I put my right foot, I believe it was, on the left rear step of the automobile, and I had a hold of the handgrip with my hand, when the car lurched forward. I lost my footing and I had to run about three or four more steps before I could get back up in the car. Between the time I originally grabbed the handhold and until I was up on the car, Mrs. Kennedy--the second noise that I heard had removed a portion of the President's head, and he had slumped noticeably to his left. Mrs. Kennedy had jumped up from the seat and was, it appeared to me, reaching for something coming off the right rear bumper of the car, the right rear tail, when she noticed that I was trying to climb on the car. She turned toward me and I grabbed her and put her back in the back seat, crawled up on top of the back seat and lay there.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, referring to Commission Exhibit No. 354, would you mark an "X", as best you can, at the spot where the President's automobile was at the time the first shot occurred?
Mr. HILL - Approximately there.
Mr. SPECTER - And would you mark a "Y" at the approximate position where the President's car was at the second shot you have described? What is your best estimate of the speed of the President's car at the precise time of the first shot, Mr. Hill?
Mr. HILL - We were running between 12 to 15 miles per hour, but no faster than 15 miles per hour.
Mr. SPECTER - How many shots have you described that you heard?
Mr. HILL - Two.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you hear any more than two shots?
Mr. HILL - No, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, what is your best estimate on the timespan between the first firecracker-type noise you heard and the second shot which you have described?
Mr. HILL - Approximately 5 seconds.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, did the impact on the President's head occur simultaneously, before, or after the second noise which you have described?
Mr. HILL - Almost simultaneously.
Mr. SPECTER - I believe you testified as to the impression you had as to the source of the first shot. To be sure that the record is complete, what was your reaction as to where the first shot came from, Mr. Hill?
Mr. HILL - Right rear.
Mr. SPECTER - And did you have a reaction or impression as to the source of point of origin of the second shot that you described?
Mr. HILL - It was right, but I cannot say for sure that it was rear, because when I mounted the car it was--it had a different sound, first of all, than the first sound that I heard. The second one had almost a double sound--as though you were standing against something metal and firing into it, and you hear both the sound of a gun going off and the sound of the cartridge hitting the metal place, which could have been caused probably by the hard surface of the head. But I am not sure that that is what caused it.
Mr. SPECTER - Are you describing this double sound with respect to what you heard on the occasion of the second shot?
Mr. HILL - The second shot that I heard; yes, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, do you now or have you ever had the impression or reaction that there was a shot which originated from the front of the Presidential car?
Mr. HILL - No.
Posner - If you accept the fact that Hill completely missed the first shot, the timing between the two shots supports Posner. The other problem would be the echo, but Hill states it was possible that was the sound caused by the bullet hitting the hard surface of Kennedy's head.
Harris - Hill's 5 second's between the shots is much longer than the 1.5 seconds between Harris's second and third shot. Harris claim's that Hill's report of an echo supports his Z-323 shot, but Hill places all of the shots as coming from the rear, and he thought the echo was the sound of the bullet hitting Kennedy.
Glen A. Bennett's original report (back to the list of witnesses)
(Bennett was in the Presidential follow up car)
The motorcade entered an intersection and then proceeded down a grade. At this point the well-wishers numbered but a few; the motorcade continued down this grade enroute to the Trade Mart. At this point I heard what sounded like a fire-cracker. I immediately looked from the right/crowd/physical area/and looked towards the President who was seated in the right rear seat of his limousine open convertible. At the moment I looked at the back of the President I heard another fire-cracker noise and saw the shot hit the President about four inches down from the right shoulder. A second shot followed immediately and hit the right rear high of the President's head. I immediately hollered "he's hit'' and reached for the AR-15 located on the floor of the rear seat. Special Agent Hickey had already picked-up the AR-I5. We peered towards the rear and particularly the right side of the area. I had drawn my revolver when I saw S/A Hickey had the AR15. I was unable to see anything or one that could have fired the shots. The President's car immediately kicked into high gear and the follow-up car followed.
Posner - Bennett is an excellent witness for Posner. He locates the wound in the presidents back and places that wound as the second shot. The notes for this report were completed before the autopsy had been completed, so he provides independent corroboration of that wound. The only trouble he presents is he claims the head shot came immediately after the back shot. Since he doesn't use any time references it is difficult to judge what immediately means. It is interesting that he uses the term immediately four times in this short statement.
Harris - Bennett's testimony is strong support for the timing of the second and third shot. His testimony does not support his theory for the first shot and second shot, unless you assume that Bennett was wrong when he says the second shot hit Kennedy in the back. It is possible Bennett didn't realize the first shot hit the president, and at the same time that he heard the second shot he saw the wound, and assumed that shot caused the wound.
Click here for the text of a debate that I had with Harris in the newsgroup alt.assassination.jfk
George Hickey's original report (back to the list of witnesses)
(Hickey was in the Presidential follow up car)
The motorcade then left the airport and proceeded along the parade route. Just prior to the shooting the Presidential car turned left at the intersection and started down an incline toward an underpass followed by 679X. After a very short distance I heard a loud report which sounded like a firecracker. It appeared to come from the right and rear and seemed to me to be at ground level. I stood up and looked to my right and rear in an attempt to identify it. Nothing caught my attention except people shouting and cheering. A disturbance in 679X caused me to look forward toward the President's car. Perhaps 2 or 3 seconds elapsed from the time I looked to the rear and then looked at the President. He was slumped forward and to his left, and was straightening up to an almost erect sitting position as I turned and looked. At the moment he was almost sitting erect I heard two reports which I thought were shots and that appeared to me completely different in sound than the first report and were in such rapid succession that there seemed to be practically no time element between them. It looked to me as if the President was struck in the right upper rear of his head. The first shot of the second two seemed as if it missed because the hair on the right side of his head flew forward and there didn't seem to be any impact against his head. The last shot seemed to hit his head and cause a noise at the point of impact which made him fall forward and to his left again. - Possibly four or five seconds elapsed from the time of the first report and the last.
[later in another report]
Just prior to the shooting I was seated in the rear of SS-679-X on the left side. As IOO-X made the turn and proceeded a short distance I heard what seemed to me that a firecracker exploded to the right and rear. I stood partially up and turned to the rear to see if I could observe anything. Nothing was observed and I turned around and looked at the President's car. The President was slumped to the left in the car and I observed him come up. I heard what appeared to be two shots and it seemed as if the right side of his head was hit and his hair flew forward. I then reached down, picked up the AR 15, cocked and loaded it and stood part way up in the car and looked about. By this time, IOO-X and 679-X had passed under the overpass and was proceeding at a high rate of speed towards the hospital.
Posner - Hickey's reports are inconsistent with Posner's theory.
Harris - Harris claims that Hickey supports his theory, but I disagree. the term "no time element between them" in reference to the second and third shots is inconsistent with a 1.5 second gap. We can assume that this was actually a description of Harris's third and fourth shot. That would mean Hickey missed either the first or second shot. I think Harris would not admit that Hickey missed his famous Z-285 shot, so that leaves the first shot. If that is true, Hickey claims that he had enough time to turn around and identify people cheering, and then turn back before Kennedy was hit in the head. That is not compatible with his 1.5 second gap between the miss and the head shot.
Sam Kinney's Original Report (back to the list of witnesses)
(Kinney was in the presidential follow up car)
As we completed the left turn and on a short distance, there was a shot. At this time I glanced from the taillights of the President's car, that I use for gauging distances for driving. I saw the President lean toward the left and appeared to have grabbed his chest with his right hand. There was a second of pause and then two more shots were heard. Agent Clinton Hill jumped from the follow-up car and dashed to the aid of the President and First Lady in the President's car. I saw one shot strike the President in the right side of the head. The President then fell to the seat to the left toward Mrs. Kennedy.
Posner & Harris - Kinney 's report lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
William McIntyre's Original Report (back to the list of witnesses)
(McIntyre was in the presidential follow up car)
The Presidential vehicle was approximately 200 feet from the underpass when the first shot was fired, followed in quick succession by two more. I would estimate that all three shots were fired within 5 seconds. After the second shot, I looked at the President and witnessed his being struck in the head by the third and last shot. By that time, Mr. Roberts had used the radio in our car to direct the vehicles to a hospital. Most, if not all the agents in the follow-up car had drawn their weapons and agent Hickey was handling the AR-15. None of us could determine the origin of the shots, and no shots were fired by any agent.
Posner & Harris - McIntyre's report lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
Paul Landis's Original Report (back to the list of witnesses)
(Landis was in the presidential follow up car)
As the President's car continued around the corner, I continued to survey the crowd along the right hand side of the road and noticed that it was fairly scattered, with hardly enough people to form a single line. I continued to look ahead to an overpass over the route we were traveling. At approximately this point, I would say, the President's car and the Follow-up car had just completed their turns and both were straightening out.
At this moment I heard what sounded like the report of a high-powered rifle from behind me, over my right shoulder. When I heard the sound there was no question in my mind what it was. My first glance was at the President, as I was practically looking in his direction anyway. I saw him moving in a manner which I thought was to look in the direction of the sound. I did not realize that President Kennedy had been shot at this point.
I immediately returned my gaze, over my right shoulder, toward the modernistic building I had observed before. With a quick glance I saw nothing and immediately started scanning the crowd at the intersection from my right to my left. I observed nothing unusual and began to think that the sound had been that of a fire cracker but I hadn't seen any smoke. In fact, I recall Special Agent Jack Ready saying, "What was it? A Fire Cracker?" I remarked, "I don't know; I don't see any smoke.'' So far the lapsed period of time could not have been over two or three seconds.
All during this time I continued to scan the crowd, returning my gaze towards the President's car. It must have been another second or two before the next shot was fired because, as I recall having seen nothing out of the ordinary, I then thought that maybe one of the cars in the motorcade had had a blowout that had echoed off the buildings. I looked at the right front tire of the President's car and saw it was all right. I then glanced to see the right rear tire, but could not because the Follow-up car was too close.
I also thought of trying to run and jump on the President's car but did not think I could make it because of the speed at which we were traveling. I decided I had better stay where I was so that I would at least be near the First Lady, to whom I am assigned. I think that it was at this point that I thought, ''Faster, Faster, Faster," thinking that we could not get out of the area soon enough. However, I don't have any idea as to how fast we were then moving.
I had drawn my gun, but I am not sure exactly when I did this. I did leave my suit coat unbuttoned all during the motorcade movement, thinking at the time that I could get to my gun faster this way, if I had to.
I glanced towards the President and he still appeared to be fairly upright in his seat, leaning slightly toward Mrs. Kennedy with his head tilted slightly back. I think Mrs. Kennedy had her right arm around the President's shoulders at this time. I also remember Special Agent Clinton Hill attempting to climb onto the back of the President's car.
It was at this moment that I heard a second report and it appeared that the President's head split open with a muffled exploding sound. I can best describe the sound as I heard it, as the sound you would get by shooting a high powered bullet into a five gallon can of water or shooting into a melon. I saw pieces of flesh and blood flying through the air and the President slumped out of sight towards Mrs. Kennedy.
The time lapse between the first and second report must have been about four or five seconds.
Posner - If you assume Landis completely missed the first shot, his testimony is consistent with Posner's theory.
Harris - If you assume Landis completely missed the second and the fourth shot, his testimony does not contradict Harris's theory. This seems unlikely since he appears to have been very alert after hearing the first shot.
Rufus Youngblood's Warren Commission Testimony (back to the list of witnesses)
(Youngblood was in the Vice-Presidents Car)
Mr. SPECTER - Yes, please. Will you describe just what occurred as the motorcade proceeded past the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets?
Mr. YOUNGBLOOD - Well, the crowd had begun to diminish, looking ahead and to the right the crowd became spotty. I mean it wasn't continuous at all like it had been. As we were beginning to go down this incline, all of a sudden there was an explosive noise. I quickly observed unnatural movement of crowds, like ducking or scattering, and quick movements in the Presidential follow-up car. So I turned around and hit the Vice President on the shoulder and hollered, get down, and then looked around again and saw more of this movement, and so I proceeded to go to the back seat and get on top of him.
I then heard two more shots. But I would like to say this. I would not be positive that I was back on that back seat before the second shot. But the Vice President himself said I was. But--then in hearing these two more shots, I again had seen more movement, and I think someone else hit a siren--I heard the noise of a siren.
Mr. SPECTER - What is your best estimate of the total timespan between the first and third shots which you have already described?
Mr. YOUNGBLOOD - From the beginning to the last?
Mr. SPECTER - Yes, sir.
Mr. YOUNGBLOOD - I would think 5 seconds.
Mr. SPECTER - And you have described the first shot as being an explosive noise. How would you describe each of the second and third shots?
Mr. YOUNGBLOOD - Well, there wasn't too much difference in the noise of the first shot and the last two. I am not really sure that there was a difference. But in my mind, I think I identified the last two positively as shots, whereas the first one I thought was just an explosive noise, and I didn't know whether it was a firecracker or a shot. It seems, as I try to think over it, there was more of a crack sound to the last two shots. That may have been distance, I don't know.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, as to time interval--was there longer or less time or the same between the first and second shots and the second and third shots?
Mr. YOUNGBLOOD - There seemed to be a longer span of time between the first and the second shot than there was between the second and third shot.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, did you have any reaction or impression as to the source or point of origin of the first shot?
Mr. YOUNGBLOOD - I didn't know where the source or the point of origin was, of course, but the sounds all came to my right and rear.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, how about as to the latter two shots, would the same apply, or would there be a different situation there?
Mr. YOUNGBLOOD - No; all of them seemed to sound that they were from the right.
Representative FORD. Did they sound on the surface or in the air or couldn't you discern?
Mr. YOUNGBLOOD - I couldn't say for certain. I don't know.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, did you then or have you ever had any contrary impression that the shots might have come from in front as opposed to the rear of the automobile?
Mr. YOUNGBLOOD - No, sir.
Posner - Youngblood's testimony is relatively consistent with Posner's theory,. He does place the second and third shots closer together than the first and second , but the only time estimate he gives is five seconds for all three shots. This estimate is inconsistent with both theories, and might indicate that he was not as aware of the passing of time when he was occupied with trying to protect the Vice-President.
Harris - Youngblood's testimony is very consistent with Harris's theory concerning the second and third shot. He provides no support for a fourth shot.
Ralph Yarborough's Affidavit (back to the list of witnesses)
(Yarborough was in the vice presidential limo)
After the Presidential motorcade had passed through the heart of downtown Dallas, experiencing an exceptionally warm and friendly greeting, as the motorcade went down the slope of Elm Street toward the railroad underpass, a rifle shot was heard by me; a loud blast, close by. I have handled firearms for fifty year, and thought immediately that it was a rifle shot. When the noise of the shot was heard, the motorcade slowed to what seemed to me a complete stop (though it could have been a near stop). After what I took to be about three seconds, another shot boomed out, and after what I took to be one-half the time between the first and second shots (calculated now, this would have put the third shot about one and one-half seconds after the second shot--by my estimate--to me there seemed to be a long time between the first and second shots, a much shorter time between the second and third shots--these were my impressions that day), a third shot was fired. After the third shot was fired, but only after the third shot was fired, the cavalcade speeded up, gained speed rapidly, and roared away to the Parkland Hospital.
Posner - Yarborough's timing is good for the first and second shot, but is completely wrong for the third shot.
Harris - Yarborough's timing is a little short for the first and second shot, is very good for the second and third shot, and he completely missed the fourth shot.
Thomas Johns's Original Report (back to the list of witnesses)
(Johns was in the Vice Presidential follow up car)
The motorcade had passed through the downtown section of Dallas, and at approximately 12:35 p.m., CST, I heard two "shots," not knowing whether they were firecrackers, backfire, or gun shots. These two shots were approximately two or three seconds apart, and at this time we were on a slight downhill curve to the right. On the right-hand side of the motorcade from the street, a grassy area sloped upward to a small 2 or 3-foot concrete wall with sidewalk area. When the shots sounded, I was looking to the right and saw a man standing and then being thrown or hit to the ground, and this together with the shots made the situation appear dangerous to me. I estimate that the motorcade was going approximately 12 to 14 miles per hour at this time, and I jumped from the security car and started running for the Vice President's car. I felt that if there was danger due to the slow speed of the motorcade, I would be of more assistance and in a more proper location with the Vice President's car. Before I reached the Vice President's car a third shot had sounded and the entire motorcade then picked up speed and I was left on the street at this point. I obtained a ride with White House movie men and joined the Vice President and ASAIC Youngblood at the Parkland Hospital
Posner & Harris - Johns 's report lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.
Warren Taylor's Original Report (back to the list of witnesses)
(Taylor was in the Vice Presidential follow up car)
Our automobile had just turned a corner (the names of the streets are unknown to me) when I heard a bang which sounded to me like a possible firecracker--the sound coming from my right rear. Out of the corner of my eye and off slightly to the right rear of our car, I noticed what now seems to me might have been a short piece of streamer flying in the air close to the ground, but due to the confusion of the moment, I thought that it was a firecracker going off.
As a matter of course, I opened the door and prepared to get out of the car. In the instant that my left foot touched the ground, I heard two more bangs and realized that they must be gun shots. Also at that instant, the car paused slightly
and I heard something over the radio to the effect that something or someone had been shot. At that moment, the car picked up speed and I pulled myself back into the car. During the aforementioned I also noticed that ATSAIC Johns had completely jumped out of our car, and as we sped away, I believe he was knocked to the ground and left in the street. I recall hearing SA Kivett telling the driver to "go, go, stay right behind the car." During all of the aforementioned, I could see ASAIC Youngblood, in the Vice President's car immediately in front of us, jump to the back seat and cover the Vice President.
Posner - Taylor is not specific about the time between the second two shots, but from his description one could infer that those two shots were close together. Taylor, and other witnesses thought that the first shot was somebody throwing firecrackers from the the depository, This is interesting when compared with Posner's bullet striking a tree branch. Of course a bullet would travel to fast for the eye to perceive, but if the jacket had separated from the core of the bullet after hitting the tree, it could have fallen to the ground at a fairly slow speed. Maybe even slow enough that some of the witnesses might have perceived its movements, if not being able to identify definitely what it was.
Harris - Harris uses the Altgens photograph taken together with Taylor's testimony to support his theory that the second shot was fired after frame Z-255. Harris points out that the Altgens photo taken at frame Z-255 shows the door to the limo open, but that Taylor hasn't stepped out yet. (technically I don't know how a still picture can prove that. It is possible that he has already stepped out, and the door is closing as he is getting back in). Since Taylor claims the second shot came when his foot touched the ground at the same time as the second shot, the second shot would have to have come after 255. Taylor also completely missed either Harris's second shot, or his fourth shot.
Jerry Kivett's Original Report (back to the list of witnesses)
(Kivett was in the Vice Presidential follow up car)
. The motorcade was heading slightly downhill toward an underpass. As the motorcade was approximately 1/3 of the way to the underpass, traveling between 10 and 15 miles per hour, I heard a loud noise--someone hollered "What was that?" It sounded more like an extremely large firecracker, in that it did not seem to have the sharp report of a rifle. As I was looking in the direction of the noise, which was to my right rear, I heard another report--then there was no doubt in my mind what was happening looked toward the Vice Presidential car, and as I did so, I could see the spectators, approximately 25-50, scattering--some were falling to the ground, some were running up a small hill, and some were just standing there stunned--here I heard the third shot. I could see the President's car, and observed Mrs. Kennedy, who seemed to be standing up in the car and trying to get out. I was getting out of the car to get to the Vice President's car and assist Youngblood; I had reached for my gun but did not draw it for I could not tell where the shots were coming from
Posner & Harris - Kivett 's report lacks enough detail to support or contradict either theory.