JFK assassination: synthesis of recent documentaries I’ve seen on this
I’ll attempt a synthesis of the two following documentaries I’ve recently seen on the assassination of JFK and which I’ve reviewed here:
As stated previously, I do find the “JFK:TSG” to be the best starting point on this topic as a point of reference. I’ll list below some of the assumptions that I make and which would have to be overturned/disproved to favour an alternative theory for that day…as the “JFK:TSG” documentary is now my default theory as it gels best with the evidence for what happened on that day.
Firstly, whilst the former documentary is superior to the latter mentioned one, neither is ideal in how they present the facts to the viewer who would rely on that for their opinion. Having said that, I did find “JFK:TLB” analysis of the “magic bullet” shot to be very good as far as it went…although I do wish it went further for that particular shot and also the lethal shot. How might that be done?
I’m glad you asked! Some sort of graphic animation – perhaps coupled with laser sighting in actuality, as per that demonstration in “JFK:TLB” – which explicitly states the sequence and timing of shots as well as the details of the wounds from medical reports. E.g. state where the entry and exit wound for the first hit on JFK were and where that bullet travelled into Governor Connally. An animation showing that would be good. Do that for every shot fired that day. Then perhaps tie all that together with a real time animation for the entire sequence of shots being scrupulous as to the timing of the shots/hits and location on the body and street etc. At least that way give the conspiracy theorists something to argue with…and come up with evidence to disprove that.
Secondly, neither documentary really went into what the medical reports showed. I.e. without regard to the theory of where the source of those shots were, just go by the entry and exit wounds and the position of the bodies at the time of impact as captured in Zapruder’s famous film. Without assuming where the shots came from, what does the medical report or reports entail? I’m thinking of issues like angle of entry, angle of exit, size of entry hole etc. Then work backwards from that…if the shot must have come from a certain angle, reverse engineer that shot…all of them, actually. What does the medical evidence show? I’m presuming that such ‘reverse engineering’ would likely confirm the best theory and debunk inferior ones. The analysis should also address such issues of whether Lee Harvey Oswald’s bullets were capable of entering a hole in JFK’s corpse which was smaller than it…prima facie evidence to me that a different bullet was responsible for the lethal shot. Whether the bullet was likely frangible also comes into things. “JFK:TSG” makes a plausible sounding argument to a layperson like myself that the lethal shot did not have the properties of the bullet allegedly fired by Oswald.
Issues to be addressed for me to change my mind on the plausibility of the account in “JFK:TSG”:
01) How can the 6.5mm bullet that Oswald had been firing at JFK go through the entry hole in JFK’s head for the lethal shot which was less than 6mm, I believe?
02) “JFK:TSG” argues that the lethal shot on JFK was a frangible bullet of a smaller caliber than the one used by Oswald…explaining the smaller entry hole in JFK’s head for the lethal shot, which should not be the case if Oswald really was the man who fired the lethal shot. This documentary also argues that the Secret Service lied about having a rifle which fit the description of the rifle and ammunition alleged to have fired the lethal shot…i.e. the weapon carried by JFK’s Secret Service detail that day. Which leads into…
03) “JFK:TSG” is ‘the best fit’ of a theory which also explains the actual conspiracy by the Secret Service to destroy/fabricate evidence as well as their illegal removal of the corpse from the Dallas hospital. How does the “lone gunman” hypothesis explain this illegal/conspiratorial activity? So, to no longer support the Donahue/McLaren theory I’d need to be shown that the evidence McLaren re-discovered was not of good quality…all that stuff about x-rays being rigged, witnesses not being called to the Warren Commission, evidence destroyed etc.
04) Have credible/impeccable experts commenting on the ballistics/medical evidence. Ideally the findings should be peer reviewed and such that you would really have to a conspiracy theory ‘nut’ to deny them. E.g. qualified doctors commenting on the size of the entry wounds, angle of entry etc. and scientists commenting on properties of bullets (as in frangible bullets, for instance) and source/origin of shots needed in order to line up with the medical evidence and actual footage of the assassination etc.
On one forum someone did post a link to an article which does argue that the “JFK:TSG” documentary wasn’t persuasive…this article here:
The Australian, David Free, 16/11/2013 “Unusual suspects in the endless theories about JFK’s assassination”
That article does cover the supposed impossibility of a large caliber bullet like Oswald had creating a hole smaller than it. Some experiments are mentioned…for the love of God I sincerely hope that no people were harmed in that experiment! Ouch! In any case, it’s in arguments like this where peer review is important…I’m not a scientist or a medical expert or ballistics expert…I want any discussion on this type of stuff to be authoritative.
I did initially neglect to mention the extended timeline for the assassination brought up in “JFK:TLB”. That documentary seems to use that to implicitly make more believable that Oswald fired off three shots at JFK (conspiracy theorists often point to the ‘impossibility’ of Oswald being able to fire off three shots in just under six seconds, as the Warren Commission found (presumably…as in I’m not sure if that commission commented on how long those three shots took). That documentary proposes a pause between the first shot and second shot of about 6.3 seconds and a pause of 4.9 seconds between the second and third shot. It’s not clear to me if this proposition does any damage to theories which do not accept that Oswald was the only person to have fired a shot which hit the president that day. However, if a documentary came along and did a real time animation on the proposed sequence of events which knocked out one of these theories, then I’d have to go with that.
My reviews of these two documentaries:
I’ll just add in another programme that I saw in the mean time since I’ve seen this two documentaries…
Planet America, ABC News 24, 22/11/2013
* Hugh Aynesworth – a reporter at the time of the assassination – says that Jack Ruby took 4 minutes from paying a stripper $25 to cover her rent at a Western Union shop to shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. Aynesworth suggests that this means Ruby was likely to have been opportunistic in killing Oswald…he saw a crowd and went into it. Hmm.
* Guest Pr. Larry Sabato (https://twitter.com/larrysabato, see his Tweet of ) claims that his current book disproves the 1970s Federal investigation report finding that a conspiracy occurred to kill JFK. Sabato says whilst this doesn’t mean that there was no conspiracy, it just rules out the one the Federal Investigation purported to have found. He does state taht the Warren Commission was poorly done. Sabato also claims to have utilised the very best scientific experts in debunking that Federal investigation finding.
– Sabato also mentions that in 2017 the C.I.A. will be required to release 1,171 documents related to the assassination…unless the president at that time allows them not to do this. Sabato thinks it appropriate that the documents be released.
Criteria for my idea of the definitive documentary on this topic:
01) Autopsy and medical records for entry and exit wounds for JFK and other occupants of the car, as well as the paths of bullets in these bodies.
02) Details of blood splatter patterns and damage patterns on the vehicle from gunshot.
03) Animated graphics of the sequence of events and trajectory of bullets and how they gel with the first two bullet points (ahem!).
04) Examination of the evidence produced in “JFK: The smoking gun” concerning the actions of the Secret Service in the wake of the assassination as well as claims that they had autopsy evidence fabricated to deflect any into investigation into whether they fired the lethal shot on the president; plus the evidence examined in the same documentary concerning the railroading of evidence by the Warren Commission.
As things stand, “JFK:TSG” so far remains the best account of this topic that I’ve seen, but it could do with something as rigorous as “JFK:TLB”‘s account of the “magic bullet” shot.