Essay, Research Paper: Kennedy And Lincoln Assassinations

Politics

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Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator of Germany during World War II, once said,
"The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it." Although this
may sound ludicrous, we can see many example of this in the world's history. One
example would have to be the John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s assassination. For over
thirty years the people of the United States were led to believe that a single
gunman shot and killed Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m.
Maybe they were wrong. According to the old facts regarding the case of the JFK
assassination, a single gunman killed Kennedy. On November 22, 1963, at 12:30
p.m. CST (Central Standard Time), Kennedy was riding in an open limousine
through Dallas, Texas. At this time, Kennedy was shot in the head and neck by a
sniper. He was then taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced
dead. Later, police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine, at a
nearby theater. By the next morning, Oswald was booked for the murder of
President John F. Kennedy. Two days later, Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner
killed Oswald while he was being moved from the city to the county jail. At a
glance, the above story sounds as if this should be an open-and-shut case. After
all, according to the facts above, Oswald must have killed Kennedy. However, you
must take a closer look at this case. Many people who witnessed the murder of
John F. Kennedy dispute the facts above, saying that they heard shots from
places besides the book depository and other things that may contradict what is
stated above. One of these witnesses, Abraham Zapruder, captured the entire
assassination on his Bell and Howell eight-millimeter movie camera. This movie,
cleverly called the Zapruder Film, is the single best piece of visual evidence
in this case. In order to clearly understand the Zapruder Film, it is necessary
to break it down into frames. The particular Bell and Howell movie camera that
Zapruder was using ran at eighteen and three-hundredths (18.3) frames per
second. When using this frame system, you must remember that all shots were
actually fired several frames before the number that is assigned to them. For
example, the fatal heard wound, called Z313, was probably fired at Z310, since
it took 2-3 frames at 18.3 frames per second for the bullet to reach the victim.
Also, you must remember that sound travels at about one thousand-one hundred
(1,100) feet per second, or a little over half as fast as the Mannlicher
Carcano's bullets. When keeping this in mind, it is expected that witnesses
heard the shot at some point after the bullet passed. The following shows a
break down of the frames of the Zapruder film: - The Presidential limousine
first comes into view at frame 133 (the starting point of this timeline.) - The
first shot at (or just before) Z187 would have passed through both Governor
Connally and the President. - The second shot, which passed above the limousine
at Z284, missed the President and hit the curb near witness James Tague. This
caused his minor wound. - At Z313, the fatal shot occurs, which blew out major
portions of the Presidents brain and skull. - A fourth shot occurred at Z323
(slightly 1/2 second after the fatal wound at Z313). Due to the proximity of
this report to the one at Z313, as well as it's more distant origin, most
witnesses were unable to hear this shot. Thus, the above is when the bullets hit
either Kennedy or Connally, or passed through the frames of the Zapruder film
(in the case of the second shot). Of the one-hundred seventy-eight (178)
witnesses at Dealey Plaza, one-hundred thirty-two (132) said that they heard
exactly three shots. If Oswald was a single gunman, it would have taken him at
least 2.3 seconds to reload his Mannlicher Carcano rifle. However, the general
consensus of the witnesses is that they heard a single shot, followed by
silence, with the second and third shots bunched together. For example, Lee
Bowers, one of the witnesses, testified, "I heard three shots, one, then a
slight pause, then two very close together." Also, Warren W. Taylor, a
Secret Service agent, said, "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."
Lastly, when Miss Willis, a witness, was asked if she heard any shots, she
testified, "Yes; I heard one. Then there was a little bit of time, and then
there were two real fast bullets together. When the first one hit, well, the
President turned from waving to the people, and he grabbed his throat, and he
kind of slumped forward, and then I couldn't tell where the second shot
went." Thus, it would have been impossible for one gunman to fire a shot
with the Mannlicher Carcano rifle, reload, fire again, and fire again in a very
short amount of time in order to make the shots sound close together. Also, when
the fatal shot hit Kennedy, his head went back and to the left, implying that
the bullet came from the front and right, not from the back. Although many
people dispute the single bullet theory, this may be true. To understand why,
you must understand the trajectory of the bullet and the angles involved. The
bullet, if fired from the Texas School Book Depository, should have hit Kennedy
at a 21 degree angle, and, in fact, it did. Also, President Kennedy was sitting
nearly six inches above the level of Connally's seat. Thus, when the bullet left
the President, it hit Connally, who was turned 15-20 degrees. When the bullet
hit Connally, the hole in his back was 5/8 inches wide by 1/4 inches high, or
more than twice as wide as tall. This means that the bullet was partially turned
sideways when it entered Connally's back. Thus, the bullet must have hit
something before it hit Connally. Also, the bottom of the bullet that was found
was broken open and was extruding tiny particles of lead. X-rays taken at
Parkland showed precisely that type of particle embedded in the Governor's wrist
and thigh wounds. However, even if the single bullet theory is true, it in no
way lessens the fact that there could have been multiple gunmen, and there may
have been a conspiracy. (The "magic bullet" is thought to be bullet
one on the Zapruder film.) Lastly, one has to consider what the biggest motives
would be to kill the President. One motive has to deal with President Kennedy
trying to get out of Vietnam. This war was the biggest business in America at
the time. It brought in over eighty billion dollars a year. Thus, since the
President was trying to get out of the war, he would have been costing
businessmen a lot of money. Also, Vice-president Johnson would have profited a
lot because he was the next to become president. Thus, people, including the
vice-president, had motives to kill the President. As you can see, the killing
of John F. Kennedy was more so a conspiracy than a single gunman. There is no
way that a single gunman could have fired all the bullets that hit Kennedy and
Connally in that short period of time. Also, since Kennedy's head went back and
to the left, the bullet must have been fired from the front and right of
Kennedy. This shows that there was another gunman, which makes this a
conspiracy. Someday, it would be nice if the truth is revealed about who fired
the bullets, and how many gunmen there actually were. Until then, people like me
will bite our nails trying to figure out what actually happened.

Bibliography1. Harris, Robert. "The Assassination of President John F. KennedyA
Reassessment of Original Testimony and Evidence." 2. Harris, Robert.
"The Single Bullet TheoryA Question of Probability." 3. Newman, John.
"Oswald and the CIA." Carroll and Graf Publishers, Inc. New York1995.
4. Summers, Anthony. "Conspiracy." McGraw-Hill Book Company. New York:
1981. 5. "JFK" Directed by Oliver Stone. Warner Bros., Inc. 1991.
Footnotes: 1From the courtroom scene in Oliver Stone's JFK. 2From "The
Assassination of President John F. KennedyA Reassessment of Original Testimony
and Evidence," at http://www.thuntek.net/~rharris/1.html 3 From, "The
Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: A Reassessment of Original Testimony
and Evidence," at http://www.thuntek.net/~rharris/1.html. From, "The
Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: A Reassessment of Original Testimony
and Evidence," at http:///www.thuntek.net/~rharris/1.html.
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