November 22, 1963 1PM CST: The Shots, The Shooter, and the Magic Bullet Theory

November 22 1963 at 1 PM CST was 52 years ago this Sunday. It makes a half of a century since John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. Since I’m feeling especially tired today, I decided this would be a good topic of study for me and my 13 year home schooled daughter . I’ve always been troubled by the Warren Commission report which I found in my Grandmother’s house and read a few years back. Since we were discussing it today, I thought I would put my thoughts to blog post and present some of the tremendous problems with this investigation. I don’t have any answers to these questions but they should be explored by someone smarter and with greater resources than me. If you read this and know the answers to these questions, please point me in the right direction. If I see these problems, others have as well. Nevertheless, here are a few problems that I see dealing with the shots, the shooter, and the magic bullet theory.

The Shots

The Warren Report tells us that Oswald fired three shots from the book depository. The first missed and struck the overpass down the road from the motorcade and sent concrete splinters into the face of James Tague. The second shot is the magic bullet theory that we will talk about here in a minute. The third is reported to be the fatal head shot. The problem with this? Anyone who has ever tried to fire successive rounds at a target will tell you that the first shot will always be the most accurate.  The shooter can take their time with it and you also have the element of surprise. In the scenario by the Warren Report, Oswald last shot was the most accurate, this just doesn’t seem tenable to me. Not because I’m some hot-shot investigator but because I shoot guns. Additionally because I hunt, I’ve seen bullet wounds that kill and the ballistics of the fatal head shot don’t make sense to me. That shot couldn’t have come from the book depository.

“Back and to the left” was the refrain in the popular Oliver Stone movie JFK. True, Kennedy’s head does move back and to the left on frame 313 of the Zapruder film. In the move, Kevin Costner playing New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison speculates that this “back and to the left” is evidence that there were additional shooters “behind the grassy knoll.” However, the ballistics of the shot doesn’t fit this. This tragic scene of blood, brain, and skull splattering is not the result of an entry wound which would have come from the grassy knoll. This devastating blast is an exit wound. The exit wound is always substantially larger than the entry wound. At the site of the assassination the grassy knoll is to the right and front of the President. The book depository is to the back and right of the President. Remember that this is an exit wound. This indicates that this shot must have come from the back and to the left of the President somewhere along Elm Street. This makes sense because at this location the President would be in a triangulated crossfire. A team on Elm Street, a team in the book depository, and a team on the grassy knoll would suggest a military style ambush with triangulated crossfire. This is what that fatal head shot can tell us. (This will also match the testimony of Johnny Roselli years later).

The Shooter

According to the Warren Report, Oswald fired three shots from an Italian made Carcano bolt action rifle in six seconds. Allowing that it would take around 1.5 seconds to recycle the bolt, which he would’ve had to do twice in six seconds, this only leaves Oswald three seconds to fire the magic bullet and the fatal head shot. Again, this would be a challenge for an experienced shooter with a stationary target let alone one that is moving and is the President of the United States. Some argue that Oswald had training as a marine and therefore, could make the shot. While the corps marksmanship programs are exemplary, Oswald just wasn’t all that good. According to his marine corps records, he barely qualified. Now, if he was a marine corps sniper it would tenable to believe in his shooting ability to make this shot. However, he was in intelligence and probably only saw the range once a year. The weapon itself would have caused Oswald some problems.

Oswald purchased the rifle through the mail using the alias A. Hidell. That means that it came, out of the box with the scope already mounted. This is problematic. One does not take a rifle out of he box and become a sniper. The scope needs to be bore-sighted then it needs to be zeroed and then the shooter must become consistent with his fundamentals to make consistent speedy accurate shots. There is no evidence that Oswald took this rifle to any range anywhere or was even comfortable shooting the thing. To make the kind of shots required here, the shooter would need to be very comfortable and confident with his weapon. Not one that he just got out of the mailbox. No way. This just doesn’t seem possible. Not because I’m some hot-shot investigator but because I spent three hours and about forty rounds trying to help my brother zero his 30.06 with a sniper scope mounted on it “right out of the box.” Scope rings have to be tightened, the weapon needs to be bore-sighted, the scope has to be zeroed, and then the shooter has to become comfortable and use good marksmanship fundamentals. This is on a stationary target. The Presidential limousine was moving 10-15 MPH when these shots were taken. No way could Oswald do this without hours of practice and hundreds of rounds.

The Magic Bullet Theory

Put forth by a young lawyer with political aspirations, Arlen Spector was an investigator on the Warren Commission and the author of this nonsense. The problem with the lone gunman theory is that the three shots do not account for all the wounds that were inflicted upon the victims. Again, one is the fatal head shot. Two, bounces off the overpass and the third must account for three wounds on Governor Connolly and at least one maybe two on the President.(we may never know because the autopsy was botched) The theory goes like this. The bullet enters the Presidents neck and exits under his Adam’s apple at a 45 degree angle. It stops in mid-air and moves upward and to the right entering Governor Connolly back and exiting under his right nipple. It then turns right, enters Connolly right wrist shattering his radius. Then moves downward and enters Connolly right thigh. At Parkland hospital, it spontaneously falls out onto Connolly’s hospital stretcher in pristine condition. Now, anyone in Kentucky who has fired a gun more than twice in their life will tell you that no bullet in the history of gunfire has ever behaved in this manner. Yet, this was the theory that they put forth as the actual happening. It’s problematic at best and an outright lie at worst.


It’s difficult to understand how this was all just kinda swept away but it was and much still remains secret to this day.  There is a scheduled release of some new information in 2017 but, this information was supposed to be released a few years back but was postponed due to “national security.”  What could that information possibly contain that would threaten national security today?  Who knows, but this cover story of the Warren Report could’ve been written much better with just some good old redneck common sense rather than Harvard lawyers.  I’ll probably continue my sideline writings about this subject as it strikes me.  As I said earlier, if anyone has any answers or see where I’m wrong, please let me know for my own edification.