THE WARREN COMMISSION REPORT PDF
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The Warren Commission, The Authorities and The Report . Warren Report and its own twenty-six volumes of published Hearings. Two years. The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established by. Warren Commission Report and the 26 appendix volumes.
Language English. Kennedy that had taken place on November 22, The 88th U. Congressional session passed Senate joint resolution authorizing the Presidential appointed Commission to report on the assassination of President John F.
Kennedy mandating the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence concerning the infraction occurring in Dallas, Texas on November 22, Its page final report was presented to President Johnson on September 24, and made public three days later. It also concluded that Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald two days later. In November , two months after the publication of its page report, the Commission published twenty-six volumes of supporting documents, including the testimony or depositions of witnesses and more than 3, exhibits.
All of the commission's records were then transferred on November 23 to the National Archives. The unpublished portion of those records was initially sealed for 75 years to under a general National Archives policy that applied to all federal investigations by the executive branch of government, a period "intended to serve as protection for innocent persons who could otherwise be damaged because of their relationship with participants in the case.
By , 98 percent of the Warren Commission records had been released to the public. Six years later, at the conclusion of the Assassination Records Review Board's work, all Warren Commission records, except those records that contained tax return information, were available to the public with redactions.
Both of his arms are raised to shoulder level, hands clutching at his throat as if trying to tear out some offending object—the spasmodic reaction of the suddenly wounded.
Yet there, directly in front of him, facing forward with face still serene, is Governor Connally. It seems inconceivable that the body of this man, as the Warren Commission contends, has already been penetrated and furrowed by an almost lethal bullet. Why, in the face of this pictorial evidence—and, as we shall see, despite the clear and candid and completely credible testimony of Governor Connally himself—did the Warren Commission insist upon deciding that the Governor must have been wounded at a point at which all the pictorial and other evidence says he was still untouched?
The answer is to be found in the irreconcilability of the one-assassin theory with the sequence established by the Zapruder film. Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.
It discovered that the fastest time in which the fastest trigger finger in the FBI could touch off a shot with the Carcano was 2. It was entirely possible, the commission ruled, that Oswald had fired a series of lethal shots spaced 2.
Though this basic premise of the commission is at desperate odds with the time table of the film, the conflict is just beginning. The film was rolling 42 frames in 2. Medical evidence submitted to the commission held that Governor Connally, judging from the angle at which the bullet passed through his body, could not have been hit after frame An FBI expert suggested that the Governor might have been hit up to frame , at which point his body was twisted completely out of the line of fire.
Governor Connally himself viewed the Zapruder film and testified that he believed he was wounded between frames and , an opinion that agrees with that of the medical experts.
It seems clear from the Zapruder film that the President could not have been hit for the first time before frame And those vital 42 frames, representing 2. How, then, did the Warren Commission reconcile the film evidence with the official theory of the assassination? It determined that President Kennedy and Governor Connally must have been wounded by the same bullet, in all probability the first one fired. Expert witnesses helped the commission to reason away this disturbing evidence.
Therefore, they argued, the Zapruder film evidence would not be conclusive, persuasive as it appears. And so, the commission evidently concluded, it could disregard the apparent collision between fact and theory and sustain the official line.
To do so, it had to ignore a mass of other corroborative evidence. Probably the one most forceful, cogent and completely credible witness during the entire Warren Commission investigation was Governor Connally himself. Tall and handsome, speaking quietly and clearly, with evident restraint and great care for exactitude, he created an impression of sanity and responsibility in an insane situation.
I instinctively turned my head to my right because the sound appeared to come from over my right shoulder, so I turned to look back over my 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.
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. It went like this: Governor Connally: The second one. Specter: And what is your reason for that conclusion, sir? I think I heard the first shot and the third shot.
Index of /file/Major Investigations
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. A couple of facts corroborating this testimony should be noted. At frame , the Governor can be seen clearly as the car emerges from behind the Stemmons Freeway sign. In additional testimony, Governor Connally made a couple of comments that should be noted.
In response to a question from Sen. I have hunted long enough to think that my perception with respect to directions is very, very good, and this shot I heard came from back over my shoulder, which was in the direction of the School Book Depository, no question about it,.
Connally was seated beside her husband on the left-hand jump seat of the Presidential car. It was just a frightening noise, and it came from the right.
I saw no blood, no anything. It was just sort of nothing, the expression on his face, and he sort of slumped down. She had seen the Zapruder film strip before she testified, she said, and she agreed with her husband about the spot at which he had been wounded. I think you said that there appeared to be more time between the second and third than between the first and second; is that your recollection?
Connally said. Here was an issue that was to plague the commission time and again. Some eyewitnesses thought the first and second shots came very close together; others were just as positive that close firing marked the second and third.
Even when one makes allowance for the imperfection of human ability to recollect fleeting seconds of high crisis, many of these witnesses were highly intelligent, trained observers—and so the conflict was baffling to a commission that was trying to limit itself to three shots and to fit these three shots into an exact sequence.
This meant that the first two shots came very close together, so close that it is scarcely conceivable one man could have fired them both; and it meant that there was then a long pause of about four seconds before the final and fatal shot struck. This break in the action suggests the possibility of a slower and more reasonable firing time than 2. If shots were bunched either at the beginning or the end of the assassination sequence, it was manifestly impossible to have just a single sharpshooter touching off just three shots.
Of course, if one considers the possibility of two riflemen, some of the difficulty begins to resolve itself.
Two men firing at the same target, working bolt-action rifles as rapidly as possible, might indeed have touched off shots that almost synchronized at different stages of the assassination sequence. And since the marksmen would have been firing from different locations the distance covered by the shots and the distance sound had to travel would be different.
The time relationship of the shots would have depended upon where a person stood in relation to firing; two shots might even registered as one or, as Secret Agents were to testify, as a bang-bang coming right together. Roy H. Kellerman, too, had a landmark to help him fix the point of action—the Stemmons Freeway sign—and it should be borne in mind that, since he was in the front seat, he cleared the sign and was out in the open a split second before the President.
The evidence of the Zapruder film shows Kellerman just coming into view at frame , and it was immediately after this, according to his testimony, that the shooting began. Kellerman said he then swung around, snapped to Greer to get them out of there fast, and grabbed the microphone to tell the Secret Service detail in the car ahead to speed them to a hospital. I then looked back and this time Mr. Clinton J. 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.
Kellerman estimated that there might have been a five-second pause between the first sound he heard and the second, but that the last two reports came almost together. Kellerman himself in his testimony seemed to be aware of some puzzling and haunting conflict that his memory could not help him resolve.
Two large bullet fragments from one of the shots came flying into the front seat between Greer and Kellerman; one of these fragments or some other fragment chipped the inside of the windshield just to the right of the driver; and there was another dent in the chrome plating at the top of the car.
Asked how many shots he had heard after the first noise, Kellerman testified in a manner that hinted at his own uncertainty. That is it. The evidence of the Zapruder film segment says that neither of these reports related to the shot that felled Governor Connally.
The Governor could not have been wounded after frame ; the shot that killed the President struck at frame This is inescapable fact. Governor Connally was struck almost exactly four seconds before the shot that killed the President; and, if Kellerman and Greer were right—and they were both highly trained Secret Service Agents—virtually simultaneous reports at the end of the firing sequence could mean only that another shot was fired at this point in addition to the one that killed the President.
Only, judging by the Zapruder film strip, the agent must have misplaced the location of this gap.
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In the tension of the moment, this is understandable; furthermore, logic suggests a fairly simple explanation. This tragic action erupted so rapidly and unexpectedly that witnesses could easily have been confused about what they heard.
There would be a normal lag in human reaction, a failure instantly to comprehend the meaning of those first two closely spaced shots, and the reports may well have blended in consciousness into the recollection of a single sound. The Zapruder film record and the testimony of Governor Connally and his wife say it is not. Furthermore, not a single eyewitness the commission heard saw the action in the way that the commission decided it had happened. All, without exception, were convinced that the President and Governor Connally were felled by two separate, wounding shots.
Holland, veteran signal supervisor for the Union Terminal Railroad, was stationed on the overpass, looking directly down at the motorcade as it approached him.
Holland gave a precise description of exactly what he saw. Jean Lollis Hill was standing with her friend, Mary Moorman, who was to take a famous picture of the assassination with her Polaroid camera. Hill was yelling to the President to get him to look toward them, and he had just started to turn his head in her direction when the first shot hit him.
Then there was a second, and Governor Connally went down. To its partial credit, it seemed to have been disturbed and perplexed. Shaneyfelt, who explained to the commission how his colleagues, with the aid of the Zapruder film , made a test-run reconstruction of the assassination. Shaneyfelt pointed out that Governor Connally, since he became visible at frame , in which he was already looking to his right as if he had just heard a shot, had been in camera range longer than the President.
Yet throughout some twelve frames of this longer viewing time he continued to appear so natural that some of the commissioners had difficulty crediting he had already been shot.
In Vol. John J. McCloy another commissioner : That is right. Dulles: Because the wounds would have been inflicted. McCloy: That is what puzzles me.
Dulles: That is what puzzles me. It is not clear at just what point in its investigation the commission stopped puzzling and decided to embrace the hypothesis of the double wounding by the single bullet.
But it did so; for otherwise it could not avoid a head-on collision with the inflexible Zapruder film sequence. This decision carried with it corollary decisions. It meant that two shots must have found their mark and done all the damage, and that one shot missed the presidential car completely. It meant that, by adopting the fastest possible 2. This basic decision, by which the commission sought to reconcile the discrepancies, led it, however, into another maze.
Since it now had one shot missing completely, which shot must it decide had missed? But at precisely this juncture the natural geography of the site makes a first-shot miss seem highly unlikely. It was not until the motorcade reached the spot indicated by frame on the Zapruder strip the very point at which the action was hidden from Zapruder for 15 frames that Oswald would have begun to have a clear and unimpeded target.
If Oswald had fired at the President through such a chancy aperture, if this shot had hit a twig or limb and ricocheted away, then conceivably the assassination might have happened the way the commission insisted on reconstructing it provided always that one can ignore the actions of Governor Connally.
But the commission itself was dubious of such a first-shot miss, however vital to its theory. Even so, it is surprising to discover that at least one key FBI witness specifically spelled out for the commission just how hypothetical and uncertain it was.
The witness was Robert A. Frazier explained in meticulous detail how, based on the information given him by the commission, he had staged the re-enactment. And if one stops reading at this point, without listening to Frazier as he scrupulously explains just how theoretical this entire reconstructed sequence is.
I feel that physically this would have been possible. On that basis then you can say that it is possible for both of them to have been hit with one bullet.Jack Franzen, Dealey Plaza witnesses who were on the south side of Elm Street a few yards from the presidential limo when Kennedy's head exploded. Albert E. O'Brien — Stuart R. The commission itself had to take it the rest of the way—and it did, even though some of its members indicated that they had persistent doubts.
So "A Carcano Homepage" is a fine resource. Governor Connally was struck almost exactly four seconds before the shot that killed the President; and, if Kellerman and Greer were right—and they were both highly trained Secret Service Agents—virtually simultaneous reports at the end of the firing sequence could mean only that another shot was fired at this point in addition to the one that killed the President.
Gerald Posner, author of Case Closed and the man the conspiracy buffs love to hate, has a home page.