Eleven-year-old Mack White visited Dealey Plaza the day after JFK’s assassination with his father, a local newspaper editor who came equipped with a camera. When they arrived, Mack noticed two men standing on the Dal-Tex Building fire escape, one of whom was looking through a scoped rifle mounted on a tripod.
“Look,” Mack said to his father while pointing.
“I guess they’re detectives,” said his father. “They’re probably checking to see if there was another shooter.”
The idea of another shooter had not yet occurred to Mack. Later, he learned the two men could have been journalists using the gun as a prop for a photo of Elm Street that appeared the following week in the Saturday Evening Post. Or maybe they were something else entirely.
“In the years that followed, evidence emerged that there was likely a shooter in the Dal-Tex Building, as well as evidence for shooters all over the plaza, including the Grassy Knoll,” Mack wrote much later. Like many Americans, he remains haunted by the case.
The total number of shots is a great mystery, but it can be solved. The locations of the shooters can established at this point. Johnny Roselli was positioned in a storm drain inside the triple underpass and his only shot entered JFK’s throat.
There was a man with a rifle in the corner of the sixth floor window, but we know that man wasn’t Oswald, who was still eating lunch downstairs during the turkey shoot. There may be another shooter somewhere in the Dal-Tex Building, either on the roof or the fire escape, or deep inside some west-facing window behind a blind, or perhaps on the roof of the Depository. A shooter from the rear hit JFK in the back, and also Governor Connolly, and at least one rear shot missed everything and hit the curb, wounding James Tague. This means rear shots were fired a minimum of three times, while the other shooters seem to have only fired once. We know the kill shot came from the knoll, and it seems to have been the last, and adds up to a minimum of five shots. We just don’t know if all rear shots came from the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository. Because two rifles were discovered inside the Depository (a Carcano and a Mauser), it’s possible both could have been fired, one from the sniper’s nest, and the other from the window farthest east or perhaps even the roof, both of which would have offered better locations from which to fire into the plaza. My best guess is there were four snipers, and two of them had to be in the rear because Kennedy and Connolly were hit almost simultaneously by bullets that could not have been fired by the same bolt-action rifle.
According to Dave Powers, who was riding in the trailing vehicle, the first two came close together, followed by a several-second pause, and the unmistakable headshot that sounded like a watermelon exploding. Powers described a bang, bang…..bang pattern, while other witnesses heard the opposite: a bang…..bang, bang, with the last two coming very close together.
Murders leave immense telepathic disturbances in their wake. Although Jackie Kennedy reacted instinctively by moving to retrieve JFK’s skull fragment from the trunk where it landed, she had no memory of doing so when testifying before the Warren Commission. Yet there are multiple photos and films showing her reaching across the trunk. This is why the testimony of those nearest the scene is often somewhat unreliable.
There had to have been five distinct shots that day, but some overlapped and/or may have emanated from a weapon with a sound-suppressor. Most witnesses heard three shots, which meant two must have overlapped or been taken as a fire-cracker or motorcycle back-fire instead of a rifle shot. The difficulty is the pattern of the shots seems to vary depending on the witness’s location in the Plaza.
In 1977, a cartridge was discovered by an air conditioning mechanic on the roof of the Dal-Tex building with crimped edges suggesting it had been hand-loaded or used in conjunction with a sabot, something deployed to fire lower-caliber bullets from a higher-caliber weapon. Strangely, one of the Carcano shell casing found on the sixth floor had a crimp according to Roger Craig, the first policeman on the scene. The last Federal investigation (HSCA) determined in 1978 that four shots were fired, one that missed, one at Zapruder frame 224, one at Zapruder frame 313, immediately followed by the 4th shot. The Warren Report’s published FBI analysis of the bullet that wounded eyewitness James Tague indicated it originated from a weapon that did not fire full-metal jacket ammo; unlike the Carcano carbine found in the TSBD that only fired full-metal jacket bullets. This alone should have been enough evidence to prove a conspiracy.
In 1987, John Rademacher found a shell casing buried underground near the picket fence in Dealey Plaza. Through a complex set of circumstances, this shell would soon be linked to a jailed and convicted assassin connected to the Chicago outfit named James Files, who claimed he was the grassy knoll gunman and had left his shell on the picket fence. Files also indicated he had a habit of biting his spent bullets (because he liked the taste of gun powder). And wouldn’t know you it, teeth marks were quickly found on the Rademacher cartridge.
Since there is such an intense effort to plant false evidence and false confessions into this story, it’s unlikely in my opinion Files is telling the truth, even though major parts of his story do correspond to something close to the truth. It’s far more likely the grassy knoll assassin fired once and never ejected the spent cartridge, much less put it between his teeth before setting it on top of the fence for all to see. The only shells left at the scene were the three intentionally planted on the sixth floor to incriminate Oswald. The main purpose of all these multiple fake confessions through the decades seems to be to engineer fakers into achieving widespread acceptance inside the research community before exposing them as frauds. Not only do these confessions put a cloud of mud in the investigative waters, they help brand the research community as conspiracy crackpots. I call these ops: “Time bombs salted in a rabbit hole.”
(Excerpted from Killing Kennedy: The Real Story. To finish the essay, buy the book, link below or at the top of the sidebar.)