Jfk Assassination Witnesses In The Motorcade Motorcade Witnesses On November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. President Kennedy rode in the back of an open top limousine through the downtown area of Dallas. Thousands of people lined the designated route of the planned motorcade, hoping to catch a glimpse of their President. As the motorcade slowed to its end, traveling through Dealy Plaza, shots resonated through the city, and through the hearts of the American public, ultimately killing the beloved JFK. Immediately, secret service men rushed the President to Parkland Hospital, desperately hoping to save his life.
The doctors efforts were futile; within an hour, the President was proclaimed dead. A great deal of controversy surrounds the case. A government appointed investigation team, the Warren Commission, published their conclusions in a book called The Warren Report. Their conclusions remain the American Governments official stance on the case. Today, there are as many critics of The Warren Report as there are believers. The witnesses and their testimonies who participated in the motorcade provide compelling evidence towards theories that do not all support the Warren Reports conclusions.
The author Gerald Posner who wrote Case Closed, a book that supports the Warren Reports theories, prints conclusions that are also found to be questionable after strictly reviewing the testimonies of the involved parties from the motorcade. At 11:40am C.S.T., Air Force One landed at Dallas Love Field Airport. The vice-presidents plane, Air Force Two, arrived about five minutes earlier. A sizable, but controllable crowd gathered to welcome the President and wave him off as the motorcade began its trip through Dallas. The motorcade traveled at about 25-30 mph as it proceeded to the pre-arranged route.
As the motorcade entered the downtown area of Dallas, the crowds began to thicken and the motorcade slowed down. There were no reported irregularities as the motorcade made its way through the crowded downtown streets, except for two short stops in which the President requested. One, to shake a little girls hand, and the other to briefly greet a nun, leading a group of children. Everything was going accordingly as they headed west on Main towards Dealy Plaza. At Houston, the motorcade turned right and headed north towards Elm St.
Several vehicles, beginning with a large group of Dallas Police Department motorcycles preceded the Presidents car. They traveled several minutes ahead of him. Behind the motorcycles came a pilot car. Several members of the Dallas Police Department manned it. Their job was to check for signs of unusual activity, or anything that could be considered threatening to the President.
Following the pilot car was another small group of six motorcycles. They served to control the crowd back and away from the presidential limousine. Next came the lead car, which was meant to carefully scan the areas of possible trouble next to and around the motorcade route. It was an unmarked DPD police car, driven by the Dallas Chief of police, Jesse Curry (Crossfire 9). Secret Service agents Forest Sorrels and Winston Lawson as well as Dallas County Sheriff J.E.
Bill Decker rode the same car, which led approximately four or five car lengths ahead of the Presidents limousine, a 1961 custom made, Lincoln convertible (Crossfire 9). Special Agent William Greer drove, and to his right sat Special Agent Roy Kellerman (Crossfire 9). There were two collapsible seats just behind the driver and passenger where Texas Governor John Connally and his wife sat. Governor Connally sat on the passenger side with Mrs. Connally sitting next to him on the driver side of the car.
Behind them sat President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. President Kennedy sat on the passenger side of the car behind Governor Connally while his wife sat on the driver side of the car behind Mrs. Connally. Behind the Presidential Limousine drove the follow up car.
It held ten people. That day, all but one was a secret service agent. The Vice Presidential car followed next, carrying Lyndon Johnson, his wife, and Senator Ralph Yarborough (Crossfire 10). Eleven vehicles carrying local dignitaries, press, photographers, and White House staff trailed behind them (Crossfire 9-10). As the Presidential limousine made the hard left turn onto Elm, the motorcade slowed almost stagnant (Case Closed 232).
A few yards following the stunted speed, the limousine accelerated to about 10-12 mph once the street straightened out. The time was exactly 12:30pm C.S.T. (Case Closed 232) This was established after the assassination by the testimonies of four witnesses to the Warren Commission investigation (WR48-49). Mrs. Connally and Mrs.
Kennedy were waiving to crowds on left side of the car while Governor Connally and President Kennedy waived to the crowds on the right side of the car. The car was traveling at about 10-12 mph when the first shot rang out (WR49). Many members of the motorcade disregarded the notion that the noise actually shot from a gun. Instead, they assumed, and later testified, that the loud bang was that of a firecracker pop or a motorcycle backfiring. Though, Governor Connally and Forest Sorrels believed from the start that it was indeed a gunshot (WC IV 129)(WC VII 332). The sound was loud, and attracted the attention of most of the motorcade.
Many participants looked around for the source of the sound. Agent Kellerman thought that the sound came from his right side (WC II 61). Mrs. Connally also thought the shot came from her right (WC IV 146). Agent Sorrels, at the time of the shooting, believed that the sound he heard projected from his right, or in front of him, by the overpass (Conspiracy23). Later, in his testimony to the Warren Commission, Agent Sorrels attested that the shots had come from behind him and to the right (Conspiracy23).
At the time of the shooting, to the right of the motorcade was the grassy knoll and to the back right was the book depository. Mr. Connally and Agent ODonnell believe that the first shot came from behind them and to their right (WC IV 129)(WC VII 440). Immediately after the first shot rang out, Agent Kellerman heard a voice from behind him that he believed to be President Kennedy saying My God, I am hit. Agent Kellerman then turned around to face the President (WC II 61). When he did, he saw the President gripping his neck with his hands, wearing a confused look on his face.
He then turned back around and reported to the driver, Agent Greer, Lets get out of here; we are hit (WC II 61). Mrs. Connally, right after the first shot, also turned around to look at the President. She additionally saw the Presidents hands cuffed around his neck (WC IV 146). Though, neither one saw any blood.
Governor Connally, at the same time, began to turn around to his right, attempting to see if the President had been shot. He couldnt, so he began to turn around to his left, but before he could get all the way around, he was struck in the back by a bullet (WC IV 129). Agent Kellerman heard a total of three to four shots (WC II 129). The first one, a short pause, then the second, third, and possibly fourth, cluttered and falling on top of each other. He described the last shots as being a double bang-bang (WC II 129). Mrs. Connally, on the other hand, affirmed that she only heard three shots. She heard the same short pause after the first shot and then the …