by Terry Cerata
Possibly no crime has been as written about, debated, or studied as the killing of John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States of America.
With the possible exception of his alleged slayer's murder no individual death has been as photographed, filmed and, possibly, audio recorded as well. In the long pantheon of historic acts his killing stands out. For many it's still viewed as an unsolved crime.
If there are any events which have received similar examinations, the Second World War, the American Civil War, for instance, they, though undoubtedly more significant in importance and influence have nonetheless not shared in the positively obsessive concern the JFK assassination has experienced.
Like Abraham Lincoln's murder the crime of November 22, 1963 has been told, repeated, told, and repeated again by legions of others for many decades, with no apparent end in sight.
Unlike the 16th president's demise, however, Kennedy's death has many radically different versions.
Whether or not John Booth and his ragtag cabal of misfits were independent players, mercenaries out to collect a bounty offered by a defeated confederacy, or mere pawns, Lincoln's manner of death has never been in dispute.
Whereas Kennedy's end is not only surrounded in a fog of enigmas from the who and the why, but the how as well. There's not even agreement on the number of bullets which struck the man, let alone the number of assassins.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary since its occurrence.
And even with the tens of thousands of books, articles, documentaries, and movies espousing whatever angle their authors contrive, proclaiming to conclusively reveal the unadulterated details of this affair, it's apparent the murder's resolution is unresolved for most who still share an interest in it.
Five decades is quite a long time for something to remain a mystery. Particularly one of an event so public as this. Polls and surveys are periodically presented to the public on the Kennedy assassination, revealing a belief that some sort of conspiracy, or not, was behind it.
No more information than that, however. Nothing specific about exactly why such a faith, pro or con, persists, or what depth of knowledge the respondent actually possesses to justify such an opinion.
Merely "a majority of Americans believe this," or 70-odd percent are convinced of that. No more enlightening than chat room blogs. But of course it's never really meant to be.
When the topic of his assassination is highlighted on television, for example, invariably the aim is to ridicule those who harbor views contrary to the official conclusion of a lone gun killer, by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Even if a substantial portion of the various eyewitnesses to events surrounding the crime had a very different story to tell. Kennedy's murder has largely been presented to the public by media reps for entertainment value, not for knowledge.
Simply a device to generate an audience for the purpose of pushing more snack foods and car wax. And that's the other reason this matter is still with us - the media and its collective lax of integrity.
Performers playing the role of journalists, to distract and misinform the ignorant masses. Almost from the beginning John Kennedy's murder was presented to the public as the awful but aberrant deed of some sad unfortunate ne'er-do-well with an ill-defined motive. A nutcase did it. End of story.
No literary presentation has genuinely satisfied the flocks with the definitive expression on the Kennedy killing, not even the work which essentially started it all: The Warren Report.
It appears whatever offering by whichever author on this matter will not fully convince everyone the truth has been revealed, be it by respected investigators, or by smarmy opportunists.
So why should you spend your valuable time wading through yet another tome on this well-trod topic by yet another author whom you've never heard of, and whose credentials may be suspect?
Essentially the answer by now should be self-evident: it isn't important who I am, or who anyone else is for that matter, but whether an honest and reasonable argument has been made which answers hard questions with either indisputable facts, or at the very least intelligent responses.
Earl Warren, Arlen Spector, and Gerald Ford are all well-known people; people whose version of the Kennedy assassination has been judged by most who know it as lacking integrity.
Likewise, authors of thick books on this crime who have name recognition in areas some may view as relevant to understanding how crimes, and particularly murders, are committed have also been scrutinized and have generally fared no better.
It's not reputations, but contributions. Not the messenger but the message is what matters most.
Numerous voices over the years have been quite vague on the explanation of who killed John Kennedy, starting with the panel of esteemed gentlemen for the Warren Commission, their view being that a man named Lee Harvey Oswald was the killer, yet never really ironed down who he was or what actually motivated him to slay the President, other than a meandering, foggy profile cut from the worst fevered fantasies that bunker-addled conservative Americans conjure.
He was a Marxist who worshipped Fidel Castro and espoused the virtues of the Soviet Union, and whose reason for doing it were somewhat unclear but as Oswald was unbalanced (never mind that there's no germane evidence supporting this) that's to be expected.
For the Warren reporters Oswald murdered simply for no reason at all, but what does it really matter as he was crazy.
Conspiracy adherents have not necessarily been any better with their indictments of groups delineated with comic book names like "the shadow government," or "the secret team," or "the powerful elite," without actually naming any specific person within these imagined coteries.
It's simply left to the reader of these writer's words to pick their poison. I'm surprised that "the dark empire" hasn't yet made the list. And of those few who do name names the connections are often an embarrassment in logic, or should be so for those making such claims.
Yet it must also be acknowledged that it has been largely a dedicated cadre of intelligent "nobodies" who are greatly responsible for the truths and facts about this murder which we can and have come to appreciate.
The obvious fact that Kennedy's throat wound was meant to be a head wound makes clear the plan was one bullet fired from a high velocity rifle through his skull. Had this projectile struck it's meant for target there would have been no need for more gunfire.
As the presidential limousine descended the slight incline and curve of Elm Street the bullet intended to blow JFK's brains out went instead through the automobile's windshield. The result of the gunman over compensating for the moving target, tracking his quarry too far down.
The missile then passed John Connelly, sitting directly in front of the President, before entering Kennedy's throat, never exiting his body.
That the bullet evidently hit its target after penetrating the thick windshield, and that there was no known nor reported bullet damage to the car's backseat or trunk, and no damage to the closely following Secret Service vehicle presents compelling evidence that a high velocity rifle fired a missile into the President, which then lodged in his upper torso.
Somewhat similar to the fatal injury suffered by Martin Luther King, but with considerably less devastation.
Observe the famous Abraham Zapruder home movie of the murder.
As the limousine emerges from behind the freeway sign, as Kennedy clutches at his injury, what is John Connelly doing? What does it really look like? A man responding to near fatal bullet injuries to the right of his body, as the official version assumes? Or a man reacting as if something has just passed his left arm?
A through-and-through bullet hole in the car's windshield was detected by numerous onlookers at Parkland Memorial Hospital minutes later.
Some with weapons experience insisted that the hole indicated a bullet shot into the limousine from the front (Secret Service representatives would subsequently display a series of images of several shattered limousine windshields in an effort to discredit eyewitness claims of a single hole).
There's at least one photograph made public showing the windshield purportedly before its removal from the limousine with what appears to be a large crack. Not a complete hole. This photo isn't particularly clear however.
Evalea Glanges, then a second year medical student - and avid hunter, stated the hole was clean through, without cracks, as would be the result from a "high velocity bullet."
The hole was so small that she hadn't immediately noticed it, even after visually searching the body of the car for quite a while.
Some federal agents, Dallas Police, Ford Motor Company technicians, and other eyewitnesses would likewise reveal to researchers that they too saw something similar to Ms. Glanges observation.
Plainly if what witnesses stated and this photo suggest is accurate, a bullet hole just slightly left and near even to the rearview mirror (from JFK's perspective), Kennedy's and Connelly's respective postures to that hole, the angle and location of the car's position on Elm Street at the moment JFK is hit, places a rifleman left-front (southwest) of the limousine.
Undoubtedly many of you will disagree with this premise. I simply ask again, what is Connelly actually doing at exactly the same instant Kennedy reacts to his trauma?
As tragic as John Kennedy's murder was it is necessary still to see the Zapruder film of it in order to get a reasonably factual appreciation of this crime.
Otherwise you allow yourself to be at the mercy of others and their agendas (including mine), describing what they think - or want you to think, is revealed in it.
Such as attempts to convince you that if Kennedy was sitting and tilted a certain way, and if Connelly was turned and bent another way, than one bullet could have done what the lone-nutters insist it did.
Or that the minor difference between elevations of JFK's and the governor's seats made a Texas School Book Depository building trajectory feasible. Theories be damned. Seeing the film for yourself matters.
You'll witness how others in the limousine behave the instant bullets strike. In particular you'll see the actions, or lack thereof, the two Secret Service agents seated at front display. Which may give you reason to question the missile through the windshield claim I've made.
These trained bodyguards appear to notice nothing as presumably noticeable as a bullet smashing through the windshield. I'll give you that.
However, you might also observe how these professional protectors seem pretty much oblivious of anything else shortly afterward as well: of Governor and Mrs. Connelly screaming immediately behind them, for example.
One, John Connelly, heard by several bystanders, yelling in terror, "My God! They're going to kill us all!" And Jacqueline Kennedy shrieking, "No, no, no!!" More sharp noises. In addition to a fellow agent running desperately after them from behind. You know, someone else might have easily construed these as clues.
As a minor digression, one of the legends which has grown around the Zapruder film is that it was first shown to a national American audience on "Good Night America," a television talk show on ABC hosted by Geraldo Rivera.
He and others have claimed, and continue to claim, that Rivera was the first to air this movie nationwide. Those with poor research skills have repeated this fiction.
I guess this is an example of one of the benefits of age, since I personally remember Tom Snyder was in fact the first to air this historic film coast to coast on his late night/early morning talk show "Tomorrow" on NBC in 1975.
Little mention was made it would be showing, as my memory serves. I didn't see it then.
The second person to present this essential piece of evidence was Lou Gordon, who hosted a nationally syndicated late night talk show based in Detroit. This is when I first viewed it, and I particularly remember the gasps from his live audience when the instant Kennedy's death occurred.
I lived in San Francisco at the time, so this was by definition "national." The second time I experienced that same televised response from an audience was from Rivera's show (maybe the distinction was originally meant to be understood as the first "primetime network" airing).
At best he was the third person to air the film nationwide.
It's impossible to know with absolute certitude when or in what sequence subsequent bullets were fired, other than the death bullet, in my opinion.
The projectiles which followed Kennedy's throat wound, not necessarily in the order presented here, came from the Dal-Tex Building, directly across Houston Street from the Texas School Book Depository Building, behind and high from the two gunmen situated at the rear of their prey.
Based on what do I make such an assertion?
The evidence from my perspective is no better than the evidence others have claimed which contradicts it, by "proving" the bullets paths cleanly back to where Mr. Oswald was said to be, by the Warren Commission defenders.
I could show you photos, draw lines to buildings, and do the many other routines you may have come to expect from people discussing this subject. But it really wouldn't prove a thing.
Even if you took surveyor's tools and personally measured what you could at the actual murder site, you'd only get a little closer to the truth, but no more. My main testimony is in what makes more sense to me than not.
It's time to get real. Nearly all of the actual evidence related to this matter was abused through purposeful neglect, and apparent destruction long, long ago. You honestly can't make your case without the tangible items people have talked and talked about over these many years.
A conspiracy can't be proven. But neither can the single gun theory. What can be done is to make a very persuasive presentation which doesn't require exaggerated notions, or ridiculous lies. Or any lie.
This was after all simply a murder. By an orchestrated ambush, but still just a murder. Beings from another galaxy didn't happen to involve themselves in this crime with their big brains, and technology beyond the grasp of puny Earthlings.
This homicide is not all that complicated, aside from the demonstrable subterfuge and deceit by certain others. It's truly not so difficult to understand.
Excerpt from the book "For Sake of Nation" by Terry Cerata, available on Amazon Kindle here at http://www.amazon.com/For-Sake-of-Nation-eBook/dp/B00B4A292C
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