Monday, April 12, 2010

The Sixth Floor Window

The sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository is where Lee Harvey Oswald is supposed to have fired the fatal bullets that ended the life of President John F. Kennedy. The building is now used as administrative offices for the Dallas School Board but the sixth and seventh floors are preserved as a museum. The corner window of the sixth floor has been enclosed on the inside in a Plexiglas surrounding and the stack of boxes that hid it from view has been recreated. Here is the window:


Here is the view of Dealey Plaza from the same window, only one floor up. The perspective is almost identical but was not guarded against photographers as photos are forbidden ("There are enough conspiracy theories around now. We don't need people analyzing their own photos" as one guard put it to me). If you enlarge it by clicking on it you will be able to see the two “X’s” marking the spots where the first (throat) and second (head) shots hit Kennedy. He would have been shooting at Kennedy’s head, the only part visible above the seat back and trunk. A very difficult shot:


This, on the other hand, is the view straight out the same window down Houston Street. This is the street Kennedy’s limo took before turning left onto Elm at the lower right corner of the photo.


This would have been the ideal shot for anyone in that window. The target would have been approaching and presenting a full chest and head view. It is a much shorter shot than the one above and would have been very tempting if in fact the shooter had been in that window. An analysis of the scene, recordings of the gunshots and interviews with witnesses has shown that this is just about the only place in Dealey Plaza that shots did NOT come from on that fateful day.

Who shot Kennedy? Well, it was not Lee Harvey Oswald, that is for sure. He was shot by a rifleman standing behind the picket fence on the Grassy Knoll. A network cameraman recorded the muzzle flash and outline of his body. It was ignored by the Warren Commission as was most other evidence that did not fit their conclusions. There were other shooters, as many as six in all. Some had the job of causing a diversion and adding confusion. Three of them fired at the president, one in the throat and one in the head. The third missed his shot and hit the dashboard of the car. A fragment of this bullet chipped the windshield. The car was immediately sent to General Motors for a complete rebuild. All blood spatter evidence and bullet fragments were conveniently destroyed.

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