After spending most of the day last weekend @ Dallas Market Hall gunshow, Danny Henry took Richard Hall & myself down to Dealey Plaza to have a look-see.
I had seen it before from the freeway but, had never actually been there to explore.
Like everyone else, I had seen a bunch of the news reports & documentaries covering the assignation of Kennedy which had shown the area.
By standing there & looking around, in all directions and from all angles, I gained some perspective of the ranges involved, the angles, etc....very interesting to me!
First, I was kinda surprised how close Oswald's perch was to the motorcade.
Also, how small the "grassy knoll" was....not very large at all.
The newz media/documentaries led me to believe the area was much bigger.
( Of course, they also make folks think Oswald was a "crack shot" skilled rifleman....hmmmm, not so much...)
I've looked @ Oswald's qualification scores (two, using the M1 Garand)...he barely made Sharpshooter the 1st time and failed to make Sharpshooter the 2nd qual...very average and not even in the league of a "skilled rifleman" in my opinion.
With the short ranges involved, it didn't take super skill....some skill of course but, any ole country boy used to shooting rabbits or squirrels could have easily hit Kennedy (of course, that's just my opinion).
From Oswald's position, I'm thinking I could have done the deed with one of my handguns....a steep angled 15 to 20 yard shot could have been taken if he'd wanted.
Now, I don't exactly want to sound like a conspiracy guy but, while there, I asked myself "where would you have gotten if you were going to take the shot?"
While Oswald had a fairly good place (elevated & with a rifle rest on the window) I'm not sure that would have been my 1st choice.
The road was marked with a couple of "X's"...the 1st where Kennedy is hit in the back w/exit through the throat from 156gr FMJ RN 6.5x52mm Italian Carcano ( my opinion is this was Oswald's 2nd shot & only time he hit Kennedy)...looked about 30 - 35 yard shot from the bldg. Oswald was in.
The 2nd "X" was about 20 yards further down the street and closer to the "grassy knoll"...this is where the fatal headshot occurred. Distance & angle was much harder shot (though still doable) for Oswald.
I strolled over behind the wooden picket fence (other side of the concrete wall at the top of grassy knoll) & "discovered" this would have been "my choice" of an ambush position! Motorcade coming almost directly at me....very slight angle, almost lined up with me....easily could have tracked the target...no problem at all to hit someone at what I estimated to be between 30 & 35 yards. A few yards across a parking lot behind me & I'm in amongst rail cars & brush....very workable escape route (my opinion).
Zupruder film has always made me think Kennedy was hit from the front & with an expanding type bullet....
I used to work for a guy named Frank Sheffield.
Frank's sister was @ Dealey Plaza & a witness to the assignation.
Frank told me she would get extremely upset if anyone told her Oswald was the only shooter as she heard shots coming from 2 different directions and "one was a whole lot louder than the other!"
With everyone's attention on the motorcade, and the confusion after the shots, no telling what went on...might be fairly easy to slip out during the confusion....
We may never know for sure but, I remain unconvinced Oswald was the one who hit Kennedy in the head....the picket fence was a great spot for a second shooter & my personal favorite from a hunter's or shooter's perspective ... I know that sounds weird but, just passing on my opinion.
From those who have also been to Dealey Plaza, what do ya'll think?
Photographer from Tyler Texas. Images in collections and museums in the region. Still using film for exhibitions. Commercial work in digital.
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