If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SheKnows may receive an affiliate commission.
A former Secret Service agent who was accompanying John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy on the day of the president’s assassination is sharing his account of November 22, 1963 and it may contradict what we have been told about the fateful day that altered the course of American history.
Paul Landis was assigned to guard the first lady during Kennedy’s presidency and was part of the motorcade riding behind the presidential limousine that Jackie would later crawl out of after her husband was shot dead in the back seat during a visit to Dallas, Texas.
Since leaving the service not long after the president’s death, Landis has kept his memories of the day to himself — partially due to his struggle to process what happened. However, he spoke with The New York Times ahead of the October 11 release of his memoir, The Final Witness: A Kennedy Secret Service Agent Breaks His Silence After Sixty Years and the details revealed cast doubt on the much-discussed “magic bullet” that killed JFK.
The “magic bullet” theory was put forward by the Warren Commission and was included in a report about the findings of the investigation into the president’s murder. The report concluded that one of the bullets shot into the car struck Kennedy and hit Texas Gov. John B. Connally Jr. in his back, chest, wrist and thigh.
Among the evidence that led the Warren Comission to that conclusion is the fact that the bullet was found on a stretcher believed to have been used by Connally at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Landis, however, is now claiming it was him who put it there.
He told The New York Times that, upon arriving at the hospital after the shooting, he spotted the bullet lodged in the back of the seat Kennedy had been sitting in.
“There was nobody there to secure the scene, and that was a big, big bother to me,” Landis said. “All the agents that were there were focused on the president.” With a crowd gathering outside, Landis was concerned that souvenir hunters would tamper with key evidence. “This was all going on so quickly. And I was just afraid that — it was a piece of evidence, that I realized right away. Very important. And I didn’t want it to disappear or get lost. So it was, ‘Paul, you’ve got to make a decision,’ and I grabbed it.’”
President John F. Kennedy slumps down in the back seat of the Presidential limousine after being fatally shot in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Jackie Kennedy leans over the president as Secret Service agent Clinton Hill rides on the back of the car.
AP Photo/Ike Altgens
Landis claims he put the bullet on the president’s stretcher in the hopes that doctors could use it to figure out what happened. He guesses that the stretchers may have been pushed together and the bullet may have moved from one to the other.
According to The New York Times, Warren Commission report said that it “eliminated President Kennedy’s stretcher as a source of the bullet” because doctors attempted to save Kennedy while he was on his stretcher and he was not removed until his body was placed in a coffin.
Landis theorizes that the bullet struck Kennedy in the back but was not charged enough to penetrate deeply so wound up popping back out and into the backseat. He has always believed that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman but his version of events gives weight to a long-held theory among conspiracy theorists that Oswald did not act alone.
Lee Harvey Oswald talks to the media as he is led down a corridor of the Dallas police station, Nov. 23, 1963, for another round of questioning in connection with the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
James Robenalt, a Cleveland lawyer and author who has deeply researched the assassination, told The New York Times, “If what [Landis] says is true, which I tend to believe, it is likely to reopen the question of a second shooter, if not even more.”
“If the bullet we know as the magic or pristine bullet stopped in President Kennedy’s back, it means that the central thesis of the Warren Report, the single-bullet theory, is wrong.” Robenalt notes that there is no way Oswald would have been able to reload fast enough to shoot Connally with a second bullet.
According to The New York Times, the Warren Commission report said that it “eliminated President Kennedy’s stretcher as a source of the bullet” because doctors attempted to save Kennedy while he was on his stretcher and he was not removed until his body was placed in a coffin.
Doctors concluded that it was possible that the bullet hit both Kennedy and Connally and several other experts questioned Landis’s version of events when asked by The New York Times.
“Even assuming that he is accurately describing what happened with the bullet,” author Gerald Posner said. “it might mean nothing more than we now know that the bullet that came out of Governor Connally did so in the limousine, not on a stretcher in Parkland where it was found.”
The Warren Commission never interviewed Landis but some of his recent revelations contradict the official statements he filed with authorities in the week after the shooting. These statements reportedly did not include any mention of finding the bullet nor does he mention going into the trauma room where Kennedy was treated. He wrote that he “remained outside by the door” while Jackie entered. He reported hearing only two shots. “I do not recall hearing a third shot,” he wrote.
However, at 88 years old, Landis insists that he has no ulterior motives by coming forward with his revelation. “There’s no goal at this point,” he said. “I just think it had been long enough that I needed to tell my story.”
Before you go, click here to learn about all of John F. Kennedy’s alleged affairs during his marriage to Jackie
Source: Read Full Article