Paul Landis, who was close to the president at the time of the tragedy, suggests that the ‘magic bullet’ theory, arrived at by the Warren Commission, is wrong and there was more than one shooter.
The testimony of a former US Secret Service agent who was close to President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated nearly 60 years ago may call into question the official version that only Lee Harvey Oswald shot the former US leader. In an interview with The New York Times, Paul Landis, whose book ‘The Final Witness’ (‘The last witness’) will be published on October 10, revealed what he remembers of the day of the tragedy.
According to Landis, 88, if his recollections are correct, the ‘magic bullet’ theorywhich was reached by the Warren Commission, in charge of investigating the murder, It is wrong and there was more than one shooter in Dallas on November 22, 1963. It should be remembered that, according to the official version, one of the bullets fired at Kennedy’s limousine not only hit him, but also the then governor of Texas, John B. Connally Jr.
At the time, the commission claimed that one of the bullets fired struck the president from behind, exited the front of his throat, and struck Connally. This conclusion was reached since the researchers found the 6.5 mm bullet in the stretcher Connelly is believed to have been on when he was taken to the hospital and they assumed he had left his body.
At the same time, according Landiswho was never questioned by the Warren Commission, It was he who found the projectile. And the most interesting thing is that found it in the presidential carstuck in the back of the seat in which Kennedy was sitting.
“There was no one there to control the scene, and that was a big, big upset for me. All the agents that were there were focused on the president. It was all happening very quickly. And I was just afraid that… “It was a test, which I realized immediately. Very important. And I didn’t want it to disappear or be lost,” he explained.
According to his words, when he saw the bullet, he put it in his coat pocket and went to the hospital, where he planned to give it to a supervisor. However, for reasons unknown to him, upon entering the hospital, he placed her on Kennedy’s stretcher in the hope that she would help the doctors figure out what had happened. Landis now assumes that at some point the evidence moved from the president’s stretcher to the governor’s when they were pushed together.
In this context, the former agent has a theory that this bullet hit Kennedy in the back, but for some reason it did not have a sufficient charge and did not penetrate deeply, so it left his body before he was removed from the car.
The NYT also spoke with James Robenalt, a lawyer and author of several history books, who helped Landis restore his memories. “If what he says is true, which I am inclined to believe, it is likely to reopen the issue of a second shooter, if not more,” he said, adding that if Governor Connally was hit by another bullet, it was probably not the one from Oswald, who, according to him, would not have been able to reload his Carcano rifle so quickly.
Doubts about the accuracy of the memories
At the same time, Landis’s testimony may not be enough to start a new investigation, especially since His account differs in several aspects from the two written statements he presented after the tragedy. First, he did not mention finding the bullet or visiting the trauma room to which the president was taken, writing that he “stood outside by the door.” Besides, he wrote that he heard only two shots.
Currently, the former agent assures that his reports included errors, explaining that he was in a state of shock and he slept little for five days as he was focused on helping the first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, so he did not pay enough attention to his written statements. According to her words, it was only in 2014 that she realized that the official version differed from her memories, but He decided not to talk about it then because he thought he had made a mistake..
In addition, Gerald Posner, author of the 1993 book ‘Case Closed’, in which he asserts that Oswald was able to assassinate Kennedy on his own, is also not convinced by Landis’s words, although he does not doubt his sincerity.
“People’s memories don’t usually improve over time, and for me it’s a red flag, which allows me to be skeptical of their story, that on some very important details of the murder, including the number of shots, their memory has improved. instead of getting worse,” he explained, stressing that if his words are true, this could mean that the bullet that wounded Connally left his body in the car and not on the stretcher.