XZRS/XZBN: Bonar Menninger – Mortal Error – The Shot That Killed JFK
The Secret Service Fired The Shot That Killed JFK – Polls show that the majority of Americans doubt the Warren Commission’s finding that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Two important new books may now be added to the list of conspiracy accounts. Jean Hill, the “lady in red” in the famous Zapruder film, was within ten feet of the presidential limousine and is the last surviving eyewitness to dispute the commission’s verdict. Her story, written with Sloan, is absolutely spellbinding. After hearing the second gunshot, Hill saw a puff of smoke near the wooden fence at the top of the infamous grassy knoll. A shadowy figure of a man holding a rifle was barely visible to her. She saw another man, whom she later identified as Jack Ruby, run toward the “shooter.” As she began to pursue Ruby, two alleged Secret Service agents stopped her and confiscated the Polaroid photographs of the motorcade a friend had taken moments before. The photos were never seen again. From then on, Hill’s life became nightmarish: she endured a series of humiliating FBI interrogations, her surveillance by the FBI lasted for months, and her automobile was tampered with. Hill has never wavered in her convictions about what she saw that day and offers convincing testimony. Mortal Error , while much more technical in content, is another fascinating account of what happened in Dallas. Menninger skillfully summarizes the research findings of ballistics expert Howard Donahue, who spent 25 years reexamining Warren Commission evidence, the Zapruder film, and other materials. Donahue’s startling conclusion is that the fatal headshot was accidentally fired by special agent George Hickey, who was in the car behind Kennedy’s. Donahue shows where the Warren Commission went wrong in its original interpretations and answers critics who question the “pristine” bullet anomaly. Donahue initially wondered why a ballistics expert was not called upon during the initial investigation. He now believes that Robert Kennedy, among others, did not want this tragic accident to become known. Donahue’s findings were published in the Baltimore Sun in 1977 but engendered no follow-up studies by government officials. While many questions remain, these two books are substantial additions to the field and both are highly recommended for most libraries.