New science applied to JFK shooting supports fatal shot from book depository

New science to old question: New science is helping answer questions on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
New science to old question: New science is helping answer questions on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.Courtesy Victor Hugo King
Fifty years after the fateful day in Dallas, Texas, people are still working to find definitive answers to the details of the shooting of President John F. Kennedy.

What if the current forensic investigation techniques would have been available then? That's a question the Discovery Channel recently posed in producing the show "JFK: Inside the Target Car." Here's a quick summary of things they learned through their experiments. Click here to get more details about how this all was done.

The Dallas motorcade scene was recreated with modern-day, high tech dummies situated in a car. The dummies were made of materials that have similar properties to human flesh, bone and blood. Sharpshooters then shot the surrogates from the model depository, the grassy knoll, and four other plausible locations that are part of assassination theories.

Two forensic experts, who had no knowledge that the situation was set up to recreate the shooting in Dallas, examined the evidence. Their finding was that shots came from above and behind the pathway of the car, a finding consistent with the location of the Texas Textbook Depository.

Up-to-date science was also applied in making a 3-D animated simulation of the assassination scene based on angles of possible bullet paths, information from the Zapruder home movie of the motorcade, and also wind speeds and directions. Based on blood spatters created through those simulations, the origin of the fatal shots had to be from the textbook depository.

Experts add that while modern science more accurately determine where the shots were fired from, they still cannot determine without doubt if Lee Harvey Oswald was the shooter.

How do you feel about this new application of science to this dark moment of American history? Does it answer your questions on the assassination? Share your thoughts with other Science Buzz readers.

Here's a link to the Discovery Channel's website for the show.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

mdr's picture
mdr says:

NOVA also presented an excellent program this week that used ballistic tests and other modern forensic techniques on the Kennedy assassination evidence. It was quite thorough and convincing. The Magic Bullet and Grassy Knoll Shooter, among other conspiracy theories, were all debunked. As far as I'm concerned: Case Closed!

posted on Thu, 11/21/2013 - 11:15am
mdr's picture
mdr says:

After thinking about it, I feel compelled to add that by "Case Closed" I meant in regards to multiple shooters. The evidence shown in the NOVA program made it clear that the president was killed by bullets shot by Lee Harvey Oswald from sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. There's no evidence of more than one shooter. But that's not to say others weren't involved in the assassination plot. That may never be known.

posted on Thu, 11/21/2013 - 4:03pm
Thor's picture
Thor says:

I think the evidence points squarely at the shots coming from the sixth-floor window. We don't have scientific evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald fired those shots. We have a lot of circumstantial evidence the Oswald likely was the scene when the shots were fired. (Am I sounding like a lawyer?)

posted on Fri, 11/22/2013 - 11:41am
mdr's picture
mdr says:

Like a very shady lawyer. Evidence shows that Oswald purchased the rifle via mail order under an assumed name that was delivered to a Dallas PO Box rented by Oswald (same with the handgun he used to shoot Officer Tibbets). Oswald's handwriting matched that found on the order form. A photo exists showing him holding the same kind of rifle, same size, with the same damage mark as the rifle used to shoot Kennedy. Oswald's palm print was found on the rifle retrieved from the crime scene. Fibers from the shirt Oswald was wearing when arrested matched those found on the rifle. No further questions, your honor!

posted on Fri, 11/22/2013 - 1:13pm
Thor's picture
Thor says: least I still have some honor!

posted on Fri, 11/22/2013 - 3:11pm
Thor's picture
Thor says:

Here's a link to a recently stabilized version of the Zapruder film that captured the moments of the shooting. It shows the original and stabilized versions.

posted on Fri, 11/22/2013 - 1:09pm

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