Stories tagged blood spatter analysis

Nov
19
2013

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.