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Should We Believe Recent JFK Assassination Revelations?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Recent claims by a former Secret Service Agent, suggesting possible conspiratorial involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy, are highly skeptical.

Paul Landis was a Secret Service agent in the Presidential motorcade during the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.  Over 59 years after the assassination, Landis has written a book claiming that he found a nearly intact bullet in the back seat of the presidential limousine immediately upon arrival at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. This bullet ostensibly is the one that was later found on a stretcher that belonged to Texas Governor John Connally, who was also wounded. This is the bullet that has been labeled “The Magic Bullet” that completes “The Single Bullet Theory” of Lee Harvey Oswald shooting President Kennedy from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.


On November 30, 1963, Landis made a report about the assassination that was later entered into the exhibits of the Warren Commission. 

In his report, Landis made no mention of picking up or even finding a bullet.  Yet he mentioned three minor items in recounting “Mrs. Kennedy's purse and hat and a cigarette lighter were on the back seat. I picked these three items up.” Landis left the agency less than a year after the assassination.

In various stories, the media tries to give credibility to the Landis claim by saying that he was not interviewed by the Warren Commission, ostensibly to shut him up.  Frankly, due to his report, there was little reason for an interview. Landis’ detailed report contained no startling revelations. If the Warren Commission was appointed to cover up the assassination they would have made even more out of Landis’ statements, as he believed a shot had come from behind him and Landis immediately looked back towards the Texas School Book Depository building. 

Now, 59 years later Landis is asking us to believe that he, as a federal agent, lied about something as monumental as the President’s assassination yet cared enough about JFK’s widow to pick up her purse, hat, and lighter. This is when there were Dallas Police, Secret Service, Kennedy advisors and others in the vicinity of the Presidential limousine where this bullet allegedly was. Such an event is further unlikely in that Landis’ could have been indicted for making a false official statement and interfering with an official investigation.


Not only do Landis’ claims make no sense but so do the insinuations stemming from it.  Landis apparently believes that a bullet (the one he allegedly found) entered Kennedy’s upper back and did not exit from his throat but rather barely penetrated said back. With that, the bullet wound in President Kennedy’s throat then would have had to come from the front. This “frontal” bullet was never found nor was there an exit wound in the back of the President’s throat. Further, this shot would have been almost impossible to make due to the positioning of the Presidential limousine and the alleged shooter on the Grassy Knoll (a poor area to take a shot which barely provides a semblance of cover and concealment). Also, many of the same people who allege Kennedy was shot in the throat from the front can’t even find an exit wound yet claim that his head exploded with a second shot from that infamous Grassy Knoll due to an explosive (frangible) bullet. Got it. Shot from the front but a clean little wound in the throat that goes nowhere but then shot a few seconds later from the front with an exploding bullet.  

The assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, told one provable lie after another after before and after capture, as detailed in this 2014 Townhall piece. He could not even keep his story straight and lied about things that, even if framed as a patsy, he did not have to lie about in the first place, such as not mentioning that he lived on Neely Street where his wife admitted to taking the infamous backyard photos of him holding his murder weapons (it was the only address he omitted), or originally saying he was never on the sixth floor but then later placing himself on the sixth floor during the time of the shooting. 


People cannot keep a secret in church yet supposedly a conspiracy is supposed to maintain its strength over several generations despite the changing political affiliations of those at the top.

Landis, from all readings, seems like a decent individual who is near the end of his life. Kennedy’s assassination obviously hurt him deeply as it did our nation.  JFK’s murder shook up a whole generation. Culturally, it is not surprising the conspiracy theories gained a foothold as Kennedy was young, dynamic and was riding down the streets of a previously hostile city where tens of thousands had actually turned out to cheer for him with his beautiful young wife at his side. 

The Cuban Missile Crisis, whatever its origins, saw war averted and was a moral victory for America. The Peace Corps was growing and the Civil Rights Act had been introduced. The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty had just been signed, starting to thaw the Cold War and drew a large positive reaction during Kennedy’s 1963 Conservation Tour. Spurred by this, he was preparing to withdraw from Vietnam. And then, as Jackie Kennedy said “some silly little communist” who was a failure at everything came and succeeded in killing the President who in his last hundred days, had become a great man. The assassination was never right, and it was never fair.

The Warren Commission wasn’t perfect but they did a thorough job. Its people, especially its young and eager staffers, were certainly interested in a conspiracy if they could find it. As former Commission staffer and later Judge Burt Griffin said, “I wanted to find a conspiracy. If I did I would be the U.S. Senator from Ohio…But as time goes on, I think the truth is basically what the Warren Commission said.” Having no conspiracy does not diminish the memory of President Kennedy.


*Views in this article are those of the author and not any government agency.

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