Myth 2: It would have taken a magic bullet to hit both Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally given its crooked trajectory.
Bugliosi’s problem here revolves around timing and denial of the laws of physics and human biology. First, to expose his myth for the codswallop it is, one needs to examine carefully the original Zapruder frames. One also needs to be cognizant that the moving frames of the film constitute the “clock” for the assassination, since each frame moves at one eighteenth per second.
The first shot, a throat shot, is clearly visible in Z-224 as the limo emerges from a street sign and JFK is clutching at his throat. What else would he be doing, trying to scratch off a large butterfly or mosquito?
At frame Z-228 Kennedy’s throat clutch is clearly visible and meanwhile, Connally bears no evidence of being shot. This is four frames advanced from 224 and amounting to a time differential of 4/18 second, or 0.22 sec. Meanwhile, for an alleged Mannlicher-Carcano bullet travelling at 1600 ft/ second, and given 3 feet (maximum) separating the two men, this yields a time differential of t = 3’/ 1600f/s = 0.0018s. In other words, the observed time differential in the Z-movie is over 120 time slower than the real bullet would take to traverse the distance from Kennedy’s throat to Connally. Is it possible that Connally is evincing some seldom seen superhuman restraint or postponed reaction? Not very likely, given the damage inflicted to him! What is clear is that the throat shot must be distinct from the shot that actually struck him.
Corroborating that there’s been no unusual biological reaction, Connally is clearly seen holding his Stetson in his right hand through frame Z-235. If the bullet had struck him, and shattered his wrist, there is simply NO way he’d have been able to hold the hat by its brim with his right arm straight up. What Bugliosi is asking is for us to accept a pure mental delusion or visual fiction not supported by the film evidence. Even allowing for some ambiguity, in terms of frames Z-234, 235 (the latter of which Connally’s shoulder is seen going downward), and allowing that Connally could have been struck at Z-234, this is a total time differential of 10/18 sec or 5/9 of a second between Kennedy’s throat shot and Connally’s shoulder-wrist wounds. Nellie Connally in her Warren testimony, and later to LIFE magazine, also confirmed two separate shots. As she put it:
“First I heard the shot, or strange loud noise,…back behind us- then I turned to my right and saw the President gripping at his throat. Then I turned back toward John and heard the second shot that hit John”
Reinforcing this is the fact that, had Gov. Connally been hit at frame 230 (as single bullet adherents posit) it makes no sense he could have continued holding his heavy white Stetson for about another second and a half, after being struck in the right wrist with his ulnar nerve shattered! Anatomically this is nonsense. Close examination of the key frames discloses he firmly retains his grip on his Stetson between right thumb and forefinger. Nellie also reiterated this in an NBC TODAY show interview Nov. 19, 1998.
It is the ulnar nerve which permits this apposition of finger and thumb to hold an implement. But any bullet fired into the wrist (i.e. at Z-230) would have severed that nerve, making any continued grasp of his Stetson totally impossible. Hence, lone nut adherents are asking us to subscribe to a physically impossible situation. This is also what Bugliosi must resort to in order to support his “myth”.
The usual skeptic rejoinder that he “suffered a delayed reaction” is patent nonsense. It is nonsense to stretch the laws of physical, anatomical nature as violently as the single bullet lunacy tortures the Newtonian laws of physics into deformed caricatures subservient to political agendas rather than natural laws. Indeed, the level of willingness to perform such perversion of natural laws bespeaks an ulterior motive or agenda, most likely in the political cleansing realm. LBJ, the WC and their cronies all wanted the conspiracy Zeitgeist to recede, and they confected an endless stream of bullshit to try to make it so.
Now, why is it so important that the two shots separated by 5/9 sec be conflated into one? Because if the two separate shots were accepted, it meant there had to be at least TWO shooters- hence satisfying the minimal condition for conspiracy. (Which was the found conclusion of The House Select Committee on Assassinations, in 1978 - which one supposes Bugliosi also believed were off their rocker). Oswald’s alleged bolt-action rifle could only be recycled about once every 2.33 seconds, so there’s no way two separate shots could be made in less than one second.
Why are these biological/neurological and mechanical laws being so desperately convoluted and deformed? They’re deformed deliberately to serve a politically expedient solution and a whitewash that seeks to dismiss the real evidence. They only succeed by betting on the mass scientific ignorance of the American people, to be able to challenge the specious contentions. Hence, we see it is the lone nut advocates like Vince Bugliosi that are the real pseudo-scientists throughout this case. It is they who are concocting the 'delayed reactions', or 'neuro-muscular spasms' or (sic) 'jet effects' or pure serendipitous coincidences (pristine bullet CE399 on stretcher) to drive their political commitment to the 'lone commie' gunman, which, of course, conveniently removes the spotlight from the political -militant Right and associates within the national security state.
Myth 3: Kennedy’s Head Snap to the rear proves he was shot from the front.
To bolster this one, Bugliosi invokes Zapruder frame Z-313 specifically, and Z-frames-313-321 overall. In this rear snap frames he says Kennedy’s head is going backward because of a “neuromuscular action” and the bullet entering the brain causing such specific nerve damage that it triggered a violent rearward response.
This is rubbish on a number of counts. First, the actual term was “neuromuscular spasm” and first introduced by Dr. George Lundberg in a paper he did for The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1994. The problem is that, even as Lundberg pointed out, the spasm has only been observed in felines. At no time and under no other conditions has it ever been observed in humans.
Other lines of evidence also disclose Bugliosi is on a misinformation bend in his book. One of the most significant alternative cross checks, is a critical Zapruder photo (second after frame Z-313), which clearly shows Jackie lurching over the limo trunk. Readers can see this frame and Jackie lurching backwards over the trunk in the image to the lower left of this blog from last year:
Study it carefully. What was she doing? Why did she lurch in that particular direction? Her own special testimony delivered in secret and not formally printed with the main volumes of the Warren Commission Hearings (but in their Appendices), is telling: she was trying to retrieve a dislodged piece or fragment of JFK's skull. (Note: This is also affirmed by her in recently released audio tapes she made, dated from 1964, in interviews with historian Arthur J. Schlesinger, Jr.).
But here's the problem: If this is indeed so (and a number of other films, photos, e.g. the Nix film shown in the Italian documentary The Two Kennedys, appear to bear it out), then it could not have been Lee Oswald firing from the Texas Book Depository at the REAR of the limo! The reason is linked to basic physics, specifically Newtonian mechanics and the transfer of linear momentum. Hence, if a piece of skull fragment is displaced over the rear of the limo, it could not have been from a bullet fired to the rear of the limo, but rather from the front. But the front is not where Oswald is claimed to have been by the Warrenites! In other words, the account of the Warren Commission is exactly 180 degrees opposite to the principles of basic physics.
As to Bugliosi's Myth 2, Kennedy's head snap to the rear may not have proven conclusively that he was shot from the front (since many researchers believe two separate shots from two directions may have been conflated at that frame) but Jackie's movement over the REAR of the trunk - as well as her sworn testimony - DOES!
There is no reason Jackie would have been pursuing a fragment of JFK's skull had it not been blown off in THAT direction, which would have necessitated a FRONTAL shot, from basic Newtonian Physics.
Me thinks that even if Mr. Hanks never took a basic physics course in his life, he can at least grasp the basic principle of linear momentum transfer! He would do well to think about this principle before committing himself to a 13-part project next year supporting Bugliosi's Bollocks!