The question ‘Who killed JFK?’ is almost as iconic as the ‘Who Shot JR?’ frenzy that took over pop culture in the ’80s, thanks to the hit show Dallas. But let’s not forget, JFK’s assassination wasn’t scripted TV; it was a grim reality. For years, theories have swirled—some say it was an inside job by the US government who wanted to take out JFK because he was aiming to dismantle the Deep State, while others cling to the narrative of a lone gunman on a grassy knoll. However, the entire framework we’ve been fed about JFK’s murder is falling apart, especially the so-called “magic bullet” theory (more on this below).
For 60 years, this explanation—courtesy of the Warren Commission and the CIA—has been force-fed to us as gospel. Now, even hardcore defenders like the New York Times have to admit it’s a sham, especially in light of new, startling revelations from JFK’s own Secret Service man, Paul Landis. The narrative is shifting, folks, and it’s getting downright impossible for the establishment to sweep it under the rug.
He still remembers the first gunshot. For an instant, standing on the running board of the motorcade car, he entertained the vain hope that maybe it was just a firecracker or a blown tire. But he knew guns and he knew better. Then came another shot. And another. And the president slumped down.
For so many nights afterward, he relived that grisly moment in his dreams. Now, 60 years later, Paul Landis, one of the Secret Service agents just feet away from President John F. Kennedy on that fateful day in Dallas, is telling his story in full for the first time. And in at least one key respect, his account differs from the official version in a way that may change the understanding of what happened in Dealey Plaza.
Mr. Landis has spent most of the intervening years fleeing history, trying to forget that unforgettable moment etched in the consciousness of a grieving nation. The memory of the explosion of violence and the desperate race to the hospital and the devastating flight home and the wrenching funeral with John Jr. saluting his fallen father — it was all too much, too torturous, so much so that Mr. Landis left the service and Washington behind.
Until finally, after the nightmares had passed at last, he could think about it again. And he could read about it. And he realized that what he read was not quite right, not as he remembered it. As it turns out, if his recollections are correct, the much-discussed “magic bullet” may not have been so magic after all.
Critics are questioning the timing of this revelation by Mr. Landis, asking why he remained silent for 66 years and waited until his late 80s to come forward. On the other hand, some argue that fear probably kept him quiet; now, in his golden years, he’s finally prepared to reveal what actually went down that day. The New York Times piece continues:
What it comes down to is a copper-jacketed 6.5-millimeter projectile. The Warren Commission decided that one of the bullets fired that day struck the president from behind, exited from the front of his throat and continued on to hit Mr. Connally, somehow managing to injure his back, chest, wrist and thigh. It seemed incredible that a single bullet could do all that, so skeptics called it the magic bullet theory.
Investigators came to that conclusion partly because the bullet was found on a stretcher believed to have held Mr. Connally at Parkland Memorial Hospital, so they assumed it had exited his body during efforts to save his life. But Mr. Landis, who was never interviewed by the Warren Commission, said that is not what happened.
In fact, he said, he was the one who found the bullet — and he found it not in the hospital near Mr. Connally but in the presidential limousine lodged in the back of the seat behind where Kennedy was sitting.
In a nutshell, if that so-called “magic bullet” actually lodged itself in JFK’s back and didn’t go any further, then we’ve got to face the music: the entire cornerstone of the Warren Report—this single-bullet theory—is flat-out wrong. The New York Time piece goes on:
When he spotted the bullet after the motorcade arrived at the hospital, he said he grabbed it to thwart souvenir hunters. Then, for reasons that still seem fuzzy even to him, he said he entered the hospital and placed it next to Kennedy on the president’s stretcher, assuming it could somehow help doctors figure out what happened. At some point, he now guesses, the stretchers must have been pushed together and the bullet was shaken from one to another.
“There was nobody there to secure the scene, and that was a big, big bother to me,” Mr. Landis said. “All the agents that were there were focused on the president.” A crowd was gathering. “This was all going on so quickly. And I was just afraid that — it was a piece of evidence, that I realized right away. Very important. And I didn’t want it to disappear or get lost. So it was, ‘Paul, you’ve got to make a decision,’ and I grabbed it.’”
Mr. Landis theorizes that the bullet struck Kennedy in the back but for some reason was undercharged and did not penetrate deeply, therefore popping back out before the president’s body was removed from the limousine.
Mr. Landis has been reluctant to speculate on the larger implications. He always believed that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman.
But now? “At this point, I’m beginning to doubt myself,” he said. “Now I begin to wonder.” That is as far as he is willing to go.
Well, Mr. Landis, many of us have been wondering the same thing for a very long time. Often, as people near the twilight of their lives, it’s normal to want to set the record straight, especially on a historic matter like this. What Mr. Landis is saying doesn’t come off as some desperate need for attention or money. This seems like a sincere effort to finally speak the truth about what happened that fateful day.