David Blackburst Archive:From: email@example.com (Blackburst)
The Warren Commission and the Second Shot Miss
Subject: Warren Commission and Second Shot Miss
Date: 12 Apr 2000 00:00:00 GMT
I lost the original messages, but several posters questioned my impression that the Warren Commision leaned toward a second-shot-miss scenario.
It is true that the WC wrote that the evidence was inconclusive as to which shot missed, but I still infer from their phraseology that they leaned that way.
In discussing a first-shot-miss, the the verbiage is tentative and speculative: "IF the first shot missed, the assassin PERHAPS missed in an effort to fire a hurried shot...The bullet MIGHT have struck a portion of the tree..." But the WC seems to argue against the possibility in stronger terms: "The greatest cause for doubt that the first shot missed...Other eyewitness testimony supports the CONCLUSION that the first of the shots fired hit the President."
In discussing a third-shot-miss, the WC skirts close to a negative conclusion: "The preponderance of the eyewitness testimony that the headshot was the final shot must be weighed in any determination as to whether it was the third shot that missed."
Yet, in discussing a second-shot-miss, the WC language is more supportive: "The possibility that the second shot missed is consistent with the elapsed time between the two shots that hit their mark...This possibility was buttressed by the tetimony of witnesses...It is possible that [Altgens] heard a second shot that missed..."
And if the WC did lean toward a second-shot-miss, then they leaned toward a 4.8 to 5.6 second shooting span.
I also have somewhere (I will find it) an internal WC memo which is even stronger in suggesting a second-shot-miss. I think it was from Specter to Redlich.
I guess the posters were correct in pointing out that the WC did not take a firm position and offered arguments for and against each scenario, but I don't think I'm far off in suggesting that they leaned toward a second-shot-miss, and therefore a 4.8 to 5.6 second time span.
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