By Donald Jeffries
September 18, 2023
The JFK assassination research community has been in an uproar over the past week, with the very belated disclosures of former Secret Service agent Paul Landis. Landis, now 88, dropped a sudden bombshell, to coincide with the release of his new book, The Final Witness: A Kennedy Secret Service Agent Breaks his Silence After Sixty Years.
Landis now claims that he found a bullet- seemingly the "magic" bullet that caused seven wounds in JFK and John Connally without being noticeably damaged- on the top of the back seat of the limousine. Landis, a trained law enforcement officer, didn't mark his initials on the bullet and proceed with the legal chain of possession. No, he carried it into Parkland Hospital and then placed in on President Kennedy's stretcher. He wondered aloud if he'd "done anything wrong." You think? The Secret Service was already culpable for allowing the assassination to happen by not reacting at all in 6-7 seconds of gunfire, and then washing out the limousine, corrupting the crime scene. Landis was one of the agents out drinking late the night before, violating protocol.
The response to Landis's testimony has been interesting to say the least. RFK, Jr. tweeted out that "the magic bullet theory is dead." Now, the single bullet theory has always been impossible, but it is unclear how Landis's dubious recollection changes that. The mainstream media, meanwhile, gave Landis enough attention to propel his not yet published book up Amazon's sales rankings. Much of the pro-conspiracy crowd claimed that Landis helped out their cause, while the mainstream insisted it further discredited "conspiracy theories." Landis himself has always supported the official story, not surprisingly, but disbelieves the single bullet theory. Like many of those not familiar with the evidence, he doesn't realize that means conspiracy.
The decrepit gun Oswald supposedly owned (which was never proven- read Hidden History for a detailed discussion), couldn't fire two shots fast enough to match the obvious reactions to being hit by JFK and Connally in the Zapruder film. So claiming that the single bullet theory is wrong, as did John Connally and many others, effectively means more than one shooter. That didn't stop Connally either from publicly supporting the official fairy tale, although he told a young Gerald Celente something entirely different- that of course there had been a conspiracy. The important thing here is why this story is getting so much attention from the establishment. That means they are promoting it. And they never promote truth.
Landis claiming he placed the bullet on JFK's stretcher- not Connally's- muddies the waters further. Some in the research community have long believed that the "magic" bullet created the shallow back wound in Kennedy, which the autopsy doctors indicated had no path of exit to dissect. So they theorize that it simply fell out of his back, perhaps to land on his stretcher. But it is implausible to suggest it fell upwards out of his back, to wind up on the top of the back seat of the limousine. And if it was actually fired that day, then CE399 wasn't planted, by Jack Ruby or anyone else (Ruby has long been suspected in this regard). Thus, if Landis is correct, someone had to have planted it on top of the limo seat.
So what does this mean? Consider that the official story claims that CE399 (the "magic" bullet) ended its fanciful flight in Governor Connally's thigh. Connally was seated in front of JFK, in the middle row "jumper" seats. So how did that bullet become dislodged from his thigh and fly backwards, only to land atop the rear seat? Well, I guess that's no more impossible than anything else about the single bullet theory. Entering JFK's back on a downward angle, exiting up, without striking any bones, from his throat, making a right turn into Connally's back, exiting and shattering his wrist- one of the thickest human bones- and coming out of it all looking unscathed. Compare it to the same test ammunition in the Commission's records.
Here is CE399 compared to test bullets of the exact same ammunition type. The ones that look most like it were fired into cotton wadding. The one on the far right was fired into the wrist of a cadaver. Recall that the "magic" bullet shattered Connally's wrist, and came out looking much better.
I recounted the way the "magic" bullet was discovered, and mishandled, in Hidden History. The orderly who we were told discovered it, Darrell Tomlinson, was unsure where it came from, only that it rolled off of a stretcher- not necessarily Connally's. He gave it to his supervisor, O.P. Wright, who tried unsuccessfully to interest an FBI or Secret Service agent in it. It went through untold hands, without many of them even marking it, making the chain of possession worthless. Finally, Secret Service agent Richard Johnsen put it in his coat pocket and transported it back to Washington, D.C. When Vince Palamara asked him about this decades later, Johnsen claimed not to remember it! Not remember the highlight of his career?
In my upcoming The American Memory Hole, I'll talk about the testimony of Nathan Pool, who claimed to have been with Tomlinson when CE399 was discovered (by one of them- he oddly couldn't remember which). Tomlinson never mentioned Pool in his testimony, and his presence places another person at the scene- in this case, perhaps the key person- whose initials were never put on the bullet, thus rendering the chain of possession inadmissible in an honest courtroom. Honest courtrooms being as rare as they are, the bullet- like all the other dubious "evidence" against Oswald- would probably have been entered into the record with little difficulty. If only more defense attorneys would watch Perry Mason reruns.
The timing of all this is decidedly curious. We are close to the sixtieth anniversary of the assassination. Is this just a purposeful distraction? Other than purely financial reasons, why would Landis wait so long to disclose such crucial evidence? He must realize how bad it makes him look. At best, he was incredibly irresponsible and incompetent. At worst, he was one of many aiding the coverup. Yes, if he really found a bullet there, it just adds to the voluminous evidence for conspiracy. But all the evidence already points to conspiracy. In stark contrast, there is zero credible evidence for the official story.
I'm devoted almost fifty years to studying the JFK assassination. It's become a part of my life. It's my wheelhouse issue. I can still get lost in the minutiae of the ballistics, the autopsy, the mysterious deaths, the Oswald impersonations, etc. Was the Zapruder film altered? Is that Oswald standing in the doorway of the Texas School Book Depository in the Altgens photograph, snapped just as Kennedy was struck in the throat? Or is the shadowy figure further back in the Depository entrance, the one known as "Prayer Man," really Oswald? Either way, the alleged assassin being photographed six floors below from where he was said to be shooting from, as the president reacts to gunfire, alone exonerates him completely.