The Much-Debated Zapruder Film: What We Know and Don’t Know
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The assassination of John F. Kennedy is one of the most significant events in American history, and the Zapruder film is perhaps the most iconic piece of evidence related to the event. The 26.6-second film, shot by Abraham Zapruder on November 22, 1963, captures the exact moment when a bullet struck Kennedy as his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. The film has been studied and scrutinized for decades, and it remains a cornerstone of the JFK assassination investigation. In this article, we will explore the history of the Zapruder film and what we know and don’t know about it.
The History of the Zapruder Film
Abraham Zapruder, a clothing manufacturer and amateur photographer, was among the thousands of people who lined the route of JFK’s motorcade through Dallas. He had brought along his 8mm Bell and Howell home movie camera to capture the historic event.
As the presidential limousine passed by, Zapruder filmed the motorcade from his vantage point on the grassy knoll. In the 26.6 seconds of footage, Kennedy can be seen waving at the crowd before slumping forward in his seat as the fatal shot strikes him. The footage continues as the limousine speeds away towards Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Zapruder did not immediately release the film to the public. He first contacted the Secret Service and the FBI, who took possession of the original film and made several copies. The film was then developed and examined in detail by forensic experts, who used it to try to determine the exact sequence of events that led to Kennedy’s death.
In 1967, the Zapruder film was sold to Time-Life for $150,000. The company retained exclusive rights to the film for years, publishing selected stills from the footage in their magazines and using it in various documentaries. In 1999, the Zapruder family transferred the ownership of the film to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, where it currently resides.
What We Know
The Zapruder film is an iconic piece of evidence in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and it has been subject to intense scrutiny and analysis for decades. While there is still much we don’t know about the film and the events it captures, there are several things we do know.
First, the film shows the exact moment that Kennedy was struck by a bullet. This has been confirmed by forensic experts who have studied the film and the autopsy reports. The film shows Kennedy slumping forward in his seat, holding his throat, and then slumping to the left while his wife Jacqueline Kennedy climbs onto the back of the car.
Second, the film has been analyzed in minute detail by forensic experts, who have used it to try to determine the exact sequence of events that led to Kennedy’s death. This has led to several theories about the number of shots fired, the location of the shooter or shooters, and the trajectory of the bullets.
Third, the Zapruder film has played an important role in shaping the public’s understanding of the assassination of JFK. The film has been widely viewed and analyzed, and it has become an iconic symbol of the tragedy.
What We Don’t Know
Despite the extensive analysis and scrutiny that the Zapruder film has received, there are still many things we don’t know about it.
One of the most significant things we don’t know is the identity of the person or persons responsible for the assassination. The Warren Commission, which was tasked with investigating the assassination, concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in shooting Kennedy. However, many people remain skeptical of this conclusion, and there are numerous conspiracy theories that suggest that there was a larger conspiracy involved.
Another thing we don’t know is the exact number of shots fired. The Warren Commission concluded that three shots were fired, but some witnesses reported hearing additional shots. The Zapruder film captures only part of the shooting, and it is difficult to determine the number of shots from the film alone.
We also don’t know the exact trajectory of the bullets that struck Kennedy. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, but some researchers have suggested that there were other shooters and multiple directions of fire.
The Zapruder film is perhaps the most iconic piece of evidence related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and it has been studied and analyzed for decades. While we know some things for certain, such as the moment that Kennedy was struck by a bullet, there are many things we don’t know, such as the identity of the shooter or shooters and the exact number and trajectory of the shots fired. Despite this uncertainty, the film remains an important reminder of the tragedy that occurred in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
This article is compiled and compiled from multiple sources by KRUSH.
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