Thanks gdave and Buck_Godot!
The internet is a strange and wonderful place. So we can watch Geraldo introducing the Zapruder film (warning: 70’s GERALDO HAIR)
What Geraldo and his guests find most compelling is the movement of Kennedy’s head - it moves backwards - when he is fatally shot. As Geraldo describes it, this demonstrates that Kennedy was shot from the front. Unless you tell me otherwise, I assume that’s representative of the “hue and cry” associated with the broadcast of this film.
Fortunately, however, serous researchers have addressed this seeming contradiction. Among them are Penn and Teller, but I can’t seem to find that video. Basically, something called the “jet effect” explains why an exit wound in the front pushes the head backwards, after the bullet (and accompanying brain matter) had shot out from the front.
This point was completely missed by Geraldo or anybody else who thinks that the Zapruder film shows a shot from somewhere other than behind JFK - frame 313 shows that the initial exit wound is in the front of Kennedy’s head.
I think it is simply an outgrowth of the above misunderstanding which I’ve discussed - people who watched a shaky and primitive home movie camera thought that they saw Kennedy lurch backwards in response to a shot from the front, so they therefore concluded that it was a crossfire.
As I’ve tried to note, however, the perceived reaction by Kennedy was actually consistent with a shot from behind.
I think not “missed” so much as ignored to promote the narrative.
The “jet effect” may have been part of it, but I think it’s also important to point out the effect of the loss of the nervous system on the body’s muscles:
“The head snap to the rear, in the view of the panel, was that this was an automatic, involuntary reaction on the part of the President’s nerves and muscles. There was a blast inside the head, the nerves were fired off, and the muscles were set into action. The muscles in the back are stronger than the muscles in the front and so therefore the head moved backward.”
As someone who has had back spasms, I will vouch for the fact that the muscles of the back are stronger than those of the front of the trunk.
Yeah, about that…
As with many that have gotten publicity over these CTs over the decades, the reason that Geraldo “missed” this tidbit is because he had no reason to tell the truth! As old as newspapers is the adage that “dog bites man isn’t news but man bites dog” certainly is. If Geraldo did a story on the Jet effect that showed why Kennedy’s head would rock back, it would have been a ratings failure. Geraldo (and many CTers like him) aren’t in the truth business, they are in the ratings and book selling business. When we remember that, virtually all of these nutcase theories fall by the wayside.
Where is the Geraldo “al Capone’s vault” clip when I need it?
As a kid I stayed up late hoping for some juicy tidbits out of that vault, and Geraldo failed me!
I know you didn’t mean to put out an exhaustive list, only meant to illustrate how there may be a wide number of unknowable reasons for Oswald choosing to shoot at Kennedy while he was driving away rather than close. But one thing I want to throw out there as a possibility is that Oswald, not being a total novice, may have understood that shooting as Kennedy was approaching—even if the driver made no reaction and did not accelerate in response to gunfire—would have made it increasingly harder to adjust his aim point.
From Oswald’s perspective, keeping in mind not only the lateral separation from the road, but also the vertical separation from being elevated, the closer the car got, the faster he’d have had to adjust his aim to track with the target, making each successive moment, each successive shot more difficult to adjust for.
I’m not sure that’s true. A crossfire is great if you expect to disable a vehicle or incapacitate a driver, especially when you are targeting a convoy and you expect people to be dismounting from (potentially disabled) vehicles and want to ensure they have nowhere they can go for cover. A crossfire is not so great when you expect to be shooting a moving target throughout. The hardest shot to make on a moving target is a crossing shot.
I loved when Micky Dolenz improvved a spoof of Geraldo and the vault, making it exactly as vacuous and inane as the original fiasco. Micky Dolenz - MTV Guest VJ - Saturday May 3, 1986 - YouTube
What - no love for John Schrank?