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A compelling read
, 16 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Five Days in November (Hardcover)
Other than the occupants of the car, few were closer to JFK than Special Agent Clint Hill on November 22 1963 as the shots rang out in Dealey Plaza. Hill to this day remains haunted by the event. This book is a personal narrative - making it unusual when compared to the majority of books on the assassination.
I have read extensively on the JFK case and must say I found several interesting observations here that were new to me - which is hardly surprising as after all Clint Hill has remained fairly quiet on the details of the case over the last 50 years.
Hill claims he only heard 2 of the shots and that the first shot did hit Kennedy - making the time span very short - some 5.2 seconds. This is contrary to the now widely held theory that the first shot was fired earlier just after the turn onto Elm Street giving an 8 to 9 second time span for all the shots - a less remarkable feat.
Hill is keen to stress that being there on that day allows a much clearer understanding of what happened and he stresses that he does not believe in the conspiracy theories that populate the JFK assassination "world". Personally I think he is probably right, but this book is not about conspiracy theories nor about alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, its about the five days in November that Clint Hill lived and indeed lived in horror on arriving in Texas and from the moment that the last shot struck JFK to the funeral in Washington on Monday 25th November 1963.
I held back from 5 stars because Hill sets up a conundrum in his final chapter. He believes Governor Connally was hit by the second shot rather than the Single Bullet Theory which states that the same bullet caused the wound of JFK and Connally - due to the simple fact that Oswald's rifle could not be fired twice within the short space of time in the Zapruder film where we see JFK and Connally react to being shot within a second of each other - too fast for Oswald's rifle to be fired twice.
Either one bullet went through both men or two shooters were involved and Hill believing that Oswald alone shot JFK effectively presents an impossible scenario. It would be my opinion (having interviewed people who witnessed that assassination although in 1983) that Hill did not hear an earlier missed shot and that in fact his opinion that Connally was hit by a second shot is simply wrong. But that aside you have to respect the man, he was the only Secret Service man to react to the shots in time to have a chance of making a difference and he almost did. He came very close to being hurled into the road as the limo sped off, but managed to hold on and he is here fifty years on to tell his side of the story and that is there were three shots fired from above and behind him at 1230 local time, Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas November 22 1963.
Highly recommended for those with an interest in the case. For those wanting more detail, you can do no better than "The Kennedy Assassination" by British academic Peter Knight.
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