Watch above a stabilized version of the (very graphic) Zapruder film. Viewing it this way, one can notice something seemingly bizarre.
Shortly after passing the sign, John Kennedy is hit from behind by the first shot, and he moves his arms. It’s looks as if he was stung on the neck — in fact the bullet went through his body and ended up hitting the governor in the front seat.
Kennedy does some more movements, and then, what looks bizarre, stays completely still and neatly seated. Has he been replaced by a robot? Or, as some people actually claim, is this evidence that the Zapruder film has been heavily doctored?
There is actually an explanation for Kennedy’s strange reactions while being shot. A few years ago, it has been revealed that the good-looking, seemingly healthy commander-in-chief was in fact severely ill and needed to take several drugs, mostly to be able to deal with the pain. JFK had terrible back problems and one of his biggest secrets was that he had to use a cumbersome steel back brace that supported his upper body.
On the day that he was killed, Kennedy was using the corset, as one of the doctors who assisted him testified. And this is the cruel irony of the situation, because had he not been using the supporting corset to hide his illness from the public, he would have been probably thrown ahead after being hit by the first shot. A shot which, as we noticed, went straight through his body — and didn’t hit any vital organ.
The doctors speculated that Kennedy would probably survive the wounds inflicted by this first shot. He would be agonizing or perhaps, as the film suggest, would have passed out, but the important thing is that he would be lying down or sideways after the first shot while the car continued to run.
But with the back brace, the president stood straight even after the first shot from the back, even after passing out and stopping to move. This helped Lee Harvey Oswald, who would then hit him an instantly fatal shot on the head.
So, if it was Oswald who actually shot Kennedy, it was his back brace that made him an almost literal sitting duck. If he didn’t use it, he would have probably survived from the assassination attempt.
More about Kennedy’s secret illness can be seen on “The World’s Most Photographed“.
Incidentally, F.D. Roosevelt was paraplegic, and like Kennedy, used a series of steel braces in public to be able to hide his condition. Curiously, Roosevelt and Kennedy are among the most popular US presidents of the twentieth century.
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