NEW JFK THEORY: Bay City Gun, Ballistics Expert Analyzes Assassination
Patrick Werner Asks: Was Another Shooter Using .22 Rifle From Storm Drain?
October 27, 2017
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By: Dave Rogers
Patrick Werner, former Bay Cityan now living in Nicaragua, author of new JFK assassination theory.
If Bay City ever had an expert on firearms, it is Patrick Werner, who gives his thoughtful, knowledgeable analysis here on a subject that has consumed Americans for the 54 years since the fateful day of Nov. 22, 1963.
He postulates a new theory, that the so-called "second shooter" was not located on the famous "grassy knoll," but instead was a perpetrator using a .22 rifle in a storm drain that was closer to the Kennedy cavalcade.
A native of Bay City and graduate of Central High School, Werner writes from his longtime home in Nicaragua:
"I am going to do something that I almost never do on social media. It appears that the secret documents about the Kennedy assassination are going to come out this week. This may or may not clarify things, but I decided to write what I think happened, and why I think those things happened. I have thought about these things for a long time.
"When the assassination occurred, I was going to high school and working in a gun shop, Breen's Sporting Goods in Bay City Michigan. I had the occasion to work on various military firearms, including the Mannlicher Carcano 6.5 mm bolt action carbine. I always sort of liked the action and had the opportunity to sight in several for use in Michigan´s deer hunting season. They had a heavy trigger, but they shot decently, usually grouping 2-3 inches at 100 yards with iron sights, and better with a scope. The cartridge had a long 160-grain bullet that shot well with the rapid twist of the barrel. The bolt operated well, if a bit hard to chamber a round, but I could shoot one pretty quickly in my youth.
"I am not the world´s best rifle shot, but not the worst either, having won several rifle matches and trophies here in Nicaragua in 300-meter matches, using iron sights with my ancient M 1903 Springfield. Here in Nicaragua, I am consulted by the National Police from time to time on matters of firearms, ammunition, bullets, and the like. Besides being familiar with American firearms and ammunition, I also became familiar Russian firearms and ammunition, both types of which are found in Nicaragua.
"Like most of my age, I remember exactly where I was, in high school, when the announcement was made over the PA system that the President had been shot. Later, when I started college, I had the opportunity to read much of the Warren Report, that was published around 1966. It was impressive, with one small thing that I remember. One of the volumes was changed for another, the one that had the replication of the assassination shots, using a rifle of the caliber 257 Roberts, to try to duplicate bullet destruction of tissues. They sent another volume that used the full metal jacket 160 grain Carcano bullet and asked that the original volume be sent back or destroyed. That change of volumes always interested me.
"I am not going to write about conspiracy theories, I am going to write about what I think happened ballistically. For years, conspiracy theorists tended to be from the political left, and now from the extreme political right. To me, they sometimes seemed to be a bit crackbrained, sort of like elderly women in combat boots, and usually ignored the specifics of the ballistic evidence. I am going to concentrate on the ballistic evidence and steer clear of trying to say who done it.
"I do not know if the Russians did it, the Cubans did it, the Mafia did it, or anyone else. Neither do I see this matter as a vehicle to attack any American institution or organization. Almost certainly all the perpetrators, if they ever existed, are long since dead.
"Years later, I visited Dealy Plaza in Dallas while attending a SACS conference. I walked the plaza, walked to the grassy knoll, and found one interesting tidbit close by the grassy knoll, but not at the grassy knoll. I also went to the six-story building, now a museum, and peered out the window where Oswald probably shot, and observed the cars below traveling on the same exact route where Kennedy was shot.
1. The probability of Oswald actually making the shot at Kennedy. The distance from the bookstore window and Kennedy´s limousine was probably around 70 yards, if not less. As the cars turned the corner and went straight away from the window, it meant the target was moving almost straight away from the window at a slow speed. This was not a cross-shot, which is much more difficult, with the shooter having to introduce a lead while aiming at the target. With the Carcano rifle, this was a relatively easy shot, especially when the chamber is loaded before the first shot.
"Best evidence is that shooter shot four times in 6-9 seconds, with one bullet hitting Kennedy in the back and either hitting John Connelly in front of him or hitting Connelly with a separate shot. One shot hit the windshield, and one may have hit the pavement. Any competent rifleman could have made the shots, even if he hit his target only once out of four shots. That was not the killing shot. The 160-grain bullet from the Carcano would have probably penetrated both men, as it was a long bullet with a lot of sectional density, and designed for penetration. The American 30-40 Krag with a 220-grain bullet with high sectional density with a velocity of about 2,000 feet per second, similar to the Carcano bullet, is quite similar and would have acted the same. I suspect that Oswald did shoot at Kennedy and hit him at least once.
2. The killing shot. I have always been impressed by the Zapruder film, which no one counted on, which clearly shows the impact of a bullet hitting the head of Kennedy and his head snapping back from the bullet´s impact, and blowing out his brains and a piece of his skull out the back of his head. Mrs. Kennedy went out on the back of the trunk to grab that piece of a skull; that shows up in the film as a white object a couple of inches long. I doubt that was done with the Carcano. The Carcano bullet would not have acted so destructively, and would not have blown out the skull backward, the direction of the shot, nor caused the head to snap back at the moment of impact, all theories of automatic nerve jerks notwithstanding. And there is at least one report from the emergency room where Kennedy was taken, that there was a.22 caliber hole in the forehead of the President, the report of this bullet hole that disappears in later reports.
3. Where did the killing shot come from? If there was a shooter on the grassy knoll, he or she got quickly invisible. There were many people on the grassy knoll, and no shooter was ever seen there, at least from reliable reports. If there was a second shooter, I believe the shot was taken not from the grassy knoll, but closer by, from a storm drain. About 50 yards, or less, in front of the place where Kennedy was shot, there is a storm drain in a curb a bit below the level of the road. As the car proceeded, if the shot was taken there, there would have been an echo close by the grassy knoll, but no shot from the grassy knoll. This would also have been an easy shot, at less than 50 yards, with a target moving directly toward the shooter, and not moving sideways in any way. This is an even easier shot that that provided the shooter in the bookstore building. Apparently, there was only one shot, caught on the Zapruder film.
"The perpetrator would have escaped through the drain tunnel unseen while police looked around the grassy knoll for the shooter who had never been there. The possible weapon used was a centerfire .22 rifle, shooting a 55-grain bullet at around 3200 feet per second. That sort of bullet would not have to be expanding, as it was going fast enough to cause the damage seen on the Zapruder film whether expanding or full metal jacket. Several calibers available in 1963 fit the description: .222 Remington, .222 Remington Magnum, the new .223, used in the M 16 rifle, the .220 Swift and 22-250 wildcat, which later became a commercial round. All would have caused the destruction on the Zapruder film, all would have caused a .22 bullet hole in the forehead of the President. And all were available at the time of the shooting.
"Aside from the movies, using a sniper for political assassination for a world famous politician is not used often for the reason that a shooter can get nervous and pull the trigger off target. The idea of using two shooters in a crossfire, as perhaps one from the bookstore sixth floor and another from the storm drain, is potentially a much more effective means to carry out an assassination. I will wait for the unclassified documents to see if they touch on these issues. And I hope they put things to rest on the Kennedy assassination."
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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