In a startling revelation, 88-year-old former Secret Service agent Paul Landis, who was present with President John F. Kennedy during his assassination in Dallas nearly six decades ago, has brought forth new questions surrounding the infamous “magic bullet” theory.
Landis, who had been assigned the duty of guarding first lady Jackie Kennedy as the presidential motorcade traversed Dealey Plaza in 1963, discloses in his forthcoming book titled “The Final Witness,” scheduled for publication in October, an account that has never been publicly disclosed before.
Speaking with The New York Times, Landis recollects that while he stood just a few feet away from the president, he heard the unmistakable sound of a gunshot. “For a brief moment, as he stood on the motorcade car’s running board, he clung to the faint hope that it might be a firecracker or a blown tire,” The Times reports. “But then, another shot rang out. And another. And the president slumped down.”
In chilling detail, Landis asserts that he had to take cover to avoid being splattered by the president’s brain matter.
Here, Landis’ narrative diverges from the official government findings: Amid the ensuing chaos, he alleges that he retrieved a bullet lodged in the back seat of the car where Kennedy had been seated and placed it on the president’s hospital stretcher for examination.
This 6.5 mm bullet, previously believed to have been discovered on Texas Gov. John Connally’s stretcher after falling from a wound in his thigh, was famously dubbed “the magic bullet.”
The Warren Commission‘s conclusion held that this bullet, fired by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald, had passed through Kennedy’s throat from behind, subsequently striking Connally’s right shoulder, before causing additional wounds in his back, chest, wrist, and thigh. The report determined that one shot missed the motorcade, another became the “magic bullet,” and the final shot fatally hit President Kennedy in the head.
Landis contends that he placed the bullet on Kennedy’s stretcher at the hospital but now believes that, at some point, the bullet shifted from the president’s to the governor’s stretcher while they were positioned together, as he conveyed to The Times.
The Warren Commission had ruled out the possibility of the bullet originating from the president’s stretcher, a fact that deeply concerned Landis. He remarked, “There was nobody there to secure the scene, and that was a big, big bother to me. All the agents that were there were focused on the president.
“This was all going on so quickly, and I was just afraid that — it was a piece of evidence, that I realized right away. Very important. And I didn’t want it to disappear or get lost. So it was, ‘Paul, you’ve got to make a decision,’ and I grabbed it.”
Landis, who was never interviewed by the Warren Commission, suggests that the bullet struck Kennedy but was undercharged, failing to penetrate deeply into his body and ultimately popping out before he was removed from the vehicle. He now admits to harboring doubts about his long-held belief that Oswald acted alone.
“At this point, I’m beginning to doubt myself,” Landis confided. “Now I begin to wonder.” It’s worth noting that the bullet, according to The Warren Commission’s report, found fully intact, was forensically matched to Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.
James Robenalt, an Ohio-based lawyer and historian who has extensively researched the assassination and assisted Landis in recalling his memories of that fateful day, anticipates that his book will spark fresh inquiries into Kennedy’s assassination.
“If what he says is true, which I tend to believe, it is likely to reopen the question of a second shooter, if not even more,” Robenalt told The Times. “If the bullet we know as the magic or pristine bullet stopped in President Kennedy’s back, it means that the central thesis of the Warren Report, the single-bullet theory, is wrong.”
He added that this could imply Connally was shot by a separate bullet, not by Oswald, whom he believes could not have reloaded quickly enough.
The notion of multiple shooters has been a persistent theory since the immediate aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination. “Others will have to analyze the evidence in full to see where it now leads,” Robenalt commented to Vanity Fair.
Nick Koutsobinas ✉
Nick Koutsobinas, a Newsmax writer, has years of news reporting experience. A graduate from Missouri State University’s philosophy program, he focuses on exposing corruption and censorship.
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