The Zapruder film: reframing JFK's assassination
It is the most famous home movie of all time, the most closely analyzed 26 seconds of film ever shot, the most disturbing visual record of what many have called "the crime of the century." In 486 frames--a mere six feet of celluloid--Abraham Zapruder's iconic film captures from beginning to end the murder of President John F. Kennedy in broad daylight. The film has become nearly synonymous with the assassination itself and has generated decades of debate among conspiracy theorists and defenders of the Warren Commission's official report. Until now, however, no scholar has produced a comprehensive book-length study of the film and its relation to the tragic events of November 22, 1963. David Wrone, one of our nation's foremost authorities on the assassination, re-examines Zapruder's film with a fresh eye and a deep knowledge of the forensic evidence. He traces the film's forty-year history from its creation on the "grassy knoll" by Dallas dressmaker Zapruder through it initial sale to "Life magazine, analysis by the Warren Commission and countless assassination researchers, licensing by the Zapruder family, legal battles over bootleg copies, and sale to the federal government for sixteen million dollars. Wrone's major contribution, however, is to demonstrate how the film itself necessarily refutes the Warren Commission's lone-gunman and single-bullet theories . The film, he notes, provides a scientifically precise timeline of events, as well as crucial clues regarding the timing, number, origins, and impact of the shots fired that day. Analyzing it frame-by-frame in relation to other evidence--including two key photos by-frame in relation to other evidence--including two key photos byPhil Willis and Ike Altgens--he builds a convincing case against the official findings. Without fanfare, he concludes that more than one direction and that most likely none were fired by alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. If true, then JFK's death was the result of a conspiracy conclusion requires a maximum of three shots and one gunman. Wrone, however, does not speculate as to who actually shot JFK or why--or even if Oswald was involved. In fact, he is just as critical of the legion of conspiracy theorists as he is of the Warren Commission (which, he reveals, crushed dissent within its own ranks). Doggedly pursuing the evidence wherever it leads, Wrone has produced a meticulous, clear-eyed, and provocative new reading of this remarkable cinematic Rosetta Stone.
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Development and Sale of the Film
The Film and Private Ownership of American History
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Abraham Zapruder alleged Assassination of President Assassination Records attorney autopsy bullet Bureau camera claims Connally's conspiracy copies critics Dallas Dealey Plaza Eastman Kodak Edgar Hoover Elm Street evidentiary fact federal film's fired Garrison Geis Associates Governor Connally Groden Harold Weisberg Hoover Ibid investigation James Jamieson John F Katzenbach Kennedy Assassination Kennedy's later Lee Harvey Oswald Lesar Liebeler Lifton limousine LMH Company Lovelady Mannlicher-Carcano Meagher memorandum motorcade murder National Archives November 22 official evidence official findings original film Parkland Phil Willis police President John President Kennedy President's Commission Press printed rifle School Book Depository Schwartz interview Secret Service Secret Service agent Selby shirt shot single-bullet theory Sitzman Sixth Floor Museum slides Sorrels telephone testified testimony Texas School Book Thompson tion Warren Commission Warren Commission's Warren Report Washington Weisberg archives Willis York Zapruder film Zapruder frame Zapruder's Zavada