A former Secret Service agent has shed new light on the circumstances of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Paul Landis claims he found the so-called “magic bullet” in the presidential limousine, not at Parkland Memorial Hospital as previously believed.
The Warren Commission had earlier concluded that a bullet had struck the president from behind, exited his throat, and then injured Governor John Connally, hitting several parts of his body. Skeptics had labeled this the “magic bullet theory” due to the improbable trajectory the bullet would have had to take.
Landis said that after the motorcade reached the hospital, he discovered the bullet lodged in the backseat of the presidential limousine. Wanting to preserve the evidence, he took the bullet and later placed it on President Kennedy’s stretcher at the hospital, thinking it might aid doctors.
He suggests that the bullet might have been transferred from Kennedy’s stretcher to Connally’s, leading to its discovery there.
The traditional understanding is that the bullet was found on a stretcher believed to be Connally’s at the hospital, suggesting it exited his body during medical procedures. Landis’ account challenges this.
Although Landis initially believed Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, he now expresses doubts. He kept his story private for years, sharing it with only a few people. James Robenalt, an author and historian, commented that if Landis’ account is true, it might renew discussions about a possible second shooter.
Ken Gormley, a presidential historian, suggested that Landis’ decision to speak now is an attempt to correct the historical record. Critics, however, question the discrepancies between Landis’ recent account and his statements right after the assassination.
Despite his reservations about discussing the event, Landis has now documented his experiences in a book, hoping to provide clarity to an event that has been the subject of speculation for decades.