A new JFK documentary, JFK: The Smoking gun has gone on to assert that John F Kennedy was probably shot by friendly fire on the day of his death on November 22, 1963.
The assertion comes off the heels of a new documentary courtesy of Colin McLaren, a veteran Australian police detective who has undertaken a four-year investigation into the killing.
McLaren argues that on the day of the shooting as shot blasts were blasted out, George Hickey, a Secret Service man riding in the car behind Kennedy, accidentally fired his weapon in the back of the head of the then president of the United States as the commotion took hold.
The new JFK documentary is in contrast to the official line that JFK was shot twice from different directions. A line of thought that it is said is not believed by up to 75% of the public.
McLaren’s documentary is based on the work of Howard Donahue, who spent two decades probing the assassination and whose work was presented in the book “Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK,” by Bonar Menninger.
Both Menninger and McLared went on yesterday to speak about the film at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, California.
Central to their claim is the assertion that Agent Hickey and his Secret Service colleagues had been out partying the night before Kennedy’s motorcade drove through Dallas.
To compound the problems the hungover agent faced, McLaren says he has found evidence that Hickey had not been properly trained to use the AR-15 gun he was carrying that morning. ‘It was his first time in the follow car, his first time holding the assault weapon he was using.’
The theory goes on to tell the filmmakers is that as the assassin opened fire, Hickey grabbed his own gun. But when the whole motorcade shunted to a halt, the agent was jolted by the sudden stop and accidentally pulled the trigger – firing a bullet straight at the back of Kennedy’s head.
Mr McLaren said he believes Agent Hickey’s AR-15 was loaded with different from the ammunition used by Lee Harvey Oswald, who the Warren Commission declared in 1964 to be the lone gunman in the assassination. That, he claims, explains what they believe are the different ballistic profiles of the two bullets that struck Kennedy.
Both men went on to say that they do not believe that Agent Hickey intentionally fired at Kennedy, rather that it ‘was a tragic accident in the heat of the moment.’
Nevertheless both men go on to allege that the government with the help of Kennedy’s brother Robert, to cover up the Secret Service’s involvement to save the agency from embarrassment.
The producers were pressed on how the alleged involvement of the Secret Service could be covered up for 50 years.
“Nobody was going to gain” from having this out there,” Menninger said.
“We’re not here to blacken the name” of Hickey or any other individual, or the modern-day Secret Service,“McLaren said.
Agent Hickey, who died two years ago, said in his witness statement given the day after Kennedy’s assassination that after he heard the gunfire he did indeed rise to his feet and load and cock the AR-15, but did not fire it.
Told Hickey: ‘At the end of the last report I reached to the bottom of the car and picked up the AR 15 rifle, cocked and loaded it, and turned to the rear.
‘At this point the cars were passing under the over-pass and as a result we had left the scene of the shooting. I kept the AR 15 rifle ready as we proceeded at a high rate of speed to the hospital.’
Agent Hickey would eventually go on to sue Menninger in 1995 over the allegations contained in Moral Error, but the case was dismissed after a judge ruled that he had taken too long after the book’s publication to file his case.
Rufus W. Youngblood, the agent in charge of the Secret Service detail protecting Vice President Lyndon Johnson on the day, also denied suggestions that Agent Hickey fired his weapon.
JFK: The Smoking Gun will be broadcast on the Reelz Channel on November 3. A spokesman for the network said: What makes McLaren’s investigation different than those that came before it is the fact that he had all the evidence, facts and eyewitness testimony from fifty years ago as well as modern forensic technology.
‘McLaren’s findings are a far cry from the fanciful conspiracy theories that usually surround this assassination.
‘His case is methodically constructed from simple logic and available evidence using time-tested investigative techniques to solve the crime; including key archival photographic evidence, medical reports and bullet science.’
In the end America’s favorite fantasy of who shot who or how or who was behind it all will remain unabated but it seems quite unlikely that popular interest will ever wane, then again in the face of ongoing revelations of behind the scenes working of the government probably ought not to surprise us.