An Unclosed Case: The Death of President John F. Kennedy

Gerald Posner in his book Case Closed reported that three men were crucial ear-witnesses to the three gun shots that they heard on the fifth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building.  Junior Jarman, Harold Norman, and Bonnie Ray Williams desribed the three shots they heard to the Warren Commission.  Harold Norman heard three shots and could hear the bolt action and the sound of shells hitting the floor above him.  Bonnie Ray Williams said the shots were loud.

Mark Lane in his book Rush to Judgment wrote about this same testimony before the Warren Commission.  However, Lane also reported that Bonnie Ray Williams told the FBI at an earlier date that he had only heard two shots above him.  Lane also reported that Bonnie Ray Williams said to the Warren Commission that when he heard the first shot he thought it was a motorcycle backfire.  Junior Jarman said to the Warren Commission that he thought the first shot was a backfire from below him.

1. What do you think about these ear witnesses on the fifth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building at the time of the assassination?

2.Why do you think that there were discrepancies in their testimony?

Moments before the assassination

This photograph was found at


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