New forensics studies investigate the single-bullet theory in JFK assassination

Jay Busbee
Yahoo News
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FILE - In this Nov. 23, 1963 file photo, Lee Harvey Oswald is led down a corridor of the Dallas police station for another round of questioning in connection with the assassination of U.S, President John F. Kennedy. Oswald, who denied any involvement in the shooting, was formally charged with murder. (AP Photo)

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy draws ever closer, and with it a spate of reconsiderations and new analyses of the day the president was shot in Dallas. Who killed Kennedy? How? Were multiple parties involved? You'll hear all sides over the next few weeks. But one father-son team is trying to solve the mystery of one of the most perplexing elements of the assassination: the so-called "Magic Bullet."

As part of a Nova television documentary, "Cold Case JFK," Luke and Michael Haag used 3D imaging technology to research the trajectory of the single bullet, the one which apparently passed through both Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally. The question of whether one bullet could do so much damage has vexed investigators for decades. The Haags believe they now have an answer.

Could one bullet have passed through Kennedy and wounded Connally? "Easily," Luke Haag said according to CBS News.

When fired, the 6.5-millimeter Carcano bullet is an "extremely stable" bullet, Luke Haag said, but Connally's wound was consistent with a tumbling bullet, one which would have had to hit something en route to hitting Connally. That "something" was the President. 

"It's like a badly thrown football. It normally flies true and straight. When this bullet emerged from Kennedy – or any ballistic medium ... it's now yawing and tumbling," Haag said. "The entry wound in Connally is very important because it's the consequence of a yawed bullet, so it had to be a destabilized bullet from somewhere."

The shot that Lee Harvey Oswald had to make was not that difficult, according to the Haags. And the idea that the gun Oswald used was of a poor quality is simply not true, they contend: "If the bore in the rifle is good, it's a good shooter," Luke Haag said, "and it was a good shooter, unfortunately for President Kennedy."

Contact Jay Busbee at or on Twitter at @jaybusbee.