Zapruder Film Of JFK Assassination

Zapruder Film which actually shows President John F Kennedy being assassinated. It’s no doubt one of the most remarkable films in history. What’s more amazing it was in a time where there was no iPhones, or any other technology to speak of, other than the 8mm movie camera the dress maker Abraham Zapruder used to film the event.





zapruder camera

The actual film camera Abraham Zapruder used to film President John F  Kennedys motorcade as it came through Dealey Plaza was called, the high-end model 414 PDN Bell & Howell Zoomatic Director Series Camera, yes that’s a lot to say, but back then the manufacture of the camera had to make it sound ultra high tech.


The final head shot was very gruesome indeed, and the good thing President Kennedy probably did not suffer. That last shot almost took his head clean off. If Oswald  had missed just like he missed the first shop which was much closer, Kennedy would be a 99 plus year old ex-president. The triple under pass would have shielded the limo after that last shot. Lee Harvey Oswald would have had no more opportunities to kill the President. The President would have recovered from the neck wound, and back wound, and would have went on campaigning for the ’64 election. If Oswald had gotten away, and maybe try another attempt in another city such as Denver, CO Memphis TN, or say Charleston, WV. The secret service security, and local law enforcement would be extra tight, and no more open cars, or open windows along the motorcade route.


I watched Clint Hills agonizing,  heart felt interview with Mike Wallace on 60 Minute around the mid 1970s, it would have been 10 or 12 short years after the assassination, you can tell when he said if I was just a few seconds faster, I would have been top of the President, and First Lady. Clint Hill is still living, he was a very young agent back in 1963, and now he’s an elderly man of 84; Now to be fair Oswald may not have fired those shots, but I guarantee you if he had to keep trying it would have be come very difficult after that day.


What I don’t understand about the spot that was choose for the assassination. The parade was pretty much over when the first shots were fired. It was then under the triple under pass, and to the Trade Mart for a speech, and then back to Washington. I think Oswald did it personally, only because it was so easy to get a gun back then, easy to get the job he had at the Texas School Book Depository, and easy to get in position to fire the shots, and the motorcade route was published for all to see in the Dallas Morning News. Then remarkable enough that Oswald was in the local FBI office, and threatened and agent by the name of James Hosty about a week prior to the assassination, about contacting his wife Marina, which would have gotten Oswald locked up just for that. There is much more should I go on, but I think you get the picture. I think even the worst shot would have killed JFK that sunny cool Fall Friday afternoon, it was just to easy, and very close firing at an open limo going just a few miles per hour.


What we have learned a lot about assassination’s since November 22, 1963; although there have been several  attempts since then. Gerald Ford twice, and Ronald Reagan actually being shot, but no killings. I’m glad there have not been more U.S. Presidents assassinated, because it was so easy to. I hate to say it, but it was. Going back to Abraham Lincoln in 1865, very easy, no lesson there learned really. James A. Garfield 1881 only 16 years after Lincoln, was even easier. He gets it in the back walking throught the Baltimore & Potomac railroad station in Washington DC, even more sad his two sons were there to witness it. Then about 20 years later William McKinley, Just about six months into his second term on September 6, 1901

Abraham Zapruder
Abraham Zapruder

The Zapruder film, will we see another assassination of a U.S. President not likely we hope, but if so with social media can you imagine the iPhone footage, and photos, even with JFK’s killing in Dallas there were a fair amount of filming, and photos at the time of the assassination. There was the Mary Ann Moorman Polaroid, and another film shot by Orville Nix. Orville Nix was using a Keystone auto-zoom model K-810 8 MM movie camera, but it was not until December 1, 1963 that the FBI found out about Nix, and his film.

What street was JFK assassinated on, Elm st in Dealy Plaza Dallas, TX

I’m from New York City, and when Bill Clinton U.S. President came to New York many times, and also when he was campaigning. I walked over from my office at 43rd and 5th Avenue to Bryant Park just a block around the corner to watch him speak when he was campaigning for office for his second term. This must have been around 1996; and I saw him come down 1st avenue to the United Nation around 1999; I remember there was an open window. The area could not be secured, and the Presidents motorcade could not pass by until the window was closed. The apartment was in a complex called Tudor City, a kind of mid evil gothic style building complex. I think the window may have stayed open, but there was an agent in the apartment, pretty amazing stuff to watch. I just lived down the street on 37th street between 1st and second avenue.


Zapruder film is the most famous film in history, because it simply captures an American President being assassinated, and on top of that its incredibly gruesome to watch. The first time I ever saw the Zapruder film was on a very short lived late night show called Good Night America hosted by Geraldo Rivera around 1975; I remember my mother calling me in to watch this, because she knew I was fascinated by it. The film was a bootlegged copy, but it was amazing to watch. The thing that struck me was my mother could not bring herself to watch it, and I remember hearing the gasp in the TV audience at the finial head shot. This was the first time this film had ever been shown on TV.

Zapruder died on August 30,1970 of natural causes

I’m sure Abraham Zapruder had no intentions on being famous by no means. He was just a guy who walked over from his office with one of his office workers, much like a lot of people did that day, or like I did in 1996; just to get a glimpse of a sitting President John F Kennedy as his motorcade barreled through the streets of Dallas that cool fall sunny day but Zapruder was the one who had the camera with the almost perfect film of the assassination.





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