Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Question To Ponder #1

Why did JFK's motorcade make turns in violation of Secret Service codes?

JFK's motorcade traveled along Main Street with the sidewalks jammed with well wishers.  There were no incidents along Main except for some people coming out on to the street from the curb causing the motorcycle escort on Mrs. Kennedy's side of the car to "drop back".  

On those occasions, Secret Service agent Clint Hill ran up to take a position on the left rear step of JFK's car as a precaution.

At the intersection of Main & Houston Streets, the motorcade turned right onto Houston.  At this point, Clint Hill had resumed his position on the front left running board of the follow-up car. 

This was because there were no crowds spilling out into the street on Houston and because the motorcade would soon be picking up speed to go on the freeway.

At this point, Nellie Connally, wife of Governor of Texas John Connally, sitting in front of Mrs. Kennedy, turned and said to JFK: "Mr. President, you can't say that Dallas doesn't love you." 

As their car approached the Texas School Book Depository building, they turned left onto Elm Street.

           Warren Commission Photo

Were turns a violation of security regulations?  

The answer is yes according to Jim Marrs in his book Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy (1989):

"President Kennedy rode right into the middle of (an ambush) in an open limousine that violated security regulations by making a 120-degree turn in front of the Texas School Book Depository."

Security regulations had already been violated in making the 1st turn. When security is compromised (slowing down, stopping, turning) then additional protective measures were to be used.*

*Agents riding on running boards of the President's car, having additional security in the crowds, making sure windows of buildings are secured. 

There is no evidence to suggest any of these additional security actions were taken after the motorcade turned onto Houston Street.
Why were these turns were made in the first place?

The Warren Report (1964) said it was "impossible" to access the Stemmons Freeway by way of Main Street. 

The "Kennedy Assassination Website" by John McAdams gives the following detailed explanation:

  "The Elm Street approach to the Stemmons Freeway is necessary in order to avoid the traffic hazards which would otherwise exist if right turns were permitted from both Main & Elm into the freeway. 

To create this traffic pattern, a concrete barrier between Main and Elm Streets presents an obstacle to a right turn from Main across Elm to the access road to Stemmons Freeway and the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike."

While this may be true for normal circumstances in 1963, this was the President & if his security was top priority, it should have been simple for the Secret Service to have a temporary ramp placed over the concrete barrier or to have a part of the barrier removed.  

If this had been done, the motorcade could have proceeded through the Main-Houston intersection & avoided the turns altogether. 

The official answer is it was either "impossible" or at best "impracticable" to reach the freeway by staying on Main Street so the turns were necessary.  

In the "conspiracy" view, JFK was brought into the "killing zone" by making these turns.


  1. John, this is an excellent post. Most of us who lived through JFK's assassination have never gotten over it. We felt cheated and robbed.

    Keep up the good work. I think this blog will be very successful.

  2. The mayor of Dallas approved of of the route
    on Elm Street past the TSBD.

    1. Yes, I believe that is true, the mayor's name is Earl Cabell.