New book raises doubts about 1979 Kennedy assassination probe

John F. Kennedy at a news conference in Omaha, Neb. in 1959. The 50th anniversary of his Nov. 22, 1963 assassination is at hand.

"The Kennedy Half Century" questions the John F. Kennedy assassination belief that all shots came from the so-called "grassy knoll" area.

WASHINGTON — A new book raises doubts about a 1979 congressional probe that concluded President John F. Kennedy's assassination 50 years ago was the result of an undefined conspiracy.

The book, "The Kennedy Half Century" by prominent political science professor Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, questions the conclusion by the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations that a shot was fired at Kennedy from the so-called "grassy knoll" on November 22, 1963, in Dallas.

Lee Harvey Oswald fired at the Kennedy motorcade from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository overlooking Dealey Plaza. The House conclusion of an undefined conspiracy - with an additional shot from the grassy knoll - was drawn from an acoustical analysis of a Dictabelt recording device that was on a police officer's motorcycle.

The congressional investigators believed the motorcycle was in the Kennedy motorcade and that its Dictabelt recorded four shots. Sabato says new technologically advanced audio research conducted for his book proves the Dallas police motorcycle was not traveling as part of the presidential motorcade at the time the shots were fired.

The motorcycle, driven by officer Willie Price, was about two miles away at the time of the shooting, Sabato writes.

In addition, he says, acoustic experts found the sound "impulses" picked up by the Dictabelt that were initially believed to be gunshots could have simply been motorcycle engine noise.

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