Paul Landis, 88, was in the car directly behind Kennedy when shots rang out in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza in 1963. The former agent claims that after the president was shot, he found one of the bullets lodged in the back seat of Kennedy’s limo. He says he later placed it on JFK’s stretcher at the hospital.
“I put the bullet in my pocket,” said Landis. “We raced through the lobby of the emergency room. I got pushed right up against the examination table where they had placed President Kennedy. When I was going into the room, they were removing his body from the gurney. And I quickly thought, ‘This is the place where the bullet should be.’ I made a snap decision.”
Landis said he thought this action would help with the autopsy and that “the bullet would be evidence that the doctors would find.”
“I thought I’d done everything okay,” he said. “And I was proud of the fact that I saved this piece of evidence.”
Landis’ new book, “The Final Witness,” challenges the Warren Commission’s report on the assassination — and the “magic bullet” theory it promulgated.
According to that theory, one of the bullets hit Kennedy from behind and continued to hit then-Texas Gov. John Connally, who was sitting in front of the president.
“I heard the sound of a high-powered rifle. And just a few seconds after the first (shot), I heard a second shot, and I was looking at the President’s car,” he said. “I saw no movement or disturbance. And I thought that shot had missed. I heard the third shot come very quickly after the second shot I heard.”
Landis believes the bullet only hit Kennedy and subsequently popped out in the back seat.
He said he never questioned the magic bullet theory for “several years” because he initially didn’t know what it was.
Landis now questions whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in Kennedy’s killing, which has long been the official stance of the U.S. intelligence community.
“For one single bullet to hit the president in the head and hip. Then Gov. Connolly in the shoulder (and) continues down to hit his wrist and then ends up lodged in his leg. It just didn’t make any sense at all,” Landis said.
He said he was traumatized for months after the shooting.
“I kind of figured that I would be interviewed by the Warren Commission once I heard that it was formed,” he said. “I was a little nervous about being examined because I was afraid I was going to break down. There was a lot of crying with everybody. Nobody talked to each other about this.”
According to Landis, the Warren Commission never interviewed him.
“Nobody ever asked me about it,” he said.