Connally Wounding

Portion of HSCA Exhibit F-145, showing purported angle of bullet passing through Kennedy and going on to strike Connally. See full F-145 exhibit.
Portion of HSCA Exhibit F-145, showing purported angle of bullet passing through Kennedy and going on to strike Connally.
See full F-145 exhibit.

President Kennedy wasn't the only victim in the Dallas motorcade on 22 Nov 1963. Governor Connally, riding in the "jump seat" ahead of Kennedy, was also shot. His wounds included an entry wound in the back near the right shoulder, a broken rib, an exit wound in the chest, a shattered wrist caused by a bullet entering from the dorsal (back) side, and a fragment lodged in his thigh.

The Warren Commission, by necessity if there was to be a single shooter, said that all of these wounds were caused by a single bullet. Furthermore, this bullet was said to be the same one which had passed first through JFK. The bullet said to cause all 7 wounds in two men is Commission Exhibit 399, found on a stretcher in Parkland Hospital in virtually pristine condition, with apparently no blood or tissue on it. CE 399 is flattened somewhat, and rifling marks show it clearly had been fired from the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle at some point. But was it fired earlier and then planted?

Defenders of the single bullet theory note that a large entrance wound in Connally's back is evidence of a "tumbling bullet," which could occur if the bullet first passed through JFK. But critics point out that the notion of a large entrance wound is incorrect, and is based on the enlarged debrided wound after surgery. Connally's surgeon Dr. Robert Shaw measured the long axis of the original elliptical entrance wound at a much smaller 1.5 centimeters. As Milicent Cranor has pointed out, this is virtually identical in size and shape to Kennedy's skull entrance wound as measured at autopsy, and "No one has suggested Kennedy was hit in the head with a tumbling bullet."

Among the many problems with the single bullet theory and Connally's wounds in particular, there is also the issue of whether the metal fragments taken from Connally's wrist and left in his leg could possibly have come from the nearly intact bullet CE 399. JFK autopsy surgeon Commander Humes told the Commission "I can't conceive of where they came from this missile." There is also some doubt about whether the fragments now in evidence (CE 842) comprise all that was removed from Governor Connally's wrist.



Trajectory of a Lie, Part III: Big Lie About a Small Wound in Connally's Back, by Milicent Cranor.

The Wounding of John Connally - Burying the Single Bullet Theory, by Russell Kent.

The Best Evidence Against the SBT, by Russell Kent.

The Separate Connally Shot, by Vincent Salandria.

Breakability: CE-399 and the Diminishing Velocity Theory, by John Hunt.

The Magic Fragments and Other Stories, by Milicent Cranor.

Governor Connally's Wrist Wound and CE-399, by Clint Bradford.

The Lie in Connally's Thigh, by Milicent Cranor.



Warren Report, p.56. Treatment of Governor Connally.

Warren Commission Testimony:

Gregory Exhibit 1. Copies of five diagrams showing the position of wounds suffered by Governor Connally on November 22, 1963.

CE 842. Small fragment [sic] of metal from wrist of Governor Connally.

See NARA color photo


HSCA Medical Panel Report (Volume VII of Final Report):

ARRB MD 24. Robert B. Livingston Deposition in Crenshaw v. Sutherland, Case No. 73-93, 18th Judicial District of Texas (11/19/93).

NARA DNA Tests on Bullet Nose Fragments. These tests were completed in 2000.

Related Starting Points


HSCA Exhibit Photos. X-Rays of Connally's right wrist and left thigh.

HSCA Medical Interviews. See particularly George Shires.

ARRB Medical Interviews. See particularly Audrey Bell.

  • Excerpt 1 - Bell discusses handling the Connally fragments (running time: 11:54).
  • Excerpt 2 - Bell examines a photo of CE 842 and notes that its envelope uses the plural fragments. There is some confusion here - CE 842 is mis-labelled "fragment" but is actually 4 fragments - 1 large and 3 tiny ones. At issue is not really the number of fragments but their size (running time: 1:51).
  • Excerpt 3 - Bell tells of Dr. Perry receiving calls from Bethesda "during the night" of the autopsy, asking him to change his mind about whether the neck wound was one of entrance (running time: 1:47).

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