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Photos and Films

Photograph taken in the aftermath of the shooting in Dealey Plaza, looking toward the grassy knoll fence. Photo by Cecil Stoughton.
Photograph taken in the aftermath of the shooting in Dealey Plaza, looking toward the grassy knoll fence. Photo by Cecil Stoughton.

There were a number of photographers in Dealey Plaza, in addition to people with movie cameras. The most famous of these is of course Abraham Zapruder, whose film of the assassination sequence has become the most famous home movie of all time.

The Warren Commission collected and analyzed some of the photographs and films, but there was no comprehensive approach on the part of either the FBI or the Commission to procure a complete photographic record. Many photos and films were kept in private hands; some of these were obtained by the later HSCA investigation; yet more were collected by the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s.

No photo shows a gunman or a rifle in the purported "sniper's nest" window at the southeast corner of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Some researchers claim to be able to see a gunman behind the grassy knoll fence in some photos, though there is hardly universal agreement on the presence of "Badgeman" or other such sightings. Other photographs are valuable for helping determine the timing of shots, and yet others show interesting characters in Dealey Plaza including the "umbrella man" and a possible companion of his.

Photographers who were present in Dealey Plaza include Altgens, Willis, Moorman, Dillard, Bond, and many others. Filmmakers include Zapruder, Muchmore, Nix, Bronson, Paschall, and a few others.

In the last several years, a debate has raged over whether the Zapruder film itself has been altered. See the essays and books below for more on this.



A History of the Zapruder Film, by Martin Shackleford.

Bedrock Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination, by Josiah Thompson.

JFK Assassination Film Hoax, by John P. Costella.

Why the Zapruder Film is Authentic, by Josiah Thompson.

The Umbrella Man, by Ronald L. Ecker.

Where Were You When the President Was Shot, Beverly?, by Ian Griggs.

The HSCA and Fraud in the Backyward Rifle Photos, by Michael T. Griffith.

Secrets of a Homicide - Conclusions, by Dale Myers.

Image of Assassination, by PBS.

Film Farce, by Joseph Backes.

The Zapruder Film and the President's Wounds, by David Lifton.

The Zapruder Film and the Language of Proof, by James Fetzer.

The Paschall Film: Movement Behind the Fence, by Greg Jaynes.



HSCA Report Volume VI: Photographic Evidence.

Zapruder Film

Related Starting Points


Motorcade Films. Films of the motorcade hosted on YouTube, including the Zapruder film, Nix film, and several others.

Books of Interest

    Pictures of the Pain
Richard B. Trask
Yeoman Press, 1994
    Photographic Whitewash: Suppressed Kennedy Assassination Pictures
Harold Weisberg
Skyhorse Publishing, 2013
    Photographic Memory
Richard B. Trask
The Sixth Floor Museum, 1996
    The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK's Assassination
David R. Wrone
University Press of Kansas, 2003
    The Missing JFK Assassination Film: The Mystery Surrounding the Orville Nix Home Movie of November 22, 1963
Gayle Nix Jackson
Skyhorse Publishing, 2014
    The Great Zapruder Film Hoax
Fetzer, James H., editor
Catfeet Press, 2003

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