Tuesday, 31 October 2023 13:32

JFK Secret Service Agent Paul Landis Makes a Big Splash In 2023 Ahead of the 60th Anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination, But How Credible Is He?

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Vince Palamara casts a questioning eye over the advance publicity in Vanity Fair and the NY Times over the revelations about an extra bullet in the JFK case by Secret Service agent Paul Landis, and is also disappointed by his book.

Author of Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure to Protect President Kennedy, JFK: From Parkland to Bethesda, The Not-So-Secret Service, Whos’ Who in the Secret Service and Honest Answers About the Murder of President Kennedy: A New Look at the JFK Assassination


I personally find 88-year-old former JFK[1] Secret Service Agent Paul Landis a bit of an enigma: very credible in some respects, not so credible in others. Landis, who’s upcoming October 2023 book The Final Witness[2] made big headlines in early September 2023 on CNN[3], NBC[4], The BBC[5], TMZ[6], Vanity Fair[7], The New York Times[8], People Magazine[9], and other media outlets, was largely an unknown commodity to the public at large other than to JFK assassination researchers, as he is one of the eight Secret Service follow-up car agents who rode mere feet away from President Kennedy’s limousine when the assassination occurred on 11/22/63 (Sadly, Landis was also one of the 9 agents who drank the morning of the assassination[10]). The specific book excerpt that has caused such an uproar is the claim that Landis found a whole intact bullet on the top of the back seat of the presidential limousine-specifically, above the president’s seat where the bubble top would normally attach.

This was an explosive claim. If true, the whole Warren Commission single bullet theory would fall down like a house of cards and, thus, a conspiracy of (at least) two shooters would be readily apparent to all, as the so-called “magic bullet” (also known as Commission Exhibit CE399) could not have been the one to go on to allegedly strike Texas Governor John Connally in the back and cause all of his wounds. The bullet Landis claims to have found apparently did not even travel through JFK’s back but came back out of the wound as some sort of “short charge.” As everyone knows, accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald only had enough time to fire three bullets during the assassination with the ill-equipped bolt action Mannlicher Carcano rifle: one shot missed, one shot was the “magic bullet” that allegedly went thru Kennedy and on to Connally, and then there was the fatal head shot. Any more bullets and the Warren Commission was wrong- simple as that. Even President Kennedy’s nephew, the son of Robert Kennedy, commented as much:Picture1

So why is Landis an enigma? Because he appears to straddle the fence on the key issues of the case:

On the one hand, he says he now “has his doubts,” yet, on the other hand, he also states that he believes Oswald was the lone shooter. In addition, Landis wrote not one but two Secret Service reports shortly after the assassination that both indicate that a shot came from the front[11]:Picture2

Picture3If that wasn’t enough, Landis even verified their contents almost 16 years later when the House Select Committee on Assassinations (or HSCA) did an outside contact report involving Landis[12]:Picture4

That said, when Paul Landis was interviewed for Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine’s 2010 book The Kennedy Detail, he changed his tune[13]:Picture5

The initial Landis book hype via Amazon.Com gives one the impression that the former agent will debunk conspiracy claims. From the Amazon.Com book page:Picture6

Picture6 1And yet, the September 2023 media blitz left the opposite impression: this was a book that would scream that there was something rotten in Denmark and there indeed was a conspiracy (the aforementioned bullet business).

Landis book states that he is “the final witness,” yet this is not true: fellow author[14] and Secret Service agent Clint Hill (on the opposite running board of the follow-up car), as well as Mary Moorman, the Newman Family, Tina Towner (also an author[15]), Milton Wright, Rosemary and Linda Willis, and others who witnessed the assassination are still with us. In addition, Landis book claims he is finally “breaking his silence,” yet nothing could be further from the truth: in addition to his two Secret Service reports in the Warren Commission volumes (the second a lengthy seven pages of details), Landis had the aforementioned 1979 HSCA contact, an interview for a 1983 newspaper article[16], an interview for a 1988 newspaper article[17], a 2003 interview for the A&E program All The President’s Kids (also a DVD), interviews for both the 2010 book The Kennedy Detail and the television documentary of the same name (also a DVD), a 2014 Vanity Fair article[18], a 2016 Sixth Floor Museum videotaped oral history, a 2016 Cleveland.Com interview, as well as several You Tube videos depicting local Ohio programs that Landis participated in.

In the 2016 Cleveland.Com interview, Landis came out against the Warren Commission’s single bullet theory that is absolutely essential in having Oswald as the lone assassin:Picture7

In fact, 2016 was something of a banner year for Secret Service revelations, as Clint Hill came out in his book Five Presidents also denouncing the single bullet theory[19]:Picture8

As with the Connallys before them, it is as if former agents Landis and Hill cannot comprehend the ramifications of not believing the single bullet theory.

Staying on Clint Hill for a moment, the former agent has been on the record for decades stating that the fatal wound to JFK involved the right rear of his head, indicating (although he would never admit on the record) a shot from the front, as entrance wounds make small wounds and exit wounds make larger wounds:

Excerpts from Hill’s 11/30/63 report[20]:Picture9


Picture11An excerpt from Hill’s 3/9/64 Warren Commission testimony[21]:Picture12

One of several examples from The Kennedy Detail[22]:Picture13

An excerpt from Hill’s first book Mrs. Kennedy & Me[23]:Picture14

An excerpt from Hill’s second book Five Days in November[24]:Picture15

An excerpt from Hill’s third book Five Presidents[25]:Picture16

And, perhaps most dramatically, Hill actually demonstrating the JFK head wound on the television documentary JFK: The Final Hours in 2013 (also a DVD):Picture17

In a September 2023 discovery by this author, it turns out that Paul Landis mirrored Hill’s location for the JFK head wound during his 2016 Sixth Floor Museum oral history[26]:Picture18

Hill and Landis were colleagues and friends for many years. Here is a 2010 photo of them (with Hill’s future wife and four-time co-author Lisa McCubbin) during the filming of The Kennedy Detail documentary in Dealey Plaza:Picture19

However, Hill came out against Landis book after he made the following announcement on his Twitter account:Picture20

Sure enough, Hill denounced Landis book on NBC Nightly News on 9/10/23. His thoughts were outlined in the Vanity Fair article referenced above:Picture21

The crux of the matter seems to be, for both Clint Hill and certain members of the JFK assassination research community (this current author included), the fact that Landis is previously on record a whopping three different times[27] in stating that what he now in 2023 calls a whole bullet, which he placed on JFK’s stretcher in the emergency room, was then merely a bullet “fragment” which he “gave to somebody.” Here is what he said in 1983[28]:Picture22

Here is what Landis said in 1988[29]:Picture23

And here is what Landis conveyed in The Kennedy Detail from 2010[30]:Picture24

Landis claimed in the Blaine book that he put the fragment on the seat, rather than giving it to somebody as he previously stated in both 1983 and 1988. If all this weren’t enough, Landis makes no mention of finding a bullet or bullet fragments in his 2016 Sixth Floor Museum oral history[31].

In Landis own 9/12/23 NBC interview, separate from the one Hill did,he reports three gunshots (which in 2016 he said were fired in “5 to 6 seconds,” with the second and third fired rapidly one after the other[32]) and didn't address the discrepancy with his initial 2-shot reports from decades ago. He also never mentioned stating (again in two different reports) that one of the shots came from the front. Incongruously, he still seemed to favor an Oswald-did-it scenario and that there was no grassy knoll shot, despite his initial two reports stating that a shot came from the front.

My questions for Paul Landis today[33]:

  • Please distinguish the bullet you are now referring to compared to the bullet fragment that since 1983 you've claimed that you found in the limo. Are these "bullets" the same? Is the new bullet in addition to the bullet fragments? Does the whole bullet you now recall finding in the limo physically resemble CE399?
  • Please explain your thinking in November 1963 for not reporting this found bullet in your written reports. Was there explicit or implicit pressure to express or not express certain viewpoints? What form did that pressure come in? Are there additional unspoken revelations that you're aware of from your Secret Service peers?
  • When did you first tell another person about the whole bullet you now report having found in the limo? What is the oldest written document or letter (or documented conversation) that references this 2023 found bullet?
  • Please share your thoughts on the propriety of a Secret Service agent not including a found bullet in your post-assassination report. Was evidence chain of custody part of your Secret Service training? Do you have a sense of the historic importance of what you are now revealing?
  • “I did not want this piece of evidence to disappear.” So, what does Landis do? He drops this crucial piece of evidence on a gurney without telling anyone. I guess he must have missed all those Preservation of Evidence classes at the Secret Service academy.
  • If Secret Service agents weren't trained in the fundamentals of crime scene preservation, evidence gathering and reporting, weren't they at least vetted for common sense?
  • Why then would Landis remove evidence from a crime scene (the presidential limousine) and relocate it to a stretcher instead of handing it off to his superior or at the very least local authorities?
  • Why didn't he mark the bullet?
  • Why didn't he record his findings in a report?
  • Did PTSD impede him from fulfilling his oath to support and defend democracy for decades?
  • How could he avoid the Warren Commission Report and Arlen Specter's "magic bullet" theory for decades?
  • Did he state as late as 2010-2013 that he believed a lone gunman was responsible for Kennedy's assassination?
  • Did the trauma overwhelm him for six decades?
  • The reason for why his total silence is not believable (or "understandable") is because at the time Landis did what he said he did with that bullet, he had absolutely no knowledge or information about any of the details concerning the assassination. He had no idea who Oswald was at that time, and he had no idea if a conspiracy might be involved. He knew nothing at that point. And yet he tells NOBODY about finding and moving an important piece of evidence like a bullet?! Such dead silence by a member of the U.S. Secret Service (or anyone in law enforcement) in such a situation is completely beyond belief, not to mention totally irresponsible on Landis' part. And, in my opinion, even if it had been days or weeks or months later that he had somehow come across a piece of new evidence connected with JFK's death, it still would not be at all "perfectly understandable" that he would just keep completely silent about encountering such a piece of potentially vital evidence in the case of a murdered President.

What’s more, according to fellow follow-up car Secret Service agent Sam Kinney's neighbor Gary Loucks[34] (reported publicly for the first time in 2013), Kinney admitted to Loucks in 1986 to finding an extra bullet and putting it on a stretcher, a story eerily like Landis claims a decade later. One wonders if Landis read the articles about Loucks and Kinney or saw the video[35]? Likewise, Parkland Hospital Nurse Phyllis Hall[36] came out in the same year, 2013, to state that she saw a mystery bullet at Parkland[37]. One also wonders if Landis saw the articles or the videos about her story. Interestingly, Hall’s 2013 story surfaced yet again in September 2023 to corroborate Landis tale[38].

Possible corroboration for Landis 2023 story (or something he may have viewed previously[39]) comes fromHSCA attorney Belford V. Lawson, in charge of the Secret Service area of the "investigation," the author of a memo regarding an interview with Nathan Pool conducted on 1/10/77 and headlined "POOL's CO-DISCOVERY OF THE 'TOMLINSON' BULLET." In the memo, Pool mentions the fact that two Secret Service agents were by the elevator, one of which " remained there throughout most or all of Pool's stay". Before we can catch our breath, a third Secret Service agent enters the picture; although all these men were in the immediate vicinity of the discovery of the bullet, one agent "was within 10 feet when Pool recognized the bullet". According to Pool, the bullet was pointed, and he added that it "didn't look like it had hit anything and didn't look like it had been in anything".

Lawson felt that further development of Pool's testimony may reveal the following:


In addition, author Jim DiEugenio wrote the author:"During the last days of the public hearings of the House Select Committee, Congressman, now Senator Dodd, gave the most important revelation. He stood up or sat up and asked Professor Blakey to answer one question. And he said, Mr. Blakey, will you please explain to me about the bullet that was found in the President's limousine that cannot be ballistically matched to the Oswald weapon? Congressman Dodd never received an answer to this day."

Finally, in yet another story prevalent online that predates Landis 2023 bullet story, Captain James Young[41][42]story of a bullet — a spent, misshapen, but otherwise intact, bullet — that Young, a Navy doctor, said was found late at night, on the floor, in the back of Kennedy’s limousine. He inspected it himself. The bullet was found by two chief petty officers who, during the autopsy, were sent to retrieve any skull fragments they could find in the limousine. They came back with three pieces of bone, and the bullet. The skull fragments were reported — but not the bullet.

Writer Ed Curtin thoughtfully wonders if Paul Landis book is merely a “limited hangout.”[43] The man seen with Landis during several televised interviews and the author of the new Vanity Fair article, Cleveland-based attorney James Robenalt, helped Landis to “process his memories,” a strange choice of words, indeed.[44]

The more I investigate this whole thing, the more skeptical I become of Landis 2023 statements. Just as Jean Hill embellished her account in her book The Lady in Red, perhaps to sell books and make her account more dramatic, I believe such is the case here. And, just like Jean Hill, the "good news" is that the core of their story is true- Jean Hill was there and indicated a shot came from the knoll. Landis wrote in two reports that a shot came from the front, he verified their contents when the HSCA contacted him in early 1979 as they were writing the final report, and I want to believe his denouncement of the single bullet theory in 2016 (echoing Clint Hills own denouncement in the same year in his book Five Presidents) and his stating/demonstrating that the back of JFK's head was missing (also in 2016, again echoing Clint Hill) are both true.

As for these 2023-vintage statements about the bullet- I don't believe it. I wanted to at first, but it falls apart upon deeper scrutiny.

This whole thing almost reminds me of the Roscoe White story that broke out in August 1990: everyone was so excited as Ricky White made the media rounds. Oh, my Lord- there is a photo of his wife with Ruby! Wow- he was a Dallas police officer trainee. What?! He had the third backyard photo…

But then, upon further scrutiny, the main part of his story fell to pieces- his father was the grassy knoll shooter as "proven" by a diary that no longer existed. Beverly Oliver said she saw Roscoe White on the knoll (yeah, right); Gerry Patrick Hemming said he knew Roscoe (suuuure he did)…

Then Ricky disappeared and that was that.

Will Paul Landis likewise disappear and avoid the tough questions? We shall see.


Well, the book was due out October 10, 2023, yet my pre-ordered hardcover was delayed until the end of the month. Being impatient, I decided to get the readily available Kindle edition.[45] Having devoured the entire book in one day, I must say that I was disappointed, both for what Landis says and for what he does not say. Quite frankly, if it wasn’t for the massive advance hype, I think his book would have sunk without a trace with meager sales, to boot (when I originally posted about his upcoming book, very few people seemed to care until the huge media hype came along). In fact, judging by the early mixed reviews on Amazon, Landis should be lucky that he has garnered a lot of advance sales because word of mouth from this point on will not be favorable.

Comically, right from the start, the Acknowledgments section of the book mentions Clint Hill: “I appreciate your support for my book.” Yet, as we know, Hill came out against his book on NBC and, if that wasn’t enough, Landis was not invited to a get-together of all surviving Kennedy Detail Secret Service agents at the residence of Hill and his wife (and co-author) Lisa McCubbin Hill.[46]Ron Pontius, Jerry Blaine, Ken Giannoules, Tom Wells, and Rad Jones came to the Hill’s residence, as well as another mutual friend, former Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, yet Landis (who was Hill’s friend for decades and participated in both The Kennedy Detail book and documentary) was not invited and not present.

From the Introduction, we learn that Landis was given the Josiah Thompson book Six Seconds in Dallas in 2014 and that he “actively avoided reading any books about the events of November 22, 1963,” although he does acknowledge reading the The Kennedy Detail to which, as already noted, he participated in both the book and documentary.

The bulk of the book will have little interest to all but the most ardent Kennedy fanatics and Secret Service buffs, but I will note some items along the way of getting to the more “meat and potato” points about the bullet and so forth.

From Chapter One we learn that fellow Kennedy agents Richard Johnsen (the future keeper of CE399) and David Grant (future co-advance agent with Win Lawson in Dallas and Clint Hill’s brother-in-law) were roommates of Landis during his Secret Service career.

From Chapter Two Landis notes the influence that fellow Ohio native Robert Foster had on his Secret Service career-Landis began his time in the agency in 1959, ending in 1964[47] (Foster would go on to be a member of the Kiddie Detail during the JFK years: the agents who looked after Caroline and John Jr.).

Chapter 3 mentions Landis’ study of the 700-page Secret Service manual (this is only of interest for those who like to criticize Colonel Fletcher Prouty’s claim that there was indeed a Secret Service manual. Landis mentions having to study it during his training).

Chapter 4 duly notes Landis time on the President Eisenhower grandchildren detail at Gettysburg, PA in 1960. Future JFK agents (and then-Ike White House Detail agents) Gerald Behn, Floyd Boring, Tom Wells, Stu Stout, Harry Gibbs, Sam Kinney, Bill Greer, Ernie Olsson, Ken Wiesman and John Campion are mentioned. Interestingly, Landis states that he is “proud” to have “planted the seed” for the Secret Service going on to use the AR-15 rifle, which became an official weapon of the agency. For his part, Landis became an official member of President Kennedy’s White House Detail within days of the inauguration: 1/23/61, to be exact.

In Chapter 5, after mentioning the Secret Service manual once again, Landis fondly notes his positive interaction with JFK and how the President knew his name and the names of the other agents on the detail.

Chapter 6 chronicles Landis’ time at Hyannis port as part of his 14-month time on the Kennedy Kiddie Detail along with fellow agents Tom Wells and Lynn Meredith. Landis, code name Debut, was the second youngest agent on the Kennedy Detail at 26, with fellow agent Ken Giannoules, also 26, beating him by a mere few months as the youngest one. The 12/19/61 Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. stroke is noted, as is a cute story about how Landis brought Caroline and her pony Macaroni into the actual Oval Office itself, much to JFK’s bemusement.

Chapters 7-9 reminds one heavily of Clint Hill’s first book Mrs. Kennedy & Me, as Landis chronicles his time as a member of the First Lady Detail assisting Clint Hill in Ravello, Italy (along with fellow agents Toby Chandler and Paul Rundle), during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 (Landis formally joined the First Lady Detail during this time), the loss of Patrick Kennedy in August 1963, and Jackie Kennedy’s trip to Greece and Morocco in October 1963. Upon their return to Washington, D.C., Landis playfully wore a fez- while still sitting on the plane, President Kennedy (after greeting Jackie) shook his head from side to side and told Landis “Off with the fez, Mr. Landis.”

Chapter Ten, titled “Texas,” mentions the October weekend trip Jackie made to Camp David, along with Clint Hill, the Kiddie Detail, Caroline, John Junior and the children’s nanny Maude Shaw. Interestingly, as with Hill’s four books and Blaine’s book The Kennedy Detail, Landis makes no mention whatsoever of the death of Secret Service agent Tom Shipman at Camp David on 10/14/63.[48] Landis mentions that the agents received a briefing about the upcoming Texas trip on 11/20/63 and that Dallas was known as the “City of Hate,” as Dallas was known for the attack on UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, the foul JFK as traitor notion, and the idiotic idea that the UN was a communist front. As Landis notes, there was “reason to be on alert.”

After mentioning the trips to San Antonio and Houston (mentioning fellow agents Emory Roberts, Jack Ready, Don Lawton, William McIntire, Glen Bennett, Jim Goodenough, Andy Berger and “Muggsy” O’Leary), the Fort Worth trip of 11/21-11/22/63 is briefly chronicled. The infamous drinking incident involving nine agents, four of which rode on the follow-up car (Hill, Ready, Bennett and Landis himself), which occurred at both the Fort Worth Press Club and The Cellar is conveniently glossed over, as Landis denies that anyone was either drunk or misbehaving, although he does concede that he stayed until the early morning hours and got no sleep whatsoever. The bubble top decision is mentioned, yet no one is specifically mentioned as being the culprit for leaving the top off in Dallas (as I have noted in my books, Secret Service agent Sam Kinney was adamant to me on three occasions that he-Sam-was solely responsible for the top’s removal and that JFK had nothing to do with it).[49]

Secret Service agent Bill Duncan is noted as the advance agent for Fort Worth, while Winston Lawson is noted as being the lead advance agent for Dallas. Fellow agent Larry Newman told me that he was concerned that Kennedy aides Dave Powers and Ken O’Donnell rode in the follow-up car, as he did not think they belonged there[50], and Paul Landis voices the same concern, even noting that they were unexpected and uninvited guests.

Interestingly, Landis remembered agent Don Lawton throwing up his arms “as if in frustration” at Love Field as the motorcade started to move out (something this reviewer noted over thirty years ago and popularized in his books, online blogs, conference presentations and television appearances[51]). Landis thought it was because of uninvited guests Powers and O’Donnell, yet he notes that “I have since read that he was left behind to help secure the area for our departure later that afternoon.” However, Landis states that “I personally find this difficult to believe, because Love Field was already secured for our arrival. We were already short of agents and needed all of the on-site coverage we could get.” As with the omission of any word about agent Thomas Shipman’s death, Landis makes no mention of agent Henry Rybka, the other agent (along with Don Lawton) recalled and left behind and Love Field.[52]

Landis, after duly noting fellow follow-up car agents Sam Kinney (the driver), Emory Roberts, George Hickey (manning the AR-15), Clint Hill, Tim McIntire, Jack Ready, Glen Bennett and himself, also mentions that agent Glen Bennett was “our protective research agent,” yet, officially, he was merely an extra agent added to the somewhat depleted detail of agents. That said, Landis’ comment corroborates both Clint Hill’s statement in his book and my own research that agent Bennett was there as an unofficial covert monitor of threats to Kennedy’s life and the true nature of his reason for riding in the follow-up car was hidden for decades after the assassination.[53]

Landis notes that the Dallas motorcade was ten miles long (in contrast, the Tampa, Florida motorcade of 11/18/63, which entailed agents on the rear of the limo and infinitely better overall security, was a whopping 28 miles long[54]). Landis rightly notes that Clint Hill got on the rear of the presidential limousine several times and that the motorcade, travelling at “30-35 mph” before they got to Main Street, had driver Sam Kinney hugging the rear bumper of JFK’s limo, maintaining a 3-5 foot distance between the cars the whole time (although there would be a markedly wider distance between the two cars on Elm Street when the assassination began). Landis notes that they were barely moving at a snail’s pace around the sharp, almost hairpin turn from Houston Street onto Elm Street.

When the assassination started, Landis states that “everything happened so fast” and that the shooting occurred within “5-6 seconds.” Landis does state that the second shot “sounded louder than the first one” and that it “had a different feeling, a different reverberation.” From Landis’ description of the 3 shots, he says he heard, it sounds like there were actually more than three shots, for he states that the second one occurred as “Hill was starting to pull himself up onto the limo” and that the third shot was the head shot! Landis states that the head wound was “massive”, yet does not state exactly where it was, unlike his 2016 Sixth Floor Museum oral history, in which he demonstrates that it was located at the “right rear” of the head.[55]

Disappointingly, perhaps influenced by his participation in The Kennedy Detail, Landis, with no first-hand knowledge (he admits that this was his first motorcade), states that the agents were not on the rear of the limo because JFK did not want them there, a notion the author has adamantly debunked.[56] Landis does admit that Shift Leader Emory Roberts instructed the agents to cover Vice President LBJ as soon as the follow-up car stopped at Parkland Hospital, quite a switch in allegiance from Kennedy to Johnson.

Chapter 11, titled “Parkland”, begins with Landis noticing “a crack in the windshield” of the presidential limousine and further adding that Texas Governor John Connally was “probably (hit) by the second bullet”; that he “saw two brass bullet fragments sitting in a pool of bright red blood” on the rear limousine seat; and that he also “saw a bullet on top of the tufted black leather cushioning” and that it was “a completely intact bullet,” yet he does not state the obvious contradictions these observations would have to the official government Warren Commission single bullet theory, an absolutely essential component to having Lee Harvey Oswald acting as the sole shooter. In fact, the official photo of CE399, the magic bullet, is shown with the caption that this was “the bullet that Special Agent Paul Landis found in the limousine”!

Landis wonders where the agents were when he discovered the intact bullet, yet Sam Kinney (one of the ones he mentions as missing) was indeed still there, as many photos and films prove.[57] Landis claims he actually held the bullet in his hand, placed it in his suit pocket, and (not long afterward) placed it on the examination table next to JFK’s left shoe, none of which he ever stated before when (as noted in part one) he was interviewed in 1983, 1988 or 2010.

Landis goes on to mention that Texas law forbids the president’s body from leaving Texas, yet, as we know, the agents forcibly removed JFK’s body at gunpoint on their way to Love Field and Air Force One. Landis also notes fellow agent Glen Bennett taking notes aboard Air Force One. Interestingly, Landis also states that agent Roy Kellerman, nominally in charge of the Texas trip, persisted and insisted that Landis watch the swearing in ceremony, fodder for those who believe something happened to Kennedy’s body while the ceremony was taking place.

Chapter 12 has a few items of interest. After noting that roommate and fellow agent David Grant (Hill’s brother-in-law and advance agent for the Trade Mart) stayed in Dallas to assist the police in their investigation, he notes that some of the agents thought that LBJ had something to do with the assassination! Also of interest: Landis states that, not only were all the agents in Dallas told to write reports, but they were all told to watch the Zapruder film: “all agents were required to view the film and sign off that they had seen it. It was mandatory.” Landis refused to do so and heard nothing more about it.

Remarkably, Landis claims to have purchased a Mannlicher-Carcano like Oswald’s from American Rifleman magazine back in March 1958 and that he brought his rifle to the White House to show his fellow agents on the morning of 11/25/63, Kennedy’s funeral. Of note, Landis does not mention Gerald Blaine’s alleged “meeting” from this same morning wherein the agents supposedly talked of suppressing the “fact” that Kennedy told them to stay off the limo so as not to blame the president.[58]

Chapter 13 takes note of Landis’ PTSD and how he would play the assassination over and over in his mind which led to his eventually leaving the Secret Service on 8/15/64, three days after his 29th birthday.

The Epilogue has Landis finally admitting that he read the Warren Report, albeit in 2018. Surprisingly, Landis admits that he was indeed contacted by the HSCA in 1979, yet he omits what he conveyed: that he stands behind his two reports! In fact, perhaps the most glaring omission of all: Landis does not mention that he stated in BOTH of his reports that a shot came from the front! I find these omissions very troubling, to put it mildly. Landis ‘forgets’ to mention the fact that he wrote something in TWO reports that goes against official history AND he doesn’t bother to mention the bullet he allegedly found: bizarre and suspicious.

Quite frankly, I find the entire book a real “bait and switch” scenario: hype the book about the bullet Landis found while it racks up best-selling sales in pre-order, only to deliver a pamphlet’s worth of interesting and new information. And, as noted above, there are glaring omissions and the whole bullet business leaves one wondering if this was added to sell books (as he wrote nothing about it in 1963 or said nothing about it in 1983, 1988 or 2010 when given the chance) and, perplexingly, Landis does not go into any detail about the significance of this alleged find and how it debunks official history (if true). Seasoned researchers know about the significance of a whole bullet found where it was in Landis’ scenario, but I can imagine the public being quite confused (and totally in the dark about Landis’ two reports that stated a shot came from the front, as well as his demonstration of a right rear head wound in 2016).

But, hey- Landis has a runaway best-seller (in advance sales) for his children and grandchildren to enjoy…

Journalist Jeff Morley and attorney Larry Schnapf interview Landis about this new controversy and his book. Watch/download the interview here.

[1] Perhaps JFK era agent is more appropriate, as Landis, like fellow Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, was actually a First Lady Agent, protecting the life of Jacqueline Kennedy.

[2] The Final Witness: A Kennedy Secret Service Agent Breaks His Silence After Sixty Years: Landis, Paul: 9781641609449: Amazon.com: Books

[3] Jackie Kennedy's ex-Secret Service agent makes new claim about the JFK assassination - YouTube

[4] Former Secret Service agent describes JFK assassination in new detail - YouTube

[5] Ex-Secret Service agent reveals new JFK assassination detail - BBC News

[6] JFK Secret Service Agent Refutes Magic Bullet Assassination Theory (tmz.com)

[7] A New JFK Assassination Revelation Could Upend the Long-Held “Lone Gunman” Theory | Vanity Fair

[8] J.F.K. Assassination Witness Breaks His Silence and Raises New Questions - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[9] Agent Paul Landis Makes Startling Claim About JFK Assassination in New Book (people.com)

[10] 18 H 687. See also Could the Secret Service Have Saved J.F.K.? | Vanity Fair

[11] 18 H 758-759; 18 H 751-757

[12] HSCA REPORT, pages 89 and 606

[13] The Kennedy Detail by Gerald Blaine (2010), page 353

[14] Author of the books Mrs. Kennedy & Me (2012), Five Days in November (2013), Five Presidents (2016), and My Travels with Mrs. Kennedy (2022). In addition, Hill wrote the Foreword and contributed significantly to the Gerald Blaine book The Kennedy Detail (2010)

[15] Tina Towner: My Story as the Youngest Photographer at the Kennedy Assassination (2012)

[16] The Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune, 11/20/83; Greenfield (Ohio) Daily Times, 11/22/83

[17] The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, 11/20/88

[18] Could the Secret Service Have Saved J.F.K.? | Vanity Fair

[19] Five Presidents by Clint Hill (2016), page 178

[20] 18 H 740-745

[21] 2 H 141

[22] The Kennedy Detail, page 217

[23] Mrs. Kennedy & Me, page 291

[24] Five Days in November, page 139

[25] Five Presidents, page 155

[26] Paul Landis on location of JFK head wound: blockbuster - YouTube

[27] Although, importantly, not in either of his 1963 reports

[28] The Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune, 11/20/83; Greenfield (Ohio) Daily Times, 11/22/83

[29] The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, 11/20/88

[30] The Kennedy Detail, page 225

[31] Paul Landis - no mention of bullets or fragments in 2016 interview plus bad memory - YouTube

[32] Paul Landis - fast shots that sounded different but fails to mention frontal shots from HIS reports - YouTube

[33] Special thanks to researcher K.K. Lane for his help with this specific list of questions.

[34] Loucks died on 2/23/23: Gary Lee Loucks (1946-2023) - Find a Grave Memorial

[35] JFK Secret Service Agent Sam Kinney's neighbor's (Gary Loucks) revelations - YouTube

[36] Hall died on 4/18/23: Obituary | Phyllis J. Hall of Irving, Texas | Donnelly's Colonial Funeral Home (donnellyscolonial.com)

[37] Nurse claims JFK had another bullet lodged in body after assassination – New York Daily News (nydailynews.com)

[38] JFK assassination nurse says she SAW the 'pristine bullet' Secret Service agent Paul Landis now claims he retrieved from limo and placed on stretcher - upending the 'magic bullet' theory | Daily Mail Online

[39] As referenced in my books and fairly prevalent online.

[40] Pool Nathan 01.pdf (archive.org)

[41] White House Physician, Autopsy Eyewitness, questions President Ford about Missing Bullet - ASSASSINATION ARCHIVES (aarclibrary.org)

[42] Navy Doctor: Bullet Found in JFK’s Limousine, and Never Reported - WhoWhatWhy

[43] Another Magical JFK Assassination Pseudo-Debate and Limited Hangout | Dissident Voice

[44] James Robenalt - Wikipedia

[45] With this in mind, all references are to the Kindle edition.

[46] Clint Hill Facebook 9/24/23. Hill noted: “There were messages from former USSS director Lew Merletti and Secretary of State Tony Blinken and his wife Evan Ryan, the granddaughter of James J. Rowley, my first boss at the White House.”

[47] The same time span as agent Gerald Blaine.

[48] See the reviewer’s books Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure to Protect President Kennedy, The Not-So-Secret Service, Who’s Who in the Secret Service and Honest Answers About the Murder of President John F. Kennedy. See also: THE REAL DEATH OF A SECRET SERVICE AGENT THE MONTH BEFORE THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION 10/14/1963 - YouTube

[49] The JFK bubble top: Sam Kinney's decision + all the times it was used (1/3 of all motorcades) - YouTube

[50] Interview with Larry Newman.

[51] JFK assassination Secret Service documentary: the Kennedy agents 2016 - YouTube

[52] The Secret Service stand down on the day of the JFK assassination EXPLAINED: one hour version - YouTube

[53] Gerald Blaine, The Kennedy Detail (kennedysandking.com)

[54] Excellent security for President Kennedy 11/18/63 Tampa and Miami, Florida - YouTube See also EXCELLENT security for JFK in Tampa, FL on 11/18/63 | Vince Palamara

[55] Paul Landis on location of JFK head wound: blockbuster - YouTube

[56] JFK's agents deny that President Kennedy ordered them off the limo - YouTube

[57] For example, see the 16-minute mark of: The Last Two Days - Highest Quality Version (JFK Assassination) - YouTube

[58] Gerald Blaine, The Kennedy Detail (kennedysandking.com)

Last modified on Monday, 20 November 2023 20:18
Vince Palamara

Vince Palamara is without a doubt the leading expert on the Secret Service.  His 20 years spent reviewing documents and interviewing agents assigned to the Kennedy detail culminated in his book, Survivor's Guilt.  He has made numerous media appearances, and his original research materials are now stored at NARA.  Vince has also written JFK: From Parkland to Bethesda, a compendium of the medical testimony. He is currently finishing a third book presenting a wider ranging look at the Secret Service under several administrations. Read more here.

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