THE ZAPRUDER FILMS

Published October 9, 2011

  When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in downtown Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, Abraham Zapruder was filming the scene from atop a concrete abutment overlooking the motorcade’s route. As many as eight other onlookers took home-movie footage or still photographs of the shooting, but Zapruder’s is the only film known to exist that captured the entire event. “The Zapruder Film” has been studied and debated for decades, inspiring scientific researchers and conspiracy theorists alike.

In a newly-stabilized version of Zapruder’s footage, two men clap
as President Kennedy’s limousine passes “The Umbrella Man”
and another man, who waves in the foreground.

  Recently, through the use of computers, it has become possible to produce stabilized versions of the film — minimizing the distracting “home-movie jitter” of the original footage and smoothly tracking the movement of the President’s limousine, HERE. (WARNING: Graphic content)

  By stabilizing the original footage in an entirely different manner, I have been able to shift the emphasis to the onlookers instead of the motorcade — eliminating the left-to-right panning motion of the camera and, essentially, presenting the footage in the form of seven separate and stationary “Zapruder Films.”

  For the first time, we can clearly observe people clapping and waving, or calmly watching, as the motorcade moves past them. A young boy steps from between two adults to get a better view of the President’s limousine. A woman who has been walking toward the roadway makes a sudden turn away, just as the fatal bullet strikes the President. One man dives to the ground, while other onlookers begin to back away.


A young boy steps to the side to get
a better view of the limousine.


The woman on the right prepares
to photograph the President’s vehicle.


A woman turns away suddenly as the President is fatally wounded.


One man dives to the ground as Mrs. Kennedy
starts to climb onto the limousine’s trunk.


Another group watches as a Secret Service agent
climbs onto the back of the limousine.


A man and woman watch as the limousine starts to speed away.

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