Lee Hardly Oswald

A photograph purportedly taken during the JFK assassination is actually from a re-enactment of that event staged for a 1977 television movie.

  • Published

Claim:  A photograph shows Jackie Kennedy reaching for help shortly as President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.


Example: [Collected via Twitter, October 2015]

jfk reenactment

Origins: Since at least 2014, several Twitter accounts that specialize in old photographs, such as @OldPicsArchive and @HistoryInPics, have since been sharing the above-displayed image as an authentic photograph of First Lady Jackie Kennedy reaching for help that taken as her husband, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in November 1963.

This image is realistic in depicting how Jackie reached out across the back of the presidential limousine as her husband was shot (while Special Agent Clint Hill rushed to her aid), as captured in the famous Zapruder film of the event:

But although the picture may be realistic, it isn’t real: No reporter or onlooker was in a position to have taken a shot like the one at the head of this page, from the vantage point of the roadway right alongside the presidential limousine. This photograph was taken in conjunction with a re-enactment of the assassination staged for The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, a two-part ABC television movie produced in 1977.

The three people seen in this photograph are not John F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, and Clint Hill (a Secret Service agent), but rather actor Don Gazzaway, actress Christine Rose, and stuntman Larry Hill, as described in a press release issued to promote the 1977 TV movie:

Secret Service agent Clinton Hill (stuntman Larry Hill) rushes to get Jacqueline Kennedy (actress Christine Rose) back into the car after her husband President John F. Kennedy (actor Don Gazzaway) was shot by an assassin. The action was all part of a made for TV reenactment movie being filmed in Dallas. (UPI Photo/Files)

Last updated: 20 October 2015

Originally published: 20 October 2015