Tuesday 6 December 2016

JFK aide recalls Jackie's anguished cry

Nick Allen in Los Angeles

Published 15/11/2010 | 05:00

Clint Hill leaps on to the limousine carrying the mortally wounded President John F Kennedy as it races to hospital seconds
after he was shot on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.
Clint Hill leaps on to the limousine carrying the mortally wounded President John F Kennedy as it races to hospital seconds after he was shot on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.

THE US Secret Service agent who ran to President John F Kennedy's side when he was shot has described the harrowing moments after the assassination.

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Breaking a silence of nearly half a century, Clint Hill told how he jumped into the president's car and consoled Jacqueline Kennedy, the first lady, as she cradled her husband's head in her lap.

According to Mr Hill, Mrs Kennedy wailed: "Oh Jack, what have they done?"

Mr Hill, now in his late-70s, had been assigned to protect Mrs Kennedy on the trip to Dallas on November 22, 1963.

When Lee Harvey Oswald opened fire from a sixth floor window in the Texas School Book Depository, Mr Hill was in the car behind the president.

Mr Hill said: "I heard the first shot, saw the president grab his throat, lurch left and I knew something was wrong.

"When I got to the presidential vehicle, just as I approached it, a third shot rang out, hitting the president in the head, just above the right ear and left a hole about the size of my palm.

"I helped Mrs Kennedy get in the back seat and the president fell into her lap. I was quite sure it was a fatal wound. The first lady was in shock."

Mr Hill later gave detailed testimony to the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination. Since the murder, various conspiracy theories have evolved and the shooting has been analysed in painstaking depth.

Mr Hill and other agents have written a book called 'The Kennedy Detail' recounting the events of the day. Mr Hill said: "The agents decided to reveal what they knew and what happened -- what actually happened, not theory, but fact."

Gerald Blaine, his fellow Secret Service agent, said: "There was nothing that could have been done to stop it." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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