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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. IV - Page 133« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Gov. John Bowden , Jr. Connally)

Governor Connally.
shoulder, so I turned to look back over my right shoulder, and I saw nothing unusual except just people in the crowd, but I did not catch the President in the corner of my eye, and I was interested, because once I heard the shot in my own mind I identified it as a rifle shot, and I immediately--the only thought that crossed my mind was that this is an assassination attempt.
So I looked, failing to see him, I was turning to look back over my left shoulder into the back seat, but I never got that far in my turn. I got about in the position I am in now facing you, looking a little bit to the left of center, and then I felt like someone had hit me in the back.
Mr. Specter.
What is the best estimate that you have as to the time span between the sound of the first shot and the feeling of someone hitting you in the back which you just described?
Governor CONNALLY. A very, very brief span of time. Again my trend of thought just happened to be, I suppose along this line, I immediately thought that this--that I had been shot. I knew it when I just looked down and I was covered with blood, and the thought immediately passed through my mind that there were either two or three people involved or more in this or someone was shooting with an automatic rifle. These were just thoughts that went through my mind because of the rapidity of these two, of the first shot plus the blow that I took, and I knew I had been hit, and I immediately assumed, because of the amount of blood, and in fact, that it had obviously passed through my chest. that I had probably been fatally hit.
So I merely doubled up, and then turned to my right again and began to--I just sat there, and Mrs. Connally pulled me over to her lap. She was sitting, of course, on the jump seat, so I reclined with my head in her lap, conscious all the time, and with my eyes open; and then, of course, the third shot sounded, and I heard the shot very clearly. I heard it hit him. I heard the shot hit something, and I assumed again--it never entered my mind that it ever hit anybody but the President. I heard it hit. It was a very loud noise, just that audible, very clear.
Immediately I could see on my clothes, my clothing, I could see on the interior of the car which, as I recall, was a pale blue, brain tissue, which I immediately recognized, and I recall very well, on my trousers there was one chunk of brain tissue as big as almost my thumb, thumbnail, and again I did not see the President at any time either after the first, second, or third shots, but I assumed always that it was he who was hit and no one else.
I immediately, when I was hit, I said, "Oh, no, no, no." And then I said, "My God, they are going to kill us all." Nellie, when she pulled me over into her lap----
Mr. Specter.
Nellie is Mrs. Connally?
Governor CONNALLY. Mrs. Connally. When she pulled me over into her lap, she could tell I was still breathing and moving, and she said, "Don't worry, Be quiet. You are going to be all right." She Just kept telling me I was going to be all right.
After the third shot, and I heard Roy Kellerman tell the driver, "Bill, get out of line." And then I saw him move, and I assumed he was moving a button or something on the panel of the automobile, and he said, "Get us to a hospital quick." I assumed he was saying this to the patrolman, the motorcycle police who were leading us.
At about that time, we began to pull out of the cavalcade, out of the line, and I lost consciousness and didn't regain consciousness until we got to the hospital.
Mr. Specter.
Governor Connally, I hand you a photograph, marked Commission Exhibit 699, which is an overhead shot of Dealey Plaza depicting the intersection of Houston and Elm, and ask you if you would take a look at that photograph and mark for us, if you would, with one of the red pencils at your right, the position of the President's automobile as nearly as you can where it was at the time the shooting first started.
Governor CONNALLY. I would say it would be about where this truck is here. It looks like a truck. I would say about in that neighborhood.
Mr. Specter.
Would you place your initials, Governor, by the mark that you made there?
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