Killer on the Knoll


Mary Moorman took this famous Polaroid at the moment of the fatal head shot. Many of the Dealey Plaza witnesses believed at least one shot came from the Grassy Knoll, which is visible in the background of this photo.

Closer inspection of the photo shows what appears to be a man’s head looking over the stockade fence on the Grassy Knoll. This figure is at the exact spot where Sam Holland and six fellow railroad workers observed a puff of smoke, where Ed Hoffman saw a man fire a shot at the President, where Lee Bowers noted "some commotion", and where the House Select Committee on Assassinations determined a second gunman fired a high-powered rifle. Films taken in Dealey Plaza shortly after the assassination show police and spectators rushing en masse towards that corner of the stockade fence. Dallas Police Officer Joe Smith charged that spot with his gun drawn, where he encountered a man showing Secret Service credentials. However, there were no Secret Service agents in Dealey Plaza at that time. Officer Smith also claims that he could smell the "…lingering smell of gunpowder…." around the stockade fence.

Two railroad employees who witnessed the assassination from their position atop the Triple Overpass, Sam Holland and James Simmons, raced to the corner of the stockade fence. They found hundreds of footprints in the mud at the exact location of the figure in Mary Moorman’s photo. There was mud on the bumper of a station wagon, as if someone had either used it wipe his feet clean, or stood on it to look over the fence.

Jerry McLeer

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