Washington, Nov 14 : Using modern technology, a team of scientists have recreated the assassination of John F. Kennedy (JFK), the 35th president of the United States, to determine that the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository was the most likely origin of the shot that killed him.
On November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. Central time, President John F. Kennedy was shot twice while traveling in his limousine through Dallas, Texas. The first shot entered Kennedy's back and exited out of his throat.
According to a report in Discovery News, the team of experts, which was assembled by the Discovery Channel, used modern blood splatter analysis, new artificial human body surrogates, and 3-D computer simulations, to recreate the assassination.
"The question we were trying to answer is, given the spatter evidence in a vehicle, and knowing an individual was sitting at a particular location, is there something we could use to determine where the shot originated?" said Steve Schliebe, a blood spatter and trace evidence specialist with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, who was part of the special investigation.
While blood spatter analysis existed in the 1960s, modern innovations have greatly improved its accuracy and the amount of information that can be gleaned from drops of blood.
According to Tom Bevel, an independent expert forensic investigator, "Because of innovations like high-speed photography, we have a much better appreciation of what is actually taking place."
A mock-up of the Dallas, Texas crime scene was set up, including the depository, the "grassy knoll," and other nearby landmarks.
Artificial surrogates of Kennedy were placed in a car.
Sharpshooters then shot the surrogates from the model depository, the grassy knoll, and four other plausible locations.
Schliebe, along with Bevel, were brought in to examine the simulated crime scene.
The two experts found a simulated gunshot would to the head that closely matched the wound Kennedy suffered.
In addition to the physical environment, a virtual environment was also set up, in the form of a 3-D model of the crime scene.
To animate it, the team looked at a video of the assassination filmed by Abraham Zapruder.
Computer graphics expert Doug Martin highlighted the red parts of the frames and the blood resulting from the wound, and plotted them onto the computer simulation to see where the fatal shot came from.
"We might never know if Oswald pulled the trigger, but when you look at the wind pattern, the spread of the debris, the angles and distances involved, it's consistent with a shot from the sixth floor depository," said Martin.