Jean Hill: The Lady in Red
"It was right up there. The man was shooting from right just this side of that tree . . . that large tree, and that's where I saw the shot come from" -- Jean Hill in 1992 video Beyond JFK (above).

She's in most of the conspiracy videos and conspiracy books. The late Jean Hill claimed to have seen a shooter on the Grassy Knoll at the moment Kennedy was hit in the head by a bullet on November 22nd, 1963. From the beginning, her testimony was interesting, sometimes funny, and has implied a conspiracy.

But that's not to say it was consistent.

Consider for example her claim to have seen a Grassy Knoll shooter. A little more than an hour after the shooting, on the afternoon of the assassination, she was interviewed by WBAP-TV. (See right. Hill is on the left in the video, and her friend Mary Moorman, who was standing next to Hill on the Dealey Plaza infield, is on the right).

Q. "Did you see the person who fired the . . ."
A. "No . . . I didn't see any person fire the weapon . . ."
Q. "You only heard it?"
A. "I only heard it."
Hill's testimony had substantial credibility problems on other issues too. The following chart summarizes key elements of her testimony, and evaluates each.

The Testimony of Jean Hill
Her Latter-Day ClaimWas she saying this in 1963-64?Evaluation
Was in Dealey Plaza at the time of the shootingYesShe is plainly visible in several films and still photos in her red raincoat.
She came to see "J.B. Marshall" [sic] her boyfriend, who was a motorcycle cop escorting the presidential limoNoThe officer she describes is not "J.B. Marshall," but rather B.J. Martin.
She stepped into Elm Street and shouted "Hey, Mr. President, look this way. We want to take your picture." Almost touched front fender of limo.Sort of. Her Warren Commission testimony is that she was on the "edge" of the street.Contradicted by photographic evidence, which shows her several feet from the curb and not moving.
Saw a little dog in the limo between John Kennedy and JackieYesAn odd but doubtless sincere observation. May have mistaken bouquet of chrysanthemums in limo for small dog. Various photos show Jackie with flowers at Love Field, and in the limo.
Heard four to six shotsYesThis places her among a tiny minority of witnesses who heard more than three shots, although there is no reason to doubt her sincerity.
She saw a shooter on the Grassy Knoll in the "Badgeman" positionNoFlatly contradicts her statement on the day of the assassination (see above).
The "whole back" of Kennedy's head exploded as he was hitNoShe told the Warren Commission that Kennedy's hair "rippled up" with no mention of the back of his head exploding.
Ran across Elm Street up the Grassy Knoll so quickly she failed to see Jackie climbing out onto trunk of presidential limo, and was almost hit by motorcycle of officer escorting limo.YesPhotos by Wilma Bond show her first sitting, and then standing in position on Dealey Plaza infield for over a minute after the shooting, long after other bystanders had run up the Knoll.
Saw Jack Ruby running from the corner of the Texas School Book Depository behind the Pergola toward the railroad yardsYesShe doubtless saw a man running, but Jack Ruby was at the offices of the Dallas Morning News and could not have been in Dealey Plaza.
Claims to have been waylaid by Secret Service agents immediately after the assassination, intimidated, and told she must say there were only three shots fired. NoHer affidavit of November 22nd, 1963, says that after the shooting she went with Mary Moorman and "Mr. Featherstone [sic] of the Times-Herald" to the press room of the Sheriff's office. Both Featherston and Moorman confirm that her original statement, rather than her latter-day claims, is true.
Her boyfriend, Officer "J.B. Marshall" [sic] told her that the presidential motorcade route was changed at the last minuteNoThe "changed motorcade route" story is repeated in many books about the assassination, but in fact it did not happen.
"Marshall" told her that Lyndon Johnson "ducked down" before any shots were fired.NoJohnson was forced down by Secret Service agent Rufus W. Youngblood who reacted immediately when the shooting started.
Her Warren Commission testimony, as reported in the Commission volumes, was very different from what she actually said. No Her published testimony is consistent with other statements she made in 1963-64, although not with her current claims. It also contains several elements that imply a conspiracy -- including four to six shots, hearing shots from the Knoll, and seeing Jack Ruby in Dealey Plaza.
There have been attempts on her lifeNoNo supporting evidence has been produced. If attempts she describes in her book were real, they were extremely lame
Sources: Anthony Summers, Conspiracy; pp. 28, 50-51, Jim Marrs, Crossfire, pp. 37-38, 322-324; Richard Trask, Pictures of the Pain, pp. 232-242; Bill Sloan with Jean Hill, The Last Dissenting Witness.

Jean Hill in Zapruder Film
Jean Hill (left) and her friend Mary Moorman (shooting polaroid photo) in the Zapruder film about a second before the head shot that killed Kennedy. Hill is not even looking at JFK.

Sequestered and Intimidated by Goons

Hill's claim to have been taken by officials (or people claiming to be officials) to some location near the Plaza and intimidated is enacted fairly accurately by actress Ellen McElduff in the movie "JFK:" Since there were several media interviews of Hill after the supposed session with the goons, we might want to see whether Hill looks to be frightened, intimidated or cowed during these interviews.

At right, you can see an interview conducted by Bill Lord of ABC late in day on November 22.

Given that her original affidavit says she and Mary Moorman went with Mr. Featherstone [sic] to the press room in the Sheriff's office, we might want to know if Moorman and Jim Featherston can confirm her story.

First, Featherstone:

I ran to Dealey Plaza, a few yards away, and this is where I first learned the president had been shot. I found two young women, Mary Moorman and Jean Lollis Hill, near the curb on Dealey Plaza. Both had been within a few feet of the spot where Kennedy was shot, and Mary Moorman had taken a Polaroid picture of Jackie Kennedy cradling the president's head in her arms....

I told Mrs. Moorman I wanted the picture for the Times Herald and she agreed. I then told both of them I would like for them to come with me to the courthouse pressroom so I could get their stories and both agreed. . . .

Before long, the pressroom became filled with other newsmen. Mrs. Hill told her story over and over again for television and radio. Each time, she would embellish it a bit until her version began to sound like Dodge City at high noon. She told of a man running up toward the now-famed grassy knoll pursued by other men she believed to be policemen. In the meantime, I had talked to other witnesses and at one point I told Mrs. Hill she shouldn't be saying some of the things she was telling television and radio reporters. I was merely trying to save her later embarrassment but she apparently attached intrigue to my warning.

Mary Moorman Speaks

It has long been know by JFK researchers (and is in fact conceded in Jean Hill's book The Last Dissenting Witness) that Mary Moorman does not support Hill's version of events following the shooting. Finally, in 2011, Moorman did an on-the-record interview explicitly denying certain elements of Hill's testimony, and most especially the notion that goons had taken Hill, sequestered her, and tried to intimidate her. Moorman sets the record straight in the video below.

Jean Hill died in November, 2000. Here is a highly sympathetic obituary from the JFK Lancer web site.

For a more extensive examination of Jean Hill, see Peter Whitmey's article "Jean Hill - The Lady in Red" on Clint Bradford's Attention to Details web site.

The video clips of the WBAP interview, and the ABC interview are courtesy of David Von Peinís audio and video archive.

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