The bullet strikes (2) : z222-z226


Abraham Zapruder camera took about 18 frames per second, i.e. each frame represents about 55 milliseconds (55.6). Each frame exposure lasts 27 ms. Thus each frame is constituted by an image  (27 ms) and an unexposed time (28ms).

This is illustrated as follows, taking as starting point the exposure of frame 222.

0-27ms 28-55 56-82 83-110 111-137 138-165 166-192 193-220 221-247
z222   z223   z224   z225   z226

This page was initially considering frame 223 as the initial image of the SBT shot sequence. Further to certain discussions on usenet, I was confronted with a theory that had some merits and I modified this page to the effect that it considers frame 222 as well, so that at least everybody could form its own opinion.

So let us start with frame 222.

Look at this white spot in front of Connally. If this spot is not an artifact of the frame, it may well be the cuff of Connally's shirt.

The following points seem to confirm that this is Connally's cuff:

First, taking into account the blurring of the picture, this spot has clear edges.

Then, this comparison of z222 and z223 appear to show that something, that could be Connally's hand, hides Connally's tie. On frame 223, we see what seems to be the stripes of Connally's tie that cannot be seen on z222 

Something is hiding Connally's tie in z222. This may be the hand of the governor, which would be consistent with the hypothesis that the white spot is Connally's cuff.

To check again if it is possible that the tie is hidden by the hand, I have done the following herebelow: I copied the hand and the hat of the governor as they appear at another point of the film (z230), pasted them into z222, and rotated them to the effect that the cuff is aligned with what we think is the cuff in z222. The result is positive: what was hiding the tie in z222 may well be Connally's hand, and thus the white object is indeed probably his cuff. 

Check the cuff theory

Here is an animated version of the process.

Check the cuff theory-animation

So let us consider that the white object in z222 is indeed the cuff. As it is not any more visible in z223, it means there is a hand movement of Connally between z222 and z223. What is the reason for that movement? During my discussions on usenet, I was confronted with 2 interpretations:

Having this second hypothesis in mind, let us consider again the movements between frame z222 and z223: there are certain movements of Connally's coat who are less obvious than the lapel flip of z223-z224 but who are nevertheless interesting:

All in all, this analysis of z222 and z223 shows a series of elements who concur to show that between these two frames, a missile went through the chest and the wrist of the governor, which caused all the movements described above: wrist movement, coat and lapel movement, apparent rotation of the torso. 

Interpretations :

There are two possible interpretations.

1. Connally is just moving his hand to his left, and his wrist will be in line for the shot that will happen in the next frame; the issue with this interpretation is that it does not explain the other movements (although these may be have another explanation). I do not believe any more this is possible.

2. Connally was just hit by the bullet between
z222 and z223
. I am convinced this is what happened by all the described elements.



In frame 223, the President can not be seen at all. We can therefore analyze only the movement of Governor Connally.

0-27ms 28-55 56-82 83-110 111-137 138-165 166-192 193-220 221-247
z222   z223   z224   z225   z226

In z223, Connally is slightly turned to the right, he is looking on the right site at an angle of approximately 45°. His face is neutral.

The body of the Governor is slightly rotated to the right. Is it turned sufficiently to allow the SBT to work? This point is briefly analyzed here (this page also contains an animation of frames  z222 to z224 that will maybe allow you to make your own opinion about the moment of the gunshot)

In z224, we can see the following:

1. the lapel of his coat has flipped and is hiding his shirt

2. his right shoulder has moved forward and apparently slightly down: look at the portion of the seat that can be seen above and on the left of his shoulder.

3. the left shoulder does not appear to have moved. Logically, further to the movement of the right shoulder, the body has slightly rotated to the left.


Approximately 55 ms have passed since the bullet struck. Connally shows no other reaction than a purely mechanical reaction to the shock of the bullet: the Governor's body goes forward and rotates left.

Some have argued, based on Connally's coat, that the lapel movement cannot be linked to a bullet.  This question is treated here.



Z 224 is the first frame where we can see President Kennedy. We can thus analyze the movements of both men:

0-27ms 28-55 56-82 83-110 111-137 138-165 166-192 193-220 221-247
z222   z223   z224   z225   z226


In z224, both Kennedy's hands can be seen.

In z225, Kennedy can be seen almost entirely:

1. Kennedy's left hand seems to have moved downwards, although the frame is somewhat blurred.

2. Kennedy's right hand has moved downward compared with frame 224.

This picture will allow you to make the comparison and will show that the downward movement is not an illusion: look at the relative position of the hands.

3. As far as we can tell, Kennedy's face shows a surprised look : the mouth is open.

There seems to be a small movement at the level of the elbows: these seem to be farther from the body.


1. The body turns further to the left, and this movement can be seen in the left shoulder that goes backward. There seems to be a slight upward movement.

2. The head also pursues its rotation movement to the left. The face is very similar to Kennedy's face : the mouth is open, he looks surprised.

3. A little white spot has appeared in front of Connally : although it could be interpreted as a reflection, it seems to be the first frame where we can see Connally's hat that will appear in the next frames in a forward and upward movement.

Interpretation :

The bullet has gone through both men since a bit more than 110 ms. Their reactions are, until now, purely mechanical : except for the puzzled look on their face, there seems to be no muscular reaction yet.

For instance, Kennedy's hands are going downward. What does this mean? In the images before the road sign, one can see until z207 that Kennedy is waving and smiling at the crowd. At z207, his hand is up and hiding his face. Somewhere in the 0.8 second between z207 and z223, Kennedy has started to bring his hand down and it is this downward movement that is still happening between z224 and z225.

Still, at the same time, one can notice what could be the first sign of the muscular reaction to come in the next frame : the elbows of Kennedy are slightly farther from the body, and we can see what may be the hat of Connally appearing.

But this is very uncertain. These movements are so light that they could be mechanical movements : in the case of Kennedy, the slight shock forward caused by the passage of the missile through the neck's soft tissues, in the case of Connally, the wrist that is accelerated forward by the shock.



Kennedy rotates rapidly to the left. His hands go quickly up to his throat.

0-27ms 28-55 56-82 83-110 111-137 138-165 166-192 193-220 221-247
z222   z223   z224   z225   z226

Connally seems to slump while his head rotates left. One can see a larger piece of his hat (white spot).

Interpretation : Both man show for the first time a remarkable muscular reaction. Since they were hit, the elapsed time is in the rage of 165 ms.

Conclusion on all these elements:

Everything shows that both men were hit at the same time by the same bullet between z222 and z223.

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