Frame by Frame breakdown of the Zapruder Film

With some various theories that have been presented.

This page was created by Marc Carlson
It was last edited 15 May 2017

Frame #Event
140The car turns on to Elm street.
145[Some people interpret the first shot as having been fired at this point]
151-153[Some people interpret the first shot as having been fired at this point]
154-155Kennedy turns his head very rapidly from left to right.
158-160Zapruder jiggled his camera. [Numerous “Ear-witnesses” recall the first shot being about this point, when the car has just turned the corner onto Elm Street]
160The little girl who is running next to the Car begins to turn to her right.
162The little girl has stopped running. Kennedy stops waving. Connally turns his head sharply to the right.
???James Tague is struck by a piece of flying cement while standing under the end of the triple by-pass. [along a straight line, through the oak tree and the School Book Depository window. A mark in the cement along that line revealed traces of lead and antimony, suggesting that the round had lost its copper jacket — which can happen when striking a tree branch]
167-210Foliage blocks a School Book Depository sniper’s view of Kennedy (with a small break at 186), according to reconstructions (2.3 seconds). Branches had given partial visual cover for some time before that.
187(1.5 seconds after frame 160) The little girl has stopped and is staring at the SBD. Kennedy starts waving again. Mrs. Kennedy is looking around.
189-197Zapruder jiggles his camera again.
188-191(190)[House Select Committee suggests that this is the point at which Kennedy was hit. This is the traditionally held time for that the second shot hit him. Many people believe that this shot was a front shot from a smaller weapon than the 6.5 mm Carcano]
200No one in the car appears hurt. Kennedy is waving to the crowd with his right hand.
200-224Zapruder’s view of Kennedy is blocked by a highway sign. Even during this time, Kennedy’s hand can still be seen over the sign.
202Phillip Willis’s photograph showing Zapruder was shot here.
207Witness Howard Brennan turns abruptly to the right.
210As Kennedy becomes visible from the foliage, this is the first opportunity that an SBD sniper would have a chance to fire.
220-228Zapruder jiggles his camera.
223-224Probable time that Kennedy was first hit. [At this point, the positions of the two men, Kennedy’s leaning slightly forward, and the much taller Connally twisted to the right, with his hand in front of him, holding his hat at lower chest level, make it possible for a single bullet to enter Kennedy’s back, pass through his lower throat, into Connally’s right back, glance downward off a rib, exit under his right nipple, and enter his left thigh coming to rest, drained of energy, just below the skin.]
224The right front lapel on Connally’s suit flips up as the bullet passed through his chest.
225Kennedy becomes visible to Zapruder again, his right arm is resting on the edge of the car, having just relaxed from waving. Connally shows no obvious effects.
226Kennedy is clearly raising his right arm. Conally becomes rigid, and changed his expression [The House Select Committee suggests that this is the point at which Connally was hit based on his facial features and body position.]
227Kennedy’s arm jerks off the car, clearly reacting to the throat shot [This is a clear case of “Thorburn’s Position”, as his body reacts to the spinal damage caused by the hydrostatic shock of the bullet passing so close to the spine in 223-4. This is supported by the fact that his arms are locked into position until 313] (1/10-2/10 of a second after 223-4) Connally’s hat (held in his right hand) begins to move in a reflex response to his radius bone being broken)
228Kennedy’s torso pitches forward suddenly (to 231)
229Connally’s hat drops to its original position.
229-233Mrs. Connally claimed her husband was shot about this time.
231-234Connally told the Warren Commission that this was when he remembered being hit.
231Kennedy stops moving forward.
234Connally later determines it was at this point. [This is likely when Connally tried to take his next regular breath, the lung punctured only 2/3s of a second before collapsed, and making him feel like he’d just been hit; or, he IS hit at this point and his lung collapses at this point].
235Connally’s mouth opens wide and his body begins to react to the collapsed lung, drawing him down and to the right.
255Estimated point at which Ike Altgens’ picture is shot [showing what appears to be Oswald in the SBD doorway, and an open window in the second floor Dal-Tex broom closet. It also appears to show the crack in the windshield left by bullet fragments (see 337) ].
309?-Zapruder jiggles his camera.
312Kennedy’s head pitches forward suddenly.
313The 161.2 grain slug, travelling at 2,100 feet per second smacks into the right occipital area of Kennedy’s head, shattering the occipital bone and generating tremendous force in the flesh of the brain. The upper right side of his head explodes, blowing brains and bit of bone in an expanding pink cloud. The pieces of the parietal and temporal sections of his skull remain attached by skin, and so fall back into place, creating the appearance of an intact skull. His head lurches back to the left (8.0-8.4 seconds after the first shot) as his body stiffens suddenly from the massive neurological damage, and possibly aggravated by his back brace, or, if you wish, studies have also shown that the head flying back and to the left is also possible because of the matter ejected by the right side of his head exploding in a simple Newtonian happening. The film clearly shows the back of the head to be clean.
by 320The two officers riding (to the left?) behind the car are splattered with blood and brains, after driving up to and passing through the cloud blown out of the President. (allegedly, a section of Kennedy’s right occipital bone was found by Billy Harper, some 35 feet to the left and rear of the impact point
321Kennedy is slumped to his left, the right parietal area of his skull completely exposed.
337Kennedy is sliding into Mrs. Kennedy’s lap, much of the flesh and bone of his skull hanging hinged by the skin. Two large bullet fragments were found in the car (44.6 and 21.0 grains = 65.6 grains) after they dented some chrome and damaged the windshield, and a “pristine” (Magic) bullet at the hospital (158.6 grains). The average weight of a 6.5 mm Carcano bullet is 161.2 grains. The six fragments removed from Connally would have weighed not more than 1.5 grains all together.

Let me be clear. The 1.5 grains number is hypothetical only, and without the actual removal of the fragments from Connally’s body, which the family has declined to do, we actually don’t know the  projectile mass.


Groden, Robert J. The Killing of a President. New York: Penguin Books, 1993.
Posner, Gerald. Case Closed, Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assasination of JFK. New York: Random House, 1993