DISCOVERY CHANNEL'S 'JFK: INSIDE THE TARGET CAR' EMPLOYS STATE OF THE ART FORENSIC SCIENCE THAT YIELDS DEFINITIVE PROOF: THE FATAL SHOT WAS FIRED FROM THE TEXAS SCHOOL BOOK DEPOSITORY
-- World Premiere One-Hour Special Airs Sunday, November 16, 2008, at 9 PM (ET/PT) --
(Silver Spring, Md.) �- Marking the 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Discovery Channel examines that fateful day in Dallas, methodically employing cutting-edge forensics and Zapruder film archives to definitively prove that the fatal bullet was fired from the Texas School Book Depository. The investigation is detailed in a world premiere special JFK: INSIDE THE TARGET CAR, premiering Sunday, November 16, 2008, at 9 PM (ET/PT).
Decades after the Warren Commission determined that three shots were fired from the Depository building; theories still linger about additional locations and accomplices. To find the answers once and for all, Discovery Channel assembles a team of experts to set up an array of ballistic tests, trajectory analysis and the latest in forensic artificial body creation.
To ensure the greatest accuracy in testing all possible theories, the producers of the special traveled to Adelaide, Australia to employ Anatomical Surrogates, an engineering company that specializes in creating exact human specimens utilized in military weaponry development. Working with Kennedy's hat size they create a replica � matching the size and density of a human head. A special effects team also built the Presidential limousine passenger area to finite specification.
"JFK: INSIDE THE TARGET CAR is the latest example of using break-through technology to authenticate scientific theories," said John Ford, president and general manager, Discovery Channel. "This special encompasses an intensive forensic investigation that proves the origin of the fatal bullet. It's momentous for the network to help support the science behind this definitive evidence."
The investigation team includes Gary Mack, Curator of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas and a 25-year veteran of Kennedy investigations; world renowned sharpshooter Michael Yardley; Wesley Fisk, Chief Operating Officer of Anatomical Surrogates; and veteran crime scene and forensic examiners Tom Bevel and Steve Schlieble. A graduate of Britain's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Yardley has won more than 500 competitions as a civilian marksman.
To further assemble the pieces of the puzzle, the special interviews key players from that November day. Jack McNairy and H.B. McLain are two eyewitnesses who saw the blood-splattered limo before the Secret Service ordered it cleaned and sent back to Washington D.C. Bobby Hargis, a Dallas police officer in 1963 riding directly behind the limo, provides crucial information about the effects of gunfire. And finally, in one of her last recorded interviews, the late Nellie Connally, who, with her husband, Texas Governor John Connally, was in the car with President and Mrs. Kennedy.
Yardley looks through the scope of a high-powered rifle from four different possible angles focused on a duplicate Presidential limousine. The limo is in the exact spot where Kennedy was fired on and filled with actors the same size as the passengers that day. From vantage points at the south end of the overpass, the north end of the overpass and two the grassy knoll, Yardley determines whether a shot could have come from a second gunman at any of these spots.
After careful analysis of possible shot locations, the forensics team structures, on a California firing range, the exact distances, angles, and even wind speed in Dallas on November 22, 1963. High-speed cameras roll as Yardley takes his best shot at the head replicas, utilizing a Mannlicher Carcano rifle - the same type supposedly used by Lee Harvey Oswald.
The results of these precision ballistics tests provide some clear answers to the events that unfolded in Dealey Plaza. Comparing the splatter patterns from these test angles, with the historical evidence gleaned from eyewitness testimony and Secret Service reports, as well as an exact digitized overlay of the Zapruder film, the forensic team draws the definitive conclusion that the fatal shot could have only come from the sixth floor window of the Book Depository and not anywhere else, just as the Warren Commission determined in 1964.
JFK: INSIDE THE TARGET CAR is the culmination of a four-part investigative mini-series that has been supported by and aired on Discovery Channel over the last five years. DEATH IN DEALEY PLAZA (2003) analyzed all the photography of the assassination. JFK CONSPIRACIES (2004) offered a detailed recreation of Lee Harvey Oswald's movements on the day of the assassination. Finally, BEHIND THE MAGIC BULLET (2005) fired and closely duplicated the trajectory of the so called "magic bullet" using many of the same forensic investigators featured in JFK: INSIDE THE TARGET CAR.
JFK: INSIDE THE TARGET CAR is produced for Discovery Channel by Creative Differences. Erik Nelson is executive producer and writer for Creative Differences. Suzy Geller-Wolf is executive producer for Discovery Channel.
About Discovery Channel
DISCOVERY CHANNEL (DSC) is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which reaches 98.1 million viewers in the US, can be seen in over 170 countries, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISAD, DISBD, DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.