Upon reflection: looking back on my accomplishments and discoveries

Although I can honestly say, with a straight face, that I began a serious interest in the JFK assassination and the Secret Service in 1978, at the tender age of 12 (during the HSCA era, checking out the classic “Four Days” from my middle school library while enjoying my favorite television show of all time, “The Wild, Wild West”, a fictional take on the Secret Service of the 19th century), it was really 11/22/88, the 25th anniversary of the assassination (when I was fresh out of college at the age of 22), that I began an intense interest beyond mere curiosity into both the life and death of President Kennedy AND a deeper look at the Secret Service. From an unclaimed magazine on the assassination at work to purchasing “Mafia Kingfish”, “High Treason”, and a couple coffee table tribute books to JFK’s life, I was immersed in the subject.

Still, it was not until 1991 that I truly began primary research-contacting former agents and surviving family members, as well as researching the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission, among other sources. My debut presentation (at the age of 25) at the Fredonia, NY “Third Decade” conference was a huge success. I knew I was on the right track. It was here I also met Harry Livingstone and contributed research that led to a credit in “High Treason 2”, the first book that ever mentioned me, in February 1992 (since then, I have appeared in over 80 other author’s books, including the ARRB Final Report given to President Clinton!) [I video taped an interview with Jerrol Custer, the Bethesda autopsy technician who lived close by, on 11/22/91].

Since it is the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, I figured now would be a good time to reflect upon some of my major accomplishments and discoveries, so here goes:

1) In 1990 I “discovered” DNC advance man Marty Underwood for Harry Livingstone (Underwood helped advance JFK’s trip to Houston and his proposed trip to Austin)- see “High Treason 2”. The local CBS affiliate here in Pittsburgh ran a short interview with Marty on 11/22/88 (one of several programs I taped off the tv that night) that was fascinating, to say the least. I interviewed Marty later on

2) A big one: I “discovered”/ popularized the WFAA/ ABC black and white video of the Love Field agent recall in 1991 (SA Don Lawton being recalled by ATSAIC Emory Roberts [for years, I believed the agent to be SA Henry J. “Hank” Rybka…turns out I was both wrong AND right: see my book]. Yep, the 5 million+ hit grainy 2006 You Tube video owes everything to me- not only did I discover this video 15 years beforehand, I presented the video at COPA 1995, COPA 1996, LANCER 1997, and the History Channel’s “The Men Who Killed Kennedy” in 2003, all years before the popular You Tube video, etc.:

3) Another biggie: I “discovered”/ popularized the WFAA/ ABC black and white video of Dr. Robert Shaw, Governor Connally’s chief surgeon, telling millions around the world that the bullet was STILL in Connally’s leg, hours after the so-called “magic bullet” (CE399) was on its way back to DC on AF1 via Secret Service agent Richard Johnsen:

4) For better or for worse (!), it was because of my 22-page letter to former Secret Service agent Clint Hill in June of 2005 that caused fellow former agent (and Hill best friend) Gerald Blaine to begin writing the 2010 book “The Kennedy Detail”, an extended-list NY Times best-seller (selling over 100,000 copies to date) that spawned a 2010 Emmy-nominated documentary and a movie in-progress for 2014, as well as, indirectly [without the success of the one there would be no others], Hill’s 2012 follow-up “Mrs. Kennedy and Me”, a #1 NY Times best-seller (selling over 200,000 copies to date) AND Hill’s 2013 book “Five Days In November”, also well on its way to being another best-seller (all three books had the same co-author, Lisa McCubbin):


5) My 9/27/92 interviews with SAIC Gerald Behn, as well as my many interviews from that date onward, that demonstrate that JFK DID NOT ORDER THE AGENTS OFF HIS LIMOUSINE, NOR DID HE INTERFERE WITH THE ACTIONS OF THE SECRET SERVICE AT ALL; the same goes for JFK’s staff (O’Donnell, Powers, O’Brien):

6) My discovery of a covert monitor of threats to JFK’s life that was invoked on the second NY, Florida, and Texas trips in November 1963- see chapter 2 of my book;

7) My discovery of the actual person responsible for the removal of the bubbletop on 11/22/63: see chapter 3 of my book;

8) My discovery of a previously unknown/ overlooked Parkland Doctor, Dr. William Zedlitz:


9) My “discovery”/ popularization of the fact that ASAIC Floyd Boring was in charge of the planning of the Texas trip for the Secret Service- see chapter 1 of my book;

10) My 1997 discovery of the death of an agent BEFORE Dallas: SA THOMAS B. SHIPMAN, who passed away of an alleged heart attack 10/14/63 at Camp David! See chapter 11 of my book;

11) My discovery that it was THE SECRET SERVICE, NOT the president, that truly was in charge of security- see my book;

12) My discovery that multi-story building rooftops WERE guarded BEFORE 11/22/63- see my book

There are more, I suppose, but this is arguably my “top 12”- the ones off the top of my head 🙂

Vince Palamara 11/28/13

About vincepalamara

Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology. Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over 80 former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and subpoena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy. Vince is also the author of the books JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda, The Not-So-Secret Service, Who's Who in the Secret Service, and Honest Answers about the Murder of President John F. Kennedy: A New Look at the JFK Assassination. All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 140 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works. Vince has appeared on the History Channel's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (VHS and DVD), C-SPAN, Newsmax TV, A COUP IN CAMELOT (DVD/BLU RAY), KING KILL '63, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT (DVD), National Geographic's JFK: THE FINAL HOURS (including on DVD), PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library. Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.
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