Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK

Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK is a non-fiction book by Bonar Menninger describing a theory by sharpshooter, gunsmith and ballistics expert Howard Donahue that a Secret Service agent accidentally fired the shot that actually killed President John F. Kennedy.

Donahue first became interested in the story when he was involved in a recreation of the shooting. Invited as a sharpshooter, Donahue demonstrated that it was possible for Lee Harvey Oswald to have fired three shots in the time specified by the Warren Commission, the only one of the eleven invited marksmen to achieve this rate of fire. However the experience highlighted to Donahue other questions regarding the Warren report, and in particular the fact that the testimony of ballistics experts seemed to have been completely omitted from the Commission's evidence gathering.

Donahue eventually decided that the bullet that struck Kennedy in the head had in fact been fired by agent George Hickey from an AR-15 carried in a secret service car following the President's vehicle. However he also decided that a previous shot had already mortally wounded Kennedy before the head shot was fired.

Mortal Error was published in 1992 in both hardback, paperback, and audiobook. In 1995, Hickey sued the publishers, Simon & Schuster and St. Martin's Press, over the claims made in the book, but the suit was dismissed in 1997 on the grounds that it had been filed too long after publication. In 1998, Hickey settled with the publishers of Mortal Error on undisclosed terms.

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