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In the Classroom

Fall/Winter 2014

Students in Tiffin University’s senior-seminar in criminal justice classes took an in-depth look at the shot that killed President John F. Kennedy.

“The project involves the JFK assassination; particularly, the analysis of the most probable shot scenario on the day of the assassination, argued with all available evidence,” said Pete Piraino, Criminal Justice and Security Studies Instructor.

Piraino divided the two classes into several teams and selected the two best presentations, one from each class. The two winners from the sections vied for the overall best presentation in November. Judges from the audience helped select the winning team during the first-year event.

“In their analysis and evaluation of the shot scenario, the students were to determine the most probable shot sequence while accounting for all the damage done by the gunfire that day,” Piraino said. “The learning goals involve rational, unbiased, and intelligent evidence evaluation, a professional and informative presentation, teamwork, and the use of critical thinking skills needed in the criminal justice workplace.”

The presentation explained that Kennedy, who was riding with his wife and a governor in a motorcade, was shot on November 22, 1963. The shots were fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Lee Harvey Oswald was the suspect, but he, too, was shot and never stood trial.

The first group explained that three bullet casings were located, which led people to believe three shots were fired. The group shared its most probable scenario, which believed the first bullet missed and became embedded in grass or asphalt; the second hit Kennedy in the back, exited through his throat and hit the governor in the back; and the third struck Kennedy in the head.

The group believed the third shot is the one that proved fatal for Kennedy. The second group to present its findings also believed the first shot missed.

The group reported the bullet from the first shot damaged a curb and injured a by-stander. It believed the second shot impacted Kennedy and the governor, and thought the third bullet struck Kennedy in the head, killing him.

At the conclusion of the presentations, Piraino said he thought both groups did a phenomenal job.