ORVILLE NIX: THE MISSING JFK ASSASSINATION FILM

THE UNFLINCHING TRUE STORY OF AN ORDINARY MAN SWEPT UP IN AN EXTRAORDINARY EVENT BY GAYLE NIX JACKSON

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Anyone who has taken a history course since November 22, 1963 is well aware of the heinous primary events that took place on that picture-perfect day in Dallas. The 35th president of our sovereign nation was gunned down in front of thousands of people at half past noon on that Friday, in broad daylight. This horrible crime marked the first time television viewers were introduced to reality television. Those who were fortunate enough to own televisions watched the repercussions of the assassination unfold before their eyes for the next four days. Others listened by radio or read newspapers. His suspected murderer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was captured later that day at the Texas Theater after allegedly killing Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit. The crime wasn’t hidden by darkness— but much of the evidence has been hidden in its aftermath.

One of those pieces of evidence is the home movie my grandfather, Orville Nix, took on that fateful day. Though there are many extant copies of “the Nix Film”, the camera original has been lost since at least 1978. 2 While researchers combed the files of the Warren Commission, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the Rockefeller Committee, and the Assassination Records Review Board, obsessing over overlooked clues as to whether or not Oswald acted alone, the whereabouts of the camera-original Nix film remains a mystery.

The better-known Abraham Zapruder film has been analyzed, written about, called a ‘time clock’ of the assassination, and purchased by the United States taxpayers due to its designation as an official assassination record by the Assassination Records Review Board.3 But why, thirty-seven years after the assassination, was it finally treated as evidence? Why wasn’t it seized by the Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the Dallas Police Department on November 22, 1963? Orville Nix’s film was seized by the FBI as soon as it was developed. The first time Orville saw it was in the middle of the night with his son Orville Jr., projected onto a textured white wall at its place of development, Dynacolor Film Processing. Orville, unlike Zapruder, was not allowed to keep a copy for himself and give the first generation copies to law enforcement officials. When is evidence ever handled in such a manner? Were the law enforcement authorities in Dallas so ahead of their time that they could adjudicate between ‘evidence’ and ‘conjecture’ during the 1960’s?...

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