Douglas Weldon

Douglas Weldon

Douglas Weldon was born in Lima, Ohio, on 10th August, 1953. He was educated at Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Weldon was attorney for the County of Kalamazoo Circuit Court and Adjunct Professor for Western Michigan University's Department of Criminal Justice. He was a member of Westwood United Methodist Church and the Michigan Bar Association.

Weldon researched the assassination of John F. Kennedy for several years and contributed The Kennedy Limousine: Dallas 1963 that appeared in Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000).

Douglas Weldon, who had three children and three grandchildren, died in Kalamazoo on 5th January, 2012.

Primary Sources

(1) Douglas Weldon, The Kennedy Limousine: Dallas 1963, included in Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000)

There are many people who witnessed a hole in the limousine windshield on 22 November 1963 at Parkland Hospital. I consider some of these people heroic because considerable pressure was placed upon them to retract their observations. Several of these people, with whom I have talked directly, remain hesitant to this day to discuss their observations and continue to fear for their personal safety.

Richard Dudman, a reporter for The St. Louis Post Dispatch, for example, wrote in an article entitled "Commentary of an Eyewitness" that appeared in The New Republic (21 December 1963): "A few of us noticed the hole in the windshield when the limousine was standing at the emergency entrance after the President had been carried inside. I could not approach close enough to see which side was the cup-shaped spot that indicates a bullet had pierced the glass from the opposite side."

Dudman told interviewers that a Secret Service agent shoved him and the other reporters away when he tried to examine the hole to determine the direction from which it had been fired. It is interesting to note that Dudman became aware of no less than five bullets that were fired in Dealey Plaza that day. Dudman was also critical of the lack of security on the top of the triple overpass, noting that the standing Secret Service orders were to keep the overpass clear. That order was violated that day. He also wrote that: "The south end of the viaduct is four short blocks from the office of The Dallas Morning News, where Jack Ruby was seen before and after the shooting... No one remembered for sure seeing Ruby between 12:15 and 12:45. The shooting was at 12:30." Mr. Dudman has declined to discuss the assassination with anyone for many years, while his earlier commentary bears mute witness to his present silence.

Former Dallas Police Officer H.R. Freeman, who rode in the motorcade, noted in a 1971 interview by Gil Toff of his observation of the limousine at Parkland Hospital immediately after the shooting, "I was right beside it. I could have touched it. It was a bullet hole. You could tell what it was." And he was not the only police officer - a type of witness usually prized for his accurate and reliable observations - who saw similar damage to the glass. Dallas Police Officer Stavis Ellis, who was in charge of the motorcade escort through Dallas, remarked, in later interviews to reporters and on radio programs, "You could put a pencil through it." Over extensive interviews with this author, Mr. Ellis was unequivocal about observing the hole. His recollection was that the hole was lower in the windshield, but he is absolutely certain of its existence. He did describe the hole as being on the driver's side of the rearview mirror, which is consistent with other observations and the photographic evidence. He recalls actually placing a pencil in the hole. He recounted that there were numerous people and police officers at Parkland Hospital who viewed the hole. He vividly remembers that while he was observing the hole a Secret Service agent came up to him and tried to persuade him that he was seeing a "fragment" and not a hole.