LANGLEY, VA—Saying that he will never forget the events of that fateful day, local man Edgar Denton, 81, told reporters Friday that, five decades later, he could still recall exactly where he was and what he was doing the day he shot and killed former U.S. president John F. Kennedy.
“Everyone my age has a story about where they were when JFK was assassinated, and I’m no exception,” said Denton, emphasizing that his memories of the Friday morning in which he shouldered his M14 rifle, brought the presidential motorcade into his sights, and sent a bullet into the brain of the 35th president of the United States remain as vivid as ever. “I remember I was in Dallas at the time. Specifically, I was positioned behind a fence at street-level in Dealey Plaza right when I gunned down the president.”
“The image of everyone on the streets below panicking because I had just murdered the leader of the free world will stay with me for the rest of my life,” Denton continued.
Despite a full 50 years having passed since his covert assassination of a sitting U.S. president, Denton said that the day on which he killed Kennedy remains fresh in his mind, stressing that he could still recall, with complete clarity, the meticulous preparations he made in the minutes leading up to 12:30 in the afternoon on November 22, 1963.
In fact, the gunman confirmed that he could recall with pinpoint accuracy the exact location of the concealed sniper’s nest he was standing in that morning as he patiently waited for Kennedy’s 1961 Lincoln Continental to turn onto Elm Street and enter into his crosshairs. The contract killer also maintained that he remembers hearing Secret Service director James J. Rowley’s voice coming through his walkie-talkie giving him the go-ahead “like it was yesterday.”
Furthermore, Denton, a former Green Beret and lifelong Freemason, told reporters that the passage of time has in no way dulled the immense emotional impact of learning that the president had been successfully killed by him, saying that these mental impressions continue to be as lucid for him today as they were on the very day he eliminated JFK.
“When Walter Cronkite came on TV and told the nation that JFK was dead, it almost didn't feel real,” said Denton, recounting how he spent much of the historic afternoon inside a safe house, cleaning his rifle and thinking, “The president’s been shot by me. Oh my God, the president’s been shot by me.” “But despite how surreal it all was at the time, right now I could walk you through exactly what happened that day: hastily making my way to the rear entrance of the the Dal-Tex building, having the CIA pick me up and congratulate me, accepting $50,000 in bearer bonds. I could even tell you word for word what I wrote on that telegram to Ho Chi Minh.”
“I’ll never forget rushing home and hugging my wife and kids and telling them that everything would be all right,” added Denton, noting that he himself broke down into tears of joy upon realizing that the police had taken another suspect into custody.
Denton, who said that his violent unseating of the president and the aftermath remain among his most coherent memories, explained that he will regularly describe in pitch-perfect detail the circumstances of the slaying to his grandchildren.
However, the 81-year-old emphasized that JFK’s death is far more than just a personal matter.
Indeed, the hitman claimed that everyone who contributed to the plot has their own story about where they were when they received word that the extensively coordinated undertaking had been pulled off successfully, calling JFK’s assassination the defining moment of a generation for everybody who participated in the murder of the 35th president.
“Those of us who worked for months to put an end to the president’s life will always remember where they were on that day,” Denton said, referring to Dallas resident Abraham Zapruder, then–Postmaster General John A. Gronouski, and Vice President Lyndon Johnson, among many others. “For everyone who conspired to execute the president of the United States in broad daylight, that day will always be part of our shared experience.”
“It’s definitely way more memorable than that whole thing with his brother,” Denton added. “Honestly, I barely recollect doing that one at all.”