Jason sat there mute, but listening to every word. The information was just flowing from the old man now and he didn’t want to interrupt. The only thing that risked interrupting this now was a couple of bored police officers wondering why a taxi cab was parked here for longer than a few minutes.
"America had its answers and moved on in sadness. A single assassin killed Kennedy with three shots. One of the shots was a magic bullet that hit two men, passed through at least 15 layers of clothing, skin, tissue, and muscle, and still inflicted multiple wounds on other people in the car.” Heller rubbed his hands against his face and continued, “We knew that the shock of Kennedy being killed would leave America stunned, and even if someone did discover the truth, it was going to take a long, long time because the files were kept locked away from prying eyes. Plus, even if someone did get close to the truth, we'd just silence them, too. If you can kill a president, anyone else is just child's play." Heller said.
“But surely the coroner’s photographs and other photographs taken by reporters would have shown a different story?” Jason said while he scanned the scene outside.
"There were multiple photographs of the autopsy made available afterward, but because we'd used a John Doe for some of the shots, we needed to make sure some of the photographers disappeared afterward, too. That's exactly what we did. Once we'd remove the evidence, and the president was buried, the case was closed - Warren Commission and Jim Garrison be damned! They were never, ever going to exhume Kennedy's body. We knew that for a fact."
Jason found himself nodding morbidly in agreement, and then snapped himself out of it. He didn't like the fact that this elderly hitman in the back seat of his car was making so much sense. He seemed so logical and rational in everything he said. He also didn't like that the old man almost seemed familiar in some weird way.
Jason replied, squeaking out, "...but you killed the president. You shot him." It was the first time he'd actually acknowledged Heller's story as being real, as being actual fact. It gave him chills to think that this old man was quite possibly part of one of the greatest conspiracies in human history.
"I can see you're disturbed by the idea of me being a killer, Jason. It's not something I set out to do, you see. All I wanted to do was serve my country as best I could. However, I possessed certain skills that made me more valuable than just being cannon fodder. People like me are born this way in as much as we're shaped and created. That's just the nature of the world. A few twists and turns of fate, before I knew it, I was zeroing my sights on Kennedy's upper body, and getting ready to change history."
"A man who doesn't look or sound like an assassin is what was needed that day. But then, a very good assassin is rarely a person who sticks out like a sore thumb, is he?" Heller said.
He'd been living in a state of constant anxiety for the last few months waiting for today to arrive, and his guts told him just how tense he felt right now, whether he wanted to believe it or not. He was funny like that, his guts always gave away if he was nervous, no matter how icy cold he looked on the outside.
Everything had been planned with military precision, but there was still the chance something would go wrong. If this blew up in his face, he'd be lucky to get a firing squad. If today didn't work out, then a lot of people were going to be named, shamed, and thrown in prison for the rest of their days if they were lucky. If they were unlucky, they’d face a firing squad or a hangman’s noose. That just added to the ball of anxiety building up in his stomach right now. He felt like he wanted to puke, but there was no way he could break away from the timetable he was on. He swallowed the anxiety and the vomit down. No time to be scared. There was only time to move and get in position, nothing else.
The plaza had been sealed off to traffic for hours beforehand, so he'd made his way along the railway tracks nearby. Even if he had met anyone near the old tracks, the hobo clothes he was wearing would make damned sure no one got too close to figure out what he looked like. The promise of the smell of stale urine was enough to keep all but the nosiest sonofabitch well away from him.
There was a strong police presence here, but the vast majority of them had been bought or were co-conspirators just dressed as cops. The rest of the real boys in blue had been positioned well away from where the action was going to take place; far enough away to make sure they couldn't do anything, or change what was about to happen.
He scanned the area around him for any potential witnesses but no one stood out. Not that it mattered anyway, there were already plans in place to discredit anyone who saw anything they weren't meant to. If discrediting them didn't work, then there were other messier solutions available.
He checked his watch, it was just gone midday. Time to get ready. He picked up the pace just a touch - no point in missing the big day, eh?
Rounding a rusting freight car sitting on the tracks, he almost walked through his "handler". A brief glance later and his automatic rifle was passed to him in a soft case. He let the case swing down by his side as casually as he could. Big movements attract attention, so he made everything he did as mundane as possible. The Savage automatic rifle was a good choice, or at least the ZR Rifle guys seemed to love them, so he figured that made them as good a choice as any.
The Savage didn't take much assembly, and the scope had already been zeroed in. He gave it a quick check to be certain, but he also knew there were other shooters out there that day. No need for a silencer they told him, although he still wasn't crazy about that idea. People in this part of the world weren't stupid, and he was pretty sure someone was going to see the smoke, if they didn't see the muzzle flash.
12:28pm. No more waiting.
He carefully rested the rifle on top of the fence in front of him, hiding as much of the barrel as he could. He noticed then that everyone was facing away from him, looking to where Kennedy would be showing up, so he could have been pointing a bazooka over the fence and he doubted anyone would have noticed it.
12.29pm. The motorcade was very close now, he could hear the police escort bikes.
He buried the butt of the rifle in his shoulder, leveled his eye with the sight, and waited.
Kennedy's car came into view, slowing as it turned the corner into the plaza. This was a turkey shoot. He couldn't miss if he tried.
William Heller inhaled slowly, focusing all his attention on his target. He aimed for the upper center mass on Kennedy's body.
He exhaled slowly and gently pulled the trigger. What feeling goes through a sniper when they hit their target? Recoil. That’s about it though. It’s an emotionless exercise. It could be shooting tin targets at a fair for all that it’s worth in terms of emotional response.
A split second later, he fired his second round, and while everyone was still screaming and running around, he'd already handed his weapon to his handler, changed jackets, and was leaving Dealey Plaza behind him.
He knew he’s changed history today, but he hoped he'd changed it for the better.