25 Nov 2015

Woman sues over JFK assassination film

7:57 am on 25 November 2015

A woman whose grandfather filmed the assassination of President John F Kennedy as a home movie is suing the US government for its return.

The Kennedys shortly before the assassination

The Kennedys pictured shortly before the assasination Photo: AFP

Gayle Nix Jackson is also seeking $US10 million in compensation over the film shot by Orville Nix in November 1963.

He sold the film to a news agency that year but it was later handed to the government for its inquiries.

Ms Nix Jackson said she was told this year the government agency believed to be in possession did not have the film.

The 8mm Nix film was shot from the opposite side of the presidential limousine from where the famous Zapruder film was taken on 22 November 1963.

The Nix film shows the bullet hitting the president, First Lady Jackie Kennedy climbing on to the boot of the limousine, and secret service agent Clint Hill jumping into the vehicle.

The film was shot from Dealey Plaza, showing Zapruder across the street and the famous grassy knoll, from where some witnesses thought they heard a shot fired.

It was not as complete as the Zapruder movie, as it showed only part of the assassination.

However, the lawsuit cites the Warren Commission - which investigated the assassination - as saying the Nix film was "nearly as important as the Zapruder film".

The government purchased the Zapruder film for $16m in 1999 in a settlement with his heirs.

'Important evidence'

Orville Nix sold his film to UPI for $5000 with an agreement for its return after 25 years.

But it was handed over to the government for the inquiry.

Its last known sighting was with the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978.

It was believed to have been handed to the National Archives and Records Administration, but the lawsuit says the agency has told Ms Nix Jackson, who lives in Fort Worth in Texas, it no longer has the movie.

Ms Nix Jackson told the Associated Press it was incomprehensible authorities would lose "an important piece of historical evidence".

She said: "I can understand little clerical issues. I don't understand the loss of evidence like this."