Jackie Tried to Save Piece of JFK's Skull

'Jack, Jack, what have they done to you?' she cried to dying President

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 5, 2012 12:57 AM CDT | Updated Apr 5, 2012 2:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – In a chilling new memoir of the day JFK was assassinated, a former Secret Service agent said Jackie Kennedy leaped onto the back of the presidential limousine in a desperate bid to save her husband by attempting to retrieve a piece of his skull. She then climbed back into the seat and cradled Kennedy's head in her arms, saying, "Jack, Jack, what have they done to you?" America watched, stunned, that day in Dallas as shots rang out and Jackie seemed to reach out to the agent who leapt onto the back bumper of the limo. That agent, Clint Hill, now 80, recalls the horrifying moment in his book, Mrs. Kennedy and Me.

"Somebody had fired a shot at the president, and I had to get myself between the shooter and the president and Mrs. Kennedy," he writes. "Nothing else mattered." As he raced toward Jackie he could see "her eyes were filled with terror," he recalls. "She was reaching for something. She was reaching for a piece of the president's head." At the hospital later, Hill said the "light had gone from her eyes." Hill has previously blamed himself for not reacting a split-second sooner to at least take the third bullet himself, reports the Daily Mail. "How did I let this happen to her?" Hill says he too frequently wonders. "Because of the angles, the weather, where we were—everything—I did all I could," he tells People. "But I still feel guilt."

Secret Service agent Clint Hill stands on the back bumper of the presidential car after President Kennedy is shot.
Secret Service agent Clint Hill stands on the back bumper of the presidential car after President Kennedy is shot.   (Zapruder film via YouTube)
Secret Service agent Clint Hill leaps onto the back of the presidential car as Jackie Kennedy climbs out of her seat seconds after JFK was shot.
Secret Service agent Clint Hill leaps onto the back of the presidential car as Jackie Kennedy climbs out of her seat seconds after JFK was shot.   (Zapruder film via Facebook)
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