WASHINGTON: A conspiracy theorist researching the JFK assassination was astounded to learn that the National Archives has lost the infamous “Magic Bullet” that wounded the president and Texas governor John Connally. Known as Warren Commission exhibit CE-399, the deadly bullet had been stored in the Archive’s assassination collection, comprising 2000 square feet of records and artifacts, since 1964.
Newark roofing contractor Vince Palmlove visited the Archives last November while pursuing his theory that the bullet was a recast Minié ball from the Civil War. “Those Minié balls were notorious for causing multiple wounds. In one famous case, three Johnny Rebs were knocked out by a single Minié ball in the Second Battle of Bull Run,” said Mr. Palmlove. “Of course, I knew they wouldn’t let me take the bullet out for analysis, but I was just hoping to examine it for superficial clues. I still can’t believe they couldn’t find it.”
This is not the first scandal shadowing the Archive’s custody; in 1966, it was discovered that JFK’s brain, sectioned after his autopsy and stored in formaldehyde, was missing from the collection.
NYPD detective Vince Ferraro believes that the bullet was probably stolen for sale on the black market: “People collect all sorts of gruesome things, like fingernail clippings from serial killers. The bullet is probably in some private collection now, and who knows, maybe the same collection with JFK’s missing brain.”
But retired FBI agent and NRA firearms expert Hank Hornady posits a more sinister angle: “Look, for over five decades, CE-399 has been the Holy Grail of ballistics. We know it’s got an extremely high sectional density, but that’s not the whole story. Any projectile that can cause that many wounds, shattering ribs and hard wrist bones, and emerge virtually unscathed, is something certain groups would pay dearly for. I’m talking terrorists, criminal gangs, drug cartels, rogue militia. With the right people and equipment, they could reverse engineer it. And then, what keeps me awake at night — mass reproduction. You think Las Vegas was a bad mass shooting? Imagine if he had been popping off CE399s into that crowd.”
Mr. Hornady said that he once sued the government to get the bullet tested by ordnance engineers, to no avail. “You’d think the military would be interested in this. CE-399 is an FMJ (full metal jacket), which is legal in warfare. But it’s just a f***ing sacred cow to a lot of folks. They just couldn’t handle the truth, whatever it is.” But if faithful reproductions of CE-399 did appear on the black market, would he be interested? “Hell yeah, man! Do rednecks piss in the shower? I don’t know a single gun nut who wouldn’t give his whole ball sack to blast off a clip or two of magic bullets!”