THE PLAIN DEALER
Friday, October 8, 2010
Comment: The man who is alleged to have fired the first shots is named as an FBI informant by the Associated Press.
KENT, Ohio – A noisy, violent altercation and four pistol shots took place about 70 seconds before Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on antiwar protesters at Kent State University, according to a new analysis of a 40-year-old audiotape of the event.
The discovery adds new perspective to — and raises new questions about — one of the signature events of the 20th century, after four decades of spirited discussion and research.
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“They got somebody,” an observer says. “Kill him!” at least two male voices repeatedly shout, followed by sounds of a struggle and a female voice yelling, “Whack that [expletive]!” or “Hit that [expletive]!” Four distinct shots matching the acoustic signature of a .38-caliber revolver then ring out, according to a review by New Jersey forensic audio expert Stuart Allen.
Earlier this year, Allen and colleague Tom Owen examined the recording at The Plain Dealer’s request and determined that Guardsmen were given an order to prepare to fire moments before they unleashed a 13-second fusillade of rifle shots at a May 4, 1970 demonstration that killed four students and wounded nine others. What compelled the Guard to shoot is the central mystery of the iconic event, which galvanized sentiment against the Vietnam War.
This article was posted: Friday, October 8, 2010 at 8:32 am