The secret service agent assigned to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy has broken his long silence with a memoir of the time, “Mrs. Kennedy and Me.”
Clint Hill, the former agent who was code named Dazzle, told the “Today” show he was on the scene for major joyful events—like the birth of John F. Kennedy, Jr. Hill said he paced the floor like “an expectant father.” Hill was also at the first lady’s side for vacations in Hyannisport, Mass., and trips abroad.
But the moment that has haunted the agent was the day the president was shot, Nov. 22, 1963. As footage from the day shows, Hill was riding the sideboard of the car behind the president and first lady in the Dallas motorcade. As the bullet pierced the president’s skull, Hill is seen running from his car to the president and first lady’s car while Jackie leans over the back of the car.
When Hill reached her, he helped her retrieve some of the splatter from the shot. He recounted, “She said, ‘They shot his head off.’ She said, ‘Oh, Jack, what have they done?’”
When the car arrived at the hospital, Mrs. Kennedy refused to get out. Hill realized she didn’t want the public to see the president in his condition: “It was a very gory situation,” he said, and thought to cover Kennedy’s head and back with his jacket. It was then she let go of the president.
In the days after the shooting, Hill remembers the public outpouring of grief, along with the family’s personal anguish. When Jackie went to view the slain president with Bobby Kennedy, he remembers her asking him, “‘Mr. Hill will you get me a pair of scissors, please?, ‘So I ran back to the usher’s office and got a pair of scissors, gave them to her. And I stood there and I could hear, you know, clip,clip,clip. I knew what was going on.” He believes she was taking a lock of the president’s hair.
At the casket his back was turned. He heard, “Crying, signs of great remorse,very sad. No words were spoken.”Hill said that even after 50 years, he can’t get those tragic moments out of his mind.