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Wallace responded: “You mean you would have gotten there and you would have taken the shot?”
Hill: “The third shot, yes sir.”
Wallace: “And that would have been all right with you?”
Hill: “That would have been fine with me.”
Wallace, in his book “Close Encounters,” wrote: “I have never interviewed a more stricken and tormented man. Hill’s anguish was so acute, so visceral that I had to fight back the tears that were welling up inside of me.”
It was after that interview that Hill began his long, slow climb. In a letter to Wallace, he wrote: “My interview with you on “60 Minutes” in 1975 turned into much more of an emotional experience than I thought possible. I did not realize that I was in as much emotional distress as I obviously was. It did turn out to be a cathartic experience for me, and helped me release feelings that had been pent up in me for a long time.”
Another healing step was a 1990 trip with his wife to Dallas. He walked Dealy Plaza for about two hours. He looked at every angle, every possibility and “let everything run through my mind that I could think of that happened that day. And I finally came to the realization that I did the best I could do. That I really didn’t have a chance of doing anything other than what I did do.”
In Bismarck, Hill was asked how he dealt with the exhaustion and incredible stress of that November weekend.
“Emotionally, it was extremely difficult. And I just put it out of my mind and kept my focus on what had to be done that day.” But he finished with a telling comment: “We really didn’t have time to think about our own grief. We never received any counseling and we never discussed it.”
And he was asked — as he often is — about conspiracy theories and whether assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
He answered emphatically: “There were only three shots that were fired on Nov. 22, 1963. Only three. They all came from the same location: The sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. They were all fired from the same rifle. That rifle was fired by one individual who acted alone and his name was Lee Harvey Oswald.”
Pamela Huey • 612-673-7044