Living History with J. Walter Coughlin

Living History with J. Walter Coughlin

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza presented an interview with J. Walter Coughlin, a U.S. Secret Service agent from 1961 to 1977. Coughlin served on the details of President Kennedy, President Johnson, and Vice President Hubert Humphrey. The program was moderated by Museum Associate Curator Stephen Fagin. This presentation took place at the Museum on May 3, 2014 as part of the 2014 Living History Series.

To see related films, photos, documents and oral histories from The Sixth Floor Museum’s collection, visit our online collections database (http://emuseum.jfk.org). Or make a research appointment to explore the books, DVDs and other materials available in the Museum’s Reading Room (http://www.jfk.org/go/reading-room).

50 Comments

  1. jimbo16720 on November 19, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Lots of problems with this…Clint Hill never touched Jackie to get her back into the car.



  2. MrSS8864 on November 19, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Frankly I am a little surprised that nobody ever tried to shoot George W. Bush and also Barack Obama. Both of them were hated by a great many people, and I’m glad that both men survived their terms.



  3. Sandy Israel on November 19, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    would like to talk to Agent Coughlin



  4. generalcancel on November 19, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    What a thoroughly engaging, erudite, and entertaining interview. Thank you.



  5. Nancy Sanders on November 19, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Trump " used fake bone spurs" to get out of being drafted during the Vietnam War.Per Trump,his" Vietnam was Not getting STD while galavanting around going to his sex parties." Draft dodger Trump.



  6. Vince Palamara on November 19, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    I am glad to see that Walt says that JFK was very cooperative with the agents. Good interview



  7. Ligaya Barlow on November 19, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    He says "pushing Jackie back in the accelerating car it felt like she weighed 2,000 lbs and to this day he doesn’t remember doing it…"
    Well, if he doesn’t remember doing it, how does he remember how much he felt she weighed? 🙄



  8. mad aetherist on November 19, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    36:20.
    He says Hickey didnt shoot jfk.
    Hickey did shoot jfk. And he & all of thems agents knew (at least later).
    Hickey did stand up (a number of witnesses). It didnt show in the film because the follow up car was out of frame.
    He said Hickey died young of a broken heart. Hickey died in 2005 aged 81.



  9. A Kumar on November 19, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    I wish this gentleman was on duty on the day , not that history would be different but you never know .



  10. Don Bartels on November 19, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Very interesting life in the Secret Service for Mr. Coughlin. How he has never heard of the motorcycle driver to the rear of the presidential limousine, who was splattered by Kennedy’s brain. I’ll never know. Or how Jackie crawled out onto the trunk and retrieved a portion of her husband’s skull. However, it is good that he believes the Mafia was behind it. The part he does not get, is that the Mafia was used for hire, by the CIA.



  11. zz on November 19, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    jfk had no respect for the office of the president.



  12. dpitd on November 19, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Thank you for this. Wonderful interview.



  13. Ken Burke on November 19, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    LIE,S LIKE HE HAS BEEN COACHED WHAT AND HOW TO SAY IT , ONE THING IS THAT HE IS A SHITTY ASS ACTOR WHICH PROVES HE IS FLAT OUT " A LIAR " i,m speechless now ,what a dick !!!



  14. Aaron Paterson on November 19, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    With regards George Hickey tasked as a sniper with the AR-15 he should not have been given that job as his normal duties were assigned to the garage not manning a machine gun. No I don’t believe Hickey did anything wrong.



  15. Aaron Hill on November 19, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    It is about time someone acknowledges organized crime when it comes to the assassination. Everyone knows that his father had some shady dealings with the mob and that the mob help get Kennedy into office. I don’t think the people from the mob who have been interviewed over the years would lie just to get clout. I refuse to believe all those mobsters are lying. There is some truth to what they say. I will go as far to say that the government played some part in it as well.



  16. jimbo16720 on November 19, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    The guy is full of it. Clint caught the car because it stopped. Clint also didn’t even touch Mrs Kennedy to help her back into the seat she did it herself after grabbing part of JFK’s head off the trunk. He reached to help her but never made it.



  17. skippy3860 on November 19, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    James Garfield was assassinated in 1881, not 1896, but still a good interview.



  18. Jerry Marshall on November 19, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    That was great.im down with the mob theory.this guy is incredible.



  19. Mr Sinister on November 19, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    I will always find it to be extraordinarily strange that all these plots by the mafia to kill JFK that they say one lone man did the Job. Joseph Milteer being in attendance during my the assassination just seems strange especially when the FBI has him on audio talking about how plans are in place to kill JFK and how authorities will quickly apprehend a suspect to throw the public off.



  20. George Cooper on November 19, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    The only Secret Service Agent I’ve listened to and actually believed 100%



  21. N.Y.C. Freddy on November 19, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    N.Y.C. FREDDY: COMMENT: ‘YES’! ( Just to state: ) ‘J’. Walter Coughlin~~! (GREAT~!) The comment as stated: ( By YOU! ) *U.S. President, ** GERALD FORD~! JUST GREAT! (Quick .. but GREAT!) Thank YOU! ( So many PEOPLE – just Don’t KNOW~!) **Peace …



  22. Randy Harris on November 19, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Shots high right folks



  23. Renald Cosma on November 19, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    They failed to protect JFK !



  24. wally on November 19, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Much personal things interesting but it is 100& obvious that he is a plant to propagate the false lies about Oswald murdering JFK. I have followed/studied JFK since 1963 and we have very much evidence that this conspiracy was U S Business, CIA using the mob and any they could get in the secret service, etc to kill one of our greatest presidents.
    There is so much we have proof of now, over these past years sine 1963. JFK needed to be taken out…all presidents since did not have to be killed for they were no threat to the corrupt CIA, FBI, Military, etc.



  25. Captain Genius on November 19, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Garfield was shot and killed by Guiteau in 1881 not 1896…



  26. zz on November 19, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    jfk had to take crooked ahole lbj as vp cause Johnson blackmailed him and was going to rat jfk out as far as all of his hookers and skanks he was screwing and all the other crooked stuff he was doing.



  27. robertbdesmond on November 19, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    All the shots did NOT come from the rear and I will never believe that. So, please stop trying to sell your "theory" that Oswald was the lone gunman. Over 60% of intelligent Americans do not believe that Oswald acted alone. There were at least 4 shots fired as many witnesses have stated in their testimonies. At least one bullet missed the limo all together. There was a hole in the limo windshield. Explain that. You could put a pencil through it and it was said that the shot came from the front. Also, there were eye witnesses that there was a gunman behind the fence at the Grassy Knoll. There was a puff of gun smoke there as well as witnesses who smelled gun power/sulfur on the grassy knoll and on the street in the motorcade. There was at least one man who was threatened by the CIA to leave the area behind the fence on the grassy knoll. Some guy threatened him after the shooting ended to hand over his movie film or else. Two shots were fired almost simultaneously. Explain that, because a bolt action rifle cannot shoot two shots simultaneously. Eyewitnesses saw a man running from the behind the fence at the grassy knoll. One woman saw a man with a high powered rifle exiting the rear door of the TSBD and driving away in a car quickly. Explain that. Yes, there was a sniper in the sixth floor window at the TSBD. But nobody saw the sniper, only the rifle. Was that sniper Oswald? Another witness said the sniper was dark complected and bald. So, who’s telling the true facts?

    My theory is that Oswald did not act alone. It WAS a Conspiracy and I believe that the CIA and Mafia was involved.



  28. Dave Mojarra 2 on November 19, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    This dude hates Obama.



  29. Aaron Paterson on November 19, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Well spoken man who grew up in an orphanage



  30. A Kumar on November 19, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    This is one impressive gentleman, very interesting interview .



  31. Bob Drinski on November 19, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Bay of Pigs was in April 1961.This agent can’t get his facts straight.Garfield was assassinated in 1881,not 1892.



  32. Marc Le Mire on November 19, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    The pseudo official lying is disgusting.



  33. Ninner j on November 19, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    I liked him. I feel his theory behind a conspiracy is very plausible.



  34. Jerry Marshall on November 19, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Imagine being on the Clinton detail,you would be part pimp,part wing man for slick willie and a whipping boy for that wretched pile of a wife



  35. zz on November 19, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    In private jfk was screwing hookers, having orgies in the white house pool, doing business w the mafia to get himself elected, cheating on his wife and most of all fornicating 24/7



  36. leebest1A on November 19, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    Great interview !



  37. Ligaya Barlow on November 19, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Clint Hill was able to get there so quickly because he saw JFK grab his throat? Not according to the Zapruder film, which doesn’t have him reacting to that shot by immediately running to the car.
    He adds lanely that even an experiment featuring a 4 munute miler college athlete couldn’t match Hill’s speed! 😆



  38. jan smiths on November 19, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    no credibility after he says all shots came from Tex sch. dep.
    no way leroy.



  39. Charles H Mansfield on November 19, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Fine interview, and I agree with his conclusion.



  40. Walton Warrior on November 19, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Interesting interview, but I’ll never be convinced that "all" the shots came from the upper right…TSBD.

    The head shot was from the grassy knoll.



  41. Doug41160 on November 19, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Garfield was assassinated in 1881.



  42. Thumper Parker on November 19, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    Classic———  when asked about a conspiracy   I see my FBI friend over there waiting to see what im going to say….. Don’t worry my friend this is my view not Yours……….



  43. ckom0007 on November 19, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    “…they think they should just be handed stuff…—Could you tell us what you really think?



  44. country boy on November 19, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Bullshit



  45. mad aetherist on November 19, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    42:10.
    He is embarrassed re modern agents drinking on the job.
    But it is well known that Hickey was put in charge of the AR15 because he was in better shape than the other agents who had gotten drunk the night before.



  46. mad aetherist on November 19, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    25:50 "the secret service failed".
    Yes, if u call agent Hickey blowing jfk’s brain out "failed".



  47. Aaron Paterson on November 19, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    OBVIOUSLY THE ASSEMBLED PRESS AT THE DALLAS POLICE BASEMENT DIDN’T BRING JACK RUBY’S PRESENCE TO THE 70 odd Dallas Police officers.



  48. poppynurse on November 19, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    Great interview, and even a Rat Pack story thrown in! He is well spoken and a good storyteller.



  49. Randy Harris on November 19, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    He lost me at the end with that bulkshit theory about the mob so that would have meant the mob got oswald to do it i cant buy that and hearing all the people who knew ruby talk said he was not part of the mob



  50. Melanie Hefner on November 19, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Love this fellow! Gives me hope in America!