'X' reappears at site of JFK assassination



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Posted on November 26, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 8:00 PM

DALLAS — It's likely the most-photographed spot in Dallas — the exact place where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

The spot had long been marked by an "X" painted on the pavement, but the "X" vanished when City of Dallas road crews recently repaved Elm Street ahead of the 50th anniversary commemoration.

Now, the "X" is back, and we know who is responsible.

"It's never been a secret; I've always admitted to doing it," said Robert Groden.

He is a writer, published author, and JFK enthusiast who lives in Midlothian. But you can find him at Dealey Plaza just about every weekend.

After the street was repaved and the anniversary crowds cleared out, Groden needed his mark back. He said he repainted it on Monday afternoon.

"When it's dry and it's clean, I'll be putting tape down like I have been for the last 19 years," he told News 8 on Tuesday.

He sees the mark as a service to tourists.

"I just did it so instead of saying, 'between those road stripes and about 50 feet,' or whatever, I just point to the 'X' and say, 'That's where it happened,'" he said.

But for others, the white "X" is a problem.

"I don't think you could have universal agreement as to where the 'X's' should be," said former FBI analyst and JFK historian Farris Rookstool III, noting that the mark itself is just one of many issues.

The city could consider it graffiti; and drivers may consider it to be a road hazard.

"By having it here, it invites people to come out there and get their picture made and potentially get run over and killed," Rookstool said.

Dallas City Hall says it won't remove the "X." Groden's glad, and so are the hundreds of tourists who want to capture the spot of the shot that changed the course of history.

"It's really no big deal, but I'm really honored that people are saying it's iconic," Groden said.

E-mail msaavedra@wfaa.com