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Editorial Reviews

A vivid recreation of the moments before, during, and after president John F. Kennedy's assassination, based on original audio from ABC interwoven with commentary from Diane Sawyer and fresh interviews with the reporters, secret service agents, and medical personnel who were there. It's harrowing to hear the first breathless reports of the shooting, as well as the somber accounts from Kennedy's funeral, and the little details bring the terrible events back to life. Although the sound quality here is reliably excellent, there's a certain amount of repetition in the material that perhaps makes it best suited to JFK obsessives or those looking for thorough teaching tools.

Publisher's Summary

This edition of Three Shots Rang Out: The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later is an audio-only ABC News special created exclusively for Audible and hosted by ABC World News Anchor Diane Sawyer. Sawyer takes listeners back to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, for a “you are there” exploration of the day of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Key moments include:

  • The very first reports of the assassination of President Kennedy.
  • Eyewitness accounts from that day in history and their reflections 50 years later.
  • Highlights from key newsmakers of the day.
  • Go inside the ABC News Radio newsroom as anchors sift through incoming bulletins on the shooting of President Kennedy.
  • Hear from Gayle Newman, the woman who was nearest to the president’s limousine when he was shot; Aubrey Reich and Dennis McGuire, two young paramedics who found themselves in the middle of history; and Gladys Johnson who rented the room where Lee Harvey Oswald was staying that day he when he left for work at the Texas School Book Depository.
  • Hear expanded interviews with Dr. Ronald Jones, who was bedside for both President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald; and Pierce Allman, a reporter who happened to run into Oswald as he was asking for instructions to the nearest phone.
  • Plus, expanded coverage of President Kennedy’s funeral, and a look at the controversies surrounding the Kennedy assassination with political historian Larry Sabato.

These real time audio reports, eyewitness recollections from 1963, and new analysis make for a powerful experience of this fateful day in recent history.

©2013 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc (P)2013 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • mary
  • Yardley, PA, United States
  • 11-16-13

Compelling

Would you listen to Free: Three Shots Rang Out - The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later again? Why?

Yes. I could listen to this over and over. It brought me back to that weekend in 1963. I cried then and this story brought it all back again. I have watched many tellings of this on TV over the years but this was the most compelling report ever. I felt the emotions all over again. Kudos to ABC. Absolutely outstanding.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The voices throughout - from 1963 and from today. It just hit a nerve all the way through.

Have you listened to any of Diane Sawyer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. She is amazing. But the JFK assassination changed history and changed our lives - mine for sure.

If you could give Free: Three Shots Rang Out - The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later a new subtitle, what would it be?

I wouldn't change anything.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven
  • WASHINGTON, DC, United States
  • 11-18-13

What a great listen! Hear history as it happened!

Would you listen to Free: Three Shots Rang Out - The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later again? Why?

This is the definitive audio history of the Kennedy assassination as it happened, with gripping material from the ABC archives, along with powerful interviews with an ER doctor who attended to the president and a radio reporter who saw Oswald at the scene of the crime. You won't be able to find this stuff anywhere else. I intend to keep this recording for years to come.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Some of this stuff exists on youtube, but far more original ABC Radio material is here in full context. It is a treasure trove for Kennedy history buffs, more powerful to listen to than to watch.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The interview with the ER doctor was particularly gripping. Don't miss it.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Jerome
  • La Quinta, CA, United States
  • 11-27-13

Nice Recap

This was a very short recap of what happened on that dreadful day. I loved the original footage of the news agencies they incorporated into the recap. Definitely worth the time to listen too.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • JPT
  • NY
  • 11-17-13

Fantastic!

What did you like best about this story?

Hearing the reports from 50 years ago, you felt like you were right there living it. It affects you as though you are hearing the events unfold live even though you know the history. I've read numerous accounts of this time in history, but hearing it as it unfolded 50 years ago gave me a completely different perspective on it. This is totally worth a listen! I'm not even a history buff and am looking forward to listening to it again.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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You Are There!

Excellent review of the Kennedy assassination with the actual ABC radio broadcasts of the time. Narrated professionally by Diane Sawyer. You really get the feeling of "being there". I especially liked the comments of Ike Pappas during the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by "an elderly man" (Ruby). He exclaims: "Holy Mackerel!" Other highlights are the interview with the surgeon in charge of trying to save JFK, the interview with Officer Tippet's wife, and the closing interview with Larry Sabato, author of the recent "The Kennedy Half Century". Thank you Audible and ABC for this free program! It brought back all the memories of that awful time.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Welcome to Audible Diane Sawyer!!!

Where does Free: Three Shots Rang Out - The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's in a class all of it's own because I'm not used to having a News Special. I love abc and Diane Sawyer so I would definitely purchase any future performances by her.

Who was your favorite character and why?

JFK & Jackie. They were so REAL. Not like these characters we get on Washington Hill now days!

Which character – as performed by Diane Sawyer – was your favorite?

herself, for real!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the anchor who covered JFK's funeral, as the 21-gun-salute was being carried out he commented about the sound echoing off the same hills that witnessed his fore-fathers being buried here before him...it was such a fitting tribute! Very moving!

Any additional comments?

Please have Diane Sawyer back for more Audible exclusives! She is an amazing woman and reports with such passion! She could do a report on the alphabet and move me to tears!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • ellen
  • BROOKFIELD, WI, United States
  • 11-24-13

Great piece

What did you love best about Free: Three Shots Rang Out - The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later?

This was a great collection of interviews and stories. I had not heard of some of them. Darren did a great job connecting the whole story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Alan
  • Sunrise, FL, United States
  • 11-24-13

Well done ABC !! Bravo

This audiobook comes to us free from Audible,com and ABC News and Diane Sawyer. My thanks go out to both organizations.

This two hour audiobook is a return to November 1963 where the Kennedy Assassination, Oswald arrest and subsequent murder, and the presidential funeral are retold using ABC radio accounts of the day.

This book is non-political so members of both the right and the left can equally enjoy this work

Download this audiobook.

P.S. I cant believe its been 50 years. Im getting old

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Cynthia
  • Monrovia, California, United States
  • 11-24-13

Where were you when Kennedy was shot?

About ten years ago, I was shocked when my now-teenager asked me, "Where we you when President Kennedy was killed?" I told him I was born after that, but I was sure his grandparents would remember. They do, of course - but even 50 years later, it's hard for them to talk about that day. My mother's eyes become unfocused, and she talks about the apartment she and my Dad lived in, and going to watch the news on the neighbors' black and white television. My Dad mumbles, talks about hearing the news at his first job after college, and looks at the floor.

"Three Shots Rang Out: The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later" (2013) is an ABC News Special by Diane Sawyer. Sawyer narrates a collection of radio stories and interviews, along with audio clips from television broadcasts made immediately after John F. Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963. "Three Shots" follows the story as reporters did, from Dealey Plaza to Kennedy's burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Audible version includes reporter interviews of witnesses made right after the assassination that have never been rebroadcast, which are fascinating today. The interviewees are calm, sound and relate what they saw, without speculation. That's a real contrast to today's requisite "How did it make you feel?" end-of-interview question. I do remember 9-11 quite vividly of course, and the news, and I always felt like saying "Why are you asking that question? How does it help the story? Do you think you'll get an answer other than an eloquent version of scared and devastated, followed by tears?"

Sawyer's piece also has interviews with the reporters, describing in more detail the various locations where the events happened. I was pretty startled to hear a thorough description of the Dallas Police Office basement, followed by audio of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. I realized that the screams I heard were Oswald's. Millions of radio listeners must have heard the same thing 50 years ago.

It's a very good listen. If my future grandchildren ask me the same JFK question, I'll tell them to listen to this story.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

21 of 37 people found this review helpful

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Very good

Very much recommend this audio book. Well done,
Factual and professional. Description brought me back to those days. Horrible

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  • D
  • 04-11-14

For free, can't go wrong

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It's an interesting retelling of the story of the day of the Kennedy assassination.<br/>I liked the fact that they included their interviews with the people years after the event.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • rob ashworth
  • 11-13-17

I am left wanting more.

like a pork pie with a shiney thick body, juices steaming out through the holes made in the crust, this book promised, with a provocative title, to draw in the enquiring mind with mystery and intrigue.
cutting into the pie/novel though revealed a book, riddled with subplots and multiple marksmen without the solid evedence that either one, two or even three shots were actually fired and very little body to quell the raging mind of the doubters or conspiracy theorist alike.
This book is a good listen but it will need you wanting more.
Robert A Ashworth.

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  • Mark Lynch
  • 05-05-17

Cheerleaders for the Warren Commission

ABC radios 50th anniversary romp through the audio archive of the dreadful JFK assassination. As a previous reviewer has already noted there is nothing new revealed.
Diane Sawyer sticks very much to the official party line and Earl Warren if he were still alive today would certainly have approved of and enjoyed this show. Another controlled main stream media masterpiece, no wonder they gave it away for free.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-30-16

brings back many memories

enjoyed listening to the various interviews. I remember I was in cinema when they interrupted the film to announce that JFK was dead


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  • Paul Gunter
  • 10-20-16

Very compelling

Loved this book very well narrated. Produced to a very high standard very fitting for this amazing man.

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  • Frankimunk
  • 08-04-16

Really does take you back

If you weren't there you may not relate so much as the people who do remember. I can remember exactly where I was, what I was doing and how this tragic event in our history affected the world so mu h, so very much.

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  • S. Corner
  • 02-19-16

very easy to listen to and fascinating

I have not read anything on Kennedy before but this was very enjoyable and easy to listen to. Kept me interested and very up to date.

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  • MR PETER G BELL
  • 10-02-15

Fascinating, captivating, spellbinding

'Three Shots Rang Out' is a treasure trove of firsthand experiences not heard before. Fascinating, captivating, and not the same old handful of well known snippets. These are not the secondhand or third hand stories that we've all been brought up on. These are true accounts from the people that were actually there. Superb!

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  • Lynda Kelly
  • 08-25-15

Fascinating

I had never heard all of JFK's funeral so very interesting indeed to this Brit

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  • mojo1976
  • 08-21-15

Great overview

Great overview of the day and subsequent events surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Live recordings of the news casts made this very interesting.

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  • Gene Goldby
  • 11-03-16

Investigative journalism

With a change of device, I managed to enjoy listening to this news article on the assassination of John F Kennedy without the volume being stupidly high.

Overall, it was an interesting summary of the events and pulled together a lot of the eyewitness accounts from the time. Listening to the journalists of the time, I can tell standards on how to ask non-leading questions have changed - but recognise how we have changed to an instant response society as well.

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  • Ros H.
  • 07-02-15

Interesting

It was very interesting listening to the actual reporting of the events back then. I was nearly 3years old at the time and I live in Australia and I still remember how upset my mother was on hearing the news on the radio.