- Education and Science»
- History & Archaeology»
- History of the Modern Era»
- Twentieth Century History
The John F. Kennedy Assassination: An Unsolved Mystery
President John F. Kennedy
On A Mission
When John Kennedy went to Texas in November of 1963 he was on a mission to shore up southern votes in the upcoming presidential election the following year (1964).
Kennedy's made a fair showing in the south in the 1960 election with Louisiana putting him over the top but with questions surrounding his victory in Texas in the previous election he could take no chances in the next one. He was not a popular candidate in the south in 1963 and his stance on civil rights had put what support he had in the south in jeopardy.
Kennedy's poll numbers in the south indicated that he would have to drum up more support in the southern states if he had hopes of being re-elected in '64.
When the Kennedy entourage arrived at Dallas' Love Field Airport they were pleasantly surprised at the throng of supporters that came out to meet them. It is reported that on the fateful ride to downtown Dallas Governor Connally turned to Kennedy and quipped "You can't say Dallas doesn't love you now."
Soon after that exchange both men were victims of gunfire.
The Story That's Been Told
On November 22, 1963 at approximately 12:30 pm three shots were heard fired from a sixth floor window in the Texas Schoolbook Depository in Dallas, Texas from what appeared to be a high-powered rifle. Two of the shots hit President John F. Kennedy and one missed striking a nearby street curb.
Of the two shots that hit Kennedy one was reported to have hit him in the back of the neck exiting just above his shirt collar in the front and the other reportedly struck him in the head shattering his skull.
The bullet that exited the president's throat was then reported to have struck Texas Governor John Connally who was seated in front and to the right of the president in the limousine in which they were riding, in his back just to the left of his armpit traveled through his chest shattering a rib and puncturing a lung before exiting his body just above his right nipple where it then entered his right wrist shattering the bone before coming to rest on the limousine floor.
Although this may sound like a narration from a fictional novel or a comic book this is the actual official report of the Warren Commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren who were assigned to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.
And that report is the document that still stands as the official final word on the tragic event that occurred in Dallas fifty plus years ago.
In their report the Warren Commission ignored the testimony and eyewitness accounts of many people who were in Dealey Plaza that day which caused many Americans to wonder if there was a conspiracy that was being covered up.
President Kennedy, Governor Connally and First Lady Jackie Kennedy seated in their limousine
What Really Happened?
No one knows what really happened in Dealey Plaza on that day but it certainly cannot be what the Warren Commission reports states and there is evidence that they refused to explore that proves it.
Although a lot of people frown on conspiracy theories this case reeks of conspiracy.
It was and is no secret that Kennedy had made enemies during his time in office and any number people had reason to have him killed.
Everyone from organized crime figures that he and his brother Robert Kennedy, the U.S. Attorney General, had put in prison to J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the F.B.I., who loathed both Kennedys, had reason to eliminate John Kennedy.
Even Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, whom Kennedy had tried to have assassinated early in his presidency, had legitimate reason to exact revenge.
Kennedy's civil rights initiatives made him a hated man in the south and many southerners viewed him as a major threat to their established way of life in the south.
In addition Kennedy had already announced his plans to scale down America's presence in Vietnam a move that no doubt did not sit well with the military industrial complex and those who would profit from a war in Southeast Asia.
With this list of suspects coupled with the conditions and evidence that suggests more than one shooter it paints the scenario of a lone gunman in a totally different light.
Texas Schoolbook Depository Overlooking Dealy Plaza in 1963
The Cover Up
The major flaw in the Warren Commission's Report is the "magic bullet" theory. In it supposedly a single bullet passed through Kennedy's neck exited the front of his throat then travelled down to the right then to the left before entering Connally where it then passed through muscle and dense tissue struck his rib passed through his lung exited his chest passed through his wrist shattering a bone and then came to rest on the floor of the limousine.
Later this same bullet was reported to be found on a hospital gurney in almost perfect condition.....
Sound possible? Hardly.
But the Warren Commission needed this bullet to account for the number of wounds suffered by Kennedy and Connally in order to fit the lone gunman scenario. To have more bullets than three would point to the fact that there was probably more than one shooter and possibility had to be eliminated to be able to pin the assassination on Lee Harvey Oswald.
The Warren Commission also dismissed numerous eyewitnesses that said they saw a shadowy figure and a puff of smoke that appeared to be gunfire that came from the area of the picket fence that was just above Dealey Plaza in an area later to be identified as the grassy knoll.
Again, these accounts had to be discounted because they too indicated that there was possibly more than one shooter and that would mean an organized conspiracy was at play.
One witness who was a military serviceman and was on the hill in front of and leading to the grassy knoll said that he felt something whiz past his head from behind him. Being in the military and knowing what live ammunition flying overhead sounds like he suspected it was a bullet.
All of these and more eyewitness testimonies were left out of the Warren Commission report because they did not fit the narrative of the official story.
The Alleged Weapon on Display At The Dallas Police Department Headquarters
Without question whoever killed president Kennedy was an expert marksman. In order to hit a moving target, no matter how slow moving, at any range requires skill possessed by a trained sniper.
Marine shooting range records from when he was in the service show Oswald to be an average to below average marksman while shooting at a stationary target.
The Warren Commission would have us to believe that Oswald graduated from average marksman to crack shot able to hit a moving target 100 yards away from an elevated position firing a bolt action rifle requiring a least three seconds to cock (bring bolt back and eject a round/bullet), load (push bolt bolt forward and load a round/bullet into the firing chamber), aim and shoot. And he was supposed to have done this three times in less than nine seconds with one of the shots being a pinpoint head shot.
Expert marksmen like former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura who was a navy seal and qualified marksman could not duplicate what the Commission's report said that Oswald did.
In simulated re-enactions expert marksman after expert marksman tried to replicate the events of November 22, 1963 and they all failed.
But Oswald in a single opportunity succeeded.
Either he was extremely lucky or he didn't do it at all.
Lee Harvey Oswald In Custody
Kennedy Motorcade (without assassination footage)
The alleged actions of Lee Harvey Oswald after the shooting are strange at best. He casually runs four floors down to the lunchroom and grabs a Coca-Cola out of the soda machine as if nothing has happened. He then leaves the book depository goes home, changes clothes, picks up his revolver and goes to a movie theatre where he enters without paying drawing attention to himself.
Strange behavior for a man who just killed the president of the United States and supposedly planned the whole thing by himself.
Most killers would certainly try to blend into the populace while trying to get as far away from the scene of the crime as possible to reduce the risk of blame or getting caught but not Oswald. He does everything in his power to bring attention to himself as if providing a decoy in order for someone else to escape.
The Official Warren Commission Report
In the books the Kennedy assassination is a closed case but not so much so in the minds of those who were alive like myself and others who have come after.
There is too much mystery and contradicting evidence to declare Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
Oswald himself said that he didn't do which is what most accused killers say but in this case it has a great possibility of being true.
Whether Oswald acted alone or if he even committed the crime at all will never be known because Oswald never made it to trial and the case was closed.
At least 1,100 files related to the Kennedy assassination remain sealed from public view and although the 1992 JFK Records Act sanctions that the files be opened to the public by 2017 they can remain sealed by order of the president if he grants permission to the National Archives to do so.
Even if the records are released to the public for perusal it is highly unlikely any judicial action will be taken. All of the possible principle players would be dead or if still living too old to prosecute.
And somehow that is just a little too convenient to be coincidence.