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What happened to the pivotal people after the shooting of J.F.K?
The death of the 35th President of the United States of America in Dallas, Texas. Has become one of the most widely talked about assassinations of the twentieth century. The murder of John F. Kennedy has become an event which has captured the imagination of Historians, Conspiracy Theorists and the world at large. The assassination of President Kennedy was not the first time the leader of the USA meet his end at the hands of an assassin.
There have been a total of four Presidents that have succumbed to unnatural death whilst in office. The death of President Kennedy was one of the first to happen with a true visual record and it is that, combined with the mystique of the man which helps keep his death rooted in the worlds collective consciousness. The death of the President changed the lives of many ordinary people and for a brief moment in time they became as famous as the man who was killed for unknown reasons over a half a century ago.
Abraham Zapruder and his Film.
Abraham Zapruder is possibly one of the most famous witnesses to a Presidential assassination. Zapruder caught the events of the day unfold on his home movie camera and his images have been seen by millions around the world. Abraham Zapruder had not intended to film the President's motorcade that fateful day but one of his assistants persuaded him to capture the history making visit of the President of the United States of America.
Zapruder filmed for around 30 seconds as the motorcade made it's fateful journey near to the Texas Book Depositary and Elm Street. From his vantage point he was able to capture the fatal attack on the leader of the free world. Abraham Zapruder was quick to offer the film of the assassination to the authorities and had copies made just in case.
Soon after the assassination the manufacturer of women's clothes sold the rights to the film for an estimated $50,000. Zapruder was troubled by the capture of the President's death and set a condition that the fatal head shot had to be removed, his documentation of the kill would haunt his remaining years. It is thought that Zapruder never owned and never shot another film camera in his life after the events in Dallas.
Zapruder continued to live on for another seven years after the death of the US President. He eventually died from Stomach Cancer in 1970 at the age of 65. He was used as a witness in a number of investigations into the assassination of J.F.K. In 1969 he testified in the 1969 trial of Clay Shaw, Shaw was the only person to be prosecuted by authorities in relation to the President's death and was acquitted.
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The family of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Lee Harvey Oswald was quickly picked up for the murder of the 35th President of the United States of America and a member of the Dallas Police force. He survived little more than 48 hours after the death of President Kennedy. Lee Harvey Oswald was killed whilst been transferred to a new location by the Dallas police. Jack Ruby killed the suspected Assassin with a gun in front of the world's collected press, within two hours of Ruby's gunshot the alleged assassin of the President had died in the same hospital as his alleged prey.
The murder of Lee Harvey Oswald left the Russian born wife Marina alone in America with two young girls. The Secret Service was on hand to keep a close eye on any parties who wished to either influence or cause his widow harm. Marina testified to a number of commissions that she believed that her husband was responsible for the Presidents death. By 1965 she had remarried another American and continued to raise her two daughters from Oswald. She also had two children with her new husband while continuing to remain in the state of Texas. In 1989 Marina Oswald Potter became a naturalised American citizen and over the years has changed her opinion about her first husband. She now believes he may have been innocent of the assassination of President Kennedy.
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Governor of Texas John Connally.
John Connally was the Democratic Governor of Texas when Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963. The former military man Connally had only just started his own term as Governor in the January of that year. In the fatal attack on President Kennedy, the Governor sustained injuries to several parts of his body. Governor Conally continued in his office until 1969 and had been suggested as a running mate for other Democratic Presidential candidates.
After his term as Governor of Texas he worked as Secretary of the US Treasury before switching his political allegiance to the Republican cause. Towards the end of the 1970's Connally was keen to make a run for the White House but faced with the popularity of former Actor Ronald Reagan; his run never gained any true momentum.
Connally continued to have influence in the Republican party until the middle of the 1980's. His life suffered with the usual scandals expected of prominent political leaders, allegations of improper financial practices were mentioned before he tried to run for office. In 1986 he filed for bankruptcy due to business losses in Houston, Texas. Connally was still involved in the politics and brinkmanship of the senate in 1993, by June 1993 the former Governor of Texas had died of excessive scarring of the lungs. The Governor had lived a further thirty years since the assassination of the President and Connally had lived to the age of 76.
The Warren Commission.
The investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy took it's name from Earl Warren. Warren served as a chief justice and was appointed as the commissions chairman one week after the death of the President. Earl Warren was tasked with the commission to investigate the assassination and report it's findings to the new President Lyndon B. Johnson. Earl Warren did not want the role given to him, he knew the commission would be a taxing and stressful experience but he relented as it was his duty.
Chief Justice Warren had been progressive in raising the standards of civil rights and implementing a more effective arrest procedure for the police. This had gained him a few enemies on the fringes of society but his reputation as a judge gave the commission a good measure of authority. As a member of the Judiciary and a politician, Warren had to maintain the credibility of such an emotive subject. State secrets were kept away from the eyes of the public and Conspiracy Theorists point to the Commission as a means of covering up the involvement of the CIA, Soviets and Cuban dissidents.
It took the commission close to ten months to produce a 900 page summary of it's findings to President Johnson. The commission believed that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and only three shots were fired at the President from the Book Depositary. Controversy followed the findings and for the past fifty years many have criticised the findings of Earl Warren and his fellow committee members.
Chief Justice Warren put off his retirement until 1969 and his reputation remained in tact despite the number of voices that suggested the commission was ultimately flawed.
Will we ever know the truth of November 22nd 1963. Or will the Kennedy Assassination continue to remain a mysterious event?
Jack Ruby gained infamy by killing Lee Harvey Oswald after his arrest by the Texas Police. Ruby said he acted alone to save the first lady from having to endure future stress from Oswald's murder trial. Jack Ruby is alleged to have been a man with vast connections to the criminal underworld and his deeds have been the focus of many Conspiracy Theorists in their attempts to explain why the President was assassinated.Ruby was a Nightclub operator at the time of Kennedy's assassination.
The Warren Commission investigated the movements of Jack Ruby before and after the assassination of the President. They concluded that the Nightclub operator possibly knew underworld figures from his profession but decided that he acted on his own when he murdered the suspect Lee Harvey Oswald.
Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald two days after the President was shot. He stepped out of the crowd and fired a shot into the abdomen of the murder suspect. The shot was fatal and Oswald soon died from the injury, Jack Ruby was arrested immediately after the shooting and stood trial for his crime in March 1964. Ruby was found guilty of murder and received the death penalty. Because of the nature of the crime his defence team motioned that he would not receive a fair trial in Texas, there were further trials that could not dislodge the image of Ruby killing the suspected assassin of President Kennedy.
Ruby was due to stand trial again for the murder of Oswald in 1967 after his initial verdicts were quashed on appeal. Jack Ruby did not get to see the retrial as in late 1966, doctors found he was suffering from multiple forms of cancer. By January 1967 the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald had died from his illness at the age of 55.
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The conspiracy theorist in me believes that time has tied up many lose ends and has created an impenetrable mystique around the events of November 22nd 1963. It is highly unlikely we will ever have a definitive reason for the death of a President, and many people believe the killing of the most important man of the generation was not at the hands of a lone gunmen.
The Assassination effected many people and thrust many into a limelight they really did not want to be in. Many of them did not survive long after the assassination, but many of those who witnessed the darkness of the day were able to move on once they accepted they were part of a pivotal point of American History.