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Kennedy Conspiracies

Updated on May 8, 2013

Other Conspiracy Theories About America's Foremost Political Family

Last week, I published an overview of various Conspiracy theories. I really enjoyed researching for this Hub. In my research, one name continued to come up. The name was “Kennedy.” JFK’s assassination conspiracies are perhaps the most well known. A quick Google of “JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theories” reveals 1,450,000 results. No doubt there are more. If you have come to this Hub to read about alternate theories on JFK’s killing you won’t find them here. What you will find are other less famous conspiracy theories involving this family of which there are a few. I found that some of them are linked by people, events, or circumstances. I don’t have the space to explain what each one was in detail, but I have linked them to other web pages that have more detail.

Robert, Ted and John Kennedy circa 1962
Robert, Ted and John Kennedy circa 1962 | Source
Sirhan Sirhan's mugshot photo taken after he was arrested for RFK's murder
Sirhan Sirhan's mugshot photo taken after he was arrested for RFK's murder | Source

Was Robert Kennedy murdered by the CIA?

Robert Kennedy’s murder has quite a few conspiracy theories. There are people who claim there must have been a second gunman, why did he not have sufficient security around him that night? And who was the woman in the polka dot dress who was seen with Sirhan Sirhan earlier in the evening and ran from the scene with another man shouting “We shot him, We shot him” after Sirham (and a second gunman?) fired the fatal shots?

In a 2006 documentary on the subject, the BBC revealed that at least 3 CIA Operatives were present that night in 1968 in the Ambassador Hotel in LA. It was revealed in this BBC story that one of the men was happy at the prospect of another murdered Kennedy. There was no love lost between the CIA and the Kennedys, especially since many in the CIA felt they were betrayed by JFK in the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

One of the agents at the scene was George Joannides, the CIA’s Chief of Psychological Warfare Operations. After being jailed at San Quentin, Sirhan was the subject of intense study. One of the theories was the “Manchurian Candidate” hypothesis. It was thought that because Sirhan Sirhan has absolutely no memory (even to this day) of the killing, he may have been hypnotized or otherwise psychologically conditioned to kill RFK and his mind was wiped out in the aftermath. One expert, psychologist, Dr. Eduard Simpson-Kallas, spent at least 35 hours with the assassin, and concluded that this may have been the cause. Was it a coincidence that Joannides was at the scene or was he there to witness first hand, his handiwork?

And why would the CIA want Kennedy dead? Some believe it was for the same reasons as his brother JFK. During JFK’s Administration, both Jack and Bobby made some powerful enemies at the CIA. The Bay of Pigs “betrayal” was only the tip of the iceberg.

Do I Believe It?

I don’t know what to believe. Like JFK’s assassination, I don’t believe we ever told the whole story. What makes me curious is that Sirhan Sirhan claims to this day that he doesn’t remember the shooting or the aftermath. It’s strange that after 44 years nothing has come back to him. Maybe he doesn’t dare come out. Or maybe he really was a “Manchurian Candidate” Who could wipe out his mind after the event? The CIA perhaps?

Dyke Bridge as it appeared in 2008. Railings were put up after the incident
Dyke Bridge as it appeared in 2008. Railings were put up after the incident | Source

Was Ted Kennedy Framed at Chappaquiddick?

On July 18, 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The reported story is that while at the party, Kennedy consumed a few drinks, and set out to drive young Mary Jo Kopechne home. On the way home, he drove his Oldsmobile off the railing-less Dike Bridge into a tidal pond. Kennedy was able to escape, but Kopecne died of suffocation after she was left in the car. He did not tell the authorities until after the body had been retrieved the next morning. The diver who recovered her body said her head was in an air pocket. He said she had lived for a while and stated he could have saved her had he been called immediately

There are conspiracy theories that Ted was framed by his political enemies and that he tried to shift the blame to others. Another one states he may have set have set up the accident to cover up a bigger crime. Still another one says that Kennedy, fearing scandal, got out of the car after a policeman saw him in it with an attractive young woman who was not his wife. As the story goes, Kopechne continued home, driving Ted’s car and drove off the bridge herself.

But what would a 1960s Kennedy scandal be without rumors of CIA involvement? As the story goes, certain rouge members of the Agency never wanted to see another Kennedy as President. After assassinating John and Robert, they set there sights on the younger brother, Ted. Seeing that it was dangerous to kill Ted (the murder of the 3 brothers, 6 years apart might bring suspicion,) they set about to discredit him, so he could never be elected . Whatever the cause, this incident is one of the main reasons Ted Kennedy was never President.

Do I believe he was set up?

No, not at all. This is a story of a powerful, famous and wealthy Senator who left a party with another woman and drove his car off of a bridge. Case closed.

Did Joe Kennedy Sr. Rig the 1960 Presidential Election for His Son?

Joe Kennedy, Sr. was the patriarch of the Kennedy clan. In some ways he is the most interesting Kennedy. He was a stock market manipulator (legal in the 1920s), movie producer, bootlegger, anti Semite and real estate baron. Later Franklin Roosevelt named him the First Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1938 he became the US Ambassador to Britain. Along the way he acquired many friends and allies.

One of these was Chicago Mob Boss Sam Giancana. The 1960 Presidential campaign was very close. Republican nominee, Richard Nixon, who had trailed earlier was very close as Election Day got closer. Joseph Kennedy turned to his friend Sam Giancana. (they had a history together. Allegedly, Giancana had saved Kennedy from a Mob hit back in the 1930’s and Kennedy had paid him back by using his influence with the Eisenhower Administration to block the deportation of 2 of Giancana’s associates)

Allegedly, Joseph Kennedy gave Sam Giancana $1 million for his help. On election day, people were given coupons for a free lunch or a ham in exchange for their Kennedy vote.

Voting machines were misread, “math mistakes” were abundant, Nixon votes were “disqualified” and many vagrants were driven from precinct to precinct to vote multiple times for Kennedy in exchange for alcohol.

This cheating in addition to Lyndon Johnson’s alleged vote stealing in Texas, were enough to put JFK over the top and defeat Nixon. as we shall see later, this victory may have come at a very dear cost.

Joseph P. Kennedy's Official government portrait as the first Commissioner of the SEC
Joseph P. Kennedy's Official government portrait as the first Commissioner of the SEC | Source

Do I believe that Joseph Kennedy rigged the 1960 Presidential Election?

It certainly makes sense given the fact that Joseph Kennedy wanted one of his sons to be President. (something he could never be). The fact that Chicago was corrupt to the core leads me to believe that such a thing could be done there. (Chicago was so corrupt, that a few years later, a Federal Investigation charged 667 individuals with various crimes relating to the election. All the cases were dismissed by a Democratic Judge). So, given Joseph Kennedy‘s past, Chicago‘s corruption and the fact that the Federal Government had enough evidence to charge 667 people, I believe this happened.

Was John Kennedy a philanderer?

The image of JFK and his family at the time was Camelot. The United States had a young, handsome President, a beautiful and classy wife and 2 gorgeous children. As time has passed, (and we became more cynical) we have been able to look pass the image and see a very flawed man. One of the benefits of being a powerful man, is that you become quite desirable to women. Allegedly, Kennedy took advantage of this perk. He is associated with many women, most notably Judith Campbell, Mimi Alford and Marilyn Monroe. It is alleged that the drugs he was taking for his Addison’s disease increased his virility.

Judith Campbell was also the girlfriend of Sam Giancana. Campbell has claimed that she was Kennedys liason to the Mob in the early Sixties. Alford was a 19 year old intern at the White House in 1962. She published a book Once Upon a Secret, My affair with John Kennedy and It’s Aftermath in 2011. In the book she alleged she lost her virginity with Kennedy and had an 18 month affair with the President.

Do I believe it?

Yes I do, JFK was a very handsome, powerful man who took full advantage of his position.

RFK, Marilyn Monroe and JFK in 1962
RFK, Marilyn Monroe and JFK in 1962 | Source

What did the Kennedys have to do with the death of Marilyn Monroe?.

As one Secret Service Agent said, it was “common knowledge” that JFK had an affair with the actress at the time of his Presidency. It is also alleged that his Attorney General and brother Robert had an affair with her too. It is also alleged that Marilyn also had an affair with Sam Giancana who bugged her house. It is alleged on the date of her death, August 4, 1962,the most common story is that Robert Kennedy appeared with brother in law Peter Lawford and a third, unknown man at Monroe’s house. Monroe allegedly was injected with an overdose of drugs and the house was set up to look like a suicide scene. Other conspiracy theorists have speculated that Monroe was pregnant with one of the Kennedy’s baby, or that Joseph orchestrated the whole thing to get rid of her. It is speculated that since she had had affairs with powerful men, she knew too much and had to be taken out.

Do I believe that the Kennedy’s were involved in Marilyn Monroe’s death?

While some of the points are certainly plausible and I believe that JFK and RFK had affairs with the actress, I can’t disregard the fact that Monroe was a lonely, troubled, alcoholic and drug addict. Since all the principles in this story are dead, it’s likely we will never know the truth. I believe Monroe died of suicide and was not murdered. I also believe the Kennedy's did what they could to cover up their involvement and preserve the Camelot fairy tale.

Sam Giancana
Sam Giancana | Source

Did Sam Giancana have anything to do with John or Robert’s death?

As mentioned earlier, Sam Giancana was a good friend of Joseph P. Kennedy and was vital in getting JFK elected President in 1960. It is alleged that Judith Campbell was a lover with both and shuttled messages between the Mob Boss and the President. It is also fairly certain that the CIA recruited Giancana to kill Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. As long as Joseph was alive, Sam could count on his friend to exert influence over the president and Attorney General for his benefit. But in December 1961, Joe suffered a debilitating stroke that left him paralyzed and unable to speak. Without Joseph to go to bat for him, Giancana was weakened. He was allegedly enraged when the JFK Administration and Bobby Kennedy used the power of the Federal Government to investigate and try organized crime. He felt betrayed by the Kennedys.

Do I believe this?

It’s plausible, but the evidence is certainly circumstantial. Giancana was in the Mafia, which solves it’s problems with guns. And Sam had CIA connections. If he wasn’t involved in the killings he certainly did not mourn their deaths.

John F. Kennedy's Official portrait
John F. Kennedy's Official portrait | Source
Robert F.Kennedy
Robert F.Kennedy | Source

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