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Kennedy assassination theories

President Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, and Governor John Connally, shortly before the assassination. A number of theories exist with regard to the John F. Kennedy assassination. Such theories began to be generated soon after his death and continue to be proposed today. Many of these theories propose a criminal conspiracy involving parties such as the CIA, the KGB, the Mafia, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Fidel Castro, Cuban exile groups opposed to the Castro government, and the military and/or government interests of the United States and the Soviet Union.


Handbill circulated on November 21, 1963 In Dallas, Texas. One day before assassination of John F. Kennedy. In 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated the President alone and without the assistance of others. Almost immediately, critics began to question the official government conclusions and wrote books attacking the Commission and its findings. Among them was Mark Lane, a lawyer who represented Oswald's mother, who authored the critical book Rush to Judgment. In the decades that followed, a dedicated group of independent researchers would develop dozens of different, contradictory theories and publish their findings. In 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested local businessman Clay Shaw and charged him with being part of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. Shaw was acquitted in less than an hour after a lengthy and controversial trial, but Garrison's investigations attracted researchers from around the country who provided Garrison with information and theories and in turn were aided by the access afforded a District Attorney. The most notable example of the latter was Garrison's subpoenae of the Zapruder film which allowed researchers to see it firsthand. Bootleg copies were quickly circulated and it was shown on television for the first time in 1975. In 1979, amidst social upheaval and anti-government sentiments, the House Select Committee on Assassinations was formed by Congress to investigate the killings of Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.. The HSCA investigated many theories developed by assassination researchers and also discredited many of them, but were unable to find definitive proof of any conspiracy to kill Kennedy, although they did conclude that there was a probability of a conspiracy. The HSCA concluded that Oswald was the assassin and were about to conclude that he acted alone when a dictabelt recording - purportedly of the assassination - then surfaced. Based on scientific analysis of the recording, the committee concluded that there was a second gunman and Kennedy was probably killed as a result of a conspiracy. The accuracy of the dictabelt analysis (and thus the HSCA's conclusions) have been called into question and many conclude that the recording is not actually of the assassination. Director Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK, which was nominated for an Academy Award, and based on books by Garrison and Jim Marrs, was what Stone called a "counter-fiction to the Warren Commission's fiction". The controversial film portrayed an extensive plot to kill the president and presented many of Garrison's allegations as fact. The revived interest in the assassination due to the film led to the formation of the Assassination Records Review Board to gather and declassify all unreleased US Government records regarding the assassination. Also in the wake of Stone's film were controversial efforts to counter conspiracy theories, such as Gerald Posner's Pulitzer Prize-nominated book Case Closed and the Emmy Award-winning ABC documentary Beyond Conspiracy, hosted by Peter Jennings. Many doubts remain in the minds of the public regarding the official government conclusions. A 2003 ABC News poll found that 70% of respondents "suspect a plot" in the assassination of President Kennedy. [1]

Evidence supporting one shooter:
1. Witnesses at the scene of the assassination saw a rifle being fired from the sixth floor window of the Depository Building, and some witnesses saw a rifle in the window immediately after the shots were fired. This is evidence that shots were fired from the depository. Witness identification of the physical build of the shooter was broadcast after the shooting and was influential in the arrest of Oswald, the only employee to leave the depository building after the shooting. Bonnie Ray Williams heard shots from the floor above, and reverberations shook plaster from the roof onto his head. [2] The Warren Commission believed that the nature of the bullet wounds suffered by President Kennedy and Governor John Connally, and the location of the car at the time of the shots, establish that the bullets were fired from above and behind the Presidential limousine. Shortly after the assassination, a rifle was found partially-hidden between some boxes on the sixth floor and the improvised paper wrapper/bag that covered the rifle was found by the window from which the shots were fired. This is further evidence that shots were fired from the depository. Fiber analysis of Kennedy and Connally's clothing shows that both men were hit by bullets from the rear, which passed through the front of their clothing. [citation needed] The Zapruder film shows Kennedy and Connally instantly reacting, at the same time, at the time the limousine emerges from behind the freeway sign. This vital piece of film shows that it was possible for a shot to pass through Kennedy and into Connally. Computer animation corroborates the angles showing the shot is possible. [3] The Zapruder film also shows a blood spray from the front/right-hand side of Kennedys temple, but no blood spray from the back of his head. The motion of his head, first forward and then backward, has been mimicked in skull models hit by 6.5 mm 160 gr. military bullets. [4] The bullet found on Governor Connally's stretcher at Parkland Memorial Hospital and the two bullet fragments found in the front seat of the Presidential limousine were matched to the same lot of ammunition. The bullet found in the stretcher was a ballistic match to the specific 6.5millimeter Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found in the 6th floor of the book depository. No other bullet fragments from any other rifle were found. The windshield in the Presidential limousine was struck by a bullet fragment on the inside surface of the glass, meaning that these fragments came from behind, and not in front, of the President. Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter Italian rifle - from which the shots were fired - was ordered in the name of A. Hidell and sent to Oswald's P.O. Box in Dallas. Alek was the name Oswald used in the Soviet Union and Alek James Hidell was the name on the false I.D. Oswald was carrying when arrested on the day of the assassination. The FBI found Oswald's palm print on the rifle barrel between the barrel and the stock. [citation needed]

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5. 6. 7.
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10. The

11. Oswald was seen carrying a paper bag/wrapper in a car on the way to, and into, the depository. He said, when he was asked, that it was full of
"curtain-rods". He said they were for the rooming-house he was living in (while he was living away from his wife) although his rooming house already had curtains and rods, and Oswald never discussed the matter with his landlady. [5] 12. The paper bag was found, but the "curtain-rods" were never found at the Depository. Some rods were found in the garage where his wife was living, but with no discernible fingerprints. 13. Three separate photographs of Oswald holding the murder weapon and wearing a pistol are known. The original negative of one is available for study. Two were found at Oswald's residence when he was in custody, and a third later turned up from a Dallas police officer's collection after he died. These photos were closely studied by the HSCA, which found them authentic. The HSCA did not believe technology existed in 1963 to fake an original film emulsion, available from one negative. Also, two photos may be viewed as a stereo pair, since they were taken from slightly different angles, and the HSCA did not believe technology existed in 1963 to fake such a pair. Also, any fake would have had to have access to the literature which Oswald was known to be reading in March 1963, as well as copies of the weapons he is known to have been shipped in that month. Also, Oswald's widow would have to have lied about taking these photographs. [6]

Two shooters

Dealey Plaza in 2003.

Evidence supporting two shooters:
1. Over 50 witnesses who were present at the shooting heard shots that were fired from in front of the President; from the area of the grassy knoll and triple-underpass, and approximately the same number of witnesses believed shots were fired from behind the President (from the book depository). All

the members of one of the two groups of witnesses would have to be mistaken under the one-shooter theory. A small number of witnesses heard shots from both the front and the back of the President. [7] 2. The size of the back head wound, in these descriptions, indicates it is the exit wound and that a second shooter from the front delivered the fatal head shot. [8] Several eyewitnesses who were close to the President and had a good view saw the back of the Presidents head "blasted out", which is consistent with being shot from the front. These include: a. Clint Hill the secret service agent who was sheltering the President with his body on the way to the hospital and described "The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car." [9] [10] b. Roy Kellerman, the Presidents bodyguard who saw a 5-inch diameter hole in the back right-hand side of the Presidents head. [11] c. Dr. McClelland, a physician in the emergency room who observed the head wound, stated that the posterior cerebral tissue and some of the cerebellar tissue was missing. [12][13] d. Dr. Kemp, Professor and Director of Neurological Surgery, who was in the emergency room treating Kennedy also described the President's skull wound as being a large wound in the right occipitoparietal region. The occipital lobe of the brain is just above the cerebellum part of the brain. 5. Kellerman testified that "Now, in the seconds that I talked just now, a flurry of shells come into the car" [14] and he believed the president was wounded four times and Connally three times. One bullet causing all but one of the wounds in both Kennedy and John Connally, seemed to Kellerman as unlikely. While some ballistic evidence has suggested that such a bullet trajectory might be possible, this particular point is a source of much contention and disagreement.

The wooden fence which sits atop the grassy knoll, most of which is out of frame to the right. 6. *The first problem with the Warren Commission's single bullet theory is that the bullet struck President too low in the back to have exited the front of his throat. The Death Certificate located the bullet at the third thoracic vertebra -- which is too low. Moreover, the bullet was traveling downward, since the shooter was in a sixth floor window. The autopsy cover sheet had a diagram of a body showing this same low placement at the third thoracic vertebra. The hole in back of Kennedy's shirt also shows the same place where the bullet hit, [15] as does Kennedy's jacket that shows where the bullet hit. Nevertheless, the single bullet theory requires the bullet to move upward when it passed through Kennedy and came out his throat. [16]

The second problem with the single bullet theory is that the wound noted to Kennedy's back at the autopsy examination was probed and found to be less than a finger-length deep. The autopsy doctors believed that perhaps the heart massage attempt on the president caused the bullet to exit the wound.

7. According to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), the acoustic evidence preserved on tape establishes a fourth shot was fired, from in front of the president meaning there must have been two shooters. FBI tests of the Mannlicher-Carcano's accuracy showed that the rifle was: 1. 2. 3. Inaccurate from 15 yards. After a rifle is assembled, it has to be fired up to ten times for it to be properly "sighted-in". The rifle was unable to be "sighted-in", using the scope, without the installation of 2 metal shims (small metal plates) which were not present when the rifle arrived for testing, and were never found.

During efforts, supervised by the FBI to duplicate the shooting accuracy allegedly achieved no FBI, military or civilian (National Rifle Association) expert was ever able to match Oswalds performance. No tests have ever been made using Oswalds rifle in the condition in which it was found. Other controversial issues include:

Oswald had a better chance of shooting Kennedy as he was coming towards him instead of waiting until Kennedy was moving away from him. The vantage point from the Book Depository also meant that Oswald had to shoot through light tree cover in order to hit the President. Connally was definitely sure that the first of the supposed "three shots" did not hit him, so it must have been the second shot - according to the Warren Commission - that did, but experts testified that the first shot is almost always more accurate than later shots.

The limousine was not secured as evidence to allow forensic ballistics to be conducted. The failure to do so, and the subsequent cleaning/renovation, may have amounted to the criminal offence of tampering with, destroying, and not sealing evidence. The official autopsy which by law was supposed to take place in Texas, by the State Medical Examiner, was prevented by federal agents, and led to a tense stand off between federal and state officials when the President's body was taken to Washington D.C. to the much criticized unofficial autopsy conducted, in secret, by military doctors. The president's brain which would show the direction of the bullet or bullets was later "misplaced/lost" in Washington. The Dallas police did not seal off the Texas School Book Depository until 12:39 to 12:40 p.m.; policeman, detectives, witnesses, and others were busy searching the grassy knoll, parking lot, and railroad yard from 12:30 to 12:39 p.m.. The Dealey Plaza area was not sealed off by the Dallas police, and photographs show that vehicles were driving down Elm Street - through the crime scene - within nine minutes of the assassination. Oswald's Marine Corps service records were destroyed in 1973. Several of the Bethesda autopsy photos are now missing. President Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI were informed within hours after the assassination that someone impersonating Oswald was seen and heard by the CIA and FBI trying to contact a communist hit man in Mexico within two months of the assassination. This news "electrified" Washington insiders and was covered up for almost 40 years. [17]


Oswald's Chin. This photomontage shows Oswald from the backyard photo and in his booking photo. The mugshot has been edited to mimic a black and white sunlight snapshot. Note that the light rectangular patch of chin-highlight is similarly off-center to the left in BOTH photos, a result of Oswald's irregular chin. Those who dispute conspiracy theories claim: 1. Oswald denied he had any connection between himself and the rifle. His wife testified that she took photos of him in a backyard with a specific camera, and the FBI was able to confirm her testimony with forensics analysis. A copy of one photo was allegedly signed by Oswald and given to a friend: George de Mohrenschildt. After being shown these incriminating photos, Oswald said - in police custody - that they were fakes, and that he could prove it. Jack Ruby was known for his underworld/police connections and he was also known to be impulsive and to have a quick temper, so therefore he may have killed Oswald in anger, although the Dallas police received several phone calls saying that Oswald would be killed. Some think that Ruby made those calls, although this has never been proven. [18] Stopping government discussion of conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination would have more to do with quelling potentiallydamaging and misleading gossip and speculation; so that the investigation could proceed normally. [19] [20] Those who "saw" the back of Kennedy's head blasted out do not include Zapruder himself, who described what he had seen on a live TV interview (the video of which still exists), an hour after the assassination and BEFORE his film had been developed and he had seen it himself. If the film was later changed to show a wound in the right side of Kennedy's head, over the ear (where Zapruder placed it before seeing his own film), Zapruder himself must have been part of this conspiracy, because he describes and illustrates on TV (see link for photo of him doing so) exactly the wound his film would later show: [21][22] At least one computer analysis has been used to assert that the bullet trajectory is not only consistent with the single bullet theory, but could only have been fired from a high position behind Kennedy. [23] Different groups, after having heard a shot from behind and the front, could both be correct, given the likelihood of echoes from surrounding buildings. An eyewitness on the fifth floor directly below the sixth floor window clearly heard three shots from that location. Only two bullets were needed to account for the President's and Governor's injuries. [24]

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The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) examined the HSCA analysis of the dictabelt recording and found "a multitude of errors and omissions; the most serious of which was that the time the Select Committee experts thought the shots were being fired was the wrong time. It was actually one minute after the assassination had actually taken place." In 2001, Dr. Donald B. Thomas published a paper in the British forensics journal Science & Justice claiming the NAS findings were wrong. [25] Thomas' conclusions have been challenged by subsequent studies. [26] [27]

Conspiracy theories
Note that some of the following people and groups have been claimed by some to have been working together and as such these different theories are not always viewed as mutually exclusive. The articles are listed alphabetically. Anti-Castro Cuban conspiracy Angry Cuban anti-Castro exiles trained by and still working with the CIA killed Kennedy for his failure to give greater backing to the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion to overthrow Castro's Communist regime. (Kennedy withdrew air support and did not allow US forces to participate in the invasion in fear of making the conflict seem larger than it was.) Many Cuban exiles were trained by and still working for the CIA on November 22, 1963. [citation needed] [edit] CIA conspiracy

Original sign with seal from the CIA's first building on E Street in Washington, DC Frequently mentioned in other theories is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). During the 1960s and 1970s, it was rumoured that the CIA had become involved in plots to assassinate foreign leaders, and claims are made that it had various motives for removing Kennedy from power. Kennedy stated that he would, "Break the CIA into a thousand pieces" after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, but his later moves to limit the power of the CIA were blocked by bureaucratic resistance. Congress finally looked into this after three high profile assassinations in the United States (President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Senator Robert Kennedy) and attempted assassinations abroad.

Congress began investigating the intelligence agencies by way of the Church Committee. In 1975 and 1976, the Church Committee published fourteen reports on the formation of U.S. intelligence agencies, their operations, and the alleged abuses of law and of power that they had committed.

Among the matters the Church Committee investigated: the involvement by U.S. intelligence agencies to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, the Diem brothers of Vietnam, Fidel Castro and Gen. Rene Schneider of Chile. The amount of domestic power possessed by the CIA during the 1960s might be gauged by the fact that the former director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, was fired by President Kennedy for presiding over the disastrous invasion of Cuba by a small army of Cuban nationals, but was then appointed by Johnson as one of the seven members of the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination. President Kennedy also spoke to his advisers about the possible installation of his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, as the CIA's director. [citation needed] The CIA was also very active in Vietnam at the time Kennedy was assassinated. The CIA had further angered Kennedy in Vietnam by being involved in the assassination of President Diem on November 1, 1963. [citation needed] The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) later reviewed these issues and in 1979 concluded that, even though a conspiracy may have been responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy, the U.S Intelligence agencies were not a part of the conspiracy. There are some documents which make reference to a "Mr. George Bush" from the local regional office of the CIA who was involved in the initial investigation of the assassination. An obvious inference is that this Mr. George Bush could be the future President George H.W. Bush, who was also a future Director of the CIA. At the time, George H.W. Bush was living in Texas and was running a company which has been accused of being a CIA front. The official explanation is that the documents refer to a different George Bush who worked for the CIA at the time. Another theory is that the CIA assassinated both Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy in an attempt to reduce the growing social and political power and influence of African Americans. Supporters of this theory refer to the friendship between King and Kennedy and contend that powerful elements within the CIA did not want a "pro-black" president. [citation needed]

[edit] Corsican Mafia conspiracy Kennedy was killed by three French assassins linked to Corsican organized crime syndicates. This claim was made by Christian David, a petty French criminal interviewed on the Central Independent Television documentary. "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" was an original - 1988 - British broadcast that named the three Corsican hit men and accused them of killing Kennedy. One, [Lucien] Sarti, was dead, but the other two were still alive. One threatened to sue Central TV and had a good alibi. Central TV quickly produced a 30-minute "apology" program in which the "assassin" told his story. The guests included Groden, Robert Blakey, Howard Willens of the Warren Commission, and James Duffy. The moderator and all of the guests criticized the programme for failing to do thorough research. The "apology" program, taped in Washington, was only aired in England. Parts one and two of "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" were then re-edited to remove the accusations, but the show's credibility was damaged. That was the real reason ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS lost interest in purchasing the US rights from Central, even though all four initially wanted the series. [28] [edit] Cuban conspiracy

Philippe Halsman portrait of Castro in 1961. This theory says that Cuban President Fidel Castro's agents killed President Kennedy in retaliation for the many times the CIA and Mafia had worked together and tried to kill Castro. In September 1963 Castro publicly warned the U.S. about American leaders not being safe if they think they could kill him. On November 22, 1963 an agent of the CIA was assigned to kill Castro with a poison-pen weapon at their next meeting. [citation needed] It is notable that in 1962 the Kennedys had ordered the CIA to cease the assassination attempts against Castro. The CIA ignored the president's order, and continued with assassination training and attempts, unbeknownst to the president or Robert Kennedy. Starting in the second half of 1963 it is also documented that President Kennedy, through private back channels like French journalist Jean Daniel and CBS correspondent Lisa Howard had secretly approached Castro with overtures of a normalization in trade and diplomatic relations. In fact, Castro had been meeting with Daniel the moment Kennedy was shot. Many believe that mobster Johnny Rosselli deliberately spread the allegation that Castro was behind the assassination to draw public attention away from possible Mob complicity in the crime. [29] [edit] Cuban conspiracy: Huismann's findings In 2006, the documentary Rendezvous with Death by German director Wilfried Huismann was aired by the BBC. [30] It claimed new evidence that Oswald himself volunteered to carry out the assassination for Cuba during a September 1963 visit to the Cuban embassy in Mexico City. In return, the Cuban government reportedly paid Oswald the sum of $6,500 (with inflation, $40,000 in 2006). The film also alleged that the United States government did not investigate the Cuban role any further, due to the volatile relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Lyndon Johnson believed that if the American public were to know Cuba was responsible for the death of the President, they (specifically Republicans and those on the right) would demand an invasion of Cuba to remove Castro. Kennedy had promised Khrushchev an invasion of the island would never occur as part of the resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Thus an invasion of Cuba would only have pushed America and the Soviet Union even closer to full-scale war. Johnson also feared that another crisis (even if resolved) would keep the Democrats out of government for decades. [citation needed] The film does not make clear if Castro personally authorized the assassination. [31] [edit] 8

Federal Reserve conspiracy

The Federal Reserve System headquarters in Washington, DC. The Federal Reserve (the central bank of the United States) was threatened by Kennedy's intentions concerning restoring precious-metals backing to U.S. currency and securities. [32] (Note that the Secret Service was created in 1865 as an anti-money-counterfeiting agency, and was until 2003 an organ of the Treasury.) The same anti-hard-currency pro-central banking motive is suspected in the 1865 Lincoln, 1881 Garfield, and 1901 McKinley assassinations as well as the 1835 attempt on the life of Andrew Jackson who was a bitter opponent of central banking. [citation needed] Executive Order 11110: On June 4, 1963 President Kennedy signed this virtually unknown Presidential decree, which had the authority to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest, essentially putting the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank out of business. The order returned to the federal government, specifically the Treasury Department, the Constitutional power to create and issue currency without going through the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank. President Johnson reversed the order shortly after taking office in November, 1963. Some conspiracy theorists believe this executive order was the cause of President Kennedy's assassination. [edit] "Friendly Fire" theory In the book "Mortal Error", Howard Donahue and author Bonar Menninger allege that, while Oswald did attempt to assassinate JFK, and did succeed in wounding him, the fatal shot was accidentally fired by Secret Service agent George Hickey, who was riding in the Secret Service follow-up car directly behind the Presidential Limousine. The theory alleges that after the first two shots were fired the motorcade sped up while Hickey was attempting to respond to Oswald's shots and he lost his balance and accidentally pulled the trigger of his AR-15 and shot JFK. Hickeys testimony says otherwise: "At the end of the last report (shot) I reached to the bottom of the car and picked up the AR 15 rifle, cocked and loaded it, and turned to the rear". (My italics) George Hickeys Warren Commission testimony. George Hickey sued Menninger - in April, 1995 - for what he had written in his book: Mortal Error. The judge in Baltimore said that the suit by Hickey was filed too long after publication of the book. [edit]

Israeli conspiracy The Israeli government was displeased with Kennedy for his pressure about their top-secret nuclear program [33][34] (see Negev Nuclear Research Center and Mordechai Vanunu) and/or, the Israelis were angry over Kennedy's sympathies with Arabs, and his use of men formerly under the employment of the Nazis in their rocket program, such as Wernher von Braun. Gangster Meyer Lansky and Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson often play pivotal roles in this conspiracy as organizing and preparing the hit, thus bleeding into and possibly catalyzing many of the other conspiracies as well. [35] (See also: Michael Collins Piper's book Final Judgement). [edit] Jimmy Hoffa conspiracy Frank Sinatra, a friend of Peter Lawford (brother-in-law to President Kennedy) supposedly requested union leaders, among them Jimmy Hoffa, to assist in a "voter- turnout" (cheating) in the 1960 Presidential election.
[citation needed]

Hoffa, angry at being called to testify by Attorney General Robert Kennedy about union pension funds being invested in mob-owned gambling casinos, felt double-crossed by the Kennedy family and called for a mafia "hit" on the President. [citation needed] [edit] LBJ conspiracy

In the 1964 election, LBJ often cited the memory of JFK in his electoral campaign Vice-President Lyndon Johnson arguably gained the most from Kennedy's death, in that it promoted him to the presidency. When he was selected for the role of Vice-President he is quoted as saying, "One-in-four presidents die in office - maybe Ill get lucky." Proponents suggest that Johnson thus had active reason to seek Kennedy's murder, as he was supposedly not a man who would be able to get elected on his own. Like many vicepresidents of the United States, Johnson's appointment was largely an attempt to provide a regional balance to the Democratic ticket, making Johnson seem expendable. During the Kennedy presidency his power and influence was limited.


President Kennedy had discussed with his closest aides (including his personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, that he was considering dropping Johnson as vice-president before the 1964 U.S. presidential election. Richard Nixon, who was also in Dallas from November 20, 1963 until just an hour before Kennedy arrived, was quoted in the November 22, 1963 Dallas newspaper saying he believed Kennedy would drop Johnson from the 1964 Democratic ticket because Johnson was embroiled in several high-profile political scandals (see Bobby Baker and Billie Sol Estes). At the time of Kennedy's death, Johnson was the subject of four major criminal investigations involving government contract violations, misappropriation of funds, money laundering and bribery. (All four scandals "disappeared" after November 22, 1963) [36] Johnson biographers agree that Johnson was politically aggressive and power-hungry. Others have written that Johnson was an agent of the mafia blackmailed by organized crime with revelations of Johnson's past criminal actions. [37] Some theorists claim that an unidentified fingerprint found on a cardboard box on the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building is that of a known associate of President Johnson, one Malcom Wallace, a convicted murderer. In 1998 a fingerprint examiner named A. Nathan Darby signed an affidavit which asserted a 32 point match, though such a match has not been made by FBI fingerprint examiners or other independent examiners. [38] The limousine was completely refurbished shortly after the death of Kennedy. Although photographs were taken, it was not sealed as evidence. These orders must have come from very high up in the government. Whether Johnson would have had Kennedy shot in a motorcade in which he and his wife were in too is questionable, because he later sent a memo to FBI chief Hoover, asking "if any of the shots were fired at me?". [edit] Mafia and Hoover conspiracy

Hoover in 1961 J. Edgar Hoover was the long-time director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He did not want to retire even though he was approaching, in January of 1965, the then-mandatory government retirement age of 70, and would have been retired by President Kennedy had Kennedy lived to be re-elected. It is well-documented that before President Kennedy was elected, Hoover rarely acknowledged the existence of the mafia. After Kennedy became president the prosecutions of the mafia by the Robert F. Kennedy-led Justice 11

Department (of which the FBI is a part) increased eleven-fold. After President Kennedy was killed, Justice Department mafia prosecutions dropped sharply, reverting to pre-Kennedy administration levels. In 1964, just days before his Warren Commission testimony, Hoover was appointed Director of the FBI "for life" by Kennedy's successor (LBJ) and was a decision which would have had to have been, by law, reapproved by the President every year. Since Hoover's death in May 1972, the tenure of the FBI director is - by law limited to a single 10-year term. After he died, all of Hoover's files were shredded by his secretary. [edit] Military-Industrial Complex conspiracy

The US Air Force bombing Vietnam, 1966 The U.S. "military-industrial complex," which had been preparing for an escalation of the Vietnam War since the French withdrew from Vietnam in 1954 after France's defeat at Dien Bien Phu, knew that President Kennedy had seriously discussed plans and implemented actions to gradually withdraw all U.S. military advisers from Vietnam by the beginning of 1965. At the moment that President Kennedy was killed, 1,100 U.S. troops were in the air on their way home as part of President Kennedy's initial steps of withdrawing from Vietnam. President Kennedy's vice president, L.B. Johnson, undertook a major escalation of the war against Vietnam after he succeeded President Kennedy. In addition, elements of the U.S. military/intelligence apparatus were upset about President Kennedy's decision not to provide major overt U.S. military support for the CIA-organized Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba, and his pledge as part of the resolution of the Cuban missile crisis to refrain from further attempts to invade Cuba. [edit] Oil Industry conspiracy Oil businessmen and their supporting bankers, many from Texas, who stood to lose billions of dollars of profits because President Kennedy wanted Congress to discontinue the hefty 27.5 percent oil depletion tax credit allowance. [citation needed] Many researchers stress the importance of Oswald's friendship with George de Mohrenschildt. Oswald and his Russian spouse spent their last months with this mysterious right-wing 'white Russian' emigrant who was a long time CIA asset with business contacts to Prescott Bush in the oil industry. Oswalds contacts with de Mohrenschildt (called babysitting within the intel community) are one of the major detriments to the original 'communist' lone gunman theory. It is documented that de Mohrenschildt received several hundred thousand 12

dollars from a CIA front company after the assassination. [citation needed] De Mohrenschildt committed 'suicide' a few days before his testimony before the 1977 Select House Committee on Assassinations. [edit] Organized Crime and the CIA conspiracy

Sam Giancana - Chcago Mafia Boss Another possible culprit was the Mafia, in retaliation for their increasing crackdowns (12 times the number of prosecutions under Eisenhower) against organized crime. Documents never seen by the Warren Commission have revealed that the mafia was working very closely with the CIA on several assassination attempts of Fidel Castro known under the CIA code name Operation Mongoose. The CIA under the Kennedys approached the mafia because the CIA recognized the mutual benefits of ousting Castro. The mafia's interest lay in reclaiming the billions of dollars lost from gambling, drugs, prostitution, etc. when Castro seized the mafia's gambling and narcotics trafficking assets in 1959. Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa, and mobsters Carlos Marcello, Sam Giancana, Johnny Roselli, Charles Nicoletti, and Santo Trafficante Jr., (all of whom say Hoffa worked with the CIA on the Castro assassination plots) top the list of House Select Committee on Assassinations mafia suspects.[39]. The family of Chicago mafia boss Sam Giancana claims that the Kennedys double-crossed him after the workers unions (that were controlled by the Illinois mafia) helped elect Kennedy President. [citation needed] In November 2003 Dutch researcher Wim Dankbaar interviewed James E. Files and corroborated Files previous videographed testimony from 1994. Files is a former special operations soldier from the Asian theatre and later hitman for the Chicago crime family who confessed to assassination of JFK on the record [40]. He claims that Johnny Roselli and Charles Nicoletti were also present and worked on the orders of Sam Giancana. His testimony has been subject to detailed cross-corroboration with other possible suspects and witnesses during investigation by retired FBI agents, according to their information the assassination has been thoroughly compartmentalized among the mob, CIA and local police squad. Files' story can not be fully validated to prove that he had any involvement in the JFK assassination plot. He is currently serving a 30-year jail sentence for attempted murder on a policeman. Jack Ruby had grown up working for mafia leader Al Capone in Chicago. Carlos Marcello believed it was necessary to assassinate the President to short-circuit his younger brother Bobby, who was serving as attorney general and leading the administration's anti-Mafia crusade, reportedly saying "To kill a rabid dog, you must cut off the head (JFK), not the tail." (Bobby Kennedy.) [41] 13

[edit] President Diem conspiracy South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem found out in June 1963 during electronic surveillance of the U.S. embassy in South Vietnam that the U.S. was helping his political enemies plan a coup against Diem. Diem, whose younger brother was a heroin addict, was also profiting from massively increased exports of opiates from the Southeast Asian "golden triangle" (after the sources of Turkish opiates dried up in the wake of the 1961 French Connection arrests in New York City) to North America via the Hong Kong and U.S. organized crime syndicates. If Diem were ousted in a coup, millions of dollars of Diem's drug profits would be lost. Even though Diem was killed in a coup on November 1, 1963, the plans to assassinate Kennedy went ahead for revenge and/or because of Diem's illegal co-entanglements with the world's various organized crime syndicates and the mafia motives. [citation needed] [edit] Soviet hard-liners conspiracy

Fidel Castro and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Kennedy was thought to have been killed so to preserve the status-quo of the ongoing Cold War (i.e. instead of a "hot war", WWIII direct nuclear war with the Soviets). Kennedy was perceived by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev as too young and inexperienced to be taken seriously. This attitude was taken after the meeting between Kennedy and Khrushchev in Vienna. Khrushchev knew that Kennedy was younger than his (Khrushchevs) oldest son. Kennedy was also suffering from constant back problems during their summit in Vienna, which left him feeling weak. Kennedy's inexperience, and hesitance, was believed by some to be the cause of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although documents released after the fall of the Soviet Union KGB documents state that the KGB's report to the Russian leadership after Kennedy's death specifically accused Lyndon Johnson.


References in Fiction
Many works of fiction have attempted to parody some of the more far-fetched explanations that have been put forth to explain the Kennedy assassination. 14

In the 1992 film Sneakers, a character with an obsession for outlandish conspiracy theories denies that the assassination was successful. When asked "So you're saying the NSA killed Kennedy?", the character replies,"No. They shot him, but they didn't kill kill him. He's still alive." In the 1997 film The Wrong Guy, a character proposes that the wounds to Kennedy's head were not actually the result of gunshots. Says the character,"There were no gunmen at all. His head just did that. I call it the 'No Bullet theory.'"-- a clear parody of the Single bullet theory. A 1997 episode of the television show Red Dwarf presented a particularly complex explanation for the Kennedy assassination. In the episode, the characters travel back in time to 1963 and inadvertently prevent Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating Kennedy. But in this alternate reality, Kennedy's survival causes a wide array of negative effects-- Kennedy himself is ultimately impeached in the wake of political scandals, and his impeachment radically destabilizes the cold war balance of power. Realizing that someone must be recruited in order to go back in time and successfully complete the Kennedy assassination, the crew seeks out John F. Kennedy after he has been impeached. They then explain to him that if he had been successfully assassinated, he would have gone on to become one of the most loved presidents in American history. Kennedy therefore travels back in time to the Grassy Knoll in Dealey Plaza where he assassinates his earlier self. In Woody Allen's Annie Hall film, Alvy is obsessed with speculative doubts about the Kennedy assassination conspiracy and the Warren Commission Report's "second-gun" theory as a way to avoid having sex: "You're using this conspiracy theory as an excuse to avoid sex with me." In a Season 4 episode of The X Files, Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man, it is shown that the Cigarette Smoking Man assassinated Kennedy from a sewage drain opening. In the DC Vertigo comic 100 Bullets #27, it's hinted the shooter on the grassy knoll was Joe DiMaggio, seeking revenge for Kennedy ordering the murder of DiMaggio's ex-wife, Marilyn Monroe, when she wanted to go public over their affair. An aged DiMaggio is surprised to learn he was not part of any conspiracy but it was sheer coincidence he picked that day to kill Kennedy. An episode of Family Guy depicts Lee Harvey Oswald as a huge Kennedy supporter, who sees the shooter on the grassy knoll, and decides to shoot him [the shooter] to become "an American Hero". In a 1992 episode of Seinfeld there is a spoof of the incident in which the characters are recalling a situation where Keith Hernandez is accused of hitting Kramer with a loogie. They argue about the positioning of the spitter and the possibility of there being a second spitter...over there by the gravely road. [edit]


Who's Who in the JFK Assassination: An A-to-Z Encyclopedia by Michael Benson Citadel Press, ISBN 0-8065-1444-2


External links

PBS News 2003 Regarding Public's Belief that a Conspiracy Existed BBC News article on a German documentary about the assassination The Men Who Killed Kennedy: an intensive look at all the evidence surrounding the assassination PBS documentary 'Who was L.H. Oswald' provides a lot of additional information into the assassination plot