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Assassination And The Conspiracy Theory
Easily considered one of the
darkest days in American history, anyone who was alive on November 22, 1963
remembers where he or she was when he or she heard that President John F.
Kennedy had been assassinated.
While riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas,
Kennedy was shot at 12:30 p.m. as his car passed by the Texas School Book
Depository. Texas governor John Connally, in the car with the President and Mrs.
Kennedy, were also wounded.
It is widely accepted that Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee at the book
depository, fired the shot that killed the president. The weapon found at the
scene had his palm print on it. Oswald was apprehended a short time later after
killing Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit with a handgun. No, there is little
doubt that Oswald was the shooter, even though he never admitted to the crime.
However, ever since that day, questions have been raised about why Oswald did it
and whether he acted alone. He would never provide any answers; two days after
the assassination, Oswald himself was shot dead by nightclub owner Jack Ruby on
live television as news crews filmed the prisoner being moved.
With Oswald's death, conspiracy theorists began
formulating explanations for many of the questions posed regarding Kennedy's
assassination. A home movie of the motorcade and the shooting made by Abraham
Zapruder gave supposed evidence of a second gunman on the "grassy knoll".
Theories abounded as to who was behind the plot, everyone from Russia's KGB to
protractors and detractors of Fidel Castro. Some even believed that then
vice-president Lyndon Johnson and/or the CIA were involved. Then there was the
organized crime theory and big bosses Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante and
Jimmy Hoffa were all considered as the mastermind behind the plot. JFK's
brother, Robert Kennedy was the Attorney General at the time, and one of the
platforms of his blossoming political career was to prosecute the crime bosses.
Evidence was presented to the Warren Commission linking both Jack Ruby and
Oswald to organized crime.
The Warren Commission was to investigate all evidence and issue a report
detailing their findings. When they came under heavy criticism for their
handling of the situation, the House Select Committee on Assassinations was
formed to re-investigate Kennedy's assassination as well as those of Robert
Kennedy in 1968 and of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This committee heard and
dismissed most of the same evidence on conspiracies. New evidence of acoustic
wave patterns recorded on a Dictabelt in Dallas convinced them, however, that
there were, indeed, two gunmen. This evidence was later discounted by experts
from the Committee of Ballistic Acoustics of the National Research Council.
With all of the major players now deceased, the
question of why one of the most beloved presidents in the history of the United
States was gunned down will never be answered. A good man died, but the
questions never will.
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