Will the JFK conspiracy ever be resolved?

The assassination of John F. Kennedy


1 Introduction

2. Facts

3. Possible reasons for conspiracy theories

4. The Warren Commission
4.1 The main findings of the Warren Commission
4.2 Warren Commission Doubtful Findings
4.3 The "Magic Bullet Theory"

5. "Lone Gunman" theory

6. Conspiracy theories

7. Main theories:
7.1 Fidel Castro murdered Kennedy (Tucket: 91)
7.2 The defense industry murdered Kennedy (Tucket: 95)
7.3 The government murdered Kennedy (Tucket: 90)
7.4 The CIA murdered Kennedy (Tucket: 94)
7.5 The oil industry murdered Kennedy ((Davis: Buchanan: 349)
7.6 The mafia murdered Kennedy (Tucket: 93)
7.7 The KGB / Communists murdered Kennedy (Tucket: 96)

8. Waves of conspiracy and some of the major publications

9. Conclusion

10. Literature

1 Introduction

"Kennedy Slain by CIA, Mafia, Castro, LBJ, Teamsters, Freemasons: President Shot 129 Times from 43 Different Angles" (Knight: 91) was the headline of the American satirical newspaper "The Onion" a few years ago. This headline vividly illustrates the fact that the Kennedy assassination is by far the most widely studied incident in recent or even all of American history.

As a result, the number of even more or less “serious” theories can no longer be determined, let alone surveyed. Within 36 months of Kennedy's assassination, more than 200 books and articles had been published dealing with the subject (Goldberg: 106).

In contrast to most other conspiracy theories, hypotheses about the assassination of the 35th US President are (mostly) not connected with abstract goals, such as achieving world domination or stigmatization, in extreme cases also extermination, of an entire race or religious community. Rather, they focus on identifying a guilty group that can be blamed for Kennedy's death. However, there are exceptions here as well. For example, the John Birch Society sees world conspirators behind the Kennedy assassination, who of course are systematically preparing the takeover of the American government (Goldberg: 110).

Unlike many other events that have been the subject of conspiracy theories throughout history, hypotheses about the background and “true facts” in connection with Kennedy's death were never, or only for a short time, a phenomenon of a marginalized group. Rather, they were mostly, and still are, part of mainstream American culture.

2. Facts

There are few to no "facts" that all conspiracy theorists can agree on. The disagreement goes so far that some deny even deny the fact that John F. Kennedy is no longer alive. Several "experts" claim that he still lives on a farm near Moscow to this day.

Nevertheless, in the following I will attempt to present some facts that seem beyond doubt to me.

On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy drove against the Council of the Secret Service in an open Lincoln convertible. At 12.30, five minutes later than planned (Groden: 18), the motorcade reached Dealey Plaza. Shortly afterwards, several shots are fired, which hit John Kennedy and the governor John Connally seated in front of him. The Secret Service does not react for the time being, until finally Jacqueline Kennedy's personal bodyguard Clint Hill jumps onto the trunk of the limousine.

Up to this point, Abraham Zapruder, a viewer who actually only wanted to see the president's column, captured everything with his private camera. His awards will later go down in history as the "Zapruder Film". Kennedy's chauffeur then takes all occupants of the limousine to the Dallas Parkland Hospital.

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(Groden: 39)

For a long time it was puzzled why Mrs. Kennedy tried to climb onto the trunk. Clint Hill later testified:

"Mrs Kennedy had jumped up from the seat and was, it appeared to me, reaching for something coming off the rear bumper of the car. ... I noticed a portion of the President’s head on the right rear side was missing and he was bleeding profusely. "(Groden: 39).

Jacqueline Kennedy herself later confirmed Clint's testimony in her own remarks to the Warren Commission:

"I was trying to hold his hair on. But from the front there was nothing. I suppose there must have been, but from the back you could see, you know, you were trying to hold his hair on, and his skull on. "

But back to the events of November 22nd. At 12:45, barely fifteen minutes after the shots were fired in Dealey Plaza, the first radio message is sent, which contains a description of the man who is suspected of having shot the President (Groden: 53). This description describes applies to Lee Harvey Oswald.

At 1:00 am, doctors at Dallas Parkland Hospital declare President John Fitzgerald Kennedy dead. Burkley signs the death certificate as the treating doctor (Groden: 73).

About twenty-five minutes later another murder happened not far from Oswald's house. The policeman J.D. Tippit is shot. A radio message follows in which a description of the alleged murderer is given. This description again fits Lee Harvey Oswald. This makes Oswald a suspect in two murder cases.

Less than 1½ hours after the fatal shooting in Dealey Plaza, Lee Harvey Oswald is finally arrested in the Texas Theater, officially as Officer Tippit's murderer (Groden: 101).

On the night of November 22nd to 23rd, Lee Harvey Oswald was officially charged with the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy at a press conference (Crenshaw: 148). The next day, Oswald was to be transferred to another prison. This event had been announced in advance and the public interest was correspondingly high. Almost all of the international press had gathered outside the exit of the Dallas County Criminal Courts Building to broadcast Oswald's flyover live.

When Oswald, handcuffed to Detective Leavelle's left arm (Crenshaw: 176), was shown in front of the cameras, a man broke away from the crowd of journalists. Nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald at 11.17am in front of the cameras (Crenshaw: 177). The second murder on Dealey Plaza in just three days. Ruby is arrested immediately and later sentenced. He died in prison in 1967.

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(Groden: 108)

On November 29, 1963, a commission was set up to unequivocally clarify the murder of President Kennedy. Judge Earl Warren chairs this commission, which has therefore achieved dubious fame as the Warren Commission. Not quite a year later, on September 24, 1964, she presented her results. The summary of the Warren Commission's Final Report is approximately 900 pages plus 6,700 footnotes. In addition, there are 26 volumes with hearings, around 26,500 FBI interviews and more than 550 testimonies (Goldberg: 110).

3. Possible reasons for conspiracy theories

The sheer volume of the Warren Report and some of the statements it contained gave conspiracy theorists more than enough reasons to doubt the correctness of the official version.

In addition, "the Kennedys" at least since the marriage of John F. Kennedy, the great hope of the family, with Jacqueline Bouvier, daughter of a well-known New England family and already excessively well educated, something like the American "royal family" represented. This understanding of the Kennedys as "American common property" has remained in the minds of many Americans to this day.

The young president already cast a spell over the American people during the election campaign. He was particularly good at speaking and convincing voters that many things would change for the better under his government. The surprising thing was that one or the other actually changed in the following years and that Kennedy also had the opportunity to prove himself to be a brilliant crisis manager in the eyes of the people during the Cuba crisis. How close the world was to a Third World War back then is only known today.

In his day Kennedy was seen as the white knight in gold armor. Perhaps that is precisely why the comparison with Camelot, which even the widow made in an interview shortly after Jack's death, is obvious:

“I want to say this one thing. (...) This line from the musical comedy's been almost an obsession with me. At night before going to bed ... we had an old Victrola. He'd play a couple of records. (...) It was a song he loved, he loved 'Camelot.' It was the song he loved most at the end ... on a Victrola ten years old ... it's the last record, the last side of 'Camelot, 'sad' Camelot .'... 'don't let it be forgot that for one brief shining moment there was' Camelot.' "(White)

For the American public, the loss of their King Arthur could not be explained simply by the act of a lone maniac. Had John not been shot, he would have formed the basis of a Kennedy dynasty, and his two brothers Robert and Edward would have followed him into the White House (Goldberg: 125). The conspiracy thinking functions here as a kind of counterhistory, “an imagined present and future” (Goldberg: 126).

Americans are very careful about balance. The crazy lone perpetrator Oswald, however, cannot outweigh the most powerful man in the western world, the bearer of hope for an entire generation of young Americans. Something has to be added on Oswald's side, for example the idea of ​​a martyr who sacrificed himself for a conspiracy (Knight: 78).

Perhaps the following example shows the significance of Kennedy's assassination: not the Declaration of Independence, not the American Civil War, and also not the attack on Pearl Harbor, in the opinion of most Americans, divides the country's history in two parts American President.

The fatal attack on Kennedy is an American trauma. Perhaps one would have been able to live with it if the assassin had been a KGB agent - I will come to the corresponding theories that attempted this later. But that an American should have shot the American president of his own accord was incomprehensible and absurd and resulted in a vehement loss of confidence in "good America" ​​(Knight: 78).

It is argued that from the moment JFK was assassinated, America's fate turned for the worse (Knight: 78). Conversely, if Kennedy hadn't died and, as could be assumed, had ruled for a second term, the other, “bad” America would never have got the upper hand. There would have been no Vietnam War, no Watergate, the powers of the FBI or the CIA would have been curtailed, and they would no longer have been able to break American or international law, and countless other things.

The moment they learned of Kennedy's death has become a defining moment for many Americans (Knight: 79). Even today almost everyone in and outside America knows what he did when he heard the news, who brought it to him, where he was, etc. This again leads to the assumption that such a drastic event cannot happen from a single person Madmen may have been triggered.

The meaning that Kennedy's death had for individuals can be seen very well in the film In the line of fire clarify. Clint Eastwood embodies a Secret Service agent who cannot forgive himself for not protecting Kennedy at the crucial moment. This "guilt" determines the rest of his life. The remarkable thing is that you see Hollywood's "Tough Guy" Clint Eastwood crying for the first (and only?) Time on screen.

Another example is the author Robert Groden, whom I will go into in more detail later. November 22, 1963 was his 18th birthday. Consequently, he connects his own growing up with the progressive knowledge of the mechanisms of power in America (Knight: 80).

Of course, certain inconsistencies surrounding the Kennedy assassination and still surrounding it contributed to the emergence of conspiracy theories. The best known are probably that about 30 minutes after the shooting in Dallas, the telephone service in Washington D.C. collapsed, another that Air Force One, ostensibly fearing further attacks by the conspirators, flew back to Washington at an unusual height and on an unusual course. Probably the most fruitful "mistake" for conspiracy theorists, however, is the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald's interrogation at the Dallas Police Department was not taped and that no transcripts exist.


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