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Who shot JFK?
Transcript of Who shot JFK?
Well, while visiting Dallas, Texas in November 1963, JFK was shot dead while riding in a motorcade. What was so important about JFK's presidency? John F. Kennedy’s presidency began on January 20th, 1961, the day of his inauguration. Less than two months later, he launched the Peace Corps, an organization that lets volunteers travel to developing countries to aid and assist them. This organization has benefited so many, and, a whole 52 years later, is still up and running.
Not much more than around a month and a half later, April 17th 1961, to be exact, the Bay of Pigs Invasion into Cuba was launched. The invasion, which had been thought up by the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), was approved by President Kennedy in February of 1961. Their aim, which was to rid Cuba of communist dictator Fidel Castro, was a complete failure. Firstly, the accuracy of the American bombers was very bad. They were supposed to be taking down the Cuban Air Force, but ended up missing pretty badly. Secondly, a plane, known as Brigade 2506, was one on the American side, sent by the CIA. This plane landed on a beach along where the invasion was happening, and the plane was soon under attack from Cuba. Of course, the most rational thing from the U.S.A’s point of view seemed to be to get those 1300 men from the 2506 out of there. All well and good, but all that happened was President Kennedy sent in MORE men to help out. The majority of the Brigade’s men surrendered, the more positive alternative to being killed. The men were held in Cuba until December of 1962. As if this hadn’t been bad enough, Kennedy took a lot of the blame for sending in more men, and approving the embarrassingly failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in the first place. The CIA’s goal was completely unsuccessful - and, although in somewhat suffering health, at age 86, Fidel Castro is still very much an involved member of his country.
If you couldn’t already tell, Cuba was an important part of JFK’s presidency. Over a year after the failure that was the Bay of Pigs Invasion, then came the pretty terrifying Cuban Missile Crisis. The world was so close to nuclear war, the closest ever in history. On October 14th/15th, President Kennedy was given photographs secretly taken by U.S. Air Force planes of thousands of the Soviet Union’s nuclear missiles being kept in Cuba. Now Kennedy was in a difficult position. He had to do something, but at the same time, he had to keep quiet - it was worried that if Cuba and the USSR found out about the U.S’s knowledge, they would use it as an opportunity to strike. Eventually, there was an official announcement made on October 22nd. Luckily for, pretty much, the whole world, nuclear war never happened. An agreement was made between Russia and the United States, that they would dispose of all nuclear weapons from Cuba, and Italy and Turkey, respectively. More on the Bay of Pigs invasion President Kennedy sent in MORE men to help out. The majority of the Brigade’s men surrendered, the more positive alternative to being killed. The men were held in Cuba until December of 1962. As if this hadn’t been bad enough, Kennedy took a lot of the blame for sending in more men, and approving the embarrassingly failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in the first place. The CIA’s goal was completely unsuccessful - and, although in somewhat suffering health, at age 86, Fidel Castro is still very much an involved member of his country. The ‘magic/single bullet theory’ The theory is one that proposes that one of the three (According to the commission) shots from Oswald, from the depository, went through President Kennedy’s neck, and then proceeded to go through Governor Connally’s chest and wrist, before coming to an end in his thigh. What this means is that the bullet, if it was supposedly just this one bullet that caused this damage, would have gone in a straight line directly through JFK’s neck, then, by it’s own accord, turned right and entered the Governor’s chest and wrist, and from there, change to a downward angle and wedge itself into his thigh. You would expect a bullet, after doing all of those crazy things, to be looking pretty mangled. But when the President’s limousine was being emptied, they found a bullet. Guess what? That bullet was perfectly intact. Jfk's Assasination
November 22nd 1963 probably started out just like a regular day, maybe a little chilly or a touch warm. On this day, President Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, happened to be in Dallas, Texas. Although they had reason to be there - several events had been planned between the 21st and 22nd - the Dallas police were wary and unsure about the visit. There had been some minor unrest a month previously, towards a United Nations ambassador, and the local police were concerned whether such a thing could happen again - Texas being a Republican state, Kennedy being a Democratic president.
The Presidential motorcade turned onto Elm Street at exactly 12.29 PM. As the car was pulling past number 411, the Texas School Book Depository, crowds heard a gunshot. The first one was heard by many, but it is disputed over how many more shots were fired at JFK. All that is sure is that, within a very short amount of time, another gunshot struck the President in the head, blowing the side of his head open. Everyone in the crowd must have been completely confused about what was going on - what had happened to the President? Why was the First lady climbing on the back of the car? And why was there a Secret Service agent running towards the limousine?
President John F. Kennedy was officially dead at 1.00 PM on that same day, November 22nd, 1963. Single bullet theory continued... What?! Yes, I know that sounds very crazy and impossible. But yet, this is what the committee of 7 very intelligent and unbiased men came up with. It is pretty hard to understand how that would even be possible. How does a bullet just maneuver itself around? How does it keep itself in pristine condition? Not possible - or at least this is what many people believe. So what does this mean?
Well, this could mean several things (Which will be addressed later in the presentation). Firstly, the bullet could have been a fake - it could have been planted in the car. How, you might ask, since after the shooting there was such tight security around the car. Perhaps this means a ruse was put into the car by someone nearby at the time, such as a police officer or Secret Service agent. Could it have been planted by someone actually riding in the Presidential limousine?
But then you can counter, why wasn’t the bullet made to look like the real thing - you know, a little bit up and dirty, rather than something that looks so obviously fake? The lone gunman theory The Warren commission states that there was only one shooter, the one who killed Kennedy; Lee Harvey Oswald. This seems to be a conclusion that lots of people have come to believe as well, certainly people with less knowledge on the subject. But why Oswald, and him alone?
It is believed that he was a deeply depressed man, and his mental health, along with his political stance, lead him to assassinate JFK. His political views? He was a supporter of the Soviet Union. In fact, he took a trip there when he was 19, nearly 20. He went as far as to apply for Soviet visa, which was granted to him on October 14th. It was, though, only valid for a week. While in Russia, he purposely cut his wrist, and was sent to a hospital for mental reasons - they wanted to observe him and make sure he was stable. This is why people think his mental health caused him to shoot Kennedy. Oswald was also a Communist, and a strong supporter of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Lone gunman theory continued... Many people question Oswald’s abillity to shoot from that sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository, at the suggested speed (As per the Warren commission) of between nearly 5 to 8 seconds. That is pretty fast, especially when you consider that (Again, per Warren commission statement) there were 3 shots. However, what many people might not know is that Lee Harvey Oswald joined the Marines at age 17. He was a trained shooter in the Marines; he was trained with precision and skill of shooting targets quickly and accurately. When you factor that in, it seems a lot more likely that the lone gunman theory proposed by the commission could be true.
However, there are points against the lone gunman theory. It links back to the ‘single/magic bullet’ theory. If Oswald was the only shooter, then how was that one bullet supposed to zig-zag around like that - just magically turning around, then down by it’s own accord? This point shows that L.H.O couldn’t have been the only shooter, or perhaps the shooter at all.
Another point against the lone gunman theory is the fact that Oswald was using such a cheap rifle, only $12.78! It was something that so easily could have been tracked back to him, as the weapon had been ordered and mailed from a catalog. Perhaps he ordered something so cheap and basic because he knew there was someone else who had a better rifle, also shooting at the president. A partner in crime. Or perhaps Oswald did something so obvious as ordering from a catalog because he was covering for someone else. Maybe he was working with a partner, and decided to cover his partner’s tracks by doing something so obvious as getting a mail-order gun. Grassy knoll theory This theory is one ignored by the conclusion of the Warren commission. This explains the one awkward shot that supposedly zig-zagged around from Kennedy to Connally. First, let me explain what the grassy knoll was. The grassy knoll is a small slope to one side of Dealey Plaza, on Elm Street, Dallas, TX. When in the presidential motorcade, the knoll was to the right side of Kennedy and Connally. If there had been a second shooter, he could have fired a fourth shot from the knoll, and that could have been the shot to hit Governor Connally in the chest and wrist. A fifth shot could also have been fired from there, and that could have been the one to get stuck in his thigh.
The grassy knoll theory leads one to the conclusion that there were not 3 shots, but 5 - two of which fired from the knoll. If there were, in fact, two bullets fired from the knoll also means that Lee Harvey Oswald was assisted in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Lee Harvey Oswald Lee Harvey Oswald was born on October 18th, 1939. He is most famously known as President John F. Kennedy’s assassin - or at least, that is what the Warren commission stated. Oswald had a history of anger, violence and depression-related incidents as a child and adult, including threatening a fairly distant relative with a small knife. Due to his behavior, many people believe he would have had the mental motive to kill the President.
From ages 17 to 19, Oswald was a Marine soldier. He, as all of the Marines, was a trained shooter - another reason why many believe he had the skill and ability to shoot JFK. After a hardship discharge from the Marines, Oswald took a trip to the Soviet Union. He stayed for around 2 years and 6 months, and his stay was an eventful one. While in Minsk, L.H.O met his future wife, Marina Prusakova. They quickly fell in love, and were married shortly after, in April of 1961, only 6 weeks after first meeting. The following February of 1962, Marina gave birth to the first of their (later) two daughters, June Lee Oswald. More about L.H.O The family returned to Texas later that year. Skip forward to March of 1963, with an Alek Hiddell (A pseudonym of Lee Harvey Oswald) purchasing a rifle, with which he shot General Edwin Walker. Walker, however, was not killed by the shooting, and Oswald buried the ‘evidence’ (Gun) that very same day. This is another reason why people say Oswald could have killed Kennedy, because he was just as ready to do so with the General.
Later that year, on October 2nd, Lee Harvey Oswald moved to Dallas. He was employed at the Texas School Book Depository that month, and was apparently a good worker there. Towards the end of the month, his wife, Marina Oswald, gave birth to the couple’s second daughter, Audrey Marina Rachel Oswald (An interesting fact: Both of the Oswalds’ daughters are still alive, and have given many interviews - as well as Marina, who is in her early 70’s). On the day of President Kennedy’s assassination, the Warren commission states that Oswald was seen on the sixth floor of the depository around a half hour prior to the shooting, and was not seen until afterwards. However, all witnesses claim to have either seen Oswald on the first floor nearer to the time of the assassination, or to have not seen him on the sixth floor at all. Oswald's motives? So what motive could Oswald have had to kill President Kennedy? One motive of Oswald’s could have been based on the fact that he was a pro-Castro supporter. JFK was not. If you remember, there was the failure that was the Bay of Pigs invasion; the aim of which was to take down the Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro. Even more so, Oswald would have been enraged at Operation Mongoose, a plan to get rid of the communist leadership in Cuba. Oswald was seen handing out leaflets for ‘Fair Play for Cuba,’ a pro-Castro group (In fact, during investigations after L.H.O’s death, his address was discovered because it had been stamped onto several of these sort of leaflets). If Oswald had been such a strong supporter, then this definitely could have been a motive for him to kill the President, in a sort of twisted ‘revenge.’
Another motive of Oswald could have been that he really wanted to be noticed. He wanted to be known throughout history, and had been disappointed when his previous attempts had proved unsuccessful. As an example, when he returned to Texas with his family, from Russia, he was let down that they gained no attention from this. Surely, if your aim is to go down in history forever, the logical thing to do is shoot a president. Sounds crazy? Yes, but remember that Oswald didn’t have the clearest of minds at all times, and this possibility could definitely have run through his head. However... However, these thoughts are not just one-sided. Let’s look at Oswald’s desire to go down in history. Firstly, there is no real proof that this was something Oswald desired. It sure looked like it, but nowhere has it been recorded him saying that he wanted fame. Secondly, after being arrested on the same day as the assassination, November 22nd, L.H.O claimed he was being set up; claimed he was a ‘patsy’. In fact, there is even a famous quote from Oswald: “I’m just a patsy’. He is claiming to be set up - and unless that is some kind of crazy ploy for attention, it seems that he is denying having killed the President. If he really wanted attention, wouldn’t he have said that he was the assassin? The Zapruder film The Zapruder film, which was filmed by Abraham Zapruder, is the clearest photographic evidence of the Presidential assassination available. Zapruder was filming from next to the Grassy knoll, which was raised above normal ground level in Dealey plaza - because of this, Zapruder was able to get such a clear film; he didn’t have to deal with lots of people’s heads getting in the way. When the still frames from the film were first published in 1963, frame #313 was not included. Abraham Zapruder has personally asked for that frame to be taken out, as that is the image in which Kennedy’s head ‘explodes.’ During JFK’s presidency, his vice-president was a man named Lyndon B. Johnson. A theory that some believed to be true was that LBJ (V-P nickname) was conspiring against the President, and hired a gunman, which would mean that Lee Harvey Oswald was a hired assassin. His motive might have been that he wanted to be President, and would assume office after the death of JFK (He did, indeed, and he became President only hours after Kennedy was publicly announced as dead). However, there is no proof of this whatsoever. Besides, if LBJ had longed for presidency so badly, why wouldn’t he have run for President in the first place? Mafia/Mob/Organized crime theory This is another interesting theory that some people believe, that the mafia was somehow involved in the assassination of JFK. While there isn’t so much proof about the shooting itself, more suspicion arises from the shooting of L.H.O. The fact that this man, Jack Ruby, randomly shot a suspected, then convicted criminal raises questions. Jack Ruby was a friend of Lewis McWillie, who was linked to Santo Trafficante Jr. also links back to the Mafia. Santo Trafficante Jr. was a Mafia boss, and the fact that Jack Ruby was indirectly linked to him makes a lot of people wonder if somehow, the assassination of the President had something to do with the Mafia. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) theory Out of all the conspiracy theories, this is probably one of the more popular ones. The CIA did have real motives to why they might kill Kennedy. Let’s revisit the Bay of Pigs invasion: This invasion had been approved by the President prior to JFK, Dwight D. Eisenhower. When Kennedy came into office, this plan was ready and waiting to be put into action - all the CIA needed now was for someone, the PRESIDENT, to say yes. So pretty much, within a month or so of his inauguration, Kennedy was in a difficult position where he pretty much had to give the ‘go ahead’ signal to the CIA. When the whole plan failed, JFK was miserable. It was one of his first big actions as President, and it had tanked head-on. There is even a quote, in which he states that he wants to “Splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” This is just the start of a series of events that made the relationship between the President and the CIA very awkward and perhaps they ended up as enemies.
Another CIA-planned invasion drew the President even further away from trusting them: Operation Mongoose. Perhaps after such a failure Kennedy didn’t want to trust the CIA again, but he did. We never really found out what happened, as during the operation, the missile crisis was discovered, and made first priority. More on CIA theory... A motive the CIA might have had was that they were mad at President Kennedy for making them look bad after the Bay of Pigs invasion. Yes, technically they did plan the invasion, but Kennedy publicly shamed them for the responsibility of the failure (As well as himself, quoting “How could I have been so stupid?”). Was this enough for the CIA to either send in their own gunman, or to hire one, such as Lee Harvey Oswald? This idea is also popular, that the CIA hired L.H.O.
As a group, we came up with a CIA-related conspiracy theory of our own: We wonder whether the CIA had hired Lee Harvey Oswald as an assassin to shoot the President, and someone from the Mafia had somehow found out. We think the Mafia might have passed down the word to Jack Ruby, asking him to kill L.H.O, since Ruby had no direct connection back to the Mafia. We also think that the CIA had agreed to cover for Oswald if he had been found out by the Police, but they backed out, which would explain why L.H.O was claiming being a patsy. We think our idea is pretty crazy, and still leaves a lot to be answered, but we wondered if this could be what, if anything, the CIA had to do with the assassination. Jack Ruby Jack Ruby, born March 25th 1911, is most famously known as the man who killed the man who killed the President. Ruby was an indirect link to the Mafia, as a friend of his, Lewis McWillie, was linked to Mafia boss Santo Trafficante. A possible theory of why he killed Oswald was that he (Oswald) might have had a connection to the CIA.
Oswald was shot two days after the Presidential assassination, at a Police station in Dallas. As the Police were taking Oswald to a car, they were surrounded by crowds. Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd, aimed his gun and fired at Lee Harvey Oswald’s chest. He was announced dead about an hour and a half later.
Jack ruby was seen impersonating a newspaper reporter during a press conference with Oswald. Before meeting Oswald , the DA Henry Wade briefed the reporters about Oswald and said that Oswald was a member of an anti-Castro free Cuba committee. Ruby spoke up and ‘corrected’ Henry, saying ‘Henry, that’s the Fair Play for Cuba committee,” a pro-Castro group.
Ruby revealed to the FBI a month later that he had had a loaded revolver in his right pocket. His shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald a premeditated murder. It is much speculated over whether or not Ruby was working with the Police to get rid of Oswald, as Ruby had managed to get past the Police with such ease. Our group conclusion Before we started learning about who could have killed President Kennedy, we all believed pretty much the first thing that came up on Wikipedia; that the only shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, killed the President and injured Governor Connally in 3 shots, all taken from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Since then, we have tried to consider everything, and the three of us have come up with our idea of what we think sound (Somewhat) logical. We have no way of knowing if it’s right or wrong, but it’s our opinion:
We believe that, while Lee Harvey Oswald killed the President, there was another person involved. We haven’t been able to figure out who that person could be. We think that Oswald took 3 shots at the President from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository, and they were the fatal shots: One shot to his back, one to his throat, and a WHOLE OTHER BULLET that went through Gov. Connally’s chest and wrist. We then think that the second shooter, positioned on the grassy knoll, took a shot that got into Connally’s thigh, and one final shot, which missed and remained intact - this would have been the perfect bullet found in the limousine later on.
We realize that there is still stuff missing and questions to be answered. For example, how would nobody have noticed someone aiming at the motorcade from the knoll, in broad daylight? How would that person have gotten away? How would those shots have gone unseen? But then, every single theory has arguments for and against it, but in our minds, this seems to be the most logical. What was so important about JFK's presidency? (Cont'd) The Vietnam war was another important part of Kennedy’s presidency. The war, which had began in November of 1955 and eventually ended in April of 1975, was quite a deadly war. Kennedy was reluctant to send in troops to Vietnam, wary of what the consequences of his actions could be. In 1963, there were Americans in Vietnam, but they were advisers, who were military assistance. A big part of Kennedy’s involvement with the Vietnam war was when he, in 1962, along with several other countries, signed an agreement over Laos. It had been very debated over the political stance of Laos, which bordered with Vietnam, but this agreement officially made it neutral.
Another event that occurred during Kennedy’s presidency was the rise of the infamous Berlin wall. On the early morning of August 13th, 1961, the people in East Berlin were woken up by the rumbling of heavy machinery moving down their streets to the line that divided the east and west of the city. Tired people looked on as they saw machinery jack hammering sidewalks and soldiers making way for barbed wire that would be put on the wall. By morning the freedom that let citizens pass between both sides of Berlin ended.
The wall ran across cemeteries and canals, and moving through all city streets, the wall was a scary reminder to the people there was a “curtain” dividing communism and democracy. In 1962, another wall was built about 100 yards away from the original wall as a kind of no mans land which was very heavily guarded. Almost 260 people died trying to escape to each of the sides. JFK decided to not directly challenge the Soviets about building the berlin wall.
In the summer of 1963, JFK went to Berlin and was welcomed by big crowds of people who showered him in things like flowers, rice and bits of torn paper. JFK gave one of the most memorable speeches to the people in the Rudolph Wilde Platz. Shortly after JFK’s death, the square where JFK made his famous speech was renamed John F. Kennedy Platz. Figure 1 - the Cuban flag Figure 2 - soldiers in the Vietnam war Figure 3 - John Fitzgerald Kennedy Figure 4 - A short extract from the Zapruder film Figure 5 - the 'magic' bullet Figure 6 - the grassy knoll Figure 7 - Lee Harvey Oswald Lyndon B. Johnson theory KKK/Racists theory An important part of President Kennedy’s presidency was his involvement with civil rights. He was a supporter of equal rights - that black and white citizens should have the same rights as each other. He did some really influential things during his presidency, like with James Meredith. He was the first African american student to ever attend a segregated university. Before entering the school, JFK sent Military troops to keep this controversial event under control. Because JFK had allowed this one colored student to enter this school (If you were wondering, it was the University of Mississippi), this opened the door for change, and for desegregation of schools.
At the same time, was the rise of the KKK - Ku Klux Klan. The KKK were a white supremacist group that were extremely racist against anyone black. Thinking about how much work JFK did for civil rights, the KKK could have been furious. The fact that the KKK were anti-Catholic Protestants, and JFK was a Roman Catholic could have irritated him, but that as well as black rights? Perhaps just too much for them to handle... Cuba assassination theory As you already know, since you’ve read the rest of this presentation, Cuba and Kennedy did not have the best relationship. Think the Bay of Pigs invasion, Operation Mongoose and the Missile Crisis. Catro and Kennedy probably assumed the other wanted them dead! This, however, makes an interesting conspiracy theory.
As we know, Lee Harvey Oswald was a supporter of Cuba. Perhaps what could have happened is Castro could have gotten an assistant or someone of his to hire a gunman, and they hired Oswald. That is an interesting twist to the idea of L.H.O shooting the President, but in it’s own way, it does make some sense. Probably not too likely, but it is a reasonable idea, when you consider Kennedy’s relationship with Cuba. Figure 8 - Lyndon B. Johnson Figure 9 - CIA logo Sources used 10 Best JFK Assassination Conspiracies." 10 Best JFK Assassination Conspiracies. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.
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"Zapruder Film." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. Warren Commission The Warren commission, named due to the Chairman, Chief Justice Warren of the Supreme Court, was a further investigation into President Kennedy’s assassination. It was commissioned a week after the shooting, by the new President Lyndon B. Johnson. It’s aim was to come up with some sort of conclusion over who had killed the late JFK.
There were 7 main committee men on the Warren commission, none of whom are still around today. They conducted most of their investigation by interviewing and questioning members of the public who witnessed the shooting, had some connection to a suspect, or was a suspect themselves. In total, they collected reports from 552 witnesses, which, one can imagine, must be no easy task. The commission committee also took several trips back to the crime scene, looking for evidence. Not only that, but other places, such as those thought to be harbouring a suspect, were also visited.
The investigation went on for just under 9 months. It commenced on September 24th, 1964, when the committee gave in their findings, as a 889 page-long report. Not bad for under a year’s worth of work.
Their findings state that Lee Harvey Oswald was the man who killed President Kennedy; the only man. He was a lone gunman, who shot 3 bullets from the Texas School Book Depository’s sixth floor window. The weapon used was a Mannlicher-Carcano Italian carbine Rifle, which Oswald had ordered from a catalogue for a mere $12.78. The commission also states that their findings are based on several facts, two of which are (a), that L.H.O had brought that same rifle into work that day - his work at the Book Depository, that is. (B), there is also proof that Oswald was at the sixth floor window at the time of the assassination.