Assassination of John F. Kennedy

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John F. Kennedy assassination
John F. Kennedy assassination
President Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and Texas Governor John Connally in the presidential limousine, minutes before his assassination.
Location Dallas, Texas
Date November 22, 1963
12:30 p.m. (Central Time)
Attack type Sniper rifle
Deaths 1 killed (President Kennedy)
Injured 2 wounded (Governor Connally and James Tague)
Perpetrator(s) Lee Harvey Oswald

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. He was assassinated (murdered) in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas, on Friday, November 22, 1963. This happened while he was traveling in a Presidential motorcade with his wife Jacqueline, the Governor of Texas John Connally, and the governor's wife Nellie.

Murder[change | change source]

As the car drove into Dealey Plaza, shots were fired. Kennedy was hit twice. The first bullet struck him in the upper back and exited through his throat. The second bullet struck him in his head. It happened at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC). The motorcade drove to Parkland Memorial Hospital 4 miles (6.4 km) away. At 1:00 p.m., Kennedy was pronounced dead.

Lee Harvey Oswald was the main suspect in the murder. He was arrested on the same day for the murder of a policeman, J. D. Tippit. He was charged with both murders later that night.[1] Oswald denied shooting anyone.[2] Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby[3] two days later, on November 24. This was when Oswald was being moved from the police station to a jail.

Investigations[change | change source]

An investigation into what happened was done by the Warren Commission in 1963–1964. It took 10 months. The commission decided that Oswald was the only person involved, and he had fired three shots from the window of a warehouse on the corner of Dealey Plaza. No one else was involved. The man who murdered Oswald, Jack Ruby, was also said to have acted alone.

Most people at the time believed this was true. However, other alternative theories as to what could have happened have developed. Many Americans now think that there was a plot or cover-up.[4][5]

Another investigation was done by the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1979. They found that President John F. Kennedy was probably killed as a result of a conspiracy (a secret plot).[6] The HSCA found both the original FBI investigation and the Warren Commission Report to have big mistakes. They agree with the Commission that Oswald fired all the shots. But they say that there were at least four shots fired. They also say that it was very likely that two gunmen fired at the President.[7] No gunmen or groups involved in the conspiracy were pointed out by the committee. They said that the CIA, the Soviet Union, organized crime and several other groups were not involved.

Other theories[change | change source]

The assassination is still the subject of a lot of debate. There are a lot of conspiracy theories. Some are:

  • A belief that the bullets could not have hit Kennedy in the place they hit him if they had really been fired from the warehouse.
  • Many theorists suggest that Oswald conspired with others to kill the president. These include enemies like the KGB, the Mafia or Fidel Castro. Some even think it may have been the CIA or Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. Only one person was ever put on trial: Clay Shaw, but he was found not guilty.
  • Some have also argued that the gunshots were fired so quickly there must have been more than one assassin shooting at the President. This could be supported by the fact that "Most witnesses recalled that the second and third shots were bunched together."[8]
  • When the fatal shot occurred, the President's head and upper torso moved backwards after the fatal shot—indicating a shot from the right front. The presidential limousine was passing a grassy knoll on the north side of Elm Street at the moment of the fatal head shot. Another factor that may give credence to a frontal headshot is that the wound on the side of the President's head was facing that direction.[9] Sherry Gutierrez, a certified crime scene and bloodstain pattern analyst concluded that "the head injury to President Kennedy was the result" of a shot fired "from the right front of the President." Gutierrez argues that the spray of blood and brain that spews out from the right temple is back spatter forcefully expressed from an entry wound back toward the source of the energy.[10] Theorists also point to the large number of doctors and nurses at Parkland Memorial Hospital, as well as others, who reported that a major portion of the back of the President's head was blown out, strongly suggesting that he had been hit from the front.[11][12]

References[change | change source]

  1. Tippit murder affidavit: text, cover. Kennedy murder affidavit: text, cover.
  2. Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 20, p. 366, Kantor Exhibit No. 3 — Handwritten notes made by Seth Kantor concerning events surrounding the assassination.
  3. Testimony of Jack Ruby, Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 5, pp. 198–200.
  4. Gary Langer (November 16, 2003). "John F. Kennedy’s Assassination Leaves a Legacy of Suspicion". ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/images/pdf/937a1JFKAssassination.pdf. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  5. Jarrett Murphy, 40 Years Later: Who Killed JFK?, CBS News, November 21, 2003.
  6. "Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives". United States National Archives. 1979. http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/select-committee-report/. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  7. Stokes, Louis (1979). "Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives". Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office. pp. 90–93. http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/select-committee-report/.
  8. Warren, Earl (1964). "Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy". Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office. p. 110. http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/index.html.
  9. Testimony of Abraham Zapruder, Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits, vol. 7, p. 572.
  10. Fiester, Sherry Pool Gutierrez (Winter 1996). "What the Blood Tells Us". KenRahn.Com (originally published by "The Kennedy Assassination Chronicles"). http://www.kenrahn.com/Marsh/Ballistics/BloodEvidence.html. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  11. Summers, Anthony (2013). Not in Your Lifetime. New York: Open Road. pp. 31–. ISBN 978-1-4804-3548-3 .
  12. Marrs, Jim (1989). Crossfire. pp. 55-89. ISBN 9780881846485 .

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Assassination of John F. Kennedy at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 32°46′45″N 96°48′31″W / 32.77903°N 96.80867°W / 32.77903; -96.80867