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 shot once in the throat, and once in the 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 and mortally wounded 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.

Conspiracy 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 researchers 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. One book-length account points to Chicago Outfit boss Sam Giancana as being responsible for the murders of the two Kennedys, in revenge for their betrayal of agreements reached before Kennedy's election. The source was Giancana's brother.[8] 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."[9] When witness Sam Holland (viewing the motorcade from on top of the railroad bridge) went behind the picket fence with several of the railroad workers he supervises following the assassination, they discovered fresh footprints in the mud behind the fence. Holland demonstrated where the prints were discovered during the filming of Mark Lane’s documentary, Rush to Judgement. Holland and several of his workers, such as Thomas Murphy, Richard Dodd, Austin Miller, Walter Winborn, and James Simmons, reported seeing a puff of smoke from the grassy knoll area. Other witnesses such as journalism student Cheryl McKinnon, reporter Ed Johnson, Policeman Earle V. Browne, and Dallas deputy Sheriff W.W Mabra, also observed a puff of smoke from the Grassy knoll area. Both the Zapruder film and the Wiegman film, also show what appears to be smoke from the Grassy knoll area. Furthermore, the Nix film (filmed by Orville Nix), shows what appears to be a man with dark hair peak his head over the picket fence immediately following the head shot - just as the President’s limousine begins to speed away from Dealey Plaza. You can see in the above frame of the Nix film which shows the “man’s” head and hair inside the red circle. Also, two days before the assassination, two police officers observed men with rifles, taking aim over the picket fence.
  • When the fatal shot occurred, the President's head and upper torso moved backwards—indicating to many observers a shot from the right front. Sherry Gutierrez, a certified crime scene analyst and a consultant in the field of bloodstain pattern analysis concluded that "the head injury to President Kennedy was the result of a single gunshot fired from the right front of the President."[10] Resarchers have pointed to the large number of doctors and nurses at Parkland hospital, as well as others, who reported that a major portion of the back of the President's head appeared to have been 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. 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. 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.
  8. Giancana, Sam & Chuck [1992] 1998. Double Cross: the story of the man who controlled America. New York: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-7515-2745-9
  9. Warren, Earl (1964). "Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy". Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office. p. 110.
  10. Fiester, Sherry Pool Gutierrez (Winter 1996). "What the Blood Tells Us". KenRahn.Com (originally published by "The Kennedy Assassination Chronicles"). 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