The assassination of John F. Kennedy may be one of the most well-known mysteries of all time. With politics at the top of the news—we thought this might be the perfect time to go over some of the conspiracies surrounding his untimely murder. How long will it take to unravel the mystery? Perhaps… forever… but at least you’ll know the strands that make his murder such a mystery.
John F Kennedy shot on 22 November 1963, while travelling with his wife through Dallas, Texas, in the back of an open-top convertible.
Lee Harvey Oswald opened fire as the presidential motorcade passed the Texas School Book Depository at 12.30pm and the president was pronounced dead at Dallas’s Parkland Hospital 30 minutes later.
The assassination became a defining event of the post-war 20th century, but a lack of clarity over the precise circumstances, together with the fact his assassin was himself murdered two days later, have led to a host of conspiracy theories over who was to blame.
That Grassy Knoll
Most JFK conspiracy theories pivot around the idea that Oswald wasn’t acting alone. When the president was hit by the bullet that killed him, the motorcade was passing a grassy knoll on the north side of Elm Street. Newspaper photographs record that shortly after the shooting, police arrested three tramps found in a railroad car behind the knoll. Because the men were clean-shaven and well-dressed there was speculation that they were CIA assassins rather than hobos.
Murdered By The CIA
The idea that the assassination was a CIA plot sounds bizarre, but conspiracy theorists suggest the president’s alleged comment that he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds” made him an agency target. Other theories suggest that one of the tramps (see above) was E Howard Hunt, a former CIA operative who was involved in the ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation to oust Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
The Soviets had a powerful motive [to kill JFK]: to gain revenge for the humiliation of the USSR in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Oswald was a communist and had spent time in the USSR. His “Russian odyssey” afforded the KGB “many opportunities to interact with him”.
Why would the mafia want JFK dead? Because his brother, Robert, was turning up the heat on organised crime. Robert was the US attorney general at the time and his “anti-mafia crusade” had led to a sharp increase in the number of prosecutions of senior mafia figures.
Another incredible theory suggests JFK was killed for showing too much interest in “alien activity”. There are two “crucial” pieces of evidence backing this up. The first is a letter written by JFK to the CIA in which he demands to see secret UFO files. The second is a note from a senior CIA official that says “we cannot allow” the president to see the classified material.
And if you want to see an action packed version of conspiracy theories, check out my three-book series – The Chronicles of Jermey Nash.