Yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our 35th president of the
There is a huge cottage industry that stems from the assassination because of the mystique and perceived mystery surrounding the events on that day 45 years ago. Several major motion pictures have been made including: JFK, Parallax View, Ruby, and Winter Kills. There are more documentaries that I can even begin to list. Hundreds of books have been written, each with a different angle on that day in
I have watched the well known and publicized Zapruder film frame by frame. I have also seen the lesser known Paschall, Nix, Bronson,
Names like Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Jim Garret, Fidel Castro, Sam Giancana, Clay Bertrand, Oliver Stone, and even Marilyn Monroe have become part of the American JFK assassination lexicon, and it seems like everybody “knows” exactly what happened that day. Literally scores of differing theories abound pointing the finger at everyone from the CIA to the FBI to the KGB to Frank Sinatra. Oswald can be tied to all of the groups listed above in some way or another. He was a marine rifleman (arguably the best marksmen in the world) and worked as a radar operator for spy planes. Then he defected to the
Some of my favorite theories on the assassination don’t involve Oswald at all. One theory claims that JFK was terminally ill with some disease so he put a hit out on himself. Seems reasonable. Why not get yourself whacked in a grossly public manner and traumatize the world rather than getting old? Oh, right, because it’s stupid. Another theory claims that bacteria have infested the brains of inner-city business moguls due to global warming, and JFK was an environmentalist. So in their own self-interest the microbes contracted the assassination through their businessmen hosts. Not impossible, I guess, but then again I have about the same probability of getting struck by lightning and a meteor at the same time as I was getting eaten by a shark that had the same birthday as me. Yet another theory posits that JFK wasn’t assassinated at all. His stand-in was murdered so he could rule the country from behind the scenes. Sucks to be the stand-in. I guess if you ignore all of the evidence this one isn’t too bad, since the president did use a stand in to model for the famous JFK 50¢ piece.
Of all of the theories and books supporting them that I have come across the one that sticks with me is the one that I find the most compelling at least on the surface. This idea was put forward by Howard Donahue, a ballistics expert that was called in to test weather a single marksman could make the shots that Oswald did accurately in the time allotted. The idea was put to paper by Bonar Menninger in the book Mortal Error. Maybe I just like the theory because his name is Bonar…heh, heh. Through exhaustive ballistics research and re-enactments, Donahue concluded that Oswald could indeed have fired the shots that killed the president, but that the head wound wasn’t consistent with the type of ammo that Oswald used. So there must have been another gun that fired frangible rounds in
However, as Marcello Truzzi said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” None of the above theories can say that they can prove anything one way or another. After all of these years have passed, after all of the books, movies, and volumes of evidence have been amassed, only two things related to the assassination are known as fact: JFK was shot and killed in