Over 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy rode in an open 1961 Lincoln Continental with his wife by his side and Texas Gov. John Connally in the seat in front of him. As the car made its way in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas, shots were fired, ultimately resulting in the death of the 35th President of the United States. Over five decades later and the majority of the American people still don’t believe the official government account of the story.
After Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president on November 22, 1963, the United States escalated it’s presence in Vietnam, Medicare became law, and major steps were taken to right the ship of civil rights. Fast forward to today, November 22, 2014 and the country still doesn’t have a concrete opinion on the events that led to Johnson becoming president. According to a Gallup poll released last year, 61 percent of the American people believe that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald was responsible for the murder of John F. Kennedy. The official government story is detailed in the Warren Commission, which concluded that lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole killer who fired the fatal shots from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository.
The report claims that Oswald fired three shots from the depository, one labeled the “magic bullet,” that allegedly made its way through the back and out the front of the neck of Kennedy, down through the front seat of the Lincoln and out, striking Gov. Connally in the process. The theory was credited to future Senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Spector. The Warren Commission also credits Oswald for the murder of police officer J.D. Tippit, who was killed on a street in Dallas about 45 minutes after the president was shot.
Since the death of President Kennedy, many different theories have arisen, from the ridiculous, to the plausible, to the probable. One theory, the government theory via the Warren Commission, has since been filed with holes. At a panel discussion in Dallas in 2013, Robert F. Kennedy JR. said his father dismissed the Warren Commission as nothing more than a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship.” Like Robert F. Kennedy JR. and his father, many are under the same impression.
Some evidence sticks out, not lining up with the Warren Commission’s findings. After Kennedy was shot, the Lincoln was ordered to be quickly cleaned and sent back to Washington without being examined, despite being the obvious crime scene. After the doctors at Parkland Hospital examined the president, they originally concluded that the president was struck by an entry wound, contradicting the report in the Warren Commission. According to the book “We Were There: Revelations from the Dallas Doctors Who Attended to JFK on November 22, 1963,” a four star review on Amazon, author and medical doctor, Allen Childs noted that, “four Parkland Hospital doctors, experts in gunshot wounds who saw JFK before he was given a tracheostomy, saw a bullet wound in the front of Kennedy’s neck ‘where his collar should have been’ – a wound that was caused by a bullet entering, not leaving, his body.” This is only some of the bullet evidence that seems to discredit the official government conclusion.
Many believe that additional shots were fired from what is known as the Grassy Knoll, with multiple eye witnesses attesting to the fact. These witnesses were either briefly questioned by authorities, or generally ignored. Some of the eye witness, or ear witnesses, were not just onlookers, but members of the Secret Service and local authorities. “My immediate thought was that the President could not possibly be alive after being hit like he was,” Secret Service man Paul E. Landis, Jr said. Landis was riding in the right rear in the third car of the presidential motorcade. “My reaction at the time was the shot came from somewhere towards the front right-hand side of the road.”
What seems to stop many people in their tracks is the type of gun that Oswald allegedly used. A Italian Mannlicher-Carcano, Model 91TS, bolt action 6-shot rifle, that’s the weapon that the authorities believe killed President Kennedy. According to the Zapruder film, the three shots were fired in less than 5.6 seconds. Multiple tests have been done using the same Mannlicher-Carcano, most which show that the amount of shots fired by the shooter couldn’t have been completed using the rifle in question. Oswald, who at the time qualified as a “marksman” by only two points, was a rather poor shooter to be able to handle such a weapon in that fashion. Former Gunnery Marine Sergeant Carlos Hathcock attempted to replicate the shots from the same distance and in the same time as those who killed Kennedy, but was unable to do so. Former Navy SEAL and governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, himself an expert marksman, was also unable to replicate the shots.
In 1976, the House Select Committee on Assassinations was established to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy, Two years later, in 1978, the committee concluded that Kennedy “was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy,” but ruled out involvement from organized crime, the Soviet Union and the Cuban government. Others disagree, but the truth, most likely, will never be told.
The Kennedy assassination conspiracies have taken on a new life of their own over the last 50 years. Whether you believe there were two Oswalds, that the mafia set it up, that Lyndon Johnson had a hand it it, or that pro-war forces, or the Cuban government were involved, the majority of the people in the United States can agree that the Warren Commission lacks enough credible evidence to be true. We might not ever find out what happened that day in Dallas, Texas, but it doesn’t seem like the Warren Commission knows either.