JFK's Death

The Zapruder film. The magic bullet theory.

The single bullet theory. All theories in the shocking assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It was the first assassination of United State’s president in 60 years. The date was November 22nd, 1963 and the place was Dallas, Texas.

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Kennedy was there to do some early campaigning, even though elections were more than a year away. He knew tension was high in the Democratic Party, and in Texas itself so he decided to tour five cities in two days. After the president had finished his campaigning in Fort Worth, he and his wife flew to Dallas to ride the motorcade through the streets. At exactly 12:30 P.M., 3 shots were heard, which were initially thought to be firecrackers.

When people saw the President’s limousine they saw a near dead John F. Kennedy and a seriously wounded Governor Connally. Nothing could be done for the fatally wounded president except for calling a priest to do the final rites. The time of death was exactly at 1:00 P.M. EST.

(Warren Commission,54) Behind this death, there are many assassinations; not all are true. According to the official statement of the Warren Commission, the assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was an American Citizen who lived in Soviet Russia for two years. He was an ex-marine and a qualified sharpshooter. He was also a communist.

On the day of the assassination, Oswald was working in the Texas School Book Depository on the sixth floor. When the Dallas police found him, he was having lunch and denied to firing the shots. Since there was no actual proof at the moment, he was let go. Shortly after this, the police found a rifle on the sixth floor wedged between some boxes of books. The rifle was an Italian made, 6.5 millimeter Mannlicher -Carcano Model 91/38 (Warren Commission,554).

This was unusual seeing as how it was slow and a bolt action. The police were able to trace this back to Oswald who was arrested in a movie theatre for the murder of JFK and a police officer. This arrest left the world another mystery though. The police were only able to identify Oswald because an anonymous man in the theatre informed the police where the Oswald was. After he gave the information, he left. The identity of this man is still a mystery.

(Goode, 18) But who was Lee Harvey Oswalsd? Oswald was born in New Orleans on October 18, 1939, two months after his father’s death(Warren Commission,375). Oswald had two brothers and grew up with his mother, who was married and divorced many times. While Oswald was still 12, his brothers joined the Marines and the Coast Guard, causing Oswald and his mother to leave their home and move to New York City. There he was charged with truancy and put in a Youth House along with murders and drug addicts. Ironically the doctors there had said that Oswald would probably not grow up to be an assassin. Here we skip ahead to when Oswald was 20 years old and had joined the marines.

Here Oswald was considered a great sharpshooter according to his records. It was also here that Oswald began to pick up Communism and Marxist ideas. Oswald was soon discharged from the army, resulting in his move to the Soviet Union, where he married and lived for two years. After this, he came back to the United States, where he “killed” John F. Kennedy and was killed by Jack Ruby.

(Warren Commission,chapter 7) Now the conspiracies come in. One theory was this; was there a magic bullet? The magic bullet theory suggests that there was a second shooter who fired other shots that somehow dissolved after hitting Kennedy. This is actually a possible theory. There is a chance that someone created a bullet that disappeared after doing its damage. Perhaps they used ice or even meat. The evidence for this claim lies in the wounds of Governor Conally.

The wound shape and area in the governor is certainly different then where it should be. Also, while the governor was in the operating room, a bullet was found on his stretcher. The problem; more metal was taken out of the governor than was missing from the bullets. But while this theory is probable it would be amazing were it true. Through ballistic tests with the same tip of rifle found with Oswald, scientists found that the bullet would not have taken much damage.

Not only this, but the pressure from the gun would have been so great, it would have caused the bullet to explode before hitting its target. So while entertaining to think about, most historians have ruled this theory out.(22november1963.org.uk).

Another popular conspiracy comes from the House Commission report. A second killer was there in the Grassy Knoll. This come from multiple sources. One is the single bullet theory. This theory states that all seven wounds in the governor and the President came from one bullet. This was tested by multiple ballistic scientists in NOVA.

When tested, though it is possible for one bullet from the Mannlicher -Carcano to do that much damage, it is improbable. Especially from the angle and speed of the car. Also, the wound in the throat was said by autopsy to have been created in the front. But still, there was some controversy so scientists tested if a bullet from the Grassy Knoll could kill the President. And it was successful. A second shooter in the Grassy Knoll could have shot the president.

Even more evidence comes from the Zapruder Film. In it, one can clearly see that the president and the governor were injured at different times, which could rule out the single bullet theory. Also in the Zapruder Film, you can see that in the fatal headshot, Kennedy’s head goes backward. While these conspiracies have been proved and disproved for years, there is one theory that is believable; the CIA was behind it. But why would the CIA want to kill their own president? It all came from the Bay of Pigs. The Bay of Pigs was an attack on Fidel Castro and Communist Cuba, led by the CIA.

This attack was due to the results of the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban Revolution was led by Fidel Castro and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara starting in 1956. By 1959, Castro was sworn into office and created a Marxist government. Due to this change, thousands of Cubans went to exile. These exiles were soon trained by the CIA in warfare to overthrow Castro. JFK agreed to give ammo, supplies, and meds, but not air support.

It was for this reason that the Bay of Pigs was a complete disaster. While the president took the blame in public, he actually blamed CIA Director, Allen Dulles and fired him. Dulles had strong reasons to kill JFK, and power over the secret service, police, and the mayor of Dallas. Why was this important? Because had any of them been doing their job, JFK could have lived. If one looks at the the pictures and the Zapruder film, they will see that JFK’s car was not protected.

No Secret Service on the back or sides, and all police vehicles were trailing the car. Both of those were against the law. Another fact is that Dulles could easily have covered it up. Being on the Warren Commisison, he could have easily told everyone there were no conspiracies. He also could have appointed the the two inexperienced naval officers who preformed the autopsy and then burned their notes. Not only this, but if one listens to eyewitness reports, they will find out two major details.

The first is that on the flight back to Washington, JFK’s body somehow switched coffins. While leaving Dallas, he was in a gold and bronze coffin. While arriving at Washington, he was in a gray coffin and a gray body bag. The second detail is that in the five minutes that Lyndon B. Johnson was being sworn in, someone went to the body, uncovered it, and cut part of Kennedy’s head wound open.

Because of this, scientists were not able to distinguish this as an exit or entrance wound. Was Oswald framed? Was there a second shooter in the Grassy Knoll? Did all those wounds come from one bullet or did a bullet “disappear”? Perhaps these questions will never be answered. But one thing is for certain. As long as this murder is unsolved, conspiracies will arise all the time. From Bush to Oswald to Hoover, people believe what they want to believe.