For many, the former 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was an open, confident man with a smile that stole the hearts of many Americans.
However, his reign as President didn't last too long as he was publically assassinated in one of America's most shocking events. Though what's even more shocking is the suspiciousness of how he was killed. Yes, he was assassinated, but what's the story behind it?
The world is full of conspiracies
If there's one thing, the world has enough of its conspiracy theories. As humans, we love a good conspiracy theory to drive our imaginations, but there are some conspiracies that do have a valid basis.
"Project Sunshine," John Lennon being under surveillance by the FBI, and the Gulf of Tonkin incident all ended up being true. But, there's one event that seems to make us wonder, and that's the JFK assassination. While we all know he was assassinated, we don't necessarily believe the plot behind it.
The assassination of JFK
John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963. He was sitting in a car during a motorcade through Dallas, Texas. He was struck by two bullets, with the second, a fatal headshot. Governor of Texas, John B. Connally Jr., was in the car with JFK was hit during the shooting, but survived.
Officially, it's said there were three bullets fired by the gunman. Kennedy's wife, Jackie Kennedy, was also in the car, sitting next to John when it happened.
It was all caught on film
Amateur videographer, Abraham Zapruder, was filming the historic event on his 8mm film camera. The infamous film recording of the assassination is now referred to as the Zapruder Film 1963. This film would later become integral during the investigation into the assassination of JFK.
And would also open further discussion on some of the conspiracy theories that developed over time. It just goes to show you how powerful video and photographic evidence really is when trying to figure out what happened.
Where did it happen?
The shooting occurred from the sixth-floor window of the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository. This was a building that happened to be along the motorcade route. The official ruling was that the gunman was a man by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Two days after JFK's assassination, Oswald was shot and killed by assassin Jack Ruby as the Dallas Police Department. That shooting was also broadcasted on live television.
It was an unusual route for a president
Many people were criticizing the motorcade route the President drove through. Why? Because it's an unusual route for a President to take. The route itself had an unusual amount of turns, causing the motorcade to slow down. In general, you don't want your President lingering too long in one spot.
You want to keep the car moving so that you eliminate any room for something to go wrong. However, they chose a complex route and one that put the President in danger.
The route was chosen by secret service agents
The Presidential motorcade route is the safest and, at the same time, the riskiest convoy on the planet. On the one hand, the President is fully exposed, while on the other hand, he's surrounded by his best men to protect him if something was to go wrong.
In JFK's case, what's interesting is the who chose the route. The route was chosen by secret service agents Winston G. Lawson and Forrest V. Sorrels. And these two agents seemed to ignore some safety measures.
How many windows were on that route?
Agents were sent beforehand to check out the route the two agents had chosen and look at any possible issues and safety concerns. Well, the agents reported over 20,000 windows along this route.
They clearly didn't have enough men to secure every window, so they opted to inspect none of the windows along the route. None of the windows? Not even one? Hmm, that sounds highly suspicious considering it's for the President.
A new president was sworn in
Former vice-President Lydon B. Johnson was sworn in as President. One week after the assassination, Johnson created a commission to investigate JFK's assassination and the subsequent killing of Lee Harvey Oswald. The Supreme Court Justice headed the commission, Earl Warren.
The staff of the commission was of other higher officials. This commission was called the Warren Commission and would look into exactly what happened. But would they come up with any new information or findings?
The "official" findings were?
The Warren Commission investigated the assassination and produced an official ruling as to what happened. They concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated JFK alone, with no conspiracy involved. Well, that seems like the story the government is trying hard to stick with.
But is that what actually happened? Before we dig deeper, we want to talk a little bit about Oswald. Who is this shooter? Why would he do such a thing? You're about to find out.
Who is Lee Harvey Oswald?
As you know now, Lee Harvey Oswald is the official assassin of the JFK assassination. But do you know anything about him? Oswald had been in Russia in 1959 in an attempt to renounce his American citizenship. He also had a history of violence from a young age as he chased his half-brother with a knife.
When it joined the Marine Corps, he spent three years there and became a sharpshooter with the M-1 rifle. Oh, he was also a Dallas resident.
Oswald was under active surveillance
Did Oswald check all the boxes when looking at the potential assassin of JFK? Absolutely. What was interesting about Oswald is that he was under active surveillance by the FBI in Dallas, Texas. But something odd happened here.
The local FBI strangely decided not to inform the secret service about Oswald and his possible intentions. This is very shocking, and Oswald was a high-risk since he was employed at the Texas School Book Depository - the very building JFK was shot from.
All evidence pointed to Oswald
After the Warren Commission examined the evidence at hand, they said that the evidence proved Oswald was the shooter. From the Warren Commission, they wrote, "The Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-Millimeter Italian rifle from which the shots were fired was owned by and in the possession of Oswald."
This was determined by the nearly-whole bullet recovered by Governor Connally's stretcher. And, two bullet fragments in the car that matched the rifle that was found hidden near the sixth-floor window. Well, that sounds like a closed case, right?
It's not Oswald's first hit job
This wasn't Oswald's last time assassinating an influential figure. Without a doubt, Oswald also killed policeman J.D Tippet with a revolver, approximately 45 minutes after the assassination.
This is based on witness testimony and the bullet cartridges found at the scene, which belonged to the revolver he had on him during his arrest. Well, if one thing is for sure, it's that he did kill one police officer. And he obviously was apart of the assassination of JFK. But here's the real question: was he the only one involved in the plot?
Did he act alone?
This is what most people want to know. A majority of the public believe that Oswald was a shooter in the JFK assassination, but a majority don't think he acted alone. Sadly, since Jack Ruby killed Oswald, we will never know Oswald's confession.
The Warren Commission found no evidence that Ruby or Oswald was apart of a conspiracy to kill the President; however, what if Ruby killed Oswald to keep him quiet? What if they were apart of something much bigger than what the Warren Commission is claiming?
The second bullet is where the controversy starts
The Warren Commission believes there were only three bullets fired. The first bullet missed. The second bullet hit JFK in the neck, and also hit Governor Connally. And the third bullet was the fatal headshot. But it's not the first or third bullet that confuses people.
What brought up the controversy is the second bullet shot in particular. Why? Because the Warren Commission believes that the second bullet hit both JFK and Governor Connally.
The Magic Bullet Theory
The Warren Commission theorizes that from the sixth-floor window, the bullet entered through the back of JFK's neck, exiting downwards, entering through Connally's right back, exiting below his right nipple, and then entered and exited through Connally's left wrist, ending up in his left thigh.
They believed that the full bullet found in Connally's stretcher was the "magic bullet." Hmm, now, how does that sound to you? Can bullets move like that?
Look back at the footage
Naturally, many people met the magic bullet theory with skepticism as many believe from the sixth-floor; it's impossible to have a shot like that. When you examine the frames of the Zapruder film, it shows something else.
The footage shows that there wasn't enough time for Oswald to fire two shots within that timespan that JFK and Connally were hit. So what does that mean then? Well, if this is true, and the magic bullet theory is false, then it proves that there must have been a second shooter.
Disproving the Magic Bullet Theory
With the latter in mind, let's try to disprove the magic bullet theory. In a 1966 interview with Life Magazine, Connally said, "There is my absolute knowledge, and Nellie's too, that one bullet caused the President's first wound, and that an entirely separate shot struck me."
If this is true, then the only reasonable explanation is that there were two shooters. Spectator James T. Tague claims a stray bullet hit the sidewalk near him, with a fragment of it hitting him in the cheek. On the sidewalk, there was a mark, potentially from that stray bullet. If this is true, the stray bullet would be the second shot and not the first one, which disproves the magic bullet theory, as it states the magic bullet was the second shot.
Using technology to analyze the audio
But that's not all folks! In the 1970s, technology started to advance, and there was new acoustic research used to analyze the audio from the footage. And what was discovered was truly interesting.
It was discovered that there were six points in the audio where it could contain echo patterns similar to those of gunfire. This evidence further suggests that the magic bullet theory is, in fact, wrong and that there may have been more than one shooter at the scene.
The other footage
The story just keeps on getting better and better. Aside from this additional information, there's also additional footage of the assassination from a different angle. A different video? How come we haven't seen it? This mysterious footage reportedly shows a grassy null in the background.
People who have seen the footage have claimed to see puffs of gun smoke or a second shooter located on the grassy null. But, apparently, this footage has gone missing.
The US government got sued
The US government was sued? Why? Cynthia Nix Jackson, the granddaughter of the person who took the footage, sued the US government for $10 million dollars in 2015 for the return on the footage.
Allegedly, this footage had not been seen since the House Select Committee on Assassinations back in 1978. Wait, wait, wait. The House Select Committee on Assassinations? Who are they? And did Ms. Jackson win the case? So many questions and so little time!
House Select Committee on Assassinations
The House Select Committee on Assassinations was formed in 1976 in order to conduct investigations on the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King Jr., But the reason why it was formed is particularly interesting.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations was formed after the senate committee confirmed that the CIA had purposely withheld information about the assassination from the Warren Commission. The information withheld included plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. It looks like they have a couple of secrets up their sleeves.
The committee confirmed something unusual
The committee believed from the findings found through audio that there was a high probability that there were two shooters involved. Wow, this is a big claim to make, especially when you're on the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
This means that this is the government making this final conclusion, not a public spectator that reads a lot of newspapers in their spare time. This is a committee of highly appointed men who came to this conclusion. Now, that's some serious stuff.
Shining a light on the truth
When you look at the audio evidence, the conclusion by the committee, the magic bullet theory, and the testimonies from Connally and Tague, there is clear evidence multiple shooters were responsible for the assassination of JFK.
Lee Harvey Oswald may have taken the blame, but there's more to the story than just him. That said, what are some of the theories about who's really behind the assassination of JFK? Oh, we have a couple of good ones, and honestly, they all sound highly probable.
Conspiracy theory #1
Theory one is that vice-president Lyndon B. Johnson has JFK assassinated for political gain. Before JFK was elected, Johnson had tried to take the democratic nomination from JFK himself at the 1968 democratic convention in LA.
According to the book, "The Death of a President," Johnson asked the President to continue doing part of his old job as Texas senator, showing that Johnson felt bored and emasculated by the vice-president's office. There were also rumors that Johnson would be dropped from the election ticket for the following year.
They weren't on the best of terms
The day before the assassination, the two weren't on the best of terms. Not to mention, Johnson played a huge role in JFK going to Dallas, Texas. Johnson had lost political control over Texas and wanted JFK to go as it was an important swing state for reelection.
Due to this, JFK reluctantly went to Texas to try to win over this swing state. Texas was Johnson's home turf, and JFK felt that Johnson could handle this situation on his own.
Johnson had been warned
This is why you should always take warnings seriously. Johnson's right-hand man was given a high-profile tip from a Texas lawyer named Byron Skelton. Skelton had told them that the political climate was unsafe for the President and could potentially be life-threatening.
Here's the thing, the President was never informed of this tip. But, this tip was also received by other officials close to JFK, including his brother Robert Kennedy. But that's not all.
Mistress spills the beans
Another part of the theory involves a woman by the name of Madeleine Brown. She claimed to have an affair with Johnson. She said she attended a party with Johnson, Nixon, and Edgar Hoover on the night before JFK's assassination.
She claimed that Johnson whispered into her ear, "After tomorrow, those Kennedy's will never embarrass me again. That's no threat. That's a promise." But Johnson was on the Texas trip the night before the JFK assassination. During that time, his movements were heavily documented. Therefore, it ruled out this from happening.
Conspiracy theory #2
Theory two is that the Russians were behind the assassination of JFK. At the time, there was serious tension between the two nations with the cold war. And remember, Oswald had tried to defect to the Soviet Union previously. Some people believe that he could have been acting as a KGB agent at the time.
Oswald was also at the Russian embassy in Mexico City a few weeks before the assassination took place. But Oswald wasn't a smart option for Russia to use as he would immediately draw attention to them due to his Russian ties.
Conspiracy theory #3
Theory 3 is that the mafia was responsible for the assassination of JFK. After the assassination, three different mob groups claimed that they were responsible for the assassination. The three mobs were the Chicago mob, the New Orleans mob, and the Miami mob.
Okay, we can flow with this theory, but one thing doesn't make sense. Why would the mob go after JFK? What's his connection to the mob, and why were they so determined to kill him?
JFK's brother went against the mob
JFK's brother, Robert Kennedy, was the attorney general and made serious moves against organized crime. People thought his changes had probably angered many of the mob, and they wanted it to stop.
Jack Ruby, the man who killed Oswald, was a Dallas nightclub owner, who, some believe was connected to the mob. There are also people who think the mob was working with the CIA to carry out the Kennedy assassination. But is there any evidence to back this claim up?
Former mafia hitman spoke out
In 2015, former mafia hitman James Files claimed to have been the second shooter in the JFK assassination. Files said that he was a part of a plot in collaboration between the mafia and the CIA.
And though it does make sense, there's simply no evidence to support this other than this witness testimony. And let's be honest, it's a hard claim to take from someone who is a professional hitman. How do you know this man is telling the truth?
Sam Giancana shares close ties to the Kennedys
However, there is something interesting about the mob and CIA theory. What's interesting is the supposed relationship between JFK and Sam Giancana, the head of the Chicago mob. Before JFK, his father, Joseph Kennedy, apparently worked with Sam Giancana in the bootlegging industry during the prohibition.
There were also rumors that Sam Giancana helped JFK win the 1960 election. Oh, and the two also shared a mistress at different times, Judith Campbell Exner. But what's really odd about this is that in 1975, when Giancana was supposed to testify about his role in a CIA assassination plot, he was assassinated.
Conspiracy theory #4
The fourth and final theory was that the CIA was the brains behind the entire assassination. Allen Dulles, former head of the CIA, was on the Warren Commission, and as you know, the CIA withheld information from that commission. But why would the CIA want to kill him?
So people say maybe JFK found out about the plot to kill Fidel Castro and that JFK had a different agenda or disband them. Therefore, they decided to kill him.
Forensic historian spoke out
Forensic history Patrick Nolan wrote a book called "CIA rouges and the killing of the Kennedy's." In this book, he theorizes that four high-leveled agents not only planned the shooting, but 3 of them fired four shots during the assassination.
People also believe that the CIA chose Oswald as their guinea pig as he was a known communist and Russian sympathizer. Also, after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961, the CIA underwent personnel change, and they didn't like that.
The umbrella man
During the Bay of pigs invasion, Kennedy refused to offer additional US military support, even when the CIA offered an "umbrella" of air protection. The word umbrella would go on to unlock a controversial sighting in the assassination footage.
In one theory, it's believed that Oswald acted with a potential CIA operative called "The Umbrella Man." There's a clear vision of a lone man holding an open umbrella above his head in the Zapruder film and other photos.
Is it too unbelievable?
What made the umbrella stand out was the fact it wasn't raining and no one else in the crowd was holding an umbrella. What's crazier is that JFK is hit by the first bullet the second he passes the umbrella man. Did this man kill JFK with an umbrella?
As crazy as it sounds, Charles Senseney, defense weapons developer, this umbrella weapon exists because he designed it. The umbrella could silently fire darts. Woah, now that is crazy.
The man seemed unfazed by the assassination
What was even more shocking was that after the shooting took place, while other people were fleeing the scene, the umbrella man was sitting on the curb with another man, watching the event unfold. Weird, could this be the guy? Well, the actual umbrella man came forward to explain himself.
Louie Steven Witt testified that he was using the umbrella as a symbol of protest towards JFK's father, Joseph Kennedy. Though it sounds odd, throughout history, many people have used the umbrella as a symbol of protest.
People continue to speculate
Even though the assassination of JFK has officially been concluded, a majority of Americans do not believe the official rulings.
A 2003 ABC news poll conducted 40 years after JFK's assassination found that around 70% of Americans believe there was a plot behind the killing, 32% believe the Warren Commission's findings, and 51% believe there was a second gunman involved. Even Johnson didn't believe Oswald acted alone.