“The one thing I’m concerned about is… convincing the public that Oswald was the real assassin.”- J. Edgar Hoover. On November 22, 1963, America changed forever. At 12:30 PM CST in Dallas, Texas, the president had been assassinated. From what we have been told by the Warren Commission, established by President Lyndon B. Johnson himself was that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin. However, it’s been over half a century since Jack’s death, and many conspiracy theories have arisen. To further investigate the death of the 35th president of the USA, I have decided to look into 3 JFK assassination conspiracy theories.
1. Lyndon B. Johnson
Within days of LBJ becoming vice-president, he asked his staff about the odds of vice-presidents becoming presidents (due to death to the president). This was an immediate warning, that LBJ had plans to “dethrone” Jack from his position. It was said that since day 1, Jack and his cabinet hadn’t been too nice to Lyndon. They called him names, and Jack did not give him the control he wanted as VP. 3 days before the death of the president, JFK told his secretary, Evelyn Lincoln that he wanted his 1964 VP “to be anybody but LBJ”. It is clear that there had always been hated between Jack and Lyndon, but how was he involved? Madeline Brown, a mistress of Johnson has accused him of Jack’s death. She said that LBJ, along with H.L Hunt, a Republican political activist had started planning his death as early as 1960. She also stated that others involved were the head of the FBI, as well as the Mafia. On December 31st, 1963, Johnson met with Brown in Texas, and he (supposedly) confirmed the conspiracy about Jack’s death. He said, “The Fat Cats of Texas and US Intelligence” were the ones who did it. In the year 2003, researcher Barr McClellan published the book “Blood, Money ; Power”. He claimed that LBJ, by the fright of being dropped from the Kennedy Ticket in 1964, planned Jack’s death with the help of his friend, Edward A. Clark. In the book, it states that a smudged fingerprint on the rifle in the Texas School Book Depository was planned by the two of them. A poll in 2003 concluded that over 20% of Americans suspected LBJ being involved in Jacks death. Although we may never know for sure, it will forever remain a conspiracy.
2. Umbrella Man
Next, we have “The Umbrella Man”. His full name is Louis Steven Witt, which was identified by the US House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978. He appears in Abraham Zapruder’s film (as well as other photographs and videos were taken that day), standing on the sidewalk, on Elm Street. He was the closest motorcade to Jack when he was killed. Now, why is the accused? As Jack, Jackie and Gov. Connolly’s open motorcade approached, Louis opened the umbrella high above his head, and started spinning it clockwise. After the president was shot, he made his way to the Texas School Book Depository. This was recognized that Louis was acting as some kind of a signal, opening his umbrella to signal to “shoot the shot”. A different theory about Louis, proposed by Robert B. Cutler, was that he had a fired a dart, with a paralyzing agent at Kennedy to in a sense, “freeze” his muscles and make him a “sitting duck” for an assassination. Many speculate Louis had something to do with the assassination, their reason being; “Why would anyone have an umbrella on a sunny day without a cloud in the sky”. But, in 1978, The Umbrella Man went to Washington (with his umbrella) and explained to the US House Select Committee on Assassinations his reasons for having the umbrella with him on that day in Dallas. His explanation was; the umbrella was a protest, not against anything Jack had done, but a protest against Joseph P. Kennedy (Jack’s dad), when he was chosen as the US ambassador for the Court of St. James (Britain) in 1938-39, as well as a reference to Neville Chamberlain’s (Britain’s PM) umbrella. To this day, he is still heavily accused of John’s death, but unfortunately, we cannot get answers from him today, as he passed away in 2014, at the age of 90.
3. Multiple Gunmen
Now the final (and in my opinion, the most believable) conspiracy theory, is that multiple gunmen killed JFK. Both my father and I agree that this conspiracy (if any conspiracy was involved) is the one that had a chance of happening. The Warren Commission came to a conclusion that 3 shots were fired from Oswald, from the book depository in only 6 seconds. Multiple assassination researchers do not agree with these findings. In fact, in 1979, the house Select Committee on Assassinations said that 4 shots were fired; 3 from the book depository, and 1 from the grassy knoll. Also, both groups said that one of the shots hit Jack in the back of the neck, exited his throat, hit Gov. Connolly in his back, went out his chest, shattered his wrist, and then ended up in his left thigh. This, (that has been named “The Magic Bullet Theory”) seems highly unlikely, but when you look at the way Jack and Connolly were sitting, it is definitely possible, because Connolly’ seat was 3 inches left of Jack’s.
Connolly’s wife, Nellie was seated next to her husband when hell broke loose. In her book “From Love Field; Our Final Hours”, she said that she believed that Connolly was hit by a bullet, different from the one that hit JFK, meaning that the person that shot Connolly was not Oswald. In 1965, H. Feldman said that 121 witnesses were present at the assassination; 51 of them (42%) said shots came from the grassy knoll, and only 32 (26%) said that they came from the Book Depository. This seemed odd, because after years of research, the Warren Commission determined that no shots came from the knoll, and all of the came from the depository. The first thing that confuses me is Oswald. Yes, he had spent multiple years in the US Marines, but how was he able to fire the bullets so quickly, and precisely. Some of America’s greatest snipers have tried to recreate those same shots, and have failed miserably, each and every time. To me, this is pure evidence that he wasn’t the only shooter. The second thing that confuses me is the hole in the windshield of Jack’s limo. When investigating the Lincoln that Jack was assassinated in, detectives found a hole in the windshield. This shows that at least one shot came from the front, by someone that wasn’t Oswald. If that is not considered evidence, I don’t know what is. Furthermore, after analyzing the Zapruder Film, it is evident that the fatal shot came from the front, and not from behind, because his head jerked backwards, not forwards. To me, it is clear that there was more than 1 assassin, and that Oswald couldn’t have done it by himself.
As for if we will ever know the real truth; why it happened, who was the assassin, who planned it, well, it is very likely we will never know. The opening quote in the intro, by J. Edgar Hoover, former FBI director, explains my reason why. The fact the (former) leader of one of America’s most important organizations said “We have to convince the public…’ is very suspicious. It is truly a shame that he will never solve this devastating mystery, but no matter what, Jack’s legacy will live on forever.