Jfk Essay, Research Paper
On November 22, 1963, it was said that everything changed. This was the day
that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. The facts of
the J.F.K. assassination will be assessed and the many different conspiracy theories will
be explored and explained. How did one of the greatest and most influential President?s
of our time become assassinated, and why? Throughout this paper the facts will be
brought to your attention and therefore you will be able to draw your own conclusions.
By midday of November 22, 1963, the skies overlooking Dallas, Texas showed
the threat of possible rain. This did not stop President Kennedy from greeting the crowds
from his open limousine. To the left of the President in the rear seat was Mrs. Kennedy.
In the driver seat was agent R. Greer of the Secret Service, next to him was agent Roy H.
Kellerman. In the backseats were Governor Connally and Mrs. Connaly. Directly behind
the Presidential limousine was a car with eight Secret Service Agents. Behind that car
was the Vice Presidential car, carrying, the Vice-president, Lyndon Johnson and his wife
Lady Bird. There were also several cars and busses for additional dignitaries, press
representatives and others.
Shortly after 11:50 a.m., the motor cade left from Love Field, and preceded
through neighborhoods, and only stopping two times at J.F.K.?s request to greet
onlookers Each time the motor cade stopped, the Secret Service men stood near the
President and Mrs. Kennedy to protect them. The motor cade then preceded down
Houston Street and directly ahead on the intersections northwest corner a seven story,
orange brick warehouse and office building, The Texas Schoolbook Depository. At
a speed of 11 miles per hour, the President?s motor cade descended gradually toward a
railroad overpass, then reaching the Stemmons Freeway. The front of the Texas
Schoolbook Depository was now on the President?s right. He waved to the crowd as he
passed the building. Dealey Plaza, a landscaped area marking the end of downtown
Dallas, was on the President?s left.
A Secret Service Agent, whom was riding in the motorcade, radioed ahead that
the President would arrive in five minutes. As soon as the President arrived the shots
rang out in rapid fury. Kennedy?s hands moved to embrace his neck as blood gushed
through his fingers onto the floor of the Presidential limousine. Kennedy appeared to
stiffen for a few seconds and he leaned forward in his seat to gasp a breath.
The crowd looked stunned with disarray. The Secret Servicemen then huddled
around the President and Mrs. Kennedy. Governor Connally was also shot and had
serious wounds. The Presidential limousine then proceeded with full speed to the
Parkland Memorial Hospital, which was a total distance of four miles. When the
President arrived at the hospital, he was immediately treated by physicians who had been
alerted of the President?s arrival by the Dallas Police Department by radio from the
The doctor?s noted irregular breathing movements and a possible heartbeat,
although they could not find a pulse. They examined the bloody wound in the
President?s head and a smaller wound, which was 1/4 inch in diameter in the lower 1/3 of
his neck. The physicians a Tracheotomy. The physicians were so obsorbed in saving the
Presidents? life that they never turned the President over for an examination of his back.
At 1:00 p.m., the
last rights were administered by a priest, President Kennedy was pronounced dead.
Governor Connaly underwent surgery and recovered from his wounds.
When Vice – President Johnson learned of Kennedy?s death he left the hospital
under close guard and flew away in the Presidential plain. At 2:38 p.m., in the central
compartment of the plain, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 39th President of the
United States, by Federal Judge, Sarah T. Hughes. The plain landed in Washington at
5:58 p.m.. The President?s body was taken to the National Naval Medical Center. There
it was given a pathological examination.
Now lets look at the different theories of how our 35th President was
assassinated. Police arrested a man named Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine.
Oswald was booked for the murder of President John F. Kennedy. Two days later,
Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby, while he was being moved from the city to the county
jail. Many people who witnessed the assassination, dispute the facts. Many say that they
heard shots from places besides the Book Depository. Of the one – hundred – seventy -
eight witnessed at Dealey Plaza, one hundred – thirty – two said that they heard exactly
If Oswald was a single gunman, it would have taken him at least 2.3 seconds to
reload his riffle. The witnesses said that they heard a single shot followed by silence
with the second and third shots fired simultaneously. Thus, it could have been
impossible for one gunman to fire the riffle, reload, fire again, and fire again in a very
short amount of time. Also, when Kennedy was shot, his head went back to the left,
which means the bullet came from the right. Although many people dispute the single
it may be true. However, even if the single bullet theory is true, it in no way lessens the
fact that there were multiple gunmen.
The formal charge against Oswald for the assassination of president Kennedy was
pronounced shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 28th. By 10:00 p.m. of the
day of the assassination, the FBI had traced the rifle found in the depository to a mail
order house in Chicago, where Oswald had a mailbox. Information in the mailbox
concluded that payment of the rifle had been made by Lee Harvey Oswald.
Oswald carried the rifle into the depository building on the morning of November
22nd, 1963. At the time of the assassination, Oswald was present at the window in the
depository where the shots were fired. Shortly after the assassination, the rifle belonging
to Oswald was found hidden between a stack of cartons on the sixth floor, and the paper
bag that Oswald used to smuggle the rifle in was found close to the window where the
shots were fired. Based on testimony of the experts and their analysis of films of the
assassination, they had concluded that a rifleman of Oswald?s capabilities could have
fired the shots from the rifle used in the assassination within the elapsed time of the
shooting. They also concluded that Oswald possessed the capability with a rifle that
enabled him to commit the assassination. This conclusion upholds the finding that
Oswald fired the shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally.
Nine eye witnesses positively identified Oswald as the man they saw leaving the
scene with a revolver in his hand. Oswald?s jacket was also found along the path of the
flight taken by the gunman as he fled from the scene of the killing. Within eighty
minutes of the assassination, Oswald
resisted arrest by attempting to shoot another Dallas police officer. Nevertheless, after
thorough investigation, the assassination commission had
found no evidence that anyone assisted Oswald in planning or carrying out the
One other conspiracy theory is Lyndon B. Johnson Theory. President Kennedy
was planning to run for re-election and wanted to exclude Johnson from the ticket as
vice-presidential candidate. This upset Johnson, therefore he planned and coerced the
assassination of JFK. LBJ was obviously the one with the most to gain from the murder.
It is established the Johnson was allegedly the type of selfish, corrupt, power obsessed
thug that would have done anything in order to become president. After the assassination,
Johnson allegedly ordered the immediate removal of JFK?s symbolic rocking chair from
the White House, as well as all of his other belongings. Some researchers say careful
study of Johnson?s body movements in his motorcade car directly behind the president?s
indicated he allegedly began to duck before the first shot rang out. This theory is not
among the most popular, but definitely a great possibility.
One of the main conspiracy theories of the JFK assassination is that organized
crime is to blame- the Kennedy Contract, or the Cuban plot to assassinate the president.
It casts New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello, with help from Santos Trafficante of
Florida, and Sam Giancana of Chicago as the villains. This conspiracy is rooted from the
Cuban rebellion against Fidel Castro. The U.S. government had supplied and trained
Cuban rebels to fight the dictatorship of Fidel Castro. Aside from training the rebels, the
US also offered a ?secret alliance? which promised help from US forces if the rebels
would run into trouble.
But when the war got hot and heavy, and Russia later showed themselves as
secret alliances to Castro, the US pulled out of the operation
and allowed many Cuban rebels to be captured, or killed. This caused an uproar among
the Cuban people, and many swore America as a mortal enemy. Thus, after the
assassination of JFK, the Organized Crime Conspiracy Theory arose.
Another theory of the assassination would be the idea of the secret service agent
shooting Kennedy by accident, but how about the one that did so on purpose? The
famous Zapruder 8mm shows the president?s limo driver, William Greer, allegedly
whipping out a gun, turning quickly, shooting JFK, and then returning his attention to the
road as if all was well.
With all the controversy surrounding the assassination of president
Kennedy, it?s surprising to learn that there are many facts about the case- facts that are so
well established, they aren?t disputed by anyone who has seriously studied the case. The
facts alone indicate that the assassination resulted from a conspiracy, and that it was
followed by an extensive cover-up.
For example: J Edgar Hoover informed Lyndon Johnson during a phone
conversation that someone had been impersonating Lee H. Oswald, the alleged single
assassin, at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City. There can be no credible doubt that the
Oswald who called the Soviet embassy from the Cuban embassy in Mexico City on
9-28-63, was not the real Oswald.
Also, Sylvia Odio, from Cuba, testified that two anti-Castro Cubans and a man
named Leon Oswald visited her apartment in Dallas during the last week of September in
1963. Yet according to the Warden commission,
the real Oswald was ending his stay in New Orleans and heading off for Mexico City at
Miss Odio said that Leon Oswald bore a striking resemblance to Lee Harvey
Oswald. The house select committee on assassinations concluded Miss Odio?s testimony
was credible and truthful.
On the other hand, nearly all of Oswald?s fellow Marines who were asked to
comment on his shooting ability expressed the view that he was not a very good shot, in
fact several of them said he was a very poor shot. None of them described him as an
excellent shot. During the 1986 ?mock Oswald trial? sponsored by a British television
company, Monty Lutz, a member of the HASC?s firearm panel, and an expert rifleman
said to his knowledge, no one had ever duplicated Oswald?s alleged shooting feat.
During the Warren Commission?s version of the shooting, not one of the eleven expert
marksmen participating scored as high as Oswald would have.
Jack Ruby killed Oswald while he was being transferred in broad daylight in the
basement of the Dallas police station, which was supposed to be a secure area. The
HSCA concluded Ruby?s killing of Oswald was not spontaneous and that Ruby probably
entered the basement with assistance, backing up the theory that Oswald was framed and
Ruby was trying to cover up. It is said that Ruby had extensive ties with the Mafia. He
was also characterized as a so-called ?gangster.?
Though there are many widespread conspiracy theories of the JFK assassination,
some just plain ridiculous, the most popular opinion is still that Lee Harvey Oswald was
the sole assassin of president John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Obviously, this theory has the
most supportive evidence to back
itself up. Oswald seemed to have a motive, and among other things- carried a weapon
and resisted arrest.
Since Oswald was assassinated shortly after being arrested, we may never know
what his intentions were. There is one possibility that Oswald was assassinated by Ruby
not for reasons of rage and anger, but to keep him quiet…and if this was his intention, he
In the evidence that I have gathered, I believe that the most likely conspiracy
theory of J.F.K.?s assassination, is that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin. Although, I
feel that he was coerced into doing this. Oswald surely had to have help from other
conspirators because the evidence points in so many different directions, rather than all
just pointing at Oswald.
Of all conclusions that can be drawn, one is certain: there is a person or persons
who know exactly what and why the JFK assassination took place. Whether or not these
facts will be brought to the public one day, only time can tell. was Lee Harvey Oswald
the lone assailant, or did the CIA plot against kennedy? Were anti-Castro Cubans
responsible or did Lyndon Johnson plan Kennedy?s demise to further his political gain?
We may never know who really killed our 35th President. As of now the only thing we
can do is speculate and draw our own conclusions.
1. J.F.K. Directed by Oliver Stone. Warner Bros.; Inc. 1991
2. Robert Harris. ?The assassination of President John F. Kennedy: A reassessment of
original testimony and evidence?
3. Grover B. Proctor, jr. ?The JFK assassination? – Spectator magazine – November,