November 9, 2013
Photo: Skyhorse Publishing
Half a century later, and we still have our doubts.
More than 50% of Americans believe that there were multiple shooters involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy— and just 24% believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, according to an Associated Press poll released this month.
That fateful day in Dallas still remains the single most talked about moment in American history. There have been 40,000 books published on the president — a good chunk of which are devoted to the various conspiracy theories.
Here are the main culprits, according to conspiracy theorists:
Detailed in: “The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination” by Lamar Waldron (Counterpoint) The motive: Mafia godfather Carlos Marcello, facing trial and deportation, wanted to exact revenge on the mob-busting 35th president.
Modal Trigger Carlos Marcello
The plot: This is Waldron’s third book on the JFK assassination — and in it he concludes with “certainty” that Marcello masterminded the assassination with help of mob allies Santo Trafficante and Johnny Roselli.
Marcello — a godfather who ran wide swaths of the US from Dallas to New Orleans — hired foreign hit men, likely war orphans from Italy, to do the deed. Through his complex underground network, he smuggled the men from Canada, through Michigan, and briefly housed them at his compound near New Orleans, where they engaged in “target practice,” Waldron says. He even asserts that the men hid out in mob-connected restaurant Camisi’s Egyptian in Dallas around the time of the assassination, placing them in the area of the shooting.
Modal Trigger Santo Trafficante (right) leaving Queens Grand Jury Oct., 6, 1966
A-ha! moment: On Dec. 15, 1985, Marcello confessed to a fellow inmate — who happened to be an informant for the FBI — while serving time on federal charges at Texarkana. According to an FBI memo released in 2006, he said about JFK: “Yeah, I had the son of a bitch killed. I’m glad I did. I’m sorry I couldn’t have done it myself.”
Oswald’s role: Unlikely he has one. Waldron feels that “all evidence implicating Oswald falls apart under close examination.”
Quote: “The evidence is so overwhelming that Marcello — and many of his associates — could have been convicted of JFK’s murder, if they were still alive,” Waldron tells The Post. Marcello died in 1993.
Modal Trigger Richard Helms speaks to reporters April, 1975
Detailed in: “CIA Rogues and the Killing of the Kennedys” by Patrick Nolan (Skyhorse) The motive: CIA rogues wanted “power, self-preservation and to stop the Kennedys’ plan to make peace with Cuba and the Soviets.”
The plot: Forensic historian Nolan is “very certain” that far right-wing CIA rogues, among them Richard Helms, James Angleton, David Phillips, and E. Howard Hunt, had the “means, motives and opportunity to mastermind the assassinations of both JFK and RFK.” He believes that they hired hitmen — either from the Mafia or from other foreign intelligence agencies.
Modal Trigger E. Howard Hunt on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Jan., 7, 1982. Hunt was eventually convicted of participating in the Watergate scandal
There were three shooters, by Nolan’s estimations, which are based on physical evidence, film and medical evidence. He places them around the plaza: one at the Book Depository building, one in the grassy knoll and the last one at the Dal-Tex Building, across the street from the book depository building.
A-ha! moment: Physical evidence shows that “particles of metal in the bullets didn’t match up,” evidence that there were more than one shooter. He also interviewed several eyewitnesses who claim to have seen suspcicious-looking men around the three areas he believes housed the hitmen. Later Hunt made a deathbed confession in 2007 naming people with direct and indirect connections to the CIA.
Oswald’s role: “He played no witting role; he was an innocent fall guy,” says Nolan.
Quote: “[There are those] who know the truth — that CIA rogues and mobsters killed JFK and RFK — but publicly they deny such convictions, saying to themselves, ‘We don’t want our enemies to know that sometimes we are as bad as they are,’ ” writes Nolan.
Modal Trigger Lyndon Johnson and JFK, July 16, 1960
Detailed in: “The Man Who Killed Kennedy” by Roger Stone (Skyhorse) The motive: Just days before the assassination, JFK told his secretary that LBJ would not be included on the 1964 ballot because of his implications in two financial corruption scandals. In addition to a “burning desire to be president,” LBJ “killed for survival.”
The plot: Johnson was the one who insisted that JFK visit Dallas; he was also the one who suggested that he drive the motorcade through Dealey Plaza where the assassination then occurred, Stone writes. And it wasn’t Oswald who shot from the Texas School Book Depository building; instead it was notorious hitman Malcolm “Mac” Wallace, who had a long-standing relationship with LBJ, one that he chronicles at length in the book. Stone says that his fingerprints were even found on the sixth floor, the exact location that Oswald was believed to have shot the president from, according to the Warren Commission.
A-ha! moment: On the eve of the assassination, LBJ’s mistress of 20 years, Madeleine Duncan Brown, said that LBJ told her, “After tomorrow those Kennedy S.O.B.’s will never embarrass me again,” according to her now out-of-print memoir.
Oswald’s role: A “patsy,” says Stone. “He was a fall guy maneuvered into place by LBJ’s allies at the CIA.”
Quote: Stone says that Lyndon had called for at least eight murders prior to JFK. “Lyndon Johnson would order a murder the way you or I would order a ham sandwich,” says Stone.
Joseph P. Kennedy
Modal Trigger Joseph P. Kennedy, US Ambassador to Great Britain, and son, John F. Kennedy in January, 1938
Detailed in: “The Poison Patriarch” by Mark Shaw (Skyhorse) The motive: “Joe Kennedy did not want John to be assassinated,” says Shaw, a former criminal defense attorney. “But Joe’s arrogance and belief that he and his family were untouchable even by those who hated them cost JFK his life.”
The plot: Shaw focuses on why Bobby Kennedy was not killed in 1963, rather than why JFK was, a question that he says sheds light on the inadvertent role that Joe Kennedy played in his son’s death.
Joe, whom Shaw christens “the poison patriarch,” had mob ties during his time as a powerbroker and bootlegger — and even used his mob connections to help JFK get elected. But there was one caveat: they believed that the new Kennedy administration would leave them alone. Instead Joe urged JFK to appoint his mob-buster younger brother as attorney general — which was a finger in the eye of the mob bosses that helped JFK get elected. After that appointment, “the president was doomed,” says Shaw.
“In effect, Joe Kennedy reaped what he had sown since making a deal with the devil, the Mafia, had dire consequences resulting in JFK’s senseless death,” he says.
A-ha! moment: Joe Kennedy actively shamed JFK into appointing his baby brother. He spoke to an eyewitness — Kennedy family confidante John Seigenthaler — who told Shaw that “Joe was pushing the issue,” even though JFK had balked.
One day, RFK even said that it would “kill dad,” if he refused his appointment. Eventually he caved — and that would spell his undoing, says Shaw.
Oswald’s role: Unclear. “A bit player in the drama.”
Quote: Shortly after JFK’s death, RFK said, “I thought they would get one of us . . . I thought it would be me.”
Modal Trigger The Kennedy family ion Hyannisport, Massachusetts in 1948. From left to right; John. F Kennedy, Jean Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., Patricia Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy down in front.
Detailed in: “Castro’s Secrets,” by Brian Latell (Palgrave Macmillan) The motive: Latell, who spent four decades as a high ranking CIA intelligence officer overseeing Cuba and Latin America, believes that Oswald killed the president because he wanted to impress Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro.
Modal Trigger Fidel Castro at The Riverside Church in Manhattan Sept., 2000
The plot: Latell’s book, which is based on interviews with many high-level Cuban defectors, makes the argument that Castro knew about Oswald’s plans to kill the president — and that he, or his men, might have actually goaded or trained him how to do it as retaliation for the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This is based mainly on a mysterious trip to Mexico City that Oswald took a little over a month before the assassination. Oswald went there to secure a visa to Cuba but was denied access. He stuck around anyway, and spent time at Hotel del Comercio there, which had a reputation for being a safehouse for spies working under Cuba’s tutelage in the DGI intelligence agency.
Latell believes it is likely that Oswald made “friends” there — and might even have begun working for the Cubans during this trip. The connections, however, have not been fully explored before because the United States (mainly Lyndon Johnson) wanted to avoid instigating another war or invasion as a retaliation gesture.
A-ha! moment: Latell interviewed one of the top intelligence officers to defect from Cuba, a man named Florentino Aspillaga Lombard, and found a direct connection to Castro. On Nov. 22, 1963, while listening to intercepted radio signals from the US, Lombard was ordered to direct his antennae away from the CIA headquarters in Florida and to Texas. Three hours later, the shooting occurred. “Castro knew. They knew Kennedy would be killed,” Lombard told Latell.
Oswald’s role: He did it, but was likely coached.
Quote: Cuban intelligence agents told Latell that even though Oswald’s visa was declined, he was known to be a Castro supporter. “Oswald would have to be satisfied doing the revolution’s work in Texas . . . to do more than merely hand out ‘Viva Fidel’ leaflets. A common practice for Cuban intelligence in such deceptions, or false flag operations, is known as ‘dandole cuerda,’ or ‘winding him up,’ ” he writes.
And, of course . . .
Lee Harvey Oswald
Detailed in: “Reclaiming History” by Vincent Bugliosi (W.W. Norton) and of course the Warren Commission Report.
The motive: Oswald was an “emotionally unhinged political malcontent who hated America,” (mediachecker->the same story of all shootings up until today – brings to mind the psyops theory – mk ultra also sounds like obama!) writes Bugliosi. He had “delusions of grandeur” and was a fervent Castro supporter. “The motivation to kill Kennedy, thinking that by killing an enemy of Castro’s he somehow was furthering the Cuban cause,” writes Bugliosi.
The plot: The “anti-social” Oswald, at 24 a former US Marine who briefly defected to the Soviet Union, was the “single shooter.” He fired three shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building — one missed, and two hit their target.
A-ha! moment: Bugliosi outlines 53 pieces of evidence pointing to his guilt, among them: erratic behavior on the day of the assassination, eyewitness accounts that put Oswald in the sixth-floor window at the time of the shots and the physical evidence linking him to the murder weapon.
Oswald’s role: He’s our guy.
Quote: “Based on the Himalayan mountain of uncontroverted evidence against Oswald, anyone who could believe he was innocent would probably also believe someone claiming to have heard a cow speaking the Spanish language.”
Modal Trigger Lee Harvey Oswald at the Dallas police station Nov. 23, 1963
Personally I go with the LBJ theory. There’s a new book just out which I aim to get – the author fingers LBJ.