JFK assassination conspiracies, 54 years later

FILE - In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, President John F. Kennedy waves from his car in a motorcade in Dallas. Riding with Kennedy are First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, right, Nellie Connally, second from left, and her husband, Texas Gov. John Connally, far left. The National Archives released the John F. Kennedy assassination files on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Jim Altgens, File)

The assassination of former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is still one of the most controversial and well-known cases in American history. To this day, there are many different theories on what actually happened in Dallas on Nov. 22nd, 1963, but no one is exactly sure. Even people who were physically there on the day of the assassination are not completely sure, due to the fear and panic that overcame them from the sudden eruption of chaos. The immediate conclusion police came to was that Lee Harvey Oswald, a worker in a textbook factory, shot from the third floor window of the factory, sending a bullet through both Governor Connally and President Kennedy. Oswald was quickly captured and arrested by Dallas police, but what Americans didn’t know at the time was that he may not have even shot the bullet in the first place. The event that initially sparked the idea of a conspiracy was the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by mobster, Jack Ruby, just two days after his arrest. Why would Ruby take it upon himself to shoot Oswald after he was already arrested and charged with the assassination of the president? Could it be because he was afraid Oswald would release information exposing the truth behind the shooting?

We may not have any concrete answers to explain what happened, but there many different theories:

Some say that Kennedy’s father made deals to with the mob (that Kennedy was not aware of) to help him win the presidency. While in office, Kennedy waged war against the mafia, so they hired people to kill him.

The mafia was very prominent at this time, and, in my opinion, this theory would somewhat explain why Ruby shot Oswald. The mob could have hired Oswald to shoot the president, and once he was arrested they were scared he may rat them out. If Oswald was hired and thought he might get away with it or receive protection from the mob, he might reveal that they were behind this horrible act of violence to save himself from a lifetime in prison. Looking back into his records, the police found that he was a “self-proclaimed Marxist” and briefly left the United States to join the USSR. It was also found that he supported and defended Castro’s communist way of ruling Cuba. Both of these findings would definitely suggest that Oswald has some sort of communist background or belief. Since the terrifying stigma of the Cold War was still hanging over American’s heads, everyone was extremely scared of communism, which did not help Lee Harvey Oswald’s case. This conspiracy theory is just one of many.

Another theory, the one I personally believe in, is that Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson had Kennedy killed so that he could take office. Johnson seemed trifling to begin with, in my opinion, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he hired Oswald to kill the President and Ruby to the kill Oswald. However, in a two-hour documentary called “JFK: The Smoking Gun,” a theory that a Secret Service agent accidentally shot Kennedy one time due to the car lurching is brought into action. Researchers say they may have tried to cover this up because it would be very unsettling for the American people to think that one of the President’s own men contributed to his assassination.

You would normally think there would have been more speculation about this, or at least more people would be questioning it, but there are a lot of holes in this theory. The more believable position would be that Johnson hired Oswald to shoot the President, but for any skeptics or conspirators out there, there could be more to the chilling theory presented in the documentary.

In addition to all these theories, more files on the assassination have been released in the past few months. These files, for the most part, include the records from the assassination and other details that were not released at the time of the tragedy. The rules within these documents also stated that every Government office after Kennedy must prepare them for the National Archive. Though the Warren Commission was released less than a year after the assassination, people thought there was much more to the story than the just the information it provided. As a skeptic, I’d say it’s not hard to think there’s more to the story. It makes much more sense to assume this was a conspiracy, due to the amount of questions that haven’t been specifically answered. Overall, there are too many missing details and too many red flags. We, as a society, know that the JFK assassination is not solved or even near finished being investigated. Hopefully, as the years go on, more information will be released and we will one day officially know who killed JFK, and what the motive behind the assassination was.


Tessa Pawlik is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at tessa.pawlik@uconn.edu.