"I Killed John Kennedy"
First Hand Knowledge: How I Participated in the CIA - Mafia Murder of President Kennedy
A number of theories exist with regard to the John F. Kennedy assassination exile groups opposed to the Castro government, and the . Such theories began to be generated soon after his death and continue to be proposed today. Many of these theories propose a criminal conspiracy involving parties such as the CIA, the KGB, the Mafia, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Fidel Castro, Cubanmilitary and/or government interests of the United States and the Soviet Union.
In 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated the President alone and without the assistance of others. Almost immediately, critics began to question the official government conclusions and wrote books attacking the Commission and its findings. Among them was Mark Lane - a lawyer who represented Oswald's mother, who authored the critical book Rush to Judgment.
In the decades that followed, a dedicated group of independent researchers would publish literally dozens of different, and very contradictory theories.
In 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested local businessman Clay Shaw and charged him with being part of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. Shaw was acquitted in less than an hour after a lengthy and controversial trial, but Garrison's investigations attracted researchers from around the country who provided Garrison with information and theories and in turn were aided by the access afforded to a District Attorney. The most notable example of the latter was Garrison's subpoenae of the Zapruder film which allowed jury members to see it first-hand. Bootleg copies were quickly circulated and it was shown on television for the first time in 1975.
In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations was formed by Congress to investigate the killings of Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.. The HSCA investigated many theories put forward by assassination researchers and also discredited many of them, but were unable to find definitive proof of any conspiracy to kill Kennedy, although they did conclude that there was a probability of a conspiracy.
The HSCA concluded that Oswald was the assassin and were about to conclude that he acted alone when a dictabelt recording – purportedly recorded during the assassination – then surfaced. Based on scientific analysis of the recording, the committee concluded that there was a fourth shot and hence a second gunman, and that Kennedy was probably killed as a result of a conspiracy. Researchers – who for years had called into question the Warren Commission's finding that a lone gunmen was responsible for the assassination, and had posited a conspiracy theory – felt vindicated by the House report.
The accuracy of the dictabelt analysis (and thus the HSCA's conclusions) have been found to be erroneous and all the impulses believed to have been shots "happened about a minute after the assassination" based on verified crosstalk. A rebuttal by D. B. Thomas – in 2001 – concluded based on further crosstalk on channel II it was 96% likely there was a fourth shot. Thomas assumed the tape on channel II ran continuously, but an analysis by Michael O'Dell indicates that it did stop and later instances of "cross-talk" could not be used to align impulses on channel I.
- One witness saw a rifle in the window immediately after the shots were fired. Identification of the physical build of Oswald was broadcast after the shooting and was influential in the his arrest, because he was the only employee to leave the depository building after the shooting.
- Bonnie Ray Williams heard shots from the floor above, and reverberations shook plaster from the roof onto his head.
- The Warren Commission believed that the bullets were fired from above and behind the Presidential limousine.
- Shortly after the assassination, a rifle was found partially-hidden between some boxes on the sixth floor and the improvised paper wrapper/bag that covered the rifle was found close to the window from which the shots were fired.
- Fiber analysis of Kennedy and Connally's clothing shows that both men were hit by bullets from the rear, which passed through the front of their clothing.
- The Zapruder film shows a blood spray from the front/right-hand side of Kennedy's temple, but no blood spray from the back of his head. The motion of his head, first forwards and then backwards, has been mimicked in skull models hit by 6.5 mm 160 gr. military bullets.
- The bullet found on Governor Connally's stretcher at Parkland Memorial Hospital and the two bullet fragments found in the front seat of the Presidential limousine were matched to the same lot of ammunition. The bullet found on the stretcher was a ballistic match to the 6.5- millimeter Mannlicher-Carcano rifle that was found in the 6th floor of the book depository. No other bullet fragments from any other rifle were found.
- The windshield in the Presidential limousine was struck by a bullet fragment on the inside surface of the glass, meaning that these fragments came from behind, and not in front, of the President.
- The Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter Italian rifle - from which the shots were fired - was ordered in the name of A. Hidell and sent to Oswald's P.O. Box in Dallas. Alek was the name Oswald used in the Soviet Union and Alek James Hidell was the name on the false I.D. Oswald was carrying when arrested on the day of the assassination. The FBI found Oswald's palm print on the rifle barrel between the barrel and the stock, which could have been put there only when the rifle was dissassemled.
- Oswald was seen with a paper bag/wrapper in a car on the way to the depository. He said, when he was asked, that it was full of "curtain-rods". He said they were for the rooming-house he was living in (while he was living away from his wife) although his rooming house already had curtains and rods, and Oswald had never discussed the matter with his landlady.
- The paper bag was found, but the "curtain-rods" were never found at the Depository. Some rods were found in the garage where his wife was living, but with no discernible fingerprints.
- Three separate photographs of Oswald holding the murder weapon and wearing a pistol are known. The original negative of one is available for study. Two were found at Oswald's residence when he was in custody, and a third later turned up from Roscoe White´s (Dallas police officer) collection after he died. Two photos may be viewed as a stereo pair as they were taken from slightly different angles. These photos were closely studied by the HSCA, which found them to be authentic. The HSCA did not believe that the technology existed in 1963 to fake an original film emulsion or a stereo pair. Any fake would have needed access to the literature which Oswald was known to be reading in March 1963, as well as copies of the weapons he is known to have been shipped in that month. Oswald's widow would have to have lied about taking the photographs.
- At least one computer analysis has been used to assert that the bullet trajectory is not only consistent with the single bullet theory but also could only have been fired from a high position behind Kennedy.
Director Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK - which was nominated for an Academy Award, and based on books by Garrison and Jim Marrs – was what Stone called a "counter-fiction to the Warren Commission's fiction". This controversial film portrayed an extensive plot to kill the President and presented many of Garrison's allegations as fact. The revived interest in the assassination due to the film led to the formation of the Assassination Records Review Board, to gather and declassify all unreleased US Government records regarding the assassination. In the wake of Stone's film efforts were made to refute many conspiracy theories, such as Gerald Posner's Pulitzer Prize-nominated book Case Closed and the Emmy Award-winning ABC documentary Beyond Conspiracy, hosted by Peter Jennings.Many doubts still remain in the minds of the public regarding the official government conclusions. An ABC News poll (in 2003) found that 70% of American respondents "suspect a plot" in the assassination of President Kennedy.
- Over 50 witnesses who were present at the shooting heard shots that were fired from in front of the President; from the area of the grassy knoll and triple-underpass, and approximately the same number of witnesses believed shots were fired from behind the President (from the book depository). All the members of one of the two groups of witnesses would have to be mistaken under the one-shooter theory. A small number of witnesses heard shots from both the front and the back of the President.
- The size of the back head wound, in these descriptions, indicates it was the exit wound and that a second shooter from the front delivered the fatal head shot. Several eyewitnesses who were close to the President – and had a good view – saw the back of the President’s head "blasted out", which is consistent with being shot from the front. These include:
- Clint Hill, the secret service agent who was sheltering the President with his body on the way to the hospital described "The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car."
- Dr. McClelland - a physician in the emergency room - observed the head wound, and stated that the posterior cerebral tissue and some of the cerebellar tissue was missing.
- The Death Certificate located the bullet at the third thoracic vertebra -- which is too low to have exited his throat. Moreover, the bullet was traveling downward, since the shooter was by a sixth floor window. The autopsy cover sheet had a diagram of a body showing this same low placement at the third thoracic vertebra. The hole in back of Kennedy's shirt also shows the same place where the bullet hit, as does Kennedy's jacket that shows where the bullet hit. Nevertheless, the single bullet theory requires the bullet to move upward when it passed through Kennedy and came out of his throat unless Kennedy's jacket and shirt was bunched up around his neck.
Congress finally looked into this after three high profile assassinations in the United States (President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Senator Robert Kennedy) and attempted assassinations abroad.
- Congress began investigating the intelligence agencies by way of the Church Committee.
- In 1975 and 1976, the Church Committee published fourteen reports on the formation of U.S. intelligence agencies, their operations, and the alleged abuses of law and of power that they had committed.
- Among the matters the Church Committee investigated: The involvement by U.S. intelligence agencies to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, the Diem brothers of Vietnam, Fidel Castro and Gen. Rene Schneider of Chile.
- The amount of domestic power possessed by the CIA - during the 1960s - might be gauged by the fact that the former director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, was fired by President Kennedy for presiding over the disastrous invasion of Cuba by a small army of Cuban nationals, but was then appointed by Johnson as one of the seven members of the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination.
- The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) later reviewed these issues and in 1979 concluded that although Oswald assassinated Kennedy a conspiracy was probable but that the conspiracy did not implicate any U.S Intelligence agencies.
- The HSCA also said that President Kennedy did not receive adequate protection in Dallas, and the Secret Service possessed information that was not properly analyzed, investigated or used by the Secret Service in connection with the President's trip to Dallas; in addition, Secret Service agents in the motorcade were inadequately prepared to protect the President from a sniper.
Corsican Mafia conspiracy
A claim was made by Christian David - a petty French criminal - who was interviewed for a Central Independent Television documentary. David claimed that Kennedy was killed by three French assassins linked to Corsican organized crime syndicates.
"The Men Who Killed Kennedy" was an original - 1988 - British broadcast that named the three Corsican hit men and accused them of killing Kennedy. One (Lucien] Sarti) was dead, but the other two were still alive. One of them threatened to sue Central TV and had a good alibi. Central TV quickly produced a 30-minute "apology" program in which the "assassin" told his story. The guests included Groden, Robert Blakey, Howard Willens of the Warren Commission, and James Duffy.
The moderator and all of the guests criticized the programme for failing to do thorough research. The "apology" program, taped in Washington was only aired in England.
Parts 1, and 2, of "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" were then re-edited to remove the accusations, but the show's credibility was damaged. That was the real reason ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS lost interest in purchasing the US rights from Central, even though all four initially wanted the series.
This theory says that Cuban President Fidel Castro's agents killed President Kennedy in retaliation for the many times the CIA and Mafia had worked together and tried to kill Castro. In September 1963 Castro publicly warned the U.S. about American leaders not being safe if they think they could kill him.
It is notable that in 1962 the Kennedys had ordered the CIA to cease the assassination attempts against Castro. The CIA ignored the president's order, and continued with assassination training and attempts, unbeknownst to the president or Robert Kennedy. Starting in the second half of 1963 it is also documented that President Kennedy, through private back channels like French journalist Jean Daniel and CBS correspondent Lisa Howard had secretly approached Castro with overtures of a normalization in trade and diplomatic relations.
In fact, Castro had been meeting with Daniel the moment Kennedy was shot. Many believe that mobster Johnny Rosselli deliberately spread the allegation that Castro was behind the assassination to draw public attention away from possible Mob complicity in the crime.
Cuban conspiracy: Huismann's findings
In 2006, the documentary Rendezvous with Death by German director Wilfried Huismann was aired by the BBC.
It claimed new evidence that Oswald himself volunteered to carry out the assassination for Cuba during a September 1963 visit to the Cuban embassy in Mexico City. In return, the Cuban government reportedly paid Oswald the sum of $6,500 (with inflation, $40,000 in 2006).
The film also alleged that the United States government did not investigate the Cuban role any further, due to the volatile relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Lyndon Johnson believed that if the American public were to know Cuba was responsible for the death of the President, they (specifically Republicans and those on the right) would demand an invasion of Cuba to remove Castro. Kennedy had promised Khrushchev an invasion of the island would never occur as part of the resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Thus an invasion of Cuba would only have pushed America and the Soviet Union even closer to full-scale war.
Oliver Stone interviewed Fidel Castro for a documentary in 2002, and asked him about Kennedy's assassination. Castro said that he has never believed that a gunman could hit a moving target with a second shot that was more accurate than the first shot.
Israeli conspiracyThe Israeli government was displeased with Kennedy for his pressure about their top-secret nuclear program and/or, the Israelis were angry over Kennedy's sympathies with Arabs, and his use of men formerly under the employment of the Nazis in their rocket program, such as Wernher von Braun. Gangster Meyer Lansky and Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson often play pivotal roles in this conspiracy as organizing and preparing the hit, thus bleeding into and possibly catalyzing many of the other conspiracies as well.