Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and other than the improbable official version, a.k.a. the Warren Commission Report, the questions of who killed him and why still remain.
JFK had his detractors, to put it mildly. The first Roman Catholic president, he upset the American bishops when he told them he would not push for aid to parochial schools. Does this mean the Vatican had him killed? That seems unlikely.
Some speculate that he angered the military-industrial complex because he was about to pull out of Vietnam. There is no proof of that one way or another.
Others speculate that he was about to disband the Central Intelligence Agency and it ordered the hit. Again, no proof one way or the other.
There is even speculation that Mossad did him in because he was no great fan of Israel. Once again, no proof one way or the other.
Then there is the speculation the Soviets or the Cubans did it, but that hardly makes any sense. The Soviets backed down during the Cuban missile crisis rather than risk World War III, so why would they have surely set it off by assassinating Kennedy? As for Cuba, which the mysterious Lee Harvey Oswald is alleged to have been so fond of, Fidel Castro seemed more engaged in dodging US assassination attempts—one included a cigar that was to explode killing him.
And let us not leave out the Mafia, which allegedly was livid because JFK’s brother and the US attorney general, Bobby, was making life miserable for them, which was hardly gratitude for the help they gave the family patriarch, Joseph P, Kennedy, in getting Jack elected. No proof one way or the other.
Thusly, we are left with Oswald, the purported lone gunman, who managed to get off three shots from a third floor window Texas Book Depository in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. The Warren Commission claimed one shot totally missed, a second got JFK in the neck, then did some strange gyrations going through Texas Gov. John Connelly’s chest and wrist, embedding itself in his thigh and coming out pristine—the single bullet theory, a.k.a. called the Magic Bullet Theory, was the brainchild of the late Arlen Specter who, at the time, was a Warren Commission staffer and later a US senator. Oswald’s third shot, sayeth the Warren Commission, was the fatal one to Kennedy’s head.
Oswald is then alleged to have left the Book Depository and gone to a movie theater where he encountered Officer J.D. Tippet of the Dallas Police Department and shot and killed him before being taken into custody.
Two days later, on Nov. 24, 1963, as Dallas police were leading Oswald through the department’s basement to be transferred to the county jail, Jack Ruby stepped forward and pumped a fatal bullet into Oswald. That leads to the question, since the Dallas police weren’t stupid and they reportedly had the president’s assassin in their custody, wouldn’t they have better protected him from any possible harm? Or is it dead men tell no tales?
Jack Ruby was a two-bit nightclub operator in Dallas. There also is speculation that Ruby was mobbed up in his hometown of Chicago. Ruby was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for killing Oswald, but he appealed the conviction and was granted a new trial. But before a second trial date was set, Ruby died of cancer on Jan. 3, 1967.
So there is the cast of characters we know about who might have been connected, in one way or another, with the Kennedy assassination.
And thus, “that brief shining moment known as Camelot” did not end happily. Something wicked happened 50 years ago in Dallas. An assassin’s bullet took the life of the 46-year-old 35th president of the United States, who left behind a widow and two young children. Fifty years and still questions remain unanswered. Fifty years and counting . . .