POSTED: Friday, November 22, 2013 - 8:44pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 6:31pm
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — On November 22, 1963, America lost both a President and its innocence. It also marked the beginning of a virtual cottage industry in conspiracy theories.
A week after the tragic murder of President John F. Kennedy, newly sworn in President Lyndon B. Johnson, assembled a commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, with Congressman Gerald Ford, Senator Richard Russell, Congressman Hale Boggs and others, including attorney Arlen Spector.
Their job was to determine who killed J.F.K.
In late September 1964, The Warren Commission published the results of an almost year long investigation.
It found Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, with the cheap, Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. And even his killing by Jack Ruby, was unrelated to any conspiracy.
The skepticism began almost immediately.
Pick your villain; Castro, Kruschev, the Mob, the CIA, all probably had their grudges against Kennedy.
Writers like Mark Lane, politicians like New Orleans DA Jim Garrison and filmmakers like Oliver Stone have fanned the flames of doubt.
"And there's no question that the Secret Service, the FBI and later the CIA, did a terrible job investigating this case," attorney and investigative reporter, Gerald Posner said. "They lied at times to the Warren Commission. They hid evidence. And all of that cover up, not of a murder, Roger, but of their own bureaucratic incompetence, created the groundwork for conspiracy speculation that lives to this day."
Posner's 1992 book Case Closed, is perhaps the definitive work on the assassination.
The latest and perhaps most bizarre theory is that President Kennedy died from friendly fire. It posits that a Secret Service agent named Hickey, accidentally shot the President from the following car. It was first proposed back in the early 90's, and would require an elaborate cover-up.
"I will tell you that the theory that JFK was killed by friendly fire by a Secret Service agent is absolutely disprovable," adds Posner." "There's a photograph taken by one of the bystanders at the assassination that shows that the Secret Service agent did not have the automatic weapon up until after Kennedy was already killed. The shame of this is that you can recycle like they did in that pseudo documentary on Reelz last night, theories that have been discredited previously put them under a nice new wrapper, put them out there and make money. And that's the problem with the JFK assassination. It's become a board game, who killed Kennedy? And people are still cashing in on it 50 years later, forget the history, forget the truth."
We don't want to believe, though, that it was that simple.
"We just can't get our hands around the fact that this 24-year-old sociopath loser in life, Lee Harvey Oswald, managed to end Camelot and all the potential and future of JFK and that Presidency," claims Posner."
In the end, we are left with one sad, and unsatisfactory conclusion.
"And the problem, I think Roger, is that there were probably conspiracies brewing against Jack Kennedy just like there are against any President," said Posner. "So, I wouldn't be surprised if the mob weren't sitting around some table saying, 'let's get that SOB.' Or, you had the same thing brewing with some anti-Castro Cubans. But my point in history is that Lee Harvey Oswald got there before any of the conspiracies. He wasn't working for them. They would have pinned a medal on him. They would have clapped him on the back. But, he wasn't their boy."