One thing I don’t really discuss is my fascination of history and pivotal events of history. I decided today to write about one of the most controversial topics in our nation’s history because it is absolutely fascinating to me and it has been 50 years since Walter Cronkite announced President Kennedy’s Death to a devastated nation.
As a kid my grandmother had a TIME magazine hardcover book of John F. Kennedy, it was a collection of articles regarding everything about the assassination (I was maybe 10 when I found this book in her basement) it was the original release that TIME did back in the 1960’s. I blew the dust off of it and read it cover to cover and was hooked on the premise of a conspiracy theory and have been fascinated ever since. I can not even tell you how many papers I wrote regarding the assassination and I have even read a couple volumes of the Warren Commission Report (my childhood library actually had a copy). One thing I can say about the Warren Commission Report it is boring but I read it anyways (it was actually one of the only things I willing read in High School). I actually wrote so many papers on the assassination, my teachers actually started telling my future teachers not to let me write on this subject. I actually wanted to be a Kennedy Assassination Expert, you know the ones they interview on all the documentaries. I wanted to be the one who found the “smoking gun” regarding the whole assassination, proving or disproving Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman. Did I mention it was quite an obsession? I would also like to state for the record I saw JFK four times in the theater and the last three times brought a pen and notebook to take notes.
Over the years my thoughts have changed on the assassination the more I dug, the more research I did personally. I mean what do we really know about the assassination:
- President Kennedy died (I would say from a head shot wound but some think the shot to the back would have also been fatal as well)
- Governor Connally was also shot
- It happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963 at 12:29 pm CST
- The President was confirmed dead from an assassin’s bullet at 1 pm CST
Besides those facts that is where the agreement stops everything else how, why, who has been under suspicion for 50 years. I am not writing this to convince anyone who, what, when, why or even how the assassination was done, I am writing this to talk about a distrust so many people have with the government and it still exists 50 years later. This is more of a what if post not a what to believe.
First lets begin with the “Patsy” – Lee Harvey Oswald. Lee Oswald was a former Marine who defected to Russia, married a Russian Lady and came back home with his young family. In interviews his brother stated he wanted to make a name for himself. He shot at and missed General Erwin Walker a couple months before the assassination. What if that bullet would have hit Walker or what if the police would have investigated the crime more. Walker had a numerous enemies but what if the would have caught Oswald before November 22. What if his wife would have moved to Fort Worth with him in August opposed to rejecting the move. Would have the crazy lone “nut” who assassinated the President?
Second the autopsy what if the Secret Service would have let the Coroner in Dallas do the autopsy? Did you know President Kennedy’s autopsy was not a forensic one? An autopsy was completed on the President but it was not done by pathologists who knew nothing about forensics. If a forensic autopsy would have been preformed the questions on how the shooting was done would have been answered fifty years ago. Another interesting fact the Dallas Police Department had collected the President’s Clothing it was never seen by the pathologists doing the autopsy. This crucial evidence was never seen and the pathologists only saw the x-rays and pictures taken for reference once while writing their reports. What if the pathologists were allowed to see the clothes, x-rays, or photos while writing their reports? What if they brought in a forensic pathologist to do the autopsy?
A big question for me has always been why the secrecy? Why are there documents I can’t look at until 2017? This has always fueled and still fuels the case for a cover up. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told must be a cover up because we can’t see those documents. What would those documents tell us that the other 5 million haven’t? What if those documents were released today or tomorrow would we really learn anything new? Maybe but the more research I do the less I think the documents being released would clear up anything.
Of course the giant elephant in the room with the Kennedy Assassination is of course the “Magic Bullet Theory.” For years I thought it was crap, I mean really how could a bullet pass through a person’s back, come out his neck, enter another person’s back, come out break a wrist and plant itself in someone’s thigh. It does seem really unbelievable when you think about it. Could this ever be replicated? Well it has and on several occasions, much to my surprise the results replicated the “Magic Bullet.” As much as I thought it was crap the evidence was there, you fire a gun (Carcano rifle) 15 times and every time it does the same thing as the Magic Bullet, you sold me that it could have happened that way. One thing I was unaware of until recently was the fact the windshield was cracked, it is in the National Archives. Everything I always read was the windshield was fine and nothing was wrong with it. Not the case the windshield was cracked and was removed for evidence purposes. Was there a gunman on the Grassy Knoll? I have no idea and quite frankly unless time travel happens we will never know. We can discuss this until the cows come home but even people who were there don’t know how many bullets were fired or where they came from.
What would have been different if President Kennedy made it to the Trade Mart on November 22, 1963? Would we have still been involved in Vietnam? Would Dr. King or Robert Kennedy been assassinated? Would Richard Nixon been elected President? Would Watergate have happened? It is a butterfly effect we will never know the answer to. I believe that is the saddest part of the assassination is the what ifs? My mom was quite small in 1963 (because my mom would hurt me I won’t say how old) but the Kennedy assassination is one of her first memories. Every person over 50 I have asked them where they were November 22, 1963 and without hesitation they recite where they were.