Crowd-sourcing Jackie’s thoughts on JFK’s death

I want to tap reader knowledge to advance a story I have long thought significant: What did First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy think about the causes of her husband’s death?

My interest originated in the intriguing and under-covered story first revealed by historians Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali in their 1999 book on the Cuban missile crisis, One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964.

The story suggested that the First Lady’s public endorsement of the Warren Commission did not represent her private thinking.

Fursenko and Naftali reported that William Walton — an artist friend of the First Lady — went to Moscow on a previously scheduled trip a week after JFK’s assassination. Walton carried a message from RFK and Jackie for their friend, Georgi Bolshakov, a Russian diplomat who had served as a back-channel link between the White House and the Kremlin during the October 1962 crisis: RFK and Jackie wanted the Soviet leadership to know that “despite Oswald’s connections to the communist world, the Kennedys believed that the president was felled by domestic opponents.”

In an email interview Naftali, now the director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, told me that his co-author had gotten the story from Bolshakov and confirmed it with Bolshakov’s contemporaneous reporting to the Kremlin. Naftali said he was surprised the story didn’t get more attention.

It is certainly not a story that the American public knows: that the First Lady thought her husband had been killed by political enemies within the United States.

Of course, this judgment, reached just a week after JFK’s assassination, might well have changed or evolved with the passage time, the conclusions of the Warren Report, and the emergence of new evidence over the years. In any case, what Jackie thought of the causes of her husband’s death matters. After all, she was the single closest witness to the crime and the victim.

To develop this story, I want:

–to document all the instances in which Jackie commented publicly or privately on the Warren Commission or the assassination, as in her odd remark about the “silly communist.”

–to get a sense of how her testimony to the Warren Commission was covered in the press?

–to find credible references to what Jackie thought in the many biographies of her.

–to learn what her closest friends said about her reaction to the Warren Commission, to the HSCA, to conspiracy theorists in general, and to conspiracy theorists in particular.

So please forward any relevant links, thoughts, documents. You can leave your thoughts in the comment section, or email me by clicking here.

Thanks in advance for your help.

 

70 comments

  1. JSA says:

    I too would be interested in the First Lady’s thoughts, as I heard about a year ago that the 1964 interviews she had with Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. would be coming out and would definitely reveal that she thought her husband had been killed as the result of a conspiracy. Then the printed transcript was published, which I read, with the forward by daughter Caroline. No where in this transcript was mention made of her thoughts of a conspiracy. Was it never voiced to Schlesinger? Or was it edited out? We know now what Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. thinks. What about Caroline’s thoughts? I remember once John F. Kennedy, Jr. was asked publicly (on a tv interview which wasn’t broadcast live) what he thought about his father’s assassination, and he simply got up and walked off the set, apparently angry that someone would be so “gauche” as to even ask!

    The one place where I did seem to find that she privately thought that there was a conspiracy was in Talbot’s book, “Brothers,” which I read with interest. I think in that book if I’m not mistaken she was influenced not only by what she saw, but from Robert Kennedy’s private thoughts, which he shared with only close family and intimate friends whom he felt he could trust.

    There’s one other thought that I have about her being so close to the event, literally right there when the bullets flew: she seemed to be in shock, reaching back to grab the chunk of brain and/or skull that flew backwards onto the rear of the car. When something that gruesome and violent happens, I think some people go into such a degree of shock that they blank out some of the trauma. This has happened to me in a traumatic accident where I don’t remember all of the time of it, just pieces of it, like a badly edited movie, and in some cases I felt so surprised to see what was happening around me, almost a detached, out of body observer memory. I wonder if she ‘blanked out’ some of what happened? She clearly would have had some revealing memories, as Nellie Connally and her husband John remembered things happening to them which I read.

    I’d like someone to clarify if in fact Schlesinger actually asked (and received information) about Jacqueline’s thoughts about the assassination. And I would like to know if the book that Criterion published was edited down, or did it contain the entire transcript of the full conversations.

    • Jonathan says:

      FWIW, I’ve not trusted Schlesinger. He was involved with the CIA early on. The details escape me momentarily, but they’re easily accessible on the internet.

      JFK did what all presidents do. He surrounded himself with good ole boys. The Bundys, Schlesinger, Rostow, et al. They were the Best & the Brightest. Problem was, as James Douglass captures, he began sliding in a direction different from that of his advisers.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Jackie Kennedy’s W.C. testimony re the head wound(s):

    “And just as I turned and looked at him, I could see a piece of his skull sort of wedge shaped, like that, and I remember it was flesh colored with little ridges on top. I remember thinking he just looked as if he had a slight headache. And I just remember seeing that. No blood or anything.”

    “I was trying to hold his hair on. From the front there was nothing — I suppose there must have been. But from the back you could see, you know, you were trying to hold his hair on, and his skull on.”

    The second statement and part of the first were suppressed (covered up) by the Warren Commission and were subsequently pried loose.

    Jackie Kennedy was private critical of driver William Greer, saying he was no better a driver than her children’s nanny.

    My take on Jackie, FWIW, is that she knew the score but kept quiet in order to protect her children. The accidental killing of Cord and Mary Meyers’s child surely resonated with her.

    • JSA says:

      Someone could (maybe they already have?) write a book detailing EVERY witness, witness’ statement, or fact about the JFK assassination that the Warren Commission left out or changed/edited. There is just a ton of stuff left out which, if included, would yield a very different set of events on and around November 22, 1963.

    • Good for you, Jackie, on your critique of Greer. I believe Greer was driving under pressure to “stick to the plan” of getting JFK killed.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Thing is, Jackie Kennedy was a very private person. She held her cards very close.

    The recent article about the writing of “Death of a President” reveals how unwilling she and RFK were to be critical of LBJ in any public way.

  4. Most JFK researchers do not know about this Jackie quote or even the existence of this book.

    One of JFK, Jr.’s best friends at the Phillips Academy was Meg Azzoni. In spring, 1977, she and John went to visit Jackie while Caroline was still at Harvard. Meg says: “Jackie told John and I at the ‘break-the-fast’ breakfast, ‘I did not like or trust Lyndon Johnson.’ No one said another word the whole meal in memorial contemplative silence.”

    (Meg Azzoni, “John F. Kennedy, Jr. to Meg Azzoni 11 Letters: Memories of Kennedys & Reflections on His Quest, p. 52)

    http://www.blurb.com/b/3383904-11-letters-a-poem-john-f-kennedy-jr-to-meg-azzoni

  5. Jackie Kennedy in her oral history: “Bobby told me this later, and I know Jack said it to me sometimes. He said, ‘Oh, God, can you imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president?'” … “He didn’t like the idea that Lyndon would go on and be president because he was worried for the country. Bobby told me that he’d had some discussions with him. I forget exactly how they were planning or who they had in mind. It wasn’t Bobby, but somebody. Do something to name someone else in ’68”

    • One more note: Jackie would often tell people who asked “Who killed your husband?” – She would reply it does not matter; it will not bring Jack back. She said that many times.

      Robert Kennedy in 1963 said, “If the American people knew the truth about Dallas, there would be blood in the streets.” Source, Brothers, Talbot, p.144)

      I think Jackie & at times RFK had a deep suspicion of Lyndon Johnson & his possible role in the JFK assassination. One thing is for sure Evelyn Lincoln was convinced that Lyndon Johnson murdered John Kennedy & she was quite adament about this with her family & close friends.

      I would just like to close with this:

      Robert Caro describes the LBJ-RFK relationship post 1960 Democratic convention, where RFK had moved heaven and earth attempting to keep LBJ off the 1960 Democratic ticket. Caro:

      John Connally, who during long days of conversation with this author was willing to answer almost any question put to him, no matter how delicate the topic, wouldn’t answer when asked what Johnson said about Robert Kennedy. When the author pressed him, he finally said flatly: “I am not going to tell you what he said about him.” During the months after the convention, when Johnson was closeted alone back in Texas with an old ally he would sometimes be asked about Robert Kennedy. He would reply with a gesture. Raising his big right hand, he would draw the side of it across the neck in a slowing, slitting movement. Sometimes that gesture would be his only reply; sometimes, as during a meeting with Ed Clark in Austin, he would say, as his hand moved across his neck, “I’ll cut his throat if it’s the last thing I do.” [Robert Caro, “The Passage of Power,” p. 140]

      • Jonathan says:

        I remember it was public knowledge how much Bobby Kennedy and LBJ hated each other.

        When Bobby entered the presidential race on March 16, 1968, it was clear he was aiming at LBJ, not Gene McCarthy. After LBJ called his own number on March 31, as it became ever more likely Bobby would win the nomination, it became ever more clear a Bobby presidency would be a repudiation of the LBJ presidency except as to civil rights.

        FWIW, I’ve never felt LBJ had a hand in the MLK killing. Bobby’s killing, on the other hand, was a clear replay of the JFK assassination.

      • JSA says:

        Of course I can’t prove this, but I really think Lyndon Johnson helped, if not planned, Robert Kennedy’s assassination, in 1968. Recently a woman spoke out about hearing more ‘pops’ go off in the Ambassador Hotel’s kitchen area than were supposed to have been fired. She postulated to CNN that she thought there was a second shooter:
        http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/28/justice/california-rfk-second-gun

        There was contradictory evidence, more bullet holes in the wall and door frame, that was destroyed by the LAPD. I also wouldn’t be surprised if CIA was helping to do this. Again, I can’t prove it. I think it’s highly suspicious, and the case should be reopened for history’s sake, to get the facts straight.

        • Jonathan says:

          Facts:

          [1] bullet holes — just as you write, JSA

          [2] Coroner’s Report — Thomas Noguchi wrote that the fatal shot was fired about two inches behind Bobby’s right ear, based on powder burn and wound characteristics. Sirhan was tackled about three fee in front of Bobby.

          [3] One of the two LAPD officers who dealt with the case had been deeply and secretly trained by the CIA.

          [4] Recently discovered TV videotape records more shots than Sirhan could have fired.

          [5] Like Jack Ruby, Sirhan never went to trial. Represented by a high-profile lawyer, he pled to murder.

      • jeff pascal says:

        Robert-is there anything revelatory on either the Assassination, or LBJ from Jackie or RFK,in Edward Epstein’s article for commentary from 1967?

  6. Jonathan says:

    The very last quote is key.

    “despite Oswald’s connections to the communist world, the Kennedys believed that the president was felled by domestic opponents.”

  7. Jonathan says:

    Let’s focus on facts:

    [1] Four persons, at least, testified to the W.C. to the fact JFK’s head wad blown out from behind. Kellerman, Greer, Hill, Jackie.

    [2] Oswald could not have fired the alleged assassination weapon.

    [3] Even granting the SBT, there are too many shots.

    John Armstrong, moreover, shows how there were two Oswalds. Not speculation. Fact.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Message to Zebulon:

    Thanks for your message of support from the previous thread.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Jeff,

    The facts are overdose.

    We need presentation. Presentation will be refutation.

    Present what? The wounds. That’s all.

  10. Jonathan says:

    Jackie was a public figure but a mystery.

    Her will is a clue to who she was. A will is a public record, once it’s submitted to the probate court. Jackie could have kept the disposition of her estate secret. Via a trust, which would not have become a public record. Instead, she left her estate via her will. Very publicly.

    Her will made various gifts. To individuals and to charities.

    Her will was studied by high-end tax planners. It was executed in April 1994.

    Yeah, I’ve studied her will.

  11. Curt says:

    With regards to the blowout to the back of JFK’s head, there’s also the Harper fragment found near the assassination. Doctors who studied it in 1963 identified it as coming from the occipital region (back of JFK’s skull). Along with back of head wound witnesses was mortician Tom Robinson who testified about covering a rear head wound a piece of material and combing hair over.

    • JSA says:

      Curt,

      What happened to the “Harper fragment”? Did it get lost, like so many other pieces of evidence in the assassination?

      • Curt says:

        JSA, Right, I think Dr.Burkley had it and it disappeared. However, there were color photos that were taken of it, and you can find them on the web. Lends more credibility to a right rear head wound, consistent with Clint Hill’s testimony and what he says in the current Kennedy Detail book. Even though Hill says Oswald killed JFK, his JFK head wound observations are consistent with a shooter from the knoll, same as Dallas doctors. Hill and other SS agents also mention JFK and Connally being hit by separate bullets-contrary to the WC single bullet theory-yet the agents support the WC. Same thing with Gov. Connally. Another interesting point, in Chief Jesse Curry’s Personal Assassination file book issued in 1969, he has a photo of large bullet fragments he identified as coming from Gov. Connally bullet. Unless he is wrong in his identification, there’s no way they came from the magic bullet, WC 399. The fragments pictured are too big. Again, supports separate shots and not the SBT.

        • JSA says:

          Thanks. I found it.

          I also found this interesting article about the fragment, and the HSCA case:
          http://www.history-matters.com/essays/jfkmed/ADemonstrableImpossibility/ADemonstrableImpossibility.htm

          • JSA says:

            One more thing—-medical illustrator Ida Dox (interview clip on the phone at the bottom of the article link pasted above) seems to still be alive, living in Bethesda, MD. I looked her up in the Marquis Who’s Who in America. She is listed as being born in 1927, which would make her about 85 or 86 now. She seems RELUCTANT to discuss her work related to the JFK assassination. She’ll probably keep any secrets she may have to her grave.

        • Jonathan says:

          The photo to which you refer also shows two spent and one live Carcano rounds.

          Which is consistent with a photo of the rounds found in the sniper’s nest.

          • jeff pascal says:

            JSA= The Ida Dox sketch drawing of the supposed entrance wound in the cowlick is much more important than is commonly known. 1.When you see the Autopsy Photo the wound/artifact is much more ambiguous and open to interpretation than her drawing which shows a bullet hole high in the back of the head.2. Nobody saw this wound at Parkland or Bethesda! One can argue whether JFK was shot from the rear or front, or both in the head, but this is an impossibility. No one saw a perfectly intact back of the head at either hospital with a perfectly demarcated bullet wound in the cowlick. If they did how COULD the 3 Autopsy Doctors miss by at least 4 inches and put the wound near the EOP?

          • JSA says:

            Jeff,

            Good point about the Ida Dox bullet hole in the drawing! I have always thought that looked odd. I think the first time I saw it was in 1982, when I saw for the first time David Lifton’s book, “Best Evidence.” I’ll bet Ms. Dox knows that what she did was incorrect and that is why she didn’t want to talk about it when she was interviewed, in the 1980’s.

          • Jonathan says:

            Jeff Pascal,

            I seem to recall reading that Ida Dox worked from instructions given to her by someone, not from xrays or photos.

          • jeff pascal says:

            Re: Ida Dox Jonathan-yes, I believe her drawing was done in conjunction with not only the Autopsy Photos, but also from instruction by Dr. Baden.

          • Let’s say LHO fired the 2 shots from the sniper’s nest. Someone else fired the “third”(Cronkite: “In Dallas Texas, 3 shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas”). And from a different location. That’s a conspiracy.

  12. “Of course I can’t prove this, but I really think Lyndon Johnson helped, if not planned, Robert Kennedy’s assassination, in 1968.”

    Lyndon Johnson certainly had the chops to do this. He was a serial murderer to anyone who threatened his interests. Here is how they thought about RFK at high levels of the FBI. William Sullivan, the #4 man at the FBI, describes a high level FBI meeting in spring, 1968. “Hoover was not present, and Clyde Tolson [FBI #2 and Hoover’s boyfriend] was presiding in his absence. I was one of eight men who heard Tolson respond to the mention of [RFK’s] name by saying, ‘I hope someone shoots and kills the son of a bitch.’ This was five or six weeks before the California primary.”

    That quote is from William Sullivan’s book which was published posthumously.

    • JSA says:

      J. Edgar Hoover was a class-A prick, in my opinion. I could see how he and his associates would think that of Robert Kennedy. I think people should just come out and state the obvious: Hoover HAD to have been involved in the three big assassinations, along with CIA, and Johnson, in the sixties: JFK, MLK, and RFK. Like I said, I can’t prove it completely, but the weight of historical evidence is looking overwhelmingly toward his guilt in these murders.

      I knew one person (widow at this point) whose husband had worked at FBI then. She told me that everyone was terrified of J. Edgar, and in the morning, while riding up to their offices in the elevator, one agent would ask another: “How’s the weather today?” He wasn’t asking about rain or sunshine. It was the cryptic way they would inquire about J. Edgar Hoover’s moods that day. If his mood was bad, it was a ‘stormy day’. Everyone had to really be on their toes. When I think about what a complete [expleted] that man was, it makes me want to go to his grave and piss on it. When he died, in 1972, my friends and I celebrated with some beers.

    • Jonathan says:

      One of the big questions I’ve had is whether Oswald knew of “the” or “an” assassination plot.

      LN-ers claim in lock-step that Oswald fled the TSBD filled with guilt.

      The fact he wound up at the Texas Theater and sat next to half the lower-level patrons tells me a lot. It tells me he went to the Texas Theater deliberately. Not just on the spur of the moment to hide out but deliberately. To meet someone.

      An agent who’s in trouble, who knows things have gone wrong, wants to meet with the person handling him or her. They have pre-arranged signals back and forth. The meeting place needs to be covert.

      This is inference, not deduction. It’s not fact.

      The inference, however, matches perfectly with verified fact.

  13. Hans Trayne says:

    With all the wiretaps and FBI agents shadowing prominent celebs back in his day it would not be a surprise at all that both Jackie & RFK were under Hoover scrutiny, especially if he was paranoid they might be on to his & LBJ’s alleged hand in the public execution of JFK. The retired agents handling Hoover undercover activities would be the people to talk to. They’d have the evidence you seek.
    It’s been speculated Jackie went to the Greek tycoon because she feared the LBJ-Hoover clique in the US. She lived in a world of wealth, luxury & danger few will ever see in this life and like many wealthy people, her interactions with the common folk were few. Jackie’s wealthy friends might have some answers.

    • Jonathan says:

      From what I’ve read, Onassis not only had been involved in a number of shady deals but also had his own worldwide intelligence network.

      He was apparently someone, one of few, who could give Jackie shelter and protection. I imagine her life was at great risk for some years.

      • Jonathan says:

        From Wikipedia:

        In June 1968, when her brother-in-law Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, she came to fear for her life and those of her children, saying: “If they’re killing Kennedys, then my children are targets….. I want to get out of this country.”

  14. Jonathan says:

    Jackie’s tapes:

    Lady Bird was so willing to LBJ’s bidding she was “sort of like a trained hunting dog.”

    After listening to an FBI tape of MLK, in which MLK mocked her husband’s funeral: MLK was a “terrible man.”

    This second statement is revealing on two levels. One, Jackie was given and listened to a secret, illegally obtained FBI tape. Two, MLK didn’t think that much of JFK (which is pretty well known).

  15. “Lady Bird was so willing to LBJ’s bidding she was “sort of like a trained hunting dog.” ” – that is exactly right and it was pitiful. Lyndon Johnson was running cult and he demanded people to do things that degraded themselves in so many ways. Here is a nugget for you:

    Both Bill Moyers & Jack Valenti were beards for LBJ to cover his relationship with Mary Margaret Wiley, LBJ’s secretary/mistress. Mary Margaret later married Valenti who let her keep sleeping with LBJ. Mary Margaret, alive today, spent far more time with LBJ than did Madeleine Brown. Courtenay Lynda Valenti, Mary Margaret’s firstborn, is the biological daughter of LBJ as I have been told by 2-3 people who knew her contemporaneously.

    As for preacher boy Bill Moyers:

    [Sarah McClendon, “Mr President, Mr. President!: My Fifty Years of Covering the White House,” p. 92-93]

    Bill Moyers had just begun handling the press for Lyndon at that time. Moyers, who’d graduated from Southwest Theological Institute in Fort Worth, had been brought to Washington because of another rumor: there had been speculation that LBJ’s relationship with his top secretary Mary Margaret Wiley had become an intimate as well as a professional one. Concerned, Lyndon had asked his good friend Harry Provence of the Waco Tribune and several other Texas editors to look for someone to prevent that kind of talk. And who better to give the Vice Presidential staff a more “sanctified” appearance than a young man headed for the ministry? So Moyers was hired on, ostensibly to deal with policy concerning religion and to answer letters that had a religious tone. In actuality, he was a chaperone who would travel with Lyndon and Mary Margaret to show that all was on the up-and-up.”

    [Sarah McClendon, “Mr President, Mr. President!: My Fifty Years of Covering the White House,” p. 92-93]

    • Jonathan says:

      Robert,

      Bill Moyers has been promoted by PBS (in particular) over the years. Moyers comes off as a pleasant and uber beleivable reporter.

      My take: If one wants to kill a president, one should be charming, acceptable to the public, and utterly irreproachable.

      • Jason L. says:

        Are you suggesting that Moyers was involved? That is really just beyond the pale. This constant “LBJ did it” claptrap is so tiresome, and I’m sympathetic generally to the idea of a conspiracy.

        • JSA says:

          Jason,
          I don’t think he’s suggesting that BIll Moyers was “Involved” in the JFK assassination. Just saying that Moyers was a lap dog for LBJ, and cited this as a reference to LBJ’s character. If you want to better understand Lyndon Johnson, you ought to read Robert Caro’s first three volumes on the man. Even though Caro is officially a ‘lone nutter’ by his fourth volume, I think he nailed LBJ’s VERY flawed character in the first three volumes, which carry you from his childhood up through his mastery of the US Senate.

          I too think LBJ was behind the JFK assassination. It’s so obvious, when you look at how the cover up was carefully orchestrated, with Lyndon leading the way, forcing reluctant people to serve on the Warren Commission, making sure it got signed and sealed before the 1964 election, etc. Another good book is “LBJ: Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination” by Philip Nelson.

        • Jonathan says:

          The day after the assassination, Assistant AG sent a now-famous memo to Moyers that states in part:

          “The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.”

          Interesting that the written record suggesting cover-up begins with a memo to Moyers.

          Am I suggesting Moyers was part of a plot to kill JFK? Not from an operational standpoint. Am I suggesting he had a hand and has a continuing hand in the cover-up? Yes.

          Reasons: He always has been ultra-loyal to LBJ (a point of suspicion in my book). He’s a hard-core LN-er (which strains credulity given his status as an insider). He has refused interviews from Robert Caro (LBJ’s biographer), which is a sign he won’t say what he knows about LBJ.

          • Jason L. says:

            The bottom line though is that the LBJ did it stuff is just pure speculation. It might make some logical sense, but there are a lot of other possible explanations that make sense as well. For the “he thought he was president” crowd that thinks the CIA masterminded the assassination, it wouldn’t make sense that LBJ was that involved. He had every reason to smooth things over after taking the Presidency to ensure his legitimacy.

            Also, this is just tiresome. Morley’s original post had nothing to do with this. Every thread just degenerates into the same old grinding axes. It’s such a bore.

          • JSA says:

            Jonathan,

            I didn’t know this tidbit about Moyers. He kind of reminds me of Chomsky, willing to find corruption and misdeeds in our government, and willing to argue for liberal causes, until they get to Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedy assassination—-there is where they stop short, refusing to “go there.”

            I think someone needs to hold these people’s collective feet to the fire: Chomsky, Moyers, and Doris Kearns Goodwin—and ask them publicly how they can be so stupid as to rule out a conspiracy, when the SBT and Lone Nutter position is skating on such thin, unsupportable ice. This would be the year to do this, when historians and political analysts will devote a bit of time to reflect on Dallas.

          • Jonathan says:

            Jason L,

            What is your view of the assassination and the aftermath?

          • Jonathan says:

            JSA,

            Doris Kearns Goodwin spent considerable time with LBJ when she was 24 and Doris Kearns. I’ve read elsewhere strong suspicions she slept with LBJ. She makes very clear that was LBJ’s objective.

            A while back, I read a synopsis of her career. Appears she is very skilled at getting what she wants.

          • JSA says:

            Jonathan,

            I’ve heard that rumor about D.K.G. as well. She may be too close to the Johnson family to ever tell the truth. But people should still hold her feet to the fire, in my opinion. As H. C. Andersen said in the famous fairy tale: “The Emperor* has no clothes!”
            (*the Emperor being the SBT and Warren Commission tale)

          • Jason L. says:

            It’s a bore because it’s speculation, and the sources that this speculation is based on are just pure bollocks. The real value of Morley’s research and this site in general is that it can bring home what we actually know are facts. These documented facts suggest there was a conspiracy that involved the CIA at some level.

            On the other hand, the documented facts around LBJ are that he initiated a cover up because of fear of nuclear war with the USSR. I’m not saying he was a great guy.

          • to Jason L. regarding the Doris Kearns/LBJ relationship. I suggest you read Sally Quinn’s Wash Post article (“A Tale of Hearts and Minds, 8/24/75).

            Or read a summary of it on my blog: http://lyndonjohnsonmurderedjfk.blogspot.com/2013/02/doris-kearns-goodwin-has-fucked-man-who.html

    • Jonathan says:

      Robert,

      Your crusade here against LBJ fascinates me. Mainly because I share you view of LBJ.

      Question: If you get away from the choir to the public, does blaming LBJ make sense? After all, Hoover, the Secret Service, the HSCA medical panel, Posner and his acolytes — all have blamed Oswald.

      Seems to me the gold here, the truth, lies in plain sight. It needs to be presented well, which it hasn’t. I’m talking about Warren /commission testimonies.

      • Zebulon says:

        I thought that Connolly and LBJ were very close. Could it be possible that Connolly was trying to set up JFK for Lyndon, but somehow got in the way? It has always been obvious to me that Connolly in the limo blocked any escape for JFK. Also, I don’t think that he would have blocked a Grassy Knoll shot. Did he take one for the team?

        • JSA says:

          I had heard rumors that Connally was originally supposed to ride in the car behind with Lyndon Johnson, but the night before the Dallas visit, JFK told LBJ that he wanted Governor Connally and his wife in HIS car. LBJ supposedly stormed out of the room in anger. According to this version of events, Ralph Yarborough, a liberal Texan, was supposed to be in the car with Kennedy, thus I guess meaning the shooters could kill two birds with one assassination event. Anybody able to get confirmation of this version?

  16. Hans Trayne says:

    According to the Gemstone File & a book based on it by Peter Evans it was Aristotle Onassis who orchestrated the murders of both JFK & RFK. The verification source (according to Evans) was Aristotle’s daughter, Christina. Christina was quite open about her dislike of Jackie & motivation may need analysis.
    Jackie married Onassis 4 months after RFK went down.
    I find this all fascinating on several levels because if Jackie went under Onassis’ umbrella to protect her children & herself from JFK’s & RFK’s killers in the US she unknowingly put herself with the ‘leader of the band’. Disclosing her private suspicions on the deaths of JFK & RFK with Aristotle & his closest aids would fall on deaf ears if JFK’s replacement was the one who was responsible.
    It’s possible someone in that Onassis clique might have gained Jackie’s trust & she was candid with her thoughts. I can’t recall it ever publicized that Jackie spoke of her thoughts on JFK’s & RFKs murders within the Onassis camp but it is always possible someone will come forward if she did. Perhaps former Onassis intelligence operatives have some answers.
    If memory serves me correctly Jackie returned to the US after LBJ & Hoover were dead.

    • Zebulon says:

      Didn’t Jackie spend time with Onassis after her baby died? Did he decide then to get JFK out of the way so he could have her for himself? We all know that Onassis was a CIA asset and wealthy enough to get pretty much whatever he wanted.

      • jeff pascal says:

        I think this board is excellent & I also think those that aren’t open to LBJ’s involvement are in denial. Here’s a couple more just coincideneces with Johnson. During the ARRB tenure, James Humes the lead Autopsy Doctor admitted off the record that he got a cuff link from LBJ, but wouldn’t go in details. Ok maybe, it was unrelated to the Assassination, but does show a relationship. A couple of the biggest bombshells related to LBJ, not specifically the Assassination, however it does set the stage are the interviews with LBJ Military Advisor Col. Howard Burris about a back channel of the real casualties that bypass McNamara and Kennedy in Newman’s JFK & Vietnam. Also. Burris says some very revealing things to Gus Russo in Live By The Sword, mainly LBJ is freezed out in 1963 by the Kennedys, and Johnson is off the ticket in in ’64 and he knows it.

        • Bill Pierce says:

          Kennedy’s death was the only way LBJ could ever become president. He hated the Kennedys. And he could be counted on to protect Hoover and support status quo foreign policy. He was power-hungry, over-bearing, deceitful and mean. And he picked up his dog by its ears.

          But there’s no reliable evidence that LBJ planned or approved the murder. The cover-up began with RFK and Burkley – the Kennedy family. Then, when Hoover told LBJ that Oswald had been impersonated in Mexico City, both Hoover and LBJ went into cover-up mode. After Oswald’s death, the cover-up became pervasive, beginning with another Kennedy guy – Katzenbach.

          In the first few days, I suspect that LBJ was being pressured by the CIA/MIC to blame the Dirty Commies and consider retaliation. His comment about “a war that could kill 40 million Americans” suggests that ‘someone’ was promoting a war that might lead to a nuclear exchange with the Soviets. He shut down all of that nonsense long before he could have known the extent of Castro/Commie involvement. Seems to me that a control-freak/megalomaniac would have taken advantage of the situation to become a “war president” and shift all the blame to the Dirty Commies. LBJ did the opposite.

          I don’t want to get into a long defense of LBJ’s actions after the assassination. None of those actions add up to evidence of his involvement. And I think there were quite a few people who had prior knowledge or suspicions about the hit. Probably even the Kennedys.

          Today LBJ has a few elderly admirers, mostly resulting from his Great Society programs. But he left office as the object of ridicule and failure. If anything his image has become even more stained during the four decades after his death. It’s hard to believe that LBJ’s corpse still exerts absolute control over 100% of mainstream media.

        • Gus Russo in his book points out how many people LBJ told Fidel Castro was behind the JFK assassination.

          Col. Howard Burris was Air Force. Gen. Curtis LeMay & Gen. Edward Lansdale were Air Force. Gen. Charles Cabell, was both CIA and an Air Force general and his brother Earl Cabell, the Mayor of Dallas on 11/22/63.

          LBJ and his Dallas, TX oil men had immaculate ties to high level decision makers in Air Force, many of whom hated JFK.

  17. jeffmorley says:

    Thanks to all for thoughts, comments, links and citations.

    When contributing to this thread, please be parsimonious with your opinons. We’re more interested when you speak to the interest the reader who clicks on the original post seeking edification about a factual question:

    What did Jacqueline Kennedy think about the causes of her husband’s death?

    • Jackie would say often, paraphrasing here, “What does it matter? It is not going to bring Jack back” whenever someone would ask her who she really thought killed JFK.

  18. Joachim Joesten, who I think was the greatest JFK researcher ever, has a chapter 31 titled “Why Do the Kennedys Hate Lyndon Johnson so Much?” in his book “The Dark Side of Lyndon Johnson” (1968).

    Joesten’s book was written before RFK was assassinated & Joesten gives several excellent examples of the LBJ/RFK hatred, including RFK calling the President LBJ an s.o.b in the White House on 2/6/67 in a meeting over Vietnam. How often does that happen to a POTUS?

    Let me quote the perceptive Joesten: “It is to be found in the sober definition the Oxford Dictionary gives of the term ‘blood feud:’ between families one of which has spilt the other’s blood. [p.256]

    Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Lyndon-Baines-Johnson/dp/1771520094/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367901112&sr=8-1&keywords=dark+side+of+lyndon+johnson

  19. Kennedy63 says:

    I think the truth of what Jackie thought was summed up in her words on the day of JFK’s assassination, when she was asked if she would change her blood stained iconic pink suit. Jackie replied, “No. Let them see what they have done.”

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