The national media, much less diverse and fragmented in 1963 than today, joined the campaign to assuage doubts and dispel “rumors” about JFK’s assassination. Pollsters were already finding that a majority of Americans suspected conspiracy. Life Magazine’s Dec. 6 issue was devoted primarily to photo coverage of the Kennedy funeral, but also included a piece by Paul Mandel entitled “End to Nagging Rumors: The Six Critical Seconds.”
The article began with a quote from Dallas DA Henry Wade: “I would say without any doubt that he is the killer”, and referred to Oswald as “the assassin.”
Life Magazine had earlier purchased rights to Abraham Zapruder’s famous home movie of the murder in Dealey Plaza, and in a November 29 issue had shown frames from that film in black-and-white. Now the Mandel article tried to reconcile the film with Oswald’s guilt.
Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade on Oswald as an FBI informant.
As part of the paper’s 50th anniversary JFK coverage, Scott K. Parks of the Dallas News recounts a story that roiled the national press in early 1964: the rumor that accused assassin Lee Oswald was a paid FBI informant. Using declassified FBI documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Parks sheds new light on how an independent Texas law man shook up official Washington.
In Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade believed the story that Oswald was an FBI informant and he persisted in talking about it, which worried U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, chairman of the commission investigating the assassination. It also worried the commission’s general counsel J. Lee Rankin.
“They did not want to be seen as conducting an investigation of Hoover’s FBI,” the story notes.