Latest JFK scholarship: Wrone on the ‘fairy tale’ of Dallas

Historian David Wrone

In this C-SPAN video, historian David Wrone, emeritus professor at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, describes the theory that Oswald acted alone as  “the fairy tale of Dallas.” He argues that evidence from the crime scene points to a conspiracy by perpetrators who have yet to be identified.

The strength of his presentation is its focus on the rapidity with which Oswald emerged as a suspect and the modesty of his conclusions. Wrone does not theorize. He describes evidence, allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions.

Wrone is the author of The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK”s Assassination, published by the University Press of Kansas in 2003. He spoke at the Mid-America Conference on History, held in Springfield, Missouri in September 2012.

Watch C-SPAN’s coverage of the entire JFK panel, including audience discussion.



  1. Mark Groubert says:

    Thanks for the plug, boys. FYI: Greg Parker has uncovered amazing facts to the overall case despite operating under geographical constraints from down under! I don’t know how he does it. Regarding the curtain rods and/or package: Frazier’s mom didn’t see any package. Mrs. Essie Mae Williams was there that morning. She saw Oswald and said he had no package. (Oswald said he stuck his lunch in his coat pocket.) That leaves Frazier and his sister as the lone curtain rod nuts.
    Those interested in the truth-telling abilities of Wesley Buell Frazier might want to read: “The Assassination Tapes” by George O’Toole to see how the DPD tried to distance themselves from his midnight polygraph exam. Either they were pathological liars or trying to cover it up (or both!). Frazier was also in the basement mixing up the medicine when the lights went out in the TSBD. Odd place to eat lunch, me thinks. And let’s not forget the British Enfield pulled from his house. Is that the same one filmed by the Dallas Cinema Associates, who filmed the British Enfield rifle being examined by police across from the TSBD? Maybe, just maybe, they had Frazier in a little bit of a bind…

  2. Bill Kelly says:

    Thanks for ranking me in such a great category, and I look forward to contributing to JFKfacts in the coming year and working with all of you while continuing my blogs primarily – and secondary where I post key articles, documents and sources that I refer to.
    I’m current evaluating the SS records from Gerald Blaine that were thought to have been destroyed and trying to pry loose the official HSCA records of the first chief counsel Richard Sprague. In the coming year I hope to do a JFKToday blog page that will be updated daily. Stay tuned. All the best to the researchers out there stjll digging away, especially Bill Simpich and mates Greg Parker Downunder in the summer and Kiwi Frankie for all the work they do behind the scenes. It’s going to be a great year for the truth and discovery, and I think we’ll have a good time too.

  3. greg parker says:

    With all due respect to David Wrone (who didn’t make the claim anyway), this is not cutting edge material as suggested by the title.

    The only cutting edge research being done any more is by myself, Bill Simpich, Bill Kelly and his research associates, Mark Groubert, Lee Farley, Sean Murphy and a personal correspondent of mine who wants to be known only as “Stig”.

    Most of the rest are either pushing personal or party political barrows, or simply regurgitating their favorite book/s on the subject and calling it “research”.

    I raise this issue as I did when you said the same about Gerald McKnight’s talk because it damages us all to have this tired – and in some cases discredited – material being passed off as “the latest and greatest”.

    • jeffmorley says:

      We bill these talks as “the latest JFK scholarship” and that is what they are: the most recent instances in which we found JFK scholars speaking publicly about their work. We will continue to highlight such material as it becomes available.

      We have highlighted the work of Bill Simpich and Bill Kelly and will continue to do so. Indeed we have made Bill Kelly our first regular contributor I used the excellent research of Mark Groubert in my recent pieces on the movie Parkland. I am not familiar with your work or that of Lee Farly or Sean Murphy but it it is indeed “cutting edge,” then we would be delighted to publish it at JFK Facts. We are looking to add regular contributors who can contribute incisive, factual and fair blog posts on the historical record of the assassination, especially new information. Contact me at and we can make this happen.

      • greg parker says:

        The “latest” in your title refers to “scholarship” not to a “talk”. It may be the latest talk by scholars, but it’s not the latest “scholarship” – however you may wish to define that.

        If you are using the two Bills and Mark already, then you’ve got three of the best and brightest. I have emailed you regarding the others mentioned.

        • marcus says:

          Hi Greg you left out James Douglass. If we now add the Douglass research to that of Lane what more could be needed? In my opinion Douglass has written the final nail…the text book of the coup.

  4. Jean Davison says:

    The Black Star photo was taken on 11/23. A 11/22 press photo shows that Oswald’s room had curtain rods the day before:

    I’m disappointed that Professor Wrone’s talk contained many old myths like that one. No curtain rods were found at the Depository — I wonder where he got that idea?

    • Brian LeCloux says:

      No, not at the Depository, in a small building near it.

      Re the photo you reference: there is this from Harold Weisberg’s Whitewash, pp. 22-23. Weisberg references Joachim Joesten’s interview of the landlady of the house and he said, “Oswald was indeed living, as his landlady herself said in the course of a 45-minute talk I had with her, in ‘the most public room’ of the house. A goldfish has more privacy in his glass bowl than Oswald had behind this unbroken window front, especially at night, when his room was glaringly lighted by an unshaded bulb dangling from the ceiling.”

      Then, there is this from Howard Roffman’s Presumed Guilty. He interviewed the Black Star photographer, Gene Daniels. On Saturday morning (11/23) he took some photos, explaining to Roffman that he observed the landlady and her husband hammering the curtain rods back into position. She didn’t want photos taken until after she put “the curtains back up.” Daniels told Roffman, “She said that newsmen the evening before had disturbed the room and she didn’t want anyone to see it messed up.”
      Roffman comments, “It seems doubtful in the extreme that the activity of newsman the night before could physically have removed curtain rods from the wall in Oswald’s room.” (p. 160)

      • Jean Davison says:

        Brian, no curtain rods were found in or around the TSBD, including in a small building near it. I’m asking what this claim by Prof. Wrone is based on. Anyone know?

        Oswald’s landlady Gladys Johnson testified that his room already had “curtains and venetian blinds.” The photo I linked to shows her standing in his room on the
        evening of 11/22:

        Here’s another photo taken the same date showing the curtains and blinds more clearly:

        Why should I believe Joesten and not these pictures and the landlady’s own testimony?

        Again, the Black Star photo that’s often mentioned was taken the NEXT MORNING. Oswald’s room didn’t need curtain rods. It’s a myth.

        • Brian LeCloux says:

          The whole issue is hard to sort out. Why would the man be hammering curtain rods back in place? The series of photos at the Weisberg Digital Archive depict this. (The folder is titled “Oswald Lee Harvey Lou Photos at Beckley Street Apartment.)

          I realize Oswald denied carrying curtain rods to work that day and Dougherty said he entered the building empty handed.

          Others have pointed out the size of the package several witnesses estimated at 24 to 27.5 inches would mean the curtain rods of that length would not be long enough for the size windows in Oswald’s apartment.

          It seems an investigation designed to make the facts desired fit a political theory led to the continuing questions by many who still study this case.

  5. Brian LeCloux says:

    Wrone talked about the fact that curtain rods were found in a small building used by TSBD employees to store things.
    This might support Oswald’s alibi.
    There is a Black Star photo of a man putting up curtain rods in Oswald’s apartment after the assassination.
    Or was the man merely adjusting them?

    Prof. Wrone also mentioned Oswald’s intelligence agent number. I found this striking since Weisberg searched government archives for decades and concluded that no evidence he could bring to the light of day linked Oswald to any government agency.

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