CIA veteran Rolf Mowatt-Larseen proposed a “thought experiment” to the November 2019 JFK conference in Dallas. He reverse-engineered the lone gunman scenario, posing a question both novel and incisive.
“How can you get away with a really elaborate but very simple plan of deception, to end up in a place where the president is dead and it is blamed on someone else, other than the people who perpetrated it?” he asked. “Not easy.”
Bill Kelly passed along the photo of Oswald under arrest at the Texas Theater along with a revealing quote from Dashiell Hammett, the 20th century American writer who specialized in hard-boiled detective fiction.
Within 24 hours of his arrest, Oswald had shouted to reporters that he was “a patsy,” and everyone knew what he meant. He was claiming to be “a fall guy,” an innocent set up to take the blame for the deeds of others.
How did Americans know about the concept? As Kelly notes, Chapter 14 of Hammett’s classic detective tale, The Maltese Falcon, is called “The Fall Guy.” In it, detective Sam Spade (played by Humphrey Bogart in the movie version) explains: Read more
If Oswald genuinely had been motivated by a desire to get his name in the history books, he could be expected to boast about his crime rather than repeatedly deny that he was responsible. Perhaps he changed his mind after he was arrested.