Who was responsible for the wrongful death of JFK?

Before I try to answer this most complex of questions, let me say a couple of things.

First, let us stipulate that 99.99 percent of JFK conspiracy theories are BS. Let me repeat that: 99.99 percent of JFK conspiracy theories are BS.

JFK Postcard
The original story of gunfire that was abandoned.

That is to say: they are objectively and factually wrong. Let me name a few: the Federal Reserve did not do it. The Secret Service Man did not do it. The KGB did not do it, George H.W. Bush did not do it (and no, he was not lurking in Dealey Plaza).

Other theories are more debatable. Lee Oswald remains the single most plausible candidate for assassin but the forensic case against him, never strong in criminal defense terms, has only grown weaker over the years, while the possibility that he was manipulated or framed has grown.

The case against President Lyndon Johnson, while popular on the Internet, is contrived and conjectural, relying heavily on a witness who has changed her story often. The case against Fidel Castro, still touted by CIA sources, is weaker yet.

Like the agency’s interference in the 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee torture investigation, the CIA interference in the 1978 House Committee on Assassinations has made the case for CIA complicity stronger, as Robert Blakey told Frontline in 2003. That said, there is no proof that any specific CIA officers were involved in manipulating or framing Oswald or otherwise enabling JFK’s murder.

Collectively, these facts do not necessarily mean that all conspiracy theories are wrong. One theory out of a thousand (.01 percent) might someday prove right, and we don’t know it because we don’t yet have all the facts.

But, the weary bystander may ask, is that really possible or likely at this late date?

Warren Commision
Did we overlook anything important?

After 51 years of speculation, six investigations, and thousands of books it may seem unlikely that the government can still be hiding something significant about the JFK story. But it is demonstrably—and unfortunately—true.

The CIA, for example, has 1,100 JFK assassination-related records that it won’t make public until October 2017. If you don’t believe me, consult  Fox News, or the Associated Press, or the Huffington Post, or the Washington Times, or International Business Times, or the Boston Globe and decide for yourself.

(If you think those records should be made public ASAP, sign the petition here.)

Second, and more importantly, the whole “JFK conspiracy” meme is starting to feel off-point, if not “last century.” I don’t have a JFK conspiracy theory nor do most people interested in the subject. Call me crazy but I’m more interested in the facts than in the theories.

My only JFK theory is that the CIA will surrender its records on the subject in October 2017 and we will obtain a clearer understanding of whether certain CIA officers engaged in malfeasance toward JFK in late 1963. The deceased officers whose long-secret files are scheduled to be released in the years ahead include James Angleton, Richard Helms, Bill Harvey, David Phillips, Howard Hunt, David Morales, Anne Goodpasture, and George Joannides.

After spending a decade in FOIA litigation with the CIA, I admit my theory remains unproven.

The perennial question has to be faced squarely and answered precisely.

Q. Was there a conspiracy to assassinate JFK?

A. There is no proof beyond reasonable doubt that any two identifiable individuals conspired to kill President Kennedy.

But that is a peculiar question that puts a peculiar burden on the citizenry to prosecute a complex crime long after the fact. An equally valid question on the 51st anniversary of the Dallas tragedy is:

Q. Is the government’s official story of a lone gunman credible?

A. Not according to most people.

All polls on the subject confirm this fact. Which is not to pass judgment on the conspiracy question. On a question on which there is no consensus, the historical truth is in the eye of the beholder. JFK’s death is a Rorschach test of the American mind.

One thing, however, is certain: American criminal law—and the concept of conspiracy—is not necessarily an effective method of establishing historical truth.

Exhibit A: O.J. Simpson. In a court of criminal law, the famous football player was “not guilty” of murder. But when the families of his victims brought suit in civil court, the preponderance of evidence showed that Simpson was responsible for the wrongful death of his ex-wife and her friend.

If we look at the case of the murdered president as a civil case, not a criminal matter, we might see the issue in a different light. Perhaps the role of the CIA in JFK’s assassination is like Simpson’s role in his ex-wife’s death: technically “not guilty” but, nonetheless, legally culpable.

To state the question neutrally: who was responsible for the wrongful death of JFK?

I think the digital phenomenon of JFK 3.0 will help us answer this question definitively. Until then, my informed guess is:

His ideological enemies within U.S. government, most likely in the CIA and/or Defense Department/Joint Chiefs of Staff. #JFK51

What do you say? The best five responses under 140 characters will be published.

When tweeting this article, use #JFK51













26 thoughts on “Who was responsible for the wrongful death of JFK?”

  1. We should stop using the term ‘conspiracy theory’. You either have one based on fact or you don’t. There is enough fact/evidence out there to prove you have one. Some of it is hiding in plain site.

  2. Many years have passed since the JFK assassination and until now I have paid little or no attention to the many facts or details. Was surprised to find this website and see for myself the many arguments/debates going on concerning the many different issues from so many years ago. Just now finished reading William Manchester’s book, “The Death of a President”. I’m that far behind. I just grew up thinking that Oswald was the main gunman and perhaps someone was at the grassy knoll. I never thought much about it. I think even today, despite all of the controversy here, I would be more apt to accept William Manchester’s version. I like his reasoning, that during that time, when there was so much chaos and shock ( And “chaos” being the main idea here), mistakes were bound to happen. Everything was happening so fast, info was coming in so fast. It was frantic. Everyone was trying to make sense of what happened, stumbling over themselves to get info out. Mistakes were bound to happen like the Mauser being mistaken for the mannlicher. The original story about how JFK’s parents found out about the assassination was even wrong. People weren’t in a calm mood, checking to see if their info was right. You need a clear head. A lot of the mistakes I think came from this “shock wave” atmosphere rather then some kind of big conspiracy. People were nervous also about making mistakes. You had to be on the spot to fully “feel” what was happening. Things were confused and chaos was in charge. Even today a lot of mistakes are made when something major happens, a lot of wrong info comes out.

  3. It does look like the JFK assassination has been solved and I’m the first to admit I was wrong. A mob hit man, James Files, has confessed. Files is presently serving time in a Danville correctional center and in a 1994 interview admitted to killing JFK. Former FBI agent, Zack Shelton, has been able to verify much of his story. The claim is that two men were involved. One man, James Files was positioned at the grassy knoll and the other, Nicoletti, was in the book depository in the sniper’s nest. James Files was originally, James Sutton, but changed his name to protect his family. This was aired on Newsmax TV and included the taped interview in which Files admits that he and Nicoletti were the two gunman who assassinated JFK. Nothing was said about Tippit.

  4. When a lot of people debating here won’t accept testimony from people who were actually there and involved directly or indirectly in the assassination, how can the truth be available? Words from the mouth of Oswald himself are disregarded, tossed out and called a cover up, a lie etc. His own words concerning his life have become meaningless as if over fifty years later we have the right to tell him what he thought said and did. Then people like Marina, Ruth Paine, Robert Oswald, fellow marines, etc. also lose their identity as if they too have to be told what they said, thought and did. It all becomes a lie because we fifty years later are the ones who know how they felt, what they thought and what they did. We put words in their mouth literally. Then we disregard eye witnesses as if we, who weren’t there, know more than they did. It’s like rewriting history. This I think is a real stumbling block in finding the truth.

  5. Another point in trying to know who might be responsible for the wrongful death of JFK is the fact that a great number of people seem to be involved in these conspiracies. The cover up would be incredibly costly and would have to have continued for over fifty years now…..very costly and who is paying for all of this? Putting the issue of money aside, it would also be incredibly costly in other respects. I’m sure many of the accused in various agencies had/have children, grandchildren etc., people they love and who look up to them. Would they risk so much for a few lies? For over fifty years? It’s hard to believe that they would risk so much. It’s difficult to believe that so many would be willing to lose their integrity and self respect to cover up so many things. The intelligence community itself would have too much to lose, to actually lose face in such a big way. It seems they would be far more professional if they really wanted something done. Perhaps a more mature assassin, someone much more trained, not leaving a trail behind. A mess……..spending so much money and leaving a very messy cover up behind. It’s in a way hard to believe, hard to believe that so many would lie for so long. Surely there are men and women with integrity in our government agencies, who take responsibility seriously and respect themselves and others. I hope so. But at this point, I don’t see how the question here can be answered.

  6. This is a mystery to me since there are so many different conspiracy theories. If there are actual facts leading to a conspiracy, wouldn’t those facts point to a particular plot, a particular guilty party? Would real facts point to so many different conspiracy theories? It seems like facts would single something in particular out, something that would bring people together in agreement. To find who is responsible under the circumstances, is like finding your way through a maze.

  7. What I’m going to ask here is not meant to be sarcastic or to challenge anyone’s belief or research but an honest question. Is it possible that some of this controversy about the JFK assassination has been brought about by people’s growing distrust of their government and government agencies? That an assassination that happened over 50 years ago has become so prominent in modern times, being used as more fuel for the fire? If thinking and research were more simple in 1963, perhaps the answer to who was responsible for Kennedy’s death might also be more simple. The deed should fit the times it belonged to. It seems like things might be getting farther and farther away from the 1963 event. More and more complicated and intricate until the event grows less and less recognizable. Everyone seems to be involved in the assassination which really can’t be true if you think about it. And the years draw us farther and farther away despite all of our modern technology. Someone once said if this has been a regular crime, not involving a president, it would have been solved long ago and I agree.

  8. I have read in three different books written by authors researching the mind set of LHO, including the book, “Oswald’s Game”, by Jean Davison, that Oswald told his brother, Robert, that if there was a war or revolution, he would kill anyone wearing the uniform supporting the American government. At that time perhaps this was reason enough for him to consider killing Kennedy? Of course we can’t read his mind and this is far from being enough to say he was a lone shooter.

  9. Always been intrigued by David Morales and what he knew. Not only with JFK, but he was also present for Robert Kennedy’s murder. He is quoted, “I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard.” Both murders seem to show 2 gunmen being involved. Both murders point to more shots being fired then the official reports indicate. Could there be a CIA connection to both murders? Never see anybody talking about any possible connection.

    1. I learned something new here and will look this up for sure.
      There is something I have wondered about for years. When LHO was arrested did they take a drug test?? Drug testing is important today but perhaps not so in the sixties. I recall his brother, Robert, saying his eyes looked blank and LHO remarked that you won’t find anything there. Can anyone shed some light about drug testing in the sixties?

      1. Could find no reference to him being tested for drugs. If a drug test was given to Lee, it would have had to be done right away and it was not a routine test in 1963. They did take finger prints, made paraffin casts of hands and cheek and took hair samples from various parts of his body. DNA was not in use then either.

  10. I once heard something very interesting and thought provoking from someone who knew the Oswald family. The Oswald family were descendants of the Robert E Lee family and this was important to them. The father who died before Oswald’s birth was named, Robert Edward Lee Oswald Sr. And his first son named, Robert Edward Lee Oswald Jr. and then we have Lee. This person wondered why someone had not noticed this and perhaps tied it into Lee Oswald’s ideas. I myself have no physical proof to provide concerning the individual who mentioned it but the Robert E Lee connection l’m sure can be proved.

  11. There is an old joke about two guys at the movies… One of them says to the other “You see that guy on the horse? I bet you 10 bucks he’s gonna fall off his horse”. His friend accepts the bet. Sure enough, the guy in the movie soon falls off his horse. As the friend is reaching for his wallet to pay for the bet, the other one says “Nah… I can’t really take your money… The truth is I had already seen this movie.” His friend replies “Me too! I just thought he would have learned his lesson by now”

    So… Here we are, over half a century later, after having watched the script play out right in front of our eyes(even if behind a lot of smoke and mirrors)… And we ask… And we ask again… Who killed JFK??? Was it LBJ? The Mafia? Russians? The CIA? The FBI? The driver? The butcher? The candlestick maker?? The Secret Service? Aliens from space?

    I would, respectfully, argue that the premise of these questions is simply faulty at best, and fallacious at worst, since it presents us with only an either/or proposition. After all, just like the article suggests, no one, at least on the truth-seeking side of the equation, has enough evidence to incriminate any of these parties beyond any reasonable doubt, and therefor it can’t be done.

    If, in this day an age, you are still one of those who sincerely believe the lone nut narrative, then there is not much to investigate. The plot is short and sweet and simple… The lone nut/wolf who singlehandedly changed the course of history. Almost poetic.

    JFK is dead
    LOH is dead
    Case closed
    Keep moving
    Don’t come near
    Nothing to see here!

    (Am I right, or am I right, Photon? ;-})

    After all, these lone nuts are so unpredictable… One day they are shooting at the president, next day a civil rights leader or two.. Then at a dead president’s brother, or a musician/philosopher/peace advocate. All different nuts… And, each one a-lone.

    But… Irrespective of how much or how little one may know, if the stench of a “multi-nut” scenario is hard to ignore for you, then you ought to also entertain the idea that ALL of the parties listed above (minus the aliens and the candlestick maker) are partners in this crime either before, during, or after the assassination, whether they initiated it, planned it, executed it or covered it up, or simply stayed quiet.


    1. The OJ story above is very apt also for a different reason. After being acquitted, he had famously said “I will do everything in my power to find the real killer!” And we know how that went down… It is no different with the assassination, really.

      LBJ might not have initiated the plan, and certainly would not have been involved in any specifics, but might have given the nod, or simply agreed to go along with it… A group from some agency might have provided logistical support, a group from another, financial, another might have supplied the weapons. Perhaps the CIA was not involved in the assassination, but it is clear as day that they have actively functioned as the gatekeepers of the WC fabrication and deceit. Heck, they even have their self admitted “officers” in a “Northern Virginia Corporation” on JFKfacts propagating the myth fifty years later. (And no, sadly, they will not release anything in 2017 that will make us go “Aaaah, so that is what happened!”)…

      It seems foolish to accept that any single one of these entities had the wherewithal to kill the president on their own and get away with it for half a century had there been a sincere effort by politicians and law enforcement.

      If CIA had done it, then surely the FBI would have figured it all out in the past 50 years, and vice versa. Had LBJ alone or mafia alone done it, both CIA and FBI would know about it all by now… Etc. Do you think the Vatican, the KGB, MI6 or Mossad might have figured out by now? Do you think someone like the owner of New York Times, or David Rockefeller, or the head of the Gambino family might have acquired this information by now? Would JFK Jr. have had some idea what happened… Would RFK? Add to that all the journalists, academics, media barons, countless presidents, alphabet agency directors, power brokers and ordinary citizens alike who would have been exposed to at least partial information which may have been insufficient to know what happened, but still plenty good to know what didn’t…

      So, even if it was indeed Oswald who shot the president with the involvement of even one single accomplice,we would have to accept the fact that there is a mega conspiracy in plain sight, right here, right now, by not just the parties involved in the original conspiracy, but by ALL agencies and individuals who did not do their job to bring the perpetrators to justice, report on it, and inform we, the people.

      The lineage of beneficiaries of JFK’s murder, whether party to the assassination or not, are currently in power, busy setting up a very grim present and future for the entire world. So, we could easily argue that LHO not only killed a president, but he actually caused considerable death, pain and suffering to billions of people. Now, that is one hell of a lone nut job, eh?

      1. Yes, I agree with Sammy, David has made an important contribution here, prescient and well constructed.

        All of those insisting on relying merely on “the facts” when those facts are in hundreds of thousands of files covered by the scurrilous meme of “National Security” are lacking in sufficient imagination to solve a crime of the magnitude of the JFK Assassination.

        “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”~Albert Einstein

  12. It is my opinion that the ballistics prove the shot that killed Kennedy came from the front. There were shots from both the rear and the front, this equals two shooters (at least). I think it unreasonable in the extreme to posit more than one shooter could be a coincidence.

    Then there is the cover-up, which I think the phone call between Hoover and Johnson is proof of.

    There are many other details gone over at this site, that contain many more examples of circumstantial evidence. I am personally convinced that the murder of Kennedy was a coup d’etat. I have come across nothing in the last half century to change that opinion.

  13. After writing the above, I thought and realized that most on this website could readily start shooting holes in what I said and perhaps laugh. But Lee was honest and open concerning his beliefs. He readily told his friend, McBride, that Eisenhower was exploiting the working people and if he had the opportunity, he would like to kill him. This was before his Marine days. He later was open and honest with Marina about taking a shot at Walker. Marina added that Lee was disappointed when he realized he had missed. I would guess that he also told a friend that he wanted to get Kennedy, who represented Capitalism. The backyard photos are an awful subject to bring up I know but he was proud and wanted his daughter, June, to see her father like this.

  14. I have never been able to rule out Lee Oswald as a gunman, either lone or otherwise, in the assassination of JFK. Perhaps the government was lacking information, information withheld by the CIA for instance, and wrongly called him the lone gunman. It’s a hard one to call. But I think at this point he was involved. Little bits of information stood out. In his earlier years Oswald had a friend who claimed that he wanted to kill Eisenhower for political reasons. He said he knew Lee meant what he said. Lee Oswald was a believer in Marxism and even stated it was a religion. Marxism is a way of life, and although Oswald didn’t agree with the Communism practiced in Russia, he didn’t like Capitalism either. He was a political thinker and wanted to take part in a sort of revolution. That’s why those famous backyard photos were taken. I know this has all been said before and can’t be proven but I believe it’s important to look at his character and what he believed as well as concrete facts. He was a unique man and perhaps Willing to kill for his beliefs.

    1. I want to add here that although I think the lone gunman theory highly plausible, I certainly never considered Oswald a lone nut. I mention this because I’ve noted on the website people mentioning this in their comments, that those who believed in the lone gunman theory considered Oswald a nut. I know the man was highly intelligent and he could be very sensitive and caring. He had a difficult life, a hard road to travel. He accomplished a lot for a man of twenty four. I found he had good insights and could make good observations. I base my lone gunman ideas on his beliefs which were strong. He was intelligent enough to understand Karl Marx and was open and sincere about his beliefs. A unique person, not a nut.

      1. But if he was a Marxist has he professed to be and he had clearly read Marx and developed socialist ideas before joining the Marines why kill President Kennedy who wanted friendlier ties with Russia and Cuba, begin nuclear disarmament and get troops out of Vietnam. Surely if you are a committed socialist like Oswald claimed to be killing Kennedy would be the last thing you would do. To shoot both Walker and then Kennedy whose ideologies are so different doesn’t make sense. I find the whole Oswald saga related to the Kennedy assassination the most confusing thing in that he seems to stating all these left wing things and yet is working in places connected with the CIA, FBI and military intelligence eg Camp Street, the William riley Coffee Company, DeMohrenschildt (a white Russian)so he is stating all these left wing things whilst associating with right wing personnel.

  15. I really appreciate and mainly agree with the above article. Very well said! Jeff Morley has a worthwhile cause. Still something bothers me. Why would American institutions like the CIA and FBI, who have the job of protecting the President, make John Kennedy the exception? Was he that bad? Guess I was too young to understand. It seems to me several other Presidents would have been in equal danger.

  16. JFK was the mother of all subsequent conspiracies against the American people. Some groups of people learned how to get away even with the most flagrant lies. Even with the proof clearly in the eyes, people refuse to acknowledge it. The key is the media.If you control the media you can control the people. This is the human condition today.

  17. This statement is apropos.

    Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

    Arthur Conan Doyle

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