JFK Assassinated 52 Years Ago Today

One of the most widely accepted conspiracy theories in the US remains the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Just last week I heard someone suggest that Oswald didn’t act alone.  Statistics show that more than half of US residents agree with this statement, and are convinced to this day that Oswald was a patsy, silenced by Jack Ruby a few days after the assassination.

For many, many years I was one of those people. I read several books on the subject, I watched every documentary, I even went to Dealey Plaza once simply to stand next to the spot where Kennedy was shot. In many ways the assassination of JFK was the lynchpin for all of my conspiratorial thinking; it was the first conspiracy theory I had ever heard, it was the most solidly defensible of any of the many popular conspiracies that cropped up later (so much so that even the US government has agreed there was a conspiracy, contradicting the findings of its own commission that investigated the assassination) and once I was led to question that theory, my belief in all those other theories also crumbled.

Why shouldn’t they, when they didn’t even have a magic bullet to hide behind?

The trip to reality was long and arduous for me. It started about the time I started writing this blog, and continues to this day.  Every single thing I read these days sends me off looking for corroborating sources and counter-arguments, just so that I can be sure I’m dealing with real facts and not some fever dream of the magical thinking majority.

I wish I had access to Case Closed when I was a young man looking for facts on the JFK assassination.  The depth of investigative research that Gerald Posner has gone to is unequaled amongst the many different authors on the subject.  Here is an interview with Posner from 2013, discussing the mountains of evidence linking Oswald to the killing, and detailing the kind of man Oswald was.

Gerald Posner, Author “Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK”

If Case Closed had been available to me when I first started looking into this subject, I never would have started down that rabbit hole of conspiratorial thinking in the first place.  Would have simply come to the conclusion ah, Oswald shot Kennedy and left it at that.  But I didn’t have access to that book back in the 70’s when I was into the subject.  I don’t even remember the titles of the books I did read; but I do remember The Men Who Killed Kennedy documentary being something I watched and rewatched many times, as well as the Oliver Stone film JFK which I remember receiving quite credibly.

Except for one thing.  The repeated mantra back and to the right which Stone puts in Garrison’s mouth in the film. I actually went back and reviewed the Zapruder film because of this, and discovered that the motion he insists is there really isn’t there at all.  The film clearly shows the headshot coming from the back and above, just as Posner says in the video.

But I didn’t have Posner.  I never ran across his book until I was listening to back episodes of the SGU (like so many good skeptical habits I have picked up) what I had was my own inability to ignore evidence when it is presented to me. What I stumbled across was this re-enactment (one of several) proving that the magic bullet was nothing of the kind. That the trajectory of the bullet is mappable and repeatable given an accurate reproduction of the events of that day.

First off is The Kennedy Assassination – Beyond Conspiracy. (That video is no longer available for streaming anywhere on the internet. My apologies. -ed.) The second source of video was a very detailed recreation of the exact poses of the victims taken from Zapruder film footage, poses that were mocked up by Anatomical Surrogates Technologies for the  documentary JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet .

Unsolved History: JFK – Beyond the Magic Bullet Discovery channel programming. JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet (Part 1), JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet (Part 2)

Lastly we have the recreation of the headshot showing that the direction that Oswald fired from was indeed the only direction where the damage seen to the President’s head can be replicated.  For those who simply aren’t convinced by the replication of the magic bullet’s trajectory.

JFK Assassination – Head shot recreation (Part 1)
JFK Assassination – Head shot recreation (Part 2)

Conspiracy theorists will of course come up with reasons why this proves nothing. Personally I see no reason to continue pretending that Oswald did not kill Kennedy.  If you feel the forensic tests are simply not enough evidence, then I encourage you to pick up a copy of Case Closed.  If none of this suffices, then I suggest you look to your own mental barricades. If your beliefs cannot be falsified, it says as much about your failings as a critical thinker as it does the indefensibility of your opinions.


New this year, the long derided photo of Oswald displaying the same model rifle as the one that killed Kennedy has been scientifically analyzed and found to be genuine.

As Dr Novella goes into on his blog entry, conspiracy theorists attempt to discredit evidence that would seem to destroy their preferred fantasies by picking apart the details of the evidence, looking for the slightest anomaly that they can then use to discredit it.

Having watched The Men Who Killed Kennedy I remember the attempts to discredit this photo and the autopsy photos quite vividly. I remember wondering at the time why anyone would go to such lengths to hide evidence, marveling at the scale of the conspiracy required to perpetrate such a massive hoax.

It is with a wry chuckle that I remember my own gullibility on the subject.  The understanding of the scale of the conspiracy should have been my first clue as to the implausibility of the conspiracy itself.  That understanding would take years to mature, though.

The computer simulation embarked upon to validate this photo is as much of an over-the-top effort to show the solidity of the evidence for Oswald being the shooter, as the series of videos I linked above was.  In the study linked here, you can see the many points of data used to determine if Oswald is actually standing in a stable position, and that the shadows in the photo match the shadowing that would have been present at that time of day and season of the year.

This is the kind of thorough analysis that is required to refute the claims of conspiracy fantasists who continue to insist that it simply wasn’t possible for such a insignificant little man to have killed the most powerful man in the world single-handedly.  At least the computer modeling techniques showcased here can be used for many other instances of questionable photographic evidence, so that their validity can also be certified.

Editor’s note

The content of this article has evolved over time and the previous versions have been preserved and similarly noted. The  Anatomical Surrogates Technologies video segments were originally posted here along with the Peter Jennings 2003 broadcast that has since disappeared from the internet. I radically enlarged and embroidered the original article for the version posted here, and I’ve copied that version to the day it should have been published on, and will be published on again in the future if the wild hair suits me.

Conspiracy fantasists are getting on my nerves and I don’t feel like cutting them any slack. When new sources of solid evidence emerge, I will try to edit them into future versions of this article. I will also try not to duplicate the video entries again. Even I am getting tired of seeing them repeated now.

JFK Conspiracy

One of the most widely accepted conspiracy theories in the US remains the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Just last week I heard someone suggest that Oswald didn’t act alone.  Statistics show that more than half of US residents agree with this statement, and are convinced to this day that Oswald was a patsy, silenced by Jack Ruby a few days after the assassination.

For many, many years I was one of those people. I read several books on the subject, I watched every documentary, I even went to Dealey Plaza once simply to stand next to the spot where Kennedy was shot. In many ways the assassination of JFK was the lynchpin for all of my conspiratorial thinking; it was the first conspiracy theory I had ever heard, it was the most solidly defensible of any of the many popular conspiracies that cropped up later (so much so that even the US government has agreed there was a conspiracy, contradicting the findings of its own commission that investigated the assassination) and once I was led to question that theory, my belief in all those other theories also crumbled.

Why shouldn’t they, when they didn’t even have a magic bullet to hide behind?

The trip to reality was long and arduous for me. It started about the time I started writing this blog, and continues to this day.  Every single thing I read these days sends me off looking for corroborating sources and counter-arguments, just so that I can be sure I’m dealing with real facts and not some fever dream of the magical thinking majority.

I wish I had access to Case Closed when I was a young man looking for facts on the JFK assassination.  The depth of investigative research that Gerald Posner has gone to is unequaled amongst the many different authors on the subject.  Here is an interview with Posner from 2013, discussing the mountains of evidence linking Oswald to the killing, and detailing the kind of man Oswald was.

Gerald Posner, Author “Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK”

If Case Closed had been available to me when I first started looking into this subject, I never would have started down that rabbit hole of conspiratorial thinking in the first place.  Would have simply come to the conclusion ah, Oswald shot Kennedy and left it at that.  But I didn’t have access to that book back in the 70’s when I was into the subject.  I don’t even remember the titles of the books I did read; but I do remember The Men Who Killed Kennedy documentary being something I watched and rewatched many times, as well as the Oliver Stone film JFK which I remember receiving quite credibly.

Except for one thing.  The repeated mantra back and to the right which Stone puts in Garrison’s mouth in the film. I actually went back and reviewed the Zapruder film because of this, and discovered that the motion he insists is there really isn’t there at all.  The film clearly shows the headshot coming from the back and above, just as Posner says in the video.

But I didn’t have Posner.  Never ran across his book until recently, while listening to back episodes of the SGU (like so many good skeptical habits I have picked up) what I had was my own inability to ignore evidence when it is presented to me. What I stumbled across was this re-enactment (one of several) proving that the magic bullet was nothing of the kind. That the trajectory of the bullet is mappable and repeatable given an accurate reproduction of the events of that day.

First off is The Kennedy Assassination – Beyond Conspiracy. (That video is no longer available for streaming anywhere on the internet. My apologies. -ed.) The second source of video was a very detailed recreation of the exact poses of the victims taken from Zapruder film footage, that were mocked up by Anatomical Surrogates Technologies for the  documentary JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet.

Unsolved History: JFK – Beyond the Magic Bullet Discovery channel programming. JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet (Part 1), JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet (Part 2)

Lastly we have the recreation of the headshot showing that the direction that Oswald fired from was indeed the only direction where the damage seen to the President’s head can be replicated.  I offer this evidence for those people who simply aren’t convinced by the replication of the magic bullet’s trajectory.

JFK Assassination – Head shot recreation (Part 1)
JFK Assassination – Head shot recreation (Part 2)

Conspiracy theorists will of course come up with reasons why this proves nothing. Personally I see no reason to continue pretending that Oswald did not kill Kennedy.  If you feel the forensic tests are simply not enough evidence, then I encourage you to pick up a copy of Case Closed.  If none of this suffices, then I suggest you look to your own mental barricades. If your beliefs cannot be falsified, it says as much about your failings as a critical thinker as it does the indefensibility of your opinions.

Editor’s note

I would have liked to remove this article entirely because I essentially duplicate it in November with one additional bit of information. But I can’t, because I promised myself I wouldn’t do that. Oh, well. The comments under the video segments on YouTube show exactly how deluded the average American is as to what happened and even what is currently happening in the United States today. I weep for my country.

JFK Assassination. Oswald Shot Him.

I found that these videos, when put together, definitively link Oswald to the killing of Kennedy.  First off is The Kennedy Assassination – Beyond Conspiracy. (That video is no longer available for streaming anywhere on the internet. My apologies. -ed.)

The second source of video was a very detailed recreation of the exact poses of the victims taken from Zapruder film footage, that were mocked up by Anatomical Surrogates Technologies for the  documentary JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet. While the shot does appear to strike too low, the trajectory is almost identical to the bullet on that fateful day.

Unsolved History: JFK – Beyond the Magic Bullet Discovery channel programming. JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet (Part 1), JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet (Part 2), JFK Assassination – Head shot recreation (Part 1), JFK Assassination – Head shot recreation (Part 2)

…conspiracy theorists will of course come up with reasons why this proves nothing. Personally I see no reason to continue pretending that Oswald didn’t kill Kennedy.  If you feel the forensic tests are simply not enough evidence, then I encourage you to pick up a copy of Case Closed.  If Posner can’t convince you, then no one will.

Editor’s note

I changed the title on this one and I removed the individual video references in favor of a single video with the clips referenced in the caption for the full video. I wish someone would pick up the streaming rights for the Anatomical Surrogates recreations. The evidence for the magic bullet not being magical at all needs to be widely accessible. Possibly even mandatory viewing.

Coincidence Conspiracy

Checked the (e)mail today (is there any other kind? Any other kind that counts, anyway) and discovered that the Lincoln-Kennedy mail chain had reached my inbox again. This makes the forth or fifth time I’ve seen this particular bit of fluff since I got on the ‘net back in the 90’s. If you’ve never seen it, wander over to Snopes and check out the layman’s idea of a weighty conspiracy.

We’ll just dispense with the possibilities concerning the more recent events that could be construed as conspiratorial, or the historical evidence that backs up the possibility that these sorts of conspiracies can occur, and just get right down to it, eh?

Lincoln can be said to have been assassinated by Boothe, because eyewitnesses place him in the private booth with Lincoln when the fatal shot was fired. Many people erroneously believe that he acted alone, but the truth is that this was a part of a plot to remove several members of the United States government, leaving in place a leader that was deemed to be sympathetic to the Southern cause. None of the others were successful in their attempts, so the wider conspiracy remains unknown to the average American.

After watching “Unsolved History: JFK – Beyond the Magic Bullet” (and reading some of the sites I’ve stumbled across today just trying to track down a link to the show) I’m willing to grudge the observation that Kennedy was assassinated by Oswald, but it is far from being a universally accepted fact.

In both cases it’s quite possible that the assassinations were aided by people high up in the administrations themselves. Robert Kennedy long thought that his brother’s assassin was a shooter trained in a program that he was running in another attempt to get rid of Castro. Aided by people high up in the administrations, for reasons that have never been admitted to; reasons that are obvious to anyone who digs into the facts of what the president’s planned before they were killed, and what transpired after they were assassinated.

I’m left wondering whether the last link in the email chain really wanted to start me off on a conspiracy rant, or was it just the salacious Marilyn Monroe bit at the end that motivated yet another person to hit ‘send’? Something else we may just never know.

Editor’s note

The reason that Andrew Johnson was not assassinated at the same time as Abraham Lincoln was probably because Andrew Johnson was a known Southern sympathizer. Or it could be that the excuse given by the killer who was assigned to him was truthful. In either case, the South got their way and reconstruction was eventually halted, leading to the predicament that we endure in 2020.

JFK started the Vietnam war. Most of the people who defend him today try to ignore this fact about him, but he was the one that escalated the commitment there after Eisenhower committed us to support the South Vietnamese government and sent in advisors. LBJ simply inherited the bad business from Kennedy. At least LBJ got the voting rights bill passed. It’s just too bad the Republican party turned into a White Supremacy organization and had the legislation gutted by the Supreme Court. The wheel turns round and round.

However, there is no proof that anyone other than Oswald pulled the trigger on the weapon that killed John F. Kennedy. Saying anything more than that is to engage in conspiracy mongering. John F. Kennedy was popular, but controversial, and that made him a prime target for the disaffected. Oswald was just such an individual. It is too bad that the Secret Service was not up to the task of protecting him. We’ll see if they are up to the task of escorting Donald Trump out of the White House on January 20, 2021.

The video for Unsolved History: JFK – Beyond the Magic Bullet and the ABC video The Kennedy Assassination – Beyond Conspiracy narrated by Peter Jennings is unavailable in 2020 other than by purchasing a DVD from second-hand sellers for prices that range between $250-$100, which is outrageous. The video is sporadically available as a streamable video on the internet. This link has the Unsolved History show at the moment. Who knows where it will be next.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of Case Closed.  If Posner can’t convince you, then no one will.