This is what we do know: President John F. Kennedy was shot twice (one the head and one in the neck) on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. The Warren Commission charged Lee Harvey Oswald for the murder, and as the guilty party was being transferred to jail, a nightclub owner, Jack Ruby, killed him.
Almost immediately after Kennedy was declared dead, many people claimed that the assignation was part of a larger plot. This was stemmed from Oswald’s mysterious death two days later before a trial could take place. Furthermore, the Warren Commission concluded that the gunshots seemed to come from different directions, indicating that there was more than one gunman. This conspiracy theory has been the subject of many movies and books since the assassination, since it will be difficult to prove if it was Oswald or not.
Before I delve into the issue of Kennedy’s assassination as a conspiracy theory, allow me to first provide a definition:
The action of conspiring; a combination of persons for evil or unlawful purpose; an agreement between two or more persons to do something criminal, illegal, or reprehensible; a plot. (Oed.com)
Essentially, a conspiracy theory is when a group or organization creates an alternative story or explanation as to why a certain event happened. In the example of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, many people believe that other organizations such as the FBI, the CIA, Lyndon B. Johnson, and the Bush family were responsible. Furthermore, many assassination researchers assert that there were witness statements that stated the evidence was tampered, suppressed, and fabricated. According to a poll by ABC, only 32% of people today believe that Oswald was solely responsible for the assassination.
Of course, a lot of the hype of JFK’s death is due to the media. There have been many books, movies, articles, and studies on the former President’s assassination and specifically who was involved. Below is a trailer for the movie JFK, starring Kevin Costner and Gary Oldman.
As the movie suggests, the writers were indicating that the JFK assassination was not the whim of one man, but just a segment of a huge conspiracy theory.
Unfortunately, it seems like we will never know.