The Assassination of John F. Ken

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					The Assassination of John
  F. Kennedy: The Lone
     Gunman Theory

        Eric Garment
        Instructor: M. Villani
      Dallas: November 22, 1963
• John F. Kennedy, the 35th
  President of the United States,     Below is a photo of President
  was suffering from low              Kennedy and his wife Jackie
  approval rates in the American      arriving in Dallas earlier in the
  South.                              day on November 22.
• He decided to go on a short tour
  of Texas in November 1963 to
  try and turn the state’s attitude
  towards him around.
• On November 22, President
  Kennedy rode in a motorcade
  through Dallas, Texas with his
  wife, as well as Texas Governor
  John Connally and his wife,
        The Motorcade’s Route
• The motorcade was set to take a
  path through downtown Dallas
  to the Trade Mart in order to
  give an address at a luncheon at
  12:30 PM that day.
• To get to the freeway that
  allowed the motorcade to reach
  the Trade Mart, it had to drive
  through Dealey Plaza, past the
  Texas School Book Depository.
• Before the car carrying
  Kennedy could make it onto the     The path that the motorcade
  freeway, tragedy struck Dallas.    took through Dealey Plaza.
    President Kennedy Is Shot
This grainy image from the      • As the Kennedy motorcade
famous Zapruder film shows        passed along Elm Street, shots
Kennedy reacting to being hit     were fired at the moving
by a bullet.                      vehicle.
                                • Mass chaos ensued, as people
                                  who had just been gleeful to see
                                  the President were running in
                                  horror from a gunman.
                                • No one was sure where the
                                  shots came from, but they were
                                  sure that the President had been
               Lee Harvey Oswald
•   Born October 18, 1939, Lee
    Harvey Oswald was a 24-year-old         •
    man who, after struggling through
    parts of his life in America and
    Russia, had settled in Dallas, with a
    job at the Texas School Book
•   The building for the depository was
    located at the corner of Houston
    and Elm Streets, where Kennedy’s
    motorcade made a left turn.
•   Oswald is regarded as the most
    likely candidate to be the killer of
    John F. Kennedy.
         How He Shot Kennedy
• The way that Oswald was able
  to set up a shot on Kennedy was
  through his job at the
• He snuck a Mannlicher-
  Carcano rifle and bullets into
  the depository and brought
  them to the 6th floor, where he
  set up a spot to aim at the car.
• The spot was surrounded by
  cardboard boxes and located at
  such a place so that Oswald
  could point the rifle down Elm
  Street towards the motorcade’s
    Officers Tippit & McDonald
                             • After the shooting, Oswald fled
                               the depository.
                             • He came across Dallas police
                               officer J.D. Tippit, father of
                               three, who recognized Oswald
                               from a police description.
                             • Scared, Oswald shot Tippit with
                               a .38 caliber revolver, and ran
                               to the Texas Theater.
                             • At the theater, he was
                               apprehended by Officer Nick
                               McDonald, who was almost
                               shot himself.
Officer McDonald, later on
the day of the crime.
                Oswald’s Arrest
• Based on reports coming in
  throughout the day, as well as
  discovered evidence in the
  depository, Oswald was
• The police, as well as a great
  portion of the media, quickly
  assumed Oswald to be the
  President’s killer.
• Further investigation of
  photographs also showed that
  the rifle found at the crime
  scene (shown at right) belonged
  to Oswald.
                   The Aftermath
• Lee Harvey Oswald was
  officially charged with the        Ruby shooting Oswald.
  murder of J.D. Tippit, although
  speculation raged that he was
  the killer of President Kennedy.
• Two days after the assassination
  of Kennedy, a Dallas nightclub
  owner named Jack Ruby took
  matters into his own hands.
• While Oswald was being
  moved to a different police
  station, Ruby snuck in and shot
  him in the stomach, killing him.
Warren Commission
         • The Warren Commission, led
           by Supreme Court Chief Justice
           Earl Warren, was a group put
           together by the federal
           government to officially
           investigate the assassination of
           John F. Kennedy.
         • The results of the report were
           published in October 1964,
           nearly a year after the killing.
         • The report stated that the
           Warren Commission found Lee
           Harvey Oswald to be the lone
           assassin of John F. Kennedy.
      Computer Simulation of the Assassination

• The report stated the belief of    Below is a created 3D image of
  the commission that one or two     how the single bullet could
  bullets did all of the damage to   have potentially hit both men.
  President Kennedy as well as
  Governor Connally, who
  suffered minor injuries.
• Many Americans were skeptical
  of the findings.
• The “single-bullet theory” is
  one of the most controversial
  ideas about the Kennedy
  assassination, and is generally
  regarded to be untrue.
            Conspiracy Theories
• Shortly after the fateful day,    • Many books and movies have
  various conspiracy theories         been made touting different
  began to surface.                   conspiracy theories.
• Many Americans believed that
  foreigners had a role in the
• Countries such as Russia and
  Cuba were not on the best terms
  with the U.S., and it was
  believed that they had major
  political incentives to have
  Kennedy dead, such as the Bay
  of Pigs incident for Cuba.
            Eyewitness Accounts
• Some witnesses, such as Jean
  Hill, from Dealey Plaza on the
  day of the crime reported seeing
  a “puff of smoke” from the
  grassy knoll on the motorcade’s
• Some of those witnesses even
  said they were able to see
  movement behind a fence.
• This has led to the multiple
  gunman theory, the most
  commonly accepted theory
  about the assassination today.
The House Select Committee
             •   A 1976 Detroit Free Press poll
                 found that about 87% of Americans
                 didn’t believe in the lone gunman
             •   A second investigative committee,
                 the House Select, published a
                 report in 1979 determining the
                 assassination to be a “probable
             •   It also came to the conclusion that
                 there was a 95% chance that a shot
                 had been fired from the grassy
                 knoll, based on acoustical evidence
                 taken from the scene of the crime.
              Abraham Zapruder
• Dallas resident Abraham
  Zapruder famously captured
  Kennedy’s assassination on his
  Bell & Howell 8mm video
  camera (diagram at right). It is
  the best and most commonly
  used video of the day’s events.
• The video, aside from a portion
  where the motorcade goes
  behind a standing road sign,
  shows the motorcade’s ride
  down Elm Street, as well as all
  of the shots hitting Kennedy.
The Shot That Killed Kennedy
              • It is to be noted that the
                Zapruder film had three
                “jumps” or shakes in the
              • Those who believe in the lone
                gunman theory believe that
                each shake represents a shot by
                Oswald, and the shake is
                because of the chilling sound to
                Zapruder’s ears.
              • This theory was later tested
                through a CBS investigation.
                       More Time
• Originally, researchers of the    This image shows where a
  Kennedy assassination had         potential grassy knoll assassin
  come to the determination that,   could have shot from, which
  based on Oswald’s location in     would disprove the lone
  relation to the motorcade, he     gunman theory.
  would have had only 5.5
  seconds to take three shots,
  making deadly hits unlikely.
• A reevaluation of the scene
  proved there to be a timeframe
  of 8.5 seconds for Oswald to
  shoot, allowing more accurate
  shots to be taken.
            CBS Testing: Part 1
• For their own investigation of     • This proved that it was indeed
  the assassination, CBS did           possible for Oswald to be a lone
  certain tests related to the         gunman, as the accuracy
  crime.                               questions were answered with
• One test done was to see if it       this CBS test.
  was truly possible to make 3
  accurate shots with the same         Below is a recreated view that
  model rifle that Oswald used.        Oswald could have had on the
• The results of the test showed 4     motorcade.
  of 11 shooters making at least 2
  of 3 hits on a moving target,
  with one marksman making 3
            CBS Testing: Part 2
• A second test, also conducted     The image below is a blurry
  by CBS, was done to see how       frame from the Zapruder film,
  close to the shots Abraham        inferring that a shot had been
  Zapruder’s shakes were.           taken.
• Two men were given cameras
  similar to Zapruder’s and told
  to follow a moving target as
  shots were fired at the same
  time that Oswald’s shots would
  have been fired.
• With each shot, both men
  flinched in perfect time to the
  jumps on the film, showing that
  there were only three shots on
  that day.
               The Bullet’s Path
• Believers of the multiple gunman • However, what is not often
  theory use images such as the      known is that Kennedy’s
  one below to show that it would    second row seat was much
  have been impossible for           higher than Connally’s, as seen
  Kennedy and Connally to have       below, making it much more
  been hit the way they were by      likely for bullets to hit them and
  just one shooter.                  cause the injuries they did.
                  Fatal Explosion
• The Zapruder film’s frame of      • They say that because of the
  Kennedy’s head exploding is         way that Kennedy’s head
  the biggest case that believers     exploded, to the back and left,
  of the multiple gunman theory       that there must have been a shot
  have to support their claims.       from the front.
                                    • However, this is inconclusive,
                                      as many investigators have
                                      stated that despite the way
                                      Kennedy’s head was blown up,
                                      the shot could have come from
                                      either the front or the back of
                                      the motorcade.
             Why Oswald Did It
• Lee Harvey Oswald was a pro-     Oswald handing out pro-Cuba
  Castro man, wildly against       literature.
  American foreign policy under
  John F. Kennedy.
• This is a major reason that
  people believe Oswald had
  incentive to shoot Kennedy,
  because Kennedy had tried to
  kill Castro.
• Lee Harvey Oswald had also
  associated with Russia, making
  his anti-American sentiments
                   Multiple Gunmen
• Although the multiple gunman           This crack in the limousine’s
  theory is the most commonly            windshield suggests, based on
  accepted one in regards to the         the crack pattern, that there was
  JFK assassination today, it is         at least one shot from the front.
  still not viable to select it as the
  final solution to the case.
• Most of the collected evidence
  on the case favors the lone
  gunman theory.
• Also, most of the testimony of
  those who saw the “puff of
  smoke” ended up being
  generally regarded as
  misremembered or wrong.
             Further Conspiracies
•   Some Americans believe that
    Oswald was part of either a federal
    or foreign conspiracy to kill
•   Some believe that the CIA or FBI
    had a role in the killing; others
    believe that foreign leaders like
    Fidel Castro ordered the
•   The classic graphic novel
    Watchmen plays with these
    theories, “revealing” that JFK was
    killed by a government operative.
    Since it is a work of fiction,
    however, it is not to be regarded as
The Killer
     • Based on the evidence, Lee
       Harvey Oswald acted alone in
       killing the 35th President of the
       United States, John F. Kennedy.
     • This determination can be
       reached because the evidence
       collected in regards to this case
       supports that theory over all
     • There is not enough evidence to
       suggest multiple killers in this
The case of John F. Kennedy’s assassination will most
 likely never be solved, but Lee Harvey Oswald will
             always be the prime suspect.
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