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The JFK assassination…conspiracy or not? Investigated by Josh Wilkins Lee Harvey Oswald • Traditional Theory… • POSITION:It was believed by many from the beginning of the investigations that there was only ever one person behind the assassination of JFK, and in the Warren Commission, it was stated that this man was Lee Harvey Oswald • EVIDENCE:It could be suggested that in fact LHO had the motives with which to carry out the assassination of JFK. He was married to Marina Prusakova In April 30 1961, and as she was a communist Russian, it was believed LHO may have been influenced by her beliefs. Furthermore, whilst some argue that LHO was not a very good shot, and thus could not have performed such accurate shootings, a further investigation into his files revealed that actually out of 35 shots, 32 were on target • ASSESSMENT:I would suggest that as a result of the findings of these files, which clearly show the man’s ability to shoot and kill JFK, whilst also having a motive to do so implies that it could well have been the LHO by himself. Lee Harvey Oswald • The revisionist theory • POSITION: The revisionist theory states that it was not soley Lee Harvey Oswald acting on his own, instead a group of people and thus a conspiracy were behind the killing of JFK. • EVIDENCE:It was suggested that despite LHO’s involvement in the marines in his early childhood, he was renowned for being an awful shot, and thus getting one shot on target was a rarity, let alone getting two on target, in a moving vehicle. It has also been suggested that whilst the Warren Commission states that LHO was in certain places at certain times, some reports counter this, and argue that actually he was not where the commission said he was, thus there must have been someone else involved. • ASSESSMENT:One whole spate of sightings occurred in a place called Alice, Texas where seventeen separate witnesses thought they saw Lee Oswald — usually with Marina and a baby in arms. In an essay from his web site, Dave Reitzes reviews many of the sighting, and argues that in fact they are inaccurate, thus allowing for LHO to actually have been at the scene of the crime. One particular witness reports LHO to be with his wife and a child, however at the time, given the child's date of birth, it is impossible that the child meet the descriptions given. Furthermore, whilst another witness stated that LHO checked into a hotel in the Alice area, the Warren Commission clearly has database evidence that LHO checked in and stayed in the Dallas areas, for 3 nights, leading up to the assassination. The Magic Bullet Theory • In what is one of the most interesting pieces of evidence, it is suggested that there must have been a magic bullet to have created all the wounds. Traditional Theory: • POSITION: Given that there was a total of 7 wounds, in different places, it has been argued that this was indeed possible because of physics and magic bullet. • EVIDENCE:I would suggest that this position is valid as a result of the fact that the physics allows for one such bullet to cause all of the wounds. Furthermore, despite the argument that even if the bullet had caused all of the wounds, it would have been amaged gfiven the path it took, the picture to the right hand side of the actual bullet, in a close up clearly shows that the bullet is not in the so called “pristine condition”, which would suggest it has been on a dramatic course. • ASSESSMENT: Whilst it is argued that Kennedy and Connally were sat directly in front of each other, given the evidence that they were not further aids the cause of the magic bullet theory, and given the proven physics I would suggest that however freakish, it was a possible event. The Magic Bullet Theory • Revisionist theory • POSITION:The revisionist, conspiracy theory suggests that because of the “actual” positions of Kennedy and Connoly, it was imposiible for the wounds to have been made with one bullet thus there must have been other bullets, and given the speed at which this second bullet would have had to have been shot at, it was impossible for this to have been the same gunman. • EVIDENCE: It is suggested that as the pair were apparently directly in front of each other, it would thus have been impossible for one bullet to have caused all of the wounds, as the below image suggests there is no way the bullet could have taken the suggested course. Also it was suggested that because of the mysterious disappearance then re-appearing of the bullet, it may have been placed in the hospital so as to suggest that one bullet did it. Whilst the argument from the revisionist point of view is that given the pristine condition of the bullet, nit could not have caused the wounds. • ASSESSMENT:I would suggest that this evidence is slightly unreliable. Further investigations have realised that commonly conspiracy authors will attack the Single Bullet Theory by moving the entrance wound in Kennedy's back down below the Warren Commission location, and move the wound in the front of Kennedy's neck up in order to require an absurd trajectory though Kennedy's body, and from that argue that the physics are impossible. Such tampering suggests the argument is flawed. “Back and to the left” • The traditional theory suggests that this does not necessarily mean that a shot came from “the grassy knoll” • POSITION: Simple Newtonian physics does not allow for the freak reactions felt when you have just been shot, thus despite what the theory may suggest, a back and to the left reaction could have happened regardless of where the shot came from. • EVIDENCE: One of the most profound bits of evidence supporting the theory that a back and to the left movement was possible regardless of where the bullet came from is that of a neuromuscular spasm. The House Select Committee decided that this was the key factor after watching an experiment where a goat was shot in the head, and the spasms witnessed could easily have caused the backward, and left movements. • It is entirely possible for an object hit by a bullet to move in the direction from which the bullet came. Richard Trott demonstrated this by shooting melons and the "jet effect" phenomenon was thus first suggested. It was later experimentally demonstrated by physicist Luis Alvarez. Trott shows that the average citizen with a rifle can recreate the effect. • ASSESSMENT: Given all of this evidence, I would suggest that indeed this “back and to the left” movement was possible regardless of where the bullet came from, thus the sole killer in LHO, up in the office buildings was entirely plausible. “Back and to the left” • The conspiracy theory • POSITION: conspiracy theorists suggest that “back and to the left” movements recorded of JFK’s movemen's after having been shot suggest that a shot was fired from somewhere else, other than the office buildings thus a second gunman was involvede. • EVIDENCE: The physics suggest that by being shot from the front, thereby from the direction of the “grassy knoll”, the only possible movement of JFK’s head was to go backwards and then fall to the left. As a result this thus suggests that the shot came from the grassy knoll and therefore indicates that another gunman was involved in the assassination of JFK. A gun was later uncovered by the grassy knoll. • ASSESSMENT: Firstly I would suggest that whilst this theory is backed up by evidence in the form of physics, the mysterious appearance of the gun at the grassy knoll (which may have been placed there as a cover up) and indeed the argument which states that a spasm could have caused a similar movement, in fact the conspiracy theory seems less likely. Apparent sightings of a man holding a gun by the infamous grassy knoll Conclusion • All in all I would suggest that given these three bits of evidence and theories from both the conspiracy and traditional side, I would be of the opinion that it was not a conspiracy that killed JFK. • Given the vast amounts of evidence backed in the traditional theory’s favour, and the mysterious and somewhat suspicious actions taken so as to provide an argument for the conspiracies, it can surely only be argued that Lee Harvey Oswald performed the assassination by himself. • It was proven that he had the motives, he had the ability to perform the assassination, his magic bullet could indeed have caused all of the wounds and finally it was indeed possible for the back and to the left movements recorded of JFK to have been caused by the fatal bullet shot by LHO from his office building. • For the conspiracy theory to have been credited, it would have been required that no tampering with evidence occurred, and that hard evidence were required, which, however argued, cannot and will not ever be presented.
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