The JFK Assassination: Simple Evidence for a Conspiracy?
The Kennedy assassination is a mystery. Did Lee Harvey Oswald murder President Kennedy alone, or was he encouraged by others to commit the crime of the century? Because of the mass confusion that swirls around this case, I wanted to present a simple guideline of evidence that would prove a possible conspiracy occurred in the death of our late President. However, for us to avoid making this conclusion without credible evidence we must approach the case through logic until discovering A. credible physical evidence, or B. extremely strong circumstantial evidence. It’s unquestionable that once we apply these investigative methods we’ll see credible physical evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was an assassin, and strong circumstantial evidence that he didn’t act alone.
The following testimonies are eye witness accounts of President Kennedy’s assassination. These testimonies are vital to the case because they are given by people who were present at the scene of the crime.
Dallas policeman J.M. Smith, who had been directing traffic on the eastern side of Houston Street, where Elm crosses Houston, testified before the Warren Commission on July 23, 1964. He claimed he didn’t know where the shots had originated from, but almost immediately after the shooting a woman came up to him and said “They are shooting the president from the bushes.” In response, Patrolmen Smith ran down the street and started checking the area around the grassy knoll. When Smith reached the area behind the picket fence, he said he encountered a secret service agent:
“I felt awfully silly, but after the shot and this woman, I pulled my pistol from my holster and I thought, this is silly, I don’t know who I am looking for, and I put it back. Just as I did, he showed me that he was a Secret Service agent…He saw me coming with my pistol and right away he showed me who he was.” Smith also stated that the man’s “credentials satisfied me and the deputy sheriff.” (Seymour Weitzman was the deputy sheriff with Smith; he also told the Warren Commission that he met a fake secret service agent.) Smith even went as far as to say that he sensed “the lingering smell of gunpowder.”
Of course, there we’re no secret service agents in the grassy knoll area at the time of the assassination, (this has been repeatedly confirmed by the Secret Service itself) so here we find a huge problem for the lone-nut conclusion. If there were no secret service officials on the knoll during or after the shooting, who was this man that Officer Smith encountered, and why was he faking his identity immediately following the shooting?
William Newman, one of the closest eye witnesses to the assassination, testified to Dallas police on Nov. 22, 1963 that he “thought the shot had come from the garden directly behind me that was on elevation where I was…on the curb. I do not recall looking toward the Texas School Book Depository. I looked back in the vicinity of the garden.”
S.M. Holland, a railroad supervisor, was near the grassy knoll area when the assassination occurred. He testified that he heard four shots, and that the third shot caused a puff of smoke to appear from the tree line along the picket fence on the grassy knoll. Holland also stated that after the shooting he ran to the picket fence to search for possible evidence of a second gunman. However, when he reached the corner of the fence where he had seen the smoke, a number of policemen were already present. He recalled that there was a station wagon backed up to the fence, and that there was a spot, about three feet by two feet, that looked to him like somebody had been standing there for a long period of time. (It had been raining earlier that day in Dealey Plaza.) Holland stated that there were about a hundred foot tracks on the spot, and there was mud up on the bumper of the station wagon, as if someone had either used it to clean his foot off or stood up on it to look over the fence.
Secret Service Agent Paul E. Landis was riding on the right running board of the follow up car to President Kennedy’s limousine. He stated that the third shot came from “somewhere toward the front, right hand side of the road.” Landis later told congressional investigators that he was sticking to his story, and that he understood the implications of stating that shots came from two different directions.
Lee E. Bower, a railroad workman stationed in a glass-walled tower about fifty yards north and west of the Book depository, gave the Warren Commission a deposition on April 2, 1964. He said there were several unfamiliar automobiles in the parking lot area in close proximity to the shooting. (This would also put these strange cars near the knoll areas well.) He said he noticed them because he recognized the cars that were parked in the lot regularly, and these cars weren’t apart of those regulars. One the unfamiliar cars was a blue and white 1959 Oldsmobile station wagon; another was a 1961 or 1962 Impala. Both were dirty and had out-of-state license plates-(white background with black numbers)-and both had single, white male occupants.
Five years after JFK was killed, Tip O’Neill, former speaker of the house, had dinner with Kenneth O’ Donnell and Dave Powers, both of whom had been close friends of President Kennedy, and had ridden in the motorcade with him the day he was assassinated. O’Donnell and Powers recalled to O’Neill that they both had heard shots come from the grassy knoll. O’Neill challenged O’Donnell’s account by saying, “That’s not what you told the Warren Commission.” O’ Donnell replied, “Your right. I told the FBI what I had heard, but they said it couldn’t have happened that way, and that I must have been imagining things. So I testified the way they wanted me to. I just didn’t want to stir up any more pain and trouble for the Kennedy family.”
Six witnesses, including three in the motorcade, said they smelled gunpowder around the grassy knoll area. They include Senator Ralph Yarborough, Congressman Ray Roberts, the Dallas Mayor’s wife, and two police officers. Seven witnesses on the railroad bridge of the triple underpass said they saw something that appeared to be smoke coming from the grassy knoll.
Almost immediately after the assassination, Dallas Police Chief Jessie Curry radioed to his comrades to “get a man on top of that triple underpass and see what happened up there.”
Secret Service Agent Forrest Sorrels, who in charge of the Dallas office, said that he “looked towards the top of the terrace to my right, as the sound of the shots seemed to come from that direction.”
In light of these testimonies, it’s important to note that the Warren Commission told the American public that there was, “no credible evidence to indicate shots were fired from any place other than the Texas School Book Depository.” This quote is even more audacious when you see the statistics of eye witness testimony for yourselves:
There were around 250 people in the plaza that day, 171 of these people gave statements to the Warren Commission in 1964. In short, 76 witnesses said they didn’t know where the shots came from; 46 said they came from the book depository; 29 said they came from some place other than the book depository or the grassy knoll; and twenty (surely enough to be counted as worthy of recognition in an official government investigation) said they came from the grassy knoll.
When I spoke with G. Robert Blakey, the former Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, I was satisfied with the information he made available. Mr. Blakey told me that Lee Oswald’s guilt in the murder was undeniable due to strong physical evidence, and the evidence for a shooter from the grassy knoll could be controversial as well. Mr. Blakey attributed his second shooter solution primarily to the testimony of numerous eye witness accounts which he deemed credible. Mr.Blakey still supports the acoustical evidence his experts discovered during the HSCA investigation (1976-1978), but also acknowledges that people have discovered interesting holes in it as well.
In closing, it’s the opinion of many that the need of balance in the world is what drives us to desire a deeper meaning to the JFK assassination, but as my good friend Pete Orta points out, “In the times of no conspiracies, only a conspiracy could change the times”. In America, the early sixties were a time of innocence and trust. People didn’t think or operate like we do today; they weren’t the critics that we tend to be…especially when it came to questioning the government’s final accounts on political assassinations. Therefore, my friends quote simply means that if Americans in the sixties weren’t the skeptics we are today then something had to give our culture a reason to be skeptical in the first place. (What comes first the lie or the doubter?)
The case is still a mystery in some circles. The reason for people’s belief in a conspiracy is founded in, as Jefferson Morley calls it, “the circumstances of the crime”. The eyewitness testimony of the assassination is more than enough information for any logical person to conclude something sinister may have occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. We in the research field are still waiting for the CIA, the Mexico City Archives, and Cuba to release the remaining files they hold on the JFK assassination, so it shouldn’t be seen as outlandish for us to question the Warren report or any other lone nut conclusion.
Editor’s Note: This blog gives eye witness testimony, and the thoughts of those who believe in a conspiracy. I believe in a conspiracy myself, but only a very limited one. There are many questions that remain unresolved about the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. What was he doing in Mexico City? How did he bring a Russian wife back to America with him, and who was she working for? Where did Oswald get his funds? Why was there a cover up in the post assassination government investigations? There is also a heap of evidence that points towards the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald. I always try to approach this case with logic, and to be fair in evaluating the evidence. I wrote this blog for the conspiracy crowd that believes in a shot from the grassy knoll, so this is their side of the debate. Stay tuned for further updates.